Friday, December 31, 2010

Writing Goals for the new year!

As promised, here's the list of what I'd like to accomplish--writing wise--in the 2011.

2011 Writing Goals


* Proofread and submit novel, Cassidy’s War

* List at least 6 or 7 ideas for short stories for True Romance and True Confession magazines

* Write and submit stories

* Finish first draft of time travel novella

* Revise, edit, polish and submit

* Outline series of science fiction romance novellas based on novel I put aside

* Plot out first novella

* Write first draft for first novella

I accomplished all of my writing goals for last year, except one and that's because I took a wrong turn with a new story I wrote over the summer. My goal for this year is to convert that story into a series of novellas.

What goals do you have for the new year, writing or otherwise? I'd love to hear them.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Finally in the home stretch

After putting aside my sci-fi romance the end of the summer, I've been revising, editing and this week completed proofing the entire file of my post Civil War romance, Cassidy's War.

Today I plan to print out the file, then put it aside for an entire week. Then I'll proofread the printed copy to try to catch any typos or mistakes I missed on the Word file.

After that, it goes back to my editor. I hope when I hear back on it, I'll be able to announce a new book contract.

My next post will be my list of writing goals for the new year.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Winner of my excerpt contest

The winner of my excerpt contest is Vonnie Davis! I'll be sending Vonnie a $25.00 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press.

Send your email address to susanmacatee@aol.com so I can send your prize.

Congratulations and happy reading!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Wishing everyone who celebrates a happy, holy and peaceful Christmas! And to everyone else, happy holidays!!

Hope every one of your wishes comes true!

Stop back tomorrow for the winner of my excerpt contest.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Two excerpts for the price of one and final day of contest


Since this is the last day of my contest, I thought I'd post my last two excerpts together. The first is from Sweet Redemption, my stand-alone vampire novella, available as an e-book.

The second from my Civil War Christmas novella, part of the An American Rose Christmas anthology. Hope you enjoy both.

Excerpt from Sweet Redemption:

She eyed him coldly. "Sir, I'm not in the habit of taking prisoners."

"Sorry, ma'am." He inspected himself under the blanket. Both his greatcoat and military coat had been removed as well as his belt and revolver. "My things--"

"Are hidden, Captain. It wouldn't be wise to have them on your person if Confederate troops are hereabout."

"I agree with your reasoning, ma'am, but where are they?"

"In a safe place."

He struggled to sit, but his muscles protested, and he slumped back to the floor.

"Easy, Captain. You're very pale. Have you been ill?"

"No, I..." He recalled Arnwolf and the barn. Had that really happened, or had it just been a dream?

"Now you're awake, I'll heat up some broth. You look like you could use some."

"Thank you, ma'am."

She hesitated, a blush coloring her ivory skin. "When I took off your coat, I noticed two raised bumps on your neck. I thought they might be bites."

He fingered the bumps. So, it hadn't been a dream.

"A wild dog attacked me. Out in the woods."

"A wild dog?" She shuddered. "I didn't know there were any around here."

"It's the truth, ma'am." Even as he said it, he cringed inwardly at his lie.

Her gaze narrowed as she studied him. "But when I took off your coat, I didn't see any blood."

No blood? Come to think of it, he hadn't noticed any when he woke in the barn. "I'm not real sure how that happened, ma'am."

She rose, studied him once more, then left the room.

He lay back, reflecting on what had happened. If the man, Reverend Arnwolf was a minister, he must be a fallen one. Like me.

Was that why the creature had come to drag him to his doom? Was God angry that Jon had left the priesthood? This couldn't be a coincidence. Hopefully, the man was gone, and he'd never come across him again. But he couldn't get those glowing red eyes out of his mind.

Satan himself couldn't have frightened him more. He fingered the crucifix.

For more info and to read review, visit my vampire romance page http://susanmacatee.com/myvampireromances.html


Excerpt from 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?

The Christmas Ball is part of the American historical Christmas anthology, An American Rose Christmas, available at The Wild Rose Press and discounted for the holidays http://www.thewildrosepress.com/an-american-rose-christmas-p-3807.html?zenid=fbfeb2eb47f18b45e780e54c46f21563

More excerpts and links to reviews are on my website: http://www.susanmacatee.com/

And be sure to check out my post on the Christmas Tree in Victorian America over at Slip Into Something Victorian.

And check back here on the 26th to see who won the TWRP gift certificate.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Excerpt from novella, Angel of My Dreams

If you like paranormal mixed with the Civil War, here's another excerpt, this one from a novella titled Angel of My Dreams, part of the Civil War romance anthology, Northern Roses and Southern Belles, an EPIC award finalist.


Excerpt:

A hand rested on his shoulder. He opened his eyes, expecting to see Monica.

The dark-haired woman gazed down at him.

"Kyle,” she said. "I've been so worried."

He lifted his head and looked around. He wasn't in his bedroom, but in a large canvas tent.

"Where am I?"

"Shh." She placed a finger on his lips. The scent of lavender invaded his senses.

He frowned when he realized he was lying on a cot wearing his reenactor clothing. Had he dreamed he'd come home?

"The doctor says you'll be fine. He dug out the bullet and stitched up your leg."

"My leg?" Kyle reached down. His pant’s leg had been cut apart at the seam. Heavy bandages wrapped around his thigh.

"This doesn't make any sense. I twisted my ankle. It's fine now."

She took his hand and stroked his forehead. Her touch sent warmth and desire through his body.

"I have to know..." He swallowed. "...your name."

She smiled. "You haven't forgotten me already?"

"I...you never told me."

"Of course I did."

She leaned away.

He held tightly to her hand, fearing she'd leave again.

"Don't go." Her hand dissolved. He couldn't hold her.

He woke in a sweat. The alarm blared. Six-thirty. He had to get ready for school.

As he hurriedly washed up and dressed, he tried to recall the dream about the woman from the reenactment, but only fleeting images remained.

As he waited for his coffee to brew, he racked his brain trying to remember, but it was gone. And so was she.

Northern Roses and Southern Belles available at The Wild Rose Press http://thewildrosepress.com/northern-roses-and-southern-belles-p-3578.html

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Excerpt from Confederate Rose

This latest battle had taken a toll on him. He felt drained and needed to recoup and get some rest. Leaning back against a rock, he looked at the stars dotting the blackness. Moonlight brightened the landscape, producing an eerie glow.


Katie by his side in battle was also a new experience. Although he knew she was an experienced soldier and could hold her own, an overwhelming urge rose to protect her. A woman should be home tending to the hearth, waiting for her man to return from battle.

His thoughts drifted to Annabelle. Was she back in Richmond waiting for word of her new fiancé? Their brief encounter assured him he no longer had feelings for her, but he worried that she'd revealed his identity to her husband-to-be. Since the captain hadn’t confronted him, though, he doubted she had.

