New Release: Ghostrider

Miranda Chase: action-adventure thrillerMiranda Chase—the heroine you didn’t expect. Fighting the battles no one else could win.

An AC-130J “Ghostrider”—the latest variant of America’s most lethal aerial gunship—goes down hard in the Colorado Rockies. Except the data doesn’t match the airframe.

Air-crash genius, and high-functioning autistic, Miranda Chase leads her NTSB team in to investigate. But what they uncover reveals a far greater threat—sabotage.

If she can’t solve the crash in time, a new type of war will erupt. One far too close to home which threatens to shatter her team.


Aboard Shadow Six-four
Elevation: 27,000 feet
(23 seconds before impact)

As soon as Lieutenant Colonel Luis Hernandez broadcast the final report from aboard the diving plane—“Negative recovery. Negative control.”—he released his seat harness.

The plane wasn’t quite in freefall, so he fell into the yoke and flight console. “Aw, fuck.” Like it was going to hurt anything now other than his ego. The plane was safely past recovery and no one was left aboard to see anyway.

He pulled off his headset and began climbing uphill through the Hercules’ cockpit. He moved fast in the near freefall. Two of the thirteen bodies scattered strategically through the plane had ended up in the aisle and he was forced to crawl over them. They were wearing his and Danny’s dog tags. They were also close to their build and coloring just in case anything survived the crash. Hopefully not, they weren’t that close because no way did he look like the fake Luis. Homely bugger.

He continued aft quickly, having to struggle to shake off the memory of the last time he’d done this. He’d crawled over the bodies of his own crew when his C-130 Hercules had been shot down in Afghanistan due to insufficient fighter support in a war they never should have been in. He’d fought the plane all the way down—been one of the few to make it. He came to, crawling from body to body looking for other survivors.

At least this time, neither the iron stench of hot blood nor the stinging kerosene of burning Jet A fuel permeated the air. Everyone except he and Danny had been dead before they boarded this flight.

The ladder down to the main cargo deck was easier to navigate. They were in true freefall now and he could just pull himself along it.

Major Danny Gonzalez had left the forward passenger door open after popping it at thirty-nine thousand feet. Though, Luis supposed, his copilot was just Danny now. Their military rank was one more thing they’d all agreed to leave behind along with the dead.

Luis shrugged into the parachute rig.

He took a moment to ensure that he was oriented properly and then grabbed the bottom edge of the door. It wouldn’t do to fling himself out of the plane and straight into the massive four-blade propeller of the Number Two engine spinning at a thousand RPM.

The fuselage twisted sharply and he almost lost his grip as it began to tumble.

Looking out into the darkness once more, he saw that the propeller was no longer an issue—the entire wing had ripped off.

The temperature was a bitch though.

Even on a warm June evening, ten thousand feet above Aspen was damn cold. Be lucky if he didn’t have frostbite by the time he got down. But no time to pull on a balaclava—the ground was coming up fast.

He still made a point of flinging himself downward as he exited, just in case the tail was still attached.

As soon as he’d ejected, he opened his black tactical ram-air chute. It was for night insertions deep behind enemy lines, and, like his specialized clothing, had the radar signature of a bird—a small one.

He watched the plane continue down. Less than five seconds after he had his chute deployed and stable, the Hercules impacted at twelve thousand feet atop a high peak. It was supposed to plunge into the back-country wilderness beyond, but it didn’t really matter. At almost five hundred knots, the destruction was more than sufficient.

As rigged beforehand, one of the rounds of 105 mm ammunition for the big howitzer—the main weapon of the AC-130 series of gunships—ignited on impact.

In a single moment, the other eighty rounds lit off.

The combination of all of the forty-two-inch-long, thirty-three-pound rounds igniting simultaneously unleashed sixteen hundred pounds of high explosives in the heart of the plane.

If there had been anything left of the fuselage, it was now shattered. Probably the top of the mountain as well by the scale of the blinding fireball that lit the surrounding mountains like daylight. He hoped that no one was looking in his direction for the one moment he was starkly lit against the night sky.

The wings landed farther down the slope, bursting into flame when the fuel tanks breached. The conflagration spread rapidly upslope. In minutes, any remains of the plane would be engulfed as well.

Perfect.

Then the shock wave caught up with him.

Shit!

“Didn’t think of that one, did you, Luis?”

For a thousand feet of descent, he could do nothing but curse and flail as the shock wave dragged him wherever it wanted to.

