Monday, March 2, 2015

Spotlight Tour: Author Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway: Bring on the Dusk (Night Stalkers) by M.L. Buchman

Title: Bring on the Dusk
Author: M.L. Buchman
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Five nations surround the Caspian Sea, five nations desperate for the vast resources there, and willing to go to war. It will take all of Claudia and Michael's ingenuity to avert disaster. As they discover how right they are for each other, it will take even more to breach the walls they've so carefully built around their hearts.

Use Your Words by M.L. Buchman

One of the things I love doing with my military heroes and heroines in my Night Stalkers series is hitting them with their own humanity. Soldiers, whether single-tour or lifers, are not automata.  Thought and emotion are not trained out of them by boot camp and all that follows. I love imagining their life and their duty overlapping at the oddest moments, like this one in my new release Bring on the Dusk. This scene doesn't take place on the eve of battle. It is in the miles between the first and second strikes of a complex mission that is already underway and only going to get worse. This also had one of my favorite moments in the book. As Michael is a top Delta Force operator, he doesn't speak much, he doesn't need to. And then I had the idea of where to use the simple three-word phrase that I heard my wife say to our daughter so many times over the years...

"We lost the starlight. The storm front is moving in as predicted." Claudia greeted Michael as he climbed aboard her helicopter. "A night parachute jump, one kilometer sprint, and sanitizing a hostage site; you've had a very busy twenty minutes."

"Had worse." Michael began reloading his weapon as she lifted back into the night. As last aloft, her rotor wash erased any final impression of the Little Bird's skids or the now-rescued hostages. She noticed that Michael didn't need many rounds to reload his rifle. Generally, a great deal of lead flew through a battle scene for each person who was injured or killed. With Delta, two shots equaled a life almost every time.

Claudia had thought she was inured to it, to the price of battle. With Delta it was very up close and personal. That's what they were good at and known for. That would take some getting used to on her part.

"Why?" Michael reseated the full magazine into his rifle.

She tried to unravel what question Michael could possibly be asking. The storm front had been part of Michael's plan, so that wouldn't be it. Guessing was what Michael wanted her to be doing. So... not. It was probably about why she'd kissed him, but if that was it, he was going to have to ask. And maybe that would give her a little more time to decide why she had. No matter how right it felt, it had been stupid in many, many ways - one of which included a potential court martial and the ending of one or both of their careers.

"Use your words, Michael. Ask me the whole question."

He leaned forward to look up at the pitch-black of the moonless and starless night as she turned southeast. This time she remained nap-of-earth - her maximum height fifty feet from the ground to the top of her rotor - and only then to clear a line of trees. Power lines in the deep Somali countryside weren't much of an issue. Mostly she stayed under twenty-five feet, which kept her skids about fifteen off the ground.

Claudia kept a special eye on the Mayhem to see what Trisha was doing. She was another five feet lower than Claudia, but they had a thirty-minute flight ahead and there was simply no need to work that hard until they were closer. Flying at that level used up "edge" too quickly. It was why snipers were only allowed to be "on target" for fifteen minutes at a time. After that, their skills decreased if they didn't get a rest break. Of course, Trisha appeared to be nothing but "edge." Maybe she could sustain it forever.

Michael's protracted silence told her exactly what he was asking. It was about the kiss. Well, she certainly wasn't about to volunteer any more there. She should never have done it in the first place, but she'd been overwhelmed by the simply gift of silence he'd given her. It didn't hurt that he had so much integrity that it poured out of his very fingertips. So damn handsome too.

It wasn't an excuse - there was no sufficient cause for her to have crossed that line - but it was hard to regret that kiss. He hadn't pulled back either, not that she'd given him much chance.

The problem was that it was going to go further, much further. That fact was both beyond stupid and contained not the least little bit of regret. She'd start by...

She really had to stop thinking about it. But if it meant nothing, why could she remember every... Crap! She really was a basket case. Just fly the damn machine, Claudia.

M.L. Buchman has over 25 novels in print. His military romantic suspense books have been named Barnes & Noble and NPR "Top 5 of the year" and Booklist "Top 10 of the Year." In addition to romance, 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.

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