When you make a conscious choice to be happy, no one can take it away from you because no one gave it to you: you gave it to yourself.

A quote from April Green's - Bloom For Yourself Journal

Monday 31 October 2022

Welcoming Linnea Tanner and her book - Skull's Vengeance - to my blog

Today I'm welcoming Linnea Tanner and her book - Skull's Vengeance (Book 4 of Curse of Clansmen and Kings series) - to my blog as part of the blog tour hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club (founded by Mary Anne Yarde)

I'm delighted to share an excerpt with you all, but first I will introduce the book.

Skull's Vengeance

A Celtic warrior queen must do the impossible—defeat her sorcerer half-brother and claim the throne. But to do so, she must learn how to strike vengeance from her father’s skull.

AS FORETOLD BY HER FATHER in a vision, Catrin has become a battle-hardened warrior after her trials in the Roman legion and gladiatorial games. She must return to Britannia and pull the cursed dagger out of the serpent's stone to fulfill her destiny. Only then can she unleash the vengeance from the ancient druids to destroy her evil half-brother, the powerful sorcerer, King Marrock. Always two steps ahead and seemingly unstoppable, Marrock can summon destructive natural forces to crush any rival trying to stop him and has charged his deadliest assassin to bring back Catrin's head.

To have the slightest chance of beating Marrock, Catrin must forge alliances with former enemies, but she needs someone she can trust. Her only option is to seek military aid from Marcellus—her secret Roman husband. They rekindle their burning passion, but he is playing a deadly game in the political firestorm of the Julio-Claudian dynasty to support Catrin's cause.

Ultimately, in order to defeat Marrock, Catrin must align herself with a dark druidess and learn how to summon forces from skulls to exact vengeance. But can she and Marcellu outmanoeuvre political enemies from Rome and Britannia in their quest to vanquish Marrock?

Trigger warnings: Sex, Slave trafficking and abuse, Violence, Childbirth

Publication Date: 18 October 2022

Publisher: Apollo Raven Publisher, LLC

Page Length: 402 pages

Genre: Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance


Acclaim for other books in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series:

"[An] epic tale of love, betrayal and political intrigue." —InD'tale Magazine

"The requisite fantasy elements of magic and mystery abound...Tanner also does an admirable job weaving in the politics and mythology of a bygone people." —Kirkus

"Part fantasy, part historical fiction, Linnea Tanner has woven together a wonderful tale of romance, intrigue, mystery, and legend to create an entertaining and complex story." —The International Review of Books

"[A] captivating tale of triangles; love, lust and espionage; friend, foe, and spies; barbarians, civilized Rome and spiritual-supernatural beings." —2019 Pencraft Book of the Year Award

You can purchase a copy of the book via -

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:

Amazon CA:

Amazon AU:

Barnes and Noble:





Buy Links for Books from Curse of Clansmen and Kings series:

Apollo’s Raven:

Dagger’s Destiny:

Amulet’s Rapture:

Skull’s Vengeance:

Now for the excerpt -

The sun was sitting high in the sky when they reached a small clearing in the forest. After a few weeks of living in the stuffy hut, the air in the forest felt fresher than before. Ulf breathed in the rich forest aroma of damp ground and green leaves, feeling his anger being calmed, as if Freya had placed a soothing hand on his head. Even the sounds seem louder, he thought as he heard the birds singing in the trees. There were twigs snapping in the distance, a constant reminder they were not alone in this old forest.

“Let’s rest here,” Ulf said. He was tired and the pain in his side was making it difficult to carry on. His mood was in contrast to the sunny weather as he sat down and tried to figure out what to do. He didn’t have much of a plan, didn’t even know where to go. There was Thorgilsstad, but his uncle had always told him to stay away from there. But Ulf didn’t know of any other jarls.

Vidar, on the other hand, was smiling. Ulf guessed Vidar felt free, but he didn’t understand why Vidar had waited so long to kill the old man.

“Why now?” he asked Vidar.

Vidar looked at him, confused at first, but then he understood the question. He replied by pointing at Ulf.

“You waited for me?” This made no sense. How did Vidar know that he would be there?

Vidar shrugged and then nodded. A yes and no answer.

“How did you know that I would not kill you instead? Thralls who kill their owners must be killed themselves. Those are the rules of our land.”

Vidar only smiled and shrugged.

