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The New Woman

In my new time travel romance release, Thoroughly Modern Amanda, the heroine lives in a small town in Pennsylvania in 1881. She’s from a middle-class family, in her early twenties, unmarried and works as a reporter and writer for a magazine, although her ambition is to move to a big city, like Philadelphia, and work as a reporter for a city newspaper.

At the end of the nineteenth century, women’s lives were going through dramatic changes on different fronts. And this change was most visible for middle and upper class daughters.  Fifty-five percent of high school students and sixty percent of graduates, in the late nineteenth century, were women. All but three state universities, Virginia, Georgia and Louisiana, admitted women by 1900. And those admittances were on the same terms as that of men. By 1920, women made up a growing portion of college undergraduates, at a time when only a small number of Americans pursued college educations. Higher education signified women had goals beyond domestic occupations. White, native born women joined white foreign born and black women in the labor force despite the exploitative conditions which most labored under. And women increasingly sought employment in historically male professions. Female’s professionally reached their peak in the early twentieth century.

In the late nineteenth century, where my story is set, most women employed outside the home were clerical workers. These “new women” represented a “vanguard of social usefulness and personal autonomy” leading to independent womanhood. Women sought to extend their boundaries and raise the stakes through the woman’s movement.

These were the new feminists, described by Randolph Bourne, a progressive intellectual at Columbia University:

“They are all social workers, or magazine writers in a small way. They are decidedly emancipated and advanced, and so thoroughly healthy and zestful, or at least it seems so to my unsophisticated masculine sense. They shock you constantly…They have an amazing combination of wisdom and youthfulness, of humor and ability, and innocence and self-reliance, which absolutely belies everything you will read in the story-books or any other description of womankind. They are of course all self-supporting and independent, and they enjoy the adventure of life; the full, reliant, audacious way in which they go about makes you wonder if the new woman isn’t to be a very splendid sort of person.”

http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/dept/history/lavender/386/newwoman.html

This new feminism was a spirit of rebellion at the turn of the century. The woman’s movement became severed from Christianity and conventional respectability. The movement was seen as a “revolt against formalism” in American culture. Women refused to be defined under the definitions of character and nature attributed to females that had been handed down for generations. These women wished to “achieve self-determination through life, growth, and experience.” Charlotte Perkins Gilman described the “new woman” in this way: “Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal; chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”

Feminists sought to change society’s expectations regarding male dominance. In order to do this, they needed to create a community of women struggling against patriarchy. The suffrage and feminist movements overlapped as the organizations broadened to include working women, leftists and pacifists. And the suffrage campaign provided feminists with a platform.

But while the suffragists stressed the importance of women’s duties, including female nurturance, selfless service and moral uplift, feminists fought for a woman’s rights. Their struggle was against social, political and economic discrimination based on sex.

On this final day of my blog tour for Thoroughly Modern Amanda, be sure to leave a comment on this post to be entered to win a PDF copy of the ebook and a $10.00 gift certificate for The Wild Rose Press.

And be sure to stop by fellow Victorian, Isabel Roman’s blog http://www.authorisabelroman.blogspot.com/ for my interview and another chance to win a prize.

Anyone who left a comment on all my blog tour posts will also be included in the drawing for the grand prize, a $50.00 Amazon gift card. And if no one left a comment at every stop, I’ll pick the one who left the most comments and draw a winner if I have a tie. All winners will be announced here http://susanmacatee.wordpress.com tomorrow.

Blurb for Thoroughly Modern Amanda:

Believing anything is possible, magazine reporter Amanda Montgomery dreams about being a modern woman in a nineteenth century world, much like her exceptional step-mother.  But society expects well-off young ladies to focus on finding a suitable husband and raising a family.  And then Jack appears—with no past and unconventional ideas. Does he hold the key to another century as well as her heart, or is she destined to stay in her own time?

