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Hi y’all! I apologize for the lack of Amish stories on Faithfully Bookish and I hope my reader friends who are Amish fans will forgive me! Historical and Amish fans alike will be interested in meeting today’s featured author. She writes historical Amish fiction (YAY!), lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and brought a giveaway for y’all!
About the Author
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 of thirty-five years, where she enjoys hiking in the Hills and spending time with their expanding family.
She is the author of The Prodigal Son Returns, A Mother for His Children (winner of the 2013 TARA award), and A Home for His Family (finalist for the 2016 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award), as well as Hannah’s Choice and Mattie’s Pledge (finalist for the 2017 Holt Medallion).
Five Favorites of the Black Hills
Jan: My husband and I have lived all over the Midwest, moving an average of once every five years during our thirty-five years of married life. But six years ago, God brought us to our favorite place so far – the Black Hills of South Dakota – and we don’t plan to move again. Let me share my Five Favorite Things about living here!
Beth: That is a lot of moving, I don’t envy you!
I have to start with the scenery. The Black Hills covers an area about one hundred miles long and fifty miles wide – about 5000 square miles. This small mountain range rises like an island in the prairie in soaring granite spires and pine covered hills. We never get tired of the views!
Beth: I do enjoy a nice mountain view!
The Hills, unlike the formidable and breathtakingly beautiful Rockies to our west, are easily accessible. As we wander the back roads, we quite often pass hundred-year-old ranches, cabins, and old mining claims. We can pull off the road and hike for a bit – we don’t need to stay on trails in the National Forest – and we quite often take advantage of the many hiking opportunities.
Beth: I’m a stick to the trails kind of gal but I like an easy hike every now and then.
We live within a 90-minute drive of five National Parks and Monuments. Badlands National Park, Wind Cave National Park, Jewel Cave National Monument, Devils Tower National Monument, and, of course, Mt. Rushmore. We try to visit them at least once a year and take advantage of the hiking opportunities each one offers. Believe me, there’s nothing as quiet and hauntingly beautiful as the Badlands in winter.
Beth: We stopped by Mount Rushmore on our way west a few years ago!
Tourists! As much as we love the quiet and seclusion of our Hills, we also love sharing them with the millions of visitors who flock here each year. People from all over the world come to enjoy our Hills and the unique scenery and attractions.
Beth: It’s amazing!
Custer State Park is the crowning jewel of the Black Hills. This huge park and wildlife area is famous for its herd of bison roaming freely through the park and the amazing Needles Highway. We love to take an evening picnic, find a quiet spot and enjoy the watching the wildlife, or hike one of the many trails in the park.
I had a hard time whittling my list of favorite things down to five. I could have included things like hearing a meadowlark’s song, or the wind roaring in the pines overhead. I haven’t even touched on the vast prairie that surrounds us, or the clean, crisp air. I haven’t talked about blizzards that slam into us from the north, or night skies lit up with stars.
I guess you’ll just have to visit the Black Hills, and experience my favorite things for yourself!
Beth: The air was the first thing I noticed when we stepped out of the vehicle in South Dakota! I wish I could bottle it and bring it home with me! Now, the blizzards I can live without! Yikes! I’ve read the Little House on the Prairie books.
Jan’s latest release
Despite growing pains in her 1846 Amish community in Indiana, Naomi Schrock has settled into a comfortable life in her parents’ home with her adopted son, Davey. Surrounded by family and friends, she tries not to think about the fact that she’s not at the top of any man’s list of potential wives. Yet when Cap Stoltzfus moves into the area and befriends Davey, Naomi finds herself caught between the plans she has made for her future and the tantalizing thought that Cap might be part of a life she never dared to hope for.
When a couple shows up claiming to be Davey’s true family, Naomi and Cap must unite to make the decision that will determine the boy’s future as well as their own. How can she relinquish him to these unknown relatives? And can God somehow bring wholeness to her heart?
Beth: I need to get my hands on this series!
Tell us about your next release
Jan: I have two Amish stories coming from Love Inspired Historical. “An Amish Courtship” be out in August 2017. The next one doesn’t have a title yet, but will be released March 2018. Both take place in the same Northern Indiana Amish community as my first two books with LIH, during the Great Depression.
Beth: Oooooo, you are a busy author! Great news for readers! Thank you for sharing the Black Hills and your bookish news with us, Jan!
Jan Drexler has generously offered to send one copy of Naomi’s Hope to a fortunate Faithfully Bookish reader.
If you’ve visited the Black Hills in South Dakota, what might you add to this list?
If you’ve not been, what intrigues you the most?