Somehow, he knew. Ulf felt a bit uneasy and it was not because of the pain. It felt like there was more to this silent boy with his large hands. Before Ulf could say anything else, he saw Vidar scanning the trees at the other side of the clearing. The smile disappeared from Vidar’s face, replaced by a snarl that reminded Ulf of a dog.

“What is it?” Ulf asked, realizing the birds had gone quiet. He got back to his feet and took Olaf’s axe from his belt.

In response to his question, a man jumped out of the undergrowth. Ulf pushed Vidar behind him and held the axe ready, though he wasn’t sure what he was going to do. The man had a long hunting spear, which he now pointed at Ulf and Vidar. He looked as surprised to see them as they were to see him.

“Who are you?” he asked. He had a strong voice which spoke of confidence.

“Nobody important,” Ulf replied. “Who are you?”

The man smiled at the response. He was the same height as Ulf, but sturdier. He had a round face with light hair, braided and tied at the back. His beard, the same colour as his hair, also had a thick braid and went to the top of his chest. Ulf could tell by the many arm-rings he wore and his bunched-up shoulder muscles that the man was an experienced warrior.

“My name is Snorri Thorgilsson,” he said with a broad smile as he stood up straight and stopped pointing the spear at them. He must have decided they were no threat.

“Thorgilsson? As in Jarl Thorgils?” Ulf should have guessed he was someone important by the quality of the clothes he was wearing.

“Yes, I am the son of the jarl. You mean to kill me.” He was smiling at the thought. Even Ulf doubted he could kill the warrior, especially with his side still hurting.

Vidar started pulling at Ulf’s sleeve, but Ulf ignored him. He didn’t want to take his eyes off the man facing them. Again, Vidar tugged at Ulf’s sleeve, more persistently this time.

“What?” Ulf turned to look at Vidar but kept an eye on the warrior in front of them.

Vidar pointed to the trees as a large brown bear walked into the clearing, behind the man who called himself Snorri. But Snorri hadn’t noticed the bear and must have thought Vidar was pointing at him.

“What does he want?” Snorri asked Ulf as the bear crept closer. Ulf had never seen a bear as large as this one.

“Behind you,” Ulf answered and was shocked to see Snorri laugh.

“Those are my men, nothing to worry about.”

“There are no men behind you.”

Linnea Tanner

Award-winning author, Linnea Tanner, weaves Celtic tales of love, magical adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. Since childhood, she has passionately read about ancient civilizations and mythology. Of particular interest are the enigmatic Celts, who were reputed as fierce warriors and mystical druids.

Linnea has extensively researched ancient and medieval history, mythology, and archaeology and has traveled to sites described within each of her books in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series. Books released in her series include Apollo’s Raven (Book 1), Dagger’s Destiny (Book 2), Amulet’s Rapture (Book 3), and Skull’s Vengeance (Book 4).

A Colorado native, Linnea attended the University of Colorado and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry. She lives in Fort Collins with her husband and has two children and six grandchildren.

You can connect with Linnea Tanner via these platforms -







Book Bub:

Amazon Author Page:

You can learn more about the author and the book by visiting the other blogs on this tour -

Tour Schedule:

That's it for now.

Till the next time.

Take care Zoe.

Thursday 13 October 2022

Welcoming G. J. Williams and her book - The Conjuror's Apprentice - to my blog

Today I'm welcoming G. J. Williams and her book - The Conjuror's Apprentice (Book 1 of The Tudor Rose series) - to my blog as part of the blog tour hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club (founded by Mary Anne Yarde)

I am delighted to share an excerpt with you all, but first I will introduce the book.

The Conjuror's Apprentice

Born with the ability to hear thoughts and feelings when there is no sound, Margaretta Morgan’s strange gift sees her apprenticed to Doctor John Dee, mathematician, astronomer, and alchemist. Using her secret link with the hidden side and her master’s brilliance, Margaretta faces her first murder mystery. Margaretta and Dee must uncover the evil bound to unravel the court of Bloody Mary.

The year is 1555. This is a time ruled by fear. What secrets await to be pulled from the water?

The Conjuror’s Apprentice takes real people and true events in 1555, into which G J Williams weaves a tale of murder and intrigue. Appealing to readers of crime and well researched historical fiction alike, this is the first in a series which will follow the life, times, plots and murders of the Tudor Court.