Construction worker Jack Lawton wants to preserve an old home that’s scheduled for demolition.  But when he sneaks inside for a final look, a loose beam falls on his head, and upon waking, he finds himself in the arms of a beautiful woman.  His only problem—he’s no longer in the twenty-first century.  Can he find his way back home? Does he really want to?

Excerpt:

“Mother, before I leave for work, I’d like to have a word with you in the parlor.”

Erin quirked a brow, but nodded. With the cook occupied at the sink, she gathered her skirts and followed Amanda from the room.

At the parlor door, Erin frowned. “Is there a problem, Amanda?”

She nodded and opened the door to the empty room. She had to find out the truth about Jack and was sure Erin knew more than she admitted.

Motioning her step-mother to take a seat on the settee, Amanda waited, tapping her foot.

Erin sighed, eyeing her. “So, tell me what’s wrong.”

“Where did Jack come from, Mother?” Amanda propped both hands on her hips.

Erin spread her hands. “How would I know? From his clothing and the place you found him, he must be a workman. But I don’t understand why no one else was in the house at the time. He surely wouldn’t have been working alone.” She shook her head. “And he doesn’t seem to remember anything except his name.”

Amanda bit her lip. “I don’t believe you, Mother. I heard you and Jack talking upstairs.”

Erin’s eyes widened, but she said nothing.

“He was saying something about the future. And he also uses those phrases peculiar only to you.”

“Amanda, I told you those were only stories I made up to entertain you when you were a child.”

“So I believed. But no longer. You have a connection with Jack.”

“I never met the man before. I swear.” Erin raised her hand.

The door creaked open, startling Amanda. Her father stood in the foyer.

“Something wrong, Will?” Erin asked.

Her father stepped into the room. “I was just upstairs with Jack. He needs attending to.”

“I’ll go.” Erin stood. “There are breakfast leavings in the kitchen if you’re hungry.”

He nodded. “I’ll get a quick bite, then I have to get to the bank.” He stepped forward and kissed Erin on the lips.

Her step-mother’s face flushed. “See you tonight.”

Her father pecked Amanda’s cheek, then stepped out, leaving the door ajar.

Amanda grasped Erin’s arm. “I’ll see to Jack, Mother.”

Erin’s brows rose. “Nonsense. You get yourself ready for work, I’ll take care of Jack.”

Amanda scowled. “But they can do without me for a half hour. You can get started on your new book.”

Erin opened her mouth, but hesitated. “I’ll have plenty of time to work after I take care of him.”

Amanda huffed and left the room. She’d catch her father before he left for the bank, but intended to see Jack and question him further.

Thoroughly Modern Amanda is available from The Wild Rose Press

And is now an Amazon Kindle book

And a Nook Book at Barnes and Noble

New paranormal romance release, Dreaming Josie

My new paranormal release, Dreaming Josie, is the story of a Civil War reenactor who sees the ghost of a Civil War nurse on the battlefield and begins to have vivid dreams of her and being a wounded Civil War soldier under her care.

This story was orgininally part of our EPIC finalist Civil War anthology, NORTHERN ROSES AND SOUTHERN BELLES. After getting my rights back I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with this story, but decided self-publishing would be a good fit. The original story was titled ‘Angel of My Dreams’ but I decided to make a change, calling this new version, Dreaming Josie.

If you’d like to sample it for free, it’s available all this month at Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/177360 

It’s also available at Amazon for only 99 cents http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008FZSPLS

When Civil War reenactor, Kyle Dalton, keeps seeing a beautiful woman on the battlefield tending to soldiers, he thinks she’s another reenactor. But when she disappears into thin air, he starts to believe he’s seen a ghost. Did he have a past life with this woman?

Excerpt:

Kyle paced his apartment. He had to be losing it. The woman—Josie, she’d said her name was—vanished into thin air. What the hell was going on?

Derek had told him he’d had too much to drink the night before, but Kyle knew that wasn’t true. Something strange had happened. Could his dream girl be a ghost?

