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Trivia About This Book 

I have owned Cavalier King Charles Spaniels for many years, and I am delighted to finally feature them in a book!

King Charles Cavalier
Click here to visit my Cavalier King Charles Spaniels page.

Most Recent Release

Bite the Biscuit

Bite the Biscuit

A Barkery and Biscuits Mystery
Midnight Ink
May 2015

ISBN 978-0738745039
Order from Amazon.com

Buy from Barnes & Noble

Midnight Ink Books

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Once a CavalierOnce a Cavalier

Amazon Kindle
September 2015
originally published June 2000

A twentieth century doctor, Larryn Maeller, meets the handsome, tormented ghost of a seventeenth century doctor, Thomas Northby, Duke of Seldrake, who had pledged his life to saving children from the Great Plague in London. Their dogs, both Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, lead Larryn into the past, where she must keep Thomas from becoming a tortured ghost... while learning that love transcends the centuries.


"Linda O. Johnston has gained a well-deserved reputation for exciting romance novels...  Ms. Johnston provides readers with a wonderfully picturesque tale that will leave historical and time travel romance aficionados seeking the author's other works."  -- Affaire de Coeur

"Another super story from an author who excels at time travel." --Rendezvous

"Ms. Johnston delivers an engaging tale of love, honor and betrayal set amid a London stricken by the Great Plague." --Romantic Times

"A touching romance that is steady rather than fast paced.  Set in one of my favourite eras it is one that fewer novels are set in than I would like.  I was delighted to find that I was not disappointed in Linda O Johnston’s interpretation of this era and I would hope that some day she will return to it with another novel." --LouisaBrown.net

Once a Cavalier

"...a good, solid read.  Once A Cavalier is a refreshing change from the standard stuff in the market nowadays. It even tries to weave in some ghostly mythology instead of being just another Oops! She hits her head and get sent back in time! time travel." -- Mrs. Giggles

"King Charles’ court and its intrigues are interestingly depicted with just enough detail.  The spaniels are important to the action and add some humor.  The time travel element is not overdone with too many details of Larryn’s adjustment and because of this, more time is spent on the plot and the story moves at a good pace. The epilogue...is satisfying.   Readers who enjoy time travel stories and a setting that is a little unusual will probably enjoy Once a Cavalier". -- B. Kathy Leitle, The Romance Reader.

"ONCE A CAVALIER is an entertaining time travel romance that will provide much pleasure to sub-genre fans. ...Linda O. Johnston [tells] an exciting story that paints a vivid picture of a bygone era. The lead characters are a dynamic duo whose need to help the young during the health crisis adds to their appeal. Ms. Johnson is a natural who makes reading fun." --Harriet Klausner, Under the Covers

"Once a Cavalier isn’t your ordinary romance or time travel tale. It’s a compassionate story of a life, loyalty, and perseverance. Ms. Johnston uses strong characters, a descriptively accurate historical past, and the reader’s curiosity to keep the reader involved. This one has plenty of everything to keep the pages turning passion, romance, danger, and intrigue; a wonderful experience in an entertaining read." --Brenda Weeaks, MyShelf.com


Larryn had learned over the years that many old, herbal cures had genuine merit in application, though none replaced medical breakthroughs like antibiotics and vaccines.

She could learn a lot here, she was certain, if she remained long enough.

But did she want to stay? Her mind immediately focused--yet again--on the Duke of Seldrake.

So what if she was turned on by the man? She wouldn’t act on it. That, at least, she could prevent.

But she also didn’t want to like him. Or care about him. Or admire his courage, or enjoy his sense of humor the few times he had let it show.

But despite herself, she realized that the man was infinitely more appealing than his portrait that had drawn her in the first place. Sure, she had to get her libido under control around him. Worse, her emotions had become even more entangled than they had been when the man’s ghost had pleaded for help....

His ghost. The thought brought her up abruptly. "He’s going to die," she told herself softly, looking at her earth-covered hands. There was nothing she could do about that. Everyone died. But this brave, arrogant, appealing man, who had so captivated her imagination... and, she was beginning to fear, was beginning to capture her heart--he was going to die centuries before she would ever be born.

