Irene Hannon is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than 65 contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. In addition to her many other honors, she is a three-time winner of the prestigious RITA Award from Romance Writers of America. She is also a member of RWA’s elite Hall of Fame and has received a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews for her entire body of work. Millions of her books have been sold worldwide, and her novels have been translated into multiple languages.

In this interview, Irene talks with us about kicking-off her new Undaunted Courage Series with the release of book one, Into the Fire.

FF: Please provide a brief summary of Into the Fire.
Here’s my one-sentence elevator pitch: A fire investigator and ATF agent join forces to track down a serial arsonist who will stop at nothing—including murder—to carry out a nefarious plan. (Romance ensues as well, of course!)

FF: What was the inspiration for your new novel?
I’ve written many law-enforcement related books featuring a variety of crimes, but never anything fire-related. This story gave me an opportunity to do that. Plus, after researching the fascinating world of smokejumpers, I knew it was the perfect background for my strong and determined heroine.

FF: Into the Fire is the first book in the Undaunted Courage series. How many books will be part of your new series and what ties the books together?
There will be three books in the series. The link between the books it that they feature three foster siblings from difficult backgrounds. Each story spotlights one of the siblings, but the other two siblings do make appearances in that book.

FF: What do readers have to look forward to in the rest of the Undaunted Courage Series?
Book 2 will feature Jack Tucker, a homicide detective, who must determine whether the sole witness in a murder case has lost her grip on reality or whether someone is conducting a relentless campaign to destroy her credibility…and perhaps her life. In book 3, the youngest sibling, Cara Tucker, takes center stage. She’s a historical anthropologist on sabbatical at a remote estate, where she’s researching a vanishing language. When she finds herself caught up in a century-old mystery and murder, however, the local sheriff must track down the killer before he or she strikes again.

FF: Your two protagonists, Bri Tucker and Marc Davis, have very unique professions. What type of research was required to accurately portray their roles?
As I always tell people, while I write fiction, the professions and agencies and law enforcement protocols I write about are real. Since I’m a stickler for accuracy, I do huge amounts of research to ensure I portray these correctly. In this case, I found plenty of material online about smokejumpers, including female smokejumpers. That was invaluable. For the arson plot element that was unique to my story, I worked with a retired fire chief/fire marshal, who reviewed the scenarios I created. Those kinds of sources help put the final polish of authenticity on my stories.

FF: In Bri’s new role as a fire investigator, she inherits a curious puzzle from her predecessor. What type of questions does this puzzle raise for Bri?
After the death of a retired colleague, Bri realizes he may have been on the brink of soliciting her help with several fires that had been ruled accidental but which continued to trouble him. But she has almost nothing to go on. What cases was he focused on? Why was he still concerned about them? Who were the victims? But when a few clues emerge that suggest his quest may have merit, Bri digs in…and suddenly finds herself in the crosshairs.

FF: What is the connection between Bri and Marc?
When Bri is assigned to investigate the suspicious death of her retired colleague, she’s still relatively new to her job. Plus, it’s a death that hit close to home for the department, and her boss wants to pull out all the stops. So he decides to have the ATF get involved too. That doesn’t sit especially well with Bri, who’d prefer to work alone—but Marc ends up being an asset on both the professional and personal front!

FF: The setting for Into the Fire is St. Louis, Missouri. Why did you choose this location?
All but one of my suspense novels are set in the St. Louis area. Since my stories tend toward psychological suspense and aren’t generally location contingent, I can set them anywhere. I use St. Louis because I’m very familiar with that setting, and writing about it requires almost no research…which frees me up to research everything else in the book.

FF: What are some of the main themes covered in Into the Fire and what do you hope readers will gain from reading your book?
Forgiveness, self-esteem issues, overcoming challenges, finding the courage to trust, the importance of family, perseverance. All of those are in the book. Mostly what I try to do with my novels is tell a compelling story that entertains, encourages, and uplifts.

FF: What do you love most about writing romantic suspense novels?
The high stakes, the deep dive into the minds of multiple characters, and the gradual build toward a dramatic climax. I also like watching a romance develop as two characters grapple with dangerous situations. Those sorts of conditions bring emotions to the forefront and allow the characters (and the reader) to get a clear read on their strengths and weaknesses fairly fast.

Into the Fire
Undaunted Courage Series #1
Irene Hannon
Genres: Mystery & Suspense, Romantic Suspense
Release Date: October 17, 2023

ISBN-10: ‎0800741889
ISBN-13: ‎978-0800741884

Book Summary:
As a former smokejumper, arson investigator Bri Tucker knows her way around fires. But after a mysterious blaze takes the life of a former colleague, Bri inherits a curious puzzle from him that raises questions about several fiery deaths. Someone, however, doesn’t want her picking up where he left off in search of answers.

When she teams up with ATF Special Agent Marc Davis to solve the puzzle, the danger escalates. But will they manage to track down the person behind the mysterious deaths before their budding romance—and maybe even their lives—go up in flames?

The bestselling and award-winning queen of romantic suspense is back with a brand-new series that is sure to get your adrenaline pumping as you burn through the pages to discover the truth.


Buy Into the Fire from the FF Store HERE!


Buy Into the Fire from Amazon HERE!

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About The Author

Irene Hannon is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than fifty contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels, including Dangerous Illusions, as well as the Men of Valor, Heroes of Quantico, Guardians of Justice, and Private Justice series. In addition to her many other honors, she is a three-time winner of the prestigious RITA Award from Romance Writers of America. She is also a member of RWA's elite Hall of Fame and has received a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews. Each of her suspense novels have been ECPA/CBA bestsellers.