THIS GORGEOUS CREATURE—IRISH SINGER TARA BLAISE—IS JUST ONE OF THE BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS OF AN OLD FRIEND OF MINE, NIVES EGAN LANGLEY. I SUSPECT YOU WILL BE HEARING MORE OF TARA.
Anyone who has read my books will find it rather hard to believe that I ever went through a relatively innocent and high minded period in my life. After all, a good friend of mine—or so I thought—Livermore nuclear scientist, Dr. John Hunter went through my first book, GAMES OF THE HANGMAN, and excised over thirty pages with a razor blade on the grounds that it might corrupt his children. Personally, I think he was dodging having to explain about the birds and the bees. Yes, there is sex in the book—and I have worked hard to research the subject and portray it with some finesse—but it is germane to the story; and I am reliably informed it is a comparatively common and socially acceptable occurrence.
Being American, needless to say, he was not remotely concerned with the violence. I know I am not the first person to say this, but this is a very strange culture.
The fact is that I did go through a (hopefully brief) period of feeling noble and responsible while in my teens. This was so out of character, I am embarrassed to mention it, but truth will out. Unfortunately, it happened to coincide with my mother introducing me to the daughter of a friend and telling me to “look after her.”
With hindsight, I suspect my mother’s motives were more practical than high minded, but for some reason chivalry mastered my teenage hormones, and I treated Nives – Blaise’s mother – as if I was one of King Arthur’s more demented knights (chasing the Holy Grail instead of the fair sex). And Nives was gorgeous! Blaise’s beauty comes from some truly impressive genes.
What can I say! I hang my head in shame. Fortunately, a better man than I swept her off her feet, and she went on to have numerous gorgeous children.
I have one particularly striking memory of Nives and Colette, her equally beautiful sister. A friend of mine and I had taken the pair to the West of Ireland for a few days—an innocent trip unfortunately—and one evening both dressed up in full length dresses and bound their long hair in circlets (as illustrated), and we walked to a nearby lake. The evening was misty and moisture glinted in their hair, and when they stood against the backdrop of the still waters, as the sun settled in the West, I remember thinking that I was looking at the very spirit of Celtic Ireland before the Normans had invaded; and I had never seen anything more beautiful or more romantic.
I cherish that memory to this day.
You can learn more about Tara on Wikipedia and YouTube. My other anecdotes will have to await my memoirs: CONFESSIONS OF A BOOK-WRITING MAN Hmm! Now I think about it, Confessions Of A Book-Writing Bear has a certain ring to it.