Alaska Twilight (Women of Faith Fiction)

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9781595540836: Alaska Twilight (Women of Faith Fiction)

"You hide behind your camera instead of stepping out and engaging life with both hands. You're so afraid you'll fail at something, you won't even try."

For some people, Alaska is a breathtaking wilderness adventure, full of light and beauty. For Haley, it is a dangerous world of dark dreams and tortured memories. On the surface, she's here to document wildlife activist Kipp Nowak's bear encounters. But her real reason is to unearth the truth about a past murder. The suspense mounts when another body turns up, and Haley beginst to wonder if the tragedies she experienced in the past are connected to the dangers and mysterious incidents of the present.

From behind her camera, Haley observes it all, including Tank Lassiter, the wildlife biologist who has been forced to lead Kipp and his team into the Alaskan backcountry. As she watches him with his work, she feels a growing attraction. It will take great courage and faith to confront the truth she once ran away from. Before it's over, Haley may be viewing herself from an entirely new angle.

Alaska Twilight is the story of a young woman's emergence from the shadows of past sorrow into the light of forgiveness and grace.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

USA Today bestselling author Colleen Coble has written several romantic suspense novels including Tidewater Inn, Rosemary Cottage, and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series. Visit her website at www.colleencoble.com Twitter: @colleencoble Facebook: colleencoblebooks

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter One

Stalwart, Alaska. Population 301. Haley Walsh laid down her itinerary and looked down from the small plane in which she flew to see its shadow moving over the treetops-a forest of spruce, birch, and alder. Snow melted in puddles and revealed muddy land springing to new life in the lengthening days. Then the shadow caressed Stalwart, a tiny collection of cabins and storefronts. Even though it was April, the temperature wasn't more than forty degrees in this Land of the Midnight Sun, though she'd heard tomorrow would be warmer.

"It says here that Alaska has ten million lakes and a hundred thousand glaciers," Haley's grandmother said. At seventy years of age, Augusta Walsh's blue eyes sparkled with warm liveliness and curiosity. Most people guessed her age to be in the fifties, and her blond pageboy made her look like an older Doris Day, a resemblance she generally played to the hilt. "There are immense areas that have never had a human footprint, and thousands of mountains that have never been climbed."

Augusta's awed pronouncements just served to deepen Haley's fear. She swallowed hard and tried not to look down at the vast wilderness that yawned below her. The plane dipped, the lake below grew closer, and then the tiny craft touched the water. The plane glided to a stop beside a rickety pier that jutted into the water like an accusing finger.

"Let's go, go, go," Kipp Nowak bellowed. Everyone in the plane jumped at the sound of his foghorn voice, but he either didn't notice or didn't care. Only five feet five, his voice was the only large thing about him. Bruno Magli boots encased his small, slender feet, and his dark hair had been spiked into a careless style that would have suited a twenty-year-old but just deepened the lines around his blue eyes. He looked better on film than in real life.

Haley had watched his documentaries on TV for years. His antics with bears in Yellowstone had captured the American imagination for nearly a decade. Now she was going to take pictures of his next adventure herself. He'd maintained his adventurer's image by picking them up in Anchorage and piloting them out here himself. She settled back against the seat and pulled her camera, a Nikon f/5, up to her face. She adjusted the aperture to compensate for the glare of the glass, then snapped a few shots at the wilderness outside the plane. The familiar whir and click of the camera made her feel less out of her element, though her hands were still clammy.

"That's it, boys and girls. Your last glimpse of civilization for now." Kipp rubbed his hands together. "For the next few weeks, bears will be your companions. I've been here for a month with Tank Lassiter to get the lay of the land as the bears emerged from their dens. Now that the wildflowers are ready to bloom, it's time to shoot. There are a couple of bears I'm eager to show you yet today."

No one said anything. They all knew better than to get Kipp started on his hobbyhorse. Haley shivered. Was she strong enough for this? Staring out the window at a wilderness that seemed to go on forever, she struggled not to give in to her doubts. She lifted her chin, then moved to get out of the plane.

