Regan's Books

Regan's Books
Reads From Regan Taylor

Friday, November 6, 2009

Check out Kylie Brant's new contest and her Mind Hunters series!

Check out Kylie Brant's newest contest at: and if you are looking for some great reading check out her latest series, Mindhunters: Waking Nightmare, Waking Evil and Waking the Dead from Berkeley Sensation. Kylie's own words say it all: Brilliant criminologists, unlimited resources, infinite time.....the bad guys can still run, but they cannot hide. I've been a fan since she captured my attention with Last Warrior and each book has gotten better and better. Mindhunters is clearly the most explosive yet!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Looking for some fun contests?

Check these out on my website:

There's the Hallowe'en Hide and Seek with a group of authors with some fabulous prizes and

And at Dark Divas at

Look for the logos on my website and join in the fun!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Michael's Flight - Descendants of Earth Book 2 - Has Landed on Amazon for the Kindle!!!!!

It happened a few weeks ago but I've been so busy with edits, writing, day job and most importantly, my kitties. Molly turned 21 and while we couldn't really celebrate because she had a little upset, she's doing fine.

Meanwhile Michael's Flight has landed on Amazon and is flying through the world of the Kindle. Just about can't beat that!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Michael's Flight - Descendants of Earth Book 2 - Has Lifted Off!

Michael's Flight was released today!!!!!!! Whoo hoooooo! I LOVE the cover -- I LOVE the model on the cover and I really like this story.

And my publisher, eXtasy Books ( put up one of the steamiest scenes I've ever written as an excerpt. Gotta fan myself when I read it even though I wrote it!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Allison Knight - Meet my friend and fellow author!


When I finished polishing my first Medieval Romance, Heartsong, I realized I didn’t want to let the characters go. I fell in love! In fact two of the brothers of the heroine intrigued me. I knew I had to write a story for them as well. So, what about a series? I remember long ago, reading a series by Catherine Coulter, and Joanna Lindsey has been writing the Marlow family for years. More recently, Christina Dodd wrote the Princess series. There are many other authors who have kept their characters alive. I decided to give it a try.

And the first thing I learned, was, thank the lord, I’d taken the time to write detailed character interviews for all the main characters of Heartsong. Without them I would have had to spent hours, rereading the book and making notes. Of course, even a lot of the research, clothing, foods, living conditions, even the size of the keep and the rooms in one, had already been researched and I had notes on all of that.

However, here I found I was paging through all my notes looking for little details, the kind that bring a story to life. There had to be a better way! I thought about some of the records I kept for writing and decided – perhaps a spread sheet would work. With my first novel, years ago, I drew my characters out on butcher paper, and that made for easy reference. Why not do the same with a spread sheet?

So, I retrieved my pad of accounting paper, the twelve column kind, and begin to consider what information I needed. After all, the heroine of the new story would be visited by the heroine of the first story. She’d describe what she saw and what she thought of the other woman. The same for others who would also grace the pages of the second book.

Names became a problem as well. You don’t want the heroine of the first book to have a very similar name to a maid or servant in the second book, so I needed names. I also found that I really wished I’d kept a word or two description of each major scene in the first book. I’m doing that now with the second book. Writing the third book will be much easier. I’ve learned a valuable lesson trying to write this series. Keep track of important scenes, who, what, where and why, and descriptions. Recording them on a computer spread sheet makes review much easier.

Without my written record for that first book, I’d be spending hours rereading and recording. I don’t have to do that now. I’ve also learned recording plot devices work well if a series is in mind. Doing it after the fact means a lot more work.

So the third book should not present some of the problems the second book has presented. The second book is nearly complete. Battlesong will soon be finished and with luck my editor will like it and agree to a third. We can hope. But no matter the outcome, I’ve come away with some valuable lessons – that work for me. Some of what I learned might help you too, if you’re considering a series.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Meet P.J. Dean!

I'd like to take a moment to introduce my fellow eXtasy author P.J. Dean!

