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.

Instagram has been a big help with gleaning new ideas for books to read. I came across Pat’s profile on Instagram and read about her books. This tile sounded interesting, and I am glad that I picked the Kindle book up. I learned a lot about the notorious outlaw and some of the reasons he did what he did.

My Review:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I Am Mrs. Jesse James, by Pat Wahler, reveals the passionate but tumultuous connection of cousins, Zerelda (Zee) Mimms and Jesse James and their love story, riddled with tension, secrets, and lies. 

Zee ministers to her cousin, tending to his wounds from a shooting by Federal soldiers, but the Civil War for James, a Southerner, incurred more than battle wounds. A personal vendetta burned in him to get revenge for the atrocities incurred on his family and neighbors by the Federal troops. 

With Zee’s help Jesse recovers from his physical wounds, but the inner ones run much deeper. He and his brother, Frank, team up, forming a band of outlaws wreaking havoc on Federal businesses and private citizens in retribution. Jesse keeps much of his nefarious activities hid from Zee or explains them away, telling her that the papers weren’t reporting the truth. 

Despite protests from her family Zee eventually marries Jesse. In between times of marital bliss, Jesse travels with his gang, and Zee is left wondering what kind of man she married. They are blessed with children but grieve a deep loss. The little family moves time and time again in an effort to keep Jesse’s identity secret. Zee dislikes using a false name and lying to her friends and neighbors and teaching her children to do the same. 

Zee constantly fears that Jesse will be caught and killed or punished for his crimes. After many years of shifting around, her hope of firm roots seems to come to fruition as they settle on a ranch to raise horses. But just as they settle in, the unexpected happens and ends it all, after which Zee reveals, “Yes, I am Mrs. Jesse James.”

I thoroughly enjoyed this well-written saga of Jesse and Zee James. Fans of historical fiction, western fiction, clean fiction, and historical romance will enjoy this tale of an ill-fated love. 

What are you reading?

Do enjoy historical fiction? If so, tell me about a favorite title that you read recently.

Are you a historical fiction author? If so, I enjoy featuring authors of my favorite genre on my blog. Click on the contact tab in my menu and send me an email to talk about a featured post.

What’s new in my reading world…

Click image to go to The Coffee Pot Book Club website

Recently, I connected with Mary Anne Yarde from The Coffee Pot Book Club, and I am happy to say that I will be a featured author on her blog on Thursday, August 27th. Also, I will be a tour host for several tours coming up. I’ll post more about that later.

Happy Reading! J

I enjoy hearing about legends and tales from local and different cultures. One of my favorite legends from the long ago logging culture is the story of Paul Bunyan. My home state of Wisconsin stakes a claim on the story’s origin, but Minnesota and several other states have named themselves as hosting the famed legend and his oxen, Babe.

I wanted to incorporate legends and tales into my novels, and since some of my characters were of Ojibwe blood, I chose that tradition as a base for the tales.

One of my characters in my newly released WWI novel, Oshki, is of Ojibwe heritage and grew up listening to Ojibwe tales from his great aunt, Maang-ikwe (Loon Woman). This excerpt from Silver Moon is my favorite story that he remembers. Although, this story stems primarily from my imagination, it does have a foundation in Ojibwe legend.

Excerpt from Silver Moon: Moon Story

Oshki listened and looked up at the moon smiling down on them. His thoughts drifted from the priest’s words to a tale his great aunt had told him when he was a child. Maang-ikwe’s mellow and slightly nasal voice spilled out the story in his memory . . .

“Now there was Moon whom Gitchi-manidoo made. Moon looked down from heaven. He liked to watch de life of men, but he sad not to gaganoozah, talk, with man. Gitchi-manidoo knew Moon could not talk men’s talk, so he thought of way. He asked Moon question.

“‘Moon, you tired of always being de same color?’ Moon say, ‘’Eya,’ yes. Moon not think of that before, but he tired of gray. So Gitchi-manidoo gave him gift.”

“What did the moon get?” Oshki widened his eyes and asked. The firelight of the hearth danced behind them.

