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*includes a digitally signed, printed author note*


The Beginning of the End has never been so bittersweet…

In the wake of their latest battle against Ba’al, one thing has become clear to Artemus Steele and his companions. The demonic organization is intent on dragging Drake Hunter to Hell, come what may. While Karl LeBlanc’s warning continues to preoccupy Artemus and the other Guardians, strange earthquakes rock the four continents, the origins of which turn out to be more sinister than anyone could have anticipated. After an unexpected attack brings them face to face with an enemy they cannot defeat, they realize they could very well lose the war against Ba’al. But when a fallen archangel turns up on their doorstep with a new Guardian in tow, all bets are off.

Having walked the Earth for thousands of years to atone for his sins, Solomon Weiss becomes the custodian of Jacob Schroeder, a young boy he discovers in the desert. Conscious that Jacob is host to a powerful divine beast, the former archangel brings the child to Chicago to meet his kin and to seek Artemus and the Guardians’ help in stopping the opening of Jacob’s gate. As Ba’al renews its attacks on Artemus and his companions, the suspicion Solomon has always harbored about his connection with Jacob is borne out, while the true nature of what links Artemus, Drake, and Smokey finally becomes shockingly clear.

Will Hell claim Drake as it has always intended? Or can Solomon and Jacob tip the scales and help Artemus and the Guardians save the dark angel from his grim fate?

Format  Paperback
Pages  316
ISBN  978-1-912834-16-7
Dimensions  5 x 0.70 x 8 inches
Publisher   Silver Orb Publishing
Language  English
Edition  Second Edition, April 2024


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Blood and Bones
Fire and Earth
Hallowed Ground


2033, Libyan Desert

Shooting stars streaked across the night sky, silent streams of light with barely anyone to witness them but endless desert sand. Solomon Weiss paused to admire the celestial bodies as they burned through Earth’s atmosphere. A cool breeze ruffled his thawb and danced across his exposed skin from the north, bringing with it the salty taste of the sea.

It never ceased to surprise him how much more beautiful the world looked now that he had lost everything but his damned soul.

Solomon’s gaze wandered down to the ridge he was climbing. He made a clicking noise with his tongue and tugged on the reins of the camel. The creature obeyed his command with a low huff. It wasn’t long before they reached the summit of the elevation. Solomon pulled the animal to a stop and studied the landscape before him.

Stretching out as far as the eye could see was a dark ocean of sand dunes, barren hills, and rock plains. A jagged line some hundred miles long blocked out the low-lying stars to the west. Though he should not have been able to see the lights of the closest town at the base of the mountain range, Solomon’s otherworldly eyes detected their presence nonetheless.

He wondered if the child had seen them too.

It took him another hour to reach the cave where the boy had sought shelter for the night. Solomon climbed off the camel and looped the creature’s reins loosely around a boulder. He stilled and concentrated.

A steady thumping reached his unearthly ears, too fast and thready for his liking.

Solomon frowned and took the water gourd and a bag of dry raisins from the camel’s saddle. He followed the sound of the boy’s heartbeat into the dark crevice carved into the rockface before him.

The child had crawled into the farthest corner of the cave, where water had dripped down through cracks and fissures in the cliff to form a shallow pool. The puddle was only four inches wide and an inch deep, not enough to quench the boy’s raging thirst. He lay on his front, his thin body shuddering with shallow, labored breaths, as if the very air hurt his lungs. His tousled, black hair obscured his eyes where it had fallen across his face, and his lips were cracked and bleeding.

Solomon knelt on the ground and gently rolled the child onto his back before lifting him onto his lap. He cradled his head with one hand and brought the water gourd to his mouth. A trickle of liquid fell between the boy’s dry lips.

It took a moment for him to realize what was happening. The first thing he did was lick his lips and swallow. The second thing he did was grasp Solomon’s wrist with a speed and strength that surprised him, even though he had half expected it.

He knew the child was only semi-conscious. The boy tugged the gourd close to him and took giant gulps of the water falling across his parched lips.

He finally blinked, his long lashes gritty with desert sand. Dark pupils contracted and dilated as they focused on Solomon. He froze when he registered Solomon’s unworldly identity.

Solomon heard an alien heart start to beat somewhere inside the child.


He masked a grimace. Well, it’s not as if I wasn’t expecting this either.

He took a deep breath and suppressed his aura.


The boy trembled, as if in pain.

But Solomon knew better. It wasn’t discomfort that was making the boy shiver in his hold. It was the furious excitement of the beast who was awakening inside his frail body.

Thump-thump. Thump-thump.

Golden light gleamed in the boy’s dark eyes.

The beast’s stormy gaze scorched Solomon’s face as she beheld him for the first time.

Solomon gazed steadily back at the creature. “I have to say, you haven’t exactly done a great job of looking after your host.”

Irritation filled the beast’s gaze, dampening her bloodlust. A sibilant hiss escaped the boy’s throat.

“Who are you to tell me what to do and not to do with my host?!”

“Ah,” Solomon said wryly. “She speaks.”

He took some raisins from the bag and offered them to the boy.

The beast blinked.

The boy took a cautious sniff of the food before taking a careful mouthful between his lips. His teeth grazed Solomon’s palm as he swallowed the rest with ravenous gusto.

Solomon rose, the boy’s limp form in his arms, and headed for the exit. Though the boy’s eyes were open and his beast had spoken to Solomon, he was not truly conscious still.

“Where are you taking my host?” the beast demanded haughtily as Solomon came out of the cave and took long strides toward the camel.

“Somewhere he has a better chance of survival.”

The camel grunted in faint alarm as Solomon drew near. It could sense the nature of the creature in Solomon’s arms.

I can’t say I blame it.

“We are doing just fine,” the beast said in a disgruntled tone. “Now, put us down.”

Solomon stopped in his tracks. “Alright.”

He let go of the boy.

The child thudded onto the ground next to one of the camel’s saucer-shaped feet and bounced once. The camel startled and backed away.

The beast hissed in rage. “How dare you hurt my host?!”

“You said to put you down.”

“I did not mean for you to drop him so callously!”

Solomon squatted and stared calmly at the mythical creature glaring at him. “I don’t want to hurt your host, beast. I want to help him.”

Golden eyes narrowed with suspicion. “Why would you come to our aid? I know what you are. Your kind wants nothing more than to kill us.”

Solomon smiled faintly and rocked back on his heels. “So, my glamor isn’t working on you, huh?”

The beast sniffed. “No, monster who walks in the form of man.”

A surprisingly comfortable silence fell between them.

“I can sense your intent is genuine,” the beast finally said reluctantly. “But why would you want to help him? Help us?”

“To atone for my sins and the sins of my kind,” Solomon admitted quietly. “To stop what is coming.”

The beast observed him for a moment. “And how do you intend to do that?”

“By protecting you. And by guiding your host.”

“You mean to serve us?”


“And use your powers to do good?” the beast asked insistently.


The beast was quiet for a long time. A shudder ran through the boy’s body. His eyes flared with brightness.

“Then, I accept. On behalf of my host and myself. But heed my words. If you betray us, if you so much as look at the boy the wrong way, I will kill you.”

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