Title: Adorned (Book 1 in The Trinity of Souls series)
Author: Georgeann Swiger
Publisher: Entranced Publishing, Rush imprint
Genre: YA paranormal romance
Length: 80k words
Release Date: 4 November, 2013
When seventeen-year-old Anya finds out she’s actually an angel being trained to protect humanity, she discovers that becoming an angel has nothing to do with wings and haloes. For Anya, becoming an angel has to do with death—her death.
Micah, the angelic soldier ordered to protect her until she transitions from human to angel, promises her death will be a glorious experience as long as she follows his rules. But getting Anya through this life and to the next isn’t as simple as Micah expects. His job becomes even more difficult after he unwittingly performs a miracle that exposes Anya’s hidden angelic light.
With her secret out, Hell’s legions begin targeting her. Unfortunately, Hell’s minions are the least of Micah’s worries. He’s more concerned about the forbidden human emotions he’s developed toward Anya. Even more troubling, is she seems to love him too. And giving in to those feelings, could mean dire consequences for them both.
Micah sits in the chair at the head of the table. He lowers his head and mouths something under his breath before snatching the fork from the table.
“What happened to you?” I ask. “Did you change your mind about running away?”
“I didn’t run away.”
When he lifts meatloaf to his mouth, I pull his plate toward me. “I’m tired of waiting for you to tell me what’s going on.”
He swallows. “I’m from the Triad.”
“Is that a foster home?”
“What’s a foster home?” He tastes his mashed potatoes.. “Aren’t you going to eat anything?”
“I’m not hungry. Just tell me what’s going on.”
After he chugs his iced tea, he gets up and squats in front of me, balancing on his toes. No emotion crosses his face. The odd vibration in the room sends a tremor over my skin. Something’s off. When Micah finally speaks, his voice is flat and emotionless. “I am an angel of the Lord, and your new guardian, here to escort you into the Kingdom of Heaven.”
I stare at him until the truth dawns on me. Micah’s crazy. How did I not see it to begin with? No sane person would be running around naked in a thunderstorm. That old Simon guy was probably with some mental asylum. He should have put Micah in a straightjacket when he had the chance. Now I’m locked in the dining room with a big strong psycho.
“Aren’t you going to say anything?” The scar in his Micah’s eyebrow deepens when he tilts his head to the side to study me. “When you enter the Kingdom you’ll become an angel.” He seems at ease, like a serial killer waiting to strike. “I intend to make your human death the most wonderful experience of your life.”
“My…human death?” Even though my voice cracks, I manage to force myself to smile. I glance at the locked doors and slowly scoot my chair away from the table.
He touches my knee. “I’m happy to tell you, you won’t be stuck here much longer.”
When I think enough distance is between us, I use all my strength to shove him down and run for the door.
When I look over my shoulder, Micah gets to his feet, glaring at me.
“Stay away from me!” My trembling hand can’t get the key to cooperate. I keep trying to get the key in the lock, but it slips out of my sweaty fingers and drops to the floor. I pound on the door. “Aunt Celeste!” I scream.
When I look back, Micah sits at the table, flicking his finger on the butter knife, making it spin it like an airplane propeller. His lips form a tight line. He slams his hand on the table, causing the butter knife to fall to the floor. “Sit. Down. Anya.”
“Aunt Celeste, help me!”
I step onto the back porch, trying to make out what’s going on in the dark. When another flash of lightning reveals three figures clinging together, approaching from the pasture, I yell, “Is that Micah with you?”
Celeste hollers back. “Yes, but he’s not well! Get some towels and a dry blanket!”
I run up the kitchen stairwell and grab three towels from the bathroom and the comforter from my bedroom. I make it back downstairs in time to see Simon and Celeste helping Micah into the house. He leans on their shoulders, shuffling his feet as he staggers through the foyer.
“Dang, you look mangled.” Eli laughs, making it sound like a big joke When Aunt Celeste and Simon lower Micah to the couch in the parlor, he moans as he sinks into the cushions and falls to his side. His bare leg and muddy foot jut out of the wet blanket.
When Simon touches Micah’s forehead, the short uneven breaths Micah sucks through his teeth become even more pronounced.
“You’re burning up,” Simon says. “How could you be so stupid?”
“Give me the towels, darling, and put the blanket down,” Aunt Celeste says. “Shut the door as you leave.”
“I want to know what’s going on. What happened to Micah?” I try to push past her to get to him, but she catches my arm, stopping me.
“Micah will be fine. But he doesn’t have any clothes on,” she says. “You can come in when we get him settled.”
Eli puts his arm around my shoulder and turns me toward the foyer. “Oh, come on beautiful. I’ll wait with you.”
Eli closes the pocket doors and flitters around the foyer like a nosy little dog.
“What happened to Micah?” I ask.
“Oh, don’t worry about him. He’ll be fine.”
“He didn’t look fine.”
Eli’s golden eyes twinkle. “Trust me.”
“Who are you?”
He ignores me and noses around the foyer, putting his fingers all over the glass sculptures.
“Is that Simon guy with social services or the police or something?”
He bends over and blows his hot breath on the crystal ball sitting on a pedestal near the front door. “Something,” he says. When he reaches out to touch the glass orb, a high-pitched scream coming from the parlor makes me freeze in front of the closed doors.
Eli slides past me and puts his back to the doors. “I think they’re done.” He pushes the doors open an inch and peeks inside, allowing a hint of a smoky odor to escape the room. When he opens the doors all the way, I can see Micah slumped on the couch with my comforter around him.
“Is he okay?” I say.
Micah glances at me, then shuts his eyes.
I look at Aunt Celeste. “I want to know what’s going on.”
She fumbles with her pearl necklace and looks away, seeming to fight the urge to run to me.
Eli flutters to her side. “Celeste, you’ve done a fine job. But Micah can take it from here.”
Micah’s eyes pop open. His face turns as white as the daisies on my comforter.
About the Author:
Georgeann Swiger earned her degree in journalism from West Virginia University, and then spent five years as an anchor/reporter at WBOY-TV in Clarksburg, WV. After having children, she left television news to be a stay at home mom. During that time, she discovered creative writing was more fun than writing about real life tragedy. Imagining interesting characters and having them come to life on the page is now her passion. When she’s not writing, she works as a substitute teacher. She lives in Reedsville, West Virginia with her husband, two kids, a beagle dog and a temperamental cat who tries to rule the house.