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, 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, 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 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 √† 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!)


  1. Hey, I have a feeling this is going to be a GREAT party.... :-D Just look at the company!

    *samples some salmon* Ah, god, gorgeous.

    Liath is gorgeous, Christina! I'm sure he makes a great character in your tale...

    Anna Louise Lucia

  2. Thanks, Anna, yes Liath is my favourite, but we'll have to try and keep that salmon out of his reach or it will be gone in no time! Please can I have some of your peaty water to wash down that whisky? Not my usual drink - or does anyone have some Coke I can mix it with? (I know, philistine, right?)

  3. Forgot to say - thanks everyone for coming and bringing such fab things (and people!) :D

  4. I adored Liath! Wish I had a dog like him. Mine's a terrible judge of character!

    Adored Highland Storms. Just as much as I adored Trade Winds & Scarlet Kimono!

  5. Oooh, can I come? I'm a bit down on the Scots at the moment, but I can supply some shortbread...I don't *think* the cat sat on it... Biscuit, anyone? (And Highland Storms is a fabulous book, best of luck with it, Christina!) x

    Now, who's got the cocktail sausages...?

  6. Oooh, welcome Jane, welcome Kate! Come on in and get comfy. You know, we could soak the shortbread it whisky and smother it in whipped cream.


    Or we could use the whipped cream elsewhere. I'm not fussy.

    Here, Christina - have some ginger ale to mix with the whisky.

  7. Great ideas, Anna, and thank you for bringing shortbread, Jane - my favourite! (minus cat hairs though ...)
    Kate - I know what you mean, my pooches don't behave half as well as Liath!
    Is it time for some music? Scottish reel anyone?

  8. Oooh, salmon! And I love Liath, deerhounds are such wonderful dogs.

  9. Here's a basket of fresh picked strawberries to go with the shortbread - and I'll have a glass of the ginger wine, thanks very much, before sneaking down to the loch in hopes of a dripping wet hero about to emerge from the water.

  10. Hmm. I am bringing Lola, my Peke, as my date because she desperately wants to meet Liath as I gushed about him and his role in the book for days and even went so far to ask her why she doesn't behave like that! Lol. So she wants to see what all the hype is about. As for contributing to the party itself, I've brought Milk Bones for Liath. :)

  11. Strawberries, shortbread and cream - OMG, heaven! I might go with you down to the loch after that, Beth :)
    Tara - thank you, Liath is very pleased you brought something for him, both food and a girl! Couldn't get better than that!

  12. Well I'll take the whisky and you'll find me in the corner with my man in a kilt... I might be some time ;-)

  13. *quietly fantasizing in the corner about a hot tub full of whiskey and David, James, Sean, Gerard and Brice...*

  14. Hmm. Seems that Ms Brigid and I had the same idea, more or less.

    This is not the first time this has happened.

  15. LOL, great minds think alike! You'll have to share, there seems to be plenty to go round :)

  16. James Atonement McAvoy is coming, yes? In his Regency getup? I'll bring champagne :-)

  17. Wha hey! Now we've got champagne flowing.... *hic*

    I think I'm going to need the alcohol to numb the excitement from the company. Yowsers...


  18. Thanks, Margaret, but I think I'll stick with the whisky and ginger ale, probably not wise to mix. I need some food to soak it up a bit though. Anyone bringing any nice canapes?

  19. I shall bring traditional Scottish scones and clotted cream! Which will go perfect with the strawberries and Champagne... but we'll definitely need some dark black tea as well :) I'm going to steal away Ewan McGregor as my date, so he can serenade us all. But I can't promise I won't be eyeing David Tennant - you never forget your first doctor, haha.

  20. LOL Owen! And I do love a good scone... mmmm


  21. I am late to the party and so will bring the vacuum cleaner and the bin bags ...

  22. Nah, no cleaning up yet. We've got another party on Thursday; we might as well just keep on going till then and make it one long party.

    All the best parties do it...

  23. My friend Tina was having trouble joining us, so here's what she has to say:-
    "Arrhh think I've arrived just in time, sorry I'm late blame the time difference from Australia, and I've managed to whip up some salmon and dill mini scrolls and prawn and crab vol au vents especially for Christina as well as some oat biscuits (oooops quick Liath before anyone sees) now point me in the direction of the river and the half naked Scotsman pleeeeease."

    Hmm, there may be a queue for that, Tina :D but thanks for the canapes!

    And I absolutely love scones, Owen, good choice!

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  25. Thank you Anna and Christina! I agree the party must go on! :) Especially since there is so much to try and such good company. I've never had peaty water, although I fell in some peat at the Isle of Skye and that was rather unpleasant. Nor canapes. I'm really rather intrigued about this shortbread soaked in whiskey though ;)

  26. Can't say I fancy it myself - would much rather have the shortbread with just strawberries and cream. You can never have too many canapes though, keep them coming please!

  27. *passes the smoked salmon on oatcakes*

    *takes swig of whiskey*

    *starts dancing on tables*

  28. *swigs noggin of whisky*

    *joins Julie on the the tables*

  29. *snoring under tables*

    (I always was a lightweight)


  30. Briefly coming out of Proofreading Purgatory, where I've been trapped this past week, to have a bit of whisky and some snacks.

    And...Oh look, Bridget, what in the world can THAT be? (said in my best Wallace Shawn imitation)

    *sneaks off with Scotsman in kilt while Bridget's back is turned* (heh, heh)

  31. *sigh* BRIGID. While BRIGID's back is turned. (See, all this proofreading is affecting my brain)(Sorry)

  32. Wow, this was one heck of a party - thank you all so much for coming!

  33. (still staring at that bare-chested man...)

  34. Possibly the best idea for a party ever! If only good looking men in kilts were available everywhere ;) Thank you for the party and for all the enjoyable company. All of you really seem like such fun!

  35. I couldn't figure out how to post a picture on here but I thought you would really enjoy a picture I took in Belgium. It's an ad for William Lawson's Scotch and it features a rather large specimen of manly kiltness ;)

    Here's a link to it:

  36. Thanks, Owen. I remember watching the TV adverts for William Lawson's when I lived over in Wales, and they always made me smile..

    Anna recently shared this great ad for Scots Porage Oats with us (featuring the very handsome Rory McCann..)

    Thanks for coming to the party!

  37. Hehe, that's a great commercial. It's incredible how many ways they can spin the skirt flying up over the vent like Marilyn Monroe's white dress. I never thought of a man in a kilt over a vent like that, but I'm sure it sells just as well :) Thanks for sharing that and for posting the party up on your facebook!

  38. Popping in very late as have been in another windswept part of the country....glances at the bodies strewn across the place...a success I see :-)