Skip to main content

Excerpt - The Christmas Rescue by Laura Scott

Camy here: Because I know you're not yet tired of Christmas stories, make sure you get this before it's no longer on the shelves!

The Christmas Rescue
Laura Scott

When Kayla Wilson finds a body in Lake Michigan, she shields her daughter's eyes and calls the police. But not before spotting a stranger lurking in the woods—watching her. And when her bed-and-breakfast is broken into, she knows the man is after her. Coast Guard officer Rafe DeSilva is sure the attacks are related to his current case—a crime ring operating in the Great Lakes. He will do whatever is necessary to keep Kayla and her daughter, Brianna, safe…while holding them at arm's length. Until Brianna is kidnapped, and Rafe puts everything on the line for a Christmas rescue.

Excerpt of chapter one:

"Mommy? What's that red thing floating in the lake?"

Kayla Wilson glanced in the direction her five-year-old daughter, Brianna, indicated. The bright sunlight reflected blindingly off the water. Kayla squinted and raised a hand to shade her eyes.

Something red bobbed up and down in the water. She shivered. Not something. Someone. A body. A bloated, dead body. Lying face down, partially snagged on the rocky shore of Lake Michigan.

She sucked in a harsh breath and clutched Brianna close, turning her daughter away from the grotesque sight. She fumbled for her cell phone, her fingers trembling as she dialed 911.

"What's the nature of your emergency?" the dispatcher asked.

"There's a—d-dead body floating in the lake, about a mile north of Pelican Point." Kayla didn't like the idea of her daughter listening to the conversation, but there was nothing she could do.

"A dead body?" Brianna echoed in a high-pitched squeak, tightening her grip on Kayla's waist.

"It's okay, sweetheart. We'll be fine," she murmured reassuringly.

"We'll send a squad. Do you have any reason to suspect you're in danger?" the dispatcher asked.

Suddenly apprehensive, Kayla swept a glance around the area. This section of the lakeshore was usually deserted in December. She and Brianna had wandered north from Pelican Point, away from the memorial that had been recently placed in honor of her dead husband, Jeremy.

Her gaze landed once again on the dead body. She was hardly an expert, but considering the decomposition she could see from here, she suspected the body had been in the water for a while.

"No, I don't think there's any danger," Kayla assured the dispatcher.

"I need you to stay at the scene until the officers arrive," the woman informed her.

"We will." Kayla snapped her phone shut and looked down at Brianna, bundled in her bright pink winter coat and hat. "The police are on their way, Bree."

Brianna kept her face hidden against her side, and Kayla smoothed a hand over her pink knit cap. Her daughter had been only three when her father had died in a freak drowning accident when his charter fishing boat was caught in an unexpected storm. On this second anniversary of his death, she'd brought Brianna here in an effort to keep her husband's memory alive. She worried about Brianna growing up without a father.

Lately, her daughter talked about her friends' fathers with a subtle longing in her voice. Kayla knew Brianna desperately wanted a father of her own.

"Do you think he fell off his boat, too?" Brianna lifted her head to ask, her tiny face pulled into a compassionate frown. Kayla grimaced. Unfortunately, instead of sweet memories, they'd stumbled upon a grisly reminder of Jeremy's death. Brianna had obviously made a connection between the dead person in the water and her father's drowning.

"Brianna, we really don't know what happened," she started to explain, and then broke off, when a movement off Brianna's left shoulder caught her attention. She shifted to see better and her eyes widened when she saw a man wearing a brown canvas jacket and a green stocking knit cap. Something about him was familiar, and as she stared at him, recognition dawned.

Greg Landrum. The guy who'd rented a room in her bed-and-breakfast last weekend.

She didn't know where he'd come from, since she hadn't seen any sign of him earlier, but there he stood staring at them. Belatedly, he smiled and waved, as if he'd recognized them, too.

She swallowed hard and waved back, even though she was keenly aware of their isolation. She wished desperately they'd brought Clyde, their cocker spaniel puppy, with them on this venture. Clyde loved everyone, except Greg Landrum. For some reason, Clyde had taken an instant dislike to her guest. At least his constant barking, growling and nipping might have kept Greg Landrum away.

Kayla turned and opened her phone again, pushing the speed dial button for her brother, Alex, hoping desperately Greg Landrum wouldn't walk over to strike up a conversation.

The guy gave her the creeps.

"Hi, Kay. What's up?" Alex asked.

Comforted by her brother's familiar voice, she managed to keep calm. She didn't want to alarm Brianna by letting her fear show. "Hi, Alex. Where are you? Do you think you could come down to meet me and Brianna at the lakefront?"

