The circumstances surrounding Stephanie “Stormy” McLeod’s birth give her an unusual gift she doesn’t discover till she’s finished college and moved out on her own. She’s already struggling with the same things most young people do when starting out on their own: a new job, prioritizing needs and desires, juggling finances, getting along with new neighbors and her quirky landlord. It’s then that the dreams start—the ones that reveal her gift in all its wonder and terror. Her much-beloved godmother, a Ute Indian named Jean Hawk, is a healer and a seer. She helps Stormy understand and accept her gift, and guides her in seeking the wisdom she needs to use it well.
Around that same time, Stormy meets her partner in crime-solving. The odd little Blue Heeler comes to her in a drenching downpour, so she names him Oongwai (oong-WHY) — the Southern Paiute word for rain — as a respectful nod to Jean. Oogie, as she affectionately calls him, knows that Stormy has rescued him from a life of neglect and abuse, and returns that favor with abundant love and unquestioning loyalty — characteristics that will prove critical in both their lives. Oogie has his own challenges that keep life interesting for him and Stormy, but one thing’s for sure: The dog is somehow as tuned in to changing weather in all its forms as his new pet mom. It’s truly a match made in Heaven.
Which is good, because smart and pretty as she is, Stormy’s not exactly a whiz at human relationships. She loves people, but doesn’t always understand them. In fact, she often feels like an outsider looking in on the whole intimacy thing. So she keeps it light, hooking up with whoever strikes her fancy at the moment, seeking no strings and expecting none to be placed on her. It works for a busy girl who moves in and out of times, places and situations at the drop of a hat. Besides, Oogie’s a little proprietary and enjoys being the main man in her life…and Stormy’s just fine with that.
TJ Tanner is a southern-born young man who left his beloved Virginia only because there weren’t enough storms to fulfill his chasing obsession. It nearly killed his metal detectorist’s soul to leave the verdant, history-drenched beauty of the Shenandoah for the arid plains of Colorado, but he soon discovered a new kind of history in the Old West ghost towns and mining shafts that dot the hill country. He and Stormy bonded over their mutual love of history and metal detecting, and when they’re not working, they’re usually hanging out together. TJ’s the only guy Oongwai allows too near his mom, and many folks in town refer to them as the Three Musketeers.