#YA #Fantasy #Shifter #Romance The Hunter’s Moon #Free at The Wild Rose Press 10-21–10-23

Normally 3.99, The Hunter’s Moon (Book #1 The Secret Warrior Series) is free at The Wild Rose Press this weekend.  Book #3 The Panther Moon, is out so it’s a good time to snap up the first in The Secret Warrior Series.

Blurb: Seventeen-year-old Morgan Daniel has been in the witness protection program most of her life. But The Panteras have caught up with her and her younger brother. Her car is totaled, she’s hurt, and the street gang is closing in when wolves with glowing eyes appear out of nowhere and chase away the killers.

Then a very cute guy who handles a bow like Robin Hood emerges from the woods and takes them to safety at his fortress-like home.

And that’s just the first sign that Morgan and her brother have entered a hidden world filled with secrets…

The Wild Rose Press has the story in various eBook formats: http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/4150-the-hunter-s-moon.html

At the HallowRead Book Signing in Havre De Grace on 10-22-2016

I’m leaving my writing cave to attend HallowRead in Havre De Grace this weekend. If you’re in the area stop by the new Havre de Grace Public Library on N. Union Avenue from 3:00-5:00 for the book signing. I will have a lot of books with me priced to sell, or bring your own for me to sign. I’m taking The Secret Warrior YA Fantasy Shifter Series, ghostly Gothic historical romance novel, Traitor’s Curse, ghostly time travel romance novel, Somewhere My Love, para-historical romance novel with a Native American flavor, Kira, Daughter of the Moon, and Native American historical romance novel, Red Bird’s Song, because I have extra and it’s awesome, if I say so myself. I’ll have copies of my Medieval herbal for gardeners and writers who want to know cool stuff about herbs and their fascinating lore.

Come one, come all. I don’t get out much so this may be your only chance to see me in a long, long time. Most importantly, I will have chocolate.


Ward Off Witches, Vampires, and Werewolves–Herbal Lore

Some highly esteemed herbs used throughout history to foil black magic, deflect spells, and ward off forces of evil.

archangel-michael, old stained glass window

(A fiery angel with a sword is also a mighty boon)

First up, Angelica:  Said to have been revealed in a dream by an angel as a cure for the plague. So sacred it’s called ‘The Root of the Holy Ghost’ and was associated with the Archangel Michael. Angelica blooms near his feast day and is connected to the Christian observance of the Annunciation, the day the Angel Gabriel visited the Virgin Mary to tell her she would be the mother of Christ. All parts of the plant were believed effective against evil spirits and witchcraft.

The juice of the roots are used to make Carmelite water, considered a ‘sovereign remedy’ and drunk to ensure a long life and to protect against the poisons and spells of witches. Garlands of the leaves were also worn.

Angelica plan


I’ve grown Angelia in the garden. It gets big, so allow plenty of space.

Winter beauty

The Rowan Tree has a wealth of ancient lore and many associations with magic and witches. The tree is thought to lend protection against evil and bad spells. Its old Celtic name, ‘fid na ndruad,’ means wizard tree. But it has many names. Ask an old Celt which they favor.

Rowan, known as the Mountain Ash in America, and Dogberry Tree in parts of Canada, is a familiar sight in the mountains surrounding the Shenandoah Valley. My dear grandmother who lived to be 99 and a half, and knew her trees, was fond of the beautiful mountain ash. She’d point it out to me in the Alleghenies. It’s gorgeous in autumn when covered with bright red berries, and particularly attractive to birds.

Red, the color of the berries, was thought to be the strongest color in battling the dark forces. In Ireland, rowan trees were planted near houses to protect them from the spirits of the dead; in Wales they favored graveyards for their tree plantings. In Scotland, the Rowan Tree is among the most sacred and cutting one down, or using any portion of the tree for any purpose other than spiritually approved rituals was taboo. The wood is seen as the most protective part. It’s fashioned into sticks to stir milk to keep it from curdling, pocket charms (or amulets) to ward off rheumatism and bad mojo, and made into divining rods (for finding precious metals). Because the tree is associated with Saint Bridhig, the Celtic patroness of the arts, healing, smithing, spinning and weaving, spindles and spinning wheels were made of rowan in Scotland and Ireland.

Walking sticks made of rowan were thought to lend protection to the traveler on their journey, and from evil spirits. Rowan trees planted near stone circles in Scotland were thought to be favored by fairies who held their celebrations within the protective tree enclosed circle. Fairies are extremely cautious. But the fae can also get up to mischief, so the rowan would protect you from that as well. One of those multi-use herbs/trees. 

