Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace


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Monday, April 30, 2012


Welcome back to History Undressed, guest author Jennifer Jakes! If you didn't visit her previous posts, you should: Miss Kitty Lied (Prostitutes) & They Did What??? (Historical Vibrators). Today she is enthralling us yet again with the life of a laundress. Fascinating!


by Jennifer Jakes

Oh, I know what you’re thinking. Naughty, naughty. *insert Tsk here* And while I will touch upon some of the “horizontal” work a Laundress could do to earn a little extra money, the main part of this post deals with the long hours of the world’s other oldest profession: Scrubbing clothes.

As a Civil War Re-enactor, I chose the Army Laundress as my portrayal. When I found this historical photo of a woman, her husband and three children, I focused on recreating her look and the look of her camp for mine. (My husband is a Corp. in a small artillery unit and two our daughters re-enact with us.) So I wanted to share some of the information I discovered while researching this Army occupation. Yep, you read that right. The Army Laundress was employed by the Union Army. (The Confederate Army quite possibly did the same, but my research was for the Union.) All info from: Civil War Times, Aug. 1999 - including historic photo - and Laundry Handbook by Virginia Mescher

*Appointed by the captain of the company, the first thing he assigned the laundress was her letter of good character. She was the only woman granted official status in the army camp. All others – including officers’ wives – were considered Camp Followers.
*She was usually married to or related to one of the lower ranking soldiers. Her tent was set apart from the men – and if she was married to a soldier, he normally stayed with her on Suds Row.
*While most laundresses seemed respectable enough, there were a few who made “lots of money nature’s way. One of them had a bill today against a soldier for forty dollars.” –  Quote from a private, 2nd Minnesota Infantry. (Wow! That’s a lot of scrubbing up and down on. . .  something! Bet it wasn’t his socks. *wink* ) Such improper behavior was grounds for dismissal UNLESS the company captain chose to look the other way.
*One such “energetic” washer woman could make upwards of $40 per month. A true laundress who actually washed clothing, made about $7- $12. per month. Combined with her husband’s pay of about $13 per month, the couple could earn a good amount for that day.
*The washer woman received a tent, daily rations of food and services of the surgeon. (These must have been the perks of the job. Unless you were the woman who made……..nevermind.)

Laundry was not a one day event for women of this time. It could take up to three days to complete all the steps. Here they are in order:
Mending – Yes, dirty clothes
Stain Removal
Soaking – Which would mean this and all of the above steps would be done on (example) Monday and left overnight to soak.
Washing(read Scrubbing) and/or Boiling – 1 wash, 1 boil, 1 rinse meant at least 50 gallons of water. (Hope they camped near a creek.)
Rinsing – 3 rinses were customary (think of wringing each piece – esp. those wool uniforms – by hand! Yes, some laundresses did have wringer (a clothes squeezer), but most outside of hospital workers did not.)
Bluing – This was used for whites. Bluing does not bleach the clothes, but once added to the final rinse, gave the illusion of “white”.
Bleaching –If the Bluing did not make the white items as white as desired, they could either be laid in the sun to sun-bleach or a chemical bleach could be used. A common chemical used was Ammonia. The most common source of ammonia was STALE URINE! (Bet those clothes smelled nice and freshly laundered. Not!)
Starching – Starch helped keep dirt from being ground into the material. Remember, these men or women did not change clothes daily. Sometimes, not even weekly.
Drying – Hopefully the laundress had a place to string a clothes line. Otherwise, clothes would be spread on the ground or on top of shrubs. (This ended Day 2 of washing.)
Sprinkling – After the clothes were dry, the starched items were sprinkled with water, rolled up and allowed to absorb the water so they were damp. This softened the starch and made clothes easier to iron.
Ironing – Flat or Sad irons (sad meant heavy) and it took 1 ½ hrs to heat a 6 pound iron. Laundresses kept several “irons in the fire” as she couldn’t wait 1 ½ each time an iron cooled. (I suspect this is where the saying too many irons in the fire came from.) They didn’t really put the iron in the fire though as that would have meant streaking soot over clean clothes so they used upside down frying pans set on the fire grate. I suppose the women might have brought their own Trivit from home. Anyway, ironing costs a soldier about 3 cents per shirt.
Airing – This was an important step as the clothes were still damp after ironing and they were folded damp, they would crease and if the weather was warm, mildew.
Folding – Even women doing laundry at home folded as most “poor to middle class” didn’t have closets.
 OK, I could go on and on with interesting facts but for now……….Go kiss your washing machine and dryer!

After trying several careers—everything from a beautician to a dump truck driver—Jennifer finally returned to her first love, writing. Maybe it was all those Clint Eastwood movies she watched growing up, but in her opinion there is no better read than a steamy western historical.

Married to her very own hero, she lives on fifteen acres along with two beautiful daughters, three spoiled cats, three hyper dogs and one fat rabbit.

During the summer she does Civil War re-enacting and has found it a great research tool, not to mention she has continued appreciation for her microwave and hot water heater.
Her debut novel, RAFE’S REDEMPTION, was a RWA Golden Heart Finalist and Won BEST ROMANCE 2011 at DITHR.

Visit Jennifer Jakes at www.jenniferjakes.com

Jennifer's book, RAFE'S REDEMPTION is up for June iBook Buzz (read and discuss book of the month)!  Leave a comment to win an ecopy and you can participate in the discussion!


He rode into town to buy supplies, not a woman.

For hunted recluse Rafe McBride, the raven-haired beauty on the auction block  is exactly what he doesn't need. A dependent woman will be another clue his vengeful stepbrother can use to find and kill him. But Rafe's conscience won't let him leave another innocent's virginity to the riff-raff bidding. He buys her, promising to return her to St. Louis untouched. He only prays the impending blizzard holds off before her sultry beauty breaks his willpower.

She wanted freedom, not a lover.

Whisked to the auction block by her devious, gambling cousin, and then sold into the arms of a gorgeous stranger, outspoken artist Maggie Monroe isn't about to go meekly. Especially when the rugged mountain man looks like sin and danger rolled into one. But a blizzard and temptation thrust them together, and Maggie yearns to explore her smoldering passion for Rafe.

But when the snow clears, will the danger and secrets that surround Rafe and Maggie tear them apart?


Be Careful What You Wish For. . .

