Inspirational Stories of Love, Faith & Family Set in 19th Century America

Tag: World War I

Silver Moon, Book Excerpt & a Giveaway


On Tour with Prism Book Tours


I’m thrilled to host an excerpt of Silver Moon, by Jenny Knipfer, today as part of it’s tour with Prism Book Tours.

Before you leave don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway at the bottom of the page! One lucky winner will receive an eBook copy of the entire By the Light of the Moon series and a $25 Amazon eGift card.

Before the excerpt here’s a little bit about the book.


About Silver Moon

A tale of courage and hope in the darkest of times…

Silver Moon, the third book in the series: By the Light of the Moon, paints a stunning and poignant picture of life on the home front in Webaashi Bay, Ontario, and of three men who are a part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force during WWI.

Shamed into joining the war, the tide turns for Luis Wilson when he is steered into the depths of espionage. Injured and presumed missing, will he lose his heart to the very woman who presented him with a white feather?

Oshki and Jimmy offer a grim perspective on life in the trenches. They despair of ever returning home to the women who hold their hearts.

Meanwhile, Lily fights for the cause in her own way and rallies the female troops at home as prejudices run high and the local cafe owner is accused of being a spy.

Will the women of Webaashi Bay receive their men back unscathed? Can the power of love win out over insurmountable odds? All this drama and more plays out under the light of a silver moon.

Fans of WWI historical fiction, Christian historical fiction, and literary fiction will find Silver Moon a moving, powerful read!

Praise for the Book

Taking an original angle on a tumultuous time in history, Silver Moon by Jenny Knipfer is a sparkling slice of historical fiction. Ambitiously detailing a diverse collection of characters, this World War I story bounces across space and time, delicately filled with vivid descriptions, nuanced moral dilemmas, and authentic relationships…” —Self-publishing Review

Silver Moon is a highly recommended read for fans of historical wartime fiction, powerful emotive drama, and excellent atmospheric writing.” —Readers’ Favorite

“I am stunned by the amount of detail the author gave in this single story. On one hand, we have powerful characters… and on the other, we have a plot that demands all our attention. Jenny Knipfer pulls no punches and holds nothing back.” —Readers’ Favorite

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Excerpt from Silver Moon

 

Late August 1916

Western Front Near Lille

Oshki tucked his last letter from home in his rucksack, threw it on his shoulder, grabbed his rifle, and followed the soldier in front of him towards another web of trenches. Part of his company, or what was left of it, were on their way north to beef up the line where an Allied attack was being planned. He and Lenny were the only ones left walking from their small squadron. The rest had been sent home, shipped to a field hospital to recover, or they had died. His mother was right when she told him he had to greet death often.

Like an unwanted guest come calling, he thought.

“On our way ta the next paradise.” The soldier ahead of him turned back to Oshki. “Been here long?”

Oshki eyed the man before him. Golly, he looks like he’s fifteen. “Been here mostly since last spring.”

“Me, I shipped in couple o’ months ago. Been pushed up the line some. Name’s Daithi, by the way. Daithi Sharney. Yers?”

“Oshki.”

“What kinda name is ‘at?”

“I’m Canadian. It’s Ojibwe.” Oshki rolled his eyes, kept walking, and took the lead.

“Injun, huh?”

“Anishinaabe, of The First People. My mother was a little less than half. Got some French and English floating around inside too.” Oshki gave the lad another look over. “What kinda name is Daithi?”

“’Tis the Irish form o’ David.”

“Ah.”

“Will you two quit yakkin’ and git movin’.” Lenny came up from behind Oshki and scolded them. “Seriously, you’re holdin’ up the line.”

Oshki kidded his chum. “Someone is in a hurry for the sight of new dirt.”

“Ha, ha.” Lenny swatted Oshki on the back. “Naw, it’s just nice to stretch my legs. They’ve gotten awful cramped up in our old terrain.”

Daithi scratched his chin. “Whar we marchin’ ta, ya think?”

“To our deaths, most like,” Lenny said, deadpan.

Oshki gave Lenny a dirty look. “You’re gonna scare him, Lenny.”

“What?” Lenny shrugged with an innocent look on his face.

Oshki eyed Daithi for a second time. “How old are you anyway?”

“Old enough.” Daithi’s face reddened.

“Just old enough ta be off your mamma’s tit, I’d say,” Lenny snickered.

“Ah, leave him alone.” Oshki growled a little this time.

“Well, we’re glad of fresh blood. It’s been getting thin over here.” “Come on, let’s just shut up and walk.”

