May Flowers and Songbirds

May flowers always line your path and sunshine light your day. May songbirds serenade you every step along the way. May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that’s always blue. And may happiness fill your heart each day your whole life through.~ Irish Blessing

Happy May! I’m so happy we are heading to warmer weather. Up here in Boston, it still hasn’t got gotten warm…this week…I hope! I’m so ready to get outside into my garden. First, though, I’m going home to Mississippi this month. It’s my momma’s 80th birthday. I’m so glad that I’m getting down for this milestone.

I just turned in my edits for Born to Be Brothers. The third book in the Southern Legacy Serial is right on schedule for its release on May 26th! I have so many plans for Southern Legacy Series. Later this summer, The Sun Rises, will be conclude the serial. At that point, I am going to put the four books together under one title. At the moment, Southern Legacy is only offered on Amazon. After The Sun Rises concludes the series, I will release it everywhere including Audio and print. I am also planning on doing a small book tour this fall for Southern Legacy! Exciting!

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I’m being ambitious this year. I have plans to conclude Winds of Betrayal Series by the end of the year. Set to the Rain is due by Christmas.  I want to share a review on The Heavens Shall Fall.

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on May 1, 2015
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
One of the best books I’ve ever read can’t wait for the next book to come out!

TIDES OF CHARLESTON

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Before Southern Legacy Series came the Tides of Charleston!

 

A dramatic American Revolution series set in Charleston or as it once was known Charles Town! Follow the lives of two siblings: Cathryn Blankenship, the legitimate daughter of Governor Blankenship and his bastard son, Sumner Meador.

 

THE JUDAS KISS

Cathryn Blankenship has no desire for a season in London! Why on earth would her father want her to leave her home in Charles Town? Upon Cathryn’s steadfast refusal, Governor Blankenship is forced to assign a young lieutenant to watch over Cathryn on the journey and ensure his daughter’s appearance in London. Cathryn finds Lieutenant Jake Pennington the most aggravating, maddening man she has ever met…a man Cathryn soon admits she is in no hurry to see leave. But fate has other plans for her in a world she is ill prepared to enter. She descends into a place where love and betrayal go hand and hand, where greed and treachery are second nature, but moreover the threat her father believes he has sent her is awaiting her arrival. When fate tears her apart from her Lieutenant, Cathryn finds herself desolate and alone. Soon Cathryn makes fateful decisions that will eventually send her back to her home where she will have to fight for her life. And the only one that can save her is the one she believes deserted her.
 
THE PROMISE
 
Lady Cathryn Blankenship Tinsley suffered greatly in England. Returning home to Charles Town widowed and with child, she seeks safe haven from the heartache she left behind. She quickly finds that much has changed since her departure. Now she is caught in the midst of the rebellion against the Crown.

Jake Pennington is determined to convince Cathryn to return to England. Rekindling the flames of their love, Jake promises Cathryn he will return for her. Only now the tide of war has shifted and Cathryn lives in constant danger. Can Jake keep his promise to Cathryn before it’s too late?

 
 
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Sumner Meador walked in a world of wealth and privilege as part of Charles Town’s elite, but that was years ago. Now he fights in the Southern backwoods driven by the passion he holds for the Patriot cause, shadowed by his past. Reeling from a devastating defeat at the hands of the British, Sumner seeks haven at his farm, only to find an interloper—an unwelcome and unwanted distraction. He has no time for the young woman or the complications she brings with her, but soon discovers he has no option but to give aid to the stubborn, courageous beauty whether she wants it or not.
A widower, Sumner has been haunted by the death of his wife and is consumed with a desire for revenge.
Jane Kilmer has been violently thrust into the midst of the civil war ensuing in the backwoods. Hiding from one of the most dangerous vigilantes, Jane trusts no one. Suddenly, she has no choice but to put her life in Sumner’s hands. Both desire revenge, but neither wants what happens—to fall completely, undeniably in love with each other—so much so, that both are willing to die for the other. And they might have to.

SECRET LIVES BUNDLE—Love Beyond the Series

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Secret Lives Series Bundle is NOW Available everywhere!

AMAZON         AMAZON UK     BARNES AND NOBLE   iTUNES

SECRET LIVES BUNDLE—Love Beyond the Series
Seductive Secrets, Broken Legacy, and Seductive LiesNow Available All Three Books Under One Cover!
Historical Romance filled with Love, Intrigue, Betrayal and Mystery!

