Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Jolina Petersheim | Author-Reader Match
Author Guest / March 8, 2019

Instead of trying to find your perfect match in a dating app, we bring you the “Author-Reader Match,” where we introduce readers to authors you may fall in love with. It’s our great pleasure to present Jolina Petersheim! Writes: My father was raised Mennonite in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; my mother Brethren, and I grew up as a caretaker’s daughter on a sprawling Civil War–era farm/camp in western Tennessee. This combination allowed me to see the intricacies—and complications—of community, so I love placing my characters inside morally twisting novels and then watching how they find their way out. (My newest novel, How the Light Gets In, might be the most morally twisting to date.) About: I am happily married to a “strong, quiet type” mountain man and mother to our three fluffy-haired little girls, ages six, four, and one. We’ve lived in five different homes in ten years of marriage (one a solar-powered farmhouse in Wisconsin, where How the Light Gets In is set). My husband—who also has a Mennonite/Amish background—is busy building our sixth house in the foothills of the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee. We strive to live with the same simplistic, family-oriented mindset as our ancestors, but due to our…

Jolina Petersheim | An Untold Story
Author Guest / June 20, 2014

One week before THE MIDWIFE‘s book launch, I received an email from a woman who had been given up for adoption by a Mennonite with a last name that is found in my own family tree. The woman wanted to establish a connection with her biological mother, but her mother was unwilling to meet her. It even seemed that her mother’s family was trying to prevent the meeting taking place. At my book launch, I met this woman who had emailed, but the crowd prevented us from speaking until after the event. Pulling me aside, the woman softly told me more about her story. She told me her friend had tracked down a high school picture of her biological mother—to see if she had red hair like she had growing up—but the picture was in black and white. She told me that she’d found the medical records regarding her birth, and that each page instructed the doctor and nurses not to allow the Mennonite woman to see her own child. The biological mother still lived in the same town where she had given birth; she even had the same last name. Nothing had apparently changed in all those years—and yet…

Jolina Petersheim | Living the Dream
Author Guest / May 30, 2014

My husband—in the middle of editing my manuscript—looked up at me. “You realize you’re living your dream?” he said. “You’re an author. A published author. ” I paused while wiping down the countertop, the damp rag in my hand. “I am, aren’t I?” “I bet it’s easy to forget that when you’re living your dream every day.” He was right. The hustle and bustle of deadline, preparing to launch my sophomore novel, THE MIDWIFE, being six months pregnant all while staying home with a toddler sometimes makes me feel like whirligig in a straight-line wind, no stopping point in sight. I am not as anxious about my June 1 book launch as I was with my debut, THE OUTCAST; I can actually enjoy these days leading up to it, instead of tossing and turning at night. Yet the anxiety, with THE OUTCAST, fueled both me and my mild case of insomnia. I wrote blog posts, arranged radio, television, and newspaper interviews, and finalized the details for book signings like I was hyped up on caffeine. I’ve done all of these things in preparation for THE MIDWIFE: a story about overcoming loss and learning to love again. But I am also…