Wednesday, November 23, 2022

WINTER AT THE WHITE QUEEN - Denise Weimer - One Free Book

Welcome, Denise. Why do you write the kind of books you do? Stories that honor the Lord, whether contemporary or historical—some with deeper spiritual themes and some lighter and relaxing—are my goal. I’ve felt the calling to be a writer since middle school. To frame my stories, I enjoy finding unique settings and little-known aspects of history, mostly in my home state of Georgia.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life? The clearest answer to that would be my wedding day and the births of my two beautiful daughters, both in college and grad school now.

We also only had two daughters. They’re both grandmothers now. How has being published changed your life? My first novella was released when I was in my late twenties, then after some time passed, my first series came out. That started my publishing journey with author events on weekends, speaking and teaching engagements, and learning how to market online … and led to me becoming an editor as well. So it’s definitely become a career path—one that has paired well with being a mom.

What are you reading right now? At the moment? Nothing except my Bible. J We just completed a move, and I’ve been working on editing projects as well. Editing takes so much reading, I usually don’t read for pleasure except when I’m not deep into a project.

What is your current work in progress? See answer above. LOL. However, I am in the brainstorming and early research phase for a new trilogy of Southern frontier romances with my publisher. Book one is complete. By the time this article is posted, I’ll probably be writing book two.

What would be your dream vacation? We’ve gotten to take some of our dream vacations through my husband’s job in the past, including Ireland, Alaska, and a Mediterranean cruise. We hope to go out West to Glacier National Park soon. I also wouldn’t mind seeing Scotland, Austria, or Switzerland or returning to Italy.

How do you choose your settings for each book? As mentioned above, most of my books are set in Georgia or neighboring states. We have so much variety here, from the mountains to the coast, from the big city to small towns. And fascinating history from Colonial times to contemporary. I’ve yet to run out of inspiration.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why? I guess I’m not much of a super-fan. No one is coming to mind. Being surrounded by friends and family and a supportive church and writing community is what warms my heart most.

I’m with you on that. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading? Little towns with cute gift shops, antique stores, coffee shops or tea rooms, and historical sites are always calling my name. I love hiking (especially to waterfalls) and, in general, being in the mountains.

Something I often pair with book events is living history. I’ve worked part-time as a historical interpreter and maintain connections with local historical sites and museums, and I also have a group of friends with whom I’ve done 1800s dance performances. Nothing like wearing a corset and smelling wood smoke to get my creative juices flowing.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it? If we’re being completely transparent? I find the biggest obstacle to writing the small amount authors make overall, especially on e-books. So much time goes into the research and writing process, but even when publishers are generous in royalty percentages as mine is, authors only receive a tiny portion of the overall pie due to editing, design, printing, distribution, and marketing costs. This is true even for veteran authors, unless you’re a huge bestseller. I became an editor to supplement our income, but happily, I’ve found it’s just as much my “thing” as writing.

What advice would you give to a beginning author? Your path to publication might look quite different from someone else’s, and that’s completely fine. Just make sure you are informed of current writing style and marketing expectations, whether you are self-publishing or pursuing traditional publication. This could mean taking classes, working with a mentor or experienced critique group, or paying for an editor you can learn from. You also must curate an online presence—website, a couple of social media outlets, and eventually, an author newsletter. Guest blog, do author swaps in newsletters, and participate in online giveaways and parties to build your connections.

Tell us about the featured book. A Winter at the White Queen is the first novella in the Romance at the Gilded Age Resorts series with Wild Heart Books. It’s a foray into the “Age of Wonder,” as I like to call the time when the old ways met the new and exciting inventions changed daily life forever. While I hope readers will enjoy a chuckle or two at Ellie’s story, some deeper themes are also explored.

Ellie Hastings is tired of playing social gatekeeper—and poor-relation companion—to her Gibson Girl of a cousin. But her aunt insists Ellie lift her nose out of her detective novel long enough to help gauge the eligibility of bachelors during the winter social season at Florida’s Hotel Belleview. She finds plenty that’s mysterious about the suave, aloof Philadelphia inventor, Lewis Thornton. Why does he keep sneaking around the hotel? Does he have a secret sweetheart? And what is his connection to the evasive Mr. Gaspachi, slated to perform at Washington’s Birthday Ball?

Ellie’s comical sleuthing ought to put Lewis out, but the diffident way her family treats her smashes a hole in his normal reserve. But when Florence Hastings’ diamond necklace goes missing, Ellie’s keen mind threatens to uncover not only Lewis’s secrets, but give him back hope for love.

