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Archive for December, 2011

Just found a four star review for my free Christmas read, A Kiss Under the Mistletoe from ‘The Hope Chest Reviews’.

In part: “A Kiss Under the Mistletoe was a sweet little story of two lovers who are reunited on Christmas Eve following the end of the Civil War and just as she is about to marry another man out of necessity. Although it’s nearly impossible to get to know characters in a scant eight pages, what I saw of Doug and Samantha, I liked… I definitely would have been interested in reading a longer story about them and their romance…

“From what I could tell in this short format, I’d say the author’s writing style was pretty solid. I loved the Civil War theme. There seem to be few romances set during that time and it looks like everything Ms. Macatee has written to date is Civil War related, making me quite interested in seeing what she can do with a longer novella or full-length novel. A Kiss Under the Mistletoe is available as a free download form The Wild Rose Press.”

Read full review here    http://www.thcreviews.com/cgi-bin/vts/book_review.html?book_review_id=268

You can now read the opening chapters of my January release, Cassidy’s War here: http://susanmacatee.com/cassidyswar.html

And since this is my last post before New Year’s, I’d like to post my writing goals for 2012:

1. Finish and submit two short spring/summer stories to romance magazine.

2. Proofread ‘Thoroughly Modern Amanda’ my time travel novella.

3. Submit novella to editor.

4. Change title and type new copy of my out-of-print paranormal novella in preparation for self publishing.

5. Plot out new novel.

6. Self publish paranormal novella.

7. Write first draft of new novel.

8. Write and submit more short stories.

9. Plot out new novella.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered to win a copy of my new release, Cassidy’s War. Scroll all the way down for details.  

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From The Christmas Ball, part of the historical anthology, An American Rose Christmas.

Excerpt:

Sara closed her eyes and breathed deeply. Doc Ellison’s kiss had scattered her senses. For months she’d dreamed of being in his arms. As he reached for the buttons on her shirt, her breath caught. His hands on her body thrilled her. She’d never felt like this before.

After loosening the buttons, he opened the shirt and gazed at her bosom.

She studied him, wondering what he was thinking. Did he like what he saw?

He dropped his hands and half-turned away.

“Please,” she gasped. “Don’t stop.”

Turning back, his gaze roved over her. She tried to read his expression. Was that desire she saw, or disgust?

“We should be going now,” he said. His gaze dropped to the hay strewn ground.

“No!” Boldly she reached out and fingered the buttons of his coat. He didn’t move as she slowly undid them and parted the material. Her fingers tingled as they brushed over his shirt, feeling hardened muscle beneath.

His breath hitched, but he gently pushed her away. “Miss Brewster, we mustn’t…”

“Doc!” A shout from outside, startled her. She jerked away from the doctor and scanned the barn opening.

“Yes,” Ellison called. He eyed her. “You’d best go.”

She nodded, hurriedly fastening her buttons. One of the other stewards approached. His dark eyes slid from her to the doctor. “They don’t need me in the hospital tent, and told me to come on over and give you a hand.”

Ellison glanced at Sara. “We’re about finished here. I was on my way back.”

“All right, Doc,” the soldier said. “I’ll head back with you.”

She swallowed, not sure she could find her voice. “Ah… I’m off duty, so I reckon I’ll head back to my tent.”

Ellison reached up and gave her shoulder a squeeze. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

She caught his gaze, trying to gauge his thoughts. Would he have allowed her to undress him if they hadn’t been interrupted?
   

An American Rose Christmas is available at Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/An-American-Rose-Christmas-ebook/dp/B0030GG2FI/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&qid=1309559154&sr=1-2   
   
Barnes and Noble, http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/an-american-rose-christmas-the-wild-rose-press-authors/1029826231?ean=2940043313379&itm=1&usri=an%2bamerican%2brose%2bchristmas   
    
and The Wild Rose Press http://www.thewildrosepress.com/an-american-rose-christmas-p-3807.html?zenid=fbfeb2eb47f18b45e780e54c46f21563        

Be sure to leave a comment to be entered to win a copy of my new release, Cassidy’s War. Scroll down for details.

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The first generation of women medical students faced an uphill battle, only fierce determination and ultimate competence—in other words, they had to be better than any of their male counterparts—could get them a foot in the door.

In 1870, 525 trained women physicians existed in America, far more than in most of the world combined. Most of these women weren’t practitioners of traditional medicine as we know it today, but the alternative practices of homeopathy, eclectic and botanical medicine.

The first woman in America to graduate with an MD degree was Elizabeth Blackwell. She was so frustrated that women had such difficulty obtaining medical degrees and hospital training, that she started an infirmary in New York in 1857, along with her sister, Emily and Dr. Marie Zakrzewska. Blackwell and her sister opened a medical school of high standards, giving women a complete medical education as good as that of the medical colleges of the day. Their rigorous curriculum included the first course in hygiene offered anywhere in the country.

