Nowhere to Turn

September 15th, 2014

Nowhere to Turn

9780800722098

By Lynette Eason

She thought her days of hiding were over . . . but the danger has just begun

The day Danielle Harding takes her eleven-year-old son and flees from her abusive husband is the same day Kurt Harding dies. A relieved Dani believes she and her son are finally safe–but in reality, things are just heating up. When Kurt was alive, he took something important from a mysterious individual–who wants the item back and believes Dani now has it. As she and her son run for their lives, they have nowhere to turn, until she hires Adam Buchanan of Operation Refuge and goes into hiding. Unfortunately, she won’t be able to hide for long . . .

From the first breathless scene, this tension-laced story will hold you in its iron grip as bestselling author Lynette Eason propels you along in a race to discover the truth.

ISLAND BREEZES

Fear and then a sigh of relief. With her husband’s death, Dani and her son have escaped the abuse. Unfortunately that relief didn’t last long enough.

When her husband was alive, he stole something of value and now someone wants it back. Dani would be happy to give it up, but she has no idea what it is.

Now she and her son are on the run, and she finally hires Adam from Operation Refuge to help them hide. But it seems someone is always just one step behind them and always turning up at their hiding places.

Who or what is giving away their location? Will they be able to figure out why they are being pursued in time to live without always being on the run?

As always, Ms Eason has given us another adrenalin filled book. I couldn’t put it down. Start reading this early in the day or you, too, will be up all night reading.

***A special thank you to Lanette Haskins for providing a review copy.***

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Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice series and the Deadly Reunions series, as well as No One to Trust. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She has a master’s degree in education from Converse College and she lives in South Carolina. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com.

A Light in the Wilderness

September 8th, 2014

A Light in the Wilderness

9781441219565

By Jane Kirkpatrick

Three very different women. One dangerous journey. And a future that seems just out of reach.

Letitia holds nothing more dear than the papers that prove she is no longer a slave. They may not cause most white folks to treat her like a human being, but at least they show she is free. She trusts in those words she cannot read–as she is beginning to trust in Davey Carson, an Irish immigrant cattleman who wants her to come west with him.

Nancy Hawkins is loathe to leave her settled life for the treacherous journey by wagon train, but she is so deeply in love with her husband and she knows she will follow him anywhere–even when the trek exacts a terrible cost.

Betsy is a Kalapuya Indian, the last remnant of a once proud tribe in the Willamette Valley in Oregon territory. She spends her time trying to impart the wisdom and ways of her people to her grandson. But she will soon have another person to care for.

As season turns to season, suspicion turns to friendship, and fear turns to courage, three spirited women will discover what it means to be truly free in a land that makes promises it cannot fulfill. This multilayered story from bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick will grip your heart and mind as you travel on the dusty and dangerous Oregon Trail into the boundless American West. Based on a true story.

ISLAND BREEZES

All kinds of people made the journey through the American West to Oregon. Not all of them wanted to be on this journey.

Three very different women bond in the Oregon Territory. A freed slave and a doctor’s wife become good friends during the rugged and heartbreaking journey. It’s not until they reach Oregon that the third woman, a Kalapuya Indian becomes the third unlikely friend.

Life isn’t easy on the journey or even after they reach Oregon. This novel, based on a true story, will hold your heart through to the end. In fact, I didn’t want it to end.

Thank you, Ms Kirkpatrick, for sharing this adventure with us. I’m looking forward to your next book.

***A special thank you to Lanette Haskins for providing a review copy.***

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Jane Kirkpatrick is the New York Times and CBA bestselling author of more than twenty-five books, including A Sweetness to the Soul, which won the coveted Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center. Her works have been finalists for the Christy Award, Spur Award, Oregon Book Award, and Reader’s Choice awards, and have won the WILLA Literary Award and Carol Award for Historical Fiction. Many of her titles have been Book of the Month and Literary Guild selections. Jane lives in Central Oregon with her husband, Jerry. Learn more at www.jkbooks.com.