“Moon’s maker say to him, ‘I give you red, orange, blue, gold, and silver to dress in.’

“Moon pleased, but he ask, ‘How I know which color to put on?’

“Gitchi-manidoo tell him, ‘Sun will tell you.’ So . . . Moon listens for Sun and its light to tell him when to dress in a different color.”

“Does the moon have a favorite color?” Oshki asked.


“Perhaps.”


“Is the moon happy wearing different colors?”


Maang-ikwe smiled at him. “It is just so,
ingozis. Moon is happy, he wear color so Anishinaabe know when to do certain things.”

“Like what?”

“Harvest and thanks. Planting and protect. Joy and laughter. Sorrow and tears.”

Oshki was puzzled. He had an inclination of what she meant, for the moon glowed orange often at harvest time, and he had seen it look golden and full every once in a while. Oshki couldn’t remember seeing the other colors, though.

“Will I see all the colors of the moon? Will the moon tell me when to do these things?” Oshki watched his great aunt. He loved her stories, but he often did not understand them.

Maang-ikwe paused and gazed at him so hard it almost hurt. He wanted to turn away but didn’t.

“What is it?” he finally got up the courage to ask her.

Ingozis, my son. I see a silver moon.” Maang-ikwe placed a shaky hand on his chin.

“What will a silver moon tell me?” Oshki’s brows puckered together.

She hesitated, sighed, and trailed down the curve of his smooth boy cheek with her wrinkled finger. “Silver a metal that chases away maji-manidoo, bad spirits. The light of de silver moon a cleansing light. It save you from bad things and help you remember Gitchi-manidoo, who protects.”

Maang-ikwe’s hand hovered a few seconds longer at Oshki’s cheek, then she dropped it back into her lap and turned her head to the low, flickering flames.

Oshki looked at his aunt’s profile and wondered when he would see this moon and what he would need protecting from . . .

Thanks for reading my tale of the moon!

To read what Oshki will need protecting from, you can find my book by clicking the button below.

Blessings, J

I read this book during my vacation last week. It was a good choice. Read my review below.

All the Flowers in Paris 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ by Sarah Jio

Masterfully told in a split-timeline, All the Flowers in Paris paints a layered story of two women: Caroline, a contemporary woman who grapples to find her identity and handle her grief and Celine, a woman from the past, whose learns to survive, keeping alive what she loves dearly. 

Celine and her daughter live an almost idyllic life in Paris. Working with her father in their family owned flower shop, Celine spends her days content among the flowers. 

Overcoming the loss of her first husband, Celine forms an attachment to handsome Luc. Just as their romance blooms to a deeper level of commitment, WWII separates them. 

Celine and her papa struggle to keep their flower shop open once the shop is defaced with a scrawled Star of David, marking them as of Jewish lineage. 

Caught in the web of a high-ranking German officer, Celine does all she can to keep her and Cosi alive, but will it be enough? 

Recovering from an accident, Caroline awakes to a foreign person—herself. Amidst her striving to regain her memory and identity, Caroline falls for the handsome owner of a Parisian restaurant, Victor. 

By chance Caroline encounters a studio where art and healing go hand in hand, and she eventually discovers who she is, the past she’s come from, and who she grieves. But will she take the path of healing and forgiveness that her art calls her to? 

Can both women say in the end: “I have come to learn that we can never lose what we love deeply and truly. It becomes a part of us?”

Historical fiction and historical romance readers will enjoy this richly arranged bouquet of wartime and contemporary fiction. 

Happy Reading!

Author photo by Elena Dawson Photography
Taken at my home.

It’s been a while since I introduced myself, so I thought—especially for people I’m newly connected with—I’d write a further introduction. 

