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Wednesday, December 20, 2017
About the Book
Name of book: Solve by Christmas
Author: Amber Schamel
Genre: Historical Christmas
Release Date: September 1, 2017
When sabotage threatens the Rudin Sugar Factory, Detective Jasper Hollock believes this will be his first real case. But dear Mr. Rudin—the only father Jasper has ever known—holds a different assignment for his private investigator.
“I’ve struck a deal with God, Jasper, and you’re my angel.”
Mr. Rudin charges Jasper to build a “case” of reasons for his employer to continue his life. If he fails, Mr. Rudin will end it in suicide on Christmas night.
As the incidents at the factory become life threatening, Jasper’s attempts at dissuading Mr. Rudin prove futile, and Jasper is left staring at the stark reality of his own soul. Time is ticking. Jasper must solve both cases by Christmas before Mr. Rudin, the company, and Jasper’s faith, are dragged to perdition. Will this be the Christmas Jasper truly discovers what makes life worth living?
“Amber Schamel’s engaging prose weaves together not one, but two edge-of-your-seat threads in this historical mystery. With the hero racing against time to solve the two cases readers will be kept guessing as they attempt to crack the case. “ ~ Laura V. Hilton author of Christmas Admirer (Whitaker House)
About the Author
Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call “historical fiction at its finest”. A homeschool graduate from a family of 12 children, Amber found her calling early in life. First published at age 21, she has continued to hone her craft and has been awarded the 2017 CSPA Book of the Year Award in Historical Fiction. Between ministry, family and working in their family-owned businesses, Amber loves to connect with readers and hang out on Goodreads with other bookish peoples. Find her on the Stitches Thru Time blog, or on any of the major social media sites. Amber is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers.
Pick up your copy here.
Guest Post from Amber Schamel
Thank you so much for joining us on the Celebrate Lit blog tour for Solve by Christmas!! I am so excited you’re here. For this special event, I wanted to share the inside scoop behind the story.
Solve by Christmas is a historical Mystery set in Denver during the great blizzard of 1913. It has a unique storyline, so people often wonder where the idea came from. Honestly, it was one of those ideas that just popped into my head, then took on a life of its own and evolved over several weeks.
I wanted to give my readers a new story before the year was out, but I didn’t have a specific plot in mind. I did know I wanted to write a Christmas story. So, I had that much. Then I decided I wanted something with a firm deadline.” Ifthis doesn’t happen by this date, everyone dies” sort of thing. Then “By Christmas” popped into my head and flicked on a light. What if Christmas wasthe deadline?
I’ve always loved detectives and mystery stories, and they go perfectly with deadlines. So, then I thought, what if a detective must solve the case by Christmas or death wins?
Sometimes, as an author, there are ideas and thoughts that seem to come out of nowhere. Almost like God dropping a card into your mental mailbox. The next point of Solve by Christmas was that way. What if a detective was assigned a case that he had to solve by Christmas, but it wasn’t a real case –at least not the type of case he wanted—but something completely different? From there, the story began to really take shape.
The next step, of course, is to come up with a character to be the detective. I wanted the story to have a Sherlock Holmes feel, so I started by studying his character a bit. But my story also has a less serious side since it isn’t a murder mystery and takes place at a sugar factory. I wondered…what would happen if you took Sherlock Holmes and meshed him with Barney Fife?
Now THAT would be hard to pull off. But I was determined to try. So, I made a list of Sherlock Holmes traits, and one of Barney Fife’s traits. I began to see that they actually DO have several similarities. They’re both a bit socially awkward. They both have a very similar flavor of pride. And they both have this air of authority…although Sherlock can back his up while Barney struggles in that area. Then I began to pick and choose between the traits that were left, this Barney trait, this Sherlock trait, and pretty soon I had Detective Jasper Hollock forming on the page. Whether you will get a Barney Fife and Sherlock feel when you read Solve by Christmas, I can’t say. But I do believe I was successful in creating a unique, quirky character that will bring this Christmas mystery to life.
There you have it. The scoop behind Solve by Christmas. I hope you enjoy the story, and best wishes in the giveaway! I will be stopping by along with Jasper and Denny (the two main characters) to answer any questions you may have about the story or the characters, so please do leave us a comment.
I love mysteries that keep me guessing. The author has risen to the challenge with a story that takes on Sherlock Holmes meets Scrooge. I say Scrooge because why would Mr. Rudin want to ruin Christmas for his family, friends and employees by contemplating suicide on Christmas Day? Dare I say there is much more to Mr. Rudin than we know. He is a powerful man who runs The Rudin Sugar Factory. I loved the descriptions of the factory and how the machines kept things running. I loved the setting that takes place in 1913 and how the author was able to take us back in time with outstanding details.
