Diamond State Romance Authors

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