Jenny Knipfer–Author

Writing to inspire, encourage, and enjoy

I’ve been getting back to an old love—reading at night before I go to bed. It makes me happy and helps me rest. My mind stays too active writing at night, so I had to switch that up. I read a number of excellent books last month: The Curator’s Daughter, A Change of Fortune, and Things We Didn’t Say.

MY FIVE-STAR REVIEWS:

The Curator’s Daughter

By Melanie Dobson

1940

German-born Hannah Tillich loves her job as an archeologist, but when the Third Reich removes her from the field and places her in a museum to document artifacts, paintings, and other precious objects, Hannah begins to wonder about their origins. 

Hannah returns to her family’s home, her father long passed. Expecting to find her cousin Louisa and her husband living there, Hannah is thoroughly surprised to find the place has been empty for some time.

Forced into a marriage she doesn’t want to a Nazi officer and an adoption of a little girl, Hannah continues to work at the museum but with the help of a family friend, secretly discovers the stories of Jewish friends and neighbors forced away from their homes. She hides her findings in the labyrinth on her family’s property. 

But will Hannah be another victim of Hitler’s reign, and will she be able to keep the stories she’s collected safe from destruction by the Gestapo? 

2020

Researching holocaust history, Ember Ellis uncovers secrets about the grandmother of a schoolmate of hers, which leaves her crossing paths with him—a man who once humiliated her in front of their whole high school. As Ember works to dig up the past, she also delves into her own as threatening letters and rioting crowds turn up at her work place.

Will Ember forgive those who abused her, and will she leave her past behind and move forward with forgiveness into the future?

Perfect for readers who enjoy WWII fiction and Christian fiction, Dobson creates a new window into wartime fiction with a storyline that sticks out as unique from a host of others. This, by far, is the best Christian fiction book I’ve read in some time. Keeping my interest, I looked forward to reading Hannah and Ember’s stories, and they won’t be ones I’ll soon forget.  Five stars for this well-crafted, engaging tale.

A Change of Fortune

By Jen Turano

In 1880’s New York Lady Eliza Sumner plots to restore her fortune and bring to justice the man who swiped it out from under her. In her often hilarious attempts, Eliza’s path crosses with widower Hamilton Beckett’s. Annoying and yet endearing, Eliza cannot seem to rid herself of Hamilton’s company, for one reason or another.

Despite his best attempts to flush Eliza to the background, Hamilton cannot keep his mind off the pretty, red-haired young woman. The discovery of a common enemy unites the couple, but will their alliance extend beyond business to the matters of the heart? 

Find out in this laugh-out-loud romantic comedy, rich with a cast of likable characters and plenty of drama. This is the first novel I’ve read by Turano and look forward to enjoying more in this series. Romantic comedy is not a genre I’ve delved into, but Turano has definitely made this genre appealing to me! If you’re looking for a light, clean and funny romantic read, look no farther than A Change of Fortune, book number one in the Ladies of Distinction series.  

Things We Didn’t Say

By Amy Lynn Green

Bookish University of Minnesota student Johanna Berglund begrudgingly takes a position at a WWII POW camp in Minnesota. Hired to censor letters and teach classes to the German POWs, Johanna puts her skills as a linguist to use. 

Many in her small hometown question her loyalty to the US as she works more closely with the prisoners, but witty and often sarcastic Johanna doesn’t back down. Black and white lines began to blur as her friends become enemies and her enemies become friends. 

When faced with being tried for treason, Johanna comes to terms with her past, God, and what and whom she desires for her future. 

Prejudice cuts a fine line in this unusual and expertly crafted epistolary novel. Green creates characters of depth through the various letters and documents that compile a rich dessert of a novel, one meant for savoring. Not an easy or light read, Things We Didn’t Say is a book of substance that will stick with you long after the last page is turned. 

What was your last, great read?

Life With MS:

Lately, life has been reverting back to simple things. My days play out in a pattern dictated by my body, what it can tolerate and what functions it needs to perform. I have learned to adjust, but living with MS is a constant adjustment and forever a lesson in patience. Nothing stays the same for very long anymore. 

Each day presents a battle to not be overcome with how I feel. The muscle spasms, general tightness, and weakness, burning or prickling pain, and the frustration over the lack of being able to do simple tasks or perform autonomic functions can easily become too much to handle if I don’t try to stay positive. 

A Blessing:

I have had a little help from an electric wheelchair that has been loaned to me, and it has made life easier. Hopefully, I’ll get my own soon if it goes through insurance. I use it mostly in the morning when I have more pain and feel weaker. It has really helped me get around. 

