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Archive for May, 2014

Today’s hook will be another scene from my Civil War time travel romance. In this scene secrets are revealed.

Excerpt:
Ever since he’d given her the brooch and declared his love for her, Erin decided she had to tell him. She didn’t want to conceal the truth from him any longer.

His dark gaze narrowed as he fastened the final button on his shirt. “Can it wait until later?”

“No.” She shook her head. “I’ve been keeping this from you, and now I’ve got to tell you the truth.”

He sighed, his eyes taking on a haunted look. What did he think she was about to tell him?

“Go ahead if you must.” He paced the length of the bed.

She drew a steadying breath and exhaled slowly. “I don’t know how I can expect you to believe this, but here goes…”

He watched her expectantly.

“I’ve come from a distant place.”

“Yes, I know you came from Ireland.”

“No. That’s not it…the place I’ve come from doesn’t yet exist.” She rose from the bed and pulled on her wrapper. After pacing back and forth, she turned to face him. “I’ve come from the future.”

He frowned. “The future? What future?”

“The twenty-first century.” His eyes widened. She was crazy to have thought he’d ever believe her. “Until the accident when I was told I fell off a horse, I’d been living more than one-hundred and forty years in the future.”

His dark eyes hardened. Why had she said anything?

Now that she’d gone this far, she had to tell him all of it. “I had a life there and a fiancé. We broke it off because I couldn’t stop dreaming about you.”

“This is utter nonsense.” He raked his hand through his hair.

She held up her hand, desperately needing him to understand. “It didn’t make sense to me at first, either.”

“If what you say it true, how and why are you here now?”

“I’m not sure how, but I do know why.” She reached her hand out to him. “I’ve come back in time for you, Will.”

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 http://susanmacatee.com/erinsrebel.html

Erin’s Rebel, available at 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/1100248217

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 is Memorial Day in the U.S.—the official start of summer—so I thought I’d post on how this holiday originally came to be.

decoration-day-190x300At the start it was called Decoration Day, “a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service”. But how did it start?

Stories claim women’s groups in the South started decorating graves even before the Civil War ended. A hymn was published in 1867, called “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet. The song’s dedication read, “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead”.
The official start of Memorial Day was declared by President Lyndon Johnson in May of 1966, but it’s hard to find conclusive origins of the day of remembrance.

It’s likely it had many separate starts. Many towns planned spontaneous gatherings to honor their war dead in the 1860’s. General Logan officially proclaimed the day in 1868. It was a “coming together to honor those who gave their all”.
General Logan was national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. He proclaimed the day would be observed on May 30, 1868. Flowers were placed on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

New York was the first state to recognize the holiday in 1873 and by 1890 it was observed by all of the northern states.
The South honored their war dead on separate days until after World War I. At that time the holiday not only covered Civil War dead, but those who died in all our country’s wars.

Today, we celebrate Memorial Day on the last Monday in May. Though several Southern states still have a separate day to honor Confederate war dead.

In 1915, a poem by Moina Michael called “In Flanders Fields”, was inspired by this American holiday.

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

This Memorial Day, be sure to take time out to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Source: http://usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html

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Hope you’re enjoying the progression of my time travel romance. Here’s the next installment from the second chapter.

Excerpt:
ThoroughlyModernAmanda_w7277_750After gulping the last mouthful of coffee, he stepped toward his desk and the photo of the young woman. On impulse, he stuffed the picture into his inside jacket pocket.

An hour later, he walked up to the porch of the house on the corner of Wendover Street. He glanced up and down the block. The few people strolling by took no notice of him. He knocked, but was sure Shane Bradley wasn’t around this early in the morning. Problem was, he couldn’t gain access to the inside if the man wasn’t in. After a few minutes, he heaved a sigh and turned to go. He had Bradley’s cell number. Maybe he could call him.

But an intuitive hunch made him spin back to the door. He tried the knob, and the door creaked open. He glanced around once again to be sure no one watched him. The last thing he needed was cops showing up to arrest him for trespassing.

The door opened inward, inviting him to enter. Slipping through the threshold, he gently closed the door and leaned against it.

What the hell am I doing?

He crept into the living area, careful not to let his boots echo in the empty house. The nearest neighbor shouldn’t be close enough to hear, but he didn’t want to take any chances.

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 over at Slip Into Something Victorian today with my latest post on Civil War happenings 150 years ago today.

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Great. She noted the bundle in his arms. He’s bringing more dirty clothes for me to wash. The sight of him dressed in a gray jacket that fell just below his lean hips, over tan trousers and a gray cap perched on his chocolate brown hair, made her breath catch. Her pulse raced as the reality before her converged with the dreams she’d had.

Had her subconscious mind known him? She’d never seen his photo until Grandma Rose had shown it to her. But she’d known him in her dreams. In the months before her impending wedding, the dreams had become more vivid and intimate. Even though this man was a stranger, she felt she’d known him all her life.

He removed his cap and stopped just outside the edge of the tarp she sat under. “Ma’am.”

