Spotlight, Review, Guest Post & Giveaway: HEART STRIKE by M. L. Buchman

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Heart Strike (Delta Force, #2) by M.L. Buchman

Publication Date: August 2, 2016

Genre: Romantic Suspense

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imageSERGEANT RICHIE “Q” GOLDMAN: The smartest soldier on any team

SERGEANT MELISSA “THE CAT” MOORE: Newest on the team, determined to be the best

Rescued from an icy mountaintop by a Delta operative, Melissa Moore has never met a challenge she can’t conquer. Not only she will make Delta Force, she will be the best female warrior in The Unit, and woe to anyone who says otherwise. Technical wizard Richie Goldman is Bond’s “Q” turned warrior. A genius about everything except women, he takes point on the team’s most dangerous mission yet. When the Delta Force team goes undercover in the depths of the Colombian jungle, surviving attacks from every side requires that Richie and Melissa strike right at the heart of the matter…and come out with their own hearts intact.

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Author Guest Post

The first book in my new Delta Force #1, Target Engaged was called “His best yet” by Booklist and was also named a finalist for RWA’s prestigious RITA award.

Well, my answer to that is Heart Strike, releasing August 3rd, 2016. But it got me thinking. What are my favorite sequels? For a change-up, I focused on the action side rather than the romance, and here’s what I came up with.

5. The Color of Money
Paul Newman and a very young Tom Cruise in The Color of Money. The original Jackie Gleason and a very young Paul Newman The Hustler was a master work of a tight psychological drama. They upped the stakes and made it utterly captivating in the highly energetic sequel.

4. Jason Bourne
Jason Bourne #2 & #3 didn’t disappoint…for a single second. They sustained the tension, remained true to the character (an essential), and found ways to ratchet the tension higher in each successive one. Number 4? Not so much.

3. The Wrath of Khan
The Wrath of Khan notoriously took one of the most disappointing movie launches ever, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and created a massive and incredible franchise that has continued ever since. Khan is still one of the great, over-the-top, out-of-control villains.

2. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Sometimes a great sequel comes third rather than second. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade pitted Harrison Ford against Sean Connery in gloriously foolish father-son mayhem that completely honored the first film.

1. The Dark Knight Rises
This choice surprises me. I like the Dark Knight reboot, but I’m not a big fan of the comic book heroes in general and frequently skip them. It took me a couple of years to catch up with this one and what I love about it isn’t the acting (which was wonderful), or the action (which was dramatic). It was the story. The writer and director completely set us up to thinking this story was going one direction…then in the last half hour it went another way entirely. AND that twist was perfectly in character, just wholly unexpected.

Now, I write romantic suspense, so the ending is fairly predictable, but I certainly hope that you enjoy the journey of my latest Delta Force novel, number 2, Heart Strike!

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Donna review 4.5 stars

I enjoyed the romantic suspense of this book. Nice hot sex and ever growing drama. You add the Delta Force dynamics and it all equals a fast paced fun story. It did get a little bogged down in technicalities with planes and such, but that didn’t ruin the excitement. Richie was the perfect geeky operative that waffled between sweet and hot. I want one! Melissa did women proud by showing she had what it takes to be an equal, without being a bitch. I liked it a lot!

*Review copy provided by Sourcebooks in exchange for an honest review. 

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FAVORITE QUOTE:

And that’s how they rode the waves their first time together. A long, slow, almost agonizing descent that shattered any experience he’d ever had before.

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Excerpt

Action sequels, even romantic suspense ones, only have a short moment of introduction before it’s time to get everyone moving…and moving fast! Delta Force #2, Heart Strike, opens with the team from Delta #1, Target Engaged, mapping coca fields in Boliva.

They’re targeting them for massive defoliant drops from the CIA’s 747 tanker plane.

Trouble comes when command issues an order for the team to pull out ahead of schedule to pick up a new team member and a new assignment.

