Everly Ryan

Historical Romance Author

"American Civil War"

Lover for Ransom–Available March 20, 2013

"American Civil War", "Debra Glass", "Ellora's Cave", "HIstorical Romance", "Lover for Ransom", "civil war romance"Debra GlassComment

Lover for Ransom

Debra Glass
Ransom Byrne has been ravaged by guilt since an illness rendered his little sister blind. The former Confederate cavalry officer has resolved to make amends by hiring a Yankee tutor who’ll hopefully restore order to his sister’s life. Once accomplished, he’ll be free to leave Byrne’s End.
From the moment she steps off the train in Tennessee, Cathleen Ryan makes a startling first impression. With her feminist ideas, the irrepressible Bostonian quickly outrages everyone—especially Ransom. He deems the bespectacled teacher too uptight and prim for his tastes. Appearances, however, are deceiving. She tenders decadent proposals that shock and intrigue him, and sultry nights spent submitting to his every illicit request offer them both love and redemption.
But when her steadfast convictions attract the attention of dangerous men, Cathleen risks losing her chance of becoming more than just a lover for Ransom.
A Romantica® historical erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave
Buy Ebook March 20
Excerpt ~
Copyright © DEBRA GLASS, 2013
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
“Don’t you ever read anything for pleasure?”
She toyed with the earpieces of her glasses, her mind fixed on the way his velvety drawl had played havoc with the word pleasure. She cleared her throat. “There are far too many important things to read to waste my poor eyesight on frivolities, Mr. Byrne.”
He closed her book, set it on the table and stood. Cathleen flinched as his leg brushed hers when he passed on his way to the bookcase. He opened it and pressed his fingertip to his lips in thought as he perused its contents.
Cathleen studied his casual stance. His weight shifted to one leg and his head cocked to the side. He looked back at her, stared so long it made her insides quiver and then turned back to the collection and removed a slender book from the shelf.
“I shall read to you then,” he said with a smile and he returned to his chair. “To protect your poor eyesight from…frivolities.”
Cathleen gulped as his long fingers opened the book and he thumbed through the pages. It looked like a child’s volume in his hands and she couldn’t help but wonder what he’d chosen.
“Ah, here,” he said, placing his elbow casually on the armrest of his chair to hold the book at a comfortable height. “It was many and many a year ago, in a kingdom by the sea, that a maiden lived there that you may know by the name of Annabel Lee.”
Edgar Allan Poe. Of course she was familiar with the famed Baltimore author. But she’d read his works in braille, and certainly had never heard them read aloud by a man with such a hauntingly husky voice. This night—this moment, with the clock’s pendulum ticking off the seconds in time with the poem’s meter and the flickering glow of the lamp—seemed to be made for the dark, beautifully macabre poem about a woman who’d died before her time.
“For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams of the beautiful Annabel Lee,” Ransom continued.
Cathleen closed her eyes, picturing a pair of young lovers walking hand in hand on a stormy beach. Ransom’s voice transported her and she felt the anguish of the author who’d lost his love only to find himself frequented by her ghost.
“And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side, of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride, in the sepulcher there by the sea, in her tomb by the sounding sea.”
Eyes still closed, Cathleen sat in the stillness, absorbing the song contained in the words. When her lashes fluttered open, she was surprised at the tear that traced down her cheek. Blushing, she swept it away. “Very nice, Mr. Byrne.”
He raised his eyebrows in mock warning.
