Author, Spotlight

Jan Drexler: author spotlight

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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 DrexlerJan 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).

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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!

Black Hills, SDI 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!

hiking in the Black HillsBeth: 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.

Mount RushmoreWe 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!

BadlandsTourists! 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 ParkCuster 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?

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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.

Meanwhile, I’m working on a new series for Revell which takes place in Ohio’s Holmes County Amish community during the Civil War. I’m deep in the research for that one now, and I’m loving it. 🙂

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.

Naomis Hope

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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?

29 thoughts on “Jan Drexler: author spotlight”

  1. We have had two main places on our bucket list for years – New England states in the fall and making a big loop going through the Badlands and down through Utah to Bryce Canyon. Two years ago we made a 32 day trip through all the New England states coming home by way of Niagara Falls and Shipshewana, IN. We saw sights to last us a lifetime of the beauty of fall. We are now saving up for and planning our other trip – the Badlands. We have been searching the internet and word of friends who works for the parks department for places we want to go and things to see so that we can start planning our trip. We have some of what Jan Drexler mentioned on the list but was able to add some too. 🙂

    I so want to read Naomi’s Hope and enjoyed learning more as well as the author. Thanks for this amazing chance to win a copy!


    1. By the way, we are in the process of moving for the first time in 23 years. I can’t imagine moving as often as Jan has. Then again maybe by moving more often, she had accumulated less to have to deal with as we have on this move. 🙂


      1. Kay, I don’t envy your coming move! And no, we didn’t accumulate less. My husband and I are newly reformed pack rats, after moving tons of stuff all over the Midwest. 🙂 But now that the children are mostly moved out, we’re giving away a lot of stuff and feeling the freedom of downsizing!

        And enjoy your plans for your trip west! The only advice I have is to give yourselves as much time as you can. You’ll be seeing some beautiful country!


  2. I have visited the Black Hills numerous times as it was my step-dad’s favorite vacation spot. I think I love everything about it by my kids were upset that they closed Flintstone’s Bedrock Village, they loved seeing it when they were little. I did really enjoy the caves!

    wfnren at aol dot com


  3. I have not had the pleasure to visit the Black Hills yet, it is on my Bucket List. I am looking forward to reading the Journey to pleasant prairie series, I usually wait until I have the whole series before I start reading. Can’t wait for your new books.


  4. I’ve been to the Black Hills once, but it was enough to make it one of my favorites! We had just spent a week visiting my in-laws in Nebraska, and I was so ready to get outta there! As soon as we left the flat prairie behind and entered the Black Hills, I felt like I could take a deep breath again. We camped behind Mount Rushmore and it was such a great getaway! I just love the mountains since my parents would take us camping and backpacking, so I feel at home there 🙂


    1. I’ve loved the mountains since I was a girl, too, Heidi! When we found out this was our next (and hopefully last) move, we were ecstatic. 🙂


  5. I have been to the Black Hills several times and love it more each time I see it. I think God must have really enjoyed making so many beautiful places in the world. I especially like to go to Spearfish Canyon.


  6. I have never been to the Black Hills and what intrigues me the most is seeing more of God’s beautiful creation hat we have in the USA.


    1. Hi Merry! I hope you are able to take a trip to the Black Hills someday. But you’re right – there is so much beauty all around the US. You really can’t go wrong, no matter where you visit!


  7. I’ve been to the Black Hills and Mt. Rushmore and loved visiting there. We saw some beautiful country. I do love my mountain valley in northern Utah, though. Our mountains are part of the Rocky Mountain range. We have so many different kinds of scenery in Utah, as well as 5 National Parks.


  8. On our way to moving from Oregon to Illinois years ago, we had opportunity to go through South Dakota. My husbands dad & mom used to either visit there or live there for a while. We didn’t have time to see Mt Rushmore but it’s definitely on our list of places to go & things to see one day! But what we did see was The Corn Palace & Wall Drug. You ever hear of those places Jan?? I believe we also stopped at Custer’s State Park, it’s been so long ago I just don’t remember right. We also stopped at a few trading posts where you could buy Indian jewelry & Black Hills gold jewelry. That area is steeped in Indian culture & history! Really neat to see and I do want to go back when we have more time. So many things to see!

    Thanks for the fun author interview and giveaway chance for Jan’s newest Amish book!


  9. I have been to the Black Hills years ago on vacation with my parents. The area is amazing and I remember how breathtaking Mount Rushmore is and to think of the talent it took to carve into that mountain. I would like to go back and revisit the area.


  10. Oh my, I was about 6 years old when we visited the Black Hills. I can remember Mount Rushmore and the Needle and my little 4 yr old sister pointing down into every steep ravine we drove by, asking, “If we drove down there, what then?” EVERY TIME!

    There were 5 of us kids in the CAR with my parents and no seat belts. It was hot and I’m sure we weren’t always happy! 🙂


  11. I have never been to South Datoka but have read books taking place there. The scenery sounds marvelous there and would love to visit.

    Cnnamongirl at aol dot com


  12. I like your sharing of your part of South Dakota. I live in Sioux Falls across the state but have been to your part of the state several times. I have a favorite cousin in Keystone. I love our state!


  13. It’s been many years since I visited the Black Hills. I would love to visit the 5 National Parks and Monuments. I love seeing the places where history was made!


  14. I have never visited The Black Hills but I would love to go just to see the pretty scenery. I absolutely love beautiful places. Thanks for the giveaway!


  15. I haven’t been to the black Hills but there are several beautiful NY state parks not far from us that we enjoy visiting as a family!


  16. We lived in South Dakota while my former husband attended seminary in Sioux Falls. My sister came for a visit and we went out to the Black Hills, to Laura Ingalls Wilder homestead with friends. Still have my Black Hills tri-gold ring…beautiful. Lots of prairie between Sioux Falls and the Hills.


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