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"Funny, suspenseful, and cinematic... Ava Morgyn is a powerful new voice in magical realism." 

–Constance Sayers, Bestselling author of  A WITCH IN TIME

Deleted Scene:

   “It was odd,” Cordelia said now, recalling the strange energy that had come over her, the way it stretched—cat like—through her body, the way it itched beneath her skin and made her want to dominate the room, the man. “It was like I wasn’t fully myself.”
   “Oh?” Eustace sat forward. “In what way?”
   Cordelia shook her head, a hand lingering at the base of her neck. “I don’t know. I mean, it was me… but it was more than me.”
   Eustace’s face scrunched up. “You mean, like a possession?”
   “No.” Cordelia sighed. “Not exactly. More like I was channeling something. Er, someone, rather.”
   She walked slowly to the dining room door and pushed it open. Eustace followed behind and looked in over her shoulder. They both stared at the portrait of Opal and Theodore, leaning against the wall from the floor.
   “Opal Edda Bone,” Eustace said, moving away from Cordelia and slowly approaching the picture. “The eldest of the four children

belonging to the patron of this house—Opal, Laurel, Gloriana, and Roman. Roman was Erazmus’ only son, but she was his heir. I’ve been doing my research. Working on the family tree.”    

   Cordelia made her way around the shattered bits of broken mug to stand at her sister’s side. “What do you know about her?” she asked.    

   “Not much,” Eustace said. “Only what a piece of paper can tell you. She had two children with Theodore, a girl and a boy. Aunt Augusta’s father, Linden. And his older sister—”    

   “Morna,” Cordelia finished for her. 

   “Yes, exactly. I think it’s interesting, the way they handled family affairs so differently from everyone else in their time,” Eustace said. “Opal inherited Erazmus’ position, if not all of the family fortune, even though she wasn’t a son. She would have run the family business, whatever it was at the time, even as a woman. And she kept her name, despite being legally married.”    

   “What do you think it means?” Cordelia asked her.    

   Eustace stared at the portrait, at Opal’s distinctive countenance and Theodore’s dashing swagger. “I think it means they kept to themselves,” Eustace said. “Regardless of where or when they were. They had their own way of doing things, a kind of family law, passed down. And they were obviously rich enough to get away with it.”    

   Cordelia thought about that as she stooped to pick up the pieces of the brandy mug John had thrown against the mantel. When she had them all in hand, she rose again and looked at her sister. “What about Morna? She was the eldest too. Did she inherit the head position as her mother before her?”    

   Eustace shook her head. “It doesn’t seem so, but it’s hard to say from a handful of county records. Best I can tell, Linden took over for Opal. Morna remained here, obviously. Still privileged by all accounts. Perhaps still playing a role in the family dynamic.”    

   “So, this family law they passed down, it wasn’t based on sex or gender then, and not on birth order either,” Cordelia reasoned.    

   “I’m not sure it was based on anything we’re going to find in a legal document,” Eustace said carefully.    

   “What are you saying?” Cordelia asked.    

   Her sister squared her shoulders. “I’m saying that for them…” She cut her eyes to the portraits and then back to Cordelia. “Blood meant everything. Blood and soil, apparently. And something else. Something they don’t name.”        

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