The Gully Path (paperback)












ISBN Digital: 978-1-62830-612-5
ISBN Print: 978-1-62830-611-8
Page Count: 280
Word Count: 71940
Rating: Spicy
MSRP: 15.99

Daughters of Parrish Oaks, Book One



Mississippi. The 1950s and ’60s. Two friends, one white and the other black. Sue Ann spends her pre-adolescent years protecting her best friend, Liz Bess, from prejudice and mistreatment, but she can’t protect her from the untimely death of her mother and their resulting separation as Liz Bess is sent north to school.

As a young adult, Sue Ann falls in love with Tate Douglas, a civil rights worker from the North, during the violent summer of 1964. Liz Bess, now Elizabeth, returns to Mississippi to become a freedom fighter for her people and comes face to face with racist violence and death. Through the turmoil, Sue Ann is reminded of the words of Elizabeth’s grandmother: “Love ain’t black, and love ain’t white; it jes’ is.”

Excerpt:

I looked across at the Harvey gin and, before my mind could stop me, began running toward the light, staying at the edge of the woods that surrounded the church. Probably no one was there, since the Klan seemed to be congregated across the road, and I could get to the phone and call the sheriff or Daddy, anyone who might help Elizabeth and Quincy.

As I rounded the corner, making my way behind the gin to look for an entrance, terror seized me. There sat the brown Buick. I could only hope the phantom riders were across the street with their brood of murderers. Just as I got to the back door, I heard the pickups at the church start up. One of them tore from the scene, with the KKK crazies, as Mama referred to them, whooping like a bunch of school boys out vandalizing mailboxes or tipping cows. I had to hurry!

The blast that came next took the life right out of my body, and I fell to my knees. Flames shot so high in the air I could see them over the tall cotton gin as I jumped to my feet to run back toward the church.

“Liz Bess!” I screamed as I charged in the direction of the flames.

The blue station wagon had been used as the fuse for the fire and was engulfed in flames. It wasn’t long before the church, too, was blazing. The only thing that was preventing it from becoming a gigantic fireball was the rock walls that were acting as a barrier between the flames and the interior of the church. The old, dry, wood trim was ablaze, outlining the walls and marking a trail to the wood steeple on the church roof that was now also burning.

My sides were aching, but I continued to run as fast as my legs would take me, my adrenaline pushing me way beyond my normal limits of endurance. I did not notice the brown Buick fast approaching from behind until it was on me. As it pulled alongside, not completely stopping, a deep voice yelled from the back door that had been swung wide open.

“Get in!”

As if knowing I would refuse, a big hand—a big black hand—reached out, grabbed my arm, and pulled me into the back seat. For some reason, I did not scream. The Buick screeched to a stop and slid sideways, blocking the exit of one of the pickups.

The driver of the Buick jumped out holding a handgun and shot into the front window of the pickup, hitting the hoodless driver square in the face. Blood splattered the shattered window of the truck as it careened into a ditch, hitting a tree and propelling two Klansmen from their stance in the back of the truck into the same clump of trees. One staggered to his feet and ran down the road trying to escape. The driver tore out after him, determined that none would be allowed to escape their dirty deeds.




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