Smoke from the fire drifted to him, stinging his eyes. He wiped his sleeve across his face. When he opened them, a soldier approached. He focused his vision and realized Katie strode toward him. She'd acquired a new slouch hat from her brother-in-law. The large, black hat concealed her red curls.

When she settled down cross-legged beside him, her mood seemed pensive. She watched him a moment before speaking.

"I found something that belongs to you."

His mouth went dry. Something was wrong. "What have you got?"

"I'm hating to have to say it, since I'd accused you of being a thief, but I stole something from you." She looked away.

"What could you...?" He racked his mind trying to figure out what she could have taken.

"I went through yer pack."

"In Patrick's tent?"

"No, weeks ago back at the cabin. I went through it to try to learn more about you when you were in the stable. I found a letter and took it but didn't have time to read it until now."

Alex swallowed.

"It was a Federal dispatch. Yer a Yankee."

His chest tightened. No wonder he'd been unable to find the dispatch. She'd had it all along. "What do you intend to do?" He hoped she wouldn't discover his real motive. He could never harm her.

"You lied to me the whole time," she said, disbelief marring her delicate features.

He exhaled the breath he'd held. "I had no choice."

"If I'd known you to be a Yankee, I'd have shot you the first chance I got." Her eyes glittered in the light of the fire. "You touched me...pretended to care fer me. And all the while, you lied to me."

The raw hurt on her face broke his heart. He'd deceived her. He couldn't deny it. "What do you intend to do?" he asked again.

She shook her head slowly. "I'm sorry, Alex, but 'tis me duty to turn you in."

Confederate Rose available at The Wild Rose Press http://thewildrosepress.com/confederate-rose-p-3672.html?zenid=c2780c782c9e4f03b6975f07778c04

1st place historical category of First Coast Romance Writers 2010 Beacon Contest
for Published Authors!


2nd place historical category of 2010 New England Reader's Choice Bean Pot Award!

Read opening chapters and get links to reviews at my website www.susanmacatee.com

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Excerpt from Erin's Rebel

I'm dedicating the remainder of this week to excerpts from all my current releases, starting with my Civil War time travel romance, Erin's Rebel. The excerpts will run from today to Friday, December 24th. Anyone who enters a comment on all four posts will be entered in a contest to win a $25.00 TWRP gift certificate. Winner, if any, will be announced December 26th.

Erin's Rebel

Chapter One

Erin Branigan had finally found the man of her dreams. Unfortunately, he'd died over one hundred and forty years ago.

On a warm, sunny day in mid-June, she stood in a small, church cemetery in a rural area outside Mason, Virginia. Vivid dreams of a handsome, Civil War soldier had sent her here, but they had also driven a wedge between her fiancé, Rick Meyers, and her. To solve this mystery, she'd called off her wedding two and a half months before. And now today, she hoped what she learned in this graveyard would put a halt to her nightly visions.

Erin kneeled beside the weathered granite headstone of the Confederate captain and traced her finger over the inscription. William James Montgomery; Born September 20, 1833; Died November 23, 1864. Despite the warmth of the day, she shivered, recalling the dark-eyed man and her intense, sometimes sensual dreams. After taking a deep breath, she rose, brushed off her jeans, and snapped a few photos.

"Here's his wife." The caretaker, who'd introduced himself as John, tipped the bill of his black Orioles cap toward the stone beside Montgomery's.

Erin glanced at it. Anne Eugenia Montgomery: Born October 3, 1833; Died September 15, 1861.

"She was so young," she said.

The caretaker lifted his cap and ran a liver-spotted hand through his thinning, gray hair. Replacing the hat, he turned to indicate the old, stone-walled church. "The records show she died shortly after William enlisted in the Confederate Army."

Erin nodded. Her grandmother had told her some of this story. The couple had a daughter, Amanda, and a stillborn son. They were also buried here, along with Amanda's husband and their children.

She fingered the engraved silver frame of the brooch pinned to the lapel of her beige, cotton blazer. As she glanced at the clear summer sky, a light breeze ruffled her cropped hair. Sparrows, perched in the oaks overlooking the plots, twittered. Such a beautiful day to recall such sadness.

"My grandmother told me her great-aunt Erin O'Connell knew William Montgomery. She met him during the war. This brooch was given to her by the captain." She clasped the oval frame, surrounding tightly woven chocolate-brown hair. "It's supposed to be a lock of his hair."

"Well, I'll be." John admired the pin. "Where's this great-aunt buried?"

"In Pennsylvania in a small town named Candor. It's just north of Gettysburg. My grandmother lived there, but she died last week." Her voice broke as she recalled the dear lady.

"Sorry to hear that."

She cleared her throat. "That's why I've come here. It was one of her last requests that I find this man's grave. In addition to the brooch, she had an old Bible and photos of both her great-aunt and William Montgomery." She lifted the photos she carried with her.

"My God! She looks just like you."

Erin smiled. "There are a few minor differences." In fact, she'd found the family resemblance unnerving, especially since Captain Montgomery resembled the soldier in her dreams. "Grandma also told me Erin O'Connell had been a Federal spy."

John arched his brows and let out an appreciative whistle. "What a great story! Researching the past is fascinating. You say you're from Philadelphia?"

"Yeah. I'm a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer."

"Well, then, feel free to go through all the records we have." He gestured at the church. "It should be all in a day's work for you."

****

On her return visit to Pennsylvania later that night, Erin couldn't shake the eerie feeling she'd experienced after going through the ledger. The facts she'd uncovered only added to her sense of unease. As her dreams combined with the historic facts, a feeling of insanity invaded her mind.

On her drive south, the winding two-lane highway through north-western Virginia had been so open and scenic in daylight. Now in the darkness, the heavily forested road and lack of traffic caused chills to slitherthrough her as she mulled over her discoveries. She should have left earlier but had found it difficult to pull herself away. Erin had discovered the man for whom she'd been searching. But would finding his grave finally end the dreams, or would this just make things a helluva lot worse?

The moist scent of impending rain sifted though the window she'd left cracked open. Hopefully, any shower would be light. She didn't look forward to a long drive in heavy rain, especially on an unfamiliar road. After two, quick flashes of lightning and rumbles of thunder, the first drops of rain hit the windshield. A deluge followed, forcing her to flick the wipers on high.

A sudden vibration shocked already frayed nerves. Where did that come from? Her cell phone was in her purse on the adjoining seat, so it hadn't come from that. The hair brooch on her lapel? When she fingered it, a sharp pulsation shot up her arm.

"What the hell?" She jerked her hand.

Despite the strange sensation, Erin remained focused on the road. Nothing ahead or behind her but forest. Dark, creepy forest encased in sheets of rain. Unable to see, she considered pulling over but wasn't sure she wanted to stop there.

As the vibration increased, she almost skidded off the blacktop. She grasped at the clasp, trying to yank the pin off her jacket.

Headlights glared in the distance and grew brighter. She had to concentrate on regaining control of the car. Tires squealed as a truck slid into her path on a rain-slicked curve.

