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And the winner is…

Vonnie Davis is the winner of my contest and I’ll be sending her a copy of Confederate Rose once I hear back from her! A big thanks to everyone who commented.

Weekly Excerpts – Confederate Rose

My second Civil War romance novel, Confederate Rose, features a woman soldier. Katie O’Reilly is an Irish immigrant who is drawn into the war when Yankees invade her father-in-law’s farm shortly after she marries. Her father-in-law is killed, her mother-in-law dies of sorrow, Katie loses her unborn baby and her husband and his brother join the Confederate army. And like other women of her time, Katie disguises herself as a man and enlists under a fake name to be with her husband.
 
Here’s an excerpt from Confederate Rose.
 
This latest battle had taken a toll on him. He felt drained and needed to recoup and get some rest. Leaning back against a rock, he looked at the stars dotting the blackness. Moonlight brightened the landscape, producing an eerie glow.
 
 
His thoughts drifted to Annabelle. Was she back in Richmond waiting for word of her new fiancé? Their brief encounter assured him he no longer had feelings for her, but he worried that she’d revealed his identity to her husband-to-be. Since the captain hadn’t confronted him, though, he doubted she had. 
Smoke from the fire drifted to him, stinging his eyes. He wiped his sleeve across his face. When he opened them, a soldier approached. He focused his vision and realized Katie strode toward him. She’d acquired a new slouch hat from her brother-in-law. The large, black hat concealed her red curls.
When she settled down cross-legged beside him, her mood seemed pensive. She watched him a moment before speaking.

“I found something that belongs to you.”

His mouth went dry. Something was wrong. “What have you got?”

“I’m hating to have to say it, since I’d accused you of being a thief, but I stole something from you.” She looked away.

“What could you…?” He racked his mind trying to figure out what she could have taken.
     
“I went through yer pack.”
     
“In Patrick’s tent?”
     
“No, weeks ago back at the cabin. I went through it to try to learn more about you when you were in the stable. I found a letter and took it but didn’t have time to read it until now.”
     
Alex swallowed.

“It was a Federal dispatch. Yer a Yankee.”

His chest tightened. No wonder he’d been unable to find the dispatch. She’d had it all along. “What do you intend to do?” He hoped she wouldn’t discover his real motive. He could never harm her.

“You lied to me the whole time,” she said, disbelief marring her delicate features.

He exhaled the breath he’d held. “I had no choice.”

“If I’d known you to be a Yankee, I’d have shot you the first chance I got.” Her eyes glittered in the light of the fire. “You touched me…pretended to care fer me. And all the while, you lied to me.”

The raw hurt on her face broke his heart. He’d deceived her. He couldn’t deny it. “What do you intend to do?” he asked again.

She shook her head slowly. “I’m sorry, Alex, but ’tis me duty to turn you in.”

In honor of the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War, I’d like to give away an autographed print copy of Confederate Rose in a random drawing of any comments left on this post by readers living in the US.

Anyone outside the US can also partipate, but the prize will be a pdf copy of Confederate Rose.

Confederate Rose available at The Wild Rose Press http://www.thewildrosepress.com/confederate-rose-p-3672.html?zenid=c2780c2c782c9e4f03b6975f07778c04

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!

Read opening chapters and get links to reviews at my website www.susanmacatee.com

 

A Little Late But…

Seems life got in the way and, as a result, I missed my last turn to post here on Slip Into Something Victorian, but I wanted to give a shout out, because my Civil War romance, Confederate Rose took 2nd place in the historical category of the 2010 New England Reader’s Choice Bean Pot Contest!
I’m so proud that the judges liked my story of an Irish immigrant turned woman soldier. My heroine Katie Rose O’Reilly represents all the women soldiers who fought for both sides, disguised as men, in the American Civil War.
Here’s an excerpt from the book:
 
“I’m hating to have to say it, since I’d accused you of being a thief, but I stole something from you.” She looked away.
 
“What could you…?” He racked his mind trying to figure out what she could have taken.
 
“I went through yer pack.”
 
“In Patrick’s tent?”
 
“No, weeks ago back at the cabin. I went through it to try to learn more about you when you were in the stable. I found a letter and took it but didn’t have time to read it until now.”
 
Alex swallowed.
 
“It was a Federal dispatch. Yer a Yankee.”
His chest tightened. No wonder he’d been unable to find the dispatch. She’d had it all along. “What do you intend to do?” He hoped she wouldn’t discover his real motive. He could never harm her.

“You lied to me the whole time,” she said, disbelief marring her delicate features.

He exhaled the breath he’d held. “I had no choice.”