My days are pretty simple. I’ve established a new schedule, factoring in my decreased ability and fatigue. It seems to be working for me.

My Rough Schedule: 

  • getting up 4-6:00 AM
  • resting for a bit and slathering my back and calves with magnesium and essential oil rubs 6-7 AM
  • Breakfast and watching a little TV 7-9AM
  • showering and getting ready 9-10:30 AM

(Morning is the most difficult part of the day for me, thus everything takes longer than it usually would.)

  • sitting in my wheelchair in the sun with Ruby, my mini Yorkie, for a bit and praying 10:30 to 11:00 AM
  • working on my social media posts and author business 11:00 AM-12:30 PM 
  • lunch and a rest time 12:30-2:00
  • more author business, writing, or a small household task I can manage by myself 2:00-4:00 PM
  • Rest 4:00-5:00 PM
  • supper and time with my hubby 5:00-7:00 PM
  • Exercise 7:00-7:30 PM
  • Rest 7:30-8:00 PM
  • getting ready for bed 8:00 PM
  • reading 8:30-10:30 PM
  • bed 10:30-11:00 PM

Not too glamorous, but that’s how my days usually roll out, more or less. 

Looking Ahead:

I’m slowly working toward getting three more books published this year. My second book, Violet’s Vow, in my novella series, Botanical Seasons, will be released this spring. Each book in the series takes place during a different season of the year. I plan to release the next two in 2022, provided I am able to do so.

This summer, I plan to release my third book, On Bur Oak Ridge, in my Sheltering Trees series, and this winter, the fourth, By Broken Birch Bay, will hit the press. 

Currently, I am finding pleasure in writing a fairy tale called The Regal Pink, based on an old Grimm’s tale entitled, The Pink. I plan on sharing more about this one soon! So far, it’s shaping up to be a story with a little adventure, romance, inspiration, and a few twists.

As an independent author, it’s a big undertaking to get a book ready for market and a hefty expense. With my health changing, I’ll most likely be needing to pay for personal care soon, and my publishing money will likely have to be reallocated for that. But that’s tomorrow, and this is today. 

For Today:

So for now, I take joy in the simple things: warm sunlight streaming into my window, colorful orchids and violets blooming nearby, my sweet dog curled up on my lap as I sit in my wheelchair, the fragrance of ground coffee beans, the love of God in my heart, my fingers to tap my stories into my iPad, a warm cup of tea, and a good book in my hand. 

Hope for Tomorrow:

None of us know how many tomorrows we have. I’m beginning to think that I might not have all that many left, but that’s okay. I fix my eyes on what’s ahead—a far better place than this one. 

❤️ J

I wrapped up reading in 2021 with some good books. Check out my list…

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Goodnight June

By Sara Jio

Working in a high-powered job, June Anderson switches gears when she inherits her Aunt Ruby’s children’s bookstore, Bluebird Books. More used to foreclosing on businesses that can’t keep afloat, June finds herself in an opposite role as she struggles to reopen and operate the bookstore. 

While sorting through things, June discovers letters from her aunt to the famous children’s book author, Margaret Wise Brown, and letters from Margaret in return. Secrets and family drama unfold as June uncovers more. 

Gavin, the handsome owner of the Italian restaurant next door, gentles his way into June’s heart and helps her in her endeavors to save Bluebird Books, but will June’s efforts be enough to keep the doors of the bookstore open? Will she end up losing her job, her savings, and the bookstore? And maybe the love of her life? 

Readers of light romance, women’s fiction, historical fiction, and epistolary novels will nestle into June’s story with satisfaction, akin to curling one’s hand around a warm cup of tea, and be drawn into her struggles and endeavors. 

Another well-written novel by Jio, who never fails to unfold a layered story filled with drama, the right amount of tension, and a surprise or two. It’s the kind of novel you can sink into and feel comfortable with, like you are living the characters’ story along with them. 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Healer’s Apprentice 

By Melanie Dickerson 

Set in medieval times, Rose, an apprentice to the local apothecary at Hagenheim Castle, falls for one royal brother, Lord Hamlin, while the other vies for her attention. But will class and prior engagements keep Rose and the man she comes to love apart? 

A spin-off of Sleeping Beauty, Dickerson weaves new life into a classic fairy tale. The character-driven story draws readers into a romantic love triangle and sprinkles in a bit mystery as well. 

This is my first book by Dickerson, and although I don’t usually read romance novels, I was drawn to this one by the title and the fairy tale aspect. I enjoyed it and will read the next book in the series, but I did wish it had included more herbal medicine, an interest of mine. 

