Stephenia H. McGee: The Writer & her Book (with giveaway)

It’s my pleasurStephenia H. McGeee to introduce you to multi-published author, Stephenia H. McGee, and her latest Civil War era novel, In His Eyes. Learn about her family night, her love of Tamara Leigh’s stories, and how she chose the name Westley for her latest hero.

Be sure to enter the giveaway of In His Eyes, via the Rafflecopter form below, thanks to Stephenia’s generosity.

 

 

 

The Writer

Please describe yourself in three words (ask your best friend or family if you are struggling!)

Let’s see…according to my husband, I am a logophile who wants to be an antiquarian and who has been known to be a tiny bit facetious. I’ll admit I did “fancy” up his words a bit, but word nerd, old book collector, and sarcastically goofy wasn’t as fun. We could also go with hooked on books. And now I’ve used way more than three words….

What’s your favourite season, and why?

Fall. I live in Mississippi where winter is from December to March and summer is from April to November. We get about two weeks of fall each year—if we are lucky. Sometimes it’s only a few days—where the humidity isn’t stifling, the breeze cools, and the weather is perfect for reading on the screen porch.

What is the best part of your day?

Time with my family. We are very busy people with a lot going on, but every Friday night is family night where we watch movies, play games, and build memories.

What do you miss most about your childhood?

The part where I didn’t have to do laundry, dishes, or pay bills! A few chores, and I was free to devour a sack full of library books.

Which TV talk show host would you like to be interviewed by? Why?

Jimmy Fallon because, well, how awesome would it be to go on The Tonight Show?

You are at a fruit market – what do you reach for first?

Today I am going to have to say peaches. My nine year old has wanted to be a chef since he was three, and the other night he made us a peach cobbler. It was amazing. Ordinarily, I might have said an apple or strawberries, but those fresh peaches were almost as good as seeing his face when he presented the treat to us.

What was the first Christian Fiction novel you read?

It was either Love Comes Softly by Janette oak or The Honorable Imposter (The House of Winslow Series) by Gilbert Morris when I was in the fourth or fifth grade.

What is one author and/or book you always recommend?

I really love Tamara Leigh. I look forward to all of her medieval and time travel books, and I am always recommending them.

What book character has stuck in your mind from a book you have read this year?

I’ll have to go back to Tamara for that one. Elianor of Emberly from Baron of Godsmere really captured me. She went through so many unimaginably terrible things in her life, yet she was strong, courageous, and always trying to help others.

The Book

In his eyes

Her heart sought shelter. Her soul found home. 

Ella Whitaker rescues a newborn from the dying arms of a woman of ill repute and at long last she has someone to love. In need of a wet nurse, she arrives at Belmont Plantation just as Federal soldiers demand to speak to the owner. Thinking quickly, Ella masquerades as a Yankee officer’s widow in order to have a roof over her head and a home for the child.

Major Westley Remington has dedicated his life to serving his country. The Civil War has divided his family, torn his thoughts of glory, and left him with a wound that may never heal. Westley returns home on medical furlough to settle his father’s estate at Belmont Plantation, only to find his home is being run by a fiery and independent woman—one many believe to be his wife. Now he is faced with a conflict he’s never been trained to fight, and one she has yet to conquer.

What was the working title?

It didn’t actually have a working title. I prayed over what to write for several weeks, and the first thing that came to me was the title, which went hand-in-hand with the book’s theme. It was In His Eyes before I typed the first line.

Describe your book in 5 adjectives.

Oh, this is a tough one. Would it be acceptable for me to snag some adjectives readers used it their reviews? These particular ones made my heart happy.

  1. Breathtaking
  2. Intriguing
  3. Endearing
  4. Dynamic
  5. Captivating

 

cover shoot

Stephenia with her cover model at the photo shoot

Which character took you by surprise?

Ella had a mind of her own from the beginning! She did everything her way and sometimes left me scrambling along behind her. She also had a way of taking me by the hand and leading me to participate in all the things God was teaching her throughout this journey. There were days I sat and stared at the page with tears running down my cheeks, but each surprise only made the adventure more exciting.

What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?

If it sneaking into my dreams counts, then all night! As far as writing goes, though, I am a morning writer. I do my best work early, and then in the afternoons I go back and flesh out what I wrote that morning. Unless a deadline is stalking me, I don’t generally write past supper time. I save that part of the day for my loves.

 

cover art4

Which character’s name was the hardest to choose? Why?

Westley. I couldn’t decide which name I wanted, so I ended up creating a poll for my faithful Readers Team to help me choose!

What’s something that didn’t make it into the final copy?

Westley does something in the story that is a major sacrifice for him. Originally, he was supposed to endure a punishment for that decision (and he still does) but the scene itself didn’t end up adding to the story, so I just had him allude to it rather than have it detract from the book’s momentum.

Thanks Stephenia!

Award winning and bestselling author of a half-dozen Christian historical novels, Stephenia H. McGee writes stories of faith, hope, and healing set in the Deep South. After earning a degree in Animal and Dairy Sciences, she discovered her heart truly lies with the art of story. She put pen to page and never looked back. Stephenia makes her home in Mississippi where she sips sweet tea on the front porch with her husband and two little boys and dreams up tales of days gone by. Visit her at www.StepheniaMcGee.com for books, updates, and more.

