Face-Off with Olivia Newport!!

images I am so excited to be facing-off with Olivia Newport today!!! I love my job! Woot Woot!!

Ever since I started reading Christian Fiction, about 4 years back, I have been drawn to Olivia’s books as I’m perusing the shelves. Her Avenue of Dreams series always catches my eye. I finally picked up one of them and can’t wait to let you know my thoughts!!!

A small sampling as she is author of almost 20 books! Olivia has two grown children and lives a peaceful life, with her husband of over 30 years, in Colorado. She writes a lot of Amish Fiction and some Historical too.

Let’s get to it, shall we?


PicCollageThe rules are simple. I ask Olivia some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Have you ever been stuck in the middle of an epic storm? Like a Category 5 Hurricane?

Olivia – Literally? When I was about 4 my family visited relatives in Texas, and I have vague memories of sirens and rushing to a town shelter during a hurricane. Now figuratively speaking, all the time!

Charity – Oh! That sounds scary!! We live on the East Coast in Virginia. When Hurricane Isabel came through, it was a big deal. We left town and went to the western part of the state thinking that we would be safe there. Would you believe it totally land jumped and HIT THERE WORSE THAN THE COAST??? What in the world?


— I am going to have to give it to Olivia. Sirens and shelters sound terrifying!

Charity 0 / Olivia 1

2. What’s the coolest DIY project you have done? Pics?

Olivia – “Coolest” is a matter of opinion, but I had fun refinishing the sewing machine cabinet that belonged to my mom when I was young. So I should get points for sentimentality with a slight demerit for not being able to produce the photo.

Charity – Hmm. No picture? Well, I suppose I shall tell you of my fun endeavors. We are trying to adopt and needed an extra bedroom in our house. SO, we took the living room and “built-in”. Using Ikea wardrobes, we completely built a new bedroom!! You can’t even tell because we painted the backs of them and put crown molding on the top and bottom of each one!


— I get that one!! woot woot!

Charity 1 / Olivia 1

3. What is your favorite, unique holiday tradition (any holiday)?

Olivia – Hands down, chocolate frosted shortbread squares are required at every holiday meal throughout my large extended family. When the menu planning begins, everyone’s first question is “Who’s bringing the shortbread squares?”

Charity – Yum!!!!!!! I need that tradition! We celebrate 99 Days ‘Til Christmas every year. It’s so fun! We put up a few lights, miniature tree, some decorations, eat delicious foods, do small gifts and watch Elf. After all of that, we write out our Christmas Wish Lists. IT’S ONLY 3 WEEKS AWAY!!!

— Tie

Charity 2/ Olivia 2

4. Have you ever been in a maze? Corn maze, tree maze, any kind of maze made for adults?

Olivia – Um, no. And can I say “Achoo!” is what would happen if I went into such a place? (Pity points for allergies.)

Charity – No pity here! ha 😉 I live near Williamsburg and in back of the Governor’s Mansion, there is this cool maze made out of bushes. It’s not one you can get lost in. However, hubby and I went to the one at Luray Caverns and that one is awesome!!!

governors-palace-maze2  91d6e1c2c0e1b5083d5ad5676f8157ec
–Guess who is ahead?!?!

Charity 3 / Olivia 2

5. What is one kitchen appliance that you wouldn’t want to live without?

Olivia – Two Christmases ago my husband gave me a little gadget that warms and froths milk for my coffee. I would not have guessed I’d want one, but I use it every stinkin’ day.

Charity – Now that is cool!!! Froths AND warms?! Wow. I love my keurig. It makes me very happy.

— Your gadget wins!

Charity 3 / Olivia 3

6. What is the funniest joke you know?

Olivia – I concede the point. I’m sure I know funny jokes but I can’t perform when you put me on the spot!

Charity – Oh, honey. You didn’t concede a thing. I am the worst joke teller. ever. I’ve got nothing.

— tie

Charity 4 / Olivia 4

7. Have you ever dropped eggs at a grocery store?

Olivia – No, but I’m guessing a lot of other people have based on the number of broken eggs I find when I check the cartons.