No-nonsense stuntwoman Isabella Douglas will do anything to stop an unwanted divorce and reclaim the happy life she had, even allow her old friend to concoct a magical spell to turn back time. But when the spell goes awry, Izzy finds herself trapped aboard a 1768 Caribbean pirate ship with a captain who’s a dead ringer for her sexy as sin husband, Ian. Convinced he’s playing a cruel joke, she’s furious – until she realizes he doesn’t know her or believe they’re married.

Captain Ian Douglas does not have time to deal with an insane woman who claims to be his wife; he has to save his kidnapped sister. But as Izzy haunts his dreams and fills him with erotic memories he can’t explain, he’s forced to admit he feels more than lust.

Trapped in a vicious cycle of past mirroring present, Izzy knows they only have days to find Ian’s sister and prevent disaster from striking a second time. If she doesn’t, their marriage will be destroyed again – along with the man she loves.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Interview and Giveaway with Guest Author D.L. Bogdan (The Sumerton Women)

Today on History Undressed, I've interviewed historical fiction author, D. L. Bogdan. She writes compelling Tudor-era fiction, and just this month, her latest novel released--The Sumerton Women (click to see my review).

1. Your previous books, Secrets of the Tudor Court and Rivals in the Tudor Court were based on real historical figures, is The Sumerton Women?  

~No, most of the characters in THE SUMERTON WOMEN are of my own creation, save for a few guest appearances by real historical figures such as the Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, and some members of Henry VIII’s court.  I was eager to try anew approach to my writing and illustrate the conflict of a very tumultuous era through my own characters to show the dramatic affect such historical events could have on a family.

2. Fascinating! I would have never guessed, they seemed so real. And I think you accomplished your feat! What made you choose to write a bout Lady Cecily Burkhart?

~Cecily was of my own creation, and she was my portrait of endurance, mercy, and humanity during a time when those virtues were very difficult to attain.  With all of my characters, I was hoping to portray common strengths, flaws, and struggles timeless to the human condition.

3. I got that sense, and it resonated with me. Well done! Any interesting/unique factoids you uncovered while doing research for your book?

~I read a brilliant biography of Thomas Cranmer by Diarmaid MacCulloch during my research, which led me to a deeper understanding of the man and all he went through.  I developed a little soft spot for him, along with a new admiration for all he accomplished during such a turbulent era.

4. I will have to check that book out. I love reading about that time period. Your books are always filled with lovely descriptions of the period. How do you put yourself in the scene to picture these things?

~I have alwayshad an over-developed imagination—which is sometimes to my detriment (hence why I rarely watch horror movies).  For me ,slipping into another time and picturing everything around me is a joyous escape—almost like acting.  I have a lot of fun doing it and am so glad those descriptions translate.

5. I rarely watch horror movies either... Paranormal Activity had me up for over 2 weeks... I agree with you on the slipping through time as joyous...  I love history. If I could, I would definitely go back in time! At least for a day or two. What is it that fascinates you most about the Tudor era?

~It is overflowing with conflict, which is perfect for fiction writing (and non-fiction, for that matter), compelling historical figures with real and relatable struggles, and larger-than-life events that never seem to lose their hold on popular culture.

6. It really was filled with so much drama--you really don't have to make much up at all. If you could travel back in time to the court of Henry VIII, what is the first, second and third thing you'd do/see? 

~The first thing I’d do is hire a reliable body guard who could make sure I kept my head!  The second would be to somehow meet the Third Duke of Norfolk and his family to see if I did them justice in my portrayals of them.  The third would be to attend a rollicking feast and joust hosted by Henry VIII. Despite everything, he seemed to know how to entertain!

7. LOL on the bodyguard! So needed! That sounds like a good list. I agree Henry certainly knew how to entertain! What can your readers look forward to reading next?

~My next work will be released in 2013 and though I cannot yet disclose what it is about, I can say it is another historical set in the Tudor era, though it does not center on Henry VIII and his court per se. I am very excited about it and can’t wait to discuss it further as soon as I am able.

And we can't wait to hear about it! Thanks so much for visiting with us today. 

Readers, if you haven't already, check out D.L. Bogdan's Tudor-era historical fiction novels! They are amazing!  

Leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of The Sumerton Women!


D.L. Bogdan is an ongoing student of history, musician, and avid reader who enjoys travel, the outdoors, and time with her family and friends.  She is a proud wife and mother who makes her home in central Wisconsin.  She is the author of Secrets of the Tudor Court, Rivals in the Tudor Court and The Sumerton Women.

For more information on D.L. Bogdan and her novels, please visit her WEBSITE.  You can also find her on FACEBOOK and TWITTER.


Orphaned at age eight, Lady Cecily Burkhart becomes the ward of Harold Pierce, Earl of Sumerton. Lord Hal and his wife, Lady Grace, welcome sweet-natured Cecily as one of their own. With Brey, their young son, Cecily develops an easy friendship. But their daughter, Mirabella, is consumed by her religious vocation - and by her devotion to Father Alec Cahill, the family priest and tutor. As Henry VIII's obsession with Anne Boleyn leads to violent religious upheaval, Mirabella is robbed of her calling and the future Cecily dreamed of is ripped away in turn. Cecily struggles to hold together the fractured household while she and Father Alec grapple with a dangerous mutual attraction. Plagued with jealousy, Mirabella unleashes a tumultuous chain of events that threatens to destroy everyone around her, even as the kingdom is torn apart...

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Historical Review: The Sumerton Women

I recently had the pleasure of reading another book by D.L. Bogdan--The Sumerton Women.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading her first two Tudor era novels, which I reviewed here: Secrets of the Tudor Court and Rivals in the Tudor Court.  Her third Tudor book, does not disappoint. I highly recommend it.


Orphaned at age eight, Lady Cecily Burkhart becomes the ward of Harold Pierce, Earl of Sumerton. Lord Hal and his wife, Lady Grace, welcome sweet-natured Cecily as one of their own. With Brey, their young son, Cecily develops an easy friendship. But their daughter, Mirabella, is consumed by her religious vocation - and by her devotion to Father Alec Cahill, the family priest and tutor. As Henry VIII's obsession with Anne Boleyn leads to violent religious upheaval, Mirabella is robbed of her calling and the future Cecily dreamed of is ripped away in turn. Cecily struggles to hold together the fractured household while she and Father Alec grapple with a dangerous mutual attraction. Plagued with jealousy, Mirabella unleashes a tumultuous chain of events that threatens to destroy everyone around her, even as the kingdom is torn apart...


