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Today is Memorial Day in the U.S.—the official start of summer—so I thought I’d repost the blog I wrote last year on how this holiday originally came to be.

decoration-day-190x300At the start it was called Decoration Day, “a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service”. But how did it start?

Stories claim women’s groups in the South started decorating graves even before the Civil War ended. A hymn was published in 1867, called “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet. The song’s dedication read, “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead”.
The official start of Memorial Day was declared by President Lyndon Johnson in May of 1966, but it’s hard to find conclusive origins of the day of remembrance.

It’s likely it had many separate starts. Many towns planned spontaneous gatherings to honor their war dead in the 1860’s. General Logan officially proclaimed the day in 1868. It was a “coming together to honor those who gave their all”.
General Logan was national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. He proclaimed the day would be observed on May 30, 1868. Flowers were placed on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

New York was the first state to recognize the holiday in 1873 and by 1890 it was observed by all of the northern states.
The South honored their war dead on separate days until after World War I. At that time the holiday not only covered Civil War dead, but those who died in all our country’s wars.

Today, we celebrate Memorial Day on the last Monday in May. Though several Southern states still have a separate day to honor Confederate war dead.

In 1915, a poem by Moina Michael called “In Flanders Fields”, was inspired by this American holiday.

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

This Memorial Day, be sure to take time out to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Source: http://usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html

Next peek at the opening chapter of my American Victorian romance.

Excerpt:
thephysiciansirishlady_w8189_750The conductor proceeded up the aisle past Keara’s seat. Once he’d gone by, she glanced back at the man he’d addressed as Doctor. She imagined having a man so refined as her husband. To be a physician’s wife…

Keara sighed and sank back in her seat. Once she arrived in York, her first priority would be finding a meal, then a place to stay. She clutched her satchel, knowing she likely didn’t have enough cash to afford both.

The swaying motion of the train lulled her to sleep. She dozed for a bit, then woke with a start. She’d been dreaming of the cramped quarters on the ship she’d sailed to America. Most everyone had been sick. She’d kept to herself as much as she could.

“Pardon me.”

Keara jerked her head up. The woman beside her poked her arm. “This is my stop.” She motioned toward the station.

“Are we in York?”

Available from The Wild Rose Press http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=195&products_id=5497

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/The-Physicians-Irish-Lady-ebook/dp/B00FDXQ684/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380111260&sr=1-1&keywords=the+physician%27s+irish+lady

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-physicians-irish-lady-susan-macatee/1118163850?ean=2940148243137

and All Romance Ebooks https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thephysician039sirishlady-1401248-158.html

http://sneak-peek-sunday.blogspot.com/

Another look at a short scene from my short paranormal romance.

Excerpt:
dreamingjosiecoverThe corporal produced a small pad and lead pencil.

She hastily scribbled her name and address.

“Josephine!”

Josie winced at her mother’s harsh tone.

“I’m coming, Mother.” She shot the corporal an apologetic glance.

Edith strode over and cast a withering glare in Corporal Maguire’s direction. “I would thank you, sir, not to make yourself overly familiar with my daughter. It isn’t proper.”

To Josie, she added, “We really must be leaving. Now.”

Josie passed the pad to Maguire, hoping her mother was in too much of a huff to notice.

“Good day, Corporal.” Edith turned to the door, expecting Josie to follow.

“Sorry,” she whispered.

He winked and tucked the pad into his coat pocket. “It will be our secret.”

Dreaming Josie available for only 99 cents at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Dreaming-Josie-ebook/dp/B008FZSPLS/ref=sr_1_7?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1341001818&sr=1-7

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dreaming-josie-susan-macatee/1112136131?ean=2940044700420

and Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/177360

Next excerpt from the first chapter of my American Victorian romance.

Excerpt:
thephysiciansirishlady_w8189_750The woman drew herself back. “I see.” She sighed. “I suppose you can sit here.”

Keara eased herself into the seat as the woman eyed her warily. Once she turned toward the window, Keara relaxed a bit but still hugged her satchel against her, wishing she hadn’t dropped her half loaf of bread.

A whistle sounded, and the train slowly chugged from the station. Keara didn’t completely release her breath until the station lay behind them and the train sped along open fields.

She glanced at the older woman who seemed occupied with a book in her lap. A few seats ahead across the aisle, Keara caught sight of a well-dressed man with wavy, dark hair speaking with the conductor.

“Anything else I can get for you, Doctor?” the gray-haired conductor asked.

“No, I’m fine. Thank you.”

Available from The Wild Rose Press http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=195&products_id=5497

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/The-Physicians-Irish-Lady-ebook/dp/B00FDXQ684/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380111260&sr=1-1&keywords=the+physician%27s+irish+lady

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-physicians-irish-lady-susan-macatee/1118163850?ean=2940148243137

and All Romance Ebooks https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thephysician039sirishlady-1401248-158.html

http://sneak-peek-sunday.blogspot.com/

For about ten years, my husband and I and two of our boys camped out and reenacted the American Civil War on many weekends from spring till fall.

cwphoto-360x405Setting up the tent in camp, wearing the clothing, cooking over an open fire and mending torn clothing by hand (my guys were notorious for loosing buttons off their uniforms), gave me a feel for at least some of what living in the nineteenth century must have been like.

And for sure, in my imaginative writer’s mind, it was the setting for time travel adventures, including my first romance novel where a modern day woman meets her soulmate, a man from the past when she finds herself thrown back in time to land in a Confederate camp at the height of the war.

