Please welcome Regan Taylor to my blog today!
Alisha: Can you tell us a little bit about your childhood? Favorite memories?
Regan: Wow, that’s one of those things that seems so long ago and yesterday at the same time. I was always an avid reader, preferring to spend my time alone reading. I think most life long readers will tell you they feel much the same way. For me it was a way to “see” places such as ancient Rome and Egypt, that I’d never have the chance to go to. Alexander Dumont was, and still is, my all time favorite author. He does revenge so well!
Alisha: Tell us about the hero and heroine in your latest release.
Regan: That would be Major Cass Winter and Hollywood Hottie Austin Quinn. Cass is an F/A-18 pilot and a survivor of a daring rescue. When Quinn reads about the story he is set on portraying the Marine Corps pilot in a movie. Cass wants absolutely NOTHING to do with the actor or his plans. When Quinn manages to arrange a fly along with the pilot he ends up with more than he bargained for, especially when he wakes up before the walls of Troy and the Greek warriors surrounding him are certain he is Achilles.
Alisha: If you were granted three wishes by a genie, what would they be?
Regan: 1.) My cats would live long and healthy lives for the duration of mine (Miss Molly will be 21 in September so she is on her way to granting that wish.; 2.) One of my books would hit the top of the NY Times best seller list; 3.) A long healthy life with time to read every book that catches my eye.
Alisha: If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?
Regan: Actually I’m not much for travel. I much prefer sitting home reading or writing. That said, I would love to go to Atlantis before it disappeared.
Alisha: If you could see anyone tomorrow (dead or alive), who would it be?
Regan: My high school boyfriend! Who, incidentally I reconnected with about 2 years ago and we’re now talking about collaborating on a book with him doing the artwork!
Alisha: Oh! Very cool! If you could choose six people to spend one week on a desert island, who would it be and why?
Regan: Hmmm, living or dead? If both
Alexander Dumas – so I could talk to him about his books.
Charles Dickens – so I could talk to him about his books.
My boyfriend – cause he’s hot.
My friend Susan – because she’s a good friend and would enjoy meeting Messrs.
Dickens and Dumas
My friend Karin because she’d bring a number of books with her (are you seeing a thread here)
A famous chef to cook for us!
Alisha: What word or phrase tingles in all the right places for you?
Regan: I love you, spoken low and meaningfully in a candle lit room.
Alisha: If you had one day to spoil yourself, what would you do?
Regan: LOL – Sit home and read and write with two 3 shot venti lattes. I’m easy to please!
Alisha: If you could change one incident in your life, what would it be and how would you change it?
Regan: I would not have taken the job I took in February 2006 and held out for a better one
Alisha: What’s the sexiest thing a man has ever done for you or said to you or both?
Regan: That would be the Valentine’s morning in 1993 when my boyfriend woke me by telling me “You know, I may not say it, but I love you.”
Alisha: Awwwww...very sweet and sexy!
Regan: Thank you for taking the time to talk to me! For a reader I’d like to offer up a copy of my novella, The True Story of the Wicked Witch.
DRAWING: LEAVE A COMMENT FOR REGAN AND YOU'LL BE ENTERED INTO A DRAWING FOR HER NOVELLA!
Somewhere in the Persian Gulf, 2009
Over the whopp-whopp of the rotors, the CH-46 rescue helicopter reported in to the aircraft carrier George Washington’s air controller. “Calvary 1 approaching LZ.”
“Copy your traffic, Calvary 1,” replied the controller, calm and in control. The voice of assurance coming over the air was heard clearly as the CH-46 approached what was designated as the landing zone, a place that was as safe as could be given the circumstances.
Pilot Dawg Jameson scanned the area where the F/A-18 Hornet they were searching for had been downed two days earlier. If its pilot and weapons systems officer were alive, at a minimum, they’d be badly injured. He spotted a moving cloud of dust and identified three battered trucks, loaded with men who appeared to be carrying guns. The cloud moved toward the barely visible, scattered debris. No doubt they were also headed for the crash site. Most definitely not to effect a rescue but to take prisoners—if the crew were still alive.
“Calvary 1, Base, looks like company en route, counting three trucks filled with tangos. Request fast mover cover ASAP,” Dawg radioed in.
“Base copies, fast movers en route.”
“You see anything?” Dawg asked his co-pilot and crew.
“Nothing yet, Captain,” the co-pilot’s voice crackled over the headset.
Hovering over the crash site of the downed F/A-18 the crew of the CH-46 scanned the area. Major Cass Winter, aka, 6
Snow White, had been shot down with WSO Keith McDonald two days before and all the wingman could provide was a general location, and where he had seen two chutes. One of the embedded reporters on a passing helicopter sent out to check for survivors reported seeing one of the jet’s external tanks. Now, with tangos approaching from the east they either had to find the crewmen in the next few minutes or get out of Dodge fast. The thwuck of two COBRA attack helicopters initially sent as cover could be heard approaching, buying the rescue crew a few more precious minutes.
“Where the hell are those fast movers?” Jameson yelled as he set down the 46.
“There! I see something in that clump of whatever the heck that stuff is down there!” Lance Corporal Adamson called out.
~ * ~
“Keith, Keith, the cavalry’s here. Can you move, man?” Cass gently shook the more severely injured, partially conscious WSO.
