Book Extract: A Nose For Mischief by K.T. Lee

I’m saying a big hello to K.T. Lee. She is here with the blog tour for her latest novel, A Nose for Mischief, book one in the Riverbend K-9s series. 

When materials engineer Zoey Butler lands her dream job at Future State Energy, she believes her research in renewable energy will make headlines. Unfortunately for her, she’s right. Zoey is working on her latest experiment when FBI Special Agent Alexis Thompson and her K-9 partner, Waffle, raid Future State and arrest the head of the development for fraud. Zoey helps the FBI find answers in the aftermath, but she soon finds herself jobless and unemployable. Desperate and out of options, she reaches out to Alexis, the one person who knows Zoey was duped like everyone else.

Liam Graham is an FBI special agent and instructor at Riverbend K-9 Academy. When Alexis brings in a new recruit with an unusual background, Liam pairs her up with Tasha, a dog in need of a handler to stay in their competitive program. Zoey is thrilled to put her past behind her and give the mischievous rescue dog her own second chance. However, shortly after she arrives, the FBI realizes the Future State case is far from closed. And Zoey may be the key to solving it.

Zoey offers to go back to Future State to help the FBI end things once and for all. Only this time, she’ll have Liam and Tasha for backup. But, the problems at Future State are more explosive than any of them suspect.

 

K.T. Lee has shared an extract with us today. Enjoy.

 

***** beginning of extract *****

 

When materials engineer Zoey Butler lands her dream job at Future State Energy, she believes her research in renewable energy will make headlines. Unfortunately for her, she’s right. Zoey is working on her latest experiment when FBI Special Agent Alexis Thompson and her K-9 partner, Waffle, raid Future State and arrest the head of the development for fraud. Zoey helps the FBI find answers in the aftermath, but she soon finds herself jobless and unemployable. Desperate and out of options, she reaches out to Alexis, the one person who knows Zoey was duped like everyone else.

Liam Graham is an FBI special agent and instructor at Riverbend K-9 Academy. When Alexis brings in a new recruit with an unusual background, Liam pairs her up with Tasha, a dog in need of a handler to stay in their competitive program. Zoey is thrilled to put her past behind her and give the mischievous rescue dog her own second chance. However, shortly after she arrives, the FBI realizes the Future State case is far from closed. And Zoey may be the key to solving it.

Zoey offers to go back to Future State to help the FBI end things once and for all. Only this time, she’ll have Liam and Tasha for backup. But, the problems at Future State are more explosive than any of them suspect.

 

This excerpt takes place as Zoey is struggling with her job search.

For a brief moment, Zoey considered pulling the email from Future State out of her trash folder. A job was a job, after all. She closed her eyes to resist temptation. Nothing good could come from going back. She’d been lucky she hadn’t ended up in jail. She’d had so many meetings with the FBI, reviewing her meticulous notes, Zoey ended up on a first-name basis with Alexis, the special agent in charge of the raid. Under different circumstances, they might have even become friends, as much time as they spent together. And Zoey had spent a fair amount of time with Alexis’s Labrador retriever, Waffle, whose wagging tail made him friends with everyone, regardless of the circumstances. Without the conversations with Alexis, Zoey would have never realized the extent to which her work was a purposeful misdirect, intended to cover illegal activity and lies to investors. She’d left the company without looking back, keeping nothing from Future State except a free flash drive Marco had given her that he didn’t want. And only because she hadn’t realized she’d forgotten to take it out of her purse. She’d nearly chucked it in the trash when she found it, but she couldn’t bear to be wasteful. Zoey let out a breath. Her emergency fund was running out and she’d been painted into a metaphorical corner. She slammed her laptop lid shut and her sister, Elise, sitting nearby on the couch, jumped.

Elise closed the book she’d been reading and looked up at Zoey, giving her a half-hearted smile. “Still no leads, huh?”

“No. No leads.” Zoey rested her chin on her hand. She normally had the patience to find joy in even the most tedious and time-consuming experiments, but this experiment was testing even her.

“Listen, I can cover next month’s rent.”

Zoey waved a hand to cut her off. “No way. I’m not freeloading off of family. You do enough good for the world. You don’t need to add me to your list.”

“I can charge you interest and call it a loan if it makes you feel better.” Elise tossed her brown hair over her shoulder and lifted an eyebrow. While they had nearly the same dark blue eye color, Elise’s loose curls gave her an effortlessly beautiful, beach-ready look minutes after she rolled out of bed in the morning, as opposed to Zoey’s unruly strawberry blonde waves. As a result, Zoey usually didn’t bother with her hair. Like usual, she’d pulled her hair back into a tight twist. Elise’s eyes held a challenge, but it was gentle. Elise shared Zoey’s stubbornness but also had as big a heart as anyone Zoey had ever met.

“I appreciate it more than you know, but it’s not a long-term strategy.” Zoey rubbed her temples. “You know what the real garbage burger is?”

“There’s just one?” Elise placed her non-fiction book about the financial management of endangered species breeding programs on the coffee table and walked towards the kitchen. While they were both in the sciences, their interests had gone in wildly different directions. Zoey liked the ordered and repeatable nature of materials science engineering, and Elise had ultimately found her ideal job working for an animal conservation not-for-profit. Elise would do anything to help her sister get a leg up, but her employer was very selective and they weren’t exactly looking for engineers. Elise had distributed Zoey’s résumé on the narrow chance they’d find her a spot designing animal habitats, but they’d still regretted to inform her.

“Okay. It’s more than one. But this is more like the ketchup on the actual garbage burger. Or pickles. I’m not sure.”

Elise flicked a switch on the electric kettle and turned to face her. “Okay, hit me with your worst pickles.”

Zoey scrunched up her nose. “Nope, that feels like we’ve taken it a step too far. The real garbage burger—hold the pickles—is that one of the FBI agents had the nerve to tell me she was sorry.”

Elise dropped her mouth open in mock alarm. “You’re kidding. That is so rude. Just like that? Wow. I hope you let them know how upset you were. She didn’t thank you too, did she? That would have been awful.”

Zoey dropped her head in her hands for a moment, then looked back up into the concerned eyes of her sister. “What good is it to be sorry when I’m unemployed? After years of work, all those late nights studying, I may have to switch careers, Elise. I just paid off my student loans. I can’t afford to live here on unemployment, and you can’t afford to have a freeloading renter forever.”

Elise lowered a teabag into a big white mug, poured hot water over the top of it, then brought the mug to Zoey. “Sis, neither of us have ever been good at wallowing and you’ve been doing it for the last half hour. So, what are you going to do?” She let out a snort. “Besides go complain to the rude FBI agent, of course.”

Zoey smacked her hand on the table. “Yes. That’s exactly what I should do.”

 

***** end of extract *****

 

About K.T. Lee: 

K.T. Lee is a writer, mom, and engineer who grew up on a steady diet of books from a wide variety of genres. She’s the author of multiple books, including those in the Riverbend K-9 Series and The Calculated Series.

Find out more and get the latest updates (and a free prequel novella!) at https://ktleeauthor.com

Say hello on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

A Nose For Mischief, book one in the Riverbend K-9s series was released in December 2021. Click to view on Amazon UK, Amazon US, Kobo, Apple Books, Google Play and Barnes and Noble

 

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Laura
I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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