Lady Rosamund and the Horned God! And a giveaway. :0)

At last, the second book in the Lady Rosamund mysteries is now out. (You may not have waited with bated breath, but I did! It’s a been a year since book one.)

Lady Rosamund escapes the tedium of the countryside at a house party with playwrights, poets, and actors—an immoral set with whom no respectable lady should associate. Even so, she hardly expects to wake in the wee hours to find one of the guests lying dead.

As if that wasn’t troublesome enough, Gilroy McBrae is at the same party. Rosie must set aside her confused emotions about McBrae and help him identify the murderer before an innocent person is accused of the crime.

Here’s a short excerpt:

Setup: Lady Rosamund is supposed to be living quietly in the country during her mourning, but she’s bored. She’s not naturally macabre, but she’d already found a corpse in the first book, so her bored mind keeps imagining another one. She jumps at the chance to attend a house party, even if the guests aren’t the respectable sort she’s supposed to associate with.

I sat up in bed, heart battering my chest. By the grey light in my room, I surmised it was almost dawn. Had that shriek been merely a dream? The house seemed enveloped in silence.

And then came more screams, ghastly and chilling, one after another after another. 

I leapt out of bed, crammed my feet into my slippers, donned my wrapper once again, and rushed into the passageway.

It was cloaked in gloom, but faint light from the Great Hall filtered up. It was from there that the screams came, now dissolving into hoarse sobs. A door opened behind me across the passage, but I was first to the stairs.

Which you no doubt think was foolish of me, but I couldn’t help myself. Although I have had many small brushes with supposed insanity, I’m not a complete idiot. I peered over the banister before starting down.

Below me, flat on the floor, was a man. All I could discern was his head and feet, for something huge and unidentifiable lay atop him. As I stared, a woman appeared and glanced about. She bent over the huge something, grunting…and then with a swish of skirts, she vanished.

Meanwhile, a sobbing girl stumbled up the stairs toward me. She tripped on her gown and fell, crying out, and I helped her up. “What happened? What’s wrong?”

“He’s dead.” She swayed. “Oh God, he’s dead. He murdered him!”

I feared she would faint, so I kept a firm hold on her. “Who?” A stupid question, I realized. In the first place, I didn’t specify whether I was asking for the identity of the victim or the murderer. In the second place, she was hysterical and unable to speak coherently. I could very well go see for myself, once I got rid of her.

“It’s all my fault,” she whispered, clutching my arm. “I wish I had never come to this horrid place.”

An understandable sentiment, but she couldn’t have predicted this…could she?

“Helen! Miss Gardner, that is.” Mr. Powers hurried up, clad only in shirt and breeches. This utter disregard of the proprieties, coupled with his use of her Christian name, seemed to indicate that his relationship with the young woman might be as close as Harold Bellevue feared. “What happened?”

“He’s dead!” she wailed, and cast herself upon his breast.

“Hush,” he said. “Who’s dead?”

“How could you?” she cried, and sobbed into his shirt. She, at least, was fully dressed, making the embrace less improper than it otherwise might have been.

I left them to it and hastened down to see the body for myself. Obviously, it behooved me to determine first of all whether the man on the floor was indeed dead.

It was the unpleasant Mr. Fence, but looking unlike himself—tranquil and at peace. With a shudder of revulsion, I realized that what lay atop him was a huge rack of antlers. I glanced up at the wall of the landing: sure enough, the largest stag’s head I’d seen there last evening was gone.

I knelt beside him and felt for his pulse—a waste of time, for even if he still lived, he wouldn’t for long. Two prongs of the antlers had pierced his chest.

There was not even a flutter of heartbeat.

I stood and took a deep breath, trying to shove away the thought that ran over and over through my mind: you wanted a corpse, and you got one.

~ ~ ~

Here are the Amazon links. It will be available elsewhere, but I don’t have those links yet.

