“The Ark had definite opinions on when the Israelites did things, where they went, and what they did. There was a cloud of fire that would cover the tent where the Ark resided. When the cloud was there, the Israelites would stay camped; when it dissipated they would march again. The priests spoke to the Ark and received all forms of counsel. Moses would speak with the cloud and pass out edicts to the freed slaves.”

“You would think that the rabbis would want to get the Ark back.”

“I found an interview with the head Ashkenazi rabbi, who feared the Ark being discovered. You see, the current children of Israel are not pure from the viewpoint of the Ark, and if it were found, they would have to be forbidden from seeing or touching it. Also, finding the Ark means that they have to rebuild Solomon’s temple.”

Gabriel groaned at this news. “Well, so much for them helping us.”

“The building of the third temple is tied into the end of the world and the book of Revelations. No one is going to be looking forward to those events coming to pass. Well, no one sane at least.”

“Did you get anything about the Ethiopian church?”

“I stuck with the Ark. Why?”


“Destiny.” Raffe’s eyes conveyed the importance of his question even though she could only see him through the small strip of gauze allowed in the ritual garment. “Tell me.”

“I have other priorities right now.”

“Answer. Do you wish to be loved?”

Destiny hissed at him. He slowly withdrew his sheltering embrace. She couldn’t keep her beliefs on this subject to herself. “Love is something people use like Kleenex. People love their cars, a specific type of food, the warmth of a day.”

“What is it you wish?”

“I wish to be cherished,” she asserted. “I wish my man to accept me as I am without condition. I would have a man who would rejoice in the person I am and the life I have been forced to live. What I want is what every woman wants.”

“Here I thought you wanted to be a queen.” Raffe tried to joke to lighten the moment that was becoming fraught with emotional landmines for them both.

Destiny turned from him to return to their stealthy walk up the stairs. “I’d be the queen of my man’s heart,” she whispered loudly enough for him to understand. “That is the secret between men and women. Women wish to be queen of their man’s heart, and men wish to be king of their own harem.”

“You’re a pessimist.” He scowled, joining her in the climb.

“And you’re a fool.”


Gabriel and Raffe found Jasmine sitting in the middle of the columns, her head thrown up to the sky, tears streaming down her face. They were panting from the exertion of chasing her through the streets. At first the song seemed strangely discordant, but soon Jasmine’s hands adapted to the tones of the harp and made the melody flow.

The clouds moved slightly, and a beam of sunlight pierced the gloom to bathe Jasmine in a warm light.

Raffe fell to his knees. “I have never heard the begegna played so beautifully,” he whispered.

Gabriel began to approach her, but Raffe pulled him to his knees as well. His friend acted as if they were witnessing a holy moment. The two men watched as Jasmine’s hands continued to move over the strings of the wooden instrument, the tune calling to them.

“This is the first time I have seen her truly cry,” Gabriel whispered. “She told me she vowed she wouldn’t touch another instrument until she found Keda.”


“How could you tell what that said?” Raffe asked.

“I recognize the name Benjamin of Tudela.”

Destiny shook her head at the wonder of it all. “You can’t read anything else?”

“Not a thing,” Gabriel said.

“So,” Raffe prompted impatiently, “tell us about your friend Benjamin.”

“To do that we shall have to return to the story of the Tomb of the Patriarchs.”

“Most problems do stem from the father.”

Destiny gave a ladylike snort into her tea at Raffe’s joke. “You should know.”


Gabriel pulled Jasmine up from the floor and into his arms. He held her head tightly to his chest, smiling over the top of her hair at Destiny. “It’s not like that, Destiny. I’m like her older brother.”

“You do not act like an older brother, my friend; and I do not like being made a fool.” Destiny walked through a nearby doorway to a beautifully appointed living room and reclined on a chaise set in front of a group of plants. She knew the lighting there made her gown appear to shimmer and her skin glow like satin. Destiny was still angry that her former lover had used her connections to seduce a new bedmate, but she would be dammed if she wouldn’t remind him of all he was missing.

