Gladden the Heart by Olivia Newport plus giveaway.


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book title: Gladden the Heart

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 THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK_____

Gladden the Heart is set in the 1847 in Kishacoquillas Valley, Pennsylvania and the story starts with a tent revival with some pretty hard preaching, inviting sinners to repent of their sins and giving their hearts to Jesus. Many from the Amish community are at the meeting, or they are sneaking around seeing what they can find out, just like Suzanna Hooley, who does her best to sneak into the crowd to hear the preaching. But when a relative of Suzanna’s, Noah falls asleep and starts preaching a message, this little Amish community is quite shaken up. Even the Bishop comes to hear Noah preach, and fully believes he is wide awake! Many people come to his house to hear him, but Noah’s strange behavior also has some concerned. What will the answer be?

For me Gladden the Heart was slow going. It too me a while to get into the story enough to read it, in fact I read the first few chapters twice to try and understand what was happening  it does get better as the story unfolds. The author does a very nice job with detailing the historical setting of the story, letting her readers experience the  Pennsylvania if so many years ago.  And reading about Suzanna dying fabric was very interesting. Especially the products she used to come up with the colors! Suzanna’s character was interesting, as were most of the others. And the sleeping preacher idea was  quite intriguing. Over all, this was an interesting and different Amish read. A story I think anyone who loves historical or Amish fiction would enjoy.

I rec’d this book from the publisher through Celebration Lit Tours. I was not expected to write a review and this review is a product of my opinions only!

About the Author

Olivia 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 6: A Baker’s Perspective

July 7: Reading Is My SuperPower

July 7: Connie’s History Classroom

July 8: Daysong Reflections

July 9: God’s Little Bookworm

July 9: Inklings and Notions

July 10: A Reader’s Brain

July 10: Zerina Blossom’s Books

July 11: Bibliophile Reviews

July 11: Artistic Nobody

July 12: Karen Sue Hadley

July 12: Blogging With Carol

July 13: The Fizzy Pop Collection

July 14: Have A Wonderful Day

July 14: cherylbbookblog

July 15: Bigreadersite

July 15: Carpe Diem

July 16: Splashes of Joy

July 16: The Power of Words

July 17: His Grace is Sufficient

July 17: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away a Grand Prize that consists of:
All five books in the Amish Turns of Time series (http://www.olivianewport.com/amish-turns-of-time/)
PLUS
Bonus: All three books in the Valley of Choice series (http://www.olivianewport.com/valley-of-choice/)
PLUS
$25 Amazon Gift Card!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bc59

 

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lori Smanski
    Jul 16, 2017 @ 17:47:23

    this sounds like a fascinating book

    Reply

  2. Dedezoomsalot (@DedeZoomsalot)
    Jul 16, 2017 @ 23:51:29

    My husband is from Pennsylvania; I would enjoy reading a bit about his home state’s history.
    Dianna

    Reply

  3. farmermomwife
    Jul 19, 2017 @ 10:33:05

    I love Amish fiction, they sound like wonderful books.

    Reply

  4. cherylbbookblog
    Jul 19, 2017 @ 22:08:04

    Great blog post.

    Reply

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