Thunderstruck by Laura DeLuca
Taranis, the Celtic god of Thunder, has spent an eternity longing for the touch of a single mortal woman. He has followed her through incarnations, but always his powers were too much for her to bear.
Tara is a deaf woman, struggling to fit in the hearing world. She hides a gentle heart behind a tough exterior. Will she let down her defenses when a handsome mute tries to win her heart?
And even if she does, can Taranis’ love come without a death sentence?
Taranis watched Tara climb onto her moped. She ran her fingers through her short black hair before pulling on her helmet. Mortals would never have been able to see so clearly, but even from across the street he could make out every detail of the art that was etched across her muscular yet feminine arms. They were drenched in color from the corner of her shoulder to the tips of her elbows. On one arm he saw a frog and a crow alongside the Puerto Rican flag, which was the heritage she had chosen in this new life. There was even a flamenco dancer adorned in a pink and green gown, forever frozen in her graceful dance. The other arm displayed a garden of colorful flowers— roses and lilies in blue, black and orange. Taranis imagined the fragrance of those flowers would be more intoxicating than any within the earth because they were drenched in her natural scent. He also noticed that mixed in among the tattoos that spoke of her Latino heritage; there was also a Celtic tribal band wrapped around her left ankle. Taranis knew it was a sign that a part of her was still drawn to the life she had lived before—the life he had been a brief but traumatic part of.
Taranis pushed the negative memories away. This was a new era. A new world.One where anything was possible. There were times when the magic of technology seemed to dwarf the powers of the gods themselves. First sign language and then computers with their artificial voices had made it much easier for Taranis to blend in among the mortals. Taranis especially loved the women of the twenty-first century. They were so bold and fearless, unafraid of demanding equality from their male counterparts. Tara was a prime example of that feminist drive. It seemed in each life time, she grew even stronger and more durable. He admired her strength and perseverance, but he also saw the sad and lonely woman she hid beneath the tough and snarky façade.
For two years he had watched her, yearned for her, but he was biding his time and building her trust. He had interacted with her in his human guise. Yet, he hadn’t given into the temptation to pursue anything more than a casual friendship, even though her smile insinuated she was open to more. He knew it was fear that restrained him. Each time he thought about romantic innuendos, he remembered Calista lying dead in his arms with blood dripping down her pale neck. Still, he hungered for Tara with a passion unlike anything he had ever known. He had waited centuries for her to return to him after his failure with Calista. He was sure that in this new world where their paths had finally crossed again, he would find a way to make her love him. He didn’t want to risk her life, but Taranis had a secret hope. He believed the very characteristic that she considered her greatest flaw would be the one thing that ensured their happiness in this life and all that followed.
A few words from the author…
Short stories have never been my forte. Just like in real life, I am a little long-winded. When my publisher announced they were doing an anthology called For the Love of the Gods, I didn’t really plan to participate. Then while I was standing in the shower, I was struck with inspiration. But I can’t take full credit for it and neither can my muse. Thunderstruck only exists because of my friend, editor, and fellow author, Tara Chevrestt. She is not only the person who my main character is based on. She’s also the beautiful model on the cover of the e-book!
It’s no surprise that Tara is an inspiration to many. She is an amazing writer, a no-nonsense editor, and an active feminist. She has a spunk and fire few people can claim and she’s never afraid to tell things how they are. Tara is also deaf, and while she’s faced a lot of discrimination because of her lack of hearing, she’s never let that stop her from getting what she wanted. More importantly, she doesn’t let it stop her from being happy with who she is, imperfections and all. This was the image I wanted to convey when I wrote Thunderstruck. Tara’s colorful vocabulary and the fact that she can kick some serious butt are only a small part of the story. The most important lesson I wanted people to take away with them is that, like Tara, we should all embrace who we are, including the imperfections that make us unique.
Tara’s motto is “Strong is Sexy” and she proves those words every single day. My fictional Tara could never do justice to the real lady, especially not in only thirty-five pages, but it gives you a little piece of the fire that drives a strong woman forward. Get to know Tara and you’ll have no trouble believing she could capture the love of a god.
About the Author
Laura “Luna” DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and four children. She loves writing in the young adult genre because it keeps her young at heart. In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the editor of a popular review blog called New Age Mama. She is an active member of her local pagan community, and has been studying Wicca for close to eight years. Her current works include Destiny, Destiny Unveiled, Phantom, Morrigan, Player, and Demon.