Friday, September 11, 2015

Fabulous Friday Feature-Amy Clipston



Today we welcome author:
Amy Clipston

One commenter will win a copy of
Amy's books:

 A Gift of Love
and
A Season of Love
Two winners will be chosen!!
Scroll down to see how.


Mary here. I'm so glad you joined us today. I was touched by Amy's story about her kidney donation. She told me a bit of what is in her book, "A Gift of Love". Such a calling. Such a gift. Today, Amy expands what she told me by sharing with you how God lead her on her writing journey--the fruit of God inspired circumstances. This is what she said:



A Leap of Faith

I always wrote for fun as a child. While in elementary school I carried notebooks and filled them with silly stories that I shared with only one friend. In junior high and high school, my stories turned into fan fiction based on my favorite television shows or movies. Back then writing was a stress-reliever and a fun hobby.

When I entered college, both my time and my muse dissolved, and I didn’t find the passion for writing again until I was married and had my first son. I stopped writing fan fiction and I started writing romance novels. After attending a meeting for a local chapter of Romance Writers of America, I realized I no longer wanted to write as a hobby and instead pursue the dream of seeing my name on the cover of a book. I quickly landed a contract with a literary agent, but my romance novels did not sell as easily as I’d hoped.

My agent tried to place seven of my romance novels. She emailed me one day and suggested I try writing Christian fiction. I’d been a Christian since I was little and always had a strong faith, but I’d never tried to write Christian fiction.

I prayed about it and researched Christian fiction. My heart led me to Amish fiction. At first, I was afraid to write Amish fiction because it was so far out of my comfort zone. After all, I believed I was supposed to write romance novels! When I thought about writing Amish fiction, I feared I wasn’t good enough. I kept praying, however, and an idea of a book, which eventually became A Gift of Grace, gripped me.

I quickly put together a proposal, including the first three chapters of the book and blurbs for two books to follow in the series. Amazingly, after trying to sell romance books for nearly two years, I sold an Amish book on proposal to Zondervan Publishing, even though the first book wasn’t completed yet.

Was God’s hand in my writing?  Absolutely! He guided my heart in the decision to not only write Christian fiction, but also to write stories about the Amish.

Doors opened for me. A friend invited me to contact her mother, who had an Amish friend in Pennsylvania. The friend, (whom I will call “Ruth” to protect her identity), opened her home to me and has since become a dear friend. She helps me with research for my books. God had led me to Ruth.

Thanks to Ruth, I learned a lot about the Amish cultural. I also learned a lot about myself. Ruth has made me want to be a better Christian, wife, and mother. I admire the quiet and patient way she interacts with her children and also the humble way in which she makes God the center of her life. I respect the Amish culture and how members of the community are focused on God and family. I look forward to visiting Ruth at least once every year, and I find a renewed faith in God every time I sit and talk with her.

My books have also deepened my relationship with God. When I work on a story, I pray often and ask God to guide my words and make them pleasing to Him. I’ve received emails from readers who’ve told me they have felt God in my books. I’m humbled that He has used my books to touch others.

When I received my first book contract with Zondervan Publishing, my husband was facing a second kidney transplant. Our family was in an emotional and financial turmoil as we faced his kidney disease. I’m so grateful God led me to write my first Amish series because the books carried us through a very tough time. The Lord provided for us during this time of need.

Mary here- Amy wrote this compelling story of not only her husband’s need but also her special gift to another person in her book, “A Gift of Love”.

I’m grateful God led me to write Christian fiction. I’m also grateful for the wonderful friends I’ve made because of my books—both authors and readers alike. My Amish books have been a tremendous blessing in my life, and I’m grateful that God called me to take a leap of faith and write them.

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Click HERE to see or buy
 The Gift of Love
Amy Clipston is the award winning and bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including the Kauffman Amish Bakery series and the Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series. Her novels have hit multiple bestseller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Amy holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. An advocate for organ and blood donation, Amy donated a kidney in 2011 at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Through her donation, her husband received a second kidney transplant. Amy and her husband matched another couple and swapped kidneys with them. Amy’s memoir, A Gift of Love, details their journey through her husband’s kidney transplants. She hopes her story inspires others to become organ and blood donors. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and four spoiled, rotten cats. 

