Thursday, August 27, 2009

Guest Blog & Giveaway with Judith James

I'm very excited to have Judith James as my Guest today. Her latest book Highland Rebel is set to release September 1st. I'm her next stop on the book tour, today she'll be talking about her love of Scotland. Judith thanks for stopping by. :)


Thanks very much for inviting me, Anna! I mentioned in a previous post that my love of Scotland, at least in centuries past, was more a love of the Highlands. I talked about the wild and rugged scenery and how I thought of it as almost a character itself as well as a metaphor for the “heroes’ journey” as well as the difference between the Highlanders and their supposedly more civilized neighbours. There were two things I didn’t mention. One is Scotch whisky. There’s a story about this particular blend I’ll be talking about on a blog on writing and magical thinking, but for now I’ll be curious if anyone who’s read the book can tell me why it’s special. I should add that I learned that ALL Scotch whisky is special. Not only because it comes from Scotland but because whisky made in the Highlands is unique. Here is a little snippet from Highland Rebel that explains why.

“They descended past tumbling rocks, peat bogs, and rolling wooded hills into a valley that come summer would ripen with barley. When malted and combined with the peaty water from the burns that flowed down from the surrounding mountains and hills, it would capture the unique flavour and aroma of her beloved home, becoming uisge beatha, the potent whisky that served as medicine, comfort, and currency upon which her family’s fortune had been made.”

Lowland malt whiskies are generally lighter than their Highland counterparts and more uniform in flavour, while whisky from the Highlands has a distinctive flavour based on the peat bogs and water in the area in which it’s produced. A true connoisseur can tell where a Highland whisky was distilled by its smell and taste.

The other very important thing I didn’t mention was Men in kilts The Highland Boundary Fault divided much more than geographies areas. It separated based on culture, religion, language and dress. The Highlanders preserved Gaelic speech, customs and clothing, centuries after the Anglicization of the lowlands. The kilt was strictly highland dress until well into the 1800’s. In many respects Highlanders had more in common with the Gaelic Irish than the Scots who lived to the South. With a few noticeable exceptions, the 17th century Lowland Scots were a serious minded moralistic people with a somewhat rigid approach to government and religion as reflected by a severe form of Presbyterianism and a strict adherence to Kirk (church) law.

Roman Catholicism remained strong in parts of the Highlands, as did Anglicanism, and unlike their farming and city dwelling neighbors in the Lowlands, who had largely moved to a tenant based land system, the Highlanders were still bound by loyalty to their clans. They were looked on by both the Lowland Scots and the English as “The wild Irish” It was a common prejudice that while Lowlanders were of “domestic and civilized habits” the Highlanders were “a savage and untamed nation, independent, warlike and rude.” Warrior clans were a threat to most central governments and kilts and other symbols of Highland culture were banned after the Jacobite rebellions in an attempt by King George II to suppress Highland culture. Reiving and raiding, independent warlike and proud, the Highlanders were in effect, the “bad boys’ of the British Isles, and we all love bad boys don’t we? There is a proper way to wear a great kilt or breacan and of course they have many uses making them ideal clothing for rough men in rough terrain.

I have included a small excerpt that illustrates one such use below from my book, Highland Rebel (in stores September 1, 2009!):
“You’re not paying attention to me, are you?”
“Eh? What’s that? Sorry, love, I didn’t hear you. Wasn’t paying attention. I had my eyes on your perfectly formed arse.”
Catherine fixed him with a glare worthy of a Scottish schoolmaster. “This is serious business, Jamie. If you’re to pass for a Highlander you’ve got to get the kilt just so.”

