Debate Over the Confederate Flag

Battle of Shiloh

In my opinion, the flag should come down and be placed in a museum. Simply put.

Growing up, I was instilled with a deep love and loyalty, not only for my country, but the South as well. I have always taken great pride in being Southern and always will. My great-great-great grandfathers fought for the Confederacy. Nary a one of them own a slave. Matter of fact, one of them was dirt poor and died fighting in the war. He left behind a family that struggled mightily to survive after the carpetbaggers descended upon the South. My grandmother, Ruby Lee Womack Caveness, still harbored deep resentment toward the North for the treatment of the South after the war to the day she died. The hardship that the war brought was not and will not be soon forgotten.

Saying that, the one fact that we Southerners tend to overlook is that we brought it upon ourselves. We refused to free the slaves; we refused to compromise; we fired the first shot. We dared the Union to stop us and they did.

The war did not go like the we Southerners planned for one reason. Our Southern leaders reacted out of stubbornness and heart, not logically. I could go on about the many mistakes made before the war began and the foolishness of the Southerner leaders to go down the path they chose. I have long looked at the war as a Rich’s Man’s War and a Poor Man’s Battle. To most Southerners the war wasn’t about slaves, but being told what to do by Yankees. Riled us up. We are a stubborn lot. But…But the heart of a Southerner can never be questioned. It may have been misplaced during the Civil War, but our heart runs deep with loyalty and love for our home.

We Southerners take pride in being Southern and there is nothing wrong with that. It is where we are from…good or bad—it’s who we are. My pride in being Southern has absolutely nothing to do with owning slaves….My direct ancestors didn’t own any, not that I know of at least. My parents taught me at an early age to respect all people and accept who they are no matter of their color.

I grew up looking at the Confederate flag as a symbol of my heritage. My grandfather died a brave and honorable man for a cause he believed in—his home and family. He was protecting his home. But that’s not the symbol the flag has become and that is the reason it should come down.

When the KKK took to using it as their emblem, the symbolism of the Confederacy flag changed. To me, the Confederacy did not symbolize terror; the KKK does. When African-Americans look at the flag, they see a totally different heritage. The Rebel flag should come down.

I love history. It is the reason I write historicals. I have so enjoyed writing about the American Revolution in my Winds of Betrayal Series. Southern Legacy—has been so hard to write, but something I have wanted to do for a long time. I write Romance. I am not political, but Southern Legacy is my way of coming to an acceptance of my Southern heritage. I have tried not to whitewash history. My heroine struggles with what it means to be a Southerner woman in the world she lives in.

I believe that there were brave and courageous men and women on both sides. I have tried to integrate some of the Southerners that fought for the North in Southern Legacy. In reality, they are truly brave and courageous to make a stand for what they believed in, when most had to make a stand against their own families as well. I, also, found it extremely interesting to have found many African-American leaders in my research that I previously knew nothing about such as William Still. Southern Legacy is a love story, but I believe that the conclusion will be satisfying to all readers.

I also want to caution those that want to widen the reach of taking down the Confederate flag. I even heard on Facebook that they wanted to remove Gone With the Wind. You can’t change history. History is meant to be studied so that the mistakes that we made in the past will not be repeated in the future. We certainly don’t want to repeat the Civil War, but learn from it to become a stronger and better nation.

Somber Note~Hopes and Prayers!

I wanted to take a moment and express my thoughts and prayers for the victims of the senseless shooting in Charleston at Mother Emanuel Church. I’m heartbroken at the killing of innocents.


I was reading a New York Times article:


To many, including the president, the shootings echoed the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963 that killed four young black girls. Mr. Obama quoted extensively from the eulogy delivered then by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


In that speech, Dr. King expressed hope that the tragedy would “transform the negative extremes of a dark past into the positive extremes of a bright future.”


It is disturbing to realize that hate still lives. Lives so senseless and brutally taken. There is so many things that cause worry and concern in the world: hunger, sickness and disease, and war…but going to church shouldn’t be one of them.

Perhaps one day, we can see America through the eyes of a child. When I going to first grade in Booneville, Mississippi, September, 1966, it was the first day of integration. My daddy had a talk with my sister and I the night before and told us there were going to be colored children going to school with us. He told us that he didn’t want to hear us call them any bad names or treat them badly. Honestly, my daddy’s talk excited me. We lived in the rural backwoods. I had never seen ‘colored’ people. The next morning, my momma took me to school. It was the first day. So it was an introduction where we learned our teacher, met our class and then went home. I couldn’t contain my excitement until I was in my classroom. I didn’t see any ‘colored’ children. When I got into the car to go home, Momma asked me what was wrong. I burst into tears explaining I wanted to see the ‘colored’ people. All I saw was children, ‘white’ and ‘brown.’ Where were the different ones?


Wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have to label ourselves black or white Americans, but simply Americans.


