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NEW RELEASE – AN AMERICAN VICTORIAN ROMANCE

By Caroline Clemmons

Welcome, readers! Today, I’m so pleased to announce the release of my new American-set Victorian  romance, WINTER BRIDE. This western historical romance is a stand-alone part of the Stone Mountain, Texas series set in the Palo Pinto Mountains of North Central Texas.

Here’s the blurb for WINTER BRIDE:

Sweet western historical romance of 60,000 words by bestselling author Caroline Clemmons is a stand-alone novel of the Stone Mountain Texas series including murder, danger, and adventure.

When Kendra Murdoch’s brother in law murders her sister, she takes charge of her nephew and two nieces. Fearing the man plans the same fate for her, she seeks shelter in Radford Crossing where she operates a café to support her small family.

Determined to be self-sufficient, Kendra shuns all advances from the handsome sheriff as danger hangs heavily over her head. But can she safeguard her family alone?

Butch Parrish battled a snowstorm and a killer to rescue Kendra and the children. He’ll do whatever is necessary to protect the independent young woman who rekindles sensations he hoped were dead long ago. Protecting her, chasing a killer, dealing with the town gossips, and investigating a stagecoach robbery, Butch has a battle on his hands.

smallWINTERBRIDEcover

Here’s an excerpt from WINTER BRIDE involving hero, Sheriff Butch Parrish:

As he turned onto the faint trail he sought, he spotted fresh tracks in the snow. He pulled his rifle from the saddle scabbard and slowed his horse. Instead of heading along the trail, the tracks led around the boulders.

Scout’s ears twitched forward, the chestnut’s signal of trouble. Even more slowly, Butch eased forward. He dismounted and crept along the boulders. If he could climb up to the taller rocks, he could spot where the tracks led and if Tucker waited for him.

Quietly as his boots allowed, he climbed. As he gained height, he spotted a horse tied to brush twenty yards from where he stood. Tracks crisscrossed in the snow, but where was Tucker? The man had the advantage of knowing this area’s terrain better than Butch.

“Sheriff?” The yell came from below and behind him.

Butch crouched and turned. A streak of fire burned into his chest. The impact sent him tumbling from rock to rock until he hit the snow-covered ground. He landed on his back, stars lit the backs of his eyelids, and his breath whooshed from his lungs. His rifle lay just beyond his grasp.

WINTER BRIDE is a romance, but the storyline includes mystery, murder, and mayhem. I like stories where something happens. I hope you do, too.

Here’s the buy link for Amazon http://amzn.com/B00VC9C31W

To celebrate my new release, I’m giving away a free download to someone who comments on this post by April 5th. Thanks and happy reading!

New Release–Shadows of the Soul

DeniseEagan_ShadowsOfTheSoul_200pxWhat do you do when you discover your imaginary friend is real?

That’s the tag line of the book I just published after a long hiatus due to family difficulties.  I’ve got a heroine who has grown up in a town that has labeled her as “crazy”, and a hero who was psychologically tortured by the aunt who raised him, and is a Civil War veteran to boot. I’ve set it in Iowa 1871, which makes it neither a Western or typically Victorian. Honestly, I am the queen of choosing settings and topics most people shy away from. I couldn’t help it though, because in addition to the romantic plot of the story I wanted to see how a small farming town would react to a serial killer (although obviously not labeled as such in the book).The only way for me to do that, was to write it.

So here’s the blurb, and an excerpt following it:

 

Available 99 cents on kindle

She thought she’d imagined him

Beth Hartwell is a little bit crazy. Or so her hometown of Mayfield believes, due to her long-ago obsession with her imaginary friend. Although in 1871, at the age of twenty-two, Beth has long since forgotten him, the phrase sticks to her like prickles to wool. If she’s ever going to be normal, she must marry a nice, normal man, have nice, normal children and live a nice normal life. She’s one reluctant yes away from accepting the only man who’ll take her, when handsome, mysterious Luke Devlin comes to town. Upon touching him, visions of fire beset her, along with a deep, unexplainable familiarity. . .

