Category Archives: Author Features

Interview with Amy Clipston (Plus Giveaway!)

A Mother’s Day Q&A with Author Amy Clipston

Amy and sons

Amy Clipston with sons Matt and Zac

What was your favorite Mother’s Day? 

My favorite was after Matt was born because I had my two wonderful boys.

What was your most favorite book to read to your boys when they were little?

Zac absolutely loved Big Joe’s Trailer Truck by Joe Mathieu! He knew it by heart! It’s the cutest book, and I read it to Matt also. We kept it and will pass it on if they have children.

Do you get any book ideas from your sons’ shenanigans?

I haven’t really included any of their shenanigans, but I did model a character after Zac. In my young adult book Roadside Assistance, Logan, who is Whitney’s younger brother, was inspired by Zac. Logan likes Star Wars and video games, and his room is decorated similarly to how Zac’s room used to look.

What’s one of your favorite memories/stories of your boys with your books?

For the past four years I’ve spoken to the 6th grade at my boys’ middle school. I don’t think I embarrassed them too badly when they were members of the audience. One of my sons doesn’t tell many people that I write books, but my other son proudly shares it with friends and teachers. He frequently comes home from school and tells me that the girls in his classes are reading my books. I’m thankful he’s not embarrassed by me or my books.

As a mother, what is your prayer for your boys?

My prayer is that they stay healthy and they find a profession they love. I also pray that if they chose to marry, they find someone who is nice and who will treat them with love and respect. I tell them repeatedly that love should never make them feel bad about themselves. I pray with all of my heart that they will be happy.

About Amy

Amy

Amy Clipston is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. Her novels have hit multiple bestseller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Amy 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 three spoiled rotten cats.

Amy Clipston’s Website
Amy Clipston at Zondervan

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Don’t Miss Amy Clipston’s May Giveaway!

Click through on the photo to enter for a chance to win the prizes shown below, including Amish doll clothes that fit American Girls size dolls!

Amy Clipston May Giveaway

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The Week in Reviews: ReadLove Recap For the Week Beginning March 16th

 

Another week has come and gone at ReadLove ! Here’s what you may have missed:

Monday:

Christian Chapters: A Faith of Her Own by Kathleen Fuller

4.5 of 5 Hearts. Kathleen Fuller’s Latest Visit To Middlefield Refreshes The Soul.

Fans of Beverly Lewis and James Herriot will find much to love in this story of a young Amish woman seeking A Faith of Her Own.

[Read the full review]

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday:

Kids Corner: The Troubles of Johnny Cannon by Isaiah Campbell

3.5 of 5 Hearts. Part Realistic Historical, Part Unbelievable Spy Thriller.

The Troubles of Johnny Cannon is essentially a tale of two Johnnys. While the action that takes place in Cullman, Alabama, is authentic and sincere, when Johnny comes face to face with Castro in Cuba, it feels like the ship has steered into entirely different waters. Still, readers who like heavy doses of action may be willing to suspend their disbelief long enough to learn some important lessons.

[Read the full review]

 

Thursday:

Kids Corner: T.A. Barron – “Countdown to a Meaningful Life” – One Last Word: LOVE

ReadLove joins T.A. Barron for a blog series to celebrate the upcoming publication of The Wisdom of Merlin: 7 Magical Words for a Meaningful Life. This campaign is based on Merlin’s answer to the question, “What is the meaning of life?” Surprisingly, the answer has only seven words…but they are the most powerful words of all.

For seven weeks, we have focused on seven magical words that took us on an inspiring journey. You might have thought that with the seventh word, the campaign was over…but think again.

There is one last word that flows through each of the seven magical words and which Merlin considers “the most magical word of all”: Love.

The Last Word: Love  [Read the full article]

 

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That’s everything that happened on ReadLove this week. See you next week!

Until then, I’d love it if you shared a bit about your week in the comments!

Kids Corner: T.A. Barron – “Countdown to a Meaningful Life” – One Last Word: LOVE

Wisdom of MerlinReadLove joins T.A. Barron for a blog series to celebrate the upcoming publication of The Wisdom of Merlin: 7 Magical Words for a Meaningful Life. This campaign is based on Merlin’s answer to the question, “What is the meaning of life?” Surprisingly, the answer has only seven words…but they are the most powerful words of all.

For seven weeks, we have focused on seven magical words that took us on an inspiring journey. You might have thought that with the seventh word, the campaign was over… but think again.

There is one last word that flows through each of the seven magical words and which Merlin considers “the most magical word of all”: Love.

For more inspiration visit or Like:

www.TABarron.com

www.facebook.com/TABarronFans


THE WISDOM OF MERLIN: 7 Magical Words for a Meaningful Life

will be published on March 24, 2015.