I look at the shooting as an act of terror just like what happen at the Boston Marathon Bombing. It was an act to incite terror within us all…an act by a terrorist against us because if you go after ‘Black’ Americans you go after me as well.


It’s like family. When your younger brother is on the playground being bullied and you go over and tell the bully to knock it off because he’s your brother. It’s what I’m saying now. Don’t go after my brothers and sisters without knowing that they have their family behind them.


  For those that want to reach out and help those in Charleston, a fund has been set up:



or send a donation to Mother Emanuel Hope Fund

c/o City of Charleston

P.O. Box 304

Charleston, SC    29402


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Last December, Belle of Charleston was released followed by Shadows of Magnolia in January and Born to Be Brothers last May. The dramatic conclusion is coming this Fall ~The Sun Rises! I want to thank all the faithful readers of Southern Legacy. In celebration, I will be hosting a rafflecopter event. I will be giving away lots of prizes and gift certificates. I will having my authors friends stop by as well with books of their own to give away.

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As with the series, I will be building up to the climax. I have begun a SOUTHERN LEGACY Facebook page just for the series. To keep up with the updates, feel free to like the page….It’s coming  ~ The Sun Rises!!!


BORN TO BE BROTHERS is LIVE! Southern Legacy Continues!

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Set against the backdrop of Antebellum Charleston with the martial clash of brother against brother looming on the horizon—here is an absorbing, tantalizing saga of life during one of our country’s most turbulent times—Southern Legacy Series.

Born To Be Brothers, Book Three


Each has chosen a different path, Tied by the bond of brothers!

The tie that bound the cousins, Cullen Smythe and Wade Montgomery, together has been strained…stretched to the breaking point and there is nothing Josephine can do. The bond once shared, once so strong, has been lost in the turmoil surrounding their lives…none larger than the war that looms on the horizon. The war will force the brothers to choose sides. Each will defend their beliefs and loyalties with courage and valor, but each will stand against each other. The world that once was will be no more.

This is a serial! The books in this series may have cliffhangers and hooks to make you want to continue to the next book. Do not begin if you don’t want to become addicted to the series! Southern Legacy will consist of four books– Belle of Charleston, Shadows of Magnolia, Born to Be Brothers and The Sun Rises. Enjoy!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to read the first two books in the Southern Legacy Series, Belle of Charleston and Shadows of Magnolia, before reading Born To Be Brothers. This is a SERIAL! Born To Be Brothers begins where Shadows of Magnolia left off.


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COMING SOON ~ The Dramatic Conclusion!



Remember Our Heroes on Memorial Day!


I want to take a moment and thank the men and women that have served/serving in in our armed forces. One of the hardest scenes I write are battle scenes. In Born to Be Brothers, I have one from the Battle of Shiloh during the Civil War. I’m in the middle of writing another one for The Sun Rises— the Navy battle of New Orleans. I have written many scenes from the American Revolution.

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I visited Shiloh on my last trip home at the beginning of May. The horror of war hits you the hardest when you see what the soldiers endure. I’m not a big fan of Union General William T. Sherman, but he was correct when he said, “War is Hell.”

It is all too real the sacrifices that our soldiers are willing to give for what they believe in…what they protect. We have these brave men and women to thank for our way of life. There are no words of gratitude that can be conveyed to express the debt we owe these men and women.

I admire their courage and fortitude. I hope that is expressed in my writings. Today I say simply— Thank you and my God bless you.


If you haven’t read any of my books about the birth of our nation, I recommended Winds of Betrayal series. The hardest book I have written is my serial, Southern Legacy…about the Civil War.



Secret Secret Lives Bundle ~ Love Beyond the Secrets FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY— $0.99

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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 great Gothic Love story!
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.
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.


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?

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


Simply mesmerizing…
Colleen Connally has a gift for weaving love stories filled with conspiracy, sacrifice, deceit, loyalty, hardships and least of all love. I am completely enthralled with her work. Eloise’ s character in this story has experienced so much hardship and difficulties I am humbled with the ease the author was able to make me feel and see the heroines live. Colleen has the ability to transport you in time and place you within the story. The way the characters are introduced and how their relationship begins was brilliant. Eloise’s story was heart breaking. Colleen was able to again merge different worlds from different social standards and had a great supporting cast that enriched the plot of the story full of betrayal and conceit.~ Amazon Review


Every ingredient needed for an historical romance you won’t forget is in this book. The level of deceit and treachery will astound you. You can tell this book was a labor of love. Ms. Connelly gives us a book that could easily become a series. The writing is amazing and the characters relatable. Your heart strings will be pulled and you’ll feel the anger and rage- it’s that well written. You must get this book, but be warned, it will leave you breathlessly waiting for the next one.–Have You Heard My Book Review, Reviewed by Melanie

If you enjoy Secret Lives Series~Love Beyond the Secrets don’t miss out on Colleen Connally’s latest series under her name Jerri Hines~ Southern Legacy!

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!