He didn’t even want to entertain that thought.

After a shower, he took in a baseball game on cable, then decided to turn in. He still felt shaky after the encounter on the field. All the way home, he’d kept going over it in his mind. He must be going nuts.

He finally settled into bed and tried to clear his mind. Maybe a good night’s sleep would put the whole thing to rest. He doubted it, though.

An inviting scent of lavender and woman woke him from a deep sleep. Someone leaned over him. He opened his eyes and stared into Josie’s. He glanced around and found he was in a large canvas tent. Men lay all around him on cots.

“I”m here to wash you, Corporal.” Josie placed a pan of water on a small table beside him.

“It’s Kyle,” he said.

She smiled. “Here, let me help you with your trouser leg.” She pulled back the blanket covering him, and he stared down at his leg. His pants were torn at the seam, allowing access to his thigh. A gauze bandage wrapped around it.

“What the…?”

“I told you I’d stay to take care of you.” She lightly touched his cheek.

Her scent and feather-light touch caused an embarrassing reaction. He glanced down, wondering if she’d noticed, but she concentrated on his thigh.

She expertly cut away the bandage, and Kyle stared at his leg. Stitches covered a long, pinkish scar.

“What happened?”

Josie glanced at him and frowned. “Surely you remember being shot.”

“Shot!”

“In the cornfield.” She bit her lip.

“I – no! I wasn’t shot. I…”

“It’s all right. I’ll take care of you.” She lifted a towel from the basin and started cleaning the wound. “We have to keep it clean to prevent infection.”

“This doesn’t make sense. I was never shot.”

She studied him. “Perhaps I should call the doctor.”

She rose, but he quickly grasped her hand. He didn’t close on air this time, but soft, warm skin.

“Please stay,” he said. “We need to talk.”

“All right. I’ll put a fresh bandage on your wound.”

He nodded. Anything to keep her with him. He watched as she wrapped the bandage around his raised thigh, then tied it off.

“You’ll be good as new before too long, so Doc says.” Josie rose and took the pan.

Kyle feared she was leaving again. His hand shot out to stop her.

“Please, don’t go.”

She frowned but placed the pan back on the table. “What may I do for you, Corporal?”

“Kyle.”

“All right, Kyle.”

“I need to know…”

When he hesitated, she leaned down.

“What your lips taste like.” He grasped the back of her head and pulled her down.

“Corporal, what are you…?”

He took her mouth, silencing her question. Her lips held tightly firm for a moment, then yielded to him. His tongue slid inside to taste her thoroughly. Sweet, soft and amazing. When he released her, he read the unleashed passion in her half-closed eyes.

She blushed a deep red, glancing around the tent. “Corporal …Kyle…you mustn’t take such liberties. What will the others think?”

He looked around and shrugged. “No one’s paying us any attention.”

She lifted the pan. “I have to go.”

Before he could stop her, she hurried past him moving to the front of the tent.

“Josie.”

Something blared beside his cot. He turned his head and woke in his own bed to the blast of rock music from his alarm clock.

He shut it off and sat up. What a vivid dream! The ones he’d had before had been fragmented and fuzzy. He’d barely remembered them afterward. But that kiss. He touched his lips, swearing he could still feel her softness, smell her lavender scent.

He had truly lost it.

THE VICTORIAN KITCHEN IN THE AMERICAN OLD WEST

By Guest Author Linda LaRoque

When writing MY HEART WILL FIND YOURS, I learned a lot about nineteenth-century kitchens.

