Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A PIONEER CHRISTMAS - Shannon McNear and eight other authors - One Free Book

Readers, I've known Shannon for years, and I was thrilled when she received her first contract for this book. The book is a nine novella collection. The other authors are Lauraine Snelling, Margaret Brownley, Kathleen Fuller, Marcia Gruver, Cynthia Hickey, Vickie McDonough, Michelle Ule, and Anna Urquhart. This will be a wonderful Christmas read. For today, we're featuring debut novelist, Shannon McNear.

Welcome, Shannon. How did your story for the collection come about?
My good friend and writing partner Beth (Elizabeth) Goddard, who’s been a Barbour author for years, forwarded me a call for submissions on the Pioneer Christmas collection. I told her I’d think/pray about it. Within about five minutes, the story idea bloomed to life, and by the end of that week, I had my first chapter and synopsis.

What are you reading right now?
The book of Ezekiel in the Bible...before that, Iscariot by Tosca Lee, and before that, the ARC of Burning Sky by debut author Lori Benton.

What other books have you had published?
Defending Truth was my very first book contract, ever. :-)

What is the hardest thing about writing a part of a novella collection?
For me, it was wondering if mine would be “good enough,” if it would fit the guidelines. Making sure I had my history and research right.

How did collaborating with this team impact you?
Because there are nine of us, and each story is a standalone, there wasn’t any collaborating. I’m looking forward to reading the other stories, though!

How do you choose your characters’ names?
For historical, I spend some time going through genealogies of the period, muster rolls, cemetery records, anything that gives me a sense of what was common (or not) for the time and region. I try to pick something that sounds like what a real person would have. When I chose Truth Bledsoe, I went with a real, historical family name and a first name that could have been used for those fond of the old Puritan way of using character traits as names. It was only after the fact that I found the family I anchored her to had a male member by the name of Loving (permuted in some records to Lovin or Loven, which is what I wound up using for my story). So it seemed particularly fitting. For Micah, I chose a not-overused Biblical name combined with what could have been a last name of the period.

What did you want the reader to take away from your story?
A renewed sense of God’s grace, and our ability to forgive because of it. Also, a fresh appreciation for the difficulty and complexity of the era.

Please give us a peek into your story.
Papa would tan her hide if he knew she was out here again. Too many Indians to worry about. Not to mention Tories. But Papa was still gone fighting the British, and the young 'uns needed fed.

Truth Bledsoe took a better grip of her grandfather's long rifle and peered through the cold fog of the western North Carolina morning. The narrow path up the mountain lay beneath a carpet of reds and golds, slick with rain. All but a few yards ahead faded into the mist. The forest was still except for the occasional drip of moisture or creak of branch. 

With a deep breath, she trudged on until out of the loomed a great boulder tucked into a fold of the mountainside. 

Her favorite hunting perch. She slid the rifle up over the edge then, with fingers and toes in various cracks, hoisted herself onto the top. There she settled herself herself to wait for whatever game might wander past. She'd taken her share of deer, turkey, and squirrel from this rock. Even glimpsed a few Indians. Today she was hoping for something to fill the new stew pot. 

Her ears strained for shreds of sound. Everything would be muffled in the fog, whether the whoosh of a deer's snort or the rustle of a squirrel in the leaves.

The snap of a twig, when it came, drew her almost straight up, gun to her shoulder.

"Don't shoot!" came a sharp cry.

Sounds like a really good read. I can't wait until my copy arrives. Are you a member of American Christian Fiction Writers? If so, why?
I sure am! I joined ACFW about nine years ago when I felt I needed more guidance and polish with my writing than I received from other critique groups. Now, of course, I wonder if I was just dense :-) but ACFW has been invaluable in terms of the relationships I’ve made, in addition to what I’ve learned as a writer.

My first contract came eight years after I first started writing novels, so though your nine years seemed long, other writers had similar experiences. What is the best piece of advice you received as an author?
It’s about the journey, not the “destination” of being published. Wow, I hated hearing that. :-)

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
I’m on Facebook, Pinterest, and I write Sunday devotionals over at The Borrowed Book ( ). My personal blog is at .

Thank you, Shannon, for sharing about your debut book with us.

Readers, here are links to buy the book. When you use one of them, you help support this blog.
A Pioneer Christmas -
A Pioneer Christmas Collection -
A Pioneer Christmas Collection: 9 Stories of Finding Shelter and Love in a Wintry Frontier - Kindle

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Google +, Feedblitz, Facebook, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Britney Adams said...

What a wonderful group of authors! I love Christmas reads! I am so glad to meet Shannon McNear and thank you for the interview! I look forward to reading A PIONEER CHRISTMAS!

Britney Adams, TX

Shannon McNear said...

Thank you so much for hosting me, Lena! And thank you, Britney for stopping by. I hope you enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

Angela in KY would love to win this book.

Donna Porter said...

Excited to see how God will use this book for His Kingdom!

Melanie Backus said...

Christmas stories are some of the best and combining them with pioneer anything just sets them off. I am so glad to hear about this wonderful book and this group of great authors. Thank you.
Melanie Backus, TX

Jennyfer said...

Shannon I am so proud of you! ♥♥♥

Heidi Reads... said...

I have been looking forward to this book since I first heard about it! I love novella collections, especially when I've already read some of the authors' others books. Thanks for the giveaway and sweet interview!

Heidi, CA

Emma said...

A PIONEER CHRISTMAS sounds wonderful. Please enter me in contest. Thank you for the opportunity to win.PA.

Melody said...

