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Michal Scott: The Dream and the Hope of the Slave: Mary Eliza Mahoney 1845-1926 (Contest)
Wednesday, November 16th, 2022

UPDATE: The winner is…Debra Guyette!

“I am the dream and the hope of the slave.”

When I read this line penned in Maya Angelou’s poem, “And Still I Rise,” the inspirational example of a woman like Mary Eliza Mahoney comes to my mind.

Mary was born in the spring of 1845 in Boston Massachusetts to former slaves. They had moved to Boston from North Carolina in search of a better life for themselves and their children.

At age ten, Mary attended the Phillips School, one of the first integrated schools in Boston. By eighteen, she knew she wanted to be a nurse and began working at the New England Hospital for Women and Children. For fifteen years, she acted as janitor, cook, washerwoman, and finally as a nurse’s aide, where she got hands-on experience with the nursing profession. In 1878, at the age of thirty-three, Mary’s diligence and work ethic gained her admittance to the hospital’s professional graduate school for nursing, despite not meeting the age range criteria of being twenty-one to thirty-one. The program, which ran for sixteen months, offered lectures and first-hand experience in the hospital. Of the forty-two students that entered the program in 1878, Mary was one of four to graduate in 1879, making her the first African American in the US to earn a professional nursing license. Due to racial discrimination in the public sphere, Mary worked as a private care nurse, mostly, but not solely, for white wealthy families.

Because the nursing associations she was active in were not always welcoming to blacks, she co-founded the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses in 1908. The mission of the NACGN was to improve educational access for black women to nursing practices, raise their living standards, and change the poor perception society had of them. It existed until 1951 when it merged with the American Nurses Association.

In 1911, Mary became the director of the Howard Orphanage Asylum for black children in Kings Park, Long Island and served until 1912.

After forty years, she finally retired from nursing but not from advocacy. When the 19th Amendment was ratified in August 1920, Mahoney was among the first women who registered to vote in Boston.

Mary lived until she was eighty and died of breast cancer on January 4, 1926. Ten years later her achievements were honored by having an award named after her to recognize individual nurses or groups of nurses who promote integration in the nursing field. One of those honorees campaigned to have a monument erected in her honor. In 1973, the monument was dedicated at her gravesite. In 1993, Mary was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York.

Many African-Americans, male and female—myself included—are the embodiments of the dreams and hopes of their enslaved ancestors. I’m glad to have learned of the dream and the hope that was Mary Eliza Mahoney.

For a chance at a $10 Amazon gift card, share your thoughts on Mary’s story or on anyone you can think of who paved the way for others. 

One Breath Away

Sentenced to hand for a crime she didn’t commit, former slave Mary Hamilton was exonerated at literally the last gasp. She returns to Safe Haven, broken and resigned to live alone. Never having been courted, cuddled or spooned, Mary now fears any kind of physical intimacy when arousal forces her to relive the asphyxiation of her hanging. But then the handsome stranger who saved her shows up, stealing her breath from across the room and promising so much more.

Wealthy freeborn-Black Eban Thurman followed Mary to Safe Haven, believing a relationship with Mary was foretold by the stars. He must marry her to reclaim his family farm. But first he must help her heal, and to do that means revealing his own predilection for edgier sex.

Then just as Eban begins to win Mary’s trust, an enemy from the past threatens to keep them one breath away from love…


He shouldn’t have agreed to the marriage stipulation, but Judah wouldn’t return the land to a bachelor. At the time marrying hadn’t entered Eban’s mind. Without Nora, he had no desire to leave a legacy anyway. And after sampling women of many races, Eban accepted he’d never marry. Then the stars changed his mind.

He glanced at them now. They shimmered as they had the night of that fateful watch. According to the first mate who swore by astrology, he’d perceived a special celestial alignment for Eban. The stars foretold a coupling resulting from a rescue in which Eban would meet his wife. Having found Mary, Eban knew that prophecy would be fulfilled.

“How could ya have believed ya heritage held no worth for ya without Nora?”

Eban blenched, though he shouldn’t have been surprised his aunt knew where his thoughts had gone and had headed him off at the pass.

He clucked his teeth. “To tell the truth—”

His aunt snorted. “That’d be a nice change.”

Eban frowned, but ignored the barb and continued. “I came home, not to reclaim Heart’s Ease, but to assuage my curiosity. Secretly I’d hoped to find Nora as miserable as I was. Then I met Mary.” Mary. He chuckled. “After meeting her, I see how short-sighted—how Esau-like—I’ve been.”

He glanced up again. “She’ll marry me, Clem. It’s written right there in the sky, and the stars don’t lie.”


Flashback: Cochise (Contest–3 Winners!)
Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

UPDATE: The winners are…Jennifer Beyer, Debra Guyette, and ButtonsMom2003!

