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Archive for March, 2013

This week I thought I’d start at the beginning of my Civil War time travel romance, Erin’s Rebel. This book was released in the summer of 2009 and is now being sold at a discounted price of $2.99.

So, if you haven’t already read this book, here are the six opening paragraphs.

Chapter One

Erin Branigan had finally found the man of her dreams. Unfortunately, he’d died over one hundred and forty years ago.

On a warm, sunny day in mid-June, she stood in a small, church cemetery in a rural area outside Mason, Virginia. Vivid dreams of a handsome, Civil War soldier had sent her here, but they had also driven a wedge between her fiancé, Rick Meyers, and her. To solve this mystery, she’d called off her wedding two and a half months before. And now today, she hoped what she learned in this graveyard would put a halt to her nightly visions.

Erin kneeled beside the weathered granite headstone of the Confederate captain and traced her finger over the inscription. William James Montgomery; Born September 20, 1833; Died November 23, 1864. Despite the warmth of the day, she shivered, recalling the dark-eyed man and her intense, sometimes sensual dreams. After taking a deep breath, she rose, brushed off her jeans, and snapped a few photos.

“Here’s his wife.” The caretaker, who’d introduced himself as John, tipped the bill of his black Orioles cap toward the stone beside Montgomery’s.

Erin glanced at it. Anne Eugenia Montgomery: Born October 3, 1833; Died September 15, 1861.

“She was so young,” she said.

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

Read opening chapters and reviews at my website: http://susanmacatee.com/mybooks.html

Erin’s Rebel is available from Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Erins-Rebel-Susan-Macatee/dp/1601545207/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1307644938&sr=1-1

Barnes and Noble  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/erins-rebel-susan-macatee/1017203009?ean=2940043330673&itm=1&usri=erins%2brebel

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

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

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After settling her on the wicker settee, he sat beside her, enveloping her hand and rubbing it between his large, warm ones. His sandalwood and male scent invited her to lean into his warmth, but she held herself rigid, her emotions on guard.

She had so many questions she wanted answered, like where he’d been all these years and how he made his living.

“Cassie, I know you must hate me for leaving you.”

She narrowed her gaze. “It’s hard to think kindly on someone who leaves you, no matter what the reason. I know you were hurting, but we could have made a life together. Healed each other.”

He shook his head. “I would’ve held you back.”

“From what?”

“Well…you’re a doctor. That was your dream when I returned from prison camp.”

“And look what a fine mess I’ve made of that.” She bowed her head, studying his hand wrapped around hers. His warm touch sent tingles straight to her core. But what was he doing here? Did he really come back for her, or had something or someone else drawn him to Burkeville?

“George, what’s the real reason you’re here?” She held her breath, hoping for the answer she wanted to hear.

He withdrew his hand from hers, taking his warmth with it. “I thought I should come back and check on Pa.” His dark gaze settled on her. “I didn’t reckon you’d ever want to see me again, especially after the disaster I made of my life—and yours.”

She leaned back. “George, you’re wearing fine clothing, telling us about your adventures in New York and California.” She shook her head. “Doesn’t sound to me like your life’s a mess.”

He chewed his lower lip. “I haven’t told you all of it. After I left you, I wandered for a long time. I’m not really clear on all of it, because half the time I was so drunk I didn’t know who or where I was.”

Cassidy stood. “Well, I have to say, you look none the worse for wear after all you’ve been through.”

“Cassie, I…” George grinned, lifting his thumbs to the lapels of his coat. “I always had a knack for poker. Cleaned out many fellow soldiers during the war.”

“Are you telling me you’re a professional gambler?”

He grimaced, dropping his gaze. “I’m not the type of man a physician should associate with. To tell the truth, I figured you’d already forgotten me. I expected to find you with a husband and children by now.”

“There’s no one else, George, if that’s what you’re getting at. Since you left, I haven’t exactly had a slew of suitors at my door.” She eyed him, not sure why she’d told him.

Finalist in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence contest. http://southernmagic.org/GayleWilsonFinalists.html     Winners to be announced on April 1st.

4 sigh review at Let’s Talk Romance Reviews! http://letstalkromancereviews.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/cassidys-war-by-susan-macatee/

Find more info and read opening chapters at my website http://www.susanmacatee.com/cassidyswar.html

Cassidy’s War is available from The Wild Rose Press http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=176_135&products_id=4729

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Cassidys-War-ebook/dp/B006VX48FS/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&qid=1326644295&sr=1-1

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cassidys-war-susan-macatee/1108210226?ean=2940013754980&itm=1&usri=cassidy%27s+war

and All Romance Ebooks http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-cassidy039swar-672840-158.html

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I researched Dr. Mary Walker years ago and used her along with a few other Victorian women whose stories I admired as a composite for my fictional young heroine in my young adult Civil War novel, Under The Guns, pulished in 2002. And she’s been recently featured in the news because of her unusual status as a female Congressional Medal of Honor recipient.

