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The Witness Tree

The Witness TreeThe Witness Tree by Denise Weimer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A fascinating and engaging story about a historic time and place that isn’t often showcased in fiction. I was captivated by the characters from the very start. The lifestyle of the Moravians is something I knew just a little about. Their interaction with the natives – both positive and negative – kept me reading until late into the night. And – of course – the romance didn’t hurt either!

 

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A Hero to Match the Heroine of Across Three Autumns

When you have a heroine patterned after a tall, red-haired, crack shot, Revolutionary War legend who earned the name “War Woman” from the local Indians, the need for a strong hero passes as an understatement. Jenny White had given up on love because she considered herself not attractive and feminine enough. She needed a man who would rightly recognize her strengths as attributes for a frontier help meet. She needed Caylan McIntosh.

For whatever reasons embedded in my brain from watching historical movies, I found the notion of a Scottish scout as the male protagonist in Across Three Autumns quite romantic. But I had to make sure Scottish people had settled in Georgia before the Revolution, and one might serve in such a capacity. My research led me to New Inverness.

Realizing the need to settle the Spanish-threatened coast below Savannah with soldiers possessing legendary fierceness in battle, the founder of the Georgia colony, General James Oglethorpe, recruited married Scottish Highlanders seventeen to forty-five years of age. On January 19, 1736, one hundred and seventy-seven men, mostly MacKays and MacIntoshes, arrived aboard Prince of Wales.

Fort Darien Marker

Between their arrival and the American Revolution, the task appointed them was anything but small: fend off French from the west, Spanish to the south, and marauding Indians from Florida. The men retained traditional Highland dress. Women of the New Inverness settlement—which became the town of Darien—were trained in the Manual of Arms for muskets and were capable of serving the fort cannon when the men were away.

This fascinating heritage birthed a hero not only independent enough to seek his own land away from the coast and scout for Elijah Clark’s militia, but who could appreciate a woman who wielded a Brown Bess as well as he could. And one stubborn enough to suffer repeated rebuffing by a lass a’feared of rejection! After winning Jenny’s heart, Caylan helps lead her and her younger sisters on a harrowing journey out of Georgia’s “Hornet’s Nest.” He longs to make Jenny his backcountry bride, if only the secret he’s keeping from her doesn’t extinguish her love.

 

Denise Weimer holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. A former magazine writer, she is a substantive editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas as well as the author of The Georgia Gold Series, The Restoration Trilogy and a number of romantic novellas. Represented by Hartline Literary Agency, Denise is a wife and swim mom of two daughters who always pauses for old houses, coffee, and chocolate!

Denise Weimer’s story, Across Three Autumns, is including in The Backcountry Brides collection from Barbour Publishing. Look for it in bookstores and on Amazon.

 

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