Seeking Ayita (Paperback)
In this rich, new Smoky Mountains story, a young woman, travels all the way from Hawaii to Cherokee to bring her mother's ashes home, but soon faces trials, joys and a problematic romance amid a people and culture little known to her before.
With misgivings, Annalise Silva packed her things and those of her young daughter Leila for the long trip from Hawaii to Cherokee, North Carolina. She'd promised her mother on her deathbed she'd take her ashes to be buried with her people. At her mother's urging, not imagining that her mother would actually die, she'd also promised to stay for a season to comfort her grandmother and to learn more about her Cherokee heritage. As her father had said, it was a small favor to ask after all her mother's love and care. Still, Annalise hadn't been to Cherokee since she was a child. What if she ran into an uncomfortable situation for herself or Leila? What if the long trip proved to be the beginning of an unhappy time? Annalise supposed only time would tell, and at least by summer's end she'd be back home where she belonged.
Solomon Wolfe had heard his grandmother repeat that dream of hers one too many times, about a woman destined for him with blue eyes coming up out of the water. His people were Cherokee and blue eyes were a rarity and the very idea of a woman rising out of the water really tested his patience. As he walked his dog, after being reminded of that vision once again, Kona barked to see someone near the bridge at the creek. People often came to fish there, never realizing they were trespassing. As a woman stood, wet from the creek and looking up to see him with surprised blue eyes, Solomon almost felt his heart stop. After learning the girl was also Inola Youngtree's granddaughter no less, here to visit for a season, he wondered how in the world he would get through the months to come, especially when his attraction to her all but sizzled in the air.
PRAISE FOR LIN STEPP'S SMOKY MOUNTAIN BOOKS:
"As a lifelong Tennessean, Lin Stepp brings vibrancy and authentic detail to this breathtaking mountain setting like no one else can. In her genuine Southern voice, she populates real world small towns with fictional complex, engaging characters who possess warm hearts and strong family ties." Cleveland Daily Banner Review
"Stepp is truly a master of capturing the Smoky Mountains and its people. Her novels are like a quilt-familiar, comforting, and filled with interesting details." - READING LARK REVIEWS
"This novel will enchant and challenge you on many levels... Stepp's smooth narrative style, her research into local history and geography, and her rich characters will have you reading voraciously until the end." - SENTINEL REVIEWS
"Lin Stepp always delivers a backdrop of beauty with her settings and well-developed flawed characters," - MustReadBooks Review
"Stepp gives readers a wonderful mountain escape." - Remembrancy Review
"A deftly crafted and thoroughly absorbing novel." - Midwest Review