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Salt & the Sisters

Salt & the Sisters

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Audiobook narrated by Marni Penning. Listen to a sample:

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5x8 paperback

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tropes 'n details

  • mermaids
  • sweet romance
  • action & adventure
  • Legend of Atlantis & Okeanos
  • set in Poland, Canada & N. Africa
  • full novel
  • sequel to Mermaid's Return & Born of Water
  • completed trilogy
  • gift with purchase of audiobook

Synopsis

Only she can lift the spell. But the key to its destruction could mean her death…

Targa bears the heartbreaking scars of the siren’s curse. Determined to end the dreaded mating cycle between land and sea, she scours her mother’s painful memories for clues. On the hunt for the ancient spell’s source, Targa’s blood runs cold when all signs point to the treacherous ruins of Atlantis.

With each step into the fallen watery kingdom, Targa is shocked to discover crystals laced with deadly poison. And before the legend’s final chapter can unfold, she fears that only she has the strength to break the bewitchment… in a death-defying battle of wills.

Can Targa find the courage to unleash her true powers and liberate an ocean of chained hearts?

Salt & the Sisters is the intriguing conclusion to The Siren's Curse YA urban fantasy trilogy. If you like ancient mysteries, underwater adventure, and alluring shifters, then you’ll love A.L. Knorr’s fast-paced tale.

Intro to Chapter One

Antoni let out a long, frustrated raspberry and leaned back in his chair, rubbing his hands vigorously over his eyes.

“Not going well?” I moved to stand behind him and massage his shoulders. 

Antoni had spent the better part of two days flipping through the photographs on the tablet we’d retrieved from the Group of Winterthür men. His eyes were glassy, and pink in the corners where he’d been rubbing them. A mass of paper covered with handwritten scrawl––Antoni’s attempt at translation––covered the table as if a small tornado had shredded a scrapbook.

“I don’t think I can do this,” he said, not for the first time this morning. “I just don’t have enough of the language, and whoever took these photographs only cared about the location of the gemstones and what they could do, not the story behind them.”

I looked back at my mom where she was standing in the doorway, leaning against the doorjamb with her arms crossed in front of her stomach. “You sure you don’t want to give it another try?”

“I told you, sunshine. The writing is Atlantean, not Mer. We’re lucky that any of us has even seen it before.”

“Lucky,” Antoni muttered thoughtfully.

Mom and I looked at Antoni. He’d pulled his hair up into jagged spikes and looked like a troubled hedgehog.

“You look like you’re having an idea,” I said.

“Lusi.” Antoni looked up at me so I moved to the chair beside him to save his neck. 

“Lusi?” I knew who he meant, I wasn’t sure why I pretended I didn’t just then.

“The woman who taught me what little I know. She’s the only one who can help us.”

Mira strode forward and took a seat across from Antoni. “But how do we get ahold of her? Do you still have her phone number?”

“Or maybe an email address?” My fingertips felt a little cool at the thought that Antoni might have kept his ex’s contact information. I ignored the jealousy rapping quietly at the door of my heart. I wouldn’t let it in. This was too important, and Antoni didn’t deserve anything but trust from me.

Antoni’s brow wrinkled and he shook his head. “No. I promised her I wouldn’t keep it.”

I cocked my head at my sweetheart. “That was an odd thing to promise her. Did you have a falling out?”

“No, we parted on good terms. She just…didn’t want to stay in touch. I’m sure she had her reasons.” Antoni’s face lit up suddenly. “But we don’t need her phone number. You can call her to us.”

“Only if I know her full siren name. Do you know it?”

Antoni’s face fell again. “I only ever knew her by Lusi; she never gave me any other name or even a last name.”

“Well, there goes that idea.” Mira sat back in her chair and pulled up one knee. She laced her fingers over her knee and set her chin on her hands, face thoughtful.

Antoni chewed his cheek, a slash between his brows. He grabbed the tablet, fingers dancing across the screen. “Maybe not. She showed me all these monuments in Warsaw and told me they were about her.” Antoni’s hazel eyes flashed up at me and Mom as he punched terms into the search bar. “I thought she was joking, of course. Just having a laugh at my expense.”

A page full of writing popped up on the tablet. The title was The Mermaid of Warsaw

I skootched my chair closer to Antoni so I could read the small screen.

Two images were visible on the right-hand side. The top one displayed a coat of arms with a bright red background behind a blond mermaid with a raised sword in one hand and a shield in the other. A crown sat above the crest and the caption read, The current coat of arms of Warsaw.

“Whoa,” I breathed. “Mom, come take a look at this.”

Mom came to my other side as all three of us peered at the article.

The image below the current coat of arms was an older coat of arms. It depicted a similar image, but green with a beast that was less a mermaid and more of a hybrid creature: a woman with a tail and dragon’s wings and strange, duck-like feet.

“She said this one was made before anyone in Warsaw got a good look at her,” said Antoni, pointing to the green one. “Hideous, isn’t it?”

“Sixteen-fifty-two?” Mom said under her breath, reading the caption. “Just how old is she?”

“The creature first appeared on the coat of arms in thirteen-ninety,” I read aloud, pointing at where the date appeared. My skin shivered with gooseflesh and I gaped up at my mom. “Is that possible? Can a mermaid really live that long?”

Mom lifted a shoulder, but wonder was etched across her face. “Why not?”

“Look at all the monuments.” Antoni scrolled down the page with his thumb. “I can still hardly believe that these are of the woman I knew.”

Five more creations were shown on the page, three free-standing statues, all of which depicted a beautiful mermaid with a sword raised over her head and shield in her other hand. One was a crest affixed to a wall, also of a mermaid in the midst of attack, and the last was a more recent, more demure and modern statue which was roughly the form of a mermaid but depicted without weapons. 

Many more coats of arms done at various points throughout history were also on display.

“Scroll up, let’s read what it says.” I patted Antoni’s arm and he scrolled back to the top.

“The legend of the Warsaw mermaid,” my mother read out loud as we each skimmed the text. “It says she was trapped by a merchant but rescued by fishermen, and ever since, she has been the protector of the city.”

I laughed with delight at the next part. “The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen is of her sister!”

“Look,” Antoni said, and his voice was strangely breathless. “It’s right there in black and white.”

I read aloud again, the hairs spindling straight up to standing on the back of my neck. “Polish syrenka is cognate with siren, but she is more properly a fresh-water mermaid called Melusina.”

Antoni and I shared a disbelieving look. 

“Lusi,” he said, followed by, “Melusina. That’s it, right? That has to be it?”

Mira nodded. “That’s her name, all right.” She put a hand on my shoulder. “I don’t know about you but after reading all of that, I’m dying to meet this six-hundred-something year old mermaid warrior, and not just for her ability to read Atlantean. How about you?”

I could only nod in reply.

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