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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!

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.

An Intimate Interview with Renowned Author Suzanne Woods Fisher by Susan Scott Ferrell

Suzanne Woods FisherToday we have the honor interviewing author Suzanne Woods Fisher. By the end, you’ll know more about her – personally, spiritually and professionally!

Suzanne, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to allow us to peak into your life for a bit.

Let’s get PERSONAL…

DA: You have mentioned that your grandfather was raised Plain. Was he raised Amish?

SWF: My grandfather was one of eleven children, born into a German Baptist (or Dunkard) family in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. The Dunkards could be considered cousins to the Amish – they are Anabaptists (baptized as adults), with a similar theology to the Amish and the Mennonites, and share many core values.

DA: Why did he decide to leave the Plain life?

SWF: The Dunkards do not practice “shunning” (actually, only the Amish practice shunning as a church discipline, and only after one has been baptized). Although my grandfather was raised in a farming family, he had an intellectual bent. He became a schoolteacher (one room schoolhouse) and then went to Penn State to major in Agricultural Economics. He did “farming reports” for KDKA Pittsburgh (first radio station in the country). I think his path was set after that – he never returned to farming, though he maintained a very close relationship with his siblings.

DA: You have said that you have a great admiration for the Plain people and that one does not have to ‘go Amish to incorporate many of their principles into [life].’ How do you personally incorporate Amish values into your daily living?

SWF: On a practical level, I try to make decisions based on principles of simplicity. Doing so helps me clarify complicated issues and distill them down to their essence. The curious thing is that simple living looks different for everyone. For example, we lived in Hong Kong for four years – a crowded, vertical city! And yet it became a time of great simplicity for our family. We kept family life honed to the basics: what was easy, doable, and kept us close together.

DA: You have family that were raised Plain, and I know you visit the east frequently for research. Do you think that the Englisch romanticize the Amish and their way of life?

SWF: The Amish are either romanticized…or skewered! Nothing in between. I think they would prefer to be viewed as imperfect people who love God.
As for those who romanticize them: some of that comes from the Amish’s rural life, with a heightened view of nature. Some of it comes from the deep community that surrounds them.
As for those who skewer them (and I get plenty of emails from those people) – they accept media misconceptions as truth, they believe there is a one-size-fits-all for the Amish, and they can’t see another culture without applying their own filter over them.

DA: Congratulations on the newest addition of your family! Give us the details!

SWF: Thank you! Madeline Claire was born on October 3rd to my son and daughter-in-law, and she is adorable! Only complaint her parents have is that she sleeps all day and is awake all night. They are exhausted!

Let’s get SPIRITUAL…

DA: You often mention how important prayer is to you. Of course, it should be so for everyone, but why is it for you? Did you have a “watershed moment” that made prayer a priority in your life?

SWF: Great question! Have you ever noticed what the first recorded words are of God in the Bible? You’ll find them in Genesis 1: “Let there be light.” Those are powerful words! For me, so much of prayer is God shedding light on my thoughts, my actions, my choices, my life.

DA: Why do you think prayer is important?

SWF: Prayer is such a gift and such a mystery – why would the living and sovereign God of this massive universe want to hear from us?! And yet, Scripture tells us that He longs to be in constant conversation with us. “From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth – he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do” (Psalm 33:13-15, NIV).

Let’s get PROFESSIONAL…

DA: When did you discover your love for writing and what was the first work your wrote and thought, “Ah, I really can write!”?

SWF: Still waiting for that moment! But I have always loved to write. I don’t remember a single teacher (or my parents, either) who noticed my writing as exceptional. It was a strength for me (way more so than math!), but what drives me is a passion to write, and to write well. I don’t think I’m a gifted writer. Just a hard working writer!

DA: You have a new book, The Devoted, that just released. I read it and absolutely LOVED it! (Readers see review here.) For those that haven’t read your Bishop Family series yet, this is the third and final book in the series. Who is your favorite character in The Devoted and why?

SWF: David Stoltzfus! He’s inspired by an Amish bishop I’ve had the privilege to know, and I really enjoyed how David had those “aha” moments in Scripture, to help him clarify a sticky situation (See? Another variation on the theme of “Let there be light!”).

DA: What predominant truth do you want readers to come away with after reading The Devoted?

SWF: There’s a couple of different truths in Devoted: When is enough, enough? Cherishing time. Don’t confuse wanting to matter with what really matters. And maybe the best of all: Without God, the Promised Land is nothing.

DA: What are you working on for your next writing project?

SWF: My next two releases are historical fiction about the first Amish who came to America. The Amish Beginnings series started with Anna’s Crossing as a stand alone, but readers wanted more! In February, The Newcomer continues Anna’s story. Later in the summer, The Return concludes the series.

DA: Thanks again for stopping by! It’s so wonderful getting to know you better.

SWF: Thank you! I’m grateful for Destination Amish – how it connects readers and authors and interests in common.

Okay, readers! Comment below and tell us what your favorite Suzanne Woods Fisher novel is for an opportunity to win an autographed copy of The Devoted! Winner will be chosen November 8, 2016.