She giggled. She actually giggled. Closing her eyes for a split second, she struggled to compose herself. She was acting like a bashful schoolgirl. “Ransom,” she corrected, her voice but a breath.
In that instant, something had suddenly changed between them and she was at a loss to decipher it.
Staring, he inhaled. “With your hair loose, you reminded me of the woman in that poem.”
Her eyes widened. “Dead?”
He chuckled without mirth. “No. Wild and windswept.”
This time, Cathleen did begin to smooth her hair down.
“No,” he said. “No. Don’t touch it. It’s perfect the way it is.” He must have realized he’d said too much. “I mean, it’s only you and me. There’s no need for pretense.”
Cathleen nodded. Her gaze fell to the brown leather covered book in his hand. “Do you believe such love exists?”
He snorted and closed the book. “This was the fancy of a man who imbibed too much and who thought too much. Love like that is for the young and foolish—for people who haven’t experienced the things I have.”
Cathleen gnawed her bottom lip. “Are you referring to your time during the war?”
He suddenly looked uncomfortable. His big and masculine exterior seemed incongruous with his sudden unease. “Yeah,” he admitted. “I saw and did things no living human being should ever have to see or do. Things that’ll make you hate yourself.”
Cathleen didn’t know how to respond. Newspapers told of the hardships and combat. She’d seen soldiers boarding trains to join the fighting. She’d watched neighbors don their widow’s weeds. She herself had received a telegram informing her that her brother had been killed. But even when the war had come into her very home, it had always seemed a distant thing. But these Tennesseans had lived the war. This man had fought it. Federal troops had occupied their home. While on the train, she’d overheard tales about frightening guerilla raids from both sides, about men who didn’t live by any code of decency, who took what they wanted and killed indiscriminately. These families had lived day to day, wondering if their hard-earned food stores, their homes or even their very lives would be taken from them.
“No,” Ransom continued. “The war was anything but glory.”
Still, Cathleen remained uncharacteristically silent. While she pitied the plight of these people, in her eyes, the war had been a necessary evil, a vehicle through which an entire race had broken the bonds of slavery and declared themselves free. And yet, she didn’t feel free to admit her thoughts on the matter to Ransom Byrne. Not tonight.
“What about you, Cathleen?” he asked, his gaze finding and holding hers, daring her to correct him. “Do you believe in that kind of love?” His tone was almost mocking.
Realizing he’d shifted the conversation back to the poem, she let out a laugh. “Of course not. In fact, I don’t agree with marriage at all and I shall never marry.”
“How did you come to this conclusion?”
“Contrary to what you might think, I haven’t chosen a life of spinsterhood because I am bookish and outspoken, not to mention plain.” She straightened, confused at the way a belief she’d always maintained with pride, now hurt. “No. I simply do not accept as true that a woman should have to marry and live out her days in subjugation.”
“Subjugation?” he asked and then laughed. “I’ve always thought that was the other way around. All the married men I know are pretty beholden to their wives.”
“That’s but a puerile joke. We all know that marriage gives husbands rights to a woman’s livelihood and even her body, if he so chooses to claim them. For a woman, marriage is nothing but legalized…rape.”
This time, both his eyebrows shot up. “That’s a mighty strong word.”
“A married man can demand his rights anytime he chooses. Therefore, if a woman is forced into coitus with him, it is legalized rape.” Cathleen lifted her chin, awaiting an argument. It was a strong word. But he needed to know how she felt about subjugation. She needed him to know it.
Instead, he surprised her. “Don’t you ever feel desire?”
Yes, I’m feeling it this very instant.