Very few homes had an ice box, the kind where a block of ice was delivered to sit in an insulated reservoir in the top of the wooden structure. They were invented for home use in the 1840s, but it wasn’t until the 1870s that the U.S. had ice plants that produced artificial ice. In the model seen here, the block would go in the unopened door to the left. As the ice melted the cold water flowed down the sides and kept the contents inside cool. Note the pan on the floor. Of course, in hot weather, the ice didn’t last more than a couple of days. Owners had a sign with 25 lbs, 50 lbs, 75 lbs, and 100 lbs on each side. You’d prop the side up with the amount you needed out front so when the iceman came by he’d know what size block to bring in for you. This picture can be found in an online article titled Early Days of Refrigeration at www.lclark.edu/

I found an advertisement for a model almost identical to this one. No date was given but the price was $16.98.

My mother-in-law said that even in the early thirties they kept their perishables in a spring house, a small shed built over a spring. Food was covered with dish towels or cheese cloth to keep out flies and other pests, and the flowing water kept the room cool. Some homes had a larder which was a room on the coolest side of the house or in the cellar. None of these solutions would make modern homemakers happy, but folks back then didn’t know any difference and the system worked for them.


No kitchen was complete without a cupboard or Hoosier. Here kitchen utensils were stored. Many had a flour bin (see above right in cabinet), a built-in sifter, a granite or tin top for rolling pie crusts and biscuit dough, and drawers for storage. Note the meat grinder attached to the left and the butter churn on the floor to the right with a wash board behind. Hopefully the homemaker had a sink with a hand pump with room to the side to stack clean dishes to dry. A shelf below would hold pails and a dish pan.

This picture was taken at the East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore, Texas, and dates somewhere around the 1920s or 1930s. The design in these cupboards didn’t change much over time so earlier models looked much like this one. Today cupboards or Hoosiers have become popular decorative additions to modern kitchens, as have old ice boxes. I’d love to have one but my kitchen is too small.
Last, but not least, in importance to the homemaker was the wood cook stove. Before the cast iron kitchen stove was invented, women cooked over hearths with ovens built into the wall, if they were well-off, or outside in a fire pit. Both methods were hard on the back due to bending over to stir food in pots suspended from iron hooks. Cast iron pot bellied stoves, used mainly for heat, could be used for some cooking, but lucky was the woman who had a genuine kitchen cook stove like the one pictured here.

This is a restored model pictured at http://www.bryantstove.com/ Many models such as this one had a copper lined reservoir on the side to keep water warm for beverages, dishwater, or bathing. In my reading I noticed some even had a kick plate to open the oven door when hands were full. Some of these models were designed to use either wood or coal oil. Restored wood stoves are popular and being added to homes of individuals who like antiques and love to cook. They aren’t for the person who wants to pop something in the oven and go about their business as the product must be watched carefully to make sure oven temperature is maintained. Also, they’re quite expensive, between two and three thousand dollars.

Managing a house hold during this era wasn’t for the weak. Just lifting those iron cooking vessels took a strength many modern women don’t possess. But, I guess carrying buckets of milk from the barn, doing the wash in the yard using a scrub board, and their other daily chores built muscles.

My time travel heroines face multiple challenges when learning to live and take care of a home in the nineteenth century. Though it’s never easy, their love for their hero gives them the perseverance to adjust to a past way of life. A LAW OF HER OWN, A MARSHALL OF HER OWN and A LOVE OF HIS OWN released from The Wild Rose Press are all set in the nineteenth century town of Prairie, Texas. In this last story, the individual to travel back in time is the hero and though he doesn’t have to adjust to cooking in a Victorian kitchen, he does have to adjust to many other aspects of life in the past.
Thanks for reading,
Linda
Linda LaRoque
Writing Romance with a Twist in Time
A Marshal of Her Own, Feb. 2012 Book of the Month at Long and Short Reviews
www.lindalaroque.com
http://www.lindalaroqueauthor.blogspot.com
http://www.authorsbymoonlight.com
http://thewritersvineyard.com/


