The $64,000 Question — Ane Mulligan

Today I’m thrilled to welcome author Ane Mulligan back as she explores her past and how it relates to her characters. Read all the way through, because Ane is offering a free ebook.

The $64,000 Question

by +AneMulligan  @AneMulligan

Do you remember that old TV Show The $64,000 Question? It was the forerunner of Jeopardy. In my life the $64,000 question was: Who Do I Look Like?

I was adopted as an infant. They tried to match backgrounds, but my adoptive daddy was of Norwegian and Laplander. My adoptive mama was German and Scottish. I was Irish with two drops of French wine. I didn’t really look like anyone in my family.

Every time I passed a mirror I looked in it, hoping to catch a glimpse of someone I knew—other than myself of course. When I was at school and later in work, I always searched for someone I might look like. If I found one, I wondered if they could be a blood relative.

None of this is to say I had a horrible childhood. I didn’t. I had a great home life. My adoptive parents were loving. I was a chosen child and always made me feel special. The funny part is I always wanted to feel ordinary. One of the crowd.

As I grew older, and unexpected changes came upon me (who expects to grow old?), I’d look in the mirror and ask myself, “Are those my mother’s wrinkles? Whose ears are these?” Well, you get the idea.

Then in 2009, I became one of the crowd when I found my birth sisters—or rather they found me. You can read that story here. Then one day, a woman at my church knowing I was adopted, came to me with her excitement of adopting a child. One of those writerly “what ifs?” popped into my mind: What if the child she adopted was the grandchild (yes, I was old enough to be her mother) of one of my birth sisters?

That sparked When the Wind Blows (to release early 2018) and tells the story of two women brought together in Atlanta when each is at her most vulnerable—and the God-driven resolution that transforms pain and uncertainty into triumph for them both.

When the Bough Breaks, Jan 12, 2017, is a bit more my story. The main character, Sienna O’Shea is of Italian descent adopted by an Irish couple, who later have four children of their own. Sienna looks like no one. It’s the story of her struggle to belong. A struggle I know well.

The two most important things I’ve learned in my life are that I belong to God and that’s enough. The second is that He is trustworthy with our dreams. I incorporated those themes into When the Bough Breaks.


When the Bough Breaks

Her dream job has a Catch 22—and time’s running out.

Rookie lobbyist Sienna O’Shea is determined to make a name for herself in New York’s capitol city and use that influence to gain easier access to her birth records. For years she’s searched for her birth mother, but when she’s handed her first assignment—to lobby support for the permanent sealing of all adoption records—her worlds collide. Swept up into the intrigue of backroom politics, falling in love was not on Sienna’s agenda, but the candidate for Lt. Governor runs a formidable campaign to make her his first lady. When an investigative reporter discovers foreign money infiltrating political campaigns, the trail leads to Sienna’s inner circle.


About Ane:

Ane Mulligan writes Southern-fried fiction served with a tall, sweet iced tea. She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. An award-winning multi-published author, Ane is the creative director of a community theater and a contributor to Novel Rocket. She resides in Sugar Hill, GA, with her artist husband and a dog of Biblical proportion. You can find Ane on her website, Facebook, or her Amazon author page.

When the Bough Breaks


Sienna O’Shea slammed the door of her red Volkswagen Beetle, trying not to slip on the icy patches in the parking lot. She hurried to the elevator for the Legislative Office Building and her dream job in New York’s capitol. New York! Her heart kicked up its heels and she could hardly believe she’d made it. Her second day on the job and already she’d been assigned to testify before New York’s Senate Judicial Committee. She might be a rooky at lobbying, but she’d show them.

It took her half the night to work up her presentation, praying the whole time it would be good enough. It should be, her old friend Matt Dressler gave her the background information. If it was, she could leverage her position as team newbie into a force to be reckoned with—someone they’d be proud of. And for once, it would be because of something she did, not who she was.

She pushed the button and waited, catching her breath that came out in little puffs of fog in the frigid air. A long-legged man in a dark grey overcoat approached from between two cars and stopped beside her. He tipped his hat.

A courteous New Yorker? Wow. And a handsome one. Double wow.

The doors opened and they both entered the elevator. He stood in front of the numbered panel, blocking it. She’d been told the Senate Hearing room was on the third floor. Since he didn’t move…

“Third floor, please.”

He grinned and punched the button for the first floor. Sienna blinked and stepped back. So much for courteous, that was downright uncivil. Her heartbeat accelerated and she forced herself not to look at him. He could be a pervert. Good looking or not, the dude better not try anything.

She slipped her hand into her coat pocket and wrapped her fingers around the cold cylinder of mace. The same one she’d laughed at when Mom made her promise three times to carry it in her pocket. Well, she wasn’t laughing now. If he made a move toward her, she wasn’t going down with a whimper.

And now for the giveaway: For those of you persistent enough to stick it out until the end, here’s how to win: leave a comment. Yep, that’s all there is to it. Then we’ll do the hard work of choosing one winner at random to receive a free ebook copy of When the Bough Breaks.


4 thoughts on “The $64,000 Question — Ane Mulligan

  1. Thank you for sharing your personal story as well as Sienna’s. I was not adopted, and am the middle of three girls born to an Italian father and a Scottish-Irish mom. While growing up I often wondered if in fact my mom was my real mom. I felt sorry for my mom sometimes because with her red hair and green eyes, people often asked her about adopting three dark-haired little girls. Not a one of us look like her. But as an adult in my forties, I fell in love with all things Celtic including Irish Step Dance. Every time I hear the bag pipes, a fiddle or go to a ceili (Irish Dance party), I feel my heritage from my mom’s side. It runs in my veins and I have no doubt I inherited the love of dance and storytelling from her. I also make great Italian food. Lovely to be from different worlds and lovelier when we find our places in them. Learning about who we are and where we come from as well as how we fit in is just a wonderful journey, perhaps a bit lonely/confusing at times, but wonderful all the same. And to know that we belong to the Lord God’s family, well it just doesn’t get better than than. Blessings to you.

    laura padgett

      • Hi Ane. Well you know I am not sure. I was just a wee one. But I know that she sure had great eyes – green like emeralds you know? I wished I had that color of eyes when I was younger. I wrote a piece about her and our reconciliation after her death. She was an alcoholic you see and she estranged herself from me the last ten years of her life. I have since come to see many things about her life and the disease of alcoholism. That is why I wrote my book about the woman who stepped up and became my mom. But I adore my mom to this day. And if you ever want to read the story of our reconciliation it is on my website called under the blog Livin’ What You’re Given. It is the piece that started my writing career. It’s called, “Mama’s Ring.” Blessings to you tonight.

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