Thursday, December 1, 2011

HOT ZONE by Catherine Mann (Launch Party!)

Welcome to the launch party for book two in my “Elite Force” series – HOT ZONE! This month's Casablanca blog site theme just happens to be - what I want under the Christmas tree with a greatbig bow attached! For me, I've gotten my wish already. I have a December book on shelves. And wowsa, as a bonus, the art department gifted me with an awesome cover for HOT ZONE!

I have a big month of blog tour giveaways planned to celebrate both the holidays and HOT ZONE's release. My blog tour will be posted throughout December on the main page of my website:

For those of you who are new to the series, “Elite Force” features Air Force pararescue jumpers (PJs). There are only approximately 350 PJs in the world, and they are the most elite force in the U.S. military. Trained in high-risk rescue, these special ops air commandos live by the credo “That Others May Live.” It’s a thrill and honor to feature these fearless, selfless men in uniform.

“Elite Force” book 2
December 2011

Days full of danger…
For Pararescueman Master Sergeant Hugh Franco, it’s all about saving other people’s lives. Then he moves on. But when he pulls beautiful Amelia Bailey and her adopted nephew from the rubble of a catastrophic earthquake, he finds himself entangled in their lives in ways he could never have imagined…

And desire-filled nights…
Amelia’s trip to the Bahamas to help with an international adoption has been no vacation, but the hardest part is yet to come. As Amelia and Hugh are pulled unawares into a deadly smuggling scheme, simmering beneath their growing need to protect each other is a compelling attraction they’re both determined to deny…

HOT ZONE Excerpt
From Chapter One

Master Sergeant Hugh Franco had given up caring if he lived or died five years ago. These days, the Air Force pararescueman motto was the only thing that kept his soul planted on this side of mortality.

That others may live.

Since he didn’t have anything to live for here on earth, he volunteered for the assignments no sane person would touch. And even if they would, his buds had people who would miss them. Why cause them pain?

Which was what brought him to his current snow-ball’s-chance-in-hell mission.

Hugh commando crawled through the narrow tunnel in the earthquake rubble. His helmet lamp sliced a thin blade through the dusty dark. His headset echoed with chatter from above – familiar voices looking after him and unfamiliar personnel working other missions scattered throughout the chaos. One of the search and rescue dogs above ground had barked his head off the second he’d sniffed this fissure in the jumbled jigsaw of broken concrete.

Now, Hugh burrowed deeper on the say so of a German Shepherd named Zorro. Ground crew attempts at drilling a hole for a search camera had come up with zip. But that Zorro was one mighty insistent pup so Hugh was all in.

He half listened to the talking in one ear, with the other tuned in for signs of life in the devastation. Years of training honed an internal filter that blocked out communication not meant for him.

“You okay down there Franco?”

He tapped the talk button on his safety harness and replied, “Still moving. Seems stable enough.”

“So says the guy who parachuted into a minefield on an Afghani mountainside.”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever.” Somebody had needed to go in and rescue that Green Beret who’d gotten his legs blown off. “I’m good for now and I’m sure I heard some tapping ahead of me. Tough to tell, but maybe another twenty feet or so.”

He felt a slight tug, then loosening to the line attached to his safety harness as his team leader played out more cord.

“Roger that, Franco. Slow and steady man, slow and steady.”

Just then he heard the tapping again. “Wait one, Major.”

Hugh stopped and cocked his free ear. Tapping for sure. He swept his light forward, pushing around a corner and saw a widening cavern that held promise inside the whole hellish pancake collapse. He inched ahead, aiming the light on his helmet into the void.

The slim beam swept a trapped individual. Belly to the ground, the person sprawled with only a few inches free above. The lower half of the body was blocked. But the torso was visible, covered in so much dust and grime he couldn’t tell at first if he saw a male or female. Wide eyes stared back at him with disbelief, followed by wary hope. Then the person dropped a rock and pointed toward him.

Definitely a woman’s hand…

“Elite Force” series:
Book 1: COVER ME, July 2011
Book 2: HOT ZONE, December 2011
Book 3: UNDER FIRE, May 2012

“Mann’s tender yet heart-pounding story vividly creates the chaos of both disasters and love.” –Booklist

“Fast paced & filled with intriguing characters… The many twists in this story keep the tension running high right to the last page.” –Romantic Times Reviews Magazine

“Mann steals romance readers away for a second steamy, suspenseful adventure … With not one but three romantic plot lines, Mann’s latest will easily satisfy fans of military romantic suspense.” –Publishers Weekly

“The second Elite Force romantic suspense is a complex exciting thriller with a strong cast… Catherine Mann provides a superb action-packed tale.” –The Mystery Gazette

“Hot Zone has all the elements of a winner – an angsty yet macho hero, a feisty yet vulnerable heroine, and a scorching fast pace.” –Best Romance Stories

Thanks so much for joining in my launch party! To celebrate, I’m giving away two lucky commenters will win a copy of HOT ZONE.

Soooo, I believe it’s fairly obvious I do adore a man in uniform (after all, I am married to one!) Do you have a favorite military movie?

USA Today bestseller Catherine Mann has over two million books in print. She currently resides in Florida with her flyboy husband and their four children. FMI, she can be found online:


  1. Cathy, congrats on your newest release! Hope you have an awesome blog tour. HOT ZONE sounds great!

  2. Favorite military movie... The Great Escape. Can't beat the theme song for epitomizing quiet determination, and at least some of the heroes get an HEA. Like "Bridge Over the River Kwai" for the acting, but it flunks the HEA test rather spectacularly.

    Congrats on the launch, and may you find many happy readers under the tree too.

