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My Romance Debut

ErinsRebel_w1957_300Seems it’s my turn to blog here again and I’ve already done my history blog for this month, so I thought I’d talk about my soon-to-be-released Civil War time travel romance, Erin’s Rebel. It seems I’ve waited forever to see, first of all, if I could find a publisher for this book, and once it was finally contracted, it seemed an eternity before I would finally see it in print. While not out yet, Erin’s Rebel will be released July 17, 2009. A date etched not only on my wall calendar, but into my memory.
My journey started many years before. I’d penned a young adult Civil War novel that I’d titled Under the Guns. While sending that manuscript from publisher to publisher, I decided to start work on a new book. I’d been researching the adult romance market and decided that’s what I wanted to write. And I had this great idea for a Civil War time travel. I’d read a CW TT around that time and figured there must be a market, so I started making notes. Those notes developed into a vague outline, mostly a beginning and ending with a muddling idea of what would happen in the middle.

Once developed, I wrote the first draft, did some revising and started entering it in contests for writers unpublished in romance. And it actually placed and came in second or third in a couple. But from the critiques I was receiving, I still had a lot of problems to fix. I had started sending partials out to publishers, but decided I had to go back and fix what was wrong if I wanted to have a chance to sell it.

Shortly after a complete overhaul—that included going back to plot level and throwing out a lot of scenes and chapters and rewriting—I sent a partial to The Wild Rose Press, got a request for the full and shortly after, got the contract.

But that was only the beginning. The manuscript had to go through a series of edits, then finally a proofreading. By this time, I was tired of reading this story and was more interested in the new stories I had in development, but as all writers do, I wanted my first romance book to be perfect.

So, now the work is done and the release date is growing closer. Are those butterflies flitting around in my stomach?

Since the blurb for Erin’s Rebel is already on my Scandalous Victorian page here on this blog, I thought I’d post an excerpt here to whet everyone’s appetite.

Erin’s Rebel Excerpt:

The sound of her name on his lips made her skin tingle. She tore the paper off the package. At the sight of the brooch, her breath caught.

“Do you like it?” he asked anxiously. “I had it made just for you.”

Eyeing him, she had a hard time finding her voice. This was Erin O’Connell’s brooch, the very one that had sent her back in time. It shone in her hands, new and unworn from time and wear.

What did this mean? She must be following Erin O’Connell’s footsteps. As far as she knew her being here hadn’t changed anything. Will was still destined to die this year.

“I didn’t mean to upset you, Erin. If you don’t want the brooch—”

“No.” She clasped the pin against her chest as the meaning of his gift sank in. “It just means so much to me.”

His look of concern softened into a lopsided grin. “I’m happy you feel that way.”

“Thank you, Will.” She slipped the brooch into the pocket of her wrapper, then stood on her toes, lifting her arms to circle his neck. She kissed his cheek, inhaling his musky scent.

His mouth was on hers, hot and urgent. The softness of his mustache and chin beard tickled her lips. She opened to him, her tongue slipping inside to taste him thoroughly. He groaned, pressing the length of his body against her.

Erin’s Rebel, coming to The Wild Rose Press July 17, 2009.

To read the opening chapters, visit my website:



  1. Susan,
    Intriguing story. 🙂 You’re going to be one busy lady in July with two titles out that month. Way to go!


  2. Thanks, Jeanmarie!! I’ll likely have butterflies in my stomach for quite a while, but after waiting so long, it’ll be worth every minute!

  3. Beth Trissel says:

    This fabulous cover drew me right away. I’m looking forward to this terrific book.

  4. Thanks, Beth! And thanks for stopping by!!

  5. Best of luck to you on this story, Susan. I enjoyed reading your story during our critiquing. Great characterization set in a rough time in our history.

  6. Thanks, Paisley!The Scandalous Vic critique group was a big help in getting those opening chapters right.

  7. Hi Susan,
    Busy times ahead for you. I loved the cover of Erin’s Rebel, and your excerpt is intriguing. I’m an Australian but I have a great interest in the American Civil War, thanks to Gone with the Wind, I guess, one of my all time favourites films.


  8. Thanks, Margaret!! And Gone with the Wind inspired a whole generation of romance writers. It is a great film!

  9. Susan,

    I’m so looking forward to reading this when it comes out! I’ve been following its progress with you for so long, I’m eager to finally have a chance to sit down and read it all the way through.

    Great excerpt! Sounds like July will be a busy month for you.

  10. Thanks, Nicole! I can’t wait to hold the print copy in my hands! Well worth the wait, I think.

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