Haley had consulted several Web sites before purchasing Seven jeans, a long-sleeved Rebecca Beeson T-shirt, and a Timberland wool shirt and jacket. The layered outfit was supposed to keep her comfortable no matter what the weather might do. She wore rubber Wellington boots, and though they weren't as stylish as she would have liked, they would keep her feet dry. She wore a pair of thin wool socks over her regular socks as well, because a local in Anchorage told her the temperature might well drop to the teens tonight. She liked fashion, but she knew better than to let it dictate her choices totally. Functionality was key in Alaska. She remembered that much.

"I thought we'd land in town," Augusta said. She looked around the clearing. "This is nowhere."

Kipp swung open his door. "We have plenty of supplies, so I didn't want to waste time in town. It's to our north, and the bears are to our south. This area is sheltered, and our plane can float here with no problem. We're in a good central location." He got out of the plane and moored it to the dock.

The rest of the crew began to clamber out of the plane. Haley rubbed slick palms against her jeans. She turned her head and felt the blood drain from her face, leaving her vision swimming. The barren trees were still devoid of leaves, and the starkness struck her with an ominous sense of lifelessness. She clawed at her camera and brought it up to her eyes. Adjust the aperture, focus, center the photo. The familiar tasks gave her perspective. The camera whirred as she snapped too many pictures to count. The action gained her enough emotional distance to ease her ragged breathing.

Augusta touched her hand. "Don't look at it yet," she whispered.

Easier said than done. Her hands shaking, Haley lowered the camera. "I'll be okay in a minute. It just caught me by surprise."

Augusta cupped Haley's face in her hands and looked deep into her eyes. "I'm so proud of you. You're brave enough to face it now."

She was in her Doris Day encouragement mode. Haley was in no mood for it. "I'm not being brave," she said. "I want my movies, my friends, the malls, and especially my powdered donuts. This is not my idea of a good time. I'm only here because my shrink said this would help bring closure, so I'm going to see it through. If I reconnect with Chloe, maybe the nightmares will stop."

Augusta's brilliant smile faded, and she dropped her hands. "God would help you more than ten shrinks."

They'd been over this a thousand times. Haley decided not to make it one thousand and one. She began to gather up her belongings. She slung her knapsack of photographic equipment over her shoulder, then grabbed her single suitcase and the carrier that held her dapple dachshund, Oscar.

Oscar yelped at the sudden movement and began to bark to be let out. Haley soothed the dog. She was thankful when Augusta grabbed her suitcase and exited onto the weathered pier without saying another word. Haley followed. Uneven ground was difficult for her to navigate, and the mud didn't help as she struggled to exit the plane.

She found her balance, though, and took in the scene. The lake was a surreal blue, as blue as Augusta's eyes. Haley stared at the amazing sight and the stand of spruce on the other side. Such a wild, untamed place. She shivered again. The lake and river drained into Cook Inlet to their south, and this airy forest with new moss and sprouting ferns appeared to be the end of the world. She opened the carrier and let Oscar out to do his business. The miniature dachshund dashed out and went to nose a patch of green breaking through a dwindling patch of snow.

Haley listened. The sound of rushing water and the chatter of birds overhead roared louder than any freeway noise. It pressed down on her like a heavy blanket. Vaguely familiar scents assaulted her as well--the last vestiges of melting snow, mud, wet moss, and the decay of last year's vegetation. It might appeal to some people, but for her, it just drove home the truth that she didn't belong here. She'd rather smell other humans and hear the sounds of civilization. She hurried to join the others among the litter of suitcases and boxes of supplies at the end of the dock.

"Ah, it's good to be back," said the producer-cameraman, Denny Saumik. "I grew up in Alaska, you know." His voice held a trace of Alaskan accent, an almost toneless quality. It looked like someone had put a bowl on his black hair, then cut it with jagged scissors. The small, smile-shaped scar above his left eye made him look like he was on the verge of asking a question at any moment. A tiny bear carved from some kind of bone hung from a rawhide string around his neck.

She hadn't known what to make of Denny at first. He never shut up. Her ears still rang from listening to him all the way from the Anchorage airport. But he was friendly and had immediately made her feel part of the team.

She dared to invite more conversation. "When were you here last?"

"About two months ago. My base is here, but I'm gone much of the year. I pop back now and again."

Haley nodded, then turned to look again at the pristine wilderness, though staring at the place made her feel like a no-see-um caught on flypaper. No place could be this beautiful--and remote. Rugged, snow-covered mountains looked as though they held up a blue sky that stretched to eternity and back. Water gurgled over rocks, a festive marching band of sound as spring thaw began its parade across the land. Timber crowded along the edge of the water and reflected in the broad pool.