A LOVE OF HIS OWN BLURB…
Bull Dawson, New York lawyer, mourns the loss of his daughter, who disappeared from a cabin in Fredericksburg, Texas four years ago. A history book found in his office safe leads him to believe she traveled back in time to 1888 Prairie, Texas. He’s determined that if she can time travel, he can too. Life will be different, probably hard, but practicing law can’t be so difficult back in the Old West.
Widow Dipsey Thackson scratches out a living for herself and her young son on their farm. Shunned by the locals, she keeps to herself. When a man appears in her wheat field one day, life changes for the better. Then her brother-in-law arrives, claiming the farm is his and threatening Dipsey and her son. She fears for both their means of survival and their safety.
Her dilemma will take more than a knowledge of the law, but Bull vows to do his best to protect her and her boy.
Here’s the excerpt for A LOVE OF HIS OWN:
“Whoa, boys.” Dipsey pulled the wagon to a stop and set the break. She hopped down, her leather boots hitting the road with a thud. Sam, the lead mule had been favoring his right front leg the past few minutes. She’d better take a look before he went lame.
“Let me see, Sam.” She lifted the mule’s big hoof and held it between her knees. “Ah, a rock. No wonder. Hurts, doesn’t it?” With a small twig, she flipped the stone out. “Now, that’ll feel better.” She let his foot drop and patted his neck. Joe snorted and butted her shoulder, so she turned and gave him a pat too. The brothers were jealous, afraid one would get more attention than the other. They were the same when it came to feeding time. She had to separate them lest they try to horn in on the other’s grub.
Dipsey walked back to the wagon and placed a foot onto the spoke of the front wheel to climb into the wagon. A snorting sound from behind her made her pause. Grabbing her rifle from under the seat, she whirled and peered into the field of winter wheat gently waving in the cool morning air. Sunlight glanced off the stalks giving the field a slight iridescence, but no movement caught her attention.
The noise stopped, then resumed with a loud bleating resonance. If she didn’t know better, she’d think Thomas was asleep in the wheat field, but she’d buried her husband two years past. Who trespassed on her land?
Rifle cocked, she stepped in the direction of the snoring. Thomas always said she could sneak up on Satan himself. She hoped her skill served her well today.
Lying on her precious wheat, breaking the stalks flat and making it useless, was a big, burly man. Wrapped in someone’s finely stitched quilt, he had a brown felt hat over his eyes. One arm lay across his chest, the other cradled a new-fangled model Winchester, so new the shine hadn’t yet worn off.
She snatched the rifle from his arm. The dang fool didn’t open his eyes. Dipsey thumped him on the shoulder with the butt of his weapon. He farted and rolled to his side exposing a muscled butt and legs encased in denims. She stumbled back a few steps. Disgusting man!

Linda LaRoque was born and reared in Texas and she and her husband call Central Texas home. She credits her sixth grade teachr for hooking her on the written word.
From then on, books were her best friends, and like many young people in school, she had one open when she should have been working on an assignment. Ironic, then, that she became a public school teacher. In summer months, she read.

In 1990, after reading a number of romances, she said to her husband, “I can write a book. It doesn’t look that difficult.” After several stressful months of struggle, she admitted. “It’s much harder than I anticipated.” Fortunately for readers, she persevered, and after joining numerous writing organizations, critique groups, and attending many writing conferences, finally finished her first book.

WHEN THE OCTOTILLO BLOOM was released in February 2007. Since then, she has been prolific. Check her website for the complete list of her books.

Thanks to Linda for sharing the fruit of her research today.

Weekly Excerpts – Erin’s Rebel

Every Saturday the Scandalous Victorians will be posting excerpts from their books and stories, starting today with my Civil War time travel romance, Erin’s Rebel. So, be sure to check back on Saturdays to get a peek at all our work.

Here’s an excerpt from Erin’s Rebel.

As he moved closer, her knees turned to jelly. Strong, hard-muscled arms embraced her, offering support. Her head spun. She lifted a hand to stop the motion and encountered wool, a double row of metal buttons and a rock-hard chest. The enticing aroma of sandalwood mixed with a musky, masculine scent, plus a tinge of wood smoke invaded her senses. Had she hit her head harder than she’d thought?
     
