*Sacred Bloodlines (Book 1) By Wendy Owens*
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Tragedy has defined Gabe’s short existence in this world. An ominous darkness lurked on the edge of his existence until one day in a subway, strange things start happening. A series of events lead Gabe into a new and fascinating life filled with angels and demons, but he isn’t sure if he wants to be a part of it.
Feeling confident the danger had passed, Gabe climbed up onto the seat. He pulled the handle, pushing the heavy door open with his feet. On the ground in front of him, he saw Uri on his knees clutching an unconscious Sophie. Nearby, there was a small mountain of ash.
“Is she …” Gabe paused, unsure what to even ask. None of what had just happened made any sense.
“Help me get her in the back,” Uri said with a strained voice, motioning to him.
Gabe quickly ran to Uri’s side and swung around to hold her feet. Uri climbed in first, pulling Sophie in behind him as Gabe guided the rest of her. Gabe thought about how he had admired her boot clad feet when he first saw her. He wished with everything in him that she would be all right.
“You come around this side and hold her head,” Uri beckoned.
Gabe made sure Sophie’s lower half was securely in the car, then closed the door as gently as he could. He rushed to the other side of the car to take Uri’s place. As he came around the back, he saw two more piles of ash where the creatures that were looking at him had been.
He hesitated for a moment as Uri stepped out of the way, allowing Gabe to slide into place, cradling Sophie’s head in his lap. Even lifeless, she was beautiful, Gabe thought. Her skin was so pale; it had a gorgeous alabaster quality to it. He wasn’t sure how she did it, but he knew she had saved him.
Uri jumped quickly behind the wheel and searched frantically for the keys. Gabe saw they were still dangling from the ignition. Leaning forward, he placed a hand on Uri’s shoulder. Uri looked back at him; Gabe could see the worry in his eyes. Gabe motioned toward the keys, slightly clearing his throat. Uri looked down and with a sigh started the car, pulling back out onto the deserted road. Minutes passed with Uri frantically checking over his shoulder.
“How is she?” he finally asked Gabe.
Gabe looked at Sophie’s body, lying there, unsure how to even answer that question.
“Seems to be the same,” he responded honestly. “I don’t understand. What happened to her?”
Uri stared at the road.
“There’s a lot you don’t understand right now, Gabe,” Uri answered, clearly not wanting to deal with a bunch of questions. “All you need to know is Soph used every ounce of power she had to save us.”
All of the questions Gabe had wanted answers to suddenly didn’t seem important. He leaned forward and noticed Uri had increased their speed to just over one hundred miles per hour, Gabe thought it prudent to say something.
“What if we get pulled over? Might be hard to explain what’s wrong with her.”
Gabe had dealt with the cops enough in his life. He knew what it would be like trying to explain a half dead girl in the back seat.
“Right, right,” Uri responded without changing speed.
“Caecus,” Uri stated in a powerful voice.
“What?” Gabe asked.
“Oh,” Uri responded realizing Gabe had no idea what was happening. As they sped down the street, Uri searched for the words.
“Look, I know this is all must seem pretty messed up and I want to explain everything, really I do, but I think it’s better if you wait and talk to Michael.”
“Can you at least tell me what you just said? I heard Sophie say something back at the roadside I didn’t understand either,” Gabe pleaded.
“At the manor we learn a lot of things, one of the things they teach us … some might call … spells.”
“Like magic?” Gabe asked, trying not to laugh. The more he thought about it the less funny it seemed. After everything he had seen, did it really seem so impossible that magic existed?
“I suppose, but it’s the source behind our magic that makes it work. It’s a divine power,” Uri explained, increasing his speed even more. “I promise, if you have any questions after talking to Michael, I will answer them for you. He’s the best one to explain all of this. I put an incantation on the car so it’s invisible.”
“Yeah, right, we’re invisible,” Gabe said in disbelief, but then suddenly remembered back to the subway and how the officers seemed to not even notice them. “Wait, like you did in the city, with all those police officers?”
Uri glanced back at Gabe, his worry giving way for a moment to an impressed stare. “Exactly, I used a distraction spell on them allowing us to sneak by cloaked.”
“So that scream wasn’t real?” Gabe asked. Uri nodded his head affirmatively.
