Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Guest: Susan Macatee

Today my guest is Susan Macatee with her new book, Cassidy's War. Set post Civil War, it tells the story of young lovers torn apart. It's released today, so I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I've just downloaded it and suggest you do as well! Plus that cover is utterly gorgeous!

1. The craziest thing you've ever done while reinacting the Civil War? And have you used it in a story?

Wow! That's a tough one, since I'm normally so reserved and try my best to behave as a proper Victorian lady in my reenactor persona. I do recall having a truly embarrassing moment. While sitting on one of the flimsy camp stools in my hoopskirt, I leaned back and the chair fell over leaving me on my back with my hoop up over my head. And those drawers I was wearing were split up the center to allow bathroom access. When I tried to get up, I also realized that somehow the tip of my corset had gotten stuck in the chair. lol I was lucky though, that it happened when the men were marching out to battle and no one was really around.

I didn't use that in a story, but in Erin's Rebel, my time travel romance, the heroine did have a lot of wardrobe issues in the beginning as she had to adjust to living in the past.

2. We've all heard the rumors that the Civil War Romance is dead...clearly it's not! Tell us your thoughts on why you love to write it, and why you think the rumors started in the first place.

I was mostly hearing it from acquiring editors with the big publishers who said readers wouldn't purchase a romance set in the period. So, if you wanted to sell a romance, your choices were basically to write Regency, Scottish Highlands or Medieval. While I had read romances set in all those periods, I wanted to write what I knew, the Civil War.

I really don't know why the period didn't sell well. After all, 'Gone With the Wind' is an all-time romance classic. I did hear laments from readers stating that all Civil War romances seemed to be GWTW clones: A bitter Southern woman battling an arrogant Yankee officer. And the few I was able to find to read when researching romances, seemed to bear this out.

But now, we have all types of combinations. The hero and heroine can be on opposite sides, but I've also read stories with them both on the same side. Heroines can be spies, physicians, even soldiers. And the hero can be a Southerner, either an officer or a spy.

When you read historical accounts of the period, set around the conflict of the war, there's no way any author has to stick to a cliché plot or characters. There are so many possibilities to make any story unique.

3. Best vacation ever.

That's easy. Years before I met my husband, I booked a two week tour of the British Isles with one of my girlfriends. We traveled through Ireland, Scotland and England, ending up in London. We were both in our early 20s and had a blast.

It really was the most memorable vacation I ever had.

Here's the blurb from my post Civil War romance release, Cassidy's War. Although the story is set five years after the war ended, both characters were directly affected by the conflict.

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

Cassidy Stuart longs to attend medical school. Training beside her physician father and serving as a nurse during the war have only increased her desire to be a doctor with her own practice. When the man who left her at the altar returns, she’s determined not to let him upset the plans she's set for herself.

Until his mission is accomplished, George Masters must hide his identity as a Pinkerton agent as he investigates a physician living in George's former hometown, a short distance from Cassidy's home. When he finds Cassidy hasn’t married, he hopes he can rekindle their love while trying to protect her and the townsfolk from the evil Dr. Madison.

Can their love be renewed despite the villain's desire for revenge against them both?


She glanced down at her hands in her lap. “I’ve been leading him on, pretending I want to work as his assistant. Then he seemed interested in courting me. I thought, if I played into his hands, he’d relax and say or do something that would help you, help us.”

George grimaced. “What did he do in the alley before I showed up?”

“He kissed me.” She glared at him. “That’s all, nothing else.”

He blew out a sigh of relief, but his blood heated at the thought of Madison touching her in such an intimate way. He stepped over to the window to cool his face. “I’m afraid if you allow him to get closer; he’ll try something else...”

She shook her head. “If he’s courting me, he wouldn’t do anything improper. He wouldn’t want to scare me off.” She looked off into space.

He scowled. “You can’t be sure.”

“He only asked to court me, not to marry him.” She gazed up at him candidly. “I need to draw him out. Gain his confidence.”

He glanced out the window at the people strolling along the street, his emotions warring. “There has to be another way, Cassie. This is my investigation, not yours.” George moved across the room to kneel by her side. “If Madison hurts you...”

