Gaining Ground continues and completes the enchanting, high-energy saga of David and Mallory as they press forward in their Christian faith, maintaining good testimonies in a marketplace fraught with deteriorating business ethics! Keeping their eyes on their own goals, they keep gaining ground for their portfolio and ultimately for the cause of Christ! Caught in a web of escalating criminal activity, they experience brushes with death personally and among their close group of friends! A must-not miss!
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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 other works:
Christian fiction: Dazzling, Treasures, Wealth, Magnificence, Radiance, The Andersons, Family Forged, Brenna, and Alexandra!
Devotional works: Dwelling by the Well and The Prayer and Praise Journal
Read an Excerpt
The David and Mallory Anderson Trilogy: Volume 3
By Paula Rae Wallace
Trafford PublishingCopyright © 2014 Paula Rae Wallace
All rights reserved.
"Okay, slow down and be careful. I don't want you to fall and skin yourself up! And you need to keep an eye out for snakes." Beautiful Geologist, Mallory Anderson, watched as her small daughter, Amelia, toddled up the dry stream bed toward a hastily placed RV village. Smiling, she returned to her task, swinging a state-of-the art metal detector from side to side in the arroyo. Repeated beeps encouraged, but she didn't pause for close exploration; really no need to.
"You hunting for Diamonds?"
She whirled with a start at the sudden presence beside her. She paused, backing away and preparing to swing the instrument, should the intruder stepped nearer. Thoughts flashed through her brain with the speed of a DART A-train hurtling from the suburbs into Dallas. 'Why would she use a metal detector to look for Diamonds? Who is this, and how does he connect me to Diamonds? Where's David? Where's anyone? How did this guy gain access to our land?'
The old guy regarded her steadily before grinning. "Reckon I done scared ya a mite."
Her eyes flashed. "Reckon you did. You're on private property and there are trespassing signs posted."
He ran a gnarly hand through a straggly beard, before spitting a stream toward a rock. "Yeah, well I do no harm. Signs and fences don't mean nothin'. Everything belongs to the good Lord, anyhoo!"
"Uh-huh; so that's your angle if you find the Lost Dutchman? What are you, seriously, an old prospector? Or maybe there's a movie being produced, and the realtor forgot to mention that fact to us?"
He chuckled and wheezed. "Yeah, and I'm the star." He mentioned a prominent name.
Mallory frowned. "Yeah, the makeup people did a good job disguising you. Seriously, who are you and why are you on our land?"
"Look, Girlie, it's gettin' hot out. Why don't you go find a nice air-conditioned trailer house~"
Mallory backed farther. "Fine, I'll do that. But we better not catch you on our land again."
He held his ground and shrugged contemptuously. "Okay, reckon I won't letcha ketch me then."
* * *
Daniel Faulkner listened interestedly to the latest from David and Mallory. "Okay, that sounds amazing." His voice effervesced. "We're going to stop in Phoenix and have lunch with the attorney, just to be on the safe side with the land acquisition and mineral rights. We don't want to lose out on technicalities."
"Good idea," David agreed. "Is that water rights, too? And, try to be casual about it, but I think it would behoove us to obtain whatever else is on the market. Adjacent of course, is most convenient~"
"That good; huh?" Daniel's eyes met Diana's.
David laughed. "Yes, Sir; we think so! Of course, when a couple more Geologists get on site, we can get a better read."
Alexandra bounced up and down behind her dad's seat as when she was a little kid.
"Can't we please go to the property first?" she cajoled. "And you and Mom can get with the attorneys later on today?"
"Wish we could, Al." Daniel liked his daughter's eagerness as a Geology student, to get into the field. But if the first site was as promising as it sounded, they needed all of the legal t's crossed, and the i's dotted. No margin for error!
* * *
Mallory nodded slowly at the new development. "Well, Daniel's right, of course. If this place is the treasure trove the initial tests are showing, people will be looking for loopholes to take it away from us. But I was hoping they'd be here quicker, so someone could keep an eye open here while we go into town." She paused thoughtfully. "We really need more people here, anyway. There's security in numbers."
David nodded agreement as he set another wooden block in place on his tower. The baby, Avery, knocked it down gleefully, and he pretended to pout. "Well, you're right about security in numbers," he answered thoughtfully, "if the numbers are people you trust."
