A few days ago, I posted my congratulations to author Amy Clipston on reaching a milestone 1 MILLION books sold! Such a fantastic accomplishment!! Today, I have the delightful privilege of talking with her a bit more about that achievement as well as some Valentine’s Day recipes!
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 and Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series with HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Amy works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC, and lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, mother, and four spoiled rotten cats.
Her upcoming book, The Beloved Hope Chest, releases May 9th from Zondervan.
In the final installment of the Amish Heirloom series, the Fisher sisters learn the mystery behind their parents’ marriage—and about the sibling who has never been spoken of.
Mattie Fisher’s three daughters know that she’s been keeping a secret from them. With each item pulled from the beloved family hope chest, they’ve discovered a new clue about their mother’s past.
But there’s a reason Mattie has been keeping her history hidden, and she’s not sure she’s ready to reopen old wounds. Will dredging up the past change the way her children view her? Or her marriage to their father? And can she handle the pain of revisiting the memories that preceded the last few happy decades?
Mattie’s story is one of grief and learning to love again. But like the best things preserved in a hope chest, it’s a story of love and redemption born out of heartache—and it’s past time to share it.
Hi Amy! Welcome to the blog! I’m so honored to be chatting with you today! I start all of my guests out with a fast four:
Amy: That’s a tossup! I love a nice and crunchy Gala apple, but sometimes I want a sweet Halo. May I please respond with “both?”
Carrie: You may, yes 😉
Amy: Summer! I love the sun, the beach, the long days, and the heat.
Carrie: You had me until “heat”… can’t we all just enjoy temps in the 50s or 60s? lol
Amy: Definitely cats! I’ve had at least one pet cat since I was two years old. We currently have three cats, and they rule the house. They are gracious enough to allow the rest of us to live there with them.
Carrie: Zuzu (my dog) is not pleased with your answer but I’ll allow it 🙂
Amy: Tea! I enjoy a nice warm cup of tea at least once every day. I appreciate the smell of coffee, but I don’t drink it often.
Carrie: If coffee tasted like it smelled, i would totally be a fan.
Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Amy: Organization is my superpower. I manage to work full-time and write full-time without missing a deadline. In fact, if you asked my editor, she’d tell you I consistently turn in my books early. I keep a tight schedule and I still find time to relax and have fun too!
Carrie: Wow! That IS a superpower!! Can you send some of it my way please?
Everyone wants to know—what’s the secret to selling 1 million books?
Amy: I don’t think there’s a secret. At the risk of sounding cliché, I’d say it has taken hard work and determination. I’m constantly writing and/or promoting a book. Writing is my second career, so I put my heart and soul into it. I’m so grateful to have reached this milestone, and I’m very thankful for each and every reader who made it possible!
Carrie: Your hard work and determination have definitely paid off!
The Amish lifestyle seems fascinating and, at the same time, so simple. Why do you like writing about the Amish?
Amy: I love the simplicity of the Amish culture, but I also learn something new with every book I write. I have an Amish friend who helps me with my research, and I enjoy talking to her on the phone and asking her how an Amish person would handle the situations I use in my books. Some people may think I would get bored of writing about the Amish, but I see each book as a challenge to find a new story to share.
Carrie: I think we all crave a little (or a lot) more simplicity these days.
Your next book, The Beloved Hope Chest, is the final of your latest Amish Heirloom series. Is there a behind the scenes story about any of the characters you can share?
Amy: This book is very close to my heart since it is the last in my Amish Heirloom series. I’ve grown to love the Fisher family, and writing the parents’ story was bittersweet. I’ve woven mysteries about the parents, Mattie and Leroy, throughout the first three books, so there are readers who have been anticipating this story since the first book, The Forgotten Recipe, was published. I hope readers enjoy the story and are satisfied with the outcome of it.
Carrie: I love series that have an overarching sub-story that carries through all the books!
If one of your female/male characters was trying to impress her/his sweetheart for Valentine’s Day—what would she/he do?
Amy: An Amish man would make something special for his sweetheart. He might make her something out of wood, such as a trinket box or a shelf. He also might write her a letter or buy her something practical like a candle. I’m sure he would also give her chocolates too!
Carrie: Chocolate is always a good idea!!!!
What are some Amish recipes that my readers can impress their sweethearts with this Valentine’s Day?
Black Raspberry Pie
2 unbaked pie shells
Bring 2 quarts of water to boil
Meanwhile, moisten 1 cup *Therm Flo with ¾ cup water
Whisk together, then whisk into boiling water
Add ¾ cup sugar
Remove from heat and add one quart fresh raspberries
Pour into pie shells (don’t overfill, you may have extra)
Top with pie crust; cut holes in dough to allow steam to escape
Bake at 350 degrees for one hour
*Therm Flo is a modified food starch derived from waxy maize. It is used in canning and freezing home-prepared foods as a clear thickener.
