Assigned to ACT, a special task force investigating the possibilities of time travel to avert future crimes and perhaps set right those that happened in the past, federal agent Samantha “Sami” Pettis seriously abides by the tenants of keeping a low profile never, ever interacting with the locals.
When a suspected terrorist hijacks Sami's ride in time, and ends up back in 1861, Sami follows him back without question. Arriving in 1861 she is confronted by questions that were never answered in her ACT training.
Happy-go-lucky Sheriff Rick Hansen has stood by and watched two of his best friends marry the women of their dreams. He laughed at their foibles and despite their happiness, Rick kept his vow of never walking down the bridal path. Then came the fateful day while riding the range he caught site of a strange bolt of lightning. When the dust cleared he saw a woman—the beautiful woman he knew he’d wanted for a lifetime.
Can a modern-day "all business" federal agent find happiness living in 1861 with a by-the-book Sheriff? Can a man from the past accept the way a woman from the present lives her life? Or will time and distance keep true love apart?
An Awe-Struck Release
From earliest childhood Regan was an avid reader and upon discovering Alexander Dumas and Charles Dickens she was hooked on books that carried the reader away to a different time and place. Preferring the quiet of her room and a good book to spending time with people she traveled far beyond those four walls.
Her first foray into writing, aside from tedious English assignments in high school and college, were two non-fictions intended to be of assistance to people with disabilities. Both books were completed, they made their way to the population that would benefit the most from them and she moved on or back to her reading roots.
It was while working as a police dispatcher, first for the California Highway Patrol and then her local police department, she began to write fiction, primarily time travels and romantic suspense. In the spring of 2009 she returned to the day job she always liked best, working as a legal secretary. Although, curled up in her bunny slippers with her furfaced children, Mel, Missy and Bogie, while writing is one of her most favorite things to do.
“Stop him! Stop that man!” Gun drawn, FBI Agent Mick Haas’s steps thudded down the federal building’s sterile gray corridor in pursuit of the man known as ‘The Cutter,’ so named because that was how he killed his victims. “Ahmed Alzaha, stop or I’ll shoot.”
Dodging into an open doorway, The Cutter grabbed a black metal object from a table near a glass enclosed booth. Surprise and shock crossed his face as he realized the windowed room began to shift and move sealing around him. It was a booth that would contain him with no escape. Two women knew a deafening silence would greet his ears as the people in the room faded from sight. His cries of “Allah is good, Allah is great” escaped the sealed booth as Alzaha disappeared from view.
“Where is he? Where did he go? What did you do?” Haas frantically pointed his gun at the three people remaining in the room.
“Check the coordinates, get a fix,” a dark haired woman ordered as she aimed her own weapon at Haas.
“Got it, and have a fixed position,” a second woman answered without glancing up from the console she had immediately turned to.
“You, away from the door, sit in that chair,” the dark haired woman ordered Mick.
“That was my pri...”
“Shut up. You shut up till we get stabilized.”
As Mick sat he saw that the woman had taken the safety off her Glock and from the expression on her face he had no doubt she would pull the trigger without the slightest provocation on his part. Without turning from him she asked, “You sure you got the fix, Jazz?”
“I do indeed Mizz Sami, I do indeed.” The second woman drawled.
Sami. Mick knew that name. Sami Pettis, one of ACT’s top agents. ACT, a clandestine agency under the purview of Homeland Security which purportedly had more gadgets and gizmos than the CIA and James Bond rolled into one. And Sami—she had a reputation for shooting first and asking questions later. Not a good sign when here he was looking down the barrel of Sami Pettis’s gun. He noticed a guy in the room had simply stood observing Sami and the woman called Jazz, but did nothing to intervene either when Alzaha ran into the room or Sami snapped out her orders like a drill sergeant on adrenaline. Sami cut her gaze to the observer and at his nod she asked Mick, “Who were you chasing?”
“The terrorist who went on trial this morning?”
“You want to tell me what he was doing running down the corridor and not on a leash by your side?” she snapped.
The woman at the console glared at him prompting him to respond. “He grabbed hold of my partner’s gun...didn’t get it out of the holster, but in the attempt all hell broke loose and he started running. I took off after him and he ran in here and, thanks to you stopping the pursuit, he’s escaped.”
“Yeah, maybe, maybe not. Jazz?” Sami asked.
Jazz cut a look at Mick before looking back to Sami for confirmation before speaking. “He’s in Wyoming.”
