Tag Archives: Linda Nightingale

Furbaby Friday with Linda Nightingale!


I’m happy to have the talented Linda Nightingale here to share memories of her beautiful beloved horse, and her contemporary western romance, Gambler’s Choice, a stellar story.

Linda: In 1980, the year my first son was born, I discovered the Andalusian horse. Like a poster on my wall says, ‘this horse will change your life’. We were breeding the Arabian at the time had garnered some success in the showring. But when I saw the magnificent Andalusian horses, I fell in love and immediately started liquidating my Arab breeding stock to purchase an Andy stallion.

BonitoPhantom

As usual, I like to start off at the top and work my way up there. I looked all over the country for a THE horse I wanted. I planned for him to be high-schooled (the Andalusian is gifted for the baroque moves—passage, piaffe, lateral work and pirouette) and the airs-above the ground). I received a call from a breeder in Virginia saying that I needed to come see a young stallion named Bonito. I didn’t want him because he was young and unfinished, but he did have a lot of the moves on him at 4 (a mistake I later learned).

But I went to beautiful Middleburg, Virginia to look at Bonito. In the indoor arena, I fell in love white fairytale stallion named Afamado, but he wasn’t for sale. Then they showed me Bonito. He put his head over the Dutch door, taking my heart with one glance. He was a rose-gray with a black mane and tail, both thick and long. His neck was a majestic crest like a carousel horse. I bought Bonito and never looked back. (Linda and Bonito pictured above).

Bonito had been imported from Costa Rica. My hubby and I later went to the National shows in CR and were treated like queens and kings. I also began to broker horses for Bonito’s breeder in this country.

We bred Bonito to mares of various breeds, and consistently he produced offspring of his quality. The Andalusian is gentle enough to breed the stallions in the morning and put him in the show ring that afternoon, without requiring a professional trainer to behave with other horses. He was mischievous and a bit of a handful but always kind. We entered the showring with a vengeance.

At the time, the Andalusian was a rare breed in this country and we wowed the crowd everywhere we went. I did exhibitions in the long lines, parades in the long lines (you have a line each side of the horse and walk very close behind him). His beauty and agility won him many admirers as well as his sweet temperament. I could put a child on him and he was a plow horse, but let me put a foot in the stirrup and he was all fire and show. He knew he had a fan club.

Bonito and HollyBonito and Holly

I showed him to 2 National Championships in Halter and many championships in various classes. I then began to show dressage and perform musical freestyles, but our best luck was in performing exhibitions at horse shows. We had a routine to Phantom of the Opera, and I wish I had that on tape, but sadly I can’t find the old VHS to transfer it to disk. When I was going through my divorce, I’d go to the barn and cry on his neck. He’d fold that lovely neck around me and hug me while I cried. I daresay he was my soul mate. Bonito changed my life.

If you’d like to know more about the Andalusian or the high school movements, leave a comment with a way to contact you, and I’ll be glad to send you an article I wrote for a breed magazine and info on the upper level movements.

Everyone who met Bonito loved him. Even today, twenty years later people remember him.

I have written only one book about horses, but all of my books in one way or another mention the fairytale Andalusian. Gambler’s Choice was just released in audio. For an audio sample, please visit my web site at http://www.LindaNightingale.com

gallop_animated

Blurb:
Becca McQuaid came to England to find the perfect horse but instead met a darkly mysterious challenge in Austen Heath, Baron of Hampton. She’s determined to buy Austen’s stallion Gambler’s Choice. He’s determined not to sell, but the rivals are thrown together by an accident that leaves Austen with a broken leg and the threat he’ll never ride again.

Austen Heath has the title, heritage and manor house…but not the fortune. Becca is wealthy. Her charms are irresistible, but he believes she’s shopping for a Ladyship to go with her money. He has another reason to hold the sexy blonde at arms’ length—the unexplained disappearance of an old friend everyone thinks was his lover. When her body is discovered on his property, he becomes a suspect in her murder.

Excerpt:

Rebecca McQuaid was in England for one reason.
To find the perfect match.

Size was important. Becca was a tall girl. Money was of no consequence whatsoever. Becca was a wealthy girl. Heart mattered most. He must have the heart to go the distance. She dreamed of a partnership that would last a lifetime. But looks did rank quite high on her list of priorities.

“I simply can’t ride an ugly horse. That would be like dating an ugly man.” Tossing her long blonde hair over her shoulder, she laughed and winked at her friend.
Meg shot her a frown, her tone accusing Becca of being an uncivilized colonist. “Rebecca McQuaid, you say the damnedest things.”

