Archives for posts with tag: Christian Fiction

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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.

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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!

 

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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

 

 

Recently I had the privilege of visiting the HarperCollins Christian Publishing office in Nashville. It was the first time I had visited both the city of Nashville and my publisher’s office there. I was thrilled to meet the many amazing people who help make my books become a reality. To make it even more exciting, I signed a 4-book contract for a new Amish series.

 

Signing Contract

 

Here I’m posing with my literary agent, Sue Brower (left), and Daisy Blackwell Hutton, Vice President and Publisher for Fiction with HarperCollins Christian Publishing.

 

First copy Mothers Secret

 

I was also able to see the very first copy of my next book, A Mother’s Secret. In the above photo, I’m posing with the first copy. When the first copy is printed, Daisy Hutton checks the book and signs off before copies are shipped to stores. I was thrilled to touch and smell the first copy!

 

Nashville Lunch

 

I also enjoyed lunch with my editor, Becky Philpott (above, left); Laura Dickerson, Marketing Manager (center); and Ami McConnell (right), Senior Acquisitions Editor.

 

I had wonderful visit with the team. I’m so excited to work on my future books with the amazing HarperCollins Christian Publishing team.

 

Amy Clipston is the best-selling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. Her novels have hit multiple best-seller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. In addition to her passion for writing, Amy is incredibly passionate about blood and organ donation. Her memoir, A Gift of Love, which details her journey as a kidney donor, will release in March 2014. She and her family live in North Carolina and are so grateful for their health and time together as a family. 

It’s finally warming up in Charlotte, NC, and I’m relishing the first days of spring. It’s such a beautiful time of year as we enjoy hearing the birds sing again, and the earth is renewed. I always look forward to seeing the daffodils sprout up in our yard. Daffodils are special to me since they remind me of the huge backyard behind the house where I grew up in New Jersey. My father once told me that the squirrels moved the daffodil bulbs, explaining why the flowers would poke up in random locations throughout the yard.

This year spring is even more special because the next book in my Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel series is set to release June 3. A Mother’s Secret is my favorite book in the series. Carolyn Lapp, the heroine of the book, is different from the other Amish women I’ve featured in my previous books. Due to her painful past, she’s more outspoken and less traditional than any other Amish character I have created. I also enjoyed giving Joshua Glick his own story since he had his heart broken in A Hopeful Heart.

 

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Readers can pre-order the e-book version of A Mother’s Secret for $4.99 until June 2. Just follow this link to pre-order the book. Below is more information about the book.

Book Description

In A Mother’s Secret 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 brother. 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?

The Making of A Mother’s Secret

A Mother’s Secret was inspired while I was writing A Hopeful Heart. I felt Joshua Glick needed his own story. This book is dedicated to my amazing editor and dear friend, Becky Philpott.

I plan to give away advance copies of A Mother’s Secret beginning in May. You can check my Facebook page for contests.

I hope readers enjoy A Mother’s Secret. Book three in the series, A Dream of Home, will follow in December.

 

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Many authors use real life experiences in their books. Oftentimes a character’s name or even a pet’s name has special significance to the author, but the reader would have no way of knowing that just by reading the book.

Most readers know that I write Amish fiction, but they may not know that I also write contemporary young adult novels. My newest contemporary young adult book, Destination Unknown, hit bookstores in February. I poured a lot of myself in this novel series, and I used many significant names and references in that book.

Book Blurb

In Destination Unknown, the sequel to Roadside Assistance, it’s senior year, and Whitney Richards is tired of the constant pressures to be perfect. When she gets a D in Calculus, her mother immediately hires a tutor, worried Whitney won’t get into the “right” college—her alma mater—with imperfect grades. Her tutor, Taylor, is a quiet, mysterious boy who is unlike anyone Whitney has met before. But Taylor’s rougher upbringing has her mother and friends discouraging any type of relationship.

Tired of having to play a part for everyone else, Whitney quits the cheerleading squad that once defined her social identity, and begins spending more time with Taylor. Her mom and friends worry Whitney is making a huge mistake, and even Taylor begins to show concern for some of her choices. But for the first time, Whitney is in the driver’s seat.

Behind-the-Scenes

The neighborhood names in Roadside Assistance and Destination Unknown are significant to me.  Rock Creek, which is where Whitney’s friend Chelsea’s lives, is the name of the neighborhood where my husband and I bought our first house in Virginia Beach. Whitney lives in Castleton, which is the neighborhood where we lived before me moved to North Carolina.

There are streets named after streets from Virginia Beach and also Ridgewood, NJ, where I grew up, including: Glen Avenue, Rock Lake Loop, Holland Road, and Radcliff Road.

Whitney is a cheerleader, and her school’s colors, maroon and white, are the same colors as my high school’s colors in New Jersey.  Her cheerleading uniform is maroon, white, and yellow, which are the colors the cheerleaders at my school wore.

Chelsea’s car, a sliver 1985 Nissan Sentra, is same as my first car, and Emily’s father’s Suburban is modeled after my husband’s first Suburban. Also, Zander has a green Jeep Wrangler, similar to one we once owned. And Emily’s dream car, from Roadside Assistance, a 1969 Camaro, is actually my dream car. (I’m hoping my husband will build one for me someday.)

