Friday, April 16, 2021

Forgiving Nero by Mary Ann Bernal - Hardcover edition now available

 



Rome. The jewel of the civilized world is no longer what it was. Strength has failed the Senate. Her legions are in disarray, and the Empire has fallen into Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus Nero’s hands. His reign begins under a cloud of scrutiny, for he is the depraved Emperor Caligula’s nephew. Nero is determined to overcome that stigma and carve a name of his own. One worthy of Rome’s illustrious history.

Politics and treachery threatens to end Nero’s reign before it begins, forcing him to turn to unexpected sources for friendship and help. Many of the Praetorian Guard have watched over Nero since he was a small child, and it is in Traian that the young Emperor places his trust, despite the inherent threat of reducing his mother’s influence. Traian is the father he never had and the one man who does not judge him.

When Traian secretly marries the hostage Vena, it sets in motion a collision of values as Traian comes to odds with his former charge. The whirlwind that follows will shake the very foundations of the greatest Empire the world has ever known, and survival is far from guaranteed.

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"This story demanded all of my attention from beginning to end. The narrative was utterly enthralling, and Bernal told Nero's story with a keen understanding of what makes history worth reading. Bernal has brought Nero back to life, and she has explored that life with a profound sweep and brilliance..." The Coffee Pot Book Club.






Thursday, April 15, 2021

Book Spotlight and Excerpt: Thunder on the Moor By Andrea Matthews

 

Maggie Armstrong grew up enchanted by her father’s tales of blood feuds and border raids. In fact, she could have easily fallen for the man portrayed in one particular image in his portrait collection. Yet when her father reveals he was himself an infamous Border reiver, she finds it a bit far-fetched—to say the least—especially when he announces his plans to return to his sixteenth-century Scottish home with her in tow.
 
Suspecting it’s just his way of getting her to accompany him on yet another archaeological dig, Maggie agrees to the expedition, only to find herself transported four hundred and fifty years into the past. Though a bit disoriented at first, she discovers her father’s world to be every bit as exciting as his stories, particularly when she’s introduced to Ian Rutherford, the charming son of a neighboring laird. However, when her uncle announces her betrothal to Ian, Maggie’s twentieth-century sensibilities are outraged. She hardly even knows the man. But a refusal of his affections could ignite a blood feud.
 
Maggie’s worlds are colliding. Though she’s found the family she always wanted, the sixteenth century is a dangerous place. Betrayal, treachery, and a tragic murder have her questioning whether she should remain or try to make her way back to her own time.
 
To make matters worse, tensions escalate when she stumbles across Bonnie Will Foster, the dashing young man in her father’s portrait collection, only to learn he is a dreaded Englishman. But could he be the hero she’s always dreamed him to be? Or will his need for revenge against Ian shatter more than her heart?

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Excerpt

Maggie’s heart lodged in her throat. No matter what the risk, she needed to get to her uncle’s cottage and retrieve the amulet, and her grandmother’s ring with it. Without another thought, she sped down the dimly lit staircase. Fierce fighting raged all around her, causing such turmoil she doubted anyone would notice one girl slipping amongst the clashing swords. But someone did notice, and Alasdair whirled her around with such force her head spun. 

“Where are ye going, Cousin? Get yerself upstairs; ’tis safest there.”

“No, I can’t—”

Before she could utter another word, a Foster blade came down upon him, and he had all he could do to block it.

Maggie seized the opportunity and hurried outside. She headed for her uncle’s cottage, clusters of burning thatch now lighting its roof in an eerie glow. A filthy arm grabbed her around the waist, but she wiggled out of the scoundrel’s grasp, shoving the rogue so hard he landed on his behind. Another tried to take hold of her skirt, but a swift kick in his privates put him in his place. By the time she’d reached the cottage door, three more scoundrels stood nursing various body parts. 

That’ll teach them to mess with Rabbie Armstrong’s daughter. Giving herself a mental pat on the back, she turned toward the flaming roof and groaned. From the look of things, her troubles were just about to begin.   