US   https://www.amazon.com/Lady-Rosamund-Horned-God-Regency-ebook/dp/B0913LPHMC/

Canada   https://www.amazon.ca/Lady-Rosamund-Horned-God-Regency-ebook/dp/B0913LPHMC/

UK  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lady-Rosamund-Horned-God-Regency-ebook/dp/B0913LPHMC/

Australia  https://www.amazon.com.au/Lady-Rosamund-Horned-God-Regency-ebook/dp/B0913LPHMC/

~ ~ ~

Now — for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card, go to any of the stops on the tour. Here’s the tour link: https://www.escapewithdollycas.com/great-escapes-virtual-book-tours/upcoming-great-escapes-book-tours/lady-rosamund-and-the-horned-god-a-rosie-and-mcbrae-regency-mystery-by-barbara-monajem/

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New Inspirational Release! A Homecoming To Cherish

I’m thrilled to announce my newest inspirational release: A HOMECOMING TO CHERISH!

All relationships require a commitment, but is she ready to sacrifice her heart again?

Only 99¢ for a very limited time.  Available in ebook, paperback, Large Print Paperback, and Hardcover.

Grab your copy today before price goes up.

And, it’s a Christian romance giveaway for my inspirational contemporary romance, Holly’s Gift.

Grab your FREE copy with Newsletter signup today!

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NOVELS AND AUDIO BOOKS

By Toni V. Sweeney, posted by Linda Nightingale

I now have five audio books listed on Audible. 

Five—count ‘em—F*I*V*E!

They’re not my first audiobooks. In fact, the first three novels of mine that were published, ‘way back in the last decade of the last century, were audio books, two Westerns and a science fiction novel called The Last Voyage of Sinbad Singh, that eventually turned into the first book in a 9-novel series, The Adventures of Sinbad. The narrator did a great job with the story, giving each character a very distinctive voice.

They sold pretty well, mainly because the publisher had the foresight to stock them in truck stops where they could be either purchased or rented by truckers and travelers and, if rented, returned to another stop also featuring the audios in exchange for another book.

In fact, the two Westerns were on the publisher’s Best Seller List for three months.

About the current ones…three are from Wordwooze Publishing, and two are from Aethon Books. One of those is a re-writing of that original story from The Adventures of Sinbad, now re-titled Star Smuggler. Unlike the original recording, that came in a package resembling a VHS tape and held six cassettes, Star Smuggler is totally intangible. It’s available by download, directly from Amazon, or the publisher’s website.

Definitely more convenient and easier to carry around in your phone or Kindle.

Like its predecessor (and much to my surprise now as well as then), Star Smuggler managed to get itself into the Top 100 in SF category for a couple of months.

So now, the story of Sinbad sh’en Singh, feline smuggler, lover of Navajo Andi Talltrees, and—eventually—the eighth richest man in the galaxy, has come full circle.

Here’s a sample. Try it; you might like it.

BLURB:

He’s a criminal. She’s far from it. 

Together, they’re Earth’s last hope…they just don’t know it yet. 

Star Smuggler is available from amazon.com

https://www.amazon.com/Last-Voyage-Star-Smuggler-Book/dp/B08FF89FLH/

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#Aromatouchtherapy

 #AromaTouch Spa Therapy

A unique aromatherapy experience, AromaTouch combines the power of touch with therapeutic benefits from eight of dōTERRA’s loveliest essential oils. Your mind, body and emotions will benefit from this amazing aromatherapy technique.

The kids and I had our first outings in many months! One was here for a treat I had won at a networking meeting.

Debbie Dameron Poore made it an amazing experience with her magic. I could feel her giving heart with her healing touch. Some massages hit the right muscles and could be impersonal but adequate. Her touch told me a lot about her and transferred her caring to me. When I told her this, she said it made her tingle with emotion. That was the point. I knew she really cared and wanted to share and heal.

That was a good outing for me.

I got my first COVID shot. How fun. Yes, I caved.

