The River Queen
by Stephenia H. McGee
River pirates, gangsters, smugglers, and an unforgettable, vivacious heroine all set in the roaring twenties–this story has it all. McGee pens a unique and swashbuckling tale that submerses readers into the showboat world of a strong family of faith and the fish-out-of-water hero who brings trouble aboard. Readers looking for mystery, intrigue, adventure, and romance will not want to miss this entertaining read.
* Full disclosure: I read this book for endorsement.
Genre: Historical Romance, 1920s
When river pirates attack and steal his steamboat, Emmett Carter barely escapes. Rescued and transported to a magnificent world of glitz and showbiz aboard a flashy showboat, Emmett is immediately captivated by something more than recovering his lost inheritance—The River Queen’s beautiful, but quirky, songbird.
Anola Flynn, the star singer on The River Queen, is struggling to keep the business running as attendance dwindles during the 1923 season. With her dreams of saving the family legacy—and the only life she’s ever known—slipping away, she forges an alliance with Emmett to keep her family afloat.
Now, to outsmart the gangsters chasing them, Anola and Emmett must wade through a dark current of deception and betrayal to save not only their dreams, but everyone they care about, from sinking deeper into the Mississippi River.
Author Website: https://www.stepheniamcgee.com/
Purchase Link: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
What is the most recent book you’ve read? What did you like about it? Who would you recommend it to?
Hi all! Stephenia has blessed us today with a character interview AND a chance to win a print copy of The Swindler’s Daughter. To be entered for your chance to win, check out the bottom of the post. But first, the interview!
I first met/read one of Stephenia’s books when I was very early on my writing journey. It’s been fun watching her writing career evolve over the years. I’m really excited about her newest release, The Swindler’s Daughter, and today I am excited to introduce you to the heroine, Lillian Doyle. First, let me introduce you to the story.
The Swindler’s Daughter by Stephenia H. McGee
A surprise inheritance. A cache of family secrets. A choice that will change her life forever.
Lillian Doyle has lived her entire high-society life with her widowed mother, believing her father died long ago. But when news arrives that her estranged father only recently passed away–in jail–Lillian is startled to find that the man has left a business and all of his possessions to her, making her a rather unusual heiress.
When she goes to take possession of her father’s house in a backwoods Georgia town, the dilapidated structure is already occupied by another woman who claims it was promised to her son, Jonah. In her attempts to untangle the mess, Lillian will discover not only a family she never knew she had but a family business that is more than meets the eye–and has put a target on her back.
To discover the truth and take hold of the independence she’s always dreamed of, she’ll have to make friends with adversaries and strangers–especially Jonah, the dusty and unrefined cowboy who has secret aspirations of his own.
Purchase Links: Amazon | Baker Book House | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook
Now for our interview with Lillian.
CC: I’m so excited to get to introduce you to my readers, Lillian. Would you mind telling them a little bit about yourself?
LD: Hello, everyone! My name is Lillian, and I am the reluctant heroine of this story. You see, I always believed my mother to be a widow and my father long dead. Turns out that isn’t quite the case.
CC: That is a pretty shocking discovery! And definitely very troubling. What else can you tell us about your story?
LD: I’ve lived my entire life with a mother who wants nothing more than to achieve high-society status. Up until a few days ago, I thought my father had died a long time ago. But then news arrived that my estranged father only recently passed away—in jail. He left a business and all of his possessions to me, but…well, he’s made me a rather unusual heiress.
Then on top of all of that, when I went to take possession of my father’s house in a backwoods Georgia town, the dilapidated structure was already occupied by another woman who claims it was promised to her son! It’s quite the mess.
CC: Yikes! How has this revelation affected you?
LD: It’s caused quite the topsy-turvy in my life, let me tell you. Mother and I already had a strain on our relationship—what with her wanting to marry me off to the highest bidder and all—and the revelation of my new inheritance hasn’t helped matters.