Happy Birthday to my Favorite Hero–Thomas Benton Smith

"20th Tennesee Infantry Regiment", "American Civil War", "Debra Glass", "Ellora's Cave", "Gatekeeper", "HIstorical Romance", "Rebel Rose", "Scarlet Belles", "Scarlet Widow", "Scarlet", "Shadowkeeper", "Thomas Benton Smith", "civil war romance", "paranormal romance"Debra GlassComment

"First romance, first love, is something so special to all of us, both emotionally and physically, that it touches our lives and enriches them forever." ~ Rosemary Rogers
Gatekeeper featured Benton Smith, the ghostly hero in my first published romance and first Phantom Lovers series book. The character of Benton Smith was based on the real Thomas Benton Smith who was born in 1838, near Triune, Tennessee. Smith, who showed promise as an inventor, attended Western Military Institute in Nashville, and when his state seceded from the Union, he enlisted in Company B of the 20th Tennessee Infantry. His cool head in battle and sharp intelligence propelled him higher in rank until he was commissioned Brigadier General of the 20th TN Infantry – making him the youngest brigadier in the Army of Tennessee. Sadly, Smith was struck down in a cowardly attack by Union Colonel Wm. L. McMillen, after Smith surrendered at the Battle of Nashville. Smith suffered 3 blows to the head which rendered him mentally incapacitate for the rest of his life. In 1876, he was committed to the Central State Hospital for the Insane in Nashville. When he died in 1923, he was the last remaining brigadier general of the Army of the Tennessee. But did you know the hauntingly handsome Confederate General Smith has made cameo appearances in several of my books?
Here's a description from Gatekeeper ~
Jillian froze. She could not move. She could not breathe. The ghost she had seen in her vision stood before her. Dressed in a worn and double-breasted cadet gray, thigh-length frock coat, he was nearly opaque and looked as real as a flesh-and-blood man with the exception of appearing somewhat faded. Jillian gaped. The only thing separating them was the flimsy old card table and she doubted that would stop him if it occurred to him to come any closer. Her pulse pounded relentlessly.

“What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?” He came closer, his boots resounding on the wood floor. Spurs jingled with each step.

Jillian’s back flattened against the chair. Her breath left her lungs in an audible rush. She had glimpsed ghosts many times before but never had one been this present, this alive. She stared. But it wasn’t because of his devastatingly rakish appearance—the roughly chiseled cheekbones, straight nose and curve of his sensual lips—it was because he looked so real and because she felt a very odd sense of recognition. Still, the static charge of energy emanating from him left her with no doubt he was a ghost.

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Benton Smith reappears in the second Phantom Lovers book, Shadowkeeper ~
Jillian stood in the bathroom drying her hair with a fluffy white towel. She heard the water shut off and watched as the shower door opened and Benton stepped out, dripping and naked, onto the beige bathmat.

His dark, wavy hair was tousled carelessly about his head. Rivulets of water beaded and ran down his corded neck and muscular chest. Jillian’s breath froze when her gaze landed on the scar marring his left shoulder. He’d taken a bullet during the battle of Murfreesboro—where his brother had died. The wound had followed him even into death.

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My short story, Extra Sensual Perception, is included in the Flavors of Ecstasy I anthology. Set in Nashville, the hero lives on Benton Smith Road, a street named after the real Thomas Benton Smith. The road encircles Shy's Hill where Smith was captured during the Battle of Nashville.
Nashville traffic on a Friday afternoon was a bitch and when Iris finally turned onto Harding Place, she was thwarted by a long line of slow-moving drivers. Even switching on her hazard lights and honking her horn didn’t yield results.

When she ultimately arrived at Benton Smith Road, she turned and raced around the circle until she found the address. The driveway wound downward and when Iris saw a silver BMW in the garage, her heart sank.

The house looked sickeningly familiar. She’d seen it before—in her vision of his death.

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Benton Smith also makes a cameo appearance in Rebel Rose, a historical set in my home town of Florence, Alabama.
In October 1864, Confederate General John Bell Hood moved his twenty thousand strong Army of Tennessee through Florence Alabama on his way north to fight the battles of Franklin and Nashville.
Benton Smith's brigade was among them ~
Panic unfurled through her limbs and Rose tried to sit up but Dr. Roberts urged her back down on the pillows. “You’re not ready to get up just yet, Mrs. O’Kelley. Be still.”

Another Confederate appeared in the doorway. He looked to be about the same age as the young doctor and also surprised to see her awake. “How’s your patient?”

“She’s giving me more trouble than one of the boys, General Smith.”

The boy general’s dimples deepened with his handsome smile. “Mind the doctor, missy. He’s a good doctor. My only complaint is that he’s a little too fond of being at front for my taste.”

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scarletwidow_msrHis cameo in Scarlet Widow is a bit more subtle.

A handsome, young officer on horseback drew up alongside the fencing. He tipped his weathered hat. “Good day, ma’am. Is this about where Major Barksdale lives?”

“Yes sir, it is,” Athena said, boldly stepping between Molly and the officer.

