When Mairie Callahan jumps out of an airplane high above the Nevada desert, she simply hopes that her parachute will open. What she doesn't expect is that she'll land a hundred and twenty-two years in the past....
When Jack Delaney returns home from the Civil War in 1877, he hopes a vision quest amongst his adoptive Paiute Indian brothers will bring him peace. Instead, it brings a strange, beautiful woman falling from the sky....
Even though Mairie's ravings about "the future" seem crazy to Jack, he can't help but be drawn to her. She's unlike any woman he's ever met. Soon the two are racing to return Mairie home to her dying brother with an extinct plant that might save him. Will she return in time? Will they survive the danger along the way? And, is the bond forming between them more than friendship? Is it love?
In ANYWHERE YOU ARE, Constance O’Day-Flannery, the original “Queen of Time Travel Romance,” mixes a timeless love story with a harrowing adventure that unites two souls born a century apart.
|Publisher:||Open Road Media|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||2 MB|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Anywhere You Are
By Constance O'Day-Flannery
OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIACopyright © 1999 Constance O'Day-Flannery
All rights reserved.
It was like a bad dream, the kind where you don't wake up before hitting the ground.
Her body was curled into a jumping posture, and the muscles in her legs were screaming from holding the position as the desert seemed to rush toward her. Her arms were strained, pulling both handles together until they were between her thighs. She could feel the muscles in her arms trembling from the force she was applying, yet she knew her life depended on her slowing down the descent. She was getting too close to the mountain, and she didn't dare look up to the parachute to make sure it was working and the material was narrowing. She thought she was slowing down, but her gaze was riveted to the desert floor dotted with sagebrush. Wherever she was ... she was about to land. And by damn, she was going to make it alive!
When it happened, when her feet slammed against the hard surface, she stood for a moment out of time staring at her Nikes, sure that her ankles were broken. And then she was suddenly pulled backward and landed on her backside, as the wind dragged the chute and her along with it across the dry, scrubby ground. It must have been instinct that caused her to roll over and start gathering up the lines to stop the momentum. When she had the material around her like a huge silky blanket, she stopped and regained her breath.
Well, she did it. She was alive. Bruised. Rattled. But alive.
Now, where the hell was she?
Hot dry air burned her lungs. An ominous silence surrounded her. What had happened, she wondered, as she stared out to the mountain range before her. When she was playing up there and soaring like a missile through space, did she wander that far off course? She had expected to land at the big white cross, or close to it, attended by the people from the skydiving school, with a four-by-four waiting to take her back to civilization. And champagne, chilled champagne, was part of the deal. She'd settle for good ole H2O now. And the sight of another human being would be nice. Real nice ...
What was she supposed to do? Obviously someone had to have been tracking her. They would know she was off course, right? She should stay here until they found her; no sense in trying to find them. She didn't have a clue. Suddenly she thought of Bryan and how worried he would be and tried mentally to call out to him that she was all right. At least she was in one piece, a little bruised but still alive. Attempting to stand, she yelped as her right ankle gave out and she fell back down. Damn, she must have injured it when she landed. Just what she needed now, a swollen ankle. Knowing she should keep her shoe on, she fought back the tears and wondered again why the hell she had ever left her normal, predictable life back east. She'd had a cute little apartment on the Delaware River, a decent job as a computer sales rep, even if it meant dealing with anal retentives all day. Still, it paid well, sometimes real well. She had friends who would never think of skydiving ... normal people, who went to the theater and to Starbucks and perhaps took to rollerblading for adventure. Immediately she thought of Bryan and sighed, knowing everything she had left behind was meaningless compared to her brother. Okay, her motivation was definitely love and craziness. But this ...
This was scary.
She had no idea how long she remained hidden from the blaring sun beneath the makeshift canopy, because time held no meaning for her. Her watch was left behind in a locker, along with her purse, the car keys to the rental—everything. She kept the jumpsuit on to protect her skin from frying. Once she had tried taking off her helmet, but found that the shield cut down the intense glare of the sun and had put it back on. Where were they? Where was the group from the school? Bryan? She couldn't just stay out here all day. She needed water. She wanted to strip off the stifling jumpsuit and imagined jumping naked into the hotel swimming pool. Closing her eyes, she tried to concentrate on the delicious image—plunging into cool water, having it surround her and lower her body temperature in seconds, feeling it wash over her face, through her hair ...
Hearing the words, Mairie stopped breathing and lifted the edge of the canopy away from her head. She had imagined that, right? Maybe she was starting to hallucinate from the heat and lack of water. Dehydration could do that ...
"I knew you would. Thank you."
This was too real. She pulled the canopy completely away and looked behind her, just to make sure she wasn't delusional. What she saw didn't help confirm her state of mind.
