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She’s the One Who Can’t Keep Quiet
(Book Five of the War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters)
by S. R. Cronin
GENRE: Historical Fantasy
Celestine, the fifth of seven sisters, is tired of hearing about hers. Father thinks she’s frivolous because she likes pretty clothes and caters to the crowds in the taverns who adore her music. Mother thinks that because she’s the most social daughter in the family, she can’t keep quiet about anything.
They’re both wrong. Celestine hides a secret she has kept for most of her life.
As the family beauty and a talented musician with a lyrical voice, she has the best prospects for marriage to a prince. When such a liaison never happens, people assume Celestine is too choosy. But even in somewhat tolerant Ilari, a daughter hates to disappoint her family. How can she tell them she’s in love with a princess instead?
Lucky for Celestine, all her sisters are obsessed with an invading army headed to their realm. Celestine would rather ignore the threat and enjoy the freedom their lack of attention gives her. But, her voice can unlock a power that may help save Ilari. And the woman she loves is determined to fight these invaders. And her family, for all their talents, seems clueless about how to motivate the masses.
Celestine knows she can inspire the citizens of Ilari to do what needs to be done. Is it time to put her inhibitions aside and use her voice to save those she cares about?
“What’s your name?”
We stood outside as large snowflakes drifted around us, adding sparkle to the stone pathways and fences as they coated a simple chance meeting with the feel of magic.
My father had paused our winter walk to greet a colleague. He didn’t wish to be rude but he grew impatient as she lingered and kept talking. Her unexpected attention warmed me, however. Others who worked with my father hardly noticed me, and even my dad seemed surprised by her question.
“Her name is Celestine,” he answered for me, in a voice more curt than usual. He rubbed his hands together and stomped his feet to warm them. “Believe me, you have no interest in her, Firuza. She studies almost nothing besides her music.”
“Of course I have an interest in her, Yasen,” the woman replied. “I’m sure you named her for the beautiful blue mineral you study, but seriously, how could a teacher of astronomy not be fascinated to meet a pupil named Celestine?”
Her accent had already told me that she came from somewhere outside the realm, and her features and skin tone confirmed it. She had an unusual but pleasant smell about her, a scent of spices I didn’t recognize, and she laughed as she spoke. The warmth in her laughter warmed me, too.
“I must get to know you better,” she said. She looked into my eyes, and I looked back.
My father had traveled to Pilk in the harshness of winter to teach one of his short seminars, this one on rare minerals, one of his favorite subjects. I knew he liked to use such jaunts to check in on his four daughters in school as we pursued the higher learning most young Ilarians undertook before they settled into jobs and marriages.
I also knew my father disapproved of the narrow scope of my studies. He thought everyone, both women and men, should be well-schooled in the sciences he loved.
“If you can talk her into taking even one of your classes, I’ll be forever grateful,” he conceded.
“I’m teaching an overview class next session,” she told me. “One meant for those with no background in my subject. Perhaps you’d find inspiration for your music nestled in between the stars?”
I thought I might.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Sherrie Cronin writes stories about people achieving the astonishing by developing abilities they barely knew they had. She’s made a lot of stops along the way to telling these tells — living in seven cities, visiting forty-six countries, and working as a waitress, technical writer, and geophysicist. She’s lost too many beloved cats to mention, but has acquired a husband and three children who are all doing fine, despite how odd she is.
Today she lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina where she writes, answers a hotline, and occasionally checks her phone for a message from Captain Picard. She still hopes to get the chance to pursue her remaining dream in life and become Chief Science Officer on the Starship Enterprise.
Author Social Media Links:
Author Blog: https://troublesome7sisters.xyz/
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