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Archive for April, 2013

In American in the 1860s, during the war between the states, just how many spies were traveling back and forth across the lines? And how did they accomplish this?

In my award winning Civil War romance, Confederate Rose, the hero is a Southerner who spies for the Union Army. He meets the heroine, a rebel soldier who’s disguised as a man, while on a mission to learn what he can about Confederate positions and plans.

According to The Everything Civil War Book by Donald Vaughan, “Both sides had more than their share of spies–many of whom became both famous and infamous–as well as unique espionage technology.”

Female spies like Belle Boyd, who spied for the Confederacy, used their feminine wiles to obtain information for their side and sometimes fell in love with their informants. http://www.civilwarhome.com/belleboyd.htm

Rose O’Neal Greenhow was a member of Washington society. She sent coded messages to Confederate military leaders on Union plans that were transported by women on horseback. http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/greenhow/

A spy’s job was to learn battle plans, number of forces, and other useful information. http://www.civilwarhome.com/espionage.htm

Spies disguised themselves as soldiers for the other side, clergymen, war correspondents and photographers. Men disguised themselves as women, women dressed up as men and both sexes blackened their faces to pose as freed slaves or contraband. Free Negroes also served as spies for the Federal government. Spies also posed as farmers, local civilians, refugees and camp followers. http://www.civilwarhome.com/spies.htm

In More Civil War Curiosities by Webb Garrison, there is an account of a Federal soldier who disguised . . . “himself as an organ grinder to go into Baltimore daily to gather information for Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler.” Another Federal officer disguised himself as a Texas Ranger in order to pass through Confederate outposts.

If caught these spies faced lengthy sentences or execution. Belle Boyd was arrested six times. The first time she was placed in a Washington jail. After four weeks of incarceration she was released in a prisoner exchange only to be sent to prison the following year, this time for five months. http://www.civilwarhome.com/boydbio.htm

With such risks, why did they do it? Most were just loyal to their respective side’s cause. But those living in enemy territory, if discovered, were thoroughly ostracized. In The Everything Civil War Book , Federal spy and Richmond citizen, Elizabeth Van Lew, who loathed slavery, was quoted as saying after the war ended, “No one will walk with us in the street. No one will go with us anywhere, and it grows worse and worse as the years roll on.” http://www.civilwarhome.com/vanlewbio.htm  http://www.civilwarhome.com/crazybet.htm

Sources: The Everything Civil War Book by Donald Vaughan, 2000, F & W Publications, Inc. ISBN 1-58062-366-2

More Civil War Curiosities by Webb Garrison, 1995, Rutledge Hill Press ISBN 1-55853-366-4

Additional Links:  http://userpages.aug.com/captbarb/spies.html

For more information on my Civil War romance novel, Confederate Rose, visit my website: http://susanmacatee.com/mybooks.html

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Next installment from opening chapters of my Civil War time travel romance, Erin’s Rebel.

Excerpt:

As the vibration increased, she almost skidded off the blacktop. She grasped at the clasp, trying to yank the pin off  her jacket.

Headlights glared in the distance and grew brighter. She had to concentrate on regaining control of the car. Tires squealed as a truck slid into her path on a rain-slicked curve.

“Oh, shit!” Heart pounding, she jerked the steering wheel to avoid a collision. She hydroplaned off the highway and swerved onto the shoulder – too late to see the tree dead in front of her.

Impact rolled as a film in slow motion. The sound of crunching metal, smell of rubber and gasoline, and a jolt through her system were the last things she remembered.

Chapter Two

Confederate Camp in Northern Virginia

June 18, 1863

A scream pierced the air. Men’s shouts woke Will Montgomery from a deep slumber and dreams of his home and Anne.

What in damnation? Black coated the interior of his tent, making it impossible to see. What time was it anyway? Snatching up his trousers, he yanked them on over his underdrawers.

Finalist in the 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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I’m over at Slip Into Something Victorian today, blogging about Civil War happenings of 150 years ago today.

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“Good morning, sir,” Erin said. “I’m here to see the editor.”

His brows knitted into a frown. He raked his gaze over her, then stood. “I’m Edmund Radley, editor of the Dispatch.”

“Oh, good.”  She extended her hand. “I’m here about a job. My name’s Mrs. Erin O’Connell.”

He took her hand, but instead of shaking it, he bowed over it. “Please, sit down, Mrs. O’Connell.” He motioned to a wooden chair across from his desk. “Do you have poems or perhaps a short story to submit?”

“No. I’m a reporter.”

“A reporter, you say?” He tamped out his cigar on the side of a spittoon. “This is most unusual. Where have you worked before?”

“The Philadelphia Inquirer,” Erin answered truthfully.

“Ah, I suspect you are a ladies’ feature writer, society pages, no doubt.”

“I have experience on all types of stories and can write anything you need.”

“I see.” He braced his elbows on his desk, steepling his fingers while he regarded her. “We do have a number of ladies’ activities here in town that we need someone to cover.”