A man, some kind of man, was staring at her. All he was wearing were dirty heavy pants and boots. He was naked from the waist up. His chest and face were painted in some sort of Indian zigzag sign that was smeared, and his hair hung below his shoulders in a matted mess. He looked ... wild. Crazy. And he was staring at her as if he'd seen a ghost.
Fear entered and made the adrenaline start pumping fast. She had to stay calm. This guy was definitely not from the skydiving school. He didn't look like he had attended any school, ever. He looked ... feral.
"Hi." She tried smiling. "Thank God you found me. I've, ah, sorta wandered off course, and I need to get back to civilization. Can you tell me where I am?"
"What are you?" The man's voice was low, as though he might be frightened of her, yet he walked around her to stand in front. He squatted down and stared at her as if she were an exhibit in the zoo.
How do you answer that question? she wondered. He must be a hermit, or something. He wasn't an Indian, not with brown hair, sun-streaked, and blue eyes. Maybe he was crazy. Really crazy. Damn ... what kind of luck was this?
Stay calm, she told herself. The best way to deal with crazy people was to stay calm. She had no idea where she'd heard that, but it seemed like good advice, considering the person before her. "You see, I was skydiving, and like I said, I must have gotten off course, so if you could just point me in the right direction, I can—"
"You dived from the sky?" His tone was filled with disbelief.
"Well, yes. Actually, I jumped from a plane and then dived, but that doesn't matter ... I just need some help here, and then I can—"
"What is a plane?" he interrupted again, tilting his head and staring at her with the intensity of someone examining a bug under a microscope.
She stared back at him, wondering if he was messing with her mind. How could he not know what a plane was? "You know ... an airplane." She pointed to the sky and made hand gestures.
"What are you?"
Suddenly she remembered that she was still wearing the helmet and pulled it off. Of course, he hadn't been able to see her face; that was it. Maybe he'd been alone out here for so long that he'd forgotten modern things. Dropping the helmet to the ground, she pulled her long hair out from between the collar of her jumpsuit and twisted it on top of her head. Holding it up, she tried smiling.
"I'm a woman. See?"
He fell back onto the ground in awe.
She couldn't help it. She laughed. Seeing his startled expression, Mairie attempted to get serious, but found that his reaction to her still made her giggle. How long had this guy been out here, if the sight of a woman had that effect on him?
"Are you God, the Great Spirit?" The words were barely audible.
She heard them and looked around her to see if something else was causing him to ask these questions. Surely it couldn't be her! Turning back, she decided to keep it light. No sense in trying to reason with a person who had obviously been in the sun too long. "I'm not God," she said with a grin, "though I do like the fact that you would consider God might be female. Pretty enlightened." Compliments wouldn't hurt. "However, I'm just a woman who's lost and looking to get back to civilization. So if you could just point me in the right direction, I'll leave you and—"
"You're my gift. I saw you fall from heaven."
Mairie started unhooking her harness and gathering the parachute to stuff into the sack. Maybe he was one of those mountain people who had lost all touch with reality, those weird men who haven't seen a woman in years, and kidnaps them. Whatever he was ... she was getting as far away from him as possible. "Look, mister ... I'm not your gift, okay? I'm lost. My brother is waiting for me, and I've got to find him. If you can't help me, fine ... but I need to get back now."
Immediately he got up and started to help her gather the material of her chute. "What is this?" he asked, running the silky fabric through his fingers.
Yanking on the strings, she pulled it out of his hands. "It's a parachute," she answered, realizing she must be addressing a mentally challenged adult.
"Is this how you came from heaven?"
"I didn't come from heaven. I came from a plane." She tried curbing the exasperation in her voice, yet knew she'd been unsuccessful. This was way too weird. When she found Bryan, she was going to tell him it was time for a hiatus from this adventure business. She needed a break. Maybe they could go to Hawaii and be beach bums for a while, commune with nature, watch sunsets ...
"What's your name? Do you have one?"
Annoyed that he had interrupted her fantasy, she looked up at him and snapped, "Of course I have a name. What do you think I am?"
He slowly stood up to his full height, over six feet, and stared down at her. "You may be a woman, but you're not of this world. I saw you coming from heaven. You tell me what you are and who you are." The awe had left his voice and expression. Now he sounded annoyed.
She figured she might as well pacify him. What else could she do? There wasn't another human being in sight, and besides, she had snapped at him. "Look, mister ... my name is Mairie Callahan. M-a-i-r-i-e." She spelled it for him, hoping to break through to reality. "I'm a woman, just like any other, and I came from Pennsylvania to Nevada with my brother on ... on a sort of holiday, I suppose you might call it. I was skydiving and I guess when I was experiencing terminal velocity I ... well, kind of experimented, and got off course and landed here. That's it. The whole story. There's supposed to be a truck to take me back and even champagne to celebrate my first jump. So you can imagine how disappointed I am to find myself stranded in the desert."
He was just staring at her.
"What's wrong?" she asked, concerned by his expression. She was trying to get him to understand her predicament, yet he was looking at her as if she were the one warped by the sun.
