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Posted January 2, 2014
I loved this Christmas Collection!
All I can say is this collection was such a blessing to read! I have never read an Amish book that was so captivating and enthralling from beginning to end. I wasn't sure what to expect since I don't read a lot of books in the Amish category, but I was pleasantly surprised!
The Sound of Sleigh Bells features Beth and Jonah. Beth is a very no-nonsense, business-like woman who was deeply wounded in the past and determined not to let it happen again. Jonah is a damaged soul who learned that God is good no matter what. Can he teach Beth that despite her past, she can open up to love? I loved the message of the book. If you don't let go of your past, you aren't letting in all that God has for you.
The Christmas Singing features Mattie and Gideon. Mattie was heartbroken when Gideon broke up with her on Christmas Eve and has worked hard to hide her heart from anyone who tries to take it. Gideon has lived with a secret illness and brokenness since his break-up with Mattie. Can they get along enough to figure out they still love each other? The message in this book was to trust God with everything. You can't protect everyone, only God can do that.
The Dawn of Christmas was my favorite! Sadie and Levi suffer from the same affliction - aversion to marraige and the other sex. They have both seen or been hurt by someone and are determined never to let it happen again. So, when Sadie finds Levi injured in a field, neither expects anything to happen. Reading their story was amusing. I figured out long before the characters did that they were meant for each other. Can they open their hearts to let in what God has planned for them, or will they turn away out of fear? The message in this story is to not let fear rule your lives.
Overall, this was the most enjoyable Christmas book I've ever read. I would recommend it to anyone who loves reading about the magic of Christmas and the blessings it can bring.
**I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest review.**
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Posted November 18, 2012
It has only been in the last year or so that I have really start
It has only been in the last year or so that I have really started reading those novels we call Amish Fiction. I was wondering today what it is about these stories that attracts so many readers. Is it that it is a unique culture? A throw-back to the early 1900s when farming and traveling was done with horses or mules? It might be any of these but for me, I think it is more that they speak to my soul in a way that other books do not. In a place where there are not the regular distractions of the blaring of TV sets, honking horns and racing vehicles it seems to us that it would be and is easier to hear Gods voice. In actuality it is our own restless heart that drowns out that Voice.
In these three novellas Cindy has again shown us that we are all human with all of our failures, and prone to suspicion, our own thoughts and impressions whether we live in the city, in an Amish community or anywhere else.
Like our hope was born at Christmas time, so do the couples in these novellas find hope – to rise above their circumstances overcome the hurdles and find true love. Although the first two novellas were published in 2009 and 2011 they flow into each other seemlessly, and are brought to us with the same dedication to details and imagery that we have come to expect from Cindy.
I really enjoyed it, and would be happy to recommend this for any woman on your Christmas List.
I received this ebook free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers through their Blogging For Books program. I was not required to write a positive review, just an honest critique, which I have done. The opinions are my own.
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Posted December 22, 2013
I recently completed reading (a complimentary copy of) Christmas
I recently completed reading (a complimentary copy of) Christmas in Apple Ridge by Cindy Woodsmall. I don't know that realized it when I requested the opportunity to review this book, but it is actually a collection of three novels in one. I know that my children were impressed by the 566 pages and I was amazed at how quickly the book read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Christmas in Apple Ridge contains The Sound of Sleigh Bells, The Christmas Singing and The Dawn of Christmas. As you might surmise from title, all of the stories are set in Apple Ridge over a series of Christmases. This made me very happy, as each novella introduced us to new lead characters, the characters from the previous stories were part of the subsequent stories. I love that it gave me a chance as a reader to learn a little more about the lives of those characters that I had come to know as I read the other books. Cindy Woodsmall writes a character that you can't help but feel you know and who you can't help but cheer on, so there is something so satisfying about learning more about them, seeing them continue to develop and evolve. It somehow makes me feel more complete.
