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Authors: Lori Copeland

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Stranded in Paradise

BOOK: Stranded in Paradise
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Advance Praise for Lori Copeland's

stranded in paradise

“Copeland's vivid portrayal of a tropical setting and two compelling characters in search of inner peace will delight the senses, tug at the heart, and lift the spirit. A divine read.”

L
INDA
W
INDSOR
,
award-winning author of
Riona, Fires of Gleannmara
Book Two

“Well-written, stormy, and intense with life and love.”

L
YN
C
OTE
,
author of
Winter's Secret


Stranded in Paradise
gives a new meaning to the term ‘island style' as Tess Nelson experiences everything
but
the tropical bliss she was hoping to find on Maui. Grab your sunglasses and come along for the frolic!”

R
OBIN
J
ONES
G
UNN
,
award winning author of the Glenbrooke Series

“Enchanting! Lori Copeland's lively, riveting writing style and cast of quirky characters engaged me from the moment I started reading. Exciting action sprinkled with Lori's trademark humor held my attention as I drank in the deep spiritual truth of the importance of total surrender to Christ.”

C
ATHERINE
P
ALMER
,
Christy Award-winning author of
The Happy Room
and
English Ivy

“This great story is Copeland at her best. I highly recommend it!”

C
OLLEEN
C
OBLE
,
author of
Wyoming

“I've loved Lori Copeland's writing for years, and her latest effort is no exception. Reminiscent of yesteryear's cinematic romantic comedies,
Stranded in Paradise
employs situational humor that is never slapstick, but
is
long on fun and love. Lori goes a step farther to blend in a gentle, but powerful message of faith.”

J
ANE
O
RCUTT
,
author of
Lullaby
and
The Living Stone

“Descriptive and compelling. In
Stranded in Paradise
, award-winning Lori Copeland offered me a cozy, satisfying read with a subtle humor that caused a chuckle, a tender love story that brought tears, and a heroine whose flickering faith erupted into a triumphant blaze.”

D
ORIS
E
LAINE
F
ELL
,
author of
Sunrise on Stradbury Square
and
Willows on the Windrush


Stranded in Paradise
is a beautiful story of love and redemption. Lori Copeland's wonderfully witty tale takes you on the vacation you never wanted and makes you so very glad you went. Romance, the tropics, and a strong inspirational theme make
Stranded in Paradise
a sure winner!”

D
ENISE
H
UNTER
,
author of
Aloha

“I just took a wonderful trip to Hawaii with Lori Copeland and didn't even have to board a jet. From the frozen skies of Denver to the wild tropical breezes of a Maui hurricane, [
Stranded in Paradise
kept] me guessing with little surprises all along the way. I'm looking forward to the next exciting getaway with this gifted writer.”

H
ANNAH
A
LEXANDER
,
author of the Healing Touch Series

stranded in paradise

Women of Faith Fiction presents

stranded in paradise

A Story of Letting Go

B
Y
L
ORI
C
OPELAND

© 2002 by Lori Copeland

All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any other means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other—except for brief quotations in printed reviews or articles, without the prior permission of the publisher.

Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson. Thomas Nelson is a registered trademark of Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Published in association with the literary agency of Alive Communications, Inc., 7680 Goddard Street, Suite 200, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 80920.

Thomas Nelson, Inc., titles may be purchased in bulk for educational, business, fund-raising, or sales promotional use. For information, please email [email protected].

The Holy Bible, New Living Translation (NLT) 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Ill. All rights reserved.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, organizations, or locales is entirely coincidental.

ISBN 978-0-8499-4508-3 (trade paper)

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Copeland, Lori.
      Stranded in paradise / by Lori Copeland.
        p. cm.
      ISBN 978-0-8499-4378-2
     1. Colorado—Fiction. I. Title.
   PS3553.06336 S77 2002
   813'.54—dc21

2002008987

Printed in the United States of America

08 09 10 11 12 RRD 11 10 9 8 7

This book is a singular gift from God, and I praise His name that He would allow this author to extol His glory through Women of Faith.

And to Thelma Jean Keithly Bilyeu: mother of nine
children, grandmother of twenty-two, great-grandmother
of twenty-one, and great-great-grandmother of one. Thelma
was called home to be with the Lord as I was finishing this
book. A devoted follower of Christ, Thelma enjoyed many
hours of Christian fiction. Thelma, you will be sorely
missed by family, friends, and loved ones. Until we meet
again . . .

Let the LORD'S people show him reverence, for those who honor him will have all they need. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the LORD will never lack any good thing.