"What the hell are you talking about? Terminal ... what? A truck?" He shook his head in disbelief and put his hands on his hips as he looked out to the desert. "What kind of answer is this? None of it makes sense. You were to be the answer to my vision quest. You are supposed to be my gift. But what are you?"
"Okaaay ..." Mairie drew out the word as she continued to stuff the material into the sack. Obviously there was no reasoning with this man. She would simply get up and walk away from this madness. There had to be a road somewhere. She would rather sit by the side of it than continue this useless discussion with a crazed hermit.
Once she had managed to stuff enough of the parachute into the bag, she stood up and tried putting her weight onto her right foot. Pain tore through her, willing her to sit back down, yet she ignored it. Fear of the man overrode even that. His gift. Right! This guy had no idea who he was dealing with. A divorced woman with an attitude was not about to become any man's gift! Ever again!
"What are you doing?" he demanded, watching her pick up her gear.
She hoisted the satchel over her shoulder and looked at him. "I'm leaving. I am not your gift. I am not your vision. You can stay out here and play Geronimo, if that's what gets your rocks off, but I'm not about to enter into your game. I'm going back to civilization, and when I find my brother, I'm gonna punch the shit out of him for getting me into this. So ..." She raised her right hand and held up two fingers. "Peace, and may the force be with ya, 'cause I'm outta here."
She turned and started walking, limping, away from him. She kept her gaze on the horizon, praying that she was heading in the right direction. If she kept her focus, concentrated on it, she might be able to obliterate the agonizing pain in her ankle. Suddenly she heard the sound of his footsteps behind her and held her breath as she waited for him to make a move.
"Geronimo is an Apache. I've been adopted into the Paiutes. There is nothing but desert before you for twenty miles. You should come with me into the mountains. I need water, and you will soon. I can't leave you here to die."
She stopped and turned around. He was looking at her with resentment, as if she'd taken away his birthday present. Maybe he was luring her into a kidnaping. She'd heard stories ... gazing out to the glare of the desert before her, Mairie fought the burning at her eyes that signaled the onset of tears. This could not be happening. What were her choices? To walk into the unknown, perhaps to her death, or to follow him into the mountains and risk whatever that held? Before her was the desert, cruel and unyielding. Images of herself crawling in dehydration across its floor made her shudder in horror. "There's water in the mountains?" Already her tongue felt too big for her mouth.
He nodded. "Several streams. There is even one close by, but too dirty to drink because it's the runoff from the mountain pools above. I have fasted for three days and I must get to one of those pools soon. I cannot stay here with you much longer."
Beyond the smeared yellow and red paint, she could see the strain in his face, a deep sadness in his eyes, and knew he was telling the truth. This man needed water more than she did. He didn't have the strength right now to kill her or kidnap her. A spark of compassion entered her heart. So he was a little crazy. He had come to her and offered help. Sighing, she again looked around her.
The man? Or the desert?
"There's a small waterfall less than forty minutes from here. But we must climb. Are you able?"
That did it. A waterfall.
She was so thirsty and hot she would climb over cut glass to reach it. "Okay, I'll do it," she said finally, and exhaled deeply, having made a decision. She could only pray it was the right one. "But I'm just going to refresh myself and then I have to find my brother. I don't want any funny business. Understand?"
He smiled slightly for the first time, and she caught a glimpse of white teeth behind his parched lips. "Mairie Callahan, the only funny business here is you. But standing on the slope of this mountain, under this sun, is not the place to figure you out. Follow me." He turned and started walking in the direction of the red rock outcroppings that led to the pass now in view above the mountain range.
Adjusting the sack over her shoulder, she looked once more toward the horizon and took another shuddering deep breath... then turned and limped after him.
They had gone no more than twenty yards when he stopped and waited for her to catch up. Pointing to the parachute, he said, "You are in no condition to carry that bag. Leave it. Your foot is hurt and the weight of that thing is adding to it."
"I can't leave it," she answered, dropping it to the ground for a respite as she caught her breath. "I signed papers and I'm responsible for this equipment. It'll cost me two thousand dollars if I don't return with it. They have my VISA number."
He squinted. "What are you talking about? What is a veeza number? Is that Spanish? You are a strange woman." He said the last word as if he still wasn't sure that she was human.
Her lower jaw hung open in disbelief. "VISA! Credit cards! Eighteen percent of legalized robbery! How long have you been out here?"
"Six days. What difference would that make?"
"Oh, you've been gone longer than six days, my friend. You've been gone a long time if you've never heard of credit cards." She pushed her hair back off her forehead and picked up the sack. "Never mind. Forget I mentioned it. Let's get to the water."
Excerpted from Anywhere You Are by Constance O'Day-Flannery. Copyright © 1999 Constance O'Day-Flannery. Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Felt like i really traveled through time
Great read, she delivers it all in a well written book!