Welcome to another special Friday Feast in the Tavern! I'm thrilled to have a sister rose (from The Wild Rose Press) here with me today. We're celebrating Kat Chant's new release, God of Summer! And what a stunning cover, aye?! I'm eager to start reading this story, my friends. In addition, Kat is sharing a tempting recipe with us.
Grab a cup of mead and let's take a peek into Kat's new story...
He saved her life. Now she must take his.
Back in the Bronze Age, Angus McCraggan sacrificed his life to break the Celtic curse laid on his kind. He failed. Millennia later, he returns to modern Ireland to find his people have become feral, vengeful shadows. With his hollow hill now packed with tourists, he uses his power to keep his past hidden.
Until an American calls him out.
Since a banshee attacked her as a teen, Erin De Santos has been tormented by dreams of a boy she’s never met. Armed with a new identity, she returns to the Emerald Isle determined to face her nightmare. But her discovery turns fatal.
When the banshee strikes again, Angus surrenders his heart—and his hope of freeing his people—to save her. With his life now hers and his curse descending, Erin must make a terrible choice: kill her savior or share his doom.
Available from these online retailers HERE!
Sneak Preview from "God of Summer"
Game face on, Erin swanned into the tiny kitchen.
“That oatmeal?” She buried her nose into Angus’ shoulder, pretending to look while actually breathing in the musk of his skin as he scraped the non-burned bits out of the pot into two bowls.
“Something like.” He drew her to one side to open the bar fridge and pulled out a basket of weeds. “There’s fresh honey for yours.” He pointed to an honest-to-God fresh comb on a cute wooden stand, angled for the honey to slide down into a saucer at the bottom. “And fermented sheep’s milk, if you can bear to try it.”
“I’ll eat most anything, especially a meal made by a domestic god.”
When he didn’t respond to her attempted compliment, it spurred her to try harder. She peered into the basket of weeds.
“Are these nettles?” She prodded at the dark green stems with their telltale tiny white hairs then sucked her finger to ease the sting. Dumb question. Worth the pain, however, to have Angus fixate on her mouth. She hollowed her cheeks and let her eyelids droop.
After five full seconds of flat-out staring, he apparently discovered a pressing need to wash the porridge pot. This proved a complicated business which required him to keep his attention fixed firmly on the task at hand, even if it didn’t happen to be much more than putting the pot in the sink to soak. Unfortunately, it put his back to her. The same broad-shouldered, shirtless back he’d presented in the bathroom with the faint blue-black bruise directly opposite the wound on his chest, sidelined by the marks from her nails.
Erin’s stomach tumbled over. Again. What sort of person gave a stranger their heart?
“Those are nettle tips and charlock flowers,” he told the skeevy dishwater, unaware of her discomfort. “The flowers taste a bit like mustard. I usually add a scraping of the cheese, over there, as well.” He chin-tipped toward the counter next to the stove.
She pushed in beside him to unwrap the small bundle of greaseproof paper. “Woah. That’s pungent!”
“Hence the scraping part.”
She shrugged her lack of concern. It made sense that he preferred artisanal food; she couldn’t imagine him snarfing down a bowl of mac and cheese if she tried. “Can’t be worse than tofu. Make mine the same as yours.”
He flashed her another of those sudden smiles—thank God nothing like the devastating special he’d leveled her with earlier. This one was merely pleased. Heart-warming not heart-breaking. It still left her a little dopey.
She needed a jolt to recover. “I don’t suppose you have any coffee.”
“I have tea brewing.”
Tea. Her grandfather drank gallons of the stuff. She’d long since lost the taste for it.
“Pass. And I can see there’s zero chance of a cherry cola in this kitchen.” She sighed. The man could cook and sing and kiss, but he couldn’t magic up a soda. “I’m guessing sipping nectar or ambrosia or whatever is a myth since you also drink whiskey. What do you usually go for? Water?”
“Whiskey is more medicinal, but I do like it. My usual drinks haven’t changed: peppermint tea, most mornings, chamomile of a spring afternoon, rose hip in winter.”
The air thickened and charged as if listing herbal teas cast a spell. She couldn’t look anywhere but his mouth. Despite the warmth of her top, goose bumps broke out across her skin and her nipples pinched.
His gaze dipped and held below her neckline, before his smile beamed on at a lower, troubled wattage. “Mead, fermented from honey, is my preferred drink for celebrating a special occasion.”
A special occasion? This was breakfast.
“Just water is fine,” she said, unable to summon any snark to save her life.
“The water here is pumped from a well, but it does come from a tap.”
While she poured herself a glass, he took the bowl and sprinkled salt and splashed cider vinegar over the bitter greens, then mashed them down with a fork before adding them to the grainy stuff.
“I hope you’re not too hungry, this mightn’t be edible.”
Erin was famished. Even post-scorching, it smelled of greeny goodness. Her appetite, unfortunately, wasn’t limited to her stomach. Not this close to a shirtless man who still mostly smelled of peat smoke from the pub, unless you were close enough to inhale the wild, subtle musk from his skin.
“What if I’m ravenous?” she drawled, walking fingers up his bicep. Every muscle in his upper body tensed as he dredged on the sort of smile that usually came accompanied by the ‘have a nice day’ of a waiter on a twelve-hour shift in a crappy diner.
“Then you’d better eat.” He thrust the bowl at her.
Whatever his body said, the man was not into her. Last night had been the drink talking.
Snatching her bowl, she went into the living room to sit at the kitchen table: the same one which had once been her family’s. Did everything here have to sting?
A Message from Kat Chant
Barley and Bitter Greens Potage
My hero, Angus, grew up in Bronze Age Ireland where the chief cooking implement would have been a cauldron. He cooks this as breakfast for my modern-day heroine, Erin, rather than serving his homemade badger bacon. All the ingredients are ones he would be familiar with from his own time.
50g / 4 tbslp buttern
2 large or 3 medium-sized leeks, washed and sliced
200g / 1 cup of pearl or pot barley
1 litre / 4 cups of water
1-2 tbsp of Dillisk seaweed (or substitute with 2 vegetable stock cubes)
6-10 stinging nettle tops (about 2 loose cups), washed and chopped (Use rubber gloves to pick and hold while they are raw. Once cooked, there is no sting.)
3-4 kale leaves, washed, stripped from the stem and torn into pieces
Salt (to taste)
A handful of charlock flowers or watercress (optional)
Hard goat’s cheese to serve (optional)
Use a large Dutch oven or 5-6 quart cooking pot. Heat on a low-medium temperature.
Melt the butter and add chopped leeks. Cover and sweat for about 5 minutes. Transfer to another bowl and set aside.
Add barley and water to the pot. Bring to a rolling boil for 10 minutes. Turn down the heat to a simmer and add the dillisk or stock cubes. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until the barley has absorbed most of the water. It should be tender without being mushy.
Stir in the nettle tops and kale until the greens have wilted. Add the charlock flowers or watercress just before serving. Grate goat’s cheese on top.
Meet the Author
Kat Chant is an award winning writer. A bookworm who grew into a history buff, she swapped beaches for castles and moved from Australia to the UK. When studying medieval history, she fell in love with a lad from Ireland…and fell in love with his country, too.
She and her family live in the heart of Ireland, surrounded by fields in forty shades of green.
Kat is a keen cook and often experiments with traditional farmhouse foods such as making bread, cheese, jam and liqueurs. She also decorates the occasional cake.
Connect with Kat here ~