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NO MATTER WHICH route she took, Andee MacLeod always found herself headed straight for Disaster. She didn't have to circle her destination on her aerial chart to know what awaited her in the hamlet with a population of thirty that was tucked under the shadow of the North Slope of the Brooks Range.
Heartache. Regret. To be precise, her father, Gerard MacLeod. A fifty-five-year-old bush pilot who refused to budge from his life in the wild, who'd survived so many Alaskan winters that she'd started to wonder if the cold had begun to reach his heart also.
Not that he didn't love her. But the very fact that he refused to move south, even to Fairbanks, seemed a metaphor for their relationship. As if when he stepped outside the woods that he'd hidden in for nearly two decades, he might find himself stripped and defenseless. Dependent on someone other than himself.
Not the way of the MacLeods.
"Emma, do you copy?" Doug's raspy voice from dispatch filtered through the static on Andee's radio.
She set the map on the opposite cockpit seat and reached for the handset. "Emma here. What's up, Doug?" She could see the control tower from her plane's position on the tarmac and nearly waved at him.
"Are you heading toDisaster after your stop at Prudhoe Bay?"
"That's affirmative." When didn't she stop at Disaster on her trips north? Her airplane practically flew itself.
"Please check on Maricel Fee. She's due any day now."
"Roger that." Andee replaced the radio mike and climbed out of her Cessna. Please don't let Maricel go into labor on my watch, Lord. She still had nightmares from the last pregnant woman she'd flown into Fairbanks. She'd taken off from Anaktuvuk Pass with one passenger and landed with two.
The need for decent medical services in Alaska never stopped, even when the temperature dipped into the minus-thirty range-and lower-during the coldest months of winter. Thankfully, for the past few years Andee had escaped the clench of Alaskan cold that could about-face a cheechako and send him hustling back to the Lower 48. She could hardly be called a tenderfoot after being raised in the bush, twenty miles from Disaster on the Disaster Creek, but sometimes she wondered just what brought her back here every summer.
Maybe it was the sunrise climbing over Doonerak Peak, the aurora borealis over the North Slope, or the purple moss campion that carpeted the taiga. Maybe she returned to see the caribou migrate or an occasional moose rubbing his back on the bracings of the Alaska pipeline as she flew her Cessna 185 supplied with medicines and foodstuff to remote villages north of the Arctic Circle.
No, it was probably the chance to see Gerard MacLeod again. Her daughterly responsibilities pushing her past the hurt. This year she hoped to convince him to move to Disaster township, which would mean she wouldn't have to trek into the backwoods, armed with supplies and extra gas for his four-wheeler. Andee barely kept away the nightmare that someday she'd knock on the door to his two-room cabin, not receive an answer, and find him frozen stiff, too injured from some hunting accident to carry in the wood.
Then again Gerard would probably prefer it that way. MacLeods didn't ask for help.
If only her mother had stuck around, maybe Andee wouldn't have to live like a nomad, babysitting a stubborn Scotsman every summer and her driven doctor-mother every winter.
Andee finished her preflight cabin check on the new Cessna Stationair, then got out and did her preflight walk around, checking the flaps and ailerons, the tires, prop, cowling, nose wheel, and fuel drains.
Glancing at her watch, she marched back to the North Rim Outfitters hangar at the Fairbanks International Airport, where the five passengers for this excursion to the north waited inside for her all okay. Most of them were tourists, although she'd read that one was a missionary heading to serve in the Inupiaq community of Resurrection, Alaska. She wondered if a missionary in her own little town might have prevented the heartache of watching her parents fight over her, separate, and tear their only daughter in half.
"Choose." Her mother's stiff voice still stung her ears, especially on days like today when the fall air felt heavy and had a snap to the breeze that lifted her jacket collar. That moment so many years ago on this very tarmac haunted her still.
She stopped, looking northward, and she didn't like what she saw. Oppressive, gray clouds, although high, had the potential to ground her if she didn't get airborne soon. The last thing she needed was another delay in Fairbanks. One more trip and she'd have enough to jump-start her mutual fund. Then she'd pack her Jeep and head south to her mother's home in Iowa or farther to the Galloway ranch in Kentucky. She wondered how Lacey and Jim Micah were handling being newlyweds.
