NOT YOUR USUAL SUSPECTS

A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!


Julie Moffet . Clare London . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A. Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I Need A Hero

People often ask me why it is that I love writing suspense novels. My every day response is that I like action and adventure. I get a thrill out of the roller coaster ride of emotions that comes from not knowing if the characters, or the world for that matter, will survive.

But lately I’ve been giving that answer some thought. I’ve been looking all around me at what’s happening in the world and it occurred to me that the reason I write suspense is quite different.

I write suspense novels because I need a hero. I need to know that amidst all the turmoil and evil someone can rise up who will stand for what is right and who will ultimately triumph.

Whether that hero is your strong silent alpha male or a kick-ass heroine, I thrive on forcing them to face not only physical peril, but emotional challenges in order to be able to achieve that triumph over evil and the happily-ever-after that we all love so much.

What about you? What is it that you like so much about suspense novels?

Caridad Pineiro's next romantic suspense release is THE FIFTH KINGDOM,
available in July from Carina Press. Here's a short excerpt for you!

Prologue

The force of the blow rattled her teeth and snapped her head back.

Dr. Miranda Adams reluctantly brought her head forward once more, tonguing the inside of her cheek to gauge the damage as the metallic taste of blood filled her mouth.

She had been stupid to think she could lose her pursuers in the Sunday crowds in Chapultepec Park. Even more brainless to think that a floppy straw sombrero and big sunglasses would let her blend into the throng of locals.

Her disguise had only screamed turista even louder.

For the last two days she had been paying the price for that stupidity, she thought, her brain slightly muzzy from the last blow. Her body aching from the combination of physical beatings and confinement to the hard wooden chair.

“Where is the tomb and what is in it?” her inquisitor asked in Spanish, fists clenched at his sides, but ready to lash out at her if she should fail to answer yet again.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she said, just as she had been saying for the last forty-eight hours, not that he believed her.

Not that he should.

She knew full well what he was talking about–the tomb of Montezuma, one of the last emperors of the Aztecs.

She knew full well where it was and the secrets it hid, not that she would tell him. She had discovered only days earlier that he was the head of the local Primera Mexica cell and with a group that dangerous, she could not trust him. As long as she kept the secret, she would live. The moment she told them...

“You leave me little choice,” Javier Ramirez replied. He inclined his head in the direction of the far side of the basement where they were holding her captive. A plain wooden table sat close to the cinder block wall and beside it was a small cart where she could discern a car battery, jumper cables and a bucket.

Fear crawled along her nerve endings as one of the men approached, untied her from the chair and then dragged her to the table.

She fought him, digging her heels into the soft dirt of the basement floor, using her greater height to try and escape from his grasp by jerking her body to and fro, but he was short, thickly muscled and stable on his feet. He didn’t even wobble as she struggled in vain against the hold he had on her.

Apparently tired of her resistance, he enveloped her in his stocky arms, nearly stealing her breath with the pressure of his grip. He hauled her the last few feet to the table and unceremoniously tossed her onto the top of the rough wooden surface. A moment later he was tying her arms and legs to the four table legs.

Her inquisitor approached, but as he did so, Javier gestured to her with his hand and another assistant quickly removed her boots and socks and pulled out a large knife.

She bit back any show of fear, but jumped a little when the man slipped the knife beneath the front hem of her cotton blouse. The metal was cold beside her skin. With one quick swipe he sliced open the front of her shirt. She had no doubt what they planned for her, but she once again reminded herself that they needed her alive in order to find the tomb.

Her captor must have seen the determination in her eyes.

Javier picked up the ends of the jumper cables and inched closer until she could smell the cheap cologne that failed to hide the rank odor of his body.

“Do not fool yourself, Dr. Adams. Sometimes life is severely overrated as you’ll soon discover.”

When he pulled away, someone tossed the water that had been in the bucket over her body. The welcome respite that the chill wetness brought from the Mexican summer heat was short-lived. Her assailant touched both ends of the jumper cables together and sparks flew into the air.

She sucked in a breath, girding herself for the first sharp blast, but nothing could have prepared her for the jolt. Her body jerked spasmodically, every nerve ending springing to painful life.

After Javier broke the contact of the jumper cables against her body, she sagged onto the tabletop, her muscles twitching while she sought to recover.

“Where is the tomb, Dr. Adams?” Javier asked once more and brought the jumper cables near, touching them together to send another shower of sparks through the air.

Miranda thought of the tomb and of the sun stone within it. Thought of how long she had searched for the burial place of Montezuma and what she had sacrificed for its discovery.

Her career.

Her husband and daughter.

The happy life she had once had.

Because of that she was certain of one thing–it would take a lot more than this to make her reveal the secret for which she had already paid so dearly.

“Sorry, amigo. I seem to be having a little problem with my memory lately.”

The shock this time was not as unexpected, but he kept the cables against her wet skin longer.

Much longer.

Javier kept her jumping and dancing at the end of the cables like some grotesque marionette until her body and brain overloaded, shutting down her senses in self-defense.

She sagged against the table, no longer feeling any pain. No longer aware of what was being done to her. The only thought remaining in her brain...

You cannot tell them the secret of the tomb.

It was the only thing of value she had left in her life.

8 comments:

Wynter Daniels said...

Wow - great excerpt. I agree with you that we need heroes in a world that has few of them. The escapism of fiction is a wonderful thing. Suspense keeps me so focused on the solution that it takes that escapism to the next level. When it is done well, I can hardly think of anything else until the questions are answered.

Cindy L said...

Wow Caridad! Miranda is one tough cookie! Looking forward to The Fifth Kingdom!

Marcelle Dubé said...

Great excerpt, Caridad. We ALL need heroes, I think. And I love suspense especially for the ordinary man or woman who rises to the need and becomes heroic. After all, we'd all like to think we would rise to the occasion, if needed. Right?

Toni Anderson said...

Great excerpt, Caridad.
Seems like a time in the world when we all need a few heroes.

MaureenAMiller said...

Wow! I'm looking forward to this one, Caridad. I'm currently enjoying Aztech Gold.

Elise Warner said...

Miranda is one gutsy heroine. the bad guys have met more than their match. Terrific.

Caridad Pineiro said...

Thank you all for dropping by! Miranda is one tough cookie, but here's a secret - It's her daughter who is the heroine in this novel and the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I'm glad you guys are also liking AZTEC GOLD. Thanks so much for your support.

Shirley Wells said...

Wow - I *loved* the excerpt. Can't wait to read it!

The world certainly needs a few heroes right now.

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