I’m welcoming author Megham M. Gorecki to my blog today. Meghan’s novel Amongst the Roses releases on 12 April 2018 and is set during the Civil War. Meghan is generously donating 100% of pre-order sales to the Pittsburgh Kids Foundation, so there’s no better time to order than right now!
~ About the Author ~
Meghan M. Gorecki is an author of inspirational fiction about what God can make beautiful from the ashes of history, and hearts. A lover and avid studier of people, times gone by, and fiction, she has been writing since childhood and now houses her books under Northern Belle Publishing. Coffee and red lipstick color her days as a redhead from a box, alongside her treasured tribe of family and friends in her beloved hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
~ About the Book ~
The War Between the States shakes Margaret Bryant out of her comfortable upper-class life when her father enlists in the Army of the Potomac. Despite being safely ensconced above the Mason-Dixon Line in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, Margaret finds her strength tested by opposition from familiar faces and Confederate threats. Will she let a young man from a lesser station into her heart even as war rages ever nearer to the home front?
Restless Connor Doyle sees the war as a way to escape from his family’s farm and his identity as a poor Irishman’s son. His brother, Adam, torn between duty to country and his family, enlists alongside Connor. Adam dares to hope in a future with Margaret when he begins a courtship correspondence from the war front. The two brothers make a vow to protect one another at all costs, but when faced with death and destruction from all sides—will they be able to uphold it?
The three bloodiest days in America’s history bring these three together at Gettysburg and tragedy’s cruelty threatens to tear two hearts apart—and bring two unlikely allies together.
~ Interview ~
Thanks for joining me today, Meghan. Let’s start with a little ‘flight of fancy’. How would you finish the following questions:
If I could visit any place in the world, I would visit… Haiti. Or Gettysburg. For a nice long stay. Either place, I’d be content.
Well, I know you’ve managed to visit at least one of those already. 🙂
If I could say one thing to my younger self, it would be… to not worry. God’s got you. And He has insanely sweet plot twists down the road for you.
I think we could all benefit from that advice!
When I was a child, I wanted to be… a wife and mother. And then eventually a writer.
What beautiful goals!
Okay, let’s get down to business. What was the spark that first ignited the idea for this story?
The sparks of Little Women, and Lynn Austin’s Refiner’s Fire series way back when. And when I picked this girlhood story back up again in 2012, it was a community college course entitled Pennsylvania’s Role in the Civil War.
I’ve only read the first book in Lynn Austin’s Refiner’s Fire series, but I loved it!
Amongst the Roses is set during the Civil War. What is it about this setting that captures your imagination?
Originally, it was the romanticism of the era perpetrated by films/books like Gone with the Wind that captured my imagination entirely. There was a brutal gentility to the war, though the holes in hearts, homes, families and the land itself that it left was far from genteel or light. The more I read and dug into the politics and stories behind why a nation was at war within itself, I became deeply invested in this crucial four years in our nation’s history. And, in particular, my own state’s involvement and stories within the war.
I always find the politics so fascinating, especially when personal stories interact with the politics.
So, could you humour this Australian (who’s not totally versed in Civil War history) and tell me a little bit about the battle of Gettysburg?
So the Battle of Gettysburg was an offensive launched by General Lee (Confederate) who had been aiming for a Northern capitol to draw out the Union army from the South, where the majority of the war had taken place the last two years. Two major factors brought the battle to the tiny farming town in south-central Pennsylvania and decided the victor: a change in command for the Union army to a shrewd Pennsylvania man, General Meade. And the second: Confederate Cavalry General JEB Stuart’s absence until the battle had already started. The cavalry was supposed to be the eyes and ears for the commanding generals, but he did not report back to General Lee soon enough to be of much use or warn him that the entirety of the Union army was marching on the double quick towards Gettysburg. This battle held the three bloodiest days in American history. There are still scars on trees in the town and surrounding battlefields that have been beautifully preserved to honor the memory and history of those who served—on both sides.
Oh, wow. I love that they’ve preserved the scars. How amazing to be able to see those pieces of history and remember why they’re there.
Could you introduce us to your heroine and tell us a little bit about her?
Miss Margaret Bryant hates to be called “Maggie”, and is as prim and proper as they come. As the majority of young women of that day and age, she only desires to be married to a modestly wealthy (at least) man who loves her. In that order. Having been conditioned that her worth was in a marriage, that’s all she’s ever known and built her castles in the sky toward—until the War Between the States dismantles everything she’s ever known—and wanted.
War has a habit of changing everything, doesn’t it?
Connor Doyle and his brother Adam both enlist in the war. Could you tell us a little bit about the brothers?
They are as different as night and day—but fiercely loyal to and protective of one another. Their reasons for enlisting are opposite—Connor’s is self-focused, Adam’s decision is solely for his brother. Like any siblings, they butt heads and there’s misunderstandings but as the war goes on, they both grow closer and uphold each other more than ever before.
I can’t wait to meet them!
What’s something that you know now that you didn’t know when you began writing this story?
That it’s silly to try and cram a four year timeline into one novel. Yes, that’s right—originally there was never going to be a sequel called A Rose Long Awaited. What can I say? My eyes were bigger than my brain? Oh, the rewrites. OH the rewrites, people. 🙂
Lol! Does it help if we say we really appreciate it? 😊
What was the most difficult part of writing this story?
Finishing it. Deciding on just how to write the right ending was really hard, despite having a vague idea of The Ending for a while. Being a perfectionist didn’t help ending this book any, either. 😉
Oh, I can relate to that!
What was the most enjoyable part of writing this story?
The research. By far. I love learning, and I couldn’t soak up enough of my state’s history during the Civil War, and it was such a creative challenge to pick and choose what would go into the book as far as the history went.
I can relate to that too! I love history!
Can you tell us anything about what’s coming next in the series?
The sequel is almost done (I have to get a move on), and has quite the plot twist in the last third of it, let me tell you. I solemnly swear the sequel will not have a cliff-hanger ending.
Ooh! Plot twist! Can’t wait. 🙂
Thanks for chatting with me today, Meghan!
~ Giveaway ~
Meghan is giving one lucky visitor an eBook copy of Amongst the Roses. For a chance to win, comment and tell us which period of history interests you, then click on the graphic to go enter via Rafflecopter.