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Dressing the Part
*a guest post by Stephenia H. McGee, author of Her Place in Time*
I admit it. I have a thing for huge, cumbersome, heavy dresses. The kind that require five hoops underneath and make passing through doorways and standing next to other people a bit awkward. I have no shortage of them, since several have been used on my book covers. I like to wear them to reader events (Christian Fiction Readers Retreat)…
and to conferences (ACFW)…
and have been known to dress in one and play hostess while giving tours in character (and I managed to convince my mother, mother-in-law, and niece to join me!)
So, when I went to Rosswood Plantation to research The Liberator Series, a very interesting thing happened. Miss Jean, the owner, showed me a dress they had found in the attic. They believe it belonged to Maybella, the plantation’s historic lady.
I, of course, loved it. With gauzy sleeves and tons of ruffles, it was beautiful. Due to the age of the dress, I couldn’t actually wear it without causing damage, but Miss Jean did allow me to gently clip it to my shoulders and take a few pictures.
In addition to telling me about the history of the house, Miss Jean shared with me several guests had reported seeing a Civil War era couple wandering the grounds. I never saw anything like that during my stay, but it got my writer’s imagination stirring. What if instead of a traditional ghost story, these sightings were frays in time? Or what if by putting on a Civil War era gown a guest could be transported back in time?
And so the idea for Her Place in Time was born. I still had to write all three books in the trilogy, and then I wrote a couple of more novels, but I finally got around to playing with my wild idea. Her Place in Time is very different from my regular historical novels, but this novella gave me a chance to feel what it would be like to go back in time. What would a modern woman think about life in the past?
So there you have it. The inspiration for a mysterious gown and a slip back in time. When Lena stays at the bed-and-breakfast, she finds the yellow gown, and when she puts it on…goes back in time to when Rosswood served as a Civil War hospital. She was in for quite a shock, but no more of one than Sargent Caleb Dockery, who is intrigued by the sudden appearance of a rather unconventional lady.
You can get your copy of the novella here:
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So how about you? If you could choose the fashions from any era in history, which would you choose? And if you could, would you want to travel back in time to those days?
More about Stephenia:
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. Visit her at www.StepheniaMcGee.com for books and updates.
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More About Her Place in Time:
Can love offer a new future…in the past?
A mysterious gown, unexpected courage, and a love that transcends time.
Nursing student Lena Lowery faces a grim diagnosis and a dangerous surgery. On the cusp of the life-changing procedure, Lena stays at the Rosswood Plantation Bed and Breakfast for one last weekend with her mother. There in an antique armoire, Lena discovers a Civil War-era gown that holds an unimaginable cure…a trip back in time to when the house served as a hospital.
Confederate Sergeant Caleb Dockery lost his brother, his eye, and nearly his life. Stuck in a makeshift infirmary, he’s counting the days until he can return to duty…and seek revenge. When a stranger appears, he suspects she’s a spy. If he can’t return to duty and find the revenge he craves for his brother’s death, he can serve his country by stopping this traitor. But her nursing skills are saving lives, and her courage and independence stirs his heart. When Lena’s safety is threatened, Caleb must strain the loyalties that bind him or risk losing her forever.
Caught between a future that holds no promises and a past that could offer new life, Lena must face an extraordinary decision. Should she return to her own time where her days are numbered? Or can she and Caleb find a love that stretches across time?
If you like historical romance with a twist, strong female characters, and heroes that transcend eras, you’ll love this journey through time that tests the limits of love.
*Her Place in Time is set in the house from The Liberator Series, just prior to the start of Leveraging Lincoln. Fans of the series will enjoy seeing Annabelle and Peggy in this new novella.