Once again, Ms. Bogdan had taken her readers on an emotional journey. The Sumerton Women is full of vibrant characters, each with their own set of inner demons. Demons that reach out and touch those around them, causing all sorts of conflict and strife.

The Sumerton Women is a foray into human trials and tribulations. The story starts of with the young Cecily at her home. She is trying to cope (albeit unsuccessfully) with the death of her parents. Having lost her siblings, she is the only one left of her family. She remains hidden away in her mother's wardrobe until Father Alec, the priest who tutors Lord Sumerton's children comes to retrieve her. She will be taken in by the Sumerton household as their ward. He shows her that life can be worth living, and that she just might have something to look forward to in the future. They form a bond over mutual loss--a bond that does not make her guardian's daughter--Mirabella--happy at all.

And poor Cecily, whose seemed to carve out a decent life for herself, deals with more tragedy. Secrets kept long buried are unearthed in the face of the calamity that will change her life--and in so doing changes the lives of all, releasing a trail of disaster.

This story takes place within the court of Henry VIII--a time of political and religious unrest. The king breaks from Rome and sets aside Queen Catherine in order to marry Anne Boleyn. This bit alone puts those within the Sumerton household at odds.

I liked that we were able to view the story from the eyes of each character. It really gives us a better understanding of each of their vices, their conflicts, their motivations. As always, Ms. Bogdan did an excellent job with the historical backdrop. She put us right into 16th century Tudor England, replete with current events, historical figures, the language, style, etc.... 

In an era where drama is an everyday occurrence, and jealousy and suspicion rules the minds of many, catastrophe is bound to reign supreme. The Sumerton Women is a superb, gripping narrative of passion, ire, resentment, loss, sinful vices, friendship and love. A real heart-wrencher. Read it!

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for History Undressed's interview with D. L. Bogdan, and a chance to win a copy of The Sumerton Women! 

The Drawing Room Explained

Happy Wednesday! Today I have posted about drawing rooms at Romancing the Past. Would love for you to stop by!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Video of the Week: Worst Jobs in History -- The Tudor Age Part 1

Thank you, Tony Robinson, for delivering us such fascinating facts about jobs in history! This is Part 1 of his show on Worst Jobs in History -- The Tudor Era. The parts that follow can be found on YouTube.


Monday, April 23, 2012

True to the Union – Civil War in the Hill Country of Texas By Celia Hayes

Welcome back to History Undressed, guest author, Celia Hayes! Today she's sharing with us some history on the Civial War and Texas. Enjoy!

True to the Union – Civil War in the Hill Country of Texas
 By Celia Hayes

“…From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean…”

It’s a little-known fact – even in Texas – that the Civil War was fought in miniature in the Hill Country, even as it was fought bitterly in the east between the Union and the Confederacy. During the 1850s the fissure between free-soil men and slave-owners hardened among communities in Texas, mimicking the split between North and South. Abolitionist feelings were especially strong in Gillespie County – the German-settled areas around Fredericksburg, Comfort and New Braunfels. This was the high country, the frontier, the less-good land of hard-working farmers and small cattle ranches. Most were solidly opposed to chattel slavery. The Germans might have settled in Texas relatively recently, but they were a cohesive block; they had put down roots, knew their rights and were prepared to insist on them.

When the war began in earnest, barely a handful of men had volunteered out of Gillespie County for the Confederate Army, although there were recruits a-plenty for the Home Guard, and for the Frontier Battalion, and for locally-recruited ranging companies to defend against Indian raiders sweeping in from the west and from the Plains. By the second year of fighting, the battles back east had burned through those first volunteers for the Confederate cause. Early in 1862 the Confederate Congress drafted and passed a general conscription law, essentially declaring that every white male between the age of eighteen and thirty-five were liable for military service. Texas followed suit. Of course there were exemptions: wealthy men could hire a substitute, and there were also exemptions for elected officials, and for men who owned more than a certain number of slaves. This last was particularly galling. Nothing was more calculated to prove the truth of the bitter observation that it was a rich mans’ war but a poor mans’ fight.

Resistance was instant and furious in those communities which had not been enthusiastic about secession to begin with. In the Hill Country, feelings about the draft were doubly bitter.  A motivation for emigrating from Germany in the first place had been the existence of conscription there. To be forced to fight in the defense of an institution they despised, and for a political body whose very existence they had opposed was an insult past bearing. And finally, it was still the frontier. Fighting off war-parties of Indians was much more of an immediate concern.

By that summer the military governor of Texas essentially declared war on the Hill Country. Gillespie and neighboring Kerr County were put under martial law. All males over the age of 16 were ordered to register with the local provost marshal and take an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy.  Suspicion followed by repression only bred resentment and further defiance, which in turn bred violence and resistance. Men of draft began hiding out in the brush whenever anyone in a uniform came around.  Even companies of volunteers raised to protect against Indian raids and freelance brigandage were looked upon by suspicion; it was whispered that they only volunteered for frontier defense in order to keep out of the Confederate Army. A company of so-called Partisan Rangers, under the command of Captain James Duff, who had been a freight-hauler and wagon-master before the war, were sent to keep order. He was soon established as the most hated man in the county, arresting a local merchant for supposedly refusing to accept Confederate currency and others on suspicion of treason and sedition.

By summer, Duff ordered the arrest of any man who had not made the difficult journey into town to take the loyalty oath. In a sweep of a thinly-settled area north of Kerrville, his troopers arrested half a dozen men who had failed to do so, along with their families. The families were sent to Fredericksburg, to be held under appalling conditions in a cramped one-room hut, but the six men were sent under guard to Fort Mason, where a number of other suspected Union sympathizers were held. During an overnight camp, two of the younger men saw that their guards were sleeping, and slipped away. The next morning, the frustrated guards simply hanged the four others and dumped their bodies into a nearby creek. On returning to Fredericksburg, the guards taunted the families of the men they had murdered with accounts of what had been done.

Duff’s rangers continued waging a savage campaign against the local settlers: flogging men they had arrested until they told his troopers what they wanted to hear, wrecking hard-built homes, arresting whole families and confiscating foodstuffs and livestock. After burning her home to the ground, one woman told Duff that he must have little enough to do, since he had left her and her children without any shelter at all. Captain Duff answered that at least, he was leaving her a spring of water, to which she shouted fearlessly that if he had known how to destroy it, he surely would have done so.