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Be good and be safe!

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A Christmas Puppy To Cherish is only 99¢!

A Christmas Puppy To Cherish is only 99¢!

It’s a Kindle Countdown for my inspirational contemporary romance, A Christmas Puppy To Cherish!

Grab your ebook copy today for only 99¢! (U.S. only)

You don’t need ears to hear God’s plan. All you need is an open heart…

Available in ebook, Paperback, Large Print paperback, Hardcover, and audiobook.

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St. Michael’s Mount

St. Michael’s Mount is a tidal island in Mount’s Bay in Cornwall, U.K. I was lucky enough to visit the Karrak Loos yn Koos,  Cornish for “hoar rock in woodland”, on my honeymoon back before recorded time. Seriously, it was last century. I immediately fell in love with this small island accessible only by a manmade causeway, passable only between mid-tide and low tide. This causeway is made of granite setts. Two types of granite can be found on the Mount.  These are a tourmaline muscovite and a biotite muscovite. I’m not a geologist. Wiki, my friends. The island is a civil parish and linked by the causeway to the town of Marazion.

While the National Trust now guarantees the preservation and conservation of the Mount, the St Aubyn family continue to live on and manage the island, as they have done since the middle of the 17th century.

St Aubyn Estates has been part of the West Cornwall landscape. Today, it is a modern, family-owned enterprise spanning 5,000 acres with a diverse portfolio of businesses, including land and property management, tourism and hospitality, building and farming. James and Mary St Levan live on St Michael’s Mount.

In WWII, the Mount was fortified  during the invasion crisis of 1940-41. Three pillboxes are still present on the island today.

St Michaels Mount - Marazion | Cornwall Guide

I  hope you have enjoyed this quick tour of the island.  If I’d had more space, I’d have gone into the history but I wanted to tie in my book, you see.  The Keep in Gemini Rising, where the twins are raised, and Alain later becomes Lord of the island, was inspired by that long-ago trip to St. Michael’’s Mount. You never know what will stick in your subconscious and surface years later.  I never forgo the Mount.

~*~

Gemini Rising by Bianca Swan; Published by Black Lotus Books:

Science said male/female identical twins were impossible until the Alastair twins were born. Were Alina and Alain genetically encoded or did growing up in an isolated island castle determine they walk the forbidden trails?

Blurb:

The Alastair twins are a scientific impossibility. To parents who’ve tried every way to have a child, their male and female identical twins are a miracle.

Isolated in their island castle, the Alastair twins Alain and Alina turn to each other for friendship and love. But when their love shifts from fraternal to frighteningly deep, they’ll each dance with their lust in their own way.

A dark fantasy of forbidden longings and midnight pledges, spoken only to be broken or kept. How can these phenomenal twins possibly unleash their innermost desires? The answer will shock you.

Excerpt:

Rory rushed him, grabbing his shirtfront, his fist drawn back to strike. Alain raised a defense. The horses snorted, hooves scrambling on cobbles. Aiden Alastair strode into the barn hall, assessing the situation at a glance.

“By all that’s holy!” Father’s hands fisted. “Have you both taken leave of your senses?”

Rory freed Alain with a shove. “I’m rearranging your son’s pretty face. You’ve said yourself that Alain’s too pretty for his own good.” The old, familiar humiliation and pain twisted in Alain, but he squared his shoulders, and with blood on his mouth, faced his father. His brother-in-law’s lips curled in a mocking smile. “I was just trying to help you out, Lord Alastair.” He put hateful emphasis on the title.

Alastair crossed his arms, glaring at his son-in-law. “You’re my daughter’s husband and as such this is your home, but I won’t tolerate fighting beneath my roof.”

Rory hung his head, staring at the cobbles, said nothing. His stiff posture sagged.

Father’s eyes found Alain. His expression altered from angry to hurt. “I would have expected more of you. Did you start this?”

