My new book Ophelia and the Freedmen’s School

Coming June 2022 by Texas Christian University Press, a story again based on the documents of John Ogilvie Stevenson, this one for middle grade readers. The protagonist is one of two white war refugee girls at the Lavaca, Texas, school. Ten-year-old Ophelia at first resents her black classmates, whom she perceives as “not like her.” But through shared experiences with them–the joy of learning, a yellow fever epidemic, and fear of the KKK, which threatens the life of their beloved teacher and closure of the school–her attitude changes. The story is threaded through with the tensions that marked reconstruction in the South. Who in the community are the malcontents? Ultimately, the real message is one of working together and embracing friendships, regardless of differences.


This one was just for fun–a romantic who-dun-it with a twist. In the summer of 2021, Amazon contacted its authors encouraging us to publish a story in a new format on-line called Vella to be read one episode at a time. The first three episodes are read for free. After that, each episode is paid for by purchasing tokens. My story, Deed of Death, has 26 episodes and ends up being a pretty inexpensive read. This one I wrote a number of years ago, updated it a little, and put it out there. A light read compared to my historical novels. Something to do while you are sitting around waiting out the pandemic. To find it go to and search Flora Beach Burlingame or click on the link on the sidebar here.


It’s the late 1800s, and John Ogilvie Stevenson, pastor of the Congregational Church in Waterloo, Iowa, believes women are equal to men intellectually, and superior to men morally and spiritually. During a sermon on temperance, wherein he advocates laws to shut down the saloons, he is struck with the irony that his audiences are composed mostly of women—that segment of the citizenry who cannot vote. Thus begins his campaign for women’s suffrage. A large portion of the public believes a woman’s place is in the home, that she has no business in politics, and probably isn’t smart enough to vote.

            Every two years the state legislature considers putting an amendment on the ballot for a public vote on the issue and time after time it doesn’t get that far. The Reverend John Stevenson never gives up. Through the triumphs and tragedies of his own personal life, he is determined to forge the path to progress.

My Historical Novel Charcoal and Chalk

America has just fought the Civil War and young John Ogilvie, fresh from Scotland, is captivated with the noble idea of teaching the freed slaves. Sent to Texas by the American Missionary Association he lands in the middle of trouble. Battling hate, a deadly epidemic, and shady politics, he is rewarded by devoted scholars and the love of a woman. A novel based on an actual teacher of the freedmen and his letters and documents, the story brings to life the sacrifices and challenges of these devoted and little-known missionaries.

A Little About the Author

Flora Beach Burlingame has traded her eleven acres in the central California foothills for the 55+ community of Trilogy in Redmond, Washington. There she is meeting new friends, continues her love of music by singing in the Trilogy Singers, keeps fit by walking with a vigorous group of ladies and enjoys exploring the Northwest.