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M. L. "Matt" Buchman

At the Slightest Sound (+audio)

At the Slightest Sound (+audio)

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Psychic powers are not supposed to arrive in mid-battle. 
“When I heard Buchman was stepping into paranormal, I couldn’t wait. I loved it!” – Night Owl Reviews Top Pick
Delta Force recon specialist Hannah Tucker needs out of the Colombian jungle and she needs out now.
Night Stalker pilot Jesse Johnson aims to oblige—until his helicopter is shot down. He finds that more than a little inconvenient.
Stalked by guerrillas, crocodiles, and other jungle unfriendlies, they must learn to control skills they never knew they had—or even existed! Together they discover an unpredictable psychic ability to project sound and distract their enemies. Though the crocodiles remain unimpressed.
[Can be read stand-alone or in series. A complete happy-ever-after with no cliffhangers.]
Buy now to join the romantic adventure.

Listen to an Excerpt

Read an Excerpt

“You call this here mess an extraction?”
Jesse looked over at the sarcastic pair of boots that were addressing him. These boots had real personality to them—black army boots with a smooth Tennessee accent that had been battered and worn in ways that took a lot of time and would never pass a barracks inspection—so he did his best to address them respectfully.
“Sure I would, if y’all call that being right ways up.” He was still harnessed into the seat of his Little Bird MH-6 helicopter, but the boots appeared to be planted in a red dirt sky—literally dirt, and it was definitely red. If he’d died and they’d buried him, it would have been a kindness if they’d at least put him in a coffin first. The legs strapped into those boots dangled downward—dimly lit by a combination of moonlight and the wash of the small cabin light he’d turned on.
The night was quiet except for the lazy ticking of hot metal cooling slowly. Instead of the sharp bite of Jet A fuel—the crashworthy tanks had turned out to actually be crashworthy, which he appreciated—he smelled…rotting leaves.
A face bent up to look at him. It was a slim, fresh face with long blonde hair that rose in a tangled wave toward the dirt-y sky rather than dangling downward as it should have. The eyes were hidden by night-vision goggles. Blue eyes would go well with that face. Hazel too.
He wondered if the eyes would be more or less sarcastic than the boots.
“Well, you’re alive. That’s something.” Sarcasm levels roughly equal.
“It is my preferred condition.”
“As opposed to being dead?”
“Absolutely.” Something was puzzling Jesse about this whole conversation, but he was having trouble putting his finger on exactly what.
“And the upside-down part of this lame excuse for an extraction?” The face smiled at him—just a frown turned upside down. That was Momma talking, but he was fairly sure she wasn’t here. Actually, Momma had died on the same operating table where he’d been born, but he often held conversations with her in his head. At least when he was younger he had. The echoes of them had stuck with him.
He looked around. Nope, she wasn’t here—another proof that he was still alive. He didn’t expect to meet her until he hit the pearly gates that Sunday School had promised him. Also, the way he’d always imagined her, she didn’t have such a gut-grabbing Tennessee accent, more a soft Texan twang. Unless they’d relocated San Antonio while he was otherwise distracted, which was a possibility. But…
Oh! He’d missed that he was the one who was upside down, dangling from his seat harness—rather than the boots hanging from the red dirt sky. Which actually made far more sense now that he thought about it. Then he remembered having his helicopter’s tail rotor shot out and the tumbling fall. The skidding, rolling (a couple times end-over-end, he seemed to recall) crash landing came back on instant replay and he wished it hadn’t. Near-death experiences weren’t much more fun in memory than while they were actually happening. He slapped the seat harness release and crashed down onto his head. Thankfully, in a crumpled Little Bird helicopter, that wasn’t very far.
It would have hurt even less if he’d still been wearing his helmet.
Oh. That explained the problem he’d been puzzling at when the sarcastic boots arrived and started talking with that smooth accent—though he’d forgotten about it until just now. He’d taken his helmet off—after the crashing and rolling bit had been done with—and set it atop the cyclic joystick just the way he always did at the end of any mission. Then the helmet had taken off like a rocket and banged into the ceiling. Except it wasn’t the ceiling anymore because his helicopter was upside down. Gravity, not a mysteriously jet-powered helmet trying to launch into orbit. It all made much more sense now that his world had righted itself once more.
He untangled himself, found his helmet, and crawled out of his helo to face the sarcastic boots and the smiling (or frowning) visage that he expected to find at the other end of the equation. The projection of tactical information on the inside of his helmet’s visor had died along with his helo. He tossed the helmet back inside, then folded his hands over the rifle slung across his chest with the stock folded. His attempt to stand failed miserably and he collapsed back against the side of his helo.
Standing didn’t work so well when his knees were proving their dislike of the sudden change in orientation. Maybe he’d just sit for a while.
At least he was now on the dirt—rather than under it. Much better. To pass the time, he inspected the boots. Right-side up made them look far more sensible—at least as sensible as non-cowboy boots ever were.
He eased the collar of his flightsuit against the pounding humidity of the jungle. Now he could hear the jungle even if he couldn’t see where it lay beyond his tiny pool of light. Animal noises, lots of them, sounded from one tree to the next—though they tapered off even as he listened.
Back to the boots. Legs in jungle camouflage rose from them in a perfectly normal manner. But then the whole image went sideways again.
“Several possibilities,” he said aloud. “Either I knocked my head right hard, the moonlight is playing some strange tricks on this country boy, or you’re a person of the female persuasion.”

Publication Details

Initial Publication: September 24, 2019
Print Pages: 204
Audio length: 5:21
Narrator: Read by Author

Bonus Content

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