But he was real

Calamity and suffering follow Luke everywhere he goes. An orphan from birth, Luke was raised in the shadow of a mad aunt who insisted that he was evil incarnate—Satan’s son. After years of seeking proof that she was wrong, he finally accepts her ravings as prophesy. To fulfill that prophesy, he must claim his “dark angel,” the little girl with whom he had a telepathic relationship as a boy.

Trapped between love and a prophecy

Unfortunately Beth, a midwife and sister to the town’s preacher, is hardly “dark.” In order for Luke to win her, he must use everything in his arsenal, including seduction, lies and trickery. In order for Beth to pull him out of the shadows, she must uncover the secrets behind his sad, dying eyes. As the battle lines are drawn, however, a murderer strikes in Mayfield and the town accuses Luke. . .

 

Excerpt:

PROLOGUE

So farewell hope, and with hope farewell fear,

Farewell remorse: all good to me is lost;

Evil, be thou my good.

John Milton, Paradise Lost

The fire rose like a monster from the depths of Hell, its only purpose to consume the building it enveloped. Its yellow head towered over the fragile wooden structure, orange hair jumping and leaping with a life of its own, scraping the underbelly of the star-studded heavens. Long, pointed fingers wrapped around the corners of the building and crawled through windows, and everything they touched turned black. The building hissed, crackled, cried, and its windows shattered under the heat. The people inside, unimportant to either building or fire, screamed for mercy.

A short distance from the building, Luke Devlin stood under a tree, the shade of new spring leaves concealing his expression. He made no attempt to assist the panicked rescuers, who threw buckets of water on the flames in a futile attempt to save the inn. Luke watched the burning stoically as words and memories passed through his mind, just across the border of conscious thought.

You killed her, you wicked, wicked boy. My sister’s dead because of you!

They’re all gonna die, son. That friend of yours is goin’ next.

It’s yellow fever. It’ll take more than half the souls that get it.

She’s a witch, a dark angel. How else could you talk to her in your mind?

You’re evil, destined to cause naught but misery and death for the good folk of the world. But you shall stay away from me. Do you understand me, boy? You stay away from me!

The last thought crept into consciousness, and Luke winced at the sound of a slamming door echoing in his head, an attic door locking him in darkness. And his soul, locked in the same.

God didn’t give you a soul.

Death and destruction shadowed him, followed him, preceded him—undesired at first, then expected, finally anticipated.

A roar filled the yard, and a piece of the roof caved in. Flames leapt through the opening; shrieks of pain clawed the air. As the fire burned, the remnants of the boy who had once chosen to stay in prison to save a friend instead of escaping burned with it. Luke could all but see his own image peering out of a cracked, soot-stained window—a shaggy, blond boy, the rough anger in his stare eclipsed by gut-wrenching fear. A spirit from years past when he’d still believed his aunt was wrong, before Andersonville and Galveston, before New York and Chicago and all the miles of misery between.

The window exploded; the spirit vanished.

It was time.

He’d accomplished the worst possible on his own. It was time to seek out the girl, his dark angel. In one swift move Luke mounted up and turned west.

He’d been born on All Hallows’ Eve five minutes before lightning started the fire that had killed his family. In his mind he envisioned the charred bodies and smelled burning flesh; the visions fed a hunger in the sucking pit in his chest where a soul ought to have been. He was evil and he was death, and up ahead, in Mayfield, Iowa, was the woman he’d waited half his life to claim.

 

 

NEW AMERICAN-SET VICTORIAN RELEASE

If you’re like me, you’re already eager for the days from Thanksgiving up to Christmas Eve. That’s my favorite time of year. I love the decorations, the songs, and the anticipation associated with choosing gifts for my family.

I confess to feeling letdown once the gifts are opened and the dinner eaten. The Christmas tree looks letdown, too, with no gifts underneath. I can’t explain why Hero and I leave our tree up until after Twelfth Night, but we always have. Probably this year will be no exception.

You can see why I love reading Christmas stories. In fact, I read them all year, but especially from October until Christmas. However, this is the first time I’ve written a Christmas story.

For this novella, I blame Darling Daughters 1 and 2. Each of them asked me to write a Christmas story. Guess the spirit is genetic, right?

Kim Killion did the perfect-for-the-novella cover. I chose the woman’s photo from Kim’s studio stock and she used the photo to create exactly what I had in mind. Don’t you love when that happens?

