On Wednesday, March 8, Sampson Community College (SCC) welcomed local author, Donna Everhart in its Learning Resource Center (LRC) to discuss and present the research behind her latest novel, The Saints of Swallow Hill, released in January 2022. A brief Q&A and book signing followed. The event was sponsored by SCC’s book club, and saw both students, faculty and staff, and local community members in attendance.

Born and raised in Raleigh, N.C., Donna Everhart is a 2018 Southeastern Library Association award-winner in fiction, and USA Today bestselling author of vivid, authentic southern fiction, including: The Education of Dixie Dupree, The Forgiving Kind, The Moonshiner’s Daughter, The Road to Bittersweet, and The Saints of Swallow Hill. Her works have been featured in Carolina CountrySouth, and Sandhills magazines, recognized as a Costco Buyer’s Pick, Kindle Best-seller, and Amazon Book of the Month, and included in Indie’s Next List.

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Everhart educates campus attendees on the local, historical evidence behind her novel, elaborating on the events behind the famous term, “Carolina Tar Heel.” (Photo credit, Brett Feight)

A current best-seller and Everhart’s most popular book so far, The Saints of Swallow Hill tells the story of three lives that intersect at a turpentine camp in the forests of the American South during the Great Depression. In her presentation at SCC, Everhart detailed her research findings on NC’s extensive history of turpentine and tar production, an era that inspired her newest creation.

One of the nation’s leaders in naval stores during the 1720s to late 1800s, Everhart described how NC laborers would work tirelessly from dawn till dusk extracting gum from the southern long leaf pine to create the high-demand products. She stated that the term “Carolina Tar Heel” actually came from this feat, and not from the Civil War as many believe. When writing any of her historical works, Everhart stated that she researches from “start to finish” to ensure accuracy on every page, and The Saints of Swallow Hill was no exception.

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Everhart’s sixth book, following The Saints of Swallow Hill, is set to release in February 2024, with a seventh book currently in the works. (Photo credit, Brett Feight)

Sampson CC extends its gratitude to Donna Everhart for taking the time to visit campus, interact with attendees, and present the historical findings behind her newest story, The Saints of Swallow Hill. The novel can be found at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, IndieBound, and Kensington Publishing Corp.

For more information about SCC’s Learning Resource Center, its upcoming events, and opportunities, visit www.sampsoncc.edu/learning-resource-center or contact library@sampsoncc.edu | 910.900.4308.

About Sampson Community College

Sampson Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System, located in Clinton, NC in Sampson County. The college offers many programs to include two-year degrees, college transfer, continuing education and workforce development options and early college education.