In the nineteenth century participation for women in the medical profession was limited by law and practice during a time when medicine was professionalizing. But women did continue to serve in health fields such as nursing and midwifery, while gaining access to medical education and medical work.

During a time when women where routinely prohibited from attending medical school, they formed their own schools where women could be trained.

Here are a few:
1. Edinburgh School of Medicine for Women – founded in 1886
2. London School of Medicine for Women
3. Tokyo Women’s Medical University – founded 1900
4. Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania – founded in 1850 as Female Medical College of Pennsylvania

As far back as 1848, Dr. Samuel Gregory opened the first medical school for women in the world – the Boston Female Medical College. In 1850, the school was expanded and renamed the New England Female Medical College. Originally established to train midwives, the curriculum was expanded to provide a full medical degree. However, condemnation from the Boston medical establishment was swift. The group charged that women had insufficient stamina to deal with the tension of medical practice.

“Suppose physicians were as ignorant upon this subject as females now are; they would then be easily alarmed and incapable of rendering efficient and in case of emergency…the fact of being one of the stronger sex does not render one competent.” – Dr. Samuel Gregory.
http://homeoint.org/cazalet/histo/newengland.htm

And women did persevere, such as: Hannah E. Myers Longshore, 1819-1901, who was the first woman faculty member at an American medical school.

She received her degree from the Female College of Pennsylvania in 1851.

Elizabeth Blackwell, 1821-1910, first woman MD in America.

Mary Eliza Mahoney, 1845-1926, first African American graduate nurse.

All of these women and many more were pioneers pushing at the boundaries of a male dominated Victorian America in the nineteenth century.

My upcoming release, Cassidy’s War, features a heroine who longs to be a schooled physician despite male opposition.

For more on Victorian women in medicine visit these sites:

http://homeoint.org/cazalet/histo/newengland.htm

http://www.ajph.org/cgi/content/full/92/3/363

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_medicine

Be sure to leave a comment to be entered in the contest to win a copy of my new release Cassidy’s War. Scroll down for details.

 

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Merry Christmas!

 

Just want to wish all of my followers a Merry Christmas.  May you have peace and love thoughout this joyous holiday season.

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My new release, Cassidy’s War will be officially out with The Wild Rose Press on January 13th. So, I’m launching a contest for readers who leave comments on my blog starting today and ending on release day next month. All comments will be entered in a drawing to win one of three prizes:

1st prize: an autographed print copy of Cassidy’s War

2nd and 3rd prizes: each gets an e-book download of Cassidy’s War.

So, start leaving comments on each post. Every comment gives you one more chance to win.

The Civil War is over, but Cassidy’s War is just beginning.

Cassidy Stuart longs to attend medical school. Training beside her physician father and serving as a nurse during the war, have only increased her desire to be a doctor with her own practice.  When the man who’d left her at the altar returns, she’s determined not to let him upset the plans she’s set for herself.

Until his mission is accomplished, George Masters must hide his identity as a Pinkerton agent as he investigates a physician living in George’s former hometown, a short distance from Cassidy’s home. When he finds Cassidy hasn’t married, he hopes he can rekindle their love while trying to protect her and townsfolk from the evil Dr. Madison.

Can their love be renewed despite the villain’s desire for revenge against them both?

Excerpt: He propped her against the wall, removed his hat, and lowered his mouth to hers. Before she could utter a protest, his tongue pressed against her lips, trying to push them apart.

She shoved with all her strength. “Dr. Madison! I must insist you take me home. Now!” She struggled to keep her breath even as she watched his smoldering expression grow cold.

He leaned away from her, pushing his hand through his hair, then settled his bowler back on his head. “You must forgive me, Miss Stuart. I should never have taken such liberties. But your beauty has mesmerized me.”

“Please take me home. Now.”

Madison tightened his grip on her wrist. Movement outside the alley drew her startled gasp.

George raced to her side and yanked Madison’s hand from her arm. “Take your hands off her, you filthy scum!”

Madison’s eyes widened. “See here!”

Before he could utter another word, George raised his fist and slammed it into the doctor’s face.

“George, don’t!” Cassidy cried.

George paid no attention. Madison growled and swung at George. He ducked and the doctor swung again, this time connecting with George’s jaw and knocking them both to the ground.

The two wrestled and grunted, rolling around in the dirt.

Cassidy stepped to the edge of the alley, her heart thudding. No pedestrians strolled by. Wringing her hands, she turned back. She had to stop this herself.

“Will you please stop acting like school boys or common ruffians?” She glared at them, hands fisted on her hips.

“I won’t let you hurt Cassie, you pompous ass,” George ground out.

“Looks to me like you already have,” Madison spat.

George swung and connected with the doctor’s nose.

A loud crunch drew a gasp from Cassidy.