A former Amazon #1 Historical Romance, One of the most downloaded historical romances, and a gothic love story!

SEDUCTIVE SECRETS

Someone wants Alyce Hythe dead… Shunned from London society for being the daughter of England’s most notorious spy, Alyce Hythe desires only to clear her father’s name. For years, she has been hidden away from all prying eyes, given a new identity and told to forget who she was. But strange things have been happening causing old rumors to once more be whispered.

Long has Lord Julian Casvelyn lived with guilt brought on when his brother was murdered by England’s most infamous traitor. But one eventful night has changed everything Lord Julian believed about his brother’s death. Never did he suspect the woman he has just saved from certain harm is the daughter of that man. Now Julian is caught in midst of a conspiracy and desire for that woman. Thrown together by fate, the two search for answers long denied them and along the way discover a love that can free them both.

Broken Legacy
Lord Gerard Lenister needed the lady…after their meeting, her wanted her.
For seventeen years Lady Eloise Granville lived in France thinking herself a bastard. Not until her life was threatened did her father cross the English Channel to reclaim her as his legitimate daughter. Now four years later a revolution roars its ugly head in France. Rumors abound of Lady Eloise’s life before her emergence in England…rumors that link her to the notorious leaders of the French Revolution.

Lord Gerard Lenister knows well the whispered connections Lady Eloise has across the Channel and the disdain that Society holds for the lady. It matters little to him. He could have cared less if she was the incarnation of a she-devil. He would marry Jezebel herself if she helped him on his mission. He is that desperate…but soon he discovers that Lady Eloise is not what she seems.

Seductive Lies

Only love can heal a heart betrayed…
Harriet Burke has long been haunted by a family scandal. Abandoned by her mother as an infant, she has grown up in the shadows of the events that led up to that scandal. But all changes when she meets the future Viscount of Daneford. The dashing young Lieutenant Arthur Hammett defies his grandfather. Professing his undying love, he proposes to Harriet. Harriet quickly learns that all is not what it seems. Secrets, lies, and betrayal shatters Harriet’s life, leaving Harriet little choice. She has to begin life anew…They were destined to be together but fate had other plans…
Lord Arthur Daneford made a rash decision years ago that cost him greatly…his biggest regret. Now, though, his past has reemerged. Chilling information has been called to his attention that Harriet’s life is endangered. He will stop at nothing to ensure her safety, but will she accept his help before it’s too late?

A SOUTHERNER’S PERSPECTIVE

People stereotype. It’s natural. I’ve never watched the Soprano’s, but I started watching the series on Amazon Prime a few weeks ago. It got me thinking about stereotyping.

Are all Italians in the mafia? Are all African-Americans in gangs? Are all muslims terrorists? Are all Southerners dumb, poor, not quite sophisticated with an underlying hatred toward African-Americans? Of course not!

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I love history. I have enjoyed writing about the American Revolution. I feel strongly that we were in the right fighting for our independence. It is easy to write when you feel the emotions of the characters. Writing about the Civil War, Southern Legacy, has been much harder.

The Civil War is personal to me. Growing up in the deep South, even after over a hundred years, people still hung onto the defeat. Etched into my memory is my grandmother talking about carpetbaggers and the hardships seen by Southerners after the Civil War was over. The pain and hurt still lived in her voice.

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My home in Mississippi!

My immediate family during the Civil War didn’t own slaves…never own a slave. They barely had enough money to take care of their own families. My great-great grandmother Annie Bolton wrote her autobiography. She was a young girl during the Civil War living on a small farm in Alabama. She talked of hearing the cannons during the Battle of Shiloh. Her father died fighting for the South. His death caused extreme hardships for her mother. Awfully poor, Annie ended up raising her younger siblings before she ended up marrying my great-great grandfather. It is a heartwarming story of the struggle and hardships of rebuilding after the war.

We Southerners take pride in our heritage. I wish I was half the woman who Annie Bolton was. In her writings, there was no animosity toward the North, only a deep felt love for her family and God. She placed her faith in God, hard work and the love she held for those around her.

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Magnolia Plantation, Charleston, SC

Vacation Summer 2011 Charleston and trip 146

Southern Legacy Serial is a love story. A romance—I’m not trying to defend history. Rather, I’m trying to write a possible scenario. Gone With the Wind is a classic because Margaret Mitchell wasn’t afraid of making sure she didn’t say or write something not socially acceptable. So many romance authors stay away from Antebellum South because of the stigma of what the war stood for.

