THE HUNT HAS ENDED! THANK YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH FOR COMING BY!!!
Welcome to the 2020 Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! I am SO very excited to get to take part.
If you’ve just discovered the hunt, be sure to start at Stop #1, and collect the clues through all the stops, in order, so you can enter to win one of our top 5 grand prizes!
- The hunt BEGINS on 10/15 at noon MST with Stop #1 at LisaTawnBergren.com.
- Hunt through our loop using Chrome or Firefox as your browser (not Explorer).
- There is NO RUSH to complete the hunt–you have all weekend (until Sunday, 10/18 at midnight MST)! So take your time, reading the unique posts along the way; our hope is that you discover new authors/new books and learn new things about them.
- Submit your entry for the grand prizes by collecting the CLUE on each author’s scavenger hunt post and submitting your answer in the Rafflecopter form at the final stop, back on Lisa’s site. Many authors are offering additional prizes along the way!
So! I’m Shannon McNear, and I’ve been writing this or that since about the third grade. I started my first novel at age 15, not knowing it would be 30 years before I’d receive my first publishing contract–but oh, what a journey it has been! During that time I accumulated seven completed novels (in varying states of polish), first sold a story I hadn’t even written yet, and now I’m celebrating my seventh title in print! How cool is that?? You can learn more about them here on my site, or on Facebook, Pinterest, or Goodreads.
Though I’ve written variously in fantasy, a bit of contemporary, and a lot of historical–most of it during early America, specifically the Revolutionary War and immediately after–this newest story, a novella, takes place in 1919, right after WWI. It’s the second story in a collection that follows the travels of an heirloom nativity set through several generations of a family, beginning in 1899, but here’s a bit about mine:
While traveling with her aunt from Charleston, South Carolina, to Kansas City, Missouri, Stella Shepherd finds diversion in the form of three brothers who joke about being called “the Wise guys”–apparently the only boys in a sea of sisters and female cousins, and all veterans of the recent Great War–but it’s the youngest who tugs most at her heart. Nat Wise finds this darling young woman both a reminder of all that he risked and an unexpected comfort, even as she challenges his faith–but what does he have to offer her, beyond a listening ear and travel conversation? How can the interest they feel for each other be anything more than a passing fascination?
Indeed! What could be more ridiculous than the idea of a couple meeting and then knowing within a day or two that they’d found someone they really did not wish to lose track of before they me had time to discover whether their feelings could become something lasting? And yet, I’ve heard story after story of couples who met and fell in love within a very short time, whose marriages endured for decades. Did they know something we don’t? Were they just more committed to the concept of lifelong relationship?
While contemplating the premise of this story, and wondering how readers would respond to something that amounted to little more than love at first sight, I realized I had another problem … how to build a convincing story over the span of just days! Because a journey by train didn’t take nearly as long in 1919 as one would think …
Researching the History of Railway Travel
|Dining car, early 1900’s|
Y’all, I am a research NERD. I can’t tell you the hours I’ve wasted–the days, the weeks and months!–trying to get this or that detail just right. And here I’d proposed a story that takes place almost entirely on board a train, when I’d never even ridden one before. So you can imagine my panic …
Now, I’ve gotten reasonably good at online research and had already discovered American-Rails.com, among others, and Wikipedia is much more complete and helpful than it used to be on all sorts of topics. And then there was my discovery of The Official Guide of the Railways, published for many years and absolutely invaluable for coordinating actual historical rail schedules. (I couldn’t find one for the year 1919, so I leaned heavily on the 1921 edition and tried to keep in mind that this is fiction, after all.) But there’s nothing like experiencing something for yourself–what things look and smell and feel like, in real life.
News of our contract came at the end of the summer, when local railway museums were closing down in preparation for winter. I widened my search, since we make frequent-ish visits to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and found the Minneapolis Transportation Museum, which offered a Fall Color Tour in western Wisconsin. (Sadly, the current season there is closed because of COVID-19.) I wasted no time in checking with my daughter away at college in St. Paul to see if she was interested and available (my husband wasn’t because of work obligations), then booking the tickets.
Imagine my delight, when we arrived and boarded, to find that most of the train cars date right to the era of my story. After the initial talk, we were encouraged to walk around and explore, so explore I did. I’m sure I had more fun than anyone else on the tour that day!
Here’s the Stop #27 Basics:
If you’re interested, you can order Love’s Pure Light on Amazon, CBD, Barnes & Noble, or at your local bookstore!
Clue to Write Down: has been
Link to Stop #28, the Next Stop on the Loop: Suzanne Woods Fisher!
I’m offering three books to three entrants—any one of my last five releases (Backcountry Brides, either Daughters of the Mayflower title, The Blue Cloak (for mature readers only!!), or Love’s Pure Light. All you have to do is sign up to get my e-newsletter (top right of my home page) or note that you’re already a subscriber. Additional points for those who visit my author page on Facebook, or visit and follow me on Goodreads, Bookbub, or on Pinterest! Print copies for USA only; e-books for International winners. I’ll announce the winners sometime on October 20!
Rafflecopter form below—for my personal giveaway only!