Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Softly Blows the Bugle by Jan Drexler, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! Jan is one of my fave people so I’m super excited to host her today as she shares some of her fave scenes from the book!
Title: Softly Blows the Bugle
Series: The Amish of Weaver’s Creek #3
Author: Jan Drexler
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.
My top five favorite scenes from Softly Blows the Bugle
by Jan Drexler, author of Softly Blows the Bugle
It was hard to choose my favorite scene from my new novel. It’s a little bit like asking a mother to choose which of her baby’s toes is her favorite! But I think these scenes encompass the heart of the story:
A shriek from inside the house brought an abrupt end to the birdsong. Katie Stuckey’s feet pounding on the stairway and more shrieks brought Elizabeth to her feet, her knitting falling to the porch floor.
“He’s coming!” Katie slammed the wooden screen door open and grabbed Elizabeth’s arms, spinning her in a circle. “I saw him from the window! On the road!”
Katie jumped off the porch and headed down the lane toward the road, leaving Elizabeth breathless and alone on the porch.
This snippet from the beginning of the book was one of my favorites to write. After three long years, the hero and heroine from the first book in the series, “The Sound of Distant Thunder,” are finally reunited.
Do you remember being twenty years old and in love? Katie and Jonas were planning to be married when unforeseen circumstances took Jonas away to be part of the Union army. But Katie waited for him, not knowing if he would ever return to her safely. No wonder she is so excited when she sees him on the road, finally coming home to her!
Elizabeth’s eyes narrowed as she continued to stare at his leg. “Maybe I should wait for Datt or Jonas.”
Aaron’s face burned at the dismissive tone of her voice. “I can do it. I don’t need both legs to fix a chicken coop.”
A frown brought her pale brown eyebrows together. Her eyes reminded him of Ma. He looked away again.
“I can’t ask you to do it. You might hurt yourself.”
Hurt himself? All thoughts of her vulnerability fled at that challenge. He would fix her chicken coop if it killed him.
This excerpt is part of an uncomfortable conversation between Elizabeth, the heroine of the story, and Aaron, the hero. Aaron had lost a leg during the war and then nearly died of “hospital fever.” Neither one of them knows how to respond to his obvious disability.
I like this excerpt because we get a first glimpse of Aaron’s true character.
“Callers.” The very thing he had expected when the morning had dawned so fine. He turned around and cracked open the front door. “Dulcey!”
The young woman appeared in the hall leading to the back of the house, her dark skin blending into the shadowed interior of the house.
“Get yourself down into the cellar and stay put. Someone is coming and I don’t want them to see you yet.”
The girl disappeared like a shadow and Solomon closed the door. He shook his arms, letting his hands hang loose for a moment, then took a deep breath. As he let it out, he stepped into the man his visitors expected to see. Well to-do Amishman Solomon Mast, new to the community and pleased to be part of it.
This excerpt is from the first scene told in the antagonist’s point of view. I hope the readers see his true heart (or lack of it!)
I enjoy writing a good antagonist but writing Solomon’s character was a little like trying to grab a rattlesnake with my bare hands. He was challenging, but necessary to the story. I needed a character that would force Aaron to confront his true beliefs and make him fight for what was right.
Elise was watching him until she saw him look. Then she ducked her head, her face hidden again by her bonnet. A roaring started in his ears. He had heard of someone falling in love at the first glance at a pretty face, but he had always thought that was just silly girls’ chatter.
He had been wrong.
Oh, Levi! I love this character. Levi Beiler is Jonas’ friend, and is a secondary character throughout the series. In this book, he finally gets his “happily-ever-after,” and it all starts with this one glance from Elise. I hope you enjoy the conclusion of his part of the story as much as I do!
The sun had sunk toward the horizon as the rain clouds scudded east, and the evening star shone just above the trees. When Aaron looked back at Elizabeth standing huddled in her blanket next to the glowing coals, his mind went back to a thousand or more campfires glowing in the dusk, with the sound of taps being played softly on a distant bugle.
Someone else might shrug off Solomon’s threat, but Aaron wouldn’t. He walked up behind Elizabeth and put one hand on her shoulder. She leaned against him as if she had no strength left.
“Do you really think Solomon is dangerous, Aaron?”
“I do. But don’t worry. I’ll be watching both him and you.”
She turned around in his arms and clung to him.
“I’ll protect you, Elizabeth,” he whispered into her hair. “I won’t let anything happen to you.”
When a story idea starts forming in my mind, it usually starts with a single scene that becomes the kernel of truth inside the larger book. This scene is that nugget. It formed in my mind early on, and it’s the inspiration for the title.
I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into “Softly Blows the Bugle!”
Photo Credit: Roaming Reflections Photography
(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!
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.
This giveaway is hosted by JustRead Tours, not RimSP
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.
What about you? What makes you want to read Softly Blows the Bugle by Jan Drexler?