Marsha Canham's Blog

October 9, 2011

Sample Sunday, guest blogger Susan Page Davis

Filed under: Caesars Through the Fence — marshacanham @ 2:23 am

First a word with regards to me being AWOL from pithy posts and tangient thoughts and just plain fun blogs about irreverent stuffs.  I’m on vacation and dealing with a laptop, which drives me so bonkers I only use it when absolutely necessary. Besides that, there’s sun and beach, good friends, good food, sun…did I mention beach? So if I’ve been a little tardy flooding the airwaves with shameless self promotion *snort* be assured it will resume again after the 14th *G* For now, however, please enjoy the sample sent in by this weeks guest blogger…

Inside Story, by Susan Page Davis

 Hi, everyone!  Marsha, thanks for having me in as your guest.

I’m Susan Page Davis, author of thirty-six novels and novellas. I write in various genres—historical romance, mystery, romantic suspense. I’ve even got a couple of young adult books. The one thing that runs through them all is a thread of faith. I believe people in difficult circumstances look most often to God for help and guidance. That’s an important part of my life, so I put it in my books, in hopes my readers can relate to it.

The book we’re looking at today is Inside Story, a contemporary military romance with quite a bit of action and suspense. The print version was a selection of the Crossings Book Club. In Romantic Times Book Reviews, January 2009 edition, reviewer Melissa Parcel said, “Davis has a gift for action. Stunning foreign locales combined with military intrigue make for a thrilling adventure. Davis communicates her faith message brilliantly, without being heavy-handed, and the enchanting romance fascinates.” 

I hope you love Claudia’s story as much as I do. Some of the characters appear in two of my other books, Frasier Island (which was a selection of Books-A-Million’s Faithpoint Book Club and was nominated for Romantic Times’s Reviewer’s Choice Award) and Finding Marie (also a Crossings Book Club selection). Both are available as eBooks.

Here’s a little bit about Inside Story:

Claudia Gillette is a prize-winning journalist at a high-profile magazine. She prides herself in her cool independence—setting schedules, traveling the globe, beating the deadline. Landing the interview with Heidi Taber, the only female in an elite U.S. Navy special operations unit, is yet another rung on her ladder of career successes.

Lieutenant Bill White is not happy about the journalist standing in front of him in the midst of the Philippine jungle. He has no time for public relations campaigns—certainly not now that their training maneuver has changed to a covert mission to rescue a well-known aerophysicist from terrorists.

As shells explode and tracer fire streaks the air, Claudia finds herself caught up in a danger she never expected…or wanted. With lives at stake, Claudia fears her presence in the unit is their greatest obstacle to survival. Will she find the strength to live through the nightmare…or has her ambition cost lives?


And now for an excerpt:
0615 hours, August 13, Basilan Island, Philippines


Bill heard the shouts behind him and stopped cold. Over Dryden’s raging, he
heard the boat’s engine puttering away. Claudia stood where he’d left her,
alone in the shadow of the bamboo trees. Beyond her, Stu was silhouetted
near the radio equipment staring out to sea, and Dryden marched toward the
landing place.

Squeegee and Heidi slithered out of the brush and stood beside

“What happened?” Squeegee asked.

“The boat left the civilian here and took off without her. The
commander’s gone ballistic.”

“White!” Dryden turned and shouted to him. “Bring your team down
here. Now.”

Bill, Heidi, and Squeegee ran toward the beach. As they passed
Claudia, she stepped into his path.


He paused only a second. “I can’t talk now.”

“But I—”

He dodged around her and kept going. Dryden, Stu, Heidi, and
Squeegee were staring out at the departing boat.

“I am going to kill someone,” Dryden said in a tight, controlled

“Sir. . .” Squeegee stared up into the cloud-strewn sky. The sun
made a brave showing, but off to the south another bank of dark clouds moved

Bill looked where Squeegee looked, stepping out from under the
foliage. He heard another thrumming—not the boat engine.

The sudden, unmistakable whine of an aircraft engine sent them
all scrambling for cover. Peering out from beneath a pine’s low branches,
Bill suddenly wondered about Claudia. He looked around. She still stood in
the same spot, staring upward. The plane zoomed low over their landing place
with a roar and then turned its nose toward the sea. They half stood to
watch helplessly as it flew over the departing boat. Gunfire rattled from
the boat, and they could see the tracer fire. The plane circled, and a
moment later a waterspout rose near the boat.

“They’re targeting the boat,” Stu said. They watched helplessly.
A small explosion poofed, and orange flames rose from the stern of the boat.

“Direct hit,” Heidi whispered.

Suddenly the plane turned and sped toward the island.

“Take cover!” Dryden pushed Heidi ahead of him and rushed back
to help Stu shove the radio equipment toward the overhanging rock face.

Bill ran through the brush, grabbed Claudia’s wrist, and yanked
her out of the small clearing. He shoved her into the thickest underbrush
and threw himself on top of her.

“Keep your head down.” He smashed his face into her back. She
had no helmet, but at least his body armor could protect her, to some

“I can’t breathe!”

He barely heard her protest as the plane roared directly over
them. As the sound of the engine grew a little less unbearable, Claudia
wiggled, and he raised himself on his elbows to give her more mobility.

“That was close.” She tried to shove him away.

“It’s not over,” Bill said grimly.

“What do you mean?” The engine noise grew louder.

“They went straight for the boat, then made a pass looking for
us. Come on, move further into the woods.”


Too late. Sporadic gunfire erupted as the plane swooped over
their position again. Bill pushed her down and hid his face again. A couple
of the men on the ground opened fire on the plane as it skimmed the
treetops. A shell exploded only yards away. Bill jumped and held Claudia
down in spite of her wriggling. Another hit farther away, then another.

At last all was quiet. Bill cautiously raised his head, pushed
back on his knees and looked toward the shore. Sound returned in a jumble.
He rose and tried to sort out the noises that assaulted him. The receding
plane engine, moans, and shouts.

“Can I get up now?” Claudia’s tone was more exasperated than

Don’t you get it yet? “Wait here.”

Bill ran the last few steps and made out Stu kneeling beside the
commander. Before he reached them, he saw the mangled mass of the officer’s
lower body. Blood pooled around them.

“Dryden’s hit.” Stu ripped open the officer’s camo shirt.

Bill knelt and put his fingers to Dryden’s throat.

“I didn’t get a pulse,” Stu said.

Bill lifted the commander’s wrist and tried to catch a sign of

Stu looked up at him. “Too late for him.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah. What do we do?”

Bill inhaled deeply. “Call whoever you called before. We need
new orders.”

Visit me at my website and view a book trailer for Inside Story on the Romantic Suspense tab: . I also have a drawing for free books at the end of every month. Use the painless “enter the monthly contest” form on the left sidebar. My FaceBook page is at:  

Inside Story is available as an eBook for Kindle:


1 Comment »

  1. Marsha, thanks for featuring my book! Writing this romantic suspense story was a great challenge and also lots of fun.

    Comment by Susan Page Davis — October 11, 2011 @ 8:13 pm | Reply

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