Author of Southern Stories



Latest Events and News Items.....


What's Coming  Next?
My next book, The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes, is a bit of a change.  My last three books have been non-fiction works of history.  In the upcoming book, to be released next summer by Mercer University Press, I'm going back to the genre of suspense  fiction.  In a way, this is a response to the requests of many readers who enjoyed my first five books--all suspense fiction.  

This new work focuses on John Wesley O'Toole, a disbarred Savannah attorney who is trying to get his life back together after his release from prison following a vehicular homocide charge.  He's in deep financial trouble, and about to lose everything, when Abraham Deign, a wealthy prominent local businessman offers him a helfy sum to find his missing and estranged granddaughter, Lucy.

As with any good mystery story, things are never what they seem.  It's a tight, complicated plot, with an unexpected surprise ending.  I think you'll enjoy it!

My Most Recent Book 
My most recent book is a work of  non-ficton, The Strange Journey of the Confederate Constitution, and Other Stories from Georgia's Historical Past., released in September 2017.  It is a collection of 17 shorter pieces on Georgia and Southern history, ranging from the significance of the invention of the cotton gin and the Great Yazoo Fraud, to the true story of the Lost Confederate Treasure, to the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s.  Somewhat more than half of these have appeared in Georgia Backroads magazine over the last decade, but have been reworked for this book.   Two of the pieces (A Killing on Ring Jaw Bluff and The Second Coming of the Invisible Empire) were expanded to become full length books.

Here is a brief chapter list:

The (Re)Invention of the Cotton Gin

The Great Yazoo Fraud

The Pine Barrens Speculation

The Saga of the Lost Confederate Treasure

The Story of the  Capture of Jefferson Davis

The Strange Journey of the Confederate  Constitution

The Political Nature of Reconstruction

The Freedman’s Land Insurrection of 1875

The Lost Stone Mountain  Confederate Memorial

The Drum Returns Home

The Lost Cause on the Silver Screen

A Vast Pool of Oil

A Killing on Ring Jaw Bluff

The Myth of the Boll Weevil

The Second Coming of the Invisible Empire

Reign of Terror: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s in    Macon, Georgia

The Jaybird Wray Episode

It was great fun researching writing this book.  I'm sure readers will enjoy it.

Want to See All of My Books?--Here's a Link to Amazon's Author Page

Praise for The Second Coming of the Invisible Empire
A Review from an American Library Assn. Journal

Rawlings makes a significant contribution to the story of the Klan phenomenon in the US. Utilizing the tools of organizational and business history, the author paints a portrait of a group founded for avaricious purposes rather than one rising from a deeply held ideology. William Joseph Simmons founded the Klan in the 1920s to generate wealth for himself. Thanks to successful marketing and press coverage, the organization grew and prospered. Like other historians, Rawlings credits press coverage, the organizational failings of the Klan, and its own violent excesses for its downfall. To Rawlings, the Klan was a sign of the times and represented many trends of the 1920s. The author does part ways with historians who believed that the three Ku Klux Klans in US history shared a commonality of belief and purpose. Instead, Rawlings sees the three Klans as unique expressions of their times rather than organizations arising from a continuum of belief. The Klan of the 1920s bore more resemblance to the Klan depicted in the movie The Birth of a Nation than it did to its 1860s predecessor.


Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.

--M. W. Quirk, Rock Valley College

--From the December 2016 issue of CHOICE

A Killing on Ring Jaw Bluff

A Killing on Ring Jaw Bluff is a saga of two inextricably intertwined tales, the infamous Rawlings-Tarbutton murder case of 1925, and the crash of the cotton economy in Georgia (and the South) of the same era.  Sound like a strange combination?  It's not.  From about 1795 until the 1920s, the entire life of many of the southern states was based on the production of cotton.  Men became rich.  And when it all fell apart, lives were forever changed.  It was a fascinating and little known era.   But don't take my word for it, read the book.  

I think if you ask any author about his or her book, they'll tell you it's great.  But, hey, they wrote it!  So, read someone else's thoughts.  Cllick Here for a review from Goodreads.  If you would like to see more, check out the reviews on amazon.com.

For those of you still not certain as to whether or not to get the book, here is a copy of the first chapter to whet your appetite.  To read it, click HERE.
Event Schedule
Upcoming events for the next few months are
listed below.  If you or your book or social club
are looking for a speaker, please contact me.

9/14/19 5:45-6:45 PM
Reading and Book Signing
SIBA 2019
Spartanburg Marriott
Spartanbury, South Carolina

9/19/19 7:00 PM
The 2019 William Harvey Address
Max Noah Recital Hall 
Georgia College and State University
Milledgeville, Georgia 

10/28/19 Time and Details TBA
Speaking Engagement
Washington Co. Historical Society
Sandersville, Georgia

12/14/19 Time and Details TBA
Mercer Press Authors Luncheon
Hotel Intercontinental Buckhead
Atlanta, Georgia

1/18/20 8:30  AM
Speaking Engagement
The Men's Breafast Club
Carlyle Place
Macon, Georgia

News and Notes

There is always something happening.  Here are the latest odds and ends that may be of interest to you:

  • March 24, 2019:  I have started work on my eleventh book, a work focusing on the Lighhouses of Coastal Georgia.  I think the topic is one that will appeal to many; I've learned a great deal in research thus far.  I'm still putting things together, but the plan now is for the first part of the book to recount a brief history of lighthouses through the ages, and the second part to focus on those few remaining lighthouses that dot the islands of Coastal Georgia.  If all goes well, the book is scheduled for publication in 2021.

  • Coming Soon:  I have completed the manuscript for my tenth book, tentatively titled Six Inches Deeper.  It's at the publishers, with release scheduled for Spring 2020.    Like my ninth book, The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes, this book is also a bit of a change, in that it's a true-crime account of a horrific murder that took place in south Georgia in 1972.  It was one of those stories that needed to be told, for multiple reasons.  The tale is one of power, money, sex, race, and of course murder and courtroom drama.  I couldn't have created a more interesting plot, but this one is all true.  I think readers will find it both fascinating and enlightening.