Prohibition….Gangsters….Bootleggers….Al Capone….and a 17-year-old girl named Eve Marryat who, in the tumultuous summer of 1931, learns the meaning of….
by Ann Tatlock
Paperback, 400 pages
Expected publication: May 1 2013 by Bethany House Publishers
When Eve Marryat’s father is laid off from the Ford Motor Company in 1931, he is forced to support his family by leaving St. Paul, Minnesota, and moving back to his Ohio roots. Eve’s uncle Cyrus has invited the family to live and work at his Marryat Island Ballroom and Lodge.
St. Paul seemed like a haven for gangsters, and Eve had grown fearful of living there. At seventeen, she considers her family to be “good people.” They aren’t lawbreakers and criminals like so many people in her old neighborhood. Thrilled to be moving to a “safe haven,” Eve is blissfully unaware that her uncle’s lodge is a transfer station for illegal liquor smuggled from Canada.
Eve settles in to work and makes new friends, including an enigmatic but affecting young man. But when the reality of her situation finally becomes clear, Eve is faced with a dilemma. How can she ignore what is happening right under their very noses? Yet can she risk everything by condemning the man whose love and generosity is keeping her and her family from ruin?
What Exactly Was Prohibition?
Imagine telling liquor-loving Americans they can no longer drink. That’s exactly what the U.S. Government attempted to do when the Volstead Act was passed and became law in 1920, making the manufacture and sale of liquor illegal. You could keep and even drink what you already had, but no more alcoholic beverages would be made, imported or sold. Thus began the 13 years of Prohibition, in which the number of people who drank spiked steadily.
The idea, according to the federal government, was to regulate morality: “Let’s simply have people lock up their liquor cabinets and we’ll be a better country for it.” A nice thought in theory, but it didn’t work. The feds quickly discovered that forbidden fruit is the sweetest.
Taverns simply went underground and became Speakeasies. Their supply of liquor was manufactured by professional bootleggers or smuggled in over the nation’s borders with intricate secret transport systems set up to spread the goods across the country. Boats out at sea became floating liquor stores, with captains picking up rum in the Caribbean to sell off the eastern coast of the U.S.
Many people turned to manufacturing their own alcohol. Bathtubs were turned into gin distilleries while other stills popped up in the woods like mushrooms on a manure pile. It wasn’t unusual for the main ingredient to be rubbing alcohol, embalming fluid, or other toxic substances never meant for human consumption. The result all too often was blindness, convulsions and even death. This most likely led to today’s saying, “What’s your poison?”
Those who wanted to play it safer were sometimes able to get their doctor to write an alcohol-based prescription for “medicinal purposes.” Doctors weren’t immune to cheating the system, and neither were lawmen. In fact, many police officers, sheriffs, deputies, judges and even Prohibition Agents themselves took bribes to look the other way while bootleggers and moonshiners went about their business.
It was Prohibition that ushered in the Golden Age of Gangsters. Hop on over to [the next site] to meet Four Famous Gangster whose stories and characters are woven into Sweet Mercy.
Ann Tatlock is the author of the Christy Award-winning novel Promises to Keep. She has also won the Midwest Independent Publishers Association “Book of the Year” in fiction for both All the Way Home and I’ll Watch the Moon.Her novel Things We Once Held Dear received a starred review from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly calls her “one of Christian fiction’s better wordsmiths, and her lovely prose reminds readers why it is a joy to savor her stories.” Ann lives with her husband and daughter in Asheville, North Carolina.
On this Tour… test your 1930’s Gangster knowledge with our trivia quiz, a different question on every post!
2 Winners, USA only: Print copy of Sweet Mercy, Ghirardelli chocolate, book themed pen & notepad. 2 ebooks open Internationally.
Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced on Rafflecopter and Grand Finale posts as well as emailed and the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Burgandy Ice @ Colorimetry and Prism Book Tours and sponsored by Bethany House Publishers and Ann Tatlock. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.