Detective Jasper Hollock is ready to tackle a big case. When he gets a call from Mr. Rudin, his hope soars with a dream of cracking a big case. What he finds waiting for him is a rather unusual situation. His job is to prove to Mr. Rudin that his life is important. That sure is a tall order for a detective that thought he was getting a big case with bad guys maybe trying to sabotage his business. Oh wait, funny thing about that. Suddenly unexplained things are happening at the factory. Bolts missing that run machines, contamination that could cause sales to drop. Looks like he has his hands full with all the shenanigans going on.
I really loved Denny so much. That kid is hungry for adventure and being a detective will give him action he never dreamed of. He keeps trying to convince Jasper that he needs a sidekick. I say let him help. An eager person will go the distance to get answers and Jasper sure could use some. The story is funny at times and the characters are quite unique. I loved the mystery which I tried to figure out. Who was behind the sabotage of the factory? Will Jasper be able to save Mr. Rudin from harming himself? The story has a special message for everyone which I thought the author showed at the end of the story. Don’t miss this very intrguing heartwarming book.
“When you feel like you’ve come to a dead end, He brings a new beginning.”
I received a copy of the book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
A Baker’s Perspective, December 12
A Simply Enchanted Life, December 12
Connie’s History Classroom, December 13
Bigreadersite, December 13
The Fizzy Pop Collecton, December 14
Genesis5020, December 14
Baker Kella, December 15
Daysong Reflections, December 15
History, Mystery & Faith, December 16
Karen Sue Hadley, December 16
Locks, Hooks and Books, December 17
Christian Author, J.E.Grace, December 17
Aryn The Libraryan, December 18
A Reader’s Brain, December 18
Bibliophile Reviews, December 19
Mary Hake, December 19
Texas Book-aholic, December 20
Simple Harvest Reads, December 20
Babs Book Bistro, December 21
Reading Is My SuperPower, December 21 (Interview)
Seasons of Opportunities, December 22
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 22
Just the Write Escape, December 23
The Power of Words, December 23
Live.Love.Read., December 24
Carpe Diem, December 24
Blogging With Carol, December 25
To celebrate her tour, Amber is giving away a grand prize of a Christmas themed basket which will include a paperback copy of Solve by Christmas and The Swaddling Clothes (my two Christmas books) as well as a Christmas terrarium jar, and a Solve by Christmas notepad!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c5bb
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
About the Book
Name of book: Hope Travels Through
Author: Loni Kemper Moore
Genre: Contemporary Lit
TeJae Smythe gave up on God and her hometown of Evansville, Indiana, ten years ago, but a deep personal loss requires her to return to both. Her life as a stewardess is going to be perfect. She has a plan. If only life would stick to it.
In Hope Travels Through, TeJae finds the biggest challenge comes from the conflict within herself. Will she hold it all together? Or will she fall apart and embrace the beauty in the midst of disaster?
Based on actual events of December 13, 1977, a date most people don’t remember, but one many living in the Ohio River Valley will never forget, the crash of the University of Evansville men’s basketball team plane.
Click here to purchase your copy.
About the Author
Loni Kemper Moore is a Denver-Broncos cheering, Diet-Pepsi sipping, Rocky Mountain adventure-seeking kind of girl. She’s passionate for God and wants to share His beautiful love through life’s ugliness with remarkable women around the globe. Her writing came alive seven years ago after she broker her ankle. The crazy time of being laid up forced her to flip through decades of diaries which inspired the story that became Hope Travels Through. When she’s not writing, she’s an entertainer, technical support analyst; mom of a teenager named Adam; traveler with Robert, her dear “Hugsband,” stepmom to University of Evansville alumna Becca and her husband, Anthony; and spender of way too much time on Facebook. With her experiences of learning to trust God through tragedy, being employed by travel agencies and Delta Air Lines, and attending University of Evansville graduate school, she’s the best person to tell this story.
Guest Post from Loni Moore
What Made Me Write Hope Travels Through?
The weathered orthopedic surgeon shook his head and stared at the x-rays. Without making eye-contact, he said, “I usually work on Olympians and professional athletes. This doesn’t look good. She’s going to have arthritis and limp for the rest of her life.”
I hadn’t had anything stronger than Tylenol since the entire weight of my 128 (at the time) pounds crunched my left ankle, 24 hours earlier.
Robert, aka Dear Hugsband, had told me, so very graciously, when we arrived at Skate City, “Once you’re over 50, you shouldn’t roller skate.” But our son, Adam was 10 and I wondered how many more years he’d want me to hang out with him, so I’d strapped on the skates and joined the crowd of skaters. I avoided landing on the body of the five-year old who cut me off. Didn’t that count for something?
However, none of that mattered at that moment. I needed drugs, and Robert agreed to whatever that surgeon said to get my prescriptions.
One afternoon, my stomach growled on a gurney as I waited in the surgery center with IVs in my hands until a perky nurse announced, “The doctor will need to reschedule because something came up.”
REALLY? After waiting 10 days, he no-shows?