I love my Montana Bounty Hunters. I’ve said it before, but I try hard to make each of them individual rather than cookie-cutter characters with different names. I also love to dream up unique takedowns for your reading pleasure and to showcase who these men are. One of the sexiest characters I’ve written is Cochise.


MONTANA BOUNTY HUNTERS: Authentic Men… Real Adventures…

Former Army sniper, Cochise Mercier, left Denver SWAT under a cloud of controversy, which was why he ended up back home in Montana, and where he heard about the Montana Bounty Hunters. The “cloud” didn’t seem to bother his new boss, so he’s “all in” and finding he enjoys hunting down fugitives for bounties, encumbered by fewer rules.

Sammy McCallister is a by-the-book sheriff’s deputy, who has a beef with bounty hunters. Forced to stand by with her gun in her holster, while hunters take down scumbags, she’s particularly irked by the new guy in town. Cochise, with his long black hair and thousand-yard-stare, makes her uncomfortable, itchy in ways she’s never felt before. When she finds herself needing his help late one night, the reason for her irritation becomes all too clear. She wants him. But first, they have to make it out of the mountains alive…


Are you all caught up reading the original Montana Bounty Hunters series?

For a chance to win a download of one of the stories you may have missed
(I’ll pick three winners!), tell me this:
What profession other than bounty hunters would you like to see in my Montana Bounty Hunters—Dead Horse branch, and beyond—

Here are all the Bear Lodge Montana Bounty Hunters! Yes, it’s an old meme and Brian’s been out a while, but do you really care? 🙂

Authentic Men… Real Adventures…
Reaper’s Ride:
Big Sky Wedding:

Excerpt from Cochise:

Cochise Mercier, the new hire at Montana Bounty Hunters, took a deep breath to force his heart to slow its pace. A trick he’d learned as an Army sniper to make sure a jerking breath didn’t mess up a shot. The trick worked in most situations when he needed his mind to slow and for his focus to home in on a target or a situation. Clearing his mind meant he was able to take in more of what was happening around him and enabled him to discard the things that weren’t important—like the way the wind beat a tree branch against the side of the house, a steady thump that sounded almost like clomping footsteps. Instead, he concentrated on the way the light, beaming through the tall arched windows at the front of the house, flickered whenever his target paced left or right, telling him where their mark was. An important fact, because in minutes, he’d have to breach the oak front door and be ready to take him down—with his weapon or his body, depending on whether Randy Pinter was armed. A fact Cochise would have to ascertain in a split second.

“Can’t see any movement in the back rooms,” came Jamie Burke’s voice through his earpiece. “I think he’s alone.”

He still wasn’t used to hearing a woman’s voice on the comms. He’d never had a female as part of any of his missions on the ground with the Army, and Denver’s SWAT had, at the time, been all male. That voice interrupted his calm. His instinct was to protect women and children, but she was a part of this team—and his boss—so again, he drew a deep breath, pushed aside his concern, and concentrated on his target. Pinter was pacing in front of the window to the right of the front door.

“Girlfriend’s car isn’t in the garage,” came Sky Reynold’s deep voice. “Must have gone for takeout. I’m moving around to the front.”

“Deputies just arrived,” Lacey Jones’s too perky voice sounded. “I’ll go brief them about what’s about to go down. Make sure they know we have the owner’s permission to be here.”

Cochise could hear the excitement in her higher pitch. Thank God, she was back at the road with the vehicles. The thought of her cotton-candy sweetness being anywhere near Pinter made him shudder. The girl might have qualified with her weapon and might be doing well with her self-defense classes, but she had no real experience going head-on with bad dudes. He didn’t want to be around the first time she was truly tested.

“You call it, Cochise,” Jamie said.

With his heart as slow as when he slept, he felt the familiar ice-water chill flow over him. “Ready,” he whispered and then stepped away from the bushes beside the porch. “Moving toward the door… On three. One…two…three.”

He pounded three times on the door. “Federal Recovery Agent! Get down on the floor!”

Then, just as they’d rehearsed, Sky popped up, used a short cudgel to break the right front window, and tossed a flashbang grenade through the opening he’d made.

Cochise turned his back and crouched beside the door. A split second later, he heard the explosion and a muffled shout. He stood and swung the battering ram against the thick front door. The frame around the door splintered. He tossed the ram and kicked the thick oak, waiting as it slammed forward against dark wood flooring. Then pulling his weapon from its holster, he stepped onto the door into the foyer. Read the rest of this entry »

Another “Books Need Bookmarks” Contest! (Three Winners)
Monday, November 14th, 2022

UPDATE: The winners are…miki, Pansy Petal, and Carol Burnside!

I’ve been painting so many bookmarks that I need to find homes for them! I know some of you mostly read eBooks, but maybe you have an old recipe book lying around you can use this in.

Anyways, this is such an easy giveaway, and I’m feeling lazy. All I need is an envelope and a stamp, and it’s gone!