Rowan Tree, Mountain, Black Mount, Scottish Highlands

(Rowan tree in Scotland)

To the 17th Century Scots, however, practicing folk medicine was associated with witchcraft, which could include carrying a Rowan charm, a twig tied with a red thread for protection. A cross made of Rowan wood and bound with red thread was placed over doorways.

It’s interesting to note that the rowan is also called the witch tree because they used it to increase their powers and spells and for fashioning magic wands, so there appears to be some disagreement here. Did it speed witches on their way, or empower them? These conflicting beliefs are often the way in herbal lore.

“Rowan tree, red thread, hold the witches all in dread.” ~ old herbal saying

Rowan was sacred to the Druids who believed in its protective powers and burnt it on funeral pyres, also in rites of divination and purification. The tree was associated with both death and rebirth. Because Rowan was thought to bring the gift of inspiration, ancient Bards called it the ‘tree of bards.’ I suppose all writers should have rowan.

Wood from the ash tree, in the form of ash outlining a building or circle, is showing up in paranormal TV shows with American settings, like Teen Wolf. Mountain Ash is used to ward off evil, so even if some of these characters are the nicest werewolves or witches you could ever want to meet, they cannot cross a barrier of ash.

Teen wolf

Agrimony:  Used from ancient times to treat many ailments and injuries, it’s also reputed to have magical properties.

The magic power of Agrimony is mentioned in an old English medical manuscript: ‘If it be leyd under mann’s heed, He shal sleepyn as he were deed; He shal never drede ne wakyn,Till fro under his heed it be takyn.’ (That’s darn useful to know.)


From The Scots Herbal by Tess Darwin: “The Gaelic name of this plant, mur-druidhean, may derive from the use of agrimony by healers to treat spiritual troubles. Ferquhar Ferguson, tried for witchcraft on Arran in 1716, admitted using agrimony to cure elf-shotten people.” (Apparently a common affliction). “Ferguson was guided in his treatment by a voice heard while sleeping, which instructed him to pull the plant in the name of the Holy Trinity.”

***Elf-shot are those persons or animals who have fallen ill after being shot by the arrows of malevolent elves. Hate it when that happens.

Agrimony is also recommended as the remedy for  ‘alle woundes’. One old writer recommends it to be taken with a mixture of pounded frogs and human blood, as a remedy for all internal hemorrhages. (Whose blood?)

Mistletoe: An herb steeped in lore from pre-Christian times.

Christmas Mistletoe Isolated

Because the plant prefers softer bark, it’s found more commonly on apple trees and is rarer on oaks which made mistletoe discovered on oaks greatly venerated by ancient Celts, Germans, and it was used in ceremonies by early Europeans. Greeks and other early people thought it had mystical powers and the plant gained a wealth of lore over the centuries. Sacred to the Druids, many wondrous attributes are accorded to mistletoe, including medicinal powers, properties to boost fertility, and ward off evil spells.

Mistletoe and werewolves: In some ancient lore, mistletoe is considered a repellent and protection from werewolves.

From http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/302/

“Mistletoe was thought to be a remarkable and sacred shrub because it seemed to grow from the air and not from the earth. Mistletoe has been considered undesirable because it feeds off other trees; however it is also thought to have a symbiotic relationship because it provides nutrients when the host is in dormancy. It also provides food for a host of animals and birds who consume its leaves and shoots

Over time its folklore has grown to include the belief that the oak mistletoe could extinguish fire, that it held the soul of the host tree and placed in a baby’s cradle would protect the child from faeries.

Kissing under the mistletoe is also cited in an early work by Washington Irving, “Christmas Eve,” which tells of the festivities surrounding the Twelve Days of Christmas:

“Here were kept up the old games of hoodman blind, shoe the wild mare, hot cockles, steal the white loaf, bob apple, and snap dragon; the Yule-clog and Christmas candle were regularly burnt, and the mistletoe with its white berries hung up, to the imminent peril of all the pretty housemaids.”

Used as good luck charms to ward off evil, its sprigs were also put under the pillows of young girls who thought it would entice dreams of the husband to be.”

These are just a few herbal possibilities, but among the most esteemed.

#NewRelease #ParaRomance Anthology by Linda Nightingale–Four By Moonlight

four-by-moonlight-romance-anthologySome inspiration behind the collection:

Azazel means “God strengthens”. In the Dead Sea Scrolls the name Azazel occurs in The Book of Giants, an apocryphal Jewish book expanding a narrative in the Hebrew Bible, which was discovered at Qumran. The text’s creation dates to before the 2nd century BCE.

