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Archive for December, 2013

As promised yesterday, here’s the list of what I hope to accomplish writing-wise in 2014.

1. Since writing magazine stories is my major source of income right now, I plan to write and submit one story per month for a total of twelve.

2. I want to get back to the contemporary romance series I stalled out on last year, so I plan to revisit and complete my character sketches for the first book, work out a detailed outline and write the first draft.

3. While that draft is cooling off, I want to work on the characters for the next book in the series and work out a detailed outline for that.

4. I’ll then reread, revise, edit and research publishers I want to submit to. I’d like to have the manuscript completed and begin submitting before the end of the year.

5. While waiting to hear back from publishers, I want to begin writing the first draft of the second book.

I’m hoping I can at least accomplish these goals for 2014. I do plan to eventually get back to historicals, starting with a new time travel, but want to get the contemps completed first to hopefully draw a new audience for my work.

Wishing all of my readers a very happy New Year!

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Since we’re almost at the end of the year, I thought I should take a look back at my 2013 writing goals and see how I did.

Here are my listed goals.

1. Write and submit two short stories per month to magazines.

2. Revise and edit historical novella and submit to publisher.

3. Outline new novella and write first draft.

Okay, I did fall a bit on number one, but I did manage to write and sell an average of one to two stories every month. I also submitted two I haven’t yet heard back on.

Number two was completed and the novella, The Physician’s Irish Lady, is scheduled for release from The Wild Rose Press and other ebook outlets on January 22, 2014. It’s also been released early on Amazon, if you’d like to take a look.

Number three is a bit sticky. I did start character sketches for the new novella, but it sort of fell by the wayside. Need some motivation to pick it up again and get the outline started.

Be back tomorrow with the list of what I hope to accomplish writing-wise in 2014.

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I’m over at Slip Into Something Victorian today talking about Christmas in Civil War camps.

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New scene from my Civil War romance, The Christmas Ball.

His fingers circled her upper arm and he escorted her up the steps to the door. Opening it, he ushered her inside. She gazed around her at the gaily decorated entry way. Sprigs of holly adorned the polished maple banister leading to the upper floor. A poinsettia sat on a small table just inside the door.

“Mary,” he called.

A swish of shirts drew their attention to an open doorway to the left. A dark-haired woman maneuvered her dark green hoop skirt as she angled toward them, then stretched out her arms in welcome.

“Brother, it’s been so long since I’ve seen you,” she gasped, taking both his hands in hers, then kissing his cheek. “Let me look at you.” Her gaze traveled up and down his form. “You’ve lost some weight.”

Ellison patted his stomach. “Not too much, but I guarantee I’ll regain the few pounds I lost over the holidays.” He glanced around. “Where’s Mother and Ted?”

“Mother’s taking her pre-dinner nap and Ted’s been delayed. He should be here momentarily.” Mary’s dark-eyed gaze drifted over Sara. “And is this the soldier you’ve written me about?” Her full lips curved into a smile.

“Yes, Mrs. Mary Cunningham meet Miss Sara Brewster.”

Mary’s mouth gaped. “But she’s so small. Forgive me, Miss Brewster, I’ve just never met a woman soldier before. This is so fascinating.” She patted the back of her hand. “Welcome to my home.”

“Thank you, ma’am.”

“You must call me Mary.” She glanced at her brother and smiled.

“Oh, no, ma’am, I couldn’t.”

“I insist.”

Sara breathed deeply, put at ease by the woman’s demeanor. She hadn’t met many big city folks before, and the few she had looked down their noses at a simple farm girl who wore boys’ britches. “Only if you’ll call me Sara,” she said.

Mary glanced at her brother and sighed. “She’s lovely.” She waved her arm toward the doorway she’d emerged from. “Please, both of you come into the parlor. Greta will take your coats and hats.”

A young blonde woman wearing a plain brown dress and apron, strode down the hall.

“Greta, if you please,” Mary said.