Charity – hmm. Me either. I took a guess because, same as you, I assumed most people have. Weird.

— Tie

Charity 5 / Olivia 5

8. How do you strive to bring God the most glory in your life?

Olivia – Several years ago I felt a call to live my life more intentionally from a center of peace in God, which begins by welcoming God into the moments of my life and being more satisfied with a holy presence than I ever would be if I got everything I thought I wanted.

Charity – Beautiful!!!

— God wins!

Charity 5 / Olivia 5

9. Have you ever tried surfing?

Olivia – No, although ironically I went to college in southern California. But in my defense, a) I didn’t have a car to get to the beach; b) I was too nearsighted to get in the ocean without my contacts; and c) I actually studied! But I’m a pretty good web surfer. Does that count?

Charity – ha…it would if I HADN’T TRIED SURFING! Believe me, it wasn’t something you would want to see. I am so uncoordinated. It’s truly ridiculous.

— But…I have tried it!

Charity 6 / Olivia 5

10. Tea or Coffee?

Olivia – I came to coffee late in life–like just two years ago. But as you can guess from my favorite kitchen appliance, I do indulge in a sort of homemade latte every morning now. And when I go to the coffee shop to write on Saturday mornings, the barista knows to start a white rose, extra hot as soon as she sees me come in the door.

Charity – I still haven’t come into coffee. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a good cup every once in a while. I just don’t drink it every day. I could drink sweet or unsweet tea every day, all day though.

— Your barista knows your drink!!! I haven’t ever even heard of White Rose Coffee…


Charity 6 / Olivia 6

20130805_its_a_tie_ta WOO HOO!!

Thank you, Olivia! giveawayTimeWhat fun!!! I am sorry it ended in a tie. You were a worthy opponent!

Guess what???? Olivia has offered to give away a copy of her NEW RELEASE, which just happens to be sitting in Amazon’s “best of” category as we speak!

  Screen shot 2015-08-28 at 1.08.48 AM

So, you definitely want to head on over here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure you follow the instructions when you enter so you aren’t disqualified! Good luck!!!

*U.S. Rez only (We do love the rest of you too!)

Face-Off with Anita Higman!!

Wow! What a way to finish out the week!!! I have best-selling author, Anita Higman, here today. Woot Woot!

Her new release, Summer’s List, is now out! Make sure you check it out!! (Link is in the pic)

Just in case you don’t know all about her, here’s a little info:

CBA best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has forty books published (several co-authored) for adults and children, and she has three books (fiction and nonfiction) to be released. She is a two-time finalist for a Selah Award, and she’s won a Cascade Award as well as an Inspirational Readers Choice Award for 2011 and 2013. She has also been honored in the past as a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston. Her coauthored book, Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe, was on the Nielsen’s best-seller list for five weeks for religious adult fiction and #6 on the CBA best-seller list for fiction (January, 2011). Anita’s novella in the compilation, Once Upon a Christmas Eve, was given a four-star review in Romantic Times Magazine and has been optioned for a movie.

Sounds awesome, huh?

Let’s play!

PicCollage(3)The rules are simple. I ask Anita some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Have you ever taken a road trip across America?

Anita – Yes, I have taken some road trips like that, but I doubt I’ll ever do it again. I am such a squirmer in the car. I could pull off long road trips when I was young, but now it just seems like a torture instead of an adventure. My husband and I still travel, but it’s mostly by air now.

Charity – I am right there with ya! I used to LOVE a good road trip. Now, I’ll settle for being home.

I haven’t taken any road trips across the country, but I have been up and down the East Coast many times!

— Tie

Charity 1 / Anita 1

2. What artist have you seen the most in concert?

Anita – Josh Groban. I’m a huge fan.


Charity – I guess it is tobyMac for me!! That old man has the energy of my 8 year old!!!


— I have only seen him twice, and it sounds like you have a major Groban crush! 😉 It’s yours!

