Two Minute Sea Turtle Release #video

The sea turtle hospital in Surf City, NC served as my inspiration in A Vast and Gracious Tide. After the rescued sea turtles recover from their injuries, volunteers release them back into the ocean.

Have you ever been part of a turtle patrol, seen turtle eggs hatch on the beach or witnessed a turtle release into the sea?

For more behind the scene info on A Vast and Gracious Tide, visit Pinterest.


Two Minute Cape Hatteras Aerial Drone #video

If you’re longing for summer, take a look at this—

Did you notice how narrow Highway 12 is between the Pamlico Sound and the Atlantic Ocean?

Have you ever visited the Outer Banks of NC (OBX)?

If not, isn’t it about time?

For more behind the scene info on A Vast and Gracious Tide, visit Pinterest.

Behind the Scenes Pics for A Vast and Gracious Tide

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Old Location Site of Lighthouse—where Ginger the Dog surfs

Ocracoke Island Lighthouse



For more behind the scene info on A Vast and Gracious Tide, visit Pinterest.

Do You Remember the First Time You Ever Saw the Ocean?

“It’s like another world,” she says.

And she is right . . .

Oh, that we could always see each day as an adventure with the same childlike wonder and joy.

How old were you the first time you ever saw the ocean? Can you remember the moment? Where were you?

For more behind the scene info on A Vast and Gracious Tide, visit Pinterest.

Research Pics for A Vast and Gracious Tide

Coast Guard Station Hatteras Inlet

The mighty Atlantic

Radio operator at the weather station on Hatteras received one of first SOS signals from the rapidly sinking RMS Titanic on April 14. 1912. His supervisor didn’t believe him. And refused to allow the radio operator to notify anyone else as to the Titanic’s plight.


Let the adventure begin!


For more behind the scene info on A Vast and Gracious Tide, visit Pinterest.

Southern Deviled Egg #Recipe—Just in Time for #Easter



6 eggs



Salt & Pepper


1. Boil eggs in with with a dash of salt 15-20 minutes.

2. Let eggs cool. Crack and peel eggs.

3. Slice eggs in half lengthwise.

4. Scoop out yolk onto plate and mash with a fork till lumps are out and yolks are blended.

5. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add mayo (1/3 cup???) I add till it “looks right”.

6. Add mustard ( 1 Tbsp????) You know what I’m going to say here, right? This is how I was taught to cook by the best Southern cooks I know.

Until reaching desired color and texture.

7. Spoon into egg whites.

Yield: 12 eggs


Southerners eat this at all social gatherings year-round. It’s about as de rigueur as sweet tea.

For more recipes and behind the scene photos of Beneath a Navajo Moon, visit

The Little Known Thomas Legion of the Civil War

Thomas’ Legion, also known as Thomas’ Legion of Cherokee Indians and Highlanders, Thomas’ Legion of Indians and Highlanders, and the 69th North Carolina Regiment, was a unit of the Confederate Army. Organized in 1862 by William Holland Thomas, the Legion fought in the last skirmish of the Civil War before surrendering on May 10, 1865 near Waynesville, North Carolina.thomasLegion2

The formation of the regiment was unusual. Thomas, the only white chief of the Cherokee Indians, recruited Cherokees to fight on behalf of the Confederacy. It was a true legion, a combination of infantry, cavalry, and artillery.

Thomas LegionThe unit was mainly assigned to defend the western North Carolina area. A portion of the Legion was ambushed at Baptist Gap. True life fact from Beyond the Cherokee Trail, when Cherokee Lieutenant Astooga Stoga was killed leading a counterattack, infuriated Indian soldiers scalped several dead or wounded Union soldiers. Colonel Thomas returned the scalps to the Union with apologies.

Another real life factoid—the last Union widow died in 2003. She was the widow of a soldier who had fought against Thomas’ Legion.


The actual 1901 reunion photo which inspired the last portion of Pierce’s story


For more behind-the-scenes photos of Beyond the Cherokee Trail, visit

Sky Country Landscapes from Beyond the Cherokee Trail

Enjoy the 6a00e54ef8375388330120a7b1fca9970bbeauty of a Snowbird forest from the Land of the Sky People in western North Carolina.



The basswood tree—otherwise known as the linden tree


The flowering Carolina Silverbell


The tulip poplar


The native wild Cherokee Lily of such significance to Sarah Jane



For more behind-the-scenes photos of Beyond the Cherokee Trail, visit


Southern Buttermilk Biscuit #recipe

• 2 cups all-purpose flour—great Southern biscuits start with White Lily flour
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 tablespoon baking powder without aluminum
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold
• 1 cup buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Cut the butter into chunks and cut into the flour with a pastry blender until it resembles coarse meal.
  4. Add the buttermilk and mix until combined. Don’t overmix.
  5. If mixture is dry, add a tad more buttermilk. It should be very wet.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a floured board.
  7. Don’t roll the dough, but pat out until it’s about 1/2″ thick. Fold the dough about 5 times. Press the dough down to a 1 inch thickness. Rolling pins will produce tougher biscuits.
  8. Use a round cutter to cut into rounds. Handle the dough as little as possible to avoid tough biscuits.
  9. Place the biscuits on a greased cookie sheet- position biscuits touching if you like softer biscuits. These biscuits will also rise higher than biscuits separated from each other.
  10. Bake 10-12 minutes or until the biscuits are a light golden brown on top and bottom.
  11. Do not overbake.
  12. These biscuits can be frozen for up to a month. Then simply place them frozen on the cookie sheet and bake at 450°F for about 20 minutes.


For more recipes and behind-the-scenes photos of Beyond the Cherokee Trail, visit