Hello reading friends! I am so excited to have Amber Shamel on the blog today as part of the Celebrate Lit Tour for her new book, Solve by Christmas. She’s giving us a behind the scenes look that may have something to do with Barney Fife! Oh my goodness, his character always made me laugh.
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)
Amber Schamel knows how to write a fun story. Although there are obviously some serious tones in this book, she managed to keep it light hearted, fun and exciting. Even better was her way to tie in the message of Christ with ease. It did not feel at all as if I were being preached to, just being told a story. I love it when authors have the ability to do this!
Lately I have found so many mystery stories surrounding Christmas, and think to myself, where were these stories before? I don’t remember reading too many of them. But they are truly wonderful, and hopefully we will see more of them going forward. And actually, I have a request for Ms. Schamel. Bring back Jasper!
I fell in love with the sweet, quirky detective almost immediately. He was just so endearing, clever, and fun! I found myself wishing I could go back in time (just in case he was real!) and solving cases with him. We could be Hollack and Baker, detectives at your service. Can’t you just see it? I could. That’s how alive the story was for me. Thank you for introducing us to Detective Hollack and making him so quirky and loveable. I hope there are more of his stories in the future!
I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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.” If this 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 was the 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.
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