Archives for category: Amish fiction

covered bridge 3

In my last blog post, I wrote about making a quick trip to Pennsylvania to see my Amish friend Ruth (fictional name to protect her privacy). I first met Ruth when I was researching A Gift of Grace, the first in my Kauffman Amish Bakery Series.

Ruth lives on a dairy farm in Lancaster County and has seven children. She periodically hosts dinners for Englishers (non-Amish) as a way to make extra income. It gives Englishers an opportunity to experience an Amish home and meal. She invited me to attend a meal while I visited.

During the meal, Ruth served fruit salad, barbecue meatloaf, green beans from her garden, and homemade chicken and noodles. The meal was serve family style. For dessert, we served coffee, chocolate, and coffee flavored pudding. The food was delicious!

I asked her to send me her recipe for the meatloaf, and I thought I would share it in this blog post.

Ruth’s Barbecued Meatloaf

 

1 ½ lb. ground beef

Mix the following ingredients well and then add to ground beef and mix thoroughly:

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ tsp. seasoned salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. chili powder
  • ¾ tsp. pepper

Topping:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 ½ tsp. vinegar

Mix toping ingredients and spread over meatloaf. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees

Enjoy!

 

Amy Clipston
Amy Clipston has been writing for as long as she can remember. 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 and the Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series with Zondervan, which is part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Amy works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. She lives with her husband, two sons, mother, and four spoiled rotten cats.Readers can find Amy at AmyClipston.com, as well as on Facebook at:https://www.facebook.com/AmyClipstonBooks and on Twitter: @AmyClipston.

Bakery

 

Recently I was able to make a quick trip to Pennsylvania to see my Amish friend Ruth (fictional name to protect her privacy). I first met Ruth when I was researching A Gift of Grace, the first in my Kauffman Amish Bakery Series.

Ruth lives on a dairy farm and has seven children. Our first encounter consisted with sitting in her kitchen for two hours and talking, and I found that she was soft-spoken, warm, and patient person I’d ever met. She never lost her patience with her children. And, since she has seven children, I was impressed. I have two boys, and I find myself constantly raising my voice. I knew when I met Ruth that I could learn to be a better person by following her example.

My friendship with Ruth has grown tremendously during the past five years. We’ve moved from occasional phone calls and visits to more regular calls. She and one of her daughters read my manuscripts and help me with the details and accuracy of my books.

During my most recent visit, Ruth invited me to come to a dinner that she was hosting in her home. Some Amish women host dinners for Englishers (non-Amish) as a way to make extra income. It gives Englishers an opportunity to experience an Amish home and meal. While I had visited Ruth many times, I had never had the opportunity to attend a meal like this.

There are approximately two dozen visitors who attended the meal. Ruth had a small table and also one long table set up in her kitchen. She invited the guests to come into the kitchen, and she asked me to sit at the head of the long table. Before the meal began, she said a prayer, thanking God for the beautiful day and the opportunity to host her new friends in her home.

She then began to serve the meal. Normally, Ruth hires two fifteen-year-old girls to help her since her daughters are busy working and her sons help with the farm. This evening her helpers were busy, so I did what I could assist her with her meal, which included fruit salad, barbecue meatloaf, green beans from her garden, and homemade chicken and noodles. The meal was serve family style. For dessert, we served coffee, chocolate, and coffee flavored pudding. The food was delicious!

After we ate, Ruth sat on a stool and asked the group where they were from. There were visitors from as close by as New Jersey and as far away as Europe. Ruth answered questions about the Amish culture, and she and her youngest daughter sang a beautiful song for us. She then led us in a verse of Amazing Grace.

I stayed after the guests had left and helped her wash dishes and clean up the kitchen. We talked about our families while we worked.

It was a blessing and an honor to experience a meal in Ruth’s home. I look forward to visiting Ruth again soon.

If you are able to visit Amish Country, I highly recommend that you have a meal in an Amish home. I’m certain you’ll have a wonderful time!