Though the dampened moss sizzled and cracked, the underlying layer of reeds and hazel twigs caught easy enough, and the flames threatened to engulf the entire roof. The heat from it burned her cheeks and made her eyes water. She raised her hand to shield herself from it, but she needed something more. Searching the yard in desperation, she spied the bucket Emma kept by the door. Right away, she recalled her fire-safety training. In one swift movement, she pulled the plaid from her shoulders and plunged it into the lukewarm water, soaking it well before wrapping it tight around her face. 

Somehow she found the courage to enter but stopped for a moment to survey the situation. Sparks and patches of burning thatch fell from above, setting parts of the staircase on fire. Here and there, thick wooden support beams buckled while white hazy clouds billowed from the floor above. She swallowed hard, climbing the crumbling steps with care. Her legs trembled, and her heart pounded out a deafening rhythm against the thick linen kirtle, but at last she made her way to the rooms above.  

Smoke filled the upper chambers, smoldering embers dropping from every direction like a fiery spring rain. Only the stone and turf of the walls kept the entire structure from going up in a ball of flames, and yet Maggie would not turn back. Her precious items lay on the bedside table, and she had every intention of retrieving them. Using a great deal of caution, she inched her way toward them. The floor below her creaked and sagged until, with a sudden crack, one of the boards gave way. The jagged wood scraped along her leg, and though she couldn’t suppress a cry, she managed to pull free and crawl away without falling to the ground below. With bile rising in her throat, she pushed herself the last few feet to the table and ran her fingers along its top, groping for her cherished possessions. “Stay low,” she whispered over and over, almost like a mantra, but even so, the dense fog of soot and ash stung her throat. The heat was so intense it penetrated the once-moist cloth, and she began to cough. 

A washbasin sat on the table. Would it be too hot? She stuck her finger in. No, warm but tolerable. She poured the contents over her face, dampening the rag once more, and took a tentative breath. Her coughing eased, and she continued searching the tabletop until she felt the smooth gloss of the amulet’s stone and the delicate curve of the ring she’d left beside it.  Hanging the amulet around her neck, she slipped the ring on her finger and headed back downstairs, careful to dodge the large chunks of fiery debris that fell at her feet.

Her coughing had worsened again, and she tripped over the last three steps, unable to control the movement of her legs any longer. You’re the daughter of Robert Armstrong. Are you going to let a little smoke be the end of you? With a defiant lunge, she grabbed on to the rickety banister and pulled herself up, shoving her body toward the front door.

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This novel is available on #KindleUnlimited.

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Andrea Matthews

Andrea Matthews is the pseudonym for Inez Foster, a historian and librarian who loves to read and write and search around for her roots, genealogical speaking. In fact, it was while doing some genealogical research that she stumbled across the history of the Border reivers. The idea for her first novel came to mind almost at once, gradually growing into the Thunder on the Moor series. And the rest, as they say, is history…

Connect with Andrea 

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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Book Spotlight: The Dark Shadows of Kaysersberg Book Six in The French Orphan Series by Michael Stolle

 


It’s 1646 and infant King Louis XIV reigns over France; wily Cardinal Mazarin holds the reins of power - but he needs money, desperately.

Armand de Saint Paul, the younger son of a great and rich noble house, is leading a carefree life in Paris, dedicating his time to such pleasures as gambling, hunting, and amorous pursuits.

Unexpectedly, Armand has to defend the honour of his house in a duel that transpires to be a deadly trap, set up by a mighty foe of the house of Saint Paul.

Will Armand be able to escape the deadly net of intrigue that soon threatens to destroy him?

How can a young man deal with love, when it’s no longer a game, but a dream beyond reach?

The leading question is: What is going on behind the fa├žade that is Castle Kaysersberg, where nothing is as it seems to be … until the day when the dark shadows come alive?



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Michael Stolle

 Born in 1957, living and educated in Europe, Michael has always been intrigued by the historical setting and the fact that what makes us human was as true in the 17th century as it is now.

He has been reading and writing about history for longer than he cares to recall...

 Connect with Michael

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Monday, April 12, 2021

Book Spotlight and Excerpt: Pied Piper By Keith Stuart

 


In September 1939 the British Government launched Operation Pied Piper. To protect them from the perils of German bombing raids, in three days millions of city children were evacuated - separated from their parents.

