War of Whispers, a supernatural novel about healing

I hope you enjoy this sample from my novel, War of Whispers. It is looking for a publishing home.


“Absolutely not, Annie.” Kat slammed down the mascara on the bathroom counter. She turned away from the mirror to face her daughter who was still in her pajamas.

“But, Mom, I don’t feel good.”

“On the first day of your freshman year? No. You can’t stay home.” As soon as the words were out, guilt washed over Kat. Clearly, Annie looked pale this morning, but she needed to learn how to push past how she felt.

Annie’s eyes narrowed. With venom poisoning her tone, she said, “If Dad were here, he’d believe me!” Seconds later, her bedroom door slammed.

Clutching the sides of the sink, Kat hung her head. What should she do? Annie used to love school, her friends, her clothes–all the things normal fourteen-year-old girls should love. But this mysterious illness was slowly robbing her of all that. If only Grady were here.

Trevor appeared in the doorway. “Now what’s wrong with her, Mom? Another allergy?” Silence permeated the room for the barest second. “Mom?”

Kat looked at her son’s reflection in the mirror. “Oh. Sorry, Trev. She doesn’t feel good and wants to stay home.”

“She seemed fine when we were in Florida. I can’t believe she’d want to stay home on her first day of high school. Wow.”

“I know.”

“Can’t she take something? She’s getting sick more and more.”

Tell me something new.

Trevor shrugged and hoisted his new backpack onto his shoulder. “I’m going down for breakfast. No way do I want to be late.”

While finishing with her makeup, Kat heard Annie’s bedroom door open, then slam. Footsteps descended the stairs.

Congratulations, Kat Kerrigan, successful news anchor. You’ve just won the prize for Most Unpopular Mother of the Year.


In the meantime, Colonel Casimir looked up from his desk in heaven. “This will be Zuriel’s first post as a guardian angel.”

Lieutenant Arman winced and squeezed his hands behind his back. He shifted feet. “But, sir, I can handle this assignment alone. Haven’t I done well in the past?”

“You misunderstand the purpose of this assistance, Lieutenant. It is not a reflection of your prior duty.” He tapped the golden folder set before him. “You have earned exemplary fitness reports, but there are factors you are unaware of. At the appropriate time, you’ll recognize them. Your orders are to mentor Lieutenant Junior Grade Zuriel.”

Arman stood erect and snapped off a salute. “Aye, sir.”

The colonel hesitated. “Remember, this is not a disciplinary order, Lieutenant.”

“Yes, sir. Permission to leave, sir?”

“Permission granted.”

Arman released a weary sigh as he drifted out of Colonel Casimir’s office.

A heavenly force drew him forward like a giant magnet toward The Throne of Glory, where he would find everything he needed. As he advanced closer, perfect harmonies from every instrument ever created on earth, and some not yet created, played praises to the King of the Universe.

Closing his eyes, Arman let the beauty soak into his being. Nothing on earth, not the finest, most celebrated symphonies could compare with heaven’s orchestra.

Thousands of angelic voices rang out, blending, soaring and floating, gloriously resplendent. Arman’s concerns faded as he joined in song. Unspeakable joy flowed through him, fluttering his robes as he sang. He raised his arms high and lifted his face to the Lord of the Universe. Transcendent warmth enveloped him. He dropped to his knees, then fell prostrate before Perfect Love emanating in waves from the Throne.

“Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; and Your glory above all the earth,” he sang. “Praise You above the heavenly hosts….”


In the backseat of Kat’s SUV, Lieutenant Arman tried to sit straight, but his seven-foot frame slouched to the left, crammed against the door.

As she back out of the garage, Kat glanced in her rear view mirror, completely unaware of the two heavenly warriors stationed in her back seat.

Zuriel, hunched over next to Arman asked, “Been guarding her long?”

“All thirty-seven years of her life. Where’ve you been assigned until now?”

“Principality duty the last thousand years.”

“Wow. Tough mission.”

“Not so bad.”

Arman turned toward his Mentee, a question burning on his lips.

But before he could ask it, Zuriel said, “I requested a change in assignment.”

“Really?” Why would a principality warrior, one who used state-of-the-art warfare techniques and strategies request guardian duty?

Zuriel continued. “I needed to get back to where the battle begins … inside the mind of the individual.”

“Exactly. The war begins in the thoughts. If we can stop the enemy there, at the point of entry, the Kingdom will gain significant territory.”