P.J. was born to a hard-working, single mother on a tight budget, who believed pursuing the things which make life fun were just as important as the necessities, A. Louise Johnson was exposed to fun things which would entertain her and enrich her life, not just clutter it up. Her mother believed fun did not have to cost much and sought out what Philly had to offer. Libraries, museums, free city-sponsored concerts, etc. She was also raised an only child in a household of adults, so she was a tad precocious. Their neighborhood, South Philly, was, and always has been, a mix of different cultures. She grew up hearing many languages and witnessing the customs of the immigrants who had settled there. As a child, she learned to observe people, developing an eye for detail and an ear for the unusual. This inquisitiveness led to her affinity for research and a desire to write. Her love of other places led to a semester in France and a B. A. in French Civilization, with a minor in Spanish. Her interest in history and her penchant for romance novels directed her to write her first historical romance, "FAITHFUL." It was named a 2005 Independent Book Awards Finalist in the Romance category. "KINDRED" was her next logical step after recalling a snippet of information her maternal grandmother had related to her about them possibly having American Indian ancestors. She decided to spin it into an historical romance and New Concepts Publishing decided it was good enough to add to their line. P. J. Dean," lives in New Jersey with her very demanding cat, Bart.

Check out her excerpt from her historical/interracial romance, "KINDRED," just released by New Concepts Publishing. Set in upstate New York before, during and after the American Revolutionary War, it tells the story of Kindred, an African-American free woman and the romance which has developed between her and her childhood friend, Lelaheo, an Oneida Indian man. Raised together by her ex-slave grandmother and a kindly, English physician in his vast estate, Kindred is a herbalist and healer. Lelaheo wants to be a doctor. Unbeknownst to Kindred, he has been accepted to medical school. But not in the Colonies. He must go study in Europe. The scene opens with her discovery and dismay. If you order it, my pen name is PJ Dean.


"When did you intend to tell me that you got accepted to medical school?" She stood, hands on hips, occasionally pointing at him accusingly. "Abroad no less. And especially since we drilled together to get your Latin and German perfect for the examinations. I am a part of this as much as you."

He winced at her words. "Kindred, I am so sorry---"

"Yes. Both literally and figuratively. And when, do tell, are you departing? By any chance are your trunks packed already?" She let out a humorless chuckle and began to pace the room.

"I go down river in three days. Yes, they are packed. It is a long journey, Kindred.
It will take weeks to get to Europe."

"Three days! You leave in three days?"

Lelaheo began ticking off his list on his fingers. "I have to abide an ocean voyage and familiarize myself with Köln. I must spend time with Herr Doktor ben Lazer and adjust to life in a strange place. And before all that, I must navigate getting out of these woods. Kindred, stop pacing!" He caught her by the apron. She yanked away.

Exasperated, Lelaheo threw up his hands. "Why can you not be happy for me?"

Kindred sought refuge on the mahogany settle in front of the now dead fireplace as she interrogated him.

"Your people in Kanowalohale. Do they know?"

"Yes. They arrive tomorrow. As many of my family as possible will come. Some will take me down river to Albany."

She shifted in the seat, wagging her head. "Lelaheo, Lelaheo."

"I thought they should come for a short stay and then I would leave for Europe." A shame-faced grin flashed, brilliant against his cinnamon skin as he folded his arms across his chest.

"Oh. The kill-two-birds-with-one-stone theory?" Kindred tried to remain composed, but the more he revealed, the more infuriated she became. But Lord, his smile was ingratiating, she thought. "Seems to me, if I had not stumbled upon this, I would have found out while standing at the water's edge as you climbed into a canoe."

Lelaheo hurried over to rest at her feet.

"Why is this upsetting you so?" His eyebrows pulled downward in a frown. "I will get to see all those things we have only read about. It is different there. I shall just be another student. For once, I shall be accepted on my merit."

"You are so naïve." She reached a hand down to smooth his silky hair, then snatched it back quickly. "You will be traveling to the continent which is the architect of so much misery here. You will not be viewed any differently there than you are here.
Their station in life dictates they be more discreet in their bias. I do not want to see you hurt. Do not confuse curiosity with caring."

"How can you say that? It is a world of scholars and learned men."

"And of possible pain. Living here at Twainhaven has been both a joy and a curse. Has Father equipped us with what we need to face life outside the hall?"

"Kindred, you, me and Joshua, can overcome anything. We have. We do everyday. Because of Douglas. So please. Find joy in the fact I will be doing what I love. Exploring. Experiencing new things. Besides, you knew I'd be going away."

"But not abroad! Do you not understand?" She balled her hand into a fist and pummeled her thigh. "You'll be an ocean away. If you'd stayed here at least you could visit us. But now being so far away … " She drifted off refusing to look at him.

Lelaheo scooted closer and captured both of her hands.

