Blog Archive

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

It's Beginning to Read a Lot Like Amish Christmas 2023 Books: Author Interview with Jennifer Spredemann

What made you decide to write Christmas themed booksCould you give a short synopsis on the books for my readers?

Christmas is without a doubt my favorite time of year! I can (and do!) listen to Christmas music throughout the year. So, naturally, I love to write stories revolving around the birth of my Saviour, which are usually romance with an Amish setting.

One of my favorite Christmas stories is Unlikely Santa. In the book, a young family deals with a sudden tragedy when they lose both parents. The oldest sibling, eighteen-year-old Shannon, struggles to keep her three younger siblings together. When her five-year-old brother Jaycee mistakes an Amish man for Santa Claus, both families' lives are forever changed. This book sparked three other books in the Unlikely Amish Christmas series and has become a reader favorite.

The book I'm currently writing is a Christmas book, and is book three in my Amish Courtship series. The two main characters have both loved and lost. When one of them receives a letter from a secret admirer proposing a courtship by letters and eventual marriage, their circumstances get interesting. It's a sweet Amish romance, but all of my Christmas books highlight the true Reason for the Season. 
What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions? 

This one is difficult because I pretty much love everything about Christmas. :) But if I had to narrow it down, I'd say that reading the account of Jesus' birth from the Bible and singing Christmas songs on Christmas morning (after a yummy breakfast of chocolate gravy and biscuits!), along with the Christmas Eve candlelight service would be my most favorite traditions.

What’s next in writing for you? 
I haven't quite decided whether I will jump into my Amish Bed & Breakfast series or pen the standalones I've itching to write. It will likely be a combination of both, Lord willing.

What’s the best writing tip you’ve learned or been given you’d like to share?
Learn to be flexible. The writing and publishing world is ever changing. Just roll with whatever comes your way and remember your reason for writing.

What do you know now about writing and publishing you wish you had learned sooner?
So many things. But learning is part of what helps us grow, so it's all good. As for me, I love the creative control that being an indie author gives me. 

Any last words or tips?
For writers? I'd say that you know yourself - what you're capable of, what you're willing to do. Don't put more on your plate than what you can handle. Give yourself strict deadlines and do all you can to meet those, but realize that life WILL happen. Don't be too hard on yourself when it does.

For readers: If you've never read an Amish book before, don't be afraid to pick one up (see the freebie below!) I went years seeing the books and thinking that I wouldn't be interested in them. Then, one day, I decided to pick one up. That was around 2008. Four years later, I began penning my own Amish stories. Here we are, all these years later and I'm still reading (although, not exclusively) and writing Amish romances.

I honestly just never thought they would appeal to me. What could I have in common with them? It turns out, an awful lot. But I'd say the main attraction to Amish books are the simple lifestyles. Somehow, they just bring a sense of peace and calm. And who doesn't need that in this crazy day and age we live in? So, again, I encourage you to pick one up and see if you like it! (See mine below)

Are there any other books that you’d like to tell my readers about?
Yes! I have nearly fifty Amish stories available, and I offer a couple of my first-in-series ebooks for free! So, if you'd like to check them out, they are An Unforgivable Secret (Amish Secrets, book1) (note, you'll want to have tissues on hand for this series), and The Trespasser (Amish Country Brides, book 1). While these are both part of a series, neither of them end on a cliffhanger and they stand alone well.

Tis the season for giving, so sign up for those two eBooks as shown below:
An Unforgivable Secret:
The Trespasser:

And here are other ways to learn more about Jennifer's books.
Newsletter: When you sign up,  you'll receive a free short Amish romance story.)

And one final bonus... If you'd like to be entered into a giveaway for a signed copy of Unlikely Santa, email her at at with the subject line UNLIKELY SANTA GIVEAWAY

Friday, November 24, 2023

Giving Thanks for Thanksgiving Themed Books 2023 with C.K. Fyfe

You’ve now published several books, but what inspired you to write that first one? 

I was actually inspired by my love for animals. My first cozy mystery short story, A Hare-Raising Haunting, was my submission for a multi-author anthology called, The Big Fang. The anthology organizers were searching for all types of mysteries involving animals. Since I enjoy reading mysteries and I have a soft spot for animals, it felt like a purrfect fit! Although I adore cats, I chose to write about a spunky little rabbit named Pepper, who readers seem to enjoy. However, for me, the most gratifying aspect of writing that story is the fact that I got to make a difference in the lives of animals. The Big Fang is a charity anthology, and all proceeds go toward helping the animals at Harbor Humane Society in West Olive, MI. 

How do you go about plotting your mystery? What do you think makes for a perfect cozy murder mystery?

That’s a good question! Since I’m more of a pantser-style author, meaning I write by the seat of my pants and come up with details as I go, I don’t spend much time plotting out my mysteries. I usually have a general idea of the characters, setting, and storyline. But other than that, I tend to let my characters lead the way and allow them to tell their own stories. When it comes to the perfect cozy mystery, I enjoy quirky characters, small-town traditions, and Nancy Drew-type sleuthing. And in my opinion, the perfect cozy mystery, no matter how serious the crime, should include a touch of humor.  I love to insert humor into the dialogue and action of my stories. 

What’s the best encouragement you’ve had in your writing?

An author I admire once encouraged me to write from my heart. When you let the passion from your heart flow onto the pages, readers connect with your characters on a deeper level. Also, writing from the heart allows an author to discover his or her unique writing voice. 

 Marketing is the biggest key to getting sales. What is the best marketing source you've used that has produced more sales rather than just clicks?

I’ve had the best success with multi-author promotions, where there is a central landing page for all the books, and each author shares the link to the page with their readers via newsletter and social media. This type of promotion is a wonderful way for writers to work together, while offering readers a variety of options that they may not have considered before. 


What do you know now about writing you wished you had known sooner?

I wish I had known that you shouldn’t beat yourself up over a lousy first draft. It’s easy to think that your manuscript is garbage. But the thing you must remember is that a work in progress will go through several rounds of revisions. So, it’s okay if the story isn’t polished at first. There’s plenty of time to do the corrections necessary to make your story shine!  


What is the best writing advice you’ve received or could give?

My best advice is to do something writing-related every day. Write, research, revise, or brainstorm. But do something! I had an English teacher in high school who often had her students do brainstorming exercises. To this day, when I’m battling writer’s block, I do what she taught me all those years ago: I jot down whatever pops into my head. Hopefully, somewhere in there, among the chaotic scribbles, is the solution to my problem. 

Are there any other points about writing you would like to add?

Take advantage of the opportunities around you. You’ll find that there will always be writers who are more prolific and experienced than you. Learn from them. You’ll find yourself miles ahead of newbie writers. Take the time to teach them. Both experiences will help you grow as an author. 


What is the next book coming out? Can you give me a short synopsis?

My Thanksgiving-themed cozy mystery short story, Turkey Trot Trouble, was just  released. The main characters, Kenzie and Blaise, are long-time best friends who end up with more of an adventure than they bargain for when they join the local 5K race. When several runners collapse without explanation, they must race against time to solve the mystery. In the meantime, they’re forced to confront their true feelings about each other without losing their friendship. 

That's all for today's interview. If you'd like to learn more about this author's books, here are some links to get you started.


And here's a bonus for my readers, leave a comment on this post and we'll pick one reader who'll receive a copy of Auction Block Bandit. So do that now. It can be as simple as I want to be in the giveaway. We'll choose a winner next Tuesday!