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Archive for January, 2015

Today I’m the opening of my award winning Civil War romance novel.

Excerpt:
Near Winchester, Virginia
March 2, 1863

ConfederateRose_w3122_300Katie O’Reilly tensed as she stared at the swift-running stream. Trees cast long shadows across the rushing water, and the air held a biting chill. Her stomach emitted a growl, protesting not having had anything to eat since she’d departed earlier that morning. She yanked the empty canteen’s cork to refill it before continuing the journey. As she neared the frigid water, her hands shook. Her mare, hitched to an oak tree, shook its mane and pawed the ground with the left hoof.

“I know, Morna.” Katie glanced at the mare. “Allow me to complete me task, and we’ll be on our way.”

She bit her lip and turned back to the icy water. With heart pounding, she stretched the arm holding the canteen toward the white-foamed breakers.

“There’s nothing to fear,” she recited. Nevertheless, she planted her brogans securely on the bank.

A cracking sound, like a branch snapping, stilled the outstretched arm. “Morna?”

The mare whinnied. Katie whirled. A man stood beside the gray-white dappled horse. She reached for the butt of the sidearm tucked into her belt and pulled the brim of her felt hat down to conceal her face.

The man stood stock-still and didn’t speak. Apparently, he’d hoped to make off with the pack or her horse.

He wore a greatcoat, so she couldn’t tell if a uniform for either North or South lay beneath. Likely, he was a local civilian. A black wide-brimmed hat covered his head, under which thick chestnut-colored hair touched his collar. A full beard half-concealed his face.

Katie swallowed hard and tried to speak in her most commanding voice. “Are you lost, sir?” She gripped her pistol.

1st place historical category of First Coast Romance Writers 2010 Beacon Contest for Published Authors!

2nd place historical category of 2010 New England Reader’s Choice Bean Pot Award!

Confederate Rose available for $2.99 at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Confederate-Rose-Susan-Macatee/dp/1601545568/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_4

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/confederate-rose-susan-macatee/1100248420?ean=9781601545565&itm=3&usri=susan%2bmacatee

The Wild Rose Press http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=89_117&products_id=3672

WhispersintheWind_w9628_750And if you like Civil War romances, Confederate Rose is now part of the Civil War boxed set, Whispers in the Wind.

Whispers in the Wind available from
The Wild Rose Press http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=234&products_id=5994

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Whispers-Wind-Civil-digital-Boxed-ebook/dp/B00PPSWJT2/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1416524283&sr=8-8&keywords=whispers+in+the+wind

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/whispers-in-the-wind-nicole-mccaffrey/1120788851?ean=2940150558205

All Romance Ebooks https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-whispersinthewind-1681955-166.html

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Next peek at the first chapter of my Civil War holiday romance.

Excerpt:
thechristmasball_7289_7501“I am, sir,” Ellison called from the back of the tent. Sara glanced between Captain Werth and the doctor, as Doc made his way to the entrance. “What can I do for you, Captain?”

“We need men to carry wounded from the field.”

“Has the battle ended?”

The captain scratched his full beard. “There may still be some sniper shooting, but we need to get those wounded off that field. The temperature was damn cold last night. Some of them may have already frozen to death.”

“I understand,” Ellison said. “I’ll choose a few stewards to assist you.” He frowned when his glance settled on Sara.

“I’ll be glad to help in any way I can,” she said.

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

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

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Today I’m over at Slip Into Something Victorian with a post from the pages of Harper’s Weekly about Negro soldiers liberating slaves in North Carolina 150 years ago today.

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Sarah Rosetta Wakeman is one of the real-life inspirations for the heroine of my Civil War holiday romance novella, The Christmas Ball, as well as the award winning Civil War novel, Confederate Rose, now re-released as part of a Civil War boxed-set of six romances.

In the non-fiction book, An Uncommon Soldier, by Lauren Cook Burgess,the story of Sarah Rosetta Wakeman is told through letters her family preserved that she’d sent home during the war. I read this fascinating book along with others I used in researching the subject of women soldiers in disguise during the war to come up with composite heroines for my romance adventures.

What’s unique about Sarah’s story is, like scores of other young women during the American Civil War, she disguised herself as a man and served in the Union Army as a private. And during the years she served, no one ever discovered her sex.

Many other women also enlisted in male disguise, since women at that time weren’t permitted to serve, but some were quickly discovered and either sent home or were arrested and sent to prison on false charges of prostitution. That was the only reason army officials could come up with for women to dress as men, although it would have been hard for them to ply their trade and not be found out. Others weren’t caught until they were hospitalized or killed in battle. While others served out their time and returned to civilian life without ever being found out.

Sarah was born on January 16,1843, the eldest in a fairly large farm family. She was used to hard work and in 1862, at the age of 19, with no prospects for marriage, she left home to seek outside work to help with the family finances that included a large debt owed by her father. Disguising herself as a man, she found work as a manual laborer on a coal barge for $20.00 for four trips up the Chenango Canal in New York state. On her first trip she encountered soldiers from the 153rd New York Regiment, who urged her to sign up. The enlistment bounty of $152.00 would have been more than a year’s wages, even if Sarah continued civilian work as a male, and so was a great enticement.

Sarah told the recruiters she was 21 and on August 30, 1862, signed up under the name of Lyons Wakeman. Her regiment was stationed in Washington, as one of many, to guard the Capital from the surrounding hostile territory.

