Mary is the author of the Amish Lantern Mystery series. She hails from Sokane, Washington, where she live with her family and a “really cut-but sometimes naughty-chihuahua.
Peppermint Twist by Mary B. Barbee
When travel journalist Sophia Adams learns that she has a special Christmas assignment in the small town of Breeze, Washington, she couldn’t be more excited. But after coming close to hitting a young man with her rental car on the way into town, she worries that this might not be the Christmas experience she was expecting.
Convinced that a visit to the Amish bakery the next morning would fix everything, the investigative reporter quickly notices that, despite the delicious treats, there isn’t a whole lot of peace on earth happening in Breeze.
Armed with her camera and pen in hand, Sophia discovers that the small town contains wonderful Christmas lights, spectacular camera shots, edge-of-your-seat action …and a peppermint tea that is simply to die for.
What was your favorite or most memorable gift you got as a child?
My most memorable Christmas gift as a child was a Hasbro Pound Puppy (this was in the 80s – ha!). I remember the toy like it was yesterday – his name was Charlie on the adoption certificate, and he was light brown with dark brown spots and big floppy ears. To this day, I’m a big supporter of rescuing pups. I think Charlie might have inspired me at a young age.
Why did you choose Breeze as the setting for your book?
Peppermint Twist is set in a fictional small town called Breeze, located about an hour’s drive northwest of Spokane, Washington. I chose it because it’s my stomping ground! I moved to the Spokane area a little over two years ago, and I just love it here. This is my first time creating a story set near my hometown, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Can you share an enticing (50 words or less) snippet that isn’t in the blurb?
“Wait. Are you going to arrest them?” Sophia asked in a whisper. She was fighting back tears of her own.
“You can’t do this, Lacey,” Sophia urged.
Lacey gave Sophia an intense look before she leaned in and whispered, “Unfortunately, I can’t NOT do this.” Her head hung low, she turned to walk away.
How does this story connect with your other books or series?
Peppermint Twist is the second book in my new spinoff series, The Faith Afar Mysteries. The main character, Sophia Adams, is a travel journalist for a faith tourism magazine named Faith Afar, and she travels to a new assignment in each book.
I introduced Sophia Adams as a supporting character in book four of my first standalone mystery series, The Amish Lantern Mystery Series, and the idea for the spinoff grew from there. Writing The Faith Afar Mysteries has been so fun – and challenging! – with only one main character in common in each book, and new characters and a new setting to explore in each new story.
What would be a great gift for your character?
A good, practical gift for Sophia Adams would be a subscription for grocery delivery. She is a busy woman, and can’t seem to find time to keep her kitchen stocked when she’s home!
Have you gotten your copy yet?