In Enoch I, he is one of the chiefs of the 200 fallen angels. Azazel taught men to fashion swords and shields and women the finery and art of beautifying the eyelids. (So girls next time we buy Cover Girl, we can thank Azazel!)
In the Zohar, the rider on the serpent is “evil Azazel.” Here he is said to be the chief of the bene elim (lower angels, “men-spirits”). Irenacus calls Azazel that “mighty but powerful angel.”

I wouldn’t like to bore you with a lot of religious myths, or facts—each much choose what to believe. So, I’ll switch to my latest release from Class Act Books, a paranormal anthology titled Four by Moonlight.

Blond girl walking alone at cemetery

Four by MoonlightBlurb:
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.

Four By Moonlight in Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Four-Moonlight-Linda-Nightingale-ebook/dp/B01M3Q9J8B

In print: https://www.amazon.com/Four-Moonlight-Linda-Nightingale/dp/1938703979


Looking for Linda? You can find her at:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LNightingale

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LindaNightingaleAuthor

Web Site: http://www.lindanightingale.com – Visit and look around. There’s a free continuing vampire story.

Blog: https://lindanightingale.wordpress.com/ – Lots of interesting guests & prizes

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4839311.Linda_Nightingale

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lbnightingale1/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Nightingale/e/B005OSOJ0U

Autumn Inspiration Behind The Panther Moon #YA #Shifter #Fantasy #Romance

tree-from-autumn-drive-jpg1On a blustery October day last fall, Hubby Dennis, daughter Elise, and I took a drive through our vivid countryside. What we call ‘dust devils’ snatched up red and yellow leaves, whipping them around in mini cyclones.  Everywhere I looked, whirlwinds tossed and twirled, hopping from place to place. I imagined Morgan Daniel, the wolf shifter heroine of The Secret Warrior Series, further mastering her use of the elements. She’s far more than a shifter, with other unplumbed powers. She’d already learned to use fire. Time she harnessed the wind, I decided. And that’s how she got her start. As blustery as it is in the valley, the wind nearly always blows in the mountains, the setting  for The Secret Warrior Series.

And then there are the coyote shifters in the series. These were inspired by the toe-curling cries from the roving band of coyotes who visit the hills and fields on and around our farm. I thought, ‘Why not?’  If wolves can shift, why not other creatures. I already had bearwalkers, from a story shared with me by a Shawnee sub-chief. More of a belief, really.

Inspiration is all around me. I never know from where it may arise, or when. But I am tuned in to all the possibilities.

YA Fantasy Romance-Book 3

Excerpt from The Panther Moon:

One after the other, coyote shifters took shape around her and Jimmy. A whirl, and there they were—appearing without sound, camouflaged like chameleons. Not a wolf trick she’d mastered. Maybe she should. Fast. The devils slunk closer.

Corn silk hair like Eve’s blew in the stiff breezes, and various shades of red and brown. Males and females sported loose lengths flapping in the wind, dreadlocks, ponytails, and shaved heads. There must have been at least a dozen sinewy forms, dressed in earthen tones or shadowy black.

Cunning eyes fixed on Morgan, barely giving Jimmy a glance. Emboldened men and lean, mean women stalked nearer, their coyote musk obnoxious to her wolf self. They weren’t armed. ‘Go for the throat’ must be their attack mode.

Should she shift? Only partly. A wolf couldn’t use weapons or catch the next vortex. Not that she’d swirl away and leave Jimmy behind. Besides the need to protect him, she was a warrior. Her duty lay in defending Wapicoli territory.

How stupid to let herself get trapped in the first place! Hadn’t Jackson warned her a lone wolf was a dead wolf?~


Blurb for The Panther Moon:

Being the seventh Morcant has its perks: Morgan is learning to fly and wield magical blue fire. But the coyote shifters are growing bolder. Mateo and his panthers seem impossible to defeat. And vampires aren’t real – are they? When the elusive and enigmatic Chief Okema disappears and the wards protecting the Wapicoli territory falter, Morgan and Jackson are forced into the role of leaders. Badly outnumbered and outgunned, do they have time to search for the secret of the Divining Tree, and will it help them in the final battle?

The Secret Warrior Series is available as a set at Amazon in Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Warrior-3-Book/dp/B01M1OJNYL

Also available from all other online booksellers. Amazon has the second two books in the series in print. Book one is only in kindle because it’s shorter.


