Summon Fantasy Top 10 Fantasy Reads 2019
"I loved every second of this emotional rollercoaster. A very intriguing story told beautifully... with a mixture of friendship, betrayal, and an epic battle." -Misty's Book Nerd Life
Guardian angels were created to protect the human race, but Kendi was never one to simply bow down to authority. Where's the fun in that? He enjoys being the Guardian gone rogue until he learns that rebellion comes with a price. In Reborn, Kendi begins his journey of reconciliation, hoping to find redemption for his past. He is challenged by a beautiful young woman who shatters every preconceived notion that he has had about the human race but can he learn to love or will it be the lake of fire?
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You Were Serious about That?
Life is like a box of chocolates ... never know whatcha' gonna get.
The darkening sky provided little cover to shield me from the humans in pursuit. Sweat ran down my brow stinging my eyes, and the fetid stench of garbage mixed with human flesh filled my nostrils as I ran through the back alleys of the downtown district seeking escape. Being in Danvers is like living in the left armpit of hell. I've had nothing but grief since I arrived in this wretched place. I curse the day I agreed to this sentence, and Yah is definitely on my shit list for forcing my hand. I peered over my shoulder as I ducked into the doorway of one of the small buildings, not knowing if I'd shaken the pack of delinquent teenagers. If Yah had not taken my powers before dumping me in this hell hole, I would have been able to cloak myself. As much as I despise earth, my job was to serve and protect. Not sure how I am supposed to do that with no damn powers.
"Where did that little prick go?" I heard one of the guys say as they drew closer. I pushed further into the darkness. My black camouflage tee and combat boots should provide some cover. Not that I was afraid of the humans. Even without my guardian powers, I would be stronger than these mere mortals. I just wanted to avoid the confrontation ... for now anyway.
"He's got to be around here somewhere. We'll find him." Another of the boys barked as they ran past my hiding place. I waited until the streets were silent before slipping out of the doorway and heading in the opposite direction of the pack.
Hopefully, I got a better look at the boys than they did me. If not, becoming a student at Danvers High soon would be a huge problem. I caught sight of an athletic jacket before I had to make a run for it. So, whether they were current or former students, this activity would fall under the jurisdiction of my new team.
The group was trouble, I knew it. It was just a matter of proving that they were up to no good. I couldn't just ignore the shady deal I'd inadvertently witnessed in the alley on Cherry Street. Anytime you combined naive teenagers with older thugs wielding weapons and probably drugs, it was definitely bad news. The trouble I get myself into when I'm bored! Yah needs to disclose my new assignment already. Sheer boredom had me wandering the streets doing spontaneous recon when I happened upon this crew.
Definitely didn't think that I would come across such suspicious activity in a quiet non- descript town like Danvers, Massachusetts. If only I could have gotten a little closer, I would have been able to positively identify both the kids and the adults. Can't really make a report without solid evidence. Despite my quick escape, I would let the team know what I saw once I caught up with them later. The guys should be finished up at the school in a little less than an hour, but I didn't want to head that way yet as the delinquents were headed towards the high school. I needed to kill a little more time to avoid possibly bumping into that crew again, and they needed a time-out.
Where to go? What to do in this small dismal town in the early evening? That's how I got in trouble in the first place ... wandering. I couldn't wait for Reuel to get my enrollment at Danvers High completed, so I'd have something to occupy my time. The rest of the team was actively engaged as high school students. Raza and Angelo, the "twins," were sophomores, and Malachi was enrolled as a senior. Reuel was working it out so that I could be a senior as well. At least I would only have to endure one academic year as a high school student.
As I headed down Maple Street, I spotted Goodies and decided to stop in and try to warm up. It had rained earlier making the air damp and cold. Goodies Ice Cream Parlor was one of the local town favorites. It was a rather quaint little shop with a 1950s theme. The joint reminded me of a scene straight out of Happy Days. Hadn't that show been canceled for like three decades? The entire place screamed Sock Hop. The bubblegum-pink chairs sat on top of a black-and-white checkered floor, and there was just enough royal blue splashed around to make you wonder if Joan Clever had been the interior designer. The locals seemed to get a kick out of it, so what the hell? When in Rome ...
