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Archive for March, 2014

In my time travel romance Thoroughly Modern Amanda, the time traveling hero, Jack Lawton, is rescued by heroine, Amanda Montgomery, after he finds himself transported into the late nineteenth century. Since he’s been injured, Amanda’s family takes him in until he recovers, but afterward her father insists, to protect his daughter’s reputation, that he must leave their home. Her step-mother sets him up in a hotel room in town, so she and Amanda can continue to keep an eye on him.

So, what were hotel rooms like in the late ninteenth century?

Here is quote from The American Guide-Book, “The largest hotels are always supplied with polite and efficient waiters, excellent cooks, and almost every convenience. The beds and furniture are perfect, the means of ablution are clean and neat, many of the houses now having warm and cold bathes, the tables are supplied with all the delicacies of the season and the choicest wines, and generally if the traveler sojourns any length of time he can be as comfortable as at home.”

Charges for average hotel rooms were between $1 and $2.50 per day.

Miss Leslie advises ladies traveling alone “On arriving at the hotel, ask immediately to see the proprietor; give him your name and address, tell how long you propose staying, and request him to see that you are provided with a good room. Request him also to conduct you to the dining-room at dinner-time and allot you a seat near his own.”

Many hotels had a formal parlour and lady’s drawing room. This was where guests could go to read, receive visitors or converse. Breakfast and tea were generally taken at leisure, up until 9 o’clock. After breakfast, guests were urged to retire to the drawing room so the maids could clean the rooms. Room keys could be left with the clerk or barkeeper when the patrons went out.

Dinner was always served at a set time with arranged seating. Dress for dinner shouldn’t be “…more showy than you would wear when dining at a private house.”

According to the guidebook concerning gratuities, “When you give a gratuity to a servant…give it at no regular time, but whenever you think proper, or find it convenient. It is injudicious to allow them to suppose that they are to do you no particular service without being immediately paid for it…All persons who go to hotels are not able to lavish large and frequent gratuities on the servants. But all, for the price they pay to the proprietor, are entitled to an ample share of attention from the domestics.”

Source: Anna Worden, Travel in the mid-19th century, The Citizens’ Companion, June 2009.

For info on 19th century Philadelphia hotels with lots of great photos, visit this site: http://www.brynmawr.edu/cities/courses/05-306/proj2/jmw2b/home.html

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Next installment from my time travel romance.

Excerpt:
ThoroughlyModernAmanda_w7277_750Now, it was empty. Everything had been stripped, including the glass chandelier from the dining area. He glanced along the empty wall toward the staircase. A silver frame caught his attention. He strode toward the bottom step. The woman’s wide eyes seemed fixed on him, her full lips slightly parted.

Jack turned back toward Bradley, who stood behind him. A frown creased the young man’s forehead. “Must have missed this one.”

Jack glanced up the staircase. All of the other photographs were gone. The only evidence they’d been here, rectangles of lighter color along the peeling striped wallpaper. He turned back to the photo, transfixed by the image.

“What do you plan to do with it?” Jack asked.

Bradley shrugged. “What I did with all the others. I sold the frames for scrap and threw the pictures away.”

“Threw them away?” Jack’s blood heated. “Don’t you have any family who would want them?”

Thoroughly Modern Amanda is available from The Wild Rose Press http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=176_135&products_id=5074

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Thoroughly-Modern-Amanda-ebook/dp/B00AQAIHHW/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355948640&sr=1-1&keywords=Thoroughy+Modern+Amanda

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/thoroughly-modern-amanda-susan-macatee/1114008539?ean=2940016112596

All Romance Ebooks https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thoroughlymodernamanda-1026307-141.html

And now in print http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=191&products_id=5346

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

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I’m posting today at Slip Into Something Victorian about the Charleston Riot that occurred in Charleston, Illinois during the American Civil War 150 years ago today.

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In my time travel romance, Thoroughly Modern Amanda, the modern day hero finds an old photo of a beautiful young woman in an old Victoria home that’s about to be demolished.

Photography was invented in 1839, just after the Victorian era began. The Victorians’ embracement of this new and innovative technology greatly increased its popularity.

A new era in photography was introduced by Frederick Scott Archer in 1851. Archer introduced the Collodion process. Much faster than conventional methods, this process reduced exposure times to two or three seconds and opened up new horizons in photography.

This new process was much cheaper than earlier daguerreotypes. It required the coating, exposure and development of the image be done with the plate still wet. Archer also developed the Ambrotype, the opposite of the daguerreotype.

The American Civil War, as well as the mortality of the general population due to common illness, brought a great demand for photographic images of deceased loved ones. A way of preserving memories. Although we today would consider this morbid, the Victorians viewed this practice of photographing the dead as a keepsake.

