Roberta F. Kuhn writing as Bobbie Jean

Roberta Jean Fiet was born in Sparta, Wisconsin, a small town located off of I-90 and twenty-some miles from the great Mississippi River. From the moment she left the womb, her family referred to her as Bobbie Jean. The name stuck throughout her childhood.

The members of Bobbie Jean’s family were active members of the St. John’s Lutheran Church community. In fact, Bobbie Jean and her younger sisters, Nancy and Annette, attended the progressive parochial school until eighth grade. It became their home away from home as they made friends and spent most of their time there before, during, and after school.

After eighth grade, Bobbie Jean was off to the public high school until graduation in 1964. The summer after graduation was filled with weddings, and Bobbie Jean was a bride’s maid in a few of them. But marriage and living in her home town for the rest of her life did not appeal to Bobbie Jean; she wanted to go to college. Her mother and grandmother supported the idea; her father, however, did not. As far as he was concerned, girls didn’t need college to be housewives and mothers. In fact, girls didn’t even need to learn to drive. That said, and with the help of an uncle, Bobbie Jean applied for college and financial aid. When the fall of 1964 arrived, her uncle and mother took her to her dormitory on the campus of the Wisconsin State University-LaCrosse.

As it turned out, sneaking off to college was the straw that broke the camel’s back. When Bobbie Jean’s father realized she no longer lived at home, he abandoned the family. Her mother got a full-time job and when Bobbie Jean wanted to quit school and come home to help the family by getting a job herself, her mother would hear none of it and insisted she stay in college. Easier said than done.

Working her way through college was harder than the girl now known as Bobbie Fiet expected. After two years, she and a high school girlfriend decided to go to Florida, get jobs, and relax on the beach. It wasn’t long before working minimum wage jobs and just getting by made even the most breathtaking beach seem uninviting. So Bobbie left her friend and returned by bus to Sparta. What surprised her the most was her mother’s reaction the news that she wanted to go back to college. The tears streaming down her mother’s face confirmed her suspicions that her mother wanted the dream as much as she did.

Of course, there are bumps in any road; however, not all of them are bad. During the summer of 1968, Bobbie met a young National Guard infantryman. After a courtship of seven short months, Bobbie Fiet agreed to marry Jim Kuhn…on one condition, that is. In order for this to work, Bobbie insisted that she be able to finish her college coursework. And, once she did this, she suggested that he do the same. Jim had always regretted not completing college, so he heartily agreed.

Roberta J. Kuhn finished her Bachelor’s degree at Wisconsin State College-River Falls because the school was the closest Wisconsin college to the twin cities where Jim worked. She taught at the campus school shortly thereafter while Jim finished his degree and took care of their first child. Jim found a professional position in Minneapolis and began commuting to work to support their growing family of four children, biological and adopted. When the youngest child was about six months old and Roberta was a stay at home mom, a woman knocked on her door and asked her if she was a teacher. Roberta told her she was, and the woman asked if she would like a job teaching GED classes.  Roberta said ‘sure’ and then asked what a GED was. What followed was an amazing career with Chippewa Valley Technical College, known then as District One. The hectic years of promoting and teaching Adult Basic Education and completing her Master’s while ferrying her four very active children from one event to another flew by quickly; she remembers them as not only the busiest, but the best years of her life.

As an instructor for thirty years, Roberta taught hundreds of students how to write essays, reports, and research papers. However, her creative juices really began to flow after she left work.  Once in the privacy of her own home, she could use her imagination to fill legal tablets with stories and ideas for novels. Some of her stories came from conversations with students, colleagues, sisters, and friends. The stories that tugged at her heart, the stories that she would never forget were those of women who’d suffered from domestic abuse and violence. Little did she know, but her first novel would be a fictional account of one such survivor.

About a year after her retirement in 2007 and with the encouragement of one of her walking buddies, Roberta attempted to get the ideas for her first novel on paper. Two years later, it was ready for publication or so she thought. Since the story centers on a secret, a secret revealed as half-truths, Roberta thought that the name of the book should be Haunting Half Truths, Perilous Half Truths or Heartbreaking Half Truths. None of the titles seemed to work. Her friend reminded her that she would recognize it immediately when it came to her, and she was right. One day in early 2010, Roberta was editing her first chapter when she came across a sentence she had written months earlier. “In her half conscious state, she was no longer afraid; she’d rather be dead than living in hell on earth with him.” The obvious name for her title jumped out at her, and she crowned her work No Longer Afraid.

Shortly thereafter, Roberta thought about separating her writing career from her teaching career. She decided to use a pen name and chose to return to her childhood nickname.  Therefore, the Wisconsin author of the Home to Lake Louise saga, including No Longer Afraid and its sequel, Enough with the Secrets, is Bobbie Jean…a name that is easy to spell and remember as well.

No Longer Afraid is an emotional roller coaster with a haunting twist. It centers on a man and a woman, survivors of bullying and domestic violence respectively, who overcome their traumatic backgrounds to become successful educators. Of course, if outward appearances and tremendous accomplishments were all that mattered, Dr. Margaret Borgerson would have it made. She is drop-dead gorgeous and exceptionally successful, and no one would ever guess that her psyche has been irreparably damaged.

The chance to live a happy, normal life seems all but lost to our heroine until her sister, Kathryn, decides to take the reins and turn Maggie’s life around. After all, her husband’s best buddy, Dr. Ian MacDermid, would be perfect for her sister, not only because he already has a crush on her after spotting her in a family photo, but due to the fact that he is one of the most compassionate people she has ever met. He is exactly what her sister needs. Kate knows full well that the secret the sisters have kept for a decade must be revealed, and she has to believe that this man will understand her sister’s plight and the reasons for the choices she has made.

After a bumpy start, Mac and Maggie begin to enjoy each others company, but Kate can do nothing but stand by and watch as her sister’s life begins to crumble before her eyes. As it turns out, however, Kate’s instincts are right-on; Mac will do anything to win Maggie’s heart, including gathering a search party when her loved ones realize that she is missing.

Maggie’s mother, Claire, comes alive in NO LONGER AFRAID and begs for her story to be told. ENOUGH WITH THE SECRETS begins where the first book leaves off…Maggie is recovering from her injuries, and Claire is determined not only to help her daughter but also to make amends. Redemption is on her mind, and she is determined to find it. Little does she know, but Maggie’s father has the same goal in mind. Claire is sure it’s forty years too late.

Home to Lake Louise

No Longer Afraid
Paperback or E-Book. 292 pages
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Enough with the Secrets
Paperback or E-Book. 308 pages
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IN THE press

If you like books about people who overcome adversity, you will love this story..." Read more...

I liked this book a lot. The story is interesting and well thought out. Besides the love story it deals with the topic of domestic violence which gives the story more edge. ..." Read more...

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