FRIDAY FEAST with Cathleen Ross

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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

Highlander by Cathleen RossHighlander 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!

Scottish Passion

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.

Cathleen flirting with a Hot Scot

Cathleen flirting with a Hot Scot

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.

Dining on the Royal Yacht

Dining on the Royal Yacht

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.

Stirling Bridge

Stirling Bridge

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

Zucchini

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!

if you’d like to learn more about Cathleen and her books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook and Twitter using @cathleenross.

24 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Cathleen Ross

  1. AvatarAnne Gracie

    I’ve always had a fondness for things Scottish, even before we went to live there for a year when I was a kid. Scottish ancestors, and a father, grandfather and great-grandfather who were romantic souls and big on poetry and who said the Selkirk Grace before meals might have shaped that fondness. But really, there are so many gorgeous places in this world of ours, and I’m happy to visit them all, in fiction or in person– preferably both. Best of luck with this series, Cathleen — it looks scrumptious.
    As do the zucchini flowers, also a fondness of mine..

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Sigh. Very jealous of your Scottish year, Anne. I’m nurturing my own obsession right now thanks to Outlander. By coincidence, the heroine of my next romantic adventure is Scottish too. Good excuse for a wee holiday perhaps?

      Zucchini flowers are lovely things. Cathleen’s recipe looks so easy too. Must try!

  2. AvatarCathleen Ross

    Firstly thank you Cathryn for having me on this exciting and wonderful blog. I’ve often popped in for a look many times before.
    Anne I have a Scottish background too and it took me a long time to have a trip there. I actually met a gentleman who is a relative five times removed who was as interested in the family tree as I was. He had a lock of Mary Queen of Scot’s hair to show us given to an ancestor of his by the queen herself. It was a fascinating country and I want to go back. What a romantic and passionate people they are.

  3. AvatarSuzi Love

    Zucchini Flowers? Wow. I’ve never tried making them but I will now with this great recipe, Cathleen.
    And yes, I have a passion for all things Scottish as well, especially Scottish historical romance heroes. Sigh.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Zucchini flowers are beautiful, Suzi, especially stuffed with ricotta and herbs. Or fried in really light batter. Veeeery moreish.

      Don’t get me started on Scottish heroes. I’m still trying to control the outbreak of hormones from Outlander!

      1. AvatarCathleen Ross

        Hi Christine
        Thanks for popping by but please don’t encourage Cathryn to talk golf – yawn, coma.
        Now listen here Cathryn if you go visit my facebok page you’ll see a picture of Dougal in the gym working out with an enormous rod. Has to be seen to be believed.
        Very impressive over that Nancy boy Lamie er… Jamie.

        Suzi just pick the zucchini when they are small with the flower opening to make the fried zucchini flowers. If you miss that they make a wonderful frittata.
        Best
        Cathleen – Team Dougal.

        1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

          You don’t know what you’re missing with golf, Cathleen!!!

          Dougal with an enormous rod, huh? Curiosity demands I investigate. Bet Jamie’s rod is bigger though…

  4. AvatarMaxine Sullivan

    Cathleen, hi. I’m always up for reading about anything Scottish. My father comes from Paisley so I was raised on stories of Scotland. A lot of his ancestors were from Stirlingshire and I still have cousins all over the place. 18 months ago hubby and I were standing on Stirling Castle looking out over the countryside. It’s so beautiful over there.
    I’m not much of a cook but I’ll keep those zucchini flowers in mind when we grow too many again this year. 🙂
    Maxine

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Sigh. You’re all making me hanker for a Scottish holiday! How lovely to have ancestors to learn about, Maxine. Scotland has so much wonderful history, not to mention stunning scenery. And we mustn’t forget those hot Scots!

  5. AvatarKandy Shepherd

    Hi Cathryn and Cathleen
    Cathleen, I’ve read your HIGHLANDER when it was first published and loved it. Reading your wonderful excerpt made me want to read it all over again! I enjoyed the rest of the series, too, and am in the mood for Highlander stories having loved every minute of Outlander.
    I have just planted some zucchini in my vegetable garden and will definitely try your recipe once I have flowers! Yum!

  6. AvatarCathleen Ross

    Hi Maxine
    It’s quite lovely having a Scottish ancestry. I discovered the Hamilton clan and the Ross clan intermarried several times. It was also wonderful going deeply into the history of Scotland. Alison Weir set up some terrific lectures for us by terrific historical writers.
    Best
    Cathleen

  7. AvatarEnisa Haines

    I don’t have an ancestral claim to Scotland but I’ve always drawn to stories set there. Of all the heroes that ever existed I’ll say William Wallace is my absolute favourite. Brave man, brave heart as the movie states. Tragic end to his life.
    BTW yummy recipe, thank you.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      I don’t have any ancestral claim either, Enisa. Rather frustrating! Would be lovely to have a man in a kilt there somewhere. Preferably a Jamie from Outlander sort (bit obsessed with him at the moment). Mum was in the local Highland Pipe Band for years as a bagpiper, though. Has to count for something!

      Thanks for dropping by!

  8. AvatarChristine Stinson

    Handsome heroes in kilts – verra, verra nice. I do love Scottish settings but it’s always the story that does it for me, and the Highlander series certainly has cracking stories, Cathleen! Travelling vicariously through gorgeous fiction is my second favourite thing to actual travel! Thank you for another delightful Friday Feast, Cathryn and Cathleen.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Lovely to see you here, Christine! Ah, yes, there is just something about a man in a kilt. Being a golfing type, I was rather excited to see Rory McIroy wearing one during post-Ryder Cup celebrations. He was also shirtless and showing off a surprisingly buff bod, with abs and other interesting bits. Had to inspect clooooosely. Not normal on golfers!

      1. AvatarChristine Stinson

        No, it’s not normal, but again, verra nice on Rory! If it’s confession time, I have a fondness for Plus Fours on golfers, too, as long as they have the calves for those argyle socks!

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