In each of the stories, you get to meet and get to know an Amish woman and man, who both thought that finding love was not in their future. Yet, as they got to know each other, they discovered that there was someone that was rightfully suited for them and that love comes when you least expect it.
I enjoy Amish fiction and this series of books did not disappoint. The Amish is part of who the characters are, but at the end of the day, their trials and tribulations are not that different than it is for all of us. These stories of love and determination are a great way to introduce yourself to the Amish fiction genre or continue your enjoyment of the category.
Posted December 12, 2013
A must read for Christmas There are three wonderful stories in
A must read for ChristmasWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
There are three wonderful stories in this collection by Cindy Woodsmall. Two of them I'd read before, "The Sound of Sleigh Bells" and "The Christmas Singing" and one new story "The Dawn of Christmas". I reread the first two and enjoyed them just as much as I did the first time, I could not put the book down. The third story was just as enjoyable to read as the first two.
I like the fact that they were all connected, the characters knew each other. Cindy did a wonderful job of bringing the three stories together. Also, the fact that they would get out in bad snowstorms, I love that, it reminds me of my step-father, whenever there was a blizzard he JUST HAD to go someplace. We were a lot warmer though as we were in a car with a heater, except for the time we got stuck and had to walk about a mile.
Cindy draws you in and makes you feel like you are dealing with the heart tugging problems each person has to deal with. That is what keeps you reading late into the night, wanting them to realize that they are not seeing the whole story and they should listen to their heart. I think we are all guilty of that sometimes, especially when we have been stung before when the feelings are what we 'want' to feel, not what God wants for us. A definite must read!
Posted December 11, 2013
Posted December 8, 2013
12-07-2013 ReviewedWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
THE SOUND OF SLEIGH BELLS
This is a story of hurt,pain and finding out you're still worth loving.
Jonah found he forgave his brother a lot sooner then his brother forgave himself. Beth doesn't seem to be able to forget her tragedy. Will Johan be able to offer the sleigh ride Beth would love and will Beth be able to go on that sleigh ride?
Beth hears the children playing and laughing something starts to tug at her heart. Beth's Aunt wants Beth to meet the Artist but will it be able to happen and how will it work out if she does?
Does God have a plan and is this Lizzy's plan alone?
THE CHRISTMAS SINGING
Matti's heart was broken when her childhood sweetheart end their engagement on Christmas Eve--She was shook to the core. So she decides to full fill her life long dream of becoming a cake decorator. She even finds a new beau, but will her full fill her heart and make her happy once again? Gideon's rejection really hurt her, she wants and needs to restore her Christmas joy. What does God have in store for Matti?
THE DAWN OF CHRISTMAS
Sadie enjoys her singal life and freedom to go to Peru on a mission trip. After four years her family decides it is time for Sadie to come home and settle down. Sadie doesn't want to give up her freedom and come hoe to settle down that is the last thing on her mind. They want her to meet Levi and settle down, Levi doesn't want to settle down either but they devise a plan----only to discover the walls around their hearts are slowly softening.
I highly recommend this book with these three wonderful stories in it, you will love the stories.
I received this book free from WaterBrook Press for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review just an honest one. The opinions I have expressed are entirely my own and no one else's.
Posted November 22, 2013
If you are looking for a wonderful read for Christmas, pick up t
If you are looking for a wonderful read for Christmas, pick up this collection of three novellas by Cindy Woodsmall. All three stories are great! They each are long enough to be a full story, with great plot development and wonderful characters.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
In The Sound of Sleigh Bells, we meet Beth and Jonah. Beth is in mourning over the loss of her fiancé the year before and never expects to marry in the future. Through insight into Beth's thoughts, we discover that there is a deeper reason, a secret that she is keeping that causes her to balk at the thought of marrying any other man in the years to come. Her secret is weighing her down and causing a deep depression that her family is very worried she won't come out of. Through some interference from her loving aunt, Beth connects with Jonah. Can he help Beth overcome her fears and open up to her family about the dark secret weighing her down? Is there a chance for love between these two people?
