Thursday, June 3, 2010

In Harm's Way by Irene Hannon and author interview

Title: In Harm's Way
Author: Irene Hannon
Publisher: Revell/2010

Pages: 326

When Rachel Sutton comes in contact with a Raggedy Ann doll, she has an unexplained feeling of terror. When it happens more than once, she thinks there is something, which needs to be found out. She goes to the FBI office, fully well-knowing no one is going to believe her story. Nick Bradley, a special agent of the FBI, is skeptical as expected.

But somehow the Raggedy Ann doll is connected with a kidnapped child, even though no one can understand how. Rebecca and her husband colin have given up hope of finding their child. The Raggedy Doll in a way helps the strange connection between Rachel and Rebecca, and also leads to the kidnapper. But by this time, Rachel's life is in danger, and Nick has to save her and also find the abducted toddler.

The horror of having a child kidnapped is well brought out. Rachel's seemingly unrelated to the child can feel a force/pull which leads to the kidnapper. We also winess a romance between Nick and Rachel and a bonding between Rachel and Rebecca. As a child was involved, I couldn't put down the book until I finished it. It indeed is a fast paced novel and is a winner with the reader.

Thanks to the Author for the book. And now check out her interview which follows the review:

> 1)When and why did you begin writing?

I can’t remember ever not being a writer. I really believe people are born writers. It’s a gift, just like any other talent. I did toy with the idea of becoming a psychologist, but in the end, writing won out. However, my psychology degree is a great background for writing about relationships—a key ingredient in romantic fiction!

> 2) When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I was one of the honorees in a complete-the-story contest conducted by a national children’s magazine at the age of 10. I’ve always considered that my “professional” debut!

> 3) What inspired you to write your first book?

I’ve always loved to read. And I especially enjoyed romances, because I like books that have happy endings. So one day I decided to try my hand at writing one. That first effort was so bad I buried it in the darkest corner of my closest, where it will forever remain! But I learned a lot from that experience and kept writing until I sold my first book.

> 4) What was the hardest part of writing your book?

In Harm’s Way—and the other two books in the Heroes of Quantico series—all presented me with incredible research challenges, since they were my suspense debut. (All of my previous books were contemporary romances.) I have no connections of any kind to the military, the FBI or law enforcement in any form. So tackling these novels was more than a little intimidating. In the course of writing them, I read books, scoured the Net and consulted police officers, FBI agents, physicians, academics and a host of experts in their fields. I also enrolled in our local Citizen Police Academy, which included a heart-pounding ride-along with a patrol officer. By the time I finish a book like In Harm’s Way, I often have more than 100 single-spaced pages of research notes and reference citations.

> 5) What do you see as the influences on your writing, outside, inside, whatever?

I’ve learned a lot by simply reading excellent authors and analyzing how they use language. And I attend at least one writing conference a year, where I go to as many workshops as I can. Two things I’ve discovered: you never stop learning and you can always improve. I also had a high school literature teacher who was a tremendous influence on me. In fact, my next book will be dedicated to her!

> 6) Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I enjoy many authors, so it’s difficult to single out one. But the author whose work inspired me to try my hand at suspense was Dee Henderson—in particular her fabulous book, The Guardian.

> 7) Can you share a little of your current work with us and how do you envisage it in future?

I’m currently working on the first book in my Guardians of Justice series. The book is called Fatal Judgment and will be out in January. It’s about a U.S. Deputy Marshal and the federal judge he’s assigned to protect when her life is threatened.

> 8) What book(s) are you reading now?

For a month I was busy judging entries in Romance Writers of America’s RITA competition (the “Oscar” of romantic fiction). Now I’m trying to catch up with my writing and finalize the new design for my website, which I hope will launch in June.

> 9) Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I haven’t discovered any new authors recently. I’m too busy writing!

> 10) Do you have anything that you want to say to your readers?

Here in the United States, my book are shelved in the Christian fiction section of bookstores. However, the faith content is subtle and reflected more in characters’ actions than in words.. As a result, any reader who likes fiction WITHOUT explicit love scenes, gratuitous violence or profanity would enjoy my books. Also, I’m pleased to announce that In Harm’s Way has just hit a major bestseller list for the second month in a row here in the United States!

Irene Hannon Bio

RITA-award winner Irene Hannon is the author of more than 30 novels, including the bestselling Heroes of Quantico suspense series. A four-time RITA finalist (Book 2 in her Quantico series, An Eye For An Eye, is a current finalist), she has also been honored with two Reviewers’ Choice award from RT BOOKreviews magazine and a HOLT medallion. For more information, check out her website,