Jenny Knipfer–Author

Best-selling Christian historical fiction author, Jenny Knipfer, shares her books, inspiration, thoughts on life and writing, and book reviews. Purchase Jenny's books, read her blog, or listen to encouraging podcasts, highlighting the life of a writer.

Who’s thinking of Christmas in August? I am. 🙂 My first novella, Holly’s Homecoming, in my Botanical Seasons novella series releases November 4th, and I’m excited to share this sweet Christmastime read with you.

HOW I GOT THE NOTION TO WRITE A CHRISTMAS NOVELLA:

I read a Christmas novella last year and realized how much I liked it, being short and sweet. I did a little research and noticed that quite a few authors are publishing novellas and often use them as a marketing tool to gain new readers. So a week or so before Christmas last year, I decided to write one, and I am pleased with how the story turned out. And because I enjoy writing series, I wrote another novella, finishing it a few weeks ago. It’s my hope that readers will be drawn to these easy-to-read, inspirational stories.

Holly’s Homecoming SYNOPSIS:

A Christmastime Novella of Restoration and Sweet Romance

It’s the end of 1897 and Christmas approaches. It’s been years since Holly Moore has seen her father, a well-known lumber baron, but she has heard he’s come back home to Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Having lived with her aunt and uncle since the age of ten, Holly holds mixed feelings about seeing the man who once abandoned her.  

When the opportunity comes for Holly to slip into the household of Grapevine Lodge—her childhood home and the seat of the Moore Lumber fortune—virtually unnoticed, she takes it. 

While at Grapevine Lodge, Holly encounters Matthew Peterson, the son of a business associate of her father’s. She quickly develops a friendship with Matthew, but when she finds out just who he really is and what he’s come to the lodge for, Holly questions their relationship. 

Will Holly’s father recognize her? Can she move past all that has kept her and her father apart and finally be able to truly come home? Can Holly keep her feelings for Matthew and still step into her role as the heiress to a lumber fortune?

Find out in this short and sweet, Christmas-themed novella with a surprise twist. Readers of Christian historical fiction, Christian or clean romance, and Christmas fiction will experience a heart-warming story of all that makes Christmastime magical. 

AN EXCERPT:

Chippewa Falls, WI

December 1890

Ahead, shrouded in a winter mist, the road home ended, past which Holly hadn’t been in over ten years. She stood as still and frosty as the morning, peering into the unknown of what awaited her. 

Holly gulped, gripping the handle on her rose-patterned carpetbag, which held a few changes of clothes and toiletries. She had come prepared to stay in town, whether it be at the hotel or at her childhood home. It all depended on if Father welcomed her or not. She swallowed and willed her black-booted feet to move. 

This is a mistake. 

She could tell herself that all day, but she had to know, had to find out if the rumor she’d heard from Mr. Grady, their neighbor, was true—that her father, the Chippewa Falls lumber baron, had returned. And then there was the fact that she hadn’t told Aunt Nel everything about her trip into town.

Holly had left a note, saying not to expect her back, that she had gone to town for an interview and would stay at the hotel for the night, which was true, mostly. Nel would be furious if she knew Holly had planned to go to Grapevine Lodge first before her job interview for a position as a companion to an elderly woman. If Aunt Nel knew the truth, she would certainly stop her; Holly had no doubt about that. Why Aunt Nel detested Father, Holly couldn’t be sure. 

“That man, a scallywag and a poor excuse for a father to boot. To say nothing of what he did to Eliza.” Holly had heard it over and over throughout the years she had lived with Aunt Nel and Uncle Harland—Har for short. 

Vague memories drifted to Holly sometimes of her mother, Eliza Moore. Holly closed her eyes. There it was, imprinted on her mind, a faint image and the smell of lilacs like a reoccurring dream: an alabaster cheek with the barest bloom of tulip pink brushing the curve, those deep-brown eyes—so warm, dark ringlets of hair, a petite, pointy nose, and a thin but pretty smile, exposing a bright, white flash of teeth. And then the laugh—tinkling and merry. Aunt Nel said Holly looked like her mother, and Holly supposed she did.

That was the crispest image Holly held of her mother, really. All she recalled in vivid detail. They’d been to the river’s shore on that bright, sunny summer day—Mother, Father, and her. Holly had been only nine, she thought, but who knew if what she remembered was a dream or reality. Or perhaps a little of both. 

Father’s sturdy face, edged in frosted dark hair, clung more clearly to her memory, but an overpowering sense of sadness accompanied her thoughts of him. When she sorted through the internal portraits, she retained of him, his crisp blue eyes stuck with her, radiating a quiet pain. But his stiffness had been what she’d felt the day they had parted and he had left her with Nel and Har on their farm—the one hand he had placed on her shoulder had pressed down firmly, almost finally. He had whispered goodbye, kissed her lightly on the cheek, and then had left. 

Holly shook her head clear of the memories, too long past now and walked on, her boots leaving fresh prints in the new-fallen snow. With each step, a protesting squeak, like a bite into a fresh cheese curd, emanated from the pressure of her foot upon the blanket of precipitation. She gazed up. The trees over the drive were old and the long-armed, tangled branches wove a sort of canopy overhead. But whether sheltering or foreboding, Holly couldn’t discern. 

A QUESTION:

Have you ever read a Christmas novella? If so, what did you enjoy about it the most?

THANKS FOR READING!

As always, thank you for following and reading my blog.

Blessings, J

P.S.

Check out my events page for book tour and giveaway info for In a Grove of Maples, this week.

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