Friday, January 24, 2014

Aloha to Cathy Maxwell and THE BRIDE SAYS NO - Burns Night Celebration


On this day in 1759, Robert Burns was born in Alloway, Scotland.  He became a pioneer of the Romance Movement and Scotland's National Poet.  His birthday is celebrated across the world with Burns Night - a special supper to honor all things Scottish.   

Back in 2004, when my husband worked for NATO in the Netherlands, we were invited by the UK delegation to Burns Night.  At that time, I was a new reader of the romance genre - I was converted by Cathy Maxwell's THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT, set in Regency Scotland   Still, I knew little about Burns.  

The evening opened my eyes to how Burns' poetry rallied the Scottish people at a time when their national culture was suppressed following the Jacobite Rebellion.   Above, the Master of Ceremonies quotes Burns in praising the Haggis served for supper (I opted for the vegetarian entree). 

Scotland. Alba.  She is enchanting.  She enchanted Blake Stephens, an arrogant Englishman who chased after his Scottish bride in Cathy Maxwell's THE BRIDE SAYS NO:

New York Times bestselling author Cathy Maxwell returns with a delicious new series, The Brides of Wishmore

What happens when a bride says no?

He is the bastard son of a duke, arrogant, handsome, a little bit dangerous, and, of course, one of the most sought-after bachelors in London. He is also about to be publicly jilted by some chit of a girl! Blake Stephens' pride isn't about to let him be humiliated, so he charges after his bride to the wilds of Scotland, determined to bring her to the altar.

What happens when the heart says yes?

He is promised to one woman, but discovers his soul stirred by . . . the chit's sister! Lady Aileen Davidson's reputation was ruined ages ago, which is why she's buried herself in the country, but her fiery spirit and bold beauty threaten to bring Blake to his knees, making him wonder if he has proposed to the wrong lass.

And now he must make a choice: marry for honor . . . or marry for love?

File:Loch Tay at Kenmore.jpg
Loch Tay near Kenmore, Scotland
Released to Public Domain (link)

Lady Aileen opens Blake's eyes to love - love that he sees in many forms among the Scottish villagers. I referenced how Scotland transforms Blake in my review posted on Goodreads (link). THE BRIDE SAYS NO is available Tuesday, January 28, from Avon Romance.

I believe Blake would quote Burns' MY HIGHLAND LASSIE, O:

Nae gentle dames, tho' e'er sae fair,
Shall ever be my muse's care;
Their titles a' are empty show;
Gie me my Highland Lassie, O.
Within the glen sae bushy, O,
Aboon the plain sae rushy, O,
I sit me down wi' right good will,
To sing my Highland Lassie, O.


To celebrate Burns Night, Cathy Maxwell, and Highland lassies, I am giving away a special throw blanket with the Scottish Rampart design.   To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about Burns Night - do you have a favorite poem?  Have you attended Burns Supper?  Have you (or would you) eat Haggis?

2.  This giveaway is open to readers with a US mailing address.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, February 1.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, February 2.   


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Learn more about Cathy and her books from her website at   

Enter the chance to win a copy of THE BRIDE SAYS NO at this link.

Book 2 will be available February 25.


  1. What can I say except I absolutely love Cathy's books and I can't wait to read this new series.I have never attended a Burns Supper but would love to. I have read about a few of them from various Authors who have attended. As for Haggis, I won't say no or yes, I'd probably have to see it in person and maybe then I'd be brave enough to just taste a wee bit. :)
    Thanks for this opportunity.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  2. I never been to a burns supper and never had haggis but I don't think I would be able to eat it.

  3. No to Haggis and I really do not have a favorite poem. I also have never been to a Burns Supper.

  4. I had heard of him but I don't think I have read Robert Burns poetry. I can't see myself eating haggis.

  5. I have never done any of that. I looked at haggis once and said no way. My favorite poem is not a Burns poem.

  6. I love Cathy Maxwell's stories too!
    Robbie Burns has been in my life as long as I can remember - I've got my grandparents statues of Robbie Burns & Highland Mary in my front window - just went over & wished him a Happy Birthday!
    Haven't tried the Haggis

  7. No fav; haven't been; no

  8. I don't know Robert Burns' poetry very well but I liked A Red, Red Rose. As to Haggis I''ve never had it but I just read where someone said it's like liver which I like so I think I'd give it a try.

  9. I've never been to a Burns Night, but it sounds like a lot of fun. I've absolutely no intention of ever eating haggis.

  10. I was a big Robert Burns fan when I was growing up, even choosing one of his poems ("Scots Wha Hae") to recite in my 8th grade reading class. He's still top of my list.

  11. I've had haggis and I liked it. Of course, it was an Americanized version so it had more seasonings than I imagine an original recipe would contain. I also won a bag of haggis flavored potato chips from an author once. :D

    Marcy Shuler

    1. I forgot to mention that I had the haggis at a Burns Night celebration.

      Marcy Shuler

  12. Thanks for the information. I have participated in two Burns Nights and each was so much fun.

    Audrey (mary's mom)

  13. Yes I posted that comment from my 90 year old mother who traveled the world and lived to tell the tale. Every Saturday night when she comes over for dinner we go over Miss Kim's blog and I keep her from commenting on everything but this one excited her so I said okay but only a quick one.

  14. I've never taken part in a Burns night or supper, but I did pay homage to Edinburgh's Burns monument several years ago. I also had a wee taste of haggis. Thanks for the giveaway. I'm currently reading and enjoying The Bride Says No.

  15. I've never attended a Burns supper, but I think I would at least try the haggis.

  16. I've never attended/participated in a Burns night/supper. As much as the 'sound' of haggis is unappealing, I like to experiment so I would probably try it.

  17. I've never gone to a Burns night supper, read any of his poems, or eaten Haggis.

  18. Cathy is amazing and I love her books. Never been to a Burns night.