"Do not. Please do not." She strained to pull away, but he gripped her hands firmly.

"Why not, Kinny?" He watched her turn a deaf ear to his plea. "Ever since we were children I have admired your honesty, your courage. Do not disappoint me now. Why are you so bothered? Why this display?" He shifted to his knees and seized both of her hands in one of his. With his free hand, he grasped her chin and gently pivoted her face to meet his. Her eyes were downcast. "Kinny, talk to me."

She slowly raised her eyes to his face. That face. With its high cheekbones; strong nose; beautiful, almost feminine mouth; and those inquisitorial, obsidian eyes which were at this moment waiting for an answer. With a taut jerk of her head, she disengaged from his grasp. She raised her chin and stared at him coolly. "Lelaheo, you should know why. I never fancied you the type who would need their pride stroked. You should know."

"What should I know, Kinny?" He reached up with his free hand, untied her head wrap and tossed it aside. Her two heavy braids tumbled to just below her shoulders. With a tapered index finger, he traced the curve of her cheekbone and applied light pressure as the same tip traveled lower to outline her mouth. He leaned in, his lips grazing her ear and he let out a long breath. "That you love me? Or more importantly, that I love you?" He felt her tremble at his words. He heard her breath catch and a little gasp escape. Pulling back, a dropped-jaw visage greeted him. "Well?"

Kindred wretched her hands from his possession and hurled her arms around his neck.
"Yes, I love you. Lelaheo. Kunoluhkwa."

He stood up, hauling her from the settle roughly. He snaked one arm around her waist, while the other supported her back, bringing her snugly against his hard body. Looking down, he beheld her glowing features and sighed."Kunoluhkwa, Kinny. I have loved you since you stood up for me in the Reverend Harkness' school room that day. I have loved you since you helped heal my wounds from that beating we endured. I have loved you all these years. You know me better than I know myself. So, good Lord, how will I ever live these next months without seeing your face everyday?"
His mouth came down and, gently, but insistently, covered hers. Warm and persuasive, his lips smothered any protest Kindred may have even thought about voicing. His kiss was an opiate, drugging her. As his assault on her mouth intensified, she opened her eyes a little and suspired against his. Feeling her relax, he opened his eyes and slowly darted his tongue in and out of the breached recesses of her mouth. Lelaheo let slip, lower, the arm he used to support her back. He ran his palm over her curvy bottom, pressing her closer, keeping her body tight against his. As the kiss deepened, they both groaned and rubbed against each other. Lelaheo felt himself harden.

All of a sudden the doorknob rattled. The two jumped apart, breathless and moist lipped. Kindred reclaimed her place in the chair. Flushed, she patted her face, retrieved her head wrap from the floor and fanned with it. Lelaheo stood anchored to the spot, respiring deeply.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Vivacious Vixens of Romance

I've joined up with Phyllis Campbell, Tracy Ranson and Mary Martinez to form the Vivacious Vixens of Romance! Check us out at

And take a look at our opening contest!

Kick off Contest!June 3, 2009 by vivaciousvixensofromance
It’s a scavenger hunt!
You’ll need to go to each of our web sites to find the answers. Once you have all the answers email them to Mary.
Vixen Phyllis
What is the title of my July release with Champagne Books?
Name ONE of the awards I won in 2005.
Who is the actor I have on my website thats “HOT ENOUGH”?
Vixen Tracy
What field does Tracy hold a degree in?
What is one of Tracy’s most recent releases?
Name two of Tracy’s Publishers
Vixen Regan
Who were two authors I read in May?
What are the names of three of my heroes?
Who do I live with?
Vixen Mary
What are the two new books I have coming from Siren-BookStrand?
What Conference will I be attending in October?
Where was I married?
Email your anwers. One entry per person. All entries with at least an attempt at the answers from each web site will be placed in the drawing. Contest ends June 30th at Midnight PT.
Prize: Download of Meet Me In Fantasyland by Mary Martinez, Download of American Hero by Regan Taylor, Download of your choice of Tracy L. Ranson’s backlist and last but not least a Download of Pretend I’m Yours a Colonial Romance by Phyllis Campbell.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Spell coming October 2009 with Siren Books

Stalked by one man, pursued by another, a third is her one true love, but can he reach her before the spell she set long ago unravels their lives? In long ago Atlantis the Priestess Khorla was chosen for a man she did not desire and so spun a spell to have the man she did. Through lifetime after lifetime the three have come together only to have their lives end in tragedy. Now the time has come for them to once and for all resolve their destinies--will Kelly live long enough to realize her own?

