Promo: In a Grove of Maples by Jenny Knipfer

Today, I'm delighted to share an enticing excerpt from In a Grove of Maples, a heart-warming historical novel by Jenny Knipfer. I hope you enjoy the read!

Jenny is currently on blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club. Make sure to check out her other posts.

In a Grove of Maples 

(Sheltering Trees: Book 1)

Jenny Knipfer 

Historical Fiction / Christian Historical Fiction


"... a heartfelt tale of the struggles of married life on a nineteenth-century farm. Edward and Beryl are both relatable and sympathetic. Knipfer expertly captures the emotion and stress of their lives and relationship. It’s a touching and realistic portrayal of love, loss, and friendship." Heather Stockard for Readers’ Favorite five-star review


In 1897 newly married Beryl and Edward Massart travel more than one thousand miles from Quebec to farm a plot of land in Wisconsin that they bought sight-unseen. An almost magical grove of maples on their property inspires them to dream of a real home built within the grove, not the tiny log cabin they’ve come to live in. 

Misunderstandings and tempers get the better of them when difficulties and troubles arise. Just months after they wed, Edward leaves pregnant Beryl in the midst of the coming winter to tend the farm and animals while he goes to be a teamster at a northern Wisconsin logging camp. 

Will Beryl and Edward walk into the future together to build their house of dreams in the grove of maples, or will their plans topple like a house of sticks when the winds of misunderstanding and disaster strike?

Readers of Christian historical fiction, Historical fiction, Women’s fiction, and Christian historical romance will be endeared to this slice of late 19th century farm life.

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Beryl read the terrible words once again. 

We regret to inform you that your husband, Edward Massart, has perished in the fire which consumed the Morse lumberyard on the 16th of April, an act of arson by a disgruntled employee. 

Mr. Massart suffered burns and broken limbs and was taken by a fever several days ago during his convalescence at a makeshift hospital in town. 

Enclosed is a check made out to the amount owed him for his work at the winter camp. 

My sincere condolences, 

Mr. Wenzell, General Manager of the Pembroke Lumberyard. 

She lifted her eyes to Cedric, who stood over her and waited. He had explained to her how the postman had come that morning to the bank, asking Cedric if he would hand-deliver the urgent letter, stating that he wouldn’t reach the rural route till late afternoon. 

Beryl wished the postman had waited. She didn’t want this news. It made no sense to her. She sat stiff and cold in front of the empty hearth. The morning had blossomed warm, and she hadn’t thought of keeping the fire going. A chill crept into her bones, but instead of dissolving into tears, Beryl sat rigid in her rocker, like a fiddle string about to break. 

“Well?” Cedric asked.

She couldn’t bear to say the words out loud, so she handed him the letter. He read it without commenting. He passed it back to her and sat in Edward’s chair next to her in a slump. 

“I didn’t mean for this to happen,” he whispered, just loud enough for Beryl to hear. 

He turned to her, his face ashen. 

“What do you mean?” Like ink bleeding in water, panic spread into Beryl’s thoughts, making her breathe hard. Her heart raced. 

“Oh, God. What have I done?” Cedric’s face registered intense pain and his tone remorse. He turned his wide, broken eyes to her. “You have to believe me. I didn’t sanction this.” 

“Explain yourself, sir!” Beryl demanded, leaning toward him. 

Her eyes narrowed and dared him to tell the truth. If he had a part to play in Edward’s death, I will never speak to him again! 

“You see, I know a man . . . he . . . well, for a price, he made life more difficult for Edward.” Cedric dropped the letter and reached for Beryl’s hands, but she tucked them safely under her thighs. “I figured Edward deserved to be punished for leaving you. I wanted to make him pay for causing you pain, but this was never supposed to happen.” His voice broke and cracked with emotion. “Beryl, you must believe me! Please.” 

“How could you do this to your own cousin?” Beryl stood and distanced herself from him. “Olivia was right. You are . . . despicable.” She spat the word out as if she spat out a chokecherry. Her lips puckered in disdain. “Leave and don’t come back. This time I mean it! If you show yourself on this land again, I’ll shoot you myself.” 

She stood enraged before the man who had morphed into her enemy. She could not stop her legs from shaking. 

Cedric rose from the chair and attempted to reach out to her once more, but she backed away. He closed his eyes with a look of pain, turned from her, and walked out the open cabin door. Now Beryl cried. She collapsed on the floor in a fit of tears and sobbed until no more came.

This is the end, then, she calculated.

She would sell and go back home where she belonged. Life in Wisconsin had beaten them, and she surrendered with nothing but scars to show for it. 


About the Author:

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.

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. A new historical fiction, four-part series entitled, Sheltering Trees, will be released in 2021 and 2022. Jenny is currently writing a novella series entitled, Botanical Seasons. 

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  1. Thank you for hosting today's blog tour stop!

  2. Thank you much for being a part of the tour and featuring In a Grove Of Maples! ūüß°


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