“What? Are you nuts?” Mick asked.
“What year?” Sami ignored the FBI agent, eyes intent on the woman at the console.
Alder Creek, Wyoming, April, 1861
The first flash of light streaking across the sky didn’t give Sheriff Rick Hansen much pause. It was lightening but at the same time it wasn’t. Least ways not normal lightening. This was an eerie light that turned the desert and air a shimmering gray/blue. Up till then, when he’d gone to the Parkers for dinner, the day had been clear, not a cloud in the sky. Feeling a bit out of place he’d left almost immediately after the noontime meal. Not that either Parker couple set out to make him feel like the odd man out. That was all on him.
Besides, he didn’t want a wife. The Parker boys needed women in their lives to keep them on the straight and narrow. Lord knew what kind of trouble they’d get into without their brides. Not me. I’ve got it all under control.
A second shard of lightning however, had him thinking something strange was happening in Adler Creek. He started riding out towards where the flashes had occurred. As he approached he saw a dark-haired woman in a long-sleeved black shirt and dark blue pants standing over what appeared to be a body. Another flash and she and the body were gone. Just disappeared.
A fourth flash caught his attention and he saw her standing about a half mile down the road. Without another thought he kicked his stallion, Dorado, into a canter towards the woman. There was no longer any sign of the man but there she stood. By the time he reached her, not wanting to take any chances, he had his gun drawn and aimed right at her heart. “Ma’am, something happening you want to talk about?”
“I...I...I think I’m lost, I’m...”
Rick watched as the dark-haired woman crumpled in front of him.
Dismounting, his gun still pointed at her, he approached the woman and felt for a pulse. It was there, strong and steady, but she was out cold. Quickly he gathered her up and remounted his horse and headed back towards the Parker ranch which was closer to where Rick found the woman than town.
Dorado took a steady pace, quick but not jarring, giving Rick the opportunity to look down at the woman. Dark hair done in a short, intricate braid, her face pale, so pale it almost made him more concerned for her than he originally thought. The woman’s lips were full and Rick surprised himself when, at the thought of kissing them, his groin tightened. Not that he denied himself female companionship, there was just no one special and this woman wasn’t the kind that worked in a place like Lilly’s. Yet there was no doubting his body’s response to her. There was something different about this woman and on a primal level, deep inside, he knew his life had just changed.
Arriving back at the Parker house he called out, “Kendrick! Brett! I need your help.”
Tall, dark-haired, blue-eyed Brett Parker stepped out on the porch with his wife Jenna close behind him. His older brother Kendrick and his bride, Amanda stepped out behind them.
Even though he could see the woman in Rick’s arms Brett, being Brett asked anyway, “What have you got there Rick?”
“I can see that.”
Not one to be left out, Kendrick also told him, “I can see her too.” His comment earned him an elbow to the ribs from the petite blonde woman at his side.
Jenna came up beside her husband. “Rick, she’s unconscious; give her to Brett this instant and let him bring her inside.”
Jenna turned and rushed in ahead of them, calling for their housekeeper, Marta, to bring water and some smelling salts.
As Rick lay the woman on the couch Jenna moved to mop her brow with a cool damp cloth. The woman moaned and pushed Jenna’s arm away at the same time asking, “Where am I?”
“You are at our home,” Jenna softly answered.
“But where...” the woman took in the five people standing around her and shifted her question to, “when am I?”
Rick ignored her second question and spoke up. “You are in Adler Creek and who, might I ask, are you?”
“I...” The woman looked from Rick to Jenna to Brett to Amanda and Kendrick as if she were confused.
No, Rick thought, not confused, but trying to act like she was confused. There was cunning in her brown eyes—she may not know exactly where she was but she knew something. Between that and how strangely she was dressed Rick wasn’t sure what he’d found, but he was certain he was going to find out. “Ma’am, your name?”
“Sammy? You have a man’s name?”
“Well no, it’s Sami, S-a-m-i; it’s short for Samantha.”
“Samantha,” he murmured.
Jenna cast a look at her husband and whispered, “I’m thinking that the way Rick said this woman’s name was more like a caress than simply repeating her name.”
Brett gave her a small smile before turning to look rather innocently at Rick.
“What time is this and who...who are you?”
“It’s about three-thirty in the afternoon and Miss Samantha, my name is Rick, Rick Hansen and I believe I am the man you are going to marry.”