Readers of retold fairy tales, Christian romance, YA and clean romance will find themselves lost in Rose’s love story, one worth reading. 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Christmas Wish Book

Lynn Austin

Although this Christmas novella can be read as a standalone, it is a continuation of the story of two friends, Audrey Barrett and Eve Dawson, from Austin’s novel, If I Were You. 

Both single mothers, Audrey and Eve do their best to show their sons the true meaning of Christmas and in so doing make new friends, deepen old ones, and bring the celebration of the birth of Jesus front and center to Christmas.

Another delightful book by Austin, The Christmas Wish Book, is a warm-hearted story and a perfect Christmastime read. Readers of clean romance and Christian fiction will feel their spirits lifted by this lovely seasonal story with timeless truth—it is more blessed to give than to receive. 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Diabolical Bones

By Bella Ellis

Set in Edwardian England, the second title in the Bronte siblings mysteries spins a mystery story, fueled by past pain and evil desire, and is told from the perspectives of the three Bronte sisters, Anne, Emily, and Charlotte. 

The skeleton remains of an undernourished child are discovered in a neighbor’s chimney. Who the child is and why they were placed their sends the Bronte siblings on a twisted course to hunt down the person responsible for such a diabolical act. 

I found the The Diabolical Bones to be a delicious mystery that kept me flipping the pages, hardly able to put the book down. Just who the killer is will keep readers guessing until the very end. Fans of mystery, classic or gothic literature, and the the writings of the Bronte siblings will enjoy this fictional portrayal of the famous writers bringing a killer to justice. 

But the story itself is not the only mystery. The author seems to be a mystery as well. Having no web or social media presence, that I can tell, makes me wonder how Ellis survives in the book world, which is partially fueled by these various platforms. I’m almost certain the name Bella Ellis is a pen name crafted from the names the Brontes wrote under, Ellis and Bell.  Whoever Bella Ellis really is, they know how to skillfully write a read-worthy mystery. 

What were your favorite reads, rounding out 2021?

It’s been so long since I blogged for the joy of it, it makes me anxious thinking about doing it. But here I am, blogging anyway, because I’m a writer. This shouldn’t be hard or feel awkward, but it does.

Perhaps I have nothing worth saying anymore. Nothing motivational. Certainly nothing great. Though most of my days stretch wide open for writing, I barely get any done, in my work in progress or here in cyberspace. 

That makes me sad, makes me grieve, because multiple sclerosis has hacked at my writing like it has every other creative pursuit I’ve ever engaged in. My days are so filled with battling fatigue and pain that I have little energy to give to anything else, to say nothing of my decreased strength, sensation, and dexterity, making life increasingly challenging.  

Not long ago, I pulled out my beading stuff to make some bookmarks. After multiple failed attempts to form a simple wire loop and string on a bead, I gave up. I think the door has firmly closed on my bead-craft days. Sigh…

A few days ago, on a whim and to see if I could, I picked up a ball of smoky turquoise yarn and started on a simple crochet stitch with the goal of a scarf in mind. A foam handle attached to the crochet hook helped my more disabled hand hold on to it, but I hadn’t foreseen that I could not keep my left pointer finger, on my better hand, erect to hold up the yarn. It kept falling down, which made me drop the yarn, and with every other stitch I had to rethread the yarn through my fingers again. After fifteen minutes of that I gave up.

Last year, I downsized my crafty space from a whole room to a corner of a room. Today, I fondly gaze at my craft corner in my living room and face the fact that I can no longer do any of it with any sort of proficiency. Mostly, I just get frustrated when I attempt to travel down the once well-worn crafty path. 

What will I do if I can’t create anymore? What will happen when I write “The End” in a novel for the last time? I don’t know. It sounds like death to me. Death to everything familiar, everything I enjoy or have enjoyed doing.

I sigh, take a deep breath, pray, and listen to bravery calling to me on the other side of the ravine where every creative pursuit I once loved is buried. Do I explore, cross over the past or soon-to-be-past into the future of the unknown? When there’s no other choice, I suppose I’ll have to. The lack of choice never fails to pry us from our well-loved joys and comforts. Just thinking about the loss makes me want to have a proper tantrum, worthy of a two-year-old, but it won’t do me any good. 

So, I’ll lay aside, give away, or gracefully depart from what craft I can no longer do and make a crafty end of it. From this vantage point, the future for my very creative soul looks rather like a black hole, but I must have some faith that my days ahead will be filled with other joys I have not tasted yet. 

