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.

Book Title: ‘Tho I Be Mute * Author: Heather Miller * Publication Date: 13th July 2021 * Publisher: Defiance Press and Publishing * Page Length: 340 Pages * Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

I have not read ‘Tho I Be Mute yet but would like to. It sounds interesting, especially with its Native American vein! If you’ve read my books, you’ll know that plays a part in my series, By the Light of the Moon. So today, as a part of the Coffeepot Book Club, I am happy to feature this historical fiction romance novel.

Home. Heritage. Legacy. Legend.

In 1818, Cherokee John Ridge seeks a young man’s education at the Foreign Mission School in Cornwall, Connecticut. While there, he is overcome with sickness yet finds solace and love with Sarah, the steward’s quiet daughter. Despite a two-year separation, family disapproval, defamatory editorials, and angry mobs, the couple marries in 1824.

Sarah reconciles her new family’s spirituality and her foundational Christianity. Although, Sarah’s nature defies her new family’s indifference to slavery. She befriends Honey, half-Cherokee and half-African, who becomes Sarah’s voice during John’s extended absences.

Once arriving on Cherokee land, John argues to hold the land of the Cherokees and that of his Creek neighbors from encroaching Georgian settlers. His success hinges upon his ability to temper his Cherokee pride with his knowledge of American law. Justice is not guaranteed.

Rich with allusions to Cherokee legends, ‘Tho I Be Mute speaks aloud; some voices are heard, some are ignored, some do not speak at all, compelling readers to listen to the story of a couple who heard the pleas of the Cherokee.

Buy Links:

Universal Amazon Link: https://books2read.com/u/mV6p5r

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tho-Be-Mute-Heather-Miller-ebook/dp/B08ZB276Y2

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Tho-Be-Mute-Heather-Miller-ebook/dp/B08ZB276Y2

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Tho-Be-Mute-Heather-Miller-ebook/dp/B08ZB276Y2

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Tho-Be-Mute-Heather-Miller-ebook/dp/B08ZB276Y2

Author Guest Post:

As a teacher, I discovered the art of creative writing while seeking new material for innovative teaching. I enrolled at a local university and took a “Researched Fiction” course to refuel my curriculum and instruction. When the professor wrote “What is a novel?” on the whiteboard during the class’ first meeting, I rolled my eyes, assuming I would learn nothing from her or the twenty-something English graduate students surrounding the conference table. However, at the second class, on a field trip to Special Collections, my paradigm shifted from learning more about what others had written to what I could craft myself,

Special Collections Libraries spawn a unique exhilaration for historical novelists. They are the places of primary sources: actual words and authentic voices articulated from dusty, cradled books and microfiche newspapers long out of print. While classic works of fiction provide culture and social commentary, cursive signatures on deeds and treaties, pen-named arguments in ‘letters to the editor’ allow modern pursuers to hear history’s voices. Historical fiction creative writers seek mastery in the art of hearing voices. This genre’s authors become weavers of forgotten words, crafters who collate volumes of research to stories following time’s winners and losers, the oppressor and the oppressed, the built and the burnt. It is an honor to breathe life into history’s words again. 

When beginning the Researched Fiction course work, I found myself inspired by the single-chaptered, Tiresias-like archetype from the denouement of Charles Frazier’s Odyssey allegory, Cold Mountain—the medicine woman who resides alone on a mountainside, providing spiritual aid to the hero who happenstances to cross her path. My curiosity about her elicited subsequent questions: How did she learn the skills medicinal skills she offered to the hero? How did she gain her astute philosophy of living while so remaining isolated? What spawned her retreat from society? Where was her family? Answers led me to the Ridge family discovered among the pages of Cherokee history in Special Collections libraries. Voices, ever-alive, spoke from the pages of the Cherokee Phoenix newspaper, treaties signed with ink and quill expunging the tragedy endured through Cherokee removal.

My debut novel, ‘Tho I Be Mute, began. Two and a half years later, I’ve read more than I ever have in my life and written more than I ever thought I could.

Author Bio: Heather Miller

As an English educator, Heather Miller has spent twenty-three years teaching her students the author’s craft. Now, she is writing it herself, hearing voices from the past.