I took a seat at the counter in hopes of being served quickly.
"What can I get you, kid?" the gruffy, overweight man called Gus asked from behind the counter.
It was going to take some time for me to get used to folks thinking of me as a child.
"Vanilla chai tea," I responded. Gus looked at me with a raised eyebrow as if I had spoken some foreign language.
"What?" I couldn't help but have an attitude. "Vanilla chai tea, huh?" Gus smirked.
"Am I missing some joke? What's the problem?"
"Most kids that come through here don't even know what chai tea is, let alone order it." Gus laughed. "You're new to Danvers, aren't you? I've seen you in here with Nathan Belling, right?"
No one in town called my guardian Reuel. Not sure why the aversion to his name. Humans like to keep things as simple as possible, I guess. Reuel was not a common everyday kind of name. I had a feeling that anything too out of the ordinary in this one-trick town brought on way too many questions. So "Nathan" was just easier.
"Right?" Gus inquired again when I didn't answer.
Here we go, the nosey small townsfolk making small talk. "Yeah, he's my ... father." I still had problems spitting that one out. Gus gave me the one-raised- eyebrow look again but shrugged his shoulders and turned to get my tea.
I understood the skeptical look this time. Everyone in town questioned the authenticity of our little family, as we looked nothing alike. Every time I caught a glimpse of my reflection, I wondered who was staring back at me. Danvers, Massachusetts, is not exactly the most popular place in the country for "people of color." Hell, the town is more than ninety-seven percent white — everything else is considered "other." As if it were not bad enough to just be human, I had to be an "other" on top of it? I'm beginning to think Yah wants to be certain I don't fit in anywhere.
At first glance, most folks would think I was black because of my complexion. But, as with all angelic beings, my eyes are a brilliant green — jealousy tends to bring out this signature trait. My features appear very slight: narrow nose, thin lips, definitely screaming other in combination with the complexion and shoulder-length, dark curly hair that I wear in twisted locks — a six- foot three-inch, muscular, seventeen-year-old other. Whatever happened to blending in?
"Here's your tea, kid. Can I get you anything else?"
"I'm good. My name's Kendi." Stop with the "kid" nonsense already.
"Kendi ... now there's a name you don't hear every day." He chuckled as he turned for the kitchen. "Nice to meet you, kid. Let me know if you need anything else."
I sat for a while enjoying my tea. The parlor was quiet. There were only a few folks scattered about. I noticed an elderly couple in the corner, eyeing me suspiciously. I guess it would have been too much to ask for Yah to make my appearance a little less conspicuous. I wanted everyone to just leave me alone, but in this form, I kept drawing the wrong kind of attention.
I slid five dollars on the counter to take care of my tea and the tip before getting up to leave. An old lady shifted uncomfortably in her seat and pulled her purse just a little bit closer as I passed her booth. I couldn't help but laugh. What a freakin' joke! What did she think I would do? Snatch her purse and run for it? I just had a five-minute conversation with Gus, identified who I was, and who I lived with, what the hell? Reuel was one of the most prominent lawyers in town. I guess around here, "a book is judged by its cover." Oh, well.
The guys should be about finished, so I figured I'd wander that way to hook up with them. Maybe we could find something to get into for the afternoon that didn't involve cussing out the good townsfolk.
I headed north on Maple Street toward Danvers High. As I rounded the corner onto Locust Street, I bumped into a wave of students making their daily pilgrimage downtown. I hadn't realized it was so late. I walked faster to catch the guys, making sure that I was still aware of my surroundings. Force of habit. I hated having to walk everywhere, but since the four of us were currently sharing the Range Rover, and they were the ones in school, I was ass out. But at least I wouldn't have to walk home today if I hurried.
Approaching the school, I noticed a group of guys heading in my direction. Three of the boys wore the school's athletic jacket — football players. The group was being obnoxiously loud and immediately drew my attention. Could my luck be any worse? At least two of the boys were from the pack that I had ditched earlier. Damn.