Trigger Warnings:

Descriptions of bodies and the injuries that brought about their death.

Threat of torture; description of man who has been tortured.

Publication Date: October 6th 2022

Publisher: RedDoor Press

Page Length: 320 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction 

You can purchase a copy of the book via -

Amazon UK:



Now for the excerpt -

The coach rattled out of St Dunstan’s onto Eastcheap and headed west. The night’s rain had made the road a mess of mud and small stones. Every few minutes, a large divot would make their vehicle lurch to the side. Margaretta clung to the window frame and stared out to stop herself getting sick in her stomach. Doctor John, dressed in his favourite coat of blue and his head well covered by his cap, was reading a document, apparently oblivious to the rolling and clattering. He had taken care to wash his beard this morning, so it shone like a dark waterfall from his chin to his chest. His face, prematurely lined but kind, was golden as the early sun shone through from the East.

Margaretta studied him. She had calculated he was only twenty-seven years old yet his face seemed to hold the history of a hundred men – though this was not so surprising. In his life he had already been a scholar in both England and in foreign lands, a tutor, a maker of fantastical models, a mathematician, an astrologer, and advisor to King Edward, the poor child. Even the great warrior knight, Sir Herbert of Pembroke, had trusted him in his household. John Dee had been born the son of an immensely rich wool-tax collector, favoured by King Henry. But now he was poor and ignored by Henry’s daughter, Mary Tudor, though he was ever seeking a route back to the riches of court, recognition and the resumption of the family fortunes.

In John Dee’s lap was a parchment covered in circles within a divided square. Words were carefully entered into a panel at the side while numbers littered the circles. Periodically, he would sigh and shake his head. ‘What is the document?’ asked Margaretta, bored with the silence now.

‘Another horoscope divined using my new method of measurement,’ came the vague answer.

‘Is it not foolish to carry such things out of the house, doctor? Anything but the words of the Pope is beckoning accusation these days and you…’

John Dee batted away the end of her sentence with an irritated wagging of his hand. ‘I need to check my calculations. If this is true then the tarot underestimated the future. This portends many enemies surrounding the Lady Elizabeth. I saw it last month when I conjured her first horoscope. But it worsens.’

Margaretta pushed her head out of the window to see if the coachman could hear them. Thank the Lord he was singing to himself and so taking no notice. She turned to warn Dee anyway but he was deep in contemplation again.

Margaretta stared out. The streets thronged with animals and people all busying their way through the detritus of the road. Hawkers screeched their wares, delivery boys shouted for a clear path to save dropping the huge packages on their back, well-dressed women held up nosegays and looked away from the beggars and children who held out hopeful hands. But not a single face held a smile. Yet only a few short weeks ago, the streets had been full of rejoicing, hailing of glad tidings; Te Deums were sung in every church. Priests thanked the Lord for the safe delivery of a son to Queen Mary and in the streets people danced as if this child was the second coming, here to save them from a terrible fate – being ruled by Mary’s husband, the very Spanish King Philip.

Then the rumours started. There was no cry of a newborn. Some said the queen had lied, others spoke behind their hands of Lord North trying to buy the babes of women who had birthed the child of a Spaniard; pamphlets shouted that the queen was dead. Court went quiet and London waited while criers claimed the doctors had simply miscalculated the birthing day. Sullen silence. Then the screams from the pyres started again.

As if he could read her thoughts, John Dee suddenly looked up. ‘You have not told me about your lesson yesterday.’

Margaretta swallowed hard. Recalling the flames and the screams would only raise the bile already collecting in her throat. ‘Cruel,’ she snapped, not looking at him.

‘Come, Margaretta. If you are going to hone your gifts you have to understand the full spectrum of men’s feelings, fears and fallacious thoughts. The good, the evil, the kind, the cruel, the intelligent and the witless. It is all part of our soul and you need to see them all.’

Margaretta turned bright, green eyes on her master. ‘I can feel evil without having to see its result, Doctor John. I’ll never forget those cries. Terrible it was.’ She sat back with a self- righteous huff.

Abruptly, her travelling companion looked out of the window, his face setting into a grim glare. ‘They will be with their maker now, Margaretta. There will be peace for them.’

‘But not for the poor souls sitting in a cell condemned to such an end…nor their kin who have to watch.’

‘That is enough, Margaretta.’

