Jenny Knipfer–Author

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.

GIVEAWAY OPEN INTERNATIONALLY TO PERSONS AGE 18 OR OLDER. GIVEAWAY ENDS OCT. 31ST, 2020 AT MIDNIGHT.

This year for the first time in over nineteen years, there will be a blue moon on Halloween. A blue moon is more than one full moon in a month, which doesn’t happen frequently. I am celebrating one year in print with my book, Blue Moon, a tale of precious things more rare than a blue moon. I thought it would be fun to offer a giveaway to coincide with the two.

To enter, please follow my blog and tell me about something precious and true in your life in the comments.

Quotes from Blue Moon about things rare and true:

How thankful I am the rare friendship Jenay and I formed is strong enough to overlook each other’s pain. Essentially, love meant placing the other person before one’s own heartache or particular pain.

I close the gap, kneel, and wrap my twin in a hug. She cries, and so do I. In a few seconds we lean back. Valerie brings a finger up to swipe my tears away. I do the same for her. What belongs to me belongs to her, and vice versa, once again.

“If you’ll be mine, I’ll be yours. True blue I will be, for to find true love is rare to me.” Vanessa looked at the man before her, and her eyes softened and watered with what she hoped was a glow of reflected love.

My life has been defined by rare, true events. There have been the deep, rich things like abiding love, forgiveness, and friendship but also harsher things—like the mystery of disease.
Vanessa knew true friendship was something rare and required patience, forgiveness, and love. She willed herself to think of Jenay and lay aside her hurts for the sake of moving forward. She hoped Jenay wanted the same. Such an endeavor made friendship worth the effort. Something precious is always worth the work.

ANNOUNCING A GOODREADS GIVEAWAY!

In the wilds of 19th century Ontario, Maang-ikwe, a young Ojibwe woman, falls into a forbidden love, breaks her father’s honor, and surrenders her trust to someone who betrays it. The abuse she suffers divides her from her tribe and causes her to give up what she holds most dear. 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Harvest Moon by Jenny Knipfer

Harvest Moon

by Jenny Knipfer

Giveaway ends November 23, 2020.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Good luck and thanks for reading! J

Instead of a book review this week I wanted to let you know about a book tour. For the next few weeks, I am happy to have the first book in my series, Ruby Moon, on tour with Celebrate Lit Publicity Book Tours! You can read my kickoff post about the book and sign up for my giveaway by clicking the button below.

ABOUT RUBY MOON:

Ruby Moon: A TALE OF GREIF, GUILT, AND REDEMPTION

Ruby Moon is entertaining,  fast-paced, and features characters that are real.”–Readers’ Favorite

Knipfer’s characterization is stellar in this novel, and she skillfully ties in the themes of faith, forgiveness, and trust.”–Wisconsin Writers Association

During the mid 1890’s, Jenay, a young woman of mixed French and Ojibwe descent, must survive the trauma of causing a horrific accident. Her maturity accelerates as the challenges of grief and romance enter the scene.

Amidst this drama, Jenay is caught in a web spun by Renault, a rich, charming man who once threatened the ruination of her father’s shipping company but now seeks something even more valuable…

Jenay must find where her strength lies in order to face the challenges life brings her or be washed away like driftwood on the tumultuous shores of Lake Superior. Life’s richest dramas play out under the banner of two ruby colored moons and become the hidden gems which forge her into a mature strong woman. Jenay realizes God is by her side, using even the harsh events of life to create something precious in her.

Fans of historical fiction, Christian historical fiction, coming-of-age novels, split-timelines, and mystery will enjoy this stimulating read!

Ruby Moon is the type of book that hooks you from page one… and have you quickly turning the pages to discover more.”–Ya It’s Lit Blog

WHAT ARE YOU READING?

Right now, I’m reading The Woman in the Green Dress, by Tea Cooper and enjoying it. I’ll be blogging about the book next Wednesday.

The Piano:

My sons and husband rolled out my piano yesterday. Its wheels squealed miserably against the floor like a mouse caught in a trap. The protesting sound pinched my heart. I thought I’d cry, but I didn’t. After all, it’s just wood and metal, ivory and ebony. The memory of time spent playing and the music I made will always be with me, for it’s still who I am. Even though I can’t play or sing like I once did, that same spirit, those same words, and the same notes rest in my heart, the echo of a favored friendship. 

