Monday, May 14, 2012

Welcome Amy Clipston!


I'm baaaack!! Did you miss me? I missed all of you! Seriously, I did. Okay, before I introduce our lovely guest, Amy Clipston, I want to let you all know the winner for the Wildflowers from Winter drawing is TERRY STRICKLAND!!!! Yay, Terry! Katie Ganshert will be getting you a copy soon! Enjoy!


I met the loveliest author on twitter! If you tweet, come find me and let's follow and hang out! @jessicarpatch or just Join the Conversation at the side bar! Amy is precious and we hit it right off! You definitely need to hang out with her too! @AmyClipston and her facebook page where she's always giving something away! Woo hoo!


 Amy  is the best-selling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series with Zondervan. She 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 is a graduate of Virginia Wesleyan College and a member of the Authors Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, mother, and four spoiled rotten cats.


JP:  You had me until the cats! Just kidding…sorta. ;) What one thing other than writing are you passionate about?


AC:Some readers may not know that I’m passionate about organ donation because my husband recently underwent a second kidney transplant. On June 14, 2011, I donated a kidney to a stranger and, in exchange, my recipient’s husband gave a kidney to my husband. This program is called paired kidney donation. Everyone involved in the transplant is doing really well. I’m thankful my husband has a new life without dialysis and that I was able to help another family through the program.


JP: That’s amazing, Amy! So glad everyone is doing well! You have a new book, called Reckless Heart, coming out this month, tell us one favorite line and why?

AC: I don’t want to give away too much of the story, so I’d like to share a scene where Lydia and her mother visit Lydia’s baby sister Ruthie in the hospital. Ruthie is very ill due to leukemia. I like this scene because it shows the tenderness between the sisters, and you’ll see how Lydia is struggling to be mature and strong.



Trying in vain to stop her tears, Lydia lowered herself into a chair beside the bed and took Ruthie’s hand in hers. Ruthie stirred but didn’t wake up.
Mamm sat in a chair on the other side of the bed. “The doctor said that she is very tired from the illness and the excitement of the ambulance ride.”
Lydia felt as if her world was coming apart as she studied her baby sister, who looked so tiny and weak. She stroked Ruthie’s little hand.
“I think she wants to hear your voice,”  Mamm said. “She needs to know that you’re here with her.”
“Ruthie,” she began. “It’s Lydia. Mamm said that you wanted to see me. I hope you’re feeling better. You gave us a real scare, but the doctor said you’re going to be just fine. There are a lot of people in the waiting room here at the hospital, and they all came for you. All of our aunts, uncles, cousins, and most of our freinden from church are already here. Joshua told me that more people are on their way. You have to get better so you can visit with them when you feel up to it. You know that they’ll want to come by the haus and see you when you come home.”
Ruthie turned her head toward Lydia and opened her eyes.
“Hi, there,” Lydia said as a tear trickled down her cheek. “You need to get better, ya?”
Nodding her head, Ruthie squeezed Lydia’s hand.
Lydia sucked in a breath and smiled at her sister. They sat in silence for several minutes. The only sounds were the buzz and hiss of the machine and the occasional deep, barky cough from Ruthie’s little mouth.
Lydia began to babble about everything that she wanted to do with Ruthie when she was better, such as teaching her how to sew and how to write her name. She then told Ruthie about the storybook she’d read to Irma in the waiting area. She prattled on and on until she was out of words.
Finally, Mamm leaned over. “Ruthie, I think you need to get more sleep. Why don’t you close your eyes, mei liewe?”
Ruthie closed her eyes. Soon, her breathing changed, and she let go of Lydia’s hands.
“Let’s allow her to sleep in peace,” Mamm whispered. “I think it helped her to see you and hear your voice. Maybe that will give her some strength to tell her body to get better.” She gestured toward the door. “Let’s head back out to the waiting area.”



JP: A beautiful scene! What inspired you to write this book?

AC: My friends at Zonderkids asked me to write an Amish young adult novel and gave the choice of writing a Kauffman book or creating new characters. I pitched the idea of writing about Lydia Bontrager, a Kauffman granddaughter, and my editor liked it. I’m excited I could use a Kauffman character in a new story that isn’t connected to the series.


JP: That’s awesome! I’ve never been to Lancaster county. Name one place you’d like to go that you’ve never been and why?

AC: It’s my dream to go to Hawaii!  My hubby is a Navy brat, and he was born in Hawaii while his father was stationed there. I’d love to go see where he was born and also sit on the sand and gaze at that crystal blue water. Someday you’ll find me there sitting under an umbrella with a book in my hand and a grin on my face.

JP: Find you? I might go with you! You could always write an Amish book set there and go for “research”! When you’re curling up with a good book at night, do you choose the same genre you write or something else?

AC: I try not to read other Amish writers. When I do, I worry my books aren’t as good or that I might accidentally emulate their style when I work on my next novel. I enjoy contemporary romance and young adult. I read both Christian and secular authors. I have a pile books I want to read when I find the time.


JP: That might be every writers fear! But man, I love the books in my genre (even when I worry mine stink. What would your characters say about you if they had the chance?

AC: I hope my characters would say I’m a good person who strives to be the best writer, mother, and Christian woman she can be. Sometimes I fall short, but I try to do my best.


And really, that’s all we can do! Give us a peek at Reckless Heart!


Here’s a teaser for you:
Lydia Bontrager's youngest sister is frighteningly ill, and as a good Amish daughter, it falls to Lydia to care for her siblings and keep the household running, in addition to working as a teacher's assistant and helping part time at her grandmother's bakery. Succumbing to stress, Lydia gives in to one wild night and returns home drunk.

