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Magnetism
A Guardian Angel Romance - [Book 1]
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-220-8
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Romance/Fantasy/SF
eBook Length: 227 Pages
Published: February 2005
OUT OF PRINT

From inside the flap

Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief,
Forger, drunkard, burners, and cheats?.


Snowden Smith, also known as "Professor S. Alasdair Smith," gentleman scholar and renowned mesmerist, just needs one more big score. One last confidence scheme. And the small farm outside the boomtown of Silver City seems the perfect base for operations while they set the wheels in motion.

Ember Musgrave desperately wants a better life for her children after losing her husband in an industrial accident. She learns her spouse was to inherit a farmstead in Idaho. Summoning her courage, Ember packs up the children and heads west to claim the legacy.

A trusting young widow and two small children would ordinarily be no match for streetwise cheats, but Ember has invisible help. A pair of guardian angels watch over the Idaho farm. With their divine intervention, even fiendishly clever plans are likely to go awry?in comical and heartwarming ways.


Reviews and Awards

5 Angels

"...a multifaceted jewel, layering story upon story and emotion upon emotion to gel together in a heartwarming climax. Don't miss this little slice of heaven!"

--Michelle, Fallen Angel Reviews

Rating 4.5

"Shannah Biondine's writing flows and she easily brings her characters to life; even those on the sidelines are indelibly painted on your mind. It is easy to picture in your reader's mind the scenery as the characters see it. This was a fun book to read and the 'heavenly humor' added to its charm."

--Jessica, Romance Junkies 

 



Magnetism (Excerpt)


CHAPTER ONE

Bliss bowed his head in a show of reverence. He?d just been informed that he?d been transferred from Virtues duty to that of a Dominion. A lateral move, supposedly the result of one of his pinions being drawn from some communal halo. Now he mumbled the requisite verse of thanks, affecting mild surprise at his selection for the "honor."

Though not prone to gossip, Bliss kept his ears attuned, and he?d recently caught nuances of fresh rumor. He secretly feared this "reclassification" was in some manner pertinent to ripples of celestial gossip over a particular lower angel named Echo. Bruit bouncing from cloud to sunbeam reported that Echo had drifted a bit too far afield and would be assigned a mentor. Certainly Bliss couldn?t quibble with that. The wayward novice definitely needed supervision. There?d been a string of fiascos, and this very week she?d overstepped her guardian role. She refused to cease hovering over a bereaved human family, even when ordered from On High to float up?rather, stand down.

Soldiers, even in His heavenly army, must not ignore direct orders. Yet Echo had. Bliss had also heard that said unseemly vigil began when the unfortunate family was left fatherless as a result of an industrial accident that dear Echo failed to prevent.

Novice angels were forewarned about setbacks. Every angel experienced them from one eon to the next. Monitoring human events was an inexact science, intervention in them, a practiced art. Obviously, if calamity or illness never struck, there would be no need for guardian angels to watch over humans in the first place! No Host ascended through the ranks with a service record entirely unblemished. Gray feathers were marks of pride and distinction.

All heavenly hosts, regardless of station or rank, were expected to learn from their mistakes and progress. Move on.

Echo, contrary as usual, instead wallowed in the resultant mortal grief, recalling her own years as a human slave. Her tongue had been cut out; even now in Eternity, she remained mute, like the Echo of Greek mythology. The lower angel named Echo was described by various archangels as inconsolable, desolate, confused, or just plain unreasonable.

BLISS.

His woolgathering was broken by a Divine sigh. Like a cirrus zephyr, it swirled around Bliss and flooded his entirety with indescribable joy. He knew from the fatherly caress there was no choice where he went next or what rank he held. He would happily serve his Divine Master.

Yea, Bliss would do whatever The Light required of him, even though he hadn?t tutored apprentice angels in several millennia.

"Must I?" he whispered. "Any other guardian, but Echo? Truly, Lord of Wonder, she is?"

A SUPREME CHALLENGE AND A GENUINE DELIGHT.

Well! That left no room for negotiation. Echo, a genuine delight? Bliss couldn?t fathom how. The entire choir had witnessed her at vespers, halo askew, tickling gleeful cherubim instead of solemnly repeating chants and paeans. Or in the heavenly halls, thrusting parchment and quill upon hapless Seraphim, collecting signatures for her latest petition.

