Urgent: Solve By Christmas, Or You’ll Be Sorry!

ArynThe Family Library9 Comments

Solve by Christmas

Welcome to another Celebrate Lit Book Review! Solve by Christmas is a mystery, faith-building exploration in Denver in 1913.

As usual, I received a copy of this book, with no requirements of a positive review. Just my honest opinion, which you’ll always get! This post also contains affiliate links for your convenience. You can read my full disclosure here.

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)

You can purchase your copy here!

About the Author

Solve By Christmas 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

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.

Solve by Christmas

A Detective who can Solve by Christmas?

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.

My Thoughts on Solve by Christmas

I enjoyed reading Solve by Christmas. Jasper makes an entertaining Detective. He knows what to look for, flips if someone mentions Sherlock Holmes as a “real” detective, and is absolutely awkward! He is driven to succeed, on so many fronts, and feels like he isn’t enough. (So relatable!)

Denny the errand boy is well formed. His actions and character make perfect sense in his circumstances. You can still see the water young boy even as the calluses form around his heart in a protective shell.

Mr. and Mrs. Rudin make me sad, but watching Jasper fight for both of them gives me Hope! It seems like everything conspires to cement Mr. Rudin’s fatalistic outlook. Will Jasper be able to turn it around in time? Can he, in fact, Solve by Christmas?

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes mysteries with a minimum of violence (one mob scene with one injured, and an accident), historical fiction, and only a hint of romance.

Blog Stops

A great way to get multiple Christian opinions before you buy!

A Baker’s Perspective, December 12

A Simply Enchanted Life, December 12

Connie’s History ClassroomDecember 13

BigreadersiteDecember 13

The Fizzy Pop Collecton, December 14

Genesis5020, December 14

Baker Kella, December 15

Daysong ReflectionsDecember 15

History, Mystery & Faith, December 16

Karen Sue HadleyDecember 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 17

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, December 17

Aryn The LibraryanDecember 18

A Reader’s BrainDecember 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 EscapeDecember 23

The Power of Words, December 23

Live.Love.Read., December 24

Carpe Diem, December 24

Blogging With CarolDecember 25

The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate, December 25

Solve by Christmas Giveaway

celebrate lit

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

9 Comments on “Urgent: Solve By Christmas, Or You’ll Be Sorry!”

  1. Dear Aryn

    Your blog post title “Urgent: Solve By Christmas, Or You’ll Be Sorry!” Got my attention.

    It’s good to see that we get more and more books in different genres for a Christian audience.

    What I like about your blog is that you review many books that get little attention elsewhere.

    It also works well that you include a part about the authors and guest posts by the authors.

    That’s something few people do, and it shows your commitment to blogging.

    It takes time and effort to prepare these guest posts.

    Well done!

    Edna Davidsen

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