Posted by Mary Ann Webber:

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:


Camden, Arkansas

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.

Calendar:


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


32 comments:

Jennifer Ross said...

Can I change my answer? I'd like to explore the alternate universe where Texas is its own country, instead. Again, still not me because I still don't know Texas. But you know, I expect that the South would have gone its own way and the North by itself as well, and eventually they both would have joined Texas! And in spite of basically being the same as it is now, I'd bet there'd be all kinds of subtle (and not so subtle) changes. Wonder what they'd be?

Isabel Roman said...

Jenn, you're cracking me up! If you've ever read Harry Turtledove he asnwers some of those questions. What was the first book...How Few Remain. It goes from the south winning the Civil War through WWII.

Mary Ann, I love the excerpt. Nothing like a reluctant heroine. :)

housemouse88 said...

Thanks for the excerpt. I don't think I'll get into the Texas debate. I'm loving this book more and more. Have a great day.

Karen H in NC said...

Enjoyed the excerpt & I'm enjoying this blog tour too. Great fun. I think I'll stay out of the Texas debate too.

Shayla Kersten said...

The excerpt is wonderful! Congratulations on the release!

As far as Texas, well, I'm an Arkansan, and one old enough to remember when Arkansas was part of the SW conference in football. So the rivalry between Arkansas and Texas goes a long ways back. LOL We always considered Texas a foreign country any way! *cackle*

Susan Macatee said...

Great excerpt to a great story, Mary Ann!

Being from a northern state, I guess I really can't identify with the whole Texas thing. LOL. But I just can't imagine the United States any different than it is.

Yvonne said...

The politics interest me less than the characters. It is wonderful to see more women writing as they tend to create stronger female characters. Can't wait to read it.

ARCyndi/Dr. Cynthia Morgan said...

You know, Mary Ann, my husband and I have talked about what Texas would be like if it had split into 5 states. Without doubt, it's influence would have been seriously diminished. Please, there are areas of Texas that would have help more of the "wealth" (the oil) rather than dry, arid land (panhandle)

we just got home from spending 2 weeks at Gettysburg and have been immersed in the Civil War (or the War of Northern Aggression, as it is known here in the South). I was surprised at how emotional I became on the battle field. A very interesting trip.

Great excerpt. Looking forward to reading the book.

Thanks for sharing your blog tour with us!

Keri Ford said...

Okay, either I slept a few days in school (which could be true) or my history classes were lacking in some history.

Really, they considered splitting Texas into seperate states? Would be different, and our perception of the old west just wouldn't be the same. When you think of cattle drives and rodeos, you gotta think of Texas

Husband (we're in Arkansas) is working with a Texan right now, and they're sharing plenty of jokes back and forth. :O)

Hywela Lyn said...

I am fascinated by alternate histories, although, being a mere Brit, I'm not going to attempt to get involved in the speculation,

I thoroughly enjoyed the excerpt. I love spunky, unconventional heroines and this sounds like a great read.

Can't wait to get my mits on this anthology!

Kathye Quick said...

Great excerpt. I felt as if I was walking into church with her.

I began reading romances with Civil War books. Have to get yours!

Valerie R. Oakleaf said...

Interesting concept, writing in alternate history, and I agree...without Hollywood the bigger than life personna that Texans carry probably wouldn't even exist...hehe. (I'm a Nebraskan...we have a special place in our hearts for Texans)
But seriously, I can't wait to get my hands on this book! You girls have such a varied storyline but still in the same era.
Thanks for your excerpt, I will be hunting for the other at the bottom of the page!

Emma Lai said...

I loved the excerpt and the Texas debate is highly entertaining, but I thought everyone knew Texas is a foreign country despite still being a part of the U.S.? In fact, Houstonians consider anything north of Centerville Yankee territory...this means Dallas...though Ft. Worth gets a special exemption.

Jeanmarie Hamilton said...

Mary Ann,
Love the exerpt and the story is wonderful.

We all think of the Civil War as taking place somewhere in the middle of the eastern part of the country. So it's always surprising to hear about battles fought west of Louisiana. I imagine that Texans were fired up abut the northern forces at their doorstep.

Mary Ricksen said...

I used to live in El Paso. So I found this information really interesting.
And your excerpt Mary Ann, sound wonderful to me. Here's another book I need! I am starting to get into the civil war books.


Hi Cyndi, there you are!

Carla said...

Mary Ann,

I got the book yesterday, and I am now on your enjoyable story.

Denise said...

