Download The Promise of Palmettos Free this Weekend

In celebration of the release Destination Wedding on July 31st, please enjoy a Free Kindle download of The Promise of Palmettos this weekend (July 25-27th).


The Promise of Palmettos is Celebrating its One Year Anniversary!


The Promise of Palmettos is celebrating its one year Anniversary on October 12,2013. In celebration of this milestone event, The Promise of Palmettos with be absolutely free for that one day on Kindle.

The Reviews for “Marshland” and “The Promise of Palmettos” are In!

If you are still not convinced that you should give Marshland and The Promise of Palmettos a read, check out reviews.

10 Things You Need to Know When Visiting Hilton Head Island (Part 1)

the bridge

For the next three blog posts, I will be counting down from 10, discussing important things that visitors need to know about visiting Hilton Head Island. Without further ado, I will get started.

10) You are on Hilton Head when you cross the bridge – Some visitors don’t realize that before mansions and condominiums, small cottages were prevalent in this once self-sufficient island. The presence of such abodes sighted when first crossing the bridge can throw off an uninformed vacationer.

9) Bluffton is not Hilton Head – On the mainland, before travelers even cross the bridge, there are several businesses with “Hilton Head” in its title. I know that this can be confusing but until you cross the bridge, you’re not on Hilton Head yet. You’re in Bluffton. In other words, Hilton Head is Hilton Head and Bluffton is Bluffton. Still confused? See #10.

8) Respect the History – Like many of the Sea Islands, sacrifices (willing and unwilling) have occurred to ensure that the island is full of endless bike trails, numerous golf and tennis courts, hotels, beautiful beach access, high-end shopping centers, and plantations (what most people call subdivisions). Respect occurs when there is an understanding that all places have a history.

This is a good place to leave off for now. Stay tuned for Part 2 of 10 Things You Need to Know When Visiting Hilton Head Island. Part 2 is where it gets a bit deeper. Hope you’re ready. Meanwhile, be on the lookout for that bridge…

Culture – Gullah Dialect

The language of Gullah is a mixture of English with West African to form a unique Sea Island Creole language. Unlike English, Gullah dispenses with prepositions, conjunctions, adjectives, and adverbs, which are principles that link sentences together. Instead, the sentences are short, abrupt, and loosely strung together. Little importance is placed on when an action took place. Instead, the mood and action are emphasized. This speech pattern is common in the West African Languages of the Mandinka, Ibo, Yoruba, and others.


Palmetto Culture – Cotton

I have talked about the cultivation of rice in the Low Country of South Carolina and Georgia. The cotton trade however, was just as interesting. In the Low Country, Sea Island Cotton, more commonly known as Long Staple Cotton, had also been the primary commodity of the Sea Islands. Sea Island Cotton was able to be cultivated in these areas because the crops thrived in light, sandy, and saltwater lands. These crops also expanded the economic success of the area because of the excellent prices they brought to the world market.

Marshland – Coming Soon.

Palmetto Dinner Table

JambalayaAnyone who knows me knows that if you take me to a restaurant, I am content with ordering a burger and fries. No mayo on the burger. Mustard only and with fixin’s sans tomatoes. I use ketchup on the fries only if they are steak fries or have skins. The salt goes in the ketchup and then I dip. If it’s shoestring or the waffle kind, salt only. If you really want to get on my good side, take me to a place that serves excellent New York Style Pizza. That’s the large slices with perfectly seasoned, rich tomato sauce and dripping cheese. Pepperoni. Always pepperoni. Only pepperoni (I’m getting hungry as I am writing this). I’ll eat the other toppings, but to me that’s not the perfect pizza slice.

Although I am from Hilton Head Island, I hate fish and that includes shrimp. If you open a can of tuna in front of me, I am likely to go postal. I actually don’t mind the taste of shellfish dipped in butter. My mother used to have to share with me when she ordered lobster. Then we went crabbing. I enjoyed it. There was deserted inlet on the island (secret’s out though now, as it’s been overrun by tourists) where we set up camp, tied some chicken neck to the casting basket, lowered it in the water, and waited for a nibble. I was so excited when I caught my crabs. Then I befriend the crabs. Finally, I became traumatized when my catch was thrown into the cooking pot filled with boiling hot water. Alive. Needless to say, no more shellfish for me. From then on, I would catch the crabs, but I wouldn’t eat them.

Once in a while, I do crave a Low Country home cooked meal. I really missed it while at Hampton and the alternative was over-sugared spaghetti from the “Big Cafe”. During the holidays on the island, family dinners would encompass the usual soul food accoutrements. Meats included fried chicken, turkey, and ham. The different sides were various salads, macaroni and cheese, and South Carolina’s official vegetable: collard greens (For real. It was actually a question on Jeopardy!). For the breads we most likely would have rolls and cornbread. Now of course our table distinguishes itself with a couple of low country highlights like white rice and red rice (yay!), okra and tomatoes, and shrimp dishes. I’m still waiting for someone to cook Low Country Boil, though.

When I got to New Orleans, I had to get used to food being a favorite pastime. It was an easy tradition to fall into and the food is excellent too. Based on what I stated earlier, I stay away from crawfish, ettoufee, and shrimp po boys. I head that they are good though, so if you are a seafood lover, I encourage you to chow down. For me though, I love jambalaya, red beans and rice (I had some that was excellent on that River Road Plantation trip that I took with my class), muffalettas, and I’ll do a meatball po boy. I love Beignets. My husband made some for us this weekend. I heard bananas foster is a good desert when made right. I’m thinking it’s like banana pudding, but with that special flava. I like my bananas in a shake or smoothie, so I have not had the pleasure of trying either of those dishes. I can do a King Cake for Mardi Gras. It took a couple of tries to get this desert right without destroying the baking pans (burnt sugar is nothin’ nice).

As I get older and cook more special family dinners, sure I make the traditional soul food, but it’s accented with accented with a couple of Low Country dishes. That’s not all though. I’m practicing my New Orleans cuisine for a more eclectic table. Come to my house for the holidays and there will be the usual meats, sides, and breads. Also you will find three types of rice to include my jambalaya. As soon as I perfect the red beans and rice, that will be added to the repertoire as well. And finally, I will learn how to do Low Country Boil with Seafood. Just because I don’t eat it, doesn’t mean that I can’t cook it. I wonder if it would be frowned upon if I added a New York Style pepperoni pizza to the spread.