“If I’d known you to be a Yankee, I’d have shot you the first chance I got.” Her eyes glittered in the light of the fire. “You touched me…pretended to care fer me. And all the while, you lied to me.”

The raw hurt on her face broke his heart. He’d deceived her. He couldn’t deny it. “What do you intend to do?” he asked again.

She shook her head slowly. “I’m sorry, Alex, but ’tis me
duty to turn you in.”

I love writing stories of Victorian heroines who represent the women who lived during this innovative era. After the Civil War, technological and social advances that began as a result of necessary innovations during the war such as, better weaponry, better transportation and communication methods, advances in photography… as well as changes in the status of women, who left their homes to serve as nurses, fight as soldiers and run charitable functions to aid the soldiers and the war.

My newest work in progress takes place five years after the war. My heroine, who’d served as a nurse during the war, is now in the fight of her life to earn respect as a female physician. Though women practiced medicine in that time period, it was rare, although not impossible, for a woman to attend medical school.

To purchase Confederate Rose http://www.thewildrosepress.com/confederate-rose-p-3672.html?zenid=cadea4753a53747655c8ad1995a226cd

Or visit my website to learn more about all my other books and stories at http://susanmacatee.com

Civil War romance a finalist!

My Civil War romance, Confederate Rose, has been chosen as one of the finalists in the 2010 New England Reader’s Choice Bean Pot Award. http://necrwa.org/index.html
Winners in each category will be announced on March 26th. But mainly, I’m so grateful that readers seem to like my woman soldier story. I’m also grateful to my editor, Allison Byers, and my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, for taking a chance on unusual historicals. And I firmly believe, it’s the historical romances that take a different track with historical facts that will bring readers back to the genre.
Blurb:

Disguised as a man to serve with her husband as a soldier in the Confederate Army, Irish immigrant, Katie Rose O’Reilly vows to remain in the ranks and seek revenge on Yankees after her husband is killed at Sharpsburg. When she falls and almost drowns in a swollen stream, Southerner Alexander Hart, a Yankee spy, saves Katie from drowing, then nurses her through a resulting fever, keeping his identity secret from the feisty and beautiful Rebel soldier even as he finds himself falling in love with her. Can Katie reconcile her loyalties with her love?

Excerpt:

Her pale cheeks turned a becoming shade of pink. She lifted one white, bare arm from the quilt to gesture at the clothing drying by the fire. “Now didn’t you tell me to hang yer things out to dry?”

Alex grimaced. He had told her to do that. But he hadn’t expected her to go through his pack. “So I did,” he admitted.

She slipped her arm back into the quilt and lifted her chin. “‘Tis an apology I should be expecting, Mr. Hart.”

“Apology? You were going through my things.”

“Because you ordered me to see to yer wet clothes.”

Alex didn’t think he’d win this argument. “Very well, ma’am. I apologize if I’ve offended your fine sensibilities in any way.”

She straightened and hugged the quilt, eyeing him regally. “I accept yer apology, Mr. Hart.”

“Well then.” He hesitated and dropped his gaze. Her wide eyes drove his thoughts to ideas best left alone. That and the knowledge of what little she wore under the quilt. He cleared his throat. “I suggest we bed down for the night.”

“Not until you get yerself out of those wet clothes.”

His brows shot up. “I beg your pardon?”

“Ye’ll surely not be sleeping in those wet things. ‘Tis by the fire ye’ll be needing to hang them.”

His gaze settled on the clothes draped over the two chairs. Steam rose from them. “But those clothes aren’t dry yet.”

“Ye’ll not be needing clothes to sleep.” She grinned mischievously. “We’ve plenty of blankets.”

To purchase Confederate Rose http://www.thewildrosepress.com/confederate-rose-p-3672.html?zenid=18d37bc1ce1ca0d28cc4fa788824ffb3

Read opening chapters at http://susanmacatee.com/confederateroseone.html

Release Day for Confederate Rose!!

ConfederateRose_w3122_300My latest Civil War romance, Confederate Rose, officially released today at The Wild Rose Press.

Disguised as a man to serve with her husband as a soldier in the Confederate Army, Irish immigrant, Katie Rose O’Reilly, vows to remain in the ranks and seek revenge on Yankees after her husband is killed at Sharpsburg. As she’s transporting mail from Richmond back to camp, a stranger startles her, causing her to fall and almost drown in a swollen stream.

Southerner Alexander Hart, a Yankee spy, saves Katie from drowning, then nurses her through a resulting fever. He must keep his identity secret from the beautiful Rebel soldier even as he finds himself falling in love with her.

Katie falls in love with the caring gentlemen stranger, only to later discover he’s the enemy. Heartbroken, she turns him in to the Confederates, but then questions her goals and beliefs. Is it possible to put aside her quest for revenge to save the man she loves?