Miller’s foundation began in the theatre, through performance storytelling. She can tap dance, stage-slap someone, and sing every note from Les Misérables. Her favorite role is that of a fireman’s wife and mom to three: a trumpet player, a future civil engineer, and a future RN. There is only one English major in her house.

While researching, writing, and teaching, she is also working towards her M FA in Creative Writing. Heather’s corndog-shaped dachshund, Sadie, deserves an honorary degree.

Social Media Links:

Website: https://heathermillerauthor.com/home/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HMHFR

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HMillerAuthor

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heather-miller-896627208/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hmillerauthor/

Pinterest: https://pin.it/26kOsvl

Thank You:

Thanks, Heather for your post and blessings on your book!

Friends, what’s on your reading shelf? Are you a part of an in-person or online bookclub?

On Thursdays on social media, I’ve been sharing a quote from my newly released inspirational historical fiction novel, In a Grove of Maples. Today, I thought I’d give my blog followers a glimpse into my Thursday excerpts. This excerpt comes from chapter eight. I open the chapter with this literary quote by Elizabeth Barrett Browning: “I love thee with a love I seemed to lose.” It sums up the chapter well. 

In all honesty when writing Beryl and Edward’s story, I wanted to knock their heads together and say, “Grow up!” They misunderstand each other and simply can’t see life from the other’s perspective, but this can happen to newlyweds or at the beginning of a romantic relationship. I wanted to explore how that would look in this novel, and so far, most readers have commented how I’ve hit the newlywed nail on the head and said they can relate to Beryl or Edward. That makes my heart happy. As an author, it’s important to create relatable characters, dealing with real life issues readers can comprehend. 

Here’s an excerpt, based on the quote in the graphic…

Beryl walked toward home, stepping through the harvested rows of corn to get to the end. The rustle of dry stalks faded as she neared the cabin.

 An image of their future home sprouted again in her mind. Beryl made her way over to the trees which held her dream. One maple at the center of the arc dominated the others, like a teacher among students. Beryl lowered herself to sit in the pile of fallen leaves at its base. A musty, earthy smell met her nose as she sat. It was the smell of death and life together. A sudden twinge and a kick from the babe inside her made her rub the side of her misshapen belly. 

How will I manage by myself? Who will attend me when I give birth? 

Beryl feared being alone. She knew she needed to love Edward as best as she could, but ever since she had found out about him going up north for work, a fear had grown in her. She couldn’t rise above it. 

She picked up a handful of leaves. Some crumbled with her touch; others were pliable. In Beryl’s mind, the sensation became a manifestation of what the future might hold.

Will our separation cause us to die and crumble, or will Edward and I retain life in our marriage, keeping love alive?

Deep down, Beryl knew love to be a choice, but she didn’t know if she could love and be afraid at the same time. The fear made her angry at Edward—angry for leading her here to Wisconsin and then abandoning her to fend for herself. 

She leaned her head back against the sturdy trunk and listened to the wind and the distant honk of migrating geese. She stayed that way for some moments and relaxed. Beryl had almost nodded off when the rustle of leaves and the bark of a dog forced her eyes open…

An Excerpt Gallery

Thanks for reading! 

Have you ever read a novel that centers on a newlywed couple and their relationship issues? If so, tell me about it.

No part of this graphic may be used without permission from Jenny.

Today, I’d like to share a little Wisconsin lumbering history with you that I wrote into my latest historical novel, In a Grove of Maples, inspired by my grandparents. In a portion of the story Edward Massart leaves his wife, Beryl, to head up to northern Wisconsin to be a teamster—a man handling a team of horses, pulling a sled of felled trees—at a lumber camp. 

From school and just growing up in an area not far from where lumber camps once operated, I knew much of the historical information I used for In a Grove of Maples but did brush up on some terminology, different jobs at the camps, and details about specific camps. 

In particular I researched the lumber camp at Morse, WI. I have been to Morse numerous times to stay at a cabin my sister and her husband own in the tiny town. Morse is mainly a collection of a few old, small homes and not the thriving lumber town it once was. At its height, it shipped out thirty train cars of lumber per week to Ashland, WI.

