A Full Moon in the Sky - And Love is in the Air...Romance and magic meet by the light of the moon in this all-new all-star collection of Celtic tales from #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts and New York Times bestselling authors Jill Gregory, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Marianne Willman.
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September 28, 2004
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Excerpt from Moon Shadows by Ruth Ryan Langan
Eleven years later
AS she did once a month, Simone loaded her truck with what she thought of as her lotions and potions. She whistled for her dog, waiting until Amico bounded out of the woods where he'd been treeing squirrels a favorite pastime and raced over the lawn to leap into the cab of the truck.
As he always did, he sat on his end of the bench seat and stuck his big brown head out the window in anticipation of the ride.
She flipped on the stereo, shoved the truck into gear, and started the nine-and-a-half-mile drive into town. The distance was deliberate not too far from town, for her own convenience. And not too close, for her own preference. Just as the town of Eden Springs was a deliberate choice.
Small, but not so small that everyone knew everyone's business. Picturesque enough to draw tourists, so her enterprise could, and did, profit by them.
She had her solitude, the woods, the cliffs and work that satisfied her. She'd seen as much of the world as she wanted to see.
She headed for the coast, windows open, the September breeze pouring in while Coldplay poured out. Her hair, sun-kissed blond, danced. She wore it straight, so that the blunt tips stopped just above her shoulderblades. A convenient length she could leave loose or pull back, could play with if she was in the mood, or forget if she was busy.
Her eyes were a gold-flecked green that suited the diamond points of her chin and cheekbones. Her jeans, boots, leather jacket were all comfortably worn and covered a body that was ruthlessly disciplined. As was her mind.
Discipline, Simone knew, was the key to survival.
She enjoyed the ride, a small pleasure, with the smell of the sea salting the air, the scent of her dog warming it. The sky was bold blue and brilliantly clear. But she scented rain, far off, over the water.
It would come by moonrise.
Houses grew more plentiful and closer together as she passed the halfway point between her place and town. Charming Cape Cods, tidy ranchers, old-fashioned saltboxes. People were starting to spread out, edging closer to her isolation.
Nothing to be done about it.
She checked her watch. She had an appointment at the vet's a little detail she was keeping from Amico as long as possible. But there was plenty of time to make the delivery, deal with whatever needed her attention, before walking Amico down to the office for his exam and shots.
Traffic thickened, such as it was. Beside her, Amico let out a little yip of joy. She knew he loved watching the other cars, the people inside them, the movement, nearly as much as he loved romping through the woods at home and harassing the wildlife.
She turned down a side street, then another, easing down the narrow roads before turning into the miserly back lot of her little store.
She'd called it Luna and had selected its location as precisely as she did everything else. This part of town boasted plenty of pedestrian traffic local and tourist.
She was deliberately early, before either her manager or her part-time clerk would arrive. It would give her time to unload, to check her inventory, make any adjustments she wished.
After she'd parked, she let Amico out, gave him the command to sit, to stay. He'd no more break command than he'd sprout wings and fly.
Carting boxes, she opened the back door, then whistled for him. He darted past her as she carried cartons into the shop. She drew in the scents of rosemary and chamomile, subtle hints of tansy and hawthorn. Dozens of fragrances ran through her senses as she set the newest stock on the counter.
Clear, square bottles of varying sizes were full of lotions and creams, bath salts and gels. Their colors, soft or bright, illuminated the dim light.
There were soaps and balms, perfumes and tonics. All made by her own hand, from her own recipes, from her own herbs.