BLOG TOUR~ LADY OF THE FLAMES~ BARBARA MONAJEM, Today’s guest…with #Giveaway and #Review

 

Lady of the Flames
by Barbara Monajem
Series: A Most Peculiar Season
Genre: Regency Historical Paranormal Romance
Release Date: March 23, 2015

 

 

 

From the desk of….Barbara Monajem
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 that sentiment so disturbing 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.

And in the meantime, I’m free to bring these characters to life in my books (and hope I don’t offend the real thing). One of the secondary characters in Lady of the Flames 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?

Magic is fraught with peril—but so is love.

Lord Fenimore Trent’s uncanny affinity for knives and other sharp blades led to knife fights, duels, and murderous brawls. Five years ago, he faced a choice: marry Andromeda Gibbons, the woman he loved, or find a safe, peaceful use for his blades by opening a furniture shop—an unacceptable occupation for a man of noble birth. The choice made itself when Andromeda turned to another man. The furniture shop prospered, but now Fen’s partner has been accused of treason. In order to root out the real traitor, he may face another unpalatable choice—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, the Earl of Slough, plotting treason, she flees into the London night—to Fen, the one man she knows she can trust. But taking refuge with Fen proves to mean far more than getting help—it means learning to believe in love, magic, and the real Andromeda once again.

 

 

Years ago, Andromeda had felt no need to talk when with Fen, but now it was uncomfortable, like conversing with a stranger. She took a sip of coffee and ate a sausage roll. She sipped some more coffee. She gazed around the room and finally found something to say.“Did you carve the figures on your looking-glass frame?” she said. As a boy, he had whittled constantly. “They seem so…familiar somehow.”

“They should,” he said with a sudden smile. “I carved it from my memories of the fairies and hobgoblins back home.”

“Fairies and hobgoblins?”

“At your father’s estate,” he said. “Surely you remember Cuff the bedchamber hob, and Heck the buttery spirit, and all the rest.”

“My mother told stories about them,” Andromeda said, nostalgia filling her again. “I must say, I like the way you’ve imagined them.”

Fen frowned at her, his smile fading, his eyes perplexed. “I didn’t imagine them,” he said. “I saw them.”

Andromeda rolled her eyes. “That sounds like something my mother would have said.”

“Because she saw them, too.”

Andromeda began to be annoyed. “Don’t be ridiculous, Fen. She made up stories based on tales she was told as a child.”

Fen shook his head. “You saw them when you were small. You saw Cuff and Heck and the others. We both did.”

“No,” Andromeda said. “We saw movement out of the corners of our eyes and said they were fairies, but we were just playing games.”

Fen’s expression was pained. “You really don’t remember, do you?”

“There’s nothing to remember,” she insisted, wolfing down another cream puff. “As a matter of fact, that happened to me this morning. I had the impression that one of the creatures on the looking-glass winked at me, but of course it didn’t really do so.”

“What a pity,” Fen said.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“That you’ve forgotten. That wink was Cuff’s way of saying good-day to you. He’s somewhere hereabouts. He’s the only one I didn’t have to carve from memory, because he came with me when I left home.” He glanced toward the tin cup and plate by the wall. “He ate the bread and milk I put out, and I gave him the rest of your brandy, too.”

She couldn’t stand any more of this. “Fen, stop this nonsense! We’re in danger from traitors and spies who murder people, and all you can talk about is hobgoblins.”

He went on as if she hadn’t spoken. “I wondered why he came with me when I left, but it’s because he enjoys human company.” He grimaced. “Your father and aunt aren’t his sort of humans. I thought you were, and so did your mother, but evidently you’re not.”

That struck her like a blow. “What do you mean, my mother thought I was. Was what?”

“She had a sizeable amount of fairy blood, so she thought you must have some, too—but perhaps she was wrong.” He paused. “I know I have some. It’s not uncommon for children to see fairies, but I didn’t lose that when I grew up. Not only that, it’s their magic that guides my knives and tools, and inspires me when it comes to furniture design.”

She couldn’t bear it. “Stop it! You’re as—as mad as my mother was.”

“She wasn’t mad, Andromeda.” He sighed. “And whether or not you see the fairies, they’re still here.”