An appreciative chuckle turned her around to squint into the sun. A tall, elegant, dark figure of a man on a magnificent horse caught her imagination mid-stride. She couldn’t see the rider’s face, but she knew he’d overheard the exchange with her friend. He saluted her with a tap of his whip to the brim of his hat as he rode past. Excitement capered over her, and she smiled. The horse’s muscled, blood bay rump glistened. The stallion was sixteen-two hands, fit and impeccably groomed.

“Nice buns. That one’s good-looking enough for me.” She elbowed her friend. “Who is it?”
Meg shaded her eyes. “Gambler’s Choice and Austen Heath. Both horse and rider satisfy your criteria, my dear girl.”

“The horse is handsome.” She wished she had gotten a better look at the bay, but he was a mahogany blaze in the morning sun. “Are you telling me the rider is?”
“That’s the general consensus, but Austen hides in that rambling, dark mansion of his.” Meg studied the pair picking up a trot along the arena. “Fierce competitors. Hard to beat at Intermediate. We’ll see how they handle Advanced.”
“An Advanced horse?” Becca wriggled her shoulders. “I’m in the market.”
“Look elsewhere.” Meg’s finger jutted at Becca’s nose. “Austen won’t sell Gambler for love or money. Guaranteed. Not even for the kind of money you’re willing to spend.”
“Meggie.” She linked arms with her friend. “Everything has a price.”
Meg balked like a donkey. “You’re in a different world, princess.”
“Well, not everything. Love doesn’t have a price.” Pain wrenched her heart as a memory of the breakup with Daniel flashed through her mind. The hurt was too fresh to even think of another man. “But I’m not in the market for love.”

Becca had found that the best way to protect her heart was to play spoiled little rich girl. She had that part down pat, and, as Winston Churchill had said, There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. She was looking for a horse to fall in love with and help mend her broken heart.

Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Gamblers-Choice-Linda-Nightingale-ebook/dp/B01AB2TCZU/ref=sr_1_2?

About Linda: Born in South Carolina, Linda has lived in England, Canada, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta, Houston and now she is back in the red dirt hills of SC. She’s seen a lot of this country from the windshield of a truck pulling a horse trailer, having bred, trained and showed Andalusian horses for many years.

Linda has won several writing awards, including the Georgia Romance Writers Magnolia Award and the SARA Merritt. She is the mother of two wonderful sons, a retired legal assistant, a member of a National Sports Car Club,and enjoys events with her car. Among her favorite things is her snazzy gray convertible. She loves to dress up and host formal dinner parties.

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

Book Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03972_A_5-Y
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Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Linda a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Author Linda Nightingale


I’m very happy to have my good friend and fellow Wild Rose Press author, Linda Nightingale, here to share her new best friend, Courage, and dark fantasy romance, Gylded Wings.

Courage– a Coton de Tulear

Linda: My Trip to Alabama to Get Courage

Is Alabama the only state in the union that has courage, you ask? Well, Courage started out in Tennessee and moved to Alabama.

Courage (Registered name: My Darling Dog’s Courage) is my 4-year-old Coton de Tulear and when people ask what a Coton is, I say, ‘a little white dog’.  He is the best possible canine friend I could have found.  He is very conscientious when it comes to potty breaks and in the two-and-a-half months I’ve had him hasn’t gone in the house once.  This was a very important requirement for me. He’s also loving, sweet, playful and fairly obedient though he is a consummate beggar.

Our story starts in about February. I was looking for a Coton to adopt (they are quite expensive to buy), but every one I found got away before I found and responded to the ad. Casting my net wider and wider, I finally found Courage in Mobile (about a 7-8 hour drive from Houston).  I made plans to meet the woman halfway, but then a cautious friend convinced me that I was at risk, that it was probably a scam.  Long story short, I cancelled and continued my search. To no avail.

Over the course of the next few months, I kept in sporadic contact with the woman who owned Courage, always surprised that he hadn’t been snapped up.  In May, I had plans to visit my son in Yorkshire for a month, so I asked Amber to keep him until I returned. She agreed to keep him for me and didn’t ask for any compensation though I volunteered.

While I was in England, I received a frantic message that she needed to get rid of him and that someone had offered her about half again what I’d agreed for a rehoming fee.  There was very little I could do from 3,000 miles away, and I told her to take the other person’s offer.  I knew that I’d resume my search when I got home but all along I’d just had a ‘feeling’ that Courage was the dog for me.