In late summer, a party of sixty men gathered south of Kerrville, led by a German settler from Comfort named Fritz Tegener. They thought they had had been offered a thirty-day amnesty by the Governor of Texas and that they had an opportunity to depart Texas unmolested, rather than take the loyalty oath. They planned to travel westward towards the Mexican border; as many intended to (and later did) join the Union Army. But there was no such amnesty in effect; they were pursued and ambushed by Duff’s troopers on the Nueces River. Half of Tegener’s party was killed outright and another twenty wounded were executed upon capture. One was taken to San Antonio and executed there. The survivors scattered; some fled over the border, and others returned home, where their families brought food to them as they hid in the fields. Captain Duff refused to allow the families of the dead to retrieve the bodies.

Having made it clear who was boss, Duff and his company were withdrawn late in the autumn of 1863. They left smoking rubble and several decades’ worth of hatred and distrust in their wake. On his departure, a scratch company of local men - pro-Union and Confederate - were recruited by a Fredericksburg merchant; Major James Hunter. It helped that a fresh outburst of Indian raids effectively re-directed everyone’s priorities towards meeting a more immediate threat. Hunter proved effective: he was respected by all, trusted by the Germans, and sensibly confined his attentions towards protecting those scatterings of hamlets and ranches from Indian marauders, leaving enforcement of the conscription laws strictly alone.

Unfortunately, continuing reversals on the battlefields in Tennessee and Virginia led to a demand for more men to feed into the Confederate Army and a renewed outcry to enforce the conscription laws in the Hill Country. A new decree insisted that the volunteers in the frontier company be mustered into the Confederate Army. Opposed to any such thing, most of those volunteers promptly deserted, and Hunter’s remaining troops turned to hunting them down. A pair of deserters were killed resisting arrest near Grape Creek in Blanco County. Shortly afterwards a relative of one of the men killed the neighbor who was assumed to have informed on them.

Meanwhile, a detachment of state troops went searching for Karl Itz, a survivor of the Nueces massacre thought to be hiding near his family home in the Cherry Spring area. Unable to find him, they seized his two younger brothers and took them to Fredericksburg on the pretext of enlisting them forcibly into the Confederate Army. Instead, the two were murdered by their guards in the middle of Main Street, presumably as a means sending a message to other draft dodgers and deserters. Another running fight between troopers and bushmen left authorities with the impression that the situation was truly getting out of hand. Major Hunter was effectively kicked upstairs and local command given to an excitable and impulsive man named William Banta.

Banta soon exhibited a lamentable tendency to see enemies everywhere, encouraged by the whisperings of pro-Confederate neighbors at his headquarters at White Oak Creek, a little north of present-day Kerrville. He and a local pro-Confederate named James Waldrip were also encouraged in this by the arrival of a small squad of men from William Quantrill’s notorious band. Fresh from assorted partisan atrocities in Kansas, they had come to Texas to purchase horses, cattle and supplies. In short order, Waldrip gathered a band of like-minded partisans together with Quantrill’s men and determined to root out Unionists, deserters, draft-evaders and any whose views of the Confederacy were less than wildly enthusiastic.  They would become known as the hangerbande or “the hanging band.”

Late in February of 1864 a group of about twenty men led by Waldrip burst into the home of Fredericksburg’s public school-teacher, Louis Scheutze, seized him over the protests of his family and carried him away. He was an educated and cultured man, his brother was a music teacher and tutor in Austin, whose pupils included the children of the current and former Governors of Texas, and the home from which he was taken was right in the middle of town. His body was found two days later, hanging from the branch of a tree just outside town. His only offense seems to have been that he was outspoken in criticizing authorities in their investigation into the murders of the Itz brothers and the fight at Grape Creek.

Meanwhile, the excitable Banta became convinced by rumors that deserters and evaders were in open rebellion in the district north of Kerrville. A suspected deserter being escorted to Fredericksburg was simply taken away from the troopers by a large group of men and hanged. Several days after that incident, Waldrips’ hanging-band swept through a cluster of farms and ranches clustered around Grape Creek. One man was shot in the back, and three others taken away without explanation and hanged. There might have been more, but for two children who ran from house to house giving warning. It was never clear why those men were targeted by the hanging band, although later investigation brought forth some ugly suppositions. One man owned a large herd of horses, which went to Quantrill’s purchasing agent and another possessed a large quantity of silver coin … also confiscated by that agent. Shortly afterwards the elderly father and teenaged son of another draft-evader thought to be in the area were flogged and tortured by Banta’s troopers in an effort to make them  reveal his whereabouts. Both the old man and the boy died without revealing anything.

At that point Banta’s superiors had had enough. Banta and five others were arrested and charged with murder and robbery, although they were never actually tried in court. They would have arrested Waldrip and elements of his band, including Quantrill’s agent, but for all of them making themselves scarce; in some cases, all the way to Mexico. The authorities, after reasserting some measure of control, sensibly concluded that after these goings-on there was likely no way to bring local citizens around to support the Confederacy anyway… best leave them to manage their own affairs. Within a year of the Grape Creek outrages the Confederacy had tottered to its’ final ruin.

Two years after the end of the war, J.P Waldrip suddenly appeared in Fredericksburg. No one was ever able to say why; perhaps he thought he would not be recognized, or that the end of the war constituted some kind of amnesty. He was soon recognized, and fled for his life. The son-in-law of Louis Scheutze - the murdered school-teacher - took a shot at him and missed. Waldrip is supposed to have run towards the Nimitz Hotel, perhaps to steal a horse from the stables, or maybe he was making towards the stage stop which used to be at the back of the present-day property. At any rate, he was shot by an unknown assailant and fell dying, underneath an oak tree which still stands on the Nimitz Hotel grounds. The identity of who shot him was supposed to have been a mystery. Local historians suspect that it might have also been one of those things that everyone knew - but preferred to keep their mouth shut about. Waldrip was buried in an unmarked grave on private property – not in the town cemetery. It would be claimed for decades that the hanging band had killed more settlers in the Hill Country during the War than the Indians ever had, before, during or afterwards.

Shortly after the end of the war, the remains of those killed in the Nueces fight were retrieved and brought back to Comfort for a proper burial. A monument was put up over the burial site, with the names of the dead, and the dedication “True to the Union” engraved upon it.

Buy Links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

The storms of war came upon them ... Loyal to the Union, adamant in their belief that slavery was wrong … Could they survive a brutal war in the dark heart of the Confederacy?