A few random things about me:

My favorite color is green. I adore windy autumn days. Historical fiction is my preferred novel genre to read but gothic mysteries/old romances come in at a close second. I’d rather eat a chewy oatmeal raisin cookie than a piece of cake. The smell of crayons brings a smile to my face. Give me a vacation in a remote area over tourist destinations any day. Now on to more structured details…

More about me, life, and my writing journey…

I grew up a country girl on a dairy farm in WI. I have five siblings. I’m the youngest, by far. As a kid, you could find me helping with farm chores, walking the acreage and daydreaming of days to come, and reading. Always reading. I spent hours alternating between devouring and savoring books in the copse of pine trees my eldest brother planted and around various places on the farm. I loved to read outside and still do.

My parents raised me to believe in God, but I didn’t make my faith my own until I reached my twenties. From then on, life became a journey of seeking, finding, and learning how to keep forging ahead despite the tragedies and health issues it brought. Of course, lots joy and love mixed in with the bumps along the way too. 

Dreams of authorship…

I always dreamed of being an author and actually started writing my first novel twenty years ago. I had the premise, the opening scene, and a few chapters done when life with kids and work took precedence. I set it aside but didn’t tuck away writing all-together. 

I kept up with journaling, which has been my saving grace throughout the years and probably has kept me sane. Through a particularly difficult phase in my life, poems and songs emerged. I started blogging around that time too, keeping up two blogs entitled, Crochet a Day, where I wrote about life and my craft projects and Scrapbook of a Closet Poet, where I shared my poetry and songs. After a transition with my life and my health taking a dive, I decided to give the blogs up and unpublished them. But with the help of friends, I did create a musical CD of original songs, entitling it with the same name as my poetry blog. 

The years past. I enjoyed my work as a children’s librarian and my time with my family as a wife and mom to two teenage sons. But after a succession of very stressful months, I had a serious health issue arise. In 2014 I had a major MS attack, affecting my motor skills, muscle strength, bladder control, and equilibrium, while leaving me with migraines and nerve pain. Through some medicinal and alternative treatments, I improved some, but my walking slowly slid downhill. I now use a walker or a wheelchair.

How I became an author…

My first three books in a series of four.

In 2018 I retired from my work as a floral designer, wondering how I would fill my time, and in a “lightbulb” moment, I thought of the historical fiction book I’d started many years prior. 

I resurrected it from an old computer and started writing, mainly on my iPad with one or two fingers, since traditional typing presents a problem for me. Within a few months, I had my first draft done. It poured out of me. The scenes came as easily as turning on the TV and watching a movie. Fleshing out a few point of view and storyline issues took a little more time, but eventually Ruby Moon was born. 

Author photo, Elena Dawson Photography

Fast forward to 2020, and I now have three published books under my belt in the By the Light of the Moon series and a fourth coming soon. I’ve also written more books in a new series, Sheltering Trees and am writing the third now. I hope to traditionally publish those. 

I look back to 2015 and can’t believe I’ve done what I have. I would have never thought it possible or probable then, for I could barely look at a computer or iPad screen for much time without getting a headache. My cognitive abilities suffered as well, I think primarily because of my head pain. Sometimes I could barely string a coherent sentence together much less write a chapter or a novel.

But you know what? I believe miracles do happen, and I think what I’ve accomplished is nothing short of a miracle and God’s grace. As I look to the future and it’s unknowns, I’ll hold on to that image in the rearview mirror. 🙂

Blessings, J

I enjoy finding new authors and purchasing books that I want to read for a change. For many years, I used the library system and requested and borrowed books that interested me, but now I would like to enjoy and keep most of the novels I read. So far I’ve hit the mark 75% of the time and have not been disappointed with my selections. Following the hashtags #historicalfiction and #christianhistoricalfiction on Instagram has helped me in choosing titles in my genres.

My review for The Summer Country, released last month:

The Summer Country

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Summer Country, by Lauren Willig, paints a historical picture of life on a sugar plantation in 19th century Barbados. 

Emily Dawson inherits Peverills, a sprawling, derelict plantation, from her grandfather. Amidst a backdrop of unrest and slavery, she goes to Barbados with her cousin Adam and his wife to claim it. 

Mystery about the plantation’s past seeps out as the story progresses, and Emily must choose between a forbidden attraction and an expected match. 

A split timeline discloses the past through various characters, that unbeknownst to Emily, are irrevocably linked to her past and her very identity. 

