Mistletoe In Juneau (Signed Print)
Mistletoe in Juneau Excerpt and Giveaway!!
Below is an excerpt of Mistletoe in Juneau where Danni sees how she will be arriving in Auke Bay and her first look at Alaska from the sky!! To enter for a free signed copy of the book. Comment below with your favorite part of the Christmas holiday!! Winner will be drawn at random!
Danni shifted her position, so she was leaned back against the headboard. “It’s cold here, kind of like New York with more of a bite. I can handle it. Tomorrow I take another flight to Fairbanks and yet another flight to my destination. I can’t wait to see my best friend. Hey Amy! If you see this, I’m almost there!” Danni laughed. “She is due to have a baby any day now, and we have so much catching up to do. So, my friends, for this holiday, I have a request. Spend it with people who make you smile and laugh, people to make memories with and who will make this Christmas one that you can smile about for years to come. That’s my wish for all of you to have the adventures of a lifetime when Christmas magic is in the air… Danni out.”
She used the tiny remote to turn off the camera and spent a few minutes for a quick edit before she posted it to her website and social media outlets. Danni lay back with a smile and covered herself with a blanket. Outside, the colors of the lights from the snowman sign flickered on and off. That was what lulled her to sleep with a huge smile on her face. The next morning, she was back at the airport and ready to finally be in Juneau.
“Where’s the rest of the plane?” Danni asked, looking at the small two propeller plane doubtfully.
The flight from Anchorage to Fairbanks was in a smaller plane, one of those air buses with engines. Danni didn’t consider the Cessna in front of her in any way safe to be in the skies. In fact, how did the propellers turn the…? Nope, she wasn’t trying to figure it out.
“This is how you get into Juneau, ma’am. They don’t have an airport like this,” the pilot said gently. “I’m Cooper, and trust me, this is safe. I can land it on an ice river easy-peasy.”
“But I read that Juneau had a regular airport,” Danni pointed out. “Wait, are we landing on an ice river?”
“Yeah, they do, but we aren’t going there. Juneau is over three thousand miles of land, and no, we are not landing on the river. I just mentioned I could.” Cooper was around sixty-five with a mass of wild white hair that jumped out when he took off his winter hat with ear flaps to scratch his head. “You’re going to Auke Bay, ma’am, and that’s a drive from the airport for anyone. Especially Amy in her condition.”
“You know Amy?” Danni asked feeling a bit more relaxed.
Cooper nodded. “Yes, ma’am, and she has flown with me dozens of times… safely.”
“Okay, but please miss all the bumps,” Danni said skeptically.
“I’ll try.” Cooper grinned and grabbed one of her bags. “Four big bags for one tiny lady. City people sure have a lot of stuff.”
“And here I was hoping you’d have more plane,” Danni said to herself as she followed him to what she hoped wasn’t her doom.
Cooper helped her into the front seat of the small plane and got in next to her. Danni breathed a sigh of relief that he didn’t have to hold the propellers and give them a hard turn to get them started. Of course, she was being melodramatic. She had seen that in old movies. Still, this didn’t seem much better when he flipped the buttons and the engines started with a loud roar. Cooper handed her a headset and motioned for her to put them on.
“Ready!” he called out. She heard him clearly through the headset on her ears.
“As I’ll ever be,” Danni called back and gave a thumbs up. She hoped that it was encouraging but she wasn’t as reassured, having never been in something this small.
The plane moved down the runway, slowly picking up speed, and then it gave its first jerky jump into the sky. A small squeak escaped her lips, and she held on to the door like it was her lifeline. Turbulence. She hated it in a 747, and it felt much worse in the Cessna. Danni breathed a sigh of relief as it evened out, and Cooper piloted her though the sky. The pristine beauty spread out around her. Everything was white, even the tall peaks in the distance. It was like a Norman Rockwell painting. Below between the trees and snowcapped hills, the house rooftops were clearly visible, and trails of soft white smoke puffed into the sky. It wasn’t the flight or the lift of the small aircraft that made her heart race, it was the scenery spread out below her that made Danni breathless.
Snow in the city was beautiful for only a time, before the dirt and grime of the city streets and the dusty steam from subway grates made it murky and dark. But here, nothing disturbed this winter wonderland. It smoothed down rocky slopes and covered the expanse as far as she could see. Danni recognized green fir trees as they flew over forests and then the rocky beaches that separated ocean and land. Just as they passed the edge of a densely packed wilderness, a pack of animals broke out from the trees and ran across the snow-covered ground. An excited and amazed laugh escaped her. Danni had never seen anything like this in her life.
“The Caribou are running today. That’s the river they are on now—the ice is so thick you could sleep out there and not even know water ran beneath you.” Coopers voice sounded scratchy in her ear. “What do you think?”
“It’s magnificent,” Danni admitted honestly. “Look at how beautiful it all is. There is nothing like this in New York City.”
“That’s why I live here.” Cooper’s voice held reverence. “The last pure paradise of humanity is right here.”
Danni continued to stare out the window eagerly, picking out snowmobiles in the snow and even people on horseback. She retained it all to memory, excited to get words on paper to express how she felt and describe the new landscape around her. It seemed all too soon Cooper was taking the small plane into a descent even though forty-five minutes had passed. Everything enthralled her so much, she absolutely forgot to be scared. Her stomach tumbled when Cooper took a hard left to line up with the runway. Or what she thought might be the runway. All she saw was snow. Yet, like he promised, he landed seamlessly and no worse for wear. Except when she opened the door, and the wind hit her directly in the face. For the love of… A gust of wind hit her, and Danni feared her face froze instantly. She gasped. That was not the way to go. Oh, heckity blank! The cold air in her lungs made her sinuses hurt. Her eyes watered, and she got a brain freeze akin to eating ice cream too fast.