The Sullivans, a family of hard-working Irish lawyers, came from nothing and built a life they can be proud of. The Deschanels amassed incredible wealth by siding with the North during the Civil War, betraying their people. Both New Orleans families have a dark and rich history, painted with secrets, treachery, and colorful, supernatural abilities.
The House of Crimson and Clover unravels the mysteries surrounding both families, pulling us further into their tangled, enigmatic lives.
Chapter One: Elizabeth
Elizabeth woke abruptly, sweat pooling at her brow. Her dreams only grew to levels this vivid when their reality was imminent.
Beside her, Connor lay snoring, undisturbed. He had never, not in the nearly twenty-five years they’d been married, had trouble sleeping through his wife’s episodes. She could wake screaming at the top of her lungs and he would continue on in uninterrupted, restful bliss.
As a seer, Elizabeth often saw glimpses of the future. When awake, her visions were unreliable; she was only given snippets, and much of what she saw was open to interpretation. When dreaming, however, they were painfully lucid. She could see the future in all its terror or glory, and there was no filter to help ease the burden.
Of course, as a Deschanel, this ability was not wholly unique. Her relatives were healers, empaths, and other powerfully “gifted” individuals. But the rest of them experienced things in the now. They lay their hands on someone sick and that person was healed. They sensed disquiet in another and helped soothe it. Elizabeth only ever saw what was to come. And if it came to her in a dream, it always, without fail, came to pass.
She glanced at the clock: two in the morning. Connor would be waking in a few hours to head in to the law firm. Tristan, her son, would be dead to the world until lunchtime.
Though Tristan did not figure into her dream—thank God, she could not lose another child to this wretched Curse—she still had a pressing urge to check on him. Since he was born, nearly twenty-one years ago to the day, she always feared he would stop breathing in his sleep. Some nights, even now, she sat at his bedside and watched his chest rise and fall. She’d done the same thing for Danielle too, but now Danielle was gone.
This was the life Elizabeth Sullivan led day in and day out: one of fear. Fear the Deschanel Curse would continue to strike those she loved. Terror it might take Tristan, as it had Danielle.
Tristan lay askew in his old childhood bed, long legs dangling out from the side of his sheets. Elizabeth released the sigh she’d been holding in, and sat quietly on the pine chest beside his bed. Once filled with toys and plush friends, now it lay stuffed with forgotten sports gear and a messy stack of dog-eared video game magazines.
He wasn’t in the vision. He was safe, she kept telling herself. But years later, she was still unable to get the sight of her only daughter, lying broken in the street, out of her head. Eyes open, closed, it did not matter. That image was burned in her heart and mind for all of time. It was a wound that would never heal, and a grief she would never recover from.
Though Tristan was safe (for now), there were others in the family, people she loved, who were not. Nieces and nephews she watched grow up. Children who never would.
And there was nothing—not one thing—Elizabeth could do to stop it. It was going to happen. The only unknown was when.
About Sarah M. Cradit
Sarah is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Paranormal Southern Fiction series, The House of Crimson & Clover. The series was born of her combined loves of New Orleans, family dramas, and the mysterious nature of love and desire. Her books combine elements of paranormal, mystery, suspense, intrigue, and romance. She is always working on the next book in the series, and absolutely loves connecting with her fans. Sarah lives in the Pacific Northwest, but has traveled the world from Asia to Europe to Africa. When she isn’t working (either at her day career, or hard at work at writing), she is reading a book and discovering new authors. The great loves of her life (in order) are: her husband James, her writing, and traveling the world.