"Oh, shit!" Heart pounding, she jerked the steering wheel to avoid a collision. She hydroplaned off the highway and swerved onto the shoulder - too late to see the tree dead in front of her.

Impact rolled as a film in slow motion. The sound of crunching metal, smell of rubber and gasoline, and a jolt through her system were the last things she remembered.

Chapter Two

Confederate Camp in Northern Virginia
June 18, 1863

A scream pierced the air. Men's shouts woke Will Montgomery from a deep slumber and dreams of his home and Anne.

What in damnation? Black coated the interior of his tent, making it impossible to see. What time was it anyway? Snatching up his trousers, he yanked them on over his underdrawers.

Emerging from the tent, he struggled to see in the ink-black darkness. No moonlight shone, and only a few, lone stars flickered through the dense clouds. The shuffling of heavy boots and the sound of men's angry voices drew his attention a few yards past the laundress' tent.

Had it been Mrs. O'Connell? A lantern glowed near her tent. Upon investigation, he found two men standing over what appeared to be a woman lying in a heap of calico skirts and petticoats. One of the men held a mare by the reins; the other hefted a lantern.

"What happened?" Will said.

"The lady fell from the horse, sir," the private holding the animal answered.

Kneeling at the woman's side, he tilted her face toward his. He motioned to the other soldier. "Bring the lantern closer."

Mrs. O'Connell, a young widow serving as one of the camp's new laundresses, lay limp and still. What the hell had the laundress been doing on a horse in the dead of night? He gazed at her placid face. Long, red-gold lashes brushed against her rounded cheekbones, ghostly pale in the candlelight. Blood oozed from one delicate nostril. Her bosom rose and fell gently, drawing his gaze to the swell of her breasts.

The first day the Irish woman had arrived in camp, feelings stirred in him he'd thought died with Anne. After his wife's death, he'd vowed not to give his heart to anotherwoman. Losing her had torn out his soul.

"What happened?" Will addressed the thin private with the lantern.

The soldier glanced at his companion and shrugged. "We think the horse reared up, sir. Then we heard her scream and came a-runnin' just in time to see her hit the ground."

Will nodded. Could be she'd imbibed a bit too much tonight. He'd heard the new laundress kept a bottle of whiskey in her tent, but so far, he hadn't witnessed any improprieties.

He studied the motionless figure. Doc Matthews could determine the extent of her injuries. As he lifted her, he smelled no hint of alcohol, but a feminine scent overwhelmed him. Soap and something sweet he couldn't identify.

He hadn't held a woman for two years. The softness of her curves increased the yearning he'd been denying. Leaving the other man to tend to the horse, he carried her across the camp to Doc.

****

Erin groaned. Her head and neck hurt like hell, and so did her nose. In fact, everything hurt. What had happened? She reached to the back of her head, where her fingers closed around a damp cloth. When she opened her eyes, a sharp pain knifed through her skull.

Focusing her thoughts, she recalled flashes of a dark, rainy highway. A truck hurtling toward her. The tree.

She turned her head and squinted into the yellow-white glow of a lantern. She wasn't in her car but lying flat on her back.

Someone moved beside her. A man with a heavy drawl spoke. "Are you all right, ma'am? Can you speak?"

She stared at him. Was she in a hospital? No. The gangly, sandy-haired man with the handlebar mustache wasn't wearing scrubs. He appeared to be in his early thirties and was dressed in an oversized, striped blue and white shirt draped over tan wool pants with a set of suspenders dangling to his knees. This sure wasn't an emergency room.

"Where am I?" she croaked. "What happened?" Blinding pain shot through her skull, again.

"You were thrown from a horse. Do you remember?"

"Horse?" She shook her head, then the sharp pain stopped her. "Ow, everything hurts."

The man pried the damp cloth from her hand and pressed it against the back of her head. "I don't feel any broken bones, but you've got a nice sized lump right here. I reckon you have a nasty headache. Just what were you doing on that mare this hour of night?"

"I wasn't on a horse," she said. "I've never been on a horse in my life. It was a car crash. I hit a tree when that truck slid in front of me."

"A bad fall like that could have affected your mind, Mrs. O'Connell." The man eyed her. "You're not making a lick of sense."

For more of chapter two, visit my website at http://www.susanmacatee.com/erinsrebel2.html

Finalist in the paranormal category of the Ancient City Romance Authors 2010 Reader's Choice Award!

Link for reviews: www.susanmacatee.com/Reviews.html


To purchase Erin's Rebel http://thewildrosepress.com/erins-rebel-p-3554.html

Monday, December 20, 2010

Free Christmas Story

Christmas is fast approaching and I'd like to remind all my readers that my free Civil War Christmas story, A Kiss Under the Mistletoe, is still available at The Wild Rose Press.

Here's the blurb: In the final year of the American Civil War, Samantha Harrison is preparing for her wedding day. Trouble is, she's marrying the wrong man. The man she loves and whose child she carries, has disappeared months ago in battle. On Christmas Eve, Doug Mitchell shows up at her door only to learn she's marrying another man in two days.


But will passion re-ignite when they share a final kiss under the mistletoe?

And the link: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/a-kiss-under-the-mistletoe-p-1091.html?zenid=a4412b677b2f490df7f1954b9ad2eb1f

If you haven't yet read this story, I hope you'll enjoy it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winner of box of SFR books!

I've chosen my winner over at SFR Brigade blog and it's Jennifer Mathis! I've already contacted her and am awaiting her reply and mailing address.

Thanks to all who left comments.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Book giveway!!

I'm posting at SFR Brigade blog today and I'm giving away a box of books, all science fiction romances. If you leave a comment there today, you'll be included in the random drawing for the books--14 in all.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Talking about how easy it was to change your name...

I'm over at Slip Into Something Victorian today continuing my posts on name changes during the 19th century. Clerical mistakes could make an entirely new person out of you.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A Pre-Christmas Treat

Since we're now past Thanksgiving, I thought I'd remind everyone about my novella, The Christmas Ball, from the American historical Christmas anthology, An American Rose Christmas.

The anthology came out a year ago and The Wild Rose Press is offering an e-book copy for the price of $4.20. It's also available in print.

And I've got a new excerpt from my Civil War Christmas story to entice you.

Excerpt from The Christmas Ball:

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?

The Christmas Ball is part of the anthology An American Rose Christmas. For more information visit my website http://susanmacatee.com/americanrosechristmas.html

To purchase from The Wild Rose Press http://www.thewildrosepress.com/an-american-rose-christmas-p-3807.html

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I'm at Caroline Clemmen's blog today

I'm at A Writer's Life today talking about my paranormal novella, Angel of My Dreams, part of the Epic finalist Civil War anthology, Northern Roses and Southern Belles.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

For all my American readers, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

And today I'm posting over at TWRP's Black Rose Blog about what I have to be thankful for.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Revision's Finished!