The photos posed the deceased as though they were sleeping peacefully, although some were placed in postions as if they were still alive.

Also soldiers had photographs made for family members and sweethearts. Wives and best girls sat for photos for their soldiers to take with them. And it seems, because of the novelty of preserving images, people of all ages sat for photographs, and some even posed with treasured belongings.

Even horribly disfigured soldiers sat for formal portraits. Perhaps this was considered a badge of honor. Whatever the reason, Victorians loved their photographic images.

A link with more info into death photography.

http://annarborchronicle.com/2010/07/14/in-the-archives-victorian-era-death-photos/

And Civil War photography http://www.civilwar.org/photos/3d-photography-special/photography-and-the-civil-war.html

Thoroughly Modern Amanda is available from The Wild Rose Press http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=176_135&products_id=5074

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Thoroughly-Modern-Amanda-ebook/dp/B00AQAIHHW/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355948640&sr=1-1&keywords=Thoroughy+Modern+Amanda

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/thoroughly-modern-amanda-susan-macatee/1114008539?ean=2940016112596

All Romance Ebooks https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thoroughlymodernamanda-1026307-141.html

And now in print http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=191&products_id=5346

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Next installment from opening chapter of my time travel romance.

Excerpt:
ThoroughlyModernAmanda_w7277_750“Grandma left me enough cash, and I made more selling a lot of her stuff. The place is cleaned out and ready for the demo team. The new owner already has it set up.”

“It’s already sold?” Jack’s heart sank. This trip had obviously been for nothing. The kid had already decided the grand old home’s fate.

“Settlement’s next week. Once I get my money, I don’t give a shit what happens to it. I’ll be living on the west coast.”

“I see.” Jack swallowed. “Would you mind if I had a last look around? I put in a lot of work planning the renovation.”

Bradley shrugged. “Sure, dude. Take your time.” He waved Jack through the door.

His footsteps echoed on the empty wood floors of the foyer and living room. When he’d been here last, the place had been furnished with a room sized wool rug and antique furniture befitting the surroundings. Lamps on end tables had glowed softly as he and Mrs. Grayson looked over his drawings and ideas for the house.

Thoroughly Modern Amanda is available from The Wild Rose Press http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=176_135&products_id=5074

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Thoroughly-Modern-Amanda-ebook/dp/B00AQAIHHW/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355948640&sr=1-1&keywords=Thoroughy+Modern+Amanda

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/thoroughly-modern-amanda-susan-macatee/1114008539?ean=2940016112596

All Romance Ebooks https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thoroughlymodernamanda-1026307-141.html

And now in print http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=191&products_id=5346

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

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In my 2012 time travel romance, Thoroughly Modern Amanda, the heroine is a reporter for a small town paper in the late nineteenth century. She dreams of someday moving on to a big city paper or even become a novelist like her eccentric step-mother.

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

Thoroughly Modern Amanda is available from The Wild Rose Press http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=176_135&products_id=5074

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Thoroughly-Modern-Amanda-ebook/dp/B00AQAIHHW/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355948640&sr=1-1&keywords=Thoroughy+Modern+Amanda

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/thoroughly-modern-amanda-susan-macatee/1114008539?ean=2940016112596

All Romance Ebooks https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thoroughlymodernamanda-1026307-141.html

And now in print http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=191&products_id=5346

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Next installment from opening chapter of my time travel romance.

Excerpt:

ThoroughlyModernAmanda_w7277_750He glanced toward the car in the driveway. A shabby old compact much like what Jack drove. But maybe his grandma had left him a pile of cash along with the house, so he could afford renovations. All Jack could do was hope.

Bradley shook his head. “I want to sell and get out now. My band has a gig on the west coast next month, and I need cash to live on. You know how it is.”

The young man caught Jack’s gaze. He knew exactly how it was in this economy to make ends meet, but to let this house go for near nothing galled him.

“You know, it’ll take time to sell this, even as a handyman special.”

“I don’t plan to sell it, man.” Bradley turned toward the open window. “I’m selling the land. Already have a potential buyer. They plan to demolish this place and build three new homes.”

Jack’s blood chilled. “It’s going to be demolished?”

Thoroughly Modern Amanda is available from The Wild Rose Press http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=176_135&products_id=5074

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Thoroughly-Modern-Amanda-ebook/dp/B00AQAIHHW/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355948640&sr=1-1&keywords=Thoroughy+Modern+Amanda

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/thoroughly-modern-amanda-susan-macatee/1114008539?ean=2940016112596

All Romance Ebooks https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thoroughlymodernamanda-1026307-141.html

And now in print http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=191&products_id=5346

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

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