Level gray eyes met his, and a soft but commanding voice spoke up, "Okay, enough irrelevant gossip! Are you working on finding out who trespassed on my property, broke into one of my buildings, and made off with a small fortune in dynamite and blasting caps?"
Doug sent up a silent cheer for her! He agreed that the mine foreman might have a drinking problem that should be addressed! But he felt like it had no bearing on the theft, and that Cassidy wanted to pin blame quickly and get back to the local coffee shop where he hung out! An elected official, more than a real lawman! And, Doug wasn't the only guy she shot down! Still, she should get a perception that having friends never hurt!
Not surprisingly Cassidy bowed up in response! "Now, listen here, Sister, you ain't one of the locals!"
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.88(d)|
About the Author
You won't want to miss this compelling Christian fiction author, Paula Rae Wallace! A pastor's wife and mother, she shares the miracles, through the lives and experiences of captivating characters, of walking daily with Jesus! Combining plot with social critique, this Dallas-based author supplies absorbing and entertaining reading! With the ludicrous credential of a degree in Fashion from Colorado State University, Mrs. Wallace adds glamour and élan to elegant role-models! After all, God is elegant and extravagant, as is His creation of the heavens and the earth! Check out the description of the New Jerusalem!
If you enjoy captivating characters, with their ups and downs and enchanting locales that support timely plot lines, don't miss out on any of her previous works:
Christian fiction: Dazzling, Treasures, Wealth, Magnificence, Radiance, The Andersons, Family Forged, Gaining Ground, and Brenna!
Devotional works: Dwelling by the Well and The Prayer and Praise Journal"
Read an Excerpt
A Christian Novel
By Paula Rae Wallace
Trafford PublishingCopyright © 2015 Paula Rae Wallace
All rights reserved.
"Get up! Stop that! Pull yourself together! Chopper's spotted us!" Brad Maxwell's tone was a cross between disgust and panic! He bent, jerking Alexandra Faulkner to her feet and rearranging her clothing! So much for their, 'No one will ever know', rationale! But still, what were National Parks for? Forestry guys must witness all kinds of goings on! And he and Alexandra were both of age!
"Remember whose idea this was," he hissed savagely as he urged her toward the settling craft!
* * *
Daniel Faulkner bore down on the accelerator of a rent car! A successful Geologist from Tulsa, Oklahoma; but maybe he should keep both an apartment and a car in Durango, Colorado! His daughter, Alexandra's, scrapes were getting expensive! Panicked thoughts raced through his mind! Not that any expense was too great where any of his kids were concerned! His handsome features furrowed with annoyance! The washed out road above Silverton was still far from being repaired! Which meant he would be forced to take the narrow, crowded detour up beyond Al's mine, and then back down around! He grabbed his phone when the light displayed, before it had time to ring!
"Hey, Trent! What's up? Any sign of her?"
Trent Morrison, the USDA head of Forestry Law Enforcement's, voice seemed forever in coming!
"Yeah, yeah, she's okay! ~Er~mostly! Brad Maxwell~"
Daniel waited impatiently! Sat phones weren't supposed to break up in remote and mountainous areas! His worry was that the connection was fine, but his friend was too choked up to continue!
"What about Maxwell? He just happened to know where she was? Again?" Frustration at Brad's always being the Johnny-on-the-spot-hero, gave way to a deeper dread! "What~what~"
"We're about forty minutes out from her ranch!" Trent's clipped, suddenly authoritative voice! "We should arrive about concurrently with you! Remember, it's not the end of the world! Keep yourself under control! He's not worth going to jail over!"
"Right!" Daniel couldn't remember ever having worked so hard to squeeze out a one-syllable word! "Right," he mumbled again under his breath as he disconnected!
Another phone jangle reverberated up and down his ravaged emotions! Diana! Pressing the answer button, he forced himself to sound normal! His wife was a hard one to fool, but he didn't have any solid facts! Just that the Forestry Service had found their missing child, and she was en route to her ranch! Answering, he reassured the best he could! Forestry had found her! He was on the way to meet her! Beyond that, he couldn't supply any details! Breaking the connection, he scoffed at himself for continuing to reference his daughter's Colorado acreage as a ranch! With the loss of her seventy-five head of cattle in the spring flooding, the place was more accurately a fledgling silver mine!
'That's right,' Faulkner', he mocked himself! 'Focus on trivia to keep your mind from~' The implication in his friend's voice was tough to ignore!