A few days before I was due to return, she again emailed me and said she still had him.  I agreed to pick him up on the first weekend in June, which meant that I scarcely had time to unpack before I threw a few things in a case and zoomed off to Mobile.  I was very lucky that a friend had agreed to go with me because it rained incessantly and I don’t see terribly well under those conditions.

We stopped by a casino in Louisiana on our way, stayed overnight and the next morning Amber brought Courage. He was just the cutest thing I’d ever seen with his tail flung over his back and his soft eyes ‘smiling’.  I loved him at once.

At about 11 AM, we loaded up with Courage in my lap and Kelly driving and aimed the Miata’s nose toward Houston. Except for having to sit for almost an hour to wait while traffic was cleared in an accident on I-10, we made semi-good time and arrived home around 7.

Courage settled in quickly and now owns the house. My neighbors love him, but he does have one serious fault.  He can be very aggressive when meeting new people.  He did bite one of my neighbors (she doesn’t love him I dare say).  We need to enroll in some quality dog training for this personality faux pas.

A Coton de Tulear is the Royal Dog of Madagascar and once upon a time could only be owned by the nobility.  The breed’s name derives from the fact that their coat is soft as cotton and silky.  For show dogs, the coat is worn long.  I’m letting Courage’s coat grow but I doubt I’ll ever show him.  I spent enough time in show rings with my Andalusian horses years ago.

“Courage is a love affair with the unknown.” Osho, and so it was for me and my little white dog, but I always felt that this one was just right.

Beth: Wonderful dog, Linda.

My latest book will be released by The Wild Rose Press on 9/13, but is available now for preorder. http://a.co/aELockF

The blurb for my dark fantasy about the many faces of love Glyded Wings:

Angels in slavery? Brit Montgomery cannot believe it, until she is sent on a rescue mission to another dimension and witnesses the cruel practice first hand. The angel, Gyldan, is the most beautiful being she’s ever seen. She is drawn to him but sometimes beauty disguises wicked secrets. This man who rocks her world seems more demon than angel.

Gyldan, born into slavery, has one desire—fly free. When he escapes to Earth, he faces an alternate self-realization full of dark glory…and disbelief. Gyldan is bent on experiencing his newfound powers unmindful of the harm to Brit or others.

Confused and hurt by Gyldan’s erratic evil actions, Brit turns away. While Gyldan’s journey of self-discovery pulls him further distant, Brit finds acceptance in a solitary, comfortable life of her own until she realizes the day of reckoning has come. Will Gyldan be her final ruin or has he come back to her with a gift more precious than life itself?

Excerpt:

The lady flipped her hood back, and I stopped breathing.  In her olive wool cape, she looked like a wood nymph, at once young and innocent but wise.  Dark hair curled around an oval face.  Without a trace of fear, big, beautiful eyes held my gaze.  She didn’t belong to this dim, cruel world, and I ached merely to touch her.

Her lips parted on a soft exhalation. “You’re an ang—Malak.”

If only I could return her smile, but Ragnor would slice me in half.   I was forbidden to glance at her, but couldn’t take my eyes off a vision so perfect I might have conjured her, even to the scent of the forest and rain.  A memory of Miriam assaulted me, but I was helpless to control my feelings.  Never had a woman affected me as this one did.  I felt awkward, terribly aware of my worn clothes and the wings arched behind me, yet giddy and aroused.

My eyes offered the smile my lips were forbidden.  “Yes, My Lady.”

She tilted her head to look up at me.  Her gaze drifted over my wings, my face, flicked lower.  “In the North, we have heard of the Malak singers.  What’s your name?”

I was too shocked to answer.  Like an addle-pated fool, I gaped at her, and she laughed.

“Stand aside, Gyldan.”  The giant slammed his paw against my shoulder, throwing the weight of my wings to the left, and I lost my balance.

The lady’s hand shot out to steady me.  Ragnor wedged his body between us.  I stumbled into the wall.  As I righted myself, I glimpsed an angry expression on Lady Hamlin’s face.

She stepped past Ragnor and touched my arm.  “Are you all right?”

Excitement trembled over my entire body.  “Yes, My Lady.”

“You’ll see the freaks perform tonight.”  Ragnor shot me a dark frown, gesturing for her to follow.  “Come, Lady Hamlin, I’ll guide you to your chambers.”

