On Bur Oak Ridge: Coffee Pot Book Club Blog Tour

Today I am delighted to host Jenny Knipfer on the blog tour for On Bur Oak Ridge, Book 3 of the Sheltering Trees Series. Please check out the short excerpt included in this post.

You can learn about the entire tour here: https://maryanneyarde.blogspot.com/2022/04/blog-tour-on-bur-oak-ridge-sheltering.html

On Bur Oak Ridge (Sheltering Trees: Book Three) By Jenny Knipfer

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.” ReadersFavorite 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 heart-warming story of healing from external and internal scars. Through some of lifes 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]

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Excerpt from On Bur Oak Ridge


I fear my heart will be forever tied to what I cant have. The word home” once meant everything good to me: safety, warmth, love. Now, however, I have no home. It was ripped from me by the devious dealings of Mr. Alfred Skaggs. I wish I could put what that man did out of my mind. My conscience tells me I should write Mother, but hurt and anger still hold me back.

She made her bed; let her lie in it.”

The phrase rings in my mind like a warning bell whenever I think of her, but I know its not charitable or forgiving. It keeps the door shut to my empathy and, dare I say, my love for her.

But reason tells me we are not meant to live with permanently closed doors between us and our family. Perhaps we need each other, but I cant make the first move. Not yet. I need more time to come to a place where I would be willing to set the past aside.

Maybe she doesnt want to see me.

The thought comes from behind me, shocking me with its unexpected presence. But after all, I blame myself for separating her from her new husband. I think back to my outburst and the second worst day of my life.

“Still scribbling, I see,” a familiar voice says.

I look up from my writing, startled. Lincoln stands on the steps, peering at me like he’s caught me doing something naughty. I set my pen down and rise from the one armchair in the loft. I would invite Linc to join me, but there’s nowhere for him to sit, except my bed.

I offer a weak smile and nod. “Yes. I write most every day. It’s become a habit, I suppose.” I scratch the back of my neck. “Want anything in particular?”

I stand in the middle of the room, awkward and wondering.

He takes the last few steps. Soon his eyes are level with mine. “Can’t an old friend stop by for a visit?”

Shrugging, I snicker, “Shucks, I guess so.” I turn and gesture toward my vacated chair. “Want to sit a spell?”

Linc makes a big show of looking around. “I see I need to wrangle up another chair for this place. Doesn’t do to have nowhere for company to sit.” He walks closer and points toward my unmade bed. “Reckon that’s comfy enough for me. Sit yourself back down in your chair. I’ll plant myself on the bed.”

He moves to do so.

“Suit yourself,” I say, again wondering what it is he has come for.

Lincoln isn’t one for dropping in for social calls. And I’m still not sure how to navigate my role as the hired-help but also a friend. We sit and stare at each other for a few seconds then both start to speak at the same time.

I laugh. “You go ahead.”

“Well, I was just wondering how your mother’s doing.” Linc’s grinning face turns serious. “You know, with winter coming on and all. Has she written to you?”

A forked furrow lines the spot over the bridge of his long nose.

I brush the back of my hand over my forehead. “That’d be mighty hard for her to do since…she doesn’t know I’m here.”

I study the splintered wood of one of the boards beneath my feet in a kind of shame. It’s gray and weathered like I feel.

“Sam,” Linc says in a soft rebuke. He pauses, and I look up into his kind eyes. “You’re gonna have to go back sometime. She’s your ma.”

His last words are a plea. He’s right, but I don’t want to. I can’t face her yet.

“I know, but now’s not the time.” I breathe in through my nose and say firmly, “Don’t press me, Linc. Let me get over this in my own way and time. I appreciate you giving me work, a place to stay, and a table to eat at, but I ask you to respect my wishes. I asked you not to talk about this.”

Lincoln shakes his head and releases a hefty sigh. “Friends broach the hard subjects, Sam. Mabel and I care about you and can see you’re hurting. We want what’s best for you.” He narrows his eyes. “At least get away from the farm now and then. The only time you leave is when I send you to town. Come to church with us. Socialize a bit.”

He should know me better than that. I never was one for small talk. “I thank you kindly for concerning yourselves, but I’m managing just fine being here.”

“I figured that’s what you would say.” A sly grin hikes Linc’s lips up on his right side. It makes him look a little like a court jester. “Mabel wouldn’t stop pestering me until I asked.”

He shrugs, as if apologizing for following his wife’s wishes. The man is in love and would clearly agree to almost anything Mabel asked of him, I’m sure.

Linc regards me with one eye, while he tilts his head back a little. “Saw you conversing with Mrs. Lund the other day.” He waits, with an expectant look, like a hawk eyeing a mouse. “She’s been a mighty fine friend to Mabel and Mabel to her. Had a hard life, I hear. Maybe you two have something in common, but…” He leaves his statement open-ended, and before I can respond, he stands and brushes his hands together. “Bit chilly up here, isn’t it? You’d think your landlord would provide you with fuel for this drafty dump.”

He winks.

I laugh. “Ya, if only I could find him to ask for some.”

I stand as well. We grin at each other and share a chuckle. “But seriously, you better haul some wood up and stoke your fire. And maybe shove a few more rags in the cracks.” We walk toward the stairs.

“If Mabel has an extra quilt in the house, I wouldn’t mind if she borrowed me another.”

“I’m sure she’d be more than happy to. I’ll ask.” Linc tips his head toward me. “Well, goodnight.”

I nod and smile, glad for the distraction from my woes. “See you tomorrow.”

Linc leaves as quietly as he came. I should go back to my chair and finish my journal entry, but I tire of rehashing the whole sordid affair over again in my mind. Instead, I do as Linc suggested, and I go down the stairs, light a lantern, take up a barrow, and walk to the woodshed to restock my supply of firewood. While I walk, I think about Molly. I’d like to know her better. She interests me, and Linc may be right: We have something in common; we share some deep wounds.

Author Bio: 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.

Jenny Knipfer

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’ Favorite, 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 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 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.

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