(Book Two of the War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters)
by S. R. Cronin
GENRE: Historical Fantasy
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?
EXCERPTS (Exclusive Excerpt):
I returned home the next evening, humming to myself as I rehearsed a tale of needing to stay at school unexpectedly. I figured if things went well with Davor, I’d invent a more seemly way for us to have become lovers. I didn’t like to lie, but surely my little ruse was harmless.
As I walked in, I heard Ryalgar gushing to mom about her prince and an invitation she’d received to come to Pilk to see him. My mother’s eyes shown as she listened. I knew this prince was everything she’d dreamed of for Ryalgar. Everything she’d dreamed of for all of us.
Good thing I’d chosen to keep Davor to myself for now. I didn’t want to be so petty as to interrupt their conversation with “Guess what? I found a prince too.”
I’d give Ryalgar her due, at least a full eighth of a year to let my family focus on her happiness. I wanted to be considerate, and if all went well, there’d be ample time for me to gush about my own prince when the time was right.
The next ank found me restless and wishing for more thieves to attack. I’d have taken any kind of trouble requiring the Svadlu to ride out to our eastern plains again to save us. Through each long day no trouble came, but on the fifth day of the ank, as the first storm clouds of winter hovered low with a promise of snow, a lone horseman rode up to the school, with a second mount laden with camping supplies in tow.
I went outside to greet him. My room was at the front, after all, but I’d also recognized his glossy black hair from a distance.
“I love camping out on these plains during the first snowfall of winter,” he greeted me. “But it’s far more pleasurable if one is sharing the tent with a beautiful woman. Could I interest you in a cozy evening together?”
I’m sure the answer yes was written all over my face.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
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.