Depending on the book, I do tons of research or very little. With Four by Moonlight, the stories were mainly flights of the imagination and required little research. Since “Gypsy Ribbons” was inspired by the wonderful epic poem The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes, I re-read it for the umpteenth time. The Highwayman is an atmospheric, romantic period piece beautifully written.
The other stories required little research with the exception of Night Before Doomsday, the story about Azazel as leader of the Grigori. I gained most of my information from the Book of Enoch, a part of the Apocrypha, that brings the Prophet to the Court of Heaven representing the angels who fell from Grace because they fell in love with and took wives from amongst the daughters of mankind. (See Genesis.) The book Angels by Malcolm Godwin was very helpful. He details the different choirs of angels. The Grigori were farther from the source (God) and therefore more like Man. They were sent to Earth to teach Man but learned a lesson themselves. Theirs is a very interesting story. I’ve only touched on this tale in Night Before Doomsday.
In The Gatekeepser’s Cottage, I used the traditional vampire rather than the creatures used in my vampire novels. They are viral mutations of human DNA.
Frankly, I did no research on Star Angel. The story is completely born of imagination.
Four by Moonlight
An anthology of love in the moonlight…in the paranormal realms…
Gypsy Ribbons – A moonlight ride on the moors and meeting a notorious highwayman will forever change Lady Virginia Darby’s life.
Star Angel – Lucy was stuck in a rut and in an Idaho potato patch. She’d seen him in the corner of her eye—a fleeting glimpse of beauty—now he stood before her in the flesh.
The Night Before Doomsday – All his brothers had succumbed to lust, but Azazel resisted temptation until the wrong woman came along.
The Gate Keeper’s Cottage – Newlywed Meggie Richelieu’s mysterious, phantom lover may be more than anyone, except the plantation housekeeper, suspects.
Red eyes watched from the grate as she slipped into the cold, empty bed. Simon should have been there to warm her rather than the dying fire. Not pursuing a dangerous dream. Too angry, too miserable to weep, she tossed and turned. The relief of sleep eluded her.
An icy breath whispered through the room. Tory snuggled deeper beneath the goose down covers. Had the weather made up its mind? Was Simon riding in ice and snow? She imagined white flakes in Goliath’s long black mane and on the highwayman’s plush velvet cloak. Poor darling, he would be cold. Tory slowly drifted to sleep unrelated thoughts scrolling in her mind. A soft sound snapped her wide awake. She sat bolt upright, tugging the covers over the breasts. The room was iceberg cold. The ghost.
“Not Simon.” She held her breath, ears stained for the horrifying, otherworldly whisper, a warning of imminent death. The sound came again, closer. A slow footstep creeping over the old oaken floor. Tonight, the ghost of Darby Manor wandered its dim corridors.
“No. No.” Tory squeezed her eyes closed and prayed, forgetting she didn’t believe in ghosts.
The footsteps halted. Tory’s heart stopped. She started to cover her ears, refusing to hear. The ghost breathed that heartbreaking sigh at her door.
Shuddering, she slid back under the layers of down. The warmth had no effect on her shivers. She folded into a fetal position. I’m no longer alone. Fear chilled her anew. Though she couldn’t see clearly in the dim light, she knew her breath puffed white clouds in the frigid air. Dread sank its wicked claws into her racing heart.
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Linda Nightingale is a native-born South Carolinian who has lived in England and Canada, and now resides in Texas. Before turning to writing, she bred, trained and showed Andalusian horses for thirteen years.
In 2012, her novel, Gemini Rising, was voted Best Mainstream Novel in the Preditors & Editors Readers Poll. Her vampire romance, Cardinal Desires won the Georgia Romance Writers Magnolia Award in 2013, and that was followed by her science fiction romance, Love for Sale, being awarded Best SF/Fantasy novel of 2015 by the Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewer’s Choice, and also voted one of the Top Ten Romance Novels of 2015 by the Preditors & Editors Readers Poll for that year.
Four by Moonlight is her first novel for Class Act Books. Its cover, created by son, Simon, was voted one of the Top Ten best covers of 2016 by Preditors & Editors Readers Poll.
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All images courtesy of Class Act Books