Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Interview With Author Amy Clipston.

Amy Clipston, the author of many books such as The Amish Heirloom series, The Amish Homestead series, the Roadside Assistance Trilogy and the Kauffman Amish Bakery series has kindly agreed to do an interview with me! Enjoy!! 


V: How long does it usually take you to write a full-length novel?
A: The first draft usually takes approximately one month to six weeks. Then I spend approximately two weeks polishing the draft before I ask my mom and a friend to proofread it for me. After fixing any typos my mother and friend find, I go through the book once more before I submit it to my editor. 

Since I work full-time and write several books per year (including full-length novels and novellas), I’m forced to be 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.

V: Wow!! That is actually such a short amount of time to write a book in, that's amazing!

V: What is some of your favorite music to listen to while writing?
A: When I first was published, I needed complete quiet when I wrote. I couldn’t stand music because it would break my concentration. Now I often enjoy listening to music via my ear buds while I write—especially if my family is loud and driving me crazy. The television and surrounding conversations are distracting, but music actually helps me write. I have a couple of playlists, but it depends on my mood. Sometimes I need hard rock, sometimes I need something more soothing (such as Daughtry or Taylor Swift), and sometimes I crave musicals (such as The Greatest Showman) or even Latin pop (such as Enrique Iglesias). I suppose I’m a moody writer!

V: The Greatest Showman has some fun songs, but I’ll admit I’m pretty sick of them because my sister keeps singing them at the top of her lungs ALL the time ;) 


    V: I heard you had written A Place At Our Table several years back, but hadn’t finished it until last year, was it easy or hard to get back into the story? (Not certain if that's true or not;)
A: I didn’t actually write A Place at Our Table several years ago, but I had the concept for the book before I started writing The Forgotten Recipe, which is the first in my Amish Heirloom series. Through my research, I discovered that there are Amish folks who volunteer as firefighters and EMTs, and I wanted to work that into a story. Originally, Jason Huyard in The Forgotten Recipe was going to be a firefighter or EMT, but due to a typo in my proposal, that detail was left out of the story concept. Instead of adding it back in, I decided to hold onto that idea and save it for my next series. That was how James “Jamie” Riehl became a firefighter in A Place at Our Table

V: Whoops. That is SO neat though. I thought it was a fantastic switch from the usually Amish careers most Amish Fiction authors write about.

        V: How long have you had your cats?
I grew up with cats. In fact, I remember when I was two years old and my family and I brought home Spooky, a big, fat calico, on the day we adopted her. We’ve always had cats, and I can’t imagine living in a house without at least two!

We currently have three cats, but at one time, we had a total of four.  My cats are Jet, a fluffy tuxedo who is thirteen years old; Rico, a short-hair black cat, who is approximately nine; and Lily, a talkative tabby, who is approximately eight. Lily and Jet don’t get along, so we have a lot of growling, hissing, and drama when they are in the same room.

V: I love cats, we currently have three, too.

    V: If you had to pick one book out of all of your books you have written, what would it be?
A: I think you’re asking me if I have a favorite book. That is a tough question! If you asked me a few months ago, I would have told you that my favorite was Room on the Porch Swing since that book wrote itself. The characters came alive in my mind before I started typing, and I felt as if I couldn’t write fast enough. However, I recently finished the ends on A Seat by the Hearth, which the third book in my Amish Homestead series, and I’m happy with that book too. Mark Riehl is my favorite member of the Riehl family, and I had a blast writing his story. I think it’s a toss-up between those two books. I hope my readers enjoy reading the books as much I enjoy writing them.

V: I can't wait for May, when Room On The Porch Swing comes out, Heading over to the bookstore and doing something I never do *gasp* I'm paying full price!


    V: What were some of your favorite books when you were a kid?
    A: When I was growing up, I loved Judy Blume’s books and also the Sweet Valley High series.  My all-time favorite author, though, is S.E. Hinton, and my all-time favorite book is The Outsiders. I read it at least fourteen times when I was a preteen and teenager, and my copy of the book nearly fell apart. S.E. Hinton’s books always touched my heart, and I still remember being completely engrossed in Ponyboy Curtis’s emotions while reading that story. I also knew the movie by heart!

 V: Wow! Fourteen times?!? Impressive. I love it when books are so good you can't stop rereading them. Thanks for doing this Interview with me, Amy!!

Amy's newest book, Room On The Porch Swing releases on May 8th 2018, it is the sequel to A Place At Our Table.

Blurb for Room on the Porch Swing:

Room on the Porch Swing, the second installment of Amy Clipston’s Amish Homestead series, will release on May 8. Ever since her best friend died six months ago, Laura Reihlhas vowed to make each day count. And that means she should probably break off her relationship with Rudy. They’ve been together for so many years, and his friendship means the world to her. But she knows friendship doesn’t come close to the fireworks of true love, and she’s not really feeling the fireworks.

