Ибо так возлюбил Бог мир, что отдал Сына Своего Единородного, дабы всякий верующий в Него, не погиб, но имел хизнь вечную.
While I receive many books in exchange for review, I am never required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my very own.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

12 Days of Blogmas Day 12: Review: Solve By Christmas by Amber Schamel

Here's a CelebrateLit tour for you guys! (Including giveaway at the bottom... After you read all my nonsense first ;) )

Jasper is PI for Rudin's Sugar Factory in Denver. He's been waiting and waiting for his big break, and now... now he has two cases on his hands. And one of them has the potential for a life-changing disaster. Mr. Rudin has given Jasper an ultimatum... prove by Christmas that life is worth living, or he'll commit suicide. Jasper is frantically trying to figure out how to help the man who's been like a father to him for more than twenty years, when someone decides to start sabotaging the factory. With more and more at stake every hour, Jasper has his plate full. With so much at risk, can he solve both cases by Christmas?

I'm giving this sweet and surprising book 4 stars. It was not at all what I was expecting. Don't ask me what I was expecting, because I can't for the life of me remember, but this... this was not it. This was much better. Usually I don't go for the historical mysteries as much, it's not my cup of.... eggnog???.... (lame Christmas joke alert!) but this one was nice. It was funny, and serious. Sweet and cynical. A balanced book. I loved how each character was his own person, (or her own person...) and the dynamics were great. The cover is pretty snazzy, and you guys know that (much to my detriment, I suppose) I am all about those covers! I was shocked by all the twists, and while I suspected the culprit a little bit, I still kept getting sucked in by the rabbit trails. All in all, a delightful little read, with a sweet non-romance romance, and an ending that leaves me satisfied, but also leaves the door open for sequels. It's not something I think I would buy, but I enjoyed reading it. (Stick with it through those first few chapters...) It's also not super-Christmasy... it talks about Christmas but if you're looking for a book about mistletoe and holly and presents under the tree or any of that jazz... well for goodness sake! There are lives at stake here! (And wow, reading back through this I can see that today is one of my more ADD days. Sorry bout that!)

 I received this book through CelebrateLit blogging program.

About the Author

Author Shot - ReadingAmber 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.



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

See what others are saying here ↓↓↓↓

Blog Stops

Bigreadersite, December 13

Genesis5020, December 14

Baker Kella, December 15

Daysong Reflections, December 15

Karen Sue Hadley, December 16

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)

Just the Write Escape, December 23

The Power of Words, December 23

(you are here!)  Live.Love.Read., December 24

Carpe Diem, December 24

Blogging With Carol, December 25


  1. thank you for your review. I have this on my to buy list. Merry Christmas
    quilting dash lady at Comcast dot net

    1. Merry Christmas to you too! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. I like holiday-themed books that aren't totally Christmas filled.

    1. I like them both ways. It depends on my mood lol. Thanks so much for stopping by.