In The Christmas Singing, we meet Mattie and Gideon. In this instance, Gideon is the one carrying a secret. Years ago, Mattie and Gideon were together. They grew up together and entered a wonderful courtship. When Mattie found Gideon in the arms of another, the courtship was abruptly halted. Mattie left town and is involved with another man. When unforeseen circumstances bring Mattie back to her hometown, will she and Gideon reconnect? What is the secret Gideon is hiding and can he find the courage to tell Mattie what was really going on that night so many years ago?
In The Dawn of Christmas, we meet Sadie and Levi. Both of these characters are very wounded by events from the past. Sadie is wounded that she caught her intended cheating on her with another woman on the day before their wedding. The community chose to believe his lies over her truth and now Sadie does not trust men. Levi, on the other hand does not trust women. This is because of two instances that he knows about where two of his family members were hurt by women who left them. Will Levi and Sadie ever learn to trust? Could it be possible for these two hurt people to find love?
Great stories! I loved each one and am thankful to WaterBrook Multnomah for the complimentary copy they provided to me in exchange for my honest review.
Posted November 17, 2013
What a surprise I got when I asked to review Christmas in Apple
What a surprise I got when I asked to review Christmas in Apple Ridge from best selling author Cindy Woodsmall, a collection of three novels all rolled into one beautiful book!!! This novel combines three beautiful Amish novels in one beginning with The Sound of Sleigh Bells, The Christmas Singing and wrapping up with the newest The Dawn of Christmas. For those of you looking for a great collection all in one book, then this is it for fans of Amish Christian fiction. Cindy Woodsmall is known for writing amazing Amish fiction and couple this with the celebration of Christmas and you know you have a true winner.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The Sound of Sleigh Bells begins this collection when Beth Hetzler heads off on her yearly journey out of town to find new items to carry in Hertzler's Dry Goods among the Amish and English. What she doesn't expect to find is an item carved in wood that truly speaks to her heart and soul. It is one she simply must have and it true is one-of-a-kind. One that just might make this Christmas more memorable when she discovers through writing letters to a wood carver that she just might have found her soul mate.
The Christmas Singing is must like the first novel in this collection involving heart ache and moving on in life. This time Mattie is struggling to find that new purpose in life after losing her heart to her childhood sweetheart. She finds that she must leave her past behind her and start over beginning with a new town and a new business that will keep her mind off her past making cakes. But can Mattie really forget all about the past including the man who still has a piece of her heart?
The Dawn of Christmas wraps up this collection with Sadie dealing with the loss of the man she once loved, whom she believes has lied to her. Not only is she finding it hard to come to terms with, but the whole town believes him as well. Sadie vows that she will never find love again until it quite literally falls into her lap. When Levi is thrown from his horse, she stays with him to make sure help arrives. They have more in common than they are willing to meet and when they both come up with a plan to prevent people for meddling in their love life, soon they will discover it may not be an act after all!
I received Christmas in Apple Ridge by Cindy Woodsmall compliments of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. The Christmas season tends to always bring about healing, forgiveness and restoration and these three stories demonstrate that in their own ways. Each of them is dealing with the pain of heartbreak in some way and each vows to accept the hand of fate they have been given until faith in God reveals a much greater plan instead. Each of these stories will make you fall in love with the sense that during Christmas love can be found in the unlikeliest of places. I rate this collection a true 5 out of 5 stars.
Posted October 19, 2013
Christmas in Apple Ridge is a three-in-one collection of stories
Christmas in Apple Ridge is a three-in-one collection of stories set in Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania. The first is The Sound of Sleigh Bells, followed by The Christmas Singing, and finally The Dawn of Christmas. Each of these stories are also available individually. All the stories feature a love story, complicated by past betrayal, heartache, tragedy, or loss, but demonstrates restoration and redemption. The first story features Jonah and Beth, but readers get to revisit them throughout the other two books. Likewise, in the second story, readers meet Mattie and Gideon, only to revisit them in the last story.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
When I received this book, I was surprised at it's length and thought it would take me a week to finish it. However, the characters were so interesting and the plots grabbed my attention so much that I finished it in two days. Typically love stories in novels follow a predictable pattern, which is fine because they work. However, in these books, especially the first two, there were times when I wasn't quite sure if the main characters would end up together or not.