Thankfully, no one anywhere adapts faster to a changing situation than a team of Delta Force operators.

Sunrise was less than an hour off when Chad jostled his shoulder.
Richie hadn’t been asleep and barely managed to suppress an oath as Chad shook him hard enough to wake the dead—his idea of humor. Richie noticed that he was a little more cautious with Duane who often woke with his knife half-drawn. Kyle and Carla were already at the hut’s entrance.
Kyle had taken one look at the order and, in minutes, outlined a plan of how they were going to exit the farm with hopefully minimal exposure and risk. The guards they were anticipating would be off duty and the patrol timing would be wrong, but Kyle’s plan was as solid as they could get with what they knew.
No way would Richie be missing this place. Dirt floor, woven grass mat, and a thatched roof that could really use some thatch before the next rainstorm but wasn’t going to get it.
He felt sorry for the laborers. Some of the farmers were about to have an even worse season than the last one. At a big site like this, they were little better than slaves. Once the coca was gone, they’d be free, but with no assets and no working farm crop. In the coca business, locals just weren’t part of the profit equation.
Rolando and the drug lord’s other armed guards Richie liked well enough, but had less sympathy for.
The Delta team slipped out into the darkness, just a hint of the blue in the sky that was already washing out the fainter stars. They passed the farmers’ huts and were almost to the road leading out of the camp.
“Where are you going, amigos?” Rolando, his AK-47 no longer over his shoulder but now in his hands.
“Hey, buddy.” Chad started forward, but stopped and tried to look stupid when Rolando flicked off the safety.
Carla stepped forward with an easy sway of her hips. Her dirty blue work shirt unbuttoned far enough to reveal that her assets weren’t all that much less impressive than the fabled Mayra’s.
Rolando’s eyes dropped to her cleavage.
She moved a hand up to his chest. With a little flick of her wrist, she revealed the long KA-BAR military knife she was holding and rammed it up under his chin and into his brain.
Rolando twitched once.
“That’s for trying to ram it up my backside without asking.”
“He what?” Kyle snarled, but Carla didn’t waste any time answering. If there was ever a woman able to defend herself, Richie knew it was Carla Anderson.
Then Rolando collapsed to the ground and his finger must have snagged on the trigger. A single 7.62mm round gave a loud crack and zinged off into the trees.
“Shit!” the whole team said pretty much in unison.
With their clandestine departure blown, Chad swept up the AK-47 and fired a security round into Rolando’s forehead.
In seconds, they were fifty meters away and moving fast. Kyle had Rolando’s sidearm and Carla had a subcompact Glock 27 that she’d produced from somewhere—where was one of the questions Richie suspected he’d be better off not asking. Still, it was an interesting problem because they’d all been checked on arrival as being unarmed. Richie had pre-buried his GPS and satellite gear in the jungle, carefully crossing then recrossing the mined perimeter before they’d come into the camp so that he could retrieve them once the team had been accepted.
The two guards at the main gate were half-awake when they stumbled to their feet. They went back down fast and Richie and Duane now had AK-47s as well. Chad stripped them of a pair of Makarov handguns, tossing one to Richie that he caught midair.
There was an old Jeep parked by the gate, but neither of the guards had a key. It was probably back in the open, on Rolando’s body. Chad started hot-wiring it while the rest of them stood watch.
Then Richie heard it. Distant at first, but building fast. The four-engine gut-thumping roar of a loaded 747.
“Come on, Chad,” Carla pleaded. “Get us out of here.”
The Jeep’s engine roared to life and they piled in.
Duane tossed his AK-47 to Chad and dove into the driver’s seat—he was the best driver they had. He’d been working up the sprint-car circuit toward NASCAR when he’d taken his detour into the military.
Kyle and Richie dropped two more armed guards who came rushing from the huts, half-dressed and scared awake.
Duane raced the Jeep out of camp along the road, praying for no booby traps.
Then the largest tanker plane in the world descended and began its run.
The 747, converted for firefighting, had been put into deep storage in the Tucson desert when its owners went out of business. The CIA had found another use for the massive plane, which now began its dump of twenty thousand gallons—over eighty tons—of defoliant across the exact coordinates that Richie had sent to them just six hours ago.
His Delta team had been to twelve coca farms in the last six months. And the 747 tanker had visited each in turn. Twelve farms that wouldn’t produce a single leaf of coca anytime soon.
“Down,” Chad shouted.
They all ducked and hung on as Duane rammed the heavy wooden outer barrier at thirty miles an hour. It blew apart. A four-by-four shattered the windshield and Carla knocked the remains of the glass clear with the butt of a Chinese QBB machine gun she’d acquired somewhere along the way before turning it around to shoot a guard who’d been standing well clear of the gate.
Richie kept an eye out to the rear, but no one was following. If they were, they’d have a long way to go. The team had been pulled out of Bolivia. They were being tasked to a new assignment.
That was fine.
After six months training together and another six in the field, it was the last line of the message that had worried them all.
Proceed to Maracaibo, Venezuela. Acquire new team member.

