Karen’s Killer Book Bench #Military #Romance: KILLER SECRETS, National Forest #K-9 Book 3 by Kathleen Donnelly

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National Forest K-9 Book 3


A small town’s deadly past is exposed in the newest installment of the suspenseful National Forest K-9 series by Kathleen Donnelly.

Until an avalanche ripped down a mountainside, exposing a serial killer’s dumping grounds, Antler Valley, Colorado was a quiet town. Now Forest Service officer Maya Thompson and her beautiful K-9, Juniper, must catch the murderer before they become the next targets.

With the neighboring town’s new overconfident sheriff deterring the entire investigation, a murderer on the loose and heartthrob deputy Josh Colton racing through her mind, Maya is at a crossroads. Josh is ready to go all in, but Maya has one foot out the door. As she lets her guard down, she needs to accept that she’s falling deeply in love with him, no matter how risky it may be.

When evidence from the Antler Valley victims links the murders to deaths in other ski towns, secrets long buried are unearthed. Maya and Juniper must run toward an answer, though finding it might lead them directly into a fatal trap…


National Forest K-9 Book 3

Maya Thompson, Character Interview

1. What is your name? Do you have a nickname?

Hello! Thanks for interviewing me today. I’m happy to be a guest on your blog. My name is Maya Thompson. I do have a nickname and I love it because my grandfather is the one who uses it. He calls me “Maya Bear.” I call him “Pops.”

2. Who is your best friend? What kinds of things do you do when you’re together?

I actually have two best friends—one has four legs and the other has two. My four-legged best friend is my U.S. Forest Service K-9 Juniper. She is a two-year-old Malinois that keeps me on my toes. I love being her handler and we have a great partnership. Together we have made some pretty amazing arrests including a drug ring in the National Forest and some crooked cops. Juniper is great at finding narcotics, tracking, apprehending criminals and finding evidence. She is truly my backup officer and I can’t imagine life without her.

My two-legged best friend is the Chief Deputy for the Western River County Sheriff. He is not only my best friend—he is the love of my life. We live together in the small Colorado mountain town of Pinecone Junction. Josh has always been there for me and even puts up with Juniper doing things like digging big holes in his backyard and ripping up his uniform. When I met Josh, I didn’t think I was ready to have a relationship so we started out slow and were just friends. But when my cabin burned down, I moved in with him and realized how much he had been there for me and how much I love him.

3. If you have a family, how do you get along with them? If you don’t, are there people in your life that you consider family? How do you get along with them?

My mother was murdered when I was a little girl. Not too long ago, I investigated and solved her cold case. I was lucky that my grandparents adopted and raised me as my father was never in the picture. My grandfather, Wayne Thompson, aka Pops, is the Sheriff for Western River County and I wanted to follow in his footsteps which is why I joined the Marines and after my service, became a law enforcement officer.

I loved my grandmother very much and she was a wonderful person. I have great memories of her. She was also murdered and her death was tied to my mother’s cold case. I was happy to bring her killer to justice.

4. Do you have a birthmark? Scars? Where are they? How did you get them?

My scars are invisible. What I mean by that is I am learning to manage and overcome PTSD from my time in Afghanistan. I like to say PTSD is my invisible scar because it’s hard for so many people to understand. Being a Veteran, but I am lucky in that I was never physically injured during my time in Afghanistan. Many people think that because you look fine, you are fine. I like to let others know that many Veterans and active-duty military deal with PTSD even though they appear well.

5. When you’re angry, what do you do? Where do you go? How do you deal with your anger?

Anger. Such a tough emotion to deal with. I used to deal with my anger in a very unhealthy way—I drank way too much. Josh has helped me find my way to sobriety. He understands because he also used to self-medicate with alcohol and drugs. Together we attend Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings. Through AA and utilizing the programs for Veterans, I’ve learned to deal with my anger in healthier ways such as mindfulness. I love the mountains and I find peace in the high country. Josh, Juniper and I love to hike and get away from the daily demands of working in law enforcement.

