Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Snippet: Surviving the Trap


So…. Walking Dead is back!! Arrow premiered!! The Tomorrow People is pretty awesome. Strike Back is one episode away from the finale and ripped my heart out Friday. And Sons of Anarchy is batshit crazy, which I totally love.

TV is good right now, people. So very good. Oddly, when I've got great stuff to engage my mind, I tend to write more prolifically. This is not a bad thing. LOL

This week's post is from the opening book to the Top Dog Pilots, Surviving the Trap. I'm hoping for a release in the next month or two. YAY!

Here's the tagline:

Take one week of extreme training, add in two top guns, and stir together with a healthy dose of unresolved sexual tension. The outcome is two pilots pushed to their limits and they need to find a way to get through their hellish experience and possibly into each other's arms.

And a sneaky peek…

While he waited for the deck crew to haul his plane to the hangar, he tried to remember the last time he'd been this tired. Closing his eyes, he smiled when the memory hit him. It had been when Maggie "Magpie" Harper dragged him on a cross-country trek to…where? He couldn't recall at the moment, but it had been the best and worst three days he'd ever experienced. The best because Maggie reminded Max of a firecracker waiting to explode, all bundled up in a highly attractive package. She always proved entertaining as hell. The worst because once she had her mind set on something, absolutely no one stopped her. They either went along for the ride or got mowed down, and Max refused to be left behind.
He'd learned that valuable lesson while they were still at the academy, during the first week no less. He quickly discovered tagging along with Maggie usually kept her out of trouble. She had a talent for leaping smack in the middle of something before scoping out all the details. If fact, they'd met when she'd jumped into the fray to cover his back.
He'd been celebrating with some mates. They'd made it through the first week of flight training. Max stayed behind to finish his beer after his fellow cadets had taken their leave. He didn't know how it happened, but a group of rowdy off-worlders decided he'd be their entertainment for the evening. Not one to back down from a fight but not wanting to be expelled for brawling, Max attempted to talk his way out of the situation.
Apparently, his efforts were more amusing than effective. Before he could extract himself, four guys had him cornered and worse yet, they called over a couple of friends. Max had just decided to screw the odds and go for the biggest of the bunch when it happened.
He caught movement out of the corner of his eye, turning in time to see a lone figure leap onto a table and use it to launch themselves at two of the burly men. To his surprise, they managed to take out both in one go but the landing couldn't be considered pretty. His rescuer crashed into the wall and bounced backwards to drop and hit the floor hard. Jumping up—holy hell, it was a woman—she said nothing when she put her back to his and edged him toward to exit. They left the stunned and disappointed group behind, making their way out of the bar with minimal fuss.
Standing outside in the cold air, he turned toward his mystery woman. "Thanks." Probably not an adequate response considering she'd just saved his ass, and didn't even know his name.
Shrugging, she accepted the gratitude. "Anytime." Then she winked at him before heading down the sidewalk.
Intrigued, Max quickly caught up with her. "Wait… why'd you jump in? You don't know me." A gross error he intended to rectify.
His new friend paused at the corner of an intersection and grinned. "You're military, right? Fleet Academy?" She cocked her head sideways, awaiting his answer.
Max stopped next to her, jerking in surprised acknowledgment. "Yeah… what gave it away?" Damn. She was good.
The woman laughed. "The hair. Every time." With casual grace, she propped herself against a lamp pole. "I grew up on military bases. Standard issue cuts haven't changed much over twenty years. And, I've spent the last week in a regulation ponytail myself." Scooping her hair back, she held it at her nape.
It didn't take away from her looks. The light from the lamp allowed Max to drink in the sight of her. Tall and lithe, she had long, blonde hair curling around her shoulders. Her eyes were her best feature though. They sparkled with humor and just a touch of wickedness. Max pretty much fell in love with her on the spot. And she was fleet, too. That meant he'd be seeing her around.
Sticking his hand out, he properly introduced himself. "Max Cutter. First year."
She stood and shook it, giving him a wide smile. "Maggie Harper. Same."
From that moment on, they had each other's backs. They'd ended up in the same flight class and became fast friends, hanging out, getting to know each other, and challenging the rest of the plebes to follow their lead while they crashed through the rigorous training, taking turns in the top two spots. His immediate infatuation tempered itself when he quickly realized Maggie didn't 'do' relationships. Nor did she sleep with people she considered friends, and she regarded him as the best one she had. Sometimes life kicked him in the face that way.
At least she acknowledged the sexual tension pinging back and forth under the surface between them. Her honesty about it pretty much became the only reason he'd been willing to suck it up and settle into a true friendship with her. He didn't have any regrets.
After hearing about some of her past experiences, he realized Maggie saw herself as a complex woman with what she considered enough baggage to fill an entire spaceport. While he didn't agree, he wouldn't be able to change her mind either. And he didn't lack for female companions. Pilot groupies were abundant in every port of call.
Pulled from his reverie by a deck hand popping the canopy of his plane, Max shook his head. Regardless of the lack of sleep, he really needed to stop zoning out and pay attention. Handing off his helmet, he climbed out of the cockpit and nodded wearily at the crewman before stumbling down the steps to the deck. Swaying on his feet, he headed for the ready room. If he were lucky, he'd be able to catch a brief nap before the next launch in—he checked his watch—about an hour.

I'm so excited for this one. Previously released, I've done a bit of an overhaul on the manuscript and it's ready to go. The second book is complete and the third is just about finished. And the entire series has been so much fun!!

That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flip.

ML Skye

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