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1st place
WINNER
IF THE DEVIL HAD A DOG.jpg

IF THE DEVIL HAD A DOG

by

T. K. Lukas

How far will she run before he finds her?

Sidney McQueen flees to the small, west Texas town of Alpine to escape the most dangerous man she’s ever known—her estranged husband—a powerful attorney with ties to Mexican drug cartels. When circumstances throw her into the path of Markus Yeager, he is immediately suspicious. And, when Sidney reveals she possesses something her soon-to-be-ex is hell-bent to retrieve, Markus becomes embroiled in a world he thought he had left far behind.

A former Marine turned CIA operative, Markus has a top-secret past with the physical and emotional scars to prove it. He is drawn into Sidney’s life-or-death situation, where weapons, drugs, and money are the only gods—a world where dangerous traffickers stop at nothing to get what they want.

As their mutual need draws them closer, Markus and Sidney discover a deadly predator whose web of treachery leads to terrifying violence. In a frantic race against time, can they stay one step ahead, expose a dangerous cartel, and bring a murderer to justice?

IF THE DEVIL HAD A DOG – an explosive psychological thriller that sinks its teeth in and never lets go.

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Amazon Reviews Of The Book

A definite must-read!

Fleeing her estranged husband, a powerful lawyer with connections to a Mexican drug cartel, Sidney McQueen ends up in the small West Texas town of Alpine. She has been directed there to find Markus Yeager, a former Marine and CIA special operator, who operates a hunting camp and stables. When he first meets her, Markus’s suspicions are aroused, so he taps into his CIA connections to check up on her. What he learns sends chills through his body; what she’s fleeing is not just an abusive marriage, but a deadly danger that will pit the both of them against the deadly intentions of a band of criminals who do not hesitate to leave bodies in their wake.
If the Devil Had a Dog by T. K. Lukas is a chilling, spellbinding thriller with a romantic underpinning that will keep you up at night—and, probably awake after you finish reading it. The action is well-crafted and nonstop, and the human dynamics are . . . well, just let me say, you’ll identify with all the characters in this book. Some you’ll root for, and others you’ll cheer when they get what’s coming to them.
One of the best books I’ve read so far this year.

If the Devil Had a Dog: Full of surprises and highly recommended.

There is a good chance that much of the new Lukas novel will thrash you about on an emotional rollercoaster ride, and not just because you can easily identify with the well-developed characters. Sadly, far too many readers will likely be able to relate to some of Sidney’s harrowing experiences, but be aware that the main character’s plight may not be the only aspect of this novel that disturbs you. Some of the narrative is so chillingly authentic that, at times, you may stop for a moment and cautiously wonder how much of what you are reading is fiction.

No worries though, Lukas does not allow readers to suffer for long. She mercifully provides something that could actually be a new form of help for the masses, and could ease the minds of many who devour this delicious novel, long after the final page is turned.

To be fair, the entire novel is not harrowing. Parts will make you laugh hard enough to risk ripping a seam in your clothes, while other parts are surprisingly thought-provoking and fascinating, like the various means of communication that Lukas casually mentions between a horse and its rider, and the contrasting diversity of life in Texas.

If the Devil Had a Dog… full of surprises and highly recommended.

How could you not be anxiously awaiting everything that is to follow?

I've never too much of one for romance as a whole, but I picked this book up hoping it could help me with applying more romantic tones to my own work where need be, and here I was sucked into yet another fantastic world completely invested in the characters and everything that happened to them! And not just the protagonists; I couldn't help but feel a slight bit of growing pity for a certain villain near the end, but I would describe that feeling as to each his own. That is basically the premise for nearly all aspects of the story, that the characters are so fleshed out and "humanish" that I get the sense no two readers perceive them all the same. At least, that's the feeling I got from it, and with the right pace of growing danger, action, and character background, how could you not be anxiously awaiting everything that is to follow?

Learn More About The Author

T. K. Lukas

T.K. LUKAS.jfif

As a young girl and long before she could remember remembering, there were two things in T.K. Lukas’s life: books, and horses. And mostly, the books she read were about horses. When she reached eleven years of age, her father surprised her with a birthday gift — her very own horse — a palomino gelding named “Thomas Dandy.” Dan, as she called him, was the first male to whom she gladly gave her heart. Endless summer days were spent with T.K. galloping Dan bare-back through the woods, grooming him, reading to him, drawing sketches of him, and imprinting his wonderful sweaty-horse scent into her memory bank. Unfortunately, it was a short love affair.

Two years later, a personal family tragedy caused her to have to surrender Dan to another owner. Depressed and rebellious, at times the only things to get T.K. through her misery were the stories playing out in her head, fanciful tales of magical horses — fast horses with swift hooves and kind eyes. The horses she conjured in her dreams would always be at the ready to spirit her away from any sadness. And through the years, horses - and books - would always be her constant, most dependable companions. 

T.K.’s life experiences and world travels fuel the native Texan’s ever-expanding imagination, which she pours into everything she writes. Combining history with fiction, fact with fantasy, she delivers stories that, at some point along the narrative, always have horses making their presence known.

Her debut novel, Orphan Moon, published in 2015, quickly became an Amazon.com Kindle international best seller in several countries and on a variety of categorical lists, from U. S. Historical Fiction to Western Romance. Soon after its release, Orphan Moon was chosen as a top-five-finalist in the 2015 Writers’ League of Texas Manuscript Contest, placing in the Historical Fiction category. Additionally, it was awarded the Bronze Medal in the 2016 Readers' Favorite Book Award contest for Western Fiction, and was selected as a medal finalist in The Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards for adult fiction. It was recently chosen as a 2016 semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Awards category for literary fiction.

If the Devil Had a Dog, her second novel, is a contemporary suspense thriller. It was published December 17th, 2015. It, too, quickly became a Kindle international best seller, hitting the #1 spot in both the U.S. and Germany in several categories, such as Action/Adventure, Romantic Suspense, and Suspense/Thriller.

An active member of the Historical Novel Society, Writers’ League of Texas, International Thriller Writers' Association, and Romance Writers of America, the author continues to hone her craft by attending conferences, workshops, and seminars. In conjunction, she works closely and tirelessly with editors, artists, and graphic designers to ensure that what she brings to the reader is a quality product. In February, 2016, T.K. was featured in BookDaily as an "emerging author," and IF THE DEVIL HAD A DOG was featured in The Big Thrill, the online magazine for the International Thriller Writers' Association.

T.K. and her husband live in north-central Texas on a small ranch they share with a variety of four-legged friends: equine, canine, feline, and bovine. Their three grown children are scattered across the globe. When not on horseback, T.K. enjoys international travel, snow skiing, photography, and collecting antique deviled egg plates.

Connect with T. K. Lukas

BooksShelf Profile

Interview With The Author

When did you start writing?

I started writing seriously when I got old and had the time. But like a lot of you, I started when I was a little kid.

What makes writing your passion?

An overwhelming urge to communicate certain life experiences with others.

What’s the story behind your choice of characters

I like strong, midlife women. Because that's what I am.