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Coral, the second of seven sisters, has been hiding her affair with the perfect man until her older sister can get her life together. But the perfect man is getting impatient and now she’s gotten pregnant. Coral decides it’s time to consider her own happiness.
But what does she want? The perfect husband turns out to be less than ideal. She adores the small children she teaches but the idea of being a mother fills her with joy. Meanwhile, her homeland is gripped by fear of a Mongol invasion and she can’t stop crying about everything now that she’s with child.
Then a friend suggests the ever-caring Coral possesses a power well beyond what she or anyone else imagines. Does she? And why is the idea so appealing?
When Coral’s big sister loses faith in the army and decides to craft a way to use magic to save Ilari from the Mongols, she decides Coral’s formidable talent is what the realm needs. Can Coral raise a baby, placate an absent military husband who thinks he’s stopping the invasion, and help her sister save her homeland?
Read an Excerpt
Davor didn’t handle the postponement well, and the first
time I saw him after Ryalgar left for the forest, he didn’t even kiss me when he greeted me.
“Why are we still sneaking around,” he said as he threw his
bags on top of the fur blankets on the floor. “I want to spend the night with you in proper room.”
I searched for something to say to soften his mood.
“They’ll be no more delays. I promise.”
He stepped closer to me, but all he did was shake his head
as he ran his fingers through my hair. Then he stared hard into my eyes, as
though he was seeing them for the first time.
“Your eyes are almost the same color as your hair,” he
“No, they’re not. Nobody has orange eyes.”
I laughed, thinking he joked with me, but his face grew angry at my laughter. He got a looking
glass out of his pack, grabbed the back of my head, and forced me to look into
I studied my blurry reflection. No, my eyes weren’t orange.
“Why won’t you listen to me?” he said. “I know your eye color better than you do! Why do you have to be so argumentative?” After he insisted a few more times, I gave in.
“Okay, I can maybe see a little orange.” But by then his mood had turned more foul.
“So why haven’t you said anything to your family during this past ank?” I understood why he was frustrated.
“I wanted to make sure Ryalgar wasn’t coming back.”
“That’s bull scump. You’re scared of your parents. Get over it. I’ve got a horde of invaders to worry about and you need to gain a little courage.”
I didn’t say anything, but poured us both some wine. We drank in silence, the beverage having become part of a ritual mating sequence we both knew well. After a few sips, he undressed me. I touched him beneath his clothes. He touched me without mine. As we did what we usually did, I noticed he made less effort to ensure my enjoyment, but my body took its pleasure from him anyway.
After we were done, he fell asleep snoring. As I lay listening to him, I started to cry and I couldn’t seem to stop. I wasn’t sure if it had to do with Ryalgar being gone, or Davor being sort of mean to me
tonight, or whether it was the idea of these invaders coming to steal everything from my people. Whatever the cause, I cried until my fair skin was blotchy red and my eyes were so swollen it didn’t matter what color they were.
About the Author
Sherrie Cronin is the author of a collection of six speculative fiction novels known as 46. Ascending and is now in the process of publishing a historical fantasy series called The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters. A quick look at the synopses of her books makes it obvious she is fascinated by people achieving the astonishing by developing abilities they barely knew they had.
She’s made a lot of stops along the way to writing these novels. She’s lived in seven cities, visited forty-six countries, and worked as a waitress, technical writer, and geophysicist. Now she answers a hot-line. Along the way, she’s lost several
cats but acquired a husband who still loves her and three kids who’ve grown up just fine, both despite how odd she is.
All her life she has wanted to either tell these kinds of stories or be Chief Science Officer on the Starship Enterprise. She now lives and writes in the mountains of Western North Carolina, where she admits to occasionally checking her phone for a message from Captain Picard, just in case.
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S. R. Cronin will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.