Archives for posts with tag: Romance

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.

Advertisements

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.

 

MothersSecret3

 

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.

 

A couple of weeks ago, I interviewed Ashley, the model for Hannah Glick on the cover my book A Hopeful Heart. The interview appeared in a column on the Not Quite Amish Living blog. Since I had limited space on that blog, I thought I’d post Part 2 here on the Amish Fiction Blog. I hope you enjoy finding out more about Ashley!

A Hopeful Heart_New_Small_4

Hi Ashley! Thank you for joining me at the Amish Fiction Blog. How long have you been modeling?  How did you get started?

I have been modeling on and off since 1999.  I was in my 1st year of college when this funny adventure began. One weekend my friends and I decided to take a mini road trip to a mall about an hour from campus, belting out to Celine Dion the entire drive, complete with fake microphones. We arrived and wandered like poor college students wishing we could afford clothes and not just top ramen. After hours of trying on clothes and playing runway we decided to head home. On our way out of the mall this guy came up to me and handed me a flyer, which was promoting a model-scouting event. Upon landing safely in my dorm room, I called my Mom with a great deal of skepticism, and asked her if I should do it? It just sounded like a scam to me. In most cases these things are a total scam, but we researched the people that would be there, and there were a handful of legit agencies so we thought, what the heck, why not?! I sewed my own clothes for the event to make sure I stood out (insert my laugh and eyes rolling now). After the runway portion of the event we were invited to meet with agents, hand them a snapshot of ourselves, and hopefully sign with an agency. I met with Kristy from SMG and she said she liked my look and would be interested in signing me, (insert my 19 year old heart skipping a beat). Then there was a long pause and some looks between her and the other agent present. She then said, “How would you feel about plus size modeling…” I think my jaw may have dropped, and I’m sure the excitement that was there a minute ago had visibly left my face. I said “of course, anything!” with as much enthusiasm as I could muster. I signed, shook their hands, left the building, and cried. I laugh now because I know the industry is totally whack, and in no way shape or form was I overweight. I was a size 10-12, and 6’ tall. I looked normal and healthy. What I didn’t know was that being a plus size model is where it’s at! They would ask me to eat Twinkies (joking, but implying that I was too thin), encouraged me to wear clothes that made me look bigger, and never suck it in. It was GREAT! I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, which was perfect for my fragile college age self esteem. I got to fly to New York, sign with Wilhelmina (another incredible agency), have two amazing photo-shoots in the city, and buy some great clothes. I was so excited to work both as a photographer and model and to be a part of this fascinating industry. Because I love watching people, I soaked everything in: how they lit me, the make-up, hair, styling, etc.  I had my bootstraps pulled up, Twinkie in hand and ready to work, but then there was… nothing. I waited, I went on “go sees”, castings, and wasn’t booking jobs. They said I was too small on top, which was true. My body looks like it was mismatched in some cruel carnival mirror. As much as I tried I would only gain weight in my butt and thighs. I did book the occasional fitting job (fitting: when a model gets paid to try on clothes for the real model before a photo-shoot). I love fittings. It’s fun without any pressure. This is actually my ideal line of work. After I finished school, I decided to put all my heart and energy into my photography business and I’m so glad I did. My career as a photographer has blown my expectations out of the water. We have traveled the world photographing weddings, adventuring and experiencing things I would never be a part of unless a camera were around my neck. I feel beyond blessed to be a part of such intimate moments, and to capture them beautifully. My business now is mostly portraits, and weddings. I love this line of work and preserving my clients family history. My goal is that the grandchildren of my clients would look at these pictures and get an honest sense of who their grandparents were as children, young adults, adults, etc. I love real moments, moments that tell a story and say something in addition to “cheese”. I miss traveling, but I’m hoping that will return once my kids are a little older.

Ok, so flash forward to after I had my kids. I lost a lot of weight. I wasn’t trying (don’t hate me), but it just fell off. I should mention that I also started eating a mostly vegan diet and began running to maintain my sanity, so perhaps it didn’t just fall off. I had to buy all new clothes and this got me thinking. I called SMG to see if they needed a 31-year-old model (not likely) that was a size 8. They said come on in and lets take a look. They decided to give it another go with me as an adult model, in the SMG2 category. I did some test shoots, and then to my total shock and surprise began booking jobs. I have been at it for the last two years and have had some really fun experiences. My favorite job so far was my Amish book cover. No, I’m not sucking up, I truly loved this job.

