Evil lurks in these woods
The True Colors series is consistently proving to be a collection worth owning. Every book has been gripping and touching while leaving chills down my spine. You cannot go wrong in adding these books to your TBR list.
That said, The Blue Cloak made my heart hurt. The story was beautifully written, but the facts broke me. Shannon McNear told the story in such a way that I could visualize every detail (I have a crazy imagination) – the forest, the towns, the blue cloak, Ben’s transformation. That also meant that when she described the horror of these murders, I could visualize that as well.
As Ms. McNear wrote the details of what Sally, Betsy, and Susan endured, my heart quickly went out to them even though their lives ended a couple hundred years ago. God soon reminded me that there are women today who are trapped in similar situations. That evening, I laid the book in my lap and prayed. I have come across some of these women over the years and I know the feeling of helplessness that Rachel could have felt. There is only so much a bystander can do when the victim can’t or won’t get out of the situation.
Now, the fiction of this story is a sweet love story built in the midst of tragedy. Ben and Rachel started as the murder of Ben’s cousin and Rachel’s best friend’s involvement draws them together. Their quick romance is sweet and adds levity to this very difficult story.
If you love true crime stories, The Blue Cloak is a story you want to read but as I have hinted, it can be a bit graphic, so take caution. If that sort of thing does not bother, then happy reading. I think you will enjoy this one.
**I was given a copy of this book from the publisher through CelebrateLit Publicities. These views are my own and a favorable is not required though it is freely given.
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?
Click here for your copy.
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.