To read about all the Magical Words, please visit these posts:

First Magical Word: Gratitude

Second Magical Word: Courage

Third Magical Word: Knowledge

Fourth Magical Word: Wonder

Fifth Magical Word: Belief

Sixth Magical Word: Generosity

Seventh Magical Word: Hope


The Last Word:

Love

Excerpts from The Wisdom of Merlin:

“Love is an invitation, not a command. But if you truly open yourself to its power, you will be swept away as if you had plunged into a mighty river.

“Love is a rope that can stretch itself infinitely. It can connect you to one person or many people. Its strength can link you forever to a place, a time, an experience, or an idea.”

“How do you express love? Through words and music and touch—really, through any kind of communication. The most powerful way, though, is simply how you live.”

One Final Quote From T.A. Barron:

“All we have—all we have—is our time and our souls. Why not make the most of both of them?”

The Impact of Love on History:

  • The Face that Launched a Thousand Ships – According to Greek mythology, the Trojan War was fought when the exquisitely beautiful Helen fell in love and ran away with Paris of Troy. To reclaim his wife, the King of Sparta went to war with Troy for ten long years, eventually winning Helen back from Paris.
  • Love and the British Monarchy – One of the greatest love stories in British history is between Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert. Having made Albert her king in all but name, the couple reigned as one for 40 years. It was a time of technological innovation and advancement in human rights for Great Britain.

Great Gifts of Love:

  • The Taj Mahal – Built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb and monument to his beloved wife, the Taj Mahal took 20 years and thousands of workers to build.
  • Boldt Castle – George C. Boldt, proprietor of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, ordered the construction of a grand castle as a present to his wife, Louise. Situated on a heart-shaped island, the unfinished castle was left abandoned after Louise unexpectedly passed away.

Dawn Teresa’s Thoughts on Love:

Everyone is familiar with the widely popular Lennon/McCartney song “All You Need is Love.” However, one of my favorite songs about love touches on the Divine, and comes from the solo work of another Beatle. It is George’s Harrison’s “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)”. I think Merlin would like it, too!


I’d like to thank T.A. Barron and Chelsey Saatkamp for inviting me to take part in this  series. What a rewarding time it has been!

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Please share in the comments below!

The Week in Reviews: ReadLove Recap For the Week Beginning March 9th

 

Another week has come and gone at ReadLove ! Here’s what you may have missed:

Monday:

Kids Corner: Aoléon The Martian Girl Part One: First Contact by Brent LeVasseur

3 Hearts - Final



3 of 5 Hearts. Good Storyline and Excellent Artwork Lift a Text in Need of an Editor. Aoléon The Martian Girl Part One: First Contact is the first entry in a five-part series. Though the writing is less than stellar, the text is saved by the accompanying 3D images and a fast-paced plot. Consider this a good choice for young, reluctant readers of both genders, being the type of book that generously feeds one’s imagination while vigorously exercising one’s suspension of disbelief.  [Read the full review]


Tuesday:

Kids Corner: Nightbird by Alice Hoffman

 

 

4 of 5 Hearts. A Bewitchingly Beautiful Tale of Family and Friendship. As Twig and her new-found friend Julia work together to break a centuries-old curse, they learn just how strong the ties of family, friendship, and love can be.  [Read the full review]

 

 

 

Thursday:

Kids Corner: T.A. Barron – “Countdown to a Meaningful Life” Week 7: Hope

ReadLove joins T.A. Barron for a special blog series to celebrate the upcoming publication of The Wisdom of Merlin: 7 Magical Words for a Meaningful Life. This seven-week countdown campaign will be based on Merlin’s answer to the question, “What is the meaning of life?”

Surprisingly, the answer has only seven words…but they are the most powerful words of all.

Join with us each week as we focus on one of these magical words with supporting content that will help us acknowledge, reflect, practice, and get inspired to embark on a new adventure or live life to its fullest.

Seventh Magical Word: Hope  [Read the full article]

 

Saturday:

Teen Zone: An Uncertain Choice by Jody Hedlund




3.5 of 5 Hearts. The Bachelorette Goes Medieval! Full of gorgeous and gallant knights wooing a beautiful young damsel, An Uncertain Choice is a good pick for a YA Christian romance. Don’t expect too much in the way of history or surprises, but if it’s a love story you crave, this one will entertain, especially in its final, exciting chapters.  [Read the full review]

 

 

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That’s everything that happened on ReadLove this week. See you next week!

Until then, I’d love it if you shared a bit about your week in the comments!