Of course I'm not completely done with this manuscript, still have to go back and do line edits and a final proofread before submitting, but I'm relieved that this revision is over. And it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The trick, after reading my editor's revision request, was to put the manuscript aside for the entire summer, while I worked on other projects. When I came back to it in October, I could look at it in a whole new light.

I'm taking a week off from this manuscript and will start line edits the Monday after Thanksgiving. In the meantime, I'll catch up on blogging and revise, edit and polish a short story.

I even revised the blurb of the manuscript called Cassidy's War.


The Civil War is over, but Cassidy’s War is just beginning.

Cassidy Stuart longs to attend medical school. Her training under her physician father and her time serving as a nurse during the war, have only increased her desire to be a real physician with a practice of her own. When the man who’d left her at the altar five years before, returns, she’s determined not to let him upset the plans she’s set for herself.

Unknown to his former fiancée and her family, George Masters is now a Pinkerton agent sent to investigate a physician now living in George’s former hometown. When he finds Cassidy hasn’t married, he hopes he can have another chance with her, but can’t reveal his real reason for returning, at least not until his mission is accomplished.

Can love be rekindled with a doctor bent on revenge against them both?

I hope to have this completed and ready to submit by the beginning of the new year, if not sooner.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Civil War changed roles for women

I'm blogging about Dorothea Dix and how the Civil War changed roles for women over at Slip Into Something Victorian today.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Northern Roses and Southern Belles is an Eppie finalist!

Just found out my Civil War anthology, Northern Roses and Southern Belles is a finalist in the Eppie's. For more info, click here.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Winner of pdf of Sweet Redemption

Thanks for the comments on the Sweet Redemption post. Janice is the winner of the pdf of Sweet Redemption. Congratulations!!

I've already sent her file as an email attachment.

But I'd like to send the others who commented, Maeve and Mindy Mackay, a consolation prize. A pdf of my short vampire story, Eternity Waits. Just send an email to susanmacatee@aol.com and I'll forward your prize.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday Excerpt: Vampire novella, Sweet Redemption

Excerpt

She eyed him coldly. "Sir, I'm not in the habit of taking prisoners."

"Sorry, ma'am." He inspected himself under the blanket. Both his greatcoat and military coat had been removed as well as his belt and revolver. "My things--"

"Are hidden, Captain. It wouldn't be wise to have them on your person if Confederate troops are hereabout."

"I agree with your reasoning, ma'am, but where are they?"

"In a safe place."

He struggled to sit, but his muscles protested, and he slumped back to the floor.

"Easy, Captain. You're very pale. Have you been ill?"

"No, I..." He recalled Arnwolf and the barn. Had that really happened, or had it just been a dream?

"Now you're awake, I'll heat up some broth. You look like you could use some."

"Thank you, ma'am."

She hesitated, a blush coloring her ivory skin. "When I took off your coat, I noticed two raised bumps on your neck. I thought they might be bites."

He fingered the bumps. So, it hadn't been a dream.

"A wild dog attacked me. Out in the woods."

"A wild dog?" She shuddered. "I didn't know there were any around here."

"It's the truth, ma'am." Even as he said it, he cringed inwardly at his lie.

Her gaze narrowed as she studied him. "But when I took off your coat, I didn't see any blood."

No blood? Come to think of it, he hadn't noticed any when he woke in the barn. "I'm not real sure how that happened, ma'am."

She rose, studied him once more, then left the room.

He lay back, reflecting on what had happened. If the man, Reverend Arnwolf was a minister, he must be a fallen one. Like me.

Was that why the creature had come to drag him to his doom? Was God angry that Jon had left the priesthood? This couldn't be a coincidence. Hopefully, the man was gone, and he'd never come across him again. But he couldn't get those glowing red eyes out of his mind.

Satan himself couldn't have frightened him more. He fingered the crucifix.

4 books at Long and Short Reviews!

"I love books that snag your attention from the start and maintain it throughout, and Sweet Redemption didn't
disappoint. The writing is wonderful, the pace nice and brisk, and the romance between Jon and Maddie is set at a believable simmer. I enjoyed the twist that brings it all together in the end, and felt the resolution of the vampire issue Jon faced was wrapped up beautifully.

"Be sure to put this story on your TBR list. Civil War junkies and vampire fans will love this one."

For more info, visit my vampire romance page http://susanmacatee.com/myvampireromances.html

To purchase Sweet Redemption http://www.thewildrosepress.com/sweet-redemption-p-3750.html?zenid=fa0a7deac3288d1b3602bec84e20d089

Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a copy pdf copy of Sweet Redemption, and a way to contact you if you win. I'll announce the winner here tomorrow, Friday the 29th.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Too many projects...

...and now it's decision time.

I had a major interruption in my writing hours last week and now I'm at the point where I have to decide which of my projects I'm going to devote myself to for the next month, or at least the next week.

I have three projects I can work on. The first is a novel that needs revision at my editor's request. After she rejected the manuscript twice, I wasn't able to look at it for a while. But I do have her notes and finally feel I can get back into the project. It would likely take me a month. Then I can do a final polish and resubmit.

I also started the first draft of a time travel novella. The interruption of the past week has taken my momentum away, but if I bring up the file, I'm sure I can get my head back into the story. And because it's a novella, it won't take more than a month to finish the first draft. After completing that, I can put it aside for later revision and edits.

I also have an idea for a short magazine story. That would only take about a week to write, then I can put it aside for a short period before edits and a final polish. I did manage to edit, polish and submit another short story to the same magazine and now have a new contract to show for it, so that's incentive enough to get started on a new story.

The other project was the sci-fi romance I worked on all summer. But as I approached the end, something just didn't feel right. I ended up coming to a complete halt with that one. It will definitely sit on the back burner for a while. I think I need to come back to it with a brand new perspective. I may even try to write a series of novellas in that genre. Sometimes shorter can work to my advantage, especially with a genre I don't normally write in.

So, I'm left with three projects I can start work on tomorrow. But which shall it be?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Blogging about what I like about Halloween

I'm over at Black Rose of The Wild Rose Press blog today, talking about my favorite part of Halloween. I've also posted an excerpt from my vampire novella, Sweet Redemption.

And if you come back to this blog on Thursday and leave a comment on Thursday's Excerpt post, you'll be entered in a drawing to win a pdf copy of Sweet Redemption.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Rapid Fire Guns

I'm blogging over at Slip Into Something Victorian today about the invention of rapid fire guns during the American Civil War.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday Excerpt, paranormal romance, Angel of My Dreams

This Thursday's excerpt is from my Civil War paranormal romance, Angel of My Dreams, from the Civil War anthology, Northern Roses and Southern Belles.

Excerpt:

A hand rested on his shoulder. He opened his eyes, expecting to see Monica.

The dark-haired woman gazed down at him.

"Kyle," she said. "I've been so worried."

He lifted his head and looked around. He wasn't in his bedroom, but in a large canvas tent.