She gazed at his lightly tanned face. Firm lips tilted upward slightly at the corners surrounded by a thin chocolate-colored mustache curving into a neatly-trimmed beard covering only his chin. Thick, dark hair brushed his collar and curled from beneath a broad-brimmed black hat. Her pulse raced as she leaned against his long, solid frame. Night after night in her dreams she’d run her hands through those curls.
     
“How can you be here?” she murmured.  
     
“Pardon me, ma’am?”
     
“I don’t understand.” She tried to wrench from his grasp, but he gathered her close, lifting her into his arms. “What are you doing?”

“Taking you back where you belong.”  He carried her to the tent entrance where Doc peered out.
     
“Will, what the devil is going on?”
     
“I assume you didn’t give Mrs. O’Connell permission to leave.”

“I did not.” He scowled. “I told you to rest.”
     
The dark-haired man carried her inside and laid her on the cot. She propped herself on an elbow to get a better view of the man Doc called Will. Broad shoulders tapered into a narrow waist accentuated by the cut of his gray frock coat trimmed in gold braid.
     
“Who the hell are you?” she asked.

“Pardon me, ma’am?”
     
His gaze chilled her blood. He looked exactly like the man in the antique photo she’d found between the pages of her grandmother’s Bible. If he were the man in the photo, where was she? Maybe the crash had killed her, and she was now in the afterlife. And like the man who called himself Doc, this man had also called her Mrs. O’Connell. Grandma Rose’s great-aunt. Something wasn’t right.
     
Unable to voice her fears, she stared open-mouthed at the man.
     
“Will,” Doc said. “I think Mrs. O’Connell’s having trouble with her memory.”
     
“Her memory?”
     
“The fall from the horse,” Doc explained, “seems to have affected her memory — even her speech. Her nose was bleeding a bit, and she has a fair-sized lump on the back of her head.”
     
Will frowned.
     
Erin’s mind reeled. This couldn’t be the same man she’d researched.
     
The men looked at her, waiting for a response.
     
“How many times do I have to tell you?” she said. “I was never on a horse.” She squeezed her eyes shut as the pain increased, then blinked furiously so she could focus.
     
Doc glanced at Will as if to confirm his diagnosis, then pressed a cool, damp towel against her forehead. 
     
“Ma’am.” Will removed his hat. “I would advise you to stay put until Doc says you can go back to your tent.”
     
“I don’t have a tent,” she grated between clenched teeth.
     
The men exchanged glances.
     
“It’s worse than I thought,” Doc said.
     
“You say the fall affected her speech?” Will scowled. 
     
“There’s no other way to explain it.”
     
“What’s wrong with the way I talk?” she asked.
     
“You’ve lost your lilting brogue, for one thing,” Will said, “unless that was an act.”
     
She stretched out on the cot, as her stomach lurched again. “Look. All I want to do is go home.”
     
“This is your home,” Will said, “since you signed on as camp laundress two weeks ago. Or have you forgotten that, too?”
     
“No, you don’t understand —” 
     
“Are you having second thoughts, Mrs. O’Connell?”
     
“I told you, I’m not—” She froze in mid-sentence. They would never believe she wasn’t Erin O’Connell.
     
Despite the pain slicing through her head, she slowly sat up. “I need a mirror.”
     
Doc glanced at Will.
     
“A mirror!” she repeated. Her heart hammered in overdrive, and her head felt ready to explode. Doc rummaged among the contents on the table, producing a small, wood-framed hand mirror.
     
Blinking back the blinding pain, she stared at her reflection. Her own eyes stared back, wide and bright blue. The face was hers, yet it wasn’t. The cheeks were a bit rounder. Her skin was pale. No make-up. Red-gold hair tumbled over her shoulders.
     
