Come and meet Amy Clipston, popular writer of both
Amish fiction and young adult inspirationals.
I've only recently discovered Amy Clipston's writing
and she has quickly became a favorite of mine, both as a writer and as my
sister in Christ. In comparison to similar books, A Mother's Secret dealt with some difficult social issues and made
me pause for reflection, while entertaining and inspiring at the same time (see
my review here).
Quite an accomplishment, Miss Amy!
So it is with much delight that I welcome Amy Clipston
to The Power of Words. Many of you are probably familiar with Amy's writing
already, but maybe you will learn something new about her through this
interview. And a special surprise is that Amy is giving away a copy not only of
A Mother's Secret, but her new book, A Dream of Home as well! Entry details are
at the end of this interview.
Now enjoy Amy . . .
Q: Please share
briefly about yourself, Amy. Married with kids? Full-time or part-time writer?
I live in North Carolina with my husband, Joe; two
sons, Zac and Matt; mother, Lola; and four spoiled-rotten cats, Molly, Lily,
Rico, and Jet. I work full-time for the City of Charlotte, and since I write
four books per year, I also write full-time.
I work four 10-hour days for the City in order to have Fridays off for
writing, running errands, and volunteering at my boys’ school. I’m also blessed
to have my mother living with my family. She handles most of the housework,
including food shopping, cleaning, and doing laundry. Thanks to her help, I’m
able to spend any free time at home writing. My schedule is not ideal schedule,
but I make it work. My family is very supportive and thankful for my book
Q: I know that organ and blood donation is something
you are passionate about, Amy. Please share a little about this.
Some readers may not know that my husband, Joe, has
endured two kidney transplants. Joe received a kidney from his brother in 2004,
and it only lasted four years. In 2008,
he went back on dialysis, and he was very ill. I was willing to donate to Joe,
but I wasn’t a perfect match. Instead of donating a kidney to Joe, I found
another way to help him.
donated a kidney on June 14, 2011, at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Through my
donation, my husband, Joe, received a second kidney transplant. My husband and
I matched another couple and swapped kidneys with them. I donated a kidney to a
woman, and in exchange, her husband gave a kidney to Joe. My
memoir, A Gift of Love, details
our journey with Joe’s kidney disease and his two kidney transplants. You can find my memoir here.
Due to Joe’s kidney struggles, I’ve become an advocate
for both organ and blood donation. I volunteer with the National Kidney Foundation,
and I also run blood drives both at my work and at my church. If you are
healthy and able, please give the gift of life and donate blood.
Q: You've posted some delicious looking Amish
recipes on your website. Do you incorporate these into your novels and do you
have a favorite?
My first Amish series, the
Kauffman Amish Bakery series, featured several recipes in each of the five books.
Crumbly Peach Pie was the favorite of
Timothy Kauffman, who was featured in my book A Place of Peace. Timothy is one of my favorite characters, so I
thought I’d include that recipe here:
Crumbly Peach Pie
9-inch pie shell, unbaked
1 cup sugar
¼ cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 stick butter
8 large peach halves
¼ cup water
Mix together the sugar,
flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg, then mix in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle half of
the mixture in the bottom of the pie shell. Arrange peach halves cut side down
over crumbs. Cover with remaining
crumbs. Add the water after and bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees, then for 30
minutes at 350 degrees.
Q: Tell us a
little about the Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series and how the book
we're featuring today, A Mother's Secret,
The Hearts of the Lancaster
Grand Hotel series features women who work at the fictional Lancaster Grand
Hotel. The series was inspired by the
Berlin Grand Hotel in Berlin, Ohio, which I visited in 2011 while I was on a
book tour with two other Amish fiction authors, Shelley Shepard Gray and
A Mother's Secret is the second in my Hearts of the Lancaster Grand
Hotel series. In this book, Carolyn Lapp dreams of marrying for love. But will
the errors of her past destroy this dream forever?
Carolyn Lapp longs to have a
traditional Amish family. But she lives on her brother's farm with her parents
and her 15-year-old son, Benjamin. Carolyn has never revealed the identity of
Benjamin's father and lives daily with the guilt and shame of her youthful
indiscretion. Her brother simply will not forgive her. His answer is to arrange
a practical marriage for Carolyn to Saul, a widower with a little girl. But
Carolyn isn't convinced that Saul really loves her and believes he is simply
looking for someone to help raise his daughter.