She nodded. "For some reason, I've been thinking about Katy and Jason! And Trayne!"
Against Avery's wailing protest, David hopped up from the pile of wooden blocks! "That is brilliant!" He paused to plant a kiss on Mallory's lips. "Do you want me to call them~"
She smiled brightly. "Yeah, go ahead. See how fast they can get here! Like on the next flight! We can get them whatever they'll need when they get here."
* * *
"You're right." David shot Mallory a sideways glance. They tailed the trespasser as he pulled into the assay office. David nodded the go ahead: "Call the police department."
She did, and found herself in an argument with a clerk.
David frowned. So much for that plan. "Hang up and dial 911." He reached for her phone, taking over the call.
"Yes, Ma'am, the nature of our emergency is that we encountered a trespasser on our property yesterday, and now he's stolen from us. We're at~" He pulled in, reading a fading sign: Dane Webster, Assayer, 218 West Main. "The address is 218 West Main."
"Is this an emergency?"
"It is! Have an officer respond!" He handed Mallory's phone back. "Okay, keep your gun handy and wait out here."
She nodded, ready to comply. But with both little girls in the SUV~ "Okay, you be careful, too!"
David strode into the aged structure and the assayer looked up briefly. "Be with you in a moment, Sir."
David nodded pleasantly. No rush; the police didn't seem to be responding quickly anyway.
"Man, Rudy," the assayer looked up sharply from the scale, "you got some good stuff here! You finally find the Lost Dutchman?
"S-hhhhh-t," the nappy-looking prospector hissed a warning, indicating the newcomer behind him. "Don't be askin' me no questions. Just weigh her out and pay me my money."
As the transaction neared completion, a police car finally rolled in. A lone officer rambled in.
"Mornin' Hank," the assayer greeted, "What brings you in here?"
"You haven't got a crime in progress, Dane? We received a 911 that some emergency was going down here. Glad to see you're okay."
David stepped forward. "Good morning, officer. My wife and I called in. This gentleman," he indicated the thief, "well, we caught him yesterday, trespassing on our land. He actually startled my wife. He's here now, selling gold that he stole when he returned during the night."
"Hey, you ain't got no proof of that~" The prospector's whiny voice grated.
"Easy, Rudy, I've got things under control," Hank's eyes bored into David. "Them's some pretty serious charges, Son!"
"Nevertheless, true!" Resenting the attempt at intimidation; David stepped closer rather than backing away. "My name is David Anderson, and we do have proof that the gold is ours."
Hank Darby crossed his arms importantly across his expansive chest.
"Like I said," David went on patiently. "My wife's a Geologist, and we've purchased a good-sized plot where we've begun exploration. Mr.~uh~Rudy, is it? He slipped up near an arroyo where she was taking tests with a metal detector. He heard the beeps and knew slipping back at night would be worth his while. Here, let me show you pictures we took on my phone. Here's where he dug in our arroyo, with his little folding shovel; the shovel that's in the back of his truck out there, now!"
Hank smirked. "Big deal~ Lots of guys prospect with similar equipment."
"Probably, but Rudy here, wasn't prospecting! He knew straight where to come to grab a small fortune! But there's more proof! When we first arrived, we spread our place with organic fertilizer and grass seed. Those indicators are bound to be on his clothes and boots, as well as on his equipment~"
Forced into a corner, Hank capitulated. "Okay, Dane, you heard this fella's claim. I'm taking that gold into evidence. Rudy, looks like you're back in your same cell; we'll have ta send your clothes off to the state lab for testing."
"Organic fertilizer," the felon mumbled. "I wondered what smelled so rank." His words interspersed liberally with profanity.
The policeman didn't bother with cuffs, but indicated for the prisoner to precede him. "No kiddin', Rudy; we thought it was just you!"
* * *
Donovan Cline did one more email check prior to leaving his office for the day. The missive quickened his pulse and flushed his face with color. Permission from foreign authorities to place his salvage operation at the Straits of Tiran to explore with a submersible! Part of him wished he had considered the more extensive operation from the outset; but he knew that the first attempt, though not accomplishing his immediate goals, was what was now giving him favor and the go-ahead! Sitting back down at his ornate desk, he sent a group email to the friends who were as eager for word as he was. This was absolutely thrilling!
