An Amish Summer: Review by Susan Scott Ferrell


An Amish Summer – Bring it On!

When you happen upon a novel that contains the stories of four well-known Amish-genre authors, your heart skips a beat. Well, at least mine does – especially when I have the opportunity to read Shelley Shepard Gray, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, and Kelly Irvin! So when An Amish Summer arrived, I said, “Bring it on!”

A Reunion in Pinecraft by Shelley Shepard Gray follows sisters Sharon and Sherilyn Kramer, who have made the trek to Florida for vacation…and perhaps something more. Sherry has been exchanging letters with an Amish man named Graham. Sherry and Graham have decided to rendezvous in Pinecraft. But Graham is shocked to find that he’s been writing to the wrong sister! Now he must choose who he really likes – but it’s not that easy. Who will get a match? Read and find out!

My Take: A Reunion in Pinecraft was a good, quick read. The characters were winsome, and Shelley Shepard Gray kept this reader guessing ‘til the end. Definitely a good start with this first novella of the collection.

Summer Storm by Amy Clipston tells the story of Arianna and her lifetime friend and fiancée, Jesse. All is going according to plan until one eventful night that involves Arianna’s brother (and Jesse’s best friend), Tobias. When Arianna’s dad forbids their union as a result, all plans come to a halt…and maybe that is God’s will after all?

My Take: Summer Storm was a page-turner. The story was believable and agonizing. I couldn’t put it down until I knew just what would happen! Now I want the story to continue!

Lakeside Love by Kathleen Fuller takes you an a journey with Esther Coblentz. Esther has always struggled with comparing herself to her gorgeous younger sister, Sarah. She can’t even catch the attention of her secret love, Judah (whose smitten for Sarah.) When a handsome Yankee named Rhett comes to live with the Coblentzes, everything is turned on end.

My Take: Lakeside Love is a beautiful, charming story of summer romance. Sarah is a hoot – and the other characters are downright loveable. I’d love to go to their lake and just stay for a while. Outstanding novella.

One Sweet Kiss by Kelly Irvin brings you to Bee County, Texas, Jacob King, and Martha Byler. Jacob only has eyes for Martha, and it seems almost everyone can see that but Martha. Martha is afraid to trust again – especially since her mother’s death. Her place is with her father, raising her siblings. Besides, Jacob is a poster child for rumspringas. Martha doesn’t need yet more responsibility. What will happen?

My Take: One Sweet Kiss was an amusing, captivating read. At one point my life had to stop so that I could finish this novella! The subplots were well-executed – I think we all know a Dwayne – and I adored the Simon/Amanda story and the way it was handled.

I was given An Amish Summer in exchange for my honest review. It was fabulous! Each novella held its own (not always the case with a collection of novellas.) This is the perfect book to take with you to the beach. Even if you’re not headed to the beach, don’t waste any time snagging your copy of An Amish Summer – it’s worth the read!

Susan Ferrell and her husband make their home in the Atlanta Metro area. Although Susan struggles with chronic migraine headaches, she stays very busy as a stay-at-home mom to one very precocious little girl. While catching her breath, she feeds her Amishaholic tendencies by reading vast amounts of Amish literature!

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An Interview and Giveaway with Amy Clipston

We are celebrating Mother’s Day with an interview and giveaway featuring the lovely Amy Clipston! Amy’s latest release is The Beloved Hope Chest, the fourth and final installment in the Amish Heirloom series. (Check out Susan’s review HERE)

Welcome, Amy!

Do you have any special traditions you used to do with your mom when you were a little girl on Mother’s Day?

I remember making my mother gifts at school, and no matter how terrible my artwork was, she still loved it.

Out of all of your novels, who is your favorite mother?

Mattie Fisher from my Amish Heirloom series is my favorite! She’s modeled after my mother with her patient, loving heart. My mom and I sit together and have a cup of tea every night, just like Mattie and her daughters do.

What was your most favorite book to read to your boys when they were little?

Zac absolutely loved Big Joe’s Trailer Truck by Joe Mathieu! He knew it by heart! It’s the cutest book, and I read it to Matt also. We kept it and will pass it on if they have children.

What’s one of your favorite memories/stories of your boys with your books? Has anything special you recall been used in one of your books?

For the past four years I’ve spoken to the 6th grade at my boys’ middle school. I don’t think I embarrassed them too badly when they were members of the audience. One of my sons doesn’t tell many people that I write books, but my other son proudly shares it with friends and teachers. He frequently comes home from school and tells me that the girls in his classes are reading my books. I’m thankful he’s not embarrassed by me or my books.
Can you share a special memory of your mother?

My favorite memory as a child is going to the movies with my mother every Saturday. We would go to see a matinee, and we had the best time! My love of movies truly comes from my parents.

This might sound corny, but my mom and I make special memories every day. She lives with my family and me, and she’s my best friend. We watch movies and television shows together, and we share books. While I’m working on a book, she sits in the same room and reads in order to keep my company. She helps me plot out my stories and she reads my books for typos. I can’t imagine not having her in my life. I’m so thankful God blessed me with the best mom!

Amy is giving away some fun goodies just for YOU! Enter to win by filling out the Rafflecopter below. Good Luck!

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Amy Clipston has been writing for as long as she can remember. Her fiction writing “career” began in elementary school when she and a close friend wrote and shared silly stories. She has a degree in communications from Virginia Wesleyan College and is a member of the Authors Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America. She is the author of the bestselling Kauffman Amish Bakery series with Zondervan, which is part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing. 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, will be available in early 2014. She hopes her story inspires others to become organ and blood donors. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, mother, and four spoiled rotten cats. You can find her on the web at or on Facebook.

The Beloved Hope Chest: Review by Susan Scott Ferrell

The Beloved Hope Chest – Some Bumps, but Worth the Read

Beloved Hope ChestIt finally arrived! Mamm Mattie’s story is being told by Amy Clipston! The Beloved Hope Chest, the fourth and final installment in the Amish Heirloom series is in the books! I have mixed reviews about this one – so press on.

The Beloved Hope Chest finally reveals Mattie’s secrets to her three daughters. There’s been a recipe, a picnic basket, and a quilt – somehow they are all tied to Mattie. Not only does the story involved Mattie, but it also involves their father, Leroy. As she unpacks the memories in her mind, a tragic yet triumphant message emerges.

I was given The Beloved Hope Chest in exchange for my honest review. It can be read as a stand-alone, but I highly recommend reading the other three in the series to give better context. While I was thrilled to read Mattie’s story, I was a bit disappointed. I’ve encountered similar stories like this one in the Amish genre – at least four times in the last year. Additionally, I felt that the story could have been told in ¾ of the pages; it tended to drag a bit, and extra “drama” was added with people gasping and mouth gaping open. A longer Epilogue would have been nice, too. But perhaps that was because I didn’t want to say goodbye to this series!

Having said all of that above, I will also say that Clipston thoroughly fleshed out the characters. They drew me in and wouldn’t let go. I particularly enjoyed the sweet relationship Mattie and her mother shared. And I found Leroy to be such a wonderful character as well – all men should aspire to such living! All in all, I thought this to be a good read. It had a few bumps along the way, but it was well worth the time to finally out the secrets of Mattie’s beloved hope chest.

Susan Ferrell and her husband make their home in the Atlanta Metro area. Although Susan struggles with chronic migraine headaches, she stays very busy as a stay-at-home mom to one very precocious little girl. While catching her breath, she feeds her Amishaholic tendencies by reading vast amounts of Amish literature!