🍁Learn more about the history of Morse, Wisconsin here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morse_(community),_Wisconsin

🍁I found the book, Ghosts of the Forest: Vanished Lumber Towns of Wisconsin, by Randall Eugene Rohe very helpful in my research on lumbering in northern Wisconsin. 

I loved learning more about the camp at Morse and imagining my grandfather working in such a spot, which he very well might have. For many years, he spent the winters up north at a logging camp, working as a teamster. The graphic banner above contains a picture of my grandfather with his team of horses, Sal and Sam, and my dad. I’m not certain that these are the horses Grandpa took up north to the logging camp or not, but they could have been, as horses have long lives. The photo was probably taken 18 to 20 years after they purchased the farm. Next to their photo is one of a lumber camp and would have been typical of the sleds of logs my grandfather would have managed, along with his horses.

Photos of the inside of a bunkhouse at a lumber camp where the men stayed and of a cookshack, where the meals were served. 

🍁Interesting fact: my grandfather made $.50 a day, but the horses made $1.00 a day. 

🍁Have you ever visited a historical logging camp?

🍁Interesting fact: There was no talking allowed in the cookshack. Talking often led to brawling with the many different nationalities of men represented. 

In the story, I weave in the many different jobs done at the camps, like the jacks, barkers, and the road monkeys and also a bit of a mystery. Someone at the camp places a target on Edward’s back. Will he survive the attempt on his life? Read to find out!

Thank you!

I hope you enjoyed this taste of Wisconsin’s lumber history. Thank you for reading, J

Please do not save, copy, or use any part of this graphic without Jenny’s permission.

My latest historical novel, In a Grove of Maples, is inspired by my grandparents, my dad’s folks, and their lives as Wisconsin farmers in the late 1890’s.

I never knew my grandparents. They died years before I entered this world. Being the youngest of six children, and my dad being the second youngest of thirteen siblings, time kept us apart. Also, factor in that my Dad hovered around the age of fifty at my birth. 

So, though my grandparents lived to be in their 90’s I missed getting to know them. 

All I have of them amounts to a few stories my dad told me and three photographs. One of them with a car they purchased in the 1930’s, one with my grandfather, his horses, Sal and Sam, and my dad, and one taken at my mom and dad’s wedding in the 1950’s.

Even my siblings don’t know or remember much about them. They were young when our grandparents passed. My brothers helped me fill in a few gaps of missing information, but when we pooled together all we knew, a lot of gaps and questions remained. And when you are young, you don’t think about asking your parents about the details of their parents’ lives. I wish I’d asked more questions and listened better. 

I recall my dad telling me how grandma sold eggs to the store and saved her money to purchase special things for himself and his siblings. Out of the few times I saw my father cry, most of those were when he spoke of his mother. He had loved her greatly, and that told me all I needed to know about the kind of person she had been. 

knew that she stayed home and tended the farm and children in the early years of marriage, so Grandpa could go be a teamster at a logging camp up north in Wisconsin. (This made it into the book.) 🙂

Dad never talked much about his father, but I gathered from what he did tell me that  Grandpa had been a hard-working man but prone to temper, once in a while. I like to think that Grandpa and Grandma had forged a good life together through the years, despite the challenges.

Armed with a handful of historical facts about and when they bought the farm in Wisconsin—the farm I grew up on—I began to wonder and ask myself questions about what the lives of my grandparents may have been like as a newly married couple, and the book began to formulate in my mind. In a way I suppose it’s my attempt to bring them back to life in the only way I can. Characters took shape and spoke, showing me a story of trials, tested love, heartache, and tragedy with an underlying current that in spite of or perhaps even because of the unforeseen events of life, dreams can come true.

🍁Question: Did you know your grandparents? If so, what’s your best memory of them?

~ Watch the new book trailer on Youtube ~

A Sneak Peak:

I’m excited to give you a sneak peak at the cover of my next novel in the Sheltering Trees series, Under the Weeping Willow. The cover reveal is coming up on August 11th! Fun fact: I know the model in the photo. 🙂 Can you guess how?