Touching her neck, she noted the maroon-checked dress she wore was topped with a starched, white collar stained with blood. She fingered a small, ivory-stoned brooch at her throat.
     
In the photo, her Civil War relative had worn her hair parted in the center and pulled back off her face, but otherwise, she was looking at a live portrait of her great-great-great-aunt. Erin O’Connell – Federal spy.

For more info about Erin’s Rebel, visit my website, http://susanmacatee.com

Available in e-book and print at The Wild Rose Press http://thewildrosepress.com/erins-rebel-p-3554.html

Time travel romance and reenacting

When I started reading romance years ago, one of my favorite genres was time travel. The idea of a modern day heroine or hero going back in time to meet someone of a different era, really appealed to me.
And, in a way, by reenacting the Civil War, I do a bit of time travel on those weekends when I don hoops, my corset and bonnet and play at living in the 1860s.

In my Civil War time travel, Erin’s Rebel, I drew on my own experiences while reenacting to get a feel for what my heroine would experience when she’s sent back in time to find herself trapped in a Confederate army camp. I used first hand knowledge of dress, camp conditions, right down to bathroom facilities to transport readers, right along with my modern day heroine, to the grueling day to day life in a Civil War camp.

 

 

I also was able to pick my husband’s brain, since he does military reenacting. And watching the battle scenarios, also gave me visual fodder for my military scenes.

In the opening of Erin’s Rebel, when my heroine wakes after a car accident, she actually thinks she’s been taken to a reenactment camp instead of a hospital at first. Here’s a short scene where she’s asking the camp surgeon if he has a cell phone.

But another thought sent a chill down her spine. What had happened to her car? It could still be back on the road, or already been towed. The vehicle would be traced to her, and her mother would be notified as next of kin. Her mom would be frantic when the police can’t locate her.
Her cell phone must still be in the car, along with the rest of her belongings. But where were her clothes?

“Listen, Mr.—ah—Doc,” she said. “I need to make a phone call. My mother will be worried sick. I guess I should call the local police too.”

His brow furrowed. “I thought you said your mother lived in Ireland. And what in tarnation is a phone call?”

She sighed in exasperation. “Don’t you have a cell phone?”

A blank expression took over his face.

“I’ve heard you re-enactors can be strict, but there must be a pay phone somewhere around here.”

He shook his head. “You should rest, ma’am. I’ll mix up a headache powder for you. You’ll feel a mite better once you get some sleep.”

It’s only after she sees the hero for the first time that she starts to realize she’s not in Kansas anymore.

Despite the headaches of getting a time travel right, I had a lot of fun writing this story. And reviewers find the story very realistic.

Here’s a short quote from my latest review at TwoLips Reviews:

“Ms. Macatee sent me on quite an adventure in her story from the moment the heroine ran off the road. Erin’s Rebel is rich in history and mystery. Every time I thought I had the book figured out, Ms. Macatee came up with a new twist and another piece of the puzzle. I was delighted to find a time travel with a real reason for going back in time. Anyone who loves history, time travel and stories with unexpected twists will definitely enjoy this awesome book.”

Read full review here: http://www.twolipsreviews.com/content/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4613&Itemid=36

To read the opening chapters of Erin’s Rebel, visit my website at www.susanmacatee.com/erinsrebel.html

I also have links to my reviews on my website at www.susanmacatee.com/mybooks.html

And if you leave a comment on this post, you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a pdf copy of Erin’s Rebel.

 

Erin’s Rebel is a Reviewers Top Pick at Night Owl Romance!!

ErinsRebel_w1957_300Night Owl Romance reviewer Melinda says, “Susan Macatee did a great job in showing the full details about the Civil War and lovers reuniting. This is definitely a book worth reading for it brings the war into real focus. Betrayal and a romance that spans all time are brought to life.”
 
 
 
 
Philadelphia newspaper reporter, Erin Branigan, is engaged to marry an up-and-coming lawyer, but dreams of a man from the  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?