Oshki tired of talking about what they’d lost, and he didn’t want to think about this young kid going the same way as all the others. He picked up his pace and put some distance between Lenny and Daithi.

He didn’t want to kid about dying, not today. He had in his mind that dying happened in the grime of the trenches, but not at home. Home was supposed to be safe, but death’s long arm had touched it all the same.

As he marched, Oshki really thought about dying and what it would mean…


Other Books in the Series

 


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About 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.

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

She authored and performed a self-published musical CD entitled, Scrapbook of a Closet Poet.

Jenny’s books, Ruby Moon, Blue Moon, and Silver Moon earned five-star reviews from Reader’s 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.”

She holds membership in the: Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, Historical Novel Society, 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 has self-published the first three books, Ruby Moon, Blue Moon, and Silver Moon, in her four-part series. One more novel to complete the series is planned for 2020. She is currently writing a new historical fiction series called, Sheltering Trees.

Photo Credit: Craig Jentink

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Tour Schedule

Click the image to see the complete list of tour stops for Silver Moon.

 


Tour Giveaway

 

One winner will receive eBooks of all three books in the By the Light of the Moon series by Jenny Knipfer (Ruby Moon, Blue Moon and Silver Moon) and a $25 Amazon eGift Card

Open internationally to those who can use one of Amazon’s branches
Ends September 9, 2020

ENTER HERE

Author Interview with Patti Stockdale & a Giveaway!

I’m so thrilled to welcome historical romance author and sweet friend, Patti Stockdale, to Romancing History today. Although Patti and I met through an on-line group for first-timers attending the American Christian Fiction Writers annual conference in May 2016, we discovered that we once lived less than a block apart from each other in a small Virginia town but had never met. How crazy is that?

Patti’s debut novel, Three Little Things, released February 4th and folks, it’s fabulous. Click here to read my five-star review. Patti has graciously offered a signed copy of Three Little Things to one Romancing History Guest. You can enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post.

Before we chat with Patti, here’s a little bit about her and her new book.


About Patti

Patti Stockdale loves hope, history, and a good happily ever after. She can’t remember numbers, so she married a statistician. Thanks to him, she’s lived all sorts of places and worked all sorts of jobs. While employed by an NFL team, she once answered the phone by the wrong team name. She doesn’t work there anymore. For 11 years, she directed the programming at a nonprofit senior center and hosted an annual talent show, rocking a Dolly Parton wig, Annie Oakley boots, and a sweet—although snug—Batman costume. She no longer works there either. These days, Patti writes books and occasionally educational assessments and magazine articles.

You can connect with Patti on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, & BookBub


About the Book

One forbidden love. Two broken hearts. Three little things.

Hattie Waltz should forget the troubled neighbor leaving for boot camp in 1917. He forgot about her ages ago. It had always been the Waltzs verses the Kregers, his family pitted against hers. When she hands him a farewell gift, a chemistry lesson unfolds. The good kind.

Arno Kreger can’t leave Iowa or his old man fast enough. He’s eager to prove his worth on the battlefield and stop blaming himself for his brother’s death. Before entering the train, he bumps into Hattie. He’s loved her forever, always from the sidelines, because nobody crosses Hattie’s pa.

One innocent letter soon morphs into many. Arno and Hattie share three little secrets in each letter and grow closer together. But he’s on his way to war across the ocean, and she’s still in her father’s house. Their newfound love will need to survive dangers on both fronts.

 

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Interview with Patti

Fast Five

Coffee or Tea?  Tea. Growing up, we visited my grandparents every afternoon at three o’clock for tea time.

Mexican or Chinese? Mexican. I always order the same thing – cheese enchiladas and rice.

Chocolate Chip or Oatmeal Raisin?  Chocolate Chip Cookies. Crispy, please.

Jeans & Ankle Boots or Pajamas & Slippers? Pajamas & Slippers. My go-to fashion is comfortable and casual.

Pride & Prejudice or Jane Eyre? Pride & Prejudice ranks as my all-time favorite book.

Q&A

About You & Your Writing

RH: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

PS: I returned to college over twenty years ago to study creative writing. That’s when I researched and wrote the first draft of Little Then, I packed it in a box and accepted a job at a busy nonprofit senior center. A few years ago, I dusted off the manuscript, researched for months, and rewrote the book two or three times. I also freelance, writing reading assessments for an educational publisher. Three Little Things, a historical romance, is my first book. Nine days out of ten, you’ll find me writing and editing in my little office with my back to the window. I’m easily distracted!

