Jennifer David Hesse

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Jennifer David Hesse

Goodreads Author


Born
Mattoon, Illinois, The United States
Website

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Member Since
October 2014


Jennifer David Hesse is the author of two cozy mystery series: the Wiccan Wheel Mysteries and the forthcoming Flower House Mysteries (under the name "Jess Dylan," coming May 25, 2021).

Born and raised in Central Illinois, Jennifer earned her undergraduate degree as an English major from Eastern Illinois University and her law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

After an eight-year stint in New York, she now makes her home in Chicago with her husband and daughter. When she’s not writing, Jennifer enjoys yoga, hiking, and movie night with her family.
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Popular Answered Questions

Jennifer David Hesse Hi, Elli. Thanks for your question! When it comes to labels, I usually describe myself as a "Witchy" person, rather than an actual Witch or Pagan. But…moreHi, Elli. Thanks for your question! When it comes to labels, I usually describe myself as a "Witchy" person, rather than an actual Witch or Pagan. But I'm definitely simpatico with many Pagans. The Pagan descriptions in the Wiccan Wheel Mysteries came mainly from research, mixed with a healthy dose of my own imagination and experiences. As for the research portion, that mostly involved reading books, searching the internet, and talking to Pagans. :)(less)
Jennifer David Hesse As anyone engaged in genealogy research knows, the past is full of mystery: untold stories and secrets lost to time. When delving into the past, even …moreAs anyone engaged in genealogy research knows, the past is full of mystery: untold stories and secrets lost to time. When delving into the past, even mundane questions become vexing mysteries simply because the people who had the answers have long since departed.

My most puzzling mystery right now falls into the latter category. It’s a seemingly simple question with an elusive answer. I call it “The Mystery of the Butterfly Ring.”

The ring in question is a lovely, whimsical little piece belonging to my mother. It’s a gold ring featuring a painted enamel butterfly woman—that is, the profile of a woman’s face adorned with a green butterfly or fairy wing decorated with three red spots and a tiny diamond. It’s in the art nouveau style, which dates from about 1890 through 1910.

Recently, my mom, sisters, and I have been on a quest to discover the origin of this ring. Here’s what we know: My mom’s Aunt Iris gave her the ring when my mom was a girl. My mom doesn’t remember exactly when she received the ring from her aunt, but it was most likely in the late 1950s or early 1960s.

Aunt Iris (who was born on February 2, 1918 in New Orleans and died in 1972) never had any children of her own. My mom and my grandma (who was Iris’s sister-in-law) recall Iris saying that she had been given the ring by her Aunt Evie. Evie (short for Evelyn) was born in New Orleans on February 4, 1896 and died in 1977. Like her niece Iris, Evie never had any children of her own. From the 1920 census, we know there was a time when four generations of women were living in one household in New Orleans, including 23-year-old Evie and one-year-old Iris. And from old photos we know that aunt and niece (whose birthdays were just two days apart) were very close.

What we don’t know is how or when Evie acquired the ring. And we don’t know who designed the ring. We don’t even know if the ring was always a ring. In fact, the thing that has most aroused our curiosity is that we’ve been unable to find any rings just like it. Could it be one-of-a-kind?

Intrepid and determined (like our hero Nancy Drew), we spent hours diligently scouring the internet. And we couldn’t find a single image resembling Mom’s butterfly ring. But then one day, with the right combination of search terms and a lot of patient scrolling, I finally found a clue—I found the butterfly lady. It was the very same face, with rosy cheek, tuft of brown hair, and green butterfly wing decorated with three red spots. But she wasn’t on a ring—she was on a brooch. And a very interesting brooch it was. Much to my amazement, I learned that the brooch was designed by Henry Blank, a popular jewelry designer who survived the sinking of the Titanic!

Since then I’ve found two other pins on-line with similar butterfly lady faces, one painted and one all gold. But I’ve never found a ring. And, of course, Mom’s ring has no markings. So our questions remain: Was Aunt Iris’s ring originally a Henry Blank brooch that was later fashioned into a ring? Was it just a copy? Or could it have been a rare ring designed by Blank himself? (And, by the way, where did Evie get the ring?!)