George glanced up, his lip curled upward. He rose to his feet, breathing hard.

Dr. Madison lay flat on his back, cradling his bloodied nose in both hands.

“George Masters!” Cassidy glared into his dark eyes. “Just what are you doing?”

“He—I…” George arched a brow. “He had you alone in a dark alley. What am I supposed to think?”

She lifted her fisted hands to rest on her hips. “So you punched him?”

“Well…he hit me, too.” He rubbed his jaw.

Cassidy’s War available 1/13/12 from The Wild Rose Press. Advance print copies are available now http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=191&products_id=4737

Don’t forget to leave a comment from now until release day to be entered to win.

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Samantha stared into Doug’s deep, brown eyes, the ones she’d thought to never see again. She turned to her parents and Fred. “May we have some privacy for a few minutes?”

Her mother scowled, but nodded as she took her father’s arm. “Come along, Fred.”

With a scowl at her and Doug, Fred nodded and obediently followed them to the dining room.

“Please.” Samantha gestured toward the drawing room. “Sit down.”

Once he was seated, she swept her gaze over him. The once robust man she’d loved was thinner and he’d acquired a full beard. Doug’s hand brushed over his tawny hair, the ends reaching his collar, as his dark eyes studied her.

“Where have you been?” she asked. “We’ve had no word of you for months.”

He clasped his hands in his lap, but didn’t speak.

“Didn’t you get my last letter?” Samantha asked.

“I was taken prisoner at Petersburg, then shipped to Richmond.” His gaze shifted to the fireplace. “I wanted to write you, to let you know…”

“Prisoner? How did you get here?”

“I escaped with a small group of men. We traveled the back roads on foot. Took weeks.” His eyes sought hers again. “The whole time I was in prison and on the run, all I could think of was getting back to you.”

Samantha’s gaze dropped, her face heating. “Doug, there’s something I have to tell you. I thought you were either dead or didn’t want me, so…” She couldn’t bring herself to say it.

Doug took her hand. “What?”

“I’m marrying Fred Collins.”

“Fred Collins! Is that why he’s here?”

“Shh. He’ll hear you,” Samantha scolded.

“You’re marring him?” Doug dropped her hand and sat up leaning away from her.

Samantha’s eyes burned. “Don’t you understand? I thought I’d never see you again.”

“So, you moved on. I see.” He rose.

Samantha watched, biting her lip as he moved stiffly toward the door. How could she allow him to walk out of her life again?

Quickly, she rose and passed him, blocking his exit. “Doug, please don’t leave.”

His eyes narrowed. “Why? You’ve already made your choice.”

Grasping his hands, she pulled him back under the chandelier in the hall. A single sprig of mistletoe dangled from it.

“Don’t you remember?” She reached up, her pulse racing, and pulled his face down to brush her lips, inhaling his scent still etched in her memory. “The mistletoe at the Alistair’s Christmas party last year?”

He glanced up and smiled. “I do.”

His lips grazed hers, then he took her mouth. The thrill was the same as the first time. She pressed her body against his, reveling in his warmth and apparent want for her as her toes curled.

Free download of A Kiss Under the Mistletoe available at http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=180&products_id=1091&zenid=a4412b677b2f490df7f1954b9ad2eb1f

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The Christmas Tree in Victorian America

 
The traditions of the Christmas season, at least in America, evolved during the Victorian period to encase much of what we still celebrate as part of Christmas today. St. Nicholas or Santa Claus appeared as a main part of the season during the Victorian era.
 
Also, the Christmas tree, thought of by many as being donated by German immigrants, who decorated an evergreen tree in their homes. This tradition, in actuality dates back to pre-Christian times. To the Romans, the evergreen was a symbol of fertility and regeneration. The early Christians adapted the symbol to represent the Tree of Life and Jesus.

The Christmas tree in America dates back to as early as 1812 or 1819. New York was originally a Dutch Republic named New Amsterdam, hence the earliest American Christmas trees may have originated with the German-American population.

The Christmas tree gradually increased in popularity over the next twenty years. Universal appeal occurred during the 1850’s and 1860’s.

Godey’s promoted the charm of the in-home Christmas tree, highlighting Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s celebration. A table-top tree was included, the print appearing in the December Godey’s issue in 1850. Albert had introduced the tree he’d embraced as a child in Germany and years after his marriage to Victoria, stated, “I must now seek in the children an echo of what Ernest [his brother]and I were in the old-time, of what we felt and thought; and their delight in the Christmas-trees is not less than ours used to be,…”

In America, over the next decade, Christmas trees started to appear in both the churches and the marketplace. This in turn, encouraged people to bring them into their homes, making the tree an important part of holiday décor.

From Christmas Trees and Godey’s Lady’s Book/ America’s Victorian Era in the Age of Sail

For more information and photos of early Christmas trees go to
http://karleeaturner.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/godeys-christmas-1848-issue/

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