Thursday, January 21, 2016

Rayne—My Unlikely Heroine

Congratulations to "Trude V." and "Amy P.", the winners in Cindy's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

Everyone loves a good heroine. But what are the qualities that make a good heroine? Beauty? Pride? A strong will? Stubborn beyond belief? Courage? A kind soul who is generous to a fault?  I have a few favorite heroines of my own, but I wanted to know who makes the list, so I went to the guru of all information—Google.

Every time I found a list of the most popular/famous heroines these were the names that seemed to always appear—not always in the same order of popularity, but the list really didn’t vary too much:  Usually #1—Elizabeth Bennet, and then usually following in any order: Jane Eyre, Hermione Granger, Katniss Everdeen, Scarlett O’Hara, Eliza Doolittle, Dorothy—the list went on, but I don’t have that much space on this blog. Don’t ask me why, but some who consistently made the list kind of surprised me: Laura Ingalls, Nancy Drew, and on one list I saw Ramona Quimby—Okay, I’m a big fan, she’s even mentioned in my First Force books, so imagine how thrilled I was to find her on the list!

Sure enough, all the character listed above have many or all of the qualities that I noted in the first paragraph—especially beauty. Well, maybe not Ramona—she had a more tomboy rough and tumble quality about her—adorable is more the word than beautiful.

Okay, so where does my heroine, Dr. Rayne Lee, fall in this elite category of women? Well, Rayne certainly is beautiful. Does she have pride, a strong will? Is she stubborn and kind? Check, check, and check. How about courageous? 

Uh, oh—we may have a problem.

All of the heroines mentioned above had to overcome a great obstacle in their life—some on a weekly basis—like Laura Ingalls—week after blessed week it was something with that Nellie Olson! Some of the heroines had to dig deep to find the courage to fight against the odds in order to rise above. 

For me Katniss comes to mind. 

In the first Hunger Games, she is just one of the many to be subjected to the sadistic “games”, and that poor girl was flat out terrified—as anyone would be. But Katniss wasn’t chosen—she bravely took her sister’s place, knowing that her sister would never survive, and through it all Katniss became the face of a revolution. Now that’s one helluva heroine!
Scarlet had to overcome a self-absorbed lifestyle in order to save her beloved Tara. Eliza Doolittle—ignorance. 

So what does my heroine, Dr. Rayne Lee have to overcome? Rayne has spent the last four years mourning the loss of her husband, Matt, and her four-year-old daughter, Sierra, who were murdered during a humanitarian trip to the Amazonian Valley of Peru. Rayne was taken prisoner and used as a sex slave for seven months before being rescued by her uncle’s international security team, First Force. However upon returning home, Rayne was no longer the woman she once was, rather an emotionally broken survivor.

During these four years, Rayne was a recluse—living in the First Force Headquarters as the team’s head medic, rarely leaving the compound—terrified to leave the compound, and then along came Jack Haliday—big, strong, sexy as sin, ex-Navy SEAL, Jack Haliday. Brought together under extenuating circumstances, they have found a way to make peace with their grief and fall in love. It had taken some time, but life was starting to turn around for both of these wounded souls. Jack and Rayne had another shot at happiness.

Until…the daughter that Rayne believed to be dead started calling her—she needs help, and fast. The Peruvian guerillas who took Rayne hostage and supposedly murdered Sierra want Rayne to return to Peru, and if she goes, and if she cooperates, she will be reunited with her long lost daughter. How can this be? Can Rayne even flirt with the possibility that Sierra is out there—alive? No…

And the phone calls keep coming…

Now this heroine must dig deep—she must decide if the calls are real or a hoax. What do these men want from her? If her daughter really is alive, can she find the courage to return to the place where such brutality took place?

A good heroine rises above adversity, yet what kind of fear stops her in her tracks? Rayne must face the possibility that this trail may lead to nothing more than the heartache of opening a freshly closed wound to let loss and grief molest it once more.  Does Rayne have the courage to face the ghosts who are chasing her down a dark road or will she run in the other direction?

Giveaway question:
Who is your favorite heroine—from television, movies, or literature? Leave the answer and your email address for a chance to win one of two kindle copies of Into the Dark, Book #3 First Force Series.