This story tells of two families: one whose children leave London and the other which takes them in. We share the ups and downs of their lives, their dramas and tragedies, their stoicism, and their optimism. But. unlike many other stories and images about this time, this one unfolds mainly through the eyes of Tom, the father whose children set off, to who knew where, with just a small case and gas mask to see them on their way.


Excerpt

The boss had given me two days compassionate leave so I had today to get there, Monday to get the family ready to travel and Tuesday to get back. I dropped a note through Elsie’s door to let her know what was happening and set off.

The journey took hours. The train stopped for no apparent reason between stations. I ignored the other people in the compartment. I think all eight seats were occupied when we left London and I was glad I’d boarded early enough to get a window seat so that I didn’t have to talk to anyone, look at anyone. I could just let the miles and the hours slide by.

From time to time we stopped at anonymous stations, the signs having been taken down. My attention would be drawn momentarily to someone heaving their case down from the overhead rack, sliding the door open to the corridor, opening the door to the platform, and disappearing through the steam and smoke outside the grimy window.

I must have dozed because eventually, and without me knowing how or when, the other orange, red and brown velvet upholstered seats became empty.

We stopped and started less frequently and I felt I was the only person left aboard as the train rattled, huffed and puffed into the dusk until, finally, it stopped at the little station I just about recognised.

The walk to the farmhouse felt long. It wound its way between the hedgerows I had been able to see over from the bus and it was impossible to know how far I had walked or how far was left. But, at last, the farmhouse came into view.

Smoke billowed from the chimney and soft light glowed from the downstairs rooms I knew to be the kitchen and the front parlour. It looked so welcoming and I had no doubt the children would be sad to say their farewells and leave all this behind.

In the fading light I trod carefully over the cattle grid and headed up the drive to the house. A figure I knew was Joe emerged from the barn to the right. He stopped. He must have seen someone approaching, though I doubt he knew it was me. I had rehearsed in my mind what had to be said and I guessed out there, rather than in front of the women and kids, was best.

“Joe.”

“Tom, Is that you? What are you doing here? Why didn’t you tell us, I’d have picked you up? Come on in. Come in.”

I stopped. Kept my distance. “Not yet, Joe. I’ve come to take Mary and the kids home.”

“Micky can’t ….”

“Please don’t tell me what Micky can or can’t do, Joe.” I needed to be angry but I was finding it hard. I needed to make clear how careless I thought Joe had been, how angry I was he’d let my boy get hurt.

“But the doctor says he shouldn’t move too much and he really couldn’t manage the journey to London.”

“And we know why that is. He wouldn’t be hurting if he hadn’t been here, would he? He needs to be home, Joe. I need to have him home.”

Joe didn’t reply. He should have said something but a silence hung between us instead. I waited for his excuse or at least an explanation that I could reject. But neither was offered and we remained as we were, yards apart staring into each other’s eyes through the gloom, like two children weighing the odds before a fight.

I had rehearsed every possible exchange between us during the endless train journey. I hadn’t expected silence. I tried to look deeper into Joe’s thoughts. Could I see guilt or regret? Was he being dismissive, trivialising it all? It wasn’t his boy that was hurt so he was hardly likely to care too much, was he?

I shrugged my shoulders, shook my head, looked away and towards the farmhouse.

His voice slid through the crackling cold. “I’m so sorry, Tom.”

  Buy Links

This novel is free to read with a #KindleUnlimited subscription.

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About the Author

Keith Stuart (Wadsworth) taught English for 36 years in Hertfordshire schools, the county in which he was born and has lived most of his life. Married with two sons, sport, music and, especially when he retired after sixteen years as a headteacher, travel, have been his passions. Apart from his own reading, reading and guiding students in their writing; composing assemblies; writing reports, discussion and analysis papers, left him with a declared intention to write a book. Pied Piper is ‘it’.  Starting life as a warm-up exercise at the Creative Writing Class he joined in Letchworth, it grew into this debut novel.