Of course, he’d jumped to the conclusion Alain was to blame. He was always ready to believe the worst of his only son. He could tune them out, suppress his feelings and stoically endure. But not this time. Damage, like love and hate, came in degrees. All his life Alain had suffered at this man’s clumsy hand. He arched an eyebrow.

Rory’s gaze lifted to Alain’s face. He gasped, “Don’t.”

“You’ve always been disappointed in me, Father.” The chill in his voice bled into his limbs. “But frankly, I don’t give a damn. Never have. Never will.”

Splotches of anger dotted Aiden Alastair’s face. “How dare you say that to me? You’re a damned fine excuse for a son. If I could, I’d pass the title to Rory.”

The painful attack knocked the wind out of Alain.

To be told he meant less to his father than this bastard, hurt. He hadn’t believed Aiden had the power to break his heart. He collapsed on the wooden bench beside the bridles and stared at the old oriental carpet he used for polishing Spirit’s hooves. Suddenly, he hated the wealth surrounding him.

“Aiden.” Mother strode down the aisle, seized her husband’s arm and shook him. “I overheard. How could you say such a thing? Be so cruel to your son? I’m beginning to question how I feel about you.”

“It’s all right, Mother.” Alain climbed to his feet. “It’s no surprise.”

“No, it isn’t all right.” Mother glared into Father’s eyes. “You were angry. You didn’t mean what you said. Tell him, Aiden.”

Buy Link: Black Lotus Books

Book Video

~*~

You can find Bianca at:

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/bianca.swan.589

Web Site:  https://www.biancaswan.com/

Blog:            https://biancaswanblog.wordpress.com/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4573416.Bianca_Swan

This stone heart can be found at St. Michael’s Mount. Notice that over the years, it has cracked. That, too, has significance in Gemini Rising.

Have a pleasant and fun weekend!

Linda/Bianca

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A Love Song To Cherish is only 99¢!

A Love Song To Cherish, my inspirational contemporary romance, is only 99¢ on a Kindle Countdown! (U.S. only.)

It’s easy to recognize another’s pain. The tough part is facing your own.

Grab your copy today! Available in ebook, Paperback, Large Print paperback, and audiobook.

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Black Cats, Confusing Dreams and Magic Charms

By Toni V. Sweeney, Posted by Linda Nightingale

Her Demon in Blue Jeans and Other Quirky Romances, written by my pseudonym Icy Snow Blackstone, is a very long title for a fairly short book but it says exactly what the stories inside are about.

Besides the main story, there are four other novelettes, including my favorite “Love Comes on Little Cat Feet,” paraphrasing the title from Carl Sandburg’s poem Fog. This story features one of my favorite four-footed people…a black cat.

When Lisa Carpenter befriends the gypsy Mrs. Lee, she doesn’t realize the chain of events she’s set into motion.  The girl has a soft heart, that’s all there is to it.  She pays for the groceries the old woman’s accused of stealing. She takes her to her camper, where she’s introduced to grandsons Isaac and David, two gorgeous muscular hunks complete with golden earrings.  They move with the grace of panthers stalking prey, their touch when they shake hands with Lisa leaves her skin tingling.  There’s another gorgeous earringed hunk there also…Mrs. Lee’s cat, Tomas.  When Lisa leaves Mrs. Lee’s, she takes two things with her:  A magic charm, good for one wish, and Tomas, as her bodyguard (though she isn’t aware of that gift.

Once Lisa discovers Tomas has followed her home, their association doesn’t begin very auspiciously.  The first thing the hapless feline does is get himself mauled by a neighbor’s Great Dane.  A scratchy visit to the vet and another dip into Lisa’s paycheck saves the day but then Tomas has to win over roommate Annie who has definite ideas concerning stray cats, and one of them involves neutering, so the two definitely don’t hit it off.  Nevertheless, Tomas takes his assignment very seriously, and sticks to it, being on guard against Annie and sharp instruments. He’s going to protect Lisa…from over-amorous boyfriends, and anyone else who threatens.