Emily, Whitney’s cousin, is named after my grandmother.

The hair stylist who has to fix Whitney’s hair after she dyes it is named after my awesome hair stylist, Casey. My hair stylist was thrilled when I featured her in my new book.

I have really enjoyed writing the books in the Roadside Assistance series. I hope readers enjoy reading them too!

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I became a blood donor when I was sixteen. I remember my mother coming home with “Be nice to me, I gave blood today” stickers on her shirt. She donated blood for the boy who lived next door to us. His name was Jimmy, and he was diagnosed with leukemia when he was little. Tragically, Jimmy passed away in 1977, when he was only ten years old. I began to give blood in memory of him as soon as I was old enough to donate. I’m also registered to donate bone marrow in memory of Jimmy, and I hope someday I can help someone like him by giving my bone marrow.

I am a member of the blood drive committee at where I work, and I run blood drives at my church. My desire to promote blood donation goes beyond my memories of Jimmy; it’s also because my husband, Joe, has received two kidney transplants. In fact, I donated a kidney through a swap to help him receive his second transplant. On June 14, 2011, I donated a kidney to a woman, who was a stranger, and in exchange, her husband gave a kidney to Joe. We met the other couple after our transplants, and we’re now close friends.

Kidney disease has been a black cloud over our lives since Joe was first diagnosed in 2000. He spent a year on dialysis before receiving his first kidney transplant from his brother in 2004. Unfortunately, his first transplanted kidney only lasted four years, and Joe went back on dialysis in July 2008. Since he had rejected a kidney, his body had built up antibodies, making him difficult to match. My donating a kidney was his best chance of receiving one from a matching donor.

Joe’s illness was difficult for our sons, who are 13 and 8. There were days when Joe was too ill to spend time with them. Aside from the emotional toll of Joe’s illness, we also suffered from financial worries. Since Joe was only well enough to work part-time, I carried the financial burden by working full-time and also writing novels.

Donating a kidney was rewarding for me. Not only did I save Joe’s life and my recipient’s life, but it made an impact on our children. Once the surgery was over, the most exhilarating moment for me was when I spoke to my younger son on the phone, and without any prompting he said, “Mommy, I’m proud of you.”

While Joe was on dialysis and awaiting his second transplant, he was very ill, and he received six units of blood within six months. After his transfusions, I was inspired to share our story. I contacted a member of the blood drive committee at my job and asked if I could compose an email to share with all employees to recruit more people for the bi-monthly blood drives. Not only did I send out the email, but I also joined the blood drive committee.

Blood donation is one of my passions, along with organ donation. I’ve experience first-hand how blood donation can save a life, and I’m determined to encourage others to donate blood. I’m also sharing our kidney transplant journey in my memoir, A Gift of Love, which will be available in March 2014.

By advocating for blood and organ donation, I feel I’m illustrating one of my favorite scripture verses, Matthew 5:16–“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.

Did you know:

  • The primary users of blood products are:  Cancer, Cardiac and transplant patients
  • Cancer patients may use up to 16 units platelets each week
  • Heart transplant patients may use 2-4 units of red blood cells
  • Automobile accident victims may use 4-40 units red blood cells
  • 37% percent of the population is able to give blood, but only 6% do!
  • One pint of whole blood can help save as many as 3 lives
  • There is NO substitute for life-saving blood; it cannot be manufactured or recreated
  • Donating blood takes 30-45 minutes and saves at least 3 patients lives

Amy Clipston is the best-selling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. Her novels have hit multiple best-seller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. In addition to her passion for writing, Amy is incredibly passionate about blood and organ donation. Her memoir, A Gift of Love, which details her journey as a kidney donor, will release in March 2014. She and her family live in North Carolina and are so grateful for their health and time together as a family. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! My family and I enjoyed the holiday very much. My husband took our boys to see his family, and they returned Christmas Eve. We have the presents waiting for them under the tree and enjoyed unwrapping gifts. The boys were very happy with their surprises, and I enjoyed their excitement while they played with their goodies.

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I hope you and your family had a wonderful 2013. It’s difficult to believe the year is coming to a close. It’s been a chaotic year for my family, and we have a lot to celebrate. A Hopeful Heart, the first book in my Hearts of the Lancaster Grand series, debuted in June. My mother and I stuck to our exercise program and successfully made it back to our goal weights. In June, my family and I celebrated the two year anniversary of my husband’s second kidney transplant. We’re so very thankful for his good health; it’s truly a blessing.
My family and I will have a lot to celebrate in 2014. My next young adult book, Destination Unknown, will hit bookshelves in February, followed by my memoir, A Gift of Love, in March and A Mother’s Secret, my second book in my new Amish series, in June.
I pray you and your family have a happy and healthy New Year. What are your 2013 reflections and what will you plan for 2014?

Blessings,
Amy

Amy Clipston is the award-winning author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. Her novels have hit multiple best-seller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Her new novel, A Hopeful Heart, released June 2013. She holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and four spoiled rotten cats.