Shannon here: Historical romance author, Bonnie Leon shares a romantic excerpt from her book, Wings of Promise. Comment on any post dated August 1 – 5 for a chance to win a copy. Deadline: August 6th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Bonnie:
Excerpt – Wings of Promise – Chapter Two
The next few days Kate and Paul hopped from village to village. At the end of the fourth day, they moved up the coast of the Bering Sea. Paul was eager to get to Kotzebue to see how Nena was getting on.
He gazed out at the endless bitter landscape. “I’ve never seen anything like this—miles of . . . nothing.”
“A lot of ice and wind. Once in a while you’ll see a pack of wolves or a bear. The villages are spread out. Nome’s the main hub. They have a doctor there, but we’ll stop anyway from time to time to drop off and pick up supplies and passengers.”
Paul’s eyes turned to the ice-covered ocean. “Hard to imagine that much water being frozen.”
Kate glanced out at the ice. “This area always makes me feel small.”
“More like microscopic.”
“I never really feel alone, though. It’s such an amazing place—huge and endless—and I’m reminded that God created it. I feel his presence here. And I know he sees me flying along.” Kate smiled.
“You think so? I’d like to have your faith. Some things in life make it hard to believe.”
Kate gave him a questioning look, but didn’t say anything. Instead she glanced at her watch. “We’re nearly to Kotzebue. Good thing. By three thirty it’ll be dark.”
Paul didn’t want to think about how God had let him down. He willed away thoughts of Susan and all that had happened in San Francisco and let his gaze roam over a ridge that flowed across the frozen arctic. “The mountains and the land blend together,” he said, studying the white wasteland. “It’s incredible.” He turned to Kate. “Thanks for introducing me to Alaska. I’ve been holed up all this time and didn’t realize there’s so much to see.”
“By this time next year you’ll be well acquainted with the territory . . . and its people.” Kate’s lips curved up into a soft smile as she surveyed the expanse sprawling north. “I love Alaska.”
She turned her gaze toward the sea. “I can’t imagine what Amelia Earhart is experiencing right now. It must be amazing. She’s flying over places people have never seen. I’d love to do something like that.”
“You’d like to fly around the world?” Paul shook his head.
“Yes. Can’t you imagine it?”
“It would be an adventure.” Paul chuckled. “But she’s got to be a little crazy, don’t you think? A woman and a navigator, on their own, flying across thousands of miles of unknown territory and up against all kinds of weather conditions. Not to mention how undependable planes can be.”
“She has the best equipment and she’s in touch with people on the ground.” Her eyes alight, Kate didn’t seem to be concerned with the dangers. “Just imagine seeing India and Australia and—”
“Don’t you get any crazy ideas.” Paul’s stomach tightened. Sometimes Kate seemed to lack all reason. And yet, her adventurous spirit and her courage were part of what he loved about her.
“I won’t. I couldn’t afford it anyway. But I’d love to meet her someday.”
By the time they approached Kotzebue, the sun, looking as if it had been drained of color, rested on the horizon. Firepots were lit and set out along the airfield.
As soon as the plane was down, Joe Turchik headed onto the airstrip. Paul opened the door and Angel bounded out with Kate following. Joe smiled, his almond-shaped eyes nearly disappearing in his round, tanned face. “Glad to see you.”
“It’s good to be back,” Kate said. She turned to Paul. “You remember Paul. He was at the hospital when Nena was hurt.”
“I remember. You helped save my Nena. “Thank you.” Joe grasped Paul’s hand. “Welcome to Kotzebue.”
“Glad to be here.” Paul turned to look at a small village huddled against the frigid Arctic. Icy wind tugged at the ruff of his hood and burned his cheeks. He pulled his hood closed around his face. “It’s freezing out here.”
“Outsiders,” Joe said with a laugh.
The three worked together to secure the Bellanca. The oil was drained, the engine covered, and the craft securely tied down before they headed toward the village. Wind swirled particles of ice off the frozen ground, creating a sparkling mist in the fading light.
As they’d traveled, Paul’s respect for Kate had grown. She was an incredible woman. He grabbed hold of her arm and stopped her. Joe kept moving.
“Kate.” How did he say what he felt?
“What is it?” She stared at him with a puzzled expression.
“I just want you to know . . . I didn’t understand.” He blew out a breath. “All this time . . . I didn’t get it—the risks you take, the kind of life you lead, the lives you touch. I’m so proud of you.” He glanced at Joe’s back, then gave Kate a quick kiss. “You’re amazing.”
“No. I’m not.” Tears washed into her eyes and she shook her head. “I’m not even close to anything like that.”
“You are,” Paul said. “Don’t let your past hold you back.”
“I’m not. Why are you?”
About the book:
Her spunk has always gotten her through tough times. But does she have what it takes to go the distance?
Kate Evans may be a woman in a man’s profession, but as Alaskan bush pilots go she’s one of the best. If only her personal life wasn’t so complicated. Torn between her affection for fellow pilot Mike Conlin and doctor Paul Anderson, Kate longs for clarity in her heart. But when a terrible tragedy occurs, her mind may be made up for her.
Full of high-flying adventure and tender personal moments, Wings of Promise will sweep you away to the Alaskan skies.
“This story is a winner–I loved it! Leon has done a masterful job of bringing Alaska and its people to vibrant life.”–Ann Shorey, author of the At Home in Beldon Grove series
“Bonnie Leon takes the reader on a wild ride through Alaska, a place I’ve always wanted to visit. Now I feel as if I have. The characters flew off the pages.”–Lena Nelson Dooley, author of Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico and Maggie’s JourneyBonnie Leon is the author of eighteen novels, including the popular Touching the Clouds, Wings of Promise, the Sydney Cove series and the bestselling Journey of Eleven Moons. She also stays busy speaking for women’s groups and teaching at writing seminars and conventions. Bonnie and her husband, Greg, live in Southern Oregon. They have three grown children and five grandchildren.