"Not the end of the world! Try to keep from killing Brad Maxwell when you get here!"
Pounding the steering wheel in rage, he slowed behind an impossible line of traffic! His emotions swung wildly from white hot anger to tears springing up from depths he didn't know were there!
* * *
Furious, red-rimmed, gray eyes bored into Trent Morrison's back! Alexandra couldn't hear his phone conversation above the racket of the rotor! Surely his job description didn't involve tattling on grown kids to their parents! Obviously, though, he was no fool in perceiving~Of all the worst people~of all the worst times! She tried to find comfort from Brad~but he sat, studying his class ring, lost in his own world! Still, they loved each other, and they could~go get married~she studied his thick, close-cut, dark hair, his muscular neck and shoulders~
She hurt everywhere, wondering if she could hurt worse had she tangled with a Mack truck! Brushing back wisps of flaxen hair, she fought tears! The worst pain was her upperback! Gingerly, she probed the area, and the pain drove deeper! Glass! She pulled her hand back! Blood! Whoever said it was impossible to feel pain in multiple places was wrong! Morosely, she wished~not that she hadn't arranged the clandestine meeting with Brad! After all, they were adults and they were deeply in love! She wished that Norma Engel's ranch house hadn't washed away~and also that the elderly woman hadn't perished shortly after from a massive stroke! She could use the house to clean up and hide the guilty evidence! And Norma, with a big soft spot for her and Brad, could create a buffer! She tried again to catch Brad's eye~for any reassurances~any moral support!
Trent Morrison tried to corral turbulent thoughts! He was just here doing his job! Well, actually, he usually did his job from the Sidney R. Yates Building in DC! But a stubborn criminal entity in the San Juan National Forest kept cropping back up, necessitating his returns to southern Colorado! He turned in his seat as one of the Forest Rangers in the rescue party approached him.
Nervous, Alexandra eyed them! They were talking about her~she shivered! The wound in her back throbbed! She mulled over her options! Somehow, she and Brad needed to steal into her modular home at the edge of the mining village! They could shower, and he could pull the glass out! Band-aid! Voila! She dreaded meeting questioning gazes of friends, associates, and relatives who populated her little makeshift town!
Suddenly, Mr. Morrison loomed over her! "You're hurt?"
"N-n-no; I'm fine!" She gasped!
"Maybe we should check with someone else about that!"
She flinched when he opened a huge knife! "Hold still! I'm cutting some of this fabric away!"
"Okay, hold it!" A member of the search party halted him, pulling a pair of latex gloves free and offering them! "Never deal with blood without gloves!"
Trent nodded. His agency's rules, as well! Pulling the gloves into place, he continued with his plan!
Alexandra cringed! For one thing, the jostling drove the pain to the top of the 'one to ten scale'!
A talk from her youth director played in her brain from out of the blue:
Sin takes you farther than you want to stray; it keeps you longer than you want to stay; and it costs you more than you want to pay!
She thrust the voice aside! That was just their scare tactics to keep her from embracing life and love! She shivered harder, fighting sudden nausea and dizziness!
* * *
Trent stood indecisively! His coworker thought Alexandra should be taken to an ER to be checked out! Not being able to determine how invasive the glass was, the concern was that pieces might be driven deeply into the flesh with the remote chance of doing spinal cord injury! Trent was also concerned about how consensual the incident really was! The entire scenario shook him to his core! He fought his own emotions, praying for wisdom! His concern was that deciding to have medical personnel examine Alexandra's wounds, might enrage Maxwell in the confines of the small craft!
"Alexandra, there's a lot of blood here, and we can't tell where the glass is, exactly, or how deep it's lodged! We're bypassing your ranch and heading toward the Durango ER!"
As expected, Maxwell's head shot up, a mixture of wrath and fear contorting his features! "She's fine! Just pull the glass out, and apply a little bit of pressure to stop~"
"You're a doctor? How do you know, 'She's fine!'?" the ranger's retort sprang up before he caught Trent's warning look! Although not under Morrison's actual jurisdiction, he still held respect for him! And he was right! No point in antagonizing the guy!
* * *
Daniel wasn't the only one making a u-turn in frustration at the traffic jam! Fresh panic clawed at him! Viewing Morrison's photo of his daughter's injuries, he raced back toward Durango to meet the chopper at the hospital! Arriving earlier than the rescue chopper's ETA, he guiltily called Diana!
"Glass in her back? From what? Forward the picture to me!"
Hands shaking, he complied, wondering the same thing!
