August 5, 2015 -- Canterbury House Publishing Ltd. proudly announces that the fourth and final novel of author Denise Weimer's Georgia Gold Series, Bright as Gold, has won the 2015 John Esten Cooke Fiction Award. This prestigious annual award, conferred previously on three New York Times bestselling authors, honors fiction depicting Southern history of the War Between the States era in a balanced and accurate manner. Bright as Gold depicts the Randalls and Rousseaus, families that series readers have followed from the 1830s, as they rebuild their lives on the coast and in the mountains of Georgia after the Civil War.
Viviane Crystal of The Historical Novel Society said of the novel earlier this year: "Denise Weimer has crafted a sensitive, realistic, and conflict-ridden story that clearly delineates the temptations and struggles of Reconstruction. Add to the conflict a treasure of gold found and secretly used. Bright as Gold is a vigorous, entertaining and engaging story of the mettle required to survive disaster. Notable historical fiction!"
Beginning with Sautee Shadows, The Georgia Gold Series follows four families whose lives intertwine through romance, adventure and mystery, linking antebellum Georgia’s coast and mountains in the mid-1800s. Orphaned daughter of a Cherokee mother and a man murdered for his gold, Mahala Franklin grows up unraveling the clues left in her father’s strongbox and wondering if his killer still lives in the town of Clarkesville, where she helps her grandmother run an inn. When Savannah entrepreneur Jack Randall, whose northern origin brings an often-controversial perspective to his family’s shipping firm, buys a competing hotel, sparks fly. Meanwhile, shy and unwilling socialite Carolyn Calhoun, one of the coastal elite who build summer homes in Habersham, must choose between two very different brothers, rice planter Devereaux Rousseau and his minister brother Dylan.
In The Gray Divide: Book Two of the Georgia Gold Series, sibling rivalry and romance threaten relationships. Hidden loyalties are exposed and the lives of the four families and the nation are endangered as Georgia seeks to become its own republic, only to be plunged into civil war. In book three, The Crimson Bloom, the suspense heightens as the women run an inn and a farm in the absence of the men they love, a perilous wagon journey fleeing Sherman ensues, and revelations of long-hidden truths about the murder and missing gold all come to a head.
A staff officer of Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, John Esten Cooke was a prolific 19th Century biographer and novelist in the tradition of Walter Scott and James Fenimore Cooper. The John Esten Cooke Fiction Award is presented by The Military Order of the Stars and Bars.
Native Georgia resident Denise Weimer earned her journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. Her magazine articles about Northeast Georgia have appeared in numerous regional publications. Denise is currently working on The Restoration Trilogy, set in modern-day Georgia with links to three different centuries.
“By weaving the fictional stories of characters from various backgrounds into the framework of real history, my goal is to provide a well-rounded sense of Georgia’s past, while at the same time giving the reader an exciting story,” says Weimer, who now resides near Athens after living ten years in Habersham County.
For more information about The Georgia Gold Series and The Restoration Trilogy, visit the author’s website: www.deniseweimerbooks.webs.com.