She put her hands to her ears and shut her eyes. After all the chaos of yesterday, this was too much. When he said and did nothing, she opened her eyes again. “Why did she discuss me with you?”

“Who else was there to speak to? Your father and aunt, although worthy people, wouldn’t have understood. They already found her far too strange.”

This was true—but it was because Mama’s mind was unbalanced.

“She knew I cared for you,” Fen said.

His eyes were kind but dispassionate; his use of the past tense meant that he didn’t care anymore, except perhaps as an old friend. Why couldn’t she become accustomed? Every single reminder hurt.

“You believed in them at the time your mother died,” he said. “She gave you that heart-shaped locket, didn’t she?” It still hung at her breast, but she resisted the urge to clasp it in her hand.

“I was nine years old. I believed in many foolish things then,” she retorted. Such as magic, but a household run by her aunt was no longer vibrant with promise or belief in anything much at all. And then, when she was seventeen, Fen had destroyed what little belief remained. She didn’t try to keep the bitterness from her voice. “I learned soon enough what utter nonsense it all was.”

He watched her, head cocked to one side, as if she were some strange, incomprehensible creature. “As a matter of interest, when did you stop believing?”

How dare he ask such a personal question? “What business is that of yours?”

“None, I suppose.” He shrugged and stood. “Stay away from the windows. I’ll see if my valet has found you something to wear.” He took the last of the beignets, set it on a saucer, and left it on the floor by the wall.

As if prying into her business wasn’t enough, now he was mocking her. Did he seriously expect her to believe that a hobgoblin would eat the beignet? Anger stirred and grew within her. “If you must know, it was at the same time I gave up other foolishness, such as believing in love!”

Fen stared at her, his expression incredulous. He left the room, slamming the door behind him. By what right was he upset? Not content with playing stupid games with her, did he really not remember what he’d done to her five years ago?

 

 

LADY OF THE FLAMES by Barbara Monajem is a fast paced Historical Paranormal Romance. #3 in “A Most Peculiar Season”, but can be read as a stand alone. This was my first in this intriguing series, and I had no problems following the storyline.
Fast paced, quick read. Filled with romance, passion, magic, treason, and love. Intriguing and interesting. I intend to follow this series, and go back and read the previous in this series. An enjoyable read, with an interesting storyline and engaging and endearing characters. Any Historical or Paranormal fans are sure to enjoy this quick, fast paced read.

*Received for an honest review*

Rating: 4
Heat rating: Mild
Reviewed by: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

 

 

 

Paperback

 

Barbara Monajem grew up in western Canada. She wrote her first story, a fantasy about apple tree gnomes, when she was eight years old, and dabbled in neighborhood musicals at the age of ten. At twelve, she spent a year in Oxford, England, soaking up culture and history, grubbing around at an archaeological dig, playing twosy-ball against the school wall, and spending her pocket money on adventure novels. Thanks to her mother, she became addicted to Regency romances as well. She is the award-winning author of several Regency novellas, many of which include elements of magic, and the Bayou Gavotte series of paranormal mysteries. Apart from writing, she loves to cook (especially soups), and the only item on her bucket list is to be successful at knitting socks (which she doesn’t expect to achieve). She lives near Atlanta, Georgia, with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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RELEASE DAY BLITZ~ LADY OF THE FLAMES~ BARBARA MONAJEM…with #Giveaway, excerpt, and review…

 

Lady of the Flames
by Barbara Monajem
Series: A Most Peculiar Season
Genre: Regency Historical Paranormal Romance
Release Date: March 23, 2015

 

 

Magic is fraught with peril—but so is love.

Lord Fenimore Trent’s uncanny affinity for knives and other sharp blades led to knife fights, duels, and murderous brawls. Five years ago, he faced a choice: marry Andromeda Gibbons, the woman he loved, or find a safe, peaceful use for his blades by opening a furniture shop—an unacceptable occupation for a man of noble birth. The choice made itself when Andromeda turned to another man. The furniture shop prospered, but now Fen’s partner has been accused of treason. In order to root out the real traitor, he may face another unpalatable choice—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, the Earl of Slough, plotting treason, she flees into the London night—to Fen, the one man she knows she can trust. But taking refuge with Fen proves to mean far more than getting help—it means learning to believe in love, magic, and the real Andromeda once again.