Blessings,

Amy Clipston

 

Amy Clipston
Amy Clipston has been writing for as long as she can remember. 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 and the Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series with Zondervan, which is part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Amy works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. She lives with her husband, two sons, mother, and four spoiled rotten cats. Readers can find Amy at AmyClipston.com, as well as on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/AmyClipstonBooks and on Twitter: @AmyClipston.

We are in the dog days of summer here in Texas. The temp regularly hovers near or above the 100 mark. It just so happens our a/c went out yesterday. 🙂 But no worries! The repairman is on the way.

During summer days I always wonder why I haven’t scheduled a research trip up north somewhere. The truth is that our yard and all the plants would die if we left, so we’re sort of anchored down for the duration. I suppose I’ll have to “visit” virtually until fall arrives. Today I thought I’d share a few of my favorite photos with you from time spent in cooler locations.

DSCN2192

Horse and biggie–Shipshewana, IN

This was taken during my first visit to Shipshewana!

 

DSCN6658

J. Favres–Shipshewana, IN

I was signing books at J. Favres and some of my Facebook friends showed up!

DSCN4442

ACFW Conference

Here I am with some lovely ladies. You’ve probably read their books!

I hope that you’re having a wonderful summer!

Blessings,

Vannetta

 

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of speaking at the University City Regional Library. Not only was I able to meet a special reader, but I also enjoyed talking with an aspiring author. I enjoy speaking events because I am able to share the story of my husband’s kidney transplants and also my journey as a kidney donor.

On Monday, July 28, I am speaking at Rocky River Presbyterian Church, located at 7940 Rocky River Rd, Concord, NC 28025, at 7 p.m.  If you’re in the area, please stop by. I hope to see you there.

Below are photos from my event at the University City Library. I hope to see you at an event soon!

 

Amy Clipston

 Here I am posing during the presentation.

 

 

Amy Clipston2

Above I’m signing books after the presentation.

 

Amy Clipston3

My mom always comes to the events with me. I enjoy spending time with her and also taking her to lunch after the book signing.

 

Blessings,

Amy

 

Amy Clipston
Amy Clipston has been writing for as long as she can remember. 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 and the Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series with Zondervan, which is part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Amy works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. She lives with her husband, two sons, mother, and four spoiled rotten cats. Readers can find Amy at AmyClipston.com, as well as on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/AmyClipstonBooks and on Twitter: @AmyClipston.

 

 

This week I had the thrill of finding out that my new book, A Mother’s Secret, made it to the ECPA bestseller list.  It has been quite a while since one my books have made it to this list, so I’m positively over the moon!

 

MothersSecret3

 

I’m so thrilled by all of the interest in A Mother’s Secret and excited to share a little preview of the next book in the series, A Dream of Home, which is coming in December. I recently finished the editing process for this book and I’d love to share a sneak peek!  Click here to view the cover and a few pages.

Thank you for reading!

Blessings,

Amy

 

Amy Clipston
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 Baker  series with Zondervan, which is part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Amy works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. She lives with her husband, two sons, mother, and four spoiled rotten cats

 

 

Phoebe, V's dog

Phoebe, V’s dog

Writing Amish Fiction

Sometimes readers ask me, “Was this story true? Did it actually happen?” You would think that would be a pretty easy question to answer, but not always. Parts of my stories are true. For example, in my Shipshewana Series, the quilt shop that Callie inherits is very much patterned after Lolly’s Fabrics. Have you been there? Once I stepped inside, I knew that it was the perfect setting for a story!

Other things, like the mystery which takes place, are completely fictional. For me, it’s a balance of rooting my stories in our actual lives, but then allowing my characters to have unusual and challenging things happen to them. Of course, the most important part of each of my stories is the focus on God’s grace–something available to each of us.