Please give us the first page of the book.

January 1910

Ellie Hastings didn’t need to be as sly as the heroine in her favorite detective novel. Dora Myrl combined skill with beauty to achieve her objectives, but Ellie could rely on the invisible cloak of plainness.

She’d been sitting at a table in the train’s dining car next to Lewis Thornton’s for a full ten minutes, and he hadn’t once looked up—not even when the waiter brought her tea. But perhaps that wasn’t personal. Alternating his attention between his steak and a small book open at his right hand, the bachelor her aunt deemed a prime candidate for her daughter Ada also failed to acknowledge the curious glances of businessmen or tittering mamas with female offspring in tow.

Ellie stirred sugar into her teacup and drew a blank square of paper closer. She plucked her pencil out of the spine of the leather notebook where she kept observations of potential suitors for her cousin—loose-leaf, so she could organize them in order of preference. Lewis Thornton, she wrote.

Nibbling her lower lip, she studied the mechanical engineer from under her pale lashes. Tall and blonde, square-jawed, firm-lipped, Thornton bore himself like a man of the new century. Suave. Aristocratic. Confident. Aunt Florence had heard he’d made a fortune off some invention for the railroad. Florence had no idea what kind. She’d been snagged the moment a friend uttered the word fortune. And he didn’t reside so far from Pittsburgh as to prevent the continuation of a courtship Lewis and Ada might begin during Hotel Belleview’s upcoming winter season.

Ellie scratched on her paper. Pros: Handsome. Wealthy? Philadelphia.

Surely, Ada couldn’t dismiss this one on looks. Or style. His stiff collar and four-in-hand tie countenanced society’s dictates enough to please Walter Hastings, while the gray-striped pants he’d paired with his black frock coat—popularly termed “mixed cheviots”—should satisfy Ada’s panache.

Traditional. Stylish.

Cons? None visible upon brief observation. She might be forced to talk to him. She could wait until he got up and make her departure at the same time, but the idea of employing her usual dropped-item tactic made a knot form in her stomach. She wasn’t a brainless female. Why did she submit herself to such indignities? She firmed her lips. She knew well why.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

My novels and novellas span the Colonial era through the contemporary, ranging from lighthearted to serious and spiritual, and are mostly set in Georgia. If you would like to learn more, please visit:

I would love to connect with you on social media or through my author newsletter.

Thank you, Denise, for sharing this novella with us. I’m eager to read it.

Readers, here’s a link to the book.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 2 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link: Http:// 


Elly said...

Yes! I thought this cover photo look beautiful! I’ve been looking forward to this book, it sounds sooo good!
Elly -Indiana-

Billi Varela said...

I’d like to be entered. Billi from Texas

traveler said...

Captivating and lovely. Anne in NM.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for stopping by, and good luck on the drawing! - Denise Weimer

Lucy Reynolds said...

I’ve enjoyed several books by Denise and enjoyed them all. Would love to read. Blessings from Lucy in WV.

Loraine Nunley said...

One of my favorite historical timeframes to read about - this sounds fun. Thanks for the giveaway. Loraine from Indiana.

Diane Estrella said...

Fun first pages. I would definitely be interested. Diane from NY

Dianemestrella at gmail dot com

Library Lady said...

They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover but ....
that is how I know whether or not we have the book in
the church library.
I definitely know we don't have it.

Thanks for giving me a chance to win,
"Winter at the White Queen".
Janet Estridge

Connie Porter Saunders said...

Gorgeous cover! Thanks for sharing.
Connie from Kentucky

Caryl Kane said...

Denise Weimer is an excellent author! Winter at the White Queen sounds like a must read for me.
Caryl K in TX

Sharon Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Nichols SC.

Sarah Taylor said...

Such a Beautiful cover enter me in this amazing giveaway SARAH from OHIO

Anonymous said...

I am so tickled to read how many of you find the cover in blurb intriguing. I absolutely love what the cover artist did as well. It was exactly what I envisioned. I hope you can all be whisked away this winter to the Gilded Age. - Denise Weimer

Alison Boss said...

Thanks for the interesting interview, Denise and Lena! I always enjoy getting to know more about an author. I love reading historical fiction. WINTER AT THE WHITE QUEEN sounds so captivating! And the cover is stunning! Thank you for the chance to win a copy of this book!

Alison from MI

Cherie J said...

Sounds like a wonderful book. I have always been fascinated by the Gilded Age. Thanks for the chance to win a copy. Cherie J. from Florida