The Spell coming with Siren-Bookstrand October 2009 (

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Introducing Raine Delight!

Raine Delight is a psudeoname of a self professed book lover and after one too many TSTL characters, decided to see if she could write something a little better. Well many drafts later, Devon Falls series came to fruitation. It was originally was to be one book but somehow ended up to 4 with a 5th one being planned for sometime in 2009. I write a paranormal contemporary series for Aspen Mountain and I am also branching out to other genres as I continue to listen to the voices in my head. Check out my book pages to see what is going on with me.

Personal notes: I live with my own boytoy and two kids. I love Johnny Depp and find that some of the weirdest things can inspire me. My muse is a male nut who likes to leave me to go sip mai tais on the beach and leave me foundering for words; though eventually he takes pity on me and gets my words flowing and characters start settling down.
Sneak peek into what is coming soon:

Devon Falls 4: Haunting Magic (Paranormal Erotic Romance)
Rodrick Dracon is the twin heir to the Dragon Inn. When he finds himself longing for a mate after being footloose and fancy free, he finds himself drawn to the most obnoxious, brassy woman he has ever met: Jaxon Sinclair. She is the one woman who doesn't melt when he goes by or hangs on his every word. She is just aggravating and down right sexy as sin! Soon the sparks fly, passion goes into boiling and Halloween approaches. Can this wolf shifter get this woman to heel before the full moon? Will Jax turn the tables on this ladies man and tame the wolf?

you can find Raine's Books:

Amazon Kindle:
All Romance E-Books:

Aspen Mountain Press:

Raine Delight's books currently available:
Devon Falls Series:
Babes in Toyland II: Sticky Magic
Red Hot Magic
Fiery Magic

Stand Alone title:
Fairy Kisses and Magical Dreams

Where to find her:
Sinful Seductions Reader Loop: http://groups/
My Space:
Newsletter only:

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Jason's Accord, Book 1 of the Descendants of Earth with eXtasy Books

The last thing Martani Councilor Jason Dumont expected when his friend Michael dragged him to the market one fine day was to bring home Eadroni captive Miranda. Well almost the last thing.

The handsome, brooding, so set in his way Jason certainly didn't expect to fall in love with Eadroni. An Accord which could bring peace between the planets is the only thing that stands between them. Well that an a few secrets they are keeping from each other.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Indentured Bride, Book 1 of the Bride Series

In the aftermath of accidentally killing her uncle, a vile man named Julian, Jennifer Matthews joins a wagon train west, changes her name and plans a new life for herself. What she doesn't realize is the wagon train she has joined up with is actually a "bride train" bringing mail order brides west to Adler Creek, Wyoming. Despite numerous attempts to break away from the wagon train she finds herself married to the town's deputy sheriff, Brett Parker. Brett is not without his own secrets. As Jennifer's unfold Brett isn't sure he can reconcile what she's done with who he is.

Nominated for numerous awards, Indentured Bride is available through Awe-struck books (, Amazon and from a bookstore near you.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn

This is probably the best book I have read in YEARS. I've read some good authors, some that have gone on my auto-buy list, but this one is an ultimate topper. Back when I first "discovered" romance, books like Rosemary Rogers Sweet Savage Love and the entire Ginny and Steve series or Kathleen Woodiwiss The Wolf and the Dove and Gimone Hall's Passions Sun, Fury's Moon, I read them over and over again. I've gone through several copies of Sweet Savage Love because I read them so many times. Over the years I've found keeper books, ones that I vowed I would read again -- as soon as I had time. So far, I hadn't found the time but when I read Silent in the Grave I got to the end and turned around and started it all over again -- even though I already have the next two in the series Silent in the Sanctuary and Silent on the Moor. It was that good and the second time was even better. This was Ms. Raybourn's debut novel and it is incredible. Her characters have so much depth, she paints each room so eloquently you feel that you have walked into it. Lady Julia has 10 brothers and sisters and you come away feeling as if you are part of the March family; one of her siblings. Silent in the Grave is also one of those wonderful cross-generational books -- I'd definitely encourage my teenaged daughter to read it and men will enjoy it as well. There truly is something for everyone in the story. I often lament that there are so many books and so little time, this is one I know I will make the time to read again and again.

The Ultimate Betrayal by Heidi Katros

Looking for a good read?