We may never know. But, then again, we can keep digging. The answer might be out there somewhere!

p.s. I actually do intend to feature this ring in a fictional mystery. I just need to write the story to go along with it. Stay tuned!(less)
Average rating: 3.95 · 1,420 ratings · 415 reviews · 6 distinct worksSimilar authors
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May Day Murder (A Wiccan Wh...

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More books by Jennifer David Hesse…
Midsummer Night's Mischief Bell, Book & Candlemas Yuletide Homicide Samhain Secrets May Day Murder Autumn Alibi
(6 books)
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3.95 avg rating — 1,420 ratings

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Jennifer’s Recent Updates

Jennifer David Hesse wrote a new blog post

What's blooming? A new cozy mystery!

​Happy Spring! The flowers are bursting, the bees are buzzing... and so am I! The first book in my new series, the Flower House Mysteries, comes out Read more of this blog post »
Jennifer Hesse finished reading
The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson
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" Pamela wrote: "Wonderful blog Jennifer! Imbolc is a promise of spring and when I actually set my goals for the year. 2020 has gotten off to a rather s ...more "
Jennifer Hesse liked an answer from Jennifer David Hesse:
Jennifer David Hesse
Hi, Elli. Thanks for your question! When it comes to labels, I usually describe myself as a "Witchy" person, rather than an actual Witch or Pagan. But I'm definitely simpatico with many Pagans. The Pagan descriptions in the Wiccan Wheel Mysteries cam See Jennifer’s answer.
Jennifer Hesse answered Elli's question: Jennifer David Hesse
Hi, Elli. Thanks for your question! When it comes to labels, I usually describe myself as a "Witchy" person, rather than an actual Witch or Pagan. But I'm definitely simpatico with many Pagans. The Pagan descriptions in the Wiccan Wheel Mysteries cam See Full Answer
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Elementary, She Read by Vicki Delany
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More of Jennifer's books…
“Oh, White Tara, Goddess of Peace,
By your power, the stars increase,
Love is your light, compassion your power,
Protect me now, in this place and in this hour.”
Jennifer David Hesse, Samhain Secrets

“Oh, Green Tara, Goddess of Night,
You wield great strength, a loving might,
Help goodness speak and evil leave,
That Grace’s fears shall be relieved. Goddess Tara, bless this home,
Let restless spirits no longer roam,
Darkness banish, light be free,
As I will, so mote it be.”
Jennifer David Hesse, Samhain Secrets

Topics Mentioning This Author

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Hooked on Books : This topic has been closed to new comments. Aug 20-21/16 11 58 Aug 22, 2016 07:17AM  
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The Challenge Fac...: TCF's 2016 Summer Seasonal Challenge 62 156 Sep 21, 2016 04:43PM  
Mystery Madness: October Books of the Month 24 22 Sep 27, 2016 08:03PM  
The Challenge Fac...: September Employee of the Month - Debbie G 24 37 Nov 03, 2016 07:18AM  
Cozy Mysteries : December 2016 12 132 Dec 02, 2016 05:11AM  
The Challenge Fac...: TCF Hangman II 2565 327 Jan 01, 2017 11:34AM  
Bookworm Bitches : 2016 Ultimate Million Pages Reading Challenge 1259 542 Jan 04, 2017 08:25AM  
Crazy Challenge C...: How Many Pages? - 2016 386 233 Mar 10, 2017 09:24AM  
“I do believe in an everyday sort of magic -- the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we're alone.”
Charles de Lint

“The love we give away is the only love we keep.”
Elbert Hubbard
tags: love

“Mystery is not about traveling to new places but about looking with new eyes.”
Marcel Proust

“The deepest secret is that life is not a process of discovery, but a process of creation. You are not discovering yourself, but creating yourself anew. Seek therefore, not to find out Who You Are, but seek to determine Who You Want to Be.”
Neale Donald Walsch

“Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance.”
Yoko Ono

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