August 26, 2011
I’m thrilled to have my good friend Rita Henuber with me today. Her debut release, ‘Under Fire’, is now out from Carina Press. Guaranteed lovers of romantic suspense and strong, smart heroines and really hot action heroes will love this fast pace read. I’ve asked Rita to share an blurb and excerpts. Check them out. And while I continue to fill the flutes with cyber-champagne and pass the chocolate strawberries, Rita will answer your questions.
Hi, Rita! Congrats on your debut release! Why don’t you start by sharing a blurb for Under Fire?
Rita: Sure. I’d love to.
Coast Guard helicopter pilot Olivia Carver is on a personal mission. Her twin brother, an undercover officer, was murdered by a drug cartel and she won’t stop until she finds the person responsible for his death.
In the course of her own investigation, Olivia meets informant Rico Cortes. He’s mysterious and sexy, and despite her reservations, the two share a night of passion. But Rico turns out to be more than a one-night stand. He’s a DEA agent, deep undercover in Miami’s drug world, and possibly the one person who can help Olivia find the justice she seeks. When Rico realizes his cover is compromised, he isn’t sure whether it was someone in the cartel or an inside agent. Olivia is the only one he can trust and together they venture on a dangerous, rogue mission to infiltrate a drug lord’s inner circle…with Olivia as bait.
Authors have favorite parts in a book and this week it’s been fun seeing that reviewers like some of my favorites. So I thought I’d share a few.
(Olivia) “I’m stopping at the next exit for gas. I’ll get rid of the scrubs. You get out and walk around or by the time we get to Miami you’ll be too stiff to move.”
“Don’t worry, when I get stiff I move very well,” he muttered as he turned away.
“I heard that.”
He (Rico) moved to look at the speedometer.
“Come on, Olivia. The speed limit is 70. You’re doing 95, and this car is ticket bait. I don’t want to risk getting stopped.”
“I’m traveling with the flow. This is I-95. If I go the speed limit I’ll stand out.”
“Okay.”She slowed the Corvette.
“Thanks,” he muttered. “You always drive like this?”
“Yep, I grew up in Texas. Speed limits there are only a suggestion.”
AJ: She is such a clip. I love Olivia!
(Olivia) “What is all of this, your James Bond room?”
“You could say that. It’s my backup.” He opened cabinets, took out a pill bottle and downed a Percocet. “In here I have weapons, computers, transportation, medical supplies, money and anything else I might need for my survival. Things we’ll need to complete this job.”
Olivia ran her fingers across several of the weapons on the counter and shelf. “Where’s your toothbrush radio and exploding briefcase?”
AJ: Readers, I absolutely loved this scene. Seriously. You need to read the whole thing.
They (Olivia and Rico)lay entwined and silent, watching the sky, listening to the faint sounds of the city.
“Olivia?” She loved the way her name sounded when he said it.
Rico lightly ran his fingers along her spine. “The night we met, why did you leave the bar with me?”
“Are you complaining?”
She pressed away and angled her head to look into his face. “I wanted to be with you.”
“Just like that?”
“It wasn’t just like that. I needed to let go. My life is about control. You were…”
“What made you decide?”
“Why are you asking me this?”
“Humor me and answer the question.”
She sighed deeply and tucked her cheek against his chest. “It’s all very cliché.” Another sigh. “There was a chemistry. Your smile. You made me laugh, I felt comfortable with you.” She could go on and on - his scent, the taste of him, the feel of his hard body—but she didn’t.
Authors also know there will be some scenes edited from each book. We love those scenes but understand it’s better for pacing or the story. Some reviewers have commented how they enjoyed how close Olivia and her team are and it got me thinking of a scene that explained it in detail. The scene was condensed to five sentences. And, it worked very well, but I still like the big picture version .
Senior Chief Bill Defoe sat in the small room watching Crenshaw pacing. He glanced at Turner who stood still, staring out the room’s only window.
“Lieutenant, if you aren’t sure about this, now is the time to leave. Once we get in the Captain’s office there won’t be any going back.” He looked over at Turner. “Same with you.”
“I owe her, Senior Chief. I’m in.” Turner said
“What do you mean Turner?” Crenshaw ignored Defoe’s question.
Turner walked to the door and pulled it closed. “She got me out of a jam. I owe her.”
Crenshaw and Defoe said nothing, waiting for Turner to tell his story.
“Cree-rist. She made me promise I would never tell anyone.”
Defoe stood and walked to Turner. “Talk.” He ordered.
“My brother was killed in Iraq. I went a little crazy. Drinking, fighting, wrapped my car around a pole. Was in the hospital and jail. She paid the hospital bill and all the damages so no one here would find out. Bailed me out of jail and talked a judge into letting her handle me.” Turner took a deep breath and rubbed his forehead. “She refused to let me pay her back. Said all I need to do is stay out of trouble and make my life count for me and my brother.” He looked at Defoe, then Crenshaw. “I owe her.”
“You, Senior Chief?” Crenshaw said.
“Nothing like that, but I owe her too. She was straight out of flight school the first time I flew with her. She never failed to write commendations for her crews. A lot of pilots won’t, saying we get paid to be good. Those commendations helped me get promoted faster.
“There’s gotta be more than that,” Crenshaw said.
“Yeah.” Defoe stood with his hands locked behind head, his elbows sticking out. “The second time we were stationed together, my wife and I were having--you know, problems.” He dropped his arms to his side. “The crew was out having a few beers and I...eh...I was coming on to this broad. We left together and Commander Carver, stopped me. We exchanged a few words in the parking lot. She cold-cocked me. Came to in her car. She ripped me a new one and said I would get my ass to counseling or she’d take it on as a personal mission to make the rest of my life miserable.” Defoe blew out a loud breath. “Saved my marriage.”
Turner and Defoe stared at Crenshaw. “Lieutenant, we have reasons to be doing this, you don’t. You’ve got your whole career ahead of you. You might want--”
“I owe her.” Crenshaw swallowed hard. “This is my third duty station out of school. My first two pilots requested I be transferred. Said I’m too nervous.” Crenshaw hung his head, seemingly examining the tile floor. “We were at one of those Homeland training things. She came up to me and asked if I wanted to second-seat the Dolphin with her. I thought she was joking. Everyone there talked about her, how great she is.” Crenshaw straightened. “We talked for awhile. She asked a few questions. Don’t know how or why, but two days later I had transfer papers. A month later I was sitting next to her in the Dolphin.”
Check out the video to see what kind of helicopter Olivia flies. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CjQ3yex9lE
I hope you enjoy reading Under Fire as much as I enjoyed writing it.
I'm sure they will, Rita. I loved it.
Where can readers learn about you and your books?