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“Marked, Soul Guardians Book 1” by Kim Richardson

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Marked, Soul Guardians Book 1” is a Young Adult Novel by Kim Richardson. Below is a synopsis:

Sixteen year-old Kara Nightingale’s ordinary life is suddenly turned upside-down when she dies in a freak accident, and she wakes up in a strange new world with a new career—as a rookie for the Guardian Angel Legion. Kara hurtles towards dangerous missions with the help of her Petty Officer and friend, David.

But when she discovers a Mark on her leg, the entire Legion accuses her of being a Demon spy. Angels are dying, and David begins to pull away from her. Can Kara prove her innocence as she becomes the Legion’s only hope?

It’s going to take a miracle to save the Legion, and Kara’s luck has just run out…

Kim has been kind enough to provide us with a sample from this story:

book cover_small
Mat laughed. “Are you serious? It’s bad enough that your mom sees spirits and demons. If you start believing in all that, they’ll lock you up.”

“Thanks for the vote of confidence. Remind me why you’re my best friend again?” Kara decided to drop the subject. She focused on the gallery sign as she ran. “Okay—I can see you now.”

Mat was leaning against the gallery’s brick exterior. His head was turned toward the glass doors. He pulled his cigarette from his lips and blew smoke into his phone’s receiver. “I think it’s starting. Hurry up!”

Kara felt her cheeks burn. Her heart pounded in her ears and muffled the sounds around her. She took a deep breath, hoping it would calm the fluttering in her stomach, and she sprinted onto Saint Laurence Boulevard. Her cell phone slipped out of her hand. It hit the pavement.

“Crap!” Kara crouched down to grab her phone.

A flicker of movement appeared in the corner of her eye.

“WATCH OUT!” Someone shouted. She stood up and turned around.

A city bus hurtled towards her. She stared, transfixed. The bus kept coming.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

An arm reached out to her. She saw a split second image of two monstrous head lights.

And then it hit.

Thirteen tons of cold metal crushed her body. She didn’t feel any pain. She didn’t feel anything at all.
Everything around her went black.

A moment later, Kara was standing in an elevator.

At first, streaks of white light obscured her vision. She blinked and rubbed her eyes. She shook her head. The elevator was elegant—three sides appeared to be made of handcrafted cherry panels decorated with golden-wing crests. The smell of moth balls lingered in the air, like her grandma’s dusty old closet. When her eyesight improved, she realized she wasn’t alone.

On a wooden chair, facing the elevator’s control panel, covered in black fur, and wearing a pair of green Bermuda shorts, from which protruded two hand-like callused feet—sat a monkey.

It spun on its seat, wrapped its feet around the backrest of the chair, opened its coconut-shaped mouth and said—in a British accent—“Hello, Miss.”

Kara’s jaw dropped, and she swallowed the urge to cry out.

His hairless face crinkled into a grin, so that he looked like an oversized walnut. His square head sat directly on powerful shoulders. He raised his chin and looked down upon Kara. His yellow eyes mesmerized her. She couldn’t look away.

After a minute, Kara was able to force some words out of her mouth.

“H…hey there, little talking-monkey-person,” she croaked. “How’s it going?”

Her throat was dry. She tried to swallow, but all she could do was contract her throat muscles.

The monkey frowned. Then he growled. “I’m not a monkey, Miss. I’m a chimpanzee! You mortals are all the same. Monkey-this—monkey-that. Might as well call me a dog!” A splatter of spit hit Kara’s face as the words escaped his lips.

Kara retched as she wiped the spit from her face. It was yellowish green and smelled like a bad case of gingivitis.

“Ah…sorry, monk—chimpanzee.”

She rubbed her hand on her blue jeans. “Gross! This is really nasty—it’s all sticky!”

The chimp glared at Kara with disdain. “Chimp Number 5M51, if you please.”

He then began to scratch his behind and only stopped once he noticed Kara’s disgusted expression.
“You’ll be arriving at your destination momentarily.” And with that, he turned his attention back to the control panel—hands away from his butt.

Gradually, Kara began to feel more awake, as though she had woken from a long sleep. Reality slowly crawled back in. She bit her lower lip as she told herself to think.

“Um, what destination? Where are we going?” she asked.

Chimp 5M51 turned his head and smiled, exposing rows of crooked yellow teeth. His eyes locked onto hers. “To Orientation, of course. Level One.”

“Orientation?”

“Yes. All mortals who have passed must go through Orientation. That’s where you’re going.” Chimp 5M51 clamped his feet around the edges of the chair and extended an abnormally long arm in the direction of the elevator’s control pane. He pointed to the brass buttons.

Kara leaned over for a better view. The panel read:

1. Orientation
2. Operations
3. Miracles Divisions
4. Hall of Souls
5. Department of Defense
6. Council of Ministers
7. The Chief

“OUCH!” cried Kara, “Hey—what the—?”

Chimp 5M51 had picked a flake of dry scalp off Kara’s head. He popped it in his mouth and swallowed. “Mmmmh. My apologies, I couldn’t help myself. I am a primate, after all.”

“Freak,” mumbled Kara crossly, as she rubbed her scalp.

A feeling of dread slowly rose up inside her. “This—this doesn’t make sense. I—I’m dreaming. This is a dream!”

Kara shut her eyes and pressed her back against the elevator wall, trembling. “It can’t be happening. It just can’t! I need to wake up now!”

“You’re dead, Miss.”

Kara opened her eyes. The word dead echoed in her ears. The weight of his words started to pull her under. She fought against the sick feeling of panic.

“I’m not dead!” she hissed, “I’m right here, you stupid BABOON!”
“—Chimpanzee!” Spat Chimp 5M51. “Think what you must,” he said, as he lifted his chin. “But, think about this. Can you remember events before this elevator?”

Kara floundered, trying desperately to remember. Bits and pieces flashed inside her brain: a white light…metal… darkness…

The bus.

Kara dropped to her knees. The city bus had hit her—pulverized her core and crushed her like a tomato. But then she remembered something else, something that didn’t make any sense. It was coming back to her now, like a faded memory sharpening into a clear picture. It flicked before her eyes. She saw an arm reach out and touch her during the bus crash.

“See? You’re dead,” said the chimp, matter-of-factly.

She pressed her hand against the left side of her chest.

“Oh, my God! Oh my God!” Kara couldn’t feel a heartbeat. She pressed down on her rib cage. Nothing. She clasped her wrist. No pulse. No beating. No movement at all.

“See. No beating. No heart—you’re dead,” declared the chimp again.

But before she could start freaking out, she was thrown off balance as the elevator stopped abruptly.
“Level One. Orientation!” The chimp announced.

“Wait!” Kara pushed herself away from the elevator wall and wobbled up to the chimp. “I don’t understand. What’s Orientation?”

With his finger still on the button, he turned his head. “Orientation is where all the new GAs are categorized.”

Kara stared stupidly into chimp 5M51’s yellow eyes. “What are GAs?”

“Guardian Angels.”

“Huh?”

Kara heard the swish of doors opening. A hint of a smile reached the chimp’s lips. He raised his arm and pressed his hand on her back—

She flew out the elevator.

 

Kindle Version
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© 2011, Steven R. Drennon. All rights reserved.

Filed under: Young Adult

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