She leaned forward. Was he giving her the job?

“When would you be available?”

“Right away.”

“Very well.” Reaching into his desk drawer, he pulled out a bound notebook and a pencil. He laid the pad on his desktop, then scribbled something on the first page before handing the notebook to her.

“Tomorrow afternoon at four, go to this address.”

Erin glanced at the top page where he’d written a street address. “What’s there?”

“A tea being given by the Ladies’ Relief Society. They knit socks, gloves, and scarves for our boys in blue.”

“Knit socks…?” She couldn’t believe what she was hearing.

“Cover the tea, and write a story about it. I need it to be as sentimental and tear-jerking as you can make it. Bring the finished story back to me, and we’ll see about a job here.”

Erin smiled, although her first impulse was to slam the notebook on his desk and walk out. Ladies’ Relief…knitting socks? Swallowing a retort, she said, “I’ll do my best, sir.”

She left the newspaper office and sighed. It did beat doing laundry. And who knows, with her knowledge of twenty-first century journalism, once she got her foot in the door, she could push her way to a better position.

Finalist in the 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

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In my 2009 Civil War time travel romance, Erin’s Rebel, the heroine is a reporter for a big city newspaper in our time. When she finds herself transported to the 1860s, she’s forced to take on the role of a camp laundress.

Later in the story, the hero takes her north to keep her safe, but she feels he’s deserted her and decides, since she knows no way to return to her own time, she has to find gainful employment and wants to use her skills as a journalist.

In order to cast my heroine in such a position, I had to research what roles women played in nineteenth century America in a journalistic type job. What I found was that American women worked in publishing as early as the colonial era where they held positions as printers and publishers. Over time, they moved into newsrooms as reporters.

But unlike today, women reporters were often relegated to covering the women’s perspective, or writing ‘sob stories’, so called because their sentimental style was designed to get readers crying.

For years, women journalists wrote exclusively for ‘women’s pages’ and none covered hard news.

A few of the American women journalists who wrote during the Victorian era were Margaret Fuller, Rebecca Ann Latimer Felton and Sarah Josepha Hale.

Margaret Fuller was “the first female foreign correspondent.”  She also was a book review editor and edited a quarterly literary publication, ‘The Dial’, from 1840 to 1842. In 1846 she became a foreign correspondent for the ‘Tribune’.

Rebecca Ann Latimer Felton wrote speeches and press releases for her husband who served in the U.S. Congress. She was also editor of the newspaper they owned.

Sarah Josepha Hale wrote a novel, Northwood, that was successful. As a result she was recruited as editor “of a new magazine devoted to women.” http://www.uvm.edu/~hag/godey/hale.html  In 1836, she was approached by Godey to edit his ‘Lady’s Book’, but she at first declined to stay with her own magazine. Later, he bought her magazine and combined both publications into one, keeping Sarah as editor.

Although Victorian women were shut out from covering all but stories of interest to other women, they were a force in the journalistic world of the times.

For more stories of Victorian women journalists visit:

http://www.rbhayes.org/hayes/content/files/Hayes_Historical_Journal/maryclemmerameshhj.htm

http://www.historybuff.com/library/refwomen.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

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Today I’m posting the next installment of the opening chapter of my time travel romance, Erin’s Rebel.

Excerpt:

On her return visit to Pennsylvania later that night, Erin couldn’t shake the eerie feeling she’d experienced after going through the ledger. The facts she’d uncovered only added to her sense of unease. As her dreams combined with the historic facts, a feeling of insanity invaded her mind.

On her drive south, the winding two-lane highway through north-western Virginia had been so open and scenic in daylight. Now in the darkness, the heavily forested road and lack of traffic caused chills to slither through her as she mulled over her discoveries. She should have left earlier but had found it difficult to pull herself away. Erin had discovered the man for whom she’d been searching. But would finding his grave finally end the dreams, or would this just make things a helluva lot worse?

The moist scent of impending rain sifted though the window she’d left cracked open. Hopefully, any shower would be light. She didn’t look forward to a long drive in heavy rain, especially on an unfamiliar road. After two, quick flashes of lightning and rumbles of thunder, the first drops of rain hit the windshield. A deluge followed, forcing her to flick the wipers on high.

A sudden vibration shocked already frayed nerves. Where did that come from? Her cell phone was in her purse on the adjoining seat, so it hadn’t come from that. The hair brooch on her lapel? When she fingered it, a sharp pulsation shot up her arm.

“What the hell?” She jerked her hand.

Despite the strange sensation, Erin remained focused on the road. Nothing ahead or behind her but forest. Dark, creepy forest encased in sheets of rain. Unable to see, she considered pulling over but wasn’t sure she wanted to stop there.

Finalist in the 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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This time my novel is a finalist in the historical category of the 2013 Award of Excellence contest by the Colorado Romance Writers’ RWA chapter.

Link to official finalist list:

http://crw-rwa.ning.com/page/2013-aoe-finalists

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