|Publisher:||Whiskey Creek Press|
|Sold by:||SIMON & SCHUSTER|
|File size:||929 KB|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
The four Guardians looked down at Earth with hope in their eyes.
"We're never going to find four women." Kendra sighed. Her blue eyes were sad as she looked at her sisters. She shook her head slowly back and forth, and her blonde hair brushed against her sapphire gown.
"Nonsense," Wilda protested. Her green eyes flashed determinedly in her face. "We only have to look a little harder. I'm tired of being stuck on this damn cloud. I want a promotion, and I'm getting one."
"Calm down," Eden said. The oldest sister's voice soothed the other three. Her deep brown eyes held knowledge far beyond her years. She pinned her chestnut hair back and looked at each sister in turn. "No need to tie yourself in knots. We all know what is at stake. And I, for one, am ready to find our newest recruits." She looked at Tempest. "What do you say?"
"I say it's about time," Tempest answered and blew out a breath. Her crystal blue eyes missed nothing as she peered down at the mortals again. "Are we drawing straws or the usual order?"
"Usual," Wilda said and shrugged. "I don't mind being first."
Silence fell over the four Guardians. They joined hands, waved the clouds away gently, and peered down intently at Earth. Billions of people went about their lives as if there were nothing monumental being planned for four of them. Men and women worked. Children played. Everyone was oblivious to the decisions being made far above them.
Their only hope of moving up in their power was to prove themselves worthy. Each Guardianselected a woman to mentor and mold into a success. The Guardians could gift the mortal woman twice and only use her powers to assist, never control. Each Guardian would be judged on the mortal's success with health, home, and heart. But the hardest part of being a Guardian was having to involve herself in the mortal's life and influence decisions.
It was a lot harder than they had originally thought. The mortals had a mind of their own and didn't care much for listening to a complete stranger tell them how to live their lives. But the Guardians had no choice. They were required to all pass the test before any of them could move into the higher levels with greater responsibilities.
For over one hundred years, they tried. And not once did all four achieve success together. One would succeed, but not the next. Three would succeed, but not the last. They were growing more agitated by the year. Patience had long since run out. They needed action. They needed a damn miracle.
Wilda examined the women on Earth closely. As the Guardian with the shortest patience and fiercest temper, she knew she could not stand an insipid student. Her twelfth pick was almost her undoing. It was all she could do not to torch the idiot. The stupid woman ran around wringing her hands and bemoaning her fate. Wilda had come back to the cloud and apologized for her blatant stupidity. She did better with her subsequent picks, but that was not the problem. It was all four of them finding a woman, not simply one. Each Guardian must do her part or none would be rewarded.
If they succeeded, they were gifted with a bracelet that strengthened their power. If all four met their tasks, then their collective power could never be denied or taken.
"How about that one?" Kendra pointed to a young woman in Seattle. She was struggling to open her house with her arms full of groceries.
Tempest snorted and tossed her long, ebony hair. "If she doesn't know how to put down her groceries in order to obtain entry to her house, I wouldn't want to deal with her."
Eden rolled her eyes and sighed. "Maybe she's in a hurry, Tempest. You're always quick to judge. Sometimes things are not as they appear." She pointed down to a small town in Michigan. "How about her?"
Wilda's eyes narrowed. "The blonde with the plastic surgery frequent flyer miles? No thanks." She scanned the rest of the state with a sigh. This was becoming extremely difficult. If she didn't choose a suitable candidate, she would doom the other women to another year before they could pick again.
She concentrated. She needed a woman with spirit. A fire to match her own. A love for life. Wilda touched her wild titian hair. A redhead. Her lips lifted into a smile. Those were always interesting. Her gaze narrowed and then sharpened.
"I've found her," she announced.
The three other Guardians gathered around to look at their first hope.
Kendra put her hand over her mouth in shock. "You must be kidding! Wilda! Really. How in the world are you supposed to break through to a woman like that?"
Tempest snickered. "Get your gown out of a twist, Kendra. Wilda knows what she's doing." She gave her sister a measured look. "Don't you?"
"Yes." Wilda's tone was certain and unyielding.
"You can pick again," Kendra reminded her. "The bargain has not yet struck."
"I like this one. She has spirit." Wilda looked at her sisters and smiled reassuringly. "Do not fear. She will pass."
"Oh, Wilda." Eden sighed. "I hope you know what you're doing."
They watched as Wilda changed her appearance to match her task. Her beautiful red hair pulled back into a chignon. Her red silk gown transformed into a modern day pantsuit. Her emerald eyes lit from within as the total conversion took place. No longer did Wilda resemble the immortal she was. She appeared to be no different than her charge.
Tempest grinned at her sister. "You are still too lovely by far to be on Earth. What happens if things backfire?"
Wilda smoothed down her hair. "I will place a small spell. None will be interested in me. I will appear normal by their standards." She looked at each of her sisters in turn. "Do not worry so. I will be back. And then it will be your turn, Kendra." She kissed each on the cheek in turn and nodded briefly. Wilda disappeared.
Tempest shook her head, and her blue eyes were worried. "I hope she's not bitten off more than she can chew. Did you see that woman?"
"Yes," Eden smiled. "I saw her. But as I like to say, 'Things are not always as they appear'."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews