This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. You can see my full disclosure policy here.
Have you visited Chapel Springs? It sounds like a wonderful town to visit! Author Ane Mulligan is here to share about her newest novel, Chapel Springs Survival. We’ll also have an opportunity to learn about her publishing journey, whether or not she has a sweet tooth, and what the Lord has been teaching her recently. But before we begin, here’s a quick look at Chapel Springs Survival.
book 2 in the Chapel Springs series
A mail-order bride, a town overrun with tourists, and illegal art.
How on earth will Claire and Chapel Springs survive?
Claire Bennett’s Operation Marriage Revival succeeded and life is good. That is until the mayor’s brother blabs a secret: Claire’s nineteen-year-old son has married a Brazilian mail order bride. When Claire tries to welcome her, she’s ridiculed, rebuffed, and rejected. Loving this girl is like hugging a prickly cactus.
Lydia Smith is happily living alone and running her spa—then the widow on the hill becomes a blushing bride. Then her groom’s adult son moves in—on everything.
From the first sighting of a country music star in The Painted Loon, Chapel Springs is inundated with stargazers, causing residents to flee the area. When her best friends put their house on the market, Claire is forced to do something or lose the closest thing to a sister she’s got. With her son’s future at stake and the town’s problems to solve, it’s Claire’s who needs a guardian angel.
Welcome, Ane! What inspired you to write the Chapel Springs series?
I’ve always enjoyed my girlfriends. They understand how to shop. When we go somewhere, they love to explore and talk to people. Don’t get me wrong, I love to go places with the hubs, but he dies of mortification when I talk to people. It seemed natural to write about those things. The Chapel Springs books feature friendships, friends helping friends through all the junk life can dish up.
That sounds like something we could all relate to! There’s just something about great girlfriends… What do you hope your readers take away from this novel?
Determined love can change everything and people can be won without words.
Ooo, that sounds like a serious lesson! Could you give us any hints about your next book?
I’d love to! It’s called Home to Chapel Springs and will release in May of 2016. Here’s the blurb:
A dethroned author, a lovelorn daughter, and a theatre ghost. There’s trouble in Chapel Springs.
There’s always someone new in Chapel Springs—someone who is either coming home or stirring up trouble.
A best-selling author’s latest book is a flop. While the reviewers are happily skewering her, her racecar-driver-husband walks out on her and she’s evicted, because he hasn’t paid the lease on their condo for the last three months. Then she discovers he also he drained their bank accounts. Homeless and broke, she and her little boy have no choice but to retreat to the house she inherited from her nana in Chapel Springs—the house that’s been gutted. Then, a stranger knocks on her door. One that will change the course of her life.
Howie Newlander is back in town. After the residents thwarted his plans for a Miami-style resort on Chapel Lake, he’s running for mayor and stirring up the farmers by spreading rumors about diverted water and misused taxes. The Lakeside Players want to remodel the town’s old theater, named for Claire’s late great-aunt, a silent film star in the 1920s. Empty and boarded up for the last forty years, the theatre is rumored to be haunted. When Newlander and Mayor Riley go head-to-head, Claire gets caught in the middle.
Claire’s youngest daughter is in love with a non-believer whose daddy is Claire’s nemesis, the mayor. Having him part of her family isn’t in her plan. The years of heartache before her husband became a Christian should warn her daughter off this boy. So far, her daughter’s heart isn’t hearing the warnings. With hearts pulled in all directions, will they find a home in Chapel Springs?
It sounds like things are a bit complicated there, but I have no doubt you’ll straighten them out! lol What is one thing you wish you had known before you began writing/publishing?
Factor God’s timing into my publishing plan. It took 12 years for me to get published. I started going to committee back in 2006, but weird things kept happening, until I finally realized it was God saying, “Not here not now.”
It’s hard to be patient! I’m glad that the right time did come for you, though. What does your ideal writing space look like (whether you actually write in an area like this or not)? What do you have to have handy, and what would you surround yourself with to make it easiest, and most inspiring, to write?
A recliner to write in and a nice desk. A bookcase (or two) for reference books and friends’ novels, a mug of coffee and a jar of M&Ms.
I’d be in trouble with a jar of M&Ms at hand! Having admitted that, dare I ask the next question? I suppose as long as it’s not sitting next to me, I’ll be okay… What is your favorite dessert? Would you be interested in sharing the recipe?
English trifle, and I’d be delighted to. Since hubs is a Brit, I learned to make trifle from my mother-in-law.
Mum’s English Trifle
1 packet of Bird’s English Custard mix (don’t substitute vanilla pudding. It isn’t the same)
1 pound cake, cut into ½ inch thick slices
1 package of Jell-O, made and refrigerated until it’s semi-jelled
1 jar of jam (same flavor as the Jell-O and the berries you will use)
2 grocer’s box of berries (you can use your favorite berries, but make sure the Jell-O and the jam match them)
Follow the directions on the Bird’s English Custard and when it’s cooked, put it in a bowl, lay plastic wrap directly on top of the custard. That will remove any “skin” that forms.
When the custard is cool:
- Put a layer pound cake ½ inch thick on the bottom of a tall bowl. The best kind will have the bottom the same diameter as the top.
- Spread a nice layer of jam over the cake. Don’t be sparing. Jam is yummy!
- Add a second layer of ½” thick pound cake.
- Top the cake with a layer of fresh berries.
- Spoon the semi-jelled Jell-O over the berries. Make this layer about ½ to 1 inch thick.
- Top the Jell-O layer with the custard.
- Add another layer of berries over the top of the custard.
- Top it all with whipped cream and garnish with some more berries.
There are many versions of English Trifle, and I have tried several. But people always love this one better than most. I think because it’s straight from an English woman…my mother-in-law, who taught me a lot about cooking English.
That sounds delicious! Do you have a favorite or “life” verse? Why is that one important to you?
Oh, I do. It’s Philippians 1:6 “And I am certain that God, who began the good work in you, will continue it until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (NLT) It’s another reminder of God’s grace, that it isn’t up to me to change after I was saved. God and His Holy Spirit are always at work within me, molding me, chipping away at the rough edges, gently polishing me to look more like Jesus. And He never gives up!
Isn’t it so encouraging to know that we don’t have to complete the work, but that He is faithful to complete it in us! Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Ane!
It’s your turn! What snack would have next to you while reading (or working, if that’s when you snack)? (Answer in the comments!)
More about Ane:
Ane Mulligan writes Southern-fried fiction served with a tall, sweet iced tea. She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. Novelist and playwright, Ane is the executive director of Players Guild@Sugar Hill, a new community theater and president of the award-winning literary site, Novel Rocket. She resides in Sugar Hill, GA, with her artist husband and a dog of Biblical proportion. You can find Ane at her website, Novel Rocket, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+
Also by Ane Mulligan:
Everybody in the small town of Chapel Springs, Georgia, knows best friends Claire Bennett and Patsy Kowalski. 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.
During an early morning discussion at Dees ‘n’ Doughs bakery with their ladies group, all Chapel Springs entrepreneurs, attention is drawn to the slackened tourist trade. With their livelihoods threatened, they join forces to address the town’s revitalization in hopes of drawing back the tourists. No one could have guessed the real issue needing restoration is their marriages.
Claire, a pottery artist, stumbles through life with her foot in her mouth. When she became a Christian, she thought life and her marriage would be included in the new creation part. But her thighs are just as big and her husband, Joel, is as ornery as ever. She’s become nothing more than a sheet-changer, a towel-folder, a pancake-flipper. Her life is humdrum and she’s tired of being taken for granted.
Patsy has plans for her empty nest, plans that include a cruise ship. However, her husband, Nathan, continues to work long hours, and he’s not talking about slowing down. In fact, he’s not talking much at all. She’s asleep long before he comes home each night. At first she thought it was just because of tax season, but now she’s not so sure. Something other than work seems to keep him late at the office every night. With the lines of communication closed, she’ll have to find another way to reach him.
With their marriages as much in need of restoration as the town, Claire and Patsy embark on a mission of mishaps and miscommunication, determined to restore warmth to Chapel Springs 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.
Good cooks surround me, and that’s purely divine intervention. You see, my culinary expertise maxes out at Jell-O Jigglers. It’s a good thing my hubby, Joel, loves to cook. Otherwise our kids would have gotten pretty tired of PB&J sandwiches and salad. We all have our talents, but God didn’t give me a culinary gene.
A number of Chapel Springs Revival readers asked me for my favorite recipes—which flat knocked me out given I can’t cook. But Mayor Felix Riley liked the idea, so all my friends got together and submitted their favorites. This cookbook includes the best recipes from Chapel Springs—the dishes we all bring to town potlucks. I’ve had the good pleasure of tasting all of these at one time or another … well, except for one of Felix’s. I wouldn’t try it. But maybe you’re more adventurous.
I hope you enjoy this cookbook. And I hope all y’all get the next book in the Chapel Springs series, Chapel Springs Survival, coming in December. The author exposes my great faux pas in the world of art.
When Savannah met Jackson, she fell in love before she knew his last name. Now engaged, they have to end the feud so they can get married with each family’s blessing. But if no one knows why the feud started, how can they end it? Savannah is sure the answer is hidden somewhere within the old—and haunted—Mackey mansion, now turned museum.
*This post is linked up to The Cozy Reading Spot!