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!

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

UNDER FIRE by Rita Henuber

Welcome to Romantic Suspense week at Not Your Usual Suspects. Every day we’re sharing excerpts from our books. At the end of the week we're giving away a stack of ebooks (possibly a couple of print books too) to one lucky commentator. The more times you comment, the more times you'll go into the 'hat'. The winner will be announced on the blog next Monday.

UNDER FIRE is about a Coast Guard helicopter pilot and undercover DEA agent who bring down a drug cartel.

This is the helo Commander Olivia Carver flies

Check out undercover agent Rico Cortes’ favorite boat.

Authors have favorite parts in a book and since Under Fire was released it’s been fun seeing what reviewers like. So I thought I’d share a few.

(Olivia) “I’m stopping at the next exit for gas. 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.”He scowled.“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.”

(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?”

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?”
“I’m serious.”
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 they enjoyed how close Olivia and her team are and it got me thinking of a scene that explained it in detail. In the book the scene is condensed to five sentences. And, it works very well, but I still like the big picture version . J

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 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.”

I hope you enjoy reading Under Fire as much as I enjoyed writing it.


Elise Warner said...

Great dialogue, Rita. Do you also write plays?

Marcelle Dubé said...

Love the excerpt, Rita!

MaureenAMiller said...

I like Rico's boat, and I like the water under it!!! I wouldn't mind being out there with Rico...especially after the scenes you've posted here. :)

Rita said...

Elise..Write plays??? Nope
Marcelle... THank you
Maureen....I know! heck I'd like to be any place with Rico. Evan a closet. Oh! A closet sounds nice. Dark not much space.
Sorry about the formatting guys. Blogger was gicing me fits today but glad you all liked the snippets

Barbara Leland said...

I've read this book and it is an exciting suspense thriller with plenty of action and GREAT sex scenes. For anyone who hasn't read it, I highly recommend it.

Jennifer Lowery (Kamptner) said...

Where can I buy this book? This is right up my alley! Great excerpt. Thank you.

Toni Anderson said...

Jennifer--Click on the book cover photo on the sidebar and it will take you to the Carina Press site. Also Amazon and all other online retailers should have it in ebook format. I think it is also going to be available as an audiobook on

Toni Anderson said...

PS. I'd also hang with Rico. Just sayin'.

Rita said...

Wow! thanks Jennifer. Its available at Carina Press

Rita said...

Barbara Thanks for the good words.
I really enjoyed writing this book

Rita said...

Toni thanks for jumping in and yes it is available at audible.
For any readers out there Carina suspense books are at audible
Yeah! I'd really like a little quiet time with that man.

Rita said...

Hey Jennifer I jumped over to you web home and see you also write romantic suspense/military romance with strong heroes and independent heroines. Girl... you will love Under Fire.

Jane said...

Congrats on your debut release, Rita.

Rita said...

Thank you Jane.

Rita said...

Maureen I love that boat photo because it is almost like a scene in the book.

Darynda said...

What wonderful excerpts, Rita!!!! Great pacing, fresh dialogue, and sexy as hell. NICE!!!

Rita said...

Thank you Darynda

Tina Beckett said...

Great excerpts, Rita. Very snappy really gives a sense of who the characters are. Love your hero already!

Rita said...

Hi Tina Thanks for stopping by

Anne Marie Becker said...

Love the pics! And I'm loving the book (am reading it now...) :D

Rita said...

Thanks Anne Marie

Shea Berkley said...

Rita, your book is in my TBR pile. Your excepts were fabulous,a nd they make me want to read the book even more! Congratulations on the release!

Shirley Wells said...

Great excerpt, Rita. I love "Yep, I grew up in Texas. Speed limits there are only a suggestion.” :)

At least I'll recognise Rico. He'll be the one with the very long queue behind him...

Stevie Carroll said...

Yet another story that I'd like to see more of.

Clare London said...

I couldn't wait to get this book, Rita, and I'm only ashamed I haven't read it yet to give feedback. But it'll be keeping me company on my plane trip next month.

Mind you, maybe air travel isn't the best place to read this adventure....? At least it's not a helicopter :).

Rita said...

Clare, funny story. A friend said she was reading it on her lap top during a flight and she realized the man sitting next to her was leaning close and reading. he was also breathing a little heavy, she was at a smexy place! *grin*

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