“Gyldan.”  The sprite grinned as she smoothed a dark curl back from her face.  “Do you know the way?”

“No, My Lady.”  I was forced to lie to save my hide.  “I have never been in this part of the castle before.”

“Off with you then.”  A graceful hand shooed me along.  “Be about your business, and I shall go about mine.”

She had brushed me off like an insect on her sleeve.   What had I expected?  That she would feel the same overwhelming attraction I felt?~

Beth: Wonderful excerpt!

Purchase Gylded Wings in Kindle athttps://www.amazon.com/Gylded-Wings-Golden-Linda-Nightingale-ebook/dp/B074DPYCBY

Linda’s Links:

Out of the Ordinary..Into Extraordinary Realms

http://www.lindanightingale.com

http://www.lindanightingale.wordpress.com

Follow Linda ‘s Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Nightingale/e/B005OSOJ0U

Thanks for stopping by!

A Coton de Tulear after grooming

#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

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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

Wolfsbane and Werewolves


In a former post, I discussed the beautiful but deadly herb Aconite, or wolfsbane (sometimes spelled wolf’s bane), also known as monkshood.  In this post I’m dwelling on its wolfsbane component as werewolves and the herb are linked in lore.

Regarding werewolves, wolfsbane is reputed to repel not kill werewolves and vampires.  I gleaned that from this site on : How To Kill A Werewolf, Methods and Materials.

The contributor,  named Buddy,  recommends the following to kill a werewolf, should you need to know by the next full moon:Silver. You’ll see this in almost any movie that you watch about werewolves – werewolf hunters are always in need of the “silver bullet” to kill the werewolf, claiming that that is the only thing that will kill it. Sometimes a silver blade is used.  This method is used often in hollywood movies and werewolf fiction, and often anything that is pure silver will work. Piercing the heart is the preferred method. (Note: Some say that silver is just a concoction of fiction and hollywood, and that silver cannot really kill a werewolf.  True or no? I don’t know.”

But it’s certainly worth considering, I might add.  Buddy goes on to recommend mercury, also known as ‘quicksilver’ so you see the connection, for dispatching a werewolf, decapitation, which in my thinking will kill most anything that needs killing, and he reminds us that werewolves when pitted against one another will destroy each other.  A win, win, as I see it.  So I suggest arranging a showdown at the witching hour.

If that fails, Buddy suggests doing away with the werewolf while the creature is in his human form.  A debate is underway in my household as to how one can discern exactly who the werewolf is in their human form.  This strikes me as important, so double-check to be certain.  Another difficulty that may arise with this approach is the attachment one might feel for an individual in his human form.  I mean, who wants to kill Professor Lupin?  Whatever your scheme in dealing with werewolves, remember to keep your wolf’s bane with you At All Times.

The following quote is from: http://www.werewolves.com/destruction-wolfsbane/

“As its name clearly shows us, this plant isn’t so wolf friendly; it is a very deadly poison. When mixed with bait and devoured by a wolf, or even put on arrowheads, knives, swords…etc. and then fired or stabbed into the animal’s body, this toxin is fatal.”~

Poor wolves.

There seems to be much disagreement as to whether wolf’s bane is solely a repellent or may also kill werewolves or cause an individual to become one, or may actually heal werewolves.  I feel a case could be made either way all depending on how much wolf’s bane is used and in what manner the poison is dispensed, and what lore you adhere to.  *Also, what the lore the werewolf adheres to.   It may be that the scent is noxious to them.  Woops, my mistake if they like it and draw near.  Unless, that’s what you desired in the first place as part of your ploy in luring said werewolf to its certain destruction.  Let me know how that works for you.

As to vampires and wolf’s bane, there isn’t a lot I could find on this.  But The Vampire Book says: “Aconite also known as Wolf’s bane was believed by the ancient Greeks to have arisen in the mouths of Cerberus (a three-headed dog that guards the entrance to Hades) while under the influence of Hecate, the goddess of magic and the underworld.

It later was noted as one of the ingredients of the ointment that witches put on their body in order to fly off to their sabbats. In Dracula (Spanish 1931), aconite was substituted for garlic as the primary plant used to repel the vampire.”~

*I took a poll among authors who write dark paranormal romance and this is their feedback:

From vampire author Tony-Paul de Vissage: Wolfsbane is a very deadly poison.  Even handling the damp seeds can give off a toxic alhaloid which can be absorbed through the skin. Like garlic and holy water, wolfsbane is supposed to have an adverse effect on vampires and was used in the 1931 Dracula to keep vampires from entering houses although there is no mention of this in the novel itself.  I’d guess it’s more of an inconvenience than anything else.  Nothing short of decapitation, a stake through the heart, or being burned, will completely destroy a vampire.