Kids Corner: T.A. Barron – “Countdown to a Meaningful Life” Week 7: Hope

Wisdom of MerlinReadLove joins T.A. Barron for a special blog series to celebrate the upcoming publication of The Wisdom of Merlin: 7 Magical Words for a Meaningful Life. This seven-week countdown campaign will be based on Merlin’s answer to the question, “What is the meaning of life?”

Surprisingly, the answer has only seven words…but they are the most powerful words of all.

Join with us each week as we focus on one of these magical words with supporting content that will help us acknowledge, reflect, practice, and get inspired to embark on a new adventure or live life to its fullest.

For more inspiration visit or Like:

www.TABarron.com

www.facebook.com/TABarronFans


To read about the other Magical Words, please visit these posts:

First Magical Word: Gratitude

Second Magical Word: Courage

Third Magical Word: Knowledge

Fourth Magical Word: Wonder

Fifth Magical Word: Belief

Sixth Magical Word: Generosity

The Most Magical Word of All: Love


Seventh Magical Word:

Hope

Excerpts from The Wisdom of Merlin:

“Hope requires courage.

“Blow on the embers of hope in yourself. Strengthen them into flames. For those are the fires where new worlds are born.”

“Whenever I feel touched by despair, I think about two good sources of hope. The first is young people…the second source is nature.”

Crocuses in SnowSnow and flowers at Rugova” by Nentori

Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Quotes on Hope:

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”  Desmond Tutu

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul — and sings the tunes without the words — and never stops at all.” Emily Dickinson

“Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality.” Jonas Salk

Rainbow after storm

By Ben Njeri [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Hope In Different Languages:

  • In Chinese, to hope is xi wang.

  • In Dutch, the word for hope is hoop.

  • In French, the word for hope is espoir.

  • In German, the word hope is hoffnung.

  • In Greek, the word hope is elpida.

  • In Italian, the word for hope is sperare.

  • In Japanese, the word for hope us kibō.

  • In Spanish, the word for hope is esperanza.

  • In Swahili, the word for hope is tumaini.

  • In Turkish, the word for hope is umut.

Rebirth (6330282839)
By vastateparksstaff (Rebirth Uploaded by Albert Herring) [CC BY 2.0],

via Wikimedia Commons

Dawn Teresa’s Thoughts on Hope:

When I saw this week’s word was hope, without having read the famous quotes listed above provided by T.A. Barron, I started thinking of some examples. And as I prepared this post, I smiled, for among them I recognized my own first thought — this Emily Dickinson quote:

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul — and sings the tunes without the words — and never stops at all.”

Like Mr. Barron, I also look to nature for sources and evidence of hope. When Ms. Dickinson writes of singing the tune “without the words,” though she’s speaking of one’s soul, her metaphor comes from nature. Sometimes after a storm, you might see a rainbow. But one thing is certain, when the natural world which had hunkered down to ride out the storm reawakens, one of the first sounds we hear is birdsong. When dread silence is broken by that first lively chirp, we know everything is going to be okay.

Elsewhere in nature, we catches glimpses of hope: A sapling growing beneath the shade of larger trees which “impossibly” manages to reach out and find sunlight; blasted trees which continue to grow, or instances like the picture above where life springs from death; crocuses triumphantly bursting through a still snow-blanketed ground announcing that spring will not be held back. Outdoors, rebirth and renewal are everywhere. The great cycle of life is perhaps the most enduring promise of all. Just as winter fades to spring, a storm retreats to leave a beautiful rainbow, or new growth pushes out from ashes, the dark days of our own lives are also temporary. After night comes dawn. When we begin to despair, we must patiently wait in hope, confident that miraculous and beautiful, the steadfast morning will come, bringing with it new beginnings.


I’d like to thank T.A. Barron and Chelsey Saatkamp for inviting me to take part in this 7-week series. What a priceless journey it has been!

Readers, I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Please share in the comments below!

The Week in Reviews: ReadLove Recap For the Week Beginning March 2nd

 

Another week has come and gone at ReadLove ! Here’s what you may have missed:

Monday:

Kids Corner Spotlight & Giveaway — Flunked: Fairy Tale Reform School by Jen Calonita

Gilly wouldn’t call herself wicked exactly…but when you have five little brothers and sisters and live in a run-down boot, you have to get creative to make ends meet. Gilly’s a pretty good thief (if she does say so herself). Until she gets caught.

Gilly’s sentenced to three months at Fairy Tale Reform School — where all of the teachers are former (super-scary) villains like the Big Bad Wolf, the Evil Queen, and Cinderella’s Wicked Stepmother. Harsh. But when she meets fellow students Jax and Kayla, she learns there’s more to this school than its heroic mission. There’s a battle brewing and Gilly has to wonder: can a villain really change?