"Where am I?"

"Shh." She placed a finger on his lips. The scent of lavender invaded his senses.

He frowned when he realized he was lying on a cot wearing his reenactor clothing. Had he dreamed he'd come home?

"The doctor says you'll be fine. He dug out the bullet and stitched up your leg."

"My leg?" Kyle reached down. His pant's leg had been cut apart at the seam. Heavy bandages wrapped around his thigh.

"This doesn't make any sense. I twisted my ankle. It's fine now."

She took his hand and stroked his forehead. Her touch sent warmth and desire through his body.

"I have to know..." He swallowed. "...your name."

She smiled. "You haven't forgotten me already?"

"I...you never told me."

"Of course I did."

She leaned away.

He held tightly to her hand, fearing she'd leave again.

"Don't go." Her hand dissolved. He couldn't hold her.

He woke in a sweat. The alarm blared. Six-thirty. He had to get ready for school.

As he hurriedly washed up and dressed, he tried to recall the dream about the woman from the reenactment, but only fleeting images remained.

As he waited for his coffee to brew, he racked his brain trying to remember, but it was gone. And so was she.

Praise for anthology, Northern Roses and Southern Belles!


4.25 hearts at Night Owl Romance!!

"With battles between Native Americans and Colonials, Northerners and Southerners, and Good and Bad there is a wealth of conflict to draw on. While the geographic breadth is vast, from sea to shining sea practically, and the backdrops varied, the conflicts are drawn from wartime.


"Knowing you or your lover may not live to see the next day tends to throw decorum out the window. These were all entertaining, informative stories that I enjoyed reading."


4.5 books at Long and Short Reviews!

"I think all of the authors did a great job on this anthology and so did the editors. I felt like I was involved in every story. I felt like I could smell the flowers and taste the crisp air. I felt the emotions the characters were feeling. This is a great anthology that any historical fan will love."

Find links to read full reviews at http://susanmacatee.com/Reviews.html.

Purchase anthology from The Wild Rose Press  http://www.thewildrosepress.com/northern-roses-and-southern-belles-p-3578.html?zenid=fcb44320c3d53f501412f35b363c9bf7

Saturday, October 16, 2010

It's not exactly Thursday, but...

I'm two days late with my Thursday excerpt this week, but better late than never.

This week I'm featuring an excerpt and reviews from my award winning Civil War romance, Confederate Rose.

Excerpt:

Her pale cheeks turned a becoming shade of pink. She lifted one white, bare arm from the quilt to gesture at the clothing drying by the fire. "Now didn't you tell me to hang yer things out to dry?"

Alex grimaced. He had told her to do that. But he hadn't expected her to go through his pack. "So I did," he admitted.

She slipped her arm back into the quilt and lifted her chin. "'Tis an apology I should be expecting, Mr. Hart."

"Apology? You were going through my things."

"Because you ordered me to see to yer wet clothes."

Alex didn't think he'd win this argument. "Very well, ma'am. I apologize if I've offended your fine sensibilities in any way."

She straightened and hugged the quilt, eyeing him regally. "I accept yer apology, Mr. Hart."

"Well then." He hesitated and dropped his gaze. Her wide eyes drove his thoughts to ideas best left alone. That and the knowledge of what little she wore under the quilt. He cleared his throat. "I suggest we bed down for the night."

"Not until you get yerself out of those wet clothes."

His brows shot up. "I beg your pardon?"

"Ye'll surely not be sleeping in those wet things. 'Tis by the fire ye'll be needing to hang them."

His gaze settled on the clothes draped over the two chairs. Steam rose from them. "But those clothes aren't dry yet."

"Ye'll not be needing clothes to sleep." She grinned mischievously. "We've plenty of blankets."

Read opening chapters
Reviews and contest wins

Praise for Confederate Rose!

1st place historical category of First Coast Romance Writers 2010 Beacon Contest for Published Authors!

2nd place historical category of 2010 New England Reader's Choice Bean Pot Award!

"Need to Read" at You Gotta Read Reviews!!

"The writing flowed smoothly. I liked the way the romance developed between Katie and Alex. The conflicting emotions they each face make this an engaging story. If you like a romance wrapped in the conflicts of the Civil War you will definitely enjoy this book!"

4 ribbons at Blue Ribbon Reviews at Romance Junkies!

"CONFEDERATE ROSE is a magnificent work of fiction...Blended with a well developed romance, this historical is one that will grab hold of your heart and tear at your emotions. I highly recommend this charming historical and it will allow you to revisit the past while you stay in the present."

Links to read full reviews

To purchase Confederate Rose
http://www.thewildrosepress.com/confederate-rose-p-3672.html?zenid=674298e057bc659fa6b95937291848f0

Friday, October 08, 2010

Blogging about Mobile Telegraph Unit

I'm over at Slip Into Something Victorian today, talking about the Mobile Telegraph Units used by the Union Army during the Civil War.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Thursday excerpt day, Erin's Rebel

This month I've decided to have a Thursday excerpt day for all my releases over the past year. I'm starting off with my first Wild Rose Press release, my Civil War time travel romance, 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 moustache 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.

Read opening chapters http://www.susanmacatee.com/erinsrebel.html

Reviews

4. 5 hearts from Night Owl Reviews!!

"I love historical romances and Susan Macatee did a beautiful job with this one. I loved that Erin is definitely a 21st century woman yet yearns for that all consuming love that she cannot find right now. William is all she has been searching for in a man, but he is in another century. Erin will do anything she can to find out what her part in his life is even it if means her own life."

4 books at Long and Short Reviews!!

"Reading Erin's Rebel was a thoroughly enjoyable experience that any fan of historical romance won't want to miss."

Fantastic, Stays on Shelf from Between the Lines, WRDF Reviews!

"I loved the author's gentle hand with detail, her convincing touch with romance, and the twists and turns that she creates before a thoroughly satisfying ending... This book's well worth keeping on my shelf..."

"Beautifully Done Historical Romance" at ParaNormal Romance!

"Recommended read for paranormal and historical romance readers or if you simply enjoy a good love story!"

4 lips at TwoLips Reviews!!

"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."

For links to full reviews, visit my website at http://www.susanmacatee.com/Reviews.html

Erin's Rebel, available from The Wild Rose Press

Purchase link: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/erins-rebel-p-3554.html?zenid=5738ba5898d2241dcd36078c904d429c

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Switching projects again!

I've put my sci-fi romance aside for a bit and am now working on a time travel novella. I'm really excited by this story, because it's an offshoot of my time travel romance, Erin's Rebel. The heroine is Erin's step-daughter, Amanda, all grown up in the year 1885.

The hero is from the present time and I've decided to call this story Thoroughly Modern Amanda. Do you like the title? Sometimes just finding the right title for a new story sets my creative juices flowing.

Anyway, I'm still plotting the story out, but already know how it will end. I'm working on plot details right now as I go from scene to scene. But I have enough plotted out to begin writing, which I plan to do on Monday.