Try The Ultimate Betrayal by Heidi Katros available now through New Concepts Publishing:

Devastated by his wife’s infidelity, Alexandre LaFontaine retreats to his country estate. When rumors surface that he has done away with her, Alexandre returns to Paris to refute the charges. Playing him for the fool, she shows up at a masked ball, taunting him with her appearance and quickly disappears into the gardens. Furious, he follows to confront her and finds her murdered instead. Beautiful, headstrong Céleste de la Courte is willing to risk her life to prove his innocence. But will her love for him be enough to save him from the gallows or will she end up with a broken heart?

His Eyes coming in November 2009 with Bookstrand

Detective Mike Malone couldn't help himself. As he sat by Jane Doe's hospital bed for weeks on end, never knowing if she'd wake or they'd learn who she was, he started to fall for her. When she woke and had no where to go, Mike gave her a home and convinced himself he loved her. The thing was the woman that he now knew as Claudia, was in love with someone else. At Claudia's wedding Mike met a woman named Melanie and he asked her "Do you remember any past lives?" To which she replied no. And he asked "Had any bumps on the head lately?" To which she answered no. There was one question he didn't ask and should have because had he asked, the answer would have been very different.

Melanie Hughes left a bad marriage in her past. Meeting Mike Malone was the stuff of dreams and this time she was going to do it right. Letting him into her carefully constructed life opened the door for the love of a lifetime...there was just one little thing from her past that could unravel it.

Will a lover from her past named Hugh hold the key?

His Eyes coming in November 2009 with Bookstrand.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Welcome to my First Guest - Michael Davis!

Michael Davis was born in North Carolina, but moved to Maryland as a teenager. In the next decade, he obtained a degree in Aerospace Engineering and a Masters in Operations Research. In the years that followed, he supported his family working for the military and intelligence sector. In 2005 he retired, moved to the Piedmont area of VA, and began his new life as a writer. His current fiction endeavors include: Tainted Hero, Forgotten Children, Blind Consent, Veil of Deception, and The Treasure

The answers are buried in the secrets of the past

The town of Tanglewood Falls offers breath-taking views, yet the serendipity is misleading. The impoverished people and their forgotten community have been unwittingly exploited. Their act of trust and blind consent altered their existence and the secret has remained buried, until Ryan returns to explore his heritage. For twenty years, he’s been haunted by confusing images, recurring dreams rooted in his past. He’s driven to understand their meaning, to obtain answers to his lost memories. Ryan’s search for truth collides with the folklore of the simple people and the belief that their beautiful Annie is blessed. Together, they unravel the mystery, but at a price. They become targets of those responsible for what happened to the town. As the truth is exposed, Ryan must grapple with his own reality; the fact that his past, his nightmares, and Annie’s secret, everything is entangled in the desperate act of one lonely man.

