Playing With FireHi!

I’m Hero, fire rescue dog in-training for the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade, at your service.

My mother, Sylvia, and I were rescued when I was just a puppy. I’m a year old now, and people say I’m growing nicely. I always lick their hands when they give me a compliment. It just seems the decent thing to do.

I owe everything to the volunteer firefighters in Sweet Pepper, Tennessee, who gave me a home and a job. I especially owe our fire chief, Stella Griffin. She makes it all work for everyone. She’s not much of a cook, but she’s kind and strong. I love her.

But my best friend is Eric Gamlyn, who used to be the fire chief in Sweet Pepper. He died forty years ago trying to keep Sweet Pepper safe. We know now that he didn’t die in the silo fire, like most people thought. He was murdered, and his body was stuffed into the fire house wall right before it was closed down.

Awful, right? Especially for a hero like Eric.

Stella and the new fire brigade found him after all those years. Now she’s trying to figure out what really happened to Eric. He doesn’t make it easy for her either. You see, he’s a ghost now, and Stella lives with him in the log cabin he built. They get along well enough, I guess. But sometimes, Eric gets mad and the whole cabin shakes.

Like that time when Stella’s parents came from Chicago to visit – and brought her ex-boyfriend with them! What were they thinking? Eric wasn’t very nice to him.

Anyway, I shouldn’t get too far ahead of everyone. You probably just read my own, personal adventure in Hero’s Journey. Can you believe they named a book after me?

Look for me in Playing with Fire too. My mom and I will play an important part in the story about solving Eric’s murder, and how Stella came to live in Sweet Pepper for good.

Oops! That’s my mom calling. I have to train. It takes a lot of hard work to be a firefighter, you know.

See you!

This is the 11th stop on the Playing With Fire Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. For other stops on this tour, click HERE

You can read more about Hero in Playing with Fire, the second book in the “Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is That Old Flame of Mine. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

GIVEAWAY: Comment on this post by noon EST on January 17, and you will be entered to win a copy of Playing With Fire. One winner will be chosen at random. Unless specified, U.S. entries only.

Meet the author
J.J. Cook writes award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, Joyce and Jim Lavene, and Ellie Grant. Playing with Fire is the second book in the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mysteries following That Old Flame of Mine, and the E-novella, Hero’s Journey. They live in rural North Carolina with their family. Visit them at

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