A Third Hierarchy angel daring to suggest alterations to God’s order! Let a human slave die and be sent to heaven, and this was what came of it. Perpetual consternation. Echo opined that Purgatory and interim soul stations were a waste of resources. She suggested alternative uses for polar ice and volcanic magma. She vehemently opposed natural selection for His creatures, and frequently submitted bizarre sketches of new varieties she felt would be suited to life on earth.

Bliss seemed to recall the dodo bird and other ideas for animals like winged crocodiles or spotted zebra.

Now this. A directive to Bliss, ordering him to supervise Echo, to take the most wayward angel in recent decades under his wing. Couldn?t the cherubim simply pluck Bliss? feathers out one at a time instead? He was certain that having Echo in his general vicinity would cause stress molting, anyway. Or maybe toenail fungus.

Just then the Royal Gatekeeper materialized. "I?ve been issued a copy of the same directive," St. Peter announced, cracking open one of his various expansive tomes. He trailed a forefinger over myriad entries and nodded.

"The dead fellow’s soul has already been designated to return to earth. We feel?that is to say, His Glory is certain that Echo will come away from New York and continue her education if we promptly recycle the mortal essence in this particular case."

"Of course," Bliss replied. So they were giving the contrary spirit her way.

"It’s assigned to an unborn child in a place called Silver City," Peter went on. "That’s a mining outpost in the United States. Idaho, to be precise."

Before Bliss could respond, one of the Seraphim approached with Echo in tow. "Echo, meet your new mentor, Dominion Bliss. The pair of you are charged with a special mission. You?re to serve as sentinels to some pioneers?humans engaged in what is known as ?frontier expansion.? We expect a glorious victory this time. I?ll have your sworn pledge that we can rely upon you to follow Bliss? instructions to the letter. No alternative suggestions, no disagreements. Your vow, Echo?"

Echo bowed deeply. She touched her brow to the clouds roiling along the hem of the Seraphim’s robe, then straightened and nodded toward Bliss.

He offered a wave of his right hand and they took off, wheeling downward via a channel of cool air that nestled around the jutting shoulders of Idaho’s mountain peaks.

St. Peter theorized that for the next while he?d endure no more pleas for a hamster or some mongrel to be admitted through the Pearly Gates. He?d relented every time; the cloudbanks fairly slithered with all manner of small beasts and insects. Admissions of lower animals would cease for however long Echo could be kept occupied in Silver City?which, from what the saint had glimpsed, seemed a town in need of pious influences.

The Seraphim smiled, but looked pensive. "Our Lord tolerates much from dear Echo, because He cannot bear to reprimand a spirit so devoted to His children. She truly acts primarily in defense of or to benefit mankind."

Peter nodded.

"However, I detect that Dominion Bliss suspects her failures stem from being too moved by mortal weakness. He suspects she is still too human, that she has brought resonating vibrations of the earthbound coil here."

Peter wisely said nothing, but pretended to straighten another stack of ledgers.

The angelic spirit continued, his smile growing wider. "Bliss has never ventured amongst humans before." There was a meaningful pause, then, "Sometimes a tutor learns much from his pupil."

Peter’s calm demeanor faltered. "But Bliss will not weaken in his resolve to do his holy duty. I believe we will see great improvement in Echo."

"She does appear eager to please," the Seraphim allowed.

"Indeed! She swore that if granted this boon?if our Lord God allowed the late father’s soul to be reunited with his grieving kin’she wouldn?t circulate any more petitions. I recorded her oath this very sunrise. Er, in one of these volumes." St. Peter began leafing through the book’s pages.

"We are aware. However, watch closely." Waving his arm, the Seraphim replayed images on an arcing sunbow. Peter saw himself, quill scratching across a parchment page, faithfully recording his exchange with minor guardian angel, Echo. In return for the boon she?d requested for the family of Archibald Musgrave, she would obey Dominion Bliss without question and nevermore petition the Nine Orders with suggested changes to God’s law.

Peter watched Echo nod in assent, happy tears gleaming in her soft eyes. She bowed and looked properly chastised. Abjectly repentant, she leaned forward to softly kiss Peter’s sandal. A sober, penitent angel indeed.

But now Peter discovered something else. Echo’s wings had been tucked behind her back, with their tips crossed and purposely hidden by a fold of her satin robes.

"The angelic mission in Silver City," the Seraphim mused sagely, "should prove quite interesting."