"I really do," Micah had said on their wedding day. Andee had all but burst into tears at her friend's happy ending after rescuing Lacey's daughter from a kidnapper/murderer/traitor nearly a year ago. Seeing Micah holding little Emily in his arms at the wedding had tugged at all Andee's private longings. A family. A home. A man who might give her a reason to stop chasing her dreams around the Northern Hemisphere. Or rather a man who might drop his own dreams and follow hers. Wouldn't that be a miracle?
But heroes didn't magically materialize, especially here in the frozen north. Besides, she didn't need a knight in shining armor. She had different dreams. An airplane. A medical operation to the northern villages. Lives saved. She didn't usually bother to think about someone to share it with. Because, really, who would she find who might want to eke out a life in this barren wilderness with her? He'd have to be hardy, stubborn, romantic, and loyal ... and she wouldn't mind if he also had strong arms that could protect her just a little.
Oh, brother. Maybe she'd read one too many fairy tales.
She went inside and picked up the passenger manifest. The austere vinyl chairs and cement walls of the lobby gave adequate warning of the travel ahead.
Andee hoped the passengers had packed well-warm clothes and sleeping bags. Weather in the Brooks Range changed hourly, especially this late in September. More than a few times she'd landed on a lonely strip of meadow to wait out the moods of the ceiling. And with the new restrictions on flying over Dalton Highway and the nearby pipeline, she'd have to veer west over the peaks and smack-dab into the dark weather. Hopefully she'd make it to Disaster by nightfall, reading to her father while he fried up a griddle of sourdough flapjacks.
She skimmed the passenger list, then glanced at the group assembled. Five total. Two sat in the chairs. One leaned against the reception counter, looking at brochures. A tall, broad-shouldered man stood by the window, his duffel bag between his feet, as if someone might run by and grab it. She shook her head. Tourists-they suspected trouble everywhere. Or maybe the restlessness came from all the flights and security checks and cautions they had to endure to get to Alaska from the continental U.S.
"Nina Smith?" Andee read the name and saw a large-boned woman rise, her long black hair in a braid down her back. She wore a red fleece-lined jacket and cap, well dressed for her excursion to the North Slope. Her overstuffed, external-frame backpack leaned against the chairs. Probably headed out for some late-season hiking. Her dark brown eyes pinned
Andee's, and she smiled. "That's me."
Andee nodded. "Floyd Dekker?"
"Hey, y'all." Mr. Bo Duke with a goatee and about ten years of padding waved two fingers at her. He wore a brown, flannel-lined, canvas coat and tugged on a Take Back America baseball cap. "Call me Flint," he said with a Southern drawl.
Andee guessed his itinerary included hunting. While the moose and bear season had just started, the weather hadn't cooperated and a number of game hunters had trudged home without their kill. Usually Andee made a practice of refusing to fly in hunters to the northern regions after September 20, right after moose season. The temperamental weather could leave them stranded, unable to be flown out before their supplies were exhausted. But winter seemed to be taking her time this year, and when North Rim Outfitters offered her a bonus, she felt her dreams of purchasing her own plane nearly attainable.
"Okay, Flint." She hid a smile at his nickname. What was it about coming to Alaska that made people adopt new personas? Then again, up here when she was flying she went by Emma, her call name and the only pet name her father had ever given her. A term from the old country, it meant "lady," according to Gerard. The name gave her purpose, identity, and inclinations toward strength.
But probably like Flint, Emma was an illusion, a poor cover for a woman who never seemed settled in her own skin.
"Martin Ishbane?" She scanned the room.
"Maybe he's the one outside," Nina said, nodding toward a man standing with his back to the windows.
Andee opened the door, leaned out. "Mr. Ishbane?"
The man turned and blew out a stream of smoke.
Andee recoiled slightly, not trying to offend. At least he'd chosen to smoke outside. She found a smile for him. "I'm the pilot, just trying to track down my passengers."
