About the Book
Book: The Blue Cloak
Author: Shannon McNear
Genre: Christian Historical/Suspense
Release Date: March, 2020
Evil Incarnate Leaves a Trail of Destruction across the Frontier
Book 5 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History
Rachel Taylor lives a rather mundane existence in 1797 at the way station her family runs along the Wilderness Road in Tennessee. She attends her friend Sally Rice’s wedding only to watch the marriage dissolve into horror has the groom, Wiley Harpe, and his cousin Micajah become murderers on the run, who drag their families along. Declaring a “war on all humanity,” the Harpes won’t be stopped, and Ben Langford is on their trail to see if his own cousin was one of their latest victims.
How many will die before peace can return to the frontier?
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About the Author
Transplanted to North Dakota after more than two decades in Charleston, South Carolina, Shannon McNear loves losing herself in local history. She’s a military wife, mom of eight, mother-in-law of three, grammie of two, and a member of ACFW and RWA. Her first novella, Defending Truth in A Pioneer Christmas Collection, was a 2014 RITA® finalist. When she’s not sewing, researching, or leaking story from her fingertips, she enjoys being outdoors, basking in the beauty of the northern prairies. Connect with her at www.shannonmcnear.com, or on Facebook and Goodreads.
More from Shannon
How dark is too dark for a Christian to write?
That was the question I wrestled with when deciding whether or not to take on the story of the Harpes. The histories in Scripture itself aren’t rated G, but writing fiction requires a level of detail and depth of emotion I wasn’t sure would be wise, or helpful, to explore in this case. But as I prayed and sought the counsel of those whose discernment I trust, the answer came back, overwhelmingly …
Is God stronger than the darkness, or not?
Well, of course He is. And nothing in human history has ever escaped His notice, or taken Him by surprise.
So, was there something redeeming to be found in the tale of the Harpes?
For the first few weeks of research, I walked around in a state of shock at the horror of the historical accounts, but details surfaced that helped me shape my fictional characters Rachel and Ben. With Rachel working in her family’s trading post near the wild frontier town of Knoxville, Tennessee, and Ben a lawyer who recently passed the bar, the real-life Hugh Lawson White provided a handy connection point between them. Many other details fell together in ways I had not foreseen when I began developing the story. Sally Rice Harpe, however, rose to the forefront. This was more her story than anyone’s, but realizing I couldn’t properly write the book without using her point of view? That was scary. I knew the moments I’d have to visit, some of them in real-time.
Despite the tragedy, however, I could see an overarching story of spiritual warfare. Felt a growing conviction that prayer must have played a vital role in bringing the Harpes’ reign of terror to an end. So it is my hope that against the backdrop of one of the most chilling episodes of our country’s early history, the hand of God shows clearly, and that yes, the reader finds it redemptive.
I have read several of the books in the True Color Series. Each is based off a real historical event - recreated as a fictional story. This book, is a bit gorier then some of the others that I have read. But I enjoyed it. I don't know if I have read anything by this author before, but I will be on the look out for anything that she writes in the future
In this edition of the True Color Series - We travel back to 1797. This time period is not one that I read about often. It seems that the author has done amazing research to bring this time period to life.In this story, we see what life was like in the historical setting of the frontier of Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee. I can't imagine what life was like during this time - we are post revolution and building as nation. In this story, we see the story of horror that 2 men inflicted. As stated above, there are some gruesome descriptions -- but there is a lot of FAITH weaved through it. It's sad to think that this is based off a true story - but we know (as with what we are going through now with COVID) God is ultimately in control. There is also a sweet love story that is included - Rachel and Ben. Ben wants to find out who killed his cousin, and is following clues. Rachel, who works at her father's story - ends up mixed up through her friend. During the chaos their paths cross and they develop feelings for each other.
This was a well written story. There is a lot of description and character development. I love suspense and mystery stories. Again, just the disclaimer of the description of the gore.
I received a copy of this story, through the Celebrate Lit blogging program - all thoughts are my own.
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To celebrate her tour, Shannon is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of The Blue Cloak and a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.