My 2012 American historical romance, Cassidy’s War, follows the characters in Under the Guns, after the war in their adult years. The heroine, Cassidy Stuart, who served as a nurse duing the war, is now aspiring to become a full-fledged physcian and attend medical school.

Mary Walker grew up in rural Oswego, New York and graduated from Syracuse Medical College in 1855. Her parents raised her to regard corsets as an unhealthy form of dress. Later in life she adopted a style of reform dress, a short, fitted knee-length dress with bloomers worn beneath the skirt. She believed crinolines, petticoats and yards of long skirts to be dangerous and unsanitary.

She married young, but refused to assume her husband’s last name. He was also a doctor who she’d met while in medical school. They started a joint medical practice that lasted thirteen years as did the marriage.

When the Civil War began, she volunteered as an army surgeon, but because she was female, she was only allowed to serve as a nurse. However, the nursing duties she performed were actually those of an assistant surgeon. Although she was the first female surgeon in the United States Army, she served as an unpaid volunteer.

She made her own army uniform, which consisted of a knee-length fitted dress, designed to look like a Federal Army frockcoat. Under this she wore trousers. This outfit caused her much ridicule.

While serving in enemy territory, she often crossed over the lines to lend assistance to civilians. She also reported anything she learned of military value to her superiors, causing her to be labeled a spy.

She was captured while in Rebel territory and taken as a prisoner-of-war. She spent four months in Richmond, Virginia’s Castle Thunder. She was released in a prisoner exchange and took great pride in the fact that she, being a woman and only five foot tall was exchanged for a six foot tall Confederate major.

After the war, she received the Congressional Medal of Honor. No other woman before her had received that honor. It was rescinded in 1917 because Congress revised their standards to only award the medal to those in “actual combat with the enemy”.

Mary refused to give it back and wore it proudly until she died two years later.

Now that’s a heroine!

Links:

http://www.lkwdpl.org/wihohio/walk-mar.htm

http://www.mishalov.com/Dr._Mary_Walker.html

http://www.mnwelldir.org/docs/history/biographies/mary_walker.htm

For a more in-depth account of the life of Mary Edwards Walker, M.D. read:

Yankee Women: Gender Battles in the Civil War by Elizabeth D. Leonard

W. W. Norton & Company ISBN 0-393-31372-7

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Today I’m showcasing my American historical romance, Cassidy’s War, a recent finalist in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence contest.

She bit her lip. The gesture sent his pulse racing. He longed to lean over and steal another kiss, but the presence of others held him in check.

“You don’t reckon Madison knows his way around a gun, do you?”

George sighed. “I surely hope not, but I can’t take any chances concerning your safety.”

She shook her head, reaching for the glass of lemonade. “He doesn’t seem the sort to resort to firearms, but I do sense a streak of cruelty and violence under his false charm.”

George scowled, reaching for a chicken leg. “If he so much as touches you, I want to know.” He poked the leg at her for emphasis. After taking a bite, he leaned forward, reaching for her hand.

He stroked his thumb against her palm. Her eyes closed part way. He continued the motion, his breath catching as he realized how much he cared for this woman. “I promise you, I won’t rest until Madison is finished as a physician in this town.”

4 sigh review at Let’s Talk Romance Reviews! http://letstalkromancereviews.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/cassidys-war-by-susan-macatee/

Cassidy’s War available from The Wild Rose Press http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=176_135&products_id=4729

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Cassidys-War-ebook/dp/B006VX48FS/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&qid=1326644295&sr=1-1

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cassidys-war-susan-macatee/1108210226?ean=2940013754980&itm=1&usri=cassidy%27s+war

and All Romance Ebooks http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-cassidy039swar-672840-158.html

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

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I’m posting about an abandoned naval plan 150 years ago at Slip Into Something Victorian.

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Before leaving his room, George penned a hasty letter to Cassidy explaining he must leave but would be back as soon as possible. He didn’t want to divulge any more in case the letter landed in the wrong hands. He didn’t have time to hand deliver it.

He sealed the post, then splashed water on his face and shrugged into his vest and coat.

He grabbed the packed bag and thudded down the stairs, stopping at the front desk. His jaw still ached from his encounter with Madison, and he’d spent a good portion of Sunday night pacing his hotel room worrying about Cassidy.

The clerk, Mr. Stanton, glanced up as George dropped his suitcase and handed him the sealed note. “You look like you got run over by a train, Mister.”

George ran a hand over his stubble. “Reckon I feel like I have.”

The clerk leaned on the counter and eyed him. “Are you checking out, sir?”

“No. I’ll just be out of town for a few days. I hope you can hold my room until I return.”

The man nodded. “Either that room or another. We don’t see much business.”