I dropped my eyes and continued toward the parking lot, hoping to pass them without incident. No dice. The trolls recognized me instantly.
"Hey Taylor, isn't that him?" one of the football players inquired.
"Yeah. That's the little punk," another of the guys responded with a sarcastic laugh.
The largest guy in the group had no intention of letting me pass. He tapped the boy next to him and then began whispering something else to the entire group that was too low for me to hear. The three football players shifted their tight-knit formation, spreading across the sidewalk, making it impossible for me to get around them. The fourth and smallest of the group hung back, looking a bit confused. He was a new addition to the pack.
I was only about a hundred feet from the group at this point, so I stepped into the street to avoid them. The group followed me.
I tried to remain composed. Although at this point, I was beginning to get irritated. Most humans automatically rubbed me the wrong way and this gang was really pissing me off. "What's up?" I said as I gave the cordial head nod and tried to pass, not letting on that I knew who they were.
"That's exactly my question, dude. What's up?" the leader of the group sneered at me. "What were you doing down on Cherry Street earlier?"
"Not sure what you're talkin' about man." My temper was on a short-lit fuse.
"Bullshit. Not many folks around here that look like you, bro." He was in my face now.
If he thought I was going to be intimidated, this fleshling had it all wrong. I didn't cower to vermin. I ignored the big guy and attempted to step around them again.
This time, he grabbed my arm and spun me around.
"What the hell?" I snapped, not believing this human had the audacity to put his hands on me. My free hand automatically curled into a fist, as I no longer tried to control my anger.
"I said, 'What were you doin' down on Cherry?'" He was snarling through clenched teeth. "Yo, Taylor, man, leave him alone! Don't start anything," the small guy in the back pleaded.
"Shut up, Xavier. Don't be such a little wuss. I'll start whatever I want. You of all people should remember that I don't like nobody in my business. Nobody! And we certainly don't need any outsiders messin' things up." Taylor hissed.
The other three guys enclosed me in a circle, and Taylor let go of my arm so that he could get in my face. The teen was taller than me when we stood toe to toe, and I didn't like his bulky mass so close to me. He smelled of stale pepperoni and rancid grease. Humans were so disgusting.
"I said, what were you doin', homie?"
"Get the hell out of my face, homie," I was seething.
Just then, one of the guys shoved me from behind. My face slammed into Taylor. Ouch. That hurt. Flesh and bone. Could this possibly suck any more?
Taylor pushed me out of his space.
"That's some attitude you have there. You may want to check the numbers, boy." The comment came from behind me.
I corrected my balance and pushed Taylor out of my way trying to pass. He stumbled into the fence behind him. Just then, I was grabbed from behind on both sides. I let my elbows fly as a few choice words slid through my teeth, but I was not able to free myself from the two monstrously sized teens. Now that I was restrained, Taylor became brave enough to throw a punch. He landed a sharp jab to my stomach. The air whooshed out of my lungs leaving me breathless. But I was able to use the momentum of the punch to take out the guys behind me. With them on the ground, I swung at Taylor, connecting with his face. The resulting blow made an audible crunch as my fist connected with his jaw. What I didn't expect was the pain the punch caused to my hand.
"Damn it!" I howled, pulling my hand back.
"Rick, Corey, Xavier — get him!" Taylor commanded.
I found myself scrapping with a mob. A fist connected with my nose and mouth simultaneously, and the pain was like nothing I have ever experienced. My vision was suddenly blurred, and I could taste what I could only assume was blood in my mouth. My feet were swept from beneath me, and I was on my back. The teens went from punching to kicking and stomping at me as I flailed uselessly on the ground. Someone landed a shot to my ribs. I felt the snap of the bone and hollered in pain. Another foot landed in the side of my head, and everything started going black. I could feel the blood oozing from above my left eye.
"Guys, come on, cut it out. He's had enough," Xavier pleaded. "We're gonna get caught. Come on, let's go!"
"Xay! What's going on? Stop it!" I heard a feminine voice call from a distance.