‘Then I have had enough learning for this week, doctor.’ John Dee sighed and stared down at his parchment.

Margaretta gazed at him. Strange. He is the only one I cannot read, cannot feel. I cannot sense the spirit below the skin. It’s as if he is able to block me. What thoughts fill that great head, other than dreams of getting to court and recreating his family’s position in the palace?

C. J. Williams

After a career as a business psychologist for city firms, G.J. Williams has returned to her first passion – writing tales of murder, mystery and intrigue. Her psychology background melded with a love of medieval history, draws her to the twists and turns of the human mind, subconscious powers and the dark-side of people who want too much.

She lives between Somerset and London in the UK and is regularly found writing on a train next to a grumpy cat and a bucket of tea.

You can connect with C J Williams via -


You can learn more about the book and the author by visiting the other blogs on this tour -

Tour Schedule:

That's it.

Till the next time.

Take care Zoe.

Thursday 8 September 2022

Welcoming M. B. Zucker and his book - The Eisenhower Chronicles - to my blog

Today I'm welcoming M. B. Zucker and his book - The Eisenhower Chronicles - to my blog as part of the blog tour hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club (founded by Mary Anne Yarde)

I'm delighted to share an excerpt with you all, but first I will introduce the book.

The Eisenhower Chronicles 

In 1938 he was a lieutenant colonel stationed in the Philippines; by 1945 the world
proclaimed him its savior. From leading the forces of liberal democracy against history’s most evil tyrant to the presidency, Dwight D. Eisenhower fought for and kept the peace during the most dangerous era in history.

The Eisenhower Chronicles dramatizes Ike’s life, portraying his epic journey from unknown soldier to global hero as only a novel could. He is shown working with icons such as FDR, Winston Churchill, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and confronting challenges like D-Day, the Little Rock Crisis, and Sputnik.

Eisenhower’s legacy is grounded in defending the world from fascism, communism, and nuclear weapons. This novel shows how he accomplished it all and takes readers into his mind and soul, grounding the history in the man who made it.

Advance Praise:

“An ambitious novel that illuminates the complexity of one of the great figures of the twentieth century. Ike's homespun manner concealed a remarkably skilled, at times Machiavellian, leader who guided the nation through perilous times. M.B. Zucker brings us inside Eisenhower's world as he wrestles with a series of decisions affecting the survival of free government and the fate of humanity. This is a fun, fast-paced, informative read that captures the man and his times. Highly recommended.”

-Stephen F. Knott, Professor of National Security at the Naval War College and author of Washington and Hamilton: The Alliance that Forged America

“A most important aspect of M. B. Zucker's The Eisenhower Chronicles is that it dispels at least two myths about Ike's presidency: that it was but an appendage to his illustrious military career; and, that Eisenhower was more prone to react to events rather than shape them. In a lively and innovative style, Zucker shows his readers how Ike managed the Cold War during its most dangerous period and helped make his country a more fair and just society at home. A must read for anyone interested in mid-20th century America.”

-Alvin S. Felzenberg, presidential historian and author of The Leaders We Deserved and a Few We Didn't

“Zucker's achievement is monumental. In a fast-paced narrative, he captures Dwight D. Eisenhower with mastery and precision-his thoughts, emotions, decisions, and actions. The smooth prose and rich detail put the reader right there with Ike at every step of his military career and presidency, with an accurate and compelling rendering. This is historical fiction at its best.”

-Yanek Mieczkowski, presidential historian and author of Eisenhower's Sputnik Moment: The Race for Space and World Prestige

“This is a vast and minutely detailed account of Eisenhower as both supreme Warlord and President of the United States at a time of truly massive transformation.It is magisterial in its informed account and sweeping in its scope. It is a panoramic study, intensively researched, of Eisenhower as both a private person and a world figure.... Five stars and highly recommended.”

- The Historical Fiction Company Editorial Reviews

Publication Date: 26th July 2022

Publisher: Historium Press Books

Cover Design by White Rabbit Arts

Page Length: 496 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

You can buy a copy of the book via -

Universal Link: 

Now for the excerpt -

Ike can't decide whether or not to run for President. He doesn't want to, but the Korean War and the Cold War stimulate his sense of duty. One night, his subconscious sends him a message...