Here’s the blurb of STONE MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS:

Christmas has been Celia Dubois’s favorite time of year as long as she can remember. When she moves back with her parents a year after the death of her husband, the young widow is appalled at the town’s lack of Christmas spirit. Two months earlier, banditos had burned the church and crushed the townspeople. Celia vows to return holiday joy to the town. Perhaps doing so might help mend her aching heart. Will Celia’s plan work magic on the town?

Rancher Eduardo Montoya knows Celia is the woman for him. She enchants him with her winning smile and vivacious nature. When her father warns Eduardo away from Celia, Eduardo is both angry and frustrated. After he stops a robbery in the mercantile, will Celia’s parents change their minds about him? Can handsome Eduardo heal Celia’s sorrow?

CarolineClemmons_StoneMountainChristmas_frontPOD

Here’s an excerpt of STONE MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS:
Radford Crossing, Texas, November 1874

Eduardo Montoya focused on the beautiful redhead who swept the walk in front of Sturdivant’s Mercantile across the street. He turned to speak to his friend. “She is a vision, is she not?”

Micah Stone, his cousin’s husband, asked, “Have you met her or spoken to her?”

Eduardo’s gaze returned to Celia Dubois. He refused to let anyone shatter his dreams. “See how graceful she is even when performing a menial chore? When we are wed, she will not have to be concerned with such things.”

Sounding incredulous, Micah said, “I repeat, have you even met or spoken to her?”

Eduardo had no doubt his friend believed he had taken leave of his senses. He wasn’t so sure he hadn’t, but he placed a hand over his heart. “In good time, my friend. All in good time.”

Micah clapped him on the shoulder. “Come on, Romeo. We’ve finished our business with Joel. Hope’s expecting us for lunch. You can daydream about the pretty widow on our way home.”

“I suppose we must go.” He exhaled, reluctantly willing to leave town but unwilling to let anyone derail his plans.

Micah untied his horse from the hitching rail in front of his brother’s law office and mounted. “Have to say this is the first time I’ve known you to be shy about flirting with a woman.”

Determination steeled Eduardo’s resolve as he swung onto his gelding. “Never before has a woman been so important to me. You will see. One day, she will become my wife.”

The two rode toward Micah’s ranch.

From where she stood on the walk, Celia had known the men watched her. One was the youngest Stone brother. Identifying him was easy because the three Stone men looked so much alike.

But she hadn’t yet met the handsome man dressed as a Spanish Don. He fit the description she’d been privy to of Eduardo Montoya, one of the wealthiest men in this part of Texas. At least, that’s what she’d overheard while helping in her parents’ store.

He certainly cut a dashing figure in his black clothes trimmed with silver buttons. She wondered if he was entitled to dress like Spanish nobility or if he merely played a part. The silver on his saddle flashed in the sunlight and she questioned the safety of such a display.

One thing she’d noticed in her few days in town and working in her father’s mercantile, she heard tidbits of local gossip whether intentionally or not. She wondered what the gossips had to say about her. Probably best she didn’t know. Most people she’d met were friendly but there were a few prunes eager to criticize everyone.

Wasn’t that true everywhere? Yet she thought an unusual pall lay over Radford Crossing. The town definitely needed a large dose of cheer. As a matter of fact, she wouldn’t mind a measure of good spirits for herself. With a sigh, she went back inside the store.

You can purchase STONE MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS:
Amazon

http://amzn.com/B00OQUTDXA
Amazon UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00OQUTDXA
iTunes

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id932587647
Barnes and Noble Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stone-mountain-christmas-caroline-clemmons/1120622158?ean=2940046278842&itm=1&usri=2940046278842
Kobo

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/stone-mountain-christmas-1

 

Thanks for stopping by!

Early Amazon release of The Physician’s Irish Lady

My newest ebook, an American Victorian romance, is scheduled for release from The Wild Rose Press in late January 2014, but is now available early exclusively at Amazon.

I’m sharing the blurb today, plus an excerpt. Anyone who leaves a comment today will be eligible to win a PDF copy of The Physician’s Irish Lady. Winner to be announced in the comment section tomorrow. Be sure to leave a way for me to contact you.