The piano now sits in my son and daughter-in-law’s home, waiting for other fingers to glide loving over its keys. She hopes to learn to play, and I’d be more than happy to offer some instruction to her and my grandson. The thought of them bringing new life to the beautiful instrument pleases me immensely. 

Letting Go: 

Learning to let go dominates a part of my life, but we all must choose to release things and sometimes people, for various reasons. In my case my physical abilities or lack thereof have prompted me to surrender some portions of my life and my activities. Holding onto things too tightly causes undue pain and only weighs us down in the end. I know. Life moves on, and so must we. 

Decrafting:

I spent hours each day last week sorting through all of my craft supplies. Instead of being sad about parting with my treasures—scrapbooking supplies, rubber stamps and inks, a stash of yarn and crochet hooks, jewelry making supplies, and my hoard of paper paraphernalia—I feel happy to pass them on to others, who might glean some pleasure from them too. 

People vs. Things:

Now, these are just things, but what happens when a person, a relationship enters the picture? A clear picture doesn’t always present itself when we must decide to go or stay, whether to fight or surrender, keep the wounds or let them go. Life is full of hard decisions, and we don’t always make the right ones. Sometimes a right or wrong choice comes down to perspective. In instances, labeling a decision right or wrong doesn’t factor into the equation.

I think of people in my life, acquaintances and friends, who have come and gone, at my choosing or theirs or life intervened and threw us separate ways. Allowing ourselves to be OK with letting go helps us keep our sanity. In reality you cannot be everything to everyone and you cannot hold onto all that you’ve acquired.

What My Main Character Gives Up:

Maang-ikwe, one of my main characters in my upcoming book, Harvest Moon, releases someone very important to her. At the prompting of her parents, her Ojibwe tribe, and the time period, where being a single mother wasn’t much of an option, she relinquishes her son. She chooses to let him go, but maybe she should have fought for him. 

The funny thing about writing: your characters act in ways you do not expect or as you might. The crux of Harvest Moon plays out through the bond of family and who Maang-ikwe chooses to hold to and whom she doesn’t. Family, such a blessed but complicated realm of our existence. One choice, one promise can change the course of someone’s life or ours. 

Harvest Moon Excerpt:

“Here I am in this new place Webaashi Bay, a place of wind and water. The Great Sea—Gitchi-gami—beats against the rocks with the force of a large hand beating a drum. The bruised blue color of the sky reflects the waves’ power. A storm steeps. I wish a storm could rage in me, but my heart has been blown away, back to Nipigon, the pines, and my son.

“My arms ache from the emptiness of Niin-mawin’s absence. Gibba’s arms hold him now. I want to sob, but I have cried all the tears I have. I sowed my tears in our eighty-mile journey.”

Listen: 

I’ll be reading from Harvest Moon and sharing more of Maang-ikwe’s difficult but beautiful story during my podcast tomorrow afternoon. You can listen through my Anchor.fm station.

What have you released?

Tell me about something or someone you had to release. I’d love to hear more about your story.

Blessings, J

This month I had planned to read some classic horror fiction titles, although horror isn’t my usual genre of interest, I do enjoy classic books. Dracula surprised me. It was not a God-less tale with nothing but gore and blood like I supposed. I found it almost poetic in parts and suspenseful in others, with the characters exemplifying a sense of holy ardor when combatting the powers of the undead. 

My Review:

A harrowing nighttime entrance to a Transylvania castle, leaves Jonathan Harker wondering what kind of place he’s been sent to. Working to manage some legal real estate transactions, Jonathon meets Count Dracula, a tall, thin pale man of dubious appearance and character. 

Dracula presents himself as warm and gentile to Jonathon until further study and observation reveals Dracula as some kind of monster. Kept as a prisoner in his room, Jonathon escapes out his window and encounters some morbid truths about Count Dracula and encounters three women, like fierce undead spirits of the night. He narrowly escapes with his life. 

Dracula plans to enlarge his kingdom of darkness. Transferring boxes of dirt from Transylvania to London, the count seeks out various properties on which to establish his realm of Vampires.