Lovers of historical fiction with split timelines, strong characters, romance, and a bit of mystery will enjoy this enchanting read by gifted writer, Willig. 

Happy Reading!

What are you reading right now?

The early years:

I grew up a farmer’s daughter and love country living. The unobstructed view of the sky and the solitude of wide-open spaces feeds my soul. I saw–and continue to see–each each leaf and flower as a tiny miracle. As a kid, exploring the woods and the fields kept me occupied and with an endless supply of inspiration. When I wasn’t doing chores or helping preserve our garden produce, I read, imagined, or watched stories. 

My favorite books:

When I could had enough reading under my belt to start reading chapter books, I delved into classics like The Secret Garden, and Patricia St. John’s books, of which Treasure of the Snow was my favorite. As my reading level expanded, I became hooked on L.M. Montgomery’s books, such as the Anne of Green Gables series and Emily of New Moon. I loved old-school fantasy books by Madeline L’Engle (A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door) and George MacDonald’s The Back of the North Wind and Lilith. I also favored The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. Later on, I read MacDonald’s adult fiction and forged my way into classics like Jane Eyre, Emma, and The House of the Seven Gables. These books molded and stirred my love of a good story.

Watching stories:

My mom and I used to enjoy old musicals and movies together. Any with Judy Garland were our favorites. Meet Me in St. Louis ranked number one. It thrilled Mom when she could buy movies on video tapes. She built her collection a little at a time, and by the time I left for college, she’d filled up a large bookcase. Now, when I sit down to watch an old movie, I think of her and deeply miss her company. 

Do you have a favorite old movie?

The beginning of my author journey: 

My author journey began gradually with my love of stories, but the day I remember walking into our local library as a child was the day I became a writer. I recall the musty, dusty, lemon oil smell, the creaking floors, and the shelves of books all calling my name. A few moments in my life I’ve seen as magical; that one qualified. Little did I know then that I would be a librarian someday, much less an author. 

This road to authorship has been filled with so much life: marriage, family, happiness, tragedy, loss, illness. My growing up years and everything in between this point and the past have all contributed to who I am as a writer. Each smile, tear, and experience has given me fuel to craft my tales. I could not have been the writer I am today back in my twenties. I hadn’t lived or cried enough. Characters need more substance than an imaginative yanking out of a magical hat. They are more real when their emotions have been mine, at least in part. I write best when I keep that in mind. 

My author future:

Last month I published my third inspirational historical fiction novel, Silver Moon. Now, my editor has my fourth, Harvest Moon, in hand. It seems strange and surreal, but this indie author journey requires courage and perseverance and often more energy than I have. I’m not certain of what the future holds or how much my physical weakness will dictate my progress as an author, but I’ve come to the decision that whatever happens, it will be OK. Maybe this next book will be my last, or maybe I’ll write 18 more. Who knows?

Life’s interruptions don’t frighten me as much as they used to. If my physical ability allows me to continue on, I’ll rejoice. If it doesn’t, I’ll rejoice as well that I published four novels and did what I thought was impossible. Isn’t that what we all want—to defy the impossible? 

What’s your impossible dream? 

Tell me something unexpected and bordering on the impossible that happened in your life or that you wish would happen. I used to think Walt Disney had it wrong, that dreams don’t come true, but now I know they do. But often not as we expect.

Thanks for reading! Blessings, J

Today I want to welcome fellow Wisconsin author, Michele Olson. I asked her to do an author interview with me and she graciously agreed. Michele and I met through a friend of mine and a family member of hers. I enjoyed reading her book, Being Ethel (In a World That Loves Lucy), very much. After Michele’s interview I share my book review.

What inspired you to write Being Ethel (In a world that loves Lucy)?

I think I have a different taste when it comes to books, and I wanted to write something that was unique but meaningful. Using all the things I love in real life, even though the story is fictional, made it fun to write. I am a big I Love Lucy fan, a fan of Old Hollywood, and a fan of Mackinac Island and the Grand Hotel. I combined all those quirky things, even the fact the story starts out in San Francisco, (I love that city) into a story.  

