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Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Friends: Susan Macatee

I'm very excited to have my friend and fellow American historical author here today, Susan Macatee.  I've been a fan of Susan's work for many years, now it's your turn to get to know this super talented and lovely lady.

Hi Susan!  Welcome!  Tell us a bit about yourself and why you write the genre you do.
I've always loved books and dreamed of being an author someday. But I came to my chosen genre in a roundabout way. As a teen and young adult, I devoured science fiction. So, that's what I first tried writing. It wasn't until years later, as a young mother, that I discovered romance. Times travels, followed by historicals, were my favorite escapes. Then my husband pulled me into Civil War reenacting. I love the romance of the period, as well as the grit, and just had to place my romances in this time period. As a result, my first romance novel was a Civil War time travel.

How long have you been writing?
I could honestly say since childhood. I remember writing picture books to distribute to friends. I had kind of a start in my early college years, when I tried submitting short stories to magazines and wrote for a 'Star Trek' fanzine. But it was after my youngest son started school that I joined Romance Writers of America and began to write both short stories and book length romance and submit my work to publishers. So, we're talking about 23 years.

Describe your typical writing day
My writing day doesn't start until afternoon, although I do a couple of email checks, plus a little book promo in the mornings. Once I settle down to write, I either have a word quota, if I'm writing a first draft, or a page or hourly quota, in the case of revisions, edits or plotting. I start with whatever project I'm currently working on, but if I have extra time before I have to start dinner, I might make notes on my next project before I stop for the day.

What was your “Aha!” moment—when you knew you had to write?
I took a creative writing class my junior year in high school. For my fiction assignment, I wrote a 12 page horror story and got an A++. My teacher would have read it to the class, if not for the length. From that point on, I knew writing in some form was something I was meant to do.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
In college, I took a few elective psychology courses and did really well in them. I think I would've majored in psych if I wasn't fixated on writing.

What is your best cure for writer’s block?
The absolute best cure is to read a good book by another writer. Always gets me in the mood to get back to work on my own project.

Tell us a little bit about your new release, Thoroughly Modern Amanda

Thoroughly Modern Amanda is a sequel to my 2009 Civil War time travel romance, Erin's Rebel. This new story is set in 1880 and the heroine, Amanda Montgomery, was a child in Erin's Rebel, the daughter of the widowed hero. The hero, Jack Lawton, is a modern day construction worker who wants to refurbish an old Victorian home, but the owner dies and her heir wants to sell the land and have the house demolished.

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?

Jack blinked, focusing his gaze. Blinding pain in the back of his head nearly caused him to pass out again. The last thing he recalled was a beam blindsiding him.

“Sir?” a female voice cooed. “What’s happened? Did the beam hit you?”

He tried to focus on a face hovering above him. “Yeah, the beam hit me. It must have knocked me out.” He lifted his arm, intending to probe his aching head.

“Don’t move,” the woman said. “I have a rag covering the gash. You need a doctor, I think.”

He gazed at the woman. With her red-gold hair piled on her head and her old-fashioned looking gown, she didn’t seem real. Like something out of a crazy dream. If her face wasn’t so smooth and youthful, he’d believe he was back at Mrs. Grayson’s house, but the old woman was dead and she’d never dressed like this.

“Where am I?” he groaned. A flash of pain shot through his skull.
The woman’s blue eyes widened. “You don’t know where you are? The beam must have taken your memory.” She glanced around. “This house is under construction. You’re obviously one of the workmen hired to build it.”

“Under construction?” A new wave of pain pierced his skull. “No. This house is going to be torn down.”

“Shh.” She placed a finger over his lips. “You must have had a memory lapse.”

Her soft touch and scent enveloped him. Something seemed familiar about her, but he wasn’t sure what. He tried to rise, but she pushed him back.

“Don’t try to get up. I’ll go for help.”

“No.” He rubbed his head. “I think I can sit up with your assistance. Pushing onto his elbows, he gazed around the room. His heart dropped as he realized this wasn’t the dilapidated house he’d been exploring. The scent of fresh cut wood and unfinished walls chilled him.

“You say this house is under construction?” He made an effort to sit up straight.

She moved to brace his back. “You mustn’t move so quickly. You could aggravate your injury.”

“This doesn’t make any sense.” He reached for the towel she’d placed against the back of his head. The rag slid down his back.

She retrieved it, then gently probed his head.

He winced at the pain.

Her gaze met his. “It doesn’t look so bad now. The bleeding’s stopped, but you will need someone to look after you. I’ll contact your family.”

“There’s no need. I can drive. Just help me to my car. It’s parked outside.”

“Car?” She bit her lip, drawing his attention to her full, ripe mouth. “You mean carriage? I saw no carriage outside.”

“No, I mean a car. It’s a dark green four door.”

“I saw no carriage as you describe.” She wrung her hands glancing toward the open doorway. “I’ll go find help.”

His hand shot out to stop her. He didn’t want her to go, even to get help. If he was able to stand…

“Help me up,” he said.

She frowned, but grasped his hand. Pushing up on his legs with her assistance at his side, he stood. But his equilibrium seemed off. She braced her weight against his.