Jonathon discloses all to his fiancé, Mina Murray, who’s been staying with her friend, Lucy, and together they seek assistance to combat the count. From Lucy’s acquaintance they meet Dr. Seward, Lucy’s fiancé. Through a patient of Seward’s more about the count becomes known to them. 

“I start at my own shadow, and am full of all sorts of horrible imaginings. God knows that there is ground for my terrible fear in this accursed place! I looked out over the beautiful expanse, bathed in soft yellow moonlight till it was almost as light as day. In the soft light the distant hills became melted, and the shadows in the valleys and gorges of velvety blackness. The mere beauty seemed to cheer me; there was peace and comfort in every breath I drew.”

Dracula, Bram Stoker

But in the meantime, Lucy has taken ill, needing immediate intervention. Seward employs the help of his teacher Van Helsing, who recognizes that Lucy has been compromised by a vampire. Drastic measures need to be taken to end Lucy’s life and keep her from preying on living people. 

The remaining group makes a pact to seek out and destroy Count Dracula and his vampiric realm of undead. Studying folklore, books, newspapers, and documents pertaining to anything hinting of vampire activity, they soon form a plan and acquire the tools to combat such an evil. 

When searching for the count, they find that the whole crew has gone missing aboard a ship the count supposedly traveled on. The group work to find and destroy Count Dracula’s army, but discover than Mina has fallen prey to the count and grows worse by the day.

The pressure builds to destroy the count, once and for all. Finally, after much waiting, they intercept the count in transit to his home in Transylvania. But will their galant effort  be the final stake in the count’s coffin? And will Mina be purged of his influence?

Readers of classic fiction, gothic romance, and classic horror will in parts be kept at the edge of their seats as good forces battle evil in Dracula.

Much happens in the opening scenes of the novel, but toward the middle it sinks and drags along in parts. I had to do some skimming here and there. Finally, at the end a dramatic, conclusive scene plays out. 

All in all, I’m glad I read it. It’s hard to give a star-rating to a classic book, but here’s my attempt.

2/5 for sluggishness in parts of the story – There was WAY too much detail and backstory.

5/5 for drama and descriptive writing

4/5 for plot – I found the inclusion of the insane man unnecessarily complicated the story.

4/5 for character development, some were developed more than others

My final rating: 4/5 🖤

Happy Reading:

Tell me what you’re reading this week in the comments. I’d love to know, J

It’s time for me to move my bedroom downstairs. I’ve thought about it for awhile. This last time I fell down and whacked my head hard scared me. The instances when I’ve teetered at the top of the steps, to get down the flight of stairs in my home, unnerved me. How my hands have slipped on the stairway rails and how I have dragged my right leg up each step at a snail’s pace points out to me that my days of stair climbing draw to a close.

The problem I have of leaning from one object to the other in my current bedroom–so my toes don’t catch on the carpet and send me to the floor–speaks to me also, telling me it’s time. I’ve cried over the move that must come, and I probably will cry some more before it’s done.

A new normal

It tires me, constantly adapting to a “new normal”. I look back in the six years since I’ve been diagnosed with MS, and the decline has been steady, at times almost imperceptible but there, ever in the background. It’s happened as one watches a plant grow. An observer can’t see the change from minute to minute, but over days, weeks, months vast change can occur. 

I told a good friend recently that I often imagine looking in the rear-view mirror of a vehicle, which represents my life, and constantly grieving for what was. What is past and no more. At least when I look out the glass of the front windshield, I realize that I’m headed toward something better.

Change

A word both frightening and exciting. I try not to fear the constant change in my deteriorating health, but I find it a challenge at times like these when it so interrupts my familiar way of living. A great distaste settles in me for finding new ways to do what I did weeks ago with little difficulty. Or I must simply give up doing, as I have in some activities. 

My craft room will become my new bedroom. I grieve at the thought of losing my private, creative area—my own little indoor “she shed”. Ahead of me lies the task of transforming the space and emptying out the ingredients of cherished pastimes. My piano must go, on which I’ve played countless hours of music and written and composed over twenty songs. I need to sort through my crafty paper paraphernalia, rubber stamps, inks and the like to see if I want to keep anything, and I also have to consolidate my fabrics and beading supplies. Then I need to find space in my dining room or living room for my sewing table and the old white dresser I keep fabrics and such in. 

