Every Good Gift - Adam Cross Suspense Book 1
Every Good Gift - Adam Cross Suspense Book 1
There was no way anyone could have ever prepared me for what was about to happen. I am a man of faith after all. God would never allow something this horrific to happen to one of His children.But He did and now I am left asking why. Why me? Why this? And what purpose do I have left in this life if everything that defined me has been stripped from me?
Winner of the 2021 Illumination Book Awards silver medal for Christian Fiction and #1 Amazon bestseller in Christian mystery and suspense fiction.
I expected it to be a good book but honestly, I never expected it to be this good! Absolute fantastic read that kept me hooked throughout. I immediately got the next to books in the series! - Amazon Review
What if it wasn’t an accident but providence instead?
Childhood secrets shrouded in mystery bubble to the surface when Adam Cross becomes the center of a tragic accident in the idyllic coastal town of Turtle Cove.
Desperate for answers and questioning his faith, he searches for the truth, forced to confront his deepest fears and darkest past.
But when a cryptic package and a mysterious stranger cast more questions than answers, his once unwavering faith will be tested like never before.
Filled with unexpected twists and turns that keep you guessing, this inspiring tale of grace, faith, and resilience is perfect for fans of Charles Martin, Terri Blackwell, and Colleen Coble.
Are you ready to join him on his suspenseful pursuit of the truth as he journeys back to the past to uncover his future?
Chapter One Look Inside
Chapter One Look Inside
COPYRIGHT © URCELIA TEIXEIRA - EXCERPT FROM EVERY GOOD GIFT. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” - James 1:17 (NIV)
There was no way anyone could have predicted just how much Adam’s life would change, neither could they have prepared him for it. It was to be the day that set the course of his life as God had ordained before he was even born.
With his eyes fixed on the slow-rising sun beyond the ocean’s edge, he cupped his hands and dragged the crisp water back toward his waist, gliding the board beneath his body with ease to where he stopped just behind the last of the small breakers. He sat up, his feet dangling on either side of his surfboard and stared out toward the horizon. It was a beautiful early summer’s day on the island, and as far as Adam was concerned, the best way to spend it. Soon his favorite surfing spot would be crowded by city dwellers who’d be arriving from all over the country. The island had always been a popular vacation spot, but he didn’t mind it at all. Turtle Cove needed the business and The Lighthouse would have ample opportunity to carry out and continue its work. He loved seeing his church full. He smiled as he recalled how full the chapel had been during the previous year’s summer. They were forced to pack more chairs out onto the grass and add extra speakers so everyone could hear his sermon. City folk from as far north as Massachusetts and Pennsylvania to Ohio and Tennessee had flocked to the island for the summer. He had much to be grateful for.
With his eyes closed and his hands stretched out toward the cloudless sky, he pushed his chin out and allowed for the day’s first rays to flood his face. This had been his daily ritual for most of the twenty years he’d been living there. It was the time and place he had carved out to meet with God each morning while he watched the sunrise from behind the calm ocean waters. Alone in the water, he prayed out loud, praising, thanking God for his everlasting grace. His life on the island had been nothing short of incredible—more than he could have ever asked for. He had only been twelve when he came to live there. Why God had purposed it in that way, he still didn’t quite know, but he had learned not to ask anymore. It’s not for you to question God’s motives, he reminded himself. The sudden tragic thought that forced its way into his prayers as it so often did broke his focus. His words trailed off as he allowed his mind to enter the silent space where he waited for God to speak instead, something he urged his parishioners to do each time he took his place behind the pulpit. “In order to hear God speak you ought to be still in his presence,” he’d say while quoting the psalmist. But today Adam’s spirit was restless. Why he didn’t know. He just couldn’t connect the way he normally did. He dropped his hands and rested them on his thighs while he stared out across the ocean. The waves had died down and all was calm and quiet around him. Deciding to head back, he turned his board around and pointed its nose toward the beach. As he patiently waited for a wave to carry him in to shore, he glanced out toward the sand dunes in the distance. In the early dawn light, he spotted faint white smoke that trailed like a ribbon into the sky. He squinted his eyes to bring it into vision. A frown formed across his brows as he sat back up on his board. It’s coming from the mission. Could it be? What else? The Lighthouse was the only cluster of buildings out there. Ruth… Abigail… my girls! Something clutched at his heart. His torso slammed flat onto the board. His arms and feet worked at three times the normal speed to push his surfboard through the quiet water toward the beach. He briefly turned to find a wave to help him. There weren’t any. Please, God, send me a wave. Just one big one, please, Father! He kept pushing across the water as he kept his eyes fixed on the smoke that grew thicker with each passing moment. The smallest of waves lifted his board just enough to propel him into the surf. He kicked harder. As the ocean spat him out onto the shoreline he ripped the Velcro strap to release the leg cord from his ankle and left the board to be swept back into the sea. He couldn’t be bothered with it right now. All he could think about was whether his wife and daughter were safe.
His feet sank into the soft white sand while he bolted across the beach to where the narrow path snaked between the grassy sand dunes. From behind the mounds, the white smoke that had turned dark gray towered into the sky. As he gained perspective over its location he had the sudden urge to hurl into the nearby bushes. He kept running and instead spat a ball of saltwater that had settled in the back of his tight throat into the sand in front of him. Some of it caught on his cheek but he didn’t care. All he cared about now was Ruth and Abigail. The reminder of what was at stake injected a flood of adrenalin into his legs. It was enough to propel him over the last sand mound before he entered the grounds of the mission. But the surge of strength in his body was soon replaced with a sudden heavy feeling that had left his feet strained and weighted to the ground. What he had feared most suddenly punched him in the gut and left him breathless.
