Blurb: Fourteen years after Esmeralda's marriage to Alessandro de Lecce, the birth of Pricilla's son, Jean-Luc, and Prince Charming's and Cinderella's coronation as King and Queen of Chalmers Kingdom, Lady Hildeguard Marit Benegoir-Simmon-Roch lies upon her death bed.
Hilda has never forgiven Cinderella for stealing Prince Charming from Esmeralda. But in a story of heartbreak, the sisters learn how tragedy and scorn shaped their mother's life into the woman she became. The question is: Can they forgive her?
Fate was a funny thing, Hilda decided, rubbing a palm over her five-month swollen belly. She smiled, watching Pricilla's tiny hand followed hers. A love so fierce, it was agonizing, squeezed her chest.
"Maman, when will I get to see my baby?"
Such innocent words elicited a sharp sting of torment that pierced Hilda's lungs, making it difficult to draw a breath. "Soon, darling," she choked out, praying this new child made it through.
"Will it be a girl, or a boy? I wish to have a boy, I think." Her little Pricilla was most pragmatic. Hilda knew she would never have to worry over this child.
She grasped a breath, deeply, releasing it in a slow stream. "We shall have to wait and see. One has no choice in these matters."
"Whyever not? I want a boy!"
"Enough, ma chére," she said, shifting Pricilla to her feet. "I must speak with Gustaf. Off to the nursery with you."
"Why should you want to talk to Gustaf? You have me."
With a nervous laugh, Hilda glanced at the closed door, hoping her husband never heard their daughter referring to him by his given name. She leaned over and kissed the top of the Pricilla's head. "I do, indeed." As if Hilda would ever endorse Gustaf with the title of "Papa." Leastways, Pricilla hadn't yet caught on to Hilda's other endearment of him—bastard.
A noise just beyond the door snagged her attention, and despite her growing state, she bolted off the settee, jerking Pricilla's arm.
"Maman," she cried.
"Shsh." Swooping Pricilla from her feet, Hilda rushed to the wardrobe and thrust her inside. "Quiet. Not a word," she hissed. There was no time reassure her daughter. She just needed her silence. "Do you understand? Not. A. Word." Hilda closed the door on wide blue eyes filled with terror.
The chamber door flew back against the wall. "What interesting small talk you have with our child, my dear."
Smoothing clammy hands within the folds of her dress, Hilda moved away from the wardrobe. More than anything in the world Hilda would love withholding the thing her husband most desired. An heir. She would prefer Pricilla's disappointment over this child being a girl. She lifted her chin. "I'm sure I have no idea of what you are talking about, your grace."
A slow, building breeze rent the air, along with the swarm of bees stinging her lower abdomen from the inside out.
In a snake-like strike he gripped her upper arm. "Why does my own child not refer to me as papa? Could it be she is not my child, eh?"
"How ridiculous. I have not been out of this house since the day I moved in," she bit out in a fit of temper. The back of his hand hit her jaw, snapping her head back. But for his hold, she would have landed in a heap on the floor.
This book is not yet up for sale, but its predecessors are!
About the Author:
She has been writing steadily for only a few years but has multiple completed manuscripts. She is published through The Wild Rose Press. She loves to travel. Ports of call include a three week stint in Europe covering Madrid, Barcelona, Avignon, Paris, Koln, Amsterdam and London. Other exciting places she’s visited are Grand Cayman, Puerta Vallerta, Mexico, Vancouver, Canada, and roaming from one romance writing conference to another nationwide. You may have met her in Seattle, Dallas, San Francisco, San Diego, New York or Atlanta. She is an active member of the Oklahoma Outlaws RWA Chapter.
Kathy lives with her musically talented husband in Edmond, Oklahoma. They have one grown daughter and one bossy cat, Carly!
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