"Oh, Seldrake," she whispered. "I can’t care for you. I simply can’t."

But seeing the logic did not make it so.

She heard an excited bark, followed by another. When she looked up, she saw Caddie and Augie hurtling themselves through the open gate.

Open? But it had been closed. And Larryn heard the rumble of a carriage, the clopping of horses’ hooves.

"Oh, no!" She ran toward where the dogs had disappeared, her long skirts in her way. "Augie! Caddie! Come back!"

From the corner of her eye, she saw a movement at the front of the house. She didn’t stop to see who had come out. She strained to hear the dogs. If they were barking, they were still all right.

Was that just one bark? In her mind, she could see a small red and white form crushed beneath a horse’s hooves. "No!" she screamed. She had reached the gate. She threw it open farther and raced through.

Outside was the hard dirt road. Across from it were fields of wheat tended by Seldrake’s tenants. She saw no one there.

"Caddie!" Larryn cried. She looked up the curving road, then down. No dogs. At least neither had become road kill. But where were they?

She heard a voice she couldn’t quite make out, the crack of a whip, the creak of a carriage. A large brown horse appeared from the side road. It plunged around the stone wall. "Dogs!" she called, terrified. Were they around the corner? Had she missed them because they were already lost? She ran toward the carriage--and froze. The horse galloped straight toward her.

She waved her hands. "Hey!" She tried to dive off the road. The stone wall was in the way. She had nowhere to go. The horse kept coming....

Could she get to the far side of the road in time, fling herself into its ditch?

The horse was nearly upon her.

And then... a bark sounded at her side, and then another. Two small red and white shapes hurtled themselves toward the horse, yapping and nipping at the hooves.

The horse reared. The small carriage it pulled nearly toppled. The dogs’ diversion gave Larryn enough time to throw herself across the road and into the ditch.

The driver got the horse under control. Gathering speed, the carriage continued down the road. It wasn’t large, but horse and vehicle could have done one unprotected person a lot of damage. Larryn hadn’t made out the driver, who was hidden beneath a cloak.

"Larryn!" A deep, masculine voice shouted from the gate. In moments, Seldrake knelt beside her. He wore soft, shapeless leather shoes with no stockings beneath his breeches, and his billowing white shirt was open at the throat. "Are you injured?" His hands ran down her arms, still sheathed in her borrowed shift. She knew he was examining her for broken bones, yet again his touch electrified her.

"I’m fine," she tried to say calmly, but her voice quivered. "The dogs--"

"I shall flog them for placing you in such danger." The anger in his voice made her shudder.

"No. No, they saved me. They scared the horse, and it hesitated enough for me to get out of the way."

"Who was the driver? Did he not stop to ensure your safety?"

Larryn shook her head. "No. In fact..." She hesitated.

"What?" he demanded.

"I’m probably wrong, but I had a feeling that... that the driver intended to run me down. There was no hesitation, and I heard a whip crack, and--"

"Describe the carriage." Seldrake spoke through gritted teeth. "I arrived too late to see, with that bend in the road."

"It was smaller than the one we rode in yesterday. It had only one horse."

"Was it a carrier’s cart, a post coach or a private coach?"

"I... I’m sorry. I don’t know."

The Duke’s blue eyes blazed, as though his fury was turned on her. "Where in Hades are you from, Larryn Maeller, that you do not even recognize the type of coach that nearly killed you? Do not tell me ‘Scotland.’ You have admitted that is a lie."

She laughed bitterly. "Maybe I really am from Hades." Tears filled her eyes, and she looked away.

She felt his hand beneath her chin. Firmly, her face was turned so that she faced him.

"You are truly unhurt?" This time, Seldrake’s voice was quiet, yet there was a tremor in it as well.

"I’m all right." But she was crying nonetheless.

In moments, she was lifted to her feet and snugged close against Seldrake’s hard chest, the top of her head resting beneath his chin. He held her tightly until her crying stopped.

"I’m sorry," she whispered.

"As am I, that you should be so endangered while in my charge." Her chest was still against his, and the vibration of his voice sang through her entire body.

"I’m not in your charge," she contradicted, pulling back. "I’m--"

But she did not finish, for her mouth was suddenly occupied as Seldrake kissed her.