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Archive for July, 2013

Kyle paced his apartment. He had to be losing it. The woman—Josie, she’d said her name was—vanished into thin air. What the hell was going on?

Derek had told him he’d had too much to drink the night before, but Kyle knew that wasn’t true. Something strange had happened. Could his dream girl be a ghost?

He didn’t even want to entertain that thought.

After a shower, he took in a baseball game on cable, then decided to turn in. He still felt shaky after the encounter on the field. All the way home, he’d kept going over it in his mind. He must be going nuts.

He finally settled into bed and tried to clear his mind. Maybe a good night’s sleep would put the whole thing to rest. He doubted it, though.

An inviting scent of lavender and woman woke him from a deep sleep. Someone leaned over him. He opened his eyes and stared into Josie’s. He glanced around and found he was in a large canvas tent. Men lay all around him on cots.

“I’m here to wash you, Corporal.” Josie placed a pan of water on a small table beside him.

“It’s Kyle,” he said.

She smiled. “Here, let me help you with your trouser leg.” She pulled back the blanket covering him, and he stared down at his leg. His pants were torn at the seam, allowing access to his thigh. A gauze bandage wrapped around it.

“What the…?”

“I told you I’d stay to take care of you.” She lightly touched his cheek.

Her scent and feather-light touch caused an embarrassing reaction. He glanced down, wondering if she’d noticed, but she concentrated on his thigh.

She expertly cut away the bandage, and Kyle stared at his leg. Stitches covered a long, pinkish scar.

“What happened?”

Josie glanced at him and frowned. “Surely you remember being shot.”

“Shot!”

“In the cornfield.” She bit her lip.

“I – no! I wasn’t shot. I…”

“It’s all right. I’ll take care of you.” She lifted a towel from the basin and started cleaning the wound. “We have to keep it clean to prevent infection.”

“This doesn’t make sense. I was never shot.”

She studied him. “Perhaps I should call the doctor.”

She rose, but he quickly grasped her hand. He didn’t close on air this time, but soft, warm skin.

“Please stay,” he said. “We need to talk.”

“All right. I’ll put a fresh bandage on your wound.”

He nodded. Anything to keep her with him. He watched as she wrapped the bandage around his raised thigh, then tied it off.

“You’ll be good as new before too long, so Doc says.” Josie rose and took the pan.

Kyle feared she was leaving again. His hand shot out to stop her.

“Please, don’t go.”

She frowned but placed the pan back on the table. “What may I do for you, Corporal?”

“Kyle.”

“All right, Kyle.”

“I need to know…”

When he hesitated, she leaned down.

“What your lips taste like.” He grasped the back of her head and pulled her down.

“Corporal, what are you…?”

He took her mouth, silencing her question. Her lips held tightly firm for a moment, then yielded to him. His tongue slid inside to taste her thoroughly. Sweet, soft and amazing. When he released her, he read the unleashed passion in her half-closed eyes.

She blushed a deep red, glancing around the tent. “Corporal …Kyle…you mustn’t take such liberties. What will the others think?”

He looked around and shrugged. “No one’s paying us any attention.”

She lifted the pan. “I have to go.”

Before he could stop her, she hurried past him moving to the front of the tent.

“Josie.”

Something blared beside his cot. He turned his head and woke in his own bed to the blast of rock music from his alarm clock.

He shut it off and sat up. What a vivid dream! The ones he’d had before had been fragmented and fuzzy. He’d barely remembered them afterward. But that kiss. He touched his lips, swearing he could still feel her softness, smell her lavender scent.

He had truly lost it.

Paranormal romance Dreaming Josie, is available for just 99 cents.

The story was originally part of the EPIC finalist Civil War romance anthology NORTHERN ROSES AND SOUTHERN BELLES, under the title ‘Angel of My Dreams’ in 2009.

Dreaming Josie available 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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In my Civil War romance novella, Cole’s Promise, as well as my indie-published paranormal romance novella, Dreaming Josie, each of the heroine’s aids the war as part of the United States Sanitary Commission. These women, as well as many others,  volunteered with everything from soldiers’ aid societies to send much needed supplies to Union soldiers, to working in hospitals, and even on the battlefield assisting camp surgeons and and nursing sick and wounded soldiers.

When war broke out in America in 1861, women were as eager as men to volunteer their services for their respective causes. But in American Victorian society, women weren’t allowed to serve in the military in any capacity.