  3. I do love a launch party! The excitement doubles when it happens right here at Christmas! Raising my coffee cup this morning and pretending it's champagne to your brand new book. It's got best seller written all over it. Great reviews, wonderful excerpt!
    Don't know if it qualifies as a military movie but one of my favorites is The Shooter! Wonderful HEA and lots of action.

  4. Hi Catherine,

    Great excerpt, love to read it and congratulations on the release.

    i think i love ramboo ;)

  5. I don't have a fave military movie, there are so many good ones and this book sounds FAB! I cannot wait to read it.


  6. Congratulations, Cathy! I'm so excited for your newest release! You are an amazing author and I can hardly wait to read this book! Cheers!!!!

  7. Congrats on the release. It sounds really exciting and fun. My favorite military movie is A Few Good Men.

  8. Congrats on the new release, can't wait to read it! I loved Cover Me!

  9. Congratulations on your new book! I hope it hits the lists :)

    My favourite militairy move, do I dare? Yes, Top Gun! With Tom Cruise, sigh... he looks so good in his dress whites.

    auriansbooks at gmail dot com

  10. Happy release Catherine! I've always appreciated military romances. The scenes really give a hero or heroine a chance to shine. Not many military movies come to mind but I do like JoAnn Ross's High Risk series as well as Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters. The stories play out like movies for me :)


  11. Top Gun made a huge impression on me and has remained a favorite.

    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

  12. Thank you SO much for joining in to celebrate the release of HOT ZONE!! I'm counting down the days until Dec 6 when it's officially on shelves!!! Hubby and I looooove the watch military movies together - old and new. Our first date was actually to see teh movie Top Gun! And now here we are 25 years since that date, still together! BTW, I'm not saying how old I was when Top Gun came out! ;)

  13. Congratulations on your latest release! Hot Zone sounds fabulous, I loved reading the all-to-brief snippet you let us read. :)

    I have a bunch of military movies that I love, here are the top few: The Guardian, Sergeant York, The Flying Leathernecks, Heartbreak Ridge, The Green Berets, Twelve O'Clock High.

  14. Congrats on the new release, Catherine. My favorites include "The Hurt Locker" and "A Few Good Men."

    janie1215 AT excite DOT com

  15. I have two favorite military mini-series. I never get tired of watching Band of Brothers. Talk about heroes! For a more contemporary military story I like Generation Kill. They show the flaws and raw edge of soldiers in the field.

    Congrats on the new release! Cover Me is on my keeper shelf!

    Geishasmom73 AT yahoo DOT com

  16. Congrats on the new release! Loved Cover Me!

  17. Hey there, folks! I'm enjoying all these new ideas for military movies to watch with my hubby. :) Thank you again for coming over to celebrate December FINALLY arriving - am so excited abotu HOT ZONE coming out. :)

  18. Congratulations on your latest release! Just wanted to wave hello.

  19. And a handsome hero he is! He does look great in that uniform. Congrats on the new book. The cover screams "Pick me up!"

  20. Congrats on the new release, it sounds wonderful! I have to say that A Few Good Men is what came to mind first but there are others such as Audie Murphy in To Hell and Back and I am sure there are plenty that I can't think of right now.

  21. Slightly Cheesy...I know...but Dear John, adapted from the book by Nicholas Sparks touched my heart. It was very real in the sense that being so far away from your loved ones can cause so much pain and heartache. Plus Channing Tatum is easy on the eyes!!

    Good Luck on the release!!


  22. Hi Cathy:
    Congrats on Hot Zone's launch! You know I've been waiting impatiently for this book. All my friends who know my favorite reads say, "oh steph, this is your book." Yay. Again, can't wait to read it (and read it, again and again.) I'm definitely going to need to start a new Catherine Mann bookshelf!

  23. Y'all are THE best!! I've had a crazy, crazy, hectic week - hanging out online with y'all for this party is just what I needed to unwind and smile. :) XXXOO!!! Thank you!!!!

  24. Stephanie - I hope you love it!! Hugh is definitely a tortured kind of hero, which is my personal fav. This was one of those books that just rolled off my fingertips as Hugh told his own story (I was just the conduit.) Wish all my heroes were that cooperative!! LOL!

  25. Congrats on your latest release! Sounds like a great book!

  26. Congrats on your book coming out! I love all your books, and men in uniform. My favorite movie is Top Gun.And any Rambo movies.

  27. Sounds exciting! What happens next? Must read to find out!

  28. Thanks for the excerpt kudos!!! What happens next? Uhmmm..... kisses.... and some bad guys... and.... Shhhhhh! No spoilers! ;) Thanks again!

  29. Hi Cathy, so happy Hot Zone is finally here. I waited very! Nabbed a copy today from Walmart. Can!t wait to get into the story. I must say my fave military movie is G. I. Jane because she embodied the kick butt female I want to be. I also love An Officer and a Gentleman. Richard Gere just does things to me. There are so many more, but I'll just limit it to those two. Hope your day went well.

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

  30. Paula!!!! Squeeee!! You are the first person to say they saw the book on the shelves!!! (The others have been online orders that got delivered early!) Wow!! It's always amazing and mind blowing to think of someone choosing a book of mine. Thank you! :)

  31. Congrats on the release, Catherine. I'm happy to say I've already had the pleasure of reading it. And I'll have to concur with Shana re: the movie A Few Good Men. I lost count how many times my husband and I have said, "You CAN'T handle the TRUTH!"

  32. Goodnight, all!! It's been a delight hanging out here with you today. Thank you for celebrating with me. :) Happy holidays and happy reading!!

  33. An Officer and a Gentleman!
    Can't wait to read Hot Zone

  34. The first one I ever saw was Top Gun, but my favorite is An Officer and Gentleman.