Guest Post from Denise Weimer
When I speak to book clubs or people ask me why I started writing historical fiction, I tell them that as I grew up, my parents took me to numerous historical sites. I wondered who lived in an old house or town and what their lives were like. What treasures, what secrets, might I find if I could dig down to the bones of an old mansion? My active imagination kicked in, and I started scribbling stories in spiral bound notebooks. I knew from age eleven I wanted to be a writer, though for a time I considered historical preservation as a career. I found the perfect marriage of those desires in The Restoration Trilogy, my new series with Canterbury House Publishing.
The restoration my parents did on their own historic house and apothecary shop inspired White, Widow and Witch. While looking for a residence in a country community, Mom and Dad purchased a property they later learned belonged to a line of regionally famous doctors tracing back to Revolutionary War days. Watching them piece together stories from the past with the help of local historians nudged me to depart from the historical settings of my past novels (Redeeming Grace and The Georgia Gold Series) in favor of modern romantic suspense. Readers follow Jennifer Rushmore, a recent historic preservation graduate, and Michael Johnson, a brooding bachelor who has inherited property from ancestors he knows little about, as they restore a doctor’s house, apothecary shop and log cabin. During the restoration of each, they uncover a story from a different century (1920, 1870 and 1790) containing a lesson of “heart healing” they need to apply in the present.
Most of us have been through hardships in our lives that God would use to refine our characters or expose and heal pain from our pasts. Sometimes we’re tempted to just slap another coat of paint over a crack or build a cheap façade over a weakness. God knows that full restoration takes effort, time and expense, so He never goes to work without our permission. However, He is the only one who can bring us to wholeness.
Jennifer accepts the assignment in the eclectic community of Hermon while waiting for her dream job in Savannah, never imagining God might have other plans. Country neighbors determined to become friends, a handsome but secretive employer with conflicting ideas about how to conduct the restoration, and strange accidents hinting that someone doesn’t want them working on the property strip away Jennifer’s personal defenses. She comes to learn that when a person is open to the work of the Master Renovator, one can find blessings in the unlikeliest of places.
About the Book
When Jennifer Rushmore accepts a brooding bachelor’s job offer to act as coordinator for the restoration of his family’s historic doctor’s house (White), apothecary (Widow) and log cabin (Witch) in a rural Georgia community, little does she know it’s her own heart that will undergo the greatest renovation. Three stories. Three centuries. Three lessons on the healing of the heart. And one buried mystery that threatens their redemption.
White: 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.
My Two Cents
I was drawn into this book right away. Denise does a wonderful job of foreshadowing what will happen throughout out the book. Sometimes when you have a book that flashes back, it can get really confusing. Not so with White. It was very clear what is current and what was passed.
The characters in White were very well written and I felt like I was right there watching the story. There was tension and the mystery kept me on the edge of my seat. I wanted to know why the accidents were happening and why someone didn’t want them on the property.
It was obvious that the author did her research – both historically and on what a historic preservationist does. The descriptions in the book are amazing and you can picture just what the author is describing. For example, “Jennifer walked a straight line over slippery magnolia leaves to the red front door framed by the antebellum sidelight windows.” Denise’s description gives a wonderful visual picture in my mind.
White is definitely a book you will want to read. It will keep you engaged from the time you pick it up. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
I was giving the book in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was received and all views expressed were my own.
About the Author
In addition to The Restoration Trilogy, native Georgian Denise Weimer is the author of numerous magazine articles about her home state, romantic novella Redeeming Grace, The Georgia Gold Series (Sautee Shadows, The Gray Divide, The Crimson Bloom, and Bright as Gold). Bright as Gold won the 2015 John Esten Cooke Award for authentic Southern literature. She holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University, is a wife and swim mom of two daughters, and always pauses for coffee, chocolate and old houses.
In honor of the White Celebration Tour, Denise is giving away a print copy of WHITE: Book One of The Restoration Trilogy, a $15 Starbucks card to representing the coffee-loving modern heroine, and a vintage hat to represent the historical heroine. Click to enter:
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