Welcome to my home on the web. You may have noted the mountains in the banner are the misty Blue Ridge of North Carolina. Did you know time traveling Highlanders live there? Read about them in the Highland Gardens series. Curious about the big cat? Florida panther~from the Crimson Storm paranormal novel, Sea Panther.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Author Nancy Lee Badger with A Scottish Appetite, My Lady Highlander, and a #Giveaway

It's my pleasure to have author Nancy Lee Badger visiting today with a discussion of Scottish food and her new novel My Lady Highlander. Oh, and hang onto your seat, Nancy is gifting two copies of My Lady Highlander. Enter via the Rafflecopter widget at the end of the post.

A Scottish Appetite

A garden is a marvelous thing and I wish I had a green thumb. My husband and I planted beans, corn, and other less memorable veggies back when we first bought our 1860’s farmhouse in Rumney, New Hampshire. It grew and grew. Days before harvesting, the groundhogs stripped the beans clean, and a bear took out all the corn. We watched the groundhogs chomping the beans, but never saw the bear…or deer, or moose. Whatever it was, they had smashed the cornrows to the ground.

We tried again years later, and placed a long, narrow garden along the fence in the front yard, away from the acres of forest that so easily hid veggie-stealing creatures. The rhubarb grew well, and I made strawberry rhubarb pie. The snow peas? My boys ate most of them off the vine before I could bring them in for dinner.

When we moved to the south, we bought a home with a yard of hard-packed red clay. No more gardening for us, but while visiting a few Scottish festivals, I did chance upon ideas for my books, which take place partly in early 17th century Scotland. Scotland is known for some certain ethnic foods—think haggis and shortbread. However, the ancient people ate many things.

Hunters were important to a village or clan. Deer, also known as venison when slaughtered, were a main food source in the Highlands, as well as pine martin, a type of small weasel. Game birds and fish were also available. Farmers tended flocks of sheep—known on their dinner tables as mutton.
Highland cows, a red-haired hardy strain of beef, were common. There is an age-old story about reivers…usually a band of young men from one clan who would steel cows from another clan, to prove their manliness.

Root vegetables that could grow quickly in the harsh climate filled harvest baskets from spring to autumn. Carrots, in particular, show up in my latest book My Lady Highlander. I also mention apples growing on my heroine’s farm, and any meal was tastier with home-brewed Scottish ale. Add a loaf of crusty bannock, a type of bread. Finish off the meal with sweet, heavy chunks of shortbread, and people in Scotland were happy until the next meal.

The weather sometimes made for long, cold winters, but the Scots learned to harvest and preserve the basics, and feed themselves oatmeal cakes softened in whisky when the larder grew bare. Snuggling by a fire, sipping honey ale and nibbling on deer jerky sustained them until spring brought renewal and rebirth.

Me? I live within walking distance of a great little supermarket.

Here is an excerpt where I use food and drink to bring my characters closer:

“ ‘Tis quite dark, down here,” Izzy said. Pushing with both palms, the top of the barrel slid sideways. The scent of heather, honey, and fermented ale filled her nose. She half-filled the bucket then passed it up to Bull.
“Only half? What are you going to drink?”
Izzy grinned up at Bull from where she huddled in the dark root cellar. With danger all around them, and others in search of them, he could make a joke about a bucket of ale? “Och, yer a funny man. We shall share the ale. We need our wits about us, for whatever the night hides.”
“And, we’ll face the dawn together,” he whispered.
Her heart fluttered. Glancing around the small space of her family’s underground storage room, the total darkness was eerie. Scurrying creatures and the buzz of small insects made her hurry. Covering the ale barrel, she searched the shelves where she and her mother once stored their winter provisions. When she grabbed a familiar vegetable, relief swept through her.
“Carrots,” she whispered. The threat of others occupying the nearby cottage set her teeth on edge. She dropped the bunch into her gathered skirt, then climbed out of the dusty storage room. Bull climbed down from the loft, where he must have taken the bucket.
“What’s that, sweetheart?” he whispered, pointing to the feathery tops peeking from her skirt’s folds.

My Lady Highlander Book Blurb

Isobel MacHamish escaped a betrothal in ancient Scotland. She rebuilt her life in present-day New England, yet something-or someone-is missing. Arson, thievery, a stalker, and a handsome caber-tossing athlete turn her world upside down.

Bryce Buchanan saves a pretty woman-twice. Sent back to ancient Scotland-again-he is trapped between the skittish woman, and a man pressuring her into marriage. Battles, swords, a Scottish brownie, and a power-hungry laird make ‘Bull’ want to head home to New England.

To escape her former lover, and his murderous, father, Izzy finds her inner warrior. And, when the handsome athlete shows her what falling in love can bring, she is torn, because keeping her hands to herself, is one battle she will never win.

More About Nancy Lee Badger
She loves chocolate-chip shortbread, wool plaids wrapped around the trim waist of a Scottish Highlander, the clang of broadswords, and the sound of bagpipes in the air. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, she moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time. Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, Triangle Area Freelancers, and the Celtic Heart Romance Writers.  

Connect with Nancy Lee Badger
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My Lady Highlander
Amazon        Amazon Print

And if you LOVE Time Travel romance:
10 Timeless Heroes
Nancy Lee Badger's My Honorable Highlander is one of the books where magic & destiny unite lovers across time and space in this epic collection of award-winning, chart topping tales. From sweet to sizzling romances, 10 Timeless Heroes has a little something for everyone. Over fifteen hundred pages! 
10 Timeless Heroes
 Amazon   NOOK    Kobo

What would you grow in YOUR garden? Two winners will receive an E-Book of My Lady Highlander. Contest ends May 5th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Welcome to my blog, Nancy! I love the cover for My Lady Highlander.

  2. Thanks, Dawn. Glad to be here!
    Nancy Lee Badger

  3. Hi Nancy, I just finished My Lady Highlander. Wow! The tale had everything I love in the fantasy stories. Romance, adventure, suspense and mystery. You develop your characters in such a way that one really cares about what happens to them.

  4. Hi, Nancy.
    So interesting to hear how the Scots sustained themselves through winter!

  5. I love home grown veggies. Right now hubby and I have a few things growing. We have squash, zucchini, jalapeños, tomatoes, bell peppers, palano peppers, spinach, cilantro and onions. My lady Highlander sounds wonderful. Thank you for sharing your excerpt.