A woman searches for protection and discovers a new life and love amid the Amish in Accidentally Amish, book one in Olivia Newport’s new series Valley of Choices, releasing October 2012.
With her high-tech career in jeopardy, Annie Friesen runs from fast-paced Colorado Springs—and straight into the hospitality of San Luis Valley’s Amish community. There she meets cabinetmaker Rufus Beiler, and the more time she spends with him, the more attracted she becomes. When Annie finds she shares a common ancestor with Rufus, she feels both cultures colliding within her. But is her love for Rufus strong enough for her to give up the only life she’s ever known?
About the Author
Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. Her husband and two twenty-something children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is. Learn more about Olivia at www.olivianewport.com.
Accidentally Amish by Olivia Newport / Book One Valley of Choices Series
October 2012 / $14.99 / 368 Pages * Paperback
Praise for Accidentally Amish
“Once I started reading Accidentally Amish I found it hard to put down. It was like reading two books in one − both engaging and delightful. You’re going to love this book.”
– Traci DePree, author of the Lake Emily series
“The wild English world arrives in Rufus Beiler’s life, and doesn’t leave. Olivia Newport stirs in a touch of historical and suspense, for a pleasant and accurate read on Amish life.”
– Jerry S. Eicher, author of four Amish series, including The Fields of Home
“What a thought-provoking tale about that intersection where the life we inherit meets the life we choose to lead. Accidentally Amish is a perfect blend of romance, history, mystery, and meaning.”
– Erin Healy, author of House of Mercy and The Baker’s Wife
“Accidentally Amish is a sweet story with a cast of memorable characters. Woven within the novel is a historical account that adds both depth and intrigue. Both stories engaged me until the very last word.”
– Leslie Gould, #1 bestselling co-author of The Amish Midwife
“Accidentally Amish is brimming with romance, intrigue, and the quiet breaths of country life that Amish fiction fans love. A great read!”
– Jennifer Rogers Spinola, Christy Award finalist and author of the Southern Fried Sushi series and Yellowstone Memories
Q & A with the Author
1. Accidentally Amish is a story about the Amish and English cultures clashing. What inspired you to write this type of story?
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. He traveled across the ocean with his wife and five children to settle among other Amish families, but soon his wife died. Here was a man with five children and a wilderness homestead. I thought, “Of course he needs a wife.” Jakob did in fact marry again fairly quickly, but the genealogy accounts suggest that his second wife was not Amish. Together they had five more children, one of whom is my ancestor. The twist that fascinates me is that Jakob’s 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?
2. Your new title appeals to both Contemporary and Historical romance readers. Do you prefer writing one over the other?
My family would say I sometimes have trouble telling the difference between the past and the present! I think we always carry the past with us—even the past that occurred before we were born, which is what happens to Annie in my story. Weaving together a blend of contemporary and historical was the perfect approach for me.
3. Accidentally Amish goes into detail about the Amish community. How did you become familiar with this culture?
Well, the Internet is a great thing, isn’t it? The Internet does not yield every piece of needed information, but it usually points to the right path. A nation-wide interlibrary loan system is a writer’s best friend. Once I discovered the existence of some valuable books on the Internet, I was able to track them down and cobble together a bigger picture against which to set my story. I was fortunate also to connect with a couple of Amish readers who graciously reviewed an early draft and offered helpful feedback.
4. Did you add any personal attributes to any of the characters in Accidentally Amish?
I certainly am no software designer like Annie, my main character. But living the modern life constantly connected to technology raises questions of values and what really lies behind our choices. In that sense, unfolding the stories of Annie, Ruth, and Rufus is an unfolding of my own. Annie is also stubborn, and I suppose I have to admit I can be . . . um, strong-willed . . . as long as I also get to describe myself as resourceful as Annie is!
5. What do readers have to look forward to in the next book of the Valley of Choices series?
On the contemporary side, Annie has a few more lessons to learn about internalizing the Amish worldview. A new Amish family joins the settlement, bringing three daughters with their eyes on Rufus and two teenage sons who team up with English boys to make dubious choices. When Annie suspects something is amiss, she determines to find the proof she needs to set them right before someone gets hurt—but she’s too late.
On the historical side, Christian and Jacob—Amish and English sons of Jakob Beyeler—find themselves embroiled in the Revolutionary War and make very different choices in response to events that have become familiar landmarks in American history.
6. If you could describe your new series in three words what would they be?