Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Feature: Denise Weimer + GIVEAWAY!

Me & the hubby in the early days
I’m the little girl who sat in the back seat, penning stories after her parents took her to historic sites across the Southeast. That was how I got my start writing—imagining what type of people lived in those old homes and towns and what their lives were like. Fortunate for my history-loving parents, their only child asked questions about styles of columns and swooned with delight at the smell of boxwood and wood smoke. I even asked them to take me to re-enactments when I was a teenager … to inspire my writing. It did so, and as an offshoot, I became so adept at mid-1800s dancing that I led a vintage dance group for a number of years.

Creative writing degrees were few and far between when I graduated from Asbury University, so I chose a major in journalism with a minor in history. I departed with the steadfast determination not to take my professors’ admonition that I had to write for a newspaper before I could write a book. Instead, I worked briefly in public relations before my husband and I started a family (two daughters), and I did free-lance editing and graphic design from home. I was almost published by Bethany House coming right out of college, even receiving a personal call from an editor who told me to keep writing even though they’d just signed a man with a very similar Civil War series. Probably Gilbert Morris, I thought with a harrumph.:)

The desire to write in those years was so strong that I believe God took it away for a time for me to concentrate on my little ones. I wrote magazine articles for the chamber of commerce and did substitute teaching. When my younger daughter began napping, and then preschool, I ventured to write a novella, Redeeming Grace, my first to be published. The publisher set the price so high I lost money if I placed it in a store, but a local historian/artist read it and offered help with my research for the next story. Inspired by John Kollock’s ancestors’ letters and diaries and cover-illustrated by Mr. Kollock himself, The Georgia Gold Series was born. It followed four families from the mountains and coast from the Cherokee Removal and gold rush through Reconstruction. The original publisher dissolved just as book one released. The events surrounding that brought me to a point of surrendering my writing to God. About a year later, I found another publisher.

My next series was The Restoration Trilogy, inspired by a restoration my parents did on a historic doctor’s house and apothecary. My blogging at Colonial Quills led to a novella in The Backcountry Brides Collection. Soon after, I began signing contracts for historical and contemporary stand-alone novels with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (The Witness Tree and Fall Flip, 2019; and Spring Splash and Traces, 2020). I started working as a general editor for the company and then became a managing editor of both historical imprints. Now I get to help other authors fulfill their publishing dreams!

My next historical will be Bent Tree Bride (April 2021), about a part-Cherokee lieutenant who falls in love with his colonel’s daughter during the Red Stick War. But this Christmas, I’m celebrating the release of my contemporary novella, A Holiday Heart, part of The Georgia Peaches Series. https://www.amazon.com/Holiday-Heart-Georgia-Peaches-Book-ebook/dp/B08DP889W4/

On the verge of starting her own company—and a fling with the hot star of a TV saga—Atlanta film makeup artist Ashlyn Jennings is willed a mysterious box containing a key from her grandmother’s estate. Mamie Lou, the former Hollywood B-lister who inspired Ashlyn’s path in life, always demonstrated a flair for the dramatic. But did Mamie Lou really expect her to put everything on hold to clean out a mountain cabin no one even knew about? And right at Christmas?

When Ashlyn arrives at White Falls Lodge armed with cosmetic bags and designer shoes, little is she prepared to be stranded by a snow storm, irritated by the handsome resort owner who seems determined to peel away her facade, and redirected by a God Ashlyn wants to forget, through Mamie Lou’s real gift … the secret story of her grandmother’s past.

GIVEAWAY: I’m giving away a free Holiday Heart e-book to someone who leaves a comment or question below.

Thank you for allowing me to visit with you today!

Connect with Denise here:

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  1. Wow! Your story reminds me of an arrow shot by a marksman with a direct hit to the bullseye! Even with what you might see as diversions, your path has been true! I'm sure that it's only by hindsight and much prayer that the years you might have thought were locust-ridden while you were going through them (when you say God took the writing bug away and struggles with publishers) you now accept as part of the bigger journey. Congratulations on your perseverance!!! And thank you so much for telling your story!!!

  2. I'm one of the lucky ones who has you as my editor. I love the fact you're an active author, too. The funny thing is I've just discovered how much I love writing historical novels, although I prefer the 1920s and 30s. The research is so interesting!

  3. I've already read A Holiday Heart, don't put me in the Giveaway.I pre-ordered it back in September. Great story. I am inspired by your love for research. I have the first book in The Redemption Trilogy and all four of your books published in the past two years. Looking forward to Bent Tree Bride. I guess that makes me a fan. Really enjoy getting to know you better through this post.

  4. Thank you ladies for your sweet comments. Yes, I can now see purpose in the times of waiting and disappointment. But I'm sure y'all will agree, it never feels as if we're arrived. There are always fresh challenges. It's about walking with God for the journey. :)

  5. It looks like an awesome read. Thank you for the chance. Merry Christmas

  6. Merry Christmas! Your book sounds like a great book!

  7. I am so grateful to my parents, who also took me to historical places during not only our travels, but on Sunday afternoons. My love of history has only grown over the years. I read a lot of historical fiction/romance, but I also enjoy contemporary novels. It will be fun to read your Georgia Peaches contemporary novella. Blessings...

    1. KayM, you are my winner! Are we connected on FB? If so, message me there with your e-mail for delivery of the novella. :) Congrats. - Denise

    2. Thank you, Denise! I am so excited to win you book!

  8. Thanks, Patty, Sally, and Kay, for stopping by! Kay, most of my contemporary novels also have a bit of history worked in. I love showing characters learning from the past. - Denise

  9. What is your favorite genre to write? I love The Witness Tree; you included so much historical detail.

  10. Roxanne, contemporary is much easier, but I love writing and reading American Eastern frontier historicals. So much story fodder already built into life back then! - Denise