 

“It’s time for bed now,” Fen said.

Andromeda’s eyes widened, but mercifully she was too exhausted to try any of her wiles on him. Not that she seemed so inclined at the moment, but earlier, when their eyes had met for a few seconds, he’d wondered. Oh, how he remembered kissing and licking those lovely feet—and stopping right there, for if he hadn’t, his tongue would have wandered elsewhere and feasted indeed.

He knew for certain that she remembered it, too.

But he also doubted that she could undress by herself. “There are no women here, so I suppose I’ll have to unlace your stays.” He knew he sounded surly but couldn’t help it. Time was when he’d wanted nothing more than to love this woman forever.

“If you don’t mind,” she said stiffly, standing up, hissing as her injured feet touched the rug. She pulled a small reticule from the top of her stays and set it on the dresser. “If I can put up with it, surely you can, too.”

He swore under his breath and went behind her to undo the hooks at the back of the gown. Quickly, he unlaced her stays and stood back. “I’ll give you something of mine to wear. It’ll be too big, but you need more than a shift.” He went over to his chest of drawers, pulled out a nightshirt, and tossed it onto the bed.

This would not be comfortable or easy, but they both had to sleep. “There’s a chamber pot under the bed. I’ll be back in a few minutes.” He went to the door. “Call me when you’re ready.”

“Ready for what?”

“To go to bed.” She frowned, and he added, “When you’ve changed into the nightshirt and used the chamber pot and done whatever else you have to do. There’s a hairbrush on the dressing table if you need it.”

“Very well, but why would I call you?”

“So I can come to bed, too,” he said.

She was already pale with fatigue, but now she went stark white. “You can’t come to bed…in here…with me!”

Considering the way she’d thrown herself at him five years ago, this should be hilarious. It wasn’t. It made him want to swear and throw things. “I have nowhere else to sleep.”

“No other bedchambers?”

“One, but it belongs to my valet.”

“No settee? No sofa?” She clenched her small fists.

“Only chairs. And before you ask, we’re out of sofas in the shop, too.” A damned good thing, because he didn’t relish sleeping in the showroom for all his workers to find in the morning. “I need what little sleep I can get. The next few days are going to be hell in too many ways.”

If she took that as an insult, so be it. She put her hands on her hips and tried to look fierce, but her lip trembled.

He relented a little. “Don’t be a fool, Andromeda. We’re not going to do anything we shouldn’t.”

She narrowed her eyes. “No, we certainly are not.”

Lord, what a fiasco. “Then what’s bothering you?”

“I won’t be able to sleep at all if you’re naked!”

He burst out laughing. Was that all that bothered her?

“It’s not proper,” she shouted, crimson with rage. The fire crackled, sounding as angry as she. “It’s not right!”

“Hush,” he retorted. “Someone might hear you.”

“Just because I’m now completely ruined doesn’t mean I should be treated like a trollop.”

Where had she got that idea? He’d thought he was treating her rather well. “I won’t be naked, you idiotic girl,” he said. “I’ll wear what I have on now.”

“It’s still not right,” she said. “I’m unmarried. I can’t share my bed with a man.”

“In case you have forgotten,” he said between his teeth, “it’s my bed, and I don’t want you there, either.” He lit a candle from the branch on the dresser and went to the door. “But unless you wish to sleep on the floor, that’s the way it will be.” He left the room, shutting the door behind him.

 

 

Paperback

 

Barbara Monajem grew up in western Canada. She wrote her first story, a fantasy about apple tree gnomes, when she was eight years old, and dabbled in neighborhood musicals at the age of ten. At twelve, she spent a year in Oxford, England, soaking up culture and history, grubbing around at an archaeological dig, playing twosy-ball against the school wall, and spending her pocket money on adventure novels. Thanks to her mother, she became addicted to Regency romances as well. She is the award-winning author of several Regency novellas, many of which include elements of magic, and the Bayou Gavotte series of paranormal mysteries. Apart from writing, she loves to cook (especially soups), and the only item on her bucket list is to be successful at knitting socks (which she doesn’t expect to achieve). She lives near Atlanta, Georgia, with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