Please, God let it be so.

I have been rather quiet on the blogging front these last months, but I am dealing with a lot of fatigue and back pain and don’t often feel well enough to sit at my computer. What energy I have goes to taking care of my basic self-care, and what is left over filters through my social media posts and my iPad, as I slowly continue to write my fairy tale story entitled, The Regal Pink. 

During this joyous Christmas season, I wanted to make the effort to let you know how blessed I am that you are interested in my work and have chosen to follow me. Thank you! I’m praying all the best for you and yours and wishing you a very Merry Christmas. 

A CHRISTMAS EXCERPT:

I have written a few Christmas scenes into my books. Here is one of my favorites from Silver Moon

*******************

The aroma beguiled and tempted Mauve’s tummy to rumble. She hoped her parents would come soon.

Her wish was granted and soon the Murrays arrived in a bobsled pulled by a team of horses, outfitted with a strap of bells, which jingled crisply.

“Come in, come in. Happy Christmas!” Jenay held the door open and gave Ellie a brief hug and a kiss in the cheek.

“’Appy Christmas!” Ellie countered with enthusiasm.

Mauve felt like since her marm’s surgery she bubbled chipper and cheerier than ever, as if her marm’s old self was reborn and given a second chance at life.

Patrice, Barbara, and Alex shouted a “Happy Christmas!” back and slid past the women and into the house, looking eager to play.

The ladies moved to the kitchen to help finish preparations. When all was ready, the families sat down. They paused over the meal for a prayer, which Jacque pronounced over them, of thanks to God for his gift of Emmanuel.

Suddenly, Silvy started yapping and wouldn’t shush up. Mauve had brought her for she couldn’t bear to leave her dog alone on Christmas Day. The pup had become her family too.

“Silvy! Mind your manners. Why are you barking?”

The more Mauve protested, however, the more the little dog barked. Finally, Mauve threw up her arms in frustration. “Well, you’ll have to go out in the barn if you keep this up.”

Mauve moved to catch her, but Silvy raced to the door, her toenails clicking as she went. She recommenced barking and growling with renewed strength.

“What has gotten into you?” Mauve raised her voice in annoyance.

Her usually good-natured dog had turned ill-mannered all of a sudden, and she hadn’t a clue why.

“Maybe it has something to do with me.”
Mauve froze. Silvy’s yapping was drowned out by a realization. I know that voice. But, no, it can’t be.

Mauve turned slowly towards the back kitchen door and nearly fainted, for before her stood her husband.

Oshki!

It took her a moment to realize he wasn’t an apparition.

“But how . . .? When?” Her mouth hung open like a loosened hinge. She was too stunned to cry.

“Quit asking me things and get over here.” Oshki stepped forward and pulled Mauve to him with one arm. He gazed into her eyes and scrolled over her face. “I want to take in every detail.”

His eyes locked on hers before focusing on her lips. Carefully, slowly, he met them with his. They hesitantly exchanged kisses at first and then with more ardor. Mauve’s heart beat in her ears, and her knees felt wobbly.

She had almost forgotten how good it felt to be so close to the man she loved. She felt whole again. Her eyes were closed, but her hands roved over his body. The empty space she found made her pull back and question him.

“What . . . what happened?” She placed her palm on his stump of an arm.

“Shot in the arm.” Oshki gave her a sideways smile. “I’ll spare you the gory details.”

She touched the end of his stump. “Does it hurt?”

“Not too much anymore. I sometimes still feel it there.” Oshki lowered his head but then looked her in the eye. “I wasn’t sure what you’d think, or if you . . .”

“You’re home safe and back with us. That’s what matters.”
Mauve clung to him again. I can’t believe he’s really here!
The thought held possession of her mind. She half expected

someone to yell, “Gotcha!” and for Oshki to disappear. But, no. He was very much present.

“My folks are here too. Everyone’s going to be so surprised,” Mauve said with a breathless joy. “And . . . Pearl, you’ll get to meet Pearl.”

It was then, at the mention of their daughter’s name, that Mauve started to cry.

Oshki didn’t tell her to shush. He just wrapped his arm around her and nestled his head on top of hers.

******************

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt! Read more about Silver Moon, my WWI novel, by clicking on the button below. Merry Christmas!!! J

Happy Thanksgiving week! It’s been a bit since I posted, but I’ve had a lot going on with my health. 

