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Lighting it Up!

by M. L. Buchman

On September 2nd, my characters Trisha O'Malley (short, Irish Boston, feisty, uppity, red-head, fantastic attack helicopter pilot) and Bill Bruce (tall, Scottish, Detroit, linebacker wide, stone silent, Navy SEAL) will collide head on in Light Up the Night!
Available Sept 2, pre-order now!

I won't say that I didn't have fun, because I did. Immense fun! Sometimes a romance couple is MFEO (Made For Each Other). They have challenges they have to overcome. They have trials and tribulations, personal histories and panic attacks (as much as one of my alpha heroes or heroines ever does).

Trisha and Billy the SEAL (as Trisha calls him), not so much. They're more like a head-on collision gone good.

First, she rescues him when he really doesn't want to be rescued:

Get out of here! You’re screwing me over!”

There are two technicals coming in from the south and west,” the pilot shouted as he kept the blades at near takeoff, the chopper actually bouncing its skids on the soil.

Okay, he had to admit that didn’t sound good. 

Halfway through complaining about her rescue, despite clearly saving his life, he discovers something he didn't know about the pilot:

“Oh fine. A woman. Now I’m probably going to have my ass reamed for yelling at a woman.” Then he continued right along, chewing her out without further pause, which was pretty funny. She let him rant, figuring he’d feel better if he could burn off some of his excess, over-righteous macho.

Only after she's gone does he think he might have missed something important: 
Not only hadn’t he thanked her for saving his ass, but he also hadn’t gotten her name.

Not that he really cared. He didnt, did he? No chance he wanted to hang out with either a Night Stalker or an Irishwoman. Two strikes right off.

Still, he cleared the rounds out of both of his weapons as he turned once more for the Quartermasters’. Wouldn’t hurt anything if he knew her name.

Of course, she didn't exactly ask his name either, but that doesn't stop her needling him for a second:
“Don’t go down any more decks,” the big guy said.


He forked up some of his eggs as if this was a perfectly normal conversation. He cleaned up nice, real nice. The T-shirt they’d found for him, in Navy dark blue, stretched tight across his chest and outlined every muscle. The antithesis of the lean Colonel Gibson. His black hair reached his jawline, slicked down with the shower he’d taken since they’d parted. It emphasized both the nasty scar and the strength of the jaw that bore it. She could see that the scar continued on his chest, ducking below the line of his collar. She wondered how far down it went and how he’d earned it.

And his eyes really were amazing. It felt not as if he was watching her, but rather as if he saw her. A gestalt view, watching her whole person, not just her face or, more typically, her chest. His intentness started to bring a heat to her face that she suppressed ruthlessly; she was so fair-skinned that even the slightest blush radiated.

“The decks get shorter as you go down. Two more decks and even someone your size would be stooping.”

“How short do they get?” Her size, huh? She’d taken men down for less than that when she was in a bad mood. But she wasn’t at the moment, so she’d play along. “They have children down there in the engine spaces? Or Oompa-Loompas?”

“Smurfs.” He said it like bald truth, not the least hint of foolish in his eyes.

“Color of your eyes.”

“What was that?”

“Nothing.” Why had she even whispered that to herself? She ordered herself to stop going all mushy in the brain about his blue eyes. Immediately!

All I can say is, Damn! These two characters were so much fun to write.
Hope you enjoy them as well.
More info at:


  1. I can see why these characters were so much fun to write. Great excerpt!

  2. I'm learning, slowly (after a couple dozen titles), that if they aren't having fun, why would the reader. Doesn't mean I don't dump angst on their heads, but they've gotta enjoy themselves. :)


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