Excerpt:
“What? Are you telling me you were kissing him?” His blood heated at the thought of her moving on to another man.

“I was tryin’ to escape.”

“By kissing him?”

“Aye.” Anger flashed in her eyes. “And it was working until you came along and hit the poor lad.”

He grasped her forearm and pulled her from the guardhouse. They couldn’t stay here debating. “Come on, we’ve got to get out of camp. I fear I’ve compromised my cover.”

“But what about Nate?” she protested. “You may have killed him.”

Sighing, Alex knelt and felt for a pulse. The lad’s breathing was regular, his pulse steady. “Reckon he’ll be out for awhile, but aside from a nasty headache and some bruising, he should be all right.” He rose and glanced into the guardhouse. “They’ll reckon you clobbered him when he came for your dinner plate.” He caught her worried gaze. “Now, let’s skedaddle.”

She nodded, but eyed him again. “Why are you dressed as a priest?”

“It’s a disguise. I’m ministering to the Rebel soldiers.” His eyes roved to the white vee of her bosom. “Button your shirt before we go. We don’t want to attract any more attention.”

Read the opening chapters at my website:  www.susanmacatee.com/confederateroseone.html

And if you leave a comment to this post today, you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a pdf download of Confederate Rose. Winner will be announced here tomorrow.

Women Warriors

ConfederateRose_w3122_300

Although women have participated in wars throughout history, women soldiers during the American Civil War were unheard of. After all, the 1860s was the height of the Victorian era, where women—at least high and middle class ones—were thought to be delicate creatures, who needed to be taken care of and protected by their men. The idea of a woman charging into battle, firing on the enemy or worse, yet, being wounded or killed was unimaginable.
Even women who nursed wounded soldiers were often frowned upon by polite society. But in the book, All the Daring of the Soldier, by Elizabeth D. Leonard, or An Uncommon Soldier, by Lauren Cook Burgess, these real life women warriors have finally been exposed for the true heroines they were.

Women weren’t allowed to join either army during the American Civil War, but according to Leonard, many young women were driven not only by “Patriotism and the love of a good man…”  but also by “…their quest for adventure and their hope for a different sort of paying job than was typically available to them.”

My upcoming release from The Wild Rose Press, Confederate Rose, is the story of a fictional woman, an Irish immigrant, who went on such a quest. But although Katie O’Reilly is a figment of my imagination, she’s based on the stories I’ve read of the real heroines who fought this war and were up until now, mostly forgotten.

And if you visit my website, you’ll have a chance to win a copy of the September 25th release.

Blurb: Disguised as a man to serve with her husband as a soldier in the Confederate Army, Irish immigrant Katie Rose O’Reilly vows to remain in the ranks and seek revenge on Yankees after her husband is killed at Sharpsburg. When she falls and almost drowns in a swollen stream, Southerner Alexander Hart, a Yankee spy, saves Katie from drowning then nurses her through a resulting fever, keeping his identity secret from the feisty and beautiful Rebel soldier even as he finds himself falling in love with her. Can Katie reconcile her loyalties with her love?

Excerpt:

“What? Are you telling me you were kissing him?” His blood heated at the thought of her moving on to another man.

“I was tryin’ to escape.”

“By kissing him?”

“Aye.” Anger flashed in her eyes. “And it was working until you came along and hit the poor lad.”

He grasped her forearm and pulled her from the guardhouse. They couldn’t stay here debating. “Come on, we’ve got to get out of camp. I fear I’ve compromised my cover.”

“But what about Nate?” she protested. “You may have killed him.”

Sighing, Alex knelt and felt for a pulse. The lad’s breathing was regular, his pulse steady. “Reckon he’ll be out for awhile, but aside from a nasty headache and some bruising, should be all right.” He rose and glanced into the guardhouse. “They’ll reckon you clobbered him when he came for your dinner plate.” He caught her worried gaze. “Now, let’s skedaddle.”

She nodded, but eyed him again. “Why are you dressed as a priest?”

“It’s a disguise. I’m ministering to the Rebel soldiers.” His eyes roved to the white vee of her bosom. “Button your shirt before we go. We don’t want to attract any more attention.”

I felt compelled to write this romance/adventure story after reading the true accounts of those daring heroines of the past.

If you’d like to read these true life, inspiring stories as well, they’re contained in the books
All the Daring of the Soldier: Women of the Civil War Armies by Elizabeth D. Leonard and An Uncommon Soldier by Lauren Cook Burgess, the Civil War letters of Sarah Rosetta Wakeman.

 

 

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