The synopsis:

A historical novel about a mother and daughter and the secret shaping their rocky relationship

1918:

Just as Robin Holcomb settles into married life with her husband, Willis, on his aunt and uncle’s farm in Wisconsin, WWI calls Willis away. With an unknown future and a child on the way, Robin makes the best of life among people she barely knows.

After the birth of her child, Robin struggles with depression and battles to overcome her inner demons before despair and hopelessness drive her to attempt to take her own life. Will Robin survive her dive into postpartum depression, let alone see Willis again?

1985:

Enid Fenton clears out her Mother’s house and puts the family farm up for sale, trying to not be consumed by guilt for installing her mother into the county nursing home. 

Reading through some of her mother’s diary entries, Enid uncovers a secret that helps her make sense of the unnamed point of division that has always soured their relationship. 

Can Enid reconcile with her mother before the ravages of Alzheimer’s claim her?

Readers of historical fiction, Christian historical fiction, literary fiction, and women’s fiction will be moved as this novel takes them from the depths of a person’s psyche and grief to the pinnacle of long-hoped-for peace. 

Until next time,

Blessings, J

I’m thrilled to announce that it’s release day for In a Grove of Maples, my inspirational historical novel, inspired by my grandparents and their lives as Wisconsin farmers in the late 1890’s. Following is a bit about the book. If you enjoy historical fiction, I’m sure you would like to read Beryl and Edward’s story. To help celebrate, be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to claim your FREE Kindle copy of my WWI novel, Silver Moon.


… a heartfelt tale of the struggles of married life on a nineteenth-century farm. Edward and Beryl are both relatable and sympathetic. Knipfer expertly captures the emotion and stress of their lives and relationship. It’s a touching and realistic portrayal of love, loss, and friendship.” Heather Stockard for Readers’ Favorite five-star review

A HISTORICAL NOVEL OF THE PERILS OF NEWLYWED LIFE AND ALL THAT COMES TO DIVIDE LOVERS

In 1897 newly married Beryl and Edward Massart travel more than one thousand miles from Quebec to farm a plot of land in Wisconsin that they bought sight-unseen. An almost magical grove of maples on their property inspires them to dream of a real home built within the grove, not the tiny log cabin they’ve come to live in. 

Misunderstandings and tempers get the better of them when difficulties and troubles arise. Just months after they wed, Edward leaves pregnant Beryl in the midst of the coming winter to tend the farm and animals while he goes to be a teamster at a northern Wisconsin logging camp. 

Will Beryl and Edward walk into the future together to build their house of dreams in the grove of maples, or will their plans topple like a house of sticks when the winds of misunderstanding and disaster strike?

Readers of Christian historical fiction, Historical fiction, Women’s fiction, and Christian historical romance will be endeared to this slice of late 19th century farm life. 

Editorial reviews:

“In a Grove of Maples presents a fascinating look at what life was like for a young couple starting out on their own and how necessary it was to have friends and neighbors that you could call on for help. Even though the book is set in the late 19th century, the struggles Edward and Beryl have in their marriage are things many people deal with today.” — Kristine Zimmerman for Readers’ Favorite five-star review

“Dramatic character development and lavish descriptive language make Knipfer’s prose shine, and carry this emotionally stirring plot from start to finish. The storytelling is casual but unmistakably aged, and the research into this particular time period is remarkable, while the variation in narrative format keeps the story engaging throughout.” — Self-Publishing Review four and a half-star review

“Readers of women’s fiction and Christian historical romance will find In a Grove of Maples an engrossing story of 19th century rural life that examines matters of heart, ethics, morality, and belief as Beryl faces a new world with few resources other than her faith and love. It concludes with an unexpected twist that comes full circle to leave the door open for more.” — D. Donavon for Midwest Book Review

Help me celebrate the release of In a Grove of Maples and join my virtual release party on Facebook July 1st and 2nd. It’s a multi-author event with over 35 giveaways.

