Beads Are a Great Rainy Day Craft By Amanda Flower

At the end of last year, I retired from my job as a fulltime librarian to write fulltime. It was a dream come true to be able to do it, but at the same time, I was at a bit of a loss. For the last ten years, I was used to being very busy with working two fulltime jobs, one as a librarian and one as a mystery writer. I needed to find something to fill my time that wasn’t writing related.

I’m a runner, so I run a lot more than I did before I left the library. However, I found that wasn’t enough. I needed another creative outlet. Before I was published, I used to make jewelry for family and friends. This was a long time ago before websites like Etsy where artists could sell their creations. I decided that I would take up the hobby again and sell my pieces on Etsy. I opened the shop in March, and it’s been so much fun. Much of the jewelry I make is related to my books. For example, I made a pig line that, of course, was inspired by Jethro from the Amish Candy Shop Mysteries. I also just make pieces for fun or at customers’ requests.

It’s the perfect activity to do when it’s too cold or rainy to run outside. I loathe the treadmill and rarely run on one. It’s also a fun thing to do when I’m stuck on a plot point in one of the books that I’m writing. I have always found working with my hands lets my mind rest, so I can come back to the book with fresh eyes. My feline editors Cheeps and Tummy like to help and hinder the jewelry making process too, so it’s become a family affair.

If you would like to see my pieces just click over to Amanda Flower Designs on Etsy. ( I try to refresh the pieces every few months.

Amanda Flower, a USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning author of over twenty-five cozy mystery novels, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. In addition to being an author, Amanda is a former librarian with fifteen years of experience and lives in Northeast Ohio. Her latest novel is Toxic Toffee.

Matchmaking can be murder . . .

When widowed Millie Fisher moves back to her childhood home of Harvest, Ohio, she notices one thing right away—the young Amish are bungling their courtships and marrying the wrong people! A quiltmaker by trade, Millie has nevertheless stitched together a few lives in her time, with truly romantic results. Her first mission? Her own niece, widowed gardener Edith Hochstetler, recently engaged to rude, greedy Zeke Miller. Anyone can see he’s not right for such a gentle young woman—except Edith herself.

Pleased when she convinces the bride-to-be to leave her betrothed before the wedding, Millie is later panicked to find Zeke in Edith’s greenhouse—as dead as a tulip in the middle of winter. To keep her niece out of prison—and to protect her own reputation—Millie will have to piece together a patchwork of clues to find a killer, before she becomes the next name on his list . . .