Excerpt:
     
“Ma’am,” someone called, startling her. “I’m mighty pleased to see you’re up.”

She turned in the direction of the deep voice. Am I dreaming? She licked her dry lips as she stared into the dark eyes that had haunted her dreams.“Ma’am?  You look a might peaked.”

As he moved closer, her knees turned to jelly. Strong, hard-muscled arms embraced her, offering support. Her head spun. She lifted a hand to stop the motion and encountered wool, a double row of metal buttons and a rock-hard chest. The enticing aroma of sandalwood mixed with a musky, masculine scent, plus a tinge of wood smoke invaded her senses. Had she hit her head harder than she’d thought?

She gazed at his lightly tanned face. Firm lips tilted upward slightly at the corners surrounded by a thin chocolate-colored mustache curving into a neatly-trimmed beard covering only his chin. Thick, dark hair brushed his collar and curled from beneath a broad-brimmed black hat. Her pulse raced as she leaned against his long, solid frame. Night after night in her dreams she’d run her hands through those curls.

“How can you be here?” she murmured.  

“Pardon me, ma’am?”

“I don’t understand.” She tried to wrench from his grasp, but he gathered her close, lifting her into his arms. “What are you doing?”

“Taking you back where you belong?” He carried her back to the tent entrance where Doc peered out.

Erin’s Rebel available at The Wild Rose Press

Read opening chapters here www.susanmacatee.com/erinsrebel.html

 

 

 
 

 

Birthday Blog

The hubby and me in our Civil War finery.

The hubby and me in our Civil War finery.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s my turn to blog again on Slip Into Something Victorian and it just happens to be my birthday. I’m not saying which one.

Anyway, I thought I’d do a blog about how I came to write American Civil War romance. According to most publishers, Civil War romance isn’t a particularly popular genre. And I’ve heard readers comment that they don’t particularly like them because they always seem to be about a feisty Southern belle pitted against an arrogant Union officer. The problem is, since many publishers don’t seem to want them, there aren’t many new Civil War romances being written.

My fascination with the American Civil War started when my husband watched the Ken Burns series and decided the family should take a trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The town is steeped in Civil War history with battlefields, monuments, a museum, shops and other attractions all about the Civil War. And to top it off, we ran into more than a few re-enactors out for the weekend.

The next thing you know, my husband was seeking out local reenactment groups. Once he found one, the 28th Pennsylvania, based in Philadelphia, he was hooked. He dragged most of the family in, including me and our two younger sons.

Once I’d joined as a civilian, I found I had to learn how to dress, how to act and how to set up my camp. We sleep in canvas tents for the weekend and set up our tables under tarps set up in front of the tent, sort of like a porch roof.

So, since I was a fledgling writer by this time, I thought I’d use the wealth of information I had to learn as a re-enactor for my stories. At that time, I wasn’t yet writing romance. I was writing historical stories for children and young adults. The problem with that was, for a new writer, the market was tight, particularly for historicals. They were mostly looking for urban set or problem stories at that time.

Not to be discouraged, I set my focus on the romance market and joined Romance Writers of America. It was several years before my first romance novel, Erin’s Rebel, a time travel, was in shape to submit to a publisher. Being a re-enactor, I loved the idea of a modern-day woman going back in time to meet and fall in love with a Civil War officer. I was more than thrilled when I got an acceptance from The Wild Rose Press to publish my time travel.  My second CW novel, Confederate Rose, is about an Irish immigrant who becomes one of the female soldiers who hid their sex in order to fight. Confederate Rose will also be released by The Wild Rose Press in September 2009. Erin’s Rebel will be a July 2009 release. I’ve also written a short story, titled Angel of My Dreams, to be released in a TWRP romance anthology with some of my fellow Victorian bloggers. I am absolutely thrilled to have found a home for my Civil War romances and plan to pen many more.

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