Donna Everhart

First Sentence Fridays and BIG GIVEAWAY Friday!

Hello everyone – welcome to Friday!

Can you believe we are just over halfway through the book? I was waiting to celebrate this milestone until I received some of the exciting SWAG to go along with an ARC – and it arrived yesterday! There is the ARC of course, but ALSO, there are stickers, a “Dear Reader” letter, a candle with the book cover on it, a pine cone decoration, a harmonica (Melody!) a hanky, a pine cone necklace and a t-shirt with a stanza of the NC state toast! (large only)

This little package ought to make one lucky reader very happy! Details on how to enter are below as usual.

On to the post and sentence for this week!


As mentioned before, I used several research papers to understand the lifestyle, and dangers of labor camps, and none, not even the government run versions, were easy to live in. One is still in existence today and is used to house migrant workers. During the Great Depression when the Dust Bowl was causing so many to flee Oklahoma, it was a tent camp known as the “Weedpatch.”

There was another government run program called the Civilian Conservations Corp, or CCC. This program was for single males, ages 18-25 initially, and expanded later to the ages of 17-28. It ran from 1933 to 1942, and provided jobs to young men. From what they earned, a certain amount was expected to be sent home to their families. While not the easiest living, most of these camps operated much better than privately owned lumber, coal or turpentine operations where rules and restrictions were set by the owners.

From one of the research papers I used titled, Pining for Turpentine, Critical Nostalgia, Memory and Commemorative Expression in the Wake of Industrial Decline:

“The usual punishment for running away is a severe flogging, but
sometimes the penalty is death. As a forced laborer named Robert
Graves told us, in describing the ***Aycock Lindsey plantation, ‘If you left
owing the Bossman even $5 and he caught you he would kill you, and you
would have to die, because they would bury you.'”

***This was not during slavery days, this was 1939. Zora Neale Hurston traveled to this place and here is one field note she took: ““there is a grave not far from here of a hand they beat to death.”

Aside from the working conditions, and the accommodations, I’ve also talked about the environmental hazards. This week’s sentence traces back to Del’s previous chapter. Birdie is a minor character, but nonetheless he’s a stark representation of what the workers went through.


Chapter 19


As the man came along, he kept his eyes on the ground and Del waited for him to speak, but he already had a bad feeling Birdie hadn’t made it through the night.



For a chance to win that lovely package of goodies along with an ARC of The Saints of Swallow Hill, I’m making this week easy!

All you need to do is drop in and say “Hi!” to me, tell me where you’re from, and aside from reading, what is your next favorite thing to do? Comment here on my blog, out on Facebook, Goodreads, or wherever you follow me.

One winner will be randomly selected and announced Monday!



My publisher is having another giveaway and you have a chance to be one of the winners! Enter HERE, and good luck!




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! 🙂 

40 thoughts on “First Sentence Fridays and BIG GIVEAWAY Friday!”

  1. Hi Donna from Alvin, Tx. I love to sit outside on my porch swing. I usually have a book with me but I do enjoy watching the wildlife. Max the mighty dog is always by my side! Thank you

    1. I’m a porch sitter too! Like you, I love watching the “wildlife” (such as it is here – mostly birds, squirrels and the occasional bunny), and my little dog used to always be by side, but sadly we lost him in July. Pat Max for me!

      1. Hi Donna! I’m from western Massachusetts. Besides reading I love to watch British television shows, especially cozy mysteries. I have a streaming channel, so there are a bunch available to watch! Thanks for the chance to win this wonderful giveaway!

        1. Hi there, Toni! You are right about the streaming for TV now – it’s almost overwhelming! My husband and I sit down and say, “What are we going to watch,” and then we start looking, and commenting, and next thing we know, the time were going to spend watching, all we’ve been doing is browsing! ????

  2. Hi from Dillon, SC, down 95 just a piece from you! I love making soap and candles. My latest obsession is making candles in dough bowls.

    1. Wow – that is NOT far from me at all! You make soap and candles – well, I am impressed. Lately I’ve been on an oatmeal, milk and honey kick with regard to lotion. 🙂 It smells SO good – like baby powder. Candles in “dough bowls?” What in the world are dough bowls?

  3. Hi, Donna. I’m from Upstate SC (Foothills), and I lived several years in Western NC Mountains. KY Bluegrass is home now. Besides reading I love to knit. Looking forward to this new book.