“Bah! You’re a hoydenish vixen. You just want to ogle my knees.”
“Nonsense! I’m sure you’ll find the… ah…freedom and…utility very appealing once you try it on.”
“You mean you think I’ll like the feel of the family jewels waving free?”
Blushing, she spread both great kilts on the ground. “One lays down on it like so. Oh stop grinning, Jamie, and do try.”
She was so earnest and eager in her lesson that he hadn’t the heart to tell her he’d worn a kilt a time or two before. He watched with solemn attention as she showed him how to roll it around his hips and then drape the upper half across his shoulder.
She surveyed him critically, nodding her approval, and he seized her by her hips and pulled her up against him hard. “Ah yes, my love. I see now exactly what you mean.”
His new kilt bulged in an unseemly manner and Catherine had no trouble imagining what lurked beneath. She felt a stab of excitement and didn’t object when he grasped the back of her head with one hand and pulled her mouth to his. Blushing crimson, eyes tightly shut, she ran a hand down his hips to his thighs, flipping aside his kilt and reaching underneath.
It was another hour at least before they left.
© Judith James, Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2009

Well that’s certainly one reason I love Scotland. I’m happy to answer any questions and mine to you is- Who is your favorite Highlander?

Highland Rebel by Judith James,
in stores September 1, 2009!

Amidst the upheaval of Cromwell's Britain, Jamie Sinclair's wit and military prowess have served him well. Leading a troop in Scotland, he impetuously marries a captured maiden, saving her from a grim fate.

A Highlands heiress to title and fortune, Catherine Drummond is not the woman Jamie believes her to be. When her people effect her rescue, and he cannot annul the marriage, Jamie goes to recapture his hellcat of a new wife...

In a world where family and creed cannot be trusted, where faith fuels intolerance and war, Catherine and Jamie test the bounds of loyalty, friendship, and trust...

About the Author
Judith James has worked as a legal assistant, trail guide, and counselor. Living in Nova Scotia, her personal journey has taken her to the Arctic and the West Coast. Her writing combines her love of history and adventure with her keen interest in the complexities of human nature and the heart's capacity to heal. For more information about Judith, please visit

Judith, thanks again for coming and sharing your love of Scotland with us!!

GIVEAWAY: Courtesy of Sourcebooks, there are two copies of Highland Rebel up for grabs. To enter leave a comment along with your email address and don't forget to mention who your favorite Highlander is. Open to U.S. & Candada. I'll announce the winners on August 31st Good Luck!


  1. My Favorite Highlander... Hmmm that is a very hard question cause I like more than one.

    Here's my list...

    Connor and Duncan MacLeod from the Highlander movies.

    Dageus and Drustan MacKeltar from Karen Marie Moning Highlander series.

    and of course Gerard Butler, but he doesn't necessarily have to be in a kilt to make me drool. ;)

    I'm sure I've missed a few, but these are the ones I can think of.

  2. The book looks and appears to be another must read.
    My favorite highlander is Dageus and Drustan MacKeltar from Karen Marie Moning's Highlander series.

  3. whoops forgot my email a second ago


  4. I'm adding the book to my TBR list.

    Hands down, Dageus & Drustan MacKeltar. My fav out of the two is Drustan.

    Anna, I ditto your Gerard Butler comment. He is my favorite actor.

  5. oops, sorry I forgot my email too. LOL

  6. I discovered Scotland through Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series so I guess Jamie Fraser will always have a special place in my heart ;-)


  7. Hi Anna and Judith!

    My favorite Highlander? Ohh, that's kinda tough because I think I like them all. But I'll have to say Hawk from Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning because he was my FIRST EVER Highlander!! I didn't know anyhting about Scotland and highlanders before then. I did watch Braveheart years before then, but I honestly paid no attention to the place and history of it! Mel Gibson sure played a darn good Highlander :D.

  8. Wonderful interview Anna!!

    My favorite Highlander from a book is Jamie Fraser from the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.

    My favorite Highlander from a tv/movie is Duncan MacLeod - both Adrian Paul and Christopher Lambert.

    I generally find any man in a kilt worth a second look. LOL And the accent, oh my.


