How Chapel Springs Revival was Born

(posted by Michelle Griep / 
Guest blogger is Ane Mulligan)
While a large, floppy straw hat is
her favorite, Ane has worn many different ones: hairdresser, legislative
affairs director (that’s a fancy name for a lobbyist), drama director,
playwright, humor columnist, and novelist. Her lifetime experience provides a
plethora of fodder for her Southern-fried fiction (try saying that three times
fast). She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food
groups. You can find Ane on her Southern-fried
Fiction website
, Google+,
Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, and Pinterest.
NR: Leave a comment for Ane and be
entered in a drawing for a copy of Chapel
Springs Revival
. U.S. residents only, please.
Years ago, I heard a young women complaining about her
husband. Let’s face it; we all joke about men coming from Mars and women from
Venus, but that’s not what she was doing. She was stirring the water in a
bitter well.
Another time in church, I overheard another conversation
(yes, I’m a writer and I tend to eavesdrop). It went something like this:
“I just learned that God has the perfect mate all
picked out for each of us, and we’re supposed to pray to find that
“Yeah, so?”
“I didn’t do that! I didn’t know. So, that must mean George*
isn’t the one God wants me married to.”
Uh-oh. The conversation went on to include all the things her
husband did wrong and the word “divorce.” I later pulled her aside for
a “Titus 2:4” moment.
Men, being from Mars, have a difficult time expressing
emotions. With women, those emotions need discussion. They need dissecting.
Husbands, while wonderful, necessary creatures, can’t help in the biology of
I now had a seed of an idea. I brainstormed with a friend about
a woman who, when she became a Christian, thought life and her marriage would be included in the new creation part. But
her thighs are just as big, her husband as ornery as ever, and he still won’t
go to church with her. Toss in a BFF whose husband had grown non-communicative
and was never home, and I had the foundation for a story.
From that first “what-if,” Claire Bennett, Patsy
Kowalski, and the small village of Chapel Springs were born.
Claire is tired of being nothing more than a sheet-changer, a
towel-folder, a pancake-flipper. She resolves to emulate her Great Aunt Lola,
who refused to be slighted by any man. Why, the first morning Aunt Lola’s
husband forgot to kiss her goodbye, she packed her bags, went off to Hollywood,
and became a big star in silent films.
I had to find out if Claire would really do what Great Aunt
Lola did. As I worked on the plotting and backstory for Claire and Patsy, I saw
the same things I’d heard the young women say at church: Patsy focusing on what
her husband did wrong, and Claire trying to find Mr. God-Ordained-Right.
I had so much fun writing this book, especially scenes
filled with miscommunication. My favorite is when the gals catch Patsy’s
husband in what they think is an incriminating situation. The dialogue is laced
with double entendre, or in other words miscommunication. I hope my readers
laugh as hard as I did writing it.
I have to tell you I wrote myself into a corner at one
point. I was about 56,000 words in when I screeched to a halt. I had to do some
fast research, involving Linda Kozar’s Geo-geek husband to geologically extract
me from the hole I’d dug myself into. Thank you Mike Kozar! Whew.
It’s my hope that through humor, readers will see God’s hand
in their choice of a husband. God is
a faithful keeper of little girls’ dreams for a knight in shining armor.
*Name changed to protect an innocent man.
Ane Mulligan’s Debut Novel ~ A MUST Read!
With a friend like
Claire, you need a gurney, a mop, and a guardian angel
Everybody in the small town of Chapel Springs, Georgia,
knows best friends Claire and Patsy. It’s impossible not to, what with Claire’s
zany antics and Patsy’s self-appointed mission to keep her friend out of
trouble. And trouble abounds. Chapel Springs has grown dilapidated and the
tourist trade has slackened. With their livelihoods threatened, they join
forces to revitalize the town. No one could have guessed the real issue needing
restoration is personal.
With their marriages in as much disarray as the town, Claire
and Patsy embark on a mission of mishaps and miscommunication, determined to
restore warmth to Chapel Springs β€”and their lives. That is if they can convince
their husbands and the town council, led by two curmudgeons who would prefer to
see Chapel Springs left in the fifties and closed to traffic.


The winner of the grand prize, the limited edition giclee reproduction of an original artwork by Terence Mulligan is ….. Deanna Stevens!

Congratulatiuons, Deanna!

Other winners of prizes are:

Robin Roze: Wedgewood ring box

Linda Yezak: teacup, chocolate kisses and a half pound of gourmet coffee

Ellen Jervis: wins the pearl choker and bracelet

Thank you all for helping make my blog tour and book launch a success!