Gettysburg author Jessica James received the 2019 John Esten Cooke Award for Fiction for her 2018 Civil War novel “The Lion of the South.”

GETTYSBURG, PA, August 28, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ — Jessica James, an author who pens novels set during the American Civil War, was honored with her third John Esten Cooke Award for Fiction in 2019. The coveted award is named after one of the most important literary figures of nineteenth-century Virginia, and is presented annually to encourage writers of fiction to portray characters and events dealing with Southern history in a historically accurate fashion.

The award for her 2018 release The Lion of the South came with an engraved trophy for display and a $1,000 monetary prize. Described as “The Scarlet Pimpernel meets Gone with the Wind,” The Lion is a tale of espionage and intrigue set in the war-torn South.

John Esten Cooke served as an aide to General JEB Stuart during the Civil War, and was a prolific author of historical adventures and romances in the tradition of Sir Walter Scott and James Fenimore Cooper. He authored 21 books and almost 200 published articles and poems.

Other John Esten Cooke Award winners include New York Times bestselling authors Donald McCaig for Jacob’s Ladder, Robert Macomber for Point of Honor, and Newt Gingrich for Grant Comes East.

“I am so honored to receive this award honoring a man I ran across so many times in my research of the era,” James said. “John Esten Cooke is someone I have long admired as both a Civil War soldier and a respected figure in Virginia literary history.”

An avid reader of 19th century fiction and non-fiction, James is well known for her ability to describe the emotions and turmoil of the period, and for her expertise in blending romance with historical fiction. In addition to 2019, she won the award in 2011 for Noble Cause, and 2015 for Above and Beyond.

The list of accolades for James’ novels also includes a Readers’ Favorite International Book Award, Golden Leaf Award, and two USA Best Book Awards. She is a 2019 finalist in the Indie Excellence Awards in the suspense category for her novel Front Line, and was a bronze winner in the Foreword Magazine Book of the Year contest, among a dozen other literary awards.

Her books are available in hundreds of libraries including Harvard and the U.S. Naval Academy, and have been used in schools to teach visualization techniques and inspire a love for reading.

Motivated by her passion for old houses and the history that comes with them, James released a new novel in 2019 entitled Lacewood. Filled with history, mystery, and small town charm, the book centers on an abandoned house that reveals secrets about a centuries-old love affair. Part love story, part ghost story, Lacewood is a timeless novel about love and loss, roots and belonging, and spirits of the past that refuse to be quieted.

According to The Booklife Prize, sponsored by the industry-leading publication Publishers Weekly, Lacewood contains “strong storytelling prose,” written with a unique voice.

James is currently working on Book 4 of her award-winning suspense/thriller Phantom Force Tactical series that will be released in late 2020.

For more information, visit James at her official author website.

Jessica James is an award-winning author of historical fiction, Christian fiction, and suspense/thrillers. Her books are available in hundreds of libraries, including Harvard and the U.S. Naval Academy. Find out about her upcoming releases and book sales by signing up for her newsletter at Jessica James Books.


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