Secret scandals revealed by her mother’s recent murder continue to haunt September Day. Wedding plans with her detective fiancé keep her focused on a happy future. But plans go sideways when a black-market medicine scheme targets kids, and she and Shadow must rescue the victims. That puts September in an assassin’s crosshairs. September must stop the deadly plan before more kids die, even if it means trading her life for theirs.
Amy Shojai recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest thriller, WIN OR LOSE:
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I always hope readers enjoy the made-up story and the ripped-from-the-headlines plots that shine a light on true issues that affect our world. Many of my readers comment on the animal behavior information that resonates with them in their own dog and cat experiences. This plot in particular, inspired by my friend’s daughter and her medical challenges, I hope shines a light on both the difficulties of living with a “hidden disability” and the joy of finding a furry partner to help.
What attracts you to this book’s genre?
I love fast-paced thrills and am easily bored. I also worked for quite a few years as a veterinary technician, assisting the doctors with treatments and surgery. So, anything that combines suspense, medicine, and pets gets my virtual tail a-wagging.
What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?
We received a bone cancer diagnosis for my beloved dog Bravo the bullmastiff last year right after I’d begun writing the book. He lost his front leg, went through five rounds of chemo, all with tail-wagging joy, but ultimately lost his battle. Trying to write a book with a main character who adores and relies on her PTSD service dog—all while mourning Bravo—nearly did me in. It’s too fresh and raw for this book, but a future story will honor Brave Bravo, just as all of my stories open opportunities to edu-tain readers about the awful-glorious-heartbreaking-joyful experiences with these incredible beings we love.
Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?
Oh yes! My bad guy kept persecuting my protagonist (part of thrillers, right?), and I thought that I knew why. I was wrong! And that newly discovered motivation inspires the NEXT book in the series. Woot!
What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?
Oh, far too many to name. I love Dean Koontz stories because—hello! thriller/suspense, great but unusual protagonists, and DOGS. And I also love James Rollins stories for the roller-coaster pace. J.T. Ellison (fan-girl!) just does it all so well, and Michael Palmer and Tess Gerritsen for the medical thrillers.
Amy Shojai, CABC, the author of 35+ nonfiction pet care titles, also writes pet-centric “Thrillers With Bite!” Amy’s thrillers celebrate strong women protagonists overcoming great odds with help from their canine (and feline) partners. Her background as a certified animal behavior consultant provides the expert characterization of both humans and animal companions in her pulse-pounding, nonstop action plots. Amy lives in Texas with an assorted furry crew, and proudly wears her rhinestone #1 Bitch Pin.
To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.