The Sowing is Volume 2 of the Adelsverein Trilogy, following the fortunes of German settlers who came to Texas seeking land and political freedom in the 19th century.

“Vati” Steinmetz and his children have prospered. His older daughter Magda has married Carl Becker, born him children and helped him build a happy life as a rancher in the beautiful valley of the Guadalupe River. Vati’s son-in-law Hansi Richter prospers as a farmer, and his son Johann has returned from years of study in Germany to become a doctor. But his beautiful adopted daughter Rosalie is in love … with a man who intends to serve in the Confederate Army!

Ideals, friendshio and cruel circumstance clash with the coming of civil war to the Hill Countrym bringing Carl Becker and Hansi Rickter into mortal danger from the ‘hanging band’ – a pro-Confederate lynch mob, while Johann and his twin brother Friedrich are drawn into fighting on opposite sides.

Adelsverein: The Sowing continues the epic story of how one family became American, through the brutal tragedy of the Civil War!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Video of the Week: Polite Victorian Society

Its been too long since I've shared a Horrible Histories (BBC) video! This one is hilarious... I will be sure to slap the next person who offers me a cheese and onion sandwich! :-)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Crime: Then and Now by Malcolm Archibald

Welcome to History Undressed, author of riveting fiction and non-fiction, Malcolm Archibald. Today Mr. Archibald is here to thrill us with a bit of history on crime... Enjoy!

Crime: Then and Now
by Malcolm Archibald

High Street, courtesy of
Dundee Art Galleries and Museums
Not many people indulge in body-snatching nowadays. It is one of the forgotten arts of crime, like child-stripping or garrotting, yet at one time it was a plague that spread across the countries of Scotland and England and created as much consternation as highway robbery or, piracy. That is the strange thing about crime; it can be very period specific, or may be as recognisable today as it was hundreds or even thousands of years ago; some actions that were once regarded as criminal are now accepted, and actions now regarded as criminal were once just seen as part of life.

History, of course, has put a gloss of romance on many crimes that were despicable or terrifying at the time. Take piracy: robbery at sea sometimes perpetrated by some of the worst creatures to haunt the globe, but Hollywood has often portrayed pirates as seaborne Robin Hoods; if Robin was a hero and not indeed just a hoodlum. Or take the opening line of this blog: bodysnatching.

Throughout the 18th century, and well into the 19th, a lack of bodies hindered doctors teaching anatomy.  By law, only executed criminals could be dissected, and as the population increased and the demand for doctors soared, the gallows failed to provide an adequate supply of corpses. The answer was simple: medical students joined the roughest of the rough in nocturnal visits to graveyards to unearth the newly deceased. Naturally the relatives of the dead were not too happy about this, and in many places there were night watches put on the graveyards.  To many, a dissected body meant the previous owner could not enter Heaven: the body snatchers, the Resurrection Men, stole souls as well as flesh and bones.

Howff Cemetary
Dundee in Scotland, dubbed ‘A Sink of Atrocity’ by the Judge Lord Cockburn, was one city to place a guard on the graves.  After a couple of scares in the early 1820s, including one where a student had been caught carrying a coffin on the Edinburgh coach, the good people of the town formed themselves into a burial ground watch to prevent  what the local Dundee Advertiser termed ‘the violation of the graves by those unfeeling wretches the resurrectionists.’   The watch brought their own lanterns, weapons and refreshments, and stood guard at the Howff, Dundee’s graveyard, until six in the morning.  There were a few memorable incidents including a gun fight among the gravestones, a member of the watch falling unseen into an open grave and a grave robber caught climbing over the wall. That particular man had cause to regret his position as a member of the watch thrust a bayonet into his bottom, but no more graves were robbed in Dundee.  The graveyard is still there; a peaceful haven in the middle of the city, with people munching their luncheon where the men of the watch once stood guard. It is unlikely that the days of the Resurrectionists will return, but there is certainly a watchful atmosphere in the Howff, when the winter moon casts long shadows and the stark trees rustle above the graves.

Other crimes are far closer to the surface than the six foot deep and two century old nightmare of the Resurrection Men. One such is the worry about youngsters becoming involved in crime.      Journalists and newspaper editors expend hundreds of column inches writing about the rise in juvenile crime, but this phenomenon was just as much a concern to the respectable public in the nineteenth century.  Scottish newspapers of the 1800s printed dread warnings about idle youngsters doing terrible things, such as a piece from Edinburgh’s Caledonian Mercury of 28th February 1801 that warned against the evils of youthful gambling:

There is daily an assemblage of apprentice boys under the Corn-market who misspend their time in tossing halfpence and in other species of gambling. Such practises tend most powerfully to vitiate their minds and commonly lead them to plunder their masters.

Other pieces concerned more obvious lawbreaking. This two line entry was from the same newspaper on the 5th July 1806:

On Monday several boys and girls not above 10 years of age were brought before the court for breaking into a house in Queen Street and a house in Register Street

There was the odd piece that groped for a reason for the apparent surge in crimes by the young. In July 1823 the Dundee Advertiser mentioned the town being:

‘Infested by a gang of villains whose depredations on the property and attacks on the persons have made them the pest and terror of all.

The article described the history of this teenaged gang from its beginnings as:

  A few idle boys whose only apparent means of subsistence was gathering dung off the streets, but who carried on pilfering on a small scale to a considerable extent.

Given the increased perceptions of social cohesion of modern society, it still seems inconceivable that nobody appeared to notice the obvious link between deprivation and crime. These twin evils were addressed, sometimes together, often separately, by a relative handful of concerned and frequently Christian people. Nevertheless, the most common reaction was to crack down hard on lawbreakers, or, at best, attempt rehabilitation by clumsy and forceful methods. For example in September 1834, when ten year old James Bell of Dundee was convicted of stealing a number of small items including a pewter teapot and an earthenware jug, he was transported to the penal colony in Australia for seven years. Perhaps even harsher was the treatment of John Crockatt of Dundee. He was convicted of theft in January 1862, and when his mother admitted he was beyond her control; the court sent him to an industrial school for nine years. John Crockatt was all of six years old.  Such sentences make the punishment of ten stripes of the tawse meted out to a group of boys in 1862 seem positively mild. Their crime may even have been worse than petty theft, for they unmoored a rescue boat at Magdalen Point in the River Tay. Putting lives at stake seemed less important than stealing in a society based on property and ownership. The definition of crime with regard to juveniles may not have altered, but the weight behind the different crimes certainly has.

