I thought about how it'd be for a woman to return to a mountain home where her grandfather lived and she had no idea all that her family was about. I opted to have a Jewish hero, which doesn't appear to be usual in romances but it fit this particular story as the man was branded by his heritage but something else, something going on in the Idaho mountain community. These two need to find out before they both end up dead.
Celtic holidays, the supernatural, misuse of spirituality, and wicca are part of the story. Of course, there is a love story set in a mountain area that was fun to describe. There is even a second romance of a little older sort.
Snippet from Sky Daughter:
In the kitchen, Maggie picked up the flats of plants she had grown from seed. The first little plants had gone outside too soon and had their leaves blackened by a late frost, but she could protect these no longer. Most likely the deer would eat them before they got settled in, but she would give them a chance, a moment in the sun.
Planting was part of the heritage of her grandmother. The urge to continue the cycle of growth, of planting and sowing ran through her veins. After so much loss, so many aborted opportunities and lives, she had a need to see life reach fruition.Working in the sun-warmed soil, Maggie put everything from her mind except weeding around the lavender plants, loosening the soil by the rosemary. She hummed as she worked, then came words about planting and releasing to grow. As quickly as the words came, they were gone. She sighed. The song would’ve never satisfied her managers anyway.She dug a hole for one of the marigolds, threw in a bit of fertilizer and then tamped the soil back around the tender plant. Planting meant a belief in the future, a desire for improving the present, and a reaching back to the past. It encompassed all of life to sow it with the hope of someday reaping.She sat in the garden when she had finished, feeling the warmth of the sun on her skin, the coolness of the soil beneath her knees. Why were tears running down her cheeks?Maggie girl. The words seemed almost real. She closed her eyes as she again heard her grandmother’s voice, could almost smell the blend of soap and the fragrance of herbs that was so much a part of every memory she had about her. She could feel the touch of that precious hand on her shoulder, soothing and giving her subtle energy. God, she missed that woman. She remembered her grandmother’s tall form as she would walk across the mountain, calling to Maggie and taking her with her into the woods, teaching her about the woods plants, which ones healed, which ones could be used for a fever, which ones poisoned.When had she forgotten the names, forgotten those words? She had been taught so much and it seemed it was all gone. She remembered one of the many conversations.‘Dream, Sky Daughter, dream of the future and of all that will be.’‘Grandma, I don’t remember my dreams.’‘You must try harder. Dreams are the spirits speaking to you. They are your power.’‘Mama says they’re not.’‘Your mama had to follow her path and you must follow yours. They are not the same.’‘How do you know?’‘I know and you will too when the time comes.’‘How?’Her grandmother just smiled. ‘You will.’‘You could tell me now.’‘No one should tell another their path, Sky Daughter, but someday you will know yours.’Maggie felt tears running down her cheeks and wiped the back of her hands across her eyes, to brush them away. “I miss you so. I thought you’d be here to teach me, to always tell me. Why did you have to go?”A hummingbird buzzed her, warning her off from the area, letting her know she was intruding on protected ground. Somewhere nearby was its nest. It was operating by instinct as she had found herself doing with Reuben.She looked toward the forest. She tried to force a change in reality, to go back in time, to see those, who had gone, come walking toward her. They would be laughing and talking about how much fun they would have had on a picnic at the falls. Her childish voice would be raised in excitement as it had been in those days of feeling so protected and loved.She waited, but all she could hear was the sound of a raven calling from higher up the mountain, the angry scream of a hawk, and the soothing tweets of smaller birds in nearby bushes. Never again would her loved ones be with her, and she had to face that reality.The air seemed to grow cold around her, a wind picked up and she felt as though someone or something was watching her. She looked around but saw nothing. She shuddered. There was no reason to be afraid. She had never been afraid up here, but she felt a need to get back to the cabin.