 Connect with Keith

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Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Book Spotlight: Mindy's Fight: My Destination Called Chaos and the Journey to Stillness by Mindy Dougherty


 Mindy's Fight is the story about one Army female combat medic's PTSD journey from childhood sexual violence to medical neglect at the hands of the VA to finding herself.

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About the Author

Mindy Dougherty

Mindy Dougherty is an Army Veteran, Author & Advocate for CRPS (chronic regional pain syndrome), adept at emergency situations and proficient in caring for patients in pre- & post-operative situations. Deployed to Bosnia, Croatia, and Hungary as a Combat Medic, she suffered an attack of appendicitis & pancreatitis simultaneously. After almost two decades of substandard treatment, she became a medical statistic under the care of the VA & now advocates for Veterans who have had similar experiences. Specialized in the utilization and development of self-care techniques in her own self-healing, Mindy shares her techniques with others, including the efforts of her organization "Feed My City" (www.feedmycity.net) that promotes healing through organic gardening. "Mindy's Fight" is her first book.

 Connect with Mindy

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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Spotlight on Virginia Crow, author of The Year We Lived


It is 1074, 8 years after the fateful Battle of Hastings. Lord Henry De Bois is determined to find the secret community of Robert, an Anglo-Saxon thane. Despite his fervour, all his attempts are met with failure.

When he captures Robert’s young sister, Edith, events are set in motion, affecting everyone involved. Edith is forced into a terrible world of cruelty and deceit, but finds friendship there too.

Will Robert ever learn why Henry hates him so much? Will Edith’s new-found friendships be enough to save her from De Bois? And who is the mysterious stranger in the reedbed who can disappear at will?

A gripping historical fiction with an astonishing twist!



Virginia Crow shares some fun facts
you may or may not know



Stomper McEwan – My website (www.stompermcewan.com) comes from my childhood nickname. One of many, as it happens, including Toilet Brush because my hair used to stand up on end! But Stomper McEwan is the one which stuck. This is like my changeling name and started because my big sister told me I was found in a field stomping in wellies. I got really upset about this and – in true Rumpelstiltskin fashion – stomped so hard on my bed, I broke the slats! Stomper by name, stomper by nature!

 


Vowed never to be a teacher – Both my parents were teachers and I saw the long hours and all the work they did during the holidays. Those people who think a teacher only works 9-3:30 term-time Mondays to Fridays, think again! So, I graduated in theology and had a good look around the job market… But the recession was on the horizon, and jobs were fizzling away. Because there was a shortage of RE teachers the government was offering a training package, so I headed back to university a year later and signed up for the career I vowed never to enter! Now I teach privately, and I absolutely love my job – but I’d never have seen it happen as a child!

 

Signed up to MLitt so I could graduate – By the time I’d bagged my degree and my postgrad teaching qualification, I should have graduated twice.  But I never managed to get the cap and gown, always doing other things in the summer. Three of my sisters had graduated – some of them more than once – and I was a little bit jealous of the lovely pictures. I’d been doing online history courses and my sister suggested I actually got the qualification. She helped me apply to the local university and I got enrolled in the MLitt History of the Highlands and Islands course. Finally, after my third university qualification, I got to wear the gown!

 

Bee Pictures – In my free time over spring and summer I photograph bees! I don’t really know how I got into doing this, but I’m frequently found wandering the garden to snap these furry fellers! It gets to the point where I pick up my camera and Orlando (my spaniel) knows we’re going outside.


William the Conqueror  
Public Domain: Wikimedia

William the Conqueror – I’m the 31st Great-Granddaughter of William the Conqueror. When I was writing The Year We Lived, I had a little bit of our family tree research gnawing away at the back of my mind. Although the reader never meets William, he is constantly referred to, and I’m confident I could justify his entire engagement with these fictitious and non-fictitious characters!

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Virginia Crow

Virginia grew up in Orkney, using the breath-taking scenery to fuel her imagination and the writing fire within her. Her favourite genres to write are fantasy and historical fiction, sometimes mixing the two together such as her newly-published book "Caledon". She enjoys swashbuckling stories such as The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas and is still waiting for a screen adaption that lives up to the book!

