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Archive for October, 2011

The inspiration for my first full-length romance published by The Wild Rose Press was my interest in the American Civil War, as well as my time spent living the war as a Civil War civilian reenactor with the 28th Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment.

My husband had joined the military group and was encouraged to have his family join the civilian side. So, I spoke to the civilian coordinator to learn what I needed to participate. Gowns were a necessity, as well as a flexible hoop, corset and other appropriate underthings, like petticoats, drawers and stockings as well as a servicable pair of booties. I was allowed to cheat a bit here and bought an inexpensive pair from Payless. Two bonnets, a fancy one for dress and a cotton slat bonnet for work was an important part of the final ensemble. I also needed a shawl and wool cape for reenactments in the cooler months.

Here’s a picture of us in camp.

In camp, our necessities included a canvas tent, tarp for a floor and a small wool rug for comfort. Also, quilts and blankets for those chilly nights and containers to store all our gear in.

As far as cooking, we needed a grate to prop over an open wood fire, and two buckets, one to collect fresh water and another for washing dishes and hands. Water was usually supplied by trucks shipped in for that purpose.

Military and civilian camps sat side by side at the smaller reenactments. At larger ones, they could be up to a mile apart.

Spending a weekend living like this was a great inspiration to write a Civil War romance. And with a time travel, I was able to transpose my own experiences, including sights, sounds and smells of living in an army camp during the war.

The resulting story was Erin’s Rebel. Erin is a reporter thrust back in time after researching the life of a Confederate soldier her late grandmother insisited she find just before her death.

Read opening chapters www.susanmacatee.com/erinsrebel.html     

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      

and The Wild Rose Press http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=176_135&products_id=3554

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 Here’s the official cover for my new Civil War romance novella, Cole’s Promise.      

Cole Manning, a Union lieutenant serving during the height of the American Civil War, expects a
letter from his best girl who promised to wait for him. But her post contains an unwelcome
surprise. Heartbroken, he vows no woman will ever fool him again.

Claire Hirsch’s fiance’ died in battle in the first year of the war. Scarred by his death, she realizes loving a soldier can only lead to heartache. Not wanting to sit home and mourn, she volunteers to assist doctors in the camps.

As the war rages around them, Cole and Claire find solace in each other’s arms. But is their love strong enough to overcome the fear of losing the one they love?

And join me today at Slip Into Something Victorian for a look at what happenend 150 years ago during the first year of the American Civil War.

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Alex studied the young woman. Before she’d hastily covered herself, he’d glimpsed the small, white mounds of her breasts. Now he knew why she’d been so shy about disrobing.

His gaze fastened on her delicate features. Gray eyes fringed with reddish-gold lashes, a delicate nose, and rosebud lips complemented a rosy complexion spattered with light brown freckles. Now that he knew she wasn’t a boy, he could appreciate the narrow waist and feminine features. She must have a reason for pretending to be male. Was she afraid of him, or did she hide her sex from the men in her camp?

She held the muslin shirt up as if it were a shield.

“Get dressed,” he ordered. He turned away to give her privacy.

He wrung out his own wet clothing, then rolled it together, and shoved the soggy roll into his pack. The girl emerged from behind the blanket, wrapped in the quilt. She glanced at him, eyes wide.

“What’s your name?” he asked.

She gulped, drawing his gaze to her slender, delicate throat. “I told you—”

“I mean, your real name.”

She bit her lip. “Katie…Katie O’Reilly.”

“Pleased to meet you, Miss O’Reilly.”

“‘Tis Mrs. OReilly.”

“Pardon me.” He studied her. She looked too young to be married. “Where’s your husband, ma’am? In camp?”

“Aye…I’ve got to get back.”

Now the disguise made sense. While serving as a lieutenant in Federal camp the first year of the war, Alex had encountered a woman who’d followed her husband into the military and pretended to be a man, sharing his tent. She wasn’t discovered until ten months later when she delivered a baby girl.