Three bookmarks, three winners!
All you have to do is tell me what you’re reading. I’ll use a random number generator to choose the winners.

Diana Cosby: Nature’s Beauty at Fall! (Contest)
Sunday, November 13th, 2022

UPDATE: The winner is…Colleen C!

©Diana Cosby 2022

Fall is my favorite season.  The leaves turn to gorgeous red, orange and yellow.  The air grows crisp with the hint of the fading summer during the day, and the cool promise of winter at night.

At the marsh, the Great Blue Heron and other water birds move through the brown reeds in search of food as Canada Geese fly south for the winter.

Along the shoreline, the cries of gulls pierce the air as they glide overhead against the backdrop of the crashing waves.

With colorful leaves gliding to the ground in carefree swirls, squirrels are gathering acorns, carrying them to their nests or burying them before winter arrives.

Peering up from the forest floor, the last few flowers spear through the brown blanket of leaves like nature’s fireworks.

Though busy preparing for the winter, against the fleeting warmth of the day, this fox curls up to enjoy a well-deserved nap.  Winter will be here soon, but for now, it’s time to enjoy nature’s beauty at fall.


***ONE winner will be drawn from everyone who posts on my guest blog post about, ‘Nature’s Beauty at Fall!’ on Delilah’s blog between 13 November 2022 – 20 November 2022 and will win a signed copy of His Woman.”

About Diana Cosby

A retired Navy Chief, Diana Cosby is an international bestselling author of Scottish medieval romantic suspense. Books in her award-winning MacGruder Brothers series have been translated into five languages. Diana has spoken at the Library of Congress, Lady Jane’s Salon in NYC, and appeared in Woman’s Day, on USA Today’s romance blog, “Happy Ever After,”, Atlantic County Women Magazine, and Texoma Living Magazine.

After her career in the Navy, Diana dove into her passion – writing romance novels. With 34 moves behind her, she was anxious to create characters who reflected the amazing cultures and people she’s met throughout the world. After the release of the bestselling MacGruder Brothers series and The Oath Trilogy, she released the bestselling The Forbidden Series.

Diana looks forward to the years of writing ahead and meeting the amazing people who will share this journey.

God bless,

Diana Cosby, International Best-Selling Author
The Oath Trilogy
MacGruder Brother Series
The Forbidden Series

Social Media

Saturday Puzzle Contest + Open Contests!
Saturday, November 12th, 2022

UPDATE: The winner is…Charlene Whitehouse!

It’s Saturday! I chose today’s image at random and thought it would make a good conversation starter.

It’s not something I’ve ever done, although I almost did when I was in ROTC. They decided they couldn’t waste a slot on a girl… Huh.

Anyways, solve the puzzle. Then let me know if you’ve ever or would ever do this. Or perhaps tell us about some other risky thing you’ve done for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card!

Open Contests

Enter these contests while there’s still time!

  1. Storm’s coming… (Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!
  2. Saturday Puzzle Contest! — Win an Amazon gift card!
  3. Word Search: Things I love about Thanksgiving! (Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!
  4. Genevive Chamblee: Memory Keeping (Contest & Giveaway) — Win a mystery stationary gift!
Thank you, Veterans!
Friday, November 11th, 2022

This is just a shout-out to fellow veterans to thank you for your service. They include my sister, Elle James (Air Force/Army), my brother Steve (Air Force), and my father (Air Force), who’s no longer with us. I was Army all the way.

Genevive Chamblee: Memory Keeping (Contest & Giveaway)
Thursday, November 10th, 2022

UPDATE: The winner is…Mary Preston!

For many, November marks the beginning of the holiday season… for better or for worse. I believe most people would agree that the holidays are very polarizing. For a great number of people, it is a time of joy. They tend to get into a tizzy grocery shopping, cooking, decorating, and whipping up holiday delights in the kitchen (or at the bar). This time of year is often one of reflection, being thankful for our many blessings, and extending kindness and generosity to those less fortunate.

For others, the holidays may be a struggle emotionally, financially, or both. It is a time of great sadness and anxiety. Although they outwardly may put on a stoic smile and brave front, they may be fighting many internal demons and turmoil. Sometimes, their distress is a result of not having the financial means to provide gifts for their families and loved ones. Seeing the commercialization of the holidays is hard to ignore. Not having the basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter may be accentuated with media images of people who have an abundance of these things. It may be difficult to see blessings when one has so little. Still, for others, their depression may stem from loneliness—not having family or friends to spend time together.

The Bible verse Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 (which was popularized in The Byrds’ 1965 song Turn! Turn! Turn!) states, “To everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” The holidays should be a season of joy, but for the ones who it is a season of misery, it should be an objective for others to bring some type of peace or, at least, make the attempt.

