Thursday, April 15, 2021

Bent Tree Bride ~ an Epic Romance from America's Southern Frontier ~ Book Feature

I love, love, love frontier fiction! If there is a particular genre that best stands a chance of finding a lifelong home on my bookshelf, it's historical fiction set on the American frontier. So when I had the chance to get hold of Denise Weimer's brand new release, Bent Tree Bride, you can bet I grabbed it. 

I was already familiar with the the hero in the story, Sam Hicks, as he was first introduced to readers in Denise's previous novel, The Witness Tree, but Bent Tree Bride is a stand-alone. Best of all, the book is an epic romance set in the south, in a region I'm much less familiar than I am with the great "up north", so I was prepared to learn about some rich history along the way.

The Story

Susanna Moore can’t get him out of her mind—the learned lieutenant who delivered the commission from Andrew Jackson making her father colonel of the Cherokee Regiment. But the next time she sees Lieutenant Sam Hicks, he’s leading a string of prisoners into a frontier fort, and he’s wearing the garb of a Cherokee scout rather than the suit of a white gentleman. 

As both Susanna’s father and Sam’s commanding officer, Colonel Moore couldn’t have made his directive to stay away from his daughter clearer to Sam. He wants a better match for Susanna—like the stuffy doctor who escorted her to Creek Territory. Then a suspected spy forces Moore to rely on Sam for military intelligence and Susanna’s protection, making it impossible for either to guard their heart.

My Takeaway

From the first compelling moment in her father’s library, when Susanna Moore ducks away and finds herself nose to nose with the stoic Sam Hicks, through the upheaval of a wilderness war in which both are dragged to the brink of survival, readers will root for their forbidden love to find its way. While following their adventure, devotees of history will delight in the author’s attention to detail, whether it’s the scrubbing of a pot with a corncob, or the executing of military maneuvers by a Cherokee regiment. Denise Weimer’s Bent Tree Bride presents an epic segment of history wrapped in a romance not to be forgotten.

Amazon Purchase Link

About the Author

Denise Weimer writes historical and contemporary romance and romantic suspense, mostly set in her home state of Georgia. She’s authored a dozen traditionally published novels and a number of novellas. As a managing editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, she also helps others reach their publishing dreams. A wife and mother of two daughters, Denise always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Book Review: To Dwell Among Cedars by Connilyn Cossette

Connilyn Cossette has brought another Biblical saga to life in the pages of To Dwell Among Cedars, a story of the Ark of the Covenant and of God’s judgment, His mercy, and the redemption and forgiveness of those who feel beyond His reach. In it, she pens a stirring romance between vivid characters that come to life off the page and are not easily forgotten. (She gives them the most awesome names!) There were moments that moved a little bit slow in the earlier part of the book, but the unfolding drama and suspense heighten as the story reaches the turning point and beyond. A beautifully written novel I enjoyed very much.

Monday, February 1, 2021

When a History Lover says concerning Historical Fiction: “What’s the Point?”

I read that remark on a social media post recently. Someone was talking about writing historical fiction, and a history buff, ghosting the page, asked, “What’s the point?” as if there was no real value in reading fiction as an expression of history.

Of course, if you love historical fiction like I do, his comment rankles you as it did me. The implication that fiction has no value, no place in the world of studying history, seems both sad and blinded, doesn’t it?

I know that people love historical fiction for different reasons, but let me tell you why I love it. 

When I was growing up, I thought I hated history. It was boring. It was names, dates, and events, all taught to me in a tangled up timeline that I could not make sense of. “History” seemed too vast and limitless for me to grasp. God created…and after that, things went in so many directions through such a spread of time that I couldn’t even fathom what was happening when and how these events all gelled together.

I graduated high school still thinking that I had no interest in history.

Then came historical fiction. Suddenly, by the deft pen of an able writer, a world opened to me. A world of history in context. A world where individuals moved through day-to-day lives, ate, slept, and loved. A world of people I cared about, even though they weren’t real—because the world around them was real. I began to understand the time periods and political upheavals representative of those eras. I started seeing what individuals who lived through them might have seen and I shared in their emotional experiences.

Without context, history meant nothing, and I could only learn little from it. But once it was peopled with individuals I cared about, it meant a great deal more.

Now to clarify, real people of history—the Ben Franklins and Marie Antoinettes, the peasants and kings, the scientists, explorers, missionaries, and poets, and all the other biographical individuals—I know they’re real. Yet even most biographies written about famous and infamous individuals lack the other important factor beyond what they did within their spatial context, and that’s how they behaved in an emotional context. Fiction allows us to see them (usually from the outside) but in an emotional context.

And that is specifically why I love historical fiction. While I understand that it is peopled with made-up individuals in pretend harrowing situations, it is also surrounded by the real, the ones who lived and walked among characters, the places and events that existed in which they had to survive. And that, my friends, has made me love history.

Why do you love historical fiction, or do you still not get it?

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