It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. - Seneca

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Our SPOTLIGHT continues with "Past Regrets," by Debra Soles ...

About DEBRA-
Since the age of 12 when I discovered romance novels I've been hooked. By the time I was 15 I knew I had to be a writer and share my love of Happily Ever After. Now I'm a writer of sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal and romance with an imagination outside the box. I have two Futuristic Romance (sci-fi) novels out from my Zogone series, with more to come. I also have a time-travel romance called One Wish coming out in January of 2010. If you are looking for vampires, witches, weres, aliens and new worlds with unforgettable characters my books were made for you.

PRAISE FOR "Past Regrets"
Review for Past Regrets by Elsie Lyn at
Debra Soles’ Past Regrets is a tale of loss and a tale of second chances. Four years ago, General Ginmatager Hardigan fell in love with Samuel Paddington only to have her heart trampled. Sam felt his past would not allow him to accept her love. Ginger buried her love and her desires in her work and now she is in line for a promotion. To earn her promotion, she must rescue the son of Colonel Qualtose, who had been captured by the Baygers. The rescue team will consist of only two people and Ginger is paired with a new Warrior delegate Captain - Samuel Paddington. Sam has always regretted leaving Ginger and he feels this mission will give him the chance to plead for a second chance. He did not count on being captured and losing the medication which keeps his vampire half under control. He also did not count on Ginger finding some cryogenically preserved cloned scientists and then rescuing them, With Past Regrets on his mind, Sam realizes lives are injeopardy and must be saved before they can start to even think about a second chance.Past Regrets is an apt title for this tale by Debra Soles. Sam certainly did regret his past actions by leaving Ginger behind but now it may be too late for those Past Regrets. Debra Soles weaves a tale taking us into her world, first created with Old Dreams. She does an excellent job developing her characters whose lives are entwined in the various stories. We can only hope that there are many more to come. Debra Soles teases us with a hint and leaves us something to look forward to.