So when Savilla’s widower, Allen, asks her to help him take care of the baby Savilla left behind, Laura jumps at the chance. Maybe the change of scenery will help her gain perspective on her relationship with Rudy. And she’d do anything to help Allen out—he’s always been a good friend to her, and he’s Rudy’s best friend as well.
When she arrives at Allen’s house, though, she finds a man she barely recognizes. Allen is distraught over his wife’s death, blaming himself for not taking her to the doctor soon enough.
As Laura helps Allen work through his grief, she remembers just how easy he is to talk to. And she discovers an attraction she’s never felt with Rudy. She can’t be falling for Allen, can she? It would be a betrayal to the two people she’s care most about, Savilla and Rudy. But if she denies her feelings, is she betraying herself?


                                          Some of Amy's other novels.....

See the source image
My very favorite by her.
Image result for amy clipston books
My favorite Amish Fiction by her.


Have you read any Amy Clipston's books? What's your favorite book by her?
I hope you enjoyed this interview!

Monday, 16 April 2018

A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin Book Review.

           -A Distant Melody Book Review-

Book Details:             
Title: A Distant Melody.
Author: Sarah Sundin.
Publisher: Revell.
Release Date: 2010.
Book Genre: Historical, WWII.

What I Liked:
I really liked how cleverly the story was weaved together. It was very well formatted, and interesting as of when Allie and Walt met, when Daisy's father was the cab driver and when Allie meets Cracker at the Red Cross. I had been reading some of another authors books lately and I was comparing the writing style. Sarah Sundin's has more time put into it, and a better richer storyline then the other author. I also loved how real her characters were, Baxter was a pest from the start, I'm really glad how it turned out with him.

What I Disliked:
I really got annoyed with Walt's lying. Even though it wasn't a big lie it got annoying. J.P. also bugged me after he found out Walt lied. I thought it was dumb of Allie to even accept Baxter's proposal in the first place when she was already thinking she didn't want to marry him. I felt like this book could have beena teensy tiny bit shorter or put into two books, as it was 415 pages long. It could have had couple things cut out, other then that I really really enjoyed it!!

My Rating:
4.5/5 stars.

Overall Thoughts:
I loved Walt and Allie, they were the best characters! While there was some romance in this one, it was not cheesy at all like some books I have read! I also don't usually like World War Two books on the Home Front, I loved this one. I definitely saw this story shining in A Question Of Honor! I really really enjoyed this one. I can't wait to read more from Sundin in the future!! 

Thanks for reading!! Have you read any Sundin books?

Friday, 13 April 2018

5 Movies/TV Series Everyone Should Watch.

Hey hey hey, its a beautiful pretty cold day!!! *Mer-Mer huffs at me* (cat)
I thought I'd share some movies that everyone should watch! NOTE: A lot these are old fashioned type;)

1. Emma, BBC 2009, trailer below: This movie is my all time favorite movie or TV series! ITS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD!! One reason I love Erynn Mangum's Miss Match is bc I love Emma and Miss Match is slightly a retelling. I loved episode three best!!!

2. Road To Avonlea, I absolutely love this show. It's definitly a favorite and i was so happy to finally have the series!! Its such a hilarious show with little swearing, I think the chef might swear once or twice, but its just an AMAZING show and i have rewatched every episode multiple times! My favorite episodes include, "How The Kissing Was Discovered", "Love May Be Blind But Neighbors Ain't", "Enter Prince Charming" and "Out Of Ashes". Hilarious, fun and very enjoyable!! 

3. When Calls The Heart, such a great show, i find the new episodes are cheesier then the old ones but its still a fun, witty show.

4. Pride and Prejudice, AHHHHHHH! I just LOVE Jane Austen movies as you can see ;D This one was so good!!

Last of all......
5. The Shunning. This movie is based on the book by Beverly Lewis and i thought it was a great movie, it stuck to the book pretty well. I would love to see more Amish movies!

Thanks for watching/and reading! I hope you found some new movie recommendations! Have you watched any of these?

Sunday, 8 April 2018

//-Salt Water Taffy Recipe-Inspired by Salt Water Taffie the book-//

Hey y'all! I made some salt water taffy yesterday and it turned out amazing! best recipe I've used yet. When I was reading Salt Water Taffie by Janice Thompson, I started craving some so I ended up making some tea-infused stuff. I'd love to know if you try the recipe:D

I used this recipe: http://www.cupcakeproject.com/2012/08/homemade-salt-water-taffy-in-one-hour.html, but adapted it slightly by using 2 tablespoons of flour instead of 1 tablespoon of cornstarch bc we didn't have any...XD I also did not use vanilia bean paste but I imagine it would taste  great;D