One thing Tomas can’t protect Lisa from is her own dreams…or does he have a hand…uh, paw…in those, too?  The night after he arrives, Lisa’s sleep’s invaded by the image of a man whose face she can’t see…a man moving with catlike grace…a man over whom the shadow of a giant cat hovers.  He knows her; he believes she knows him.  He says she’s the only one who can save him…

…who is he?

Only Tomas knows and he isn’t telling.  Not yet, anyway.

EXCERPT:

Tomas was going on his self-appointed rounds.

            He’d gotten a good look at the layout of the house while Annie washed the pizza dishes, and now—while those two were out of the way—he was making certain the house was secure.  Protecting Lisa.  Just as Mrs. Lee ordered.

            Studying the kitchen door, he gave a cat-nod. Okay, backdoor shut and locked.  Trotting briskly into the living room, he looked at the two windows opening onto the front lawn.  Hmmm, better check that left one.  He scampered over, standing on hind paws to tap the bottom of the sash with a front paw.  Good, shut tight.  The front door was locked also.

            So…that leaves only the bedrooms…

            For just a moment, he stood there, looking from Annie’s room with its open door to Lisa’s on the opposite side of the living room.  Which one to check first?  Tomas didn’t really want to bother with Annie.  That neutering remark still rankled.  The girl was rude, sharp-tongued, and had made some pretty crude comments.   What does she eat for breakfast, anyway? Cactus?

Sauntering cautiously over to the open door, he peeped in.

Empty.  Good.

A few steps brought him to the bedroom window.  A quick swipe at the curtains knocked them out of the way to reveal the sash in place and locked.  So far, so—

“Hey, what are you doing in here?”  Annie appeared in the bathroom doorway, toothbrush in hand, mouth smeared with white foam.

Uh-oh!  Tomas backed away.  He stared at her face, eyes wide.  My God, she’s foaming at the mouth!

“What’s the matter?  Haven’t you ever seen anyone brush her teeth before?” Annie spluttered toothpaste as she spoke.  Tomas turned his head, making an odd disjointed little sound sounding suspiciously like laughter.  Cat laughter.

“Get out of here!”  Picking up a pillow, she swatted at him, and as he galloped for the safety of the living room, tossed it back on the bed and returned to the bathroom.

Okay.  Fine.  Tomas watched her disappear inside  Let someone break in and steal you.  See if I care…

…but he knew he’d better not let that happen.  Mrs. Lee had entrusted him—not Isaac or David—and for a very good reason, and he’d better not screw up this time.  Turning his back, he stalked with feline dignity into Lisa’s room.

~*~

Her Demon in Blue Jeans and Other Quirky Romances is available from Wordwooze Publishing and Amazon.com, in eBook, paperback, and Audible.

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Foot Reflexology

Reflexology, also known as zone therapy, is an alternative medical practice involving the application of pressure to specific points on the feet and hands. This is done using thumb, finger, and hand massage techniques without the use of oil or lotion.

I was too busy trying to figure how hard to press and where and how much that I didn’t relax! Grin! By the time I reached my feet, my knees hurt and my ankles didn’t like staying in the position needed for me to reach the bottoms of my feet. I think I need to let someone else do this for me. Maybe a pedicure would be good, having one, not doing it myself.

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A 99¢ Irish Second Chance romance, plus FREE sweet romance!

If you enjoy reading second chance romances and an “older” couple, you’ll love A Chocolate-Box Irish Wedding, set in beautiful Wexford, Ireland. Only 99¢ for a limited time!

A woman who wanted more. A man who wanted her. Can they rediscover their love in the seaside town where it all began?

And what’s better than a clean romance?

A clean and FREE sweet romance!

Grab your copy of 1-800-SUMMER. It’s FREE with my Newsletter sign-up.

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