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 Cover of Tenant from Hell
The Tenant from Hell
Book 1 in the Realtor Mystery Series
Casey Clark, property manager, is just trying to evict a bad tenant. Instead she is over her head in murder and mayhem

 Cover of Double Duplicity
Double Duplicity
Book 2 in the Realtor Mystery Series
Trouble  follows Casey like a raging fire.

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Missing-- Gone but not Forgotten

Based on the unsolved abduction of a little girl in a rural  Florida Community.

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Under a Bloody Flag

Kansas and Missouri were a "no man's land" in the days before the War between the States.

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Under a Black Flag
Kansas and Missouri heated to the boiling point during the War between the States. 

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For Want of a Ship
John Roy came to New Orleans looking  for peace instead he found war.

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Last Step
Last Step will keep you on the edge of your seat and leave you gasping in surprise at the ending

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Kudzu shows you a different part of the South, past and present. Mystery with a touch of romance and a smidgen of paranormal.

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Wild about Florida: South FL
The Everglades swarm with wildlife from birds,  to mammals, to reptiles.

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Wild about Florida: Central FL
Central Florida has the ocean and gulf beaches much like other parts of Florida but in many other ways it is distinct and unique. 

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Wild About Florida: North FL
Come explore caves, hills, whitewater falls and lots of other fun things you didn't expect to find in Florida.

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Georgia's Ghostly Getaways 

Who is not fascinated by mysterious things that go bump in the night? Are there some places where departed souls still linger?

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Hosts With Ghosts
The South has long been famous for its Southern Hospitality. Hotels throughout Dixie vie with one another to offer their guests more service and more amenities. Many have guests that never depart.

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Finding Florida's Phantoms
Florida! The land of sunshine and wide-open beaches. But even the Sunshine State has its dark secrets. Places where centuries old spirits remain tied to earth. Beneath the facade of fun and make believe lurks the real Florida.

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Color Saint Augustine
This is a way to virtually visit Saint Augustine. It's a coloring book for grown ups (but kids will love it too.)  with an actual photo of the attractions in Saint Augustine. The opposite page is the same photo converted into a black and white line image for you to to color. It's 64 pages with 30 photos and 30 pages for you to color. On each photo and each color page there is a little about the story of the image . 

Onslow County, NC From Fishing Village to Travel Mecca

Story and photos
by Kathleen Walls

beach view onslow

For the first half of the 20th century Onslow County was a quiet fishing village. It also produced naval stores, lumber, and tobacco crops as its main source of income. Then in 1941, Onslow County and the entire world changed. WWII brought Marine Barracks Camp Lejeune to Jacksonville, Onslow’s main city. Today, tourism plays a major role in the area. It has varied attractions and world-class dining you won’t find anywhere else.

Onslow County Museum

Start your visit at Onslow County Museum. You’ll view Onslow County from prehistoric time to modern times. One of its treasures is an ancient wooden canoe. Director Lisa Whitman-Grice told us how it had been found by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1968 when they were dredging a branch of the New River. They believed it was just a big log. A local farmer, Mr. Cottie offered to help drag it out of their way if he could keep it. Later the Trexler School Tarheels Junior Historians Club bought it and in 1986, it was donated to the museum. The cypress dugout dates to about 1300AD and would have held about 20 people. It was made without the use of any metal tools.

There is a recreation of an early settler’s cabin, Civil War exhibits, WWII memorabilia, and on to modern days.

Military Attractions

montfort memorial

LeJeune Memorial Gardens is home to the Beirut Memorial, the Montford Point Marine Memorial, the Onslow Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and 9/11 Memorial Beam from the World Trade Center. Each monument in the gardens tells a story of bravery and courage, from the war on terrorism to recognition of African Americans in the marines. And it’s a work in progress as they are still building more. Glenn Hargett, a local volunteer, told us stories of heroism at each of the monuments.

gun at Lejune gardens

The Carolina Museum of the Marine is being built. Plans are underway for this museum that will highlight the accomplishments and bravery of Carolina Marines and Sailors to open in 2026.

Freedom Fountain is in historic downtown Jacksonville. It was built after the first Gulf War. Its curved wall has medallions representing five armed services. Its red, white, and blue water jets represent each of the 50 states.

Swansboro Historic Walking Tour

old brick store downtown

Tour the downtown Swansboro streets with Ann Scholar and he husband Bob, both are very knowledgeable guides. They will take you to interesting buildings. The Hawkins House was built in 1840 and the Ringware House in the 1778. The Old Brick Store, an imposing red brick building on the corner of Main and Front streets, was built in 1839 as a naval stores for William Pugh Ferrand. This building has been altered and used continuously since construction as a store, school, drugstore, church, post office, and is now residences and shops. You can relive this small town’s history in its old buildings. One interesting fact is that almost all the old homes have a stone foundation. That is because ships sailing into port in those days were empty and used loads of stones as ballast then threw out the stones when they loaded the local lumber and naval supplies.

mama duck and babies

You’ll see hundreds of baby ducks and their proud mamas who walk the streets here.