I’m guessing you enjoy watching I Love Lucy.
Are you Ethel or Lucy? Why
?

I’m a big collector and huge I Love Lucy fan! There is a point made in my book, which I think is true. We all want to be Lucy, and perceive ourselves that way, however, we are all probably closer to Ethel. The question the book explores through fiction is: Is it okay to be Ethel? Why do we want to be the front and center person? Do we miss out because we are focusing on being the main character?

Have you always wanted to author books? When did writing creatively first begin in your life?

It was a far-off dream ever since I went to the library as a kid and poured over each new Nancy Drew book. I loved that series. I started working right out of high school as a writer for WISN TV in Milwaukee and went into a radio/TV/Marketing/Copy writing career that I am still doing 46 years later! Writing a book was a dream, but when you write for a living professionally, it’s not easy to do that at the end of an 8-hour day already filled with writing.  I also didn’t know if I could do it, but as time went on, I became more and more interested to find out. In 2016 and 2017 I started exploring courses online and learning more about it. I ended up taking a class with the author of the hugely successful Left Behind Series, Jerry Jenkins. He said that if we finished our novel by November 2018, we would be invited to meet him and our fellow classmates in Nashville. That deadline is what really propelled me to work hard on Being Ethel. I worked on in for three years but got serious in 2017.  We had a great meet up, I met him, and we stay in touch through a Facebook page for that class. My fellow authors have been a great encouragement and help in this writing journey.

What do you love most about the setting: Mackinac Island?

My husband and I have been going to the island for over 35 years and stayed at the Grand for over 15 years. It is one of my favorite places on earth. Through all those years, I have come to know it well. What I loved about making it the setting of the book is the feeling that I was there when I was writing. I remember in years past going to the bookstore on the island and buying every book I could that had a story set there, so I could take it home and feel like I was still connected. It’s a huge joy to be able to provide that for someone else now as an eBook, paperback, or audiobook.

How did your faith story influence Piper’s, your main character?

I made the decision that if I was going to put the time into writing fiction, it had to have a purpose beyond entertainment. That purpose is to also impart and open the reader up to the greatest story ever told through my character’s story viewpoint. Piper had a lot happen in her young life, and she continued to struggle. It’s her friendship with a quirky I Love Lucy loving nun that opens the door to the answers she needs. The peace and faith I have in Jesus, I want my characters to find.  They aren’t afraid to ask some hard questions about faith, just like the readers have experienced.

How has your past experience in radio, marketing, and advertising helped you on this current journey of being a self-published author? What marketing tips would you give other authors?

As an indie published author, meaning there is not a traditional publishing house helping with any of the steps, there is so much to do! I think most people would agree that writing the book is the easiest part. What comes after can be overwhelming.  As far as tips, it’s like any other product. You are telling as many people as you can in as many different venues as possible. I’m always reaching out, and even if I don’t see any immediate rewards, I keep going. I do think it was easier for me to produce an audiobook because of my background as a pro voice person. I’m used to working with professional studios and I have a small studio in my home office. This world however is a bit different than what I’m used to so I’m always learning.

What lessons have you learned on the self-publishing path?

It’s a business first and foremost. If a new author doesn’t market and reach out, the book will probably go nowhere beyond an immediate circle of people. It’s very time consuming and as someone who still works in a normal job on top of this, it’s not easy. However, it’s something you can keep at and the learning never stops.

You are working on a series of books. Can you give us a brief description of what the second and third book in the Mackinac Island will be about?

Yes, I hope to have the second out by the end of 2020. It’s Being Dorothy (In a world longing for home). The first chapter is in the back of Being Ethel (In a world that loves Lucy). Being Ethel takes place in 1979, Being Dorothy will be 1980, and the characters from the first book become secondary characters in the next book. There are going to be some cats introduced in the second book, and until Sept. 1st, I’m giving people the chance to name the cats. I’m looking for names that relate the story, and names that Piper Penn would pick.  The guidelines to name the cats is at my website: www.LakeGirlPublishing.com/blog. The third book takes place in 1981 Being Alice (In a world lost in the looking glass), and still on Mackinac Island. Each story can stand on it’s own, but if you read them in order, you’ll appreciate more depth of the characters from the book before.