From author Barbara Edwards: Wolfsbane is a deadly plant with absolutely beautiful spikes of blue flowers. The leaves and roots need special handling to prevent harm.  The poisonous sap can be absorbed through the skin or in an liquid dose. Aconite, the distilled wolfsbane can kill within minutes. It’s deadly to anyone, not just werewolves.

From The Magical Herbal: Folklore says planting wolfsbane at the door will repel the beast. Although Lon Chaney popularized the full-moon as a trigger for werewolves, they have the ability to change at will. The folklore says wolfsbane can cure a werewolf, but first he must die from its effect.

From author Linda Nightingale: In Greek mythology, Medea attempted to poison Theseus with a cup of wine poisoned with wolfsbane. In the folklore archives of the University of California at Berkeley, a recorded testimony of an immigrant from eastern Germany states that wolfsbane and silver knives were placed under mattresses and cribs to repel werewolves and vampires.

In Vampire Wars, Aconitum or Wolfsbane is ascribed with supernatural powers in the mythology of werewolves and vampires, often used to deter, poison or even kill werewolves, and to a lesser extent, vampires.  In other folklore, aconite was said to transform a person into a werewolf if it is worn, smelled, or eaten.

From author Masha Holl, http://mashaholl.com: Wolfsbane is aconite, but not all aconite is Wolfsbane (or monkshood). The European variety, although poisonous enough to be deadly, is not as toxic as the Asian variety, and yet even the Asian variety has been used in healing medicine for centuries as well as in the preparation of poisons. Aconite can trigger hallucinations.

The actual, historical, and verified use of aconite in medicine is probably (almost certainly) at the basis of its connection with werewolves, as is the legend that it was created (or given is poisonous qualities) from the slobber of Cerberus during Hercules’ fight with the dog of hell.

From author Terry Spear, Author of Heart of the Wolf series:  “Wolfsbane/Wolfbane is a flowering plant or herb, purple, yellow, pink, or white, in color, known as Aconitum, that in literature has been used in a number of different ways in reference to werewolves. Ironically, in some literature, wolfsbane can kill the werewolf, in others, it changes a human into a werewolf, in even others, it keeps the human part of the werewolf equation from turning into his wolf form. Which goes to show that authors use wolfsbane for whatever happens to suit their werewolf story best. And here when I went to research it, I thought wolfsbane kept the werewolf from shifting into his beastly form. So beware, depending on what tale you read, wolfsbane might have the opposite effect from what you had always believed!”

From author Colleen Love: Names for Wolf’s Bane: Aconite, Cupid’s Car, Dumbledore’s Delight, Leopard’s Bane, Monkshood, Storm Hat, Thor’s Hat, Wolf’s Hat, Friar’s Cap:

Gender: Feminine, Planet: Saturn, Element: Water, Deity: Hecate, Powers: Protection, Invisibility

Magical Uses: Wolf’s bane is added to protection sachets, especially to guard against vampires and werewolves. This is quite fitting, since wolf’s bane is used by werewolves to cure themselves. The seed, wrapped in a lizard’s skin and carried, allows you to become invisible at will. Do not eat or rub any part of this plant on the skin; it is virulently poisonous.~

Clearly, more research is needed, but we are having enough trouble with coyotes and I am not brave enough to tackle the realm of werewolves.  Feedback, please, from those of you who dare go forth and do battle with this powerful creature.  And God bless you in your quest.

***Royalty free images except for Professor Lupin and An American Werewolf in London (The Movie)

Wilde Times


A few favorite Oscar Wilde quotes : Contributed by Linda Nightingale~

One’s style is one’s signature always.

That is the mission of true art–to make us pause and look at a thing a second time.

Emotion for the sake of emotion is the aim of life.

The secret of life is never to have an emotion that is unbecoming.

London is too full of fogs…and serious people…whether the fogs produce the serious people or whether the serious people produce the fogs, I don’t know.