It was the familiar place of nightmares.

Kipp clapped his hands. "Leave the stuff here for now, and we'll get camp set up later. The bears should be out feeding, so bring your cameras and come with me." He paused long enough for Denny to pull out his digital video camera and fit Kipp with a wireless mic. "Better leave the dog here."

Haley nodded and put Oscar back in his carrier, much to his displeasure. She gave him his rubber hot-dog-and-bun toy for solace. Some people were touched in the head, and Haley was beginning to think she was one of them to have even agreed to come along. She met Augusta's gaze as they followed Denny and Kipp to the river. The roar of the rapids grew louder until the foursome stood on the steep bank looking down onto crystal water rushing over a small waterfall.

"There they are!" Kipp pointed out two forms standing along the shore.

Haley had missed the animals at first. She took a step back. She hadn't expected them to be so big. They were only ten feet away, and both turned at the sound of Kipp's voice. Haley said, "One of them is yellowish. I thought brown bears were brown."

Kipp ignored her comment....

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Book Description Thomas Nelson Publishers, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. You hide behind your camera instead of stepping out and engaging life with both hands. You re so afraid you ll fail at something, you won t even try. For some people, Alaska is a breathtaking wilderness adventure, full of light and beauty. For Haley, it is a dangerous world of dark dreams and tortured memories. On the surface, she s here to document wildlife activist Kipp Nowak s bear encounters. But her real reason is to unearth the truth about a past murder. The suspense mounts when another body turns up, and Haley beginst to wonder if the tragedies she experienced in the past are connected to the dangers and mysterious incidents of the present.From behind her camera, Haley observes it all, including Tank Lassiter, the wildlife biologist who has been forced to lead Kipp and his team into the Alaskan backcountry. As she watches him with his work, she feels a growing attraction. It will take great courage and faith to confront the truth she once ran away from. Before it s over, Haley may be viewing herself from an entirely new angle.Alaska Twilight is the story of a young woman s emergence from the shadows of past sorrow into the light of forgiveness and grace. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9781595540836

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Book Description Thomas Nelson Publishers, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. You hide behind your camera instead of stepping out and engaging life with both hands. You re so afraid you ll fail at something, you won t even try. For some people, Alaska is a breathtaking wilderness adventure, full of light and beauty. For Haley, it is a dangerous world of dark dreams and tortured memories. On the surface, she s here to document wildlife activist Kipp Nowak s bear encounters. But her real reason is to unearth the truth about a past murder. The suspense mounts when another body turns up, and Haley beginst to wonder if the tragedies she experienced in the past are connected to the dangers and mysterious incidents of the present.From behind her camera, Haley observes it all, including Tank Lassiter, the wildlife biologist who has been forced to lead Kipp and his team into the Alaskan backcountry. As she watches him with his work, she feels a growing attraction. It will take great courage and faith to confront the truth she once ran away from. Before it s over, Haley may be viewing herself from an entirely new angle.Alaska Twilight is the story of a young woman s emergence from the shadows of past sorrow into the light of forgiveness and grace. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9781595540836

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Book Description Thomas Nelson Publishers, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. You hide behind your camera instead of stepping out and engaging life with both hands. You re so afraid you ll fail at something, you won t even try. For some people, Alaska is a breathtaking wilderness adventure, full of light and beauty. For Haley, it is a dangerous world of dark dreams and tortured memories. On the surface, she s here to document wildlife activist Kipp Nowak s bear encounters. But her real reason is to unearth the truth about a past murder. The suspense mounts when another body turns up, and Haley beginst to wonder if the tragedies she experienced in the past are connected to the dangers and mysterious incidents of the present.From behind her camera, Haley observes it all, including Tank Lassiter, the wildlife biologist who has been forced to lead Kipp and his team into the Alaskan backcountry. As she watches him with his work, she feels a growing attraction. It will take great courage and faith to confront the truth she once ran away from. Before it s over, Haley may be viewing herself from an entirely new angle.Alaska Twilight is the story of a young woman s emergence from the shadows of past sorrow into the light of forgiveness and grace. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9781595540836

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