  9. Hmm...I guess my favorite "real" highlander would have to be Gerard Butler..Whoo! He's a hottie.

    My fav fictional may have to be "Ian" from the Julie Garwood books. He was one of my first heros and I have fond memories of him. :)

    rachie2004 @ yahoo (dot) c0m

  10. Good morning Anna and Ms. James,

    This was very informative and I enjoyed reading it.

    I don't guess Gerard Butler counts?!! He is my all time favorite. the first novel Highlander that pops to mind is Callum MacGregor from Laird of the Mist by Paula Quinn. I am pretty sure there are others, but he is so yummy!!

  11. First of all, that is one of my fav pictures - Gerard Butler in a kilt. Does it get better than that???

    I think my favorite highlander is Dageus from KMM series.

  12. Connor and duncan are my fac but i like them all
    reneetaylor at sympatico dot ca

  13. I vote Gerard Butler! Especially when he looks like he did in Dracula 2000. Though.. I'd take him any day.

    He counts, right?
    Morning Glow
    ohmorningglow AT aol DOT com

  14. Good morning! It's such a pleasure to be here on Anna's Book Blog! Thank you, Anna for your lovely review. The support of book loving bloggers like you, KristieJ, AmyC and others help new authors find an audience, and helps many of us keep doing what we love.

    Connor and Duncan MacLeod were my first Highlanders :) They'll always hold a special place.

    Jeanette, Mandi and Kainani, I'm ashamed to say I haven't read that series, but with all the Hghlanders to choose from, when 3 people put Dageus at the top of the list, I'm adding it to my TBR list.

    Emmanuelle and Michelle, Jamie Frazer is right up there for me too, and Chris Lambert was until I noticed he was short. I know. I'm shallow. My sister told me she once bought a new edition of Outlander to reread and it had a cover with a picture of Jamie but it wasn't at all as she'd imagined him and it really annoyed her. Has anyone else ever seen that picture?

    Amy, another of my favourite bloggers. Admit it. You were ogling Mel's knees. Have to add Beyond the Highland Mist to my list. There's a method to my madness.

    Rachel, Heather and Mandi, Yes!!!!! Gerard Butler counts!! Rachel, I’d forgotten Ian. I have fond memories of him too, and thanks, Heather for another to add to the list.

    I'd have to say, I'm not sure why, but Liam Neeson kind of got my heart thumping in Rob Roy

  15. I'm in for this one! zeek319(at)hotmail(dot)com

    oooo toughie! I love some Garwood's Highlanders and Drustan and Daegus as well but my fav has gotta be Mel Gibson's William Wallace ala Braveheart!

  16. OH I know Cian Mackeltar from Moning's Spell of the Highlander! grrrrrr!

  17. My favorite is Duncan MacLeod, The Highlander (Adrian Paul).

  18. How fabulous is Jamie from the Diane Galbadon series? Utterly delightful!

    lyoness2009 AT hot mail *dot* com

  19. Oh Dang I can't believe I forgot Braveheart. Another one of my faves.

    As for Jamie Fraser, I haven't read Outlander yet, but I'm looking forward to reading it. I have both the paperback and audio.

  20. My favourite Highland would be Jamie Fraser from Diane Balbadon's Outlander series.
    wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

  21. My favorite Highlander is Duncan MacLeod from the Highlander movies.


  22. Uhh, me likes Scotland! :)

    Anna, I've granted you an award. Hop over to my blog to see it ;)

  23. I just read Monica McCarty's Highland Scoundrel so my current favorite highlander is Duncan Campbell!

    I love this guest post by Judith James, by the way!


  24. I haven't read Highland Rebel yet, so this is a qualified answer, LOL, but my favorite fictional highlander of all time is Jamie Fraser from Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series.

    In real life, Scottish men I think are yummy are James McAvoy, Gerard Butler, Angus MacFadyen, Dougray Scott, and of course, Sean Connery.

    There's just something about a man in a kilt!

