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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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 www.AmyClipston.com 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!

An Amish Home: Review by Susan Scott Ferrell

An Amish Home – Four Authors plus Four Novellas equals Literary Magic!

An Amish HomeOkay. So I’m just going to list the authors: Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid, and Kathleen Fuller. If you are familiar with the Amish genre, this should be enough of a review for you to go ahead and get your copy of An Amish Home. For those readers that are not familiar with these authors – or need a little more cajoling – here is a brief synopsis, as well as my take, on each novella. Bottom line? Grab it!

A Cup Half Full by Beth Wiseman takes readers on a journey with Sarah Lantz and her new husband Abram. Sarah has been left unable to walk following a buggy accident and Abram is riddled with guilt over it. Abram remodels their home to aid Sarah. Sarah struggles to accept a life she never dreamed of. Can Sarah and Abram find their way home to one another?

My takeA Cup Half Full was well written. The storylines were very believable. The novella did seem to end abruptly. That being said, it may have seemed abrupt because I wanted to know what happened next!

Home Sweet Home by Amy Clipston tells the charming, yet heart-wrenching story of Englischers Chace and Mia O’Conner. Chace and Mia have had one hardship after another. When Chace’s Amish employer offers his daadihaus will it be a place of refuge or just more storm and stress and strife?

My takeHome Sweet Home was an enchanting read. I found myself pulling for Chace and Mia every step of the way. I could easily see this being a full-length novel, as there seemed so much more to explore. Well done, Amy Clipston – yet again!

A Flicker of Hope by Ruth Reid shares the amazing story of Thomas and Noreen King. Fifteen years ago, they were inseparable love birds, finding their way as newlyweds. As the years went by, so did their pull towards one another. When a devastating fire takes away all of their earthly possessions, what is left? Can they find their way back to each other – to home?

My takeA Flicker of Hope was a riveting read. It takes readers seamlessly between the present-day angst of a seasoned couple and the courting/newlywed euphoria fifteen years prior. I found myself pulling for Thomas and Noreen through every travail.

Building Faith by Kathleen Fuller brings readers on an interesting journey. Faith Miller is a young Amish maedel – not so unusual. But? But she also has a love for carpentry – definitely not the norm in an Amish community! She is overjoyed to be asked to build cabinets for her cousin’s new home…until she finds out that she will have to work with Silas Graber – her ex-fiancé! Neither is thrilled, and both have personal reasons for doing the project, but might this be the olive branch that’s needed?

My takeBuilding Faith was a great novella to end the book. It has its light-hearted, funny moments as well as some scenes that really tugged at the heart. As with the other three novellas, I would have easily read another 100 pages about this couple’s journey!

I was given An Amish Home in exchange for my honest review. It was phenomenal. Often when there is a collection like this, there is a novella (or two) that falls short. That is not the case with An Amish Home. Each one was strongly written with intricate storylines and engaging characters. I didn’t want it to end. This quartet of authors has found literary magic and I hope they team up again for another collection. Now – if you still are reading this and haven’t snagged a copy: What are you waiting for? Geh!

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!