He eyed the girl as she huddled and shivered in the blankets. Dry clothes would help, but they also needed a fire to ward off the cold. He didn’t think building one here would be wise, though. They might alert a patrol. He didn’t want to encounter soldiers of either army right now.

“On my way here, I noticed a cabin just up the road a spell. Didn’t see anybody around. Reckon we could see if it’s empty, or if someone’s there, they might take us in for the night.”

She frowned. “You can go if you want. I’ll be just fine on me own right here.”

“Reckon it’ll get mighty cold tonight, ma’am.”

“There’s plenty of wood. I know how to build a fire.”

“You’re not afraid of alerting Yankee patrols?”

“I can take care of meself, Mr. Hart. I was doing it long before I signed on with the army.”

Confederate Rose

1st place historical category of First Coast Romance Writers 2010 Beacon Contest for Published Authors!

2nd place historical category of 2010 New England Reader’s Choice Bean Pot Award!

Purchase Confederate Rose from Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Confederate-Rose-Susan-Macatee/dp/1601545568/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1307799716&sr=1-1 

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/confederate-rose-susan-macatee/1018142717?ean=9781601545565&itm=1&usri=confederate%2brose     

and The Wild Rose Press http://www.thewildrosepress.com/confederate-rose-p-3672.html

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My Monday weekly feature will be about what inspired me to write the types of stories I do.

Although I primarily write historicals set during the American Civil War, I also have two vampire romances, also set–at least in part–during the Civil War period.

In fact, my first contract from The Wild Rose Press was a very short vampire story, titled Eternity Waits. I’d always wanted to write a vampire story and wrote this to submit to a vampire magazine titled ‘Dreams of Decadence’. After waiting for a reply, I got the story back unread. Seems the magazine was overstocked. I tried a few other magazines, but they weren’t interested in that type of story, so I shoved it into a drawer.

Years later, I discovered The Wild Rose Press, a fairly new electronic publisher. Not only did they publish short stories as e-books, but they had a dark paranormal line.

I submitted, but was rejected with a revision request. Revised and submitted again and received a contract. My first official TWRP release.

But what drew me to write romance stories about vampires in the first place?

I was still in grade school when the daytime soap Dark Shadows first appeared on TV in 1966. I can’t remember when I first caught on to it, but other girls in school talked about it, so I tuned in. A handsome and sympathic vampire named Barnabus Collins captured my young imagination. I rushed home from school every day to catch the next episode and even started writing my own Dark Shadows stories.

Years later, when I started writing toward submission, it was always deep in the back of my mind to write and submit a vampire story. By that time, I’d read Interview with the Vampire and was totally hooked on the genre.  

I just had to write my own vampire romance and Eternity Waits, followed by Sweet Redemption were my two forays into the dark world of the creature of the night that had captured my imagination all those years ago. I also believe the desire to emulate what I watched and read deepened the desire to write romance in the first place.  

I’d love to hear stories of what inspires fellow writers and if you’re not a writer, has something from your past drawn you to read a particular genre?

Click here for links to my vampire stories.

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Today I’m starting another weekly feature on my blog that I’m calling ‘News and Reviews’. Every Friday I’ll share what’s going on with my upcoming releases as well as post reviews for all my books.

While I’m still waiting on  a cover for my newest Civil War romance, Cole’s Promise, that will be part of the new ‘Love Letters’ series at The Wild Rose Press, the manuscript has been sent to the copy editor. After that, it’ll be set in galleys. Closer to a release date.

I’m excited about this new story, because letters were such an important means of communication between soldiers and family members during the Civil War. I’ll keep everyone informed when I have more news on CP.

And keeping to the Halloween theme, I’ll post a review for my vampire story, Sweet Redemption. Scroll down to read excerpts from the book.