* * *
Alexandra was in pain; and scared! No longer did she feel like an adult woman firmly in control of her life! Tearfully, she wished Brad would show more concern toward her, both for her own peace of mind, as well as making a better impression on the Forestry rescue personnel! Again, she chafed at Trent Morrison, a family friend's, being the one to lead the rescuers! Who sent for a rescue party, anyway? Humiliation and pain rode the merry-go-round in her brain!
* * *
Diana Faulkner fought feelings of total impotence and defeat! 'How could Alexandra have purposely~ Had they not taught her the serious consequences~'Glumly, she took the blame! Hadn't she done the same thing~when handsome Daniel Faulkner appeared on her bleak horizon? Well, that situation was different! And yet, eerily the same! Was that Alexandra's befuddled thinking? That she could tangle with Brad Maxwell, get him saved, and turn him into a stalwart Christian, as Daniel had grown into? But, when you disobeyed God and His Word like that, there were no guarantees for a good outcome!
On her knees, she poured out her fears and pleas to her heavenly Father! Then, on her feet once more, she wiped the tears away, repaired her makeup, and reserved the earliest flight to Denver, where she would connect for the small Western Slope town of Durango! She didn't like glass! As a nurse, she was aware of the scope of danger it presented!
* * *
Emergency personnel met the chopper with a stretcher! Then frowning, the ER nurse, Megan Green, opted for a wheel chair to evacuate the wounded passenger!
Alexandra couldn't figure out what the problem was! She knew Brad was furious at the unexpected detour! But they hadn't done anything wrong, and as soon as the doctor removed the glass, maybe with a couple of stitches, they could get on with their lives! She looked around for him, and her eyes widened with horror! Brad was nowhere in sight! And her dad advanced toward her, tears streaming down his face!
Before she could utter a sound, he spoke, sobbing, filled with remorse and self-incrimination for failing her! Steeling herself, she met his anguish with her iciest stare!
"I'm fine! You got Mallory to the marriage altar unsullied! That was really all you cared about, anyway! I'm not sure what you're doing here! I'm an adult, and I know exactly what I'm doing!"
The overheard words sliced into Trent Morrison's heart on behalf of his friend, confirming his long-held opinion that Alexandra was a snot-nosed brat! No one deserved to be spoken to like that!
Pretending not to hear, he gave directions for cleaning out the craft's interior. Then, suddenly, he pulled his phone free to issue an order to Jim Bailey, his head man in the San Juan Forest Law Enforcement and Investigative Services:
"Go to this crime scene and go over it with a fine-toothed comb!" He supplied coordinates! "Check for the presence of broken glass, and whatever~else~you may see~" He felt a certain gratification in Maxwell's alarmed response!
Trent didn't know all the details of Daniel Faulkner's having agreed to accepting a 'Guardianship', of sorts, over seventeen year old Mallory O'Shaughnessy following her father's death several years earlier! But from Alexandra's remark, she seemed to deeply resent Mallory's interloping into their family!
Surprised that anyone could resent Mallory, he tried to drive the disturbing remark from his mind!
* * *
Certain that Al's injuries were superficial, Daniel forced himself to deal with insurance issues and ER admission! Moodily, he wondered why Maxwell didn't step forward to assure him of his love for Al, and his commitment to her care and well-being! He scoffed to himself, certain it would be the best thing all round if the two young people called this a mistake and walked away from each other! Part of him had held out hope for the promising young Geology grad student; but that was before Alexandra had become so taken with him! Brad still wasn't saved, and though, earlier in the summer, Daniel thought he was honestly seeking for answers~now he seemed to have decided in favor of pleasing his ungodly grandfather who held the reins on the Maxwell family fortune! Forcing his emotions under control, he struggled with the pesky, business-part of receiving medical attention!
Trent stood, not certain whether to fade away into the woodwork or offer moral support! He couldn't imagine the other man's mortification~Amazing that Alexandra was, 'all grown up', but her dad was running financial interference for her with the insurance thing! 'Kids!' An anguished sigh escaped!
* * *
Diana paused before her connecting flight to contact her brother, Gray, who oversaw some of the accounting and insurance issues for their various corporate entities. Blessedly, he simply responded with helpful answers and no questions of his own! Uneasily, Diana figured he was aware of the situation, or at least, it didn't surprise him!
Not usually one to get airsick, she dosed for it anyway! Turbulence was certain for the small, regional jet crossing the Continental Divide! On board, she spread her Bible on her lap; then gazed at it, unseeing!
