Blog Tour: Guest Post by Lea Nolan Author of Allure + Giveaway

30 September, 2013 Blog Tours, Giveaways, Guest Spotlight 31 comments


Welcome to the first stop on the Allure blog tour, hosted by Rockstar Book Tours! One thing that I love about reading is the way it can expose you to so many different walks of life and cultures. If you’re like me and your only exposure to Hoodoo includes Disney’s The Princess and the Frog, then you’ve come to the right place to learn something new! Today, the lovely Lea Nolan, author of The Hoodoo Apprentice series, has stopped by to talk about hoodoo, the Gullah and their fascinating culture.

Welcome, Lea!

Guest Post

Thanks so much for having me here at Cuddlebuggery! It’s a true pleasure to visit.

My book, Allure, the second installment in The Hoodoo Apprentice series features three teens who use Gullah hoodoo magic to battle an ancient-soul sucking curse and a hideous monster that will stop at nothing to consume its prey. Sounds exciting, huh? Definitely. But I’ll bet you’re probably thinking, who the heck are the Gullah and what is hoodoo magic? Well, have no fear, I’m here to give you the 411.

The Gullah are the descendants of enslaved Africans who remained on the South Carolina and Georgia sea islands when they were abandoned by white slave owners after the Civil War. They are probably most famous for their gorgeous handmade sweetgrass baskets which take hours of painstaking work to create.

Gullah sweetgrass baskets

In the books, Emma Guthrie apprentices herself to Miss Delia, a ninety-seven year old Gullah root worker who’s lived on St. Helena, South Carolina all her life. Miss Delia may be elderly but she’s as sharp as a blade and tougher than most people a third her age.

For hundred years, the sea islands were only accessible by boat, but the interstate highway system changed that when bridges were built in the mid-twentieth century connecting the islands to the mainland. Last May, I took a scouting trip to St. Helena and other nearby islands that lay along South Carolina’s Atlantic coast to breathe the clean salt-infused sea air and visit some of the places I’ve been writing about. This is the land of marshes, palmettos, Spanish moss, and wide sandy beaches.

Sea island marsh

Sea island palmetto

Sea island beach

Since they were so isolated, the Gullah developed their own distinct culture and language, which is also known as Gullah. Initially, early linguists assumed Gullah was just broken English, but later scholars discovered that it actually is a creole language made up of both English and African words. Though many Gullah words are traceable to English, their intonation, stress, and sentence structure resembles languages spoken in West Africa. Unfortunately both the Gullah culture and language are endangered as English encroaches and more Gullah move off the islands to seek employment and live on the mainland.

Here are some of my favorite Gullah words and their translations:

B’fo’day clean – before dawn
Binyah – someone born and raised in the lowcounty
buckruh – white person
Comeyah – person from “across the water”, newer to the area
Dark the light – sunset
Dayclean – dawn
Haint or haunt – an angry dead person who haunts the living; a restless spirit who can enter a dwelling through an opening of any size and cause a rukus to scare the inhabitants.
Middleday – noon
Middlenight – midnight
Study yuh head – think hard for the answer
Sweetmouth – flatter

Gullah words have also made their way into the English language and influence the way we speak today. For example, gumbo, yam, tote, biddy, and nanny are all Gullah words.

Finally, the Gullah are also known for their hoodoo medicine and magic which is a plant-based African-American folk magic that is used for natural healing and spells and charms. Miss Delia is a root worker which means she can cast all sorts of incantations that will protect you from jinxes, bring love or money, and even curse or hex you. If you’re interesting in learning more, here’s a great explanation of hoodoo and these are the two best books I’ve found to describe how it is practiced: Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic by Catherine Yronwode and Hoodoo Medicine by Faith Mitchell.

Thanks so much for having me! I hope you’ve found this introduction to the Gullah, their culture and language as interesting as I do.