CC: Now that you are an heiress, will your plans change?
LD: Everything has changed. My father left me little more than a mystery and house without answers. There’s a lot I need to do to settle the estate—a challenge that has become even more difficult since there are other people trying to lay claim to my father’s home. Jonah insists that the house should go to his family, but my father’s will left it to me.
CC: Who is Jonah?
LD: He is the stubborn cowboy who has apparently taken it upon himself to make everything more difficult for me. It seems my father’s family prematurely gave the house to Jonah’s mother, and Jonah is determined to make sure his mother and sisters aren’t tossed out. As if I would do such a thing!
CC: So what are you going to do now?
LD: To discover the truth and take hold of the independence I’ve secretly always dreamed of, I’ll have to figure out the truth about what my father left behind. It’s a mess for certain, but there has to be something good at the end of this tangle of secrets. Right?
CC: We certainly hope so! Thank you for letting us get to know you a little better. One final question to leave our readers with. If there was one thing you could tell someone reading your story, what would it be?
LD: Don’t be afraid to reach for your dreams. The best things in life often come on the other side of difficulty. It might be hard to face your calling or take a leap of faith, but it’s a risk worth taking!
That is a hard but good lesson that takes a lot of bravery. Readers, don’t miss your chance to read Lillian’s story and figure out all the mystery behind her inheritance.
About Stephenia McGee:
Stephenia H. McGee is a multi-published author of stories of faith, hope, and healing set in the Deep South. She lives in Mississippi, where she is a mom of two rambunctious boys, writer, dreamer, and husband spoiler. Her novel The Cedar Key was a 2021 Faith, Hope, and Love Readers’ Choice award winner. A member of the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), she loves all things books and history. Stephenia also loves connecting with readers and can often be found having fun with her Faithful Readers Team on Facebook. For more on books and upcoming events and to connect with Stephenia, visit her at www.StepheniaMcGee.com.
Connect with Stephenia: Website | Stephenia’s Shop | Facebook | Instagram | BookBub | GoodReads
Stephenia is giving away a copy of The Secrets of Emberwild to one commenter on this blog post. If you could inherit anything, what would you want to inherit?
*US residents only
**Extra entries are available below, but those who do not comment on the blog will be disqualified
The Liberator Series Book Two
Be forewarned, this is not a stand-alone book. It is necessary to read the first one, Leveraging Lincoln, before reading this one.
In this second installment in the conspiracy to capture Lincoln, several new lovable characters are added and the focus on a love story is more prominent, especially in the first half of the book. However, do not fear, the conspirators against Lincoln raise their ugly heads again and Matthew, as well as Annabelle and the new extended cast, must race to save Lincoln.
The first half of this novel is slower paced than the first book, but it is comfortable and an enjoyable walk through the nuances of non-admitted and self-sacrificial love. Matthew and Annabelle go back and forth between working together and obstinately working alone. As the self-awareness of feelings grows, you long to see the two stubborn characters come together.
Right about the mid-point of the book, the schemes of those seeking to capture Lincoln resurface and morph into plans for assassination. It is once again up to Matthew and Annabelle to risk everything to save the man who was once considered their enemy. The pace picks up and the plot continues all the way to its inevitable end.
Without giving too much away, Mrs. McGee does a very good job of bringing all the details of the conspiracy plot together. I must admit, my history knowledge was not as strong as I thought and I learned quite a bit. It was definitely an ending which had me looking into the history books on my shelves to confirm all the details I hadn’t realized existed.
At the end of the book, you have a sense of closure with still plenty of loose ends to be tied up in the third book. I highly recommend this series. The second book did not disappoint and I am eagerly awaiting the third book.