Blurb: Keara Fagan is falsely accused of insurrection against the British and sentenced to indentured servitude in Australia. The Irish native escapes on a ship bound for America with no money and the clothes on her back. Now, she must stay on the run while trying to survive in a strange land.

As Dr. Elliot James travels by train from Philadelphia to York, a young woman faints at his feet. He’s sworn, as a physician, to aid the sick and injured, but fears this woman needs more than medical help. Enchanted by her beauty and touched by her dignity, he buys her a meal and offers her a place to stay in his small Pennsylvania town.

But a mysterious Irishman pursues her to the idyllic town surrounded by scenic farmland. Is he the abusive husband come to claim his runaway wife, or someone more sinister?

Excerpt:
Dr. Elliot James studied his notebook as passengers stepped off the train. He’d be relieved to disembark at York. His trip to the medical conference in Philadelphia had been a huge success. The new techniques would aid his small practice encompassing the town of Fairfield and the neighboring rural area.

A crash and commotion a few seats behind him, sent his head swiveling.

“I think she’s fainted,” a man said.

Elliot glanced back at a young woman sprawled in the aisle. Her bonnet had slipped from her head, revealing red-gold hair. The conductor patted her cheeks in an effort to revive her.

Elliot rose from his seat. “Allow me to take a look.”

The conductor gave way as Elliot sank to the floor. The woman’s eyes were closed, but her chest rose steadily with each breath. He grasped her wrist checking for a pulse. A long strand of hair had come loose from her bun. He pushed the silky strand away from her pale cheek.

“She’s not dead, is she?” The conductor’s shaggy brows drew down in concern.

“No, she likely just fainted. Help me get her into the seat beside me. I’ll see if I can revive her.”

Elliot and the conductor lifted her into the window seat. The physician turned and faced the remaining passengers. “Is anyone traveling with this woman?”

Five men and two women shook their heads.

“I think she boarded alone,” the conductor offered.

“Fine then.” Elliot turned toward the woman, where she lay against the back of the seat, before he dug in his bag. Pulling out smelling salts, he lifted one of the vials under her nose and held the back of her head.

She coughed. Her eyes flew open, then widened. “What…where am I?”

Elliot nodded at the conductor who hovered over the seat. “I’m sure she’ll be fine. I’ll take care of her for now.”

The conductor nodded, then strode ahead to assist new passengers to board.

“You’ll be fine, Miss. I’m a physician. It seems you fainted in the aisle.”

“Fainted?” she sputtered.

“Yes.” He glanced at the station. “Did you wish to disembark here?”

“‘Tis to York I be needing to go.” She leaned forward clutching her stomach.

Elliot studied her. “Are you ill?”

A loud growl rose from her gut. Her lips quivered into the semblance of a smile. “Just a wee bit hungry, ’tis all. I’ll be fine.’

Elliot frowned. “Tell me, when did you last eat?”

“I—ah, I can’t be sure.”

The Physician’s Irish Lady coming 1/22/14

Now available on Amazon KDP select http://www.amazon.com/The-Physicians-Irish-Lady-ebook/dp/B00FDXQ684/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380111260&sr=1-1&keywords=the+physician%27s+irish+lady

Visit my website for info on all my books: http://susanmacatee.com

New Release–The Wild Half

the wild half blog 2So my next book, The Wild Half is out, as an ebook both at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  It’s a Western, set in 1876 in Colorado.  This was the first historical that I completed, started as a teenager and finished when I was in my early 30’s.  I’ve finished it a lot more times since then–in my mid 30’s and late 30’s and early 40’s and. . .well you catch my drift.   I’ve rewritten, revised, polished, edited and basically practiced on it for years. It is also a book that defies many romance writing rules because when you’re a teenager, you don’t know there are romance writing rules.  By the time I learned them, it was too late–the characters and basic plot was set in my mind.