Gabe’s head felt like it was spinning. Monsters. Magic. He had always worried about the evils he had known in the world. Now it appeared there were unknowns that he always thought were make believe to worry about, too.
He leaned back and looked at Sophie’s face, as he did, his thoughts seemed to calm. He began to stroke her auburn hair, admiring how soft it was. Captivated by Sophie, he didn’t realize his hands had begun to burn. He heard Uri’s muffled voice and as he looked up at him, he felt an overwhelming feeling of nausea and realized everything had become blurry.
Uri was turned, looking at him, shouting something, but at that point, Gabe couldn’t hear him. A moment later, Gabe felt like the car was spinning uncontrollably. The nausea overcame him and he seriously thought he might be sick. He looked down at Sophie to make sure she was still all right. His hands were holding her head gently, but they no longer seemed like his hands. There was a glowing, blue light coming from his palms. He began to hyperventilate. Everything went black.
*Cursed (Book 2) By Wendy Owens*
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Some people are born into love, some people are born into war, when Gabe discovered he was a Guardian Angel, his life was suddenly thrust into both. If this hidden war wasn’t enough to deal with, Gabe learns he is fated to be the great protector who will one day deliver the last prophet to either safety or death. All of these revelations didn’t matter for Gabe, he only cared that his new life included Sophie.
Sophie and Gabe grew closer over the summer. She is now a fixture in his life that keeps him moving forward. Evil doesn’t stop stalking him just because he found happiness. This time darkness finds it’s way into Rampart manor and Gabe will have to decide if he is willing to risk everything to try and stop it.
The two continued to stand in silence for a moment longer while Gabe debated if sharing anything with Neru would help. Something was strange about her, but Gabe thought perhaps it was exactly those things that drew him to her.
“I know almost everything that’s bothering me is probably myself reading into stuff and being irrational,” Gabe smiled trying to show humor. “I tend to do that.”
“I’m sure you’re not that bad,” Neru said, giving Gabe a slight nudge.
“Take the tests for example, I studied all summer. I skipped nearly all the social events going on so that I would be prepared when the time came for my tests.”
“And so you were. Are you annoyed you had to give that all up?” Neru asked, pulling a strand of hair back from her face to reveal a confused expression.
“No,” Gabe quickly interjected. “I didn’t mind any of that. I was actually happy to do it all if it meant catching up to the rest of my friends.”
“So what’s the problem? Seems like you nailed the tests.”
“You would think so, wouldn’t you?” Gabe asked, looking off into the distance again.
“Didn’t you?” Neru asked. “That’s what it looked like to the rest of us. I could have never came up with half the ideas you did.”
“Well, I thought I did really well, but then …” Gabe thought better of revealing his frustration with Michael to this girl he barely knew. Instead he revised his statement. “Then some friends pointed out that I could have done better.”
“Gabe, you can’t let a few friends make you doubt yourself,” Neru assured him as she reached over and took a comforting hold of Gabe’s hand, wrapping her tiny arm around his. “Your test was to defeat the three creatures and you did.”
“Yeah,” Gabe said slowly as he considered her words. “I suppose you’re right.”
He thought, If you knew it was Michael that did not approve of my methods, I bet you would be saying something else right now. He remained silent about that detail, however.
“That’s all that has been bothering you? That’s not so bad,” Neru said, trying to lighten the mood.
“Sort of,” Gabe replied, glancing over at her with a smile again.
“Oh my. Gabe, how much do you have going on up in that head of yours?”
“More than you would probably care to know,” Gabe added, looking down into the water, unconsciously picking at his cuticles with his teeth.
“All right, spill it,” Neru demanded.
It was like a flood gate opening for Gabe. He couldn’t hold back any longer.
“It’s not just one thing. There are a bunch of little things really. I start classes and my girlfriend doesn’t even care that she gets pulled out of all the ones we share. Two of my friends that I consider to be the model couple are bickering. Let’s not even get started with the fact that Baal and who knows what other demons, are trying to hunt me down and kill me. I don’t even get …” Looking over at Neru’s expression, Gabe knew he had completely unloaded on her.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to …” Gabe began.