Once it cleared, he was amazed to still be holding the control toggles. The wonders of stark terror.

He hadn’t jumped much since Basic, just enough to stay qualified. But the loud roar of the wind had to be a bad sign. Yanking on the toggles didn’t seem to do much either.

Not daring to let go in case he couldn’t find the handles again, he almost snapped his own neck from nodding hard enough to flip down his night vision goggles. He managed it just in time to see what was happening above him.

“Shit!” He didn’t have a parachute. He had a ripped-up mess of tangled nylon. It looked as if half the chute was missing and the rest was snarled.

He yanked the cutaway. The general was going to be pissed if someone spotted the errant chute, but Luis was out of options.

One side of the risers released, but not the other.

Falling sideways.

Dragging the main chute along off his right shoulder.

Glance down.

Out of time.

Deploy the reserve and pray it didn’t snarl in the crippled main. It came out clean and almost gutted him with hard deceleration.

He was well past Snowmass, but nowhere near the Aspen car racing track where Danny and their motorcycles would be waiting.

Down below there was no sign of anything except sharp peaks and deep valleys.

The wind still seemed too loud. Up above, two-thirds of the reserve was drawing clean, the last third was fighting with the trailing main—and losing.

“Two thirds has gotta be better than nothing, right?”

A massive edifice loomed up in front of him.


Want more? Start this amazing adventure and hang on because the crisis is only beginning.

Condor: Sneak Peek Excerpt

Air-crash Savant Miranda Chase and her NTSB  team enjoy a quiet evening…but it won’t last for long in this brand-new technothriller coming on March 10th.


Condor coverSpieden Island, Washington
1 hour ago
(9 p.m. Pacific Standard Time)

“Favorite airplane?”

“Oh, c’mon, Jeremy, ask a real one. We all know Miranda’s favorite plane,” Holly chided him.

“My F-86 Sabrejet,” Miranda answered with an easy certainty that she at least knew this one answer. For twenty years she’d flown the old jet and knew it as well as the back of her hand. She liked its familiarity. Just as she liked the familiarity of this house. She’d grown up here.

She knew all its ways. The way the old wood creaked when the Pacific Ocean storms roared over Vancouver Island and slammed into the San Juans. The way the air didn’t smell of the sea, but rather so fresh it seemed as if no one had ever breathed it before.

The high-vaulted living room with its beach cobble hearth, dark beams, and Douglas fir walls could seat twenty comfortably, four as it did now, or be cozy for just one as it usually was.

It was slightly uncomfortable having visitors to her island, thereby decreasing her favoritism for her house over her jet if one were to expand the parameters to “favorite place at this moment in time.”

No, not uncomfortable. Merely…unfamiliar. Yes, that was a better way to think of it. Even though it was only Friday night and the rest of the chill March weekend loomed uncertainly ahead. Despite the new descriptor, she remained uncertain of her preparations to entertain them.

“Ehhhh!” Holly made a rude sound like a plane’s stall-warning buzzer. “So not on, Miranda. It’s not your Sabrejet.” Holly’s Australian accent was even thicker than usual as she sipped her second beer of the evening.

Before Miranda could respond that she knew her own mind—which she wasn’t always sure of, though she was this time—Jeremy raised his hand.

“Wait! I know. I know!”

“Don’t have to raise your hand, buddy.” Mike winked at Miranda from his armchair near the fire. He sat as neatly as ever—a slim, elegant man with short dark hair, a dress shirt, and custom-tailored slacks.

Miranda sat on the sofa with Holly. Actually, she sat on the sofa whereas Holly slouched so low she was almost horizontal—her feet on the coffee table, sticking her toes out toward the fire. Her socks didn’t match.

“It’s any plane that hasn’t crashed,” Jeremy proudly announced his answer.

While the others laughed and nodded, Miranda considered. The four of them were the lead crash investigation team for the National Transportation Safety Board. Yes, any plane that was fully functional was a very good thing.

But still, she liked her old Sabrejet very much.

“Jeremy’s favorite site investigation tool?” Mike called out.

Holly giggled.

Miranda had no idea why.

Holly whispered to her, “Can you figure him picking out a single favorite tool?”

“Oh,” Miranda understood the joke now but had learned that laughs that came too late were better not laughed at all.

Jeremy always had a bigger field pack than the other three of them combined.