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62 Responses to Stephenia H. McGee: The Writer & her Book (with giveaway)

  1. Thank you for having me today! This has been such a fun interview.

  2. What fascinates me about the Civil War is that there were people in the same family fighting on opposing sides….possibly facing each other during battle. How heart wrenching that must have been. I’ve also heard about women posing as men so they could be with their husbands, or willing to fight for other reasons. Can’t. Even. Imagine.

  3. This is a wonderful review. I love the cover. What fascinates me about this era is how the people had to find ways to keep their faith going. How the women had to keep the family and homes together while the men were away. How strong and creative and hard working they had to be.
    quilting dash lady at Comcast dot net

  4. I’ve always loved reading about the Civil War era. Maybe it’s because of the conflict in families.

  5. I’m fascinated by the history of the Civil War, how families were divided, the unique battle tactics, the heroism, and the underground railroad.

  6. It’s fascinating to learn how certain parts of the country were less affected by the war while in the south and east coast people’s lives were entirely changed by it.

  7. Lovely feature! I can’t imagine being in a family where some were fighting for the Confederates and other for the Union!

  8. I’m from WV which is rich in Civil War history and it has fascinated me, how families were so divided. Thank you for the chance. Enjoyed the interview.

  9. I love Stephenia’s books! And I hate I missed the book signing at the plantation!

  10. Thank you Stephanie for the chance to win! I am new reader of your books, and I can’t wait to start reading! I love learning about this time period. A heartbreaking time to be sure. My brother and I are civil war geeks and we hope to plan a ‘civil war” trip with our spouses some time. Thank you for the fun interview and the chance to win!

    • Thank you, Jeanne! If you get the chance to take that trip, be sure to stop by Belmont Plantation in the Mississippi Delta. It’s a beautiful place steeped in history, and you’ll get to experience the setting from the book.

  11. I love the beautiful cover! Stephenia is a new author to me, and I would love to win a copy of her book. Thanks for the chance. I love the strong women portrayed in books about the civil war who cared for family, and oftentimes large plantations, while the men of the family were fighting.

  12. The Civil War is interesting because it was fought on our own soil. In today’s news updates when we hear about war it is usually in some far off place and it is hard to really connect to that. We don’t really have a concept of the trauma, fear and displacement that some people deal with on a daily basis.

  13. I find the era fascinating. . .I like to hear the rescue stories best of all. This book looks good and the cover is gorgeous (as is the model!).

  14. The way families could have such a different view on the issues leading to the Civil War.

  15. I love reading about the Civil War era, although it was such a traumatic war. I was working on some genealogy a few months back, and it dawned on me that the location was near where battles were being fought and the people had to have been deeply impacted by this. They weren’t close relatives, but it still opened my eyes to their hardships.

  16. I think what fascinates me the most about the Civil War era is the Underground Railroad.I remember learning about it as a child and even had a desire to write about it once. :)

    Thanks for the opportunity to win “In His Eyes”!

  17. Lovely review, Stephenia and Rel. I’m honored by your kind words and recommendation of my books, Stephenia. Thank you! Congratulations on your new release, In His Eyes. I love the title and–of course–the cover.

  18. I love the cover model photos! How neat is that?! Let’s see, the thing I adore most about the Civil War era are the big ball gown like dresses that were in style. I love the thought of gracefully sweeping through a room dressed as a charming southern belle.

  19. Karina Thibodeau

    I guess I put my comment in the wrong place. My favorite thing about the civil war is the way people dresssed. Thank you for the chance.

  20. danielle hammelef

    Abraham Lincoln is my favorite thing about the Civil War time. His presidency, intelligence, and abolishment of slavery fascinate me and make him my favorite president.

    • He fascinated me as well. When I wrote The Liberator Series, I wove my characters into the abduction plot, assassination, and manhunt. The original plan was to kidnap Lincoln and use him as leverage to get Confederate soldiers out of prison, and history never records why at the last moment he changed his plans…

  21. I like reading historical fiction and I especially about the Civil War era. I like that there are many stories of bravery and kindness that came about in the awfulness of a war, sometimes from brother against brother.

  22. It’s astounding that such a country built on freedom for all men was torn apart by a war like the Civil War. We are still staggering from the aftermath and consequences.

  23. What fascinates me about the Civil War era is just how people had to make such heartrending decisions. For the families especially when their sons went off to war.

  24. I love reading historicals and the civil era is one of my favorite periods to read about. What a lovely book cover!

  25. It amazed me how everyone was when the war was raging. It hurt everyone involved. I have seen a picture of a relative and he fought for the North. Both sides fought with all the resources they had and it took so much for our country to heal.

  26. What is fascinating about the Civil War era is that families were torn apart, but somehow this country has healed from that. It seems like that era of time could have torn our country apart forever. Your book sounds amazing! I would love to win. Thank you.

  27. I loved the interview!!! I live in NC and had ancestors fight in the Civil War. They were Confederate Soldiers and have found some of their graves.
    That’s an era I wouldn’t want to go back to live. I would hate knowing my sons were fighting against each other or fighting against the father.
    The family members left at home weren’t safe either and lost so much. I am glad the slaves were free!! I wish so many men from both sides didn’t have to loose their lives for it.

  28. My husband is from the Gettysburg area, so we’ve visited there a couple of times. I think that’s why I’m interested in the Civil War era.

  29. I’ve never been fascinated with war. But I have been fascinated by the history & how it affected us even in today’s world. Hated that it oftentimes tore apart families!

    Thanks for the giveaway chance!

  30. This looks just fascinating and in my go-to genre!

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