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Her attacker was back.

Flashlight in hand, she ran to the attic steps, taking the offensive. She wouldn’t be a victim again.

“Don’t move,” she shouted.

But it wasn’t her attacker coming up the steps.

Chief Winters came toward her. She should take a step back but she couldn’t move. Something about him had her heart fluttering. He lifted her chin with his finger.

She wanted to tell him what a romantic cliché his action was, but then she’d be admitting her attraction. And she couldn’t admit that. She’d never risk her heart again.

“What are you doing up here again?” he asked her.

She couldn’t tell anyone what she’d done, especially not him. “Chief...”

“Jewel, don’t you think it’s about time you call me Colin?”

His voice was so gentle, she could almost forget he was here on official business. But that would be a mistake.

“Colin, I—”

But she never got a chance to speak. A scream tore through the attic.

Mountain Secrets

Elizabeth Goddard


USA TODAY Bestselling Author

Sharon Dunn

Previously published as Deception and Hidden Away

Table of Contents

Deception by Elizabeth Goddard

Hidden Away by Sharon Dunn

Excerpt from Mountain Survival by Christy Barritt


Elizabeth Goddard

Elizabeth Goddard is the award-winning author of more than thirty novels and novellas. A 2011 Carol Award winner, she was a double finalist in the 2016 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, and a 2016 Carol Award finalist. Elizabeth graduated with a computer science degree and worked in high-level software sales before retiring to write full-time.

Books by Elizabeth Goddard

Love Inspired Suspense

Mount Shasta Secrets

Deadly Evidence

Covert Cover-Up

Coldwater Bay Intrigue

Thread of Revenge

Stormy Haven

Distress Signal

Running Target

Texas Ranger Holidays

Texas Christmas Defender

Wilderness, Inc.

Targeted for Murder

Undercover Protector

False Security

Wilderness Reunion

Visit the Author Profile page at Harlequin.com for more titles.

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

—Psalms 103:12

Dedicated to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,

who paid my ransom.


My heartfelt thanks and gratitude go out to all those who support my writing endeavors. First I thank my family, of course—my husband and boys, who put up with my frequent forays into other worlds without them. We’ve been eating a lot of pizza and fast food lately, I know, but hey, don’t you love it when Mom gets that book money? I also want to thank my dear writing buddies, you know who you are, and my new writing friends—I couldn’t do this without your encouragement and support. And as always, thanks to my amazing editor, Elizabeth Mazer, for her insights into making my manuscripts the best they can be. Last and never least, I appreciate the encouragement from my agent, Steve Laube. Signing me as a client (has it already been over five years?) was a huge validation to me as a writer. Thanks, Steve!




















Dead Man Falls

Mountain Cove, Alaska

Edging closer to the precipice that overlooked the plunging waterfall, Jewel Caraway risked a glance down. Vertigo hit. Dizziness mingled with worry.

Meral and Buck should have beaten Jewel to the falls where they had planned to meet up.

“Meral!” she yelled.

The roar of the water that cascaded hundreds of feet below drowned out her calls, sucking them down with the rushing water. A foaming whirlpool twisted where the frothing, tumbling force pounded the pool at its base. Misty spray drifted up and enveloped Jewel in a sheen of moisture. The sound of her voice could never compete with the rumbling growl of the cataract.

She tugged out her cell phone before she remembered she would get no cell signal here. The only signal she ever had was in Mountain Cove proper. She put the cell away, her gaze drawn back to the waterfall.

Powerful and dangerous.

Beautiful and terrifying.

Dead Man Falls was a force to be reckoned with. That was if one were to take the plunge and get sucked into the swirling torrent at the base.

Kayakers had attempted to navigate the drop and failed.

Part of a rainbow, transparent and fading into the mist, caught her attention. Mesmerized, Jewel stood at the edge of the rocky, moss-covered ledge that was flanked by spruce and hemlock, firs and cedars in the lush, temperate rainforest. She watched the churning at the bottom of an endless vortex that would trap anyone or anything unfortunate enough to fall. She wondered what secrets it held in its depths—then flinched at the memory of how she had buried a secret of her own and never thought about it again. That was until Meral, the sister she hadn’t seen since Jewel had eloped twenty years ago, had arrived on her doorstep with her new husband.

And now they were both missing.

“Meral!” she called again. “Buck!”

Uncertainty roiled inside, tumultuous like the falls.

Those two had gotten lost somehow, which seemed impossible. They’d been hiking together when Jewel realized she’d forgotten her water and had needed to go back. They had gone on ahead of her on the well-defined trail, and the plan had been they would stop at the falls and wait until Jewel could catch up. Where could they have gone?

A twig snapped. Before she could turn, a blunt object smashed into her back. Pain erupted along with her scream as the force of the blow propelled her forward.

Airborne, Jewel plummeted through the clouds and mist, feeling as if her stomach had been left behind on the cliff’s edge.

Terror was catching up with her.

The spray of the waterfall engulfed her. At the last possible moment, she dragged in a breath and fell into the jaws of the beast she’d admired with a healthy fear only moments before. The wrath of the whirlpool plunged her deeper, twisting and tossing, bashing her against sunken boulders.

Dizziness and nausea held her captive within the vortex. The pounding water pushed her deeper, then turned her over again in the same way a crocodile rolled its meal to make it tender.

I’m not ready to die!

Lungs burning, Jewel shoved down the

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