Die Before Nightfall [NOOK Book]

Overview

Raven Stevenson was in Lakeview barely twenty-four hours when she heard those ominous words. She'd come to the small Virginie town to reconcile with her brother and forget the haunting memories of her past. She didn't expect to find friends, community--or a thirty-five-year-old mystery of tragic love. Nor did she expect to meet Shane Montgomery, whose love for his ailing aunt Abby breaks through Raven's carefully built defenses. When Abby unwittingly shares some of the secrets behind that long-buried mustery, she...

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Die Before Nightfall

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Overview

Raven Stevenson was in Lakeview barely twenty-four hours when she heard those ominous words. She'd come to the small Virginie town to reconcile with her brother and forget the haunting memories of her past. She didn't expect to find friends, community--or a thirty-five-year-old mystery of tragic love. Nor did she expect to meet Shane Montgomery, whose love for his ailing aunt Abby breaks through Raven's carefully built defenses. When Abby unwittingly shares some of the secrets behind that long-buried mustery, she and Raven are targeted by someone who wants those secrets silenced--and who's willing to kill both of them to do it.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781552543566
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 9/1/2007
  • Series: Love Inspired Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 101,542
  • File size: 199 KB

Meet the Author

Shirlee McCoy has always loved making up stories. As a child she daydreamed elaborate tales in which she was the heroine -- gutsy, strong and invincible. Though she soon grew out of her superhero fantasies, her love for storytelling never diminished.

Shirlee knew early that she wanted to write inspirational fiction and began writing her first novel when she was a teenager. Still, it wasn't until her third son was born that she truly began pursuing her dream of being published. Three years later she sold her first book.

Now a busy mother of four, Shirlee is a homeschool mom by day and an inspirational author by night. She and her husband and children live in Maryland and share their home with a dog and a guinea pig.
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First Chapter

Die Before Nightfall


By Shirlee McCoy

Steeple Hill

Copyright © 2005 Shirlee McCoy
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0373442211

She'd never hung wash out to dry, but that wouldn't keep her from trying. Raven Stevenson eyed the basket of sopping white sheets and the small bucket of clothespins sitting at her feet.

How hard could it be?

Five minutes later she'd managed to trample one sheet into the mud. The other two were hanging, lopsided and drooping, from the line.

"It could be worse, I suppose."

"Could be better, too." A pie in one hand, a grocery bag in the other, Nora Freedman came around the side of the house, her eyes lined with laughter. "Never had to dry laundry the old-fashioned way, I see."

"I'm afraid not. Hopefully it won't take me long to get better at it."

"It won't. And I give you credit for even trying. You wouldn't believe how many renters have turned down this property just because I don't have a clothes dryer."

"Their loss. My gain."

Nora beamed at the words, her deep brown eyes glowing with pleasure. "I knew the minute I saw you, you were the person for this place. I've been praying about it, mind you. So it didn't surprise me when Glenda called and said she might have a renter. Here, I've brought you a welcome gift. Pecan pie and some things to stock your cupboards."

"You didn't have to —"

"Of course I didn't. I wanted to. I'll leave everything in the kitchen. Gotta scoot. Prayer meeting in a half hour. Call me if you need something."

"I will. Thank you."

"See you at church Sunday? You did say you planned to attend Grace Christian?"

The nerves that Raven had held at bay for a week clawed at her stomach. "Yes. I'll see you then."

"I knew it. Just knew this would work out." Then Nora was gone as quickly as she'd come, her squat, square figure disappearing around the corner of the house.

In the wake of her departure, the morning silence seemed almost deafening. Humming a tune to block out the emptiness, Raven bent to lift the dirty sheet and caught sight of a strange print in the barren, muddy earth. A footprint — each toe clearly defined, the arch and heel obvious. Small, but not a child's foot. Someone had walked barefoot through the yard, despite the lingering winter chill from the damp spring morning.

Who? Why? Raven searched for another print and found one at the edge of the lawn. From there, a narrow footpath meandered through sparse trees, the prints obvious on earth still wet from last night's rain. She followed the path until it widened and Smith Mountain Lake appeared, vast and blue, the water barely rippling. There, on a rickety dock that jutted toward the center of the lake, was her quarry — white hair, white skin, a bathing suit covering a thin back.