At any rate, it’s out.  Generally, announcing a book here on the Vic’s blog I would like to give you the piece of history that called me to a book, since history of the era is mostly what we’re about here.  For Wicked Woman it was a fascination with the Boston Brahmins.  With The Wild One, it was a continuation of that fascination, along with that of San Franciscan society and acting in the Victorian era.  I suppose The Wild Half was a fascination of cowboys in general, but because the book was such a launch point for my historical research, there is really no one thing to talk about.  Sure, there’s a lot of ranching history.  But there’s also research on cholera in the Victorian era and research on tuberculosis (which is only a few lines, but many hours of work).  There’s the research on laudanum, and research on Custer’s last stand and Colorado’s statehood.  There’s treasure in the Sangre De Cristo’s, lots and lots of slang, and quite a bit of psychology as well.  In the end, this book encompasses most of the posts I’ve made here at Slip Into Something Victorian over the years, some my fellow Vic’s have written, and some I’ve yet to write up.

So really, historically, it’s a mishmash.  What I did with this book was try to put the characters not in the Wild West so much as put them in the Victorian era.  It wasn’t on purpose; what I’ve learned over the years just bled into this book.  In the end though, I’m happier with that.  If there’s anything I would like to accomplish, it’s to write books that integrate the history of Victorian America, and maybe eventually the rest of the Victorian world.  Sure, The Wild Half is a Western, in that most of it takes place on a ranch, but these characters are part of Victorian America, not just Colorado, 1876.  It’s 11 years past the Civil War, 13 years past slavery, but it’s still in their minds, it’s still part of their lives.  They’re excited about the invention of the telephone and Colorado’s statehood, and are emotionally and mentally affected by Custer’s last stand.

Sometimes I feel like we view history in a kind of vacuum.  As if, for example, the Civil War ended in 1865 and that was it, no more thoughts on it.  Sometimes it feels like we look at the history of the West like it was a separate country.   Neither is true.  Today, in 2013 we still, on a subtle level, feel the effects of the Civil War.  It’s only realistic to consider that the people of the West also felt it, especially since the history of the Civil War was the history of the West.  A lot of the cowboys were displaced southerners, and part of the need for beef back East was due to the destruction of that war.

And so. . .I hope that’s what I did with this book.  I hope when you read it, that’s what you read, that’s what you feel–all the history of the era, and the characters living it just as we today live the triumphs and tragedies of our parents and the other parts of our country and our world.  Let me know!

Blub: The Wild Half

Chasing her was his first mistake. . . .

Lilah Martin is a hunted woman who has roamed the West for three years, staying one step ahead of men who are trying to kill her. Fear is her only friend; staying alive is her only goal. Then she lands a job at the Bar M, a prosperous and well-protected ranch in Colorado, where she finds friendship, sanctuary and a life that is almost normal. Or so it seems until she falls prey to the wildly seductive and dangerously inquisitive Rick Winchester. . .

A former outlaw, Rick has spent five years searching for distraction from guilt over his wife’s death. He finally finds it in the simmering sexual attraction between Lilah and him, and the dark intrigue surrounding her. But the more he delves into her secrets, the more of a mystery she becomes, until, frightened, she flees the Bar M. Determined not to lose this woman, Rick races after her, catapulting them into a clash of wills, which can only end in the discovery of a deadly secret locked away in Lilah’s mind. A secret that could make them both rich. Or get them both killed. . . .

Excerpt: The Wild Half

This comes a third of the way through the book, after Lilah’s escaped Rick and the Bar M.  He finds her in the back room of a saloon, playing poker.  Afterwards he follows her back to her hotel room–a private room, with a lock that she’s paid extra for.  He’s angry that she ran, he’s angry that she won’t tell him what kind of trouble she’s in and he’s very angry that he’s been worried sick about her for 3 weeks, but she appears entirely unharmed and perfectly fine.

In the mirror, Lilah watched Rick settle into a sagging, blue upholstered chair that she’d shoved into the opposite corner. The room was plain, with bare plaster walls and scratched floors, and so small Rick could sit in the chair and prop his feet up on the rope bed.

She tightened her grip on her glass. “Why are you here?”

“For you, naturally.” His honeyed voice glided over her body like a caress, promising hours of illicit—possibly deadly—pleasure.

As his eyes drilled into her back, she took another gulp of whiskey. “For what? What do you want?” Her voice sounded tight, nervous, not cold and repelling like she wanted.

“So suspicious, darlin’. Can’t a man visit an old friend without having ulterior motives?”