Ashley_Hat

Here’s a photo of Ashley.

What are your favorite types of photo shoots/modeling jobs?

I like unrecognizable work and fitting jobs. It’s actually really hard for me to model my face when it comes to emotions other than joy. I have such natural smile and laugh, but am hopeless when it comes to a serious, or sultry face. I dread hearing “ok now give me a serious, contemplative, or sexy look.” I recoil from the inside and pray that I don’t look constipated or like a tree trunk.

 When you did the photo shoot for the cover, what did you know about the book? Were you interested in finding out more about the book?

I guess I knew enough to get the job done but not much. The information I had was the title A Hopeful Heart, and the basic plot line. I knew just enough to convey the motivation behind my characters emotion (again my face wasn’t really in it so it wasn’t that hard). I was so fascinated and excited to learn more and read the book. All my friends/family are reading it as well.

Family1

Here Ashley poses with her beautiful family.

How did you feel the first time you saw your photo in an advertisement? How did you feel when you saw the cover of A Hopeful Heart?

It’s just surreal to see yourself in an ad or on a book cover. I just feel so lucky to have such incredible experiences, yet I feel as though I’m looking as someone else. As much as I know that it is “me,” it never really feels like me because so much post-production goes into the final product. Nobody actually looks like the images you see in magazines, book covers, etc, so rest assured that nobody is perfect. Not even close. It’s all smoke and mirrors. : )

Do you have any other photo shoots coming up soon?

Not that I know of… although I am usually given about a weeks notice when I book a job. I then have to rearrange my entire life around it. It’s a bit of a circus whenever I book something because I have kids and just a few jobs, but I always do my best to make it happen because the trouble is always worth it.

What are your favorite hobbies?  Do you like to read? If so, what type of books?

My favorite hobbies often involve working with my hands doing some form of tactile art. I love all forms of art, and doing little projects fill my soul. I also LOVE reading. I am always reading a minimum of 3 books at a time. Currently I’m reading A Hopeful Heart, by yours truly Amy Clipston, Quiet by Susan Cain, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, Blue like Jazz, by Donald Miller, and Help, Thanks, Wow, by Anne Lamott. I often have fantasies of going on weekend retreats to just read, write, drink tea and be in total solitude. This has yet to happen but I’m looking forward to such a time, perhaps when my kids are older and don’t want me around. I’m not sure this is a hobby but I love being with my family. Going on hikes, swimming, camping and just existing away from technology with my kids and husband make my life whole. I pinch myself and thank God that I have two children. My husband and I were told our chances of having a family were slim to none, and are thrilled they were wrong.

Thank you, Ashley for joining me for another blog post. I’m so glad we connected over Facebook!

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.

I love everything about autumn. I love shopping for school supplies for my boys, buying school clothes, and seeing brightly-colored fall decorations pop up in local stores. I look forward to seeing the school bus rattle down our street as it stops on the corner to pick up my younger son and other neighborhood children. I relish a slight chill in the air as we pull out our light jackets for the morning commute to work and school.

If you asked me what my favorite holiday is, I would tell you it is Halloween. Not only do I enjoy decorating my lawn with our silly inflatable pumpkins, but I also look forward to seeing the neighborhood kids (especially the itty-bitty ones!) parade up and down my porch in their costumes. It’s so fun to fill their pillowcases and plastic pumpkins with candy and tell them how amazing they look.

387763_10150346029975528_550715527_8398339_584415482_n   OnThePorch1

Above are a couple of photos of from Halloweens of the past. As you can see, my boys like to act silly while posing with a couple of our porch decorations.

This year, however, I won’t be home for Halloween. Instead, I’ll be on my way to Berlin, Ohio, for the Amish Heart Tour and Book Signing. I’m excited that I’ll be joined by my good friend Shelley Shepard Gray. I can’t wait to see Berlin in the fall!

Here’s more information about the event:

For your rest and relaxation, Amish Heartland Tours is holding a block of rooms at the newest lodging facility in Walnut Creek, The Wallhouse Hotel.