—P
SALM
34:9–10
N
EW
L
IVING
T
RANSLATION

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Discussion questions/ study guide

Acknowledgments

1

Jan. 10, 8:55 A.M.
Denver, Colorado

“Boy, Kim, this weather is nutty, isn't it? Where's the
snow?”

“Rocky, I don't know,” the female disk jockey deadpanned. “We don't have to worry about hurricanes here in Denver land: I WANT SNOW!”

Tess Nelson signaled, then switched lanes on the busy interstate. The Acura surged ahead, passing a slower-moving vehicle before shooting back to the right lane. The digital clock turned to 8:56 A.M.

The disk jockeys kept up their banter, “Imagine a summer thunderstorm, a dark, hulking brute towering over ten turbulent miles into the heavens—black, rolling clouds spewing blinding rain, hailstones, and lightning. Then picture a line of these monsters seventy-five miles long, standing shoulder to shoulder,” Rocky said of an approaching storm in the South Pacific. “Take that line and wrap it around into a circle 230 miles across and spin it counterclockwise at 140 miles an hour and you're in the eye of a hurricane. . . . Must be something to experience . . .” She frowned at the radio, as she wondered how long it took for those storms to fizzle out. She had a business trip planned for the following week in Hawaii and the last thing she needed was some tropical depression to foul up her plans.

The Acura wheeled into the underground parking garage. Tires and power steering screeched as she ascended from the first floor to the second level. She turned into spot seven, shut off the engine, and looked at the clock. 8:57—oops. 8:58. On time.

Her newest twenty-something temp was waiting when the elevator doors opened to the fourteenth floor.

“Suit wants to see you.” Judy chewed gum and pointed an acrylic-nailed, three-ringed finger toward the executive suite one floor up.

“I need to drop these things off in my office and get a cup of coffee—”

“No time, Kiddo. The Man says now. Mucho pronto.” The temp blew a bubble and popped it back into her mouth in one swift move.

Tess shifted the armload of folders, sunglasses, briefcase, and purse, then pilfered a notepad and pen from her secretary's desk. “Please spit out your gum.” She pointed to the wastebasket.

“Yes ma'am.”

Ma'am?
Tess flinched. She had to speak to Nick in personnel about the help he was sending her lately. The last one had taken breaks every hour to do her yoga stretches right there on the office floor. She didn't know how long she could deal with the endless array of teenyboppers behind the desk.

Stepping into the elevator, she punched floor thirty-seven and tapped the pen against the notepad as she watched the numbers change above the elevator's doors. To hear Len refer to the executive office as “his office” sounded strange. He'd taken over as chief executive officer of
Connor.com
upon the sudden death of his father, Dave Connor, the man who had started the company five years earlier. While dot com companies had been rising fast in the late nineties, Dave Connor had moved with caution, investing back into the business instead of buying new equipment and hiring employees he wouldn't be able to keep for the long haul. He was a man of vision. But Dave hadn't planned on dying at the age of sixty-one of a heart attack.

Dot com companies sell service, not a product, and Dave had built a strong, self-sustaining business because he cared about his customers.
Connor.com
allowed clients to let bids on large-ticket or small-ticket items online. If they wished, they could even do a closed bid.

Under Dave's management, changes were constantly made to meet a client's needs. Most of the schools in this area used
Connor.com
to order supplies like hand soap, detergent, grease-breaker soap, and soap for mopping kitchen floors, tile floors, and hardwood floors. One catalog they maintained listed over twenty thousand different soap items.

A company of this size needed a lot of people: a chief executive officer, chief financial officer, chief operations officer, chief technical officer, plus middle management people and a ton of technical geeks. Not everyone could manage a company this size the way Dave had done. She hoped Len was up to it.

Tess had met Dave at a Chamber of Commerce mixer five and a half years ago. He was a kind old man who had treated her like a daughter almost from the time they met. When he had asked her to join his company a few months later, she'd jumped at the opportunity.

The job was a human resource manager's dream, with a lot of potential for advancement. She was ready for the challenges. For the past two years Dave had been grooming her to take the position of vice president of human resources, second in command of
Connor.com
.

Apparently, this morning Len was ready to announce that he was moving her into the job. She knew she was ready to steer the company through the turbulent waters of mergers and acquisitions, setting up profit sharing and a 401(k) program that would attract experienced and loyal employees. This was the crowning achievement of all her hard work.

As she reached Len's office, his secretary, Nancy, was coming out. “Hello,” Tess chirped.

“Go on in,” Nancy murmured, refusing to meet her eye. Odd. Nancy Silva was one of the friendliest people Tess knew. From the look on Nancy's face she wondered if something awful had happened to her.

BOOK: Stranded in Paradise
13.29Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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