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?
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The Blue Cloak is the most recent installment to the True Colors series from Barbour Publishing. The True Colors series is all based on real crimes through-out history and The Blue Cloak is an honest look at the depravity of mankind. Rachel and Ben must watch as those they care about are destroyed by the evil Harpe brothers. Nothing is beneath these two fellows. Rachel’s best friend is wedded to the younger brother, thinking herself in love. But Wily has hidden his true character from her during their short courtship, and when the truth is revealed she is unable to escape the nightmare that awaits her. Ben’s cousin becomes the first in a long line of victims as the brothers feed their thirst for blood shed. It quickly becomes like a game to them and they drag their “family” all over the mountainside as they keep one step ahead of the vigilantes who want to bring them to justice.
Some elements of the story, while fact, may be too kinky for some readers, including the fact that these two men share three wives. I, personally, was the most disturbed by this aspect. The villainy and violence of the Harpe brothers is handled tactfully. The only part I found overly gruesome was when someone was beheaded. The description turned my stomach.
The darker man’s soul the more beautifully hope and healing contrast, and that’s exactly what The Blue Cloak shows. The author did a wonderful job at not glorifying their sin and showing that hope is possible even in the blackest of circumstances. There are several twists and turns through-out the chapters, and you will find yourself rooting for the Harpes to be caught and justice for their victims to be achieved.
I recommend this book for anyone fascinated by true crime stories.
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.
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To celebrate her tour, Shannon is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of The Blue Cloak and a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.