Spotlight: The Clever Mill Horse by Jodi Lew-Smith


Publication Date: August 15, 2014 Caspian Press Formats: eBook, Paperback Pages: 424

Genre: Historical Fiction

Winner of the 2014 James River Writers Indie Novel Contest.

A young woman’s gift could weave together the fabric of a nation…

1810, upstate New York. 21-year-old Ella Kenyon is happiest gliding through the thick woods around her small frontier town, knife in hand, her sharp eyes tracking game. A gift for engineering is in her blood, but she would gladly trade it for more time in the forest. If only her grandfather’s dying wish hadn’t trapped her into a fight she never wanted.

Six years ago, Ella’s grandfather made her vow to finish his life’s work: a flax-milling machine that has the potential to rescue her mother, brother, and sister from the brutality of life with her drunkard father. The copious linen it yields could save her struggling town, subjugate the growing grip of southern cotton. Or it could be Ella’s downfall. If she’s not quick enough, not clever enough to succeed, more than her own life rests in the balance…

Praise for The Clever Mill Horse

“Jodi Lew-Smith’s The Clever Mill Horse is that rarest of all contemporary novels: an authentically old-fashioned adventure story, in all the best senses. Full of drama, humor, plot surprises, and, best of all, memorable characters, The Clever Mill Horse had me hooked from page one. Best of all, there’s a sequel coming. I can’t wait.” – Howard Frank Mosher, author of Where the Rivers Flow North

“In this delightful debut novel set in the early 19th century, a young woman fights to patent her flax-milling machine. . .An assured, cleverly plotted piece of historical fiction with an irrepressible female protagonist.” – Kirkus Reviews

“. . .intricately plotted and exceedingly well paced. . . filled with danger, science, and suspense, the story rings true with historical and natural detail. . . a complete and finely polished first novel.” – Foreword Reviews

Buy the Book

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About the Author


Jodi Lew-Smith lives on a farm in northern Vermont with her patient husband, three wonderfully impatient children, a bevy of pets and farm animals, and 250 exceedingly patient apple trees which, if they could talk, would suggest that she stop writing and start pruning. Luckily they’re pretty quiet.

With a doctorate in plant genetics, she also lives a double life as a vegetable breeder at High Mowing Seeds. She is grateful for the chance to do so many things in one lifetime, and only wishes she could do them all better. Maybe in the next life she’ll be able to make up her mind.

For more about Jodi and about the lives and world of the characters in the novel, visit her website or blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Goodreads.

The Clever Mill Horse Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, November 12 Spotlight at Flashlight Commentary

Thursday, November 13 Guest Post & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Monday, November 17 Review at 100 Pages a Day – Stephanie’s Book Reviews

Tuesday, November 18 Guest Post at Just One More Chapter

Friday, November 21 Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Monday, November 24 Spotlight at Mel’s Shelves

Tuesday, November 25 Spotlight at Book Nerd Character Interview at Boom Baby Reviews

Friday, November 28 Review at Readers’ Oasis Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews and More

Monday, December 1 Review at Book Babe Spotlight & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Wednesday, December 3 Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book Spotlight at Layered Pages Spotlight & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection

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