With my nerves getting confused and sending all sorts of mixed up signals lately with my new diagnosis of autonomic dysreflexia, I’ve been pondering the basics of life. Under certain conditions my nerves have told my blood pressure to skyrocket or plummet, neither good and both dangerous, with the potential to lead to a stroke or heart attack. 

Thankfully, I haven’t had too many dangerous episodes and now have a treatment to combat them, if one comes on, but coming to this somewhat precarious condition has focused me on being grateful for the simple things of life: breath in my lungs, a beating heart, love in my life, beginnings, and even endings. 

Here’s my thankful thoughts for this Thanksgiving, expressed in poem form…

The Basics of Thanksgiving 

Thanks for breath, that basic need

of life and pumping heart,

Thanks for sustenance, You feed,

my body and every part.

********

Thanks for love, that elemental must

without which I could not flourish,

Thanks for arms, embracing trust,

to guide and to nourish. 

********

Thanks for sun and wind and rain,

bringing life in due season,

Thanks for times of pain,

believing there’s a reason.

********

Thanks for new birth, all the earth rejoice

each living thing a tiny miracle,

Thanks for giving me a voice,

singing praise, unequivocal.

********

Thanks for endings, rest much needed,

from the toil and trial and flood,

Thanks for justice, duly meted,

by Your only righteous blood. 

*********

Thanks for Thanksgiving,

building a healthy attitude,

to not live inward, fearing and grumbling,

instead erecting a cairn of gratitude.

HAVE A BLESSED THANKSGIVING!

Book Title: At Her Fingertips * Series: The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, Book 3 * Author: Kellyn Roth * Publication Date: 17th July 2021 * Publisher: Wild Blue Wonder Press * Page Length: TBD * Genre: Christian Historical Romance

As a part of the Coffee Pot Book Club, I am happy to feature Kellyn Roth’s lovely novel, At Her Fingertips.

Book Blurb:

Shes willing to do anything to follow her plan.

Debutante Alice Knight is ready for her first social season in London. She’s determined to impress society and her mother with an affluent match, at last escaping her past and embracing a future of her own making.

Peter Strauss, an American reporter visiting England, isn’t exactly what Alice had in mind. However, his friendship proves invaluable as Alice faces the challenges of her debut. Almost immediately, she attracts the attention of a well-born gentleman—perfect save for the simple fact that he’s not a Christian.

The life she longs for is finally at her fingertips, but between her own heart and the convictions of her faith, she isn’t sure she ought to grasp it.At Her Fingertips, a romantic women’s fiction novel, is the third novel in Kellyn Roth’s Christian family saga, The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy

Excerpt:

A grand carriage met Peter at the train station, and, though the driver gave him a look that indicated he wasn’t dressed up to snuff, he was swiftly conveyed to the Ashfield residence. Peter was used to seeing wealth on display—he had a way of making friends from all classes—and he understood how it drove even the servants to judgment of those who didn’t possess said wealth. Frankly, though, there was no judgment in his heart for the judgment. He’d come to accept it as part of his lot.

The Ashfield house—a large brick monstrosity surrounded by dozens just like it—was in the most fashionable neighborhood. The street was filled with evidence of London’s upper class. Ladies paraded by, a man or two always accompanying them. Horse hooves and carriage wheels over cobblestone made their own unique melody, and Peter loved it.

Now, granted, there was nothing quite like the country. However, Peter found himself equally at home here. He felt every place he’d ever visited had its poetry, a set of rhyme and rhythm, and how he loved to memorize those verses.

He was happy to play orator, and he knew he’d be making notes of the feel of this street in his journal that night. There was so much to be said, so many words to apply. How would he ever make use of them all?

He was glad no one could hear his thoughts, but especially the butler, who glared at him under his bushy brows. Peter would feel like a fool if he ever let anyone into the back door of his mind and walk around the kitchen. Because, to Peter, that’s where the back door led—to the center of the home where family gathered to eat and talk and share about their day.

More foolishness.

“‘Better a witty fool than a foolish wit,’” he reminded himself under his breath as he was ushered into a parlor.

“Yes, sir?”

“Oh, nothing.” He smiled at the footman. “Thank you. I’ll wait here.” Stating the obvious, but the servant might worry that an American would start snooping around the house—who knew? Peter wanted to be as reassuring as possible. Such was his greatest goal and delight in life, to eliminate the worries of others.

The parlor was everything Peter had expected it to be—fashionable, recently decorated, full of delicate-looking chairs and elegant-looking sofas, and entirely spotless, to a degree that made Peter inclined to feel dirty.