Her men ushered in the two Americans and made them kneel before her. Chase rolled his eyes at the drama she was conducting and said in a bored tone, “Get to the point, Destiny. What do you want?”


He took the few steps to approach her door and lightly tapped on it. When there was no response he knocked again.

Raffe turned to leave but realized he was in the right. He was trying to do a nice thing. Swearing to himself he would leave if the door was locked, he tentatively put his hand on the knob and turned. When the door swung open he almost dropped the glasses in amazement.

He saw Destiny sitting on the floor with a stack of books in front of her. On top, a single candle had been lit. The flickering flame gilded her chocolate skin like a loving caress. Her eyes were closed, her hair free, and she swayed slightly with the force of the words she silently repeated. Raffe’s breath caught in his throat as he realized her skin glowed, her cheeks were covered with tears; she barely breathed from the force of the emotion she had turned inward. He must have made some sound of distress or protest, for her eyes flew open and bored into him, the silent accusation smiting directly at his heart.

“I didn’t mean to intrude.”

“Why did you?”


gj-bannner-gr“What you are is delusional,” Gabriel muttered.

“Delusional? I like it.” Destiny purred.

“When I no longer need to shine a light into this hunk of junk, remind me to deck you, my brother,” Raffe said.

“I’ve been working out, brother.”

“Men,” Destiny said. “Why does it always come down to violence?”

“Habit.” Raffe shrugged.

God Remains

The next installment in the thrilling Ethiopian Chronicles series from G. J. Phoenix …

Raffe Mariam is an Ethiopian priest, oldest son in a powerful clan, with unlimited possibilities on the horizon. But standing at that moment on a holy mountain, he feels like little more than a beggar. His sister is offering him a path, and all he sees down it is loneliness. Then, with a flash of light, and a heavenly message, he’s set on a new course. Involving his oldest friend and the guidance of the reborn Ark maiden, Raffe is frustrated by one thing, their insistence that the only woman to ever spur his interest, Destiny, be included.

Born in the gutter, she created her own kingdom only to give it all up for the one thing no one can buy. Together, they must solve an ancient riddle, finding the rarest sacred artifact he’s ever pursued. He may have to take down a lost God in the process, but nothing is going to keep Raffe from his goal.

Destiny and Raffe must both remember that when all else has failed, when there’s no other choice, no matter what … God Remains.

Journey of Josephus

For one man, the future is now.

The Prester family has been waiting for centuries for the prophecy to manifest. Josephus swore to his grandfather the day the old man died that he would be the one to deliver the Marked Child. For thirty years, he watched his Ethiopia be crushed by famine, disease, and religious conflict. The time for action has come. Breaking one vow to deliver on a greater one, he assembles the brothers who have the unwavering faith and knowledge of what will be necessary to seek out the reincarnated Guardians, those who once shepherded this land to supremacy. It is time for them to remember their heritage and to reclaim their future. The Guardians are the way.

It is a race against time to find the children who hold the key to saving the future before the darkness overtakes them all. Will they succeed? Or will the covenant, the first promise, made to an ancient people remain unfulfilled?

Seat of God

A child marked by God’s hand …
A woman willing to risk her life to save what’s left of her family …
A priest obsessed with an ancient prophecy …
A man forced to face his past …

Four people on a collision course with an earth-shattering destiny.

An Ethiopian priest, believing a little girl is the key to a biblical curse, kidnaps her. The girl’s only surviving relative, Jasmine Rose, is forced to ask a former CIA operative—codename the “Hunter”—to help her find the child. The two must decipher a series of clues as they search from Israel to Egypt to Ethiopia to catch a holy man who always manages to stay one step ahead. What Jasmine doesn’t know is that the Hunter’s former boss is intent on having his revenge.

As the chase escalates, Jasmine finds herself becoming both hunter and prey. She is willing to pay anything, do anything, to secure the child. But will the child’s mystical abilities save the world—or destroy them all? Jasmine must face the ultimate questions: Will finding the girl be a blessing or a curse? And what will she sacrifice to save the child?