Feel disgusting. So sweaty. Bet I could see my chest hair through my Ike Jacket right now. Because of how soaked I am. Don’t look at it. Why am I wearing my full uniform and jacket in this heat? Where am I?

Ike’s gaze rose from the ground to the grassy fields. White oak and magnolia towered over him, though their shade did not diminish the heat or humidity. Gardens stretched in every direction. A large estate loomed in the distance, a great wooden mansion at its center. Its roof was bright red, and its walls were white wood. A circular dirt path sat in front of the building surrounding a large patch of trimmed grass. Single-story wings flanked the mansion on each side.

Why does that building look so familiar? Shouldn’t trespass. But I’ll pass out if I don’t get a drink of water.

Ike stumbled toward the mansion, every step a struggle. No sooner did Ike begin his quest than a man on horseback intercepted him. He wore a corn yellow worn-out vest and a black tricorn hat that shaded his shoulders. Sweat shone on his forehead. His black horse neighed as he came to a stop. Ike looked up at him.

What the hell is he wearing? Either he’s out of fashion, even for a farmer, or I’m so old I missed the new look.

“What’s your name?” the man on horseback asked, his knuckles white from gripping the reins.

Ike felt an unconscious jolt; he’d been famous for a decade. This was a nice change of pace.

“I’m General Eisenhower.”

“A general?” the man asked. “Did you fight in the war?”

“Yes, sir,” Ike replied politely.


“I commanded the European Theater.”

“Europe? You mean you were with Dr. Franklin?”


“That’s a strange uniform for a general,” the man said.

“You don’t like my jacket?” Ike asked as he glanced at it briefly. “I know it’s a sweaty mess, but I designed it myself.” He looked the man in the eye as his horse trotted to his right. “You haven’t given me your name yet.”

“Joseph Cash,” the man said, still suspicious. “I assume you’re here for a visit.”

“Sure,” Ike muttered quietly. “Where am I exactly?”

Cash’s eyebrow rose.

“You’re on the most famous estate in the country. Maybe the world.”

“That’s not helping.”

“Mount Vernon.”

Mount Vernon? How the hell… alright. I guess that explains why he’s dressed like he’s from another century. Must be a tour guide or something.

“Can I get a glass of water before my tour?”

Cash ignored him.

“I don’t think he’s very busy right now. Not sure he’s had many visitors today. You can probably see him if you want.”

“Who are we talking about?”

“General Washington.”

“Come again?”

“George Washington. The general and President. You’re not from around here, are you?”

Washington? The George Washington? Can’t believe it! My God! Oh my God! Stomach’s doing a somersault! How in the hell… I don’t know. But this fellow is right in front of me and saying I’m about to meet George Washington, who I've idolized since I could read. I wonder if I can confirm the cherry tree story.

M. B. Zucker

M. B. Zucker has been interested in storytelling for as long as he can remember. He
discovered his love of history at fifteen and studied Dwight Eisenhower for over ten years. Mr. Zucker earned his B.A. at Occidental College and his J.D. at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He lives in Virginia with his wife.

You can connect with M. B. Zucker via these platforms -


Twitter: and



Amazon Author Page:


You can learn more about the book and the author by visiting the other blogs on this tour -

Tour Schedule:

That's it for now.
Till the next time.
Take care Zoe.

Wednesday 3 August 2022

Welcoming Mary Anne Yarde and her book - The Du Lac Chronicles - to my blog

Today I'm welcoming Mary Anne Yarde and her book - The Du Lac Chronicles (book 1 of The Du Lac Chronicles series) - to my blog as part of the blog tour hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club (founded by Mary Anne Yarde)

I am beyond delighted to share this book with you all. You see, Mary Anne and I are best friends - we've known each other since school and over the years we've shared many memories and achievements. 

Many years ago, Mary Anne said to me "I have an idea for a story" to which I replied, "Well write it then!" 

I've been fortunate to have seen behind the scenes of The Du Lac Chronicles and have witnessed firsthand the story and characters grow from those early drafts to the fantastic series we see today. It makes me so proud to see what Mary Anne has achieved and she deserves every success (I know I'm biased!).

The Du Lac Chronicles

A generation after Arthur Pendragon ruled, Briton lies fragmented into warring kingdoms and principalities.

Eighteen-year-old Alden du Lac ruled the tiny kingdom of Cerniw. Now he half-hangs from a wooden pole, his back lashed into a mass of bloody welts exposed to the cold of a cruel winter night. He’s to be executed come daybreak—should he survive that long.