“We’re not old friends.”

He paused a minute. “New friends, then.”

“We’re not new friends, either.”

“All right,” he said slowly. “What are we? You tell me.”

She opened her mouth, then shut it abruptly. “Lovers” was not the right answer. Damn, but she had to get rid of him. Three weeks away from him, and she’d yet to regain control of her senses. Worse still was the fact that he’d followed her here, all the way from the Bar M, proving that he didn’t want her to regain that control.

But, a tiny voice asked, wasn’t that a little flattering?

As flattering as a mountain lion stalking an elk.

“I came to help you,” Rick interrupted her thoughts

“I don’t want your help.”

A movement in the mirror.  He rose and approached the dresser, where he poured himself a drink.  He brushed against her and her skin heated, anticipating a more erotic touch.  Clenching her jaw, she stepped over to peer out the dirty windowpane to the dark alley below and waited for him to settle in the chair again.  The bed creaked.

He’d seated himself on it, to her left.  The dresser was behind her, to the right.  To reach the door, she’d have to push past him.  He’d trapped her.  Her breath caught in her throat.

He peered at her.  “A few weeks back I met a man who was looking for you.”

She froze as blood rushed to her head.  Grabbing the windowpane to steady herself, she worked her features into blankness, then turned.  “What did he look like?  What did he want?”

His eyes were intense, penetrating.  “Dark hair, medium height, thirty or so, with a mustache.  He said his name was John Carpenter, from New Orleans.  He claimed he was trying to help your brother find you, that you’d run off with some fella after quarrelling with your father.”

Lilah looked to the floor, combing her memory.  Thirty with a mustache?  That description could match many men.  Had she heard the name before, though?  She rubbed her temple.  “I don’t remember.”

The words slipped out, more pieces to a puzzle she wanted to hide.  With a harsh thump of her heart, she lifted her head.  Their gazes locked.  The tamped-down anger she’d seen when Rick first entered the saloon flickered to life.  “You don’t remember what?  Carpenter?  Your family?  Or the man you ran off with?”

“It’s none of your business!” she snapped.  “How many times must I tell you that before you leave me alone!”  He was too near—to the truth, to her.  The air between them grew heavy and thick.  If he’d just move back. . .

“And how many times do I have to tell you it is my business?” he growled.  “I’m here to help you, whether you want it or not.  Get that straight.”

It didn’t make sense.  Unless Carpenter had told him about the price on her head.  Had they’d joined forces?  Rick had had a lot of money at that card game, more than she could attribute to a forty-dollar-a-month cowhand.  Betrayal. . .

Her heart shook and then rose to clog her throat.  “I don’t want your help,” she said, digging in her pocket for her derringer.  “And I don’t have to take it.”  She stepped toward the door.

He rose, blocking her exit with his large body as he grabbed her arm to prevent her from lifting her weapon.  The smell of leather and dust and stale cigarette smoke enveloped her, making breathing even harder.  “Give me the gun, Lilah.”

She swallowed.  “No.”

A muscle jumped in his cheek and his eyes flashed angry blue lightning.  “God damn it, woman,” he ground out as he slid his hand down to her wrist.  “I spent three weeks traveling through this god-forsaken country looking for you.  I’ll be damned if I’m going to let you shoot me, now.”  His fingers grasped her wrist so tightly her hand went numb.  She loosened her grip, and he pulled the gun free.  Stepping backward, he emptied the two barrels and pocketed the bullets.  He slapped the gun down on the dresser.  “You’re taking my help.

Guest: Patty Henderson

Today the Scandalous Vics would like to welcome Patty Henderson. Patty writes Gothic Victorian romances with a twist: the intrepid heroine is a lesbian. Please welcome Patty as she talks about her newest release, Passion for Vengeance.

About Patty:

After writing four books in the Brenda Strange Supernatural Mysteries series and one vampire book, I have Imagefound a genre that I absolutely and thoroughly enjoy. As a history buff, I can finally immerse myself completely in the fantasy world of dark, brooding castles and mansions, walking hallways by the light of a single candle, and spinning tales of lovely women stumbling across deadly secrets and meeting and falling in love with mysterious mistresses of decaying estates. What fun.