Don’t Overlook Mullein–Herbal Medicine

Verbascum_densiflorum_'dense-flowered_mullein'Mullein: In Scotland (Aaron’s rod, shepherd’s club, donkey’s ears, cuddy-lugs, Rox) In North America (Indian tobacco, among many other names)

Mullein grows wild in Virginia and most everywhere else in America. I like mullein, a stately plant. The leaves are soft and fuzzy, and the flower heads impressive. Granted, it’s weedy and I don’t want it to take over, but it’s among my favorite weeds. A key herb in America, mullein is mentioned, but without nearly as much emphasis, in Scotland. Apparently, the Indians better mastered its medicinal uses, however, they are similar to those in the UK.

Perhaps because the plant is widely distributed in America, it was more greatly appreciated. The Indians smoked the dried leaves or made a smudge of them over the coals of a dying campfire and inhaled the medicinal smoke for treatment of asthma and lung conditions. The fumes were used to revive an unconscious patient. Mullein was used to ease coughs. An ounce of dried leaves were simmered in water or milk for ten minutes, strained, sweetened with honey or maple sugar, and the infusion sipped warm. This was also considered useful for diarrhea.

I’ve read of mullein leaves placed inside moccasins to sooth sore feet. The dried flowers were soaked in edible oil for several weeks, and the oil then used externally for earaches, piles, sunburn, rashes, inflammation, and internally for coughs, lung and chest trouble. Mullein oil was considered effective against disease germs and a natural antibiotic.

Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons. ~Jim Bishop


(The Alleghenies)

Autumn blew in last night. Friday and Saturday, the Shenandoah Valley got some much-needed rain out of the hurricane that wreaked havoc on so many. I am deeply sorry for those caught in Hurricane Matthew’s path, and almost feel guilty that it did our dry valley some good. Living this far inland, we often escape the wrath and reap the benefits from a fearsome storm. But not always. Sometimes the valley and mountains are deluged with rain, wind, and flooding. It can get very bad here. Fortunately, this wasn’t one of those times. The valley is green again, and with cooler temps, fall is settling in and leaves beginning to turn. I had feared with all the drought and heat of August and September that we would have poor color this year, but maybe it’s not too late.  I hope so, because I love autumn and am posting some favorite pics from past falls.


No spring nor summer’s beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one Autumnal face….
~John Donne, “Elegy IX: The Autumnal”

I can smell autumn dancing in the breeze.
The sweet chill of pumpkin and crisp sunburnt leaves.
~Ann Drake, 2013

falling leaves
hide the path
so quietly
~John Bailey, “Autumn,” a haiku year, 2001, as posted on oldgreypoet.com

A glorious crown the year puts on… ~Phebe A. Holder, “A Song of October,” in The Queries Magazine, October 1890


Pale amber sunlight falls across
The reddening October trees….
Are we not better and at home
In dreamful Autumn, we who deem
No harvest joy is worth a dream?
A little while and night shall come,
A little while, then, let us dream…
~Ernest Dowson (1867–1900), “Autumnal”


(Behind our farm)

Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains, a torch flung to the trees. ~Faith Baldwin, American Family

The softened light, the veiling haze,
The calm repose of autumn days,
Steal gently o’er the troubled breast,
Soothing life’s weary cares to rest.
~Phebe A. Holder, “A Song of October,” in The Queries Magazine, October 1890

A beauty lights the fading year… ~Phebe A. Holder, “A Song of October,” in The Queries Magazine, October 1890

"Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower."~Fall Quotes and Images--Beth Trissel

Of all the seasons, autumn offers the most to man and requires the least of him. ~Hal Borland

Catch a vista of maples in that long light and you see Autumn glowing through the leaves…. The promise of gold and crimson is there among the branches, though as yet it is achieved on only a stray branch, an impatient limb or an occasional small tree which has not yet learned to time its changes. ~Hal Borland

There is a harmony
In autumn, and a lustre in its sky…
~Percy Bysshe Shelley

O’ pumpkin pie, your time has come ’round again and I am autumnrifically happy! ~Terri Guillemets


“Autumn, that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness, that season which has drawn from every poet, worthy of being read, some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling. She occupied her mind as much as possible in such like musings and quotations…” ~Jane Austen

“green-veined leaves suddenly blushing copper
bronze-edged trees swaying in autumn breezes
gold foliage drifting past pewter branches baring all
brass-hued leaflets dying in beauty, falling in grace”
~Terri Guillemets, “In the Autumn Wood,” 2016

autumn in the Alleghenies

Mom took the pic of the chipmunk on the pumpkin and the one toward Reddish Knob in the Alleghenies above. Daughter Elise took the others of the leaves, trees, grandbaby Chloe with our pumpkins, and the mountains. Grandson Colin is the baby reaching for the leaves taken by his mom, my daughter Alison. Autumn is a family time.