"I'm Ishbane," he said quietly as he glanced at her with gray, expressionless eyes. He held a briefcase in his gloved hand. Under his thin leather jacket, he wore a black turtleneck, and the wind tangled his long hair, held back into a ponytail. She hoped he owned a hat-he definitely wasn't outfitted for a jaunt into the north woods. After dropping the cigarette, he crushed it under his hiking boot.
Andee stifled her comments and returned inside, followed by Ishbane. "Jake Phillips?"
The man who was leaning against the counter nodded at her, a smile on his chiseled, square face. He had dark eyes and dark, tightly curled hair, and he wore a down parka and a wool cap. With his barrel chest and muscular arms, he looked like he played defensive end for some pro football team or maybe squared off on center ice for the Stanley Cup. He reminded her of an oversized Jim Micah in a way.
She smiled at him in return. Then the other man, standing arms akimbo, one shoulder holding up the wall, and a pair of sunglasses hooked low on his nose must be-"Stirling McRae?"
The man glanced at her, a hardness in his eyes that rattled her for a moment. He stood about six feet three. With broad shoulders, slightly long, curly brown hair tucked behind his ears, and reddish stubble, he seemed unexpected, rumpled, yet with a quiet power about him that sizzled just below his unassuming stance. He wore faded jeans and an open fleece-lined canvas jacket. He looked as if he needed a good meal and a few hours of shut-eye. And warmer clothes, where they were heading.
She sighed. Why did tourists assume they could dress like they might on a January day in Tennessee instead of September on the north side of the planet? The higher areas already had snow, even if Fairbanks had yet to be dusted. Still, winter could swoop down without warning, and even now her airplane hardly kept the interior temperature above forty.
"Aye," the man answered finally.
Oh, terrific. A Scot. He probably had arrogance to match that slightly accented deep voice and warrior build. Good thing they had only a five-hour flight ahead of them. She knew this type-bullheaded, cantankerous, with way too much confidence for anyone's good. And she should know-having been accused of the same by her Scottish father on more than one occasion.
"Okay, we're all here." Andee grabbed her sunglasses and added her flight plan and weather update to the clipboard. "Call me Emma. I'll be your pilot. We're flying in a six-seater, nearly new Cessna Turbo Stationair, courtesy of North Rim Outfitters." She nodded at Flint, the outfitter's client. The other passengers paid a higher price for the charter-flight service, but it made up for the cost of flying one client nearly four hundred miles.
"We have a scenic flight for you today over the Gates of the Arctic National Park and the Brooks Range. Hopefully, out of the west passenger windows you'll catch a glimpse of Doonerak Peak."
She checked her watch. "We have a storm front moving in, and I'd like to get into the air and out of reach of those winds. Let's load your gear." She held open the door as the passengers filed out.
Nina's backpack caught on the door. Andee winced when she heard a tearing.
Nina made a face. "Guess I'm about due for a new rig." She forced the pack through, and Andee wondered how she would manage on whatever backpacking trip she had scheduled.
Flint followed her, his duffel bag slung over one shoulder, his gun packed in a padded and locked leather case, regulation for airplanes these days. He'd had to fill out a form and have an extra security check from here to Fairbanks, and Andee had a special locked compartment in the back of the plane to store it. The only gun allowed aboard was the one she kept hidden and secured under her seat-a .40-caliber Glock she used for protection from bears.
When Ishbane passed, she swung into step with him. "I'm assuming you know this, but there's no smoking on the plane."
"Yeah. Sure." Andee detected an East Coast accent.
"Thanks," she said and jogged toward the plane. Unlatching the belly pod between the landing gear, she squatted beside it to stow the passengers' luggage. Nina's pack nearly sent her to her knees. "How much does this weigh?" she asked Nina as she shoved it deep inside.
"Oh, nearly a hundred pounds. I'm bringing home gifts for my children."
"Where are you from?"
"Prudhoe Bay. My husband and two children are there. I've been overseas on an assignment." She tapped a lumpy bag slung crosswise over her shoulder. "I'm a photographer." She climbed into the plane.
Andee tossed Flint's duffel into the pod, then reached for his hunting rifle. "I have to ask you to stow that, sir. Regulations."