Tell us about your birthday book, Five Easy Steps to a Happy Birthday.  

This is a nonfiction gift book, something you could give instead of a card, that assures no adult ever has to have a ho-hum birthday ever again. If anyone follows these five tips, they will always have a happy birthday on their terms. It’s written with humor, but the tips are real. I highly recommend it for anyone to have a happy birthday, and as a gift. Also, because it’s about being prepared for your birthday, you don’t have to wait for your birthday to get it.

My books are available everywhere including Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can also ask your favorite bookstore to order it in, or ask your library to get a copy.

I love to connect with readers, so I invite everyone to check out my website for more of my story, to see some of my artwork, to hear my audio demos, and listen to the first chapter of Being Ethel (In a world that loves Lucy). www.lakegirlpublishing.com

Email: info@lakegirlpublishing.com

Connect with Michele via:

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Linked In

Pinterest

Jenny’s Review:

 Being Ethel (In a World That Loves Lucy) brought back many pleasant memories of Mackinac Island. I toured the island several times as a youngster with my grandma. We took a horse-drawn ride around the island, ate at the fancy Grand Hotel, and shopped in the cute tourist shops.

Olson creates a lovable and relatable character in Piper, a young woman who has experienced plenty of heartache. Piper comes to the island to claim a tourist shop and property which were left to her by a relative who died. She works as an extra on the set of the movie Somewhere in Time. There she meets Cameron, who becomes a friend and then soon something more.

A nun on the island befriends Piper. Together they talk about life and its hardships and deep questions of faith while watching the TV show, I Love Lucy. Piper sympathizes with and sees herself more as Ethel rather than Lucy, feeling like she’s always played second fiddle in life, but Piper’s nun friend and Cameron see something more in her. However, amidst an arson and theft, suspicions run high, and Piper is not even sure she can trust Cameron. 

I found this book an easy, cozy read with a little romance and mystery. 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for plot, characters, and storyline

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ a more active voice in sentence structure would have added a richer depth to the book

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for a clean read with meaning

I look forward to more books by Olson in the Mackinac Island Story series.

Thanks for reading!

Do you have a book that’s written by an author from your state of residence that you enjoyed reading? If so, leave a comment and let me know!

Happy reading! J

I have been enjoying the living color of the wildflowers blooming in a strip that my husband, Ken, planted alongside the tall grass at the base of the hill on the north side of our home. We look each day for new blooms as we go slowly along the strip on our golf cart with little Miss Ruby (our mini Yorkie) standing at the read to chase any wildlife that might make itself know. An array of colors from pastels to deep fuchsia and red brighten the hillside with the cheery faces of flowers.

Color for Me Please:

Life is so much better in color isn’t it? Not that I don’t appreciate the depth of a black and white photo and the lines, shades, and shadows defining the subject captured within. But color makes me happy. I don’t think I could live in a house with all white walls and ceilings. Ick.

My home hosts various shades of gray, warm golds, cool blues, and dusty greens on its walls and trim. My creative space showcases colorful fabric, yarn, beads, and books arranged according to similar palettes. Turquoise blue and butter yellow accents tie the decor together with the blue-gray walls and gray and white flowered curtains.

Color inspires, calms, and uplifts me. I can’t imagine my world with it.

How I Build Color Into My Books:

I like to be as descriptive as possible when writing about the setting in my work. Color plays a big role in that. Imagine amber eyes, molasses-colored hair, and the gray, smokey orange dawn of a morning overshadowed by the aftermath of war.

In Ruby Moon red plays a role of triggering Jenay to feel guilty. It speaks of passion and loss but also growth. Jenay’s aunt spins an Ojibwe tale about a red moon that Jenay comes to realize has taken place in her own life.

