Eyes of Garnet
This is Mary Duncan's first novel. It's one of those gems that often gets buried in the slush pile, simply because she made the conscious decision NOT to let her creativity be stifled by conforming to what is "commercially viable" in the literary world.
That is such a shame. This is a book that I didn't put down until I had finished it. It is certainly hard to put into a genre. Historical, YES; paranormal, somewhat; romance, NO. It has been shelved by book stores in the literary section.
This is the story of Catriona Robertson, a young girl growing up in a very turbulent 18th century Scotland. She has the gift of second sight (can see into the future) and learns the art of healing. It becomes a gift (trying to help her ill mother) and a curse (seeing the death of those she loves).
I must tell you first off, that this is only the first in many more to come (fingers crossed here) in a series of books following Cat's life. Mary Duncan is a wonderful story teller, and her use of the Scottish vernacular is not only colorful, but it truly makes you able to "hear" her characters loud and clear as you read this often tragic tale of events leading up to the battle at Culloden and the subsequent Scottish clearings.
Mary also uses quite a bit of Gaidhlig (Gaelic), and has a glossary in the back, instead of working in the translation after the character says it, like so many writers do.
This is an extremely well researched, well written novel that I hope one day to see picked up by a large publisher. This book can be purchased at BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon.com, or from her web site EyesofGarnet.com.