I am super excited to have Shannon McNear visiting with us today and chatting about her latest book The Cumberland Bride! Be sure to stick around until the end and enter the giveaway!
Shannon has been writing one thing or another since third grade and finished her first novel at age fifteen—but waited more than thirty years for her first book contract. In the meantime, she graduated from high school, attended college, met and married her husband, birthed nine children, lost one, taught five to drive, revised that first story innumerable times, and completed six others.
Her first published novella, Defending Truth, in A Pioneer Christmas Collection (Barbour, 2013 & 2015), was a 2014 RITA nominee. She writes regularly for Colonial Quills, is a member of ACFW and RWA, and is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency.
Transplanted to North Dakota after more than two decades in Charleston, South Carolina, she loves losing herself in local history. When this homeschooling mom isn’t sewing, researching, or leaking story from her fingertips, she enjoys being outdoors, basking in the beauty of the northern prairies.
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Thomas Bledsoe and Kate Gruener are traveling the Wilderness Road when conflicts between natives and settlers reach a peak that will require each of them to tap into a well of courage.
In 1794, when Kate Gruener’s father is ready to move the family farther west into the wilderness to farm untouched land, Kate is eager to live out her own story of adventure like he did during the War for Independence and to see untamed lands. And she sets her sights on learning more about their scout, Thomas Bledsoe. Thomas’s job is to get settlers safely across the Kentucky Wilderness Road to their destination while keeping an ear open for news of Shawnee unrest. But naïve Kate’s inquisitive nature could put them both in the middle of a rising tide of conflict. Is there more to Thomas’s story than he is willing to tell? Is there an untapped courage in Kate that can thwart a coming disaster?
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The Cumberland Bride
Join me in giving a warm welcome to Shannon McNear! Let’s start out with a few fun getting to know you questions and then we’ll chat about The Cumberland Bride.
Q: What is your favorite season, and why?
Shannon: That’s a hard one! Once upon a time, I’d have said fall or spring … one for the cooler temps and changing colors (and we lived in the Deep South for 25 years so didn’t have the dramatic changes of season), the other for the way the earth reawakens after winter … but summers in North Dakota are so exquisitely beautiful! (Especially after all those years in the South …) I really just enjoy the changes of season, overall.
Trisha: I do enjoy watching the seasons change.
Q: What is the best part of your day?
Shannon: I love getting that first cup of fresh coffee … but otherwise, it would have to be when the busy work of the day is finished and I can sit down to focus on my story. Or run a hot bath and spend an uninterrupted half hour (or longer, LOL) reading. I do also love when my kids and I get into deep conversations about life and things of the Lord!
Trisha: I enjoy my morning cup of coffee also!
Q: What are some of your favorite CF reads from 10 years ago, or further?
Shannon: The Zion Chronicles by Bodie Thoene. The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers. Almost anything by Stephen Bly. The Firebird series by Kathy Tyers. Legends of the Guardian King by Karen Hancock. (I actually started out writing fantasy, years ago!)
Trisha: Some of my early CF books were Bodie Thoene and Francine Rivers also! I had no idea you started out writing fantasy. I haven’t read much fantasy, but it seems like its growing in popularity.
Q: If we took a peek at your “recently played” music, who would we find?
Shannon: Switchfoot, Jon Foreman, NeedtoBreathe, Andrew Peterson, Disciple, Petra, WhiteHeart, Demon Hunter, Seventh Day Slumber, Spoken, Lauren Daigle, Avalon, Red, Flyleaf, Chris Renzema, Pat Barrett, The Afters, Dougie MacLean, Ryan Lee Jones, The Gray Havens, Shane & Shane, Hillsong Worship, Elevation Worship, Bethel, Passion, Beckah Shae, TobyMac, Sixpence None The Richer, Katy Dahl, Michael Card, Britt Nicole, NF, Manic Drive, Crowder, for King & Country, Lindsay Stirling, Darius Rucker … um, yes, I have really diverse tastes in music …
Trisha: Yes, you sure do have a diverse selection of music here! Fun!
Q: What do you love about this story?
Shannon: I loved writing the romance. Kate’s purity of faith, and her inner conflict when her craving for a story gets in the way of what she (and others) see as more important things. Thomas’s spiritual journey. And I loved delving into the history, which was previously unfamiliar to me, and especially the bits of Shawnee (and other) native culture. Oh, and I loved getting to revisit Truth and Micah, whose story is told in my first published novella, Defending Truth (in A Pioneer Christmas Collection).
Trisha: The first story I ever wrote was a native american story! I enjoy learning about their history and culture!
Q: Which character took you by surprise?
Shannon: Honestly? Thomas. He didn’t like sharing his thoughts with me, but as bits of his backstory and emotions surfaced, it was so cool seeing how it all fit together and where his overall character arc took him.
Q: What is something you hope readers will tell others about this story?
Shannon: That my research was good. That the faith element is strong but not “in your face.” That I gave them a truly immersive experience, between setting and emotions. That … I “did history right.” I hope it’s okay to admit I’m seeing some of this in reviews already, and am kind of overwhelmed by it all! People have been so kind in their feedback.
Q: What is something that didn’t make it into the final copy?
Shannon: I can’t think of anything at the moment. There were bits and pieces I wanted to write into the story, overall, but I ran out of time and room. And I realized later that I forgot to address a couple of things in my historical note at the end (I could probably make the historical notes as long as the story itself … LOL).
Q: What are you currently working on and how long till we can read more?!
Shannon: Well! I can’t really say too much yet, but I’m hard at work on another Daughters of the Mayflower story, this one set at the midpoint of the Civil War, to possibly release late next year. Follow my Facebook page or subscribe to my newsletter for details, as I’m able to share!
Trisha: I’m looking forward to reading more of your wonderful stories! Thank you for taking time to visit today!
* * * * * GIVEAWAY * * * * *
Shannon McNear is giving away 1 (one) print copy of her book “The Cumberland Bride”. Review the policies here. Please note that due to shipping cost this print copy is only available to those in the continental USA. The giveaway will be open for one week. At the close of the giveaway period, the winner will be contacted via email and announced on this page. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the email, before another winner will be chosen.
Return daily during the giveaway period to tweet for bonus entries using the Rafflecopter entry form.
To Enter the Giveaway:
1.) Leave a blog post comment answering the following question:
“Do you enjoy snacking while you read? If so, what do you snack on?”
2.) CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter entry form. (note: if you have difficulty with the rafflecopter entry form, please indicate that in your comment and I will manually enter your name)
More in the Daughters of the Mayflower series – Barbour:
The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1620 Atlantic Ocean (February 2018)
The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1725 New Orleans (April 2018)
The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep – set 1760 during the French and Indian War (June 2018)
The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1774 Philadelphia (August 2018)
The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear – set 1794 on the Wilderness Road (October 2018)
The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall – set 1814 Baltimore (December 2018)
The Alamo Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1863 The Alamo (February 2019)
The Golden Bride by Kimerley Woodhouse – set 1849 The Gold Rush (April 2019)
Find out more at: www.daughtersofthemayflower.com