Sunday, November 25, 2012

ACCIDENTALLY AMISH - Olivia Newport - One Free Book

Welcome back, Olivia. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I use the phrase “twisting through time, chasing the joy” to describe my books. More and more, I am drawn to the historical “understory” of any event or character’s story. In some way or another, the past has brought us all to the point where we are now, and it intrigues me to unpack that theme.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I remember when my son was just a few days old and I was with my mom, who had seven children, and we marveled over him together. I asked, “Does it feel like this every time?” “Every single time,” she answered. To my great joy, I got to feel that twice. No matter how children come into a family, parenthood changes you.

How has being published changed your life?
I have certainly seen what the interior of a writer’s life looks like! Rounds of editing. Being available for opportunities such as this Q&A. Building networks to help spread the word about my books—it’s still true that most people choose a book because someone they know recommended it. I find the greatest challenge is not so much about having time to do everything—and still write—but about being a good juggler. That means creating a rhythm of life that can respond to each project as needed, catching it when it comes down and infusing fresh energy for whatever is the next upward stage of its life.
What are you reading right now?
Just finished: House of Mercy by Erin Healy
Almost finished: We Sinners by Hanna Pylvainen
Half-finished: Death Comes to Pemberly by P.D. James (audiobook)

What is your current work in progress?
I am working on Taken for English, the third in my Valley of Choice series. These books have thematically intertwined stories from two centuries. I write the historical story first, and I’m just about finished with that.

What would be your dream vacation?
Somewhere with a beach and a hammock where I can sway with the rhythm of the ocean. And I get there in an airplane.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
Since I’m releasing two series, I have two basic settings right now. The Avenue of Dreams series, including The Pursuit of Lucy Banning and The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow so far, are set in an historic neighborhood of Chicago. The Valley of choice series, which began with the release of Accidentally Amish, is also inspired by events that happened in a particular place. I have so many stories in my head! I read a snippet about a place that sounds interesting, or perhaps I pass through a place on a trip to somewhere else, and I begin to see the setting’s potential.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I live far away from my mother, who will soon be 87, and I don’t see her too often. I would love to spend more evenings with her because I treasure her presence. To me she is a remarkable person, and I love hearing stories of when she was young.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I love some of the classic sit-coms, so I enjoy kicking back with a cast of characters whose personalities and quirks have become familiar and endearing. Sometimes a dose of Rob and Laura Petrie is just what I need. And I can easily make a hobby out of meeting friends for lunch or a meal and drenching each other in laughter and encouragement.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
People often say, “If I had more time, I’d write a book.” And I always think to myself, “You have the same 24 hours a day that I have.” Most writers have day jobs and families and all sorts of obligations. Writing comes at a price, and it’s a difficult lesson to learn to pay it. I make intentional choices and then focus on what I’ve chosen, rather than what I am missing because of my choice.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
With any ambition, it’s essential to set the right kind of goal. Make sure that your goals are specific and realistic, and recognize that you will make adjustments along the way as you learn more about your interests and the publishing industry. And don’t compare your goal to someone else’s. Everybody’s life is different.

Tell us about the featured book.
A serendipitous event spurred me to pull a family genealogy book off the shelf, and I read more closely than I ever had. One of my family lines traces to Jakob Beyeler, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1737 on a ship carrying Amish families. The twist that fascinates me is that Jakob had ten children. The first five children remained Amish, while the second set were raised as part of the general culture. What choices must Jakob have made? What sacrifices? From there I went into the contemporary setting and came at the same theme from a different angle. What values drive the choices we make, and what happens when cultures clash?

Please give us the first page of the book.
His kiss was firm and lingering as he cradled her head in one broad palm. “Annie,” he murmured as he took in a breath. His hand moved to brush her cheek. He kissed her again.

Annie’s stomach churned while her lips went on automatic pilot. Kissing Rick Stebbins was nothing new and, frankly, less exciting every time. But in the moment, it seemed the safest choice among miserable alternatives.

She pictured where her blue Prius was stashed in the parking lot behind the modest glazed-brick office building. A small red duffel lay on the passenger seat and a compact suitcase on the floor. The denim bag she had carried since high school, on the desk she was leaning against, held her laptop in its padded case. Car keys hung from a belt loop on her jeans. Her cell phone was in a back pocket.

Annie Friesen was ready.

Rick would never admit to what she suspected. More than suspected. She was no lawyer, but she knew it would take more evidence to make an accusation stick.

And Rick was a lawyer. Her lawyer. Her intellectual property lawyer. If only he had not slipped that extraneous document between the pages of the last contract awaiting her signature in triplicate. Whatever she thought she felt for him dissolved with that test of her attention to detail. He was the one who failed. She would sign nothing more from Rick Stebbins.

This sounds like an interesting premise. I can't wait until my copy arrives. How can readers find you on the Internet?
@olivianewport (Twitter)

Thank you, Olivia. for sharing this book and peek into your life.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Accidentally Amish (Valley of Choice) - paperback
Accidentally Amish (Valley of Choice) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Jo said...