When Alden notices the shadowy figure approaching, he assumes death has come to end his pain. Instead, the daughter of his enemy, Cerdic of Wessex, frees and hides him, her motives unclear.

Annis has loved Alden since his ill-fated marriage to her Saxon cousin—a marriage that ended in blood and guilt—and she would give anything to protect him. Annis’s rescue of Alden traps them between a brutal Saxon king and Alden’s remaining allies. Meanwhile, unknown forces are carefully manipulating the ruins of Arthur’s legacy.

Trigger warnings:

Torture, Warfare

Publication Date: 21st February 2016

Publisher: Independently Publishing

Page Length: 317 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction / Historical Fantasy / Historical Romance

You can purchase a copy of the book via these platforms -

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:

The book is also available on Kindle Unlimited.

Mary Anne Yarde

Mary Anne Yarde is a multi-award winning and bestselling author of Historical Fiction, as well as an award-winning blogger. She studied History at Cardiff University and went on to study Equine Science at Warwickshire College.

Mary Anne is a passionate advocate for quality Historical Fiction and founded The Coffee Pot Book Club in 2015 and became a professional Editorial Reviewer in 2016.

Mary Anne's award-winning series, The Du Lac Chronicles, is set a generation after the fall of King Arthur. The Du Lac Chronicles takes you on a journey through Dark Age Britain and Brittany, where you will meet new friends and terrifying foes. Based on legends and historical fact, The Du Lac Chronicles is a series not to be missed

Born in Bath, England, Mary Anne grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury—the fabled Isle of Avalon—was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.

You can connect with Mary Anne Yarde via -




Amazon Author Page:


You can learn more about the book and the author by visiting the other blogs on this tour -

Tour Schedule Page:

That's it for now.

Till the next time.

Take care Zoe.

Tuesday 2 August 2022

Welcoming Jenny Knipfer and her book - On Bur Oak Ridge - to my blog

Today I'm welcoming Jenny Knipfer and her book - On Bur Oak Ridge (Sheltering Trees, book 3) - to my blog as part of the blog tour hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club (founded by Mary Anne Yarde)

I am delighted to share an excerpt with you all, but first I'll introduce the book.

On Bur Oak Ridge

“The plot has its twists and turns to keep readers intrigued…to the very end. A great comfort read that will soothe the spirit with renewed hope and faith.” Readers’ Favorite five-star review


In the early 1900s, quiet and reserved Molly Lund finds refuge from her past at the Nelsons’ farm in Minnesota. In an attempt to turn a new page in her life, Molly works at making peace with her losses and coming to terms with the disfiguring burns on her face.

Samuel Woodson, the Nelsons’ hired hand, carries his own cares. Split from his family and bearing a burden of misplaced guilt for an act that haunts him, Samuel–seeing past Molly’s scars–draws her out of her self-protective shell.

Molly and Samuel form a friendship, but just as their hearts lead them deeper, an unexpected guest comes calling, demanding what’s his.

Will Molly and Samuel find a way to be together or will they be separated, due to impediments beyond their control? Can they trust in God’s plan and travel a path that heals the hurts of the past?

Readers of historical fiction, Christian historical fiction, and Christian historical romance will delight in this beautifully wrought story of the healing power of love.

“A heartwarming story of healing from external and internal scars. Through some of life’s harder lessons the characters learn to trust, forgive, and find second chances out of the ashes of pain and loss.”

Anne Perreault, author of eighteen inspirational novels, including the Yellowstone series

Trigger Warnings:

Grief, trauma from burns, accidental death, time in an insane asylum.

Publication Date: 29th July 2022

Publisher: Jenny Knipfer—Author

Page Length: 266 Pages

Genre: Historical Romance, Christian Historical Romance, Christian Historical Fiction

You can purchase a copy of the book via -

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:

Amazon CA:

Amazon AU:

The book is also available on Kindle Unlimited.

Now for the excerpt -


“Oh! Sorry...” a voice rasps out in shock.

I gasp and feel the heat before I ascertain what has happened. Hot coffee has sloshed down the front of my thick, twill shirt. I use a couple of fingers to pull the wet fabric away from my chest. A waft of roasted brew rises to my nostrils. I’ve always liked the smell of coffee but not the bitter taste. I prefer tea.

