Monday, December 21, 2015

THE SWADDLING CLOTHES - Amber Schamel - One Free Book

Welcome back, Amber. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
Historical fiction has always been my favorite genre. I love to read it, so I also love to write it. I chose to write Christian books because I saw a need for literature that promotes a biblical worldview and the moral principles that are taught therein. Books can be so influential in a person's life, so it is important that the influence is a good one.

How has being published changed your life?
There are a lot of changes, but the biggest one is the demand on my time. We are very busy with work, volunteering, church, and family. I have to ration minutes and hours very carefully. I don't get to spend as much time in leisure as I used to, and I don't get to sit down and do things with my family as much because I have deadlines and responsibilities to fulfill.

What are you reading right now?
I'm reading some histories on Joan of Arc, which are very interesting. I haven't known a lot about her up to this point, but her story is captivating. I'm also starting The Christmas Shoppe by Melody Carlson. I love to squeeze in a few Christmas reads during the season. :)

What is your current work in progress?
I'm working on another Christmas story! It's set during the civil war. The story is about Caleb, a young would-be lawyer, who flees his failure by joining the Union army. But when his best friend is condemned for desertion, he begs Caleb to plead his case. Caleb must face his failure and greatest fear in an effort to save his friend's life and secure THE CHRISTMAS PARDON.

What would be your dream vacation?
Anything that involves history. I have had the blessing of visiting a lot of historical places including Israel, Egypt, Rome, and Greece. I would love to go back to any of those places. Oh, and I would LOVE to visit Scotland. :D

How do you choose your settings for each book?
My stories are usually inspired around a plot, and the setting usually comes with it. My biblical stories focused around Jesus, so of course they are set in Israel in the places where Jesus spent most of his time. The Christmas Pardon is really the first project where I've had a chance to pick my setting, but it was fun to research different towns that would fit. I look for settings that echo with the characters and their story.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
That's a tough one! There are so many people I would love to have a chance to talk to. Right now, I would really like to sit down with Dr. Ben Carson and talk to him about history and the current state of our nation. I'd love to get his view on the Presidential race and what he predicts will happen.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I love to go to church meetings. I also enjoy singing, playing the piano, cooking, and talking with folks over a cup of coffee and pie.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Lack of time and procrastination. I have to manage my time very carefully, and when I do have time to sit down and work it just takes discipline to get my head into the work. I diffuse peppermint essential oil, which has helped my focus a lot.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
My advice is in two parts. First, be teachable and learn. You need a tough skin and a willingness to be corrected to truly grow into the best writer you can be. I know big authors that are still learning more about the craft. If you have a know-it-all attitude, you probably won't succeed in this industry. Second, don't give up. Keep writing and keep trying until you find someone who will see the beauty in your work.

Tell us about the featured book.
The Swaddling Clothes is a unique tale that follows the Jewish history from the time of King David through the Babylonian captivity and finally to the stable in Bethlehem.

Through the ages, men have told many stories about Mary, Joseph, and the birth of the Messiah. Stories of shepherds and sheep, kings, angels, and stables. But one story no one has ever told. One story hidden in the fabric of time. The story of The Swaddling Clothes.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Circa 980 B.C.
King David drummed his fingers on the arm of his throne. The merchant’s monotone voice had been echoing off the cedar walls of the judgment hall for more than an hour. If he whined the words unfair taxes one more time…

“So you see, your highness, these taxes are relatively unfair when considering—”

“Enough!” David’s irritation boiled over.

The merchant stumbled backward. His scalded pride evidenced by the scarlet flushing of his round face.

Something squeezed in David’s chest. The merchant wasn’t the sole reason for his foul mood, and didn’t deserve to bear the worst of it. “I’m sorry.”

He wiped his forehead. Being the king of Israel was not what he’d hoped. He should be leading his army against the Philistines. Instead here he was, in his luxurious palace, listening to the endless and petty complaints. [1]
Ahithophel clapped his hands. “The king has heard enough of your whining for today. Come back later.”

David stood and ran his hand through his hair. Loose curls twisted around his fingers. He paced for a few moments before looking up. Amnon, his oldest son, glared over his shoulder as the aide shooed him out of the hall.

“Ahithophel, it’s all right. I can…”

“My lord, their prattle is irritating me as well. It can wait until the morrow.”

David ducked out the side exit, into the corridor to the private part of the palace. He stopped, inhaling the comforting scent of cedar, and waited for his aide.

Ahithophel slipped through the door and closed it quietly. His expression was tentative when he faced David.

“I am sorry, Ahithophel, but I am not cut of this pattern. I am the type of king who leads armies into battle, who destroys enemies, a king with a sword constantly by my side.” He motioned to the warrior’s blade hanging from his belt. “I love my people, but I cannot bear sitting here listening to their petty arguments while my army marches.”

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love to connect with readers on any of the social media sites, but Goodreads and facebook are my favorite.
Twitter - @AmberSchamel
Goodreads -

[1] 2 Sam 11:1

Thank you, Amber, for sharing this new book with. It sounds intriguing.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
The Swaddling Clothes

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

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Amber Schamel said...

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today, Lena! I'm so excited to be here!

Connie said...

I am excited to read this interview with Amber and I love the cover and the first page of The Swaddling Clothes.
Merry Christmas!
Connie from KY

Amber Schamel said...

Thanks so much for stopping by, Connie! I'm so glad you enjoyed the excerpt. Best wishes in the giveaway.

Mary Preston said...

This does sound marvellous!!

Mary P


Kim Amundsen said...

Nice interview. kamundsen44ATyahooDOTcom NOrth Platte nebraska

BJM said...

I live in South Carolina.

Brenda Arrington said...

The Swaddling Clothes sounds like a book that I will enjoy. Enjoyed the interview. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
Brenda in VA

Amber Schamel said...

Hi Mary! So good to see you here at CWW. :)

Amber Schamel said...

Kim, thank you for stopping by! I'll bet it's cold up where you are. Will ya'll have a White Christmas?

Amber Schamel said...

Hello BJM!
I just visited SC this fall. Very beautiful place. I especially enjoyed Beaufort. Thanks for stopping by, and best wishes in the giveaway.

Amber Schamel said...

Howdy Brenda,
I hope you'll get a chance to read it! Thanks for stopping by.

Abigail Richmond said...

Enter me.
Blanch, NC

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway, SC.

Amber Schamel said...

Thanks so much for stopping by, Abigail and Sharon!

Edward Arrington said...

This sounds like a really interesting book that I would enjoy reading.
Edward A in VA

Amber Schamel said...

Thank you for coming by, Edward! I hope you get the chance to do just that. :D

Anonymous said...

It sounds like a very interesting book! Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

-Melissa M. in TN

Amber Schamel said...

Thanks so much for stopping by, Melissa! Best wishes in the giveaway, and Happy New Year!