About Lea Nolan

Lea Nolan is a USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance and YA. Her books for young adults feature bright heroines, crazy-hot heroes, diabolical plot twists, plus a dose of magic, a draft of romance, and a sprinkle of history. She also pens smart, witty contemporary stories for adults filled with head-swooning, heart-throbbing, sweep-you-off your feet romance. Born and raised on Long Island, New York, she loves the water far too much to live inland. With her heroically supportive husband and three clever children, she resides in Maryland where she scarfs down crab cakes whenever she gets the chance. Learn more at her website, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Goodreads

Follow the rest of the Allure blog tour!

Week One:

9/30/2013- Cuddlebuggery – Guest Post

9/30/2013- Step Into Fiction– Review- Allure

10/1/2013- I am a Reader– Interview

10/1/2013- Just a Booklover– Review Conjure

10/2/2013- Candace’s Book Blog– Guest Post

10/2/2013- Endless Reading-Review- Conjure and Allure

10/3/2013- Fantasy Book Addict– Interview

10/3/2013- Bookworm in Boots– Review- Allure

10/4/2013- Fiktshun– Guest Post

10/4/2013- A Dream Within A Dream– Review- Conjure or Allure

Week Two:

10/7/2013- URBAN FANTASY LAND – Guest Post

10/7/2013- Fade Into Fantasy– Interview

10/8/2013- Jenuine Cupcakes– Interview

10/8/2013- Reading Rainblog– Review- Conjure or Allure

10/9/2013- The Cover Contessa– Interview

10/9/2013- Faerie Tale Books– Review Conjure or Allure

10/10/2013- Fangirlish– Guest Post

10/10/2013- BookHounds YA–  Interview

10/11/2013- Mundie Moms– Guest Post

10/11/2013- vvb32 reads– Review- Conjure and Allure

Don’t forget to check out Allure, available October 1st!

AllureGoodreads | Indie Bound | iTunes | Amazon | B&N

Worst. Summer. Ever.

Emma Guthrie races to learn the hoodoo magic needed to break The Beaumont Curse before her marked boyfriend Cooper’s sixteenth birthday. But deep in the South Carolina Lowcountry, dark, mysterious forces encroach, conspiring to separate Emma and Cooper forever. When Cooper starts to change, turning cold and indifferent, Emma discovers that both his heart and body are marked for possession by competing but equally powerful adversaries.

Desperate to save him, Emma and her twin brother, Jack, risk their lives to uncover the source of the black magic that has allured Cooper and holds him in its grip. Face with the horror of a soul-eating boohag, Emma and Jack must fight to resist its fiendish power to free Cooper long enough to join their strengths and face it together, before it destroys them all.


Grand Prize- A Hoodoo Apprentice Prize Pack US Only

2nd and 3rd prizes of $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift cards International.

ALLURE Grandprize Giveaway w- 2&3rd Prize


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Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker, fangirl and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.

31 Responses to “Blog Tour: Guest Post by Lea Nolan Author of Allure + Giveaway”

  1. Lea Nolan

    Thanks so much for having me! I’m so happy to share some of the supreme coolness I’ve learned about the Gullah. One of my all time favorite phrases is “study yuh head” it so perfect describes what it means. 🙂

    • Christine H

      Hi, Lea! I received my B.A. in linguistics and had only heard sporadic mentions of Gullah in my courses … until I read the synopses of your books. The words and phrases you listed in the post look very similar to Jamaican Patois. I suppose they share the same West African roots. Thanks for bringing light to this interesting creole language. I’m very eager to read your entire Hoodoo Apprentice series and share it with my students!

      • Lea Nolan

        Yes, Christine, they both have the same West African roots so it makes sense that they would have similarities. It’s a fascinating culture and language that sadly is diminishing, but I’m so pleased to be able to introduce people to it!


  2. Viki S.

    This is new to me and sounds really interesting. Must go back and take a good look. This has ot be one of the coolest giveaways ;). Thank you.

  3. nurmawati djuhawan

    congratulation for the new release, lea 🙂
    thx u for making it INT giveaway too 🙂

  4. Anne Consolacion

    That was interesting! And I love the photos that go with the history. I’m sure the book is awesome and I would love to read it. Congrats on this release!

  5. Filia Oktarina

    Don’t know what must say, but i enjoy this post.
    I like the photos, thanks for sharing 🙂

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