“No, it’s fine,” Neru said, pulling Gabe closer in a reassuring way. “I didn’t realize you had so much on your mind. If I were the protector I am not sure what I would be feeling. Nobody can blame you, not even your girlfriend.”
“Gabe!” Sophie’s voice shouted behind them. Quickly they pulled apart, Gabe turning around to look at Sophie.
“Sophie, where have you been? I was looking for you.”
“Yeah, it looks like you were looking real hard, Gabe.”
“What?” Gabe asked, confused by Sophie’s tone. He considered telling her that she was full of nonsense, and then thought better of it.
“Whatever, Gabe,” Sophie said, turning to walk away in a huff.
Gabe glanced at Sophie, then Neru, and then Sophie again. Lunging forward,
Gabe took hold of Sophie’s arm and spun her to face him. “What’s your deal? This is Neru. I met her in one of my classes today. We were just talking.”
“Yeah, Gabe, I always talk arm in arm with guys I just meet,” Sophie argued, pulling, trying to break free of his grasp.
“Are you serious, Sophie? I’m sorry if I upset you. I didn’t mean anything by it,” Gabe pleaded.
Sophie stopped struggling and turned to face Neru. “Hi, Peru. I’m Gabe’s girlfriend, maybe he mentioned me.”
“It’s Neru,” the girl replied.
“Oh, so sorry, N-e-r-u,” Sophie added sarcastically.
“Gabe may have mentioned you,” Neru added with equal spite. “Hey, Gabe, we’ll talk later. I should really take off.”
“Okay, thanks for the talk. Sorry about this,” Gabe told her.
At Gabe’s apology, Sophie crossed her arms, giving him a disgusted look. Neru simply ignored her and walked away in the direction of the dining hall.
“Sophie!” Gabe yelled. “What has gotten into you?”
“Into me?” Sophie defended herself, giving Gabe a slight push. “I come here looking for you and find you practically making out with some little twig of a girl.”
“Whoa? Making out? I was upset because of our fight earlier and she was trying to make me feel better.”
“Yeah, I bet she was,” Sophie made no effort to hide her anger.
“Look, this is ridiculous! I don’t see what this is accomplishing. There was nothing going on. I guess you can either believe me or not.” Gabe had never seen Sophie become jealous. He wanted to shake her back to reality, back into the girl he had come to care so much about.
“Fine, Gabe! Whatever you say!” Sophie replied and then turned towards the dining hall; from her tone she was still clearly irritated. “Let’s just go eat.”
“Fine!” Gabe rejoined. The two walked off together in silence.
*The Prophecy (Book 3) By Wendy Owens*
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Five years have passed since Gabe abandoned Rampart, deserting his destiny and closest friends. The struggles Gabe has endured to stay alive have changed him, hardening him into a man unwilling to trust anyone or anything, dealing with difficulties connecting with the outside world.
Gabe has finally found a certain paradise–a peace in solitude–until a familiar stranger shows up on his doorstep, pleading for Gabe’s help.
Now he has to decide if he is truly content in his new life, or if he is willing to risk his solitary happiness for a little piece of the world he left behind.
Should he choose to accept the most important duty of his life, one failure could mark the beginning of the end for all mankind.
“I always loved the smell of rain. Even as a kid, I was never sad when it would rain. My friends always complained because it meant they couldn’t play outside. You would find me curled up on the box seat, the window cracked, a blanket across my lap, and a book in my hands. My aunt always said I had an old soul, just like her.”
“You were close to your aunt?” Gabe asked.
“Oh very. She took my brother and I in after my mom died,” Rachel explained.
Gabe shuddered at the familiar story. Almost all of the students he met at Rampart shared the theme of a parentless upbringing. Many of those parents had been torn away in violent scenarios, including his own. “I’m so sorry about your mom.”
“Don’t be. The cancer took years. In the end we were glad it was finally over. My dad didn’t stick around long after my brother was born. Once mom got sick my aunt moved right in. I guess it just became our normal. We went to live at her house once my mom did pass away. It just seemed natural, living with her. She made us feel like we had a home and like we were wanted,” Rachel continued with her story.
“Your aunt sounds pretty amazing,” Gabe added.
“Oh she is. I want you to meet her one day,” Rachel said. The idea of meeting her family made Gabe blush, though he didn’t know why.
