TARGET ENGAGED

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This December starts off with a bang as M.L. Buchman releases TARGET ENGAGED, the first in his brand new (and action-packed) Delta Force series! To celebrate his new release, Sourcebooks Casablanca is sharing the first six chapters of Target Engaged for FREE! Click here to download the first six chapters and check out a special note from M.L. Buchman below.


A Note from M.L. Buchman

Dear Reader,

Welcome to my newest series: the first women of Delta Force. I can’t begin to tell you how much fun this was to write.

Most of us know little more about Delta Force than the Chuck Norris movies (which leave a lot to be desired) or perhaps we only know the name. In researching my Night Stalkers series, I kept running into these guys. They are the elite of Special Operations Forces. They are at a level of SEAL Team 6, and most would argue they were even beyond that. They are the ghost and shadow warriors who helped take down drug lord Pablo Escobar, capture Noriega, were undoubtedly behind the locating of Saddam Hussein, and are the main reason that Al-Qaeda abruptly stopped being a topic in the Iraq War when over three thousand of their leaders were swept off the board.

Yet the Pentagon states that they don’t exist. Fascinating.

And while they often work with undercover female operatives, no woman has yet managed to kick in the front door on one of the most arduous selection programs in the military.

I decided to change that.

Carla Anderson stepped forward to take the challenge. She is a not a woman out to prove she can match any man, she’s out to prove that she can beat them at their own game. And that was the first thing that I loved about writing this series.

In the Night Stalkers, the women were strong, excellent, and determined.

To be a Delta Force woman, Carla had to add enough attitude and drive to plow through all obstacles which just made her so much fun. Nothing was off the table when it came to her attitude or her actions.

And that was the second thing I came to love about this series launcher, Target Engaged. Being Delta Force, they really do operate outside so many bounds. They are sent to do the tasks that no one else can. To that I added the additional challenge that Robert Ludlum gave to Jason Bourne (though I’m quoting the movie): “I don’t send you to kill. I send you to be invisible. I send you because you don’t exist.” I’m pretty convinced that this is part of Delta’s mission.

It is occasionally said by retired Delta Force operators (as the on-duty ones never speak): “If we’d been sent in to take down bin Laden, you still wouldn’t know how it was done.” To bring that to life gave me a permission as a writer to run my characters into hard and strange places and be just a little gonzo doing it.

But writing is a give and take, and I can’t begin to tell you how much the characters I created shaped my telling of this story. I like to think that they had as much fun as I did bringing this story to life.

I hope that you enjoy the reading even half as much as I enjoyed the writing!

M.L. Buchman (the Oregon Coast, November 2015)

 

Get to know the Carla, and the entire Delta Force team by reading the first SIX chapters of TARGET ENGAGED for free! Just click here to download them! To get you started, we’ve included the first few pages below:

 

Top 5 qualities a Delta Force recruit needs to succeed

1 & 2. Ignore the environment. Bring the attitude.
A rangy man in his late forties or early fifties, his hair half gone to gray, wandered around from behind a small shack as if he just happened to be there by chance. He was dressed like any off-duty soldier: worn khaki pants, a black T-shirt, and scuffed Army boots. He slouched to a stop and tipped his head to study her from behind his Ray-Bans. He needed a haircut and a shave. This was not a soldier out to make a good first impression.
“Don’t y’all get hot in that gear?” He nodded to indicate Carla’s riding leathers without raking his eyes down her frame, which was both unusual and appreciated.
“Only on warm days,” she answered him. It was June in North Carolina. The temperature had crossed ninety hours ago and the air was humid enough to swim in, but complaining never got you anywhere.
“What do you need?”
So much for the pleasantries. “Looking for Delta.”
“Never heard of it,” the man replied with a negligent shrug. But something about how he did it told her she was in the right place.
“Combat Applications Group?” Delta Force had many names, and they certainly lived to “apply combat” to a situation. No one on the planet did it better.
His next shrug was eloquent.
Delta Lesson One: Folks on the inside of the wire didn’t call it Delta Force. It was CAG or “The Unit.” She got it. Check. Still easier to think of it as Delta though.
She pulled out her orders and held them up. “Received a set of these. Says to show up here today.”
“Let me see that.”
“Let me through the gate and you can look at it as long as you want.”
“Sass!” He made it an accusation.
“Nope. Just don’t want them getting damaged or lost maybe by accident.” She offered her blandest smile with that.
“They’re that important to you, girlie?”
“Yep!”
He cracked what might have been the start of a grin, but it didn’t get far on that grim face.

