About the Book
Book: A Courageous Betrothal
Author: Denise Weimer
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release Date: November 7, 2023
A wounded lieutenant, a woman fierce enough to protect her family, and an American Revolution with everything at stake.
Red-haired, freckle-faced and almost six feet tall, Jenny White has resigned herself to fame over love. Possessing the courage and wits to guard her younger siblings against nature, natives, and loyalists in Georgia’s “Hornet’s Nest” gives life meaning until she meets scout, Caylan McIntosh.
From the time Jenny nurses the young lieutenant back to health after the Battle of Kettle Creek, she can’t deny her attraction to the vexing Highlander, who seems determined to dismantle her emotional armor. But when Georgia falls to the British and Caylan returns to guide Jenny’s family on a harrowing exodus into the North Carolina mountains, will his secrets prove stronger than his devotion? Or will their love be courageous enough to carry them through the battles ahead.
Click here to get your copy!
About the Author
North Georgia native Denise Weimerhas authored over a dozen traditionally published novels and a number of novellas—historical and contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and time slip. As a freelance editor and Acquisitions & Editorial Liaison for Wild Heart Books, she’s helped other authors reach their publishing dreams. A wife and mother of two daughters, Denise always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses.
More from Denise
Welcome to the Hornet’s Nest…the setting for A Courageous Betrothal. In my Scouts of the Georgia Frontier Series, we started with my September release, A Counterfeit Betrothal, in 1813. We’ve moved backward in time to middle Georgia, where the conflict between Patriots, Loyalists, and Native Americans became so intense during the American Revolution the area was dubbed “the Hornet’s Nest.” Little is known about this portion of the war, but it’s not just the setting that makes A Courageous Betrothal unique.
If the story sounds faintly familiar, that’s because it was originally Across Three Autumnsof Barbour’s Backcountry Brides (2018). That’s why it’s a short novella instead of a full-length novel. The story became a free agent just in time to join my Scouts of the Georgia Frontier. It was a perfect fit not only because of the subject matter but also because some of the real people and places show up in this story as well as the novels of the series.
Another thing that sets A Courageous Betrothal apart is its heroine. As authors, we occasionally create characters who take on life and burst off the page. That’s Jenny White. Maybe because she was based on a real person, Nancy Hart. Six feet tall, red-haired, pock-marked, and a crack shot, Nancy was called “Wahatche” or “War Woman” by local Indians. She spied for Colonel Elijah Clark and captured Loyalists and British soldiers on more than one occasion. Her exploits are echoed in Jenny’s.
So are her insecurities, which make her relatable. Jenny’s given up on the notion of finding love. Men always prefer women like her dainty younger sister. And then she meets Caylan McIntosh, a scout for Colonel Clark whose Highland heritage makes him an ardent admirer of Jenny’s strength. Her doubts—along with the shorter word count and the time needed for love to grow between wartime encounters—are a reason I chose to write the novella solely from Jenny’s POV.
By no means does Jenny outshine Caylan. He’s still probably the most swoon-worthy hero I’ve written. Here’s a little snippet of him persuading Jenny to dance.
The unseen fiddler took his cue. The notes anchored themselves inside Jenny’s chest, with invisible strings tugging her toward the sound. Caylan and presumably several other Scots started a jig. From his fancy footwork and agile leaps, the lieutenant appeared dead sober. She found herself propping the pitchfork against a wall and drifting closer in the shadows, her mother’s previous warning drowned out in the waterfall of lilting notes.
When the musician warbled into “Soldier’s Joy,” a woman faced off with her husband. As they greeted and turned, two frontiersmen leapt up to join them. Caylan looked around as though searching for a partner and noticed Jenny standing just outside the circle of light. He came toward her, hand outstretched.
“Come, lass, will ye dance with me? Ye know this one.”
Indeed, she did. She had seen settlers perform the steps on the Yadkin River. Before Jenny had time to think, Caylan whirled her into the circle, and a man dancing a female part grabbed her for a ladies’ chain. She caught a brief glimpse of Gabriel’s alarmed face as she whizzed past.
Delighted with the actual women who joined them, the men paid courtly attention that caused Jenny’s face to flame. But none more than the sensation of Caylan’s eyes, warm amber in the firelight, fixed on her every time they met. The roughened strength of his large hand made hers feel small.
When the song changed, Jenny gave an awkward curtsy and tried to back away, but her partner caught her arm. “’Tis just a Cumberland Reel.”
“I know no Cumberland Reel. Remember, we do not dance.”
“Oh. I did forget that.” But Caylan’s smirk hinted otherwise. “Seems to me Wahatchee would not grow lily-livered at a wee promenade. See, ’tis only a skip step, toe to heel?”
Jenny turned her lips down. “Wahatchee has a mother.”
Caylan threw his head back and laughed. “What? That slip of a woman has a Highland princess like you all a’cower?”
“I am English, sir.” She clasped her hands behind her petticoats.
“Well, pardon me, my lady,” he retorted with mock offense, “but yer regal bearing and coloring beg otherwise. I wager some hint of Celtic besmears the White family past…far back in the recesses of time, no doubt.”
The “regal coloring” went up in flames. Jenny repeated what she’d heard her mother proudly state many times. “We come from pure English stock.”
“Well, then, I dare ye to prove a proper English lady has no fear of a Cumberland Reel.”
“Those are break teeth words, McIntosh. If I chose, I could dance until daybreak, and still be dancing long after you collapse.” So saying, Jenny stalked to the tail of the reel and waited for the laughing Scotsman to follow her.
Just like firing a gun, riding a horse, clearing brush, and swimming, dancing provided no challenge. Jenny did all physical things well and with endurance. What she had not expected, however, was the way Caylan’s obvious approval made her feel. It answered a craving deep inside that she had attempted to discredit for years. Not to mention the brush of his fingertips, the pressure of his hand on her waist, spread the bonfire to her bones.
From that moment to Jenny nursing Caylan back to health after the Battle of Kettle Creek, through the climactic, real-life exodus of civilians from Georgia to the mountains of North Carolina, Caylan fights for Jenny’s trust with as much determination as he fights the British. I hope you’ll be swept away by their romance amid the dangers of the Hornet’s Nest. And if you like Scottish characters, stay tuned for book three of the Scouts Series, coming in January and set in 1775 on the border of Georgia and South Carolina.
Texas Book-aholic, November 8
Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 8
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 9
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 10
Blossoms and Blessings, November 11
Books You Can Feel Good About, November 11
Simple Harvest Reads, November 12 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 13
Lighthouse Academy Blog, November 13 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)
lakesidelivingsite, November 14
Locks, Hooks and Books, November 15
Pause for Tales, November 16
Life on Chickadee Lane, November 16
For Him and My Family, November 17
Cover Lover Book Review, November 18
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 19
To Everything There Is A Season, November 19
Holly’s Book Corner, November 20
Connie’s History Classroom, November 21
To celebrate her tour, Denise is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.