A Winter Solstice High Tea
by Kathleen Shaputis
Are you suffering from Droughtlander, the long stretches between seasons of the Outlander series on cable? I am, though I’ve verified my clan heritage through a DNA process from the Internet so the tug of foggy moors is in my blood. Despite global warming, the chill of approaching winter up here in Olympia, Washington calls for more modern layered clothing and fingerless gloves than my kilted ancestors. The days ever shorter until the solstice on December 21, celebrating the longest night of the year with a festive high tea is definitely in order.
How many of you gathered your dolls or stuffed animals around a small table or picnic blanket serving “tea” from a miniature porcelain or plastic tea set? Now imagine such an affair with high back wooden chairs, plates of scones, various finger sandwiches and fresh fruit. The dainty, delicious tidbits of food accompany the aroma and taste of the pot of brewed tea set next to your adult-size china cups and saucers.
Decorate the white table cloth with short pine boughs and holly branches, whether fresh or synthetic depends on your surroundings, and attach bows of red and green plaid ribbon. Add strings of battery-operated miniature light to brighten the center piece. Shop your local thrift stores or antique shops for linen napkins of holiday decoration or a compatible solid color. Also check out their china section for delightful cup and saucer pieces. An expensive matched set does not have to dent your holiday budget.
Lifting a cup of tea with pinkie outstretched, you may find it difficult to imagine a muscular man of beauty across the merry table wearing a kilt. But such are the dreams of fantasy, aye? Originally the story line of His Lass Wears Tartan had the hand-fast wedding of Lord Kai and Baillie happening on the winter solstice. Savor the concept of romance on the longest night of the year over a pot of tea and sweet cakes.
His Lass Wears Tartan
Genre: Paranormal romantic comedy
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Date of Publication: June 20, 2016
Number of pages: 186 pages
Word Count: 57,000
Independent and dedicatedly single, Rogue Bruce enjoys running Castle Baillie with her Aunt Baillie from America. They specialize in romantic Elizabethan-themed weddings, complete with resident ghost, Lord Kai (nothing like a haunted castle to set the mood for love). But love is something Rogue is not the least bit interested in. Content with her work and stable of horses, no man is necessary for her happiness.
Matchmaking is in the air, though, focusing on Bruce MacKenzie, a Thor in plaid and jeans from town, and Jonathan Olson, a snobbish Rhett Butler type. With two men after her heart (she’d thought safely locked away), Rogue is torn with confusion. Murder and a psychic yank the soundtrack of Rogue’s life from romantic to scary, while she has choices to make in this sizzling triangle.
Movement out of the corner of her eye caught her attention. Rogue paused her step and watched Jonathan stride down the east stairs, regal in motion, dressed all in black, drawing attention to his tanned face and striking beard. He’d released his hair, the wild, dark waves now decorating his shoulders and a few strands in front of his face. Rogue’s heart skipped a beat as she watched a less trimmed Rhett Butler of the twenty-first century hold court with his phone against his ear.
He caught her looking and spoke a bit louder. “Let me call you back,” he said before shoving the phone in his pocket. “Ah, princess, indeed, you waited for me. I am truly touched at your purity of service.” He pressed a manicured hand to his heart.
Rogue stiffened as her body betrayed her with a rising warmth. “I dinna realize you were not already at tea, Mr. Olson.” Rogue denied herself the delicious feel of his stare by looking away first from the brooding face now inches away from her own.
“Only fashionably late, my dear, but first a more pressing issue took my attention. Business may beckon me twenty-four/seven, but your voice is like a siren’s song to my heart.”
“Your arrogance precedes your charm, sir.” She refused to step back and give ground, yet she could smell a citrus scent, feeling the heat from his body this close.
His lips tightened as his eyes flashed. Jonathan moved slowly, deliberately, as he circled around her, appraising her dress. “Excellent,” he whispered. He stopped a degree to the right of where he started, forcing her to turn her head to face him.
Rogue made fists with her hands, trying to control an unnatural response to touch him, the air surrounding her, thick with testosterone. “What?” The question came out stiff, foreign.
“You.” His warm breath caressed her cheek, making her blink. She waited for him to continue. Nothing.
About the Author:
Kathleen Shaputis lives in the glorious Pacific Northwest with her husband, Bob, a clowder of cats and three pompously protective Pomeranians with little social aptitude, Brugh, Bouncer and Jazzy. When not writing, she’s busy reading and watching romantic comedies, her ultimate paradise.
Website Address: https://kathleenshaputis.com/
Twitter Address: https://twitter.com/NWAuthor
Facebook Address: https://www.facebook.com/KathleenShaputisAuthor/