RH: Hahaha! I can relate to being easily distracted. I recently switched my office to the back of the house where I can no longer see the goings on in the neighborhood. Which 5 words describe you, the woman, apart from being an author?

PS: Five words that describe me include friendly, curious, hard-working, fun-loving, and a Christian.

RH: I would agree whole-heartedly with each of those descriptors and add a great sense of humor. I wish we had known each other when you lived in my neighborhood all those years ago. What or who is your favorite historical romance novel and/or author? Why?

PS: Deeanne Gist is one of my favorite authors because I can’t stop smiling when I read her books. She charms me from beginning to end.

RH: She is one of my favorite authors as well! Another thing we have in common. Fans of romantic fiction love a cute meet. How did you and your significant other meet?

PS: I’ve known my husband forever. He grew up two blocks from my house and delivered our newspaper. In ninth grade, he asked me to dance. I told him I need to talk to my friend first because she’d had a crush on him. Thankfully, she gave me a thumbs up. The rest is history.

RH: That is just the sweetest thing. I bet you’re glad your friend wasn’t too interested. When did you know you wanted to write?

PS: In high school, my English teacher assigned short stories. I stopped myself around the thirty-page mark. My classmates turned in five or six pages. Still, it took me another twenty years to figure out my career goal.

RH: That’s funny! I’m so glad you’ve found you’re calling! What has God taught you along your writing journey?

PS: God has taught me to stop manipulating my writing career and to trust him.

About Your Recent Release

RH: That is an ongoing lesson that most believers struggle with. I know I do. What was the inspiration behind your recent novel?

PS: Love letters my maternal grandparents exchanged during WW I served as inspiration for my novel.

RH: When I heard the novel was based on your grandparents letters, you’d already hooked me. What a neat way to not only get to know your grandparents in a way most grandchildren never do, but its a pretty neat way to remember them by for your whole family. Do you have a favorite quote from your recent release you’d like to share?

PS: The first two sentences of Three Little Things are probably my favorite, not that it goes downhill from there! “Not once in eighteen years had Hattie Waltz considered praying for a plague. But if a swarm of locusts intervened, she’d not complain.”

RH: Those are some pretty great lines. I was all in as soon as I read them. If you were to pick a particular Scripture verse as the theme of your novel, what would it be?

PS: Deuteronomy 31:6 best fits my story. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”

RH: I love that verse and having read the story, I’d agree that they fit your story well. When and where is your story set?

PS: Three Little Things, set from 1917-1918, takes place on the Iowa homefront, three boot camps, and in France.

RH: You must have really had your hands full learning about all those different settings you portrayed in your novel. Who would you cast as the hero and heroine for your story?

PS: If I made movies, I’d cast the hero and heroine from The Notebook (Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams) to star in Three Little Things. They slightly resemble my grandparents who inspired the story.

RH: Excellent choices! Fans of historical fiction & romance love the details that your research provides. Was there anything particularly interesting that you learned while researching your book that you were able to use in your story that you’d like to share?

PS: Much of my research centered on German-American families during the war and how they suffered discrimination based on their ancestry. I inserted that factual detail into the story.

RH: That is very true. Many German-Americans changed the spelling of their names to demonstrate their loyalty to their new country. One town near me changed its name from Berlin to Lovettsville during that time period. What do you hope readers will take away from your story?

PS: After reading Three Little Things, I hope people fall in love with Arno and Hattie, learn something new about the WW I era, and discover how faith and trust cemented the story.

RH: Well, I certainly did and was rooting for Arno from the beginning. Anything else you’d like us to know about you or your book?

PS: My favorite part of the book is the letters Arno and Hattie exchange, especially the three little things they share with each other.

RH: The Three Little Things that Arno and Hattie share in their letters are so endearing and really make your novel unique. What are you working on now?

PS: I’m polishing my next manuscript set in 1919. Because It’s True showcases a woman who learns she’s adopted and a soldier who learns his sweetheart married his twin. On a road trip to find two siblings for her and a fresh start for him, they discover there’s no place like home.

 RH: Oh, that sounds wonderful! I can hardly wait to read it! I had so much fun chatting with you, Patti. Thanks for visiting with my readers.

PS: Thanks so much for this sweet opportunity.


*Giveaway

This giveaway has ended.

Congratulations to Deena Adams, the winner of the signed copy of Three Little Things.

Patti has graciously offered a signed copy of Three Little Things to one Romancing History guest. To be entered to win, please tell us “three little things” about yourself in the comments below!

*Giveaway closes midnight, February 19th, 2020.