“Does your brother still live with her?” Gabe asked.
Rachel hesitated, looking back out the front door to the rainy night. “I’m not sure. He was getting ready to head off to college when I left with Uri. I haven’t spoken to them since that night, so I don’t really know what happened.
Gabe could hear the sadness in her voice. When Uri had found him he was leaving nothing behind. Gabe had no friends or family of any kind. He never imagined how hard it would be for someone to leave when they had something to stay for. “I’m sorry this happened to you.”
“What? Don’t be silly. You all are protecting me, I’m grateful,” Rachel replied.
Without hesitation she dashed out the front door, squealing as the cool rain fell on her face.
Surprised by Rachel’s sudden sprint into action, Gabe leaned forward and pulled himself to the open doorway. Midway into the clearing in front of the cabin Rachel danced. Spinning in a circle, her face and palms turned upwards, she was basking in the moonlight and embracing the rain drops. Rachel’s tongue slipped out, mouth open, lapping up the water as it fell.
“Hey, crazy woman, what are you doing?” Gabe called out.
“It’s refreshing, you should join me.”
“Yeah, no thanks, I think I will stay in here where it’s dry and warm,” Gabe replied.
“Oh come on, you big wuss, live a little,” Rachel goaded, not shifting her gaze from the heavens. “It’s beautiful! The moon, the stars. All of it.”
Using the door handle, Gabe pulled himself to a standing position with a groan. “How is it you always do that?”
“Do what?” Rachel asked, glancing at him for a brief moment.
“You look at everything with such a positive attitude. It’s pouring rain out there and you’re talking about how beautiful it is. I wish I had been born with that ability. I can move mountains, but I can’t find the silver lining in things,” Gabe grimaced stepping onto the porch, careful to stay under the shelter of the roof.
Rachel stopped spinning and looked at Gabe intensely.
“What? Is it something I said?” Gabe asked, glancing over his shoulder and acting confused.
Rachel didn’t say a word; she calmly walked up to face him. Silently they stared at each other for a moment. She leaned in and planted a wet and gentle kiss on his cheek. “Gabe, it’s not something you’re born with. If you want to be happy, then be happy. You only need to make the choice to let go of your sadness.”
With that, Rachel walked past Gabe and back into the cabin, the rain water dripping from her drenched clothes that now clung to her curves, leaving very little to Gabe’s imagination.
Gabe realized he was standing there alone, with a goofy smile on his face. Limping inside, he closed the door behind him, her words still lingering in his mind. Gabe wanted more than anything to be able to choose happiness. He wanted a rain storm to make him smile. He desired that the simple task of cooking would make him dance. To Gabe, however, it didn’t seem as simple as just making a choice. He hoped her joy was contagious, because he was in uncharted territories.
*The Lost Years (book 4) By Wendy Owens*
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Gabe’s world was forever altered by the people he came to know and love at Rampart Manor. Although, it wasn’t only his life that was changed when he made the choice to leave them all behind.
During his five year absence, they each had a battle with personal demons. Dina is faced with a moral dilemma, the path of good leading to certain heartbreak, or evil, and a possibility of happiness.
Uri meets a mysterious woman who seems to have a lot of the answers that he has been searching for, and she certainly has a place in his heart, if he can only hold onto her.
Sophie is faced with choices she never knew would be so difficult. The question now is: will the personal demons of the remaining Guardians of Rampart be too much for them to overcome?
The smoke stung at the corners of Uri’s eyes as he struggled to open them.
He could hear the battle sounds all around him and smell the iron from the blood drenched warfare in the air. Much to his surprise, death had not yet claimed him. He could feel Raimie’s body under his own, no warmth came from him, however, and Uri feared the worse. Over his shoulder, he heard a large blast and the earth shook under him.
The trackers had obviously followed someone through. There were hundreds of designated transportation locations as part of the evacuation drill. Absolutely nobody was allowed to transport directly to a primary facility for this exact reason. If a tracker were to follow your transportation signature to the next facility, the Guardians could be nearly wiped out in one night. The secrecy of the facilities and cloaking spells were key in their safety.
