The Nightjar by Barbara Casey – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Barbara Casey will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Barbara Casey
Dara Roux, abandoned when she was 7 years old by her mother. Exceptionally gifted in foreign languages. Orphan.

Mackenzie Yarborough, no record of her parents or where she was born. Exceptionally gifted in math and problem-solving. Orphan.

Jennifer Torres, both parents killed in an automobile accident when she was 16. Exceptionally gifted in music and art. Orphan.

One of the things I enjoyed the most in doing my research for THE F.I.G. MYSTERIES was learning about gypsy folklore and customs. In particular, I was able to find old gypsy medicine books which detailed the benefits of herbs used for various ailments. Many of these practices continue today among the different gypsy tribes scattered throughout the world.

In this series, however, there is one gypsy woman in particular that I write about who becomes involved in the lives of the three teenage orphan F.I.G.s (Females of Intellectual Genius, as they call themselves) and the young woman who has been hired to mentor them. The gypsy woman is Lyuba, a choovihni or wisewoman within the Kaulo Camio tribe, and it is Lyuba who first warns Carolina to watch for the nightjar:

Carolina fixed a cup of hot tea and carried it into her small living room where she sat and stared at her phone. Part of her was trying to say there was nothing wrong—that Jennifer just wanted to see her friends before Thanksgiving. But the other part told Carolina that there was a darkness surrounding Jennifer, and that darkness would destroy her if they couldn’t help her to reach some sort of resolution.

Off in the distance she heard the faint call of a whip-poor-will. She also heard Lyuba—her mother—call the bird by its ancient name—nightjar. Watch for the nightjar. Just as quickly as her mother’s words came, they vanished with the shrill ring of the telephone.

Jennifer Torres, one of the three FIGs (Females of Intellectual Genius) who is a genius in both music and art, is the last to leave the closed rehearsal for her upcoming performance over Thanksgiving break at Carnegie Hall when she hears something in the darkened Hall. Recognizing the tilt of the woman’s head and the slight limp of the man as they hurry out an exit door, she realizes it is her parents who were supposedly killed in a terrible car accident when she was 15 years old.

Devastated and feeling betrayed, she sends a text to Carolina and the other two FIGs—THURGOOD. It is the code word they all agreed to use if ever one of them got into trouble or something happened that was too difficult to handle. They would all meet back at Carolina’s bungalow at Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women to figure it out.

As soon as they receive the text, because of their genius, Dara starts thinking of words in ancient Hebrew, German, and Yiddish, while Mackenzie’s visions of unique math formulae keep bringing up the date October 11, 1943. That is the date during World War II when the Nazis—the Kunstschutz—looted the paintings of targeted wealthy Jewish families and hid them away under Hitler’s orders. And as Carolina waits for the FIGs to return to Wood Rose, she hears warnings from Lyuba, her gypsy mother, to watch for the nightjar, the ancient name for the whip-poor-will.

As they search for “The Nightjar’s Promise” and the truth surrounding it, Carolina and the FIGs come face to face with evil that threatens to destroy not only their genius, but their very lives.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Right on time, the guard arrived at the front gate and unlocked it. Once he drove away, Jas slipped unnoticed through the entrance into the cemetery. When he had first been given the assignment, the cemetery bothered him, especially the mausoleum. Unfamiliar sounds and smells, being surrounded by cold stones and even colder death, made his imagination work overtime so that by the end of each day when he left—just before the guard locked the gate—he would be nervous and irritable; at night, unable to sleep. Now, after all this time doing the same thing day in and day out, he was used to it. In fact, he sort of enjoyed it—thinking about the dead and all the different ways their lives might have come to an end. Lately, his imagination had taken a more brutal turn. More violent and macabre.

Ignoring the hundreds of grave sites that stretched in every direction, he quickly made his way toward the mausoleum. Having already been there many times before, he knew exactly where he wanted to go and what he needed to do.