"Sorry, Kay, Shelby and I brought Cody to the museum in Milwaukee. Why? What's wrong?"

Her heart sank. Just her luck Alex would be out of town. "Nothing really, but Brianna and I were walking along the lakeshore and we, uh, found a dead body floating in the water."

"What? A dead body?" Alex shouted in her ear. She pulled the phone away with a wince. "Where are you? What part of the lakeshore? Pelican Point?"

"Yes, we're about a mile north of Pelican Point. Don't worry, I've already called the police. They're on the way."

"Are you all right? Is Brianna all right?"

"We're fine. But it's a little creepy being out here." She glanced over her shoulder to the spot where Greg Landrum had been standing, but he was gone. Puzzled, she swept a glance over the entire area. Surely she hadn't imagined him.

The distant sound of a car engine drew her attention and she realized Greg Landrum had simply gone back to his car when she'd called Alex. She watched with overwhelming relief as the bright taillights of a small silver car pulled away from the curb and headed south.

She was glad he'd left. Greg Landrum was an odd guy. He'd claimed he wanted to spend some time hiking in the woods, but he hadn't really dressed appropriately for the cold weather and had complained when his new hiking boots caused blisters on his feet. She hadn't been at all disappointed when he'd packed up to leave.

"I'm sorry, what?" she asked, belatedly realizing Alex was waiting for some sort of response.

"What are you and Brianna doing all the way out there? Don't you have guests at the bed-and-breakfast?"

"My next guests aren't due in until tomorrow afternoon sometime." She didn't mention that they were the only guests booked for the rest of the month. After this weekend, she had nothing scheduled until mid-January. No point in burdening her brother and his new wife with her financial concerns.

"I wish I could come out there to be with you." Her brother sounded concerned. She suspected the idea of a dead body intrigued him, since there was a part of him that missed the action he'd seen while working as a DEA agent.

"Don't be silly," she said with false confidence. Actually, now that Landrum was gone, she wasn't nearly so unsettled. "We're fine. I'm sure the police will be here any minute." At least she hoped so. Where were they? What was taking so long?

"All right. But call me if you need anything," he said firmly.

"I will," she promised. She hung up the phone and within minutes, red and blue lights in the distance caught her attention. The police. Finally. "See, Bree? Here's the police."

"The police are going to help us, right?" Brianna asked.

"Absolutely," Kayla promised, tucking her cell phone into her coat pocket. "They're going to find out who that poor person is and what happened to him."

Several police cars pulled up, along with an ambulance and the local coroner. When Kayla pointed them in the right direction, they all headed down to the shore to examine the dead victim. She swallowed hard and turned away when they eventually pulled the body out of the water, not wanting to see too much.

The police officers and the medical examiner spent so much time at the rocky shoreline, talking amongst themselves, that Kayla grew impatient. They'd mentioned wanting to talk to her, but what was taking so long? It was growing late, the sun was already low on the horizon and Brianna was getting antsy. They needed to get home.

Finally, one of the officers approached them, his expression grim. "Ma'am," he greeted her with a polite nod. "I'm going to need some information from you. Can you give me your name and address?"

"Of course." Kayla dutifully recited the information.

"And what brought you here to this section of the lakeshore today?" he asked.

Kayla explained how she and Brianna had come to Pelican Point to visit her husband's memorial and had decided to take a walk up the path along the lakeshore.

"And did you go down to the body? Did you touch anything on or near the body?" he asked.

"No." She couldn't quite suppress a shiver. "I could tell…" Her voice trailed off, as she didn't want to get into gruesome details in front of Brianna. "I could tell the—person was dead."

"Kayla?" A familiar male voice called her name, making her turn around in surprise. For a moment she could only stare in shock when she saw Rafe DeSilva striding toward her, handsome as always dressed in his crisp navy blue coast guard dress uniform. His normally bright smile had been replaced by a concerned frown.

"Uh, hi, Rafe," she greeted him awkwardly, trying to ignore the erratic leap of her pulse. Why she reacted so strangely around him, she had no idea. Rafe was a friend of her brother, Alex, and far too attractive for her peace of mind. She'd loved Jeremy and she had no business thinking about how handsome Rafe looked. Besides, Rafe wasn't at all what she was looking for in a man. If she ever married again, and that was a very big if, she'd pick someone stable. Dependable. Not someone who was gone all the time. Like Jeremy had been. She smiled uncertainly. "What are you doing here?"

"Alex called. He was worried about you." He raked a glance over her, as if reassuring himself she was unharmed and then smiled down at Brianna. "How's my favorite five-year-old?"