Mrs. Lund—Molly—stands inches from my chest with a tray of mugs, her mouth agape. We briefly look at each other, full in the face, before she bows her head to the side, hiding her scars. Her lovely, dark hair drapes over the smooth side of her face. The pink shade of her lips reminds me of the wild roses that grow in the ditch. Smooth, unblemished, ivory skin covers the pleasing planes of her face. Her fetching image puts me in mind of a harpy from the sea. Mother told me stories of such creatures when I was a child. I doubt Mrs. Lund knows how beautiful she is. It saddens me to take in the other half of her face. I hate to think of the pain she endured to have such scars. Burns, I now surmise.

“Again, I apologize. Mabel sent me out with coffee for the crew before things swing into action.”

She says the words without looking up; they exit from her mouth rough, strained. I wonder what makes her sound as if she’s smoked too many cigarettes. I wouldn’t guess her to indulge in what Mother would call “the sin of smoking.”

With a hint of the sarcasm I feel, I tell her, “Linc did send me to get some coffee, but I didn’t think I’d be wearing it.”

Why am I talking so much?

I feel a need to engage this woman in conversation, to pull her out of her shell, but ironically, I usually act the same way she does—reserved.

Her clear eye—green-colored with bits of brown and blue— tilts up at me at a strange angle, in question. “Linc?”

I let my childhood name for Lincoln slip, but she was bound to find out eventually. “Yes. Lincoln and I are...old friends. Schoolmates. I called him Linc in our younger days.”

I shrug, release my shirt, and wipe my wet fingers on my thigh. Again, I’m revealing too much. She nods and looks back down at the mown lawn, making as if to return to the house.

“Wait.” I stop her and place my hands on either side of the wooden tray. “There’s no harm done, except I’m a little damp. Still plenty here to drink. I’ll carry it out to the men for you.”

I pull the tray, but she holds firm. She’s stronger than she appears.

She points her chin to my chest. “You’ll need to change.” “It’ll dry in no time, I reckon.”

“But it’s chilly. You’ll...” she gives me a one-eyed gaze, “be cold.”

I gently pull the tray again. “I’ve faced worse.”

She relinquishes it with a quiet sigh.

“Much obliged,” she utters, and she drops her hands, brushing them on her blue, gingham apron.

“My pleasure,” I say and inwardly kick myself. I sound like a salesclerk.

She pauses before she turns. I decide to skip asking for a cinnamon roll. But something else eats at me besides hunger. Some need to connect with another who obviously knows what pain is gives me the courage to ask.

“ it that you grieve?”

I surprise myself with my raw boldness. She stops, her hand on the knob of the door to the house and her back to me. Her head droops farther south.

Her voice sounds hollow, tinny. “You mean who?”

I swallow at my audacity and tighten my grip on the tray. “I suppose so. Who, then?”

Mrs. Lund turns partially back, captured in a perfect silhouette, backlit by the slanted morning light.

“My son,” she tells me, and she slips into the house without so much as a creak of the door.

The words sound like they hurt in more ways than one. Family—deep love and deep heartache.

I shake my head of thoughts that will weigh me down, turn, and walk to the men and their machine to serve up some half- empty mugs of coffee on a drenched tray.

I’m curious about Mrs. Lund’s story, and if I ask her more questions, she may answer. But then she’ll want to ask me some, and I am not ready to confess my sins to her. For some reason that I can’t name, it’s important to me for her to think well of me.

Why I do not know.

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 education background stems from psychology, music, and cultural missions.

All of Jenny’s books have earned five-star reviews from Readers’ Favourite, a book review and award contest company. She holds membership in the: Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, Wisconsin Writers Association, Christian Indie Publishing Association, and Independent Book Publishers Association.

Jenny’s favourite place to relax is by the western shore of Lake Superior, where her novel series, By The Light of the Moon, is set.

She deems a cup of tea and a good book an essential part of every day. When not writing, Jenny can be found reading, tending to her many houseplants, or piecing quilt blocks at her sewing machine.

Her new historical fiction, four-part series entitled, Sheltering Trees, is set in the area Jenny grew up in, where she currently lives, and places along Minnesota’s Northern Shore, where she loves to visit. She is currently writing a four-part novella series entitled: Botanical Seasons and a three-part fantasy series entitled: Retold Fairy Tales.

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