Oh my gravy, what a wonderful book this will many of my favorite authors!

Donna, TX

Melody said...

Oh my gravy, what a wonderful book this will many of my favorite authors!

Donna, TX

Brittany said...

Thanks so much for the chance to win this book! I do love Christmas stories.

Brittany McEuen (TX)

scottsgal said...

I LOVE holiday stories and western romances so this sounds like a great combination of both! Would love to read this
cheryl in IL

KayM said...

Every fall I start reading Christmas novels on the first of November. I would enjoy the opportunity to same the writing from some new-to-me authors. Thank you for offering a chance to win.

Amy C said...

I am so happy to see that is that time of year to start reading Christmas stories and this book sounds like one not to be missed. Great post!
Amy C

Carla Gade said...

I enjoyed this interview with Shannon. Congratulations on your first contract! And you know I just love the theme of your story and the time period. I liked hearing about how you chose your names.

Continued blessings on your writing.

carlagade[at]gmail [dot]com

Unknown said...

So proud of you old friend.Admire your focus on writing through the million details of daily faith, marriage, and parenting. Keep up the good work and imagine where you'll be in 5 yrs!

Carolyn Kennemer-Scott, SC

Shannon McNear said...

Wow, thank you all so much! It's been a day with a million unlooked-for details (as Carolyn said, LOL)--I'm a homeschooling mother as well as writer, and God has been speaking to me about keeping that my primary focus. But what a blessing to come over here and find all your very kind comments! To those who are entering the giveaway--thank you, and I wish you all could win! And to friends old and new--thank you for cheering me on. I'm honored by your enthusiasm! <3 <3 <3

Karen G. said...

What a great book. Would love a chance to win and read this. Thank you.

Karen G., NY

Cindy W. said...

I love Christmas stories and historical novels so A Pioneer Christmas would be a book I would love to read.

I live in Indiana.

Cindy W.

countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

Wendy Newcomb said...

I really do 'need' this book, lol, I love this kind and some great authors contributed to it. Thank you for the chance to win it.

Wendy N from FL.


Shannon McNear said...

Hey Karen, Cindy, and Wendy! Thanks for stopping by! :-D

sm said...

I LOVE Christmas fiction! It's cozy, comfortable, and all the values of a real Christmas. Hope I win. sharon, ca wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

bonton said...

Hi, Shannon!

Enjoyed your interview! This book sounds wonderful - love pioneer stories!

As a reader, I enjoy reading & learning about a writer's journey to publication. Helps me appreciate the books more!



Shannon McNear said...

Thank you, Bonnie & Sharon! I'm glad you enjoyed the interview, and I hope you both like the stories!

Linda Kish said...

This sounds like a wonderful collection of stories. I hope I get lucky.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Mary Preston said...

Christmas stories are one of my favorites. Loved the first page thank you.

Mary P


Charlotte Kay said...

I love Christmas books and collect a few new ones each year and read them after Thanksgiving. Thanks for the chance to win this one!!!!!

Blessings and Smiles:)
Charlotte Kay, Ohio

apple blossom said...

oh Christmas love to win thanks for the chance
live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Unknown said...

Enjoyed the great interview! Book sounds fantastic. Would love to win. Please enter my name in the giveaway. Thank you!
Barbara Thompson

Shannon McNear said...

Thank you all for the very kind words!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely can't wait to read this collection of pioneer Christmas stories. It looks like an excellent collection of stories from some of my favorite authors.

Katie J. from Florida

Merry said...

A Pioneer Christmas sounds wonderful. I love the names Shannon chose for her characters.
Merry in MN

Library Lady said...

Our library readers love books about Christmas.
Thanks for giving me the chance to win this book.
Janet E.

Norma S said...

I love Christmas stories they are one of my favorite and this being in the Pioneer era will make it real special. I sure hope i win this book God bless you.
Norma from Ohio

Mama Cat said...

Would love to read a collection by this wonderful group of Christian writers! Thank you for the opportunity to win! Jeanie in Phoenix

Pam K. said...

I enjoy reading Christmas stories. This is a nice combination of authors I'm familiar with and ones I'm not. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of this book.


Bookishqueen said...

I would love to read this!
Rebekah TN

sm said...

Christmas fiction is my favorite! Love to win and read this book. sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Jean said...

Thank you so much for this opportunity!

Jean Kropid
West Palm Beach, FL

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

I would love to win this awesome book! Thanks for the awesome giveaway and God Bless!

Shannon McNear said...

Blessings to all of you for taking the time to stop by and comment! :-)

Judy Cooper said...

It would be nice to win. The book's stories are of the favorite time of the year for me. Thank you for the interview and getting to know Shannon McNear. Please enter my name. Judy C. from Louisiana.

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me this book looks soo thrilling!!
Sharon Richmond Bryant

rubynreba said...

I enjoy Christmas stories and this is a great collection! Love to read these stories.
Beth from Iowa

Unknown said...

I like reading Christmas books! Putting this one on my wish list. Thank you for the opportunity.

Kay from NY

Rhonda's Doings said...

I live in Virginia and I love Christmas books! would love this! Rhonda Nash-Hall

Shopgirl said...

I love novellas! I'm in MN.

Beth Goddard said...

Great Interview, Shannon!

Shannon McNear said...

Thank you again for all the wonderfully kind comments! I'm so overwhelmed at the response. :-)

Evlin said...

Nice interview. Adding A Pioneer Christmas to my wish list. I like reading Christmas and historical books. Thanks for the chance to win.

Kevlin in NY