Marsh Cruises

The waterways are still a big part of life in Onslow County. We went shelling on Bear Island with Captain Darryl and his first mate, a silver Labrador named Buxton. When we beached at Bear Island, Buxton was at the bow and was the first one off the boat. He played in the water while we hunted for shells along the beach.

Ghost Fleet Oyster Company

We visited Cody Faison’s working oyster farm. He explained how oysters and the farmers who cultivate them are helping save the environment. Did you know that one oyster can purify about 50 gallons of water a day? Oysters feed by filtering algae that otherwise would pollute the water.

Paddle NC

You can get on the water with a sunset kayak trip on Topsail Beach Permuda Island Reserve. It was so peaceful on the water. I was amazed at the number of pelicans, cormorants, and other birds perched on an oyster farm’s cages we passed.

Hammocks Beach State Park

Hammocks Beach State Park is focused on the waterways. It has a mainland area and three barrier islands, including the 4-mile-long Bear Island. They have ferry service to the islands and allows primitive camping. The visitors center has a interesting museum about the parks history.

Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center

On our visit to the Sea Turtle Center, we got to meet Lenie, Snookie, Kaia, and many other sea turtles rehabilitating at the hospital. Our guide, Kathy Zagzebski, took us on a tour and told us the stories of many of the turtles waiting to be rehabalitated enough to return to the ocean. There was one beautiful turtle named Snookie who was too badly injured to return. Kathy told us they are searching for a suitable home for Snookie.

Mike’s Farm

At Mike’s Farm  we met Teresa Lowe, co-owner of the farm with her husband Mike.  His parents met when his father was stationed at the military base and met his mother. They bought what used to be a tobacco farm. The farm was originally 120 acres and Mike’s dad divided it amongst the four siblings. Mike got 30 acres. Mike and Theresa ended up buying his sister's part and one of the brothers parts and an adjacent farm, so now the farm is about 200 acres. They began growing Christmas trees.

Today they do you-pick crops including strawberries and pumpkins. They do hayrides and have farm animals: ducks, turkeys, chickens, sheep, goats, cows, donkeys, and more. There are corn machines and feeding stations set up so you can feed the animals. I really loved the donkeys and the goats.

Mike’s Farm takes you back to a more peaceful time. If you are an RVer. They are members of Harvest Host where you camp one free night here. There’s a fantastic gift shop, a bakery, and a restaurant that looks like it would suit The Beverly Hillbillies. Food is served all you can eat family style; fried chicken, pork loin and gravy, country ham biscuits, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, green beans, corn. It’s way more than you can eat, but do save room for dessert. I loved the strawberry shortcake.

Huffman Vineyards

Huffman Vineyards is a family run winery. They use Scuppernong, the first grape cultivated in the United States and the official fruit of North Carolina, to make many of their tasty wines.

Walton’s Distillery


If you’re looking for some more adult fun, visit Walton’s Distillery. Donald G. Walton, Jr. began the distillery in 2013. He lived in Kentucky for a few years and learned about making bourbon. His cousin, a one-time illegal moonshiner, taught him to make moonshine and gave him some recipes.

Walton’s first product was E.M. Walton’s Corn Whiskey, named after his great-grandfather. All of his products are named after one of his ancestors. Today, Walton’s makes not only moonshine, but bourbon, vodka and rum.

Ocean’s Edge Restaurant

drink with ocean view behind it

For some great dining try Ocean’s Edge Restaurant. It’s on the 7th floor of the St. Regis Condominium. Every table offers a panoramic ocean view making it worth a visit just for the view, even if the food wasn’t as delicious as it is. They served so much. None of us could eat all of it and it was so good we hated to let it go. Luckily, one of our local friends took it home.

Kettle Diner

strawberrry french toast

Kettle Diner is Jacksonville’s go-to for local’s breakfast. They serve breakfast at all day. The most popular breakfast choices are the French Toast and the Chicken and Waffles. I had Strawberry French Toast that was so good I almost licked the plate.


bang bang shrimp

THIG’S BBQ is a Jacksonville tradition for over 20 years. The name is an acronym for That Hog Is Good Son. We shared a few of the appetizers; Hot Wheels, fried jalapenos with nacho cheese sauce; Fried Pickles; Bang Bang Shrimp; and a plate of pulled pork with the traditional vinegar sauce, known locally as “Swine Wine.” The BBQ was tender and delicious, but the sauce takes some getting used to unless you are born into the North Carolina sauce tradition. They always serve fresh hot hush puppies as soon as you are seated.