3 & 4. Don’t wait for others to help. Don’t just start the battle, finish it.
“Well, girlie, looks like you pulled into the wrong spot. This here is Delta territory.”
Kyle thought about stopping Ralph, thought that someone should give the guy a good beating, but Dad had taught him control. He would take Ralph down if he got aggressive, but he really didn’t want to be associated with the jerk, even by grabbing him back.
The woman turned to face them, then unzipped the front of her jacket in one of those long, slow movie moves. The sunlight shimmered across her hair as she gave it an “unthinking” toss. Wraparound dark glasses hid her eyes, adding to the mystery.
He could see what there was of Ralph’s brain imploding from lack of blood. He felt the effect himself despite standing a half-dozen paces farther back.
She wasn’t hot; she sizzled. Her parting leathers revealed an Army green T-shirt and proof that the very nice contours suggested by her outer gear were completely genuine. Her curves weren’t big—she had a lean build—but they were as pure woman as her shoulders and legs were pure soldier.
“There’s a man who called me ‘girlie’ earlier.” Her voice was smooth and seductive, not low and throaty, but rich and filled with nuance.
She sounded like one of those people who could hypnotize a Cobra, either the snake or the attack helicopter.
“He’s a bird colonel. He can call me that if he wants. You aren’t nothing but meat walking on sacred ground and wishing he belonged.”
Kyle nodded to himself. The “girlie” got it in one.
“You”—she jabbed a finger into Sergeant Ralph Something’s chest—“do not get ‘girlie’ privileges. We clear?”
“Oh, sweetheart, I can think of plenty of privileges that you’ll want to be giving to—” His hand only made it halfway to stroking her hair.
If Kyle hadn’t been Green Beret trained, he wouldn’t have seen it because she moved so fast and clean.
“—me!” Ralph’s voice shot upward on a sharp squeak.
The woman had Ralph’s pinkie bent to the edge of dislocation and, before the man could react, had leveraged it behind his back and upward until old Ralph Something was perched on his toes trying to ease the pressure. With her free hand, she shoved against the middle of his back to send him stumbling out of control into the concrete wall of the mess hall with a loud clonk when his head hit.
Minimum force, maximum result. The Unit’s way.
She eased off on his finger and old Ralph dropped to the dirt like a sack of potatoes. He didn’t move much.
“Oops.” She turned to face the crowd that had gathered.
She didn’t even have to say, “Anyone else?” Her look said plenty.

5. Have your goal in mind, and never let anything stop you!
Carla had set her sights clearly on her target, and he was sitting right across the truck from her. The men who’d been cut hadn’t surprised her at all. They’d always been the slowest or the worst complainers.
Her target was Special Forces Sergeant First Class Kyle Reeves. Dark-haired, dark-eyed, far too handsome for his own good, and he knew it. He added a deep voice and a shining integrity that threatened to dazzle. Such perfect control of temper was hiding something, and she wanted to dig down to find out what really lay beneath.
But most importantly, it had been clear from the first moment that he was the very best one here. He totally kicked ass without breaking a metaphorical sweat. Real sweat in the North Carolina heat…no one was avoiding that, not even with a serious investment portfolio in antiperspirants.
The best was something that Carla always strove for. It drew her like a compass too close to a magnet.
Kyle made PT workouts look like a warm-up exercise and had been the only one able to simply walk away from her on the long hikes. It took everything she had to chase him down, and still she never quite caught him. There’d never been a grunt who could out-hike her, not in training and not in the hell of the Afghanistan dust bowl, but a full week into testing and she had yet to catch Sergeant Kyle.