* * *
Alexandra's fear and frustration rose as minutes ticked by on the big wall clock! Megan Green stuck close, and Alexandra wondered if her presence was deterring Brad from being at her side! She forced tears back! More than likely he was scared of her dad! Which, she couldn't figure out why he was here instead of at home in Tulsa! She shook harder! If they needed X-rays, why didn't they come take them? And she needed to talk to Brad!
* * *
"Can I get you something?" Trent approached Daniel, who was still trying to work out his daughter's insurance coverage. "Coffee? Have you eaten anything?"
"No, thanks, though! Did Alexandra have a purse or wallet with her? I need to get this taken care of and see how she's doing! Diana was worried about her having a back full of glass!"
Trent ran the scene through his memory! "Not that I saw! Maxwell has a backpack~maybe he has some of her stuff with him." Seeing his friend's horrified expression, he offered, "I'll look for him and find out!"
He wheeled away, not sure he could be any more civil to the kid than Daniel could! Walking out to meet blistering heat rising from the pavement, he circled the parking lot! Sweat beaded on his forehead and dampened the back of his freshly knife-pleated shirt! What a nightmare of a day! The only thing that could be worse, was if it were one of his four! A stinging memory threatened to undo his emotional control! Of the previous year, when he and Sonia had nearly lost Megan to a severe asthma attack! Well, actually, had lost her~on life support, but technically~
He squinted. There sat the object of his search on a park bench! As he regarded his quarry, he saw him take a covert swig from a paper bag! What a total piece of dirt! He couldn't do this! Clenching fists at his side, he forced himself forward!
"Okay, Lord, I'm a law officer! Help me not to do anything stupid to end my career! Or send myself to prison!"
Although he felt tempted to call the local police department to report the illegal drinking, he approached the youth, circling into his line of vision.
Brad's turbulent blue eyes blazed at him, and he spoke though clenched teeth, "It wasn't a crime scene! No 'crime' was committed! We're both legally~" he broke off, "What's Alexandra saying?"
Trent forced himself to deal with the immediate issue, resisting angrily contradicting the kid! Public lewdness was a legal violation, consensual, or not! And no matter the ages of the offenders! "Okay, take it easy! As a law officer I have certain parameters I'm required to follow~have you eaten anything? Listen, Mr. Faulkner's having a hard time with Alexandra's insurance coverage! Did she leave a purse or billfold with you?" Trent forced his tone to be both authoritative and controlled!
Excerpted from Alexandra by Paula Rae Wallace. Copyright © 2015 Paula Rae Wallace. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing.
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.
Table of Contents
ContentsChapter 1: GUILTY, 1,
Chapter 2: PERIL, 10,
Chapter 3: WARNINGS, 19,
Chapter 4: MÊLÉE, 28,
Chapter 5: SOLUTIONS, 37,
Chapter 6: EXPLANATIONS, 44,
Chapter 7: LONGING, 55,
Chapter 8: CHASTISEMENT, 66,
Chapter 9: COPING, 76,
Chapter 10: CHANGE, 86,
Chapter 11: TRAPPED, 97,
Chapter 12: FREED, 104,
Chapter 13: PROGRESS, 114,
Chapter 14: SUPERNATURAL, 124,
Chapter 15: RECUPERATION, 135,
Chapter 16: RESTORATION, 150,
Chapter 17: DURESS, 160,
Chapter 18: STRUGGLE, 167,
Chapter 19: REFLECTIONS, 178,
Chapter 20: INCIDENT, 190,
Chapter 21: HUMILITY, 199,
Chapter 22: CHRISTMAS, 212,
Chapter 23: SURPRISE, 224,
Chapter 24: FRUSTRATED, 233,
Chapter 25: DISASTER, 242,
Chapter 26: FORGIVENESS, 244,
Chapter 27: LEISEL, 252,
Chapter 28: SECURITY, 262,
Chapter 29: BLESSED, 273,
Chapter 30: ONSLAUGHT, 285,
Chapter 31: GEMSTONES, 298,
Chapter 32: INVESTIGATION, 309,
Chapter 33: VOWS, 322,
Chapter 34: BLESSED, 332,
Chapter 35: EXPANSION, 343,
Chapter 36: JUSTICE, 358,
Chapter 37: SALVATION, 368,
Chapter 38: SUCCESS, 382,
Chapter 39: ELEGANCE, 395,
Chapter 40: SYNERGY, 406,
Chapter 41: CONTENTMENT, 419,