What does any of this have to do with memory keeping? Regardless of what the holiday brings, many people are so caught up in the moment and rushing that they fail to give it the proper attention that stores it as a memory. Think back. How many Thanksgivings and Christmases (Hanukkahs, Kwanzaas, etc.) do you remember? Who was present at each? What gifts did you receive and give? What did you eat? What did the decorations look like? When pondering these questions, many people will have some answers but not all. Some people will recall more memories, and some memories may be more vivid than others. When holidays become a struggle, may be difficult to remember a time when they weren’t. Memory keeping during the holidays is a way to preserve the good season and a reason to search for any good in seasons not so joyous.

So, what are some ways to memory keep?

  1. Photos/videos. This is likely the most obvious and is self-explanatory.
  2. Scrapbooking. Again, this is self-explanatory.
  3. Journaling. This is a very inexpensive and effective way to keep holiday document holiday memories.
  4. Keepsakes. There is no minimum or maximum number of keepsakes that one may elect to collect. And the best feature about keepsakes is that they could be anything. A friend kept the label from a bottle of wine that was used to make a toast. Another friend made a blanket from the matching Christmas pajamas she and her family had worn throughout the years. Another friend has an album of received holiday cards.
  5. Time capsules. Before packing everything away to store for another year, take an item that holds a special memory from each year and store them together. A common item would be a Christmas ornament, but it doesn’t have to be. When her youngest child turned eighteen, a coworker decided that she was done decorating for Christmas. She donated her tree and all the ornaments. Thus, having ornaments in a time capsule for her wouldn’t serve much of a purpose.
  6. Music playlist. Create a playlist of songs that will remind you of the Christmas cheer.
  7. This one is dear to my heart. Each Christmas, my father used to bake “fruit cakes” from scratch for family members. I use the term “fruit cake” loosely because many of them didn’t contain any fruit and the ones that did were nothing like those horrid things sold in the grocery stores. Without getting into an extended explanation, these cakes were a great delight to family members and brought about many laughs (e.g., cake stealing/ cake wars). Each cake was different—the ingredients depended on the receiver. Once he passed away, this tradition ended. The first Christmas without him, I made a few cakes following his top-secret recipe. (One year, he’d suffered a broken leg from a freak accident and couldn’t stand for long periods of time. As a result, he drafted his youngest—me—to help him make the cakes. And that is how the recipe was passed to me.) However, without him, it wasn’t the same, and the cakes didn’t bring about the joy that they once had. Yet, I missed this tradition. Some years later, my daughter who was a Harry Potter fan wanted to have butter beer on Christmas Eve while we snuggled and watched holiday movies. Well… when I tell you I managed to concoct one of the nastiest “potions” ever tasted, it’s not an understatement. I don’t know what went wrong. The next year, I attempted to redeem myself with a different butter beer recipe and managed to somehow render something even fouler. It’s now become a tradition of trying new recipes each year—not just for butter beer but for cookies, candies, punches, and pies. We write them on the front of recipe cards. On the back, we write our opinion and give it a rating. Now, we could easily store these on a computer, but we elect to handwrite them because one day we each will pass away. The ones left behind will have that handwritten memory.

That does it. What did you think? What is your take on the subject? Do you agree or disagree? Did you find this information helpful or informative? Did you learn anything new, or did it change your opinion? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section. Also, let me know if you would like me to cover more of these types of topics or dive deeper into this one. If you like this post, please click the like button and share it. Your feedback allows me to know the content that you want to read. If you’re not following me on the Creole Bayou blog, what are you waiting for? There’s always room at the bayou.

Get ready. It’s almost time to hit the ice again. Future Goals Coming soon.

Future Goals

When a college hockey player needs the help of an attractive older attorney, he gets more than he bargained for when trying to sort out the troubles in his career. Falling in love was never part of either man’s plan, especially as Corrigan’s and Sacha’s lives should never have collided. Now they’re left questioning if they’re standing in the way of the other’s future goals, or if there’s room for redirection.

Preorder your copy at:
Other booksellers:

Missed the first four books in my hockey romance series? No frets.

Out of the Penalty Box (book #1), where it is one minute in the box or a lifetime out, is available at It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links on where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit

Defending the Net (book #2) can be ordered at or Crossing the line could cost the game.

Ice Gladiators (book #3) is the third book in my Locker Room Love series. When the gloves come off, the games begin. Available at or

Penalty Kill (book #4) takes the ice again. Get a copy at or and let the pucker begin.


Would you like a FREE mystery stationary gift? It’s simple. Leave a comment telling me what how you plan to memory keep this holiday season or your favorite holiday memory. It’s that easy. A winner will be selected at random. Contest will remain open until 11/25/22 at 12:00 AM CST.

For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, New posts are made on Wednesdays, and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search for me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors or BookBub or TikTok.

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Until next time, happy reading and much romance. Laissez le bon temps rouler.