My world grows smaller by the year. Much, much smaller

Yet, in a way it’s grown larger. I have friends on social media around the world, and my books are being read by people on the other side of the globe. That makes me happy and in a way content that even though my physical space decreases, my influence has not. My words and thoughts reach past these four rooms that I live in. 

Today, I had planned to blog about my research and the origins of the story for my upcoming book, Harvest Moon, but instead you are getting a taste of my present life and the things I face. I’m sharing my feelings and thoughts because we all want to see what’s behind the curtain. Being transparent and dealing with our issues, often allows other to as well. This is my life, my troubles, my joys, and everything in between as a writer and a person. Here on this blog, I am simply me. You won’t find anyone pretentious blogging in this space, just a woman who’s lived through joy, much pain, and grief and will likely live through much more. 

I want to leave you with this thought: “You are more than what you can’t do.

When I first started to have issues with disability and a body that wouldn’t cooperate with my demands and reflexes, I let it define me, crush me in a way that nothing else ever had. What I could no longer do or do well became an enemy I resided with every day, an enemy who knew how to taunt me, guilt me, and anger me in ways I’d never felt before. Until I realized that I was more than what I couldn’t do, and I made up my mind to remember that. 

I’m reminding myself today. Maybe you need a reminder too. 

Blessings, J

For some years it has been on my reading “to do” list to read several classic books in the horror genre. Horror fiction is not what I usually read, but I do enjoy classic literature, so I wanted to give Frankenstein and Dracula–I have a review coming next Wednesday–a whirl.

Because of the age of the text and the way of writing fiction at the time, the original text version of Frankenstein may be a little overwhelming for modern readers. If you are not used to reading classic literature, I would recommend reading an abridged version. I had to skim through some of the more telling/wordier sections of the book. Below is my review.

Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley – published in 1818

In Arctic seas Captain Robert Walton picks up a weak, half-frozen man, Victor Frankenstein. Victor relays the unbelievable story of his life since the creation of his monster. Walton writes his sister about the tale, and the book takes off through the history of Victor’s education and desire to try to instill life, piecemeal fashion, from the remains of once-living human bodies. 

Through alchemy, chemistry, knowledge of anatomy, and the use of electricity, Victor brings life to his monstrous creation. However, Victor becomes so appalled at what he’s made, he essentially runs away to try to forget that he has played with forces he shouldn’t have. 

The monster wanders among the living, finding there is no place for him, even among the family he’s secretly adopted and claimed as his own. When his identity becomes know and the De Lacey’s see his hideous features, the monster mourns, runs away from their fright, and plans retribution on the man who created him. 

Through a series of horrific events, Victor loses his brother, William, murdered at the hand of the monster, then eventually his dear friend, Henry, who had helped nurse Victor back to life. Victor becomes distraught and again curses the day he made his creation, as he narrowly escapes the hangman’s noose for Henry’s murder. 

Victor tries to stitch his life back together again by engaging the young ward of their family in a promise of marriage. The monster, however, won’t free Victor from his figurative hold and demands Victor create a mate for him. Victor agrees but after starting the sordid deed, he destroys what he’s made so far, tossing the remains into the sea.

Outraged, the monster vows to kill Victor’s intended, Elizabeth, on their wedding night. Despite the fear of the monster’s intention, Victor and Elizabeth marry, but will the monster destroy Victor’s future and his new bride? Will the monster come to any semblance of a happy ending? 

Captain Walton ends up hearing both sides of the story as the monster finds his way on ship, but who will survive to the end? Or will both Frankenstein and his monster end up meeting a similar fate?

Read this classic book, and find out. Frankenstein surprised me with its deep thoughts about life and how much control we do or don’t have over it, and that our ability to create resembles only a mere shadow, compared to The Creator.  I saw Frankenstein as more of a tragedy than horror.

I came away from reading it with sympathy for the monster, who never gets a name, an identity, or to know what the very basic need of human life is: love. This horrific tragedy should be read by anyone who enjoys classic literature. There are many hidden gems of wisdom between the lines of this gothic tale. 

What are you reading?