I also completed the first draft of a short romance story this week and am putting that aside for at least a couple of weeks before looking at it again.

Switching among several projects really energizes me, especially when I'm stuck!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

This made my day!

Besides going back to a short story I started back in the spring and picking up right where I left off, I not only wrote 1022 words for a story that only needs about 2 k more to be complete, I got a nice surprise in the mail.
It was my first place certificate from First Coast Romance Writers for their Beacon contest! And I received the judges comments as well. Two checked off "This book is superb. Masterfully written." While the third checked off "A wonderful read." Not bad! All three greatly enjoyed the story and the third expressed a wish to read more books like this.

It's perks like this that make all the hassles of writing worthwhile.

And forgot to mention yesterday that I posted over at Slip Into Something Victorian about preserving food for Civil War armies.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Feeling unproductive today

I planned to finish the end of my first draft this week, but it's just not happening. For one thing, I'm signed up for a workshop on Character Torture and already had two lessons and a homework assignment to complete. And I did such a bad job with the homework, I had to do it over and still didn't get it right.

It's a real learning experience that shows me that draft I'm trying to complete is going to take a lot of work when I get to the revision stage. I don't know if that's why I'm freezing up on the project or I'm just getting tired of working on one thing day after day.

If I can't get back into it tomorrow, I might switch to one of the short stories I've started on and see if I can do something with that to get my enthusiasm for writing back.

Of course, if I could just get that homework assignment right, I might not be so scared to go on with the draft. It's a first draft after all. It's allowed to suck. LOL.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Getting closer to 'the end'

After taking a day off, I'm back to adding to the word count of the first draft of my science fiction romance, A Pirate's Honor. In the past two days, I've added over 2500 words to the draft.

If I can fight off my procrastination that seems to descend when I'm close to the end of a project, I'm hoping to finish up sometime next week.

I do have a workshop starting on the 19th, but I hope to navigate around that and finish this project up. I'm just so close!

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

When inspiration wavers, I clean my desk

Today was one of those days. I don't know if it's because I'm nearing the end of my first draft, but I just didn't feel like opening the file of my latest project today. I have a plotting sheet describing what will happen in the end of the story and am currently writing an exciting scene that leads to the Black Moment, but when my writing time of the day came along, I just couldn't go into the file.

So, I thought a day off from writing might be what I needed. But now what do I do? Watching TV or reading, unless it's writing related, would just feel too unproductive and I'd regret it later. So what to do instead?

My solution was to clean off the mounting pile of supposedly important things I was saving on my desk. Some of the pile was important and needed daily, like the folder for my WIP. But there were also magazines that I was saving for reasons I couldn't remember and pages I'd printed out.

About half of the pile was important, it turns out, but the rest went into the recycling bin. The important stuff I don't need right now went into file drawers. Although the pile is now a lot smaller, it's still there. But at least now, it will be easier to find what I'm working on and what I plan to work on when this first draft is finally done.

I feel a bit more organized and plan to add to my word count tomorrow.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Post about paperback books in Civil War camp

I'm over at Slip Into Something Victorian with another post from the book, More Civil War Curiosities. The post is about paperback books distributed to Civil War soldiers.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Summer Book Challenge report

Although I wasn't able to complete the first draft of my summer book challenge book, a science fiction romance called A Pirate's Honor, I'm pleased to announce that I'm 68,936 words along.

All I have left to write is the black moment and ending. I should have no trouble completing this by the end of this month.

So, that said, my goal for September is to finish and write 'the end' to this draft.

I'm looking forward to putting this manuscript aside for a bit, so I can work on a few short stories and novellas for a change.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Writing Goals

August is over and Labor Day less than a week away. It looks like I won't be completing the first draft of A Pirate's Honor, my summer book project.

But I've written nearly 66,000 words so far and am coming up on the black moment scene. I should be able to complete the draft this month. Then I can put it away to cool and work on some short projects. I already have two short stories and a novella in various stages of development and am looking forward to a break from novel length. Maybe I can finish up a few and get them submitted before I'm ready to even start the revision on the full.

I'm looking forward to working on different genres and lengths this month and October as well. It should be a fun break.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Still plugging away...

I started writing the first draft of my science fiction romance, I'm calling A Pirate's Honor, on June 1st. And while it's been hectic this summer, I managed to complete 59,286 words as of yesterday. My word count goal is about 80,000 words. A little more than 20,000 to go.

I've mostly been writing on weekdays and not every day, depends on what other tasks and complications arise, but that's a lot of words for a couple of months work. Of course, once I've finished the draft, I'll have to put it aside for a few months and work on something else. But I do look forward to writing 'the end'.

And to accomplish that feat, I've place my butt in my desk chair every afternoon for days on end. I bring up the file, read the last couple of pages I wrote the day before, confer with my plot sheet and write.

It's been working out so far. I've had no blocks or stoppages, except to work through plot points in the murky middle of the story I haven't yet worked out, but it seems to be going smoothly so far. One scene feeds into another. I hope to have the draft completed before the end of September.

For writers out there, how do you keep going when working on the first draft of a novel?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Erin's Rebel is a Finalist!!

Just got the official word that my time travel romance, Erin's Rebel, is a finalist in the 2010 Heart of Excellence Reader's Choice Contest by the Ancient City Romance Authors!!


I also entered Confederate Rose, but it didn't final. Oh well! Can't win them all.


Wish me luck in the finals! Winners are to be announced on September 25th.




Monday, August 02, 2010

What a way to start a Monday!!!

I just turned on my computer and found an email telling me my Civil War romance, Confederate Rose, won first place in the historical category of the First Coast Romance Writers Published Beacon Contest!!!

I hadn't even heard my book was a finalist in this contest, so this came as a complete and very welcome suprise!

Here the link to view all the 2010 winners: http://www.firstcoastromancewriters.com/contest_pub.htm

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Writing on my own time

Now that my latest manuscript's been rejected, I decided to devote all my writing time to the first draft of my science fiction romance. My plan is to write at least 1000 words each weekday and try, if I can to stretch it to 1500. I also have to continue to plot out the middle of this story. The beginning and ending are plotted out, but there's a lot of middle I'm still not sure of.

But I like working at my own pace for a change. And since it's summer, once I get my word count done and do at least a little bit of plotting, I can spend a little time before starting dinner to pleasure read.

My current read is Linnea Sinclair's Finders Keepers. I'm about 80% through and really hate to have to put this one down. So, if dinner gets held up...oh, well.

But it's really nice to have some downtime each day for a change. The past few weeks have been deadline hell!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Happy Anniversary!!

Today is the one-year anniversary of the release of my Civil War time travel romance, Erin’s Rebel, by The Wild Rose Press.

And in honor of the day, I’m giving away a pdf copy. Just leave a comment today and I’ll pick a winner at random and announce it here tomorrow. Here’s the opening:

Erin's Rebel

Chapter One

Erin Branigan had finally found the man of her dreams. Unfortunately, he'd died over one hundred and forty years ago.

