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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 . 

Colonial Williamsburg Where Past and Present Meet

by Kathleen Walls

Williamsburg is one of those magic places where history is ever present. Williamsburg was founded between 1630 and 1633 when some Jamestown settlers moved there. Jamestown's capital building burned twice, the second time In 1698. The locals in Jamestown were tired of the unhealthy climagte and decided to permanently move the capital Williamsburg. The once small community grew and prospered until a later governor, Thomas Jefferson, moved the capital to Richmond. Williamsburg retuned to its early small village status.

The 20th century growth in tourism led to rebirth. Today, Colonial Williamsburg is Virginia's most popular destination for travelers. Here on the 17th century style streets and preserved or recreated buildings, you can you meet famous characters from history. I met the Marquis de Lafayette. Both a young General George Washington and a later President Washington roams Williamsburg streets along with many other famous figures of the 17th century. Colonial Williamsburg is very walkable, but you can safe the feet with the free shuttle that runs every 15 minutes from 9AM until 10PM with eight stops around the district.


The most impressive building in Williamsburg is The Capital. It's not original but an authentic recreation of the first capital built in 1705 built in a Georgian style with twin apses, curved turret-like buildings, with a joining middle section.

Our guide led us through the Capital beginning in the section used as a courtroom and took us through the general assembly sections. She enlivened her demonstrations by letting us act at participants in the activities carried on in each section. We caw how early Virginia laws were introduced and passed. I learned that Virginians declared independence on June 29, 1776 from Great Britain and wrote Virginia's first constitution four days before Congress voted for the Declaration of Independence.

The most interesting event was Cry Witch at the Capital held at night. We attended a mock trial of Grace Sherwood, the so-called Witch of Pungo. The actors portraying the judge, district attorney, Grace, and witnesses were so talented. During the trial, the judge called on the audience to ask questions, and after they heard the witnesses, he allowed us to vote. Grace was found guilty by a 42 to 40 vote.

Governor's Palace
gov palace at night

The Governor's Palace sits opposite the Capital at the end of Palace Green, a lovely green space It's a replica of the burned-down original mansion. There's a magnicificent gardens and outbuilding to self-toured. The Palace tour has  a docent who took us through the building. When t was the home of the governor, not many people got past the entry hall and adjourning offices. The privileged few who were invited to the balls danced until dawn.

Randolph House and Yard
randolph house

The dark-red frame Peyton Randolph House is one of the oldest houses in Colonial Williamsburg. Built in 1715, it was the home of Peyton Randolph, President of the First and Second Continental Congresses, and his wife, Elizabeth. It served as a hospital to treat wounded soldiers during the Revolution and is reputtedly the most haunted house in the US.
docen t in randolph yard kitchen

The Randolph Yard tells the story of the enslaved people here. The docent in the kitchen talks about Betty, the head cook at the Randolph house. Betty presided over the largest domestic kitchen in Williamsburg, some 2,000 square feet. She had several assistants. Messy work would get done in a separate room in the kitchen complex, not where Betty cooked. She cooked only for the Randolph family and guests, not the other enslaved people. According to records from Mr. Randolph's death, they valued Betty at 100 pounds.
docent telling of slave code

A docent led us around from the Randolph house to other parts of the village. She told the story of how slavery came to Williamsburg. Although Peyton Randolph, his cousin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Patrick Henry, and others demanded freedom from Great Britain, they didn't seem to recognize the paradox of enslaving other people.

In the early 1600s, England offered people in prison an option. "You can serve your time here in prison, or we will let you go to Virginia and serve as an indentured servant for a period of a few years and then you will be free." Poor people, mostly Irish then, were told they could come to the colonies and, after their indenture term, get their own land and live better. These people came to Virginia.
gardener tells of williamsburg crops

Meantime, In Virginia, the gentry learned from the Indians did well growing tobacco. Colonists put the indentured servant to work in the tobacco fields and soon found out these people, often very fair skinned, didn't hold up well in the blistering sun.

Then they discovered African indentured servants who knew how to work in fields and grow things. By the late 1600s, there were between 3,000 to 6,000 enslaved people; by the 1700s, there were 60,000. Tobacco was a hard crop. After you grew it for a few years, you had to abandon those fields for about 10 years. Since the more they grew, the more land the king gave them, they didn't care. The more land they had, the more servants they needed. Greed insured they didn't want to let the indentured servants go after the term ended, so they created a devilishly clever law making servitude permanent.

