Growing up in a sleepy village untouched by distant wars and political conflicts, it was easy for Thia, Mina and Kiara to forget such horrors existed in the Five Corners. That is until the dead child is found; a child that bears the same strange birthmark that all three sisters possess. A Mark their mother had always told them was unique to the girls.
Kiara’s suspicions grow as their Inn is soon overrun with outsiders from all walks of life. Strangers, soldiers and Elders who all seem to know more about what is happening than the girls do.
After Mina barely survives an attack in the forest, the sisters are faced with a shattering secret their mother has kept from them for years. As danger closes in around them, the sisters are forced from their home and must put their trust in the hands of strangers. With more questions than answers, Kiara finds herself separated from everyone she loves and reliant on an Outlander who has spent too much time in army. She doesn’t trust Caedmon but she needs him if she has any hope of being reunited with her sisters and learning what the Mark might mean.
Kiara stared at the small body laid out in the family's tiny kitchen. She didn't know the child but that didn't stop her heart from jerking in her chest as she looked at the perfect little girl lying in the wooden box. She was dressed in what were obviously her best clothes; her dark hair had been carefully combed and braided. She was only six years old.
Kiara felt her own mother watching her closely. She forced her gaze away from the small lifeless form. Brijit murmured softly to the parents and then moved to Kiara's side.
"Come away from here, Kiara," her mother said firmly.
But Kiara couldn't stop herself from looking back at the child, noting how someone had twined a pretty scarf around her neck, concealing the ugly slashes that she knew were hidden beneath the colorful material. The result of a blade taken to vulnerable flesh. This poor girl had had no chance against her assailant.
Brijit tugged on her arm insistently. "There is nothing more for us to do here," she whispered in a hushed undertone. "Let’s go and give the family some peace."
Kiara felt a sudden wave of shame wash over her. She suddenly wondered what she was doing here?
Don’t try to deny it, she told herself vehemently, you know why you’re here.
She had seen the Mark on the child's shoulder. She resisted the urge to rub her own shoulder where an identical Mark was hidden beneath her tunic. It was something she’d believed she only shared with her sisters. But this child proved different.
And there was no question that this child had been assassinated.
1. What is something you’ve lied about?
My age! But not recently. I’ve always looked really young for my age, so when was a teen I would sometime pretend I was older than what I was. But no one ever believed me.
2. Who is the last person you hugged?
My daughter this morning.
3. What is the story of your first kiss?
Oh, my first kiss was so bad! My parents were quite strict and had a rule that I wasn’t allowed to date until I was 16. So on my 16th birthday, I waited for the phone to ring, certain that some cute boy would call and ask me out. The phone didn’t actually ring for another year and a half. The boy who asked I’d had a secret crush on for 4 years! He took me to the drive-in theatre, which was pretty cool because they almost don’t exist at all any more. While watching the movie he leaned over and French kissed me. I had no idea what a French kiss was and was totally grossed out. The next day my girlfriends asked me if I’d been living under a rock. Haha! Needless to say we didn’t go on a second date!
4. Do you like kissing in public?
I’ll kiss my husband in public but just a peck. I’d rather have privacy for more passionate embraces.
5. What is the sweetest thing someone has done for you?
Actually this happened just recently. My husband was out of town and my kids had been sick and I was just exhausted and my friend Wendy just texted me out of the blue to ask if she could bring my family dinner. She made this amazing soup and brought homemade biscuits and salad, too. It just brought tears to my eyes!
Cathi Shaw lives in Summerland, BC with her husband and three children. She is often found wandering around her home, muttering in a seemingly incoherent manner, particularly when her characters have embarked on new adventure. In addition to writing fiction, she teaches rhetoric and professional writing in the Department of Communications at Okanagan College and is the co-author of the textbook Writing Today.
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BARNES AND NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/five-corners-cathi-shaw/1117922571?ean=9781939156242
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