Author Interview and Giveaway – The Rebel Bride – Shannon McNear

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We’ve all been looking forward to the next installment in the Daughters of the Mayflower Series. Today Shannon McNear is on the Index answering questions about her book The Rebel Bride and her own favorite reads. Welcome to the Index, Shannon!

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The Rebel Bride

During the clash between Union and Confederacy, quiet Tennessean Pearl MacFarlane is compelled to nurse both Rebel and Yankee wounded who seek refuge at her family’s farm. She is determined to remain unmoved by the Yankee cause—until she faces the silent struggle of Union soldier Joshua Wheeler, a recent amputee. The MacFarlane family fits no stereotype Joshua believed in; still he is desperate to regain his footing—as a soldier, as a man, as a Christian—in the aftermath of his debilitating injury. He will use his time behind enemy lines to gather useful intelligence for the Union—if the courageous Rebel woman will stay out of the line of danger.

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Questions about Shannon’s Story

Is there anything in this book that is inspired by/modeled after something in your own life or someone you know in real life

Pearl’s father’s health issues and her struggle to adapt and care for him was inspired by my own mother’s medical journey. She had advanced diabetes, had nearly every diabetic complication possible including being on dialysis, and suffered damage from several mini-strokes and a later heart attack. She didn’t ever not know who family was, but her perception of time was very skewed and hard to deal with. Her faith, though, was always “there” and we had no doubt that when she passed, she went immediately to be with Jesus.

What character in your book turned out to be your favorite?

I love Portius. He was one of those who just came out of nowhere and almost takes over the story.

Were there any historical facts that you discovered in your research that made you change something in your story?

Oh yes! For one, the premise of having Union POW’s quartered in civilian homes was a little thin—most were sent directly to Confederate prisons, regardless of condition. Also, I hadn’t fully understood the terms of parole, or how prisoner exchange worked (and though official exchanges were discontinued by that time, groups of wounded prisoners were exchanged on both sides after Chickamauga), or—and this was the biggest—that the Emancipation Proclamation really had no effect in Tennessee. It was interesting, though, to learn later that Tennessee governor Andrew Johnson freed his own slaves in October 1863, and effectively ended slavery in the entire state at that time. Also, the real-life timeline of the battles of Chickamauga and Chattanooga were tricky to work with. Many times I had to tweak this or that in the storyline to fit with the actual historical events.



 Questions about Shannon’s Reading


What Christian Historical Novel taught you something about the craft of writing because it was so well done? Tell us a bit about what it taught you.

Francine Rivers’s Mark of the Lion trilogy will always stand as one of my favorites. Be real to the time—and be real to your faith—regardless of the ugly or uncomfortable you might uncover or have to portray. And for anyone who has heard Francine speak—it’s part of the process to let your own spiritual journey shape the story, and be shaped in turn. Every story she’s written, I believe, has come from some struggle in her own faith walk. 


What was the last Christian Historical Novel you read, and what was your favorite thing about it?

This doubles as an answer for another question, what’s the last one I binge read? 🙂 But, Connilyn Cossette’s Counted with the Stars. I read one of hers a couple of years ago and LOVED it, and in addition to her recent Christy award (Yay!! Well deserved!!!), my 17-yo daughter has been discovering her work and coming to me to discuss it, so I decided to go back and catch up on the ones I’ve missed. I love how she makes the era come alive with so much detail. Her characters are very real. And God used her portrayal of Moses (Mosheh) to encourage me in a way I didn’t know I still needed … and then that ending … wow. :-O So good. SO, so good. Anyway—I set aside almost everything else on a Sunday afternoon (including a nap, LOL) to read this one!


What Christian Historical Novel in your To Be Read pile is begging you to make time to plop down with it right now?

Lori Benton’s The King’s Mercy. I’ve had it for a LONG time but was saving it until my last deadline was past. Hers are so deep and rich, and I always hit a stretch where I can’t bear to stop reading, but I’m making myself savor it a bit at a time. At least for now!

Shannon is giving away either a paperback (USA Only) or an ebook (International Entries welcome). Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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