A captivating and suspenseful generational saga, The Sight of Heather is an enthralling debut with unforgettable characters who will steal your heart.
For centuries, the fae folk and spae women of Scotland were feared–and persecuted.
The first in this series, The Sight of Heather, begins a journey of allegiance, sacrifice, and fortitude in a land of bold, resilient women.
Life in the 1800s countryside, with its unforgiving climate, was both magnificent and harsh – testing cultures, beliefs and the loyalties of crofters.
Jessie’s ideal life spirals when she learns she is a first daughter in a biological line of ‘spaes’ endowed with unique gifts of spiritual sight and healing, aided by powerful ancestral stones.
Backed by a vindictive priest intent on charging Jessie with murder and witchcraft, the new owner of the Cruachan Manor plots to rout the spaes and destroy their beloved forest.
Despite grave warnings and family conflict, Jessie determinedly pursues her skills and powers, plunging her family and village into danger.
Resolute in uplifting her fellow women, Jessie consults her stones.
Faced with those who deem her evil, she must choose to relinquish her craft, or sacrifice herself to protect her culture and kin — and Lily, the next first daughter — the future of the spaes.
In the shadow of a Munro scarred by aeons of frozen waterfalls, a glorious moon fired shards of light across a cloudless sky, through bare tree branches, and into a room where three women gripped the hands, and wiped the brow of a friend as she laboured. Their chanting pulsed within the walls, choreographing the candle flames in a shadow dance as they beseeched their spirits and guides.
The weary mother-to-be cried out to the spirit of Cailleach to bring forth the child she’d wrestled for twenty-one hours, and in the moment of birth a tidal wave of relief dumped its weight. A child wailed, women whooped, and a mother cried. Fingers and toes counted, and a kiss on each eyelid confirmed her blessings. In the moments of respite and euphoria, a screech sliced through the air. Another child demanded to be born, oblivious to the exhaustion draining the life from her mother.
Ally Stirling is a Fiction writer of Scottish origin, currently living in Cape Town with her Braveheart husband, awesome children, the happiest dog in the world, and her menacing cat (aka 'Devil Cat').
An unexpected gift resulting in a prophetic message prompted Ally to give her passion for writing the time it demanded, and in 2018 she joined Cathy Eden's Working with Words writers group. She credits the love, support, and inspiration of this group of talented women, her 'writing tribe' for encouraging her to put words on paper. She also joined ROSA, and while Romance is not her genre, this association has been an invaluable source of knowledge and insight into the indie publishing world.
Allowing her imagination freedom to roam resulted in various short stories, before one in particular rooted itself, evolving into her first full-length novel. This book has now become first in a series, with the second and third ready to follow, four and five in the planning stage. Who knew her characters would be so demanding.
Her love of writing fiction stems from her belief that it transports us to magical places when life gets too real.
Addicted to her friends, coffee, every colour of wine, and any type of chocolate, she describes her clan as the family and friends who have built her castle and keep her sane, without whom she'd be short on humour and drinking games.
Detroit in the 1920s proved to be the Paris of the West for many – including Catherine McIntosh and Robert Sage. These two law school students become as passionate about each other as they are their dreams.
From a poor family in the Detroit neighborhood of Corktown, Catherine learned early on, the necessity of being resilient. She becomes one of the first women in Detroit to obtain a law degree. Bob, the ‘battling barrister,’ boxes in order to pay for law school. Despite his gruff and tough-boy personality, my great uncle Bob was a friend to all: judges, cops, and even a couple members of the notorious Purple Gang. The couple becomes legendary in legal circles for their commitment to social justice causes – as well as notorious in the local speakeasies and dancehalls.
At first, their optimism seems boundless, as it had for so many following an era of trauma and challenges that include the 1918 flu pandemic. It isn’t long before their passionate courtship turns into a tempestuous marriage. Then the Great Depression hits and their lives are forever changed.
Why was Bob telling Catherine so much when he simply wanted to find out more about her? It was like words were flying out of his mouth before he knew he was saying them. Show some control, you blathering eejit! That’s what his mother would say.
Meeting her in the library wasn’t the same as lunch. Soon they’d be parting ways and he had to say something more—not only to get her attention, but to make him stand out from the male attention, she no doubt, regularly received. She’d be gone in a few minutes.
“Just know that one day I’m going to marry you!”
His shout caused all heads but hers to turn his way. He needed to run away. Fast. Why had he mentioned marrying her? He didn’t even know her yet, though he felt like he did. Maybe all the boxing was affecting his brain.
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The paperback is also available to buy through wholesale distributors.
Susan E. Sage
Susan Sage has published three novels: Insominy (2015), A Mentor and Her Muse (2017), and Dancing in the Ring (2023). Her writing has appeared in various literary magazines and journals. She received her English degree from Wayne State University where she was a recipient of the Tompkins Award in creative writing.
Although a Detroit native, she has resided most of her adult life in Flushing, Michigan with her husband and two cats.