“Yes, ma’am.” The woman held out her arms. Sara shrugged out of her greatcoat and handed it to her. Doc Ellison did the same. The maid turned to Mary. “Will there be anything else, ma’am?”

“Yes, could you bring a tea tray into the parlor after you hang the coats?”

“Yes, ma’am.” The maid departed.

Mary ushered them into the parlor. Sara’s gaze was drawn to the brightly decorated Christmas tree set on a maple table. The mantel on the far side of the room was adorned with holly branches. Flames from the fireplace flickered invitingly, warming the small area and sending the scent of wood smoke mixed with pine throughout the room. A plush settee sat before the fire, with chairs on each side. Mary led them in and urged them to take a seat.

She settled on the settee with Kirk beside her. Mary took a seat on her left in one of the upholstered chairs. After Mary adjusted her skirts, her gaze swept over her.

“I’m sure I can find you an old dress of mine you can wear to dinner. I’ve had rooms fixed up for each of you if you care to spend the night.”

Sara turned to Doc Ellison, whose brows rose. “Well, I would be delighted to stay here rather than spend a night at the hospital. If Miss Brewster agrees to stay, then so shall I.”

His eyes twinkled. She bit her lip. Glancing around the cozy room, she decided it would be wonderful to spend the night in a room all her own. She’d never had that luxury. The alternative was spending the night in a small cramped room with two men, who she’d have to mask her identity from.

“I’d be happy to accept your hospitality, ma’am.”

“Mary.”

She grinned. “Yes, Mary.”

Kirk’s sister clasped her hands together. “I’m so happy you’re both staying.”

The maid returned with the tea tray and set in on a table before the settee. Sara marveled at the little cakes on a platter beside the teapot.

After pouring the tea, their hostess waved her hand over the cakes. “Help yourself. I’m sure you’re tired of all that army food.” She wrinkled her delicately shaped nose. “After our tea, I’ll take Sara to her room and outfit her for dinner.”

Sipping her sweetened tea, she helped herself to a few small cakes, delighting in the cinnamon and vanilla flavor, but she worried what the rest of Doc Ellison’s family would think of her.

Blurb: While pretending to be a male soldier, farm girl Sara Brewster falls for a handsome Union army surgeon. Whenher secret is revealed, will a lavish Christmas Eve ball work in her favor–or will her heart be broken?

Kirk Ellison is shocked to discover the assistant he thought of as a boy is a young woman disguised as a man. As his feelings for Sara grow, he must convince her she
can fit into his society life, if he’s to make her his own.

The Christmas Ball 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

And be sure to check out my free Civil War Christmas romance, A Kiss Under the Mistletoe, still available from The Wild Rose Press.

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As Christmas fast approaches, many of us are preparing to set up our Christmas tree, or have already done so.

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.

And at the center of it all, 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 pictures of Victorian Christmas trees visit:

http://www.biblicalquality.com/Christmas1.html

http://gaskellblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/23/victorian-christmas-tree/

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thephysiciansirishlady_w8189_750The first review posted for my new American Victorian romance, The Physician’s Irish Lady, available exclusively on Amazon, is in.

Julianne Draper, of the Tampa Books Examiner, says:

“The Physician’s Irish Lady is a sweet tale of two strangers meeting on a train, of the wish to do good going a little awry and yet….True love wins out in the end.” 4 star rating

http://www.examiner.com/review/physician-plays-knight-to-an-irish-lady-new-novella-by-author-susan-macatee

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Sara closed her eyes and breathed deeply. Doc Ellison’s kiss had scattered her senses. For months she’d dreamed of being in 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?

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?

Blurb: While pretending to be a male soldier, farm girl Sara Brewster falls for a handsome Union army surgeon. Whenher secret is revealed, will a lavish Christmas Eve ball work in her favor–or will her heart be broken?

Kirk Ellison is shocked to discover the assistant he thought of as a boy is a young woman disguised as a man. As his feelings for Sara grow, he must convince her she can fit into his society life, if he’s to make her his own.

The Christmas Ball available from The Wild Rose Press http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=195&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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