EXCERPTS from "Past Regrets"
Sam curled up in a borrowed bunk in one of the guest quarters, with his hands crossed under his head and his long legs stretched out to where they crossed at the ankles. For the last hour, since he had plopped down on the bunk his thoughts had led him a merry chase, forcing him to stare at the wall as if lost in space. Not only had Ginger paid him the least bit of recognition when he entered Daimlar’s office, but she had gotten the heck out of Dodge the second she was able to.
Instead of being offended by Ginger’s actions, they had given Sam hope. If Ginger had shaken his hand and acted like an old acquaintance, he would have been worried, but no, not his Ginger! No, Ginger acted as if he didn’t exist, then when she was forced to face up to knowing him, she ignored him.
Then she had excused herself formally without directly communicating with him. Obviously Ginger was totally pissed off to find out he was going to be her partner for this mission. People who didn’t care didn’t get pissed. Girls who still had feelings for a man, definitely did get more than a little upset. That had to mean Ginger still felt something for him. Something was better than nothing.
Four years ago, Sam had blamed himself for all the world’s problems just because of his own violent birth. It took four hard, lonely years for him to realize he had always helped more than he had harmed the world. It also took those same four years for him to realize what a damn fool he had been to walk away from the one woman who had ever looked at him as more than a monster. She had looked at him like a man, one she cared about—and he had lost her, because of stupid pride.
When Josh had told him about this mission, Sam jumped at the chance to be the appointed Warrior Delegate. Josh had even worked it to look like the Delegates had come to him, forcing him to prove himself, when everyone there knew he had nothing to prove. Every Delegate that knew him, knew they could count on him in any situation. Sam had busted his butt to gain the Delegates’ respect and his position among them. Screw the military, Sam had volunteered for this mission for one reason, to use the time alone with Ginger to win her back. No, that wasn’t right. They had never made it to the point of actually being together, but by the time their mission was finished, they would be together if he had anything to say about it.
Over the last four years, Sam had made a life for himself with the Zogones. Not only had he thoroughly became a soldier for the Warrior Delegates, but a well-known one. All four years were spent working under Josh, whom had been the one to find him on Earth and bring him into their group. Josh had become closer to Sam than best friends. It almost seemed like Josh was the brother Sam had never had, but always wanted.
Being stationed on Adrivar with Josh meant that at any free period of time they had, they could spend it together or on Space Station Swanson with Brian and Arlene. Considering they looked so young, it surprised Sam that he felt just like one of their grandchildren, just like Josh. Unsurprisingly though they had always treated Sam like family, like one of their own. Arlene worried about him and Brian was always handy with advice, just like good grandparents should be. Being an Earthling like Arlene made them closer than some of the others, though.
So, when Josh had suggested this mission, Sam had talked it over with Arlene first. Arlene had been his confident where Ginger was concerned for quite a while now. Arlene didn’t want to give away too much of Ginger’s personal feelings, but did give Sam hope. She didn’t tell of Ginger’s lost hope or constant love, but she did give Sam hope that he might be able to win Ginger over. She reassured him that it was the right thing to do. With Arlene’s blessing to push her granddaughter as hard as necessary, Sam had boarded the ship to the Galactic Security Headquarters space station. After checking in, he had showered, shaved and dressed in a clean dress uniform before showing up at Colonel Diamlar’s office, all for the sake of catching Ginger’s attention.
He thought he might have done that and more, even angering her by looking too good to her. He could tell he had gotten her attention, even getting under her skin. Now all he had to do was keep her focused on him.
They would do their mission, but they would also spend that time getting to really know each other all over again.With a grin, Sam decided to give Ginger a wide girth until they left for their mission, but once they were on a ship alone, that was a different story.
From that moment on, he promised himself to be relentless in his pursuit of Ginger.
Excerpt #2
With a smile, Ginger knocked on the apartment door. Josh answered with a sigh of relief and pulled her into a tight embrace. “God, when Sam told me what happened it scared the living daylights out of me.” Pulling back, he held her at arm’s length and looked her up and down. “Are you sure you are okay?”
“I’m perfectly fine, worrywart. Besides you know how fast Sam is; you should be worried about him.” Waving her into the small living room, Josh shook his head. “No, I had a look at Sam’s back. It looked nasty for a few minutes, but you know how fast he heals. Well now that I have seen you for myself, I’m going to make myself scarce. You aren’t the only one with a date tonight." An eyebrow came up, “Is that a problem? I mean me and Sam, does it bother you?”
Josh snorted, “No, of course not. I think you are both damned prideful fools, and it’s about time.” Giving her a wink he added, “I’ve always wanted to do this. Sam is in his room. Why don’t you go have a look around?”
Mischievous grin and all, Josh slipped out the door, leaving Ginger curious about what he had wanted to do and why she should look through Sam’s room. Taking his advice, she let herself into Sam’s bedroom. The sound of the shower running echoed from the next room told her Sam’s location.
