Karen Schutte

Karen Schutte

An award-winning author of historical novels inspired by the stories of her ancestors.

A Far Place

The second book in a new paternal series!

1894: Germantown, Nebraska: John and Mary Westerhoff Wamhoff begin their married life in this small rural town. Five years and two children later, John has a chance meeting with a Lutheran missionary and is cast into his vision of homesteading in the wilds of Wyoming. Following a rutted stagecoach road, they travel by covered wagon from Cheyenne across the rugged, unsettled state. Mary soon realizes her worst dream. Every hill they climb, every barren sagebrush-covered prairie they cross, brings them closer to John’s dream and farther from her own. Reaching the unsettled benchland of Germania is the beginning of the worse than hard years. By 1908, Mary has birthed four more daughters, and John is known as one of the largest sheep operations in the Big Horn Basin. In 1910 he buys another section of farmland and expands his operations to harvesting other’s crops, selling automobiles, acting as the area banker, and mortician. Mary’s life revolves around her children and putting food on the table, until her youngest son breaks his hip in a devastating horse accident. The Great Depression hits them hard but they are used to tough times on the farm—they have food but little else.  Just when a new day dawns, fate deals the Wamhoff family an unthinkable blow, one they never saw coming.

German Yankee

The first book in a new paternal series!

1858:  John Westerhoff finds himself at the crossroads of a life-changing decision—three more years in the Prussian Cavalry or emigrate to America. He takes the gamble and sails for America. John arrives in German-settled Warsaw, Illinois where his dreams of owning a farm are dashed with the onset of the Civil War. Submitting to what his conscience and heart tell him, he joins Merrill’s Horse of the 2nd Missouri Union Cavalry. He is a farrier by trade and a valued member of the cavalry. “Without horses the cavalry becomes infantry!” The fighting takes him to the hotly divided state of Missouri---the Western Front of the Civil War. After numerous bloody battles and terrible suffering, John returns to Warsaw, marries, and becomes a farmer and a father. The bitterness of the war lingers causing John and Elizabeth to take their three children and travel by covered wagon to the fertile rolling hills of Nebraska to homestead. There, they are baptized by the peace, hope, and promise of a new beginning. Every day brings a new trial and tribulation, it’s called ‘life’.

From the maternal series, the first and third books were awarded best in historical fiction by the Wyoming State Historical Society


I have read all of your books and in all of them, I was held spellbound. I simply could not put one down! Your writing draws the reader into the book and you feel like you are right there viewing it all.  You are a very gifted writer and person. I am looking forward to your next series on your paternal lineage.

Ann – Oklahoma

Great reading! A true page turner. Historical facts and fiction blend so perfect you never know when it switches. A book you never want to end and you definitely don’t want to miss this read.

-Julia Graham

Great Novel! I want to give a couple for Christmas presents--to a Brigadier General and a General in Washington D.C. --Tom, Washington, D. C.

We can't keep your books in our library and I personally LOVE how you write. Hits my heart and hits home with me every time. Thanks. --Powell Wy. Librarian

I know it isn't out yet, but I've enclosed my check for your next book, Tank Commander. I so much enjoy your books and can't wait to get my hands on this next one. It's so important to remember and to learn of the sacrifices our ancestors have made for us. -George, Lander, WY

Schutte has taken an interesting family story and turned it into a compelling novel.

-Nancy Hansford, author and critic in Fort Collins, CO

I heard similar stories growing up. I had tears in my eyes many times reading your stories and they really touched my heart. I will keep these books with the hopes that my sons will read them someday and know about their heritage. Thank you for writing your books.

-Val, Cheyenne, WY

I have read all of Karen's books and have found them to be captivating reads. Karen's books have brought history to life for me with a nice mix of the historical story, the human emotions, thoughts, and trials of being foreigners in a new land. Karen has a way of putting you into the words on the page which keeps you wanting to read to the end and still want more.  KATHLEEN  2019 

It's not often that I find an author who can hold my attention past the first 10 pages or so, but Karen is good at drawing her audience into the story, plus I'm a sucker for well-researched historical fiction. I connect with her stories!     CHUCK 2018

The accuracy, the manner of Karen's writing and content pulls you into her books and makes you feel you are there as a participant. Each of Karen's 5 books has been fantastic; when I started reading her "Seed of the Volga", I could not, literally, put it down.  I have had similar comments from many other readers as they come back for the next book.  TIM HETTINGER, WINDSOR 2018