Sunken Treasure

September 2nd, 2014

Sunken Treasure

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By Katy Lee

Shipwreck diver Gage Fontaine is used to modern-day pirates cha

sing after his boat and the buried treasure he salvages. But when he unknowingly leads a dangerous criminal to the waters off Stepping Stones Island, he puts a beautiful fisherwoman in grave danger. Rachelle Thibodaux has spent the past year hiding on her boat to avoid the town’s censure for her father’s crimes. But when she comes face-to-face with a gun-wielding pirate, she becomes a new kind of target. To save her own life, she’ll have to work with Gage to find the treasure before the pirates do.

You can go here to read an excerpt.

ISLAND BREEZES

Another one of Katy Lee’s books that take place on and around Stepping Stones Island. I love that little island, and am always happy to see the people we already know as well as the new ones we meet.

This book is about pirates and rumors of pirates – about sunken treasure and missing pirate booty.

Ship wreck diver, Gage, who is on the run hiding from criminals, brings danger to Stepping Stones and to Rachelle, who just wants to hide out from the town’s people and their accusing faces.

They both end up in danger, and you’ll end up needing that box of tissues near the end of this story. This book is one of those you don’t want to put down. You feel compelled to read it straight through to the very end.

Thank you again, Katy Lee. Please tell us you have more Stepping Stones Island mysteries up you sleeve.

***A special thank you to the author for providing a review copy.***

katyleephotobigw

Katy Lee is an Inspirational Romantic Suspense author writing higher-purpose stories with high-speed suspense. As an author, speaker, children’s ministry director, and home-schooling mom, she loves to share tales of love, from the “greatest love story ever told” to those sweet romantic stories of falling in love. Her Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense novels, WARNING SIGNS and GRAVE DANGER, both received a 4 1/2 star rating from RT Magazine, making them fantastic keepers! Katy lives in New England with her husband, three children, and two cats. Keep in touch with Katy at her website, www.KatyLeeBooks.com

The Scroll

August 26th, 2014

The Scroll

9781617734557

By Parrish Smith

Life-Changing Inspiration. Unwavering Support.

Scrolls have always been considered sacred, filled with prophecy and direction. Realizing that today’s spiritual leaders fill a similar role, filmmaker Parrish Smith created the award-winning documentary series The Scroll, featuring modern-day prophets revealing more of themselves, their journeys, and their invaluable insights than ever before. Now, Parrish Smith draws on the words of America’s most beloved spiritual leaders to create a guide full of contemporary wisdom that will uplift and encourage you through life’s unexpected challenges.

Finding our life’s purpose. Creating lasting relationships. Surviving tragedy. Releasing self-destructive thoughts. These are just some of the trials faced—and joyously overcome—in these heartfelt accounts that are as healing as they are unforgettable. Featuring illustrative Bible verses, related parables, and transformative advice, The Scroll is a timely resource filled with the faith and inspiration that will lead you to life’s greatest rewards.

ISLAND BREEZES

I saw T.D. Jakes’ name on the front of this book, and thought it must be a good one. It said “Inspiration from America’s Most Revered Spiritual Leaders.”

Then as I was checking the names inside, two jumped out at me. I didn’t know a lot of the names, but these two stood out. Over the years these men have done nothing to inspire me. If Al Sharpton and Jeremiah Wright are examples of the kind of men Parrish Smith revers and is inspired by, he lost me as a reader before he even had me.

Men who spew such hatred and lead less than a Christian lifestyle turn me cold. I’m sorry, Mr. Smith. I couldn’t get past that to be able to read your book.

***A special thank you to Adeola Saul for providing a review copy.***

Parrish Smith is an award winning filmmaker whose projects have appeared on numerous networks and at film festivals. As a child and the son of a preacher, he always fell asleep in church. Nevertheless, it was the storytelling used by preachers during their sermons that engaged him, making the Word relevant to everyday life. Now, he strives to create projects that make a difference in people’s lives, leaving them inspired. The Scroll is his first film and book combination that uses the stories of wise and insightful spiritual leaders as a way to assist people as they face life’s struggles.

Home to Chicory Lane

August 25th, 2014

Home to Chicory Lane

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By Deboran Raney

Landyn longs for home, but her mother may have other plans.

Audrey Whitman’s dreams are coming true. Now that their five kids are grown, she and her husband, Grant, are turning their beloved family home into a cozy bed and breakfast just a mile outside of Langhorne, Missouri.