FREE, NOW THROUGH JULY 3RD: SILVER MOON

In celebration of the 4th of July holiday and my book release and for a limited time, my WWI novel, Silver Moon, is available FREE on Kindle. Download your copy today. Tell a friend who likes reading wartime historical fiction. Enjoy the book!

Have a great 4th of July weekend. Blessings, J

Is it possible to experience an image of joy in the midst of grief? Of pain? I know it is. Let me tell you how…

Jesus said, “Bless those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” If we do not experience grief, we cannot know comfort. Joy often comes paired with pain. Such is life, as the Lord well knew when he spoke these words from His sermon on the mount, as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, chapters 5-7. 

Looking back, what I did not know in life was that we can grieve more than the loss of a loved one. There are many kinds of losses in life, and in a life lived with MS, the losses ever increase. It’s a slow death of burying abilities.

I have gone through the cyclic stages of grief so many times I’ve lost track. Someday, I will have nothing else to grieve over except my life, and indeed by that time, I’ll be willing to surrender it without much fuss and be ready to leave a body that has betrayed me for years.

Recently, one night as I fell asleep I prayed and asked the Lord for some image of hope for the future that I could hold onto, and I saw something unexpected. 

In a flash of a vision, He clasped His hand in mine as we leaped and ran through a knee-high field of non-yet-ripened, blue-green wheat. We laughed, like children without a care, the wheat flapping against our legs, and I felt nothing but sheer joy. 

This is the image God gave me when I begged Him for something to hold onto, like an anchor, as I navigate these very stormy seas. He is good to give us what we need, and I will forever hold this in my mind as my disability continues to worsen, knowing that my real life is hidden with God in Christ, and someday my spirit and/or body will run untethered as never before. 

God knows what you need, my friend. Ask Him for it, and He will supply your needs from His riches in glory.

Be blessed, Jenny

A HISTORICAL NOVEL OF NEWLYWED LIFE AND ALL THAT COMES TO DIVIDE LOVERS

My upcoming novel, In a Grove of Maples, inspired by my grandparents and their lives as Wisconsin farmers in the late 1890’s, releases on Thursday! I am excited to share Beryl and Edward Massart’s story with readers. If you enjoy historical fiction with an inspirational theme, you’ll be endeared to the Massart’s tale of enduring love in the midst of trials, grief, and separation.

PICTURED: ANNEE’S LATEST OR UPCOMING RELEASES

I’d like to extend a warm welcome to inspirational romance author, Annee Jones. I happily connected with Annee recently on Facebook and invited her to take part in an author party I hosted this spring in my Facebook group, Journeying With Jenny. I have come to realize how important community is in the author/writing world. It has been a blessing getting to know Annee. She is a sweet, talented Christian lady and a prolific writer. She has published both traditionally and independently.

Read my interview with Annee below.

* What prompted you to pursue publication?

My father’s 80th birthday.  We were unable to visit him due to Covid and he’s always encouraged me to write fiction.  I lay awake one night wondering what would be a special gift for him, and in a flash, I knew I had to write a children’s book about our memories together.  I got up in the middle of the night and wrote the whole thing!  My daughter did the illustrations.  After that, I answered a call for submissions for an inspirational romance collection, and the rest is history.  😊

* What inspired you to write?

I’m a disability counselor and professional book reviewer in the genre of Christian fiction.  I’ve been a voracious reader all my life, and inspirational romance and cozy mystery are my favorite genres!  I love happy endings and biblical themes that point to God’s everlasting mercy and salvation through Christ.  Once the door of opportunity was opened, story ideas have been practically seeping out of my pores!  I now keep a notebook on my bedside table for middle-of-the-night brainstorms.  I’m also used to conducting research for work and write historical research articles – hence I love the research aspect required for my historical romances. 

* What was the most difficult aspect of writing your novel? The most rewarding?

Most difficult – researching and familiarizing myself with the publishing industry and technology.  Most rewarding – when readers tell me how much my stories touched their hearts or helped grow their faith.

* What do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Encouragement, hope, and lots of smiles!

* Which authors or books have inspired you the most, as a writer?