You can learn more about Amy Clipston at:
FacebookTwitter  

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Click HERE to see or buy
A Season of Love

A Season of Love


In the fifth and final novel of the Kauffman Amish Bakery Series, three young women are about to change their lives. Lizzie Anne and Samuel have decided to get married, and Lindsay is about to be baptized in the Amish faith and is courting Matthew. While Katie Kauffman is happy for her friends who seem to have settled their futures, she is also finding herself something of a fifth wheel. When Lindsay’s sister Jessica returns to Bird-in-Hand, she finds that Jake Miller has moved on with his life. He lost hope that Jessica would ever be satisfied to settle in rural Pennsylvania and takes comfort in becoming close friends with Katie. However, it’s not an easy road as Jake is Mennonite and Katie has just been baptized in the Amish faith. Her father forbids them to see each other, adamant that his daughter marry an Amish man. A Season of Love is filled with surprising twists that will grip you to the very last words.

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Enter the contest to win a copy of 
Amy's books:
A Gift of Love and A Season of Love
here is how:

leave a comment (and email address)
AND become a follower of this blog
AND/OR sign up to receive posts by email
AND/OR sign up to receive my quarterly newsletter

if you aren't already

US only

The winner will be announced on my Facebook page

Thank you, Amy, for joining us this weekend!

We enjoy chatting with you and are looking forward to reading your comments and questions. Or at least your hi, hello, or hey.

Thanks for stopping by!


Don't forget to comment!

Some of us haven't read Amish stories. After reading Amy's experience with her new Amish friend, "Ruth" and what Ruth has taught her, I'm curious. You, too? What would you like to learn about the Amish?

48 comments:

  1. Love Amy Clipston and her books. I enjoyed reading this article, very informative.

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    1. Good morning, Barb! I'm so glad to see you here this morning. Amy's story is one that touches the heart. Not only God's leading her to a treasured Amish friend but also her choosing to donate a kidney. Her life has had many sharp peaks and valleys. Ones that truly inspire.
      Thanks for chatting with us today, Barb. So nice to meet you.

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    2. Thank you so much, Barb! I appreciate your sweet comments!

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  2. I've never read an Amish story, but I've been looking into reading Amy's Kauffman Amish Bakery series because it sounds so intriguing! And I love the new covers! They look great together. I first became interested in Amy's books when I read the blurb for The Gift of Love. That's such an amazing story!!! Thank you for the interview and giveaway!
    Mdp94 (at) bellsouth (dot) net

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    1. You are so welcome, Morgan.
      I am totally at the same place you are. I just needed Amy's nudge to dive into Amish stories. Race you to the bookshelf!
      Good chatting with you today, Morgan :)

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    2. Thank you so much, Morgan! I'm thrilled that you like my new Kauffman Amish Bakery covers. I'm thrilled with them. Thank you for checking out my books!

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  3. Real life and fictional lives imagined for Amy are both inspiring. Thank you for introducing us to her, Mary. I enjoyed the Amish fiction books and would like to read hers, too. I have always wanted to know more about Amish cooking/baking! So her books have that tasty appeal. Thank you for entering me into this contest. Blessings to you both. (And I know Mary's chef daughter would have the same interest in these books.)

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    1. Oh, Janice. You are so right! I'll have to get her a set for Christmas and, of course, the ingredients as well. Looks like some good eaten' at the Vee house. :)

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  4. Real life and fictional lives imagined for Amy are both inspiring. Thank you for introducing us to her, Mary. I enjoyed the Amish fiction books and would like to read hers, too. I have always wanted to know more about Amish cooking/baking! So her books have that tasty appeal. Thank you for entering me into this contest. Blessings to you both. (And I know Mary's chef daughter would have the same interest in these books.)

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  5. Oh this series sounds amazing, I can't wait to read it!! I just love meeting new to me authors!!

    alander87 at allcom dot net

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    1. Hi Abby,
      Great to see you. I'm enjoying hosting new authors. The road God leads each person is bursting with goodness for all of us to read about.
      Good chatting with you, Abby!!

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  6. I have not yet read this series but I am looking forward to it. I just love Amish themed stories. It was interesting to read that you started as a romance novelist and then switched to Christian fiction concentrating on Amish fiction. I am glad you did. Your stories are wonderful. I already follow the blog, get the newsletter, and receive posts by email. l.bergh@sbcglobal.net

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    1. Good morning, Laurie.
      God has a way of moving us into the perfect places. I'm researching the story of Amy Carmichael. Wow. She, too, was juggled around, given illnesses, coworkers who didn't like her--through it all she held strong to her faith and God's calling. Sounds a lot like Amy's story.
      I'm so glad you stopped by to chat with Amy and me today, Laurie!