Raven hurried forward. "Are you all right?"

"Thea?" The woman turned, wispy hair settling in a cloud around a face lined with age. "I've been waiting forever. Didn't we agree to meet at ten?"

Ten? It was past noon. Two hours was a long time to sit half clad in a chilly breeze. Raven's concern grew, the nurse in her cataloguing what she saw: pale skin, goose bumps, a slight tremor. "Actually, I'm Raven. I live in the cottage up the hill."

"Not Thea's cottage? She didn't tell me she had guests."

"She probably forgot. Were you planning a swim?"

"Thea and I always swim at this time of year. Though usually it's not quite so cold."

"It is chilly today. Here, put this on." Raven slid out of her jacket and placed it around the woman's shoulders.

"Do I know you?"

"No, we haven't met. I'm Raven Stevenson."

"I'm Abigail Montgomery. Abby to my friends."

"It's nice to meet you, Abby. Would you like to join me for tea? I've got a wonderful chamomile up at the house." Raven held out her hand and was relieved when Abby allowed herself to be pulled to her feet.

"Chamomile? It's been years since I had that."

"Then let's go." Raven linked her arm through Abby's and led her toward the footpath, grimacing as she caught sight of her companion's feet. Torn and dirty, they looked painful and swollen. Another walk through the brambles would only make things worse. "It looks like you've forgotten your shoes."

Abby glanced down at her feet, confusion drawing her brows together. Then she looked at Raven, and behind her eyes past gave way to present. Raven had seen it many times, knew the moment Abby realized what had happened. She waited a beat, watching as the frail, vague woman transformed into someone else, stronger and much more aware.

"I've done it again, haven't I." The words were firm but Abby's eyes betrayed her fear.

"Nothing so bad. Just a walk to the lake."

"Dressed in a bathing suit? In..." Her voice trailed off, confusion marring her face once again.

"It'sApril.A lovely day, but a bit too cold for a swim."

"What was I thinking?" Frustration and despair laced the words.

"You were thinking about summer. Perhaps a summer long ago."

"Do I know you?"

"My name is Raven. I live up the hill at the Freedman cottage."

"Raven. A blackbird. Common. You're more the exotic type, I'd think, with that wild hair and flowing dress."

Raven laughed in agreement. "I've been fighting my name my entire life. You're the first to notice."

"Am I? Then I guess I'm not as far gone as I'd thought." Despite the brave words, the tears behind Abby's eyes were obvious, the slight trembling of her jaw giving away her emotions.

Raven let her have the moment, watched as she took a deep shuddering breath and glanced down at her bathing suit.

"I suppose it could be worse. At least I wore clothes this time. Now, tell me, where are we headed?"

"To the cottage for tea."

"Let's go, then."

"Here, slip my shoes on first."

"Oh, I couldn't. What about you?"

"I've got tough skin." Raven slid her feet out of openheeled sneakers and knelt to help Abby put them on.

"They're a bit big, but we'll have your own for you in no time at all."

They made their way up the steep incline, Raven's hand steady against Abby's arm. It hurt to know that the woman beside her was being consumed by a disease that would steal her vitality and leave nothing behind but an empty shell. Why? It was a question she asked often in her job as a geriatric nurse. There was no answer. At least none that she could find, no matter how hard she prayed for understanding.

Continues...


Excerpted from Die Before Nightfall by Shirlee McCoy Copyright © 2005 by Shirlee McCoy. Excerpted by permission.
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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2013

    Kacie

    SOOOO BORRED SOMEONE TXT MEEEEEE /)>3<(\

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2013

    Anda

    Does anyone wanna chat? ^_^

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2013

    Michelle

    Me too....im texting twenty peeps amd its hard...c ya....

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 22, 2012

    GOOD BOOK.

    Good book. The only thing I really didn't like about it was I figured out who the bad guy was when they introduced him into the book. But it was still good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2005

    Shirlee McCoy - Inspirational Romantic Suspense

    A true romantic suspense with all the elements that make the genre great---questions that keep you guessing, a little mystery, a little romance, and a little faith woven throughout. Way to go, Shirlee!

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    Posted June 5, 2011

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    Posted January 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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