He nodded in polite deference to Athena. “Thank you, ma’am.”

Molly shielded her eyes from the sun as she looked up at him.

He slid out of the saddle and gave his gray horse a pat on the muzzle. “I’m Brigadier General T. B. Smith.”

“Oh yes, you’re Major Barksdale’s commanding officer,” Molly said, recognizing the name. She stopped short of mentioning the general’s youth. Everyone knew of the Twentieth Tennessee Regiment’s boy general, the youngest in the entire Army of Tennessee. In spite of his moustache and spade beard, he looked far too boyish for his command.

“At least this’un has manners,” Athena groused. She’d always been one easily swayed by a handsome face.

“Have you any word of my brother-in-law, Major Greer Barks—” Molly began, but another horse broke through the column. Greer flew out of the saddle and flung his arms around Molly.

Joyful tears sprang to her eyes, flowing freely down her cheeks and onto Greer’s tattered coat. She wanted to let loose everything she’d been holding in. Her brain tried to remind her this was temporary but she would not heed it. Not now. Not while she felt safe and protected if only for a moment.

Years of hardship, the horrors of that night the Yankees came to her house and then the gut-wrenching pain of Witt’s death poured out of her all at once. Greer held her close, apologizing for the odor of his coat, of his body. Molly didn’t care. She’d grown accustomed to the musk of damp wool, of gunpowder and unwashed bodies. At times, she wondered if life would ever go back to the way it was before the war. Then, everyone had seemed so carefree and relaxed. So genteel.

Finally she lifted her face from Greer’s chest and gazed into his hazel eyes. “Where’s…where’s Hardin?”

Greer’s expression turned grim. He glanced at his father and then at Smith.

The boy general stepped forward. His good-natured smile faded. “I regret to inform you both that Lieutenant Barksdale deserted.”

Molly gasped. “Not Hardin.”

Athena’s bottom lip protruded. “He wouldn’t dare.”

“Goddamn coward,” Hamish muttered, his words slurred.

Greer stared at his father for a moment before he bleakly shook his head. “Hardin has disgraced us all.”

“That don’t sound like my Hardin,” Athena argued. “He ain’t the easiest of you three but he ain’t no coward, neither.” Hardin had always been her favorite, despite his surly attitude.

He was difficult and obstinate. But there was no better judge of character in Maury County than Athena, and Molly had to agree with her assessment. Darkly, Molly’s thoughts turned to the last time she’d seen him. He’d sat on her bed. He’d nearly kissed her. And then he’d left her to the mercy of the most uncouth band of men she’d ever had the misfortune to meet. Damn him. “When did he desert?”

“During the summer,” Greer said.

“Smack-dab in the middle of the Atlanta campaign,” Smith added. Under his breath, he confessed, “Of course, when Johnston was replaced with Hood, we had a good many deserters.”

No wonder Hardin hadn’t wanted her to mention to anyone that she’d seen him. Still, she couldn’t wrap her brain around it. Hardin? A deserter?

Maybe he’d realized what Molly now knew. It was foolish for men to continue to die for the cause.

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For more information about the real Thomas Benton Smith, click HERE

Help Save the 20th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry Flag!

"20th Tennesee Infantry Regiment", "American Civil War", "Debra Glass", "Thomas Benton Smith"Debra Glass1 Comment
Some of you know that one of my favorite heroes from my romance novel, Gatekeeper, Benton Smith, was based on the historical Brigadier General Thomas Benton Smith, CSA.

The flag his men carried is now up for restoration but funds are needed to complete the restoration so the flag can be displayed in the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville.

This 6 foot by 9 foot silk flag is stored in the basement of the Tennessee State Museum and is in serious need of conservation. Since the old banner is made from silk it is deteriorating quickly and we are desperately seeking donations to save it for future generations. We need to $48,000 to remove the invasive method of restoration that was done in the 1960s and to clean, chemically treat, seal, & frame the flag for posterity. The regiment’s name, battle honors, stars, and motto were painted on the flag which makes it even more fragile.