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  7. I loved reading about Amy's writing journey - thank you!!

    I love the simplicity, strength, and convictions of the Amish - and love touring their communities, purchasing their beautiful crafts and delicious foods, etc. (especially eating a meal in an Amish home). Amy is blessed that God led her to Ruth - I would be blessed to have an Amish friend, as well.

    I have Amy's beautiful 'The Gift of Love' - having a special interest, as I lost a kidney, due to cancer. I'd love to read 'A Season of Love' - thanks for the giveaway opportunity!!

    bonnierof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

    I am a follower.

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    Replies
    1. Good morning, Bonnie!
      I was talking with Amy, and found a connection with her as well. I think God opens our eyes to these connections helping us to partner with each other. And a connection with an author causes me to want to read her book all the more. Don't you think?
      Have an awesome day, Bonnie. I hope it's sunny where you are.

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    2. Bonnie, I pray you are doing well. You are in my prayers. Thank you for reading The Gift of Love.

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  8. Thanks, Mary, for the interview. Loved it. Both of Amy's books sound fascinating and her faith story is compelling. Thanks for sharing with us! Happy writing!

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    1. Hey, Angie!
      Been enjoying your blog posts as well. I'm so glad you pop over here to visit with us. I, too, find Amy's faith story so very compelling. God has truly directed her life in an interesting way.

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  9. I love the books that I have read by Amy Clipston. I hope to read both of these soon.
    Thereadmaster(at)me(dot)com

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    1. Hi Virginia!
      So glad to see you. I really enjoy hearing others say they have read books by the author who is visiting with us. This is a validation to everyone else of the strength of the author's stories. Thanks so much for chatting with Amy and me today!

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  10. Would love to win this book. Thank you for another giveaway and interview.

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    1. Hi Ann,
      Great to see you! Your name is "in the hat" :) Have a super day!

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  11. Thank you for the wonderful interview with Amy. It's wonderful to read how God has blessed her life with Amish fiction writing and also how He spoke to her heart to be an organ donor. I would love to read these books.
    marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com
    Maryann

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    1. Hi, Maryann!!
      I totally agree. God has blessed her willingness to do what He asked. I hope you have a chance to read several of her wonderful books. Thanks so much for chatting with us today!

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  13. The interview with Mrs. Clipston was interesting. I could identify with her reaction to associating with the Amish, in wanting to be a better Christian. I've read several Amish fiction books, and some non-fiction, and the same thing has happened to me. Glory to God! He leads us in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Amen!
    I would love to read Amy's books, "A Gift of Love", and "A Season of Love", and really, any book she has written. I hope to win. Thanks for reading.

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    1. Oops! I forgot to include my email:
      acrylicboyar123@gmail.com


      God bless you and yours. Romans 10:8-13 John 3:16-21

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    2. Hi Nancy!
      I'm so excited to meet you. Sometimes we need to hear what is going on in the author's life to realize impact their stories can have, even in our own lives. I hope you have an opportunity to pick up more of her books. But for now, maybe you'll be the winner of this drawing :)
      I hope to see you again.

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    3. HI Nancy! Thanks for entering the contest!

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  14. Thank you for the great interview and the giveaway. It is always enjoyable to hear from the authors of books I like! Here's hoping to win.

    anne at rightler dot com

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    1. Ah hah, so you've read some of Amy's books. That is awesome! Maybe you will be the winner:) In the mean time, I glad you came to chat with Amy and me today!

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    2. Thank you for checking out my books, Anne!

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  15. Good Saturday afternoon Amy and Mary. We are experiencing an early Fall day here in KY and I am enjoying coffee (real, not virtual) as I read your interview. Amy, I'm glad that you felt led to write Amish fiction and one of your opening remarks resonated with me. My best friend read my stories and she also told me I should be a writer. I never pursued being an author of books but I have written in the form of publicity articles for my libraries; various items for my church and in the notes and cards that I send weekly to people needing encouragement. My friend died a few years ago of pancreatic cancer but I know she would be pleased. Amy, I wish you continued success and once again, thanks to you Mary, for another great Friday post!
    Blessings!
    Connie
    cps1950 at gmail dot com

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    1. Connie,
      What a wonderful ministry you have! You have blessed so many people with your notes and cards...an art so long lost. I would think the recipients still have them tucked away to bring back out and reread when in need of encouragement. You do have a gift, Connie!
      Thanks so much for sipping your coffee and chatting with us. I look forward to seeing you again.