Charity 1 / Anita 2

3. What is the biggest storm that you have been through? Hurricane? Tornado? Earthquake?

Anita – I experienced an earthquake when I lived in Hawaii for a summer. That gave me an uneasy feeling to have the earth move under me, but it wasn’t terribly scary. I’ve been through a tropical storm in Houston, and I would say that the flooding after the storm was indeed alarming.

Charity – Oh man! First of all, HAWAII!! You lived there?!?! So jealous.

Secondly, storms are crazy. CRAZY! I live on the East Coast, so we get a LOT of hurricanes. It is pretty exciting. We also had an earthquake a few years back. Total freak accident. Who knew we lived on a fault line? I had just lied down for a nice, afternoon nap when it hit. I thought my oldest son was shaking the bed and I yelled at him. HAHA! He was in the bathroom, on the pot. Scared him!

— I guess it’s even! Sounds like we’ve been through the same things.

Charity 2 / Anita 3

4. Coolest place you have vacationed?

Anita – Melbourne. I explored that city for weeks and really enjoyed it. I’d love to see more of Australia.

Charity – Oh wow! How can I compete with that??? I haven’t ever vacationed overseas. I went to Israel for school. That was incredible. I went to Dominican Republic for a mission trip. Awesome.

As far as vacation…right before my youngest son was born, I went on a “babymoon” by myself! haha!! I spent a week in Chicago…shopping, dining, walking around….*sigh* glorious. #TheMagnificentMile #NavyPier

— How can I compete with Melbourne!?

Charity 2 / Anita 4

5. What is the worst job you could imagine having?

Anita – Any kind of outdoor work in Houston. I could never take the heat and humidity!

Charity – I always thought Texas had dry heat! Who knew?

Worst job? Anything to do with porta-potties. EW!

— Porta-potties

Charity 3 / Anita 4

6. What kind of junk food is your greatest weakness?

Anita – A piece of chocolate cake with big gloppy fudge frosting, so thick it’s dripping off the sides. Oh yeah…


Charity – hmm. I could pass by that in a MINUTE! Don’t show me the candy…This is, literally, what my house in Heaven will be full of:


— Tie

Charity 4 / Anita 5

7. How do you strive to bring God the most glory in your life?

Anita – I pray a lot. Otherwise it’s easy to get centered on one’s own life and less focused on God.

Charity – Short and sweet. I LIKE it!

— God Wins!

Charity 4 / Anita 5

8. What is the best western movie you ever saw?

Anita – I don’t watch many westerns, but I think I enjoyed The Man From Snowy River. Honestly it’s been so long since I watched it, I can’t remember the plot. Since you brought it up, maybe I’ll look it up and watch it again!

Charity – Oh!! What a GREAT pick! Those movies were really good. I liked the second one better.

— Nice call!!

Charity 4 / Anita 6

9. If you could live in a different era, what one would it be and what would your “position” be?

Anita – Can’t leave this era. As much as Victorian times might look romantic from the outside, the reality is I couldn’t stand being without modern convenience even for an hour. Yes, I know. I’m a wimp.

Charity – Hmm. I guess you won’t be going on Survivor anytime soon?

I would be a rich old lady that never had to marry because I already had a fortune. Oh, and definitely the Regency Era! I would be Emma. Then I could marry Knightly, if I found him!

— I’m taking it!!


Charity 5 / Anita 6

9d5b5-closegame That’s right!!

Anita – Now I have a question for you. Why do you think people love stories so much?

Charity – Oh! Easy!! We live vicariously through the romance and adventure! Real love doesn’t stay mushy all of the time. You fall into a pattern and love them for their character and strength. It’s fun to relive those exciting moments of falling in love! It’s also fun to be submerged in other eras, vocations, and lifestyles.

Thank you, Anita! What fun 🙂Custom-Balloon-design-tool

This week is insane, RIGHT? I mean, so many giveaways!! These authors are incredible!!!

Anita has offered to give away a copy of her new novel, Summer’s List. I reviewed it a few weeks back and gave it 5 stars! Great summer read!!

Just head on over to a Rafflecopter giveaway
and start entering! Good luck!!

*US Rez only (We do love the rest of you too!!)
**Entries will be checked

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