A Different Kind of Arkansas Diamond

Every group needs some diversity. I provide that on several levels for Diamond State Romance Authors. I’m not the only member of this Arkansas group who lives in Texas, however I believe I’m the only one who writes historical romance. Also, I seem to be the only member who writes “sweetly sensual,” non-erotic fiction.

I’m also a grandmother.

Hey, every group needs someone like me! And writers like me need to belong to groups like this — so we can fight off our own creeping fuddy-duddiness!

About a month ago, I received a contract from The Wild Rose Press for a Civil War story set in Camden, Arkansas. The title of my story is NO DECORUM, and it will be included in an anthology to be released in July 2009.

The anthology is tentatively titled, NORTHERN ROSES & SOUTHERN BELLES,and it is a shared dream of six members of the Scandalous Victorian writing group. We held our collective breaths until we were sure it would actually come together.

The dozen members of Scandalous Victorians live in far flung locations, three each in Texas and Canada, and two in California. The remaining writers live in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Each anthology story covers a different part of the Civil War, and includes incidents as varied as the amazing raid by Confederate prisoners of war (who were incarcerated in Canada) on St. Albans, Vermont; blockade runners (think Rhett Butler); the Union occupation of a small North Georgia town; and major battles such as Antietam.

Since I’m a native of South Arkansas (born in Hope) I decided to write about the Red River Campaign, rather than the more famous Battle of Pea Ridge in northern Arkansas.
Three deadly battles of the Red River Expediation were fought outside Camden, and major decisions were made by generals inside the town.
Like a square on a chess board, this house witnessed three different military occupations during the month of April 1864. The Chidester House (famous now as an important part of Camden’s Daffodil Festival) served as headquarters for Confederate generals, followed (for eleven days) by Union generals, before being retaken by the Confederate Army.
NO DECORUM centers on the eleven days when Camden was occupied by Union forces under Major General Frederick Steele. Eleven days were all Southern girl Juliet Burnham and Union Sergeant Randolph Newton needed to fall in love, lose all sense of decorum, marry in secret, and have a three day honeymoon in unusual spots of Camden before they were separated.
More on this frantic love story later

6 thoughts on “A Different Kind of Arkansas Diamond

  1. As one of the authors in this anthology, I have to say, I knew nothing about this expediation. Though a history lover, I’m not that well versed in Civil War history, and really look forward to reading the other stories in this anthology.~Isabel

  2. I’m a member of the anthology too. My story is unusual in that it’s a story of a modern day Civil War reenactor who meets what he believes is a fellow reenactor, but is actually the ghost of a Civil War nurse. My story is set in Maryland at the battle of Antietam and it weaves it’s way back and forth through time. I loved writing this story and have read all the others. They’re all great!

  3. Well I have to agree with both my fellow anthology commenters. I’m not well versed in the Civil War, being from Canada I didn’t realize it affected me. Boy, was I wrong, as I hope my story shows. But the amazing thing, to me, is how wonderful and different all the stories are, though starting from the same broad theme.Mary Ann, I didn’t know where we were all at in terms of location, so thanks for setting it out so concisely.

  4. Mary Ann, Thanks for such a nice summary of our anthology. By the way, I had ancestors who supposedly lived in Hope. Small world, isn’t it? I’ll email you about that sometime. In the meantime, great blog.

  5. Sounds like a great anthology. I'm an Arkansas resident and love anything about our state. My first time here, so I'm glad to have found you! 🙂

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