On a warm, sunny day in mid-June, she stood in a small, church cemetery in a rural area outside Mason, Virginia. Vivid dreams of a handsome, Civil War soldier had sent her here, but they had also driven a wedge between her fiancé, Rick Meyers, and her. To solve this mystery, she'd called off her wedding two and a half months before. And now today, she hoped what she learned in this graveyard would put a halt to her nightly visions.

Erin kneeled beside the weathered granite headstone of the Confederate captain and traced her finger over the inscription. William James Montgomery; Born September 20, 1833; Died November 23, 1864.

Despite the warmth of the day, she shivered, recalling the dark-eyed man and her intense, sometimes sensual dreams. After taking a deep breath, she rose, brushed off her jeans, and snapped a few photos.

"Here's his wife." The caretaker, who'd introduced himself as John, tipped the bill of his black Orioles cap toward the stone beside Montgomery's.

Erin glanced at it. Anne Eugenia Montgomery: Born October 3, 1833; Died September 15, 1861."She was so young," she said.

The caretaker lifted his cap and ran a liver-spotted hand through his thinning, gray hair. Replacing the hat, he turned to indicate the old, stone-walled church. "The records show she died shortly after William enlisted in the Confederate Army."

Erin nodded. Her grandmother had told her some of this story. The couple had a daughter, Amanda, and a stillborn son. They were also buried here, along with Amanda's husband and their children.

She fingered the engraved silver frame of the brooch pinned to the lapel of her beige, cotton blazer. As she glanced at the clear summer sky, a light breeze ruffled her cropped hair.
Sparrows, perched in the oaks overlooking the plots, twittered. Such a beautiful day to recall such sadness.

"My grandmother told me her great-aunt Erin O'Connell knew William Montgomery. She met him during the war. This brooch was given to her by the captain." She clasped the oval frame, surrounding tightly woven chocolate-brown hair. "It's supposed to be a lock of his hair."

"Well, I'll be." John admired the pin. "Where's this great-aunt buried?"

"In Pennsylvania in a small town named Candor. It's just north of Gettysburg. My grandmother lived there, but she died last week." Her voice broke as she recalled the dear lady.

"Sorry to hear that."

She cleared her throat. "That's why I've come here. It was one of her last requests that I find this man's grave. In addition to the brooch, she had an old Bible and photos of both her great-aunt and William Montgomery." She lifted the photos she carried with her.

"My God! She looks just like you."

Erin smiled. "There are a few minor differences." In fact, she'd found the family resemblance unnerving, especially since Captain Montgomery resembled the soldier in her dreams. "Grandma also told me Erin O'Connell had been a Federal spy."

John arched his brows and let out an appreciative whistle. "What a great story! Researching the past is fascinating. You say you're from Philadelphia?"

"Yeah. I'm a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer."

"Well, then, feel free to go through all the records we have." He gestured at the church. "It should be all in a day's work for you."

****

On her return visit to Pennsylvania later that night, Erin couldn't shake the eerie feeling she'd experienced after going through the ledger. The facts she'd uncovered only added to her sense of unease. As her dreams combined with the historic facts, a feeling of insanity invaded her mind.

On her drive south, the winding two-lane highway through north-western Virginia had been so open and scenic in daylight. Now in the darkness, the heavily forested road and lack of traffic caused chills to slitherthrough her as she mulled over her discoveries. She should have left earlier but had found it difficult to pull herself away. Erin had discovered the man for whom she'd been searching. But would finding his grave finally end the dreams, or would this just make things a helluva lot worse?

The moist scent of impending rain sifted though the window she'd left cracked open. Hopefully, any shower would be light. She didn't look forward to a long drive in heavy rain, especially on an unfamiliar road. After two, quick flashes of lightning and rumbles of thunder, the first drops of rain hit the windshield. A deluge followed, forcing her to flick the wipers on high.

A sudden vibration shocked already frayed nerves. Where did that come from? Her cell phone was in her purse on the adjoining seat, so it hadn't come from that. The hair brooch on her lapel? When she fingered it, a sharp pulsation shot up her arm.

"What the hell?" She jerked her hand.

Despite the strange sensation, Erin remained focused on the road. Nothing ahead or behind her but forest. Dark, creepy forest encased in sheets of rain. Unable to see, she considered pulling over but wasn't sure she wanted to stop there.

As the vibration increased, she almost skidded off the blacktop. She grasped at the clasp, trying to yank the pin off her jacket.

Headlights glared in the distance and grew brighter. She had to concentrate on regaining control of the car. Tires squealed as a truck slid into her path on a rain-slicked curve.

"Oh, shit!" Heart pounding, she jerked the steering wheel to avoid a collision. She hydroplaned off the highway and swerved onto the shoulder - too late to see the tree dead in front of her.

Impact rolled as a film in slow motion. The sound of crunching metal, smell of rubber and gasoline, and a jolt through her system were the last things she remembered.

Chapter Two

Confederate Camp in Northern Virginia

June 18, 1863

A scream pierced the air. Men's shouts woke Will Montgomery from a deep slumber and dreams of his home and Anne.What in damnation? Black coated the interior of his tent, making it impossible to see. What time was it anyway? Snatching up his trousers, he yanked them on over his underdrawers.

Emerging from the tent, he struggled to see in the ink-black darkness. No moonlight shone, and only a few, lone stars flickered through the dense clouds. The shuffling of heavy boots and the sound of men's angry voices drew his attention a few yards past the laundress' tent.

Had it been Mrs. O'Connell? A lantern glowed near her tent. Upon investigation, he found two men standing over what appeared to be a woman lying in a heap of calico skirts and petticoats. One of the men held a mare by the reins; the other hefted a lantern.

"What happened?" Will said.

"The lady fell from the horse, sir," the private holding the animal answered.

Kneeling at the woman's side, he tilted her face toward his. He motioned to the other soldier. "Bring the lantern closer."

Mrs. O'Connell, a young widow serving as one of the camp's new laundresses, lay limp and still. What the hell had the laundress been doing on a horse in the dead of night? He gazed at her placid face. Long, red-gold lashes brushed against her rounded cheekbones, ghostly pale in the candlelight. Blood oozed from one delicate nostril. Her bosom rose and fell gently, drawing his gaze to the swell of her breasts.

The first day the Irish woman had arrived in camp, feelings stirred in him he'd thought died with Anne. After his wife's death, he'd vowed not to give his heart to anotherwoman. Losing her had torn out his soul.

"What happened?" Will addressed the thin private with the lantern.

The soldier glanced at his companion and shrugged. "We think the horse reared up, sir. Then we heard her scream and came a-runnin' just in time to see her hit the ground."

Will nodded. Could be she'd imbibed a bit too much tonight. He'd heard the new laundress kept a bottle of whiskey in her tent, but so far, he hadn't witnessed any improprieties.