Silence filled the space between them.

Zuriel seemed riveted by Katyenka’s every move. “I haven’t been this close to a human being in some time. She’s certainly attractive by their standards. She has all the external trappings of worldly success. Stylish blonde hair. Trim figure. Culturally fashionable clothes and lots of gold jewelry. But what about the invisible workings of her heart and mind?”

Arman’s jaw and neck stiffened at Zuriel’s critical appraisal of Katyenka. Was this junior grade lieutenant finding fault with his work? He opened his mouth to retort when a waterfall of heavenly love washed over him–he was displaying defensiveness. Not a good sign. Perhaps he cared too deeply about Katyenka. Could this be why the colonel insisted he have an assistant?

When Arman spoke, his voice held no trace of indignation. “Her thought life will be deeply challenged. And every thought affects every choice.”

“Free will?”

“Yes. Free will. It is wonderful for the Creator when His created beings choose Him, but when they don’t ….”

“Are you thinking about the rebellion in heaven long ago?”

“Yes. A tragedy. One-third of the heavenly host gone forever.” But there was no time to dwell on that. Arman turned to face his assistant. “You’re larger than most guardians.”

Zuriel chuckled. “Principality warriors are at least nine feet. I’m actually on the shorter side.”


“Most are ten feet or more.”

Arman’s eyes widened. “Amazing. So tell me about principality duty.”

“It was predictable. We fought every day. I was attached to a battalion on the forefront of territorial strongmen and demonic princes.”

“Over cities and nations?”


“Those must have been ferocious battles,” Arman said.

A strange look passed over Zuriel’s face. He hesitated before responding. “Yes. Yes, they were.”

Arman wondered again why a seasoned battle warrior would request such a monumental change. “Guardian duty will be very different. Here we use tactics and strategic maneuvering, but on a much smaller scale. It will not be predictable.”

“That’s what I’m looking forward to,” Zuriel said.

“Patience is a guardian’s primary weapon.”


“And speaking forth the Word.”

Their heads jerked forward as Katyenka pulled up to a stop sign. Arman shook his head. “I try not to ride in the car with her.”

Zuriel grinned. “Did she learn at a speedway?”

“Watch your neck. She always guns it after a stop.” Their heads lurched back before they could resume the conversation. “Circumstances are going to force Katyenka to re-examine how she thinks, and what she dwells on. She has a decisive battle ahead of her.”

“I’m ready.” Zuriel’s hand flew to the hilt of his sword.

“Patience, my man. We must wait for events to unfold. Now for the Word.” As Arman began speaking into Katyenka’s ears, heavenly light surrounded him. “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”


Kat rolled down the car windows and inhaled deeply, filling her nostrils with the earthy scent of crisp falling leaves. This would be a long year with Grady deployed. He would miss the colorful autumn in the Virginia countryside. In a week or two, orange pumpkins and yellow squash would dot the landscape. Instead of savoring his favorite time of year in the U.S., he would have to endure Afghanistan’s parched deserts and relentless beige heat.

Another mile passed before she pulled into the empty parking lot of “KUVA Communications.” A smile softened her lips. She knew it was a cliché, but it fit–home away from home.

Unlocking the front door of the concrete building, Kat stepped inside the narrow gray hallway. Her gut clenched. Something didn’t feel right. She quietly set her things down, checked all the rooms, behind doors and in closets. Satisfied no intruders lurked, she shook off concerns, switched on the computer and turned her attention to the first story of the day, one about her neighbor, Nadeem, and his narrow escape from the Taliban.

Minutes later, the front door opened. She stood and poked her head out the doorway to see Rob and Jean enter the hall. “G’morning. Happy Monday.”

The Farnsworths cast a quick glance at each other before Jean eased into a smile. “Hello, Kat. Welcome back.”

Rob slipped into his office a bit too fast, but not Jean. She approached Kat and gave her a quick hug. “Tell me all about your vacation. Did you have a good time?”

“Florida? Great as always. Grady’s parents went all out. They offered plenty of food Annie could eat, new video games for Trev, and we played lots of cards by the pool.” Kat stepped aside and motioned for Jean to take a seat.

Jean hesitated before sitting down. “And Grady? Did he get off okay?”

“We got back from Florida on Friday. He flew to Kabul on Saturday. The other contractors left earlier in the week. I got a short e-mail that he arrived, but communications will be scarce because of the mission.”