In the North, women organized into ladies’ aid societies to supply Union troops with food (baked and canned, as well as fruit and vegetables from their own gardens. They repaired and laundered uniforms, knitted socks and gloves, mended blankets, sent quilts and pillow cases they embroidered. They raised money by door-to-door soliciting, held county fairs and performances of all types to supply funds for medical supplies and other necessities for soldiers.

Women also sought a way to be on the front lines to care for sick and wounded soldiers.

The federal government, in 1861, saw the need and agreed to create “a preventive hygienic and sanitary service for the benefit of the army”. This became known as the United States Sanitary Commission. The primary objective; to prevent diseases and infections by improving conditions in both camps and army hospitals.

The Union war effort was directly affected by the 20,000 women volunteers. Women from working-class to the middle class worked as laundresses, cooks and “matrons”. Women also worked directly with the sick and wounded as nurses.

Notable women who served with the Sanitary Commission include: Dorothea Dix, Clara Barton, Elizabeth Blackwell, Mary Livermore, Louisa May Alcott and Mary Ann Bickerdyke.

For more information on the US Sanitary Commission, visit these sites: http://money.howstuffworks.com/economics/volunteer/organizations/ladies-aid-society2.htm

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/biography/grant-livermore/

http://www.ourstory.info/1/USSC.html

Dreaming Josie available 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

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

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

Cole’s Promise available at The Wild Rose Press http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=176_135&products_id=4821  

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Coles-Promise-Love-Letters-ebook/dp/B007VRKQ04/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1334931371&sr=1-4

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1110282244?ean=2940014529969

All Romance Ebooks http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-cole039spromise-780707-158.html

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Continuing with installments from the opening chapters of my Civil War time travel romance.

Excerpt:

“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.

“Will,” Doc said. “I think Mrs. O’Connell’s having trouble with her memory.”

“Her memory?”

“The fall from the horse,” Doc explained, “seems to have affected her memory – even her speech. Her nose was bleeding a bit, and she
has a fair-sized lump on the back of her head.”

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 in ebook format for $2.99 from 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/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 Ebookshttp://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-erin039srebel-80339-141.html

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

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Cover for my upcoming American Victorian romance novella, The Physician’s Irish Lady from The Wild Rose Press. What do you think?

And stop by Slip Into Something Victorian for my ‘This Day in the Civil War’ post on Morgan’s Maurauders.

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As promised on Monday, here’s the Christmas Eve ballroom scene from my Civil War romance, The Christmas Ball.

Excerpt:

Sara’s heart beat frantically as the conveyance approached the grand mansion where the ball was being held. Gas lamps illuminated the city streets they traveled. The mansion was set back from the road. She stared at the windows of the large house, where the yellow glow of gaslight flickered. Her gloved hands trembled in her lap. Doc Ellison, who sat on her right side, while his mother sat on her left, reached out and covered her hands with his, sending delicious warmth through her.

“You’ll do fine, Miss Brewster,” he whispered. “Just stay with me.”

His mother patted her arm. “My son will take good care of you, my dear.”

Sara swallowed hard, sure she’d make a complete fool of herself at such a grand party. The fanciest to-do’s she’d ever attended were barn dances and get togethers at the homes of family and friends. Her heart fluttered as she tried to figure a way to not embarrass herself, as well as the Ellison family, tonight.

After their carriage pulled up in front of the mansion, Kirk escorted her on one arm, his mother on the other, up to the door, with Mary and her husband following.

The door opened to reveal a gaily decorated entry hall. Poinsettias and holly branches graced the way as a servant took their wraps. Her head swiveled toward the sound of music and laughter. Two, large ornately patterned doors stood open to her eager gaze. She caught skirts of all colors swirling as dancers spun around the large polished floor beyond the doorway.

Kirk’s hand on her arm settled her a bit as he led her toward the room. A white haired gentleman dressed in a black suit moved forward to greet them. He took Mrs. Ellison’s hand and led her inside. Kirk motioned Sara to follow.

Her gaze was riveted on the dancers waltzing grandly around the cavernous room. Tables stood to one side, steeped with punch bowls and food. Her mouth watered at the delicious smells.

Mrs. Ellison was led away to a group of older ladies, who swiftly surrounded her. “Mother is obviously well in hand. Shall we try out the dance floor, or would you rather sit the first one out?”

“I, uh…” Sara stumbled over her words, not sure what she wanted to do. “This is so…” She waved her gloved hand. “…so grand. I’ve never seen the like.”