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    2. Connie, I am so sorry for your loss. Please do pursue your dream of writing books. And never give up! I experienced quite a bit of rejection, but I believed in my hear that someday I would see my name on a cover. Go after that dream! You can do it. Sending prayers for you.

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  16. I've yet to read a book by Amy, but I do have a copy of "An Amish Cradle" novella collection sitting on my shelf awaiting it's turn!! I also love reading about how authors get their inspiration for their books, sometimes it's a chosen favorite genre, sometimes it's at the suggestion of friends/family or their editors/agents or still some by divine inspiration from God! I love learning more about authors I know through reading different blogs. Thank you for featuring Amy today & for the chance to win two of her books!

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com
    I also am a blog follower & receive posts and newsletters via email :-)

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    1. Hi Trixi!
      With cooler temperatures coming, having the collection handy for a good read with a cup of cocoa seems like a good idea. So, what is your favorite genre?
      To me, one of the best parts of the question we ask here is finding out how God led these authors on their journey. It isn't always a path of learning to write, sometimes its like Amy's where her path included donating a kidney. I totally agree with you. Reading what God has done for other is exciting.
      I'm so glad you stopped by today, Trixi!

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    2. Hi Mary! I so agree with you about cooler weather prompting one to curl up with a book & cup of hot chocolate or tea! I love to read anytime myself, but it seems when the season changes to Autumn and Winter, it provokes one to want to slow down a bit :-) As far as my favorite genre, it's historical! Especially anything written in the 1800-1900's. Julie Klassen got me hooked on the Regency period and I've also read a book by Sarah Ladd. I'm definitely going to be reading more from her, she tossed me in the middle of the story and didn't let me go until the end!! I love authors who can do that to me with their writing :-)
      Then from there, suspense plays a very close second! I've discovered many wonderful authors of this genre, too many to name :-) I also enjoy Amish fiction. Although, I don't read as many of those as I would really like to! One common theme in each of the books is, of course, romance! I love a good love story no matter the genre! Above all else, it must be Christian with a strong spiritual theme throughout! I love to see characters grow in their walk with God or come to give their lives to him if they haven't yet. That's truly the crux of what I chose to read :-)
      I know I've made thing a long reply, but as you can see, it's no easy answer for me...lol! I am an eccentric reader often switching between genres to satisfy my reading mood at the time. And lastly, I do adore series! Especially about a family group where you get a true depth of the characters.
      Thanks for letting me share my love for reading! Have a blessed Sunday, Mary :-)

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    3. Hi Trixi! Thank you for entering the contest. I hope you enjoy An Amish Cradle!

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    4. Trixi,
      Funny you should mention the importance of the middle. I'm speaking to a group of high schoolers this week about writing a good beginning, middle, end. For the section on the middle I plan to tell them it should read like a couch potato wrote it. It should sound like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a battle, back and forth wrote it. This for any genre keeps that action going. Love chatting with you.
      I'd like to know which book are you planning to read next.

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    5. Mary,

      I just got done reading Roseanna Whites' "The Lost Heiress" last night. As one of her influencers, I received a free copy for helping promote her book and review on various online sites. It was a fantastic read & I can't wait for her next one in this series to come out. I'm not really sure which book is next, I'm thinking something along the suspense line. Guess I'll have to go perusing my bookshelf to see what pops out at me. I do have an older Terri Reed Love Inspired Suspense I picked up at my friends of the library book sale called "Double Deception", it's practically calling my name :-) So I guess that would answer both your question and mine!
      Like I said, I love it when an author tosses me in the middle of the story! And I think for me too, the middle of the book seems to always be where the book picks up the pace. Not that I've never been drawn in at the very beginning because I have, but there's just something of importance about the middle as you stated here :-) I love "chatting" with you too Mary. Always interesting to get to know a person that way. Blessings to you, my dear!

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Thank you for commenting! Your thoughts add a lot to our conversations and the Never Give Up Stories