"You worried I'm going to hijack the plane, sweetheart?" Flint asked.
Andee gave him a mock glower. "Should I be?"
Flint winked at her. "Depends on whether I can throw off the other passengers, maybe fly away with you to Hawaii."
She'd encountered a few of these types over the summer. She smiled. "We'll run outta gas before then, land in the ocean. Sharks will have us for dinner."
"Then maybe I'll need it." He grinned at her.
"Listen." Andee lowered her voice. "I know you're kidding, but we had an attack on our pipeline a few months back, and they're just a little gun-shy around here, if you'll pardon the pun. Surrender the gun or there's no ride."
His smile dimmed, and he handed her the weapon, climbing aboard the plane without another word.
Ishbane had only a small carry-on-a backpack on wheels-besides his briefcase. He handed Andee the carry-on and climbed in behind Flint.
Uh-oh. She recognized a man with a slipping grip on his control of aerophobia when she saw it. And flying over the Brooks Range translated to turbulence-lots of it.
Phillips tried to load his army duffel and balked when Andee reached for it. "It's too heavy, ma'am."
Ma'am? But his courtesy made her smile. "Sorry, Mr. Phillips. Rules say I have to load the bags."
He shook his head as he handed it to her.
Yes, it seemed painfully heavy.
McRae approached her last, scrutinizing her as if gauging her ability to fly the plane. He handed her his bag with a dubious look. She half expected him to ask if she was serving cocktails in first class and when the pilot would arrive.
After McRae boarded, Andee secured the passenger door, then crawled out from under the plane. The wind had picked up, and she smelled rain. Or maybe snow. Behind her, she heard a Piper Cub firing up. It would be first in line for takeoff. If she didn't move quickly, she'd be grounded.
Andee jogged around to her cockpit door, giving one last visual check before climbing inside. She adjusted her radio headset and began her pre-engine start checklist.
Passenger briefing. Andee keyed her mike and explained the seat and belt adjustments and emergency-exit procedures and asked them to remain silent during radio calls.
Avionic and electrical switches-off.
Excerpted from Expect the Sunrise by Susan May Warren Copyright © 2006 by Susan May Warren. 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.
Posted November 27, 2013
Another Great Team Hope story with plenty of suspense and action without going overboard and a bit of clean romance. They struggle with making hard choices and forgiveness. It has a good message with a complete ending.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 9, 2006
Expect the Sunrise is a great book. There is never a boring moment. Andee MacLeod is an Alaskan pilot who crashes her plane. Among the passengers is a FBI agent, Stirling 'Mac' McRae. He is suspicious of a terriorist being aboard. They work together to try and get everybody to safety. Mac blames Andee for his brother's death without realizing that she is the one he blames. They grow to respect each other and even fall in love through their trials. And they learn to rely on God. As my teenager would say, this book rocks.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 5, 2006
Once again Susan has written a book that I did not want to put down. Andee and Mac were awesome characters who struggle with life issuses and spiritual issues just like me. The characters in this book are excellent and kept me guessing till the end. There were a few twists and turns that kept me on my toes and I loved the setting of this book. Homeland Security, Alaska's rugged bush country and a life endangering situation. I All here books are phenomenal and in my personal library. Susan's writing is similar to Dee Henderson, Terri Blackstock, Mindi Starns Clark so if you like these ladies, here's another winning author you cannot go wrong with.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 10, 2006
Susan May Warren's Expect the Sunrise is a tasty morsel for us gals who have an affinity for big, braw Scotsmen. Think: Gerard Butler meets and is transformed by Jesus (wouldn't that be lovely!). Ms. Warren's writing is deft and sure, poignant yet edgy with action and intrigue. Our heroine, Emma, is a determined yet tender match for our rugged sweetheart of a hero, Mac. The lead characters' soul-searching compels the reader to reflect on her or his own life's choices and relationship with God. Through the characters' interactions, Ms. Warren very convincingly portrays both the complexity and simplicity of forgiveness. If you crave an engaging read equally suspenseful and poetic, just Expect the Sunrise!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 1, 2006
