Welcome to my Friday bonus feature called Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **Author Special**!! Today, in lieu of one of my own recipes, I’m going to introduce you to a new author who will share one of her favorite recipes. Not only will you and I occasionally learn how to make something new and delicious, but we’ll get a chance to check out some wonderful authors. Introducing author, PATRICIA BATES, and their favorite recipe for CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY CAKE!
HIS CELTIC BRIDE
Conquering the Heart of Eire
BY PATRICIA BATES
In a world of secrets and lies, Oonagh Dermot finds herself at the center of a political battle between two warring clans. Forced to wed her enemy, Jarlath Cormac, Oonagh must keep her people safe while also struggling against her own growing feelings for the man she is betrothed to.
Rescuing Oonagh Dermot seemed a brilliant move for Jarlath. He could use her to rescue his cousin and end a senseless war. Yet their enemies are gathering and to protect her, Jarlath will have risk everything.
Will they be able to outwit her enemies and protect her kingdom or will her love for Jarlath lead them both to a tragic end?
Jarlath watched the line of riders move through the trees to circle the bog before heading east. Next to him Kellen shifted in the saddle, the creak of leather drawing his attention for a moment. “What?”
“It’s been days, Jarlath; do you not think we should have some word back from the Dermot rath? Each day that passes you can see the Dermot woman fade a little more. What if her words were true?”
Jarlath exhaled sharply, his gaze moving back to the warriors on the move. They were not his soldiers. Of that he was certain. His uncle’s men were south of his lands, struggling to keep together with the daft rage of their leader. Nay, these men, he suspected were Dermot soldiers. Mayhap, Mac Caffery had summoned them to seek the return of his bride. A slow easy smile crossed his face as he turned from his vigil. “I believe Dermot sends a response.” He nodded toward the bog. “Hardly befitting a princess.”
“Aye, hardly.” Kellen agreed. With a disgusted shake of his head, he inquired, “Shall I have our men rise to this trespass?”
“Let them come. Allow only a few beyond the gates. If they’re smart, they’ll speak their missive and await my response.”
Kellen chuckled. “I doubt that they’re either smart or patient, my lord. If they were either, they’d have come directly to the gates and not skulked about as though they were trying to hide.”
“Makes for a more interesting exchange.” Jarlath turned and hurry toward the front doors of his keep, his mind on the upcoming meeting. The figure in the doorway drew his attention and he met Oonagh Dermot’s startled stare. That the men below had come to retrieve her was no surprise, the sharp stab of possession within him was. There was a part of him that knew beyond a doubt that Lavena had been lost to his clan, to his uncle’s clan. That part had come to accept the loss but the desire for justice would not be so easily dissuaded.
“It appears you were mistaken,” Jarlath paused beside her. “A line of soldiers is coming ever closer as we speak.”
“They are not Dermot warriors,” Oonagh predicted. “They would not come for me without the command to do so. I rather think you shall find they come on another matter. Perhaps, they come with word of your precious princess – or a desire to bed your women.”
“We shall see.” Jarlath grabbed her arm, “But to be safe, you shall await their coming inside. I’d hate to have you exposed to the unpleasantness that is sure to come.”
Her chin rose an inch as her eyes met his. “I do not fear blood, Jarlath, only the waste of life it brings. The men who gather at your gate are not Dermot soldiers. As I have said, Mother has left me to my fate, whatever it may be.”
He frowned as she took his hand, her brow pulled together in a look that bordered on concern. With a sigh, he lifted her grasp from him and nudged her toward the door. “As I said, my lady, I look forward to the challenge.” Jarlath retorted. “War is something that is easily solved. Kill the enemy and you win the war.”
“You’re even more of a simpleton than I assumed.” Oonagh jerked her arm from his grasp. “I tell you if there is an army coming it will not be one sent by my mother.”
“Then pray tell who would send warriors – even those as feeble and weak as these – to retrieve you?” Jarlath nodded and ushered her onto a stool. He settled next to her as the doors opened and Kellen strode inside. “Well? What news?”
“I have allowed three men beyond the gates. They claim to be allies of Dermot’s.” Kellen bowed to him, his words barked out.
“If they were allies then they should be carrying the mark of our clan.” Oonagh frowned at Kellen’s words. “Do they carry a ram’s head on their clothing or weapons?”
“Nay milady, tis the sign of an ox.”
