Tuesday, May 03, 2022

BY THE SWEET GUM - Ane Mulligan - One Free Book

Welcome back, Ane. Tell us about your salvation experience. I was raised in church and always believed. Jesus owned my heart, but it wasn’t until after a massive heart attack in 1990 that I gave my whole life to the Lord. After all, when God raises you from the dead, it tends to get your attention.

You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why? Michelle Griep, Elizabeth Ludwig, and Tara Johnson. They are my critique partners and all except Tara have been for going on 17 years. We added Tara a year ago.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it? I got a very bad case of the giggles while sitting at the head table in the House of Lords in England. Our host, Lord Shall-Remain-UnNamed, had a piece of avocado from his salad drop onto his lapel. A colleague, sitting next to me, elbowed me, asking, “Is that a medal on the Lord’s lapel?” It was not, and I lost it. Every eye in that cavernous room turned to me. And I couldn’t stop laughing. The only way I was able to maintain a modicum of decorum was by not looking at my colleague. I was so embarrassed. The Lord, oblivious to his lapel, most likely thought we were idiots.

People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that? I tell them to write it, then find a group of authors to join, where they can learn and grow.

Tell us about the featured book. By the Sweet Gum was such fun to write. I love Genessee’s story. Georgia has a lot of cotton mills, and my research was fascinating. I began this book during Covid, but still got a personal guided tour of Porterdale, a mill town in the greater Atlanta area. I learned so much from the museum curator. I also learned a ton about the accident that took limbs and/or lives of children in the mills. Children as young as 5 years old worked in them. During the 1930s, laws were passed to raise that age. My heroine in the book works with her father to see that achieved. The short synopsis is:

She’s bound by duty. He’s tethered to a dream.

In the beleaguered mill town of Sweetgum, Georgia, Genessee Taylor dreams of a life beyond running the mill-owned hotel with her family. Though the work is honest, the owner of the mill is not. Genessee and her father long to see stronger labor laws passed to protect the innocent children who are injured and dying in the mill. When the owner learns of their activity, he will stop at nothing to silence them. 

Tommy Mack works at the mill and dreams of playing professional ball and marrying Genessee. When he’s contracted by a big-league team, his dreams are within grasp. Just as Tommy and Genessee’s wedding is on the horizon, tragedy strikes Sweetgum. Tommy can’t stay and Genessee can’t leave. 

Can they battle through loss, deception, and sacrifice to find their way back to each other?

Please give us the first page of the book.

“It falls to every generation to leave their world a better place for the next. If you aren’t doing something to improve conditions, you are missing the purpose for which you are placed upon this earth.” Frank Taylor, Sweetgum Baptist Church, February 1928

Late spring, 1930

An ear-shattering gong of a huge brass bell splits the quiet morning. My sister Annie screams, Sarah, our cook, shrieks, and the bowl of cold, baked potatoes in my hands falls to the floor with a crash. Mama cries, “Dear, God, no! Please don’t let it be another child.”

I freeze, unable to move. Tremors quiver through me, as my heart cries, “Not Tommy! Please, Lord!”

There’s an accident at the cotton mill.

The horror I feel reflects on Mama’s face. “Go, Genessee.” She shoos me out. “Find out who it is.”

She’s already picking up the potatoes and whispering prayers as I race out the door. The mill lies no more than one-hundred-fifty-yards from the hotel entrance. I run up the road as fast as my legs can move. Slamming through the front door, I follow the sound of the screams coming through the stairwell from the floor above. I fly up the steps. Normally, noise from the machinery obliterates every other sound, but when that bell clangs during work hours, most of the machines stop.

When I reach the second floor, I skid to a stop outside the spinning room, bend and put my hands on my knees, trying to catch my breath. I’m not sure I want to see what’s on the other side of this door.

“Out of the way!”

I jump aside as two medics carrying a stretcher run past me.

How can readers find you on the Internet?


Amazon Author page,



The Write Conversation

Thank you, Ane, for sharing this new book with my blog readers and me. It’s at the top of my to-be-read pile.

Readers, here’s a link to the book.


Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 2 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link: https://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com/2022/05/by-sweet-gum-ane-mulligan-one-free-book.html 


Southern-fried Fiction said...

Thank you, Lena, for hosting me!

Lucy Reynolds said...

I loved In High Cotton by Ane. Thank you for sharing. Would love to read. Blessings from WV.

Southern-fried Fiction said...

Lucy, I'm delighted you enjoyed In High Cotton. Good luck in the drawing!

Christina Sinisi said...

This book looks lovely--and thank you for sharing your story!

Wendy Newcomb said...

This sounds like an interesting story, thank you for the chance to win a copy.

Wendy in Nebraska

wfnren at aol dot com

Connie Leonard said...

This sounds intriguing. I'm glad people worked to create child labor laws. I would love to win this book.
Connie L. in Texas

traveler said...

A fascinating historical which is unforgettable and interests me greatly. Anne -NM.

Southern-fried Fiction said...

Christine, thank you! And Wendy, I appreciate it. Good luck!

Connie, thank you. Child labor laws were so important. Even when they came, a lot of places simply ignored or bent them for a long time.

Anne, when I researched this story, what I uncovered was definitely unforgettable.

Good luck, everyone!

Southern-fried Fiction said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abigail Mitchell said...

This book looks really good!
Abigail in VA

Southern-fried Fiction said...

Thanks, Abigail. Best of luck!

Connie Porter Saunders said...

Thanks for sharing about this book. I love the cover & first page.
Connie from Kentucky
cps1950(at)gmail(com )

Sharon Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Nichols SC.

Melissa M. said...

Please enter me! Thank you!

-Melissa in TN

Terrill R. said...

Wow. This story sounds so interesting. I love learning about events I had no inkling about.

Terril - Washington State

Anonymous said...

And I love learning about them in my research. This one was a bit hard, especially the kids who were hurt in the mills.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Connie!

Billi Taylor said...

Enter me. Please.
Billi Taylor from Texas

Sarah Taylor said...

What an amazing post enter me please in this amazing giveaway Sarah from Ohio Sarahbaby601973(at)gmail(dot)com