Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Mulligans of Mt Jefferson by Don Reid

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Mulligans of Mt Jefferson
David C. Cook (January 1, 2012)
Don Reid

Cal, Harlan, and Buddy grow up together in a small Virginia town in the years before the second World War. United by age, proximity, and temperament, they get into—and out of—all the trouble that boys manage to find. They even earn a nickname from a local restaurateur who gives the boys their first jobs and plenty of friendly advice. “Uncle” Vic calls them the Mulligans, because they always seem to find a way through a thicket of trouble—family problems, girls, college, war—to success. Cal and Harlan and Buddy have been blessed with second chances.

Now it’s 1959, and police lieutenant Buddy receives an early-morning phone call: his friend Harlan, a store owner, has been shot in a break-in. Cal, now a preacher, meets Buddy at the hospital, and together, as professionals and as friends, they begin to unravel what might have happened to Harlan.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Mulligans of Mt Jefferson, go HERE.

Don is one of the original members of the STATLER BROTHERS, the most award-winning act in the history of country music. He and his brother and two friends began singing in their hometown of Staunton, Virginia when Don was only fourteen years old. Working all over their home and neighboring states as a part time group, they were discovered in 1964 by Johnny Cash and given their first record contract. By the time Don was 20 years old, the STATLERS had their first major, world-wide hit record with FLOWERS ON THE WALL, which started a string of hits that generated a career in the music industry that lasted for four decades. The STATLERS have been recipients of multiple industry awards.

It wasn’t until the STATLER BROTHERS decided to retire from traveling in 2002 that Don pursued his writing career to another level. Having songwriting and scriptwriting under his belt, the next obvious step was to write a book. And that book was the scripture based HEROES AND OUTLAWS OF THE BIBLE published in June of 2002 by New Leaf Press. He has since writeen two other non-fiction books; and, in 2008, saw another dream come true for Don when he released his first novel, O LITTLE TOWN. Novel number two came in the form of ONE LANE BRIDGE, and THE MULLIGANS OF MT. JEFFERSON, is a sequel to O LITTLE TOWN.

Don is the father of two sons. Debo and his wife, Julie, and daughters Sela Mae and Adra, live within a stone’s throw. You may have seen Debo’s name on many songs written with Don on albums over the years.

Heidi Says . . . I was raised on country music, and the Statler Brothers were always a popular record choice in our home.  As a very little girl, I could be heard singing their songs throughout the house; and, to this day, I know many of those songs by heart (and especially enjoy singing the harmony parts). Some of my earliest favorites were Countin’ Flowers on the Wall and Bed of Roses.

In the 80’s, I remember watching their TV show.  I have an aunt who used to visit Staunton yearly for the  big Statler Brothers event that would take place there.  Now, I have a cousin who lives in Staunton – I believe her father-in-law is actually one of the people mentioned in the song Class of ‘57.  For my parents’ anniversary one year, I bought them tickets to see the Statlers in concert in Hershey, PA.  (Don, if you’re reading this, I think I was the only person on my feet in the crowd! LOL) Yes, we’re a family who loves the Statler Brothers, so we were all sad when we heard they were retiring.

Last year, while searching YouTube, my daughter Ashley and I discovered Grandstaff.  Grandstaff is a vocal duo made up of Wil and Langdon Reid, sons of Harold and Don Reid, of the original Statler Brothers.  We quickly purchased their album, Live and Well, and really enjoy their music (especially their tributes to the Statlers!)

Through some videos of Grandstaff, we heard about a book that Harold and Don had co-written, called The Statler Brothers: Random Memories.  I quickly ordered a copy for my mom for Christmas (but I confess – I read a good bit of it before gifting it to her!) 

So, all this to say that a few months ago, when I was visiting Amazon in search of some books to add to my Kindle, I discovered O Little Town by Don Reid.  Yes, I got excited!  And, I really, really liked the  book.  I passed my Kindle on to my mom so she could read it too. 

When the opportunity presented itself to review The Mulligans of Mt. Jefferson, how could I pass it up?  Here was a chance to read a book that follows on the heals of O Little Town, is written by one of my childhood heroes, and gives me that Statler Brothers connection.

The Mulligans of Mt. Jefferson, along with its predecessor O Little Town, is a great book.  It speaks so well of life in the 50’s in small town America.  The characters are believable and real, they are far from perfect.  You can get drawn into the stories and feel as though you actually know and live among these people.  You cheer for them – and, sometimes, you get mad at them.  I’m amazed at Don’s ability to write a book containing so many characters.  Sometimes, books with lots of characters are hard to follow – not so with Don’s books, where each character is well thought-out and described, and easily remembered. 

Yes, I’m a professed Statler Brothers fan – and I’d definitely recommend this book!  I hope there will be more  to come!

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