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M.L. Buchman | Bringing the Heat

Pure Heat
M.L. Buchman




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Fighting fire with fire

Firehawks #1

May 2014
On Sale: May 6, 2014
Featuring: Charlene; Steve
352 pages
ISBN: 1402286880
EAN: 9781402286889
Kindle: B00HUTVFYO
Paperback / e-Book
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Also by M.L. Buchman:
Havoc, May 2021
Chinook, April 2021
Target of One's Own, February 2019
Nathan's Big Sky, June 2017


I have to confess that starting a new series—even a spin-off one—is a harrowing event, at least for this author. The exploits of the Night Stalkers had become a comfort zone. I know these characters, I know their world as well as any outsider is likely to. New adventures and new romances arose, and will continue to do so as that series continues, but its more like slipping on a really broken-in pair of hiking boots and off we go on an adventure.

Suddenly I’m dressed in Nomex fireproof gear. It’s hot, sweaty, and no matter what I do, the itch of heat and ash get down into my cotton long johns that must be worn for protection even on the hottest days when fighting wildfire. In trading military attack helicopters for wildfire attack helicopters, I had to learn new technologies, new tactics, new definitions of what was safe. helicopterchopper 2

But perhaps the biggest thing I had to learn was what distinguished Wildland Heli-aviation Firefighters not only from my military Night Stalkers, but also from their city-based firefighting brethren. It wasn’t the danger. Despite the disastrous lose at Yarnell of the 19-man hotshot team, wildland firefighters are obsessed with safety.

No, I had to dig deeper. And I knew I couldn’t stop until I found it, because whatever drives wildland firefighters was going to be an integral element of the love story. I needed that element. Oddly enough, I didn’t even find it in the first draft. I didn’t find it, but I did write it. I just didn’t know that I had until one of my first readers pointed it out to me. Here’s the crucial scene. A scene that eventually led me to dedicate this book to my estranged and now passed on father. For it was he who taught me the love of the forest on our silent hikes among the mountains of New England.

To keep track of future releases, please sign up for my newsletter at http://www.mlbuchman.com


It was a lazy morning. After the fish fry, so casually that Steve barely noticed the transition, TJ, Chutes, and Akbar began quizzing the new members of MHA’s Goonies.

Steve was in good as soon as they found out he’d been the lead jumper out of Sacramento. Everyone knew California was a hard post for a smokie­—the entire southern half of the state was a tinderbox, and the northern half wasn’t all that much better. They also knew that you had to be crazy and passionate about the wildfire fight to work all the way up to leading the first stick.

Then it was Mark Henderson who came under scrutiny, as no one seemed to want to mess with Emily Beale. By some unspoken agreement, they focused on her husband.

Steve had sat through a hundred sessions like this one. On one side of the great divide, rookies who’d signed on for the romance of the wildfire fight. It looked good in the movies, but it was some of the hardest and most dangerous work on the planet. Across the divide, career wildfire fighters felt honor bound to weed out the chaff, sometimes before they even got their ears wet.

But Henderson understood.

He didn’t talk about fire, a common enough trap. He talked about watching the blooms come after the snow on his parents’ Montana ranch. He painted a picture of the waving grass and the tall horses his father and mother had loved almost as much as their only child. And he talked about his favorite trout stream and fighting the cutties to the net.

It soon became clear that his passion about fishing this morning wasn’t an affectation, but came from the core of the man.

Steve had kept it to himself, but he wondered at the contrast of the man who loved fishing almost as much as his wife and who flew Special Forces helicopters into the darkest combat.

It was connection to the land that made the wildfire fighter, not whether he carried a Pulaski or a smartphone and tablet. Steve would have to think about that one later.

Again, everyone’s attention drifted to Beale and her sleeping child and then drifted right on by.

Perhaps it was her mirrored shades and just the hint of a smile that even seasoned Goonies couldn’t get past.

“I remember this time…” TJ started the story as if nothing had happened. It was the clearest acknowledgment that Henderson had been accepted and that Beale had been declared okay as well.

Henderson didn’t react or gloat. All he did was lean in a little to refill his coffee mug and get ready for TJ’s story.





13 comments posted.

Re: M.L. Buchman | Bringing the Heat

This sounds like a book I'd love to read. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!
(Bonnie Capuano 10:32am May 13, 2014)

New England is a beautiful place indeed, and I'm sure that
this book is going to take me back to a place that I truly
enjoyed visiting, even if the circumstances won't be that
blissful. Your excerpt was written with a sense of
coolness, for lack of a better term, that drew me right into
the story, and left me wanting more. Your book sounds like
it will not only be entertaining in its' own way, but it
will be a real page-turner!! I will be looking forward to
reading it!!
(Peggy Roberson 11:14am May 13, 2014)

Thanks Peggy. I grew up hiking and skiing the New England forests and hills of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine (+ a fair bit of way upstate New York). Now, for the last couple decades, my tramping and biking have been mostly through the Washington and Oregon (where "Pure Heat" is set) wilderness which has a wholly different, but equally wonderful character.
(ML "Matt" Buchman 11:31am May 13, 2014)

I haven't read your books before have read about fire jumpers
before intersting occupation!
(Brenda Rupp 9:42pm May 13, 2014)

Sounds like a great book. Fire jumpers have to be really brave.
(Pam Howell 8:41am May 14, 2014)

Your book sounds fantastic. Thanks for this chance to win! All the best with this new series.
(Nancy Reynolds 11:20am May 14, 2014)

I haven't read about wildland firefighters before, your books
sounds great.
(Jen Barnard 11:26am May 14, 2014)

Thanks. I've had a lot of fun learning about wildland firefighters and, I believe, that I'm the first to take wildland heli-aviation firefighteres into the world of romance! It was a hi-heat blast! Working on more adventures even now.
(ML "Matt" Buchman 11:51am May 14, 2014)

with the drought so bad in many parts of the country this is a
very appropriate subject - mother nature is so very powerful!
(Diane Sallans 12:25pm May 14, 2014)

Great scene. It sounds like a very good book.
(Larena Hubble 12:42pm May 14, 2014)

I haven't read any books by you before but would like to.
(Tina Lechuga 1:15pm May 14, 2014)

Yes, Diane, It is already setting up to be the worst fire season in history, and the "season" didn't technically begin until April 28th! It makes what these folks do even more impressive!
(ML "Matt" Buchman 2:08pm May 14, 2014)

I would love a chance to read this book!
(Denise Austin 4:03pm May 14, 2014)

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