The door opened, and a young man with a shock of dark hair, wearing an immaculate suit, stood in the doorway. “Strauss!” As Peter remembered, Gibson Ashfield’s every word dripped with both charm and enthusiasm, a mixture not often heard in this part of the world. “I’m so glad you’ve made it here safely.”

“Hello, Gibson.” Peter had never adopted the habit of calling other men by their last name, even if they weren’t particularly close to him. It just didn’t seem personable. “Yes, my journey was quite uneventful. Thank you for—”

“Oh, never mind your thanks.” Gibson grinned and jerked his head to the door. “Let’s go to your room so you can settle in before dinner. The servants should have taken your things up.”

It was just like Gibson Ashfield to insist he didn’t want to hear innumerous ‘thank yous.’ Nevertheless, Peter couldn’t be so easily thwarted. “That sounds wonderful! But I do want to—”

“If you try to offer your thanks again, I really will throw you out the door.” Gibson strode back from whence he’d arrived. “Coming?” he called over his shoulder.

Peter scurried after him. Fine, he’d leave it for later. Perhaps he’d talk to Gibson’s parents, the true owners of the house and, therefore, the true extenders of hospitality, on the subject.

Buy Links:

This book is available to read on #KindleUnlimited.

Universal “Amazon” link: https://books2read.com/u/me9oyZ

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08WPCM9NY

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08WPCM9NY

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08WPCM9NY

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B08WPCM9NY

About the Author:

Kellyn Roth is a Christian historical women’s fiction & romance author from North-Eastern Oregon who has independently published multiple novels, the most notable being The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy series. You should definitely call her Kell.

Kell lives on family-owned property outside an unmemorable but historical town with her parents, two little brothers, precious border collies, a dozen cows, and lots of chickens. She also possesses a classic, vintage aesthetic which does not at all speak to her country girl side, but such is life.

When not writing, Kell likes to blog, work as a virtual assistant for authors and other small business owners, and spend lavish amounts of money on Dairy Queen french fries. She also likes to talk about her books (and occasionally Keira Knightley) way too much. You’ve been warned.

Social Media Links:

Website: https://kellynrothauthor.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kellyntheauthor/

Facebook: https://facebook.com/kellynrothauthor/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/kellynrothauthor/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kellynrothauthor/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kellyn-roth

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Kellyn-Roth/e/B01B0W0O7U

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14874133.Kellyn_Roth

Blessing on your tour, Kellyn and with this book and your series!

Thanks for reading!

Have you read any of Kellyn’s novels? Who’s one of your favorite Christian Historical Romance authors?

I’m happy to announce that my Christmastime novella, Holly’s Homecoming, has released! I am a tad behind in getting the word out, because I am in the hospital for rehab. I have one more week to go and am looking forward to getting home. I am gaining a little strength and getting some more practical ways on how to better manage in my home with my MS.

I am on the verge of needing in-home assistance, but my doctor wanted to try rehab, so I can be as independent as possible. The stay has also helped pinpoint another issue that has cropped up, due to atrophy in my spinal cord–where I have the most MS lesions.

I have had dramatic episodes where my blood pressure will spike into the extreme danger zone. Other causes have been ruled out, and I am now diagnosed with autonomic dysreflexia, a condition people with spinal cord injuries often get, involving mixed up and false nerve signals to the body’s autonomic nervous system. I am glad to have some answers and way to treat symptoms when they occur. Left untreated, the BP spikes can lead to a heart attack.

Thank you for following my author journey via my blog. If you’d like to read more about Holly or purchase a copy, click the button below. Have a great week! J

Book Title: Fair Mountain Christmas * Series: Heartwarming Christmas * Author: Heidi Eljarbo * Publication Date: 4th October 2021 * Publisher: Independently Published * Page Length: 98 Pages * Genre: Sweet Romance, Holiday Fiction

Today, I am happy to feature A Fair Mountain Christmas, as a part of the Coffee Pot Book Club.

Book Description:

Nostalgia and Christmas miracles burn bright in this uplifting and heartwarming story about new beginnings and falling in love under a blanket of stars.

Fair Mountain, December 1972.

A few days before Christmas, Juni’s editor gives her a writing assignment that throws her far outside her comfort zone. She and her terrier, Leo, retreat to her grandparents’ old cabin in the Norwegian mountains in hopes of inspiration. But the trip turns into a heart-wrenching and emotionally challenging encounter.

Memories of Juni’s childhood seep in as soon as she enters the cabin, and as for the writing assignment…what does she know about what children need for Christmas?