When she's not writing, Virginia is usually to be found teaching music and obtained her MLitt in "History of the Highlands and Islands" last year. She believes wholeheartedly in the power of music, especially as a tool of inspiration. She also helps out with the John O'Groats Book Festival which is celebrating its 3rd year this April.

She now lives in the far-flung corner of Scotland, soaking in inspiration from the rugged cliffs and miles of sandy beaches. She loves cheese, music, and films, but hates mushrooms.

Connect with Virginia

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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Book Spotlight and Excerpt: The Colour of Evil by Toni Mount

 

Every Londoner has money worries, and talented artist and some-time sleuth, Seb Foxley, is no exception.

When fellow craftsmen with debts to pay are found dead in the most horrid circumstances, fears escalate. Only Seb can solve the puzzles that baffle the authorities.

Seb’s wayward elder brother, Jude, returns unannounced from Italy with a child-bride upon his arm. Shock turns to dismay when life becomes more complicated and troubles multiply.

From counterfeit coins to deadly darkness in London's worst corners. From mysterious thefts to attacks of murderous intent, Seb finds himself embroiled at every turn. With a royal commission to fulfill and heartache to resolve, can our hero win through against the odds?

Share Seb Foxley’s latest adventures in the filthy streets of medieval London, join in the Midsummer festivities and meet his fellow citizens, both the respectable and the villainous.

 Praise for Colour of Evil:

Samantha Willcoxson, author & historian:

Toni Mount is simply brilliant. If you love CJ Sansom’s Matthew Shardlake – and I do – you will love Toni’s Sebastian Foxley. From learning how a 15th-century scrivener created illuminated manuscripts to venturing within the dank tunnels beneath the Tower of London, Toni is an artist who completely immerses the reader in another time and place and always leaves one eager for the next book.”

Stephanie Churchill, author of historical fiction and epic fantasy:

Leave it to Seb to unravel another international spiderweb of intrigue, betrayal, murder, and deceit. Our flawed, loveable hero has done it again. And at the end of it all, his future is looking brighter than ever. I cannot wait to find out what happens to him next!”

Sharon Bennet Connoly, author, and medieval historian:

“A beautifully crafted mystery that brings the dark, dangerous streets of medieval London to life. Toni Mount is a magician with words, weaving a captivating story in wonderful prose. The Colour of Evil is, to put it simply, a pleasure to read.”

Kathryn Warner, medieval historian and author of numerous books about the fourteenth century, including biographies of Edward II and Isabella of France:

The ninth instalment of Toni Mount's popular Seb Foxley series is sure to delight Seb's many fans. Mount puts her deep knowledge of late medieval England to good use once again and takes us on another exciting adventure, this time with Seb's older brother Jude, returned from Italy, in tow. Mount's detailed world-building, as always, brings fifteenth-century London to life.”


EXCERPT

The Chicken incident  (pp.101-104)

At last, the first miniature was completed. I had laboured long. Adam assisted in tidying away my pigments and put them safely in the box. The parchment folios were pressed flat on the collating table ’neath brass weights. Now my cousin and I sat over our last few sips of ale in the kitchen by the light of a solitary candle. Rose and Kate were long since gone to their beds in the chamber above, where little Dickon slept also these days. Nessie had withdrawn to her curtained alcove beside the chimney, taking Grayling the cat with her for company. We could hear her snoring gently but kept our voices low so as not to disturb her.

Gawain was the first to respond to an unaccustomed sound: a scratching noise coming from along the passage to the shop. The dog came alert from his slumbers ’neath the board. He stood facing the passageway, his hackles rising upon his neck and a threatening growl rumbled deep in his chest.

‘You hear that?’ Adam whispered.

I nodded, reaching for a hefty fire-iron on the hearth.

‘Did you bar the door and shutters when we closed up?’

I nodded again.

‘Give me a moment.’ Adam slipped out of the kitchen to the yard, returning with the axe we used to chop kindling for the fire.

Thus armed, we went silently along the passage. I held the candle high in one hand, the iron in the other. Gawain came stealthily, growling, but keeping behind me. On the right, the parlour door stood closed but I lifted the latch and looked in, thankful for well-greased hinges. There was naught amiss.