Uri knew if he or Raimie had any chance of surviving, he needed to get clear of the fighting and find a healer. Attempting to sit up, he braced his weight on the earth just beside Raimie’s head. He quickly reconsidered as the unbearable pain shot through his side. Running his hand down to the source, he could feel the shaft of an arrow jutting out from his side; a warm wetness covered his fingertips.
In the distance, Uri could hear someone crying out in agony, not a voice he recognized, yet the pain in it seemed all too familiar. Another blast rang out from behind him as Uri slumped to the ground, groaning in pain.
Closing his eyes, Uri thought of any place other than where he was. Focusing the last bit of strength he had, and holding firmly onto Raimie, Uri attempted to transport them again. Nothing happened. Frantically, he tried again, receiving the same results. With his injuries, he did not have enough strength to transport them both.
The thought of abandoning his friend to save himself was never an option. He collapsed, pushing even closer to Raimie. Pressing his lips against his friend’s ear, he whispered, “As good a day to die as any.” He would defend them until his end.
The sound of a blade cutting through the air and piercing flesh shot out, followed by a groan and gurgling sound. Uri reached to his side, gripping the blade mounted there. With his injury, he wouldn’t likely be able to deliver a killing blow, but he was certain he would still be able to do a significant amount of injury.
Uri waited patiently for the assailant to come closer; the smoke was still thick and his vision obscured. He could still hear the slashing, the crunching of bones as they shattered under the pressure of the warrior’s attack. His chest ached as he wondered how many of his brothers were falling victim to the legions of demons that day. He could feel in his bones that the loss was great.
Slightly arching his back, squinting his watering eyes, Uri attempted to get a good look at the beast that approached. A gasp caught in his throat, he had been wrong; it was not a demon soldier at all that had been approaching them. It was a woman he had never seen before, but something still felt familiar as she approached. She was slashing through the demons as though they were overgrown jungle brush, a mere irritant in her way.
*The Guardians Crown (Book 5) By Wendy Owens*
Release Date : September 27th
Gabe is finally forced to answer the ultimate question, will he give his life to save the world? What about just to save the one he loves the most? The Guardians struggle to find another way–ideas that don’t involve Gabe’s death–to defeat Baal. Time is running out. What will Gabe choose? What price will he pay for that choice?
As Michael watched her speak, he swallowed hard, remembering in that moment it was more than her beauty he had fallen in love with. “I don’t know what to do,” he replied, his words barely audible.
“People need hope Michael, as much as they need a leader. You and Gabe are the answer to both of those things. You’ll lead the people of earth to victory and Gabe will give them the hope they need to keep going,” Mirada said, her voice sensitive, yet unwavering.
“I don’t know if I can,” For the first time in Michael’s life he was completely unsure of what he should do. He had lost all sense of purpose.
“You can, and I’ll be at your side every step of the way,” she said with a smile.
“Are you serious?” Michael asked, his heart now racing.
Falling to her knees she embraced him, their lips meeting in a passionate kiss. She pulled away, looking into his eyes. “I’m never going to leave your side again.”
Michael felt as if his heart might burst. With the death of the council he hadfelt as though he had lost everything that mattered to him, but here in his arms, he found the last piece of hope he had left in the world. “We have to go back and help Gabe.”
“Why, what’s wrong with Gabe?” Mirada asked.
“They found a book that says the guardians crown is real,” Michael explained.
“Well it is real, or it was,” Mirada stated, staring back at Michael.
Michael watched as she rose, taking a seat next to him on the bed and wrapping her fingers around his. “What do you mean it was?” he asked.
What does Mirada know that nobody else seems to? Read The Guardians Crown to find out if The Guardians have a chance to change their fate or simply must face their destiny.
About The Author:
Wendy Owens was raised in the small college town of Oxford, Ohio. After attending Miami University, Wendy went on to a career in the visual arts. After several years of creating and selling her own artwork, she gave her first love, writing, a try.
Since 2011, she has published a young adult paranormal series, The Guardians, which will contain five books total, as well as a novella. Wendy now happily spends her days writing—her loving dachshund, Piper, curled up at her feet. When she’s not writing, she can be found spending time with her tech geek husband and their three amazing kids, exploring the city she loves to call home: Cincinnati, OH.