Do you enjoy classic lit? If so, what are your favorite titles? Leave a comment and let me know.

Happy Reading! J

Fall has arrived in Wisconsin. A few nights ago, a hard frost burnt and shriveled the flowers in my deck boxes. I sat outside yesterday, enjoying the sunshine despite the chilly temperature. This bit of prose come to me as the drama of a few leaves unfolded nearby. 

The Dance of the Oak Leaf

A dry, brown oak leaf swirls in an eddy, little less than three feet wide, in front of the entrance to my home.

It scrapes, crackling against the cement. Round and around it goes, dancing in rhythm to the wind chime hanging nearby. 

How many elliptical turns will it make before staying still?

Now the brittle oak leaf settles; the wind dies. The sun warms me as I watch from my rocking chair, waiting for it to dance and perform again. 

I’m caught up in the drama as suddenly, an almost magical gust of air sets it in motion. Another actor enters the stage; a smaller crumpled leaf orbits the oak leaf, like the earth to the sun. 

Round and around they go, twirling swiftly, until the eddy breaks and drops them, a tiny tornado depositing its debris upon its exit. 

All quiets. The chimes give up their song, and the oak leaves rest in the afternoon sun, flat, faded leather-brown. 

I imagine them waiting for a gust again, perhaps longing to taste life once more. 

Thanks for Reading

I hope you enjoyed this taste of fall. Below are some photos of the season that I took on my rambles with my little dog, Ruby.

Giveaways:

Be sure to check my giveaway page out to see what this season’s giveaway is for those on my author team as newsletter subscribers. 

I’m also celebrating one year in print with my book, Blue Moon. I’m giving away a complimentary ebook to those who subscribe to my newsletter. Claim your book HERE. 

Harvest Moon:

In my upcoming book, Harvest Moon, as in the other books in the series, I have literary quotes beginning each chapter. This quote speaks of the heartache of the tale, yet the hope.

You have pierced my soul,

I am half agony. Half hope…

I have loved none but you.

Jane Austen, Persuasion

I absolutely loved Echo Among the Stones by fellow Wisconsin author, Jamie Jo Wright. It’s the perfect read for October, with its spooky overtures.

My Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Present: 

Answering a call for help, Aggie Dunkirk finds herself in the small Wisconsin town her grandmother, Mumsie, lives in. While she’s there, helping Mumsie, Aggie takes a job at the local cemetery working with an equally frustrating and attractive man, Collin, an anthropologist hired to help sort out the graves and determine which body belongs where after a flood. 

Still grieving the loss of her mother from cancer, Aggie is unprepared for the strange and creepy occurrences she unearths. And almost as disturbing, Aggie’s attraction and reliance on her working partner grows. Will Aggie nip her feelings for Collin in the bud, or will she allow them to blossom? Will she move past old family issues to get to heart of the mystery of Hazel Grayson, a misplaced woman, long buried in the cemetery?

Past: 

Imogene walks into the attic bedroom of her family home and a horrific scene of the murder of her sister. In spite of the effort of law enforcement, Imogene works on her own to define the suspects and comprehend why would anyone kill her gentle, sweet sister. 

Taking a job at the local munitions plant where her sister worked, Imogene strives to uncover any clues or connections, which might lead to apprehending her sister’s killer. 

With the aid of a morbid diorama and recorded testimony, past meets the present as the mystery slowly unravels to answer the question of: what happened to Hazel Grayson? 

I thoroughly enjoyed this historical fast-paced, heart-wrenching, slightly spooky, and emotional novel, masterfully told in a split-timeline. This is the first book I’ve read by Jamie Jo Wright, and it won’t be the last! 

Readers of suspense, mystery, historical fiction, and Christian fiction will find themselves drawn into this richly-layered and well-written novel.

Share your reads:

What great book have you recently read? Do you have a favorite book that has a bit of a spooky theme?

Happy Reading!! J

NOTE: this post contains web links for the convenience of my readers.

I approach the end of an enormous effort; in November 23rd the last book in my series, By the Light of the Moon, will be released. Looking back to 2018 when I started writing the series, I can’t believe I have come so far along this author journey with this body of mine that rarely does or feels the way I would like it to.