The 20th was organized in May of 1861 with men and boys who were mostly from Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, along with many from surrounding counties. The 20th fought in most battles of the Western theatre from Fishing Creek, KY, Shiloh, Vicksburg, Murfreesboro, the battles for Atlanta, the bloody Tennessee Campaign in November of 1864, to the surrender in May 1865.

Dr. William McMurray wrote the definite history of the 20th infantry in 1908 and in it he wrote, “For 4 long years of crimson war the regiment was never routed, never lost their colors, nor refused to obey an order. They had on their rolls, first & last, thirteen hundred men and boys but when they laid down their arms at Greensboro, NC, there were only 34 for duty.”

There are several notable Tennesseans who served under this flag as well. Men like Captain Tod Carter from the Historic Carter house in Franklin and who was mortally wounded during the battle there. Col. William M. Shy, whose death at the battle of Nashville is marked with a hill named in his honor. Private Dewitt Smith Jobe who was tortured and killed by Union soldiers near Triune in 1863. Gen. Thomas Benton Smith who was severely injured at Nashville after he had surrendered. There are numerous other heroic men and stories connected to this flag that cant be included.

Please consider helping us with this monumental task and remember that all donations are tax deductible.

Donations should be sent to: “Save the Tennessee Flag Fund”

c/o Roderick camp 2072, SCV,

1114 Galloway Street,

Columbia, Tennessee 38401

For more info on the flag or the 20th Tennessee please feel free to contact Ronny Mangrum at 931-374-8368, celticgranda2@yahoo.com, or write the above address.

Soiled Doves - Prostitution During the American Civil War by Debra Glass

"American Civil War", "Bought and Paid For", "Debra Glass", "Prostitution"Debra GlassComment

Prostitution has been called the oldest profession. In societies where women had little rights and were often not allowed to own property, selling sex was a woman’s only option when she was forced to support herself.

The American Civil War era was no exception, especially in the Confederacy. In the south, Confederate money quickly became worthless. The treasury printed money without enough gold to back it up to purchase supplies for the Confederate Army.

Civilians suffered because they had little or no money with which to buy food and clothing for their families and servants. In addition, the south was occupied by Union forces which confiscated livestock, valuables, garden produce, and cured meat.

With empty bank accounts and larders and the men away, either fighting, maimed and disabled, or killed, (the Confederate Army lost one out of four soldiers) many women were left with few options.

One of those options was prostitution.

Women quickly discovered that men on leave were bored and enduring long separations from home and family. The women learned they could command money in exchange for the feminine comfort for which these men longed.

Prostitution was legal in the nineteenth century and while there were several houses of ill‑repute, most prostitutes were camp followers and nurses.

The most infamous houses in the Confederacy were in Nashville’s Smokey Row which encompassed eight city blocks. An 1860 census listed 207 women who identified their profession as prostitute. Twenty of these women were widowed.

While these women openly identified themselves as prostitutes, there were many who practiced the illicit trade from their homes. It was the desperation of women such as these that inspired my historical romance novel, Bought and Paid For.

In Bought and Paid For, widowed Carrie Hatcher, finds herself unable to support herself or her servants so she contemplates the unthinkable—selling her services for money. When she is forced to board wounded Colonel Wesley McEwen, Carrie resolves to make him her first client.
But Carrie gets more than she bargained for when she agrees to comply with Wesley’s every illicit request for one week. Throughout long, sultry nights, Wesley tutors Carrie in every position, every skill, of her illicit new trade. From dark taboos to pleasurable punishments, Carrie becomes his willing pupil.

Passions inflamed, the couple becomes more scandalously intimate but Carrie realizes she wants to give him far more than just her body. The colonel, however, may be too haunted by his past to risk accepting more than he’s bought and paid for.

Praise for Bought and Paid For:
“I have only one word after reading Bought and Paid For: fantastic! This is easily the best book I've read so far this year. Full of beautiful historical detail, this is a book to savor. A Recommended Read!” — Fallen Angel Reviews

Click HERE to read an excerpt of Bought and Paid For by Debra Glass.