Susan May Warren has done it again! She's written a book that holds your attention and weaves in faith lessons. This is the third book in the Team Hope series and features Andee MacLeod and FBI agent 'Mac' McRae. While fighting for their lives in the Alaskan wilderness after a plane crash Andee and Mac deal with such issues as Choices made, forgiveness, and trust. While trying to figure out who the terrorist among them is, Mac learns to forgive someone he never thought he'd forgive. He also learns to trust that God will take care of him and those he loves. That he doesn't have to do it all he just needs to do what he can and leave the rest to God. Andee learns to trust a man to not let her down and how to live with choices made in the past. I had a hard time putting this book down. I recommend it to anyone that loves adventure and romance.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 12, 2006
Expect the Sunrise had me hooked from the get-go. Susan May Warren¿s third book in the Team Hope series was an excellent read! A yummy Scottish FBI hero, a mountain rescuer heroine, a terrorist, seven survivors of a plane crash trapped in the Alaska wilds, and past regrets all add up to learning to rely on God and even better a great read for us! Susan May Warren¿s books are on my auto-buy list¿ she should be on yours as well.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 16, 2006
Susan May Warren is an excellent up and coming writer with great books. I've enjoyed reading two of her other series and the first two of the TEAM HOPE, so I was really looking forward to the 3rd. It was not a disappointment. Susan's books have solid, easy to follow storylines, action, and of course romance. As a Christian, Susan also shows throughout her books how God's love, forgiveness, and grace are central to Christians lives and how others can know God better. Expect the Sunrise focused on two main characters, Andee and Mac. Andee is an Alaskan bush pilot during the summer and has one last flight before winter comes and she heads south. Unfortunately, she and her 6 other passengers crash before they reach their destination. The seven of them have to hike out several miles to the nearest town, while the trouble mounts: Two passengers are injured, there is no operable communication, snow is coming, and FBI agent, Mac, discovers that a terrorist is in their group. Somehow they have to reach town, before someone dies and many are injured. Throughout their journey, both Mac & Andee have to realize that the pain from the past can be and has to be forgiven in order to move on to the future. Through out their ordeal, they learn how God is watching out for them and never leaves. This is a great read, one you will truly enjoy. Now we anxiously wait for the next in the series!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 11, 2006
This book was great! So far, my favorite book by Susan May Warren. Once I picked it up, I didn't want to put it down! I felt like I was on the mountain with Mac and Andee. The story perfectly weaves together suspense, romance, and lessons in faith. The best part about her writing is that you never know what's going to happen next, you're guessing until the end! A great read!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 9, 2008
FBI Agent Stirling ¿Mac¿ MacRae is on vacation fishing with his brother Brody near the Trans-Alaska Pipe Line System when he observes a terrorist Ari Al-Hasid nearby. The two siblings go after Ari, but in the scuffle, Brody is shot. Mac pleads with a plane passing by to stop to transport his sibling to a hospital, but the pilot Andee MacLeod keeps flying as she has an emergency passenger, a mother of four who is dying. After his brother dies, Mac vows vengeance against the unknown pilot. --- In bad weather Andee, accompanied by the surprise visit of her best friend Sarah, flies five passengers, Nina Smith, Floyd Dekker, Martin Ishbane, Jake Phillips, and Stirling MacRae. However, Andee is forced to make an emergency landing. Sarah is unconscious and Floyd injures his leg. The chances of rescue are slim, but Andee¿s offer to get help is rejected by Mac, who has found evidence including a two way radio and a map that one of them might be a terrorist plotting to destroy the pipeline. As they struggle as a group to reach a village, unbeknownst to Andee her father the Fed is in trouble too. --- The third Team Hope thriller (see ESCAPE TO MORNING and FLEE THE NIGHT) is an exhilarating romantic suspense that showcases the vast Alaskan wilderness. The story line is exciting because key players must make life threatening judgments that do not necessarily turn out positive for instance when Andee ignores Mac¿s plea both his brother and her patient die anyway and Mac¿s decisions on their survival could kill all of them. Susan May Warren once again provides a powerful character driven tale in which choices are life threatening with key players praying to God that they don¿t harm the innocent. --- Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 9, 2009
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Posted October 25, 2008
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