Although Erin’s Rebel was partially inspired by my time as a reenactor, it’s also due to my fascination with time travel tales, romance or not, that I grew up watching on television. And later, as a young stay-at-home mom, I discovered time travel romance. Not matter the setting or time period, I loved reading stories of people of our time, meeting up with men or women from the past.

I’ve recently been watching Diana Gabaldon’s ‘Outlander’ series. I read the first two books years ago and recently read the third. It reminded me of how much I love the genre and someday soon, I plan to delve into a new novel that spans time periods. They’re just so much fun.

Below is one of my favorite excerpts from my own time travel romance, Erin’s Rebel.

ErinsRebel_w1957_300
Excerpt:
As he moved closer, her knees turned to jelly. Strong, hard-muscled arms embraced her, offering support. Her head spun. She lifted a hand to stop the motion and encountered wool, a double row of metal buttons and a rock-hard chest. The enticing aroma of sandalwood mixed with a musky, masculine scent, plus a tinge of wood smoke invaded her senses. Had she hit her head harder than she’d thought?

She gazed at his lightly tanned face. Firm lips tilted upward slightly at the corners surrounded by a thin chocolate-colored mustache curving into a neatly-trimmed beard covering only his chin. Thick, dark hair brushed his collar and curled from beneath a broad-brimmed black hat. Her pulse raced as she leaned against his long, solid frame. Night after night in her dreams she’d run her hands through those curls.

“How can you be here?” she murmured.

“Pardon me, ma’am?”

“I don’t understand.” She tried to wrench from his grasp, but he gathered her close, lifting her into his arms. “What are you doing?”

“Taking you back where you belong.” He carried her to the tent entrance where Doc peered out.

“Will, what the devil is going on?”

“I assume you didn’t give Mrs. O’Connell permission to leave.”

“I did not.” He scowled. “I told you to rest.”

The dark-haired man carried her inside and laid her on the cot. She propped herself on an elbow to get a better view of the man Doc called Will. Broad shoulders tapered into a narrow waist accentuated by the cut of his gray frock coat trimmed in gold braid.

“Who the hell are you?” she asked.

“Pardon me, ma’am?”

His gaze chilled her blood. He looked exactly like the man in the antique photo she’d found between the pages of her grandmother’s Bible. If he were the man in the photo, where was she? Maybe the crash had killed her, and she was now in the afterlife. And like the man who called himself Doc, this man had also called her Mrs. O’Connell. Grandma Rose’s great-aunt. Something wasn’t right.

Unable to voice her fears, she stared open-mouthed at the man.

Civil War time travel romance, Erin’s Rebel, was a finalist in the Ancient City Romance Authors 2010 Reader’s Choice Award, paranormal category.

Read opening chapters: https://susanmacatee.wordpress.com/my-books/erins-rebel-chapter-one/?preview=true&preview_id=4473&preview_nonce=a36fb7ec64

Erin’s Rebel, available at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Erins-Rebel-Susan-Macatee/dp/1601545207/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1318084452&sr=1-1

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/erins-rebel-susan-macatee/1100248217

The Wild Rose Press http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=89_117&products_id=3554

and All Romance Ebooks http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-erin039srebel-80339-141.html

Yet another look at chapter one of my American Victorian romance.

Excerpt:
thephysiciansirishlady_w8189_750She spied an empty seat near the back of the car, but once she grew close, realized an older woman sat in the window seat. All the other seats appeared claimed.

Drawing in a deep breath, Keara sidled to the seat. “Ma’am, can you be telling me if this seat’s taken?”

The woman’s shrewd eyes slid over her, then forward over the filling car. “You’re traveling alone, dear?”

“Yes, ma’am.” Keara glanced toward the front. “I don’t see any other seats available.”

“Are you certain you’re in the right car?” The woman smirked.

Keara bristled. “Yes, ma’am. I’ve a ticket to the second class car.”

Available from The Wild Rose Press http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=195&products_id=5497

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/The-Physicians-Irish-Lady-ebook/dp/B00FDXQ684/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380111260&sr=1-1&keywords=the+physician%27s+irish+lady

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-physicians-irish-lady-susan-macatee/1118163850?ean=2940148243137

and All Romance Ebooks https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thephysician039sirishlady-1401248-158.html

http://sneak-peek-sunday.blogspot.com/

Another excerpt from my short paranormal romance story.

Excerpt:
dreamingjosiecoverKyle scanned the field, hoping he’d see her again. A green gown caught his gaze. A dark-haired woman knelt on the ground bent over a reclining soldier. This had to be her.

He raced over to them and stared into those dark brown eyes. The eyes he’d dreamed about.

“Hello,” he said.

She glanced up and frowned. “Good day, soldier.”

The reclining reenactor took a swig from his canteen and waved her off. “I’m fine. Thanks.” He rose and dusted himself off.

She stood and faced Kyle. “Is there something I can do for you, sir?”

“You don’t remember me.” Apparently, he hadn’t made as much of an impression on her as she had on him.

She pursed her lips.

“The reenactment outside Philly two weeks ago. I twisted my ankle, and you helped me. I never got your name, though.”

She frowned. “Outside where?”

“Philadelphia. A park in the suburbs…”

She shook her head.

Dreaming Josie available for only 99 cents at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Dreaming-Josie-ebook/dp/B008FZSPLS/ref=sr_1_7?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1341001818&sr=1-7

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dreaming-josie-susan-macatee/1112136131?ean=2940044700420

and Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/177360

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