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The First Rays at Dawn

Ellen Macias

The tale of women resisting oppression is as ageless as they come, and heroines across time and space come to learn that their anger can be sharpened into a finely tuned weapon, and that when they rise up alongside one another, their force is unstoppable. Cala's journey begins when she is turned over to the authorities by her own father for the crime of learning to write as a woman. Havita's anger - just as sharp as Cala's - has a different origin story. In the wake of losing their first-born daughter to a cruel kingdom, Havita's parents train her - their second daughter - to become a weapon that cannot be violated. Ultimately, the two stories intertwine, and while each struggles against her own demons, the corruption around them draws them toward a common cause: a mission to serve the good people of their kingdom.

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Ellen Macias is an English and reading teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. She is the mother of two boys, Oliver and Gabe, who exhaust her and amaze her in equal measure. They are the greatest joys of her life. When not teaching and hanging out with her boys and dogs, she spends her time gardening, reading, and thinking about exercising.