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On March 5, I traveled to South Bend, Indiana, for a live television interview on The Harvest Show to launch my memoir, A Gift of Love. My literary agent, Susan Brower, drove to South Bend and met me at the airport, and we had a wonderful time visiting together. I had never traveled to South Bend, and I didn’t realize we were staying right by Notre Dame. Sue and I took a windshield tour of the campus, enjoying the beautiful architecture, along with the piles of snow.


Sue and I had dinner at Legends, a restaurant located on the Notre Dame campus. Above is a photo of Sue posing outside of the restaurant.


The restaurant was decorated with Fighting Irish sports memorabilia, and the food was delicious. Sue and I shared a delectable piece of carrot cake as a special treat for dessert. Above is a photo of me with examples of the memorabilia in the background.

On Thursday, March 6, Sue and I had breakfast in the hotel and then took a shuffle to the Harvest Show studio. I was nervous, but I felt at ease when I met the friendly members of the Harvest Show staff. My interview was scheduled for 9:17, and I waited on the set until my time came to join the host and hostess. I quickly felt comfortable and enjoyed discussing my book with them.

Here is a link to my interview.

After the interview, Sue and I traveled back to the hotel, and we packed up our things. Sue took me to the airport, and I started my journey home to Charlotte. I hope to have the opportunity to travel back to South Bend sometime soon.

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, released in March 2014. She and her family live in North Carolina and are so grateful for their health and time together as a family. 


Today is a special day! It’s my Kidney-Versary?  What’s a kidney-versary, you ask? I’ll share the story.

After a leap of faith, I became a kidney donor. It wasn’t something I planned on or sought out, but it was a path I was clearly being led to. Part of my inspiration was a very special scripture verse, Matthew 5:16: In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. On June 14, 2011, I donated a kidney to a stranger in order to help my husband receive a second kidney transplant.

Kidney disease has been a black cloud over our lives since my husband Joe was diagnosed in 2000. He spent a year on dialysis before receiving his first kidney transplant from his brother in 2004. Unfortunately, that transplant only lasted four years, and Joe went back on dialysis in July 2008.

Joe’s illness was difficult for our boys, who are 12 and 8. There were days when Joe was too ill to spend time with them. We couldn’t plan vacations, since coordinating dialysis out of town is complicated, and as Joe would say, it wouldn’t be fun for him to be sick in the hotel room.  In addition to 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 Christian fiction.


The Clipston Family

We knew it would be difficult to find a match for him since he had already rejected one kidney. It became clear that his best chance was for me to donate one of my kidneys, allowing him to receive a similar donation from a close relative or friend of someone else on the transplant list.

Watching my husband suffer with an illness was heartbreaking, and I sobbed the day I found out I couldn’t be his donor. I’m honored and humbled that I could help a family who had suffered like ours, and I never thought twice about my decision, despite negative comments I often heard.

My kidney recipient, who was a stranger before the surgery, is now my dear friend. I met her for the first time a few days after the transplant, and it was one of the most emotional experiences in my life. We hugged and thanked each other. When she received my kidney and when Joe received her husband’s kidney, both new kidneys began working immediately.

Before June 14, 2011, I had never undergone a serious surgery, and I was nervous. However, I knew in my heart that I was meant to be a donor for Joe. Many people were counting on me — my kidney recipient, Joe, and my children, who missed seeing their daddy healthy.

The most exhilarating moment for me was when I spoke to my younger son on the phone after the surgery, and without any prompting he said, “Mommy, I’m proud of you.” Now that Joe is well, I notice that my boys smile more, which warms my heart.

I’m so very thankful I was called to donate a kidney. It’s not often that you have the ability to save two lives–my husband and my kidney’s recipient are both still with their families.

Happy 2-year Kidney-versary (anniversary) to my hubby, my recipient and Joe’s donor. It’s our special day. Thanks for celebrating with us.

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. Her new novel, A Hopeful Heart, released June 2013. Her memoir, A Gift of Love, will release in February 2014 and will share her journey toward kidney donation. In addition to her passion for writing, Amy is incredibly passionate about blood and organ donation. She and her family live in North Carolina and are so grateful for their health and time together as a family. 

A Hopeful Heart (1)

People ask me why I write Amish romance novels. 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.

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.

One of my Amish friends helps me with my novels. She reads my manuscripts before they are published, and she also answers my questions. I learned more about the Amish life while working on my latest book, A Hopeful Heart, the first in my new series, the Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel. I’ll share some of what she told me below.


My characters play games in a few scenes in my new book. I knew the Amish played Scrabble, but I was surprised when my friend told me they play many of the games I loved when I was a child. Some of those games include Monopoly, Uno, Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, Sorry, and Pictionary.

What’s shunning?

Since shunning is an integral part of A Hopeful Heart, my friend explained the issue to me. When a member of the church is shunned, he or she cannot do business with any members of the community until the shunned member confesses to the congregation and is forgiven. This means no money can exchange hands. If a shunned member rents a home from another church member, the shunned person must move out. My friend’s sister was shunned and tried to buy something in an Amish store. When her sister went to pay, the cashier refused her money. The cashier told her to take the items without paying, and her sister was very embarrassed. Family members also aren’t allowed to eat at the same table as someone who is shunned.

Youth Groups & Not-So-Youthful Groups

If you’ve read Amish books, I’m certain you’ve heard about the youth groups and the “singings” they attend. Through my research for A Hopeful Heart, I found adults who are single in the Amish community also have get-togethers. They might sing for a family who has faced a tragedy or they may sing for an elderly member of the community who is homebound. Many single adults attend these gatherings as a way to mingle with members of the opposite sex.

What do you love most about the Amish culture? Leave a comment below.

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. Her upcoming release, A Hopeful Heart, is set to release in June 2013. In addition to her passion for writing, Amy is incredibly passionate about blood and organ donation. She and her family live in North Carolina and are so grateful for their health and time together as a family. 

Letters to Katie, the third book in the A Middlefield Family series, is now available! Here’s a quote plus an opportunity  to read the next three chapters:

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Both Faithful to Laura (Book 2 in the series) and Letters to Katie feature characters from my Young Adult series, the Mysteries of Middlefield. 










This is a great opportunity to introduce younger readers to Amish fiction and to the Amish community of Middlefield, OH. Reading the books together with your preteens and young adults and discussing them is a fantastic way to interact and share the reading experience. 🙂 A few ways you can do this are:

1. Start a book club with younger readers, either through your church or with your child’s friends.

2. Plan a reading date. Meet with your daughter/granddaughter (or son/grandson!) over lunch or dinner and talk about the books and how the characters have changed since they were teens. This could lead to a discussion about your own teenage years or something  happening with your teen right now.

3.  Use the reader discussion questions as a lead in to Bible study or devotional time.

4. Talk about your favorite characters–and the characters you disliked. Ask your child/grandchild who they liked and didn’t and ask them why. You could also discuss how you would change the characters, or write the ending differently.

The purpose behind The Mysteries of Middlefield is to encourage shared reading experiences among generations. If you’ve read both series with younger readers, let me know how you shared the experience.

‘Til next time,


Kathleen Fuller is the author of over twenty-five books, including the best selling Hearts of Middlefield series. To find out more about her and her books visit her website