In the shadow of the Great Depression, long before historical changes leading toward LGBTQ advocacy, Ruth Thompson defies her family’s expectations that she marry Duke, her long-time sweetheart. Instead, she joins a rodeo circuit with her cousin in order to earn money for college and comes of age in the rough and tumble culture of rodeo competition.
After returning home to Minnesota, Ruth resumes her familiar relationship with Duke. Once at college, her safe existence is upended when she meets confident and free-spirited Gisela, and further unravels when the two women fall in love.
The lives of Ruth, Gisela and Duke entwine while Ruth embarks on a journey of self-discovery, full of dangerous social repercussions that takes her from Minnesota to the ocean of California. As WWII escalates, each faces a test of their fortitude, and Ruth must finally find a way to defy social backlash or lose the woman she loves.
Both heart wrenching and uplifting, The Winter Loon honors the strength and spirit of all those who struggle with social persecution because of who they love and how they define family whether it is their own flesh and blood kinfolk and/or those nearest and dearest to their heart.
Read the first chapter here
The Winter Loon has been named
a 2017 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards Silver Winner
in the LGBT Category
Available to independent bookstores and libraries through
Ingram Book Group
The Winter Loon is a B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree
and a finalist in the following contests:
Self Publishing Review Awards 2017
Golden Crown Literary Society
Finalist in two categories: Debut Novel and Historical Fiction
Women’s Fiction Writers Association Star Award finalist
What People are saying:
“The Winter Loon is the literary equivalent of the long slow opening of the loveliest of corollas in harsh environs. It is the quintessential love story of our times.”
Coach: Cultivating Human Promise.
“The Winter Loon is a compelling story of a woman’s secrets, choices and courage. Both tender and wise, Henriksen is a fine story teller and her characters are skillfully drawn and memorable.”
Award-winning writer, group facilitator and activist
www.sandrabutler.net and www.motheringdaughters.net
“This is an ambitious, gripping, often painful story with a lot of drama and emotion, ups and downs and an ending that leaves the reader in satisfying tears.”
“What a beautiful, thoughtful book. The Winter Loon offers up complex characters and issues, a multi-textured plot and lots of heart. I have felt wrapped in the cocoon of this beautiful love story.”
Writing Mentor, Editor, Author of Riding Grace: A Triumph of the Soul.