Happy Friday, Feasters! And what a grand day it is too because this week Friday Feast is getting Scottish. Which is perfect for me seeing as I’ve just spent this week gutsing episodes of Outlander. That Jamie… sigh.
Speaking of Scottish things, let’s move on to golf. In Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf news, I only lost one ball in a dam last week. Only ONE! Rather excited about that. And because I didn’t play completely disastrously, I won a ball. Which means I had a net loss of zero. Bonus!
I’m also rather excited to have multi-published erotic romance author Cathleen Ross on Friday Feast today. Yes, we’re not only getting Scottish, we’re getting steamy too! Plus Cathleen has a special treat for you – a free read.
Take a look…
Highlander is the first of the Forbidden Fantasy stories by best-selling erotic writer, Cathleen Ross. It is a 10,000 word erotic romance set in Scotland. When Sir James Bruce conquers enemy territory, his reward is the hand of beautiful virgin, Lady Isobel McLaird. Although Isobel has no intention of marrying Sir James, he is determined to change her mind by taming her to his touch. Only James has the power to save her imprisoned brother and the stubborn tenacity to win her heart.
You can download Highlander for free right now from Amazon, Kobo, or Barnes & Noble. And if you want more, the entire boxed set is available for purchase from these same stores – Amazon, Kobo and Barnes & Noble.
Now, please welcome Cathleen!
Seeing as I am obsessed with all things Scottish, I should be giving you a recipe for Haggis but instead of inflicting this on you, I’m going to give you the first of my historical Highlander Romance series books, titled Highlander, FREE, plus an interesting and easy recipe.
Set in the 1300s, Scotland, Highlander tells the story of James Bruce, the mythical cousin of King Robert the Bruce. James is the oldest knight who has been in love with Lady Isobel McLaird, the only daughter of an enemy family.
The boxed set titled Highlander Romance continues the story introducing Isobel’s handsome brother David who falls in love with James’ sister.
The series takes place within the Scottish wars of independence where Scottish families fought to the death to maintain their allegiance to the English crown or the Scottish one. I went to Scotland on an Alison Weir historical tour in order to get both the facts and feel for my historical novels. Highlights included dining on the Royal Yacht, meeting the last Stuart monarch in waiting and spotting Hot Scots. When you interact with the Scots it’s easy to imagine the passion and pride they have for their beautiful country. Alas, the closest I came to the highlands where my story is set is Stirling, but I did get a good view of Stirling Bridge one of the seats of a major battle that won the day for Robert the Bruce.
Here’s taste of Highlander…
Lady Isobel McLaird spun on her heels at the thunderous noise of metal and hooves approaching the marketplace. Her maid, peasants and livestock scattered as the phalanx of knights drew to a halt, but Isobel stood her ground. At their head was Sir James Bruce, the man who’d once held her and made her yearn for his caresses. Now she hated him. With her heart in her throat, she gathered her skirts to confront him. “Murderer!” she shouted.
Sir James’s enormous black steed reared at the sound of her sharp cry. Hooves flailed near her head as the fearsome knight fought to keep in his horse in check.
Fear chilled her blood and she stepped back.
After climbing down from his horse and throwing the reins to his page, Sir James took off his helm revealing dark blue eyes, which fixed upon her. “You’re as beautiful and foolish as you were on the riverbank three years ago, Isobel McLaird.”
When he pushed back his chain mail, she saw his raven hair was cropped shoulder length and his lips were as sensual as ever under his noble nose.
Wet from the river, her shift sticking to her skin, he’d held her. She’d turned her lips up to his to be kissed.
“I was foolish not to have reported your trespass on my father’s lands three years ago. You’re a traitor to King John Balliol and my brother’s murderer.”
He strode towards her, his hand on the hilt of his sword.
Fear rooted her feet to the damp earth of the marketplace. Though the rain had passed and the sun shone, for her, everyday was gloomy because of this knight.
“Have you not noticed that you’ve not an army to defend you now?” A half smile formed on his lips.
“You jest about my people’s destruction, brave men all, led by my brother. Your cruelty does you no merit, Sir.” Tears pricked the corners of her eyes. David and his men would have gone down fighting the stronger Bruce army until the end, determined to give everything for the cause of John Balliol, the true king.
At her accusation, the smile slipped from his face and his eyes held sympathy. “It is a bad day for Scotland when Scotsmen spill the blood of their own. I’ve news for you, my lady, but it comes at a cost. Your brother lives.”
“What?” For a moment, Isobel thought the ground had shifted under her feet. Owen, David’s best friend had seen her brother killed by this knight’s very hand.
“You play with me, Sir.”
“Nay, my lady. I do not jest about a cause so dear to your heart. Take this proof of my words.” He took a piece of parchment from his page and handed it to her.
A buzz of voices swarmed as the villagers gathered around her but Isobel paid them no heed. With trembling fingers she saw the parchment contained her brother’s fine hand.
Her gaze flicked up to meet Sir James’s. “David says the Bruce will no accept ransom.”
“Aye, my cousin, the king will brook no opposition to his claim and your brother is a formidable knight. I warrant my cousin will keep him prisoner. And now I’ll take my price for giving the message.”
Isobel reached for the purse that hung at her waist.
Sir James stepped forward, wrapped his arms around her and lifted her off the ground. “Would that I had done this those three years ago by the river. I can’t get you out of my mind.”
She opened her lips to protest, but he planted his mouth hard on hers. Surprise, hotly followed by indignation rose within her. She slapped her hands on his chest and kicked with her feet, but her toes met body armor. A sharp pain zinged through her foot and she opened her lips further to cry out. The knight taking full advantage, put his lips to hers, moving them in a rhythm. His action was bold. Her blood pumped wildly and sensations she had no name for, rushed through her.
Fried Zucchini Flowers
Fry garlic in olive oil in pan until golden. Put in zucchini flowers and turn slowly until brown. Cook until soft but not falling apart so that the zucchini flower remains on the plant and is crunchy. Add a sprinkle of breadcrumbs.
Thanks, Cathleen. Tasty on all fronts! A delicious recipe and that excerpt ought to get Feasters clickety-clicking on your free Highlander ebook. If you missed it, the links are above, just below the cover. Go on. You’ll have fun!
So what’s your favourite book setting? Do you prefer home grown or somewhere exotic? Or, like Cathleen, do you harbour a passion for all things Scottish? Perhaps Africa does it for you? Or France or Italy?
Share away. Curious minds wish to know. Plus you could be the inspiration for a book!