“Let’s do it, Snow. Let’s give it a shot. With any luck we’ll be drinking Ouzo and eating dolmas during that port call in Greece we’re due for in two weeks,” he ground out, seeming to struggle to focus, his head lolling on his shoulders. He drew in a shaky, deep breath as if trying to get the strength to stand and run.
“Yeah, I’ve been looking forward to that break,” Cass assured him. Every crewmember was looking forward to that port call. They’d been in the Persian Gulf over ten months, flying missions on a daily basis. “Ready?”
At the other man’s nod Cass shifted to help him up. Grabbing Keith, despite his injuries, both known and unknown, Cass half ran, half dragged him toward the rescue chopper. Feeling as if they were moving in slow motion, Cass barely noticed the spray of the sand with each step. The heat of the desert sun caused the area to shimmer before their eyes. Just as they cleared the clump of scrub, the roar of truck engines greeted them. Seeing the approaching enemy Keith told Cass to move out without him. A Marine through and through, Cass refused. “We either go together or not at all.”
The rescue crew jumped out of the helicopter and sprinted toward them, M-16 rifles firing low at the approaching trucks, scanning the area for any other enemy combatants.
As one of the fast moving F/A-18s screamed past, seemingly just feet above the ground, the COBRAs fired off their first round of missiles toward the trucks. The proximity of the jet’s afterburners shook the ground as if an earthquake hit, almost knocking Cass and Keith off their already unsteady feet.
All hell seemed to break loose around them. Two of the 46’s crewmen came within speaking distance of Cass and Keith. His gun pointed directly at Cass’s heart. “Hands up, get your hands up where we can see them. Now!” one of the Marines demanded, his voice barely heard over the screaming jet engines and exploding missiles.
Without question Cass shifted so Keith could stand more or less on his own; the pair raised their hands as best they could in the awkward circumstances.
“What’s the word?” the Marine demanded, scanning the area, checking how far, or rather how close, they were to the approaching tangos while keeping an eye on Cass and Keith. Without question Cass knew he was waiting for a specific code word, one that would tell him whether or not the two people standing before him were truly United States Marines or enemies who had gotten a hold of their uniforms. The way the uniforms were shredded in places, covered in dirt, sand and scorches from ejector seats could easily make them hard to identify. With the arrival of help Cass gave into a moment of weakness and wondered how they’d been able to hold up until now.
Despite concern about the approaching enemy, Cass knew that without the previously agreed upon response they would be dead in a heartbeat. “Razor.”
One of the rescue crewmen nodded. He reached for the injured WSO and tossed Keith over his shoulders in a fireman’s carry, and turned to run toward the waiting chopper.
The other crewman called out, “Can you make it, Major?”
“Damn straight, Corporal,” Cass huffed and ran beside him.
Stinger missiles fired from the COBRAs demolished two trucks and then turned to fire at the remaining vehicle while the fast movers circled back for another earth-shattering pass. Several of the tangos had jumped from the burning trucks and hit the deck, lying low in the sand, blindly firing at the escaping Marines. Even if the bad guys hit and caught just one, the Marines knew they would count it a victory for their side.
Reaching the 46, the corporal handed Keith off to the Doc who immediately started an IV and an examination. With a final burst of adrenaline, Cass clamored on board, reached for one of the onboard machineguns and fired in the direction of the still approaching tangos. No one could be sure if the bad guys were hit because of the swirling sand, blowing wildly from the helicopter rotors creating their own up close and personal sandstorm.
“Go. Go. Go!” the medic screamed into the headpiece the second IV fluids began to
flow. “We’re a go!”
The CH-46 lifted off, Cass on one machinegun, the Marine Corporal firing the other. The COBRAs reversed, still firing their guns while the fast movers set up for a bomb run. As soon as the choppers cleared the area the F/A-18’s dropped their load of ordinance, ensuring none of the enemy survived the bombs’ impact.
With an earpiece securely in place Cass heard the pilot call into the ship, “Calvary 1 to GW.”
Again came the crisp and reassuring response from the air controller. “Go to Calvary 1.”
“Package retrieved. ETA delivery ten minutes. Have medical personnel standing by…one pretty bad, the other getting by all right.”
“Copy that Calvary 1. Head direct to the carrier.”
“Roger GW, Calvary 1, feet wet, eight minutes to delivery.” Cass felt a bit relieved hearing the pilot let the carrier know they were now over the water. The pilot asked the Medic, “How are they doing?”
“Snow’s doing okay, drinking some water. Grumpy is conscious, appears to have a broken arm, leg, possibly ribs, but he’s gonna make it, nasty Marine cuss that he is.”
“Glad to hear it Doc, glad to hear it.” 9
As the CH-46 set down on the carrier’s deck, medical personnel ran forward, stretchers in hand. Once Keith had been cleared from the helo, Major Cass Winter jumped to the carrier’s deck while at the same time pulling her helmet off.
The embedded CNN newsman rushed up, his microphone angled so close he almost hit her with it. “Ms. Winter? Ms. Winter? Were you afraid when the pilot got shot down?”
Cass Winter grabbed the mike and in one fluid motion hurled it over the deck. “That would be Major Winter, asshole.”