Ryan stared at the horizon and watched the stars vanish into the ocean. His eyes shifted to the dancing flashes of moonlight glittering across the water. From a bench positioned next to the boardwalk, he listened to the pounding in his head as the waves crashed against the beach. He glanced at the climbing tide and observed the sand castles from past visitors erode away.
He caught the moon’s reflection off the sign ten yards to his left, Dup’s Hamburgers and Fries above the closed concession stand. He watched as the clump of ketchup squirted onto his arm from the gorgeous blonde standing by his side. She apologized and admitted her mistake, but Ryan always suspected the accident was by design. She was like no woman he had ever seen, touched, or smelled. In a heartbeat, he knew she was the one.
He had never experienced such peace, such happiness, as when they were together. The strongest memories, those that still flooded his senses, were when they made love; completely blinded by their attraction for each other. Everything was still there: the taste, her scent, and the pleasure.
He jammed his hands against his ears and pressed hard to drive out her voice, her laugh. He pushed against his eyes until the pressure caused flashes of light. He wiped his face with his sleeve, scanned the black sky, and tried again to grasp the reason. He rubbed the skin on his knuckles until the flesh turned red.
I was the one that set things straight. Is this your answer? You can’t be that cruel. Is this some form of divine justice?
His quest for an answer was returned by silence, except for the sound of the waves against the shoreline. The rhythmic noise hammered his eardrums. The terrible images of what he had experienced tonight flashed like a beacon inside his brain.
He searched the horizon for an answer, for relief, but there was nothing. In rebellion for his loss, his agony, Ryan replied to the silence in the only way he knew how. He gazed into the speckled night sky and with a harsh crackling tone, he yelled at no one. “If this is your idea of justice, then the hell with you!”
After an eternity, the faint hue of gray at the edge of the stars signaled the approaching sun. He watched the white surf form a backdrop for the spectrum of colors bathing the debris line on the beach. He smelled the brackish odor of foam mixed with seaweed and water soaked driftwood cast onto the shore.
The first rays of morning light announced the arrival of a fresh beginning. The ballet of nature’s constant struggle with itself began as the gulls circled above the shoreline searching for morsels to fill their empty gullets. A fiddler crab raced toward the surging tide and braved the onslaught of diving predators. The crab and two gulls played a harsh game darting back and forth along the waterline. One bent on escape, the others fighting against hunger. After several missed attempts, one of the gulls swooped down and captured the fleeing prey. The winner tried to race off with its bounty, only to have the second bird execute a midair dogfight. After several attempts, the thief ripped the prey free and chased the crab as it plummeted into the temporary safety of the water. The fiddler floated at the surface to tease the hovering tormentors at his momentary victory, while the gulls squawked and squalled blaming each other for their loss. The brief splash and swirl of a fin marked the price of the crab’s mockery. The dolphin flipped her snout at the losers’ overhead and tossed down her morning meal.
Ryan examined the cruel reality of nature’s riddle played out in the surf. The undeniable truth that some must perish so that others can survive. The commotion somehow pushed back the grief and blocked out the memory long enough to catch motion between the series of tuff covered mounds of sand.
A family slowly drudged through the loose grains of silica, hands bulging with baskets, blankets and toys to support their outing. Once they broke beyond the edge of the dunes, the sight of waves rolling against the shore caused the two children to drop everything. They yelled and screamed as each raced for the prize; the opportunity to be first wet.
The small toddler in the rear tried to pursue her siblings but stumbled twice against the soft sand. The clambering of young voices ripped Ryan back into his world. The sights and sounds of the children provided an abrupt awakening to his loss and his forgotten responsibility. “Emma.”