Riverview Café

Riverview Café is the spot to go in Sneads Ferry on the banks of the New River for the freshest seafood. I had the Crab Legs, and they were the best. It’s been family owned and operated since 1946, making it the oldest restaurant in Onslow County. In 2020, they were the Daily News winner of the Best Seafood Restaurant.



Marrakesh is unusual for the North Carolina seaside area. It serves authentic Mediterranean Cuisine. The food and décor feel like you are in Morocco. It’s currently owned by Sami Rahman and his brother Nabil. Their father Ahmad opened Marrakesh in July 2010 and it became very popular. Ahmad retired in 2016. The food is still based on his father’s authentic recipes. Almost all their spices come from Turkey. We shared two of the Appetizer Platters with feta cheese, grape leaves, hummus, baba ghanouj, falafel, tabouleh salad, cucumber salad, fouel and a platter heaped with Chicken Tawook, yellow rice, and a Greek salad. All accompanied by a huge helping of pita bread. We also shared dessert; we had to have baklava.

Yana’s Ye Olde Drug Store Restaurant 

Yana’s is one of the most unique restaurants you will ever see. It’s a trip back to the ‘50s with Elvis, Marilyn, and James Dean all around you There’s a lifelike stature of Elvis with his guitar at the front door. Ladies, he’ll even join you in the ladies’ restroom where you find a life-sized cutout of Elvis that speaks to you. Their most popular item is the homemade fruit fritters, made using an old family secret recipe. Depending on the season, you have a choice of four types of fruit: apples, bananas, strawberries, or peaches. I had the strawberry fritters drenched in powdered sugar with a huge helping of whipped cream. The traditional breakfast was equally delicious.

 il Cigno Italiano

il Cigno Italiano’s name fits its location, Swansboro. It translating as “The Italian Swan” The restaurant is  on the banks of the White Oak River. It’s menu combines the favorites foods of Italy with the seafood of Swansboro. We shared several appetizers. The il Cigno Mozzarella, with artichoke hearts, baby heirloom tomatoes, roasted red peppers, crostini, extra virgin olive oil and a large chunk of mozzarella, amply serve four people. Meatballs here are made with a blend of beef and pork, with grated Grana Padano cheese and were delicious. Our other very Italian choice was Gnocchi Pomodoro, a house-made gnocchi, crushed San Marzano tomatoes, basil, garlic, and served with extra-virgin olive oil. Do save room for the cannoli. It’s an Italian tradition.

Swansboro Food and Beverage Company

Swansboro Food and Beverage Company has a long history to match its delicious food. It’s on the site of what was once the 24 room, two story  Tarrymore Hotel dating to around 1910. Back then, a charter boat captain named Charlie Buckmaster ran Capt. Charlie’s Restaurant at the site. Our server told us his ghost is still hanging around. The restaurant has a cute little adjourning bar called Back Bar.

Blend Café

rolled ice cream

Blend Café is a two-in-one spot. One side you get a unique rolled ice cream. The way it works is you pick an ice cream flavor and assorted mixes and toppings. Your server then pours out the ice cream liquid on a round freezer plate and scrapes it back and forth until it’s frozen into a flat sheet. She sprinkles the mixes and rolls it out in several rolls. She tops it with the topping choices. On the other side, is a coffee shop with special coffee, nitro cold brew, artisan toasts, breakfast burritos, acai bowls, crepes, waffles, salads, sandwiches, protein blends, smoothies, fresh pressed juice, and more.

Bake, Bottle & Brew

Bake, Bottle, and Brew serves coffee, ice cream, or alcohol, plus lots of gifts and cards. They have more flavors of coffee than you can imagine, ranging from Bananas Foster to Blueberry and White Chocolate. They offer milkshakes, tea, or hot chocolate for non-coffee drinkers.

Dini’s Martinis and Desserts


Stop in Dini’s in downtown Swansboro for delicious martinis. The bar was originally built for Chicago’s Lexington Hotel, where Al Capone often stayed. They serve food and some spectacular desserts like Pecan Bourbon Pie and Cream Brulée Cheesecake. I had the Pineapple Key Lime Pie Martini, with vanilla vodka, Frangelico, pineapple juice, lime juice, and whipped cream. It was as tasty as it was pretty.

Candy Edventure

candy store

This is the most colorful candy store I ever saw. Besides the yummie candies, both old-fashioned and newer ones, it has an old-fashioned soda fountain, some rides and games, ice cream cones, gifts, and a Lego-built Ferris wheel.

Aloha Beaches

We stayed in a beautiful four-story vacation home, Aloha Beaches.  It has six separate bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and a microwave, and 5 bathrooms. It’s just steps away from the beach and I had a beautiful view of it from my balcony.