Secrets, like troubles, come in threes. When you possess one of either, two more arrive to keep it company. Nerine, a sea nymph of the ancient world, knows too much about both. Each morning, in the chill before the sun's rising, Nerine and the three Fates stand under the mighty branches of the World Tree, gazing into the depths of the root-girdled Well of Destiny to master the dooms they must bring to life that day. When the dawn's visions show Nerine's lover - shipwrecked and drowning - all her renounced yearning for him rises anew. Surely, as handmaiden to the Fates themselves, she might tilt the odds to give her beloved a chance. Somehow - this day, this morning, this time - Nerine must subvert destiny or lose the companion of her heart forever. Love and coming of age in a mythic Mediterranean where the gods and goddesses of old shape history. EXCERPT FROM FATE'S DOOR Nerine served all three norns as handmaiden. And Nerine would choose the new materials required for this day's weaving. She would need pale peach for the baby born to a king, blood red for abattle between Sparta and Athens, gold for a hero's bright deed. And ifshe failed to watch the images unfolding in the Well of Destiny, shewould not know the other threads to choose for the day's work. She had to know. So Nerine watched, but her heart ached, and memories from her past overlaid the flowing images on the waters of the well. Altairos as a curly black-haired boy, laughing, his eyes crinkling in that way that only he had. Altairos as a gangly youth, earnest and passionate, reciting poetry to her. Altairos as a young man, strong and sure, pressing a first kiss upon her willing lips. Who but she would lay out the symbols of his death? She, the handmaiden of the fates. She couldn't bear it - to lose him so. ABOUT THE AUTHOR J.M. Ney-Grimm lives with her husband and children in Virginia, just east of the Blue Ridge Mountains.She's learning about permaculture gardening and debunking popular myths about food. The rest of the time she reads Robin McKinley, Diana Wynne Jones, and Lois McMaster Bujold, plays boardgames like Settlers of Catan, rears her twins, and writes stories set in her troll-infested North-lands.