Oh boy, too many to count!  A few I can name offhand:  Jane Austen, Isak Dinesen, Beverly Lewis, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Kathleen Fuller, Jenn McKinlay, Leslie Meier, Ellery Adams, Anne George, Tracie Petersen, Jen Turano, Amy Lillard, Sarah Price, Lisa Jones Baker, Beth Wiseman. 

* What piece of advice would you offer aspiring authors?

Think about your purpose.  Do your homework. 

* What do you enjoy doing when not writing?

Reading, practicing Barre and Yoga, spending time with friends and family, church and bible studies.

Connect with Annee:

https://www.anneejones.com/

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAnneeJones

https://www.facebook.com/groups/anneesangelgroup

Thanks so much:

Thank you, Annee for being my guest author today! Many blessings on your continued publishing journey.

And thank you, followers and subscribers for reading! I hope you get a chance to read one of Anne’s many books. Blessings, J.

Do you enjoy reading epistolary novels that are written, in part, through diary entries or letters? If so, you’ll enjoy my upcoming novel, In a Grove of Maples. One of my main characters, Beryl Massart, keeps a diary. Each chapter opens with a diary entry of hers dated from the future, so readers get a taste for what is ahead in the story and keeps them turning the pages. That’s the goal, anyway! 🙂

Keeping a journal has been of great importance to me over the years, so I chose to include that in many of my characters’ lives in my novels. Writing my thoughts down has helped me through many a rough patch. Do you or have you ever kept a journal or diary?

Below is an excerpt from one of Beryl’s diary entries.

February 28th, 1898

Dear Diary,
Edward will be home soon. A part of me longs to see him, while a part of me rebels at the idea of his presence. During the four months he’s been gone to the lumber camp, I’ve gotten used to being alone. Working alone. Eating alone. Living alone.

Grief for our son—whom Edward never even met—washes over me afresh at times.

I wrapped Lyle in the baby blanket my mother had sent for him before the coroner took his little body away. I hate to think of him stacked like a chunk of firewood at the cemetery with other poor souls waiting to be buried in the spring. The ground is too frozen to bury him in February. I look forward to the spring thaw, so I can lay him to rest properly.

I wrote Edward, of course, but talking with him face to face about our loss scares me. In my heart I know blame cannot be attributed to him, but I do it anyway. Perhaps if he had been here to shoulder the workload, Lyle would have been born stronger. I might not have been so bone weary at the end of every day. At least if he had been here, he could have comforted me. Held me. Loved me. Grieved with me. Instead, I had to settle for Buster’s affection. The love of a dog comforts, but Buster’s kisses and presence do not equal Edward’s affection. When was the last time his arms were around me? I can’t remember.
Thank God for Nola. Without her checking on me now and
then throughout this winter, I would have succumbed to severe melancholy. I laugh at the thought. Maybe I am more like Mama than I imagined myself to be.

I can hear the cows mooing to be milked. Their poor udders are probably ready to burst. It’s past my usual chore time, but I have to pen my thoughts first before I start my rounds.

I dreamt about Lyle last night—what he might be like as a boy. The image of a tousle-haired, rosy-cheeked fellow came to me. He smiled and held his little hand out to me, but just as I reached out and touched him, he vanished. I awoke, my pillow wet with tears.

How can Edward understand what we’ve lost when he didn’t hold our son, or see his perfect, little features? How do I tell him what Lyle was like? It is as if our hearts reside on two different continents now. We have drifted so far apart. I can’t imagine how, but I pray to the Almighty for a way to bridge the divide between us. May the Lord hear my prayer.

Thanks for reading!

I hoped you enjoyed this taste of In a Grove of Maples. The release date approaches on July 1st! Readers can pre-order the Kindle now. Paperback copies will be available on the 1st, if not before.

Want to stay current on all my book news? Join my author team as a newsletter subscriber.

I grew up on the farm I wrote about in my upcoming novel, In a Grove of Maples. From the 1890’s, during the decades I grew up in, and the current time a lot has changed but yet a few things remain the same. The basic structure of the log cabin stands at the heart of the framed house built around it. The bare logs can still be seen when entering the house. My brother told me that logs were from trees that had toppled and burned in the Peshtigo fire. 

