Thursday, October 22, 2020


~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight, Author
Bio, Unique Author Interview, Link to a Favorite
Recipe of the Author's Family & Giveaway~

Softly Blows the Bugle Blog Tour 


Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Softly Blows the Bugle by Jan Drexler, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!




Softly Blows the Bugle
TitleSoftly Blows the Bugle 
Series:  The Amish of Weaver's Creek #3 
Author:  Jan Drexler 
Publisher:  Revell 
Release Date:  October 20, 2020 
Genre:  Christian Historical Amish Romance 

Welcome back to the Amish community at Weaver's Creek, where the bonds of family and faith bind up the brokenhearted. 

When Elizabeth Kaufman received the news of her husband's death at the Battle of Vicksburg in 1863, she felt only relief. She determined that she would never be at the mercy of any man again, even if it meant not having a family of her own. Then along came Aaron Zook . . . 
Despite the severity of his injuries, Aaron has resolved to move west and leave the pain of the past behind him. He never imagined that the Amish way of life his grandfather had rejected long ago would be so enticing. That, and a certain widow he can't get out of his mind. 

Yet, even in a simple community, life has a way of getting complicated. Aaron soon finds that while he may have left the battlefield behind, there is another fight he must win--the one for the heart of the woman he loves. 

"Isn’t it about time your Elizabeth married again?" Salome’s voice took on the wheedling tone that set Elizabeth’s teeth on edge. "She’s been a widow far too long."

"I’m not concerned," Mamm said. "The Good Lord knows what Elizabeth needs, and he will provide."

"Now that she has repented of her unfortunate marriage to that outsider and has joined the church, my Levi might consider marrying her." Salome sniffed. "The Good Book instructs widows to marry, and your daughter has many good childbearing years ahead of her."

"Abraham and I will let Elizabeth make her own decisions concerning her future." Mamm’s voice had an edge to it that told Elizabeth she was trying to hold her temper.

Salome grunted. "You should have reined that girl in years ago, before she ran off and married that reprobate. If she was my daughter—"

"She isn’t your daughter, Salome," Mamm broke in.


Jan Drexler
Photo Credit: Roaming Reflections Photography

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 of The Sound of Distant ThunderThe Roll of the DrumsHannah's ChoiceMattie's Pledge (a 2017 Holt Medallion finalist), and Naomi's Hope, as well as several Love Inspired historical novels. 

JUNE:  Welcome to Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic, Jan. We are pleased to have you as our guest to discuss your latest book and a few other topics.

JUNE:  I have had the pleasure of reading and enjoying a couple of your Love Inspired historical novels, 'A Mother for His Children' and 'The Amish Courtship'. The vast majority of your books are Amish fiction. Do you have a desire to write in other genres in fiction? Are you interested in writing non-fiction? If yes, what subject would you write about?

JAN:  My first love is historical fiction with Amish characters, but I enjoy all historical fiction. I have several ideas bouncing around for Amish and non-Amish stories, so we’ll see what comes from those! I’ve also taken some time this year to delve into the world of cozy mysteries, and that has been a lot of fun.

I haven’t thought about writing non-fiction, but if I did I’d probably write about some aspect of Amish life or history.

JUNE:  What types of research did you perform for your newest release, 'Softly Blows the Bugle'? Is researching a task you work on before you sit down to write a story, or do you research topics as they come up in the story? Please feel free to offer any research tips you may have for those of us who also write historical fiction.

JAN:  I do a lot of research as I’m developing my story ideas, even before the characters appear on the scene. For this series, The Amish of Weaver’s Creek, I spent several weeks researching the Civil War and how it affected the Amish before I wrote a rough outline for all three books.

Once I decide on a setting and general story idea, I start looking for source materials to give authenticity to the story. A great resource are newspapers that have online copies of past issues. For Softly Blows the Bugle I found that there were two newspapers at the time of the Civil War in Millersburg, Ohio, and I poured over the news stories from the war years. I also read reprinted diaries from soldiers on both sides of the conflict and memoirs written by veterans.

If I can, I visit the area my story is set in and spend time driving through the countryside and going to local museums. There is nothing like standing where my characters would have lived.

One interesting line of research for Softly Blows the Bugle was to learn about medical procedures, methods of amputation, and what to expect during recovery from a wound of that kind. I also researched the development of prosthetics during the war, and how most survivors dealt with their loss.