  25. My favourite highlander is Circenn Brodie from Karen Marie Moning's Highlander series.

  26. My favorite is Cian MacKeltar from Karen Moning's Highlander series.

    cindyc725 at gmail dot com

  27. My favorite Highlander is Jamie Fraser from the Outlander series.

    chey127 at hotmail dot com

  28. I think my favorite has to be the Karen Marie Moning ones as well. So far!

    my email address is

  29. I love Gabriel MacBain from Julie Garwood's "Saving Grace."
    janie1215 AT excite DOT com

  30. Fascinating post. I'm glad to know some of this important background information before reading this book!

    I honestly haven't read many novels with Highlanders in it... but one that I read quite some time ago that I absolutely LOVED and has stuck with me for so long is Intimate Enemies by Shana Abe. The female lead, Lauren MacRae was actually the leader of her clan when her father died. I was so moved by her character that I'm going to name her as my favorite Highlander.

  31. Lisa Marie makes a good point...

    Both Angus MacFadyen and Sean Connery are yummy too.

  32. Julie Garwood wrote about some wonderfully sexy Highlanders in her books. I think my favorite is Brodick from the book RANSOM.

    Judith, HIGHLAND REBEL sounds delightful!


  33. Lachlan Balmoral of Lucy Monroe's Moon Awakening. Not just a Highlander but a werewolf to boot! And book two is coming soon - finally.

    Ramsey Sinclair, Brodick Buchanan, and Iain Maitland from Julie Garwood

    lynda98662 at yahoo dot com

  34. It hard to choose just one favorite, but I would have to say Gerard Butler also. Thanks for this giveaway and please count me in.


  35. Well I'm scrambling to write down names and books. Outlander, ,Julie Garwood’s Brodick and Ian, Braveheart, The Highlander movie and series, Gerard Butler and all those gorgeous Scottish actors (Ewan McGregor isn't bad in a kilt) are all favourites, but there are so many I didn't know. It would be easy to have a shelf of Highland keepers. There’s something about the accent that can be pretty thrilling too. I am rather fond of some of Kinley Macgregor’s books too. Christine I will be looking for Inmate Enemies because my heroine is the Highlander, in this one, and I’m going to name Cat Drummond as well 

  36. My fave is definitely Gerard Butler. With that voice, he could be reading the phone book and I'd still drool.

    And while I enjoy Duncan MacLeod, I VASTLY preferred Methos. Snarky and sexy is a great combo.

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

  37. Jamie Fraser from Diana GabaldonsOutlander series.


  38. took me a little while to recover from that excerpt. I already have a Gerard Butler fantasy. Now, I have a Gerard Butler/Kilt fantasy. It will be another little while before I can add another post. gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  39. Excellent guest post!! I love, love highlanders!!! Hey, who wouldn't! My favorite highlanders are Kresley Cole’s Lachlain MacRieve (sexy highland werewolf), Moning’s Adam Black, and Brenda Joyce's Masters of Time - all of them!!!

  40. Okay! Okay! You've outed me! I ogle Mel's knees :D. I think I might have to watch that movie tonight :).

    My favorite scene is with the the guy from Ireland when he first enters their group and he calls Ireland "My island" the look he gets and his laugh cracks me up every time! It's so goofy.

  41. My favorite highlander is Sean Connery of course, the first and best 007...

    runningmatey at hotmail dot com

  42. AmyC....

    LOL! I remember that scene. The Irish guy is pretty hilarious.

    I just upgraded my Braveheart vhs to a dvd, but I haven't watched it yet. Might have to do that, I haven't seen it in forever.

  43. I favorite hinglander is Hawk from Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning.

    kalynnick AT yahoo DOT com

  44. Hi Judith & Anna,
    I am so excited to read this book. I am an admitted highland romance junkie. I absolutely love a man in a kilt...add gaelic language into the mix and I am a goner!