Opening weekend makes Audrey anxious, with family and friends coming from all over to help celebrate the occasion. But when Audrey’s daughter, Landyn, arrives, the U-Haul she’s pulling makes it clear she’s not just here for a few days. Audrey immediately has questions. What happened in New York that sent Landyn running home? Where was Landyn’s husband, Chase? And what else was her daughter not telling her? One thing was for sure, the Chicory Inn was off to a rocky start. Can Audrey still realize her dream and at the same time provide the comfort of home her daughter so desperately needs?

ISLAND BREEZES

Crossed wires and dashed hopes. Is that all that’s left of Landyn and Chase’s marriage? Landyn packs up and heads home to her parents’ house.

But Grant and Audrey have turned the house into an inn with no room for children to move back in. They extended themselves too much not to need income from every boom booked with guests.

Lots of crossed wires as Chase and Landyn are back and forth between NYC and Langhorne, Missouri. It seems they can’t both end up in the same place at the same time.

It begins to look as if they might begin to work at shared dreams instead of individual goals, but don’t really have any idea where to start.

Then there’s always that struggle of her parents to make a go of the inn, but are they abe to put the time, money and hard work into making it a viable dream?

Thank you, Ms Raney. I’m looking forward to Two Roads Home and many more stories from the Chicory Inn.

***A special thank you to litfuse for providing a review copy.***

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Deborah Raney’s books have won numerous awards, including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, and the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken, recently traded small-town life in Kansas—the setting of many of Deborah’s novels—for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita, where they enjoy gardening, antiquing, movies, and traveling to visit four children and a growing brood of grandchildren who all live much too far away.

A Bouquet of Love

August 22nd, 2014

A Bouquet of Love

9780800721558

By Janice Thompson

She didn’t expect to fall in love–but roses aren’t the only thing blooming on Galveston Island

Cassia Pappas has found herself in a nearly impossible situation. She wants to spend her time immersed in her new job at a Galveston Island floral shop, arranging blooms and brightening occasions with her lovely creations. But her boisterous Greek family–especially her father–has other ideas. They’ve all relocated to Galveston to open up a new family restaurant located on the Strand–directly across the street from iconic pizza place Parma John’s–and they want Cassia’s full participation.

To make matters worse, as Cassia is trying to develop a strong professional relationship with Galveston’s premier wedding coordinator, Bella Neeley, her own father is intent on stealing all of the Rossi family’s faithful customers. Not exactly the best way to get into this former Rossi’s good graces!

Still, at least Alex, that hot delivery guy from the nursery, is always hanging around the flower shop

ISLAND BREEZES

Janice nailed it again. Another great book with great characters – some of whom we already know and love.

We have another big Greek family which owns a gyro shop/restaurant. The oldest Pappas daughter Cassia is sick and tired of working in the family business. All she wants is to be creative with flowers.

When she is hired by a local florist she unwittingly ended up in the middle of a war. The war between the Greeks and Italians that started in the middle of the main drag in Galveston.

About the only saving grace that Cassia sees in being drug away from California is Alex – the cute hunk who spends a lot of time hanging around the floral shop.

Then there’s that something special with the chapter titles that Janice always gives us. She picked one of my favorites. I can hardly wait to see what she has in store for us next. I wonder if she’s thought about going in depth with each of the Splendora Sisters.

***A special thank you to Lanette Haskins for providing a review copy.***

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Janice Thompson is a seasoned romance author and screenwriter. An expert at pulling the humor from the situations we get ourselves into, Thompson offers an inside look at the wedding business, drawing on her own experiences as a wedding planner. She is the author of the hugely popular Weddings by Bella series and the Backstage Pass series, as well as Picture Perfect, The Icing on the Cake, and The Dream Dress. She lives in Texas. Learn more at www.janiceathompson.com.

SUGGESTED TITLE: Quilts of Love | A GRAND DESIGN – Kindle HDX Giveaway & “Fall into Fall” Facebook Party!

August 20th, 2014

Don’t miss this month’s Quilts of Love book, A Grand Design by Amber Stockton. Who hasn’t struggled to let painful memories go and move into God’s healing? You’ll be sure to love this heartfelt and encouraging tale set on historic Mackinac Island.