And yes, I do research things as they come up in the story. One of the characters in Softly Blows the Bugle is a harness maker, so in the middle of writing I took a day to learn how harnesses were made in the mid-19th century. YouTube is a great resource for that kind of education!

JUNE:  Is there a time period in history you would like to write about in the future? Is there a place in the United States or somewhere in the world that you would like to write about in the future?

JAN:  I’m fascinated by the Colonial Era and would love to write about the first Amish settlements in Pennsylvania in the early 1700’s, using my ancestor’s experiences as the basis.

I’d also like to write about Holmes County, Ohio, in the early 1800’s, when the Amish first started settling in that area.

Another favorite time period is the second half of the 19th century in the West. We live in the middle of an area full of history here in western South Dakota, and one of the stories I’m developing right now takes place in the early days of ranching in this area.

JUNE:  You contributed a novella to the 'An Amish Christmas Kitchen' collection entitled, 'An Amish Christmas Recipe Box'. This year it will be released as an ebook. I noticed you have a page on your website entitled, 'Favorite Amish Recipes'. Do you enjoy baking for the Christmas holidays? If yes, do you have a favorite family recipe you would like to share with us here?

JAN:  When our four children were all still living at home, I probably baked too much for the holidays! Christmas has always been a special family time for us, and the foods that surround that season are some of my favorites. Now that we’re older, I make as many savory snacks as sweet ones, but they are still special.

Here’s a link to one of my favorites, and it’s so easy to do, too!


The post is from seven years ago, and I still make these every year.

JUNE:  You mention on your website that you love needlework. As a stitcher myself, I would love to hear about what types of needlework you enjoy. Do you make needlework gifts for your family and friends? Have you made a lot of Christmas ornaments or Christmas decor? What was one of your favorite projects you stitched?

JAN:  I do love needlework. I tell my husband that it keeps me sane!

I am addicted to counted cross stitch. I enjoy making things for our home, but I have also made Christmas stockings for each of our family members. We just added a new daughter-in-law this summer, so as soon as she chooses her pattern, I’ll be starting on that project.

Knitting is another favorite. I make knit lace sweaters for new baby gifts, and I recently started making bunny toys for the families who already have one of my sweaters. The bunnies are playable and come with a couple outfits. They are so cute!

And then there is smocking. I wish I had more time to spend on it because the finished product is so beautiful.

JUNE:  What is your favorite thing about being an historical fiction author?

JAN:  My favorite thing is having an excuse to spend hours and hours researching. I love to research so much that I’m often in danger of never starting the story! There is always one more place to visit or one more book to read.

JUNE:  Thank you very much for sharing some of your valuable time with us here, Jan. Best wishes for a successful book launch and for blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays shared with loved ones.
CONNECT WITH JAN: Website | Facebook | Instagram


(1) winner will receive a Softly Blows the Bugle prize package including: "The Amish of Weaver’s Creek" three-book series (The Sound of Distant Thunder, The Roll of the Drums, and Softly Blows the Bugle), Winter Mug & hot cocoa packets, Lavender Hand Lotion Bar from Fairchild Lamb & Wool (Canby, Minnesota), “One Minute with God” perpetual calendar, Thanksgiving Turkey shelf sitter, Laura Ingalls Wilder notepad, Jan Drexler sticky notes, bookmarks, and pen!

Softly Blows the Bugle JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour as well as our Softly Blows the Bugle Takeover Tour (October 28-30) for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight October 19, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on November 4, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.



Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.



  1. Sounds like a book I will enjoy reading.

    1. I loved this book, Rita! I hope you get a chance to read it soon. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  2. Thank you for the fun interview and for participating in the blog tour, June!

    1. You're welcome, Jan. I loved reading your poignant responses to my questions. Also, I loved, loved, loved this book! It's one of my very favorites of 2020. Thank you for sharing your creative talents with the world. Take care, June.

  3. Great interview! Looking forward to reading the book

  4. Jan's Love Inspired books have been some of my favorites. I must check out her new series. Thank you for the review and interview.

  5. Thank you for sharing This sounds like an amazing book!

  6. Sounds like a great read. Looking forward to reading the book.

  7. Jan is a new author for me. I'm enjoying the tour. Thank you for sharing.