The next door to the right led into the shop. Nothing untoward was apparent there. I checked the bar on the door to the street. It was firm in its hasps. The shutters were likewise in their proper place.

There came a sudden clatter and a smashing of pottery vessels. The intruder was in our workshop to the left of the passage. I reached for the latch, lifted it and pushed the door wide, the fire-iron raised high.

‘Show yourself!’ I cried. ‘No, no!’

Something burst forth, straight into my face. I swung the iron in defence and felt it hit a target but I dropped the candle, plunging us into darkness. I stumbled back from my unseen assailant and fell on my backside. My heart was pounding fit to break my ribs and something tickled my face, causing me to sneeze.

Gawain tore into the room, courageous of a sudden, barking madly.

Adam was striking tinder and groping on the floor for the candle. When he relit the flame and it steadied, he began to laugh.

‘By the saints! All that for a bloody chicken. You did for it, Seb: broke its neck by the look of it.’ He picked up a sorry bundle of feathers from the floor, pushing Gawain aside when he would have it. More feathers floated around. ‘A chicken dinner for us tomorrow.’

I clambered to my feet, wiping feathers from my mouth and nose, sneezing again.

‘Must be Caldicott’s birds have escaped again.’ I spat out more filaments of feathers. ‘It must have come in afore I closed up and wandered into the workshop... then was unable to get out.’

‘His loss is our gain. Seems only right, Seb, after the consternation and trouble it’s caused us. Look at the smashed pots! ’Tis fortunate it didn’t break any precious pigments but the pounce and sand have made a mess indeed.’

‘We can clean it up in the morn,’ I said, turning as Rose and Kate appeared in the doorway, clad in their night robes. 

‘We’ll all help,’ Rose said. ‘But you’re bleeding, Seb.’ She wiped my forehead with soft fingers.

‘Am I? The bird came at me; aiming its beak straight at mine eyes. Mayhap, I be fortunate it pierced my forehead and did not blind me.’ I felt chilled and shaken of a sudden and slumped upon the nearest stool.

‘We heard Gawain making such a din; thought we were to be attacked in our beds.’

‘Aye, our great protector...’ I fondled Gawain’s soft ears. ‘Our brave knight be naught but a silly coward. Be that not so, Gawain, you foolish creature?’

‘Come back to the kitchen,’ Rose said, taking charge of the situation. ‘I’ll make mulled ale for us all and for you a possett as a restorative and put some salve on that cut. It looks sore.’

In truth, I hardly felt the hurt, for the present, leastwise, but I was most certainly shaken. Though I dared not admit to it, knowing Adam would laugh right heartily at me, if I did, I had been much affrighted by that wretched bird and was all unsteady.   

A possett cup of hot milk, honey, cinnamon and nutmeg, whipped together to a froth, settled me well enough.

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Toni Mount

Toni Mount earned her Master’s Degree by completing original research into a unique 15th-century medical manuscript. She is the author of several successful non-fiction books including the number one bestseller, Everyday Life in Medieval England, which reflects her detailed knowledge of the lives of ordinary people in the Middle Ages. Toni’s enthusiastic understanding of the period allows her to create accurate, atmospheric settings and realistic characters for her Sebastian Foxley medieval murder mysteries. Toni’s first career was as a scientist and this brings an extra dimension to her novels. It also led to her new biography of Sir Isaac Newton. She writes regularly for both The Richard III Society and The Tudor Society and is a major contributor of online courses to MedievalCourses.com. As well as writing, Toni teaches history to adults, coordinates a creative writing group, and is a member of the Crime Writers’ Association.

 Connect with Toni

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Monday, March 29, 2021

Interview with Jenny Knipfer, author of Harvest Moon


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

Niin-mawin must come to grips with his culture being ripped away from him. Brought up in a “white man’s” school, he suffers through an enforced “civilized” education and separation from his family. When a man he respects reveals a secret about Niin-mawin’s past, he embarks on a search for the person he hopes can mend the part of his heart that’s always been missing. 

Both Maang-ikwe and Niin-mawin wonder how a harvest of pain and sorrow will impact their lives. Will they find the blessings amongst the hardships, or will they allow the results of division and abuse to taint their hearts forever?

