Excerpt & Giveaway: Griffin Rising by Darby Karchut

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Reading Level: Young Adult – Publication Date: 4/14/11
For centuries, rumors have abounded of a lowly caste of supernatural beings known as the Terrae Angeli. Armed with the power to control Earth, Fire, Wind, and Water, these warriors secretly serve as guardians for mortals in danger.But for one young angel-in-training, Griffin, life is hell as a cruel master makes his apprenticeship a nightmare. On the verge of failing, a new mentor, Basil, enters his life and changes it forever.Taking on the identity of father and son, Griffin and Basil forge a special bond where honesty and trust go hand in hand to secure Griffin’s destiny as a Terrae Angeli. Griffin’s belief in himself and the love of a mortal girl are the perfect combination in overcoming the darkest days of his life. But will it be enough for him to succeed?For Griffin, it’s time to angel up.
~ Purchase from Amazon | B&N

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Excerpt:
 Katie and Griffin strolled down the street toward the park, both of them holding Bear’s leash as he trotted ahead, his rough coat the same color and texture as the snow-heavy clouds. She paused and handed the lead to Griffin, then tucked a few stray hairs under her blue cap, tugging it down lower over her ears. 
 

“Thanks, let me take him. Now watch this—I’ve been doing some training,” she said, grasping the leash in her gloved hand. “Bear. Heel,” she ordered. She staggered as the giant lunged forward, dragging her down the street.
 

“How’s that working for you?” called Griffin as he jogged behind her. He caught up as they turned into the park. Grabbing her hand, he tugged her toward the tire swing.
 

She snorted in disbelief. “And I thought you wanted to walk off all that turkey. So you could have room for pie.”
 

“I did.” He grinned, his eyes twinkling. “But since we’re here, I thought we might … you know … swing.” Pointing with his chin, he added, “Tie Bear over there to that post.”
 

Katie dragged the dog across the play area and looped the leash around a rung on the monkey bars as Griffin hurried over to the tire swing and clambered onboard. She joined him, waiting for him to push off. Instead, he jumped inside, pulling her down with him. Wrapping his arms around her waist, he leaned in for a kiss. His lips warmed hers, and then brushed against her cheek. Moving to the hollow beneath her jaw, he pressed harder.
 

“Hey!” she said, pushed him away. “Don’t be leaving a mark. Mom’ll kill me. And you, too.” She straightened her cap and zipped her jacket higher under her chin. “Come on, we really should walk Bear some more. Plus I’m getting cold.”
 

“Cold, eh? I’ll warm you up,” he said, trying to steal another kiss. Giggling, she slithered out of his arms; ducking out from under the tire. She squealed with laughter when he leaped up on the rim and gave a mock howl, then jumped, pretending to pounce on her. 
 

Bear went berserk.
 

The dog roared, rearing from side to side before ripping the leash loose, frantic to defend Katie. Tearing across the playground at a dead run toward them, he bellowed his war cry, lips peeled back from his fangs and hackles stiffened in rage. With a snarl, he launched himself at the assailant.
 

Without thinking, Griffin flung out both hands, fingers spread wide.
 

Bear plowed muzzle-first into the gravel, yelping as he rolled over twice from the force of the Terra Angelus’ Might. Scrambling to his feet, the dog shook his head and whined, the fight knocked out of him. A few specks of blood beaded his gray-brown nose. Belly low to the ground, he crept over to them.
 

“By the Light!” Griffin said unevenly. He held a hand out for the dog to sniff. “Stupid goof—you scared the crap out of me!” At Bear’s apologetic lick, he thumped the dog’s ribs good-naturally and glanced over at Katie. “What the heck was that about?”
 

“I-I guess he thought you were attacking me,” she explained, her face pale. “Man, I thought he was going to tear into you or something! We’re lucky he tripped.” 
 

“Real lucky,” he said vaguely. He frowned as he studied her. “Hey, are you all right?”
 

“Oh, yeah. No problem. Nothing like your dog trying to eat your boyfriend to really warm up a person.” She chuckled weakly. “But I think I want to go home now.”
 

As they headed back, hand in hand and Bear slinking along next to Katie, Griffin cleared his throat. “Katie? Did you really mean it? At dinner when you said you didn’t believe in … um … angels?”
 

“What?”
 

“Angels. You don’t think they might actually exist?”
 

“Well, no. No, I don’t,” she said. “Why? Do you?”
 

He shrugged. “Why not?”
 

Katie peered up at Griffin, searching his face. “You’re kidding, right? How can you believe in … in … in people in nightgowns with fluffy wings. Flying around playing harps? Wearing halos?” She snorted. “Just saying it sounds stupid.”
 

He halted, dropping her hand. “It’s not stupid. And that image of angels is something people made up to sell Christmas cards or whatever.” He spread his arms wide. “What if angels, guardian angels like the Terra Angeli, really do exist? Like every time something happens that’s fortunate for a person, it’s really an angel helping them?”
 

Katie shook her head. “This is a ridiculous conversation. Who gives a rip if they exist or not? As long as they stay away from me. A guardian angel reminds me of a creepy stalker.” She snickered at her own joke. 
 

Griffin froze, surprised at the pain. He opened and closed his mouth, then looked away. “Is that what you really think?” he asked stiffly.
 

“Yeah, that’s what I really think.” Katie frowned in confusion. “Griffin, what’s going on?” Her eyes opened wide as he clenched his jaw and turned his back on her, his hands shoved deep in his pockets. “Griffin?”
 

Without another word, he walked away.

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Check out Book Two, Griffin’s Fire.


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~ Giveaway ~

The author is giving away two signed copies of Griffin Rising!

*US Only* 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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