Thursday, February 13, 2014

TAKEN FOR ENGLISH - Olivia Newport - One Free Book

Welcome back, Olivia. Tell us about your salvation experience.
The kingdom of God is a wondrous sphere in which to live! As a child my loving faithful parents nurtured my understanding of God’s steadfast presence in my life. As a high school and college student, I learned to articulate my faith for myself. Moving through the decades since then and experiencing the richness of life, both joys and sufferings, I cry out for God’s saving presence to flow in and through me. What a joy it is to step into God’s story and find I belong there.

You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
Oooh, this feels a little like a trick question. I have so many writer friends, and I don’t want to play favorites! For the last eight years, I’ve been blessed to be part of a monthly book discussion group made up of writers and editors (several wear both hats). Along with loving me, they constantly sharpen me. (But since there are seven of them and only four slots, I’m back to playing favorites … )

People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that?
It does happen a fair bit. When someone says, “Someday when I have time I’m going to write a book,” I put a smile on my face and say authors write books one paragraph at a time, and though we go through different seasons of life, we all have the same twenty-four hours in a day. Sometimes we must say no to some things in order to say yes to a calling. If the person has already begun to write and seems serious, I usually encourage the person to know what his or her goals are, along with explaining the difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing and the reasons why the same route is not right for everyone. And then I say the obvious—write! Ultimately that’s what it comes down to.

What else do you have in store for your readers?
Barbour Publishing recently launched an imprint called Shiloh Run Studios. The books in this line will be serialized novels that go directly to e-book and audiobook formats one episode at a time. I was thrilled when they gave me the opportunity to write the first series. “Hidden Falls” is the name of a fictional Midwestern small town and the name of the series, which includes 13 releases. Right now we’re in the middle of the series. A new episode, complete with mystery and cliffhangers, comes out each week.

Later in the year, I will be launching the Amish Turns of Time series of three historical Amish novels set in the 1910s and featuring definitive moments in Amish history. The first one is called Wonderful Lonesome. Readers can look for it in the late summer.

Then in the fall, I’ll have a novella called Snow Song in a Christmas collection. There’s a lot going on this year!

Tell us about the featured book.
Taken for English concludes the Valley of Choice series. Readers who have been following Annie and Rufus (and Ruth and Elijah) will finally see how their story ends. Here’s the cover blurb:

Annie joined the Amish church based on prayerful conviction, not romantic dreams. And yet, she’d hoped to share her new life with Rufus. But he’s obviously in no hurry. Family history clearly shows it’s never been easy living a plain life in the English world. Will the changes and challenges Annie now faces as a young Amish woman test her newfound faith in good ways or bad? And how long will Rufus test her patience?

I’ve read the first two books in this series and will be glad to see how the stories come together. Please give us the first page of the book.
A siren screamed down the highway. Ruth Beiler turned her head half an inch toward the sound, catching the reflex before curiosity about events outside her family’s home could distract her from the solemn occasion before her eyes. In a minute, the congregation would sing another hymn from the Ausbund and Ruth would savor every note. No matter how many times she went to an English church in Colorado Springs, her heart yearned for the plaintive rhythm of the Amish hymns she had grown up with. Music should have space to think, to reflect, to absorb. And after the hymn and a prayer would come the moment that had Ruth’s heart beating fast today.

Annalise Friesen was presenting herself for baptism. Joining the Amish church. This should be all Rufus needed to formally ask Annalise to marry him. If he did not, Ruth intended to have a firm conversation with her older brother.

Ruth glanced at Rufus seated across the aisle with the men. He was twenty-nine and still clean shaven—unmarried. Anyone outside the community might have thought that the small boy next to Rufus was his son, but Jacob was their littlest brother. Next to Ruth, her mother shifted slightly in her chair, leaning forward. Normally the Beiler women chose to sit toward the back of the congregation of about sixty people, especially when the faithful gathered in their own home. But this day was different. Eli Beiler sat with bearded men at the front of the assembly on the men’s side of the aisle. Rufus sat farther back, with the unmarried men, but he had taken a seat on the aisle where he could see well, with Jacob and Joel next to him. Ruth sat with her mother, Franey, and her sisters Lydia and Sophie toward the front, where they could see well but not seem ostentatious.

Because Annalise was being baptized.

Heaviness pressed against Ruth’s efforts to breathe. They would not speak of it, but she was sure her mother would be remembering the same event, the fall baptism service, almost three years ago. Ruth had knelt before the bishop as Annalise was doing today. And during the prayer preceding the baptism, with all heads bowed and eyes closed, she slipped out.

Just left. Ran. Hid. Rode with an English man to a bus stop and moved to Colorado Springs.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I’d love to have folks drop by, contact me at, follow me on Twitter at @OliviaNewport, on Google+, or Like my Facebook page,

Thank you, Olivia, for sharing this new book with us.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Taken for English -
Taken for English: (Valley of Choice) Amazon
Taken for English (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 Google +, Feedblitz, Facebook, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Britney Adams said...

I enjoyed Olivia's interview and am adding the Valley of Choice series to my TBR list. Thank you for sharing and for the chance to win a copy of TAKEN FOR THE ENGLISH.

Britney Adams, TX

Shirley said...

Great interview. Thanks for the interview and the chance to win a copy of Taken for English.
Shirley Strait

Unknown said...

Lena, Thank you for featuring Olivia. Her Book Taken For English looks like a wonderful story, I would love to read it!
mcnuttjem0 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Melanie Backus said...

Olivia's interview was very interesting. I love to read a book series so I am looking forward to reading this one. Thank you for the giveaway.

Melanie Backus, TX

Anonymous said...

would love to win. Angela in KY

Unknown said...

Thank you for the interview and the first page of Taken for English.
Tonja in VA

sm said...

Olivia, I received this book already from you, and I am making a comment to tell everyone how good it is. You juggle a few plots very well all in one book. Thanks again and everyone, read this book. It's fantastic. In fact, read the whole series! sharon, CA

Anonymous said...

I'd love to win!
Courtney from Arkansas

Mary Preston said...

Goodness, this is going to be a fantastic read. I did not want the first page to end.

Mary P


Vera Godley said...

I thoroughly enjoy Olivia's book. Her flow of words in the beginning catch my interest. I have not read an Amish story by her. This should be interesting.

I'm in North Carolina

Diana Flowers said...

Thank you for the interview, Lena and Olivia. I have been totally blog stalking this book. Maybe I'll win this time so I can stop! lol

Diana in SC


Unknown said...

I enjoy Olivia's novels, but have missed this series...thanks for introducing me to it and for the chance to win.

PriviesAndPrims said...

I can only imagine what happened when they all opened their eyes and she was gone!
I live in Lancaster County, PA!

priviesandprims at yahoo [dot]com

susanlulu said...

I live in NC and would love a chance to win! Sounds wonderful!

Cindi A said...

I enjoyed Accidentally Amish so much. Please enter me in the drawing to win a copy of Taken for English.

Cindi Altman from PA

Happy Valentine's Day everyone ♥

Patsy said...

I have not read a book by Olivia so I'm looking to reading this book.
From South Mississippi

Judy said...

I would love to win a copy of Taken for English! Loved the interview!

Judy B from Indiana

Jackie Tessnair said...

I enjoyed this interview.I would love to win and read this book.Jackie Tessnair,N.C.

Emma said...

TAKEN FOR ENGLISH by Olivia Newport sounds wonderful. Please enter me in contest. Thank you for the opportunity to win.Have a wonderful weekend.PA.