Leo, Vannetta's cat

Leo, Vannetta’s cat

For my newest mystery, Murder Simply Brewed, I borrowed a lot from my life. Amber drives a little red car (yes, I do), meets someone older than her who becomes a romantic interest (that’s my husband), and she has a hello cat named Leo (I happened to be cleaning out that cabinet and he jumped inside).

What surprises me is when something I’ve written about turns into FACT in my life. When I started writing Falling to Pieces, I knew that I had to give Callie a dog–she was so lost, without friends, and lonely. She needed the unconditional love of a pet, but of course she had no idea how to take care of one! Through the entire Shipshewana series, we see Callie mature in her faith, her relationships, and even her role as a pet-owner. At the end of writing those books, I was sad to say goodbye to everyone. Imagine my surprise when two years later, we received a call from a friend saying the animal shelter had a dog that we needed to go and take a look at. My husband and I had never owned a dog, though we both grew up with them. Our reasoning was that we travelled too much, and it wouldn’t be fair to a dog. One look at Phoebe, and there was no turning back though. We’ve learned to manage our travel and our dog (and cats) at the same time. And in my mind, she is exactly like Callie’s dog. I even put bandanas on her the way Callie did.

I am thankful each day, when I sit down at my computer, that God has allowed me to write the stories of my heart–incorporating facts, fiction, and God’s grace. And I want to thank each of you for taking the time to read them.

Blessings,

Vannetta

 

 

Giveaway_Kindle_Fire

Amy Clipston’s new book, A Mother’s Secret, debuted in June. To celebrate with Amy, enter to win a copy of the book and also a Kindle Fire! Enter to win here: http://prmo.me/zfvE7z #giveaway

 

What is A Mother’s Secret about?

My new book, 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. 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. 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 first book.

 

Where did you find your inspiration for writing A Mother’s Secret?

The Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series was inspired during the Amish Country Holiday Book Tour in November 2011. Alicia Mey, Senior Marketing Director at Zondervan, suggested I create a series about Amish women who work in an upscale hotel. She was intrigued with the idea of the Amish and “English” (non-Amish) clashing in such a unique environment. A Mother’s Secret was inspired while I was writing the first book in the series, A Hopeful Heart. I felt Joshua Glick needed his own story. This book is dedicated to my amazing editor and dear friend, Becky Philpott.

 

What inspired you to write Amish fiction?

While my ancestors weren’t Amish, my father was a German immigrant, who came to the United States along with his parents and siblings in 1929. He once told me the Amish speak a dialect that is similar his German relatives. That connection resonated with me, and after visiting Lancaster County as a child, I felt that loose connection strengthen. I love the culture and the people.

 

How do you research your Amish books?

I have a dear Amish friend who helps me with my novels. She reads my manuscripts before they are published, and she also answers my questions.

 

Why do you think Amish fiction continues to be popular?

Our modern world is full of distractions. Each day our time is ruled by cellular phones and email messages. Most of us rush off to work in the morning and find ourselves trapped in traffic jams. When we get home at night, we again hurry through the motions of the daily routine before going to bed. Many of us are not able to spend much time with our families due to the demands of our careers.

I believe most of us secretly crave the romanticized view we have of the Amish life since their lives are focused on their families and faith. They chose to live simply and without the conveniences that have taken over our modern lives. The Amish have more time to spend with their families, and their lives revolve around their children, not stressful jobs. The Amish novels are an escape from our crazy lives, and the stories transport us to a simpler way of life. By reading about the Amish, we feel a closer connection to God and we refocus our lives toward what really matters.

 

When will the next book in the series debut?

Dream of Home, which is the third book in the series, will debut in December 2014.

 

Where can readers find you online?

Readers can find me on my website at AmyClipston.com, as well as on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/AmyClipstonBooks and on Twitter: @AmyClipston.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers?

I am an advocate for organ and blood donation since I 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 matched another couple and swapped kidneys with them. 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: http://amyclipston.com/giftoflove.html

 

 

Amy Clipston
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. Amy works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. She lives with her husband, two sons, mother, and four spoiled rotten cats.