"Mr. Rafe!" Brianna greeted him with an enthusiastic hug which only made Kayla's scowl deepen. Her daughter had taken to Rafe from the first moment they'd met, and she had no intention of encouraging the friendship. The last thing she wanted was for Brianna to be hurt. "I'm glad you came. We founded a dead body in the water."

"I heard," he murmured, giving Brianna a brief hug, before glancing up at Kayla. "I'm sure that was quite a shock. Are you both all right?"

"We're fine," she assured him, feeling a bit foolish. There was no reason for Alex to have called Rafe. Obviously, she hadn't done a good job of covering up her fear. She turned toward the police officer. "Is there anything else you need? I'd like to take my daughter home."

"Yes, we're finished here," the police officer said, stepping back and closing his notebook. "I don't have any more questions and if I need anything further, I know where to get in touch with you."

"Thank you," she murmured.

"Do you have an ID on the victim?" Rafe asked.

The officer's expression turned impassive. "We have a strong suspicion based on his shoulder tattoo, but we won't release a name until we have a positive ID and next of kin has been notified."

Rafe glanced down at the group down by the lake-shore, as he nodded slowly. "I understand."

Kayla wondered if Rafe knew more than he was letting on. But she'd had enough of hanging around the gruesome scene. She took Brianna's hand and glanced up at him. "We need to get going, Rafe. I'm sorry Alex called and made you come all the way down here for nothing."

Rafe turned toward her with a gentle smile that made her feel incredibly warm despite the definite chill in the air. "Checking on you is never a waste of time, Kayla. Where's your car? I'll drive you back."

"It's not far, just a mile or so down the road," she protested, unwilling to put him out any further.

"I'll drive you," Rafe repeated, steel lining his words. She sighed, recognizing that tone. He'd used it before, a few months earlier, when he thought she and Brianna were in danger from the man who was after her sister-in-law, Shelby. Rafe had gone into protector mode back then and she'd learned that when Rafe made up his mind to do something, there was no dissuading him. Arguing was futile.

"If you insist," she agreed, forcing a smile. She wished she was immune to his charm, but she wasn't. Her normal cool logic seemed to fly out the window around Rafe. Thankfully, she wouldn't have to endure his presence for long. The drive to Pelican Point's parking lot wasn't far.

But the way Brianna gazed adoringly up at Rafe caused the muscles in her stomach to clench in warning. Fatherless Brianna was more susceptible to male attention than Kayla liked to admit. Especially now.

She couldn't help thinking that with Rafe's lethal charm, even five minutes could be too long.

Rafe escorted Kayla and Brianna down to his jeep, which he'd left parked on the road, but he couldn't help glancing back at the group huddled around the dead victim, his mind buzzing with questions.

He believed with instinctive certainty the police knew the identity of the victim. And he couldn't help thinking he knew who the dead person might be, too.

The prime suspect in his current investigation was Bill Schroeder, the owner of a charter fishing operation out of Pelican Point. Schroeder had been missing for the past week. Long enough for Rafe to fear their suspect was dead.

He'd kept his investigation a secret from Alex because of Kayla. Her husband had once been Schroeder's partner, but since Jeremy Wilson had died two years ago, they'd pretty much ruled him out as being involved in the most recent criminal activity.

His team at the coast guard had been watching Bill Schroeder for the past few months, searching for proof that the owner of the charter fishing business was involved in an underground criminal escape ring, secretly whisking well-known criminals out of the United States through the Great Lakes into Canada—complete with new identities.

If Bill Schroeder was really the dead guy floating in Lake Michigan, then their investigation would take a serious hit. They had a few other potential suspects, but none as promising as Schroeder.

He glanced at Kayla and Brianna once they reached his jeep. He opened the passenger door for them. "Kayla, I need to go back and talk to the police for a minute. Will you wait for me? Please?"

Kayla flashed a puzzled frown but nodded. "I wouldn't mind a ride, since darkness comes so early now. But if you could hurry, I'd appreciate it. I'm sure Brianna is hungry."

Relief washed over him. He was afraid she'd insist on walking back to her car. He turned on the jeep's ignition and cranked up the heat. "I'll be quick, I promise. Five minutes."

