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The Story behind Solve by Christmas by Amber Schamel

While the leaves are still falling, its not to early to decide on some great Christmas reads. Amber Schamel joins us today to give us some insight into what inspired her new holiday mystery, Solve by Christmas.

Here’s a peek into what the book is about.

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?

So, what led you to write this book?

When I decided on Denver during 1913 as the setting for my Christmas mystery, I had no idea what an and exciting city I was stepping into. The city was abuzz with industry. The National Western Stockshow had already been formed, the democratic convention had been held there a couple years prior, and already they had an amazing streetcar system of over 160 miles which had become the main mode of transportation. The bustling of crowds, the trill of a trolley bell, and the crisp winter air set the perfect backdrop for Jasper’s adventure.

I have to admit, I’d never heard of a Wobbly. Even growing up outside of Denver. But as it turns out, the Wobblies were a large part of Denver’s history and their labor wars and free speech fights.

The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Organization was formed in 1905 in Chicago by folks who held some pretty extreme views and have been called “militant unionists”. Their main doctrine was that the capitalist system was evil, irreparable, and that a good society could only exist outside of such a system. Naturally, this brought on a lot of conflict between the IWW group and the business class. Their nickname soon became “Wobbly” or “Wobblies” although the origin of the term is unclear.

The organization moved into Denver not long after their formation, but the free speech fights didn’t begin until 1913. The city officials had banned the Wobblies from speaking on the streets, however this played into the Wobbly’s tactics. They spoke on the streets anyway, and were arrested, and soon the judicial system was so clogged with free speech cases and the jails were so full that concessions had to be made.

Most fascinating about this group, is their tactics and methods. One very popular method would be for men to stand up on a trolley or subway and begin preaching to a captive audience. Other known methods were parades with banners and bands down the city streets who would play and sing Wobbly folk songs. My favorite though, is when a man would run out into the street screaming “I’ve been robbed! I’ve been robbed!” and of course when everyone turned to look he would continue “I’ve been robbed by the capitalist system!” and launch into his lecture. You can experience some of these tactics as well as the scene in Denver 1913 in my new release, Solve by Christmas. ?

The IWW is a very interesting group that is apparently still around today. It appears they were very instrumental in the development of labor laws and worker’s rights throughout the United States.

Denver IWW Hall

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.

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What a fascinating story. Thanks for sharing, Amber! She’s giving away an EBOOK copy of the book. Follow the instructions below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It’s been nice to have you with us, Amber!


  1. I like to read mysteries because they give my brain a workout trying to solve it.

  2. Thank you so much for hosting me, Liz! I’m excited to share with your readers today.

  3. Mysteries always make any story more intriguing, and they make you wonder about the story more. Always fun to read.

    • Hi Tarissa!
      Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ll find Solve by Christmas to be a fun mystery as well. It’s been a common theme in many of the reviews. 🙂

      Happy reading and best wishes in the giveaway!

  4. Hi Amber, I’m looking forward to reading your books. I fell in love with mysteries during my childhood reading Nancy Drew books. I am also a fan of Historical Fiction as well. Thank you for all you do!

    • Hello Ann!
      Yes, I think my love of mysteries was fostered at a young age too. Although, I think Hank the Cow Dog was more what did it for me. 😉

      Thanks for stopping by! I do hope you get a chance to read Solve by Christmas.

  5. Would love to win

  6. I love trying to solve the mystery before the end of the book…which I’m not very good at, but it’s fun anyway! 🙂

    Thank you for the giveaway chance!

  7. Thanks for stopping by, Martha and Trixi! Best wishes in the giveaway. 🙂