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KindleAmazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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~*~ CHECK OUT BOOK 1 ~*~

✦Target Engaged (Delta Force Series, Book 1) by M.L. Buchman
Kindle |  REVIEW 5 Stars

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10 Copies of Target Engaged by M.L. Buchman

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BIO PIC M.L. BUCHMANM. L. Buchman has over 35 novels and an ever-expanding flock of short stories in print. His military romantic suspense books have been named Barnes & Noble and NPR “Top 5 of the year,” Booklist “Top 10 of the Year,” and RT “Top 10 Romantic Suspense of the Year.” In addition to romantic suspense, he also writes contemporaries, thrillers, and fantasy and science fiction.

In among his career as a corporate project manager he has: rebuilt and single-handed a fifty-foot sailboat, both flown and jumped out of airplanes, designed and built two houses, and bicycled solo around the world.

He is now a full-time writer, living on the Oregon Coast with his beloved wife. He is constantly amazed at what you can do with a degree in Geophysics. You may keep up with his writing at http://www.mlbuchman.com.

AUTHOR LINKS: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | YouTube

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Spotlight Tour: Review, Guest Post & Giveaway: Flash of Fire (Firehawks Series) by M.L. Buchman

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Flash of Fire (Firehawks) by M.L. Buchman

Publication Date: May 3, 2016

Genre: Romantic Suspense

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imageFourth in M.L. Buchman’s critically acclaimed Firehawks romantic suspense series

When former Army National Guard helicopter pilot Robin Harrow joins Mount Hood Aviation, she expects to fight fires for only one season. Instead, she finds herself getting deeply entrenched with one of the most elite firefighting teams in the world. And that’s before they send her on a mission that’s seriously top secret, with a flight partner who’s seriously hot.

Mickey Hamilton loves flying, firefighting, and women, in that order. But when Robin Harrow roars across his radar, his priorities go out the window. On a critical mission deep in enemy territory, their past burns away and they must face each other. Their one shot at a future demands that they first survive the present—together.

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Author Guest Post

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the latest in my Firehawks world.

Flash of Fire posed an interesting challenge for me right from the first page. There is a balance in building a romance world: I want it to be big enough to be interesting and small enough to be cozy.

In Pure Heat, Full Blaze, and Hot Point I had focused on the fliers of the three big Firehawk helicopters. But I didn’t want my little Mount Hood Aviation heli-aviation wildland firefighting group to get much bigger. Another consideration was that the series name is Firehawks and I wanted to honor that with another story using a pilot of one of the converted Black Hawk helicopters.

The challenge was that I already had married couples in each of the three pilot seats: Emily Beale, Jeannie Clark, and Vern Taylor.

And then I remembered a little scene in the Night Stalkers Bring On the Dusk.

Emily hadn’t eaten breakfast and only picked at her lunch complaining of a queasy stomach from the flight.

