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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

#TuesdayTreasure: Guest post by Linda Nightingale & a #giveaway!

Good Morning Friends,

It is with great pleasure I introduce to you Lind Nightingale who shares with us some interesting information about one of my favorite animals...horses!

For years I loved the Arabian horse and bred the Egyptian Arabian.  They are refined and lovely, but then I met the Andalusian horse at a show in Atlanta.  I also met a long-time friend, Irene Benjamin, who helped me along with my passion for becoming a great rider (I don’t think I ever achieved this goal, but I had another partner—my Andalusian stallion Bonito).   I sold all my Arabians and bought this young stallion imported from Costa Rica.  He was simply gorgeous with the most beautiful eyes and wonderful personality, even if occasionally spiced with mischief.  He had quite a sense of humor! We had a bumpy journey sometimes because he was trained to a higher level than I was, but I wouldn’t trade a moment.

In fact, he was such a friend that when I was getting a divorce and was confused and sad, I’d go to the stables into his stall, and he’d hug me with his big arched neck while I cried.

We did a musical freestyle to Phantom of the Opera.  The ride began with a complete side pass across the arena.  We performed a bit of piaffe (trot in place) and a canter pirouette (canter in place).  He was not your ordinary horse, but then no Andalusian is ordinary.  I have a poster in my guest bath that says “This horse will change your life.”  It is absolutely the truth.

Allow me to tell you a little about this extraordinary breed.  They are the bullfighting horses of Spain—either quick or dead.

The Andalusian is an ancient pure breed that has been carefully preserved over the centuries.  In Northern Spain, cave paintings depict men leading Mesolitic horses with convex heads, solid muscular bodies, elegant necks and luxurious manes.  Circa 1,100 B.C., Homer refers to the Iberian horse in his Iliad.  The Iberian horse carried Hannibal across the Alps in his invasion of Italy (though the elephants got all the credit!).  History records Richard I and many of his knights mounted on "airy Spanish Destriers".

In the heyday of European monarchies, the Andalusian's flair, style and formidable carriage made him the mount of choice for the aristocracy.  Not only did the Spanish horse excel in battle but he was a fancy parade horse and an elegant fine harness animal.   This popularity earned the Iberian horse a grandiose title, "Horse of Kings" or "Royal Horse of Europe."   Indeed, there was a time when no crowned head would consider having a portrait painted on any horse other than an Andalusian. 

Wow Linda, Bonito definitely sounds like a treasure!

About Linda....
Born in South Carolina, Linda Nightingale has lived in England, Canada, Miami, Atlanta and Houston.  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 thirteen years.

Linda has won several writing awards, including the Georgia Romance Writers Magnolia Award.   As well as an author, she is a legal assistant and a mother of two incredible sons, one in England; the other a graphic artist in Houston.  She is a member of the Houston Symphony League and enjoys events with her car club.  Two of her favorite things are her snazzy black convertible and her parlor grand piano.

She is the author of three novels published by Double Dragon Publishing, a Canadian publisher. Gemini Rising, winner of the Preditors’ and Editors 2013 Poll in Mainstream, is a controversial dark fantasy, getting good reviews.  Sinners’ Opera and Cardinal Desires are paranormal romances starring sexy vampires.  The following is a snippet of a review for Sinners’ Opera:  “Morgan and Isabeau are characters that could be placed in the same category as some of the most famous couples in romance history - Romeo and his Juliet, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy - and their romance plays out like one of Beethoven's famous love letters.”

Visit her web site at http://www.lindanightingale.com (site designed by Simon Nightingale) for a continuing vampire story.  Catch her on Twitter at @LNightingale.  She is on Facebook, or visit her blog http://lindanightingale.wordpress.com/

Under the pen name Bianca Swan, she writes erotic romance.  The Wild Rose Press published two novellas. Double Dragon Publishing released one Bianca novel.

Linda's latest novel, Gambler's Choice is available now from Amazon in paperback and for Kindle.

Linda is giving away an Ebook (winner's choice) of her back list to one lucky person~leave a comment for your chance to win!

Hope you enjoyed today's treasure. Check back weekly for Thursday Thoughts, Saturday Spotlights and of course, more Tuesday Treasures.

Until next time...take care and God bless!


Maris said...

I wish I could have seen you, Linda, riding the musical freestyle. I love watching the combination of the horse (and movements) and the music. The Andalusian is a gorgeous horse. Thanks for including its history.

Maureen said...

What a lovely post! I enjoyed learning about your horse and your remarkable relationship with him. Truly something to treasure!

Jacqueline Seewald said...

A truly interesting post! I can imagine how enjoyable riding a horse you love would be. Congrats on your new novel and best wishes.

marilyn leach said...

What an amazing relationship and background to take into a story. I can imagine it is alive with love of horse and owner. Horse lovers everywhere need to be aware of your book. I wish you the very best. Cheers

Anonymous said...

I love the Lippizaner horses that are related to the Andalusians. I've seen them in all their wonderful glory, they are a most special breed of horse. Thank you for such a lovely post and good luck with your new release.

Hope Toler Dougherty said...

I love horses. Thank you for sharing about Bonito!

Marissa Garner said...

Very interesting post!

Diane Burton said...

Loved reading about your adventures with your horse. Wish I could have seen the routine to Phantom. Best wishes.

Nightingale said...

I'd like to thank Pam for letting me visit her lovely blog, everyone who dropped by and commented and left such kind remarks about my darling Bonito. He was a treasure!

Leah St. James said...

Such gorgeous animals. I must confess I've never been comfortable around horses, but I consider that my loss. I've tried riding as a kid but was always so nervous...plus I hate heights and you're waaaay up sitting in the saddle :-) Thanks for sharing your exoeriences!

Leah St. James said...

Such gorgeous animals. I must confess I've never been comfortable around horses, but I consider that my loss. I've tried riding as a kid but was always so nervous...plus I hate heights and you're waaaay up sitting in the saddle :-) Thanks for sharing your exoeriences!

Alicia Dean said...

Your passion for horses really shows. I bet the freestyle was amazing to watch. Enjoyed the post!

M.J. Schiller, Romance Author said...

Wow! I ride but know nearly nothing about horses. This was very interesting! I love how we all have different passions that fuel us. There is nothing better than hearing someone talk about their passion because we can share their enthusiasm, even if we don't understand the subject at the level they do. Thanks for sharing!