Enter below for a chance to win a copy of Jan Drexler’s newest book, The Roll of the Drums.

Winner will be announced in the next Author Spotlight feature. Congratulations to Amy B. for winning a copy of Irene Hannon’s Dark Ambitions.

Please email my assistant Christen to claim your prize. Note: This post contains affiliate links meaning I will get a small commission if you click and buy from that link.

Jan Drexler delighted Amish fans with The Sound of Distant Thunder, book one in The Amish of Weaver’s Creek series. Now she invites readers to travel back to Holmes County, Ohio, for another engaging story about the Weaver family in The Roll of the Drums.

Ruby Weaver is content being single in her 1863 conservative Amish community. However, Ruby’s ailing friend Lovinia has other ideas. Lovinia makes her husband, Gideon, promise to marry Ruby and has Ruby make a similar promise. With both Ruby and Gideon reluctant to keep their promises, a compromise must be reached. Ruby agrees to be a housekeeper and nanny to the children. Unfortunately, this arrangement raises eyebrows in the community. It soon becomes clear that Ruby must make a decision—marry Gideon or break her promise to her friend. Will Ruby accept Gideon’s proposal or turn her back on the family she has grown to love?

Gideon Fischer’s only desire is to get his family far away from the disastrous effects of the Civil War, find a peaceful place to live, and mourn the death of his wife. However, he has grown to enjoy Ruby’s company and appreciates her help with the housework and the children. But is she the right person to spend the rest of his life with?

Author Spotlight with Jan Drexler

What is a Bible verse that inspires you to keep on writing?

Joshua 1:9, without a doubt. “Have I not commanded you?” is the first part of that verse, but it is seldom quoted. God has given me my orders – He has commanded me. So then comes the rest of the verse: “Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Whenever I’m discouraged or my task seems too hard, this verse reminds me that God has called me, and He equips me for the task. I’m never in this alone.

Describe the moment that you knew you were born to write.

As I was growing up, I assumed that everyone spent their spare time making up stories. I didn’t think it was anything special, and it was a lot of fun. But in college, pursuing a degree in Creative Writing, I became discouraged. I never thought I would write a book, much less be a published author.

But many, many years later, after raising and homeschooling our children (a full-time career right there!) I found myself facing retirement as the children graduated from our homeschool one by one. That’s when my husband stepped in and bought a computer for me to use “for your writing.” Until he said that, I hadn’t realized how strong the urge to write had become. But he had seen it and recognized it. I’ll always be grateful to him for that.

________ is your escape from writing, because it makes you feel ________.

Spending time in the Black Hills, hiking, camping, or just driving though is my escape from writing because it makes me feel refreshed and renewed like nothing else. Fresh air, pine trees, blue skies…. It’s my happy place.

Name a book you’ve read that made a difference to you (or to others).

Other than the Bible, the next book that has been influential in my life is Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. His command of the language constantly amazes me and inspires me to dig deeper with every sentence I write. He also wrote an epic work that covered his story-world on a grand scale but was able to pull his readers into a small, intimate meal with friends, or into the depths of Gollum’s tormented soul.

What’s your strategy for coping with bad reviews?

I read all my reviews, bad or good. If multiple reviewers mention something they didn’t like, then I examine whatever it is. Sometimes it has helped me tighten my writing on the next book or start the next story differently.

On the other hand, if I don’t agree with the reviewer, I take a little while to soothe my hurt feelings with a bit of chocolate, then put it behind me. No writer can make every reader happy!

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Jan Drexler brings a unique understanding of Amish traditions and beliefs to her writing. Her ancestors were among the first Amish, Mennonite, and Brethren immigrants to Pennsylvania in the 1700s, and their experiences are the inspiration for her stories. Jan lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband, where she enjoys hiking and spending time with her expanding family. She is the author The Sound of Distant Thunder, Hannah’s Choice, Mattie’s Pledge (a 2017 Holt Medallion finalist), and Naomi’s Hope, as well as several LOVE INSPIRED historical novels.

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