Let me say—It is awfully hard. How do you write about the romance and glitter that the Antebellum South held without condoning the way they gain their fortunes…off the backs of slaves? So how do you write a simple romance during that period. You don’t. It’s not simple…it’s complicated.

I’m Southerner—born and bred. I am extremely proud of being from Marietta, Mississippi. My father was a high school basketball coach; my mother, a kindergarten teacher. Just because my view may not be yours, it doesn’t mean its wrong. I respect everyone’s opinion, but don’t tell me I don’t know the South. I do.

I have lived for years in the Boston area. My husband is from here and I have never regretted my decision to move up here. But it doesn’t mean I don’t miss the South. Let me tell you, I have missed the people terribly. There are no nicer…kinder souls than from Northeast Mississippi. My momma is turning 80 in May and my whole family is going down for the occasion. I can’t wait to go home. Not to mention that my husband and I fell in love with Charleston and plan to retire there.

Southern Legacy is a book I had to write. Why? When I moved up North, it became quite apparent that most of the people I met perceived Southerners including me as a backwards, stupid, and prejudiced. To be honest, I was taken back when I moved to Boston to see how prejudice this city was.

Boston seemed to be broken up into four parts: Irish, Italian, Jews and African-American. When I first arrived in Boston, I’ll never forget walking by a park where children were playing. There was a group of white children no more than four or five years old. As children do, one of the little boys threw a rock and hit one of the other children. Of course, the little one hit went running to his mother. As fate would have it, there was one little African-American boy sitting playing happily by himself. But suddenly the mother of the injured child swept down and accused the African-American boy of throwing the rock, yelling and screaming at him. The little boy’s mother tried to tell them he hadn’t done it. It was then I interrupted them and told them what I saw. The white child’s mother didn’t even apologize. Honestly, it was the first time in my life I had seen the discrepancy in treatment of whites and blacks.

I thought to myself—See it’s not the South. Why it’s worse up here in Boston! I felt justified in my conclusion until two things happened. One—I had children. I’ll never forget the day my child came home from school after watching the movie, Mississippi Burning. He asked had it really happened? I couldn’t lie. While the movie was fictional, it was based on the true story of the murder of three civil rights workers in Mississippi. I could argue that it was overly dramatic and filled with Hollywood’s perception, but I couldn’t dispute that three innocent people died. Second—a co-worker of mine. Cally, an African-American born in Mississippi, was one of eleven children born in a small town in the Delta. She grew up in the ’60s. When she was six or seven, the sheriff came out and arrested her momma. I don’t know where her father was at the time, but the sheriff took her momma away from her eleven young children, leaving them alone for three days. Her momma’s crime—she had missed one payment of $10 on her TV. That was the Mississippi that Cally took away from her youth.

On the other hand, I never experienced that Mississippi. The Mississippi I know and love is nothing like it has been portrayed in the press and media. Why the discrepancy? Just my opinion. I think we Mississippians are a stubborn lot. We don’t like to be told what to do. We put up a facade that if you don’t like us, we don’t care. But we do…or I do.

I’m proud to be a Mississippian. I am proud of my ancestors that fought in the Civil War. They were brave and true. It took a great deal of courage and fortitude to fight in the war. They fought for their homes and family. The issue with the Civil War—given the fact that less than 10% of the population owned slaves—is that the rich land owners were the politicians. Now, I know that it’s been said the Civil War was fought over state rights. I believe that to be true, more so than we fought for slavery. But don’t you believe that it was mostly the plantation owners fighting to preserve their way of life. The question becomes did our Southern leaders lead us blindly into a war to maintain their wealth, while we loyal soldiers fought under the guise of loyalty and duty?

In all of this, where were the voices of reason? Why didn’t anyone ever question our Southerner leaders? Wade Hamilton of South Carolina expressed concerns, but even being the well-respected citizen he was, no one listened to him and even mocked him for his opinion. Our military leader, Robert E. Lee, had his reservations, but chose to be loyal to his state.

So, you think that I’m saying this because it’s politically correct. No, I felt this way even as a youth. My sister confiscated a paper I wrote in the fifth grade thinking she held something over me…like I would be embarrassed by what I had written. It was a civil war essay contest. I came in second. The teachers told my mother I would have come in first place if I hadn’t said that the South was in the wrong. I said the South should have never fought the Civil War.