Blue Moon doesn’t really pertain to the color blue as much as what a “blue moon” represents. Think of the statement “true blue”. It signifies something real, loyal, and lasting. In Blue Moon these qualities translate into the story, and in a way blue comes to color the theme of the book and all the drama eventually leads to peace.

In Silver Moon the image of the moon in the sky ties the characters together and gives a feeling of space and scope beyond the reality they face. I use a tale told by my favorite character, Maang-ikwe, to tie in the image of the Silver Moon to the story.

How Do You Add Color?

Tell me how you add color to your home, day, work, or hobbies. Or maybe you enjoy the cleanness of a white palette. Comment and share your thoughts.

Thanks for reading!

As always, thank you for spending a portion of your day with me! Blessings, J

Let me introduce my friend and fellow author, Regina Walker. I’m so happy to welcome her as a guest blogger today on Jenny Knipfer–Author. Regina writes contemporary Christian fiction. Her first novel, We Go On, focused on a family learning to function again after enduring a season of grief. Following is Regina’s guest post.

Why I Write

First, I want to thank Jenny for hosting me today. I have been so inspired and encouraged by our friendship. If you haven’t already grabbed a copy of her By the Light of the Moon series, you need to. I’ve enjoyed reading them immensely.

My name is Regina and I am so excited to be here with you today, dear readers. I have published a contemporary Christian fiction. I have a non-fiction in mind, and I’m already working on a second contemporary Christian fiction. I also blog regularly, and I’m working on writing devotionals for several outlets.

That’s my what – I write. It’s pretty easy to sum up the what. It’s a little bit harder to explain the why.

The easy why is that I write to glorify God and point others toward Him, to remind others of His love, and to shine a spotlight on His grace. This seems like such an obvious answer for someone writing in Christian genres – of course, we are writing to glorify God.

So, let me tell you a little more about me and my journey with words.

I am in my thirties and I am a wife and a mom of seven. We have a blended family. We’ve owned two towing businesses and a feed store, and they all came to a sad end. I grew up in Colorado but imported to Oklahoma when I was sixteen.

I was homeschooled from 3rd grade through graduation. My favorite subject in school was Language Arts. I excelled when writing essays and small papers. As I got older, I enjoyed creative writing as an extra class. I wrote poems constantly. I even played a writing-based online game where we were all horse owners/breeders/racers/competitors.

I journaled often when I was overwhelmed or hurting or elated. It seemed that no matter what life sent my way, I turned to my pen and paper to record how I felt or what I thought. In my early twenties, I was a new mom, writing to explore and understand my experiences in motherhood when I felt the first tug of the Holy Spirit on my heart. I started a blog pretty quickly. Still to this day, I blog. I’ve practiced and honed my writing in so many ways on that blog. It is a history of me, of sorts.

I felt called to start my first book, a novel, ten years ago. I drafted it in a few months time and began revising it. I never could get it to a place I felt comfortable with. I ended up shelving that project. In the ten years between that drafted novel and today, I’ve started countless manuscripts. I think there are about fifteen on this harddrive.

Two years ago, I was two years into being sicker than I ever remember in my life. I was having migraines that would last for 42 days. I was in pain. I was having electrical shocks through my body. It was a nightmare, and I didn’t know exactly what was wrong. I was also running a feed store while my husband was running a towing business. I took 5 of the 7 kids to work with me every day to do their schoolwork while I ran the store. I had been without insurance, but I finally got a policy and began seeing doctors.

My primary care doctor was incredible and took the problems seriously. It took about four appointments with various specialists and a long MRI, but it was determined that I have an Arnold Chiari Malformation I. We joke from time to time that my brain is falling out of my head or that I have more brains than I can contain. Realistically, my cerebellar tonsils have herniated into my spinal canal. The flow of spinal fluid is often blocked or limited and causes a wealth of weird symptoms.

It is a strange thing to face, but it has been a fire to my purpose. It has been my fire to focusing on the Lord, His call on my life, and doing what He made me to do. He made me to write. So I am writing. It took me a couple of years to really find my feet with writing again after my diagnosis.

