I’m delighted today to give you a peek inside Sunrise by Susan May Warren with an excerpt – and a chance for two of you to win a copy of your own!
SUNRISE by Susan May Warren
SERIES: Sky King Ranch #1
GENRE: Inspirational Romantic Suspense
RELEASE DATE: January 4, 2022
Pilot Dodge Kingston has always been the heir to Sky King Ranch. But after a terrible family fight, he left to become a pararescue jumper. A decade later, he’s headed home to the destiny that awaits him.
That’s not all that’s waiting for Dodge. His childhood best friend and former flame, Echo Yazzie, is a true Alaskan–a homesteader, dogsledder, and research guide for the DNR. Most of all, she’s living a life Dodge knows could get her killed. One of these days she’s going to get lost in the woods again, and his worst fear is that he won’t be there to find her.
When one of Echo’s fellow researchers goes missing, Echo sets out to find her, despite a blizzard, a rogue grizzly haunting the woods, and the biting cold. Plus, there’s more than just the regular dangers of the Alaskan forests stalking her . . .
Will Dodge be able to find her in time? And if he does, is there still room for him in her heart?
Sunrise is the first explosive volume in a new nail-biting series from USA Today bestselling author Susan May Warren.
Dodge walked to the end of the hallway and stared out the window.
With the break in the freeze, blackened snowdrifts edged the parking lot, muddy with thawing rivers of ice. Cars splashed mud, and ice floated in the Knik Arm waterway. The view looked out over Merrill Airfield and the hundred or so parked Beavers, Otters, Cessnas, and Piper Cubs that roamed the skies, then extended past the airfield to Joint Base Elmendorf–Richardson, to the north. Beyond it, the ridge back of the Alaskan range razored across the sun- soaked blue sky, bold and white and impressive. Denali and Huntington, Foraker and Russell, were tucked in there, each glacial runnel and granite ridge imprinted in him like the lines of his palm.
The mountains called to him like an old familiar song, a tune embedded in his bones.
One he was trying to forget.
Though he couldn’t see it from here, Sky King Ranch was nestled in the foothills of the range, perched on a lake that hosted cabins and a lodge for the family.
They also ran thirty or so head of cattle and a handful of horses.
Barry Kingston, his father, was one of few remaining born and bred Alaskans in Copper Mountain. And his sons were supposed to carry on the legacy.
Dodge crossed his arms, glued there because, of course, Larke was right.
He was afraid. Afraid of the memories that still broke free sometimes. And most of all, afraid of the words that he longed to hear and never would.
He should leave. He’d made himself promises, and he’d already broken the first one by standing in this corridor. Yes, stupid impulses.
“Oh, thank God, Dodge, you’re here.”
The voice jolted him, made him turn.
Winter Starr. Daughter of the legendary bush pilot Sheldon Starr. Her family ran Starr Air Service, northwest of Copper Mountain. She wore her dark hair in two long braids and had on a pair of boots and a Starr Air sweatshirt. She probably ran her own plane by now.
He had no words when she walked right up to him and pulled him down in a hug. “I’m so sorry about your dad.”
She’d beat him out for valedictorian by a half point and that had intrigued, if not irked, him enough to like her. But she’d also been Echo’s best friend, so that was as far as his interest
She let him go. “I was coming up to talk to Larke, but I’m so glad you’re here. We can divvy up his charters, but I can’t do his mail route, Dodge. I just can’t.”
He raised an eyebrow.
“I’ve already got the mail run to Paxton, plus every homestead east of the Copper River, and if I add the western mail, that fills me right up.”
“You’re running the mail?”
“And medical and groceries for most of the east side north of Susitna. Your dad has the western run, over the range, to Nikolai and Stony River, and even out to Russian Mission.”
Of course he did. An area that would probably keep him in the air for days.
“He also checks in on the homesteads in the area—he’s got a schedule.”
“I know it.” He’d flown that route more times than he could count.
She cut her voice down. “They’re talking pilot error.”
“No. Otto Smith said his wing was coming off.”
“Ernie Wright just did a hundred- hour inspection on the plane. It was cleared.” She sighed. “I don’t know how much you know, but your dad has had a few close calls lately. Nearly clipped another plane in the Copper Mountain airfield during taxi, and I heard he spooked a recent group by flying too close to one of Huntington Mountain’s spires.”
“Aw, that’s just Barry Kingston showing off.”
“The National Air Transportation Board is coming in to do an investigation, and depending on what they find, he could be shut down. At the very least, he can’t fly, not for a while, right?” She gestured to his room.
“Larke is here. She knows the routes—”
“In her condition? I’m surprised that Riley let her get in a plane with me to fly them down.”
Condition? So that’s what the look between them was about.
Winter’s expression portrayed concern. “I get it—high-risk pregnancy and all that, but he’s a little overprotective, if you ask me. But that’s a SEAL for you.” Her voice turned sweet. “Where’ve you been, anyway? Someone said Air Force.”
“Something like that.”
“I heard your brothers are big-shot military guys too. Ranger made the SEALs.”
“And Colt, some sort of special forces in the Army?”
Delta Force, according to Ranger. Dodge lifted a shoulder.
“All a bunch of overachieving heroes, aren’t you?” Her eyes shone, maybe a little of their untried past in them. “Glad you’re back.”
“I’m not back,” he said, the words just slipping out.
And what was he going to say? That not only had he vowed to never return to Sky King Ranch but he wasn’t keen on getting in the cockpit again either?
He shouldn’t be here, for so many reasons. But Winter was the last person who should know that. Mostly because if Winter knew, then her sister Shasta knew .. . and if Shasta knew, well
it wouldn’t take long for the entire town to buzz with the news.
So he found a benign smile. “Never mind. Good to see you, Winter.”
“Your dad keeps that yellow Piper 14 you used to fly tuned up. I saw him out in it a few weeks back. You flew that thing like it was a part of you. Like you had wings.”
He’d forgotten that. But yes, she was right. Once upon a time, the sky felt like home. Maybe it would again—he just had to get back on the proverbial horse-slash-cockpit.
“Well, like I said, I’m glad you’re back.” She looked at him, paused. Then, “She will be too.”
His smile faded. “I didn’t ask.”
“Sure you did.” She winked and walked away, and his heart slammed like a fist in his chest.
“She will be too.”
Susan May Warren, Sunrise
Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, © 2022. Used by permission.
for more of this excerpt, click HERE
Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling author of more than 85 novels with more than 1 million books sold, including the Global Search and Rescue and the Montana Rescue series. Winner of a RITA Award and multiple Christy and Carol Awards, as well as the HOLT Medallion and numerous Readers’ Choice Awards, Susan makes her home in Minnesota. Find her online at www.SusanMayWarren.com, on Facebook @SusanMayWarrenFiction, and on Twitter @SusanMayWarren.
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