Today, I woke up tired and in pain, like every other morning, living with MS, wondering how I’m to get through the day, much less have the energy and brain power to keep up with all of my social and blog posts and my unending author chores—to say nothing of writing. Last week my husband and I took a mini vacation, and it felt good to step away and simply enjoy life. I read, relaxed, enjoyed my husband’s company and the beautiful autumn colors, and read some more. Then I came home and did some quilting, making the pumpkin block, wallhanging that’s been on my list of things to do for the last year. It was a great reprieve from the normal flow of things.

I’ve made a decision to not push myself so hard, to give myself time to relish the things I like to do, before I can’t anymore. Because there will be a time in the future when my body will fail me more than it does now. So, today I’m letting my words from my historical fiction book, Harvest Moon, speak for me. May there be something in the text that moves you past your current experience to something or somewhere new. That’s what I love about reading. It transports you.

Harvest Moon Excerpt:

Who knows? Perhaps your love will make me forget all I wish not to remember. – Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Christo

Chapter Four:

February 1863

“He is bundled in tight?” I ask nimaamaa.
“He is snug.”
She fiddles with the tikinaagan strapped to my back. Niin-mawin, my son, is bundled into the cradle with furs and wool.
I have boots and snowshoes on my feet, a warm, fur coat covering my body, and waabooz-lined, wool mittens on my hands. I’ve been itching to get outside.

Papa Baptiste is beside me with his pair of snowshoes, which were Imbaabaa’s. The curved basswood frames are meshed with thin strips of leather oiled with bear grease. Snowshoeing is the only way to walk in deep snowpack. I go along with him to check his trap lines.

My stepfather smiles at me underneath his thick, graying mustache and beard. “You ready?”

Oui.” I nod and smile back.

We plod side by side, heading up the snowbank and onto the dense pack of snow measuring mid-thigh.

The air rests around us, quiet as a sanctuary. The only sounds I hear are the plop of our snowshoes and the puff of our breath. My eyes roam the expanse of blue over the distant treetops as we head towards the woods. The sky wears the same color of blue the wood squill flowers of spring wear.

We’ve passed the ring of the village and our wigwams, lodges, and homes and now enter the trees. The snow clings to the branches of the pine and spruce like a fur coat of white ermine. We follow a path signified by the swath of cleared underbrush Gerard worked at last autumn. Our pace slows. Niin-mawin hasn’t fussed or uttered a peep yet.

Probably asleep.
But I feel the need to check on him.
“You see him. He is sleeping?” I ask Gerard.
He stops and steps closer to me. “Oui, blissfully at peace.” His eyes soften and the wrinkles deepen near his temples. “He sure is a handsome fella.”

He reaches out towards Niin-mawin but stops short of touching him. He turns and picks up his large feet and plods ahead without another word.

I follow. I try to step where he has. We don’t talk, but I wonder what Gerard really thinks of what happened to me.

Does he blame me?

He does not act like it, but he’s not said.

I wish I had never seen that red-haired man. I wish I not asked him for help. Most of all, I wish I hadn’t trusted him.

It has taught me to keep to myself. I think of the new fallen snow and the pine needles under us as he took what wasn’t his, what should have been Ignacio’s.

In the pines.

I have not been back to the grove Imbaabaa planted, which became my meeting place with Ignacio. I most likely never will. That man took more than my body; he stole my soul. My heart lived there in the white pine grove, and now I don’t know who I am anymore.

I am a mother, but also not. Niin-mawin is over four moons old. I have a few more with him, then he must be Gibba’s son. Suddenly, I have a strong urge to hold him in my arms and not on my back.

I signal and cry out to Gerard for his help. “I am stopping. I will feed Niin-mawin now.”

He plods over and assists me in getting the cradle off. Niin-mawin stirs and opens his eyes.

“My line starts just yonder.” Gerard points off to the left. “Here, you sit.” He clears a spot on a boulder for me. “I’ll be back soon.”

I nod. “We will be fine.”

When he is far enough away, I open my coat and slide my breast out of a slit in my hide dress. Niin-mawin latches on and sucks greedily. I find my thoughts leading to prayer.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven . . .

A question crashes into my prayer. Was it God’s will for this to happen to me?