This year, my word is obedience. As the Lord has drawn my eyes to focus on Him and on the work He has for me, He also immediately impressed upon my heart that I need to get to writing. Each word that I pen feels like a victory. It is obedience to my Lord and Saviour, and it is how I overcome limitations in my physical body. Some days, we can hardly tell I’m sick, other days, I thank God that my fingers still work to type because of all the things that don’t work right.

This is my why – because obeying my call honors and glorifies my God. Because obeying my call gives me a way to win and overcome an illness that is without a cure. Because obeying my calling will point others to my heavenly Father.

Until next time,

Regina Walker released her debut novel, We Go On, this year. She crafts compelling characters facing some of life’s hardest challenges. Her heart’s desire is to always point toward Jesus through the way her characters face challenges, relationships, and adversity. Regina is an Oklahoma import, although she was born and raised in the beautiful state of Colorado. She likes to curl up on the couch and binge-watch crime shows with her hard-working husband. When she’s not wrestling with a writing project, she can be found wrangling their children, riding their horses, or working around their small hobby farm.

MY REVIEW:

We Go On, by Regina Walker

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

We Go On is a contemporary Christian novel, telling the tale of one family and how they deal with their grief and manage life after a tragic incident.

With a surprise link to the one she mourns, Liz starts on the road to healing with a curry comb and boots and a horse she knows nothing about. Misunderstandings and the fact that they process their grief differently keep Liz and Josh on different emotional levels.

Will Liz, Josh, and their son, Tyler, learn to cope and trust that God will somehow bring about something redeeming from the pain they’ve suffered, or will they allow their troubles to delve them into separation and a valley of bitterness?

Walker lays out the drama, stress, and emotional pain of the characters in a believable way but leaves the door open for hope and a way to go on.

Thank you!

Thanks so much for reading, and thanks to Regina for being a guest blogger today. One of the best things about being an author is connecting with other authors and making new friends! I hope you have the opportunity to read Regina’s hopeful novel.

Blessings, J

I took a break from social media, blogging, and everything bookish, marketing, and publishing-wise these last few days to spend time with family for the first time since Christmas. We gathered outside on the 4th at the home farm, which my nephew and his wife own now. 

The color of the house has changed, the barn sported a new metal roof instead of the green shingle one I remember, different tractors sat in the machine shed, and the yard displayed new trees. But yet my memories of so many good days spent with my parents—they passed some time ago—and my siblings remain. 

Things change. Life moves on. We lose people and gain them. I have great nieces and nephews who have grown so much since I’ve seen them last. I’d like to get to know them better, but they live on one side of our state, and I live on the other. I typically go visit only a few times a year, my health being as it is, making travel a bit more challenging. 

I’ve come to the realization that you can never go back, returning to yesteryear. I suppose that’s as it should be. All things grow and change over time, including me. I am not the same person as that little ten-year-old me traipsing around the farm. Oh, I suppose in some ways we are similar. In others we differ. I know more, have seen more, experienced more. My choices through these channels have made me . . . me, and I wouldn’t go backwards even if I could. 

Life is good, even now with its brokenness and pain and all the more precious because of it.

I just gave birth to my third novel, SILVER MOON, last week, and launched it into the world. Now, I can hardly believe I must turn around and bear another book baby. I have to get my fourth book to my editor this week. I’m giving it one more read through before I do. In my reading tonight, I left off at this quote…

To live or have loved,

That is enough.

Ask nothing further,

There is no other pearl

To be found in the 

Dark folds of life.

Victor Hugo, Les Miserables 

Life is precious; love is enough and the most we can ask for. In this aspect, I can be content, despite my health or how many books I sell or don’t sell, that agent I wish I had, or any number of things. I’ve lived a good life, been loved and have loved, past and present. I have been and am blessed. 

I hope you can say the same.

Blessings, J

Visit my purchase page and select the respective iPhone images to take you to the sales pages.

NOTE: The Kindle copies of Ruby Moon and Blue Moon are $3.99. Through a number of different retailers, including Apple Books they are $.99.

%d bloggers like this: