Regan's Books

Regan's Books
Reads From Regan Taylor

Sunday, October 9, 2016

My Weekend with the Magnificent Seven and Yul Brynner

"Spending" my weekend with Yul Brynner -- Friday was Anastasia, yesterday was the King and I and I'm starting today with The Magnificent Seven and later will watch the Return of the Seven. It seems fitting to me that I'm re-watching this Yul Brynner classic on the 31st anniversary of his passing—October 10, 1985.

I read an article recently on how westerns (books) are their own genre which is what led me to this weekend’s Brynner marathon.  Westerns aren’t romances, mysteries or historical fiction, but their own niche and are more widely read than you’d think.  The article spent some considerable time on Yul Brynner and how he is the epitome of what we think as the American cowboy.  He is in many ways for me, but the past few months I’ve been re-watching the original Wanted Dead or Alive starring Steve McQueen (also in the Magnificent Seven), Cheyenne starring Clint Walker (such a hottie), and the Rifleman starring Chuck Connors (another very sexy man in his younger days).  These are the television programs I grew up watching and loved.  The cowboy characters set the stage in many ways for the man I wanted to spend my life with.  Strong, brave, handsome. Today westerns are still among favorite viewing options. 

I had a rocking horse – which I still have today that sits in my home.  It’s a little worse for wear – more than 50 years old.  But it’s a part of my childhood, my love of horses and westerns. 

The cast of the Magnificent Seven has so many of my favorite actors – besides Brynner and McQueen among those who I’ve always felt were such hotties are Charles Bronson, and James Coburn.  Brynner and McQueen died too young.  Bronson and Coburn were with us a little longer…actually Coburn made it to 74. 

Robert Vaughn was also in the cast – I never found him sexy – not even as Napoleon Solo in the original Man from U.N.C.L.E. – I was definitely in the Ilya – David McCallum camp.   There was also a Brad Dexter – someone I never heard of but he had quite the filmography.

And let me not forget Eli Wallach – who seemed to regularly appear as the bad guy and not a hottie in my book.  But he did make the movie so good as much as the others.

So do you remember those westerns?  Which were your favorites?  What are the movies and TV shows that take you to a different time and place in your life?

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Review: The Counterfeit Lady

The Counterfeit Lady The Counterfeit Lady by Kate Parker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Super read! I read book one, The Vanishing Thief and wasn't all that that one it was like the author had all these elements she thought she had to include, but a lot of it was just "noise". I felt like I'd missed what was the real first book because there was all this back story to the characters that just made no sense.

In this one the writing was much tighter, the story much better told and the characters more fully developed. And the mystery was a really good one. For the most part you don't have to have read the Vanishing Thief to enjoy and come up to speed on this one.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Healthy Goals for 2014

In a pre-New Year news report today a psychologist was talking about setting goals in general and in specific setting healthy goals.  Not just goals about health per se, but in setting goals that are realistic, small bites, that can be healthy for us because we aren't taking on more than we can handle at a time.  For instance, saying "I want to lose 50 pounds this year" can be onerous and overwhelming.  But if you say "I want to lose 5 pounds in the next 7 weeks" you have something more realistic to start from and when you achieve it you have something to build on -- a success to lead you into the next success.  That made a lot of sense to me and it does lead me to my weight control goals for this year.

Weight control goals?  Not weight loss?  Well loss is hard.  We talk about the loss of a book, the loss of a job, the loss of a loved one.  Loss generally seems to denote that you no longer have something that you want back...and often cannot get back.  So control works for me. 

So about my weight / body goals for 2014 -- well sometimes you get lucky and have the opportunity to see an advance copy of a book. That is how I obtained a copy of THE DIET FIX (ISBN: 978-0804137577) by Yoni Freedhoff brought to you by Random House / Harmony Books and due out on March 14, 2014.  While Dr. Freedhoff didn't offer a lot of information I hadn't seen before, he does present it in a logical, workable manner -- and in small bites that you can make your changes in a manner that doesn't overwhelm. 

Dr. Freedhoff lays out a ten day road map with solid information without recriminations if you do not follow it to the letter.  And other research I've heard says that somethings, like getting control of your weight, work better when you have a support system or a group doing it along with you.  I decided I would start my 2014 by following Dr. Freedhoff's program and inviting a few friends (that would be you) to join in the process.  You can pre-order a copy of his book from either Random House at: The Diet Fix or from Amazon (see below), Barnes & Noble or your local retailer.

To help me with my own goals and in case anyone else wants to follow along and post your own results and impressions, I'll post a couple of lines from each day of the plan.

So for January 1, 2014 the plan is GEAR UP!