Mary slipped around to her other side and took her hand. “We don’t have to dance right away. Why don’t we sit and watch the first few sets?”

Before they could move toward the chairs, Mary was presented with a small card with a pencil dangling from it. When the servant handed one to Sara, she held it up. “What’s this for?”

Mary grinned. “It’s your dance card. All the ladies get one and the gentlemen who dance with you have to sign it.”

Sara swallowed. “How many men do I have to dance with?” Her pulse raced as she glanced around the room. She didn’t want to look like a fool in front of all these people.

Doc Ellison took her other hand. “Don’t worry, Miss Brewster, I’ll take it upon myself to claim all your dances.”

“Be sure to save one for me,” Ted said.

“Of course.” Doc Ellison took the small card and penciled in all the dances, with one reserved for Ted.

“And when Miss Brewster dances with Ted, I’ll dance with Mary.” He filled in Mary’s card.

Mary raised her brows. “You are absolutely outrageous, dear brother.”

Kirk shrugged. “Anything to keep my lady comfortable.” He crooked his arm as an offering.

3 1/2 sweet peas at Mrs. Condit & Friends Read Books.

The Christmas Ball is available from The Wild Rose Press http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=176_135&products_id=5026

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/The-Christmas-Ball-ebook/dp/B00A5CF3SM/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1352744944&sr=1-3&keywords=the+christmas+ball

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-christmas-ball-susan-macatee/1113749511?ean=2940015922417

and All Romance Ebooks https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thechristmasball-995347-158.html

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Thought it would be fun to follow a ‘Christmas in July’ theme and talk about Christmas in Civil War camps.

My 2012 holiday release, The Christmas Ball, takes place at a Civil War Union army camp, then moves to Washington D. C. during the Christmas season of 1862.

What was it like for soldiers serving away from their homes, unable to phone, email or do any more than write letters and wait for a lengthy return of news from home?

By this time period, the familiar Christmas traditions that we celebrate to this day, were already in place. “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens had been published in 1843 and the image of Santa Claus as jolly and portly fellow had been established through the drawings of Thomas Nast, a German-speaking immigrant.

According to Civil War soldier, Alfred Ballard of the 5th New Jersey, “In order to make it look much like Christmas as possible, a small tree was stuck up in front of our tent, decked off with hard tack and pork, in lieu of cakes and oranges, etc.”

John Haley, of the 17th Maine, wrote in his diary, “It is rumored that there are sundry boxes and mysterious parcels over at Stoneman’s Station directed to us. We retire to sleep with feelings akin to those of children expecting Santa Claus.”

A Confederate prisoner related: “A friend had sent me in a package a bottle of old brandy. On Christmas morning I quietly called several comrades up to my bunk to taste the precious fluid of …DISPAPPOINTMENT! The bottle had been opened outside, the brandy taken and replaced with water…and sent in. I hope the Yankee who played that practical joke lived to repent it and was shot before the war ended.”

The war cast a pallor on holiday celebrations. In the South, parents warned children that Santa might not make it through the blockade. Soldiers living in bleak winter quarters missed, more than ever, the domestic bliss they’d left behind.

Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the 54th Massachusetts, recorded in his diary: “It is Christmas morning and I hope a happy and merry one for you all, though it looks so stormy for our poor country, one can hardly be in merry humor.”

Sallie Brock Putman of Richmond, wrote: “Never before had so sad a Christmas dawned upon us… We had neither the heart nor inclination to make the week merry with joyousness when such a sad calamity hovered over us.”

Christmas during the war, could be either an escape or a bitter reminder of the conflict tearing the country in two. Soldiers may have coveted the day of rest and relaxation, but sadness over the separation from loved ones tempered their cheer. Families left at home did their best to celebrate Christmas, but the vacant chairs dwelled on their minds as well.

Stop back on Wednesday, July 24th for the Christmas Eve ballroom excerpt from the novella.

The Christmas Ball is available from The Wild Rose Press http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=176_135&products_id=5026

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/The-Christmas-Ball-ebook/dp/B00A5CF3SM/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1352744944&sr=1-3&keywords=the+christmas+ball

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-christmas-ball-susan-macatee/1113749511?ean=2940015922417

and All Romance Ebooks https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thechristmasball-995347-158.html

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Seventeenth installment from my Civil War time travel romance.

Excerpt:

“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.

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 in ebook format for $2.99 from 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/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 Ebookshttp://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-erin039srebel-80339-141.html

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

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