The Byronic Hero


Contributed by my friend Linda Nightingale and reposted from The Pink fuzzy Slipper Writers~
At Con-Jour, I was on a panel called Sympathy for the Devil: The Byronic Hero. It was an interesting conversation moderated by a professor of literature at the University of Houston.
Byron’s first introduction of this type of character was in his epic poem, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, published in 1812-1818. Emily Bronte, author of Wuthering Heights, was influenced by Byron. Byron was the model for the title character of Glenarvon by his lover Lady Caroline Lamb, and for Lord Ruthven in The Vampyre by his physician Polidori.
The Byronic hero is an idealized but flawed character exemplified in the life and writings of Lord Byron, characterized by Lady Caroline Lamb as being “mad, bad and dangerous to know.”
Characteristics of the Byronic hero:
Arrogant
Intelligent and perceptive
Cunning and able to adapt
A troubled past
Dark secret
Sophisticated and educated
Introspective
Seductive and sexually attractive
Social and sexual dominance
Emotional conflicts
Exile, outcast or outlaw
Jaded, world-weary (has seen the world)
Cynical
Good heart in the end
This describes the hero in all of my works. I write about vampires and fallen angels, both of whom already have a dark secret, are bad boys and can definitely be dangerous to know.
In Sinners Opera, the hero, Morgan D’Arcy, is a British lord, a concert pianist and a vamire. All of the above characterists apply to Morgan–in spades! He must learn to balance his nature against his love for a mortal woman.
In Black Swan, the Byronic hero is Tristan. He runs away from the woman who knows what he is and loves him anyway, trying to escape the killer that, as a vampire, he inherently is.
A few examples of the Byronic hero: Edward Cullen in Twilight; the vampire Lestat; Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights); Lucifer (Paradise Lost); and both Rhett Butler and Scarlet O’Hara from Gone with the Wind.
Know any real-life Byronic heroes? Do you use the Byronic hero in your writing? I find them fascinating (obviously) but I’m not sure I’d want one in my life.

Black Swans


Contributed by Linda Nightingale~
Black Swans are common to the wetlands of Australia. Their preferred habitat is permanent wetlands including ornamental lakes, but they may be found in flooded pastures, tidal mudflats or on the open sea near the shore. The species is nomadic with no set migratory pattern.
The males (Cobs) are larger than the females (pens) and have a longer and straighter bill. Young Black Swans (Cygnets) are a greyish-brown. A mature bird measures between 43-56 inches in length and weighs between 8.1-20 lbs with a wing span between 5 and 6 feet.
An interesting fact: Black Swans have white flight feathers.
Black swans are noted for their musical bugle-like sound, but they have a wide range of softer crooning notes and can whistle when disturbed while breeding and nesting.

The Black Swan is very popular as an ornamental waterbird in Britain with nine breeding pairs recorded and an estimated 43 feral birds in the UK. Five black swans reside at The University of York. Though they have shown some aggressive behavior toward students, they will eat bread from the hands of humans. For forty years, the bird has been the town of Dawlish, Devon’s emblem.

Black swans nest in the winter months from February to September. Typically, a clutch contains 4 to 8 greenish eggs that are incubated for 35-40 days. When the eggs hatch, the parents tend the cygnets for approximately 6 months. For longer trips into deeper water, the young may ride on their parent’s back.
Another interesting fact about the black swan is sexuality. An exhibition in Norway called
Against Nature explored homosexual behavior in several species which exhibited lifelong homosocial behavior, where it serves as a flexible life strategy. The build nests and have sex.
Same-sex pairs are a major bonus to a pen. A pen without a partner seek out these couples, have sex with one of the cobs and lay her eggs in their nest. She is then chased off, and the cobs raise the cygnets. With access to more food, the cygnets have as much as ten times the survival rate of a brood with a heterosexual swan couple. From an evolutionary standpoint, this is a rewarding strategy for the cobs as well.
And that’s probably more than you ever wanted to know about black swans!
In my spicy vampire story, Black Swan, available from The Wild Rose Press, black swans are mortals who willingly submit to the vampire to experience the euphoria of the Kiss.
Blurb: Suffering from a broken marriage, Carol Langston meets Tristan McLaghlan at a Black Swan party. Black Swans are mortals who willingly barter blood for the sensual ecstasy and euphoria vampires give in return. To Carol, this looks like the real thing until her handsome vampire runs away from her and his true nature. Separated by miles, divided across two species, can their love survive?
Drop by my web site: http://www.lindanightingale.com/ and answer the following question from Vampire Hunt, a short story, to be entered to win a Black Swan coffee mug and autographed cover flat.
What color is Jaime’s hair?