ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
A native of New Jersey, I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I often joke that my fiction writing “career” began in elementary school as I wrote and shared silly stories with a close friend.
In 1991, I graduated from high school, and my parents and I moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia. My father retired, and my mother went to work full-time. I attended Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, and I graduated with a degree in communications. I met my husband, Joe, during my senior year in college, a few days after my father had a massive stroke. Joe and I clicked instantly, and after a couple of months we started dating. We married four years later.
After graduating from VWC, I took a summer job with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District, which turned into an eleven-year career. I worked in the Public Affairs Office for four years and then moved into Planning as a writer/editor.
One day while surfing the Internet for a professional editor’s group, I accidentally found a local fiction writing group, Chesapeake Romance Writers. I attended a meeting and I met writers in all stages of their careers. The group helped me realize that I did want to be an author, and it was my dream to see my name on the cover of one of my novels. Through Chesapeake Romance Writers, I learned how to plot, write, and edit a novel, and I also learned how to pursue an agent. I signed with Mary Sue Seymour at the Seymour Agency in 2006, shortly before Joe and I moved my parents and our sons to North Carolina.
My dream came true when I sold my first book in 2007. Holding my first book, A Gift of Grace, in my hands was exhilarating and surreal.
ABOUT THE BOOK
If you'd like to read the first chapter of Naomi's Gift, go HERE.
Naomi's Gift by Amy Clipston is a Christmas novella in the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. Naomi King has faced two recent heartbreaks that have left her wondering if marriage is God's will for her and a reputation for chasing men with some of the men in her community. Caleb Schmucker is still mourning the loss of his pregnant wife Barbara in a tragic buggy accident two years ago while trying to raise his daughter Susie. Caleb and Susie return to Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania where he grew up to spend the holidays with his sister Sadie and her family. Sadie has plans for Caleb which include getting him to move home, marrying her friend Irene and working for Irene's father in his buggy shop, but when Susie meets Naomi, the two quickly become friends, and soon Caleb becomes curious about the young woman who so quickly captured his daughter's heart, who his sister seems determined to keep him away from. If you aren't familiar with the series (like me), you'll still comfortable quickly as Clipston does a good job of keeping the families straight for new readers. Naomi and Caleb's attraction for each other grows quickly but naturally over the course of the story. Both are sympathetic characters, and Susie is sweet, but Sadie comes across as completely unlikable, and Naomi's mother, Irma, not much better. I think when trying to create conflict for the story, some of the characters became stereotypes rather than people, so the story isn't as strong as it could be.