[See the Spotlight and Enter the Giveaway]

Thursday:

Kids Corner: T.A. Barron – “Countdown to a Meaningful Life” Week 6: Generosity

ReadLove joins T.A. Barron for a special blog series to celebrate the upcoming publication of The Wisdom of Merlin: 7 Magical Words for a Meaningful Life. This seven-week countdown campaign will be based on Merlin’s answer to the question, “What is the meaning of life?”

Surprisingly, the answer has only seven words…but they are the most powerful words of all.

Join with us each week as we focus on one of these magical words with supporting content that will help us acknowledge, reflect, practice, and get inspired to embark on a new adventure or live life to its fullest.

Sixth Magical Word: Generosity  [Read the full article]

 

Friday:God Made You Special

Picture Pages: The Berenstain Bears® God Made You Special by Mike Berenstain

5 Hearts - Final

 

 

5 of 5 Hearts. The Bears Learn a Beary Important Lesson. God Made You Special demonstrates to children that God made us all unique with our own special gifts. This gentle, compassionate look at children with special needs teaches loving acceptance and inclusion.  [Read the full review]

 

Saturday:The Case of the Cursed Dodo

Kids Corner: The Case of the Cursed Dodo by Jake G. Panda

3.5 Hearts - Final


3.5 of 5 Hearts. A Wild and “Woolly” Adventure With a Style All Its Own. Whether you’ve got trouble of the rarest kind, or you’re just looking for a hair-raising adventure, you’ll find your man — er, Panda — waiting at Wildlife’s Last Resort. Just ask for Jake.  [Read the full review]

 

 

 

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That’s everything that happened on ReadLove this week. See you next week!

Until then, I’d love it if you shared a bit about your week in the comments!

Kids Corner: T.A. Barron – “Countdown to a Meaningful Life” Week 6: Generosity

Wisdom of MerlinReadLove joins T.A. Barron for a special blog series to celebrate the upcoming publication of The Wisdom of Merlin: 7 Magical Words for a Meaningful Life. This seven-week countdown campaign will be based on Merlin’s answer to the question, “What is the meaning of life?”

Surprisingly, the answer has only seven words…but they are the most powerful words of all.

Join with us each week as we focus on one of these magical words with supporting content that will help us acknowledge, reflect, practice, and get inspired to embark on a new adventure or live life to its fullest.

For more inspiration visit or Like:

www.TABarron.com

www.facebook.com/TABarronFans


To read about the other Magical Words, please visit these posts:

First Magical Word: Gratitude

Second Magical Word: Courage

Third Magical Word: Knowledge

Fourth Magical Word: Wonder

Fifth Magical Word: Belief

Seventh Magical Word: Hope

The Most Magical Word of All: Love


Sixth Magical Word:

Generosity

Excerpt from The Wisdom of Merlin:

“Generosity is not giving others what they want. Rather, it’s giving away what you yourself want.

“Generosity multiplies. Whatever you give to someone inspires more gifts to others. And when you illuminate someone’s path, many more will walk upon it. As my good friend Buddha would say, ‘Make of your life a light.’

Quotes on Generosity:

Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

“He who gives what he would as readily throw away, gives without generosity; for the essence of generosity is in self sacrifice.”  Henry Taylor

Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” Simone Weil

“No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” Calvin Coolidge

Photo Credit: ForestWonder.com

Background Photo Credit: ForestWonder.com

Celebrate Generosity in 2015:

  • March 13: National Good Samaritan Day

  • July 11: National Cheer Up The Lonely Day

  • October 5: National Do Something Nice Day

  • Every Day!

Be Generous:

  • Pay It Forward.

    It could be shoveling your neighbor’s driveway or paying for the person behind you at the drive thru, but paying it forward makes everyone feel great. A small, unexpected act of generosity as simple as a smile could brighten a person’s day more than you realize.

Dawn Teresa’s Thoughts on Generosity:

  • Generosity is a great way to make new friends. Sharing what you have with another person creates an instant bond.
  • I have never regretted generosity at any price. It has always been worth every penny.
  • Rather than preserving and protecting something by keeping it to yourself, selfishness robs you of the joy you might have had in sharing or giving.
  • Little is much to those in need. Even small acts of kindness can have great impact.
  • Charles Dickens’ famous tale A Christmas Carol vividly displays the emptiness of greed versus the reward that comes to the grateful heart inspired to be charitable.
  • Those who have the least (children and the poor) tend to be the most willing to give. What does this say about the dangers of extravagance and excess?

I’d like to thank T.A. Barron and Chelsey Saatkamp for inviting me to take part in this 7-week series. What a priceless journey it has been!

Readers, I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Please share in the comments below!

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