Posts tagged ‘Civil War Fiction’

All the Southern Ladies! GRITS, Guns, and Romance.

Last week I was talking to a friend from the Boston area.  Over Thai food, she laughingly stated that she was the quintessential New England WASP.  Financially secure family.  Attractive. Likes to wear things with collars.  Took ballet–serious ballet–as a child.  Went to an exclusive boarding school.  Yup, Liz is definitely WASPy.  No doubt about it.  She fits all the requirements: White–check! Anglo-Saxon–check! Protestant–check! Ding-Ding-ding we have a winner.

Now, listening to Liz joke about being a WASP made me look at myself.  Could I be a WASP?  Was it possible? No one had ever called me waspy before–sometimes I get called bitchy–but the only animal I have been said to resemble is a bear when someone tries to wake me in the morning.  Dilemma.  Moreover, can Southerners even be WASPS?

WASP

Would you rather be this deadly bug...or...

According to that dinner conversation over Thai the answer is no.  Apparently if you are from the South–which I just so happen to be–you are not eligible for wasp status.  Which is a shame, as I fit two of the primary requirements: white and protestant (we aren’t too sure about the whole “anglo-saxo” thing as we have no idea where our peoples came from).  But anyway, it seems that even if the powers that control decided to extend the WASPy hand of acceptance towards me despite my circumspect heritage, I would still be unable to join in all the fun WASP yachting trips and polo tournaments because of my southern roots.

See in the south there are really two main paths you can take if you are female: you can be a genteel southern lady–the Junior League and cotillion route–or you can be to quote my beloved Gretchen Wilson, “a redneck woman.” Unfortunately for my ability to “drink beer all night” and “honky tonk,” I somehow ended up on the lady path and instead of learning line dancing–which I have always wanted to try–I got to learn the Foxtrot and the waltz. I think this path really has helped me appreciate Regency romance novels more.  The whole social season and dance cards remind me of my past days learning how to thank your hostess for a lovely evening, eat with the correct fork, and delicately cross your legs at the ankles and never the knees.

....or would you rather be this yummy-ness?

But here’s the thing, while I will never be a WASP, I am proud to be part of GRITS–Girls Raised In The South.  Not only are grits way yummy when combined with a little cheese and other savory foods like bacon and shrimp and collard greens–Oh man–but they are really something original to the south.  GRITS–the people this time–are unique.  They can wear pearls and sundresses to the football game one night and shoot a gun the next.  When I think GRITS, I think my friend Grace.  Grace loves country music, the color pink, cute flasks, buck wild nights, organization, and her family, but she has also been camping, hunting, and while she may love to dress up, she can get down and dirty with the rest of ’em, while wearing a gracious smile and sipping sweat tea, asking you to “come on in!”

Yup, my name is Lizzie Dee and I am a girl raised in the south.  I always get excited when I see romances that are set in my neck of the woods.  Iris Johansen has some great ones set in Atlanta–a city which always makes me think of by beloved Margaret Mitchell and the classic Gone with the Wind and talk about Alpha males, Rhett is simply dreamy.  Susan Elizabeth Phillips has a fondness for Texas–the land of my people in case you were wondering–and her book Heaven, Texas is a fun read.  Kay Hooper has some chilling paranormal thrillers that are set within my very own state of Tennessee like the spooky Chill of Fear. Adding a little creole flavor, Tami Hoag has several books set in Louisiana like my personal favorite Cry Wolf.

However, being a true Southerner–yes, with a capital “S” thank you–my favorite romances are the historical ones about the War of Northern Aggression–or as you people call it: the Civil War.  There is something so fascinating about the Confederacy and after numerous school trips out to see the old plantations, battle sites, and the years of history class learning about the Civil War, how could I not be completely enthralled with a historical set during that time period?  I mean really.  In high school I had to drive by a ring of Confederate flags surrounding the statue of a Confederate general every day.  Plus, our mascot was the Rebel.

I think it is a serious shame there aren’t more romances set around this turbulent time of wealth, grandeur, oppression, inequality, and instability.  Think off all the possibilities!  I mean have you read Gone with the Wind?  There is so much raw material for authors to play with, and yet the Regency period is picked apart to death.  What more can you write about a duke? Write about a carpetbagger! A Southern soldier! Write about one of my freaking ancestors who used to go around after the war was over killing former Union soldiers with a hoe.  A HOE! That’s dramatic.

I think there’s a market for some great Civil War romances out there! Great romances like Victoria Gray‘s recent release Angel in My Arms, a Wild Rose e-book, that I reviewed for RT BOOKREVIEWS. Check it out by clicking here or on the picture below and see if you agree!

Angel In My Arms

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March 21, 2011 at 6:33 pm 1 comment


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