Moist Banana Bread
2 c flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ c butter
2 Tbs milk
½ tsp lemon juice
1 c sugar
3 medium bananas, mashed
Beat together eggs, butter, milk, lemon juice, and sugar. Add bananas and mix. Add dry ingredients and mix only until flour is moist. Grease loaf pan and pour in batter. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes.
Shoo Fly Cupcakes
2 ½ c flour
½ c shortening
1 ½ c light brown sugar
1 c brown sugar
1 1/8 tsp baking powder
1 1/8 tsp baking soda
1 ½ c boiling water
Mix together flour, shortening, and light brown sugar. Save 1 c of this mixture for the top of the cupcakes. Add rest of ingredients to above mixture. Mix well. Spoon into paper cupcake cups and top with crumbs. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
2 egg yolks
2 c brown sugar
1 c oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 c cooked pumpkin
3 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
Pinch of nutmeg
Beat eggs yolks, brown sugar, and oil until smooth. Combine remaining ingredients and drop onto greased cookie sheet in 2-3 inch circles. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes. Cool and fill with filling.
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies Filling
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbs milk
2 egg whites, unbeaten
4 Tbs flour
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 ½ c shortening
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Spread between cookie.
Apple Roll Ups
2 c flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbs sugar
4 Tbs lard
¾ c milk
4 medium apples, sliced
1 ½ c brown sugar for sauce
Make dough of first 4 dry ingredients, lard, and milk. Roll out as for pie dough (1/4 inch thick). Spread apples on top and sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon. Roll up as for jelly roll and cut in round slices. Place slices in greased cake pan with open side up. Boil together 1 pint of water and 1 ½ c brown sugar. Pour over apples slices. Bake at 350 until brown.
cinnamon and sugar
1tsp baking powder
1 c flour
3/4 tsp salt
Into bottom of a buttered baking dish put thick layers of peaches. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Dot with lumps of butter. Sift dry ingredients and then add egg. Put over peaches. Bake at 350 until brown.
Raspberry Dream Torte
1-10 oz. pkg. frozen raspberries
1 ¼ cup vanilla wafer crumbs
¼ cup melted butter
½ cup butter
1 ½ cups 10x sugar
¼ t. vanilla
¼ t. almond extract
¼ cup sugar
2 T. cornstarch
whipped cream for garnish
Defrost raspberries. Combine vanilla wafer crumbs and ¼ cup melted butter. Press into bottom of 7-½ inch spring form pan. Cream ½ cup butter and 10x sugar. Add eggs, beating well after each. Blend in extracts. Spread over crumb layer. Chill until firm. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and raspberry. Cook, stirring constantly until clear and thick. Pour raspberry filling over torte. Refrigerate several hours. Garnish with whipped cream.
Filling: ¾ cup sugar
5 level T. cornstarch
¼ t. salt
1 qt. red cherries drained
1 cup cherry juice
1 T. butter
2 t. lemon juice
few drops red food coloring
Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in saucepan. Add cherry juice and cook, stirring until thickened. Stir in lemon juice, cherries and red food coloring. Cool.
2/3 cup scalded milk
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 cup butter
2 ½ cup sifted flour
4 egg yolks slightly beaten
Cool milk to lukewarm, add yeast, cut in butter into flour. Add liquid ingredients and egg yolks to dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Turn out onto floured surface and knead 10 times. Divide in half. Roll first half until large enough for greased 11 ½ x 17 ½ inch pan. Spread cooled cherry filling over dough. Roll out second portion of dough and fit over dough together. Allow to rise in warm place 15 minutes. Bake 350 degrees 45-55 minutes.
¼ cup butter
½ t. vanilla
¾ cup chopped nuts
2 T. cream
1 ½ cups 10x sugar
Cream together butter, vanilla and cream. Add sugar, beating until mixture is well blended. Spread frosting over partially cooled cookies. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. When cool, cut into 3-inch squares and then cut again. Makes 48 triangles.
Mississippi Mud Pie
1-4 oz. pkg. ground pecans
3 reg. boxes instant butterscotch or chocolate pudding
1 large container whipped topping
1-8 oz. cream cheese
1 stick butter
1 cup flour
1 cup 10x sugar
1 can coconut
½ pkg. ground pecans mixed with flour and butter. Press on bottom of 9×13 inch pan. Bake 350 for 20 minutes. Cool.
Mix cream cheese, 10x sugar and 1/2 of whipped topping. Spread over crust. Then sprinkle with ½ can coconut and ½ chopped nuts.
Mix pudding with 5 cups cold milk. Spread over 2nd layer. Top with remaining topping. Sprinkle remaining coconut and nuts. Freeze. Remove 1 hour before serving. Cut while frozen.
Carrie: Well my mouth is certainly watering now, anyone else’s???
Zondervan is giving to one of my readers all three books released so far in the Amish Heirloom series!! That’s THREE BOOKS, in case you missed it 😉 Three books with gorgeous covers, no less. (Due to shipping costs and international regulations, this is open to US entries only.) Giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies.
This deluxe giveaway includes one copy each of the following:
What about you? Which recipe from those that Amy gave us would you want to try first?