Thursday, May 31, 2018

A Civil War Romance

Romance has always been my preferred reading during the warm days of summer, and this year we're off to a good start with a Civil War story written by Kathy Otten. She is the published author of multiple historical romance novels, novellas and short stories and is currently finishing up a contemporary young adult novel.  She also does manuscript assessments and teaches fiction writing online and at a local adult education center.  

Kathy lives in the rolling farmland of western New York where she can often be found walking her dog through the woods and fields. She has been married for thirty-four years and is the mother of three grown children and one grandson.

She is a Northwest Houston RWA Lone Star winner and Utah/Salt Lake RWA Hearts of the West finalist. Her newest book, A Place In Your Heart is her fourth full-length novel. 

Gracie McBride isn’t looking for love; she’s looking for respect. But in this man’s world of Civil War medicine, Gracie is expected to maintain her place changing beds and writing letters. Her biggest nemesis is the ward surgeon, Doctor Charles Ellard, who seems determined to woo her with arrogant kisses and terrible jokes.
Charles is an excellent surgeon. He assumed he would be well received by an army at war. He was not. Friendless and alone, he struggles to hide the panic attacks that plague him, while the only person who understands him is a feisty Irish nurse clearly resolved to keep him at a distance.

But, Charles is sent to the battlefield, and Gracie is left with a wounded soldier, a box of toys, and a mystery which can only be solved by the one man she wishes could love her, both as a woman and a nurse.

Let's hear more about these two fascinating characters, directly from them:

Gracie, please tell us a little about your life before the war.  

After me husband William  passed away, I went back work as a maid, scrubbing floors and polishing silver for the fine houses on Beacon Hill.

How did you become a nurse?
William be a fine doctor and he taught me all he knew o’ medicine and healing. For six years we worked together side by side.

What about your personal life? How has the war affected you and your family?
Two o’ me brothers, Michael and Callum were killed at Fredericksburg. I wanted to volunteer. To use what William taught me. If he had been alive he would have gone. And ‘twas a way to feel closer to him, to be doing what he would o’ done.

Who are you closest to in your life?  
‘Twould have to be me da. He loves to laugh, and sing, and he always be knowing the right thing to say. His hugs make me feel safe.

What is your biggest problem with Dr. Charles Ellard? 
The man can never explain himself. How am I to know what goes on in that great brain o’ his? ‘Twould avoid arguments if he could take the time to let people know what he be thinking. And where did the man get the notion that women be too delicate to work in a hospital?  I be here to stay, and I’ll not be going home just because he believes ‘tis not a woman’s place.

Dr. Ellard, what was your life like before the war? 
I had a small practice in Philadelphia which kept me busy.

What are your biggest personal challenges these days?
First, the ability to remain calm. Second, to maintain a quality level of care for my patients amid chaos, with limit supplies.  And third, to find a way to work efficiently with incompetent surgeons without losing my temper.

What draws you to Gracie?
Aside from the instinctive biological need for man to find a mate, I find Mrs. McBride to be quite different from other ladies of my acquaintance. She appears to appreciate my medical acumen and is efficient and well organized in her work.

What do you hope for the future?
My grandfather would like to see me marry and have children, which is something I will consider once this Rebellion has reached its inevitable conclusion. However, the number of battlefield injuries I have treated,  has given me reason to question the long held opinion of medical professionals, regarding the healing properties of laudable pus. Since my assignment at Armory Square Hospital, I have had the opportunity to document various stages in the progression of healing in a variety of wounds. I have concluded that the appearance laudable pus to be a precursor to both gangrene and septicemia, rather than the start of the healing process. With continued opportunities to collect data, I hope to complete my paper on pymeia and surgical fever.  If published, my findings may be the catalyst necessary to change current perceptions and create a whole new treatment regimen for wound care. 

I liked both of these characters as soon as I read their answers, and I know I'm looking forward to the book.  Here is where you can get it:

Amazon :

TheWildRosePress :

You can reach Kathy at: 

Thank you, Kathy for introducing us to your new book and your wonderful characters.  Any comments or questions for Kathy?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Rebecca for having me stop by your blog today. Having a chance to talk to Gracie and Doctor Ellard outside their normal hospital day was a lot of fun.


Romancing the Rails

The snow has started falling in our Colorado mountains, so I think it's time to start turning attention to that fall and winter reading ...