Series- Gryphon Series Book #3
By Stacey Rourke
Celeste Garrett has finally found a happy balance in her life as the Chosen One, thanks in large part to a certain hunky Irishman. But if there’s any lesson she should heed since receiving her calling it’s that everything can change in the blink of an eye. Soon a terrible new threat, unlike anything she’s ever encountered, causes her to make a gut-wrenching choice that will strip her of someone she holds dear.
As much as she’d like to have a pity party for one, there’s no time for that now because wedding bells are ringing in Gainesboro! In between dress fittings and rehearsal dinners Celeste will have to fend off attacking demons and leering pirates. As if the Dark Army wasn’t scary enough our heroine is faced with the horrifying trauma of attending a bachelorette party with her mom and watching Grams do Jello shots. Is a walk down the aisle even possible for a member of the Garrett family when the Dark Army is out to destroy them? More importantly, will the Dark Army Glee Club sing at the reception?
Raise your glass to the happy couple, and get ready for a wedding…Conduit-style.
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Bernard banged his cane against the floor in six rapid-fire successions. His round face flushed red, then . “Training time isn’t over!”
Caleb glanced over his shoulder at the glowering . “What’s with the hostile envir’ment?”
“Oh you know, same old, same old. I don’t respect my duty of pummeling inanimate objects, blah, blah, blah. Maybe Gabe will train with me to appease Mr. Sunshine.” I looked to my brother with a hopeful expectation.
Bernard folded his arms over his chest and scowled.
“Sorry, Cee,” Gabe raked a hand through his recently grown-out hair. He usually kept it buzzed, but Alaina insisted he grow it out for the wedding. He fiddled with the whole inch of it almost as much as Kendall did with hers. The two of them had daily scuffles over ‘mirror time’ in the bathroom. My low maintenance ponytail and I were very by this.
“I don’t need to train,” he said with a cocky smirk. “I’m a lion. It doesn’t get any more than that.”
Gabe ignored my eye-roll and circled his hands around Alaina’s slender wrists to pull her into his waiting arms. She giggled and wrapped her arms around his neck.
“Couples suck,” Kendall grumbled and tossed the bridal magazine aside.
Against the far wall of the garage—flanked by Gram’s flamingo lawn ornaments—Bernard’s pinched up face warned of an impending gnome-sized embolism.
Just as he opened his mouth to unleash what was sure to be a nasty verbal bashing, Caleb intervened, “I’ll spar with her.”
Bernard’s beady eyes narrowed. “I don’t know ... ”
“I think it’s a heck of a lot more effective than me fighting a bag.” I matched Bernard’s arm fold and raised him a sneer.
Bernard took a deep breath in through his nose, and let it out through pursed lips. “Fine. Do not hold back,” he barked at Caleb, then pointedly turned his glare to me, “at all.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it,” Caleb shot me a wink.
Gabe unchained the punching bag and leaned it against Grandpa’s dusty old work bench, then took a seat on the floor with Alaina and Kendall. Caleb and I faced off in the center of the garage. He yanked off his hooded sweatshirt and tossed it to his sister (That would be Alaina, by the way. Long story. He was abducted by a demonic army as a child and she joined the good guys as a Spirit Guide. Huh, look at that. I made a long story surprisingly short.)
He brought his hands up and struck a defensive pose. The thin material of his t-shirt tightened across the muscles of his torso. That visual stimuli caused a wandering gaze that couldn’t be helped. With his knees slightly bent, his jeans hugged his thighs in a way that proved very distracting.
“Ahem ... I’m up here, . Not that I don’t appreciate a good oglin’.”
I hurriedly assumed a fighting stance, my cheeks and ears bright red. “Sorry. I’m good. Let’s do it. This! Let’s do this!” Gabe, Alaina, and Kendall all snickered from the sidelines. “Crap. Let’s just get this over with.”
Caleb’s face folded in mock hurt. “Ya say it like that and I’m inclined tah think ya won’t enjoy it at all.”
“I think we both know that’s not true.” I grinned.
“Well then...” He jerked his head to the side to crack his neck and blinked hard. When his eyes opened the was gone. In its place blazed red irises. Visible red flames danced beneath the surface of his skin. “Give us a kiss.”
About the Author:
Follow Stacey Rourke:
Writing is something I have always done. I can remember in elementary school creating stories that I would stand up and read aloud to my classmates…whether they liked it or not. As I grew older I didn’t flaunt my writing as freely. It became something I did just for me to vent my teenage angst, or chronicle my journey to adulthood. I never thought about becoming a writer because that title prompted the visual of a grey-haired man in a tweed smoking jacket with suede elbow patches, slaving over an old fashion typewriter while puffing away on a pipe. No way was that stuffy kind of life for me. (Plus tweed is itchy.) Instead I wanted to be in the spotlight! I wanted to be–pause for dramatic effect–an actress! I gave it my best shot, too. Got about as far as any aspiring actress can get in Flint, Michigan. Which is exactly no where. But I did get two great things out of my time delving into the theatrical world; I gained the ability to act out the scenes I write to make sure they’re believable (yes, I really do that and no, you can’t watch) and I met my amazing husband.
My theater ambitions behind me, I decided to do the “mature,” “grown up” thing and went back to college. As I worked toward my Bachelor’s degree in marketing I did a lot of writing. Essays, research papers, PowerPoint presentations. All of it mandatory, none of it what I would ever call fun. Even then, becoming a writer never entered my mind. No, then I was going to be a business tycoon…or somethin’. Truth be told, I never picked writing. It picked me. During my time as a stay at home mom I needed an outlet to give me a mental break from diapers, formula and midnight feedings. That’s when my hands found their way back to the keyboard. Story ideas began coming at such an incessant rate that my rapidly clicking fingers couldn’t keep up. Post-It notes and scrapes of paper with story ideas decorated every inch of our house. In mid-conversation with my husband I would dart off to jot down things that would come to me. Sweet guy my hubby is, he would just shake his head at my obvious rudeness and hold my place in the conversation.
My first book was completed for an entire year before I told anyone about it. I outed myself as an author and then sent out my first round of query letters to literary agents. Surely, it would be picked up immediately and become an overnight success! Yeah, not so much. For two years I got rejection, after rejection, after rejection, after rejection…you get the idea. Thankfully with the ever increasing pile of rejections came feedback. I digested all the suggestions and applied the usable ones to my manuscript. Little by little, the rough edges were chipped away and the diamond shone through. The work paid off when I received an email from a publisher offering me a contract on The Conduit.
It’s been a long road, and it ain’t over yet. But now, at thirty-mumble, mumble years old I finally know what I wanna be when I grow up–-a writer.