How to Make Homemade Salt Water Taffy

Yield: 50 small pieces of salt water taffy
        - 1 cup sugar
        -1 tablespoon cornstarch
        -2/3 cup light corn syrup
        -1 tablespoon unsalted butter + extra for buttering a baking dish, your hands, and scissors
        -1/2 cup hot strong tea, I used Carribean Crush from Davids Tea. {Water works just the same}
        -1/2 teaspoon salt
        -2 teaspoons vanilla paste or flavoring if you do not use tea.
  • Medium-sized saucepan
  • Small baking dish
  • Candy thermometer 
  • Kitchen scissors
  • Waxed paper
  1. Thoroughly butter a small baking dish and set aside.
  2. Place sugar, cornstarch, corn syrup, butter, hot tea, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan on medium-high heat.
  3. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Heat until the mixture reaches 255 F on a candy thermometer and immediately remove from the heat.     Note: If you read other salt water taffy recipes, you’ll see a range of temperatures.  The higher the temperature, the harder the taffy will be.  255 F makes a candy that holds its shape but dissolves in your mouth
  5. Mix vanilla bean paste/or flavouring into hot taffy.
  6. Pour the hot taffy into the buttered baking dish.
  7. When the taffy is cool enough, butter your hands, form a big taffy ball, and begin to stretch and pull.  Keep doing this for about 15 minutes.  Salt water taffy recipes always call for pulling.  Pulling the taffy aerates it, which makes it softer and more chewy.  As you pull, you’ll notice that the color of the taffy becomes significantly lighter.  You’ll also notice that the taffy will get much tougher to pull.  When your arms get really tired and it starts to feel like you are using one of those exercise stretch bands, you’re done. 
  8. Look at the color of the taffy at the very beginning of the pull.  You’ll see that it gets much lighter as the process continues.
Here are some pictures that I took while making it:
                                                                  While its boiling.....

    I poured it into a bread glass dish. It has flour chunks but those are easy to get out while pulling!
                                                                      The tea I used..
                                                              Me pulling the taffy!

             After1 I didn't pull mine nearly long enough but it should be lighter in color after pulling!
                                                       And cutting them up.
                                      I didn't get a good picture of them wrapped afterwards, whoops!!
Thanks for reading my randomish post! Hope you enjoyed and were inspired to make some!!

~Victoria from......

Thursday, 5 April 2018

March/April Book Haul Video!

Hey everyone! I'm back with another video which was  a lot of fun to make even though the quality is TERRIBLE! :P

How did you like it? What kind of videos would you like to see??


Tuesday, 3 April 2018

March 2018 Wrap Up

I saw a couple of people who did monthly wrap ups and ups and i thought it would be fun to do one myself! Here we go.....*stomach growls because its almost noon*

I read quite a few fiction books and bought sooooo many books!!
March 1st
   - started a bookstagram challenge created by Rissi JC that was a lot of fun.
  -Picked out my March TBR. I only completed one book on the list haha! Chasing Jupiter by Rachel Coker. {See complete TBR at htttps://www.instagram.com/two.cousins.bookish.fandoms/?hl=en}
March 3rd
    -Finished Millie's Courageous Days by Martha Finley and it was SOOOO good!!!
March 4th
  -I got Christy Miller Volume Four for my cousins;)
  -Finished Millies Remarkable Journey and ahhhhh!!!!!!! BTW, its Millies Remarkable Journey's                16th birthday today! HBD!!!
March 5th
     -Finished reading Hide Behind The Moon, in the Summerhill Secrets series.
March 6th
    -Finished Hide Behind the Moon, in the Summerhill Secrets series.
    -Finished Millie's Faithful Heart, It was AMAZING!!
March 7th
    -Finished Millie's Steadfast Love, The series just gets better and better!!!
     -Went to bookstore and bought The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson and Amish Sweethearts          by Amy Clipston!
March 8th
    -Finished Millie's Grand Adventure, SO GOOD!!!!!!!!! BEST IN THE SERIES!!
March 9th
   -Received A Viscounts Proposal, by Melanie Dickerson in the mail, and discovered it was
      VI-Count not Viss-count, lol.
March 10th
   -Finished Millie's Reluctant Sacrifice, AHHHHH! WOWOW <3333
March 11th
    -Finished Millie's Fiery Trial, THIS SERIES WAS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!
    -Finished Wildflowers by Robin Jones Gunn. It was my least favorite RJG book I've read.
March 12th
   -Got Millie's Courageous Days in the mail!
March 13th
  -Got Millie's Remarkable Journey in the mail, eeps!!
  -Finished Mandie and the Forbidden Attic. Wasn't as good as I thought it was.
  -Finished The Giver, pretty good not the best book I've read.
March 16th
  -Finished Catch A Falling Star in the Summerhill Secrets series.
March 18th
  -Finished Christy Miller's Diary, great addition to the series!
March 19th
  -Finished The Oprhan's Wish, SO GOOD!
March 22nd
 -finished Chasing Jupiter, good just romance was cheesy and the ending was tragic!
March 26th
  -Got Millie's Steadfast Love in the mail and it had a hole in the spine! UGH.
March 27th
March 28th
   -Finished Love Needs No Words, great!!!
   -Finished A Distant Melody, so so so good!!
March 29th
   -Finished A Question Of Honor! SOOOO GOOD! I HATEEEEE Kindle but I loved this book!
  -Bought A Most Worthy Pursuit by Karen Witemeyer, The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson, Reckless Heart and A Gift of Grace by Amy Clipston, SANDY TOES BY ROBIN JONES GUNN =D, Salt Water Taffie by Janice Thompson, Into The Sunset by various Authors. I spent *sob* SO MUCH.

thanks for reading my random awkward bookish wrap up! Next months will be better I assure you!!!! I will be having a review later this week, Cya!

~Victoria from.............