Celebrate August’s release by entering to win a Kindle from Quilts of Love and RSVPing for the “Fall into Fall” Facebook author chat party.


Quilts of Love Kindle HDX Giveaway, Amber Stockton, A Grand Design

One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle HDX
  • A Grand Design by Amber Stockton
  • Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 16th. Winner will be announced on the Quilts of Love blog. Plus make sure you RSVP to the October 7th author chat party with Amber Stockton and Robin Caroll for an evening of book chat, quilting tips and tricks, prizes, and more!

 


RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on October 7th!

A Grand Design

August 19th, 2014

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Quilts tell stories of love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings. The Quilts of Love series focuses on the women who quilted all of these things into their family histories. A new book releases each month and features contemporary and historical romances as well as women’s fiction and the occasional light mystery. You will be drawn into the endearing characters of this series and be touched by their stories.

A Grand Design

AGrandDesign_sm

By Amber Stockton

A getaway on a charming island may be just what Alyssa needs—if only she can let go of her past.

When Alyssa Denham, a single career woman, wins a fun getaway for two on Mackinac Island where her grandmother lives, she gives her carefree best friend a call. Together, they tour the old shops and hidden treasures of the quaint island while helping Alyssa’s grandmother piece together an heirloom quilt. Their quest gains them entrance into the homes of many longtime residents of the island, parts of the city that are otherwise off limits to tourists.

As the quilt’s story takes shape, Alyssa gains amazing insight into her grandmother’s life . . . and attracts the attention of the handsome Scott Whitman, an island resident in charge of hotel transportation. Will memories of her past keep Alyssa from letting go? Or will the quest to piece together the heirloom quilt restore Alyssa’s fractured heart—and bring healing to her entire family?

ISLAND BREEZES

When I started reading this book I felt as if I’d gone to this island before. I know I’ve never stepped foot in the Grand Hotel.

Alyssa’s been on the island before. For years she accompanied her father every summer to visit her grandmother until one summer she left and never returned. For her friend, Libby, it was and exciting first visit.

Miss Edith, Alyssa’s grandmother, had a special challenge for the two young ladies. She sent them all around the island to collect quilt blocks from members of her former quilting group.

But Alyssa and Libby had more adventures that were unplanned – including some not so pleasant times involving a secret from Alyssa’s past.

Will she be able to let go of the past and embrace the future?

Thank you, Ms Stockton. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from you.

***A special thank you to litfuse for providing a review copy.***

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Amber Stockton is an award-winning author, a national speaker, and a direct-sales brand partner with Nerium International. She lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have a daughter and a son, and an Aussie/retriever mix named Roxie. Three of her novels have won annual reader’s choice awards.

In Perfect Time

August 15th, 2014

In Perfect Time

9780800720834

By Sarah Sundin

Two hearts are about to learn the rhythm of love

Bold, sophisticated, and coy, Army Air Force flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, leaving men pining in airfields all across Europe. So how can ruggedly handsome C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper be all but immune to her considerable charms? In fact, he seems to do everything he can to avoid her.

Still, as they cross the skies between Italy and southern France, evacuating the wounded and delivering paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them closer. Can they overcome the fears and misunderstandings of the past in order to take hold of the future?

Sarah Sundin seamlessly weaves together emotion, action, and sweet romance into a tale that transcends time and calls us to believe in the power of love.

ISLAND BREEZES

We finally hear Kay’s story. She’s the one who dates six guys at a time, and who knows what all she does with them. At least, that’s what everyone thinks, but is that all there is to flight nurse Jobson?

Kay finally runs across a man who isn’t interested in her or her flirtations. Pilot Roger Cooper prefers to avoid her and all other possible female entanglements. He can’t avoid her completely though as she works on some of the evac flights he flies.

Maybe there’s something there drawing them closer. You’ll be surprised when you find out what. Still their goals in life might well divide them forever.

Be prepared with that box of tissues. Sometimes it’s hard to read with tears blurring everything.

This is a good stand alone read, but reading reading With Every Letter and On Distant Shores will introduce you to Kay and give you some background on the the other Nightingales.

I really hope this is not the last book in the Wings of the Nightingales series. I’ve grown to love these people and the historical detail Ms Sundin brings to her books. Whatever you have for us next, Ms Sundin, I’ll be looking forward to reading it. I’ve never met a Sarah Sundin book I didn’t love.