I hope you can come and discover my Gothic Historical Romances and share some of the fun I have writing them. All three of my Gothic Romances are available in paperback via Amazon.com and in eBook at Amazon.com and ePub versions at Barnes and Noble.com. And aside from my writing, I am also a graphics professional and book cover creator. If any of you who are self-published are in need of a book cover, I offer the best rates in the market for a complete trade paperback cover or eBook cover. I’ve provided the link to my graphics web site, Boulevard Photografica.

I want to take the time to thank Isabel (Patty, you’re always welcome!) for letting me escape my dark castle and come here to Slip Into Something Victorian and talk about my books. I’ve included some links below. Come and say hello at my Facebook page, my web site or Twitter.

LINKS:

Facebook

Twitter

Author Website

Book Covers

Gothic Romances. Some of us remember those paperback racks in the late 1960s and 1970s filled with Gothic Romances, all of them resplendent with covers mostly featuring a heroine running from a menacing castle or decaying mansion. The plots were truly romances, some set in current times while others were historicals set in Victorian times. All of them contained a dashing, mostly brooding dark hero, sometimes coming across as an unsavory character only to be revealed as the knight in shining armor, and our intrepid heroine. Gothic Romances were always filled with a sense of foreboding and dripped with atmosphere and suspense. But they always remained true to the romance.

I write Gothic Historical Romance, mainly set in the Victorian years, but with a big….big difference. The dark, dashing hero is a heroine. Girl meets and gets girl. I keep all the trappings of the traditional Gothic Historical Romance, but the romance is between two women. I write in the lesbian fiction niche. A very small, but vibrant and thriving niche. The readers are voracious and demand quality fiction from the authors who write lesbian fiction.

I’ve written and published three Gothic Historical Romances, The Secret of Lighthouse Pointe, Castle of Dark Shadows, and my very latest, Passion for Vengeance. The latest Gothic tackles a darker and deeper subject matter and was the hardest of the three romances to write. All three come to happy and satisfactory endings for the reader and for the characters, but in Passion for Vengeance, the path is more painful and more fragile. I had to pull some of my own and deeply buried personal issues of loss of faith, strength in faith, salvation and forgiveness. The problems of seeing only gray and white, good and bad, is also a topic I deal with all these in Passion for Vengeance.

Some of my Gothic Historical Romances have crossed into mainstream Romance readers, gaining sales and reviews from mainstream readers and not only lesbian readers. While I recognize that reading a sexy Romance with two women instead of the hero and heroine may not be everyone’s cup of tea, some are enjoying my Gothic Romances and for that, I am delighted, and hope many more might give them a try.

Here is the blurb for my newest Gothic Historical Romance, Passion for Vengeance:

It’s been a long time since Jane Havens, Mistress of Havenswood, felt the joy and promise of by-gone days when her family home, Havenswood, was a thriving and powerfulImage farming estate. Together with her elder brother Cole, who drowns his sorrow in alcohol, Jane does what she can to lead the fading estate through the hard times that fell upon the family after their father, a Union Army Colonel, died shortly after the Civil War.

    Jane and Cole try to raise their little brother, Henry, a wild young boy with no direction, no manners and no one to marshal his considerable natural abilities into a productive, young gentleman. But when his new governess, Emma Stiles, arrives, the whole household goes into shock as Henry shapes up, Cole doubles down on the amount of drink he consumes to drown his failures, and Jane Havens falls madly in love with her little brother’s governess. Then the trouble begins.

    Accidents begin to happen to the residents of Havenswood—incidents that increase in seriousness and danger. Some within the household point fingers at Emma Stiles. Jane will not believe her new lover has anything to do with the terrifying accidents until a chance visit by a new doctor in town raises the specter that Emma Stiles may not be quite who she seems. As the reality of Emma’s tortured soul descends upon Havenswood and Jane, it is clear that the demons of vengeance can only be saved by love and forgiveness. Or is it too late for forgiveness and too late for love?

    Set in the tumultuous decade after the Civil War, Passion for Vengeance is a Gothic Romance tale of betrayal, revenge, love and forgiveness.

 Where to buy Passion for Vengeance:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble

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

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