Julie tossed the bundle of string beans into the hand woven basket. She pressed both hands against the moist soil, pushed up on one knee, and slowly rose up off the ground. The shift in her center of gravity from the bulge at her waist caused her to teeter for a moment. She knocked the dirt off her palms, rubbed along the lower portion of her back and moaned. “Lord, she’s getting heavy.”
Julie pulled the ecru colored blouse down over her exposed belly and tugged at one of the threads dangling from the frayed edge of the hem. She turned toward Bear Mountain and sniffed the fresh rain blowing east across the distant fields blanketed with yellow wild flowers. She followed the flock of crows fleeing from the dark clouds as they raced toward the four-acre farm.
Julie watched the white flash pulse behind the clouds. She placed her left hand on the taut bulge in her abdomen and pointed at the approaching storm. “I think we’d better stop and get in the house. That storm is coming up mighty fast.”
May looked up from her kneeling position between the rows of beans. “I think you’re right. We’ll finish the rest tomorrow.” She picked up the basket of produce and the two siblings headed back toward the two-bedroom house with the cracked mildew stained siding. From behind, May watched her pregnant sister waddle along the dirt path. May pulled in line with Julie and examined her innocent face. As each step shot pains up Julie’s back, May considered what was in store for the naive girl. “Have you told him yet?”
“Please, May. Let’s not go over this again. I’m tired. My back is killing me, and nothing you say is going to change the way I feel about him.”
“Sweetheart, you’ve been left by yourself with a child. It’s you that will bear the burden for one moment of poor judgment. He got what he wanted, left his seed behind, and where is he now? He sure ain’t beside you, is he?”
“It took two of us. I knew what I was doing when it happened, and I’m not sorry for it. Not one bit.”
Glancing at her sister’s stomach, May vented her frustration. “Was this in your plans, to be saddled with a baby to take care of on your own? What were you thinking, child? Did you think he’d leave his wife and come stay with you? Hell, you’re not even twenty years old, and that selfish bastard is almost twice your age.”
“Stop it, May. It’s not like that. He’s a good man. Things are just messed up at home for him right now. I know he cares for me. When things change, I’ll tell him, and then you’ll see. He’ll be there for both of us. I know he will.”
“You know I love you. You’re the only family I have left, but you’ve been blind. You’re just too damn young. You have no idea of what’s in store for you and that child, how hard it will be for the both of you, for all of us. He’s used you, and when you do tell him, he’ll scurry away like the skunk he is. Now open the door for me. I just felt a drop of rain. Let’s go fix dinner.”
The two females arrived at the house and Julie pulled back the rickety screen door. “You’re wrong, May. What we have together is . . .”
The air exploded. The wooden doorframe splintered into several large fragments. The impact tossed both women into the air like debris from a bomb blast.
May opened her eyes to droplets splashing in the cool mud beneath her face. She wiped the mixture of dirt and water from her mouth and pushed up on her hands, but collapsed right back into the brown puddle. She tried again, but both her legs refused to obey. Everything below her waist was numb except for a searing pain at the base of her back, like her insides were on fire.
She struggled to roll on her side, but something blocked her movement. She screamed as another series of sharp pains charged into her brain. She reached around and felt a wooden projectile protruding out of her back, one inch above her buttocks. With one hard jerk, she yanked out the fragment and the piercing pain caused everything around her to blank out. After several minutes, the stinging sensation above her hips brought her back. She glanced at the blood soaked tip of the six-inch wooden sliver still locked in her fist. Then she saw the charred flesh along her forearm.
She looked in the direction where Julie had been moments before, but her sister was gone.
She wiped the rain from her eyes and searched the front yard. A flash of lightning removed the darkness and she saw her sister. Julie’s body was smashed against their eight-year-old 1974 Pinto. Her arms and legs were entangled in the clothesline that stood a few feet from the screen door before being struck by three hundred thousand volts of nature’s wrath.
May crawled through the dirt, into the house, and across the pine-grooved floor. She reached up and pulled down the phone from the small table. She dialed the phone and waited for someone, anyone that could help. “Beth, It’s May. Julie is hurt. She’s been hit by lightning. Please get help. I don’t know about the baby. Just get them here. Please, Beth.”
May dropped the receiver and scanned the room. She needed something, anything to set Julie free. She reached up to the kitchen table and grabbed a knife. She pulled herself back outside, crawled on her hands to the body lying rigid against the car, twisted like a pretzel in the knotted clothesline.
“Julie! Baby, wake up.” She looked up into the dark sky. “Please, let her wake up,” but there was nothing, no movement, no breathing.
She pressed her ear against her sister’s scorched chest. There was no sound, no heartbeat. “Oh dear God in heaven. Not my baby sister. Not Julie. She’s all I’ve got left. Don’t take her from me, please Lord.”
Her tears disappeared, mixed with the falling rain. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught movement in the midsection of her sister’s torso. It wasn’t breathing, yet there was something turning inside, something still alive.
She stared at the scorched face of her young sister, then at Julie’s stomach, and finally at the knife in her hand. She gazed up at the dark clouds swirling angrily above her.
“Sweet Jesus, why? Not like this. Help me to understand your way, please. What am I supposed to do?”
But there was no answer, no reprieve from her only option.
“I can’t let her die this way, Lord. Not both of them.”
May stared at the only life left inside her sister’s burned body. She looked at Julie’s face and begged for forgiveness at what she was about to do to her own flesh and blood. “Forgive me, Julie. Please forgive me, but I have to do it. Dear God in Heaven, I have no choice.”
She scanned the black clouds and pleaded. “Lord, give me the strength to do this terrible thing. Please show me the way.”
She looked at her baby sister’s face one last time. “I love you, Julie.”
May pulled up the soaked blouse, exposed the young skin, and pointed the sharp edge of the knife above her sister’s baby. “Guide my hand, Lord, and save this poor child.” Then she did the only thing she could do. The horrible thing forced upon her on an isolated farm in an insignificant valley perched at the center of a horseshoe shaped range of small mountains. With tears streaming down her face, she did what no civilized person should have to do to save their niece’s life.