4 books at Long and Short Reviews!~

“I love books that snag your attention from the start and maintain it throughout, and Sweet Redemption didn’t disappoint. The writing is wonderful, the pace nice and brisk, and the romance between Jon and Maddie is set at a believable simmer. I enjoyed the twist that brings it all together in the end, and felt the resolution of the vampire issue Jon faced was wrapped up beautifully.

“Be sure to put this story on your TBR list. Civil War junkies and vampire fans will love this one.”

Sweet Redemption is available at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Redemption-ebook/dp/B0056ICETQ/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1313157188&sr=1-7  

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sweet-redemption-susan-macatee/1018988355?ean=2940043310798&itm=3&usri=sweet%2bredemption  

And The Wild Rose Press http://thewildrosepress.com/sweet-redemption-p3750.html?zenid=efc2f41ac353b198c6926be0514ff6ab

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Since I’ve quickly gotten the hang of my new wordpress blog, I decided it’s time to start a few regular features.

The first will be a Wednesday excerpt day where I’ll post excerpts from my available and coming soon books.

Since Halloween is fast approaching, I thought I’d start off with an excerpt from my Civil War vampire romance, Sweet Redemption.

Enjoy! And come back every Wednesday for a new excerpt from one of my romance stories.

PG excerpt from Sweet Redemption.

She shook him, but he only groaned. His eyes remained shut. She shivered, clutching her shawl about her. The air was bitter cold. If she didn’t get him inside, he’d surely die of exposure.

Much as she hated to give aid to the enemy, she was left with little choice. She propped the door open in preparation to drag him inside.

Pulling, prodding, and grunting with the effort, she finally got him to the parlor in front of the fireplace. She’d already built the fire up to ward off the winter chill. She stretched him out and opened his coat.

His skin appeared pale and his face cold and clammy. She’d have to warm him up and, once he regained consciousness, get some broth into him. But first, she had to retrieve her rifle in case any of his friends showed up.

She raced back to the stoop, retrieved the rifle and his kepi and brought them inside. She’d have to hide the cap first chance she got. If Confederate troops arrived and found him here…

She’d have to get his uniform off too and see if he carried any weapons.

Rolling him onto his belly, she stripped off his greatcoat, then rolled him back. She carefully removed his revolver from the holster and checked for any other weapons. Satisfied that was all he had, she unbuckled his belt and opened his uniform coat. As she struggled to work him out of it, a silver chain draped around his neck caught her eye.

She pulled it out. He wore a crucifix, an image of Jesus on the cross. Could he possibly be an army chaplain?

Glancing back at his neck, where the chain lay, she noted two raised bumps. She traced her finger over them. They looked like bites.

Sweet Redemption is available at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Redemption-ebook/dp/B0056ICETQ/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1313157188&sr=1-7

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sweet-redemption-susan-macatee/1018988355?ean=2940043310798&itm=3&usri=sweet%2bredemption

And The Wild Rose Press http://thewildrosepress.com/sweet-redemption-p3750.html?zenid=efc2f41ac353b198c6926be0514ff6ab

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The past few months, we’ve had nothing but trouble around our house. First, around the beginning of September, unending bands of thunderstorms, plus two hurricanes hit us and, due to our roof being really old–the contractor was surprised it had lasted that far–we had water raining into our bedroom.

So, we had to get a new roof.

Two days later, the intake valve in our toilet burst and spewed water throughout our small house. The damage included the bathroom, hallway, ceilings in the living, dining room and kitchen, the dining room wall where my computer sits–lucky for me, it wasn’t damaged–and the wall to wall carpet in the dining room, as well as an area rug.

We’ve gotten the insurance payment and now have to find a contractor who will do it for a reasonable price. The worse part is, it will involve moving furniture back and forth in my already tiny house. I also don’t know how long my computer will have to be unplugged, so they can get all the work done.

Right now, we’re waiting to hear back on the first contractor’s estimate.

How does everyone else deal with remodeling?

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