Print book:
Barnes and Noble
Books a Million



Popular Posts

Laura’s Apricot Shell Shawl knitting pattern

I usually have a knitting project in mind when I write it into one of my books, but Laura’s apricot-colored shawl just kind of appeared upon the page as I was writing the first scene of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 4: Betrayer , and it surprised even me. I immediately went to my yarn stash to find a yarn for it, and I searched through my antique knitting books to find some stitch patterns. I made her an elegant wool shawl she could wear at home. The shawl ended up tagging along with Laura into the next book, Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 5: Prisoner , where it imparts some comfort to her in her trying circumstances. The two stitch patterns are both from the same book, The Lady’s Assistant, volume 2 by Mrs. Jane Gaugain, published in 1842 . A couple excessively clever and creative knitters might have knit these patterns in the Regency era, but they would have only passed them around by word of mouth or scribbled “recipes” to friends or family, and it wouldn’t have been widely use

Matthew 22:37-39

Dear Lord, You have done so much for me. I am so grateful to you for sending your son to die for my sins so that I can be renewed, so that I can come before you and feel the comfort of your presence. I know that I am not alone, because you are with me. I want to love you completely and without inhibition. Teach me to be like you and love others as you love them. Your love is truly unending and glorious. Amen 親愛なる神様、 あなたは私のために多くのことをしてくださいました。私が新しく生まれ変われるように、あなたの前に出て、あなたの存在の快適さを感じられるように、私の罪のためにあなたの息子を死なせてくださったことに、私はとても感謝しています。私は、あなたが私と共にいてくださるので、私は一人ではないことを知っています。私はあなたを完全に、阻害されることなく愛したいのです。あなたのようになり、あなたが人を愛するように、私も人を愛するように教えてください。あなたの愛は本当に尽きることがなく、栄光に満ちています。 アーメン


Source: via Camy on Pinterest In-N-Out, one of my fav burger joints, makes an appearance in the first chapter of A Dangerous Stage . It's a chain on the West Coast and Hawaii, I'm not sure how far east they have restaurants. They don't freeze any of their food, it's all fresh, including the buns and the french fries. When you order, you can see them use this french fry hand-crank machine to make their fries, it's pretty cool. The specific restaurant in A Dangerous Stage doesn't exist at that location, but there's a couple of them near me and I go there way too often than is good for me, but it's oh-so-yummy!

No Cold Bums toilet seat cover

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.22.2008 I actually wrote out my pattern! I was getting a lot of hits on my infamous toilet seat cover , and I wanted to make a new one with “improvements,” so I paid attention and wrote things down as I made the new one. This was originally based off the Potty Mouth toilet cover , but I altered it to fit over the seat instead of the lid. Yarn: any worsted weight yarn, about 120 yards (this is a really tight number, I used exactly 118 yards. My suggestion is to make sure you have about 130 yards.) I suggest using acrylic yarn because you’re going to be washing this often. Needle: I used US 8, but you can use whatever needle size is recommended by the yarn you’re using. Gauge: Not that important. Mine was 4 sts/1 inch in garter stitch. 6 buttons (I used some leftover shell buttons I had in my stash) tapestry needle Crochet hook (optional) Cover: Using a provisional cast on, cast on 12 stitches. Work in garter st until liner measures

AI-narrated audiobooks

Google allowed me to create audiobooks with an AI narrator for free of my titles available on the Google Play store, so I decided to give it a try. Right now, Necessary Proof , Unshakeable Pursuit , Weddings and Wasabi , The Spinster’s Christmas , and my devotional Who I Want to Be are all available as AI-narrated audiobooks. From now until March 11, 2023, Necessary Proof digitally-narrated audiobook is free! Pick up you free copy and let me know how the audiobook sounds. If you hear anything weird, feel free to email me and let me know the exact time where you heard it, and I’ll try to have Google correct it.

Quiz from Lady Wynwood's Spies #6 - question 4

The latest volume in my Christian Regency epic serial novel just released, so I thought I’d post a few of my favorite passages from Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 6: Martyr . The laughter died as abruptly as it had started. “Don’t worry, you’ll be suffering even more soon.” The muscles in Jack’s neck drew taut, and he bared his teeth at Michael. “In fact, I want to see you all suffer.” “Why?” Michael asked. “Because you wronged me simply by being born,” he said, spit flying from between his gritted teeth. “And I want you to feel my pain.” QUIZ: Where are Michael and Jack in this scene, in the gentleman’s club or Stapytton House? EXTRA CREDIT: When did Michael first see Jack (in the flesh) without his makeup? I actually wrote this scene back when I was still outlining the entire series, before I’d finished book 2—I stuck the lines of dialogue in my outlining notes. I was just waiting to be able to put them in the book. Start the series with Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 1: A