He studied the motionless figure. Doc Matthews could determine the extent of her injuries. As he lifted her, he smelled no hint of alcohol, but a feminine scent overwhelmed him. Soap and something sweet he couldn't identify.

He hadn't held a woman for two years. The softness of her curves increased the yearning he'd been denying. Leaving the other man to tend to the horse, he carried her across the camp to Doc.

****

Erin groaned. Her head and neck hurt like hell, and so did her nose. In fact, everything hurt. What had happened? She reached to the back of her head, where her fingers closed around a damp cloth. When she opened her eyes, a sharp pain knifed through her skull.

Focusing her thoughts, she recalled flashes of a dark, rainy highway. A truck hurtling toward her. The tree.She turned her head and squinted into the yellow-white glow of a lantern. She wasn't in her car but lying flat on her back.

Someone moved beside her. A man with a heavy drawl spoke. "Are you all right, ma'am? Can you speak?"

She stared at him. Was she in a hospital? No. The gangly, sandy-haired man with the handlebar mustache wasn't wearing scrubs. He appeared to be in his early thirties and was dressed in an oversized, striped blue and white shirt draped over tan wool pants with a set of suspenders dangling to his knees. This sure wasn't an emergency room.

"Where am I?" she croaked. "What happened?" Blinding pain shot through her skull, again.

"You were thrown from a horse. Do you remember?"

"Horse?" She shook her head, then the sharp pain stopped her. "Ow, everything hurts."

The man pried the damp cloth from her hand and pressed it against the back of her head. "I don't feel any broken bones, but you've got a nice sized lump right here. I reckon you have a nasty headache. Just what were you doing on that mare this hour of night?"

"I wasn't on a horse," she said. "I've never been on a horse in my life. It was a car crash. I hit a tree when that truck slid in front of me."

"A bad fall like that could have affected your mind, Mrs. O'Connell." The man eyed her. "You're not making a lick of sense."

For more of chapter two, visit my website at www.susanmacatee.com/erinsrebel2.html

To purchase Erin's Rebel http://www.thewildrosepress.com/erins-rebel-p-3554.html?zenid=6db938c9b1758afd46790e33707a674c

Thursday, July 15, 2010

No New Contract

My latest historical was rejected again. Not sure whether to be sad, mad or relieved. After so many revisions, I was on the verge of hating this story.

Sometimes you just have to step back from a story for a while, or let it go altogether.

For now, I have the rest of the summer to complete the first draft of my science fiction romance and then I can put it aside and work on some short stories. I think I need a change from novels for a spell.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Been totally neglecting the blog...

... but it is summer, we've just celebrated a major American holiday and I've been swamped with non-writing related work. Have to make money, after all.

But I'm all caught up and thought I'd post about my latest project. I'm working through the first draft of a science fiction romance, I'm tentatively calling, A Pirate's Honor. The first title for this work was Moons of Cynara, but I realized I was heading in the wrong direction and had to put it aside, then come back to the manuscript with a new vision.

I'm about 25,000 words into the draft, but still have a way to go. I hope I can complete or nearly complete the draft by Labor Day. We'll see.

Things have been non-existent on the writing scene for the past few weeks for me, due to lack of time, but now I'm free...at least for now...to get back into this new project.

Of course, the life of a freelance writer is full of distractions. Hopefully, I can stay on course, unless I get a new contract. That would be a welcome distraction.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Posting about coffee to go during the Civil War

I'm posting over at Slip Into Something Victorian about how Union soldiers kept coffee in their provisions while on the go.

And you can still check out my latest post at the The Black Rose blog of The Wild Rose Press about how I love my new NOOK!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Interruptions...interruptions...

I'm trying to zoom ahead with my latest writing project. I'm enrolled in a summer book challenge with the hope of completing the first draft of a new novel by Labor Day.

I'm doing rather well, so far, I've written over 20,000 words for a book that I hope will total at least 80,000, but there's always something to interrupt the flow.

First of all, my son brought home a new puppy. Our old dog, Kelly, we had to put down over a year ago, because of bad hips. While this new little puppy he named Chase, is real cute, he does require a lot of care. I'd gotten used to being dogless over the past year, so this is a big learning curve for me.

And this week, I got work in for my second job, manuscript typing. I have to complete typing a full-length novel in the space of a couple of weeks. In the summer!! But I need the money, so will try to work everything in. It just won't be easy.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Blogging at Slip Into Something Victorian

I'm blogging today over at Slip Into Something Victorian about how war often brings forth new inventions and innovations in civilian society.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Variety Brings Results

I work out for about an hour in the morning five days a week, but recently I haven't been seeing or feeling results. My youngest son, studying to be a personal trainer, told me I had to vary my workouts. You see, muscles grow complacent when you do the same old workout day after day and you hit a wall, where you stop seeing results.

He told me to vary the amount of weight I lift, vary my workouts--I now do weight training two days a week, ride my exercise bike two days and follow an aerobic dance DVD mid week. I also bought two new DVDs that, although they work the same body parts, vary in their routines, thus giving me results that will help me sculpt and keep the flab from coming back. He also told me to switch the workouts back and forth by day, or week, so I'm not doing the same workout consistently. This also keeps me from being bored and I look forward to my workout each morning.

It got me to thinking how I do the same thing with my writing. Although I started out writing American Civil War, I added in some paranormal and am now working on a few post-Civil War projects as well as my first science fiction romance. I also vary between long and short pieces, from novel length, to novella, to short story. Variety keeps my writing fresh and also keeps me motivated. I don't get blocked and if I do inevitably get stuck on a project, I move to another until I'm excited about the original project again.

I think variation in my writing keeps me fresh and motivated.

So, tell me, do you vary anything in your life, be it writing, exercise, or anything else that seems to be going stale? If you do, share it here.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

Posting today on Black Rose blog

Today is my post on the Black Rose Blog of The Wild Rose Press. I'm talking about the book I'm currently reading. Actually, I just finished this book and it was a fantastic read.

If you'd like to see what I'm reading visit my post at http://twrpblackrose.blogspot.com/

Leave a comment there, if you'd like.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Ready to take on new writing goal!

It's nearly the end of May and for the second year in a row, I'm ready to start a summer book challenge. The goal is to write the first draft of a brand new novel.

Last summer I completed the first draft of Cassidy's War, the historical romance manuscript I just resubmitted to my editor after finishing up a revision request. This summer, I want to write my first science fiction romance. I've tentatively titled it, A Pirate's Honor.

I was plotting out this book off and on while working on other projects and while I have the beginning and end all plotted out I'm kind of stuck in the middle. But I have enough plotted out to get a good start, so the plan is to start writing and plot the middle out as I move along.

The challenge starts on June 1st, so for this upcoming week I'm going to try to complete the first draft of a short story. Then starting in June, my book will be top priority, unless I get a new contract of course. But that's completely up to my editor.