The old outhouse squats in the same place, and the red hand water pump rises from the same spot. The barn my grandfather built to replace the log barn in the early 1900’s still stands, and over the years my dad had kept it in good repair. Now, my nephew, who owns the farm does. The spring north of the barn still trickles forth and sometimes floods the fields around that area.

Other things have changed or grown. Trees grew while others died. Buildings were erected and taken down. Family has come and gone, but the farm will always have that hard-working, midwestern family legacy of my grandparents, tying me and my family together through the decades. 

Some of my best memories include doing the everyday chores on the farm, helping with milking, bedding or feeding, the small dairy herd of forty cows, haying, gardening, cooking, and even the dreaded task of picking rock. Though I was only nine-years-old when my dad retired, I have a lot of memories of the working farm. Even after Dad sold the cows and some of the machinery, he still planted a huge garden and cut wood for our wood stove. There was always some task to help with. 

Most of all I remember the simple things…

The soothing smell of fresh cut hay. The mooing of the cows. The warmth and snug feeling of tucking my head against a cow’s flank to attach the milker’s or wash theirs utters. The large family breakfasts with everything from a platter of sliced tomatoes and green onions to potatoes chopped and fried in a cast iron skillet. The slap of the screen door. The hollyhocks by the side of the house that had been there since my grandma had planted them, nearly a hundred years ago. The cold refreshing taste of water pumped by hand from a spring-fed well. The nutty fragrance of fresh-ground wheat. My mother’s hands kneading bread dough. My father’s hands crafting something out of wood or leaning on the end of a garden hoe, hankie dangling from his jean’s back pocket, And so many other things. 

Question: Have you ever lived on a farm? Visited a farm? Tell me about it.

In a Grove of Maples releases July 1st. Join me for the release party in my Facebook Group, Journeying with Jenny. I’ll also have numerous giveaways going on all my social media outlets.

Thanks for reading! J

As a part of the Coffeepot Book Club, let me introduce you to Clare Flynn and her newest novel, Sisters at War.

Book Title: Sisters at War * Author: Clare Flynn * Publication Date: 1st May 2021 * Publisher: Cranbrook Press * Page Length: 314 Pages * Genre: Historical Fiction

Description:

1940 Liverpool. The pressures of war threaten to tear apart two sisters traumatised by their father’s murder of their mother.

With her new husband, Will, a merchant seaman, deployed on dangerous Atlantic convoy missions, Hannah needs her younger sister Judith more than ever. But when Mussolini declares war on Britain, Judith’s Italian sweetheart, Paolo is imprisoned as an enemy alien, and Judith’s loyalties are divided.

Each sister wants only to be with the man she loves but, as the war progresses, tensions between them boil over, and they face an impossible decision.

A heart-wrenching page-turner about the everyday bravery of ordinary people during wartime. From heavily blitzed Liverpool to the terrors of the North Atlantic and the scorched plains of Australia, Sisters at War will bring tears to your eyes and joy to your heart.

Author Bio:

Clare Flynn is the author of thirteen historical novels and a collection of short stories. A former International Marketing Director and strategic management consultant, she is now a full-time writer.

Having lived and worked in London, Paris, Brussels, Milan and Sydney, home is now on the coast, in Sussex, England, where she can watch the sea from her windows. An avid traveler, her books are often set in exotic locations.

Clare is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of The Society of Authors, ALLi, and the Romantic Novelists Association. When not writing, she loves to read, quilt, paint and play the piano.

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://amazon.co.uk/dp/B08Z473XG2

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Sisters-War-wartime-voyage-across-ebook/dp/B08Z473XG2/

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Sisters-War-wartime-voyage-across-ebook/dp/B08Z473XG2

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Sisters-War-wartime-voyage-across-ebook/dp/B08Z473XG2/

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/sisters-at-war-1

Connect With Clare:

Website: https://clareflynn.co.uk/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/clarefly

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorclareflynn

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Clare-Flynn/e/B008O4T2LC/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6486156.Clare_Flynn

Instagram https://instagram.com/clarefly

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/clareflynn/

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Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/clare-flynn

Thanks for reading! J

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