About the Author:
For twenty-six years Cindy’s life whirled around a song and a dance. She was a professional dancer/choreographer for most of her adult life and never gave much thought to a writing career until 2005. She often notes: Don’t ask me what happened, but suddenly I felt drawn to my computer to write about things that I have experienced with my husband’s Thoroughbreds and happenings at the racetrack—she muses: they are greatly exaggerated upon of course—I’ve never been murdered. Viola! Cindy’s first book series, Unbridled, was born. Currently there are five books in the series.
Cindy is a huge fan of romantic suspense series’, especially with a military ops theme. Although she isn’t one to make New Year’s resolutions, on New Year’s Day 2013 she made a commitment to write one. At this time, there are three books in her black ops series, First Force: Into the Crossfire, To the Breaking Pointe and Into the Dark. Book #4, To the Brink, is scheduled to release in September of 2016.
People are always asking Cindy: Do you miss dance? With a bitter sweet smile on her lips she tells them: Sometimes I do. I miss my students. I miss choreographing musicals, but I love writing my books, and I love sharing them with my readers.

Cindy resides on her forty-five acre Thoroughbred farm with her husband, Bill, and her Cocker Spaniel, Allister, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Rayne made her way across the foyer and down the corridor to the west wing of the mansion. The door to Jack’s suite was open, but the lights were out. She peered into the dark sitting room to find him on the couch with his legs propped up on the coffee table—his left ankle crossed over his right. Resting his head against the cushions, his eyes were closed.

“If we were trying to hide the fact that we’re lovers, we just blew it,” Rayne whispered into the dark.

Without opening his eyes, he whispered back, “I can’t lose you, Rayne. I can’t lose another woman that I love. I don’t want you to go.”

Her heart swelled. He was trying to protect her. She got that. Jack protected those he loved and he couldn’t bear the prospect of being in a position—like he was a year ago—where he couldn’t shield his loved ones. Being rendered helpless was terrifying to him. This mission was hitting home like a wrecking ball smacking a mighty fortress.

She made her way to the couch to curl up on his lap. He took her into his arms, pressing his lips to her forehead, holding them there.

“You know that I have to go. Maybe, just maybe, we could get away with sending Casey in my place, and God bless her, she’d do it, but we both know that I have to go—I need to go.”

“Missions go wrong all the time. Mistakes happen. Situations change in the blink of an eye and we have to readjust our strategy just as fast, but we’re trained to do it. I’m terrified that something will go very wrong and I won’t be there to protect you. But most of all, I’m terrified that Esteban is playing with you. I don’t want you to have unrealistic hopes that—”

“I’m not a fool, Jack. Oh, I want Sierra to be there so badly, but I also know that there’s a very good possibility that this is some kind of game. Why would he contact me after all this time? There’s got to be something to it, and we have to find out what it is.” She pulled his face to hers and kissed him. “I love you, Jack, and I love Lil, but how can we be a family until we put this behind us?”

Pushing up from his lap, she held her hand out to him. “Now, c’mon, there’s much to do and only a few hours before Lil gets home from school.” She cajoled. “If you’re a good boy at the meeting, maybe we can make some pie later.”

“Are you trying to handle me, Dr. Lee?”

“I think I just did.”

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Jan. 22nd. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.


  1. I didn't know you lived near Pittsburgh. Me too! (I'm not entering. I have Kindle Unlimited and will read it that way.)

  2. Yes Ma'am, born and raised in the Burgh! I grew up near Crafton.

  3. My favorite book heroine (through over 40 books) is Eve Dallas from the In Death series. On TV right now I love "Jane Doe" from Blindspot. Thanks for the chance...vandine3 at

  4. My favorite book heroine (through over 40 books) is Eve Dallas from the In Death series. On TV right now I love "Jane Doe" from Blindspot. Thanks for the chance...vandine3 at

  5. I have enjoyed so many through all of my reading, but one that comes to mind first is Eve Dallas from JD Robb's In Death series!

  6. Elizabeth Bennett

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  7. J. D. Robb's Eve Dallas

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  8. I'm a romantic suspense junkie, I admit it! But sometimes I also like lighter fare and the heroine I've loved for quite awhile is Stephanie Plum in Janet Evanocich's series. I laugh myself silly reading her stories! On a more serious note, you can't get much better than Eve Dallas of J.D. Robb's series. However, I read quite a variety of romantic suspense authors in order to get a wide range of stories.

    1. Hope you'll consider checking out the First Force Series even if you don't win the contest! Thanks so much for commenting, Janice!

  9. A great heroine makes a story great. It is a wonderful list. Katniss comes to mind first at the moment.


  10. Cj Lyons heroine Lucy

  11. Cj Lyons heroine Lucy


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