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Yuletide Stalker

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Язык: Английский
Год издания: 2018 год
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      Yuletide Stalker
Irene Brand

To Linc Carey, Maddie Horton had always been a gangly kid with braces.So when a gorgeous woman walked off the plane, Linc was stunned at the changes in his late commanding offi cer's daughter. The Hawaiian holiday was his belated graduation present to Maddie, who'd been thrilled when her former crush invited her for a Christmas visit.Neither expected romance to blossom in such a short time. But Maddie's dream trip soon turned ugly when the people responsible for her father's murder set their sights on her. Can Linc protect Maddie from her yuletide stalker?

The Mellow Years

The Mellow Years

The Mellow Years

The Mellow Years

The Mellow Years

The Mellow Years

“I’d hoped it wouldn’t become widespread knowledge that you were visiting the islands,” Linc said, handing her the newspaper.

Maddie read the article, choking back a frightened cry.

“Maybe that’s the man who’s been s-stalking me,” she stammered. “I thought he was watching me at the national park, too, but I didn’t tell you because that person turned out to be a woman. I suppose I just imagined that she looked like the man.”

Linc turned the page and pointed to the picture of the escaped criminal. “Does this look like the man you’ve seen?”

“Maybe, but I don’t know. I’ve just had a few fleeting looks at him. Do you think I’m in danger?”

“I hope not, but perhaps you’d better go home. I want you to be safe.”

IRENE BRAND

Writing has been a lifelong interest of this author, who says that she started her first novel when she was eleven years old and hasn’t finished it yet. However, since 1984 she’s published thirty-two contemporary and historical novels and three nonfiction titles. She started writing professionally in 1977 after she completed her master’s degree in history at Marshall University. Irene taught in secondary public schools for twenty-three years, but retired in 1989 to devote herself to writing.

Consistent involvement in the activities of her local church has been a source of inspiration for Irene’s work. Traveling with her husband, Rod, to all fifty states and to thirty-two foreign countries has also inspired her writing. Irene is grateful to the many readers who have written to say that her inspiring stories and compelling portrayals of characters with strong faith have made a positive impression on their lives. You can write to her at P.O. Box 2770, Southside, WV 25187 or visit her Web site at www.irenebrand.com.

Irene Brand

Yuletide Stalker

“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”

—Luke 2:7

Thanks to our friend, Heryl Turner, for providing basic research for this book by taking me for a ride in his Cessna 172 Skyhawk.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

INTERLUDE

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

ONE

The first twenty years of Maddie Horton’s life seemed of little importance as she anticipated the next few weeks. This upcoming Christmas vacation promised to be a time of pleasure and adventure. Her first airplane ride. Her first trip outside the continental United States. And when she landed in Honolulu in a few hours, she would see Lincoln Carey for the first time in over ten years.

Recalling that momentous occasion when Lincoln, who preferred to be called Linc, came into her life, brought fleeting sadness to Maddie. Her father, Commander Stanley Horton of the U. S. Navy, had been on a six-month assignment to Hawaii when he was killed in an airplane crash. Maddie was only ten years old. Linc, a junior officer under her father’s command, had accompanied his body home to West Virginia for burial.

Unaware, the handsome sailor had stolen Maddie’s impressionable heart at their first meeting. The years hadn’t changed her affection for him. After her mother died, Maddie kept in touch with Linc with an occasional note. She had also sent him her high school graduation announcement, which he hadn’t acknowledged.

But when she’d written to ask him to provide some information about Hawaii’s role in World War II for a History project, he invited her to spend the Christmas holidays with him in Hawaii and do onsite research. Maddie had jumped at the chance to find out if the man she’d enshrined in her heart for ten years was as wonderful as she imagined.

Anticipating the trip, Maddie had become as flighty and excited as a kitten chasing sunbeams. She lived in a state of euphoria for weeks. But she’d come down to earth with a thud when she visited Caroline Renault, director of the Valley of Hope facility, where Maddie had lived for two years. VOH was a residence school for at-risk teenagers. Maddie didn’t qualify for admission to the school for the usual reasons. But knowing that she was dying, Maddie’s mother, who had been Miss Caroline’s friend for years, had arranged for Maddie to live at VOH until she was eighteen.

“Did you seek God’s guidance before you planned this trip?” Miss Caroline asked.

Embarrassed, Maddie admitted that she hadn’t.

“I haven’t received any positive reassurance when I’ve prayed about your trip,” Miss Caroline continued. “Since you’ve already accepted the invitation, there isn’t anything I can do except warn you to be careful. But I sense that danger waits for you in Hawaii.”

Because she respected Miss Caroline and her opinions, her concern caused Maddie several anxious days. But in the excitement of the final preparations, Maddie often pushed her friend’s cautionary words into the background. During today’s ten-hour flight, though, she wondered if she would encounter some kind of trouble in Hawaii.

When she’d discussed her concerns with her roommate, Lucy Harrison, Lucy scoffed at the idea.

“What could happen, unless Lincoln Carey turns out to be a jerk?” Lucy said in her matter-of-fact way. “And you’ve got a return ticket. If he makes a pass at you, you can always go to a hotel for a few days. In the meantime, you’ll have a lot of new experiences.”

Her eyes sweeping Maddie from head to toe, Lucy asked, “Does Linc Carey know what you look like?”

“I’ve never sent him a picture. He probably remembers the way I looked when I was ten.”

“And how old is he?”

“Eleven years older than I am. He’s thirty-one now.”

With twinkling eyes, Lucy said, “Chances are he still thinks of you as a child. Your appearance may be quite a shock to the man.”
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