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.
“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
A HISTORICAL NOVEL OF FINDING HEALING AND A SECOND CHANCE AT LOVE
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
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 -
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.
“What...is 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 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.