Drink was often seen as the harbinger of crime, just as drugs are today. In February 1834 the Dundee Police Commission issued the following statement:

There is hardly a crime committed or a riot perpetrated but what may be referred to the intemperate use of ardent spirits and that mostly in the night time

Mind you, he may have had a point: in 1853 the town had one pub for every 144 people, not to mention the hidden shebeens, the unlicensed drinking houses that sold raw whisky straight from the glens. These drinking dens were often home to prostitutes and petty thieves, but usually just to the unfortunate, the desperate or the tragic. Mags Gow was one of the latter, a Dundee fishwife who could not refrain from over indulging. Was she a criminal? She certainly had a long criminal record. She appeared in court over 250 times for drunkenness and ended up in the lunatic wing of the poorhouse.

Mags was only one of a whole raft of Scottish women who fell foul of the law. There is sometimes a perception that 19th century women were shielded from the world, meek, and prone to swooning. I do not know from where these ideas originate, but they were certainly not true for Scotland. After being married to a Scotswoman for upwards of thirty years, and having brought up two Scottish daughters, I can say that meekness is not one of their defining attributes. Honesty, integrity, loyalty and forthrightness: yes, but never meekness. The same was true in the 19th century. Scotland had women ship owners and landladies; agents for the whaling industry, authors and adventurers; missionaries and even a ship’s captain. There were also the female criminals who were often even more deadly than the male.

For example there was the case in 1823 when the policeman on the South Bridge beat in Edinburgh who ran into a house to end a disturbance, to find eight naked women brawling with flat irons, or the anything-but-meek Margaret Nicoll who led a gang that controlled Dundee’s Little Close and whose war cry ‘Give the Bugger Law’ was a prelude to a rush of enraged women and men on anybody foolhardy enough to chance that passageway after dark.

Some crimes of the 19th century can only raise a smile of disbelief today, such as the case in October 1862 when Catherine Luckie of Dundee who was charged with having 20 hens and 14 pigs in her one roomed house. Although she was ordered to get rid of her livestock, Luckie could not see what all the fuss was about as they were “no nuisance whatever” to her. The opinions of her neighbours were not noted.  Other cases are as familiar today as they were then: shoplifting was as much a plague in the 1860s as it is in the early 21st century, and although the methods might not change, the equipment did. In September 1862, Keiller’s Confectionary realised that they were losing considerable quantities of their stock and were not sure how. The staff was checked going in and coming out, and nothing was found until something slipped from beneath a girl’s crinoline and a jar of jam crashed to the ground. A substantial search uncovered that ten of the workers had been smuggling out marmalade and jam under their crinolines. Not surprisingly, that article of clothing was subsequently banned from the building.  

The court rooms of Dundee and Edinburgh were often packed with intransigent women who could respond to their sentences with a mouthful of abuse and whose watchwords were defiance and contempt. Their sisters-in-crime can be seen today, in the same court and often for the same reasons.   

Women then, were heavily involved in the cornucopia of crime that flavoured the 19th century.  It was a fascinating period where the old pre-industrial age splintered before the clattering onrush of the machine, where masses of people adapted to new living conditions in crowded cities and where the poor struggled to survive by any means they could, on either side of a law that often seemed weighed to the advantage of the rich.  The crime of that century may be coloured with rosy tints, or monochrome through antique prints, but to the victims who suffered by it, crime was as sordid and ugly then as it is now. Perhaps if we were to don the boots and endure the darkest walk of the 19th century, the reality of life and crime would be revealed to us. As it is, we may only seek to bring the colour, romance and scalp-scratching atmosphere of the period to life through words and created images. That is the job of the writer.


Malcolm Archibald is the author of 19 books including:

A Sink of Atrocity: Crime in 19th Century Dundee, (2012) Edinburgh, Black and White Publishing 

Dundee in the nineteenth century was a very dangerous place. Ever since the Circuit judge Lord Cockburn branded the city 'A Sink of Atrocity' in his "Memoirs", the image of old Dundee has been one of poverty and crime - but what was it really like to live in the streets and closes of Dundee at that time? In "A Sink of Atrocity", Malcolm Archibald reveals the real nineteenth century Dundee and the ordinary and extraordinary crimes that took place. As well as the usual domestic violence, fighting and robberies, Dundee was also beset with a catalogue of different crimes during the century. There were the Bodysnatchers and Resurrection men who caused much panic in the 1820s and an epidemic of thieving in the 1860s. There were gang crimes, infamous murders and an astonishing outbreak of crimes committed by women, as well as the highly unusual theft of a whale at sea. Poverty and drink played their part and up against this tidal wave of crime stood men like Patrick Mackay, one of Dundee's Messengers-at-Arms, who was responsible for apprehending criminals before the advent of the police. It was not an easy job but those who were caught faced the full force of the law, from fines to jail and from transportation to hanging, as the authorities fought to bring law and order to Dundee.

The Darkest Walk (2011) Edinburgh, Fledgling Press

It is 1847 and Detective James Mendick is on his first case. Disturbing new evidence suggests the Chartist movement is seeking violent action after years of oppression. With the spectre of civil war looming, Mendick goes undercover, but his loyalties start to waver when his sympathies are awoken by the plight of the working classes and the beautiful and enigmatic Chartist, Rachel Scott. Soon, Mendick discovers there is more to the case than he has been led to believe and that unravelling this darkest walk of crime will be a matter of life or death.

Visit Mr. Archibald at: www.malcolmarchibald.com

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Video of the Week: I'm Reading a Book

Hello fellow History lovers!  Today's video isn't historical in nature...BUT considering I am at the RT Booklovers Convention, signing books today actually, I thought this video would be appropriate :-)


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Historical Book Review: When Love Won't Die by K. Lynette Erwin

I'd like to welcome our new reviewer, fellow historical romance author and good friend, Kathleen Bittner-Roth, to History Undressed! I'm excited to have Kathleen onboard, and hope to bring you many more reviews!


So Faithful A Heart: When Love Won’t Die is the continuing saga of the woman who Mozart vowed would own his heart forever, and the story of the man who tries to steal her heart from him. Set against the background of one of the most turbulent times in Western Europe, When Love Won’t Die gives you a window into the lives of some of the greatest and most colorful men and women in history!