Even during the war, it was questioned in households. Here is the viewpoint of one Southern lady that lived during the Civil War.

I was never a Secessionist, for I quietly adopted father’s views on political subjects without meddling with them. But even father went over with his State, and when so many outrages were committed by the fanatical leaders of the North, though he regretted the Union, said, “Fight to the death for our liberty.” I say so, too. I want to fight until we win the cause so many have died for. I don’t believe in Secession, but I do in Liberty. I want the South to conquer, dictate its own terms, and go back to the Union, for I believe that, apart, inevitable ruin awaits both. It is a rope of sand, this Confederacy, founded on the doctrine of Secession, and will not last many years – not five. The North Cannot subdue us. We are too determined to be free. They have no right to confiscate our property to pay debts they themselves have incurred. Death as a nation, rather than Union on such terms. We will have our rights secured on so firm a basis that it can never be shaken. If by power of overwhelming numbers they conquer us, it will be a barren victory over a desolate land. ” Sarah Morgan Dawson
Confederate Girl’s Diary, p32.
Call number 973.78 D27c 1913 (Davis Library, UNC-CH)

One aspect of the Civil War that is not addressed often is that not all Southerners chose the Confederacy. Granted most did, but there were those that wanted the Union to stay unified. The first Admiral of the Navy, David Farragut, was Southern. He is the one the said “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” General George Henry Thomas was in command of the Union Army of Tennessee. Then there was also Percival Drayton from Charleston. He served in the US Navy and fought against his brother in the Battle of Port Royal. (Another time I will talk more about the Draytons.) There were many families split over the war. Brother fought against brother.

Should I feel disloyal for writing what I feel? No, everyone has a right to their opinion whether it’s popular or not. Besides, I don’t believe I’m the only Southerner who feels this way. What most Southerners might take offensive to is that it may feel like I’m being disloyal. I don’t think I am. I’m not an outsider making a judgment. I’m part of the South trying to come to grips with our Southern heritage.

I don’t believe that people are born with prejudice. Prejudice is taught. My daddy always taught me to judge a person by their actions. I’ll give you example. When I was going into first grade, the school I was going to, Booneville Elementary, was being integrated. Daddy chose to send my sister and I to Booneville. My sister and I could have gone to another school where there wouldn’t have been any African-Americans. He was coaching at a small country school, New Site. Daddy was a great basketball coach. He didn’t want us given special treatment because we were his daughters. So he sent us into Booneville. He had no misgivings about us going to school with African-Americans. You teach by example. Daddy did that.

Daddy taught me many things. My love for history comes from him. He instilled in me the importance of character. He took pride in his home. So do I.

The reason I wrote Southern Legacy is not to justify the Southern stance. If you consider the Civil War a statement for slavery, then there can be no justification. I wrote it not to reason, but to come to an acceptance. Embrace the good; learn from the mistakes so they won’t be repeated.

The Civil War does not define a Southerner, but it is a part of who we are.

Born To Be Brothers will be released on May 26th. The dramatic conclusion, The Sun Rises, will be released tentatively on  August 25th.

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Coming May 26th! Pre-order Available

OOPS! My Mistake…Your Bargain!


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AMAZON   ITUNES

Don’t know where my head is! I meant to lower the price of another one of my books, but instead lowered Seductive Secrets. I decided to keep it at $.99 for a couple of days.I don’t even have a promotion going on the book. So…it’s your gain! Enjoy!

COFFEE TIME ROMANCE & MORE
CTRR Award-
I positively enjoyed Seductive Secrets. Colleen Connally spins a tale that scoops up the reader and transports them into action, romance and intrigue. There is so much more that makes this story spectacular. It is filled with deception, treachery, romance, intense drama, and detailed characters that pull in the reader from the beginning until the end. The secondary players add great finesse to the storyline. I have to admit it was completely hard to put this book down. Ms. Connally creates an enthralling read that surrounds with anticipation that continues to build, leaving this reader spellbound. – Cherokee

Previously published as Daughter of Deceit under Carrie James Haynes

RISQUE REVIEWS -Top Choice Award-
This story kept me on the edge of my seat as Alyce goes through the days trying to learn the truth. The suspense kept my heart racing as Alyce meets someone that knows something about her father. It turns out to be an attempt on her life. I literally held my breath until I knew she was alright.
Later in the story, Haynes takes Alyce through a journey of sensual feelings for Lord Julian. Alyce discovers that she is falling in love. And through the description Haynes uses throughout her story, I experience the same feelings Alyce felt. Haynes was able to make me place myself in this story to feel as if all the action that took place happened to me. I especially like when I read a book and can feel that way.
There is one scene toward the end of the book that made me not able to put the story down–when Alyce is led to old ruins at Colonel Tolworthy’s estate by someone trying to cause her harm. I stayed up late reading the last section of the book because I simply could not quit reading until I knew the outcome.