“Either that or you’re about to have another kid,” Claudia teased her.

Emily looked down at her perfectly flat stomach and then began swearing. “I’m going to kill Mark. I’m just going to kill him.”

“You don’t want another kid?” Claudia didn’t know whether to laugh or be shocked.

“The man is so insatiable, not that I’m complaining. We ran out of protection and figured one time without wasn’t going to…”

She sighed and then rubbed her belly gently. “It’ll be alright.” She told her midriff. “You just won’t have a father.”

The goofy smile that bloomed on the woman’s face did something to Claudia.

Well, crap! I’d made poor Emily pregnant back in March, a year ago. So apologies for the 15-month pregnancy (no wonder she’s so pissed off by the time she’s too pregnant to fly in Flash of Fire).

With her seat now open, I needed someone who could fill it. Fill Emily Beale’s seat? Who was I kidding? She was the most kickass heroine I’d ever written. Well, I wasn’t the only one feeling daunted, the poor character I put in her place was plenty overwhelmed as well.

But then Robin Harrow never met a challenge she couldn’t face down…at least not until she met Mickey Hamilton, the pilot of a smaller Bell Twin-212. Which also solved my initial problem of transitioning from the big Firehawks to the smaller birds in the fleet.

I always love it when the characters take the story right out of my hands and run with it and Flash of Fire was certainly one of those.

Hope you enjoy the flight,
M. L. “Matt” Buchman

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Donna review 4.5 stars

I liked Robin from the start. She was talented and badass but you could still relate to her. I especially loved her realistic reactions to being the new girl in the group. The author writes all the characters and how they interact in a fun way that makes you believe they have faced the ongoing dangers of firefighting together for a long time. There is a lot of technical information about fighting fires and the aircraft used but it did not detract from the lovely romance. Mickey is every girls dream, not only in sexiness but in how he lets Robin be Robin. This is another exciting installment in the Firehawks series and I loved it.

*Review copy provided by Sourcebooks in exchange for an honest review. 

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Excerpt

Best buddies Mickey and Gordon have been jostling for attention from Vanessa, one of the other helicopter pilots. Gordon and Vanessa are assigned off to one fire, Mickey and the new pilot to another. They’re standing on the airfield about to part ways.