Jean nodded. “I understand. When Rob served in Vietnam, my mind worked overtime, thinking up all kinds of awful scenarios. You’ll probably have to guard your thoughts, too.”

Guard her thoughts? Kat had never considered something like that before.

“What about Annie?”

“We start with an environmental illness specialist at Children’s on Wednesday.”

“Good. You know we want the best for you and your family. Right, Kat?” Jean’s mouth quivered, as though trying to smile but her lips wouldn’t cooperate.

“Sure, I know that.”

Jean stood. “Rob and I will have our weekly meeting in a few minutes. We’ll call you when we’re ready, okay?”

“Fine. I’ll be ready.” Monday meetings were part of life around KUVA. Funny Jean acted so odd about such a routine event.

Less than ten minutes later, Jean buzzed. “Can you come in now?”

Kat grabbed her notepad. “I’m on my way.”


            Arman gently elbowed Zuriel. “Go ahead.”

“Okay.” Zuriel moved close to Katyenka and cupped his hands around his mouth to whisper in her ears. “Take your thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.” He glanced back at Arman.

Arman nodded. His amusement at the mighty warrior’s timidity faded as he closed his eyes. Would Katyenka listen?


In the conference room, sitting stiffly side-by-side, Jean and Rob swapped furtive glances.

Fear funneled through Kat like hot water through ice. Something was up. And from their expressions, it wasn’t good. She sat down across from them while her mind searched for anything she’d done wrong–stories she’d reported on before vacation, perhaps?

Where was Eric?

Rob cleared his throat awkwardly. “Kat.” He cleared again. “Jean said you enjoyed a good vacation.”

“Yes, we did. Thanks.”

“You know you’re like family to us, right?”

Kat patted her sweaty palms discreetly on her skirt.

The guardians moved in closer, standing at Kat’s side, alert and at attention.

When Kat didn’t answer, Rob rushed on, his words tripping over each other. “We didn’t want to say anything before because we knew how desperately you needed this time with family–to move into your new home and to see Grady off without adding another worry.”

Tilting her head, Kat managed to croak, “What worry is that, Rob?”

He glanced at his wife, then studied his notebook for a tortuous long pause. When he looked up at Kat, tears glistened in his eyes.

She swallowed hard. Oh, this is very bad.

“Times have gotten really tough at the station, Kat. Economically, we can’t afford to keep you on any longer.”

If an earthquake struck at that moment, it couldn’t have jolted her more. She blinked and leaned forward. “What?”

Watching closely, Arman signaled Zuriel. Both angels hoisted swords.

Rob continued, “For the last year, we kept hoping things would improve ….”

As the news sank in, words flew uncontrollably from Kat’s mouth. “So how about Eric? Are you letting him go, too?”

A guilt-ridden look passed between them. “Not yet.”

Kat’s heart pounded in her ears. She let the tidal wave of anger rush to her mouth.

“Of course not. He’s your precious son-in-law. You’re not going to fire him now or ever, are you? How convenient to use me to train him to become anchor. Why couldn’t you dump me before we bought the new house? How am I going to pay the mortgage now? You know all of Grady’s pay is going towards medical expenses.” Her eyes shifted from one to the other, challenging them.

Waves of anger radiated from Kat, propelling her two unseen guardians far across the room.

“We hate doing this,” Jean said. “We really do. We’ve brainstormed and prayed to find another way, but we’re at the end of all our cost-cutting solutions. Eliminating your salary is our last option. We’re really sorry, but we know that God will open a new door for you.”

Kat’s throat seemed to tighten, too small an opening for her voice to squeeze through, then somehow she was talking. “Sure. When one door slams in your face, another will open. Isn’t that how the saying goes?”

“We can give you two more weeks,” Rob offered.

Kat pushed herself out of the chair. “No severance? Oh, that’s right. There was no severance when the station was starting out. So, no, thank you. I don’t want to burden you any further.” Straightening her shoulders, Kat pasted on a professional smile. “Thanks for everything.”

Jean stared at Kat, tears flowing freely down her cheeks. Rob looked stricken, but said nothing.

Kat stormed out of the conference room, marched down the hall to her office and shut down her computer.

Arman and Zuriel swapped looks and followed as closely as they were allowed.

Grabbing a trash bag from the kitchen, Kat tossed in pictures and personal items from her desk. Then, with shaking hands, she pulled the station key from her keychain. Tossing it on the desk, she strode down the hall and out the door.

Ten years. Gone just like that.


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