I truly enjoyed the exerpt. And, Don't Mess With Texas aside, I think that the United States is truly the sum of her parts. No part individually holds any more sway than another, IMHO. There would be no United States without the Eastern Seaboard. What would we have been without the Louisiana Purchase or the Lewis and Clark Expedition? Not to mention the fur trappers and traders. Then the homesteaders of the west and the Gold Rush to Ca-li-for-ni-ay! Our diversity is what makes us great and while that would be lessened by the absence of the Texan attitude, it would still be our country's foundation and strength. Well, I'll climb down off the soapbox and let someone else have a go!

Skhye said...

OMG! A world without Texas is so wrong. Of course, that's because I am Texas. Born in Texas City, Texas!!! Let me just say, I've had a thing for Scotland my entire life. And I've always heard that the friendliest people in the world are Scots. But a friend of mine heavily into the SCA chatted with some Scots who argued that the friendliest people in the world were Texans. So there! The world needs Texas just to keep up morale, if not for cowboy arses in denim... :)

Skhye said...

Ugh. That's I am TexaN. Darn cat is dancing on the computer and distracting me... Thank goodness the other one is asleep!

Debra St. John said...

Ladies, I can't wait to read this anthology!

Isabel Roman said...

Skyhe, having been to Scotland, I KNOW they're the nicest peole in the world. Course I only know 1 Texan and I do like her, but as a whole, Scottish peolpe are super nice. Even when you drive on the wrong side of the road, make your own lane during rush hour, and back into their gas pump. Yup.

Jennifer Ross said...

Ummm, Isabel? I happen to know you "know" three people who live in Texas. And so, based on those three people--along with the Texans posting here--I have to say that I think Texans are wonderful! And I agree with Denise and Skyhe, I'm glad Texas is part of your country. Every bit contributes to the whole, and every bit is important. And, Texas is a big bit!

Jennifer Ross said...

Not to say that Scots aren't wonderful, too. In fact, I live with one of those.

Isabel Roman said...

Jenn, please smack me now...I DO know more Texans! I blame, um, right then.

;)

LORETTA CANTON said...

Hi,

I thought that I had already reply to this post. I cannot imagine Texas being anything other than what it is.


lorettaC,
lbcanton@verizon.net

Caroline Clemmons said...

You must keep in mind that more Anglo Texans are of Scot-Irish descent than any other ethnicity. So you are right--Texans and the Scots and the Irish are friendly. My husband and I were treated very well in Scotland and Ireland, and I found from living in a couple of other parts of the US that Texans are generally more friendly. Of course, some of us can smile and ask after your health while we figure out how to cheat you. LOL After all, we are part of the South and the Southwest and would never want to be rude. And we do say "Bless your heart" when we mean "you poor dumb thing" instead. But, I am a Texan and love Texas. I just wish it weren't so hot here in summer.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Yvonne,

If you're still checking here, would you email me privately at caroline@carolineclemmons.com so I will have the info to send you your gift certificate from yesterday's blog?

Thanks, Caroline Clemmons

PhyllisC said...

I enjoyed the post and the excerpt. I can't wait to read this book. I can't even begin to imagine how different things would be if Texas was not what it is. But I guess imaging what differences there would be is what creates stories for authors to write and readers to enjoy.

RachieG said...

The excerpt was great today! WAnted to put in my two cents and say I love Texas. It seems like it's a place unto it's own with it's own way of talking and being. :) Always fun.

rachie2004@ yahoo (dot) com

Lyoness2009 said...

Wow I'm always late to the party!

I've enjoyed the post for today. Huge fan of Texas...That's where Hank Hill is from!

lyoness2009 AT hot mail *dot* com

Kimber said...

I don't think I've had the pleasure of reading an alt-reality-rom story before. Certainly not one about Texas!

I have a soft spot for stories involving fantasies in church, so looking forward to reading the whole story soon.

Mary Ann Webber said...

I'm very Sorry I haven't replied to any of your comments. I appreciate your kindness more than you know!!!
My daughter had surgery on her liver on Tuesday (the kind where they send cameras down the throat)
and was released about two hours later. Of course the meds wore off during the day and by Wednesday (yesterday) she was in dreadful pain. They readmitted her to the hospital last night and say she'll be there until probably the weekend.
I'm keeping her 7 year old son. Nothing about this week has gone the way I hoped it would.
Anyway, thanks to everyone who commented.
I'll announce the winner of The Wild Rose Press $15 gift certificate tomorrow.
Hopefully the winner will see the announcement and send me her email address. Wild Rose Press will credit her next purchase there with the $15.
Sorry about all this confusion.