This unique package includes your choice of a one or two night stay along with the full day of touring beautiful Holmes County and spending time on the motor coach with both Amy Clipston and Shelley Shepard Gray. The tour is offered on both November 1 and November 2. Tours will be given in a deluxe 54 passenger motor coach.

Itinerary ~

8:30 A.M. Group will depart from the Wallhouse Hotel for a picturesque driving tour with our local tour guides. A stop at the popular Lehman’s Hardware in Kidron offers thousands of non-electrical housewares and hard to find items.

11:30 We will return to the hotel with both Amy Clipston and Shelley Shepard Gray joining the coaches. Together as a group, we will be hosted by an Amish family for a family style meal in their Old Order Home. The menu consists of a salad, homemade bread, peanut butter spread, hot and cold beverage, roast beef, baked chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, noodles, green beans and assorted homemade pies.

 After lunch, Amy and Shelley will spend time on the coach sharing about her books and answering questions from the group as we continue to travel scenic back roads.

Both groups will meet up at the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center for a tour of the historical mural, Behalt. This mural showcases the history of the Amish and Mennonites on a 265′ x 10′ cyclorama mural which is guided. The center boasts a large selection of cultural reading and local cookbooks.

Amy and Shelley will then join the other coach for 2 hours of sharing with one visit to Wendell August Forge, specializing in hand hammered giftwares from pewter, aluminum and bronze.

6:00 We will return to the Wallhouse Hotel to conduct the book signings with an evening assortment of local cheeses, fresh fruits, veggie trays,  finger sandwiches and beverages to enjoy.

For tickets, reservations and more information, please check out the website.

I have more events coming up this fall I’ll be in North Carolina and also Indianapolis, Indiana. Please check them out here.

I hope to see you soon. And happy (almost!) fall!

Blessings,

Amy

Amy Clipston is the award-winning and best-selling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. 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.

For the past few weeks I’ve been working on a book that took me outside of my usual Amish Country setting. My current book project has been a contemporary young adult novel that will be the third and final in my Roadside Assistance trilogy. Book #1 in the series was Roadside Assistance.  Book #2, Destination Unknown, will debut in April 2014.

In book #3, which doesn’t yet have a title, Chelsea Morris is working as the head costumer on a community theater summer production of the musical Grease. The book takes place the summer after she graduates from high school.

Although I love to go to musicals, I’ve never been a part of one. Therefore, I had to do a lot of research for this project, and I enjoyed every minute of the research!

Playbil1

My mother and I attended a performance of Grease at the Matthews Playhouse.  During the performance, I kept a notepad on my lap and I took copious notes, writing down everything I could about the costumes and the sets.

Seeing the play was fun, but I wanted to get backstage. Thanks to a friend at work, I was able to get a private tour backstage at the Knight Theater in Charlotte, North Carolina. Here are a few photos.

Sign1

Here is a sign from backstage at the Knight Theater.

DressingRoom1

This is a photo taken from inside a large dressing room that would be used by a group of actors, such as chorus members.

Rack1

This rack is used to store costumes during a production.

Curtains

Check out this intricate pulley system for the curtains!

PulleySytem

Here’s a closeup of the counter-weights that are used for the curtain pulley system.

Knight_Theater1

This is the beautiful Knight Theater!

Aside from the tour and the performance, I’ve also talked to local experts who shared a wealth of information about community theater and all of the work that goes into a performance. The research for this book has been fun, and I also enjoyed writing it. I can’t wait to share more with you. The book will debut in October 2014.

 

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. 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. 

Image

This week I’m excited to present the release of my new book, A Hopeful Heart, which is the first in my Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series.

In A Hopeful Heart, Hannah Glick, a recently widowed Old Order Amish woman, struggles to support her three children after unexpectedly losing her husband. When she meets a nice Englisher (non-Amish man) at the luxury hotel where she works, her world is turned upside down while she tries to decipher God’s plan for her.

A Hopeful Heart was inspired during the Amish Country Holiday Book Tour in November 2011. Alicia Mey, Senior Marketing Director for 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. I’m so thankful for Alicia’s idea that I dedicated this book to her.

A Mother’s Secret, which is the second book in the series, will debut in April 2014.

Thanks for checking out A Hopeful Heart. What are your favorite Amish books? Why do you like reading about the Amish?  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 new novel, A Hopeful Heart, released 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.