The secret of that mistake leaves Lydia feeling even more restless and confused, especially when Joshua, the only boy she's ever loved, becomes increasingly distant. When a non-Amish boy moves in nearby, Lydia finds someone who understands her, but the community is convinced Lydia is becoming too reckless. With the pressures at home and her sister's worsening condition, a splintering relationship with Joshua, and her own growing questions over what is right, Lydia could lose everything that she's ever held close.





Thanks for hanging out with me today, Amy! It was awesome!


Amy is giving a copy of Reckless Heart away today! Leave her a comment and your email address! If you're reading from facebook, you can comment here or there! Tweet and get a double shot of winning!

Amy says: I would love to ask readers what they would like to see in my next novel. What would they like me to write about?

29 comments:

  1. Okay - I don't typically read Amish Fiction, but that back cover blurb there looks good.

    Loved hearing about your kidney donation. What an awesome thing! Having a family history with kidney cancer, dialysis, etc...I know what a gift you gave and received:) Praying for continued healing!

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    1. I think you would like Amy's books, Susan! :)

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  2. So nice to meet Amy! Reckless Heart sounds wonderful!
    Glad your husband and everyone involved in the paired kidney donation is doing well.

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    1. :) Thanks for coming by, Jennifer! I'm looking forward to reading this book too!

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  3. So fun to meet Amy! Thanks for the interview, Jess. Cool about the kidney donation too - back when I was reporting I did several articles on kidney (and other organ) donations and always admired the donors so much!

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  4. Welcome back, Jessica.

    I'm always looking for good YA books for my YA's (older grandkids) and this looks wonderful. Please put my nane in the hat (lin@ldmasterson.com).

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    1. Thanks, LD! Good to be back! Gotcha in the pile!

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  5. Twitter is a great place to meet new friends! Great interview and your book sounds awesome!

    sherrinda(at)gmail(dot)com

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  6. Yes, Jess, I missed you!!!!!! So glad you're back. ;)

    Nice to meet you, Amy. Your writing is beautiful! And your life sounds beautiful too. :)

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    1. I missed you too! Glad to be back, friend.

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  7. Missed you, Jess!

    So fun to get to know my agency sister, Amy, better! I think the paired kidney donation is an awesome program. Beautiful! Are you ever going to write about the experience?

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    1. Thanks, Loree! I missed you too! :) How cool Amy is in the same agency as you. Very cool!

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  8. Wonderful interview, ladies.

    Amy, your cover is so beautiful. And I'm so touched by your kidney donation story. What a treasured gift for both families.

    My second book deals with leukemia too. :)

    Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. I'm sure I'll be crying, Lisa. Can't wait for book number 2!

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  9. I loved this interview -- especially the information about the kidney donation.
    It would be intriguing to somehow weave that into a story ... especially since that topic is so close to your heart.

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  10. Great interview Jessica and Amy!!
    Please don't enter me because I'm getting a review copy of Reckless from Zondervan, but wanted to stop by and say hello :)
    Jessica, LOOOOOVE your blog style and picture, very nice!! I'm now a follower and looking forward to getting to know you on this wonderful blog :)
    Thanks so much for this giveaway and best wishes to all the entrants!
    Amy, you're such a blessing to your readers and to the writing community. Keep up the good work and thank you for continuously having such wonderful giveaways :)
    I haven't read Roadside Assistance yet (it's on my TBR list), but I would love to see more YA books from you. However, any book you write is fantastic, keep up the good work!
    Blessings ladies!
    Kara

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    1. Kara,
      Thanks so much for coming by and hanging out and joining the fun on a regular basis! Looking forward to getting to know you!

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  11. I am a huge fan of Amy's! I love Amish fiction. I was one of Amy's prayer warriors during her kidney donation to a stranger in exchange for a kidney for her husband and I prayed for all that were involved in this process. God answers prayers!

    Amy, I would like to see you write about bullying in Amish schools and how it is handled. Surely there must be some of that going on. It would be interesting to see how the parents, teacher, school board, and the Bishop or Bishops tackle this situation.

    I would love to win a copy of, Reckless Heart. It sounds like another great page turner!

    Blessings!
    Judy
    sweetpea.judy(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Judy, I bet it was amazing to be a part of the miracle! Thanks so much for coming by! You're entered in the drawing. :)

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  12. I am a huge fan of Amy's and was one of her prayer warriors during the kidney transplants that took place. I really admire Amy for what she did for her husband.

    I would love to see a story regarding bullying in the Amish schools. Surely this must happen once in awhile. I think it would be interesting to see how the teacher, parents, and the bishop handles this situation.

    Reckless Heart sounds like another winner for Amy. I'd love to win a copy of it!

    Blessings!
    Judy
    sweetpea.judy(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  13. I LOVE Amy's books, thank you so much for the chance to win one of them. I just like all Amish books so it doesn't matter what subject is written about, just keep up the good work Amy.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

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  14. I tweeted the giveaway here:
    https://twitter.com/#!/WendyNewcomb/status/202192342973808642

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Hi Wendy! Thanks for coming by and tweeting! You're entered twice! :)

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  15. Amy is good! A great writer. Would love to win her book. You could write about one girl finding out that she has an English dad, tho she's been raised by an Amish dad that doesn't know this. He's tho't all these years that she was his real daughter. Who is her dad, and what will happen to this mom who has been a good wife. Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

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    1. That sounds like an intriguing story! You're all entered to win! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  16. Great interview! The book sounds wonderful.

    It's my dream to go to Hawaii someday too. :)

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