A Most Peculiar Season
Multi Author Series
Genre: Regency Paranormal
Date of Publication: March 23, 2015
Word Count: 61,800
Cover Artist: Jane Dixon-Smith
Magic is fraught with peril—but so is love.
Lord Fenimore Trent’s uncanny affinity for knives and other sharp blades led to duels and murderous brawls until he found a safe, peaceful outlet by opening a furniture shop—an unacceptable occupation for a man of noble birth. Now Fen’s business partner has been accused of treason. In order to root out the real traitor, he may have to resort to the violent use of his blades once again.
Once upon a time, Andromeda Gibbons believed in magic. That belief faded after her mother’s death and vanished completely when Lord Fenimore, the man she loved, spurned her. Five years later, Andromeda has molded herself into a perfect—and perfectly unhappy—lady.
When she overhears her haughty betrothed plotting treason, she flees into the London night—to Fen, the one man she knows she can trust. But taking refuge with him leads to far more than preventing treason.
Can she learn to believe in love, magic, and the real Andromeda once again?
Setup: After learning of a treasonous plot, Andromeda fled into the London night to get help from Lord Fen, the man she once loved.
There was a woman outside his window, and as Fen pushed it full open, he realized who she was. “What the devil are you doing here?” he said.
Andromeda burst into tears. Oh, hell. Fen climbed out onto the roof.
Diggs, the beggar who habitually slept in the yard, called from below. “You want I should fetch the Watch, my lord?”
“Unnecessary.” Fen pulled the sobbing Andromeda to her feet. She gasped as if in pain, and tears streamed down her face. Her hair lay in a tangle on her shoulders, and her slippers were torn to ribbons. Had she walked all the way here in footwear suited only for dancing at a ball? What was going on?
His mind raced through the possibilities of what her arrival just before dawn, exhausted and distraught, might mean. She wasn’t wearing the same gown as before--probably because she’d spilled her wine on it.
A knife on the roof beside her was making its presence known. Be still, he told it. Was that blood on the blade? “Damn.” Confound it, he’d cursed again, but he couldn’t afford to have a woman on the premises. It just wouldn’t do, and especially not this woman, and especially not now.
“Don’t usually see visitors of the female persuasion here, my lord.” Diggs sounded amused. Everyone knew about Fen’s past reputation, even though he’d been discreet for five years.
“That’s not about to change. She’s just a friend who’s gotten herself into a spot of trouble.”
Diggs snorted, and Andromeda gaped at Fen with wide, tear-drenched eyes. What if she really were with child? He hoped she wasn’t such a fool, but he didn’t intend to let it become his problem.
He pushed her gently toward the window. “Go inside and wait for me. I’ll take you straight home.”
“No!” squeaked Andromeda. “Please, you mustn’t. It’s—it’s life or death, Fen.”
“Go inside,” Fen said through gritted teeth. “Now.”
About the Author:
Award-winning author Barbara Monajem wrote her first story at eight years old about apple tree gnomes. She published a middle-grade fantasy when her children were young, then moved on to paranormal mysteries and Regency romances with intrepid heroines and long-suffering heroes.
Barbara loves to cook, especially soups, and is an avid reader. There are only two items on her bucket list: to make asparagus pudding and succeed at knitting socks. She knows she can manage the first but doubts she’ll ever accomplish the second.
This is not a bid for immortality but merely the dismal truth. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia.
Barbara Monajem on the concept of "Believing in Fairies"
“Every time a child says, ‘I don’t believe in fairies,’ another fairy dies.”
That’s a paraphrase of a quote from Peter Pan, and as a child, I found it so upsetting that it has stuck with me all my life. It’s a horrible thought and so unfair to the fairies. It is my personal policy to never, ever say I don’t believe in this paranormal being or that: fairies, vampires, shape shifters, whatever (although I have to say I would prefer to know for sure that there are no zombies—shudder). As Lord Fen in Lady of the Flames tells Andromeda, “Whether or not you see the fairies, they’re still here.”
I don’t see the point in denying something I can’t see. I mean, what’s the fun of visiting Ireland and not sensing the Little People hovering just out of sight? Why not feel the presence of a friendly brownie in an old English country house, or a buttery spirit (a gluttonous fairy) who dwells in a pretentious mansion? To me, these creatures just add to the magic of life, and there’s always the lingering hope that I *will* see one, one of these days.
Sometimes I wonder if I have seen one. Several years ago while visiting relatives in Germany, their elusive white cat told me he was the King of the Fairies in disguise. OK, not in so many words, but I’ve never been able to get him out of my mind, and it was after that encounter that I began to seriously research folklore.
Now, I bring these creatures to life in my books whenever the spirit/muse/King of the Fairies moves me. Lady of the Flames is one of my magical Regencies, and one of the secondary characters is a hobgoblin named Cuff. I hope you enjoy reading about him as much as I did writing him.
I won’t ask if you believe in fairies, because if you don’t, I’d rather not know. But I will ask: which kind of paranormal being would you like to meet?
By the way, I asked the same question in another blog post. Guess what was the most popular answer!
$25 gift certificate, winner’s choice Amazon or Barnes and Noble
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