Author of Southern Stories



Latest Events and News Items.....


My Most Recent Book 
I am pleased to be able to announce the official release of my latest non-ficton book, The Strange Journey of the Confederate Constitution, and Other Stories from Georgia's Historical Past.  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.

3/8/18 12:00 Noon
Speaking Engagement
Carlyle Place Book Club
Carlyle Place
Macon, Georgia

3/16/18 4:00 PM
Speaking Engagement
Dataw Island Club Community Ctr.
Dataw Island, South Carolina

3/21/18 Details TBA
A Novel Idea Literary Event
Canton, Georgia

5/3/18 7:00 PM
Speaking Engagement
"History in the Park" 
   Lecture Series
Heritage Park
Lincolnton, Georgia

5/4/18 7:15 PM
"An Evening with Authors"
Panel Discussion with 
   Doug Dahlgren
Georgia Center for the Book
Dekalb Library Main Branch
Decatur, Georgia 

8/28/18  2:00 PM
Speaking Engagement
"The Saga of the Lost
   Confederate Treasure"
Center For Learning Enrichment
Highlands, North Carolina

News and Notes

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

  • My next book, to be published in 2019, is a work of fiction titled The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes.  It's a suspense novel set in Savannah, one of my favorite cities.  The main character is John Wesley O'Toole, a disbarred attorney who is trying to put his life back together as an art dealer after his release from prison.  He's in deep financial trouble when he is asked to find a missing painting.  Things go downhill from there....

  • A soft cover edition of The Second Coming of the Invisible Empire is now available.  I am most pleased about that.  

  • I have begun work on my next non-fiction book, a true crime story whose entire saga spans nearly half a century.  Personally, I find it fascinating and challanging.  I enjoy doing good research, and there is a lot of it to be done.  I will post more on this topic in the future.