    1. If you’ve followed me for a while, you probably KNOW how much I love the mountains of NC. My husband and I have always said it’s where we want to retire to – and I keep thinking if we’re gonna do it, it’s going to have to be sooner rather than later. I am amazed at anyone who can knit/crochet/sew.

  4. Hi Donna,
    I am from Lincolnton NC. I love working in my flower garden when I am not reading! I love all of your books????

    1. Hi Angela – I had to go refresh my memory on where Lincolnton was b/c it sounded familiar, and I see it’s just on the other side of Charlotte. I think we’ve probably seen signs for it on our way to the mountains. I love working outside, and always have these “big” plans each Spring for what I’m going to do on our patio. We have this raised brick wall garden space we put in when we moved here, and I did plant one of my favorite flowering bushes out there – gardenias – and they have grown so big! But – I need to do more. Hm. Maybe next Spring. 🙂

  5. Hi Donna! I’m in GA, somewhere near Lost Mountain, and aside from reading (and writing), my passion is anything that makes my dogs happy. They are great at digging holes for the garden, swimming, and eating blackberries off the vine.

    1. Hi there – I hear you on making your dogs happy! They give us so much love – and I am laughing at them eating blackberries off the vine! Sounds like total entertainment.

  6. Hi Donna! I am in Alabama, near Birmingham. My favorite thing to do beside reading is walking out in nature.

  7. Hi Donna! I live in Aiken, SC. Besides reading I enjoy getting on my horses and taking trail rides. They have become my sanity and peaceful time to enjoy my horse and nature around me.

    1. Hi there – I’ve done the trail rides (been a while) and used to enjoy them a lot. I can understand how, with all that’s going on, this would be perfect solace for the soul!

  8. Hi, I live in Wyoming with my husband and two cats, Stella and Otie. I love to read, but also like to hike, spend time with our sons and their families, take photos and travel ????

  9. Hi!! Dyana from Alabama!! I would love to be entered to win your awesome giveaway!! I love your stories so much. I would use the pine cone necklace as a bookmark while reading your book. So cute❣️

  10. Good Morning, I am from Texas. Besides reading I love to garden, andI love to go on walks and take our pup . Your book sounds like a great read, Thank you for the chance. Have a great weekend and stay safe. God bless you and your family.

    1. Hi there – there’s so many folks out here who love to garden and be outside with nature. The same things I like to do when I’m not writing!

  11. Deborah Ann Blanchard

    Hello from Sugar Grove, Illinois! Besides reading I enjoy binge watching my favorite shows and listening to 80’s rock! Have a great weekend!

  12. I really love the description of this book!Besides reading,I love spending time with my children and grandchildren-they are my heart.

    1. Got a few folks from Texas out here! I love watercolor paintings, and if I’m looking at art, that’s what I usually gravitate to – it’s so pretty. And if you also quilt – I’m impressed! ????????????????????????

  13. Hi Donna! Besides reading, I also love jigsaw puzzles, and love to try new recipes!
    Requested this book on Netgalley but was denied!
    Rebecca from Raleigh NC

    1. Hi Rebecca – well shoot! My publisher is pretty picky about who they approve – in that they like the requester to have a “following,” so to speak. Oh well – you tried, and how is it I didn’t know after all this time that you were from/are in Raleigh?!?!? My hometown! I just went through there yesterday on my way to Wake Forest to a book event. It is changing too much!!! ????

    1. Hi Amy – omg, you live in a beautiful state. Well, not that I KNOW this from experience, but from pictures. My husband and I want to travel out west one of these days.

    1. Hi Wendy! You’re in the part of the country we want to visit! ☺ One of my favorite things as well is to find an antique store to browse! We have an old house so I try to make sure my furnishings to fit the style.

  14. Besides reading I love to work on my crafting projects and spend time with friends when I’m not working. This is an awesome and amazing giveaway. I have heard so much about this book and have it on my TBR list and even entered in the Goodreads giveaway a couple times for this book

  15. Hi ???? Doran Bergman from Lillington NC !!! I love making herbal remedies for health and wellness, my own herbal teas, foraging, knitting in the winter, homesteading, being a mom of 4 and homesteading here on the farm!!! I love Fall, candles, fuzzy blankets, and laughing. I love reading and learning new things, deep history, stories from old days and detailed stories.

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