2018 is going to great year for my readers! I will have four books coming out! Two are part of the Amish Candy Shop Mysteries. The first one to release it Lethal Licorice in March. It’s a fun mystery that includes candy, Amish culture, a twisty mystery, and a very mischievous pot-bellied pig. The reason four books are dropping this year is because I wrote four last year, which is a lot. It’s not personal record, which was six novels–completely nuts and will never happen again– but it was enough that I’m tired and need to relax and recharge a bit. I am exhausted.

Here’s the problem with relaxing and recharging, I’m terrible at it. I’m not Amish–never have been. (I thought I should put that out there since I get asked that question a lot since I write about Amish people.) However, I understand the Amish need to be busy ALL THE TIME. I need a project. I hate days where I feel like I don’t accomplish anything. For me, those are the very worst. I think this is one of the many reasons that I love being a writer because I always have a project going. However, this need, when I really should take a break so that I don’t teeter over the edge into complete burnout, isn’t great. So I have to find something else to do on the cold winter nights when I’m not writing. That’s where my knitting comes in.

Confession time. I am a terrible knitter. Seriously. If I made you a sweater, it would come out as a strait jacket. Do yourself a favor and don’t put on anything that I make. Ever.

Once when I was on a writing break, I knitted a whole family of ugly snowmen, including a snowcat and snowdog. (Photo included for your amusement.) I have also knitted pumpkins and Easter bunnies. This is the honest truth. Currently, I am working on a scarf. The project is at the touch-and-go stage. I thought things were going great until I knitted when I should have pearled, and now I have to unravel half of what I have done.

Even though I am a terrible knitter, I find the craft soothing. It keeps my hands busy and gives me a sense of purpose when I need a break from writing. Also, unlike my writing where I hold myself to a high standard, I don’t expect much of my knitting. I know it will be ugly. I know it will make my friends and family laugh, and I’m completely fine with that. It’s liberating to do something for fun with no expectations.

Do you have a craft that you love to do that you are terrible at? I would love to hear about it!


Too many sweets spoil the murder . . .

Harvest, Ohio, is a long way from New York City, where Bailey King left a coveted job as a head chocolatier to take over Swissmen Sweets, her Amish grandparents’ candy shop. Now, while caring for her recently widowed grandmother, she plans to honor her grandfather’s memory by entering the annual Amish Confectionery Competition. But between lavender blueberry fudge and chocolate cherry ganache truffles, Bailey may have bitten off more than she can chew when the search for a missing pot-bellied pig turns up a body suffering from sugar overload—the fatal kind . . .

A candy maker from a neighboring town who wanted Englischer Bailey disqualified for being an outsider, Josephine Weaver died from an allergy to an essential licorice ingredient. The suspects include: Josephine’s niece, a young woman going through her rumspringa, or running around time, and Bailey herself. Now it falls to Bailey, who’s sweet on the local sheriff’s deputy, to clear their names and entice a killer with a cast-iron stomach for cold-blooded murder . . .

Recipe Included!

Amanda Flower, a national bestselling and Agatha Award-winning mystery author. She also writes mysteries as USA Today bestselling author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is librarian in Northeast Ohio. Follow Amanda on Social Media at: Facebook Twitter Instagram