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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 . 


Bristol: Birthplace of Country Music

Story and photos by
Kathleen Walls

Birthplace of Country Music in Bristol, Virginia/Tennessee has a fantastic history behind it. The Museum tells how country music was recognized as a genre at the famous 1927 Bristol Sessions. It’s an amazing story.

records cut at bristol sessions at museum


Ralph Peer, who was a producer for Victor Talking Machine Company, later RCA Victor, wanted to record “Hillbilly music” using the newest electrical recording equipment developed in 1925. Records were the big new thing then. He asked Ernest Stoneman, who was already playing and recording for Victor with his wife, Hattie, where would be the best place to set up the recording sessions that became known as the Bristol Sessions? 

He decided on Bristol because with Johnson City and Kingsport, Tennessee, it formed the Tri-Cities, then the largest urban area in the Appalachians. At the sessions, Peer recorded 76 songs by 19 performers or groups. Particularly interesting is that after we progressed through vinyl records, to eight tracks, cassette tapes, then CDs, now records are once again popular.

information about ralph peer and early recording

Remember, although due to segregation and the mores of that time, music was classified by race, there was already a big crossover of music. The banjo, an African instrument, was common in “Hillbilly bands” of the time. The blues, considered “race music,” melded into much so-called white music. El Watson was the only African American artist to record at Bristol Sessions. He recorded “Pot Licker Blues” and “Cold Penitentiary Blues” backed by white musician Charles Johnson, who played guitar on Watson’s recordings. Watson, in turn, played bones on a few songs recorded by the Johnson Brothers. These are some of the earliest integrated recordings of country music.

Carter Family

carter family info

Two of the most revered names in country music came out of the 1927 sessions, Jimmy Rogers and The Carter Family. A.P. Carter traveled around the Appalachians collecting the old-time ballads brought from mostly Scotland and Ireland by settlers both before and after the Bristol Sessions. He traveled the remote areas collecting songs with a Black one-legged guitar player named Lesley Riddle. Riddle had an almost photographic memory. Once he heard the song, he could later write out the music.

A. P., his wife, Sara, and Maybelle Carter, A.P.’s brother’s wife, and Sara’s cousin, recorded six songs “Bury Me Under The Weeping Willow,” “Little Log Cabin By The Sea,” “The Poor Orphan Child,” “The Storms Are On The Ocean,” “Single Girl, Married Girl,” and “The Wandering Boy” in Bristol in 1927.

A great place to learn more about the Carter Family is the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia.

Jimmie Rodgers

Jimmie Rodgers is known as “The Father of County Music.” He’s also called “The Singing Brakeman,” and “The Blue Yodeler.” He was born James Charles Rodgers on September 8, 1897, at Pine Springs, Mississippi, just north of Meridian. Much of his music resembled the blues and there’s some cross over with jazz. Louis Armstrong played trumpet in Jimmie Rodgers’ “Blue Yodel #9.”

Jimmy rogers family

Like his music, his life is a mix of triumphs and tragedies. His mother died when he was around six. By 13 he organized singing troupes and ran away twice. His father brought him back, and eventually he went to work for the railroad. It was here he heard the songs of the Gandy Dancer, African-American railroad workers who installed the rails, that were later part of his music. In 1924, they diagnosed him with tuberculous. It ended his railroad job and left him free to pursue his music.

When he heard about Peer’s recording session, he applied. He recorded “The Soldier’s Sweetheart” and “Sleep, Baby, Sleep.”

His museum in Meridian, Mississippi is also a fascinating place to visit.

Museum Exhibits

placard telling of what women needed to overcome

Downstairs there is a special exhibit called I’ve Endured: Women in Old-Time Music. It showcases women musicians you may never have heard of, like Aunt Samantha Bumgarner and Jean Richey. They tell the story of the banjo, a traditional African instrument. Exhibits show difficulties women had to endure to move forward with music. It showcases some vintage clothing and instrument women wore or played over the years. This special exhibit will be here until the end of this year.

When you first enter the museum on the second floor, you are treated to a video telling the history. Country music, as it emerged in the next few years, was a fusion of the white mountain ballads brought over mainly from Scotland and Ireland and the African-American blues. Many of the exhibits at the museum focus on those early artists.

ora lhistoy info

You can listen to the original recordings of many of the Session’s songs. There's an exhibit of oral histories of people who were there during the sessions. There is even a studio where you can record your own version of one of the songs.

banjos exhibit

I loved the large collection of banjos at the museum. Many of them belonged to famous musicians, including one that belonged to Earl Scruggs.


Another case is filled with vintage guitars. One guitar was Jimmy Rogers’ which he used in his “Blue Yodel #9.” Another exhibit has a collection of instruments ranging from Jew’s harp, harmonica, mandolin, and many others.

One video at the museum is amazing. In the May the Circle be Unbroken Theater, as the old song plays, the surround screen shows the multitude of musicians who have sung and recorded the song. Beginning with The Carter Family, there is the next generation of June Carter Cash and Johnny Cash, then Willie Nelson, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles, and so many others.

old time chuch

There’s an old-time church telling the connection of spirituals with country music.

tennessee ernie ford exhibit 

There is a temporary exhibit about one of Bristol’s native sons, Tennessee Ernie Ford. I wasn’t aware his song, “Sixteen Tons” caused so much controversy. Mining interests wanted it banned. Aside from his recordings, he was a radio and tv show host.

There is even a fully operational radio station that operated form themusuem plus so many interesting exhibits here plan to spend a few hours.

the big bang of country music

At the Library of Congress National Recording Registry in 2002, they ranked the 1927 Bristol Sessions among the 50 most significant sound recording events of all time and officially named Bristol “The Birthplace of Country Music.”

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