So Faithful A Heart: When Love Won’t Die, the exciting and passionate sequel to So Faithful A Heart: The Love Story of Nancy Storace & Wolfgang Mozart, by author, K. Lynette Erwin.

Available in a Special Combined Edition, including a specially rewritten and re-edited version of So Faithful A Heart: The Love Story of Nancy Storace & Wolfgang Mozart from Amazon and Smashwords.


Grab a box of chocolates, a cup of tea and curl up in your favorite chair because K. Lynette Erwin is about to draw you into the inner world of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his mistress, a famous English singer. Ms. Erwin is so adept at moving you into the lives of her characters there’ll be times when you might actually blush, feeling as though you shamefacedly stand behind a screen in the very room where Mozart and his secret mistress carry on their affair of the heart. 

The love story between Anna “Nancy” Storace and Mozart begins in Book I, To A Faithful Heart, but here, in Book II, lies the captivating tale of Nancy’s life after she returns to England and leaves Mozart behind in Vienna. While awaiting a reunion, Mozart writes Nancy love letters that fan the flames in her fiery soul causing their love affair to linger on long after she departs the Continent.

But life is rocky on both sides of the English Channel. In Vienna, we find Mozart desperate and struggling to support his spendthrift wife, Constanze, and their brood of six, while he pines away for Nancy, his “Wanze” (little bug). In England, an intelligent, well-educated, but flamboyant Nancy matures into a fiercely independent and wealthy woman—the darling of Drury Lane. Star-crossed lovers, Nancy and “Wolfgango”, as she adoringly calls him, share a bittersweet love that defies time and space.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter 1916: The Fight for Irish Freedom

Welcome back to History Undressed, guest author Suzanne Barrett, with more fascinating facts about Ireland, and this time she's highlighted the Easter of 1916.

1916a: Liberty hall from a Valentine's
Collectors Series Post Card

Easter 1916:  The Fight for Irish Freedom

by Suzanne Barrett

Just before noon on Easter Monday, April 24th, a group of 150 men strode out of Liberty Hall, then marched toward Sackville Street (now O'Connell Street) a few hundred yards away.  About one fourth of the marchers wore the dark-green uniform of the Irish Citizen Army, others wore the grey-green of the Irish Volunteers.  Still others--perhaps most of them--wore no uniform.  Armed with an odd mixture of rifles, shotguns, and handguns, they moved in step, heading straight for the General Post Office (GPO).

The Dublin citizenry took little notice.  Such sights had become quite common over the past three years--groups of men playing at soldiers. Today was different.  When the men arrived at the post office, their leader, James Connolly, gave the order to charge.  The guards on duty were taken completely by surprise.

Once inside, the men took control of the building, removing the British flag and replacing it with two others, a plain green one with the words 'Irish Republic' and a green, white, and orange tricolor.  It was the first time that flag had flown over Dublin.  The man who hoisted the flag was Skibbereen-born Gearoid O'Sullivan, later to become Adjutant General of the Irish Free State.  O'Sullivan was a distant cousin to Michael Collins and a few years later, would marry Kitty Kiernan's sister, Maud.

In addition to affiliation with Irish Volunteers or the Irish Citizen Army, many of these men had connections to the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB).  This secret society, sometimes called Fenians, was founded in 1858 and conspired to overthrow British rule by force.  Earlier rebellions had failed, and by the turn of the century, the group had achieved little.  At this time, however, younger men joined, men with new ideas and fire.   Within ten years, the revitalized IRB had planned the Easter Rising.

Two of the most active IRB men in the Dublin area were Tom Clarke and Sean MacDiarmada (MacDermott).  Clarke had served prison time for his part if the dynamite plot of the 1880s; Leitrim-born MacDermott, a generation younger, was a born organizer who traveled throughout the country on behalf of the Brotherhood.  Clarke, MacDiarmada and a few others in the Brotherhood formed the military council and included Padraig Pearse and Joseph Mary Plunkett.  James Connolly, the leader of the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union, was planning a rising of his own.  The IRB wisely let him in on the plans.  Connolly proved to be their best commander in the field.  Michael Collins, adjutant to Plunkett, was also an IRB man.

The military council's greatest need was for arms.  Roger Casement, a British Foreign Office employee, was a passionate nationalist.  At the outbreak of WWI, he went to Germany and arranged a shipment of arms to arrive off the southwest coast of Ireland aboard the Aud.  Good Friday 1916 was the date set for the arms arrival.

Dublin Castle knew something was going on, but they couldn't be sure what exactly.  Then came the news that the Aud had been intercepted by a Royal navy ship.  The German captain scuttled the arms cache, and Casement was captured from an accompanying German submarine.
1916d: Rebel Barricade from
National Library of Ireland

With the arms gone, everyone assumed the rising was off.  On Easter, the day originally set for the encounter, the military council gathered and decided to plan the action for the following day, despite the arms shortage and the fact that Volunteer leader, Eoin MacNeill, ordered all activities canceled.

The men leading the charge on the GPO, therefore, were the secret military council.  Once inside, they sandbagged and fortified their garrison against the expected British counter-attack.  Barricades were set up in the streets, and snipers moved into position.

The counter-attack began on Tuesday morning.  Troops under the command of General W. H. M. Lowe arrived from the Curragh, thirty-five miles away, and took up positions in several areas.  They cordoned off Dublin from west to east which brought them into immediate conflict with some rebels.  A British machine gun crew positioned themselves on the fourth floor of the Shelbourne Hotel, the tallest building around St. Stephen's Green, and began shelling the rebels who had retreated to the College of Surgeons.  By seven o'clock, the rebels there had been reduced to about 100 counting men, women, and boys.  Their position hopeless, they would hold on for five days until the surrender.

Around the city, other rebel commands maintained as much pressure as they could on British troops, however, it was now clear that MacNeill's orders canceling activity had taken its toll.  Turnout was much lower than hoped, and Dublin was virtually on its own.

By nightfall of the second day, General Lowe had nearly 5,000 British troops at his disposal, vastly outnumbering the rebels.  Four pieces of artillery had arrived earlier, and Lowe began to cordon off the northern suburbs which, with the southern cordon already established, would trap the rebels' GPO and Four Courts garrisons.

On Wednesday, the Helga, a grey fisheries patrol boat, sailed up the Liffey and tied up on the south quays opposite the Custom House.  Her duty: to shell the rebel positions.  The first target--Liberty Hall.