***A special thank you to Lanette Haskins for providing a review copy.***

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Sarah Sundin is the author of With Every Letter, On Distant Shores, and the Wings of Glory series. In 2011, A Memory Between Us was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards, and Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children. Visit www.sarahsundin.com for more information.

Second Chance Cafe

August 11th, 2014

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:

 

Brandy Bruce

 

and the book:

 

Second Chance Cafe
Heartsong Presents/Love Inspired (July 2014)
***Special thanks to the author for sending me a review copy.***

bookcover

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Visit the author’s website.

Brandy Bruce was scribbling stories in spiral notebooks by the age of 12. Her love for books never left her. She graduated from Liberty University, married the one person she could never get enough of, then started working as a book editor for a publishing house. Brandy and her husband, Jeff, live in Colorado with their two children. She can be reached through her blog at http://www.brandybruce.blogspot.com.BrandyBruce

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:
ISABELLA ROMANO HAS GIVEN UP ON LOVE

Between her demanding work as a nurse and her father’s poor health, Isabella has no time for distractions. So when a handsome firefighter practically falls at her feet, she keeps him at arm’s length. But Ethan Carter is determined to win her over.Orphaned at a young age, Ethan longs for a family of his own—and he’s sure Isabella is his match. But when he opens a café near his firehouse, Isabella is less than thrilled. She knows firsthand the strain of being a restaurant owner, and she wants no part of that life. Can Ethan convince the busy nurse they can overcome any obstacle and have their happily ever after together?

Product Details:

List Price: $4.99

Publisher: Heartsong Presents/ Love Inspired

Language: English

ISBN-13: 978-0-373-48719-6

ISLAND BREEZES

More of that delightful Romano family. Isabella comes into her own in this book.

She’s quite happy with her work as a nursing professional’ and doesn’t really have time to get involved with a firefighter who doesn’t really know how to take no for an answer. Even if he is rather yummy.

While being at odds while recuperating from an injury, Ethan ends up with a diner next door to the fire station. That’s another strike against him. Isabella knows the toll owning restaurants has taken on family members plus she’s also worked in the family business.

She wants no part of restaurants. Does Ethan even have half a chance of winning over Isabella now that he’s gone and bought a restaurant? It certainly doesn’t look like it.

Thank you, Brandy Bruce. I’m hoping you have more books with the Romano family lined up.