Secret Lives Series Back Up On iTunes and Barnes and Noble!

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Barnes and Noble        iTunes

SECRET LIVES BUNDLE—Love Beyond the Series
Seductive Secrets, Broken Legacy, and Seductive Lies

Now Available All Three Books Under One Cover!
Historical Romance filled with Love, Intrigue, Betrayal and Mystery!

A former Amazon #1 Historical Romance, One of the most downloaded historical romances, and a Gothic love story!

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Barnes and Noble       iTunes

Someone wants Alyce Hythe dead…

Shunned from London society for being the daughter of England’s most notorious spy, Alyce Hythe desires only to clear her father’s name. For years, she has been hidden away from all prying eyes, given a new identity and told to forget who she was. But strange things have been happening causing old rumors to once more be whispered. Long has Lord Julian Casvelyn lived with guilt brought on when his brother was murdered by England’s most infamous traitor. But one eventful night has changed everything Lord Julian believed about his brother’s death. Never did he suspect the woman he has just saved from certain harm is the daughter of that man. Now Julian is caught in midst of a conspiracy and desire for that woman. Thrown together by fate, the two search for answers long denied them and along the way discover a love that can free them both.eded the lady…after their meeting, he wanted her.

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Barnes and Noble            iTunes

Lord Gerard Lenister needed the lady…after their meeting, he wanted her.

For seventeen years Lady Eloise Granville lived in France thinking herself a bastard. Not until her life was threatened did her father cross the English Channel to reclaim her as his legitimate daughter. Now four years later a revolution roars its ugly head in France. Rumors abound of Lady Eloise’s life before her emergence in England…rumors that link her to the notorious leaders of the French Revolution.

Lord Gerard Lenister knows well the whispered connections Lady Eloise has across the Channel and the disdain that Society holds for the lady. It matters little to him. He could have cared less if she was the incarnation of a she-devil. He would marry Jezebel herself if she helped him on his mission. He is that desperate…but soon he discovers that Lady Eloise is not what she seems.

Coming Tuesday- September 24,2013

Only love can heal a heart betrayed…

Harriet Burke has long been haunted by a family scandal. Abandoned by her mother as an infant, she has grown up in the shadows of the events that led up to that scandal. But all changes when she meets the future Viscount of Daneford. The dashing young Lieutenant Arthur Hammett defies his grandfather. Professing his undying love, he proposes to Harriet. Harriet quickly learns that all is not what it seems. Secrets, lies, and betrayal shatters Harriet’s life, leaving Harriet little choice. She has to begin life anew…

Lord Arthur Daneford made a rash decision years ago that cost him greatly…his biggest regret. Now, though, his past has reemerged. Chilling information has been called to his attention that Harriet’s life is endangered. He will stop at nothing to ensure her safety, but will she accept his help before it’s too late?

ABOUT:

They were destined to be together but fate had other plans…

Family scandal…Forbidden love…Ghosts and Curses

Harriet Burke has been cursed or so says her grandfather. In her youth, a gypsy’s blessing gave Harriet the ability to disregard the boundaries of death. Lord Arthur believes it is total nonsense, but he cannot deny there is no explanation of her knowledge. Haunted by vision of wrongs once done, Harriet fears there will be no escape.

99 CENT BOOK BLAST!

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This weekend I’m part of a $.99 Cent Book Blast. It’s always fun to join in with other authors to help promote their books. My book, The Heavens Shall Fall, is listed under Contemporary, Historical, Romance, & Erotica…you can’t miss it! LOL! Not exactly where I would have placed my historical fiction book…but there are some great books that you don’t want to miss. I can recommend a few in this group—

Caught in a Trap by Elaine Raco Chase

Fourth and One by Janelle Taylor

The thing is if you have read Winds of Betrayal and haven’t gotten to The Heavens Shall Fall yet…It can be read as a stand alone….It’s on special for the weekend!

Have a good one!