Welcome to Day Five of the Civil War Anthology Blog Tour. For more information about the anthology, visit Northern Roses and Southern Belles at http://nrandsb.wordpress.com/ Today’s Tour Stop is hosted by the Arkansas Diamonds Blog, which is very fitting since my Anthology story, No Decorum, takes place in Arkansas.
Because I am a member of this group, my photo is already on display at the bottom of the Left Sidebar. (You are NOT required to scroll down to it. In fact, I advise against taking a close look. It’s not like it’s going to help you win a prize or anything!)
For this story, I wanted a cheeky teenage heroine. Juliet has the spirit of a twenty-first century woman. She struggles to fit into the mold of a proper Victorian young lady, and sometimes she falls woefully short of that goal. She is the character with No Decorum, and Sergeant Randolph Newton is unable to resist her.
How do you think our country would be different without Texas as we know it today?
Mary Ann Webber: The bloody Red River Campaign was fought in Arkansas and Louisiana, but it was all about Grant’s dream of conquering Texas. He may have been obsessed with the idea of defeating the state that gleefully thumbed its nose at the United States. Grant’s western campaign was a failure, but the Union won the war anyway.
Texas rejoined the Union unscathed. It was never invaded, never touched by battle and was spared the suffering of most Confederate states.
It’s hard to imagine our country if Texas had been bloodied, brought to its knees, and perhaps divided into several states.
My question asks for your opinion. There’s no wrong answer.
Would the US of today have the same unconquerable spirit without the unyielding swagger of “The Great State of Texas” and its “Bigger Than France” bumper stickers?
My answer? I don’t believe Texas would have influenced today’s American persona without Hollywood and the American film industry. From the earliest days of silent films to the extravagant blockbusters of today, movies have perpetuated the bigger-than-life image of the macho Texas male.
Excerpt No Decorum:
Sunday, April 17, 1864
As Juliet Burnham climbed the stone steps of the church, the perfect excuse popped into her head. She would blame her tardiness on the arrival of the Union Army two days before. After all, even her father, the minister, knew all the ladies in Camden were upset about Yankees being in town.
When she opened the heavy door, the familiar hymn indicated she’d have to scurry to reach the front pew before everyone was seated. She caught her father’s steady gaze from the pulpit and immediately lowered her eyes. Poor father. As a minister’s daughter, she left much to be desired.
Juliet eased to the end of her pew just as the mercifully long Amen ended. Her breath quickened, and her cheeks became warm. She flashed her father a smile right before she sat. Her head struck something hard, and in the same instant with the sound of a grunt, she realized she’d sat on someone. Panic filled her at the sight of the blue uniform, gold braid, and polished boots.
She yelped, and a ripple of laughter moved through the church. Muffled whispers of What happened? were followed by another round of laughter when the question was answered. She stiffened, momentarily abashed. Even worse, the man beneath her appeared not to be breathing.
“Juliet! Over here, dear.” Aunt Martha’s loud stage whisper brought her to reality.
“Pardon me. I’m sorry.” The Yankee’s low voice was dangerously close to her ear. Juliet jumped up and dove across the aisle to her aunt.
“The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.” Ambrose Burnham’s perfectly modulated voice took control of the church, which had bordered on unruliness seconds earlier. All heads bowed.
The long morning prayer provided Juliet with ample opportunity to study the enemy stranger. Her heart jolted, and her pulse pounded as she turned to give him a sidelong gaze. She didn’t expect him to be so young or so devastatingly handsome. When his eyes met hers, full on, she grabbed the carved armrest of the pew. Her beating
heart could probably be heard three rows back.
* * *
Another excerpt from this story is posted on this Blog several entries back. It can be easily found by scrolling down. Your chances of winning a prize will NOT increase if you read more of the story – but you may enjoy it!
For more about Mary Ann Webber, visit her site: http://www.maryannwebber.com/
Jennifer Ross: Oh, I love alternate history stories! This is an intriguing concept for one. Will you have Texas be part of Mexico, for example, or will you have Texas be three separate States? I think it might be fun to explore the three states idea (but not me, since I don’t know Texas!) Would they still vote as a block, anyway? Would there be an oil-rich Texas (Texoil), a beef rich Texas (Texhoof) and an industrialized Texas (Texman)? See, not knowing Texas at all, I don’t know if you could cut up the geography that way.
Isabel Roman: I’m with Jenn! How cool would that be if Texas was all chopped up? (For alternate history fiction purposes only, I promise!) I once watched a TV show, Sliders, where they jumped through this wormhole into alternate dimensions. One was a world where Texas was its own country where gunfights still happened outside saloons. And Harry Turtledove has an excellent series about the South winning the war and both the Confederate and Unites States of America’s choices from then through WWII. So imagining a world where Texas is all cut up into a bunch of different states…what would we name them? Dallas? Austin? Grant! Yeah, so we’d have the states Texas, Grant, and Lincoln. I’ll stop now…
Jeanmarie Hamilton: I think if you gave El Paso County an option the people might vote to become a part of New Mexico. The El Paso local news people give the Las Cruces, New Mexico news along with El Paso’s every day. People here are partial to the U.S. I seriously doubt they’d want to become part of Mexico. As for voting, west Texas doesn’t vote like the rest of the state, as a block. Heck, Texas makes an impression by size alone.
Susan Macatee: I think if Texas or any other Southern state had seceded from the Union, the United States as we know it, wouldn’t exist. The country wouldn’t have been as strong a force in subsequent wars and history, as we know it, would have been vastly different.
Caroline Clemmons: I can’t imagine my home state divided, although it certainly is large enough. I have a great fondness for TX, though on these 107 degree days, the reason why escapes me. LOL
Mary Ann will give away to 1 lucky commenter: a $15(USD) TWRP gift certificate. Remember, everyone who leaves a comment on the day of the post for each of the six days will be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Northern Roses and Southern Belles signed by all six authors.
Saturday August 1: Isabel Roman is at Night Owl Romance http://www.nightowlromanceblog.blogspot.com/
Sunday August 2: Jeanmarie Hamilton is at Petticoats & Pistols http://petticoatsandpistols.com/
Monday August 3: Susan Macatee is at Love Romance Passion http://www.loveromancepassion.com/
Tuesday August 4: Caroline Clemmons is at Slip into Something Victorian http://slipintosomethingvictorian.wordpress.com/
Wednesday August 5: Mary Ann Webber is at Arkansas Diamonds http://arkansasdiamonds.blogspot.com/
Thursday August 6: Jennifer Ross is at Romantic Crush Junkies http://www.romanticcrushjunkies.blogspot.com/
To order NORTHERN ROSES AND SOUTHERN BELLS, Click HERE