She rubbed her arm. “I promise I’ll stay in the public view. To be truthful, I’m afraid to be alone with him again.”

“Cassie, I fear for your safety.”

She reached up to stroke his cheek. His face heated at her touch.

His teeth clenched at the thought of Madison manhandling her. Once the man’s indiscretions were out in the open, he wouldn’t wait for Wellingham to mete out justice; he’d kill the scum himself. He brushed his thumb over Cassidy’s dewy cheek.

“Come on, I’ll walk you home.”

“No, George.” She shook her head. “I want to stay here...with you.”

He swallowed hard. “Do you know what you’re saying? If you stay here much longer, I won’t be able to keep my hands off you.”

She smiled. “I know. I feel the same way.” She rose and led him to stand by the bed. “So many years have passed since the war ended. I dreamed of marrying you, being with you as your wife. In all the years that passed, I never stopped loving you. It’s the reason I couldn’t even feign interest in the other men who courted me afterward. They weren’t you.”

“I can’t believe you’re saying this. I’ve loved you all these years, too, but hoped you’d found happiness with another man...a better man than me.”

“George...” She took his hands and gazed up at him. “You’re the best man I’ve ever met in my life. You’re the one I want to spend my future with.”

He reached behind her head and pulled the pins from her hair, allowing the dark, silken strands to flow in waves over her shoulders. “Cassie, you’re even more beautiful than my memory of you. I’ve never stopped dreaming of being with you all these years.”

“Then why didn’t you stay?” Her breath hot against his face, she nuzzled him and kissed her way along his cheek, her lush lips sliding to his mouth. He instantly grew hard.

“I wanted you to be happy,” he breathed as his lips slid over hers. “I thought you’d find a good man to marry and have a life with.”

“Oh, George...” She wrapped her arms around his neck and slid her tongue against his mouth. He opened, sliding his tongue out to meet hers.

The room grew hot. He reached for the buttons of his coat. She grasped his hands, soft, warm fingers gliding over his and helped him unbutton. Together, they slid the coat from his shoulders to the floor. Next she undid his vest. The garment joined the coat at his feet.

When she reached for his shirt buttons, he covered her hands with his. Although she knew about his chest wound from Gettysburg, she hadn’t seen him shirtless since she’d treated him before he left to rejoin his regiment. He feared the scar would repulse her. “Cassie, if we go much further, I’m afraid I won’t be able to stop.”

“You won’t have to,” she breathed into his ear. “I want to be with you, George, in every way.” Her heated gaze convinced him to allow her to open his shirt and pull the fabric over his head.

Leave a comment or question on this post and I'll choose a winner at random to receive an e-book download of Cassidy's War.

Cassidy’s War is available today at The Wild Rose Press.

Visit my website for more info on Cassidy’s War and my other books and novellas.


Susan Macatee said...

Thanks for having me on your blog today, Isabel!

Isabel Roman said...

You're always welcomed Susan! I bought Cassidy's War today, and can't wait to start it.

Susan Macatee said...

Thanks, Isabel! Hope you enjoy it!

Rachel Brimble said...

Cassidy's War sounds fantastic, Susan and I say "Bah!" to all those people saying Civil Romance is dead. I ADORE it!

I write Victorian romance too and just love the period, although mine are usually set in and around Bath, England because I live just a short drive away from the city.

Glad you and your friends enjoyed the tour of my homeland in your 20s!

Huge luck with sales and future success :)

Rachel x

Calisa Rhose said...

I love your embarrassing moment! Not love it, but you could easily work that into a story! This is a great excerpt! Going on my tbr!

Congrats and wishes for many sales, Susan

Susan Macatee said...

Thanks, Rachel and Calisa! And it really is difficult to maneuver in those hoops. Everything from walking, sitting, getting into a car; for them it would have been a carriage, of course. Those radical 19th century women who were for dress reform were absolutely right! But they had to endure a lot of ridicule to get their point across.

VampedChik said...

Great excerpt!!! Congrats on the release!!!

Susan Macatee said...

A big thanks for everyone who left a comment!

The winner of the pdf download of Cassidy's War is Rachel Brimble!


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