The Conduit The Gryphon Series - By Stacey Rourke


The last thing I want is to forget to thank anyone that helped with the creation of this book. I apologize in advance if I do.

That being said, I first and foremost have to thank my amazing husband for supporting this crazy dream of mine. Even though it often means sharing me with the imaginary people that live in my head. Thank you for reminding me I was meant to write when the obstacles in my path seemed to say otherwise.

Abby, Bonnie, Sandy, and Hot Alice, I lost count of how many drafts I forced upon each of you. Yet your guidance, excitement, and creative feedback never wavered. I wouldn’t have made it this far without my wonderful band of cheerleaders.

Mom & David, I owe the humor in my writing to the two of you. Thank you for teaching me to laugh at myself and to see the humor in every situation.

Lisa Strange, thank you for your gorgeous artwork for my cover. There’s a very good reason I let only you tattoo me—‘cause you rock!

T.L. Cooper, my Yoda! Happened without your input, this would not have. Much thanks I have.

To my wonderful family, friends and readers, thank you for your never ending support! I hope you’ll allow me the privilege of continuing to entertain and enchant you with my words.

And last, but certainly not least, thank you to the authors and crew at Anchor Group. Every one of you inspire me and I can’t thank you enough for that!


At certain moments in life reflection is mandatory. I found being squeezed in the scaly claw of a three story dragon to be one of them. As he shook me like an uncooperative toy, my rattled brain wondered how it was life had led me here. Could I have done anything differently to maybe not die horribly at the hands of Mr. Big-Green-and-Ugly?

But as my constricted lungs burned and ached for even a whisper of a breath, I knew there was no way I could’ve avoided this. No matter where I went. No matter what I did. They would’ve found me. It was inevitable.

A searing pain in my side signaled that my recently mended rib had cracked again. I opened my mouth to scream, but could manage no sound. My head wobbled so hard it felt like it might snap off my neck. Black spots danced before my eyes. With them came flashes from a life that wasn’t mine.

With tentative steps the girl walks through the smoldering, charred remains of her tiny village. Her bare feet are burned and blackened, but she doesn’t waver. She lays a delicate hand on the shoulder of the half-eagle/half-lion creature that saved them all. Well…most of them. Some of the blood spilled in this emerald Ireland valley had been fatal.

His rants turned into nothing more than a ringing in my ears. One by one, my senses gave up. They retreated into the dark abyss and waited for me to join them there.

A look of steely determination overcame the girl’s dainty features. “You didn’t let us stand alone and I will not let you.”

The Gryphon snapped his beak and shook his enormous head. “No. This war will rage on long after your mortal life has ended. I have foreseen it.”

“Then my heirs shall take up the cause as well!” She lifted her soot covered nightgown enough to allow herself the movement needed to go down on one knee. Her glorious ivory wings stretched out wide behind her as she pressed her fist over her heart. “It is my pledge to you that the O’Garren family will join you in this crusade. My people will be your warriors until we find victory or death.”

The pain lessened. Peace replaced it. That pledge, made centuries ago, is what led me here. If the break-ins hadn’t happened. If I had stayed in Michigan. I’d still find myself here, losing my grip on whatever tied my spirit to this world. Of course now I knew that those break-ins were them looking for me. And they followed me to Gainesboro. As the last of my strength and energy drained from my body, the thought of my new home made me smile.

Gainesboro, Tennessee. That’s where it all happened. That’s where I learned the truth. That’s where everything changed. That’s where my destiny found me. And now, it’s where I would die.

Chapter 1

Long shadows stretched out on the ground as the sun began to set behind the mountains. The competing snores of my brother and sister Copyright 2016 - 2021