Fans of historical fiction, Native American fiction, Christian historical fiction, clean romance, and literary fiction will be moved by this deep, heartfelt novel.

Praise for Harvest Moon

“A moving and authentic work of historical fiction, while this series is a testament to Knipfer's skilled and versatile storytelling.” Self-Publishing Review

 “Knipfer does an outstanding job of cementing place, time, and culture against the backdrop of evolving relationships.” D. Donavon for Midwest Book Review

 


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An interview with

Jenny Knipfer


Please tell us a little about yourself.

 I’m a: wife, mom, grandma, reader, writer, quilter, crafter, plant-lover, and dog-mom.

When did you start writing?

As a child, I wrote my thoughts in my journal and also short stories. Journaling became a huge part of my life. Later on, I wrote poems, songs, and kept up two blogs. In 2018 after retiring from my work as a floral designer due to disability, I finished a novel I had started years earlier and decided to pursue publication.

What projects have been published?

I self-published my first four-part historical fiction series, By the Light of the Moon in 2019 and 2020.

How did you select the title of your novel?

Being the fourth book in the By the Light of the Moon series, it had to have the word “moon” in it. I wanted to start it during the autumn and something about transforming a harvest of pain into something good sat well with me. So Harvest Moon was born.

What was your inspiration?

My past reading of children’s classics, like Anne of Green Gables and adult classic lit, like Jane Eyre, my all-time favorite book, inspired me to try my hand at writing, and it’s been my true love and therapy ever since.

 What are you currently working on?

I’m writing two books. One is the fourth and last title, By Broken Birch Bay, in a new series called Sheltering Trees. It’s set in the early 1900’s on Minnesota’s north shore of Lake Superior and is a historical mystery.

I’ll start publishing this series in June/July 2021. The first title is In a Grove of Maples, inspired by the lives of my grandparents as Wisconsin farmers in the late 1890’s. 

A desire sparked within me recently to write a Christmas novella, and so I am—Holly’s Homecoming. It’s a story of family reunification with a smidge of romance thrown in, releasing in November of 2021.

What are you reading at the moment?

On my blog, I often feature other authors and their books. As a part of The Coffee Pot Book Club, I am reading All Manner of Things, by Wendy Dunn.

What do you like to do in your free time when you're not reading or writing?

I enjoy quilting, making jewelry, tending my many houseplants and orchids, and playing with my mini Yorkie, Ruby.

Do you have any advice for other authors?

Treat writing not only as something you love but also as a serious job. Whether you pursue traditional or independent publishing, it’s a ton of work and not for the faint of heart. That being said, believe in yourself, but be open to receiving constructive criticism from other authors and readers. Take a step back and look at your work as a reader would, and then do what you do best… write.

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Jenny Knipfer

Jenny lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Ken, and their pet Yorkie, Ruby. She is also a mom and loves being a grandma. She enjoys many creative pursuits but finds writing the most fulfilling.

Spending many years as a librarian in a local public library, Jenny recently switched to using her skills as a floral designer in a retail flower shop. She is now retired from work due to disability. Her educational background stems from psychology, music, and cultural missions.

Her By the Light of the Moon series earned five-star reviews from Readers’ Favorite, a book review and award contest company. Their praise: Ruby Moon is entertaining, fast-paced, and features characters that are real. Blue Moon continues a well-written and highly engaging saga of family ties, betrayals, and heartaches. Silver Moon is a highly recommended read for fans of historical wartime fiction, powerful emotive drama, and excellent atmospheric writingHarvest Moon is probably one of the best historical fiction novels I have ever read. I have come away deep in thought, feeling somewhat like I’ve had a mystical experience and one I will never forget.”

She holds membership in the: Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, Wisconsin Writers Association, Christian Indie Publishing Association, and Independent Book Publishers Association.

Jenny’s favorite place to relax is by the western shore of Lake Superior, where her novel series, By The Light of the Moon, is set. She is currently writing a new historical fiction series entitled, Sheltering Trees. The first title in that series, In a Grove of Maples,—inspired by the lives of her grandparents in the late 1890’s—is slated for the fall of 2021.

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