George grinned. “Thanks. I will be back.”

“You the one had the run in with Doc Madison?” Stanton narrowed his gaze.

George scowled. “Word does get around.”

“Over Miss Stuart, wasn’t it?” The man’s salt and pepper brow arched. “Fighting over the little lady, you were.”

George detected admiration in the man’s gaze. “Maybe I didn’t like the way he touched her.”

Stanton grinned. “Well, sir, I wish you luck.” He squinted. “Folks here tell me you used to live in Burkeville.”

“A long time ago, but I left just after the war.” George handed Stanton the letter. “Could you please be sure Miss Stuart gets this?”

The man smiled. “I’ll take it to her myself.” He nodded. “Yes, sir, I’ll get this right out for you today.”

“Thank you.” George reached into his pocket extracting a few coins, thankful the clerk didn’t ask any questions.

As he turned to leave, Stanton warned, “You’d best get some rest, sir. Maybe you should get Miss Stuart to give you a look over before you leave.” He winked.

“Don’t have time. Have to catch the next train out.” George turned away.

He strode to the train station, wishing he’d had more time to explain to Cassidy. As he neared the platform, he caught sight of a well-dressed woman with chestnut hair standing by the ticket office, suitcases beside her.

Mrs. Claymore.

He stepped to her side. “Don’t tell me you’re going to Philadelphia too?”

She smirked, then her face colored. “No, Mr. Masters, I’m headed for New York. But I will be joining you in Philadelphia in a few days so I can relay your findings back to the agency…” She sighed. “You know we can’t risk—”

“I know,” he said. “Can’t risk telegraphs or the mail.” He lifted his suitcase as well as one of hers. A porter grasped the other one.

“After you, ma’am,” George said.

She nodded and preceded him into the train. He hoped to hell this wouldn’t get back to Cassidy, but knowing this town as well as he did, was sure as hell it would.

Find more info and read opening chapters at my website http://www.susanmacatee.com

Finalist in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence contest! http://southernmagic.org/GayleWilsonFinalists.html   Winners to be announced April 1st.

4 sigh review at Let’s Talk Romance Reviews! http://letstalkromancereviews.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/cassidys-war-by-susan-macatee/

Cassidy’s War available from The Wild Rose Press http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=176_135&products_id=4729

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Cassidys-War-ebook/dp/B006VX48FS/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&qid=1326644295&sr=1-1

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cassidys-war-susan-macatee/1108210226?ean=2940013754980&itm=1&usri=cassidy%27s+war

and All Romance Ebooks http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-cassidy039swar-672840-158.html

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My 2012 release, Cassidy’s War, is a reunion story of two characters who’d originally come together in a previous book set during the Civil War. But in this new book, I had to have a reason for them to break up and reunite five years after the war ended in 1870.

In the original version of Cassidy’s War, my heroine was a former Civil War nurse who aspired to be a physician and the hero, a former Civil War officer, had left to pursue the life of a professional gambler.

After submitting the novel, I learned my editor didn’t think the profession of gambler was heroic enough and suggested George Masters be recast as a Pinkerton Agent, coming back to town under cover.

I knew next to nothing about Allan Pinkerton and his agency, so had to embark on some research.

Allan Pinkerton was born on August 25, 1819 in Glasgow, Scotland. He emigrated to the United States in 1842, settling in Chicago, then moving to Dundee, Kane County, Illinois a year later where he established a cooperage business. There he ran down a gang of counterfeiters and was then appointed deputy sheriff of Kane County. He later left this post to establish his own national  detective agency in 1852. The Pinkerton Detective Agency was the first of its kind in the United States.

In 1861, Pinkerton discovered a plot to kill Abraham Lincoln. The plot was thwarted when the president-elect changed his itinerary. On the suggestion of General George B. McClellan, Lincoln later used Pinkerton to organize a “secret service”. The main goal: to obtain military information from the Southern states during the Civil War.

Pinkerton developed the US Secret Service under the assumed named of Major E. J. Allen.  His agency was also responsible for breaking up the secret organization, the Molly Maguires.

Allan Pinkerton suffered a partial stroke in 1869, forcing him to rely on his sons, William Allan and Robert to manage the agency.

He died July 1, 1884 in Chicago after publishing two books: ‘The Molly Maguires’ and ‘The Detectives’ in 1877 and ‘The Spy of the Rebellion’ in 1883.

For more information on Allan Pinkerton, visit these sites:

http://www.nndb.com/people/223/000093941

http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/nation/jb_nation_pinkerto_4.html

Cassidy’s War is a finalist in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence contest. http://southernmagic.org/GayleWilsonFinalists.html  Winner will be announced on April 1st.

For more on Cassidy’s War visit my website for opening chapter and purchase info: http://susanmacatee.com/cassidyswar.html

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