6. If you had to make me a meal right now, without going to the store, what would you find in your refrigerator to feed us?

(Laughs) Me? Make a meal? I am not a great chef. Luckily, Josh loves to cook and he always has a great selection of proteins and vegetables. I’ll admit, when I was living on my own, there was often only leftover pizza in my fridge. I think my favorite meal Josh makes is a good steak with potatoes. Juniper is always hopeful that she might get a bite of steak, but being a working dog, she’s not allowed.

7. What’s the one thing you’re afraid of losing?

I think I’m afraid of losing those I love because of my past. I’m especially afraid of losing Juniper, Josh or Pops. They have all helped me heal in different ways.

8. What makes you laugh out loud?

Usually, it’s Juniper. She is so quirky and has a funny sense of humor. She always lets me know what she’s thinking by communicating with grunts, groans, whines and yips. Juniper loves her work, but she also loves testing me. Luckily, since I handled a K-9 in the military, her antics are not too surprising and Josh and I can find the humor in them. Well…most of the time. Josh wasn’t too happy about the giant holes in his yard. I’ll admit though, Juniper and I kind of found them funny. Lesson learned—never leave a young Malinois on her own.

9. Has anyone broken your heart? Who was he?

I had one serious relationship in the military and he broke my heart. I thought he was the “one,” but I learned after we were dating that he had a wife back home. Needless to say, I was very upset. I never wanted to be “the other woman” and broke it off. After that, I decided that I wouldn’t have another relationship. Then Josh came along and well, the rest is history.

10. What’s the one thing you want out of life that you don’t think you can have? Why can’t you have it?

Hmmm…this is a good question. I used to think that one thing was love, but now I know I can have that. I’d love to have one more day with my mother and grandmother. Anyone who loses someone always wishes for one more day. But I’m grateful for all my memories. Those help as I process my grief.

About Author Kathleen Donnelly…


Links to Kathleen’s websites, blogs, books, #ad etc.:

Killer Secrets—Book #3 in the National Forest K-9 series

Chasing Justice—Book #1 in the National Forest K-9 series

Hunting The Truth—Book #2 in the National Forest K-9 series

Website: www.kathleendonnelly.com

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Special Giveaway: Kathleen will give away a signed copy (U.S. Only) of KILLER SECRETS to one lucky reader who comments on her Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog. Good luck!

Happy Reading!



Thanks, Kathleen, for sharing your book with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!


18 thoughts on “Karen’s Killer Book Bench #Military #Romance: KILLER SECRETS, National Forest #K-9 Book 3 by Kathleen Donnelly”

  1. Good morning, Kathleen, and welcome back to Karen’s Killer Book Bench. I’m thrilled that you have a new book out in this K-9 series! I love Maya and Juniper and the mysteries they unwind together. Can’t wait to chase down the bad guys with them again. Maya really needs to give Josh a break! LOL Thanks for sharing your book with us today!

    1. Hello Karen,
      Thanks so much for having me as a guest today! I love your blog. Your readers are fantastic! Killer Secrets was a fun book to write and of course, it’s always great to get the bad guys with Maya and Juniper. 🙂 And yes, Maya can be a tough one, but Josh is a patient guy! LOL! 😉 Thanks again!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your intriguing book. Loved the interview. It’s great to know more and understand a character.

  3. Hey, Kathleen!

    Having had the pleasure of reading one of your other books, I know how good they are.

    So glad to see you here, being introduced to more readers

    Thanks, Kathleen and Karen

  4. Good afternoon Kathleen, I love the sound of your book and I love your book cover, it looks Very Intriguing!! I loved reading the character interview, thank you so much for sharing it. I will be adding “Killer Secrets” to my TBR as it sounds like a book I would love reading! Have a great rest of the day and a great week. God Bless you and your family.

  5. Hello!
    Thanks so much for taking the time to read the post and comment. I’m so happy you enjoyed the character interview and meeting Maya. I hope you enjoy Killer Secrets! Have a great rest of your day! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. I had a lot of fun writing Killer Secrets. I enjoyed playing with the plot twists. 😊

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