“The only ally my clan has with the sign of an ox is Mac Caffery. It appears he’s come to reclaim his bride.” She turned to Jarlath, a frown pulling her brows together. Unease flowed like ice water through her veins. Her flesh tightened along her neck and jaw, her breathing seemed cut off. Nay, she could not… Oonagh grabbed his arm, her fingers tightening until her nails dug into the soft flesh. “Mother would not have told him.” She whispered tightly, a quiver in her words. “Nay, there is some trickery at work here. For Mac Caffery to know I am here, you must have sent word to him.”
“Nay, my lady,” Jarlath patted her hand confusion broiling within him. “I sent no messenger to him.” He turned to men. “Bring them in, I would hear their petitions.”
“’Tis all wrong, Jarlath.” Oonagh pressed a hand to her chest, the rapid gallop of her heart beneath her ribs a cold comfort. “None of this makes any sense. Mac Caffery would care not if I was dead – he would only be concerned if it caused him to lose ties to the throne.”
With a formal bow the men turned to the massive doors and swung them open with a great creaking moan.
Oonagh stared at the trio that strode purposefully into the room. Dressed in full battle regalia, their muted tunics and brats offered more protection in the wilds than in the massive keep. Humble swords hung from their hips, the tips of the sheaths nearly touching the floor. Their brats had been pushed over their shoulders, held in place by simple, elegantly made brooches. Each wore his long hair tied back with a single gold band as was customary of men. Soft leather boots covered their feet and trousers peeked from the tops of them.
Her eyes stared at the three men. Searching their faces for some sign of their loyalty. The leader of the trio glanced at her. If she had not been watching she would not have seen how his eyes were filled with a look of such hatred. It broiled and bubbled beneath the surface, a physical presence, churning her stomach. Hot and bitter the flood of bile at the back of her throat choked her.
Instinctively she stepped back from the unspoken threat, nestling into Jarlath’s side. She clung to his sleeve, her gaze never leaving the approaching soldiers. Clinging to Jarlath’s hand, her head swam as the truth dawned upon her.
They were not Mac Caffery’s men, nor Dermot warriors, but Cormac men. Men she had seen before on a bloody field of battle in the dead of night. Barely seeping through the fog in her mind came the feel of Jarlath’s arm around her waist to steady her as darkness clawed for purchase within her.
Canadian author Patricia Bates has been writing since she was in grade school. A love of great stories, and a desire to explore other words, and times inspires her to write the stories she does. If you enjoy strong willed, kick-butt heroines and sexy, stubborn heroes you’ll enjoy the journey into the past Patricia weaves.
When she’s not writing, you can find her out playing with the various plants she loves to grow, or in the craft room working a variety of fabric projects including period costumes and crochet.
Links to Patricia’s website, blog, books, #ad, etc.:
You can find her on her website at
I hope you enjoy the recipe Patricia is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy Eating!
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COPYRIGHT NOTICE: If an author’s favorite recipe isn’t their own creation and came from an online site, you will now find the entire recipe through the link to that site as a personal recommendation. Thank you.
CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY CAKE
Note from Patricia: I cheat in this and use a cake mix – but you can make the cake from scratch.
This recipe is one of my favorites because it combines fresh fruit, whipped cream and chocolate. It was something made as a treat growing up and while the recipe has been adjusted to fit the season it’s always been something that makes me smile. After all, who can resist a delicious dessert.
1 box of your favorite dark chocolate cake mix or enough to make two 8 inch round cakes.
Follow the directions on the box for making it. I also add in real butter as it adds to the flavor – 1-2 tablespoons melted butter in addition to the vegetable oil.
2 egg whites whipped until fluffy
Fold egg whites into the batter to add lightness and air.
Bake as directed on box. Once completely cooked, set on rack for 15 mins before sliding into the freezer until raspberry mixture is made.
3 ½ cups fresh raspberries (you can use frozen as well just reduce liquid
¼ cup sugar
⅓ cup whiskey or Scotch (if you don’t want to add alcohol grenadine will also work or fruit juice)
5 cups whipping cream
In sauce pan combine raspberries, sugar, and liquid. On low to medium heat, simmer until the raspberries are just starting to break down. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Remove cakes from freezer – should be chilled but not frozen, cut in half and separate pieces. On the bottom layer, add whip cream leaving a well in the middle. Spoon in cooled Raspberry mixture. Top with the next layer of cake. Repeat until you have all four layers of cake put together. Should be some raspberry and whipped cream left over. Spoon remaining whipped cream over the cake, including the sides, top with raspberry mixture and shaved chocolate if you like. Place in fridge until ready to serve.