* * *
Nina Garcia followed slowly behind a group of excited tourists. Taking in a day excursion from the cruise ship, she strolled alone. Feeling shy and inadequate about both her poor English and her impoverished upbringing, she didn't mingle easily with the well-heeled cruise crowd. She was happy, though, taking note of warm sunshine tempered with a capricious breeze. She was on Malta! She strolled among the vendors along the Valletta waterfront, admiring crafts and eager for ideas. She paused in her meandering to find a table at an outdoor café for a pastry and coffee. She smiled easily when the proprietor requested that she share the table. Nothing strange for Nina! People in most countries were more amenable to crowding together and sharing space than were Americans. She smiled timidly as she pulled out her crochet work.
The couple at her table conversed softly with one another as they placed their order and waited for their food.
"Very pretty; your handbag," Nina smiled, pointing at the newcomer's exclusive bag. "Is Italian?"
"Yes, as a matter of fact! We like Italian leather better than any place in the world."
"Nina nodded, "Yes, very fine quality! Do you try Spain?"
The lady became suddenly loquacious. "You know, I think it's so odd that you should mention that! One of my dear friends recently returned from Spain, and she brought the most adorable shoes back with her! I had no idea! What is that beautiful item you're crocheting?"
Nina blushed, "Is dress!" She stated the obvious. "I make for my niece's company, and her beautiful friend." Nina timidly offered a business card and showed a sketch of Mallory modeling the product of the moment. Feeling suddenly brave in the other woman's openness, she offered. "Also, I am very good cook! You ever go Miami?"
"Why Dear, we live in Miami!"
"You come buy from my truck! You like!" She pointed to the elegant seafood sandwich being placed carefully by a server! "Is better! Honduran! You ever eat?"
"I don't believe we ever have! But we always love new adventures, don't we Taylor?"
Taylor looked up from his Wall Street Journal, "Yes, Dear!"
* * *
"There! David!" Mallory's voice broke the silence so suddenly that he jumped. "That looks perfect!"
He laughed, always amazed by her ability to see what others missed. "You know, I read a passage this morning that reminded me of you!
Joshua 6:1&2 Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.
And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valor.
Joshua was looking at a fortified and impenetrable city, and the Lord told him, that regardless of how hopeless things looked from a human standpoint, that He could do the impossible, and bring great victory." He turned his blinker on for a left turn and waited for a few oncoming vehicles, before pulling in to the derelict property.
Mallory simply gazed around, her excitement growing. "Can you make out the phone number?"
He frowned. The aged building defied description for pitiful. "Mallory, that for sale sign must be at least twenty years old! It's been used for target practice, and it's rusty! No, I can't read the number, and it probably wouldn't be a valid number by now. But let's check the building out." He unlocked his truck door.
"No, wait. I need to call Kerry and have him acquire it for us. Without the locals knowing we're interested. That could make them assume it holds vast riches, which it may~"
He nodded. "Yeah, it's been here empty so long, and it's such an eyesore, that we should be able to get a good deal. We don't want the owner to 'see us coming' and jack up the price. Still, I'd like to see what we're making an offer on."
She laughed. "Uh, pretty sure what we see is what we get. Let's assume it's a total wreck, and if anything's still usable, we'll consider it a plus."
"Yeah, but look at the foundation. We might be ahead by razing the building and starting over on the lot."
"Well, it doesn't say it's condemned. You can make it workable!"
* * *
Katy and Jason, accompanied by Trayne and their kids, loaded into the sixteen passenger van and headed northeast from Phoenix on 60, Superstition Freeway.
"I'm excited to see David and Mallory again. I'm dying to see their kids!" Katy glowed with anticipation.
Jason nodded absently as he studied an article in a journal of nursing. He looked up. "Yeah, I hope they aren't bringing us down for the purpose of treating the wounded in a gold camp war."
"Come on, Jason, you know better. We're bringing our kids, and the Faulkners are in and out with theirs. It's sad when law enforcement people are sympathetic to the local populace more than in over-all law and order. David and Mallory are rushing to make everything they're doing, state-of-the-art secure!"
Still, Jason frowned thoughtfully. "Isn't your dad pretty good friends with that Arabian Horse rancher and his SOC Foundation?"
"He is, Jason; but I don't want dad and mom to get on the warpath about the kids. They didn't have to let us bring them. But, what we can do is remind David about the Hansons and the power of the people!" She smiled brightly. "That's a great idea!"