About the Author:Originally from Carrollton, Illinois, author/agent/publisher Barbara Casey attended the University of North Carolina, N.C. State University, and N.C. Wesleyan College where she received a BA degree, summa cum laude, with a double major in English and history. In 1978 she left her position as Director of Public Relations and Vice President of Development at North Carolina Wesleyan College to write full time and develop her own manuscript evaluation and editorial service. In 1995 she established the Barbara Casey Agency and since that time has represented authors from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. In 2014, she became a partner with Strategic Media Books, an independent nonfiction publisher of true crime, where she oversees acquisitions, day-to-day operations, and book production.
Ms. Casey has written over a dozen award-winning books of fiction and nonfiction for both young adults and adults. The awards include the National Association of University Women Literary Award, the Sir Walter Raleigh Literary Award, the Independent Publisher Book Award, the Dana Award for Outstanding Novel, the IP Best Book for Regional Fiction, among others. Two of her nonfiction books have been optioned for major films, one of which is under contract.

Her award-winning articles, short stories, and poetry for adults have appeared in both national and international publications including the North Carolina Christian Advocate Magazine, The New East Magazine, the Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer, the Rocky Mount (N.C.) Sunday Telegram, Dog Fancy, ByLine, The Christian Record, Skirt! Magazine, and True Story. A thirty-minute television special which Ms. Casey wrote and coordinated was broadcast on WRAL, Channel 5, in Raleigh, North Carolina. She also received special recognition for her editorial work on the English translations of Albanian children’s stories. Her award-winning science fiction short stories for adults are featured in The Cosmic Unicorn and CrossTime science fiction anthologies. Ms. Casey’s essays and other works appear in The Chrysalis Reader, the international literary journal of the Swedenborg Foundation, 221 One-Minute Monologues from Literature (Smith and Kraus Publishers), and A Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation).

Ms. Casey is a former director of BookFest of the Palm Beaches, Florida, where she served as guest author and panelist. She has served as judge for the Pathfinder Literary Awards in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Florida, and was the Florida Regional Advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators from 1991 through 2003. In 2018 Ms. Casey received the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award and Top Professional Award for her extensive experience and notable accomplishments in the field of publishing and other areas. She makes her home on the top of a mountain in northwest Georgia with her husband and three cats who adopted her, Homer, Reese and Earl Gray, Reese’s best friend.

Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Mya Murphy says

    What was your hardest scene to write?

    • That is such a good question. There are four books in this series, and each one has scenes that were especially emotional and challenging for me to write. The one that is posted in this blog where Jennifer realizes that her parents aren’t dead after all, and that it was all a lie still makes me teary-eyed. But strangely enough, in Book 1, THE CADENCE OF GYPSIES, there is a scene where Carolina, the F.I.G.s’ mentor, is dying from a curse, and she learns that the Gypsy who has come to administer medicines is actually her mother. Thank you for asking.

  3. James Robert says

    Thanks so much for sharing your book and for the giveaway also. Greatly appreciated!

  4. Thank you so much for hosting me and for your interest in my latest book, THE NIGHTJAR’S PROMISE. I look forward to spending time with you and your bloggers. My best ~Barbara

  5. Bernaie Wallace says

    How did the story change from your first draft to your final draft?

    • Barbara Casey says

      The way I work, even before I start to actually write, I usually have a pretty good idea of what I want in the story–a beginning, a middle, and an end with flags along the way. So the story was there, and the only change was the final edit polish. That is an interesting question. I am glad you asked.

  6. favorite movie?

    • The Sound of Music is my all-time favorite. But I also enjoy more contemporary stories. Recently I watched The Ghost Writer. It was a mystery with a great surprise ending. Thank you for the question.

  7. Rita Wray says

    Sounds like a great book.

  8. Great

  9. Rana Durham says

    happy friday love thecover

  10. Cassandra D says

    Looks like a great book.

  11. The more I read about this book the better it sounds.

  12. Rana Durham says

    happy saturday loving the synopsis

  13. Diana Hardt says

    Nice cover. I liked the synopsis and excerpt. It sounds like a really interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Victoria Alexander says

    Great post – thanks for sharing!

  15. Rana Durham says

    happy sunday and thank you for hosting this amazing giveaway

  16. Caryl Kane says

    Beautiful cover! Sounds like a must read.

  17. rana durham says

    happy monday thanks so much for hosting this giveaway and love the article

  18. Rana Durham says

    happy tuesday i love this. thanks for hosting this

  19. Rana Durham says

    this looks like great read thank you

  20. Rana Durham says


  21. Rana Durham says


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