I really enjoyed all three of the books included in this one large book. They were well-written, descriptive, and informative about the Plain folk culture. I did not realize they used car batteries to power the lights on their buggies. I also thought the recipes included after book two sounded delicious and fun to make. Even the soap recipe at the end of book three sounds possible to make, although I have never made soap before. Aside from the characters and the plot, I thought the messages in each book were good. People make all kinds of mistakes, sometimes even when we do what we think is best, it isn't, but God can take any circumstance and use it for unbelievable good. I just can't read that enough!
If you are a fan of Amish fiction, you will enjoy these charming books. If you enjoy nice, clean romance stories, give Christmas in Apple Ridge a try.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
Posted January 18, 2013
This book has 3 stories in it. All 3 were wonderful stories. I c
This book has 3 stories in it. All 3 were wonderful stories. I couldn't put the book down. If you like Amish love stories you will like this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 8, 2013
Christmas in Apple Ridge by Cindy Woodsmall contains 3 books abo
Christmas in Apple Ridge by Cindy Woodsmall contains 3 books about the Plain folk living in Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
In The Sound of Sleigh Bells, Beth Hertzler is struggling to get over a past tragedy. Desperate to help her niece, her aunt latches onto the one thing that has stirred Beth's interest, an artist that does amazing carvings. But, her small deception while trying to help Beth heal may ruin her chance for true happiness. What will happen when Beth learns the truth of who Jonah really is?
In The Christmas Singing, Mattie is forced to return home after a fire destroys her beloved cake decorating shop. Once there she is forced to work alongside the man who broke her heart. When she learns the truth about Gideon, will it heal her broken heart, or cause even more despair?
In The Dawn of Christmas, Sadie has been away from home for quite sometime after being hurt by her fiancee. She is quite content with her life and never getting married. Levi also has no desire for marriage after watching his brother's wife break his heart. Levi and Sadie devise a plan to pretend to court so their families will leave them be. Is it really all pretend, or can they both learn how to love and trust?
Cindy Woodsmall is one of my favorite authors of Amish fiction. She not only tells a good story, they also come with a powerful message, and something we all can learn from. I had already read and reviewed The Christmas Singing, but had not read the other two and certainly didn't mind rereading that one. I really liked all three stories in the same novel. Sometimes with Amish fiction and the characters all having similar or the same names, it can be confusing to figure out which characters go along with who. With all three novels in one book you get a better feel for the whole story. Also, this novel contains 3 complete books. The stories and characters are well developed. It makes for a much better story than if it contained 3 shortened novellas. I would highly recommend Christmas in Apple Ridge by Cindy Woodsmall.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary ebook copy of Christmas in Apple Ridge for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review. I received no other compensation.
Posted November 20, 2012
The Sound of Sleigh Bells is mostly about a romance that is unse
The Sound of Sleigh Bells is mostly about a romance that is unseen that is through art. Secrets emerge and Beth is once again able to love and cherish what she didn't think she had.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The Christmas Singing is about heartbreak and learning to see the truth when someone from the past emerges when the main character comes back home for a wedding. Secrets are revealed on the real reason why a break-up has ensued.
The Dawn of Christmas is about a girl who lets freedom get in the way of romance and the guy does not trust women. These two devise a plan to get together and make up for lost time in romance and come close together.
I love Cindy Woodsmall's books and hope to keep reading more of them. They are inspiring in knowing that the Amish have as much heartache and love as do the normal folks.
