February 12, 2020

I found the picture above when I Googled Appalachian love stories. Because there was no story included, I decided to write my own.

Ready to Woo             By Tonya Jewel Blessing

He was desperate. Clem knew he...

January 24, 2020

It is an Appalachian tradition to eat black eyed peas on New Year’s Day. A mountain folk belief claims that the beans resemble a coin and to partake of what is also known as goat peas brings good luck and wealth for the new year.

“The idea that black eyed peas are lucky...

December 13, 2019

I recently completed a virtual book tour with Celebrate Lit. Although I was a little intimidated by the process, the experience was amazing. As part of the tour, I was also interviewed. My first time in seeing a personal interview in written print. Life can be daunting...

October 31, 2019

On a recent lovely fall day, I decided to visit a Denver area Barnes & Nobel bookstore. The idea was to browse through the shelves, to enjoy a cup of lightly sweetened herbal tea and a bakery treat, and to catch-up on answering overdue e-mails.  Before making my way to...

September 11, 2019

One of my favorite things in life is being an aunt. I have four nephews and four nieces. I also consider myself an aunt to their spouses and a great aunt to their children. 

I was recently reading the Gospel of John and learned that Jesus’ aunt stood with his mother at...

I like big purses. I always have. I somehow feel a need to carry diverse articles with me: random receipts, a collection of pens and mechanical pencils, a notebook, nail clippers, lipsticks, business cards, a small mirror, dental floss…I recently attended a ladies’ eve...

March 9, 2019

To intentionally kill a honey bee brings bad luck. (Appalachian Folk Belief)

Wouldn’t it be fun to host or attend a literary event? If I was going to sponsor such a unique festivity, I would theme the event around my Appalachian historical novel, The Whispering of the W...

February 7, 2019

Paying the bride price or lobola is a controversial issue in South Africa. Some believe that the tradition of paying the bride price brings families together and creates a platform for unity and prosperity. Others believe that lobola is demeaning to the bride and damag...

January 14, 2019

My husband and I recently traveled with my mom to wild, wonderful West Virginia for an Ashby family reunion.  We had a marvelous time.  I thoroughly enjoyed our brief day trip through the Appalachian Mountains. The scenes were familiar, and my mom’s insightful narrativ...

November 21, 2018

It’s that season again.  November rolls into town, and it’s time to make a shopping list of creative gifts for the special people in your life.  Whether you need a starting platform or an idea for just one more gift, I wanted to share my list of favorite things to give...