When Benjamin causes trouble
at a local horse auction, horse breeder Joshua Glick decides that he must be
taught a lesson. Carolyn and Joshua are unmistakably drawn to each other, but
Joshua mistakenly assumes that Benjamin is Carolyn's nephew. Carolyn fears that
if he discovers the truth, her past will destroy their budding romance. After
years of shame and loneliness, Carolyn suddenly has two men vying for her
attention. But which of them will give her the family - and the unconditional
love - she's longed for?
I think readers will enjoy
seeing Joshua Glick in this book since he was a minor character in book 1, A Hopeful Heart. Readers will also have
the opportunity to find out what happened to Hannah, the main character in the
Book #3, A Dream of Home, will release on
November 4. In this book, readers see more of Saul Beiler and they will also
get to know Madeleine, who served in the military before coming to Amish
Country. Madeleine, like Carolyn, has an interesting past, and I think readers
will enjoy her story.
Q: Pretend I’m
a customer browsing through the Amish section at a local bookstore. What would
you say to convince me to select a book from this series?
I would tell you that the
books in my Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series appeal to readers
because they feature characters who are struggling with some of the same issues
you and I are tackling. My books also touch on some deep issues, and the
characters struggle with relatable problems.
Lapp's story is a good reminder that the Amish deal with the same life
struggles that we face. What will draw readers to Carolyn?
I think Carolyn appeals to
readers because she’s not perfect. Carolyn has made mistakes in the past, but
she strives to be a good mother to her son. We all have made mistakes, and we
struggle with the consequences.
comparison to some other Amish fiction that I've read, A Mother's Secret includes some weighty spiritual issues. Is there
a theme that particularly speaks to you, Amy?
The theme that always speaks
to me is forgiveness. I believe we all
struggle with both forgiving others and also forgiving ourselves. Carolyn and Joshua encounter this issue throughout
A Mother’s Secret, and I think
readers will be able to relate to it as well.
Q: What do you
hope readers will take away from A
I readers will not only
enjoy Carolyn’s story but also be touched by the themes of forgiveness and
Q: What stories
can readers expect from you in the days ahead?
I mentioned above, book #3 in the series, A
Dream of Home, will release November 3. The book features Saul Beiler, who
was a minor character in A Mother’s Secret, and readers will also find out more
about Madeleine Miller, who works at the Lancaster Grand hotel with Carolyn,
Ruth, and Linda. Here is the book’s blurb:
to Pennsylvania wasn't in Madeleine's original plans. She should still be in
California and should have married her pilot fiancé a year ago-but death has a
way of changing everything. Now the former Air Force flight nurse is
living alone in Paradise, Pennsylvania, and working as a maid at the Lancaster
Grand Hotel. She isn't exactly a widow . . . but she sure feels like one.
Beiler isn't exactly a widower . . . but his wife is long gone. His
eleven-year-old daughter, Emma, doesn't know that her mother fled the Amish
community-and married another man-but she does know that her dat is lonely, and
that a pretty young maedel just moved in next door. Madeline's numb heart
begins to thaw as she spends more time with the innocent and ever optimistic
Emma. The stronger her friendship grows with the young girl, the more intrigued
Madeline grows about the humble, strong, man raising her on his own.
even as a strange attraction pulls Saul and Madeleine across a stark cultural
divide, they-and everybody else-have to wonder: What could they possibly have
in common besides heartache? Will love allow Madeleine to finally find the home
she's been dreaming of all along?
Q: How can we
support and/or pray for you, Amy?
The last book in my series, A Simple Prayer, will debut in June
2015. I’m excited to announce that I’ve
finished edits for that book, and I’m working on the first book in my next
Amish series. I’m thankful that I’m able to create another series based in
Pennsylvania and I hope to share more information soon.
Thank you for featuring me
on your blog!
To enter the drawing for A Mother's Secret and A Dream of Home, simply answer the
question below and also leave a comment for Amy if you'd like. PLEASE REMEMBER TO LEAVE YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS in a safe format - [at] and [dot]. If you're willing, it's also helpful to
share about this giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter.
Do you like having recipes, such as the one Amy shared, included
in books? If so, have you ever tried any?
Please "like" my
Facebook page, ThePowerofWordsBookReviews, if you haven't already. And new followers of this
blog are always welcome!
- E-mail required, one entry
per person. Odds of winning are based on number of entries.
- Contest ends at midnight PST
on Friday, November 7. Winner will be chosen by Random.org and contacted by
e-mail. Respond within 48 hours of notification or another winner will be
- Eligibility: US residents,
18 and older