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Caroline Clemmons writes historical and contemporary genre fiction. Historical romances, contemporary romantic suspense, mysteries, and paranormals are among her current works. Learn more about her at www.carolineclemmons.com
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Friday, September 13, 2013
KAT FLANNERY TALKS ABOUT HAZARDOUS UNIONS
By Guest, Kat Flannery
After I came up with the plot for Matty’s story in HAZARDOUS
UNIONS I needed to understand what type of woman she was. Alison and I had done
a background on the girl’s family, so I knew she’d grown up educated by her
father, a schoolmaster.
I chose to add a bit of lightness to the story because it
took place during one of the bloodiest wars in history. Pushed into the serving
life, Matty sent all her income home to help her mother tend to her ailing
brother. The only form of entertainment was reading. She kept the books her
father had given her, and read them multiple times.
Questions surfaced in my mind. What if she loved it so much
she often quoted the books causing her to look silly? I used the education she
received and created a woman who was a dreamer, and at times sounded a bit
crazy while citing William Shakespeare, or Edgar Allen Poe.
For my research I read Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, and
William Shakespeare’s Hamlet along with some of their other works, and to my
surprise I enjoyed them. I knew about both authors and I’d read a few of their
pieces in my teens, but I never delved into them as I did while researching for
Matty’s story. I must admit I have a new love for literature much like Matty’s,
minus the quoting.
Twin sisters separated by war,
bound by love…
the death of their father, twin sisters Maggie and Matty Becker are forced to
take positions with officers’ families at a nearby fort. When the southern
states secede, the twins are separated, and they find themselves on opposite
sides of America’s bloodiest war.
south, Maggie travels with the Hamilton’s to Bellevue, a plantation in west
Tennessee. When Major Hamilton is captured, it is up to Maggie to hold things
together and deal with the Union cavalry troop that winters at Bellevue.
Racism, politics and a matchmaking stepmother test Maggie’s resourcefulness as
she fights for Bellevue, a wounded Confederate officer and the affections of
the Union commander.
north, Matty discovers an incriminating letter in General Worthington’s office,
and soon she is on the run. With no one to turn to for help, she drugs the
wealthy Colonel Cole Black and marries him, in hopes of getting the letter to
his father, the governor of Michigan. But Cole is not happy about being
married, and Matty’s life becomes all about survival.
stories of courage, strength and honor
Matty by Kat Flannery
What had she done? Matty Becker was going to
hell, and there'd be no one to save her. A loud snore echoed from the other
room. She peeked around the corner and caught a glimpse of Colonel Black's
stocking feet. She'd burn for sure. She glanced at the paper she held and
groaned. She was a horrible, devious, scheming letch. Maggie wouldn't be
pleased. Maggie wasn't here. Another
snore blew into the kitchen and she placed her head onto the table banging her
forehead twice. There was no turning back now.
Last night she'd pushed aside her conscience
and let fear guide her. For her plan to work, she'd have to throw all sense to
the dogs, not that she hadn't done so already by following through with the
blasted thing. She couldn't fail now. If her family found out what she'd done
they'd never forgive her. Worse yet, if Colonel Black found out she'd be locked
behind bars, a fate far better than the one that got her in this mess to begin
She placed the paper on the table and went into
the bedroom. Colonel Black lay on the bed with his clothes stripped off and
tossed about the floor. He'd been out for nine hours and would wake any minute.
Matty stood, pushed all thoughts of reason from her mind and removed her dress,
corset and pantaloons. Her face heated and the room spun. He rolled over and
she jumped into the bed next to him, pretending to sleep. She knew the moment
he'd woken. The bed stilled and she couldn't breathe the air was so stiff.
"What the hell?" He sat up and she
knew the instant he saw her. "Son of a bitch."
She felt his nudge once, twice and now a shove
almost knocking her from the bed.
"Wake the hell up," he growled.
She squeezed her eyes closed and willed
strength into her soul so she could face the dark Colonel. She rolled over
pretending to wipe the sleep from her eyes.
"Who are you?" He placed his head in
his hands. She'd bet he had one heck of a headache.
"Your wife," she said.
"The hell you are." He shot out of
bed without grabbing the sheet, and she averted her eyes.
"Please cover yourself." She held up
the sheet and he ripped it from her hand. "The marriage license is in the
kitchen on the table if you do not believe me."
She watched as he grabbed his head and closed
his eyes. The heavy dose of laudanum she'd placed in his drink the night before
had done the trick and it wasn't but a mere suggestion they marry that the
Colonel jumped to the challenge. Soon they were standing in the dining room in
front of a preacher. Words were spoken—words she thought to say with someone
she loved, someone who'd wanted her. Her stomach lurched and her mouth watered
with the urge to vomit.
"How did this happen?" he asked
sitting on the end of the bed.
"Mrs. Worthington sent me to see if you
"I was drinking." He looked at her.
"I was drunk."
He stood holding the sheet tight to his
She couldn't help but notice the rippled
stomach and defined muscles on his chest.
"We can annul. I had too much to drink. My
head wasn't clear."
She shook her head.
"We have consummated." A lie of
course but she was desperate.
His mouth fell open. A moment she knew he'd not
remember. After the preacher left, she'd taken him to the bedroom where he
passed out before hitting the bed.
"Impossible. I'd remember that."
She shook her head again praying he'd buy the fib.
He pulled on his pants and dress shirt. "I
don't even know you. Why in hell would I marry you?"
"My name is Matty Beck—Black. I was
employed with the Worthington's. You've come to dinner several times."
His brown eyes lit with recognition.
"You're the house maid."
"I married a maid?"
The words stung and she turned from him so he
wouldn't see the disappointment upon her face.
"Why would you marry me if I was into the
"You seemed fine to me."
He took a step toward her. "Why would you marry
me at all when you don't even know me?"
She gripped the blanket on the bed.
"You…you said kind words, and I…I believed them.
"How desperate are you to marry a
stranger?" he yelled. "You found out who my father is. You want
money. You tricked me."
Well, he got the last one right, but the first
two irritated her. She was not the kind of person to marry for money. Really,
who did he think she was?
"Sorry to disappoint you but I refused my
inheritance years ago."
"If you mean to say that I could not find myself
a suitable husband because I am a maid, then you're wrong."
"That is exactly what I am saying
"The hell it is."
He went into the kitchen picked up the marriage
license and stared at it.
Matty dressed quickly and inched into the room.
Confusion pulled at his features and she began to feel sorry for him. This was
her fault. She'd planned this. Now she had to continue telling the lie she'd
told. She glanced outside and shivered. Boldness,
be my tongue. Shakespeare's words echoed in her mind. It was worth it.
She'd been living in fear for a week. Colonel Black had been her saviour, and
she risked a life full of love and happiness for this—a lie in which she'd
speak for the rest of her life. She swallowed back the lump in her throat and
willed the tears not to fall.
can't I remember?" He glanced at her. "And why in hell would I marry
Kat Flannery’s love of history shows in the
novels she writes. She is an avid reader of historical, suspense, paranormal,
and romance. When not researching for her next book, Kat can be found running
her three sons to hockey and lacrosse. She’s been published in numerous
periodicals. This is Kat’s third book and she is hard at work on her next.