Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Gladden The Heart by Olivia Newport

Gladden the Heart FB cover copy
Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book title: Gladden the Heartimage001
Author: Olivia Newport
Release date: July 1, 2017
Genre: Historical Amish
“When you have experienced the Holy Ghost as I have, you would see that it is difficult to turn back.”
When the lively fervor of nineteenth century revivalism endangers the staid customs of the Amish community in the lush but rugged Kishacoquillas Valley of central Pennsylvania in 1847, the Amish church must deal with a divisive question: What is a genuine spiritual experience?
The question turns personal when Susanna’s beloved cousin Noah begins preaching while under trances and even though he is not a minister he gives long sermons that attract increasing attention. Curious, she helps to keep Noah safe during his trances. At the same time Adam, Susanna’s intended, feels pressure from the bishop to speak out against the ways of revivalism.
Susanna and Adam are pushed to opposite sides of a controversy that threatens their traditional Amish faith.. Now they must grapple with whether love is possible…even if they come to different conclusions.
When Noah goes missing at a time of day when he often preaches while asleep, circumstances thrust community members with divergent opinions into a crisis that demands they recognize the humanity they share regardless of beliefs. But can strong-held opinions be softened by the truths that shape their lives? 
My Review:                                                                                                                                 

This is, to my knowledge, the first book I have read by this author. It's the first book I have read in this series. It was a tad slow, but still well worth reading. I appreciate that it covers a topic that still confuses people today, even though this was back in the 1800's. Susanna and her family are Amish, so they have quite an issue on their hands when her cousin starts sleep preaching.

Let's talk about this for a moment. This person, in this case, Noah is asleep. Just like sleepwalking, only he's sleep preaching. That's fine and dandy, if people don't think you're crazy, or you aren't Amish, or you aren't putting yourself in danger wandering about in your sleep. Preaching or not, sleepwalking has hazards.

When Noah goes missing, the Amish people and the Methodist's have to see if they can find him. There's way more going on here than just a romance. We have matters in the Christian community that people don't know how to deal with. "Sleeping Preachers" is one of those issues. Now you're going to get my thoughts about this. If even the rocks can cry out and testify, then certainly the Word can come through someone who's asleep. Would that person be in harm's way? That is an entirely different issue and one that is harder to answer. 

If the preaching changes lives, and leads people to God, then I'd say it's real. Many stranger things have happened that we have documentation about. Example- I see three men in the fire, and a fourth, yet they do not burn. Do look that one up in your Bible if you're not familiar with it. 

I found this book to be strong, and thought provoking and I'm glad I read it. Pun intended and yet serious at the same time. 

About the Author 
Olivia NewportOlivia Newport’s novels twist through time to discover where faith and passions meet. She chases joy in Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is. Her books include the Avenue of Dreams series set in 1890s Chicago; the Valley of Choice series, which intertwines contemporary and historical Amish stories; the historical Amish Turns of Time series; and Hidden Falls, a warm, contemporary, small-town novel.

Guest Post from Olivia Newport

Sleepy Sundays
Now don’t laugh, but my guess is that if you looked around your church on any given Sunday morning, you’d see somebody sleeping. It might be an infant or toddler whose nap time collides with the worship time resting in a parent’s arms, or it might be a senior citizen who has perfected the art of dozing in an upright position.
What you don’t expect is that the person sleeping will be the preacher.
I’ve always been interested in church history. I even read a magazine called Christian History on a regular basis and consider it pleasure reading. In my ambling through church history, I came across a notation about “sleeping preachers” in the nineteenth century in various denominations, including the Amish. The accounts suggested that individuals who were not ministers would fall unconscious, wake up to preach for lengthy periods, sleep again, and have no recollection of their actions.
Could this possibly be true? Or a giant hoax? What’s a genuine spiritual experience, and what do we do when don’t agree on how to answer that question? Let’s face it, even now, 150 years later, we still don’t quite know what to do with our varying traditions when we don’t agree on how to answer that question.
I knew I had the makings of a story. Gladden the Heart travels back to 1847 and wrestles with these questions. When a divided community faces a life-or-death situation, they must respond to a crisis that challenges them to look past their differences. But can strong-held opinions be softened by the truths that shape their lives?
Gladden the Heart is the fifth story in Olivia Newport’s Amish Turns of Time series of historical Amish novels. Olivia chases joy in Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.

Blog Stops

July 4: Cafinated Reads
July 5: Book by Book
July 6: Genesis 5020
July 12: Karen Sue Hadley
July 14: cherylbbookblog
July 15: Bigreadersite 
July 15: Carpe Diem
July 16: Splashes of Joy


To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away a Grand Prize that consists of:
All five books in the Amish Turns of Time series (
Bonus: All three books in the Valley of Choice series (
$25 Amazon Gift Card!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!


SavingsInSeconds said...

I love learning about church history, especially when it is in novel form!

Nancy Griggs said...

What an interesting concept. Never heard of it. Now I want to read the book.

Kim hansen said...

Sounds good.

Lori said...

this is a different subject that I have seen. it does sound interesting.
quilting dash lady at Comcast dot net

Ally Swanson said...

Great post! I really enjoyed reading the guest post and the review! This book sounds like an interesting read! Looking forward to checking it out!