Oblivious to the plan that was about to unfold and alter his life in ways he never saw coming, Adam Cross charged toward his home. Smothered in a blanket of dark clouds of smoke that now oozed from between the logs of the cabin’s walls, he fixed his gaze on the blazing fire. The sweet scent from the large magnolia shrub that normally permeated the air in front of their cabin was gone. His bare feet hit the small deck, which instantly melted the soft flesh beneath his toes. Cassie barked somewhere behind him. He darted back onto the grass in search of the old trainers she had claimed soon after they had brought her home from the shelter last Christmas. He scrambled to gather them up. They were in her favorite spot under the oak tree, next to Abby’s swing. Barely conscious of the concerned cries that were now coming from the few community members who had since woken up, he slipped the shoes on, ignoring the gaping hole that left one big toe exposed. Back on the deck, the fire had engulfed the entire front portion of the house. His heart pounded hard against his chest and it didn’t take long for his lungs to react and fight against the smoke that stung in the back of his throat. His eyes and nostrils burned under the relentless fumes that grew stronger with each passing second. Instinctively he buried his face inside the crook of his elbow. As his lips tasted the salty-foamed sleeve of his wetsuit he thanked God that he was at least insulated from the fire. The front door easily gave away under the thrust of his peep-toe trainer. Instantly the sudden additional supply of oxygen fueled the inferno and caused Adam to recoil onto the porch, shielding his face behind his neoprene arms.
“Ruth! Abby!” he yelled into the flames.
They must still be in their beds! He turned to head to Abigail’s room first, coughing and choking in the smoke.
Once again a surge of adrenaline jolted his muscles into action, pushing through his veins like an electrical current. His pulse quickened to an unsteady pace he could no longer control.
He called out to his wife, barely recognizing the hoarse sound of his voice.
“Ruth! I’m here! Ruth!”
No one answered. All he heard was the loud crackling sounds as the fire ripped through his home. Behind him, a rafter crashed to the floor and narrowly missed his shoulder. Again he called out in the hopes of getting a response. First his wife’s name, then his daughter’s, but still there was no sound from either of them. As his mind raced and his body propelled forward toward their bedrooms, he silently cried out to God. Make a way through the flames, Lord! Clear my path! The thought of losing his wife and child was unbearable. As quickly as the thought entered his mind he pushed it aside. There was no time to give in to fear. God was helping him. As he entered the first of the two bedrooms his eyes searched through the smoke. It was Abby’s room. The smoke was thick and he could barely see the bed. It took two seconds to leap across the floor to where Abby’s pink bed covers had already caught fire. He reached out and yanked it off to expose an empty space where he had expected his daughter to be.
“Abby! Where are you, sweetheart? Daddy’s here!”
When he couldn’t find her, he turned and set off toward the master bedroom. Maybe she crept into bed with Ruth. It was something she liked doing lately. Sweat blurred his vision and he wiped his eyes with the back of his trembling fingers. Another four strides to their room.
“Ruth! Are you in here?”
Through the thick smoke, his eyes searched their bed. His wife’s dainty feet poked out from beneath the sunshine yellow comforter.
“Ruth! Wake up! We’ve got to get out of here. Ruth!”
She didn’t answer, nor did she move. Now at her side, he pulled the covers off and patted the space next to her in search of Abby. She wasn’t there. Fear tore through his body. While his eyes continued to scan the room for his daughter, his hand gently slapped Ruth’s hot face. He couldn’t tell if she was breathing. From somewhere behind him he heard the roof shift just before a couple of rafters crashed onto the floor. There was no time. He had to get her out of there. He’d come back for Abby. He scooped Ruth’s unconscious body off the bed and threw her over his shoulder. Bolting toward the exit, his eyes searched unceasingly for his daughter. Large orange flames had ripped into the dining room drapes and burned a massive hole in the roof above the kitchen.
“Adam! Over here!” a male voice called out to him.
Through the thick smoke, he glimpsed the caretaker’s welcoming brown eyes and eagerly followed Jim’s voice to where he stood in the doorway between clouds of brown smoke that all but completely obscured his vision.
“Take Ruth! I’ve got to find Abby!” he yelled as he dumped his wife into Jim’s arms.
“No, Adam! It’s not safe! The roof is about to come down any minute! The fire department is on its way!”
“Go, Jim! Get Ruth out of here! I have to find Abigail!”
Adam swung around and charged toward the kitchen but instantly regretted his spontaneous decision when the unstable floor beneath his body collapsed and one leg disappeared below the burning floorboards. Around him, the flames danced across the floor as it torched its way through the rest of the house. From his sunken position, he spotted Abby’s lifeless body next to her doll’s house in the far corner of the sitting room. In a reflex action, he pushed his hands down onto the floor to lift himself from the hole, which instantly sent a burst of pain through his palms. He screamed in response as he freed his leg and leapt across the room to Abby’s side.
“I got you, baby girl! Daddy’s here!”
Above them, the roof crackled under the inferno as it made its imminent collapse known. He scooped his daughter’s motionless body into his arms, cradling her against his chest. Forced to pause as he searched for a way to escape across the collapsing floor, Adam pleaded with God to keep it intact and come to his aid. His eyes stung and he could no longer see clearly. There were flames everywhere he looked. Behind him a sudden loud bang came from the kitchen, warning him to get out before the gas cooker exploded. Out of options, he pinned his eyes on the exit. As if the world around him briefly paused a crisscross exit path unfolded between the falling rafters and the collapsing floorboards. Adam bolted across the fragile floor, following the pathway toward the front door that had all but completely been destroyed. He cradled Abby’s tiny body and tucked her in between his arms moments before the thrust of the explosion deposited them on the other side of the flaming porch.