Some fun questions with Author Amy Clipston

What inspired the setting for you latest series? 

Amy ClipstonThe setting for my Amish Heirloom Series came out of a meeting I attended at my publisher, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, in Nashville. I sat with the team members and brainstormed ideas for the series. It was so fun to discuss ideas with all of the folks who make my books a reality!

Who was the hardest character for you to write and relate to in The Courtship Basket?

I’ve had my heart broken and have been cheated on by a boyfriend, so I could easily relate to Rachel and her trust issues. I’ve been a caregiver for a dialysis patient and also had to be the breadwinner at the same time, so I could easily understand Mike. I’ve lived with someone who was on dialysis, so I could relate to Raymond’s point of view as well.

I haven’t, however, been a child who lost a parent and had a chronically ill parent, so John was the most difficult character for me to write. I tried to put myself in his shoes and imagine all of his confusing and conflicting emotions. I hope that John’s issues come across well in the book.

How many non-Amish books have you written, please include the names of them (I will link them on my blog)

I have written a three-book contemporary young adult series:

Roadside Assistance

Destination Unknown

Miles from Nowhere

I have also written a non-fiction book detailing my husband’s journey with kidney disease, and my journey as a kidney donor.

The Gift of Love

Share a bit about how you write, since you work a full time job, besides your writing career.

I’m very organized. I start out with a synopsis, and after my editor approves it, I write a very detailed outline, going chapter by chapter, scene by scene. I use this as my roadmap when I’m writing. The story grows and changes, but I know where I’m headed. This helps prevent the dreaded writer’s block.

I write for deadlines, meaning I take breaks and enjoy time with family when my books are done. I’ll write late into the night and all weekend long when I’m finishing up a book. My family is very patient and understanding when I’m on deadline. I’m grateful that my mother lives with my family, and she keeps the household running. My husband is also very supportive, and he takes the boys to youth group and their music lessons during the week. I couldn’t balance working full-time and writing five books per year without my supportive family!

Share a fun memory/experience from your teenage years that will show a side of you, the fans and readers will be surprised to hear about. 

When I was in high school I was crazy about 1960’s music! I loved the Monkees and the Beatles the best. I saw the Monkees in concert several times, and I met Davy Jones twice. I used to make tie-dyed shirts and beaded necklaces. I was a modern-day flower child. It’s funny to think back on that now.

 About the Author

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. An advocate for organ and blood donation, Amy donated a kidney in 2011 at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Through her donation, her husband received a second kidney transplant. Amy and her husband matched another couple and swapped kidneys with them. Amy's memoir, A Gift of Love, will be available in early 2014. She hopes her story inspires others to become organ and blood donors. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, mother, and four spoiled rotten cats. You can find her on the web at www.AmyClipston.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmyClipstonBooks.


Carrie Stuart Parks When Death Draws Near

When Death Draws Near
 (Thomas Nelson, August 2016)

Death has always been part of Gwen Marcey's job. But when faced with her own mortality, everything takes on a different hue.

Forensic artist Gwen Marcey is between jobs and homes when she accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky. The Eastern Kentucky town, located deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, has been plagued by a serial rapist and a series of unexplained deaths. Before Gwen can develop a composite drawing, the latest witness vanishes, just like all the previous victims.

Turning her attention to sketching the face of an unidentified body, she discovers a link between his death and a Pentecostal serpent-handling church. Serpent-handling is illegal in Kentucky, and the churches have gone underground to avoid the authorities and continue to worship as they believe. Gwen is offered a handsome reward to infiltrate the renegade members, a reward she desperately needs as it seems her breast cancer has returned.

Joined by her digitally-obsessed, Generation Z daughter, Gwen goes undercover to a nineteenth century revival, planning to draw the faces of the snake handlers so they can be identified and arrested. Instead she uncovers a murderous plot and a festering evil.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2auSB8Y

About the book: 

About the author:

Carrie Stuart Parks is a Christy finalist as well as a Carol award-winning author. She has won numerous awards for her fine art as well. An internationally known forensic artist, she travels with her husband, Rick, across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law enforcement professionals. The author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing and painting, Carrie continues to create dramatic watercolors from her studio in the mountains of Idaho.

My Review
Shew, this book was so good, but I have to say it threw me for a loop. The very first page nearly lost me, with the use of glossolalia to indicate the character speaking in tongues. As a lifelong Pentecostal, I have never EVER seen that done and it really caused me some concern. The book, however, didn't do that with the exception of the beginning page, so I read on. And I was happy and thrilled that I did, what a great story. I am looking forward to the next Gwen Marcy novel. 4 stars from this reviewer. Great story, once I got over my initial shock.
This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this book.

What other reviewers are saying about this book. Click Here
Plunge into forensic artist Gwen Marcey's world, full of cold-case murders, shady politics, and a den of venomous suspects. Add Carrie Stuart Parks' new Gwen Marcey novel, When Death Draws Near, to the top of your must-read list. Gwen accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky—a small town facing big-city crime. But before she can finish her first drawing of the serial rapist who is on the loose, the latest witness vanishes. Just like all the others. Can Gwen uncover the truth—and convince anyone to believe her—before she becomes a victim herself?

Join Carrie in celebrating the release of When Death Draws Near by entering to win an Undercover Artist Starter Set.

when death draws near - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of When Death Draws Near

  • A $30 Michael's or Hobby Lobby gift card (winner's choice)

  • Colored pencils

  • A sharpener

  • A pencil case

  • An eraser

  • A coloring prayer book

  • A coloring notecard set

  • A lap desk

  • when death draws near - collage 

    Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 22. The winner will be announced August 23 on the Litfuse blog.

    when death draws near - enterbanner


    The Saddle Maker's Son by Kelly Irvin Review

    My Thoughts:
    Ack, I cannot decide. Which one of this series I like best. Do you ever have that problem? The good thing about this series is you can read them and they will stand alone. Reading them all however, will help you see the whole picture. Kelly Irvin amazes me with her writing, I just feel like I am part of the story. This story was special, I felt like it showed a side we rarely see in Amish stories. The side that reaches past the Amish community. The side that took in two little children who were strangers among them. Also, I loved how that Rebekkah is very transparent (to the reader) about her struggle of being left in the unpleasant aftermath of her sister leaving the faith. This book really was a good read, and I related to Rebekkah and Susan both. They are strong women, and were willing to help the children, anyway they were able.I didn't mention the romantic aspect of this story, because I felt the story was so much more than a romance.  4 stars from this reviewer. This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review.

    About the book:
     Rebekah Lantz feels imprisoned by circumstances she didn’t create. Tobias Byler is haunted by regret. Can two young runaways from half a world away teach them the healing power of true family?
    Rebekah isn’t like her sister, but the watchful gaze of her family and small, close knit Amish community makes her feel as if she’s been judged and found lacking. The men avoid her and the women whisper behind her back. She simply longs for the same chance to be a wife and mother that her friends have.
    Tobias Byler only wants to escape feelings for a woman he knows he should never have allowed to get close to him. Moving with his family to isolated Bee County, Texas, seemed the best way to leave his mistakes behind. But even a move across the country can’t erase the past that accompanies his every thought.
    A surprise encounter with two half-starved runaway children forces both Rebekah and Tobias to turn to each other to help a sister and brother who have traveled thousands of miles in search of lives of unfettered peace and joy.
    In doing so, Rebekah and Tobias discover the key to forgetting the past is the one that will open the door to love and the future they both seek.

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