Sunday, November 6, 2011
Highland Storms Party and Giveaway!
We're doing something different on the blog today... Since Christina's new book is just out this month, and since geography makes it a challenge for all six of us to find somewhere to gather to celebrate, we thought we'd celebrate here, and begin a new Heroine Addicts tradition: The Launch Party!
Simple rules: Everyone brings something special (including a date, if they fancy some company), and in return the Guest of Honour tells us Five Fast Facts about her book.
Here's the cover blurb of Highland Storms, to help us set the mood:
Betrayed by his brother and his childhood love, Brice Kinross needs a fresh start. So he welcomes the opportunity to leave Sweden for the Scottish Highlands to take over the family estate. But there’s trouble afoot at Rosyth in 1754 and Brice finds himself unwelcome. The estate’s in ruin and money is disappearing. He discovers an ally in Marsaili Buchanan, the beautiful redheaded housekeeper, but can he trust her? Marsaili is determined to build a good life. She works hard at being housekeeper and harder still at avoiding men who want to take advantage of her. But she's irresistibly drawn to the new clan chief, even though he's made it plain he doesn't want to be shackled to anyone. And the young laird has more than romance on his mind. His investigations are stirring up an enemy. Someone who will stop at nothing to get what he wants – including Marsaili – even if that means destroying Brice's life forever...
And now, are you ready to party? Here we go...
And look, Brigid is bringing...wow, look what she's bringing!
Brigid: Why a Scotsman in a kilt? I have always had a soft spot for a Scotsman. I don't know whether it is my Scottish ancestry or that in my younger years there were so many Scotsmen among my parents' friends that they imprinted on me. But add a kilt to a Scotsman and I become a little weak at the knees. There are a few men in kilts in my past...a man called Dugald in a kilt, rugby shirt and builders' boots *drools*. So if we are having a party for a book set in Scotland, then I'm bringing the man in a kilt. And hands off, ladies...he's coming home with me!
Susanna: That photo above comes courtesy of HotDamnStock.com, wherein you'll find a plethora of handsome men in kilts.
And since I share the general love of kilted men, I'll bring a piper to the party, because...well, it's not a party, really, till you have a piper. For full effect, you might want to detour to this YouTube link and let the pipes play in the background while you read on...
I had some trouble deciding whom to ask to be my date, but in the end I settled on the man who, in my eyes at least, is still the hottest thing in kilts: Sir Sean Connery, shown here in this film.com photo.
Julie: I will bring some salmon, which I believe features large in the cuisine of both Swedes and Scots.
I had the most gorgeous salmon of my life in Stockholm on holiday, gravadlax with dill potatoes and lingonberries. Mmmmmmm. And I will not hear of Christmas without some Scottish smoked salmon as a starter.
I will also bring Scot David Tennant as my date. Cuz I can. And he seems to be bringing a Dalek. I hope nobody minds.
Liz: I'll be bringing whiskey to warm our hearts and free our imaginations and it goes really well with smoked salmon...and with that if I may can I bring a roaring fire and a big tartan covered sofa for all to collapse onto and to keep the male companionship up may I suggest James McAvoy....
Anna: I’m going to bring.... the wild, sweet, peaty water of Scotland, without which the salmon has no freedom, and the whisky no flavour. Whenever we return to our favourite place in Scotland, the first thing we do, whatever the weather, light, or time, is take a walk along the rushing river to the almost forgotten Old Bridge of Minnoch, which has arched in graceful elegance across the torrent for more than 300 years. The air is sweet, the bridge is waiting, and the water is singing to us, forever and always.
I'm also bringing Gerard Butler. After all, he is the physical model for my hero Gareth, in Danger: Deep Water.
Christina: You thought I’d bring a man as my guest – a handsome hero in a kilt no doubt, but sadly Jared Leto wasn’t available so I brought the next best thing – my favourite character from the book, the deerhound Liath. I knew from the moment I “met” him that he’d be having a starring role and I totally fell in love with him. I think everyone else will too and he’ll be only too pleased at any praise/pats/dog treats that come his way during the party. He loves being the centre of attention!
Right then, now that we’re all here, it’s time to have Christina tell us Five Fast Facts about her newest novel, Highland Storms…
Favourite moment in the book – when the hero Brice comes out of the loch after a swim wearing only wet breeches (no shirt à la Mr Darcy, sorry!) and the heroine realizes that there’s no way she’s going to be able to ignore this guy however much she wants to.
Character who surprised you the most – the villain’s son when he started thinking for himself instead of following his father blindly. I hadn’t planned on including him much, but he ended up in quite a few scenes.
A scene that made you smile - when Liath the dog, the heroine’s faithful hound, refuses to obey her for the first time ever and chooses to stay with the hero because he’s wise enough to know a good guy when he sees him.
A scene you hated writing – when the hero gets beaten up by a bunch of English soldiers (on the orders of their sadistic captain). I had a hard time writing this because although I sympathized with the Highlanders who were persecuted after the Jacobite uprising, I didn’t want the English to always be shown in a bad light as there were good and bad people on both sides.
A book your hero probably has on his bookshelf – Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (as the hero himself has travelled to China twice, I think an adventure story like this would appeal to him).
(That portrait of Liath, by the way, was drawn by Christina's very talented daughter, J. Fenton)
And the party continues...
Christina has offered up one signed copy of Highland Storms as a giveaway prize for the best thing anyone else brings to the party, and she'll send it anywhere in the world, so...what are you going to bring to our party?
You have till next Sunday to comment, and we'll let Christina pick the winner.
(Don't forget to come back Thursday, when we do this all again for Julie's latest book!)