Mickey almost left Gordon to his own devices, but he’d be bound to screw it up. Just as he was duty bound to try to cut his friend off from any attractive woman, he also had to help him if he could.
“Gordon?”
“What?” his friend still looked a little overwhelmed.
“With Vanessa, just be yourself. Don’t gum it up with trying to be charming; it doesn’t work for you.”
“Sure it does,” he protested. “I’m a charming kind of guy.” He shot Mickey a grin.
Then he looked more carefully at Mickey’s expression and sighed. Mickey didn’t have to say a word.
“Okay, maybe not so much with the charm. Thanks, Mick,” and he turned for his helo.
Mickey caught his sleeve before he could move off, “Her name?” he nodded back over his shoulder toward the newbie.
“Robin something.”
“Like the bird?”
“Like,” that smooth female voice sounded from close behind him, “Robin Hood who will put an arrow in your ass if you say Robin Red Breast.”
Mickey turned to face her. He decided that all of his first judgments at a distance were accurate, and at this close range they were ten times more powerful—both the fine looks and the serious dose of attitude.
“Hi! Mickey Hamilton,” he held out a hand. “As long as it’s not a Firehawk you’re trying to ram up my ass, I’m fine.”
That earned a half smile; nice on the lips, not touching those crystalline pure blue eyes. Her hand was fine-fingered yet strong, like she did a lot of lifting with it. A lot. She glanced over his shoulder.
“He’s Gordon Finchley,” Mickey filled in before Gordon could speak and get a foot in the door. Helping him with Vanessa was one thing; easing his access to this pretty unknown was not going to happen. “Yeah, Finch just like a little Tweety bird. Don’t pay him any mind.”
“Hi, Gordon. Good luck in Leavenworth,” she leaned around Mickey and reached out a hand, which Gordon shook as he mumbled something unintelligible. Or perhaps it was intelligible and Mickey just couldn’t hear it.
He was struck by several things at once. It was the first time he’d actually seen Robin move, and both of his first guesses of ballerina and workout diva were equally justified. Her simple move was both lithe and powerful. Martial arts student perhaps. If so, it was a different form than his Taekwondo, something with more grace and flexibility.
Also, her lean toward Gordon had placed her so close that he could smell her. Her Nomex flightsuit was brand new and the woman wearing it smelled of clean soap and…cool ice—that impossible clarity of air when snow skiing. As if—newborn was the wrong image—newly wrought.
# # #
Gordon actually wasn’t fluttery like a Tweety bird, but he was also clearly a sweet man—a major mark against him in Robin’s book.
She knew from past experience that she tended to scare the shit out of men like him. They wanted her, but she would run over them roughshod, even on the rare occasions when she was trying not to.
This Mickey on the other hand, she had been able to feel him watching her from the moment she’d hit the line. He hadn’t shifted away as she reached past him to greet Gordon, letting her lean right into his personal space.
Guys named Mickey were supposed to look like hoodlums or something. Instead Mickey Hamilton looked like a cop…or a firefighter. The trustworthy kind, not the sneaky shit she’d always pictured slipping from her mother’s bed in the dark of the night and never coming back.
Up close she could appreciate how nicely broad his shoulders were. And he had the kind of blue eyes that could see through any fog or other BS—far away the best feature on a very handsome face. He was an inch taller than she was but looked bigger and more solid than his taller finch-friend.
Robin knew that—because her heritage was half firefighter and half truck-stop mama—she was a pushover for Mickey’s type. Now she had to ask if she wanted to be a pushover this time, or not.
She rocked back onto her heels and Gordon slipped out of her attention. Mickey didn’t fade in the slightest. He had a slow smile, a real one that showed beneath the quick grin he’d been using to tease his buddy.
He didn’t blink, squint, look away…or look down toward her chest. Mickey faced her eye to eye and offered that easy smile.
Summer is definitely looking up, she thought to herself. Most definitely. Didn’t mean she was going to make it easy for him.
“Mickey? Like the mouse?”
Gordon snorted out a laugh, slapped Mickey on the back, and headed away.
“Not Mickey Rooney either,” he offered in an unperturbed tone, showing no desire to hurry off to his aircraft.
“Not short and round?”
“Nor likely to break into a song-and-dance routine. And Mickey Mantle died about the time we both entered grade school, so I’m not him either.”
“How about Mickey Blue Eyes?”
“Well, my name is Mickey. Eyes are blue.”
“You don’t strike me as the Hugh Grant romantic comedy type.”
He shrugged noncommittally, “You the type to watch them?”
“Not so much,” Robin admitted. Astute question. “So, Mick Blue Eyes it is.”
At that he smiled and those blue eyes lit and sparkled with laughter that was only suggested by the sudden curve of his lips.

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5 Copies of Pure Heat by M.L. Buchman

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BIO PIC M.L. BUCHMANM. L. Buchman has over 35 novels and an ever-expanding flock of short stories in print. His military romantic suspense books have been named Barnes & Noble and NPR “Top 5 of the year,” Booklist “Top 10 of the Year,” and RT “Top 10 Romantic Suspense of the Year.” In addition to romantic suspense, he also writes contemporaries, thrillers, and fantasy and science fiction.

In among his career as a corporate project manager he has: rebuilt and single-handed a fifty-foot sailboat, both flown and jumped out of airplanes, designed and built two houses, and bicycled solo around the world.

He is now a full-time writer, living on the Oregon Coast with his beloved wife. He is constantly amazed at what you can do with a degree in Geophysics. You may keep up with his writing at http://www.mlbuchman.com.

AUTHOR LINKS: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | YouTube

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