Anyone who reads my work knows I prefer to write tough, kick-ass heroines. Most of the time, they come with softer sides, too, and a lot of past history. They’re not just tough, but also strong, because they’re full of flaws and rough edges. However, most of them are equally proud to be women. It’s rare when I come across a heroine like Shanna Garrett, who is doing her best to hide from her femininity. Which made this scene – bringing her face-to-face with a side of herself she does her best to avoid – all that much more telling about her character.
“Undercover” – Excerpt from TERROR IN FLIGHT (Project Prometheus)
When she got home, she was going to kill someone!
Blowing out her cheeks in disgust, Shanna Garrett glared at her reflection in the soot-covered window of the train’s passenger compartment. At least, she assumed that was her face. It looked more like the by-product of a chemical weapons experiment to her. If not for her dark hair, hazel eyes, and sharp cheekbones, she wouldn’t recognize herself. She stared at a stranger.
A stranger with eyes ringed in so much mascara Shanna had to fight to keep her lids open. The high arches of her cheekbones were slathered with enough blush to lose Tammy Faye Bakker in, and her lips were caked in lipstick of a garish red Shanna swore should be fire engine paint. Somehow, all that get-up conspired to create the image of a soft, pampered woman Shanna didn’t want to know.
She was a warrior, damn it, not a lover. She survived jump school, dive school, the Gulf War, and Top Gun, and not necessarily in that order. A brief, cocky grin flashed on her lips as she recalled Top Gun. Those guys hadn’t wanted her there, sure as shooting, but Shanna Lynn Garrett forgot long ago how to roll over and play dead. Instead, she pressed them, nose-to-nose on the deck, and kicked their conceited asses one-by-one.
She flew a nearly flawless thirty-five missions off carriers before resigning her commission because the challenge was just gone. As much as she loved flying, only the constant challenge kept her, and the Navy was losing that edge by catering to a bunch of weak-willed women who couldn’t shove a man’s passes back down his own arrogant throat. So, when Matt Raleigh came knocking, she considered Prometheus the perfect solution. Or so she thought.
Shanna’s scowl deepened as she fought the pain. Instead, she focused on plucking at the over-tight dress hugging her nonexistent curves, even as she stared at her reflection and wondered how this assignment would turn out. It couldn’t be worse than the last one. Nothing could.
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