    My favorite fictional highlander hands competition is Jamie Fraser. I don't think I need to reference what books he is the hero of.

    My real life favorite highlander...again hands down, is Gerard Butler...absolutely yummy!

    Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to win.


  45. My favorite Highlander is Duncan MacLeod:)


    wadesherry@hotmail dot com

  46. Julie Garwood’s Brodick and I love Gerard Butler, he is a hottie!! :)


  47. Well it's getting late here on the East Coast so I'm going to thank eveyone for stopping by, commenting,and sharing their Highlanders, and Anna for hosting me. Thanks to the Braveheart supporters I've been motivated to pull out that DVD and set it aside as research for tomorrow. Booklover you will find a wee bit of Gaelic in Hghland Rebel. Now I'm going to bed, with visions of Gerard Butler, dancing in my head.

  48. Hey Anna!!!!
    I wanted you to know that I have pimped this one out too at my place!!! Showing the love!!!

    Well.. Gerard Bulter would have to be my favorite highlander.... And I am sorry to say that book wise... I do not have any for I have not read any highlander books yet... But if I win one... then I could have a favorite!!!
    Thanks for the cool contest Ann and Ms James! Thanks for being here... And I loved the lesson on the Scotch Whiskey, very interesting! And of course I loved the sid bits you gave us!!!
    I hope everyone had a great day and has a wonderful tomorrow!

  49. Judith, Thanks again for stopping by and talking Scotland and Highlanders with us... it was a blast!

    Thanks Cecile!!

  50. Oh, I LOVE Scotland and anything having to do with it! HIGHLAND REBEL sounds like a must have!

    My favorite Highlander is most definitely Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod. :) In books, it would be Jamie Fraser.

    Thanks for the contest!

    karenwitkowski AT

  51. Hey girl, I gave you an award on my blog!! You deserve it!!

  52. The book looks wonderful and I think my favorite Highlander is Iain MacKinnon from Pamela Clare's Surrender.

  53. Cian MacKeltar is one, but there are many! I'd love to win this!

  54. Hi Judith and Anna! So excited about this book! I so love books set in Scotland and those MIK's! (Men In Kilts) I love your pics!

    Gosh so many good reads with Highlanders! I'm just mentioning a couple that some may have missed!

    Winning the Highlander's Heart by Terry Spear (Malcolm MacNeill)

    Return Of The Rogue by Donna Fletcher (Cavan Sinclare)

    Love Janet Chapman's Highlanders, all of them, LOL.

    I never saw that Highlander show! I have to catch and see if its on TV and if captioned! I so some day want to go to Scotland but hate to fly. So I shall enjoy it with pics and stories like these posts! Thanks for the fun reading here today!


  55. There are so many that I love. Highlander books are my favorites. If I had to choose just one, it would be Jamie Fraser from Outlander.

    mitzihinkey at sbcglobal dot net

    Thanks for the contest, and can't wait to read this book!!!


  56. Alasdair MacColla the WARRIOR of the Highlands by Virginia Wolff

    Ewan MacCallister in Taming the Scotsman by Kinley Macgregor

    Cian MacKeltar in Spell of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning

  57. Good afternoon Anna & Judith....This is being put on my must have list.
    Favorite Highlander I have many... Ewan McGregor,Sean Conner,Gerard Butler,James McAvoy, Angus MacFadyen, Dougray Scott,

    All the highlander in the Moning, Chapman,Clair,Garwood, Deveroux,books I know I missed some but I'm sure you get the picture.
    I miss my Scotland I am lucky I have Family still there so I can visit when the call form my heart get's to loud to ignore....
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    almost forgot....

  58. My favorite Highlander... I have more than a few.

    Jamie Fraser from Diana Gabaldon's OUTLANDER, and Dageus and Drustan MacKeltar from KMM's Highlander Series.

  59. I would love to win this, please enter me in the giveaway, thanks!

  60. I guess my favorite highlander would have to be Duncan Macleod



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