Please welcome Linda Nightingale with the anthology, ‘Four By Moonlight’. Tell why you wrote this story.
My very favorite poem, and one of my favorite works of literature, is The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes. It is lyrical enough that it has been recorded many times over. The one I’m thinking of is by
This poem inspired my “Gypsy Ribbons,” which is included in an anthology from Class Act Books, Four by Moonlight. I wanted to see what the idea of the highwayman, combined with other elements, would become in prose.
Once I read the story on a PodCast. I had practiced the entire day before the reading, and only stumbled once. No surprise, I had almost memorized Gypsy Ribbons. I don’t have a copy of that PodCast or I’d include the link so that you could have a laugh as a South Carolinian with an accent tried to read a story starring British characters.
I often wondered if I could expand the story into a book, but it seemed happy as a short story. The piece dates back quite a few years, but it has been polished and edited. I didn’t have to worry about the advent of modern technology. In the late 1800s, no one had a cell phone! “Gypsy Ribbons’” setting is the Yorkshire moors, the time period parallel with the American Revolution.
Four by Moonlight also includes a novella, “The Night Before Doomsday,” the tag line to which is “Azazel resisted temptation…until the wrong woman came along.” The story takes a look at the angel Azazel in a different light—not as the demon he is often portrayed. “Night Before Doomsday” is about the Grigori’s descent to Earth to teach men to survive/thrive after their oust from the Garden of Eden.
One story is very spicy. “The Gate Keeper’s Cottage” bears a warning sign: Enter at your own risk.
The fourth offering is “Star Angel,” a sci-fi romance and is very New Age. The hero and the heroine are soul mates separated by a dimension.
Come with me on a journey to 1789 with “Gypsy Ribbons.” Next whistle stop is the Garden of Eden, and on to a plantation outside New Orleans, and finally a rescue in an Idaho potato patch. In Four by Moonlight, no one is exactly what he/she may seem.
An anthology of love in the moonlight…in the paranormal universe.
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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