5a. Seriously, never let anything stop you.
OTC was not at the top of Kyle’s “can’t wait” list. And despite the Colonel’s suggestion, sleep was about the farthest thing from his mind.
He showered, pulled on his civvies and a leather jacket, and walked out to his Ducati. He hadn’t been on it in thirty days.
Parked beside his machine was a midnight-blue Kawasaki Ninja. Leaning back against it was Delta Trainee Carla Anderson in those same long, lightning-bolt yellow and smoke-gray leathers he’d seen her in on the first day.
“Damn!” Not the best greeting, but it was just knocked out of him. She was about the most amazing sight he’d ever seen.
She grinned and waited him out while he recovered.
“I was thinking of going for a ride before dinner.” He went for the casual glance up at the sun still a few hours above the horizon, though it was hard looking away from her for even a moment.
“There a good pizza place in Beaufort,” she offered lazily.
“A hundred and sixty miles. Take us an hour and a half tops.” Kyle’s bike was just as fast as hers.
“Uh-huh.”
“Awfully close to the Marines down there.” Camp Lejeune wasn’t the issue; keeping his hands off her for that long was.
“Yeah, Marine cooties are a problem.” Her voice remained casual and lazy, and wrapped around him with all the certainty of a cowboy’s lasso. “I know another spot. I’ll lead, you follow.” She didn’t give him a chance to argue, just pulled on her helmet and climbed on her bike.
He pulled on his helmet and swung onto his own motorcycle.
“That’s assuming you can keep up with me on your pansy-ass lipstick-red machine. Don’t get lost, tough guy.”
“I’ll be right on your tail, girlie. And it’s wildfire-red.”
“Uh-huh.” She grinned and fired off her machine.
They idled out of the Delta gate along with the other five trainees, two on bikes, a Camaro and a Vette, and Richie’s older model Toyota Prius. They were really going to have to talk to him—the man was going to be an embarrassment. Most of them turned for the South Gate, headed to Fayetteville. Chad was seeing a girl in Raeford, so they lost him at the Longstreet Gate. Carla led Kyle across the width of Bragg to the Manchester Gate, out past Pope Army Airfield. No one else was headed out that way.
She opened the throttle before the gate’s stick was even half raised. She had to duck to clear it. If he’d hesitated even half a second, she’d have been gone.
One thing Kyle had learned from this afternoon’s demonstration of the room clearing: never hesitate.
On that very first day, he’d wanted to see Carla Anderson flying down the road in her lightning leathers, but he’d never imagined it like this.
She hung low over her machine, laying into the corners. His view from close behind was spectacular; that part was much as he’d imagined. It was the heat he hadn’t accounted for. July in the North Carolina lowlands was brutal, but he didn’t give a damn. It was the heat he had for this woman that was all out of proportion.
If there were cops in Carthage, they didn’t stand a chance. To Carla a red light was an excuse to explore the back roads, only at highway velocities. The open highway itself was more akin to a race course, a race that there was no way in hell he would be losing.
Title: Target Engaged
Series: Delta Force, #1
Author: M.L. Buchman
ISBN: 9781492619222

Book 1 in M.L. Buchman’s thrilling NEW Delta Force series

Delta Force: The most dangerous elite counter-terrorism force on the planet
• The deadliest shooters •
• The most out-of-the-box thinkers in any military •
• Will die to get the mission done •

Sergeant Kyle Reeves: The premier soldier of the new recruits
Sergeant Carla Anderson: The first woman of Delta Force

If the training doesn’t kill them, their passion may—but Kyle Reeves and Carla Anderson blast right in. Show no fear. Have no fear. Then they get the call. The most powerful drug-smuggling ring in Venezuela needs a takedown, and Delta’s newest team leaps into the deep jungle to deliver. Giving their all? Not a problem. Giving their hearts? That takes a new level of courage.

 

Title: Target Engaged

Series: Delta Force, #1

Author: M.L. Buchman

ISBN: 9781492619222

targetcover

Book 1 in M.L. Buchman’s thrilling NEW Delta Force series

 Delta Force: The most dangerous elite counter-terrorism force on the planet

  • The deadliest shooters •
  • The most out-of-the-box thinkers in any military •
  • Will die to get the mission done •

Sergeant Kyle Reeves: The premier soldier of the new recruits

Sergeant Carla Anderson: The first woman of Delta Force

If the training doesn’t kill them, their passion may—but Kyle Reeves and Carla Anderson blast right in. Show no fear. Have no fear. Then they get the call. The most powerful drug-smuggling ring in Venezuela needs a takedown, and Delta’s newest team leaps into the deep jungle to deliver. Giving their all? Not a problem. Giving their hearts? That takes a new level of courage.

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targetauthor

M. L. Buchman has over 40 novels in print. His military romantic suspense books have been named Barnes & Noble and NPR “Top 5 of the Year,” nominated for the Reviewer’s Choice Award for “Top 10 Romantic Suspense of 2014” by RT Book Reviews, and twice Booklist “Top 10 of the Year” placing two of his titles on their “The 101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” In addition to romance, he also writes thrillers, 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 making his living as a full-time writer 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 by subscribing to his newsletter at www.mlbuchman.com.

 

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