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Chapter One
“Okay, people. We’ve got a firefighter with possible fractures and trauma to the spine. ETA is five minutes.”
Nurse Isabella Romano’s ears perked up and her pulse quickened. The mood in the emergency room shifted to one of controlled urgency. Isabella slipped on gloves and followed the attending physician, Dr. Nichols, to the Denver Health Medical Center’s ER entrance. Sirens rang out in the distance, and within minutes, the familiar sight of flashing lights sped toward them.
The back doors of the ambulance flew open and the paramedics jumped out. “Male, late twenties, fell from second-story landing to first floor and landed on his back. Multiple burns on his arms and a laceration on his right thigh. Hypotensive. Tachycardic. We administered one liter of saline through an 18 gauge IV in his left AC. Patient has maintained a pulse ox of 96 percent on 10L of oxygen via facemask.”
Isabella grabbed the left side of the stretcher, helping push the gurney to trauma room 1. At the sound of a low moan, she looked down at the firefighter strapped to the backboard. A neck collar kept him immobile and an oxygen mask covered his mouth.
“What’s his name?” Isabella called out to the EMT across from her.
“Ethan Carter. Company 51. Those guys will be filling up the waiting room as soon as they clear the scene.”
“Ethan, I’m Isabella. Can you hear me?”
His gaze met hers and Isabella could see his intense pain.
“Ethan, you’re going to be okay. We’re going to take good care of you.”
“Okay, everyone, on three,” Dr. Nichols ordered.
Everyone stopped what they were doing at Dr. Nichols’s instruction and lifted the backboard with Ethan on it, transferring him and the backboard to the hospital bed. He moaned. “We’re going to need 50 mcg of fentanyl,” Dr. Nichols called out. Maggie, one of Isabella’s colleagues, began cutting off Ethan’s burned clothing.
“Let’s get some X-rays, Isa,” Dr. Nichols stated. “I want a CT scan. His thigh obviously needs stitches.”
“I’m on it,” Maggie said as she inspected the burns on Ethan’s arms. Isabella moved to order the X-rays but Ethan reached out for her. She stepped back toward him, preparing to explain to him that she’d be back and he was going to be all right. But the look in his blue eyes stopped her. He tried to reach for his oxygen mask, but Isabella shook her head.
“No, don’t move,” she said; then pulled away his mask for a moment.
“Don’t leave me,” he said, his voice dry and raspy. Isabella was pretty sure that even covered in dust and blood, with a brace around his neck, he was the most attractive man she’d ever seen. Her heart tugged. In that moment, he just seemed so alone.
She replaced his oxygen. “I have to go for a minute, Ethan, but I’ll be coming right back. And we’ll get through this together. I know you’re scared and I know you’re hurting. But it’s going to be okay.”
He just stared at her, his eyes pleading for her to stay. Isabella couldn’t help it; she reached down and brushed his brown hair from his forehead.
“I promise I’ll be back,” she told him.Ethan Carter’s eyes fluttered open and then shut again quickly.
Who in the world turned on that blinding light?
He could hear a voice, someone saying his name. He turned his head to the side.
What happened?
He heard that voice again, saying his name. Then it came back to him, playing through his mind like a movie reel. The house fire. The roaring sound of the blaze. The sensation that he was falling. The impact of the ground floor. The rush into the ER.
“Ethan?”
He opened his eyes and blinked, trying to focus on the woman’s face in front of him.
“Hi there,” she said. “It’s nice to see you again.”
He blinked again. “Nurse . . .”
“Isabella. We met under rather tragic circumstances, I know.”
She was teasing. He could hear it in her voice. Now that he could focus on her clearly, he remembered seeing her in the ER.
“Isabella,” he repeated. Dressed in blue scrubs, she stood next to the bed, her brown hair tied back in a knot. She smiled down at him and Ethan felt better at the sight of her smile. She checked the monitors, her eyes darting toward the door of the hospital room.
“Did they get the family out of the house?” Ethan asked. Isabella nodded.
“Yes. One of the other firefighters—I think his name was Blake—told me to let you know that everyone made it out safely.”
“Except me, I guess,” Ethan said grimly. But Isabella’s smile didn’t fade.
“C’mon, tough guy. You’ve got this.”
Ethan studied her warm smile and playful tone. “You’re right,” he conceded. “God was watching over me in that burning house. He won’t abandon me now.”
She blinked in surprise at his statement. “I suppose He was,” she agreed.
“When can I go home?” Ethan asked.
“I’m not sure,” Isabella answered. “Dr. Nichols will be here any minute to talk to you,” she said.
“Can you stay?” Ethan asked immediately. Her face softened.
“Sure, if you want me to. Is there anyone you want me to call for you? The guys from the firehouse were here all night, off and on, in the waiting room. There are a few guys out there now. They can come in as soon as Dr. Nichols speaks to you.”
Ethan nodded. “Thanks. But there’s no one else for you to call.”
Isabella frowned. “Your family?”
Ethan just shook his head, turning his attention to the gauze covering his forearms. “There’s no one. Just the guys.” He hoped she’d drop the topic. He hated the pitiful looks he got whenever he explained to people that other than a few distant relatives out in California, he had no one. It was part of why he’d joined Company 51. A whole firehouse with the brothers he’d never had. He wondered if the chief was in the waiting room.