“That handheld military-grade thermite torch he used to slice evidence out of the old DC-3’s wreckage,” was Miranda’s estimation. He had been particularly enamored of its ability to melt quickly through steel though it was no bigger than a two-D-cell flashlight.

“His hammer,” Holly suggested. “The one he actually offered to that colonel who wanted to bust up his phone for constantly giving him bad news of more planes that had carked it.”

Jeremy Trahn blushed brightly enough that it could be seen by the firelight.

“No, his program for reading Cockpit Voice and Data Recorders, even if he isn’t supposed to have one. He secretly wishes he was James Bond,” Mike ribbed him.

“No,” Holly shook her head hard enough to flutter her rough-cut blonde hair over her shoulders. “He wishes he was Q, Bond’s equipment geek.”

“No,” Jeremy spoke up a little hotly, “but he wishes you both had fallen into the ocean and been eaten by orcas on the way here.”

“You’d have been fish food right along with us.” Mike accurately pointed out. He had flown the three of them out to her island in Washington State’s northern Puget Sound for the weekend.

Holly was the one who’d suggested the spring solstice was a good excuse for a party. Though this March was chilly enough that “spring” didn’t come easily off the tongue yet.

“Whale food,” Jeremy corrected, then mumbled, “Would’ve been worth it.”

There was a brief silence in which the only sound was logs shifting in the fireplace. Miranda watched the curious turbulence patterns as the sparks rose up the chimney.

“What is your favorite tool, Jeremy?” Because now she was curious.

He looked down, and she was afraid that she’d somehow embarrassed him even further than Mike and Holly had.

Then he reached for his shirt pocket and pulled out a pen.

“A pen, mate? Fair dinkum?” Holly turned to Mike. “Have you ever seen him even use a pen? Everything in the world is on his tablet.”

Mike just shook his head.

Miranda could remember three instances. They’d been together as a team for almost six months, yet three was all she could recall.

“You gave it to me on the first day I joined your team. It’s everything I ever dreamed of.”

“Miranda’s pen?” Mike scoffed.

“Being on Miranda’s team,” Jeremy said softly.

Holly, who never looked touched, looked touched. She turned to Miranda.

“He’s so damn sweet,” she whispered, but loudly enough for everyone to hear. “Can we keep him?”

Miranda didn’t know why she wouldn’t. He was an exceptional airplane systems specialist despite his youth.

“Holly’s favorite soccer team?” Mike asked in a sudden, bright tone, completely changing the mood.

“The Australian Matildas,” they all called out in unison. Their four Matildas baseball hats were all lined up on the mantel.

This time Miranda was fairly sure that her timing was right when she joined in on the laughter.

Coming March 10th

New Release Today: Thunderbolt – a technothriller by M.L. Buchman

“Tom Clancy fans will clamor for more.” – Publishers Weekly
“(Miranda Chase is) the best character in any genre since the Monk television series.” – Ernest Dempsey, author of the Sean Wyatt thrillers.
Thunderbolt

Thunderbolt

Author:
Series: Miranda Chase, Miranda Chase novels, Book 2
Genre: Thriller
Tag: Novel

Air-crash genius Miranda Chase returns. But can she save the noble A-10 Thunderbolt from annihilation?

More info →

A pair of treats for Christmas

Looking for Love Afloat?

Christmas Over the Bar romanceUS Coast Guard Rescue Pilot Sly Beaumont lives to fly. Saving lives off the treacherous Columbia River Bar rates as a really cool bonus. As are the fine ladies who flock to the uniform.

Petty Officer Hailey Franklin may be new to the USCG cutter Steadfast, but she’s a second-generation Coastie and knows all the guy’s lines.

But when a storm-tossed Christmas rescue throws them together, neither one is ready for the lightning that strikes.

Or maybe whole worlds of Christmas joy?Twelve Tales of Christmas cover

Who says that Christmas only comes once a year? Settle in for 12 tales that celebrate the true Christmas spirit.

  • Visit a Big Sky Montana ranch or fight wildfires.
  • Cook at the White House or bake on a TV cooking show.
  • Jump into the waves or cheer for a Christmas ghost.
  • Visit Santa, soar with reindeer, or fulfill a Yuletide wish.

Anytime of year is the right time to relax by the fire (or at the beach) and enjoy Twelve Tales of Christmas. 

On Sale now. Get Them Now For Your bestie, or maybe for yourself!