Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Denise Weimer!
What sort of research did you do for your story?
Oh, this story was so much fun to research. I love to research and write in the winter. For A Cherished Betrothal, after heavy online and book research, I set out on a road trip by myself, about five hours from my home in Georgia to South Carolina. I visited the national Ninety Six battlefield and drove to the remote site of the Long Canes Massacre (see below)—which included miles and miles of a narrow, one-lane dirt road with deep gullies on both sides. And a single-lane, 1930s wooden bridge over a flooded creek! I truly felt as though I’d gone back in time. My family was rather horrified when they learned about my adventures. LOL
Have you ever considered writing under a pseudonym? Why or why not?
Yes, I have considered using a pseudonym or my maiden name since Weimer (“Why-muhr”) can be difficult to know how to pronounce. I get called all kinds of crazy things, especially here in the South, where my husband’s family name from Pennsylvania is not as common. But just to simplify matters, I’ve stuck with it.
If your book is part of a series: Did you set out to write a series? Why did you decide to write a series?
A Cherished Betrothal is book three of the Scouts of the Georgia Frontier, which will ultimately
After I learned about Fort Charlotte on the Savannah River, A Cherished Betrothal ended up sneaking across the line into South Carolina. The action in the Ninety Six District was so compelling in the beginning days of the American Revolution and so closely related to defending the border. The hero is a former Georgia Ranger impatient for action against the Loyalists and the Cherokees who joins the South Carolina Horse Regiment at the outbreak of hostilities.
Because of the immersive setting, from Fort Charlotte to the town of Ninety Six, the haunting backstory of the Indian attack the main characters survived, and the unique bond that experience formed between the hero and heroine, A Cherished Betrothal is my personal favorite in the Scouts series.
What was your inspiration for the story? How do you come up with storylines?
The potential backstory for this novel was what caught my interest. I try to find some unique incident in history and/or a little-known setting as the seed idea for my writing. I love the concept of bringing back to life that which has vanished.
In this case, I learned of an attack by Cherokee Indians on settlers in disputed territory in the South Carolina backcountry that occurred in 1760. Massacres on both sides might have been common in the Wild West, but they were not in Georgia and South Carolina. Fast-forward fifteen years, and the American Revolution is breaking out. This part of South Carolina became the cradle for rebellion in the South. And both the Loyalists and the Patriots were courting the Cherokees as allies. What would happen if the hero and heroine had lost family members in that attack during their childhoods but survived, only to be thrown into a volatile situation again so many years later? So much potential for angst, intrigue, action, romance, and especially, God to do His healing work!
What draws you to the time period about which you write? And why do you write in a particular genre?
Although I’m a genre-hopping author, and I enjoy the break provided by penning contemporary stories (especially seasonal ones), my heart is with historicals. I’ve written tales set from the mid-1700s through the early 1900s, mainly concentrating between the Revolution and the Civil War. I favor Eastern frontier romances because the challenges the early settlers faced offer such natural action and adventure. I’m amazed at how they made their way in an unsettled wilderness.
How does/did your job prepare you for being a novelist?
What writers or books have influenced you?
When I first started writing as a teen, I was a huge Civil War buff, so I’d say Gone With the Wind and the Eugenia Price novels. My first series, The Georgia Gold Series, which I just re-released on Amazon after my contract expired from my original publisher, reflects that Southern literary fiction style. Since then, I’ve been influenced by many writers, editors, and my agent. My writing now tends more to the currently preferred style for romances in deep point of view.
I have a busy year of book releases!
• April - The Curator’s Secret, a contemporary romantic suspense set on Jekyll Island.
• May - When Hope Sank, the third book in Barbour’s A Day to Remember Series about the sinking of the Sultana.
• June - book four of the Scouts of the Georgia Frontier, A Conflicted Betrothal, set in Savannah during the Stamp Act protests.
• July - A Summer at the Niagara of the South, a novella of Wild Heart Books’ Romance at the Gilded Age Resorts.
• October – book five of the Scouts of the Georgia Frontier, A Calculated Betrothal, set in South Georgia during the Revolution.
A Cherished Betrothal – Book Three
Elspeth Lawrence never forgot the boy who sacrificed himself for her at Long Canes—any more than she forgot the younger sister taken captive. She’s learned to not only forgive but help minister to the Cherokees at her father’s mission. Alex Morris’s arrival at nearby Fort Charlotte stirs Elsie’s memories and her emotions. He doesn’t even remember her…or the long-ago attack. But the bitterness that simmers just beneath his stoic exterior—as well as her courtship by a local landowner—challenge their undeniable bond.
When Alex uncovers a long-held secret and a plot to sabotage patriot talks with the Cherokees, he must choose between his desire for revenge and his love for the girl he saved long ago.
Denise Weimer writes historical and contemporary romance from her home in North Georgia and also serves as a freelance editor and the Acquisitions & Editorial Liaison for Wild Heart Books. A wife and mother of two daughters, she always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses.
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