I don’t how a God of love would want that. It hurts my heart, and I wish I could talk to Ignacio about it.

My throat feels thick and coated like I’ve drunk slippery elm tea. I swallow down the feeling, but it only becomes worse until I cry. I nurse my son and rock back and forth on my stone perch, silently sobbing. Snot drips from my nose and turns crispy in the cold air. I wipe it away with my sleeve and try to calm myself.

It is the first time I have cried since Niin-mawin was born. I have tried to forget the vision of that man on top of me, how he held my arms down, and . . .

“Arrrg!” My voice is loud, and it scares my son.

Niin-mawin stops his suckling and stares at me with wide, brown eyes flecked with green. Then he starts to cry too.

“Shhh, Maamaa is sorry. Shhh.”

I rock him back and forth until we both have spent our tears. I place him against my shoulder and pat his back. He belches out a burp. I kiss his pink cheek, fit him once more into the cradle, loop my arms through, and wrap a leather strap around my waist.

I stand and prepare to go find Gerard, but I see him coming towards me holding a waagosh and waabooz—a fox and a hare—in the air.

The hunter and the hunted caught together.

A hard part of my heart still wishes the red-haired man had gotten caught. He was not. He slipped away from the account of his crime because I hid it for him until it was too late.

But who cares about a little Anishinaabe woman?

Even if I had said what he’d done, who knows if he would have been punished? Maybe he has punished himself. I remember his tears against my neck and his sorrowful eyes.

“We must forgive others, and God will forgive us.” I remember Ignacio told me.

Another part of the prayer Ignacio taught me floats in my mind. Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.


How do I forgive this man?
The question beats at my breast.


I feel the weight of my son on my shoulders. He is a welcome burden, and I love him. Maybe this is the start of forgiveness—my love for my son.

Self-Publishing Review of Harvest Moon:

I am happy to be getting back positive reviews for Harvest Moon. This is my latest:

“Immersive and emotional. Supported brilliantly by strong secondary characters and foils that leap off the page, this novel is culturally insightful, engaging, and cleverly structured. Fiction is blended seamlessly with historical fact and nuanced detail, revealing a deep reverence for the subject matter, historical accuracy, and Native American traditions. Wielding descriptive language and unexpected imagery, this narrative transports a reader with ease. Harvest Moon is a moving, authentic, and original work of historical fiction, while this series is a testament to Knipfer’s skilled and versatile storytelling.” Self-Publishing Review

Thanks for reading! Blessings, J

The name of this book intrigued me, so with a recommendation from a friend, I downloaded the Kindle book. At the time I downloaded, it was listed in Amazon’s free Prime Reads, a perk of membership that I love.

MY REVIEW:

Margot De Wilde is an unconventional woman, more predisposed to view life through the filter of numbers than feelings. Working as a code breaker during The Great War, Margot meets Drake, whom she prayed for and saw as associated with “number 18”, even before they met.

Not the Navy man his sister, Dot, thinks he is, Drake operates as a spy. His encounter with the enemy leaves him wounded. While he recovers he meets Margot, who brushes off his attempts at flirting. But Drake soon realizes that Margot captures his attention like no other woman has. 

Although she eventually comes to appreciate Drake, Margot has a hard time letting Drake get close to her. When Drake speaks her language of numbers, her feelings grow. In addition Margot must learn to keep functioning after a recent tragedy in her life makes her ask some hard questions about her faith and of God. 

Dot and Margot become friends driving Drake and Margot together into tighter circles. They eventually end up working together to uncover some secrets and find someone they both hold dear. But will they find what they need in time? Will the language of love be understood between Margot and Drake, or will they be divided, ever ending in disparity. 

Readers of Christian historical fiction will enjoy this wartime spy novel of intrigue and unconventional romance. 

I enjoyed it, but gave it four stars instead of five. My reasons: 

I had significant trouble relating to the main character, Margot. Her thinking process is polar opposite of mine. About 3/4 of the way through the book that became a little easier. 

The “bad guy” had a perspective in the book, but I would liked to have known more about him. He jumps in about half-way through the book. I would have either left out his viewpoint or written more about him. 

All in all, a good book. I’ll definitely read more by Rosanna White.

HAPPY READING! J

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