Feeling a little bad for snooping, Ginger went from table to dresser looking for anything unusual. There were pictures of Sam and Josh together in uniform. There were pictures of both Arlene and Brian both together and with Sam. There were even pictures that were unmistakably taken on Earth. One picture showed Becky’s Kitchen where Ginger and Arlene had worked as waitresses and Brian as a cook. In the picture, Ginger and Arlene were standing together talking in uniform after the place had closed. There were two taken at Sandlend Beach in Raleigh, North Carolina where they had gone one weekend. One was a picture of Sam and Josh with Ginger standing in-between them.The second picture she had never seen before or even knew of its existence. It was a picture of her and Sam standing together, facing each other. They looked like normal Earth teenagers. Ginger in a blue bathing suit and cut-off jean shorts, with her red hair pulled back into a short ponytail. Sam wore a pair of low riding swim trunks and nothing else. His young lean form glistened with water droplets that made her mouth go dry. From the way they were standing, it looked as if Ginger had stumbled and Sam grabbed on to her to straighten her up. Whoever had taken the picture had caught them the moment she had looked up into Sam’s eyes. The picture said more than she had dared say herself. In other words, Josh had to have been the perpetrator who snapped the shot.
With a groan, she sat the frame back on the wooden dresser top and marched across the room to sink down on Sam’s bed, and that was when she found what Josh had undoubtedly been talking about. On the ceiling was a painting. It had to be a good eight feet long and four feet wide. It was placed perfectly so the bed’s occupant would fall asleep with the view of the painting surrounded by the four tall bedposts.
It was a picture of a woman with flowing red hair. A thin battle-hardened body was encased in tight black battle armor, silhouetting each lovely curve of her body. Long peach legs were slightly bent as she took to the air in flight. Black leather army boots came up to mid-thigh silhouetted the tight calf muscles. Two beautifully sculpted translucent wings showed from behind her back, and her arms were outstretched if simply waiting for her lover to come into them. Ginger didn’t know whether to be furious or mortified, because blushing profusely she easily recognized the woman as herself.
Lying there, a million thoughts ran through her mind. How long had the painting been there? Who had painted her so perfectly? Sam himself or someone else with a vivid imagination? And why did he have such a thing? Was this his way of pining for her in secret all this time, while she had sat alone aching for him?
The sound of the shower died and only moments later Sam made his way into his bedroom wearing nothing but a long white towel and a few errant drops of water that had stubbornly clung to his chest.
Ginger crossed her arms over her stomach, and then raised her eyes to meet his. Guiltily his eyes shifted from hers, to the painting, then back to meet hers again.
“Care to explain this, Samuel Paddington?” Ginger asked softly, letting none of her irritation or confusion be heard in her voice.“I would think it was pretty obvious. Most men keep pictures or posters of beautiful women. She just happens to be mine.” Eyes averted, he answered, and then turned his back to pull clothes out of his dresser.
Snorting in aggravation, Ginger sat up and shot back, “Don’t give me that crap. I’m not so stupid I can’t recognize myself. Who painted that and why?”
His shrug drew her eyes to the angry inch-long slashes across his back that had obviously been caused from stepping in front of her during the explosion. The sight of the cuts dissipated her anger a little in sympathy. Taking a sweater and a pair of jeans, he turned toward the bathroom to make his escape.
“Let me get dressed and we can talk about this later.”Ginger grabbed his arm and turned him back to look down at her. “No we will talk about this now. Why Sam? Why would you have such a painting of me drawn over your bed?”
Setting his clothes aside, he shrugged Ginger’s hand away. “Just leave it alone Ginger. I don’t think you are ready for the wormhole you are about to open.
"She could feel her face flaming as her temper rose and she reached out and grabbed his arm again. “Leave it alone. You walked out on me and you have the audacity to have something like that painted? Well, I want to know why right now and I will not be shrugged aside like some child being overly curious.”
Teeth gritted, Sam cursed under his breath, before grabbing Ginger by her forearms and literally pulling her up on tiptoes to glare at her. “Yes, I left you. I thought it was what I had to do, but I could never get you out of my mind. So as penance to you, I spent every night painting that picture so I would never forget the accusing look on your face and damn it … so that I would always have some piece of you with me.”
Shoving her back to her feet, he started to turn away again, but Ginger stopped him halfway with a hand on his back. “But why, Sam? If I really meant so little why do it?”Growling low in his throat, Sam swung around and pulled her against him. “Who ever said you didn’t mean anything to me?”
“Well, I know you cared for me just like for Josh, Arlene or Brian. Friends, but otherwise …” her voice trailed away as she motioned absentmindedly.
“God, you are dense. It almost killed me to leave you. I thought you knew that.”
Shaking her head violently their eyes connected and held as she desperately tried to comprehend his true meaning.
“You are just saying that to make me feel better. Just like you did by kissing me back then.”
“At first I didn’t even want friends, but your family grew on me. Then the more I got to know you, the sweet side, the take-charge side and all that spunky fire got to me.” Slowly he pushed the bangs back from her face and softly slid his lips across hers.
“I was desperately in love with you.”
Ginger let his lips linger over hers as she whispered back, “No, because if that were true you never would have left me.”
“I thought it was something I had to do, but now that I am older and wiser, I regret every second of time I missed with you. It kills me that so much time has been wasted, time we could have been together. Now I think it is about time I stopped regretting and started doing something about it.”
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Check back tomorrow for a sneak peak at CHAPTER 1 of "PAST REGRETS"

1 comment:

Pat McDermott said...

Very different and unusual story, Debra. Well done. I enjoyed reading your excerpts. Best of luck with your writing!

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