I’ve never loved Robert’s New York attitude more than the next day when by 7 pm that evening I was at Red Robin, post-surgery, eating a celebratory French Onion soup. Thanks to a nerve blocker the new, cute surgeon had provided after rebreaking bones and inserting pins.
Adam was able to complete his homeschool work with little interference from my drug infested brain and I occupied my time by flipping through decades of accumulated diaries. The story of a woman surviving tough times percolated in my brain and I remembered my mother saying, “Everyone has a Great American Novel in her. You just need to take time to write it.”
As my leg healed leaving no arthritis nor limp, I returned to the million things life demands, including a visit to our Becca at the University of Evansville, where I’d done my graduate work. As she showed us the Weeping Basketball, my protagonist informed me the story began in 1976, not 2011. The story climaxed when the university’s men’s basketball team plane crashed, but I was too busy to spend much time on it.
Three days before Christmas that year, my younger sister passed away from Lyme complications, I could barely breathe. I’ve seen it a dozen times someone’s busy life prevents her from taking care of herself until something stops them in their tracks and they cannot move on. That happened to me.
At the time, Dear Hugsband programmed Coca-Cola’s Freestyle machine (you’re welcome), so Adam and I joined him in Atlanta for several months. During that time without the cooking-cleaning-requirements and Adam insisting he preferred independence of his homeschool curriculum with minimal input from me, I processed my grief by putting the story that became Hope Travels Through on my computer.
“In a weak moment, I have written a book.” Margaret Mitchell – Gone With The Wind
Dear Hugsband loved his project with Coca-Cola and enjoyed everything about working in Atlanta except the humidity, the traffic and the commute. Typically, he worked in Georgia every other week, and was home every weekend.
But occasionally, he’d be forced to stay in Atlanta over the weekend and tried to find something to entertain himself. One weekend, after seeing every movie running, he decided to go to the Margaret Mitchell House Museum where one of my favorite books, Gone With The Wind, was written.
He bought me a mug with the above quote on it which he said was to encourage me in my writing, along with several commonalities between myself and the famous author.
- She was short—I am 5 feet tall, if I stretch;
- Her husband was over 6 feet tall—mine is 6’3 1/2”;
- She started writing her novel, after an ankle injury– I started writing after I a similar injury;
- She used a typewriter—I use a computer;
- Her mother gave her the quotes she used about how to survive in an upside-down world – my mom had a Bible verse for every occasion. I think her favorite was Ephesians 4:32 “And be ye kind, Loni to whomever…”;
- It took Margaret ten years to complete her novel – I’m not far behind, at nearly eight years.
Obviously, I don’t have one commonality with Margaret, in that she died at the age of 48 in a traffic accident, but his conclusions are precious.
I’m well aware the odds of my little novel being successful, without the industry connections Margaret had, are low, but it’s been a fun journey even if no one buys a copy!
The author takes us back to the late 1970’s where Tab was still a drink that was well liked. In the south we call all soft drinks Cokes. I loved how the author made the era exactly the way I remember it. I grew up in the seventies where the Vietnam War was a subject no one wanted to talk about.
TeJae was a flight attendant and loved her job. I remember thinking how cool it would be to be a flight attendant and travel all over the world. She is still grieving the loss of her brother and is angry with him. She never got to say goodbye and it pains her to have unfinished words she wanted to say to him. She meets interesting people on the flights. I really liked the description of the planes and the tasks that TaJae was expected to do during the flight.
When she meets Mikel while on a trip in Hawaii, she is a bit cautious of him. She finds out he is a chaplain in the army and I think that may have made her hold her feelings towards him at arms length. She is angry with God for taking her brother. Can Mikel help her through her grief? Can he lead her back to God? When a devastating accident occurs , TeJae is shaken to the core. Her foundation, her security is gone. How will she handle another loss of family members?
I loved how the author incorporated the famous basketball team known as the University of Evansville men’s team. They were very well liked and everyone in the town came to see them play. The authors knowledge of basketball and well known players make the story come alive. The tragedy of losing a basketball team was devastating for everyone. With the authors beautiful words, the scene came to life. I saw the destruction of a plane crash and heard the agony as loved ones were told the painful news of a death.
The story is filled with grief that only God can heal. I loved how the author wove a story of overcoming tragedy and the faith the characters found as they found forgiveness and love.
I received a copy of the book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 16
Karen Sue Hadley, December 16
Jami’s Words, December 17
Quiet Quilter, December 18
Reading Is My SuperPower, December 18
Inspiration clothesline, December 19
Texas Book-aholic, December 19
Radiant Light, December 20
Carpe Diem, December 21
Avid Reader Book Reviews, December 21
A Reader’s Brain, December 22
A Greater Yes, December 23
Blogging With Carol, December 23
Books, Books, and More Books, December 24
SusanLovesBooks, December 25
Remembrancy, December 26
Mary Hake, December 26
Janices book review, December 27
The Power of Words, December 28
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 29
Just Jo’Anne, December 29
To celebrate her tour, Loni is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon Card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c5be