In her frequent letters home, she asked her family not to be ashamed of her for the choices she’d made. She also sent money home on a regular basis, much more than she could have earned as a civilian. In February 1864, the regiment was transferred to the field to take part in the ill-fated Red River Campaign. By the end of the campaign, Sarah developed chronic diarrhea and ended up at a regimental hospital.

She died on June 19, 1864, never having been discovered.

Like Sarah, most of the women who disguised themselves as men to serve in the army were lower class, or immigrants, who had little education. Sarah is unique, however, in that she could read and write and, as a result, left her legacy of letters so we’d have the opportunity to see why a woman would choose to hide her identity to serve her country.

The heroine of my  Civil War Christmas novella, The Christmas Ball, shares part of Sarah’s real life story in that she falls for a surgeon she works under in a Union camp. But unlike the real Sarah’s unrequited love story, my heroine’s story turns out for the better. This is a romance, after all. The Christmas Ball is an ebook novella, released in late 2013 by The Wild Rose Press, originally part of the Historical Christmas anthology, An American Rose Christmas.

And if you haven’t yet read my award winning Civil War romance, Confederate Rose, the heroine of this novel, Katie Rose O’Reilly, is also a soldier disguised as a man, but she serves in the Confederate army.

Stop by my website http://susanmacatee.com for info on both stories as well as the newly released Civil War boxed-set, Whispers in the Wind.

For more information on Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, read An Uncommon Soldier, by Lauren Cook Burgess, Oxford University Press, ISBN-0-19-512043-6

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Next installment from my Civil War holiday romance.

Excerpt:
thechristmasball_7289_7501“Thank you, Private.” Ellison flashed that smile again.

Her face flushed. “If you need any more help, I’ll be glad to assist.”

“Of course. If you could hold him down while I dig out the ball, that would be a big help.”

“Sure, Doc.” She smiled. Just being close to him was a thrill. If only she could show him the soldier he thought of as a boy was really a woman.

Hours later, toward dawn, she realized she should have been dead on her feet, but the wounded required constant attention. These men were her comrades and she’d do anything in her power to help, even if it meant giving up sleep. They’d do the same for her.

One of the officers entered the tent. “Who’s in charge here?”

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

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

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Today my hook is from my “Love Letters” series Civil War romance novella, Cole’s Promise.

Excerpt:
ColesPromise_6889_680Her breath caught at the sight of Lieutenant Manning standing over Private Upwood’s cot. He leaned down and spoke softly to the lad. When he turned his head and straightened, his gaze caught hers.

“Miss Hirsch.” He patted the boy’s hand and stepped around the cot.

“Lieutenant, I hadn’t expected to see you back here today.”

He lifted his bandaged arm. “I’m supposed to see Doc tomorrow, but I had to see to the private. He said the boy’s taken a bad turn.”

Her heart burned at the raw pain in his eyes. “I’m sorry. I know you’ve been so worried about the lad. But it’s not your fault.”

He shook his head. “Everyone tells me that, but it’s not how I feel. Could I speak to you in private for a moment?”

Claire’s heart fluttered at the thought of being alone with him. But he obviously wanted to speak about the private out of his earshot. “Of course, Lieutenant.”

He reached for her arm and escorted her from the tent. She followed his glance. Men milled around conversing and sipping coffee. The lieutenant bit his lip.

“How about back here?” He gestured toward the rear of the hospital tent where it abutted the forest line.

Claire hesitated. “I-I suppose so.”

His gaze slid over her. “I promise to do you no harm, ma’am.”

His boyish smile reassured her. Of course he wouldn’t dare accost her in camp.

She allowed him to lead her to the rear. Great oak and hickory trees cooled the spot. A boulder sat just a few feet behind the rear of the tent. She turned toward him, thinking he’d meant for her to sit on the smooth top of the rock, but instead, he reached his good arm around her back and drew her close.

Her pulse raced. “Lieu—” Her question was cut short by his lips pressed against hers. His kiss was soft and sweet, not demanding. He pulled away, his gaze dancing over her, a small smile on his lips.

“I must apologize, Miss Hirsch, but after being in your company, I couldn’t resist tasting. I hope you don’t think me a complete scoundrel.”

Although Claire’s first impulse was to protest such improper behavior, she couldn’t resist grinning. “Not at all, unless you want me to think of you as a scoundrel,” she teased.

“In that case…” He kissed her again, more thoroughly this time.

Little moans escaped her lips as she returned his kiss. Her eyes closed, and the thrill of his touch sent her toes curling. Her knees turned to jelly in his strong grasp.

4 heart review at The Romance Studio http://www.theromancestudio.com/reviews/reviews/colepromisemacatee.htm

Cole’s Promise available at The Wild Rose Press http://www.thewildrosepress.com/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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Fourth sneak peek at opening chapter of my Civil War holiday romance.

Excerpt:
thechristmasball_7289_7501“I’ll do it.” Miss Marshall glanced to the front of the tent where Doc hovered over the
patient.

Sara clenched her fists and scowled. “He ordered me to do it.”

The nurse smirked. “I wouldn’t want to put you out, Private.”

“It’s my job.” Sara gathered the instruments Doc needed and placed them on a tray. She then found a pan and filled it with fresh water from the barrel on tap.

The woman turned back to her chore of sorting. “Suit yourself.”

She made her way back to Doc and set the tray with the instruments and pan on a small table near the wounded man.

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

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

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