Day one is about pulling together what you will need to use to make some healthy changes in your life.  Dr. Freedhoff recommends:

1.  Scales - both a bathroom and one for your kitchen to measure foods. 

2.  Measuring tools -- various size measuring cups and spoons.  He says guessing does not work and offers his own story on how he was eyeballing certain foods and it turned out his eyeballing was actually more calories than he thought -- enough so he could have had a Snickers Bar -- something he would have enjoyed more -- in lieu of what he was eating.

3. Journal -- Dr. Freedhoff is in process of developing a web based tool as part of The Diet Fix but it isn't up yet.  He also recommends My Fitness Pal which has, among other things, a food diary, an exercise diary and several other support groups and data.  He also refers to My Net Diary

That's it for Day 1.  Simple.  No drastic changes, just planning.  And Dr. Freedhoff understands that we sometimes have a curve in the road -- so he tells you at the end of the day, if you missed a step, restart Day 1 the next day.

Day 1 is to set up:

Do your food shopping
Get your scales up and running
Have your storage containers read
Is your kitchen clean?
Got your journal and/or web app ready to go?

Now it can get easy to stay in a set cycle of constantly staying at Day 1....hence my plan to talk about this process as I move day to day through it. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Trouble in Paradise with Destiny Blaine

Written by Destiny Blaine
Release Date: July 17, 2013

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Book Description: 

Max Mahaffey is Hollywood’s number one bachelor. He’s also the owner of the most lucrative modeling agency in the world. When a client invites him to an unusual commitment ceremony, he’s obligated to attend. Obligation turns to expectation after Max meets a Georgia beauty destined for a career in the fashion industry and maybe even Max’s bed.

Sebastian Stillwell didn’t plan on spending the night with Jade Jenkins. He was only doing his buddies a favor. They needed a best man and he was their guy, even if it meant briefly reconnecting with the only woman he has ever loved.

A wedding to remember, a twist of fate and tempting fantasies bring Jade, Sebastian, and Max together for an unforgettable night, but the evening doesn’t end with a kiss goodbye and an oath to keep in touch.

You can find some fun excerpts at: 

Author Bio:
Destiny Blaine and her pseudonyms are bestselling international e-book and trade paperback authors. She lives in East Tennessee with her husband and four pampered pets. Her son is serving in the United States Navy and her daughter is in college.

Author Links:
Buy Link:

Sunday, May 26, 2013

I Die A Soldier

A friend of mine and her son wrote these incredible tributes

(A Memorial Day Tribute)
(By:  Jereme and Donna Smith)

Today is the day that I die a soldier. 
I have become a man as my weapon grows colder. 
I could tell you I never felt fear, but that would be a lie. 
A true hero perseveres in the face of demise. 

I do not fear death as I face it today.
I feel for my brothers as they chase it away.
I would die a thousand times so that they may live
If I had a thousand more lives that I would give.

How I find peace in this war to me seems so strange
Don’t cry for my body, for my memory remains
No memorial or plaque would ever come close
To the heroes that stand stronger than most.

 For now I shall look over and watch
As they march for freedom,  I dwell in their thoughts
For ever and always, I shall love my soldiers
A boy became a man, as his weapon grew colder.

I Die A Soldier
(A Memorial Day Tribute)

I am in a war and I’ve been shot.  The bullet pierced my stomach, and my blood is flowing.  I feel an enormous sense of pain.  I have dimming senses, but I can feel some heat.    Strange, I thought it was summer over here, but it’s hard to tell. It’s nighttime, I think. 

I’m 27 and my name is Wayne, and I’m dying.  I feel strange here.  I see thin outlines of my brothers.  I hear them crying, hear them screaming, ‘Buddy, you’re gonna be all right, I promise.’  I am afraid.  And my brothers are afraid for me too.   And I’m cold.”  “Damn, why am I so cold?”

I have some sensation.  My hand is touching the ground and I feel a slight trembling.   I know it is my blood that is making me wet.   

I relive memories.  They come at me like a kaleidoscope.   We’re all laughing and someone is slapping the back of my head.  I see myself laughing but I can’t mimic it.  My chest is heaving with my remaining breaths.  There’s my mom.  I can’t touch her or cry out to her. There’s my Dad.  He’s coming to me from Heaven, I guess. 

I think I believe in God. 

I’m fading now.  The pain is almost gone, and my buddies are losing their form.  The  sounds of their screaming are more cryptic.  I look down one last time at my uniform, and I hope that I have served proudly and haven’t disappointed anyone.  

Farewell, my friends.

On this Memorial Day……….dedicated to all
the soldiers who sacrificed their lives
with courage, integrity and pride.