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Weekly excerpt – The Christmas Ball


It’s Christmas in July!

Today I’m posting an excerpt from my Civil War novella, The Christmas Ball, part of the anthology, An American Rose Christmas.


Sara closed her eyes and breathed deeply. Doc Ellison’s kiss had scattered her senses. For months she’d dreamed of being in his arms. As he reached for the buttons on her shirt, her breath caught. His hands on her body thrilled her. She’d never felt like this before.

After loosening the buttons, he opened the shirt and gazed at her bosom.

She studied him, wondering what he was thinking. Did he like what he saw?

He dropped his hands and half-turned away.

“Please,” she gasped. “Don’t stop.”

Turning back, his gaze roved over her. She tried to read his expression. Was that desire she saw, or disgust?

“We should be going now,” he said. His gaze dropped to the hay strewn ground.

“No!” Boldly she reached out and fingered the buttons of his coat. He didn’t move as she slowly undid them and parted the material. Her fingers tingled as they brushed over his shirt, feeling hardened muscle beneath.

His breath hitched, but he gently pushed her away. “Miss Brewster, we mustn’t…”

“Doc!” A shout from outside, startled her. She jerked away from the doctor and scanned the barn opening.

“Yes,” Ellison called. He eyed her. “You’d best go.”

She nodded, hurriedly fastening her buttons. One of the other stewards approached. His dark eyes slid from her to the doctor. “They don’t need me in the hospital tent, and told me to come on over and give you a hand.”

Ellison glanced at Sara. “We’re about finished here. I was on my way back.”

“All right, Doc,” the soldier said. “I’ll head back with you.”

She swallowed, not sure she could find her voice. “Ah… I’m off duty, so I reckon I’ll head back to my tent.”

Ellison reached up and gave her shoulder a squeeze. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

She caught his gaze, trying to gauge his thoughts. Would he have allowed her to undress him if they hadn’t been interrupted?

An American Rose Christmas is available at Amazon,  
Barnes and Noble,    
and The Wild Rose Press   

For more of my books and stories, visit my website


  1. I loved this story–the whole book was wonderful, but this story was one of my favorites.

  2. Nancy says:

    Wow, Susan, the tension is obvious even in that little snippet. Well done!

  3. Jeff Rivera says:

    The sentences plays into your mind, as if you are inside the story. I do love books with this kind of quality. It sends secret shivers down my spine.

  4. Caroline Clemmons says:

    Susan, I agree with the other comments. You’re a terrific writer. Hope you are on the road to complete recovery!

  5. Thanks for the comments, everyone! Much appreciated. I’ve been a little out of commission as of late, due to a 90 pound boxer dog who rammed into me and knocked me over. Broke a piece of my tibia off and I had to have surgery to have a plate and two screws put in. But I’m finally on the mend and hopefully will be back to normal in a matter of months.

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