The door slid open and a doctor wearing black rimmed glasses and holding a clipboard walked in. He looked to be in his mid-forties.
“Good morning, Ethan. How are we feeling today?”
We? I have a feeling you’re doing a lot better than I am, doc.
“I’m hurting, but I’m guessing that medication is dulling the real pain.”
Dr. Nichols nodded. “You had a bad fall, Ethan. You know that. There were second degree burns on your arms, and a gash on your thigh that took about twenty stitches. You lost some blood, but we’ve given you IV fluids and you’re vitals have stabilized. You’re pretty banged up and bruised all over, but unfortunately, your back took the impact of the fall.”
Ethan’s chest constricted with fear.
“How bad is it?”
Isabella stepped closer to his bedside.
“It could have been worse. You have a lumbar—lower back—spinal fracture. The X-ray showed an L4 compression fracture. The positive aspect of this is that you still have good movement and feeling. Also, there doesn’t seem to be any neurological damage.”
“Do I need surgery?” Ethan asked.
“I don’t think so. The X-rays indicate a clean fracture. I’m going to recommend we move forward with outpatient treatment. But you’ve got a long, arduous healing journey ahead of you.”
“How long until I can be back on active duty?”
Dr. Nichol’s eyebrows furrowed. “The spine is a tricky thing, Ethan. And everyone heals at a different pace. You’re going to need rest, pain medication, lots of therapy, a back brace—”
“How long?” Ethan insisted.
“We’re talking months, Ethan. And that’s assuming that everything heals as it should. While in a few weeks you’ll be able to continue with most day-to-day activities, I don’t see you going back to active duty for probably six months. It could be less; it could be more. Perhaps they can transfer you to a desk job until you’re ready. After a few weeks of therapy we could reevaluate and consider light duty. But as of right now, your life is going to look different. You need to understand and accept that. Your priority needs to be healing properly.”
Months? Desk job? Light duty? Ethan tried to swallow the boulder in his throat.
“But, eventually, I’ll be back to normal. I’ll be able to be on active duty, right?” Ethan pressed. Dr. Nichols folded his arms across his clipboard.
“If all goes as it should, I think you’ll make a full recovery. But as I said, this is going to be a one-day-at-a-time healing process. We’ll start with rest. I want you on complete bed rest for the next few days. No strenuous activity. We’ll fit you for a back brace, which I want you to wear for six to eight weeks. We’ll do an X-ray after six weeks and see if the bone has healed. Then, once the bone has healed, you’ll need to begin physical therapy.”
Ethan took a deep breath. He felt a soft hand squeeze his arm and he looked up at Isabella.
“Hey, it’s going to be okay,” she said, her voice encouraging. “You’re here, you’re alive, you can walk—those are all good things.” He stared at her, trying to hold on to the sense of calm emanating from her.
She’s right, Father, he prayed. But what am I going to do for months if I’m not fighting fires? And what if ‘the healing process’ doesn’t go as it should and I can’t go back? Company 51 is all I have.
That last thought was too much. Ethan felt tears welling up in his eyes. He blinked fast to keep them at bay, mortified that he might cry in front of this nurse who not only was kind and smart and had a great sense of humor, but also looked stunning in blue scrubs.
I will never leave you.
The words were just a whisper in his heart, but they were enough. He clung to them. It had only been six months since one of his brothers at the firehouse, Caleb, had lead Ethan to Christ. Six months of a changed life. He still struggled to accept that God loved him like a father. That he could turn to God at any time. But it got easier. Accepting Christ as his Savior had filled Ethan with something he’d known was missing since childhood. Now he treasured that faith more than anything else.
Ethan closed his eyes.
I have You, Father. Whatever comes, I have you. Help me through this.Isabella watched as Ethan closed his eyes. His lips moved silently, and she knew without a doubt that he was praying. She looked over at Dr. Nichols who stood waiting without a word. Prayers were common things in the hospital. Sometimes people cried out loudly for help. Sometimes it was a desperate whisper. And sometimes, like now, it was a silent request. She’d seen people blame God. She’d seen them beg for His comfort. She’d even seen them try to barter for what they wanted.
Isabella wondered which one Ethan was doing now.
She also considered the fact that without all the dust and blood, Ethan Carter was even more attractive than she’d found him to be in the ER.
He had no family to call. That’s odd. The firefighters have filled up the waiting room, of course. But no one else. No relatives. No girlfriend. No one.
Isabella stared at the handsome firefighter’s brown hair and dark brown eyebrows. His sturdy jaw and those lips. She watched him pray. She wasn’t sure if it was appropriate to think so or not—but the fact that he was praying made him even more attractive.
I was wrong. He’s not completely alone. He has faith.
Ethan drew a breath and opened his eyes. He looked at Isabella before turning his attention to Dr. Nichols.
“Okay, what’s my next step, doc?”
.