Posted November 20, 2012
Cindy Woodsmall in her new book, ¿Christmas in Apple Ridge¿ pub
Cindy Woodsmall in her new book, “Christmas in Apple Ridge” published by WaterBrook Press brings us a Three-in-One Collection: The Sound of Sleigh Bells, The Christmas Singing, NEW! The Dawn of Christmas.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
From the back cover: Experience the holidays with the Plain folk of Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania, in these touching novellas centered around love, romance, heartache, and restoration from best-selling authorCindy Woodsmall.
The Sound of Sleigh Bells
Beth Hertzler is unable to let go of a past tragedy, but when she discovers a large, intricately carved scene of Amish children playing in the snow, something deep inside Beth’s soul responds. Determined that her niece meet the gifted artist, her aunt tracks him down, but it’s not that simple – will Jonah be able to offer Beth the sleigh ride she’s always dreamed of and a second chance at real love?
The Christmas Singing
Mattie thought her childhood sweetheart adored her until he abruptly ended their engagement on Christmas Eve. Brokenhearted, Mattie moves away and pursues her longtime dream of becoming a cake decorator, and even finds a new beau. But when Mattie is forced to return home three years later, will learning the truth behind Gideon’s rejection restore her Christmas joy – or open the door to even deeper heartbreak?
The Dawn of Christmas
Sadie enjoys her freedom away from home and her mission trips to Peru, but after four years, her Old Order Amish family insists it’s time to come home and settle down. Levi, a bachelor who distrusts women after a family heartbreak, also has no desire for romance. To keep their families from meddling in their lives, Sadie and Levi devise a plan—but soon discover that the walls around their hearts are breaking down. Can they let go of their prejudices, learn to trust each other, and embrace a future together?
I like Apple Ridge. I wish that all cities and towns could be like Apple Ridge because the people of this town know each other and pull together in times of hardship. These three stories all center around Christmas time so if you are not in the mood for Christmas yet you will be by the time you finish reading. Yes, there is trouble in each story but trouble helps the characters grow stronger and to each other. And there is romance. Why else read these stories if it were not for the romance? Spending time in Apple Ridge is time well spent. If you don’t already have the first two stories then you will enjoy reading them for the first time. If you already do then the third story is brand new and you probably will enjoy reading the first two again. Either way it is great to visit in Apple Ridge and I look forward to more return visits.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Press for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Posted November 18, 2012
This book has 3 stories in one. I enjoyed them all. The three st
This book has 3 stories in one. I enjoyed them all. The three stories are connected to the previous story in this book. It also mentions Aden and Annie in the last story called "The Dawn of Christmas".Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The first story in the book in about Beth Hertzler and somewhat about her aunt Lizzy. The story revels some secrets throughout the book and a romance forms between Beth and Jonah. Will Beth take a chance at second love. Read to find out. You could read the the book called "The Sound of Sleigh Bells" to read about Beth and Jonah and Beth's aunt Lizzy.
The second story is about Mattie and Gideon. Mattie is living in Ohio for some time but something happen to bring her home to Apple Ridge. Her cousin Beth and Lizzy wedding. Though coming home will Mattie learn the truth of Gideon's break in the engagement on Christmas eve. Well they get back together. To find out what happens you can read it or you could read the book called "The Christmas Singing". You can read about Gideon and Mattie and about Lizzy and Beth weddings.
The third story is about Sadie and Levi. Levi is a cousin to Beth and Mattie in someway. Sadie and Levi do not trust the other gender. Though the way they met is somewhat strange that Sadie came and found him laying in the hay-field hurt. Can Sadie and Levi let go of their prejudices and learn to trust each other. You also get to hear about Lizzy and Beth and also about Mattie. There the other couple that is mention that is Aden and Annie. You can read about Aden and Annie story in the book called "The Scent of Cherry Blossoms". If you want to read about Sadie and Levi you can be getting the book called "The Dawn of Christmas".
If you want all three of the stories you can get this book called "Christmas in Apple Ridge".
Posted November 15, 2013
No text was provided for this review.