The Devoted by Suzanne Woods Fisher


Suzanne Woods Fisher has a specialty: she writes about real people living in faith-based communities. With over 750,000 copies of books sold worldwide, she is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than twenty-five books, ranging from children’s books (‘The Adventures of Lily Lapp’ series) to novels (“The Choice”) to non-fiction books (“Amish Peace: Simple Living for a Complicated World”).

When Suzanne isn’t writing, she’s probably playing with puppies. She’s been involved with Guide Dogs for the Blind for over fifteen years. Raising puppies, she says, is like eating a potato chip. You just can’t stop at one.

Readers are invited to stop by Suzanne’s website at: www.suzannewoodsfisher.com

Interview and Giveaway with Shelley Shepard Gray

Hi, Shelley. Welcome back to Destination Amish! Tell readers all about your new book, A Christmas Bride in Pinecraft.

It’s such a pleasure to be back at Destination Amish. Thank you so much for the invitation!

It’s a little hard for me to sum up A Christmas Bride in Pinecraft because there’s a lot going on in the book. First and foremost, it’s a romance between Beverly and Eric, two characters who have had small roles in the entire Amish Brides of Pinecraft series. Eric is the long distance owner of the Orange Blossom Inn and Beverly manages it. The novel opens with Beverly discovering that the inn has been robbed. She calls Eric in a panic. He decides to get the first flight out of Philadelphia to be with Beverly.

The robbery and Eric’s decision to spend Christmas with Beverly set off a whole series of events. Some have to do with Beverly and Eric. Other story lines feature two brothers who have a difficult home life and are out of hope. I do my best to link everything together just in time for Christmas Day!

Like all my Christmas novels, it can be read as a stand alone book. It’s sweet, fairly fast-paced, and has a lot of heart.

I have always wanted to visit Pinecraft and I know you have been there. I may just hop on the Pioneer Trails bus next time I pass it! How is Amish life different there than other Amish communities?

I can best sum up Pinecraft by describing the line to get into Yoder’s, the famous restaurant there. Yoder’s is not very small, but it always has a big crowd waiting to go in! It’s not uncommon to stand in line for thirty or forty minutes. For me, all this standing around was a perfect way to people watch! The first thing I noticed was that there were Amish from all over the country waiting in line. Men and women are wearing clothing unique to their area of the country. Some ladies from Indiana have pleated skirts, others are wearing aprons lined with brightly colored piping. Most everyone has taken off their heavy shoes and is wearing flip flops.

Everyone is also chatting and making friends. It’s such an opportunity to meet new people from all over the country! I’ve now been there twice and I’m anxious to return.

christmasDo you have a favorite scene or quote from A Christmas Bride in Pinecraft?

There’s one scene between two young teenagers. A girl named Effie invites a boy named Josiah to her house for pie and to her surprise, he accepts. Then, of course, she immediately begins to doubt herself. Why did Josiah say yes? Does he feel sorry for her? Was he simply hungry? Or could he possibly like her as much as she likes him?

It’s a fairly simple scene, but I loved it because I think it could happen to any pair of teenagers. At that age, friendship and doubt seem to go hand in hand.

How much of the Amish culture and way of life do you apply in your daily life?

My first instinct is to say that I don’t really live an Amish lifestyle. I like my electricity. I enjoy shopping. I wear make up and jewelry. : ) But actually, my Amish friends have taught me something that I’ve taken to heart. That’s to do my best to appreciate every day and to give thanks often. I’ve found that I try to live my faith each day now, and for that I am grateful.

Are you reading any books right now? Do you read other Amish fiction authors?

I rarely watch television and read all the time! It’s not uncommon for me to read several books a week. One of the best novels I’ve read lately is The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah. It’s set during WWII and tells the tale of two sisters in France. I think I cried while reading the last 30 pages!

I actually try my best to not read other Amish fiction authors. I’m a little afraid of being so drawn into another author’s story or way of writing, I might unintentionally pick something up. For better or worse, I want my books to sound like me. That said, I have many friends who also write Amish fiction. They’re wonderful and talented! : )

What’s next for you?

I’m currently in the middle of writing next year’s series, ‘The Charmed Amish Life’. It’s another series of four novels…this time set in Charm, Ohio! It’s been a pleasure to set my books in an area that I love so much. This series is full of drama and is probably the most romantic of any I’ve written. I’m anxious for everyone to tell me what they think. The first book is titled A Son’s Vow, and it will be published in January, 2016.

Thanks so much, Shelley! I hope to see you if you come to Sugarcreek again.

We’re planning a ‘Girlfriend Getaway’ in May in the Charm area! So, yes, I’ll be coming back to Sugarcreek very soon! I can’t wait!

I have exciting news…HarperCollins Publishers is giving away a FOUR book prize pack to ONE lucky reader!

amishbridesofpinecraft

One winner will receive the following books:
THE PROMISE OF PALM GROVE
THE PROPOSAL AT SIESTA KEY
A WISH ON GARDENIA STREET
A WEDDING AT THE ORANGE BLOSSOM INN
To enter, leave a comment…easy peasy! For an EXTRA chance share this post and leave a comment if you do.
Giveaway starts today, Tuesday, October 27th and ends Tuesday, November 3rd.
*Giveaway is only open to US residents*