HAPPY BIRTHDAY to this sweet, lovely lady! So delighted to welcome Stephenia H. McGee to the blog on her special day, to chat about her new book Missing Mercy!
Winner of the 2012 RONE Best Inspirational Book of the year (2012) and author of seven Historical novels, Stephenia H. McGee has a fascination with hoop skirts and ball gowns, Greek revival homes and horse-drawn carriages, quirky Southern sayings, and home-grown recipes. She currently lives in Mississippi with her husband and two boys, (accompanied by their two spoiled dogs and mischievous cat) where she writes stories of faith, redemption, and stories steeped in the South.
Visit her website at www.StepheniaMcGee.com and be sure to sign up for the newsletter to get sneak peeks, behind the scenes fun, the occasional recipe, and special offers.
SERIES: Ironwood Plantation Family Saga #3
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Fiction
PUBLISHER: By the Vine Press
RELEASE DATE: October 1, 2019
Mercy is missing, Faith is floundering. Only truth can lead them to freedom.
The venture ahead could leave their friendship behind.
Made a safe-haven after the Civil War, Ironwood Plantation is a refuge of equality for former slaves. But twenty years and a new generation later, they have become an isolated community with little contact with the rest of the world.
Mercy Carpenter is everything the world thinks she shouldn’t be. Educated and adventurous, she longs to make a life for herself beyond the beautiful prison of Ironwood. When she secretly submits an article to the Boston Globe under a man’s name and receives an enthusiastic response and an offer for employment, she’s determined to take advantage of the opportunity. But she isn’t prepared for a startling world that won’t accept her color or her gender, and her ambitions soon land her in grave danger.
The privileged daughter of a plantation owner and an aspiring suffragette, Faith Harper is determined not to marry. Especially not her father’s opportunistic new business partner. She doesn’t want any man telling her what to do, least of all the annoyingly chivalrous Nolan Watson. But when Mercy goes missing, Faith will do anything to find her best friend, even if it means trusting a man she doesn’t understand. In a time where prejudices try to define them, Mercy and Faith must push the boundaries of their beliefs and trust in the God who holds the keys to freedom.
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Hi my friend! Welcome back to the blog!
Stephenia: Over. It’s the only right way!
Stephenia: Card game. Rook is my favorite
Q: Which books are “on your nightstand”?
Stephenia: If we ignore my Kindle full of hundreds of books stored in that one slim little device, then I have: Shadows over England series, books 1- 3 and the Everstone Chronicles, books 1 – 5. And then there’s Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes… in You and Your Kids in my drawer. But don’t tell my boys.
Carrie: haha! I highly recommend both of those series… and your boys won’t hear it from me 😉
Q: If I sneaked a peek in your purse right now (which I would never do, I promise!), what would it tell me about you?
Stephenia: It would tell you I need to throw away a bunch of crumbled receipts, I prefer lip gloss over lipstick, I have a keychain that I could use to hurt you (should you be a nefarious villain of ill-intent) and that I must never have to actually remove my key from the depths of my purse in order to start my car.
Carrie: LOL – hopefully that keychain is more accessible than the key, should you run into any nefarious villains of ill-intent!
Q: What was something you learned in the process/challenge of writing Mercy as a diverse main character?
Stephenia:Writing outside of your own ethnicity is daunting. I’m very grateful for the gracious guidance and insights of some awesome authors who performed a sensitivity read. The hardest part was having to write in some of the cruelty and hateful attitudes toward Mercy. I love her as a character. She’s smart, feisty, and strong-willed. Having people treat her as less than because of her physical appearance and disregarding the soul and mind inside was difficult.
Carrie: I adore Mercy – and those scenes broke my heart for her. Vital to the story – and to her character development – but heartbreaking nonetheless ♥
Q: Were there any songs that inspired you as you wrote Missing Mercy?
Stephenia: There is a scene toward the end of the book (I won’t give it away!) that is inspired by “This is Me” from the Greatest Showman soundtrack. Actually, that song really could be the theme song for Mercy.
Carrie: I think I know which scene you’re talking about and I nearly stood up and clapped after reading it!
Q: How would Mercy and Faith each personally define ‘freedom’?
Stephenia: Freedom and what it means is a major theme in this book. In the beginning, Mercy defines freedom as life away from the isolated community of Ironwood, and Faith defines it as making her own way without depending on a man. However, as the story progresses, they both discover that true freedom, and how that relates to their relationship with God, is deeper than they imagined.
Carrie: I really love this theme in the book, and how it fine-tunes in each of their lives.
Q: What is something God taught you while you wrote Missing Mercy?
Stephenia: Every book means a lesson I have to learn. It’s no coincidence that during this particular book, I was struggling with asking God how I was supposed to maintain the calling to write when He also told me to homeschool. I couldn’t find a way to do both in the ways I expected. I had to learn to turn my gifting back over to the Giver, and do things His way. I’m still struggling with it, but the lessons Mercy learns are also things God taught me about following His plans instead of mine.
Carrie: I think that’s something we all struggle with at some point – just in different forms. ‘I had to learn to turn my gifting back over to the Giver, and do things His way.” – love this!
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Stephenia: Up next I have another time travel novella! This one goes back to Belmont Planation and is a sweet mother/daughter Christmas story. I’m super excited about it. Look for The Hope of Christmas Past this November!
Carrie: yay! I can’t wait!!
One winner will receive this awesome Blog Tour giveaway(US mailing address only): Signed paperback copies of The Whistle Walk and Heir of Hope (Ironwood Plantation Family Saga books one and two), Mississippi made cheese straws, handmade leather Jer. 28:11 bookmark, handcrafted specialty soaps, Southern Sisters mandarin orange pepper spread, and Thomas Jefferson quote “I cannot live without books” spiral earrings.
This giveaway is hosted by Stephenia H. McGee for the Missing Mercy blog tour, not RimSP
What about you? Which character in Missing Mercy intrigues you most – Mercy or Faith?