By now, the fighting centered on the Mendicity Institution.  Twenty men, commanded by rebel Sean Heuston, inflicted casualties on over one hundred British, but soon the rebels were surrounded on all sides.  After the British forces lobbed hand grenades into the building, Heuston was forced to surrender.  The Helga sailed down the Liffey to begin shelling the rear of Boland's Mills garrison, commanded by Eamon de Valera.
1916h: Pearce Surrender to
Gen. Lowe from Weidenfield Archives

Meanwhile, at the port of Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire), British troops landed and marched toward the Royal Hospital, some nine miles away.  En route, they marched into the rebel forces at Mount Street Bridge, where twelve men held off the British for the remainder of the day, inflicting over two hundred casualties. Four of the rebels survived.

The Helga now shelled the GPO, the British forces' main objective.  By late afternoon, they added the boom of artillery to the barrage.

Sackville Street burned on Thursday following a 10 am non-stop artillery attack.  Inside the GPO, the flames were so intense the rebels had to hose down the sacking on the barricaded windows.  By 10 pm, an oil works directly opposite the GPO caught fire.  As sparks began to hit the roof, the rebels moved their explosives to the basement.

The leaders knew their position was hopeless--had known it from the start-- but felt the need for an armed rebellion.  National honor demanded it and the IRB principle demanded it.  The rebels could now only delay the inevitable for as long as possible to get public opinion on their side.

James Connolly was full of energy and directed GPO operations in a brisk, no-nonsense way until that afternoon he was struck just above the ankle by a ricocheting bullet.  The pain was intense, and greatly weakened by it and the loss of blood, he was not the same afterward.  Clarke and MacDiarmada also took leading roles, Pearse busied himself with writing proclamations and bulletins.

A furious gun battle ensued at the South Dublin Union between British troops and the rebels under the command of Eamonn Ceannt and his second in command, fiery Cathal Brugha.

On Friday, James Connolly was carried into the public office of the GPO, in pain, but wanting to stay at the center of the operation.  He dictated a lengthy address to his troops which was taken by his secretary, Winifred Carney.  It spoke of victory, when in fact there was defeat, of the entire country taking up arms, when in fact, it was just in Dublin, of armed Volunteers marching on Dublin when there were none.  Connolly knew the Rising was a gesture, but the longer the gesture went on, the longer Irish patriots were seen to be fighting the might of the British Empire, the greater the rebels' chance of winning the hearts and minds of the Irish people.

By 4 pm on Friday, the roof of the GPO was on fire and the Volunteers were forced to evacuate.  Pearse and Connolly were the last to leave.

As the GPO was burning, Gen. Lowe ordered a savage frontal attack on the North King Street rebels that lasted until Saturday morning.  The South Staffordshire Regiment, unused to fighting men who didn't always wear uniforms, took out their wrath on the civilian populace by murdering fifteen innocent men.

By 9 am Saturday morning it was over.  The last headquarters of the Irish Republic was established in the back parlor of Hanlon's fishmonger's shop at No. 16 Moore Street.  No further retreat without the possibility of high civilian casualties was possible.  The military council decided to surrender.

Nurse Elizabeth O'Farrell made her way up Moore Street wearing Red Cross markings and carrying the white flag of truce.  She was taken to see Gen. Lowe who demanded an unconditional surrender.  She returned to No. 16 and half an hour later, returned with Pearse.  Pearse took off his sword and handed it over to Lowe in a formal act of surrender.  The photo of Pearse surrendering to Gen. Lowe shows the general with his son who served under him.  Lowe's son later became known as John Loder, a British actor of minor note.

Pearse was driven away to see General Maxwell at army headquarters where he drafted the formal surrender document.  Nurse O'Farrell then delivered this document to the other rebel garrisons.  Shortly afterward, the wounded Connolly was taken to the Red Cross Hospital.  The main body of Volunteers was marched under military orders into Sackville Street where they laid down their arms before the British.  The Four Courts garrison surrendered next and joined their comrades, now totaling about 400 men.  They spent the night in the open, huddled under guard in the gardens of the Rotunda Hospital at the top of Sackville Street.
1916f: Street Barricade and Looters
from National Library of Ireland

On Sunday morning, they were marched off to Richmond Barracks.  As they passed through some areas of the city, people hurled rotten fruit and vegetables at them.  On their return from imprisonment, these same Volunteers would be hailed as heroes.

The leaders were court-martialed, and fifteen of them were sentenced to execution by firing squad.  On May 3, they shot Padraig Pearse, Thomas MacDonagh, and Tom Clarke.  The executions continued until May 12 with the shooting that disgusted everyone.  There was little outcry at first, but as the executions continued, public figures pleaded for clemency.  Maxwell refused.  To him, they were traitors who had committed treason and deserved to die.

On May 12, Sean MacDiarmada was executed, followed by James Connolly, who was too ill to stand and had to be tied to a chair.  Countess Markievicz had her sentence commuted to life imprisonment, as did Eamon de Valera--Markievicz because she was a woman, de Valera because he was born in America.

The Rising was over, but it was not over.  It has been called 'the triumph of failure' because it made martyrs of its leaders and their deaths revived the spirit of republican separatism.  Within a year, the Sinn Fein party which had nothing to do with the rebellion, would be taken over by the republican survivors of the Rising and would win numerous by-elections.  The quest for freedom became a national pursuit, run by IRB men, 1916 survivors and inmates of Frongoch, the prisoner of war camp in Wales known as the 'University of Revolution.'

There are many sites throughout Dublin that visitors will find of interest, particularly at Easter when a number of commemorative events take place.  Some of Dublin's most interesting sights are those associated with the Easter Rising.

Suzanne Barrett is the author of award-winning historical and contemporary romance. She currently writes for Turquoise Morning Press. In addition, Suzanne writes content for an Irish travel website ( www.irelandforvisitors.com) and is a wire jewelry artist ( www.bellerustique.com). Her novels are available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and other fine retailers.
Find out more about Suzanne at www.suzannebarrett.com.


Embittered war correspondent Quinn Lawlor returns to his ancestral home in Ireland where he finds solace in the arms of Waterford dairy farmer Meaghann Power.

Meaghann must separate her daytime life as farmer and daughter of Irish rebels from nights of blazing desire for the one man she shouldn't love.

Will their passion prove strong enough to overcome a decades-old bitter struggle?