“Are you sure you don’t want to stay here? I’ll find a neighbor to help you to go…” She hesitated. “Where do you want to go?”

“Home, but I need my car to get there.” His hand dropped to his pocket to search for his wallet, but a strap and two buttons on his waistband diverted his attention. He wore a pair of suspenders, a loose fitting shirt with four buttons reaching from his mid-chest area to his collar, and baggy wool pants. These weren’t the clothes he’d been wearing when he’d explored the house.

What the hell?

His alarmed gaze drifted down to the woman who still supported his weight. The clothes he wore matched the period of her gown. And the condition of the house, compared to the dilapidated building he'd been in, set his brain awhirl.

“Where in hell am I?” he gasped.

The woman’s eyes widened as she gazed open mouthed at him.

Anything else in the works you can share with us?
Yes, I’m currently working on a novella based on a minor character from my 2009 Civil War romance, Confederate Rose. In ‘The Physician’s Irish Lady’ the hero is a small town doctor, who served as a Union army surgeon during the Civil War. The heroine is an Irish immigrant on the run from a man she met in New York City, who tried to sell her to a brothel.

Leave a comment on this post for the chance to win a PDF copy of Thoroughly Modern Amanda and a $10.00 gift card for The Wild Rose Press.

Buy link:

Susan, thanks so much for visiting with us today!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Baking Cookies with Isabel

Please stop by my friend Isabel Roman's blog today for a guest interview featuring me...and a super easy cookie recipe I just know you're going to love!

Hope this final week before Christmas is shaping up to be a good one for you.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Reviews Are In!!!

Wow, 4 1/2 stars from Manic Readers!! I'm so happy, and so relieved since this is my first foray into anything even slightly paranormal!!

Alberta, thank you so much--hug, hug, hug. I'm so glad you enjoyed the story. 

The review is below.

Reviewer: Alberta
TV reality decorating show host Jamie has plans to demolish an antebellum house that has been deemed unsafe and unprofitable to renovate. Just to make sure, Jamie makes a trip to see the house in person and is amazed to find the ghosts of civil war combatants inhabiting it. At least he thinks they are ghosts, but what if he is the ghost instead?
I love time travel stories and This Moment in Time is very good. Jamie meets Josette, a southern sympathizer who is being held prisoner by a sadistic northern officer, who is sure she is passing on his troop movements to the south, but can’t figure out how.
When Jamie begins to visit her in her time, bringing trinkets and foot, she ends up visiting him in the future. But they can’t be together, they each belong in their own times, and the outcome of the war is more important than the burgeoning love they feel for each other.
When Josette’s life is threatened, can Jamie save her from death plus a fate worse than death? How will they explain each other to their own contemporaries?
I liked this cute little story, well-written, with enough suspense, conflict and differing motivations to satisfy the pickiest reader.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wednesday on Writing - In the words of Charles Dickens

The Saturday after Thanksgiving my boys, the hubby and I took my mom to see a live theater production of A Christmas Carol at Geva Theater here in my hometown.  It's my mom's favorite Christmas movie, and while I admit to leaning a little more toward It's A Wonderful Life (has any actress every been more beautiful than Donna Reed is in that movie??? She's breathtaking!)  I have learned to love the Dickens classic as well. (My favorite version: the one with George C. Scott.  My favorite Scrooge? Michael Caine.  He plays the role of Scrooge in the Muppet Christmas Carol and he's nothing short of amazing! A must see just for the songs and Mr. Caine even if you're not fond of the idea of Kermit and Piggy as Bob and Mrs. Cratchet LOL)  My husband and boys both love A Christmas Carol so I guess it's through them that I have come to have a fondness for it myself.

We had wonderful seats (orchestra right, row A) and the play was sensational.  As we left the theater that night, a light snowfall had begun and it felt like the perfect beginning to the holiday season. 

But I digress.  I wanted to get back to posting thoughts on the craft of writing on Wednesdays and lo and behold, I found this quote from Mr. Dickens that sums it all up rather nicely:

An idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself.- Charles Dickens

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday Morning Musing: I Gotta Write That - Take II

If you read my post from a few weeks back called "Marry My Daughter" you know I like to talk about stories that just beg someone to write them.

Add this one to the list!  Did you hear about this?  The story actually broke a couple of weeks back but I'm still thinking about it and still what if'ing!

Actress Janeane Garofalo was married for twenty years and didn't know it.  Apparently she and a friend had what they thought was a pretend marriage in Vegas one night while they were both intoxicated.  Neither of them knew--for twenty years!!!--that it was legit until the friend went to wed recently and found out he was already married.  Can you imagine???

Well ...don't mind if I do!  There are sooo many ways I could write this story, LOL.  I love "best friends falling in love" stories, so that's the obvious angle to write it from.  But there are so many possibilities! I haven't quite figured out how I'd make that one a historical story but  my muse keeps tempting me to figure it out.  Oh the possibilities! Or as I like to say, so many stories, so little time to write them LOL.

How would you write it?

The Struggle is Real Week 8: When Life Hits Back

  It’s been nearly two weeks since my last post. Did anyone notice I was missing?   But I have good news/bad news.   The good news. I wr...