Please make welcome the lovely Jenny Knipfer to the Tavern! We're celebrating her book tour for Harvest Moon! I'm looking forward to reading this historical novel. Grab a cup of mead and let's take a peek at Jenny's story...
A Message from Jenny Knipfer
Inspiration Behind Harvest Moon
Harvest Moon came about because of a question: what is Maang-ikwe’s story? When I neared the end of writing my third book, Silver Moon, in my series, By the Light of the Moon, I felt like I needed to go back and revisit my character, Maang-ikwe, “Loon Woman”, who plays an essential role in the life of her niece, Jenay, my main character in Ruby Moon. Maang-ikwe’s story came up incomplete for me and she’s my most favorite character, so, of course, I had to tell her story.
I’ve always been interested in my Native American and French-Canadian heritage. I am partly Sioux, along with a smattering of a number of other nationalities. My husband has Ojibwe heritage, and I decided to play off his, as the Ojibwe nation historically resided primarily in the northern regions of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, and in southern Ontario—land I have lived on or visited frequently.
As a person of native heritage, I wanted to tell the story of a woman during the time period when things were changing greatly for the native population. I set the story in the 1860’s to 1880’s and wondered what I would do or go through during that time. Then Maang-ikwe started to tell me her story, and I listened. It wasn’t an easy story for me to write, and I ended up crying a few times as I wrote it. In this excerpt she is still a girl and it addressed as such.
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.
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Sneak preview from Harvest Moon
“Aaarrr! No! You not take him. He is my son!”
Gibba pulled on one of my arms, while a man in a scratchy, red jacket
pulled on my other. I felt like I would be split in two.
“It’s the law. You had your time. Come now!” the man yelled at my
My father stepped forward, his face serious. “Give him up, Gibba.”
“Maamaa, I stay. Don’t let them take me!” My eyes stung with tears. I
did not want to go to the white man’s school.
Maamaa threw herself at the man, but he knocked her down with one
My father growled out, “Go! Leave! Take him if you must, but do not
beat my wife. You hurt her enough already.” He knelt by Gibba and cradled her bloody cheek in his palm.
I held that image of my parents in my mind as the red-coated man loaded me into a wagon with a group of twenty other boys. Most had tears wetting their cheeks as I did. Two other wagons filled with children followed ours.
The ride took us several days. We were watched like hawks, so we did not run away. Several boys attempted to but were beaten badly as a result. Then the white guards and black-robed men hobbled us together two by two. They gave us bread and water when we stopped to camp. My belly rumbled most of the way…
I desired to tell this story for the thousands of real children who lived it. I also wrote Harvest Moon because all of us are on a journey to overcome life’s hardships and to make sense of the past but at the same time to have hope for the future. It’s my hope that Harvest Moon will be more than an entertaining read but help encourage readers along their particular path.
Meet the Author
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.
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 writing. Harvest 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 fall of 2021.
Connect with Jenny here