Juni’s focus changes when handsome Henry Norheim from Moose Lodge down the hill unexpectedly shows up outside her cottage door. His dedication to family, traditions, and Christmas celebration is contagious, but for Juni, coming out of her lonely shell is easier said than done.

As Juni’s deadline draws closer, and the snowflakes softly swirl down on Fair Mountain, she has to face up to her past, open her heart, and dare to take a step forward.

Will the miracle of Christmas live up to its promise of hope, goodwill, and love this year?

MY REVIEW:

Seeking solace to complete a writing assignment from her editor, Juni, along with her dog, Leo head to her grandmother’s cabin in the Norwegian mountains. 

Many memories from her childhood crop up during Juni’s stay, and she struggles with what to write about. 

An encounter with Henry, the owner of the nearby Moose Lodge helps her see things in a different light. 

Will Juni be able to meet her editor’s deadline, or will her past keep her focused on old memories?

A Fair Mountain Christmas is the kind of light Christmastime story that warms the heart and soul. Eljarbo unfolds Juni’s story in a gentle, easy was that is perfect for readers who seek a sweet holiday story, reminiscent of the hope of the season. 

Grab a steaming cup of your favorite drink, and curl up in a cozy spot with this novella, guaranteed to put a smile on your face and a spark of magic in your heart.  

Purchase Links:

This novel is available to read with #KindleUnlimited subscription.

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About the Author:

Heidi Eljarbo is the bestselling author of historical fiction and mysteries filled with courageous and good characters that are easy to love and others you don’t want to go near.

Heidi grew up in a home filled with books and artwork and she never truly imagined she would do anything other than write and paint. She studied art, languages, and history, all of which have come in handy when working as an author, magazine journalist, and painter.

After living in Canada, six US states, Japan, Switzerland, and Austria, Heidi now calls Norway home. She and her husband have a total of nine children, thirteen grandchildren—so far—in addition to a bouncy Wheaten Terrier.

Their favorite retreat is a mountain cabin, where they hike in the summertime and ski the vast, white terrain during winter.

Heidi’s favorites are family, God’s beautiful nature, and the word whimsical.

Social Links:

Website: https://www.heidieljarbo.com/

Newsletter: https://www.heidieljarbo.com/newsletter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeidiEljarbo

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

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heidi-eljarbo-morrell-andersen-345a253a/

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

Pinterest: https://no.pinterest.com/heidieljarbo/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/heidi-eljarbo

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amzn.com/Heidi-Eljarbo/e/B073D852VG/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16984270.Heidi_Eljarbo

THANKS FOR READING!

Have you read any Christmas themed books yet?

I’d like to welcome Christian mystery author, KC Hart to my blog today. KC and I connected on Facebook this year, and it has been my pleasure to get to know this sweet Southern gal. I’ve read the first two books in her series and enjoyed them both so much! I hope you enjoy getting to know KC through this interview. Following will be my review of her first book, Moonlight, Murder, and Small Town Secrets.

GUEST INTERVIEW:

What prompted you to pursue publication?

I had been nursing for twenty-eight years and, honestly, I had not taken very good care of myself. I decided I needed to step down from this profession, at least for a time, and take better care of myself. After about two months of cleaning house, which I really enjoy, I was bored silly. I have been a closet writer for years, but never had the courage to let others read my work. With prayer and a lot of encouragement from my family, I decided to publish a book, just to see if I could. I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into. I truly feel God has directed my path through all of this. There is no way I could have made it this far if He hadn’t opened doors and windows.

What inspired you to write mysteries?

I absolutely love puzzles and mysteries. Perry Mason, Columbo, Murder She Wrote, Scooby Doo… those are my kinds of shows. I love Agatha Christy books, Miss Marple being my favorite character of hers. I think I saw it as a challenge. Could I write a story that would stump readers? There is one thing I want to be obvious in my books, though, my good guys are good guys. You may be stumped by who the actual culprit is, but you know my sleuth, Katy, is a good guy. She has flaws, and messes up, and can be bossy and step on toes, but you know she’s a good guy. You know you can trust her.

How much of your main character, Katy, is patterned after you?

Oh my, you would not believe how many people have asked me this. She is my first fictional character, so there is a lot of me in her. Some of the physical things are obvious. She and I are nurses, and mothers, and musicians. There are some other things as well, like wanting to care for the ones we love. Katy, however, is so brave, and so intuitive. She’s also extremely blunt. Those things did not come from me. One of the biggest things we share is our faith. She does a lot of praying and tries very hard to let her faith flow through her daily life, even when she is dragging a dead body from a dumpster behind the Piggly Wiggly.