 

 

Historical Epic, The Promise

Last weekend, my husband, oldest son and I saw the new historical epic, The Promise. Based on the trailer, I warned my men ahead of time that it was a historical romance but since it was set on the eve of World War I, I assured them there would be enough action to make the film bearable. The film centers around Mikael (an Armenian medical Student), Ana (an Armenian woman raised in France who has returned to her homeland), and Chris (an American journalist working for the Associated Press). Although the central figures in the film are engaged in a love triangle, The Promise is less a story about a tragic romance during the last days of the Ottoman Empire than the fate of the these characters and a group of orphans as the Turkish government begins a systematic holocaust of its Armenian population.

As a student of history (I have a B.A. Social Studies education as well as an M.Ed. in History education), I’m wondering how I  managed four years of undergrad and two years of grad school without ever hearing of this atrocity. We left the theatre wondering how we could not have known about this tragedy. Now that my curiosity had been peaked, I decided to find out how accurate the history depicted in the film was.

Here is what I learned.

On April 24, 1915, the Turkish government began a systematic effort to eliminate the Armenian population, the largest Christian minority within Turkey at the time, from within its borders. Many Armenians had become voices for social and political reform within the country, pressing the government for equality with their fellow Muslim citizens. Following a series of devastating losses in the Balkan Wars, a distorted nationalism spread over Turkey, infesting the government and its citizens with the misguided sentiment that the Great Ottoman Empire could only be revived if Turkey was purified of its Christian population.

Picture of a Turkish village circa 1915 as troops belonging to the Ottoman Empire round up its Armenian citizens. Photo courtesy of The Telegraph, April 22, 2017.

Turkey’s Armenian citizens had their property confiscated, intellectuals were rounded up and imprisoned if they were lucky or executed if they were not, and others, including entire villages, were force marched to concentration camps in the Syrian dessert. According to  the University of Minnesota’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, there were 2.1 million Armenians living in Turkey in 1914 and 387,800 by 1922.

According to Peter Balakian, who won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in poetry for Ozone Journal, his book of poems recounting his experience excavating the bones of Armenian victims in the Syrian desert with TV journalists in 2009, “It’s a watershed event in the history of modernity,” because it’s the first time that the nation-state uses technology, its advanced military communications, legislation and the nationalist ideology for the purpose of eradicating a targeted ethnic group in a certain period of time.”

Photo released by the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute dated 1915 purportedly shows soldiers standing over skulls of victims from the Armenian village of Sheyxalan in the Mush valley, on the Caucasus front during the First World War. Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images

Photos of this atrocity are hard to view so I have chosen to limit what I post here because I would rather you at least read about this event then turn away because of graphic images. Click here to see photographs smuggled out of Turkey  at great risk to reporters John Elder and Armin Wegner depicting the Armenian genocide. According to this article in the U.K. Daily Mail, these images have been used to build the international human rights case against the Turkish government.

History has shown that Adolf Hitler saw the tragic events in Turkey for what they were. In an official Nazi government document used during the Nuremberg Trials, Hitler argues for the annihilation of the Polish people. He writes “Accordingly, I have placed my death-head formations in readiness — for the present only in the East — with orders to them to send to death mercilessly and without compassion, men, women, and children of Polish derivation and language. Only thus shall we gain the living space (Lebensraum) which we need. Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”

Today, in Germany, it is a crime to deny or minimize the holocaust in public and is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Although 18 countries (including Germany, Greece and France) recognize the events in Turkey as genocide, to this day the Turkish government stands by its story that the deaths were not intentionally perpetrated against its Armenian citizens but instead, were lives tragically lost during war as the government attempted to relocate them for their own safety. The U.S. House of Representative Committee on Foreign Affairs has yet to recognize the atrocities committed against the Armenian people as genocide. President Barack Obama did refer to the horrific events in a speech for Armenian Remembrance Day (April 24) as “the first mass atrocity of the 20th century,” but failed to keep his campaign promise to call the killings “genocide.”

Perhaps at this point you’re wondering why it matters anymore. After all, it was more than a hundred years ago, the perpetrators are long since dead and well let’s face it, bad stuff happens every day in this world. True. However I would strongly urge you to consider the words of Spanish-American philosopher and poet, George Santayana, who wrote, “Those who cannot learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Or put another way, Balakian argues that the truth about the Armenian genocide matters because “Unresolved history is too big a burden to carry.”

I hope you will consider seeing, The Promise. It is a story well told and definitely worth learning about.

Your turn: Have you heard of the Armenian genocide before reading this post? Do you think unresolved history is a burden?

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