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

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.

You can connect with Jenny Knipfer via these platforms -