In 1682, Virginia's General Assembly passed the so called "Slave Code" that existed until the Civil War. The code decreed that "all non-Christian servants entering the colony are to be slaves." Just because a Black person got baptized, they were slaves since they had not been baptized when they entered the country. The code also changed the English law to inheritance through the maternal side, so if a slave woman had a child, it inherited the mother's slave status.

Archaeology Sites
archeologist at site

Williamsburg today is trying to show all of history Black and white. It prides itself on being historically accurate. One important site they're excavating now is the site of two African American Baptist Churches. The mid-19th century First Baptist Church was torn down, as it portrayed a later time. Now they are excavating an earlier smaller building beneath the ruins of the later church. The site shows the earlier one was constructed in the mid-1700s, making it one of the oldest African American churches in the country.
exhibit about black church

There are exhibit telling the church history in the Taliaferro Cole Stable across the street from the excavation site.
curtic archeological site

Custis Square, catty-corner from the church site, is another archaeological site where John Custis IV's home and gardens were. Custis was the father of Martha Washington's first husband, Daniel Custis.

tailor and assistant inwilliamsburg

Throughout the Historic District, there are the places where various tradesmen worked. I visited several. The tailor and his journeyman showed how they made clothes for the local people. The blacksmith shop was had several smiths toiling at the forges. There are tinsmiths, builders, apothecaries, hatmakers, cabinet makers, wigmakers, and more.

Public Gaol
old jail

This old jail was where debtors and criminals were imprisoned. Some of Blackbeard's pirates were held here before being hanging.

Bruton Parish Church
old church

This was the official Episcopal church, and they expected all Virginians to attend regularly. It is still an active church. There is a small museum and gift shop on the same block that tells church history.

Historic Gardens

Throughout the district, there are several historic gardens with docents to tell about the crops grown then. We saw many of the farm animals, including sheep and horses, that pull the historic carriages you can book to tour the village.

Haunted Williamsburg Ghost Tour
docent telling stories on ghost tour

You can walk around the historic district free but you need to purchase a ticket for entry into the buildings. Additional tours are available to purchase. One tour we took was the ghost tour.  It was fascinating and Iris, our guide, told stories about the places in the district, including personal experiences and encounters by her and other staff members.

Merchants Square
merchants square

Just outside the historic district, there are other places you want to visit. Merchants Square at the end of the Historic District offers modern shops, dining, and Kimball Theater.

Art Museums
art museums

The Art Museums have multiple galleries with art ranging from folk art to objects from Colonial Williamsburg. Some collections are "A Gift to the Nation," "Navajo Weavings: Adapting Tradition," "Art of the Quilter," and "American Folk Pottery."

Golden Horseshoe Golf Club
golf course

I'm not a golfer but even if you aren't, the courses here are worth a look. They were designed by the father-and-son team of Robert Trent Jones Sr. and Rees Jones. We took a golf cart tour of the course, and the beauty of the course is impressive.

Spa of Colonial Williamsburg
pool at spa

The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg is a treat to soothe the mind and body. Besides the traditional spa facilities, shower, steam rooms, and whirlpools, they have hair and nail salons, a well-equipped fitness center, indoor pool, family pool, and tranquility pool.

For dining you have many great choices. Here are a few.

Kings Arms Tavern
server at kings arms

Jane Vobe opened the original tavern in 1772 and today's authentic reproduction serves the food of the 18th century tailored to meet modern-day tastes. The décor is authentic, and the servers are dressed in period costume. John, our server, gave us detailed stories about the food and culture. Peanut Soupe––spelling on the menu is true to the times––was a popular item. I had the Smoked Golden Yard Bird for my entrée. Superb! John told us people of that time ate dessert to clean the palate, so I had no guilt over my pecan pie with butter pecan ice cream.

Terrace Room
terrace room

The Terrace Room, in the Williamsburg Inn where Queen Elizabeth II stayed when she visited Williamsburg, is another fabulous choice. I recommend the shrimp cocktail and had the maple mustard glazed Duroc pork tenderloin entrée. For dessert try bananas Foster crème brûlée. The food and atmosphere really are fit for royalty.

Sweet Tea and Barley
sweet tea and barley

Sweet Tea and Barley in Williamsburg Lodge where we stayed is a cozy place with the 18th century feel. I started with Chesapeake crab chowder, then had shrimp and grits for my entrée. The spiced bread pudding with vanilla ice cream for dessert is a perfect finish.

room at ashby guest house

Williamsburg Lodge is just a short way from  the Historic District. It has several guest houses. There's a shuttle stop in front. I stayed in the Ashby Guest House with all the modern amenities set in a 17th style.