Denise Weimer is giving away a copy of one of her novels. To enter the giveaway contest, follow the instructions at the end of this post.
Native Georgia resident Denise Weimer holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. She is the author of historical romantic novella Redeeming Grace; The Georgia Gold Series (Sautee Shadows, The Gray Divide, The Crimson Bloom and Bright as Gold, winner of the 2015 John Esten Cooke Award for outstanding Southern literature), sweeping mid-1800s romance with a touch of mystery; and The Restoration Trilogy (White, Widow and Witch), modern romantic suspense with historic back stories. Denise is a wife and the swim mom of two teenage daughters. She always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses.
You Can Contact Denise at her website or on Twitter.
Writing About Restoration
by Denise Weimer
My latest novels of The Restoration Trilogy (White, Widow and Witch) return to a theme in the first novella I ever wrote, Redeeming Grace. Yep, you guessed it. It was in the title: restoration. So it’s fitting, I guess, that I decided to independently re-release Redeeming Grace this month on Kindle.
I was always fascinated by restoration. When I was about 13, my parents took me to Drayton Hall Plantation outside Charleston. Our young man tour guide delved into great detail about the restoration of the 18th Century house. My parents plied me with worried glances, afraid I would drop of boredom. Instead, I could hardly stand the fact I didn’t have a notebook to write down what he was saying. I felt a distinct need to know. Maybe this came from my maternal grandma, who always tickled us by declaring when we’d drive by any falling-down shack in the country, “Oh, look at that little cabin! It just needs somebody to love it and fix it up.”
Around the time of the original Redeeming Grace print release in 2006, I wrote an article for Georgia Backroads magazine’s Vanishing Georgia section on Tallulah Falls, the series of spectacular waterfalls in Tallulah Gorge once known as “The Niagara of the South.” From my first visit there, not surprisingly, the lost town captured my notice. All the grand resort hotels had since surrendered to flame and decay, the power of the water harnessed by a Georgia Power dam. The story I wrote about a struggling opera star who vacations in Tallulah in 1886 and falls in love with a local minister equaled my effort at restoring the vanished town’s former glory.
Emotional restoration of my heroine’s heart and relationship with both her earthly father and Heavenly Father also took central stage in Redeeming Grace. My lead character in Restoration Trilogy, Jennifer Rushmore, deepens the concept of emotional healing. When Jennifer Rushmore comes to Michael Johnson’s ancestors’ property to guide the restoration as a recent historical preservation grad, she finds her employer is just as guarded and broken from his past as she is, just for very different reasons. Together, as they revamp a house, apothecary and log cabin, they unearth back stories from three different centuries that contain lessons of heart healing they both need. Along the way, suspense, friendships and romance build. The physical restoration mirrors the emotional and spiritual restoration.
In Scripture we see God’s heart for bringing something new out of something old. Isaiah 43:19: “Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Revelation 21:5: “Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’” What is God’s purpose for restoration? To bring glory to Himself by His unparalleled ability to bring life out of what is dead. And He blesses His children in the process.
But initially restoration may not feel like a blessing. Sometimes it feels like a demolition. Sometimes it means dragging out all the junk to find the solid foundation. This “indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain” (Hebrews 12:27). My characters go through this painful process to find God, purpose and love on the other end. Other times, God may have to completely relocate us, change our circumstances, and give us a fresh start to bring about what is best.
Are you going through a restoration? Hang in there. Trust the good purposes of “the Master Renovator,” as Jennifer learned to call Him. The title for the final book in my mid-1800s Georgia Gold Series, Bright as Gold, reflects the end result. Job 23:10: “But He knows the way I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.”
You can order the Georgia Gold Series at this link.
Searching for something she cannot define and breaking under the stress as a rising star at The Metropolitan Opera, Grace Galveston travels to Tallulah Falls, Georgia, for a reprieve. In the summer of 1886, Tallulah Gorge, with its multiple waterfalls, spectacular mountain scenery, and lavish resort hotels, was already known as “The Niagara of the South.” Even amid the crowds and excitement surrounding the attempt of an aerialist to cross the chasm on a high wire, Grace hopes to find peace. Unexpectedly, though, the trip sheds light on the secret pain in her heart. Can the blessing of friendship and the possibility of love with a local minister guide her toward healing? Or will their differences and the call of her life back in New York mean even greater heartbreak?
You can buy Redeeming Grace at this link.
As historic preservationist Jennifer and brooding bachelor Michael restore his ancestors’ historic doctor’s residence in a rural Georgia community, they uncover the 1920s-era prejudice and secrets that caused Michael’s branch to fall off the family tree. Recent graduate Jennifer is determined to fulfill her first professional position with integrity even if her employer lacks a proper appreciation of history. Far more challenging—and sinister—than the social landscape of Hermon are the strange accidents hinting that someone doesn’t want them on the Dunham property. Yet Michael’s and Jennifer’s own pasts pose the biggest obstacles to laying a fresh foundation of family and community.
You can buy White at these links:
To be entered into the book giveaway contest for one of Denise’s novels, leave a comment telling which novel you would prefer, Redeeming Grace or White. The contest will end in one week on June 21st. The winner will be contacted, and a comment with the name of the winner will be posted on this post.