Donna Everhart

First Sentence Fridays and FREE BOOK Friday!

Hello reader friends! Welcome to Friday!

Next week, from October 11th through October 18th, I am thrilled and honored to be a writer in residence at the Boyd House in Southern Pines.

I wish I could have been there while writing The Saints of Swallow Hill, but – COVID.

The house was built by writer, James Boyd. One day, he and his daughter, Helen Boyd Dull, were on a trip, and when their train was delayed, they took a carriage ride. As they crested a hill she noticed a vast area of longleaf pines being cut down. She pleaded with him to save the rest of them, and thanks to her, he purchased the land, which now has some of the last remaining “old growth” or “virgin” longleaf pine in the United States. She went on to become a conservationist.

There is a brief mention of this history at the end of the book. Sometime after buying the land, the construction of the house began. James Boyd is famous for several historical novels written in the 1920’s and 30’s such as, Drums, Marching On, Long Hunt, Roll River and Bitter Creek.

The house today is part of the Weymouth Center for Arts and Humanities, and this is also the location of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. (James Boyd’s old library)

If you follow me on Facebook, you will have seen the photo of me standing next to the oldest longleaf pine (per the Nature Conservancy) in the world, and which stands just a few miles from the Boyd house. In case you missed it  . . .

The tree is 474 years old! Longleaf pine trees typically live about 500 years, so sadly the tree may be in its waning years. Next week, I will be close to these trees which are near and dear to my heart while hoping to make progress on my next story – but, shhh, that’s a secret for now. ????

On to this week’s sentence!


If you’re keeping up with Rae Lynn’s sentences, you will have a pretty big clue something has gone awry with her, but WHAT is it? What has caused her to come so close to death? Was it an accident, or intentional?


Chapter 22

Rae Lynn

Right after she was brought to the Riddles, Rae Lynn lingered near the here and there.



For a chance to win an ARC of The Saints of Swallow Hill, comments made on the blog, Facebook, or wherever you follow me is your entry! Easy peasy. ☺

One winner will be randomly selected and announced Monday!



My publisher’s are doing it again! There is a Goodreads giveaway going on with another 100 books up for grabs! Enter here!



Are you a NetGalley reviewer? The Saints of Swallow Hill is available for request! I’ve started seeing a few reviews. It’s so exciting to read what people are saying about the book!


Last, but not least, don’t forget to:

Pre-order a copy!

You might win a copy, but, you can always give away one as a gift! 🙂 

14 thoughts on “First Sentence Fridays and FREE BOOK Friday!”

  1. Oh how cool is the pic of you standing near a very old tree…that is history by itself????

    1. I am so glad I got to have that pic taken. I was actually really surprise by how big the longleaf pines are – trunk wise and height! ????

  2. Good morning, wow, that is a pretty big and old tree, very nice pic! That is nice that you will get to go see it again. I received my copy of your book, Thank you so very much. Have a great weekend and stay safe. God Bless you and your family.

  3. looking forward to reading this book. I lived in m Carolina for a few years and was always interesting when the needles shredded from the long leaf pines and you would see them selling the pine straw.

    1. Hi – they’re doing it now. When I go for a walk, some areas are covered with a thin layer of needles – it smells so good!

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