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

The most difficult thing is pushing myself to do too much. I always set the bar too high, then get discouraged if I don’t reach it. Reminding myself that I wrote the best book I could write at that time is essential for me. Reminding myself that if I am doing the best I can, then it is good enough. If I write four books this year, my pushy side tells me to try to write five next year. I love to set goals, but I also have to set boundaries, or I will crash and burn.

The most rewarding thing for me is after I write the story, I lay it aside for a week (I try two, but that’s hard) then pick it back up. When I finally write the end, I think that this story is just not as good as the others, it’s a dud, nobody will enjoy this. Then, I pick it up and read it with fresh eyes. I get into the story and I am enjoying the book. That is the part I like. Reading it and seeing that I created something that someone will enjoy and that Christ is woven into the story and will reach someone through my efforts.

What do you hope readers will take away from one of your books?

I strive to write a story that the reader can lose herself in, but it will ultimately point them to Christ. It is more obvious in some of the books than others. That’s the way the stories flow, but if you look, He is there. If I can stump the reader with the mystery, that is just icing on the cake.

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

Agatha Christie, Jane Austin, Charles Dickens, Alexandre Dumas. Agatha Christie weaves in clues to her books that you don’t even notice. I would get to the end of the book and say, that was not mentioned earlier. Then I would go back, and sure enough, the clues would be sprinkled through the story in a way that you just didn’t even see. I was amazed and started studying how she did this.

Jane Austin and Charles Dickens both write great characters. Austin’s family interactions are wonderful and Dickens weaves personalities into the story flawlessly.

The Count of Monte Cristo is my all-time favorite book. I also love The Three Musketeers. The guys in those Dumas’s stories knew what they believed, and their beliefs drove their actions and motives. The Count saw himself (though misguided) as an avenging angel of God, and this drove his life. The musketeers were so loyal to a code of ethics that they would die before breaking it. I want my characters to be steadfast in their character like this. I don’t want Katy to be one way in the first part of the book and then flip flop to someone you don’t recognize in chapter twelve. 

What piece of advice would you offer aspiring authors?

Write routinely. I don’t write at the same time every day. My schedule won’t allow it. I do try to write every day. I set a word count for the day and for the week. This keeps me motivated. Because I usually write every day, it feels like something is missing when I don’t write. Don’t expect your story to be loved by everyone. Find your group of readers and fall in love with them. They will love your stories when you love writing the stories for them. I know who my audience is, and they are a great bunch of folks.

What do you enjoy doing when not writing?

A lot of things but being with family is at the top of the list. I love spending time with the grandkids. I love to read, I love to play the piano, guitar, and banjo. I found something new this year that I enjoy, and that is crafting trinkets with beads. I started making beaded bookmarks to give away to readers at book parties. Now, I have them everywhere.  

What 5-10 adjectives would you use to describe yourself?

Talkative, optimistic, busy, motivated, forgiving, insecure, clumsy

What’s your favorite color and why?

My favorite color seems to change about every decade. In my fifties I am in love with light blue. It just feels soft and peaceful and calm.

THANKS, KC!!!

Thank you, KC for doing an author interview with me! I’m so blessed to call you a friend. May God continue to bless your efforts as an author, to weave great mysteries with a steady faith.

MY REVIEW:

Moonlight, Murder, and Small Town Secrets, by KC Hart

Katy Cross, a sweet middle-aged Nurse and guitar-playing band member of the Moonlighters, lives in the small Mississippi town of Skeeterville and uses prayer and her sleuthing skills to help uncover several murders. 

Two women turn up dead. One under the stage at the local peanut festival and another on the floor of her own bedroom. Are the murders connected, and if so, is the culprit a jealous lover, a greedy family member, or someone hell-bent on revenge? Following the trail of clues, Katy discovers the truth and in doing so puts herself in danger. 

This down-home mystery pulses with heartwarming and unforgettable characters and with each chapter increases the readers’ longing to discover who the murderer is. With plenty of suspense in all the right places, Moonlight, Murder, and Small Town Secrets will keep readers turning the pages to reveal the truth.

Hart has a natural, easy writing style that leaves a reader feeling like they just sat down on Katy’s front porch in Skeeterville to enjoy a glass of sweet iced tea and a large helping of her peach cobbler. Weaving faith into mystery in a skillful way, Hart portrays a depth that many mysteries lack and will leave readers coming back for more of her Southern charm. 

Thanks for reading!

Do you enjoy cozy mysteries? If so, who are your favorite authors?

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