I’m super excited to welcome to Stephenia H. McGee on the blog today as she shares with us about her new book “Eternity Between Us”
Stephenia McGee is such a fabulous writer, I’ve enjoyed every book of her’s I have had the pleasure to read!
Stephenia H. McGee is a wife, mother of two very active little boys, author, and lover of all things historical. Stephenia currently lives in Mississippi with her husband and sons where she writes stories of faith, redemption and life steeped in the South
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“Between us and those former friends exists a gulf as deep and wide as eternity.” Rose O’Neal Greenhow, Confederate spy
When I first started researching for Eternity Between Us, I began with first-hand accounts. I find it fascinating to see not only what the history books tell us, but also the personal thoughts of people who lived through those days. One of the most intriguing people I found was Mrs. Rose Greenhow.
Rose is credited with delivering information that is said to have caused the Confederate victory at the battle of Bull Run (or Manassas, depending on what side of the Mason-Dixon you were on). Rose rolled a note into the carefully coifed hair of a young woman and sent word to General Beauregard about McDowell’s impending attack, allowing the Confederates enough forewarning to gain a victory.
However, Rose was soon discovered by the intrepid detective Allen Pinkerton and subsequently spent time imprisoned in her home as well as the Old Capitol Prison in Washington. She records all of her experiences in her book, My Imprisonment and the First Year of Abolition Rule at Washington.
Rose was incredibly clever with the way she continued to run a spy ring even from her imprisonment. My character Margret Greenman is heavily based on Rose, and there are several scenes in the story that come from her accounts of what happened with Pinkerton and his agents. Margret also states several of Rose’s quotes pertaining to the government, the city of Washington, and the state of affairs in the country. Understanding the first-hand thoughts of people of that time gave me the chance to more accurately portray the complicated feelings of Southerners at that time.
Rose’s story added depth and adventure to Eternity Between Us, and when Evelyn Mapleton gets caught in one of Margret Greenman’s webs of spying, she finds she may have borrowed more trouble than she can ever repay.
Eternity Between Us
About the Book:
An unnatural thunder rumbled through the air, carrying with it not thoughts of rain but of smoke and trepidation…
After being forced to use a pistol against invaders, Evelyn Mapleton is no longer the timid girl her extended family expects. The more her aunt and cousin resent her new independence, the more Evelyn is determined she’ll make her missing father proud by taking up his cause and aiding Confederate soldiers–even if she has to outmaneuver the Yankees guarding her home to do it.
Samuel Flynn’s life is consumed with two priorities: learning to become a proper guardian for the young orphans he’s adopted and obtaining his physicians license. When his final testing sends him to a Federal Army field hospital, the last thing he expects is to be entranced by a mysterious woman. But when Evelyn’s misguided exploits put her life in danger, will he risk everything he’s worked for to save a woman he thinks is his enemy?
Based on first-hand accounts from the Civil War and with a strong romantic thread, this is a tale of faith, espionage, hope, and courage historical fiction fans won’t want to miss.
Excerpt from Eternity Between Us
Front Royal, Virginia
July 29, 1861
Evelyn’s needle came to a sudden stop, pricking her finger and drawing a drop of crimson in the process. She discreetly drew a handkerchief from her pocket and dabbed the tip of her thumb while the woman across the parlor hurried on.
“Yes, that’s exactly what I heard. Can you believe it?”
Aunt Mary set her embroidery in her lap and gave the woman dressed in olive silk a gentle shake of her head. “Honestly, Mrs. Camden, I really cannot.”
Evelyn kept her chin down and looked at the other women around the room through her lashes. Six of them had gathered for a sewing circle, with two Front Royal women having come for gossiping under the guise of fellowship.
Mrs. Camden, a vibrant-looking woman of middling years, bobbed her head enthusiastically, her tightly pinned lace cap stifling a mass of gray and brown curls. “Oh, but it is true.”
Mrs. Swanson, the other lady of around the same age nodded in much the same fashion, the pair of them reminding Evelyn of two carriage horses tossing their heads for a lump of sugar.
Mrs. Camden waved long fingers at Mrs. Swanson. “Tell them, Mrs. Swanson. It is quite fascinating.”
Aunt Mary spoke before the other woman could get a word past her thin lips. “Come now, I have known Margret Greenman for years. My daughter spent much of her season in Washington under the lady’s care. I cannot imagine such a thing to be true. It is merely prattle, I’m sure.”
Evelyn glanced at Isabella, who regarded Mrs. Camden with open curiosity. “I don’t know, Mother. Mrs. Greenman does know everyone who is anyone in Washington.”
“Oh, pish posh,” Hattie Lawrence said, sitting aside her work as well. “So do I. I don’t see what that has to do with the matter.”
Isabella cast a quick look at Evelyn before swinging her regard to her aunt. “I can see how such connections might lead one to wander down that path, especially if one had information they knew could save our men’s lives.”
Hattie’s forehead creased, and Evelyn wondered what thoughts plowed such furrows.
“I’m telling you,” Mrs. Camden insisted, reinserting herself into the conversation. “It is quite true. Isn’t it, Mrs. Swanson?”
The reedy woman glanced at Aunt Mary before she spoke, as though wondering if the younger woman would forestall her words again. When Aunt Mary pointedly settled her gaze on the linen shirt in her lap, Mrs. Swanson spoke up, her nasally voice filling the parlor with more excitement than the day of sewing had thus far provided. “Yes, it is indeed true. My husband says that Margret Greenman is responsible for sending word to Beauregard’s headquarters and giving him the warning he needed to prepare. She is pivotally involved with our victory at Manassas, or what the Yanks are calling Bull Run.”
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Eternity Between Us
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