MY THOUGHTS

LADY OF THE FLAMES by Barbara Monajem is a fast paced Historical Paranormal Romance. #3 in “A Most Peculiar Season”, but can be read as a stand alone. This was my first in this intriguing series, and I had no problems following the storyline.
Fast paced, quick read. Filled with romance, passion, magic, treason, and love. Intriguing and interesting. I intend to follow this series, and go back and read the previous in this series. An enjoyable read, with an interesting storyline and engaging and endearing characters. Any Historical or Paranormal fans are sure to enjoy this quick, fast paced read.

*Received for an honest review*

Rating: 4
Heat rating: Mild
Reviewed by: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

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COVER REVEAL~ LADY OF THE FLAMES~ BARBARA MONAJEM…

 

Lady of the Flames
by Barbara Monajem
Series: A Most Peculiar Season
Genre: Regency Historical Paranormal Romance
Release Date: March 23, 2015

 

 

Magic is fraught with peril—but so is love.

Lord Fenimore Trent’s uncanny affinity for these hunters knives here here and other sharp blades, led to knife fights, duels, and murderous brawls. Five years ago, he faced a choice: marry Andromeda Gibbons, the woman he loved, or find a safe, peaceful use for his blades by opening a furniture shop—an unacceptable occupation for a man of noble birth. The choice made itself when Andromeda turned to another man. The furniture shop prospered, but now Fen’s partner has been accused of treason. In order to root out the real traitor, he may face another unpalatable choice—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, the Earl of Slough, plotting treason, she flees into the London night—to Fen, the one man she knows she can trust. But taking refuge with Fen proves to mean far more than getting help—it means learning 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 find Lord Fenimore, a man she can trust.

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 in hell 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.”

Andromeda hiccupped on a sob and got a hold of herself. She hiked her skirts, hobbled to the window, and hitched one leg over the sill. Her gown rode up, revealing shapely legs. She sagged inward, raised the other leg, and would have toppled inside if Fen hadn’t grabbed her by the arm and bum and let her down slowly.

He made a point of not noticing the soft plumpness of that bum.

He padded across the roof of the bump-out, got down on his haunches, and spoke quietly to Diggs. “Go back to sleep, and keep your mouth shut about this. There’ll be a shilling for you in the morning.”

“Right you are, my lord.”

Fen watched the beggar amble back to his pile of rags. What had happened to Andromeda between an hour ago and now? Why had she come to him? Why didn’t she want to go home? And what the devil was he going to do with her?

He pulled himself together; he would get the story from her soon enough.

The knife came eagerly to his reaching hand. He climbed in the window, shut it, and closed the curtains. Andromeda was huddled on the hearthrug, eyes closed, her knees drawn up to her chest, racked by great, convulsive shudders.

He set the knife on the dressing table, examining in the candlelight the dark stains on the blade. He put one fingertip to the sticky blade, then sniffed it. Blood indeed.

Something terrible must have happened to drive Andromeda here, and she was clearly in a state of shock. He knew an urge to take her in his arms, to hold and comfort her, but dismissed that as insanity. He had almost ruined his life once for Andromeda; never again.

He lit the branch of candles on the dresser. “I’ll start a fire, shall I?” he said briskly. “Get you warmed up.”

She opened her eyes and stared at him, teeth chattering. “Y-y-you’re stark naked, Fen.”

 

 

 

Barbara Monajem grew up in western Canada. She wrote her first story, a fantasy about apple tree gnomes, when she was eight years old, and dabbled in neighborhood musicals at the age of ten. At twelve, she spent a year in Oxford, England, soaking up culture and history, grubbing around at an archaeological dig, playing twosy-ball against the school wall, and spending her pocket money on adventure novels. Thanks to her mother, she became addicted to Regency romances as well. She is the award-winning author of several Regency novellas, many of which include elements of magic, and the Bayou Gavotte series of paranormal mysteries. Apart from writing, she loves to cook (especially soups), and the only item on her bucket list is to be successful at knitting socks (which she doesn’t expect to achieve). She lives near Atlanta, Georgia, with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.

 

 

 

 

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