*I received a free copy of this e-book in exchange for my honest opinion, which you have read above.*
“The time has come when I must change my plan….” She thought she’d saved them all, but now a more nefarious plot emerges, increasing the stakes and threatening to bring a nation to its knees. Displaced, rejected, forsaken… Annabelle finds herself pulled farther from home and ever closer to the malicious repercussions of war. Elmira prison is filled beyond its capacity, and starving men are left shivering in threadbare clothing beneath paltry shelters. Among the thousands of captured and hopeless Confederates, she searches to find the one man who could be the key to saving her inheritance. Wounded, desperate, defeated… Matthew yearns for peace away from Washington. Yet, he can never seem to escape his ties to a frantic madman seeking vengeance. Lurking in the shadows at every turn, the cycle of retribution continually brings yet another danger, and Matthew will do everything in his power to protect the woman he loves – even if it means keeping her from the truth. In the final dark day days of war, Matthew sets his hopes on Annabelle. She could be the lighthouse that guides him out of the ever encroaching sea of chaos – if only they can allow love and trust to overcome their prideful hearts.
– Blurb from Amazon.com
To purchase your own copy, visit:
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The Liberator Series Book One
This book is a must read for those who love historical fiction set in the Civil War Era. Mrs. McGee does a marvelous job of interweaving the historical facts of the John Wilkes Booth’s conspiracy to assassinate President Lincoln and “what if.”
If you struggle with Civil War novels not having a fair view of Southerners or sometimes Northerners, this novel does a fantastic job of balancing both. There is no strictly good guy or back guy when it comes to Confederates and Yankees, although this book is distinctly written from the Southern perspective. Both sides have very realistic evil qualities and very real honorable qualities.
Annabelle is a strong female character with very human faults who manages to get herself entangled in a scheme of national proportion as she tries to save her plantation from the greedy fingers of a step-grandfather. As a reader, you love her spunk and level-headedness. The woman is a survivor and has the spunk to endure the realities of a devastated South.
Captain Matthew Daniels is a man whose loyalty and honor are admirable but also lead him into his own entanglement with those of less than honorable intentions. He is a hero a head above the rest (and if you read the book, you will get my little pun). His fierce loyalty to his brother and his determination to rescue the older brother whom he looks up to are qualities which will make you admire him.
This first book of the series is mainly focused on the entanglement of both the hero and heroine into Booth’s conspiracy and the unfolding of the first attempt on Lincoln’s life. The story is action packed, moves a good clip, and is completely satisfying in the adventure aspect. The budding romance between Annabelle and Matthew is slow and acts more as a subplot to the action around it. It is believable and something the reader looks forward to in the next book of the series.
If you are into history and a realistic Southern view of the Civil War this is a great series to pick up. It has a mixture of everything desired in a novel. I, for one, loved the detail and the Southern view realistically applied. I highly recommend you purchase this book.
*I was given a free copy of this e-book in exchange for my honest opinion, which you have read above.*
To purchase your own copy, visit:
Amazon Barnes and Noble
Visit the author at: http://www.stepheniamcgee.com/
“All we have to do is kidnap their President….”
Four years of war have reduced the South to near annihilation. Homes lay smoldering and men become desperate. Amid the shadows of fear, a clandestine group waits for an opportunity to change the course of history.
Harlot, liar, spy…
On the threshold of losing her plantation, Annabelle Ross finds a cryptic letter on a dying soldier and seizes the opportunity to get out a message of her own. She never dreamed her plan would brand her a suspected spy… or worse, an unwilling conspirator.
Deserter, traitor, accomplice…
When Matthew Daniels’s brother is taken captive, he finds himself caught up in a plot to gain leverage on the Union. The lines are drawn in blood, and the risk is there for the taking. But will his reckless gamble cost him the woman he had determined not to love?
She wants to save her home. He wants to save his brother. Together, they may just save a nation.
Part one of three in The Liberator Series, a trilogy of full length novels following the adventures and romance of Annabelle Ross and Matthew Daniels as they play a part in the dramatic conclusion of Abraham Lincoln’s life.
– Blurb from Amazon