* * *
David bobbed in at their Dallas home. No one seemed in proximity except for Mallory's raucous Hyacinth Mackaws. "Hey, is anyone home?" His voice echoed in the foyer, echoed again by the birds: "Hey, is anyone home?"
"We're coming!" Amelia's bright smile and curly hair appeared at the top of the stairs. "Watch, Daddy! Catch me!" She climbed onto the swirling banister and swooshed toward him.
"Does Mommy let you do that?" David, possessed with a riotous sense of fun, hated to be a killjoy.
"Uh-huh! Mommy teached me!"
He laughed, and tucking her beneath one arm, jogged up the staircase.
"Almost ready," Mallory apologized, somewhat breathless and ruffled. "Things have kept coming up~"
"Really, have the girls minded?"
She laughed. "Yeah, about like usual. Other things have presented challenges besides their escapades. Look what came a couple of hours ago!"
His gaze followed the sweep of her manicured hand. "That's nice; who'd it come from?"
Amelia pulled up onto their king sized bed and started jumping energetically. "It comed from Noah"!
"Okay, Amelia; stop jumping and put your toothpaste and toothbrush in your suitcase," Mallory instructed. "And you say, 'it came', not 'it comed'."
"Who's Noah?" David's question, more of habit than curiosity!
Mallory's auburn tresses swung around her shoulders and she sighed. "Amar bin Saaye! Now Amelia's convinced that since he wasn't Moses, and he had a large yacht, that he was Noah! And his pets were all in their cages out of sight~"
David frowned. "See, that's why I wasn't sure about sending him the candy~ He was already sweet on you."
She laughed and shoved her way into his arms. "Well, his intercession basically saved our lives; candy was actually a pretty paltry token of gratitude. And the chest isn't a gift to me, as much as a sample to show us this craft! I noticed similar, smaller pieces in the tourist shops on the way from Amman to Petra. They're made from inlaid camel bone." She raised the lid on the glistening white piece, to reveal cedar wood veneer lining the trunk's floor and lid. "I think these are the reason he approached us to begin with! Somehow he was aware of the fact that we promote some of the Turkish bazaar wares. I think he wanted us to partner in bringing these to the American market."
As a craftsman, himself, David admired the workmanship in the piece of furniture. "So, did you call him and work a deal?"
She shook her head. "Actually, I've been trying to get packed up and ready to leave for Arizona. But Trayne and Cade have both called to ask me questions. And then David Higgins ran into problems with the drill rig. Typical morning! How's your skyscraper? Sorry I forgot to ask when you first came in."
Excerpted from Gaining Ground by Paula Rae Wallace. Copyright © 2014 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: GOLD, 1,
Chapter 2: GRABBING, 13,
Chapter 3: GORGE, 28,
Chapter 4: GREED, 39,
Chapter 5: GRAPPLING, 49,
Chapter 6: GIFTS, 65,
Chapter 7: GOSPEL, 79,
Chapter 8: GEOLOGY, 93,
Chapter 9: GEMSTONE, 107,
Chapter 10: GALVANIZED, 119,
Chapter 11: GUIDANCE, 132,
Chapter 12: GLOW, 146,
Chapter 13: GHOSTS, 155,
Chapter 14: GAMBIT, 167,
Chapter 15: GRUMBLING, 182,
Chapter 16: GLIMMERS, 195,
Chapter 17: GRIT, 209,
Chapter 18: GIVER, 224,
Chapter 19: GRIMNESS, 239,
Chapter 20: GRATITUDE, 254,
Chapter 21: GENIUS, 269,
Chapter 22: GLAMOUR, 284,
Chapter 23: GAFFE, 293,
Chapter 24: GUSHER, 309,
Chapter 25: GROWTH, 322,
Chapter 26: GOALS, 336,
Chapter 27: GAIN, 353,
Chapter 28: GLIMPSES, 369,
Chapter 29: GRABBED, 383,
Chapter 30: GRACE, 390,
Chapter 31: GRANTED, 407,
Chapter 32: GRADIENTS, 419,
Chapter 33: GENIALITY, 433,
Chapter 34: GENEROSITY, 447,
Chapter 35: GERMANY, 459,
Chapter 36: GLORY, 472,