She reached out, but he resisted. “Please understand, and don’t be mad at me. It hurts me inside when you’re mad at me.” She stepped forward, grasped his right hand and gently pressed his palm over her heart. She lifted his left hand, pressed it against her breast, and he felt the tremors in her body. “Look inside me, Ryan. There’s nothing but love for you. No desire to control you, just love for the only man I’ve ever wanted in my entire life.”
Through her tears, he began to see what was inside, how deeply she cared for this one man, and had kept herself only for him.
“Please don’t pull away. I couldn’t bare it. These years we’ve been apart have been so hard. I’ve spent so many lonely nights thinking of you. But I kept going, waiting and praying that you would come back to me. Please love me, Ryan, the way I love you.”
He realized he did love her. That first day he saw her without the dirt on her face, when Ryan looked into those green eyes, he understood it then, what was in her heart, but he denied the truth. Maybe he had always known, buried deep, hidden from his conscious mind, but still there at his core.
As he felt her chest pound, the dark shadows and sad memories from his past began to fade, replaced with warmth and peace. Ryan brushed the moisture from her face. “Anything else I should be aware of?”
“Not right now.”
He placed his hand at the curve of her back and closed the gap between their bodies. “Guess I can live with that. It’ll take some adjustment, a lot of adjustment, but we’ll work it out together.”
He lifted her hand and touched his lips to her wrist. He kissed her brow, her eyelids, moved down to her mouth. He lingered inside, tasted that sweet flavor, and inhaled her scent. He caressed her neck, felt her pulse quicken, her muscles tighten, her breath matching his, increasing with each touch.
At that moment, Ryan felt the physical urge and emotional need to be with this woman, the hungry to consume her, touch her, become part of her. There was no hesitation, no reluctance to put forth his feelings, his desires. There was no ambiguity. Everything was clear.
Her voice trembled. “I’ve waited so long. I feel like I’m going to explode.”
Ryan issued a low-pitched groan resonating from his throat as the hormonal fire raged through his body, a heat that could only be quenched one way. He lifted her up, cupped her in his arms, and placed her on the blanket.
He unbuttoned her shirt, pressed his face between her breasts, and inhaled her unique feminine scent. Somehow it had changed, become musky, transformed by the reaction of an aroused body. The intoxicating blend of honeysuckles, spice, and musk, it shot into his brain and stimulated his drive. His response shifted from desire to pure lust, a need to satisfy his primal hunger with her entire form.
In one moment, their clothes were gone. He studied her skin, her shape, with his eyes, his hands, and his mouth. He became enraptured by its beauty, its response to his touch. As he fell into her eyes, recognized her desire for him and him alone, his emotions blended together. Lust, tenderness, love, and a powerful yearning to be with her forever, to be inside her body, share her mind, her soul. All these strong emotions focused his longing for this one woman. He caressed her bare breast, watched as they pulsed and responded to the touch of his lips, the goose bumps encircling the protruded centers. He kissed down below her ribcage, across her naval, and continued lower.
Her mouth opened, widened, and then it closed as she bit down across her lower lip. Her eyelids pulled back, opened fully as she arched upward, pressed against his mouth. She felt the sensation, the tingling, rising from her legs up her back. As the waves rippled across her body, she moaned, again and again, until her entire body rose up to meet his caress. Her form locked in midair, shuddered, and then exploded with release. After an eternity, she settled slowly onto the blanket.
Ryan caressed back up her body. She felt his heart pound against her chest, his rapid breath against her face as she gazed back with contentment. He lifted her waist quickly with one arm, placed a sleeping bag beneath her rump and slowly, gently joined with her, became one with the woman beneath him. In the way that only a man and woman can bond. Carefully, they merged, two humans linked as one body, moving in harmony with their cadence. With each thrust, she sensed the warmth inside, penetrating deeper, and the echo of rain skating across the metal roof blended with the sounds of two lovers. Her moans of pain morphed with those of pleasure, and he knew the truth. She had waited all these years, for him.
As they moved together, he caressed her smooth soft skin, felt the flesh of her body absorb his heat. He increased their rhythm, pushed faster, and at the peak, it all disappeared. The shadows in his memories, the sorrow of his loss; everything vanished except her. For an instant, at the crest of their journey, they remained motionless, united as one, all their muscles strained, their nerves on fire. Then they floated back and collapsed beside each other.
After several moments, Ryan turned her body. He pressed his groin against her warm flushed buttocks. He lifted her hair, kissed behind her ear, and across her neck to her arms. He paused again to take in her enticing scent, now mixed with the lingering aroma of the passion they just shared. He traced his hand down the curve of her waist, along her thigh, and arched his arm across her chest. He held her tightly, until they both drifted off, together.
He returned to the pool, the green water by the beaver dam, but this time, he was no longer alone. They were together, floating nude on the surface. They moved below the ripples in the cold mountain water, but he felt warm and peaceful. He pulled them together. Their legs and arms entwined, until they were one body, one mind, and it felt right, like it was always meant to be.