She nodded, for her vocal chords were too taut to speak.

“I wanted to apologize for invading your privacy last night.” A blush crept up his lightly tanned cheeks. “I can’t abide any man harming a woman, even if the two are related or even wed.”

She gazed up into his dark eyes. Up close they were a deep, chocolate brown. He was so damned attractive in that uniform. Clearing her throat, she found her voice. “I appreciate what you did, Captain. That man’s been harassing me.”

“I suspected as much. Wagner doesn’t seem to know how to be respectful to a woman.”

She had trouble finding the words to reply. The aroma of sandalwood and his unique masculine scent that had floored her when he’d carried her into Doc’s tent left her flabbergasted.

“I’d warned Wagner to stay away from you,” he said.

“He was so drunk, I don’t think any warning would have stopped him.”

“He didn’t hurt you—”

She shook her head, noting the concern in his eyes. “All I could think to do was get out of the tent.”

“That was wise, ma’am.”

She glanced at the bundle he still held. “Are those for me?”

He grinned. “If you don’t mind, ma’am. I have two shirts that need washing.”

“My pleasure.” When he handed her the clothes, their hands briefly touched. Electricity shot through her. She caught his gaze.

His eyes widened. He swallowed and backed away a few steps, then tipped his cap.

“Ma’am.” He turned away.

She watched him cross the camp and disappear from sight. If a reason existed for her coming to this time period, it had to be Will Montgomery. But why had this happened? Would she ever go back to her old life, or was she stuck here forever?

Although she’d tried to hold her emotions in check, the tension that had been building for the last few days caused her eyes to burn at the prospect. A sob built at the back of her throat. She dropped the clothing she’d been sorting in the basket and scurried into the privacy of her tent.

Blurb: Philadelphia newspaper reporter, Erin Branigan, is engaged to marry and up-and-coming lawyer, but dreams of a man from the past change those plans and start her on a journey beyond time. After a car accident, Erin wakes to find herself living in the 1860s in a Confederate army camp.

Captain Will Montgomery, the man of her dreams, is now a flesh and blood Rebel soldier who sets her soul aflame. But the Irish beauty holds a secret he needs to unravel before he can place his trust in her. Can she correct a mistake made long ago that caused his death and denied her the love she was meant to have? Or is she doomed to live out her life with nothing but regret?

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, available at 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/1100248217

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 time travel novel, Erin Branigan–a newspaper reporter in modern day–travels back to the 1860s to a Confederate camp during the Civil War and finds she’s been relegated to camp washer women.

So, I needed to know how wash was done in that time period.

Hate to do the laundry?

Well, compared to the Victorians, we have it easy. We separate our clothes by whites and colors, dark and light, then throw them into the washing machine, add soap, and the machine takes over. Afterward, we toss them into the dryer. The rest is folding–a few things may need ironing, but most can just be put away.

In the Victorian home, wash was usually done once a week and took up the entire day. Before 1880 when the first washing machine became generally available, the day started with fetching water. If the woman didn’t have a well to draw water from, she’d have to lug it from a nearby stream. Some women used yokes so their back could take the brunt of the weight.

The soap used was homemade from water, wood ash and lard.

The water had to be heated in the hearth. The clothes were separated, much as we do today. Very dirty or heavy clothes were soaked in lye, then boiled. Lighter clothes were hand washed in cold or lukewarm water. Most women used a washtub or basin.

A variety of methods were used, just as today, to get out stubborn stains. The washboard was only used for the dirtiest garments. A long wooden stick with pins attached called a dolly was used to agitate the clothes in the washtub.

Once the clothes were rinsed in clear water, they had to be wrung out. This was either done by hand or with a press. This was a contraption with rollers. The clothes were rolled through it to wring out the excess wetness.

With no clothes dryer, the only option for drying clothes was either to lay them in the sun, hang them on a bush, or a clothesline outside or in the attic. Women often waited until the clothes were nearly dry to hang them outside to protect them from being splattered with mud.

The ironing was often left for the next day, but the wash area (if not done outdoors) had to be mopped or swept and the tub or basin had to be cleaned.

Here’s a link with further information:

http://www.oldandinteresting.com/history-of-washing-clothes.aspx

Next installment from second chapter of my time travel romance.

Excerpt:
ThoroughlyModernAmanda_w7277_750Ron sighed. “Okay. You feel that bad, I think we can make do.”

Jack held back his sigh of relief. He wouldn’t be happy with a short paycheck next week, but he had to go to the house today. He couldn’t explain it.

“Thanks, Ron.”

“If you don’t think you can make it tomorrow, call me tonight, so I can find a few temp helpers to add to the work crew.”

“Okay, I will. Thanks again.” Jack closed his cell and leaned against the wall, still not sure why he’d felt impelled to call out.

He stepped to the counter and rinsed his coffee pot in the sink. After a cup of coffee and whatever he could find in the fridge to eat, he’d drive to the house and have a look around.

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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