This book sounds quite interesting and know that it is something that I would enjoy. Thanks for the opportunity.

Jo from Southern Arizona

scottsgal said...

I just started reading Amish themed books - sounds like a good one
cheryl in IL
msboatgal at

Olivia Newport said...

Thanks, Lena,for letting me drop in on your blog and meet some of your readers. Olivia

Anonymous said...

I want to read this one really bad!
Amy C

Anonymous said...

Lena forl giving us a peep at Olivia. Just read one of her books and enjoyed it no end, so much I could not put down.

Anne in Colorado

Olivia Newport said...

I love hearing the enthusiasm for the book!

Sparks of Ember said...

Well, that first page excerpt is certainly intriguing! And your family history sounds fascinating - I'd be curious, too!

from the black hills of SD!

Unknown said...

Wow..what a fascinating thought...yep, you wonder what choices we make will impact our families years later. i would love to win this novel, Thanks for a great interview and giveaway.

Marianne from northern Alberta


Unknown said...

Wow..what a fascinating thought...yep, you wonder what choices we make will impact our families years later. i would love to win this novel, Thanks for a great interview and giveaway.

Marianne from northern Alberta


Wendy Newcomb said...

I love Amish books and this one has a different twist to it, would love to win it.

Wendy from FL


pol said...

Hello Olivia and Lena, the book sounds like a good read and I do like to read amish stories. thanks for sharing...

Paula O(
a Ga reader

Judy said...

I would love to win a copy of Accidentlly Amish. I haven't read anything by Olivia yet and I enjoyed this interview with her. I especially liked her answer to the question if you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive who would it be and why. Her answer that it would be her Mother was so endearing to me. My Mom passed away on January 27, 2012. This was the first Thanksgiving without my Mom and this will be my first Christmas without my Mom. I would love to have just one more of all the firsts I've gone through so far this year. Mom was 83 years old when she died. How I miss her.

Judy B from Indiana

Olivia Newport said...

I'm driving across the country on my way home from Thanksgiving. What a treat to pull into Burger King and find all these lovely comments. Accidentally Amish was such fun to write. I hope you all get a chance to read it.

Mandie said...

I couldn't put The Pursuit of Lucy Banning down. I can't wait for this one!
Colorado Springs

Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Shopgirl said...

This sounds fascinating! Love the cover. I'm from MN.

eyeballlucy said...

Oh I am a huge fan of Christian fiction...and love reading about Amish fiction....such good clean books.....I recommend all my friends to get hooked em.....Linda from MO........babyruthmac16ATyahooDOTcom

Carma Dutra said...

I think the first page is a great hook. The suspense was artfully built up and before I knew it, I was saying tell me more!

Mary Preston said...

ACCIDENTALLY AMISH is going to be such a wonderful read. I just know it.

Mary P


Patsy said...

Would love to read this book!

from South Mississippi


Ginger Solomon said...

What an interesting concept for the book. I would love to read it.

Ginger in AL

Patty said...

I have 'The Pursuit of Lucy Banning on my Kindle but haven't read it yet. This sounds like a totally different kind of story from that. I look forward to enjoying Olivia's writing.

Patty in SC

Casey said...

I haven't been reading much Amish lately, but I love the twist on this genre. :)


Susan said...

"Accidentally Amish" sounds very intriguing! Thanks so much for the chance to win it.

Susan Wilson
Mont Alto, PA

Anonymous said...

I would love to be able to win the book, "Accidental Amish" and also to buy a copy for my Church Library.
Thanks for entering me in the contest.
Janet E.

Faith's Nana said...

Love reading about the Amish, this sounds like a great book.....would love to win...Faith's Nana/Oh

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

Enter me!!
Thanks for the giveaway and God Bless!!
Sarah Richmond

Anonymous said...


Nancee said...

I love Amish fiction, and this sounds like another good one. Thank you for your interview, review and the opportunity to win a copy of Accidentally Amish!
Nancee in Michigan

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this wonderful story

karenk...from PA
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me this book looks great!!
Sharon Richmond

Jackie Tessnair said...

I love Amish books.great review.I am looking forward to reading this book.Thanks..Please enter me.Jackie Tessnair from N.C.

rubynreba said...

Amish books are a favorite of mine. Love to read this.
Beth from Iowa

Lyndie Blevins said...

Thanks for the opportunity to get this book.
Lyndie Blevins
Duncanville, Tx

Bookishqueen said...

Interesting!! I am curious.

Knoxville, TN

Faith's said...

Would love to win this book,Faith's mom/OH

tickmenot said...

The title alone makes me want to read this book, "Accidentally Amish?

Your description of the feelings you had when your child was born and what your Mom said are like drops of gold. I was an only child born to older parents, so the first baby I was ever around was my own. When my child was born I wasn't prepared for the wonder of the new little person in my arms--or the spiritual experience!


Tickmenot in Kansas

Lourdes said...

Ok hooked book sounds really really great would love to win.

Lourdes In Long Island, NY