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Weekly Excerpt – from anthology Northern Roses and Southern Belles

My excerpt for this week is my story from the Civil War anthology, Northern Roses and Southern Belles. The anthology is a finalist in the 2011 EPIC awards for romance anthology. Winners will be announced next month.  

While this is a Civil War anthology, my story is somewhat unique in that the story begins in the present at a Civil War battle reenactment. The hero is a reenactor, while the heroine lived during the war and served some time as a battlefield nurse.

You’ll have to read the story to see how these two get together, but here’s an excerpt from my novella, Angel of My Dreams.
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.”


“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?”


“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.


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.

To learn more about the anthology, visit my website at

Northern Roses and Southern Belles, available from The Wild Rose Press



  1. Excellent excerpt, Susan! I love that story, it gave me chills!


  2. Thanks, Nicole! I’ve always loved the supernatural element in stories. The real-life Civil War ghost stories always give me chills.

  3. Great excerpt! This is definitely a must read.

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

  5. Hi Susan,
    Terrific excerpt, it sent chills up by spine, but a nice kind of chill, if you know what I mean.
    Looking forward to reading the rest of it.



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