"Oh my god, leave him alone! What are you idiots doing?" The voice sounded as if it were getting closer, but my perception was fading fast. At least the girl had distracted the boys to the point that they were no longer beating the crap out of me.
"Xay, let's go! If Mr. Theos catches you out here, you are so done for." "Oh, back off, Elle. Mind your own business. This guy started it."
"Yeah, right, Rick. He looks like he's causing all kinds of trouble. You guys are such maggots." There was a round of laughter from the group as they dismissed the female.
"Xay, let's go right now. You can ride home with me. You don't need to wait for them."
"Go ahead, Elle. I'll catch up with you," Xavier promised. The other three guys had now turned their attention back to me with another round of taunting. The one named Corey leaned down to smack me in the back of the head.
"Got anything else to say, hard ass?" he snickered.
"Bite me," I moaned.
I felt another kick to the middle of my back as the group turned to leave.
"Let's get downtown, y'all, before all of the good parking is gone. The other guys are meeting us at Giovanni's," Taylor said. "I'll drive."
The mob left abruptly. I wanted to get up but wasn't sure whether this prison that Yah called a body would allow me. I wasn't left with anything that would have given me an edge in a fight. The extraordinary speed, telepathy, flight was all taken away from me in Empyrean's high court when I was sentenced. And, worse of all, I could feel pain!
I tried to sit up, but the dizziness was too much. I slumped back against the wet grass, letting the coolness soothe my swollen, stinging face. My head hurt, my mouth and my eye were full of blood, the ache from my ribs was excruciating, and my face felt as if it were twice its normal size. So, this was what an ass-whipping felt like. I chuckled to myself and then winced as the action caused my ribs to throb.
"Hey, man, you okay?" It was Xavier.
I wiped the blood from my eye and looked at the idiot. What a completely asinine question. I knew that there was no possible way that I looked okay. I closed my eyes hoping he would just go away.
"Xay, what are you doing? Let's get outta here before someone sees us. Mom will kill you if you get in trouble again!"
"Get back in the car. I'll be right there," Xavier said anxiously. "Do you need a ride somewhere, man? It won't be too smart for you to stay out here like this. You're sort of a sitting duck if Taylor and the guys double back. You don't want that kind of attention, dude." He sighed. Xavier was trying to be helpful, but it was a little late for that.
My head was spinning to the point that I thought I'd be sick. I tried to open my eyes, but everything went black.CHAPTER 2
'Til Death Do Us Part
Give me liberty or give me death! Just playin'.
Suddenly, I could hear new noises in the background — the sound of a car pulling up and stopping nearby, and the sound of another group of people approaching. With some relief, I recognized the voices.
"Hey! What's going on?" It was Raza.
"Don't know, man. I found him like this — was just seeing if I could help out," Xavier lied. "You know him?"
"Yeah. He's our brother. What happened?" Malachi questioned. I could feel the group around me, so I opened my eyes.
"Like I said, I don't know. I will let you guys take it from here." Xavier turned and jumped in the car with the female that had broken up the fight. As the car sped away, it looked as if they were arguing.
"Kendi, are you all right?" Angelo asked, kneeling beside me. "Can you get up?"(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Reborn"
Copyright © 2019 Ella Clarke.
Excerpted by permission of Black Rose Writing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1 - You Were Serious about That?,
2 - 'Til Death Do Us Part,
3 - The Office,
4 - School Daze,
5 - Meep!,
6 - Sarielle,
7 - Confessions,
8 - Ditch Day,
9 - Reservoir Dogs,
10 - Knowing Is Only Half the Battle,
11 - Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Throne?,
12 - The Truth ... Hurts,
13 - Empyrean,
14 - Training Day,
15 - Distractions,
16 - Dogs and Witches and Gates ... Oh, My!,
17 - Let the Games Begin,
18 - Turn Up the Heat,
19 - Things That Go Bump in the Night,
20 - Feel the Burn,
21 - Clash of the Titans,
22 - The Fallen,
Glossary of Terms,
List of Angels,
Note from the Author,
About the Author,