Toilet seat cover

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Update August 2008: I wrote up the pattern for this with "improvements"! Here's the link to my No Cold Bums toilet seat cover ! Okay, remember a few days ago I was complaining about the cold toilet seat in my bathroom? Well, I decided to knit a seat cover. Not a lid cover, but a seat cover. I went online and couldn’t find anything for the seat, just one pattern for the lid by . However, I took her pattern for the inside edge of the lid cover and modified it to make a seat cover. Here it is! It’s really ugly stitch-wise because originally I made it too small and had to extend it a couple inches on each side. I figured I’d be the one staring at it, so who cared if the extension wasn’t perfectly invisible? I used acrylic yarn since, well, that’s what I had, and also because it’s easy to wash. I’ll probably have to wash this cover every week or so, but it’s easy to take off—I made ties which you can see near the back of the seat. And

Tabi socks, part deux

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.25.2008 (If you're on Ravelry, friend me! I'm camytang.) I made tabi socks again! (At the bottom of the pattern is the calculation for the toe split if you're not using the same weight yarn that I did for this pattern (fingering). I also give an example from when I used worsted weight yarn with this pattern.) I used Opal yarn, Petticoat colorway. It’s a finer yarn than my last pair of tabi socks, so I altered the pattern a bit. Okay, so here’s my first foray into giving a knitting pattern. Camy’s top-down Tabi Socks I’m assuming you already know the basics of knitting socks. If you’re a beginner, here are some great tutorials: Socks 101 How to Knit Socks The Sock Knitter’s Companion A video of turning the heel Sock Knitting Tips Yarn: I have used both fingering weight and worsted weight yarn with this pattern. You just change the number of cast on stitches according to your gauge and the circumference of your ankle. Th


「ひとり寿司」をブログに連載します! ひとり寿司 寿司シリーズの第一作 キャミー・タング 西島美幸 訳 スポーツ狂のレックス・坂井 —— いとこのマリコが数ヶ月後に結婚することにより、「いとこの中で一番年上の独身女性」という内輪の肩書を「勝ち取る」ことについては、あまり気にしていない。コントロールフリークの祖母を無視するのは容易だ —— しかし、祖母は最終通告を出した —— マリコの結婚式までにデート相手を見つけなければ、無慈悲な祖母は、レックスがコーチをしている女子バレーボールチームへの資金供給を切ると言う。 ダグアウトにいる選手全員とデートに出かけるほど絶望的なわけではない。レックスは、バイブルスタディで読んだ「エペソの手紙」をもとに「最高の男性」の条件の厳しいリストを作った。バレーボールではいつも勝つ —— ゲームを有利に進めれば、必ず成功するはずだ。 そのとき兄は、クリスチャンではなく、アスリートでもなく、一見何の魅力もないエイデンを彼女に引き合わせる。 エイデンは、クリスチャンではないという理由で離れていったトリッシュという女の子から受けた痛手から立ち直ろうとしている。そして、レックスが(1)彼に全く興味がないこと、(2)クリスチャンであること、(3)トリッシュのいとこであることを知る。あの狂った家族とまた付き合うのはごめんだ。まして、偽善的なクリスチャンの女の子など、お断り。彼はマゾヒストじゃない。 レックスは時間がなくなってきた。いくら頑張っても、いい人は現れない。それに、どこへ行ってもエイデンに遭遇する。あのリストはどんどん長くなっていくばかり —— 過去に掲載済みのストーリーのリンクはこちらです。 *** ********** レックスは、携帯のフリップを開けた「ヘーイ、リチャード」 「どうだった?」 「何がよ」冷蔵庫がブンブン言う音は数秒やんだ。レックスがバシッと叩くと、また始まった。 「オリバーとのディナーだよ」 「何で知ってるの?」 「あいつが言ってた」 「あなたから聞いたの? いつから私の恋愛生活に興味が出てきたのよ」 「別に……ちょっと興味があっただけ」 レックスはお尻に手を当て、リチャードの純粋ぶった顔を想像しながら、冷蔵庫をじっと見た。「今まで『

One-Skein Pyrenees Scarf knitting pattern

I got into using antique patterns when I was making the scarf my hero wears in my Regency romance, The Spinster’s Christmas . I wanted to do another pattern which I think was in use in the Regency period, the Pyrenees Knit Scarf on pages 36-38 of The Lady's Assistant for Executing Useful and Fancy Designs in Knitting, Netting, and Crochet Work, volume 1, by Jane Gaugain, published in 1840. She is thought to be the first person to use knitting abbreviations, at least in a published book, although they are not the same abbreviations used today (our modern abbreviations were standardized by Weldon’s Practical Needlework in 1906). Since the book is out of copyright, you can download a free PDF copy of the book at I found this to be a fascinating look at knitting around the time of Jane Austen’s later years. Although the book was published in 1840, many of the patterns were in use and passed down by word of mouth many years before that, so it’s possible these are