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The Dawn of Christmas: A Romance from the Heart of Amish Country

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Overview

This Christmas, experience learning to trust alongside the Plain folk of Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania in this heart-warming tale of second chances.
 
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 ...
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The Dawn of Christmas: A Romance from the Heart of Amish Country

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Overview

This Christmas, experience learning to trust alongside the Plain folk of Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania in this heart-warming tale of second chances.
 
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?
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  • The Dawn of Christmas
    The Dawn of Christmas  

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307732132
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/15/2013
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 245,595
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Cindy Woodsmall
Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author of more than a dozen works of fiction and one work of non-fiction, whose connection with the Amish community has been featured widely in national media and throughout Christian news outlets. She lives outside Atlanta with her family. 
 
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Read an Excerpt

One

Muffled voices drifted through the living room, but Sadie couldn’t make out the words. She sat in a ladder back, avoiding Daniel’s gaze by staring into a fireplace with its few fading embers. Family members, hers and Daniel’s, peered at her with eyes full of pity and shock.

When Daniel had made his intentions known, folks whispered behind her back that little Sadie Yoder had finally snagged someone’s attention and she better hold on for dear life. She knew that was true, but she hadn’t cared what people thought, not one whit. Daniel Miller had moved to Brim from Tussey Mountain a year earlier, and he’d fallen in love.

With her.

Her, of all people. The one best known for being a quiet stick of a girl who caught no man’s eye.

Every day that passed she’d thought her heart might explode from the joy of falling in love. When he’d asked her to marry him, well, she’d all but fainted from the excitement.

Daniel wasn’t just any man. He was above her in every way. He was handsome and had a deep voice, strong shoulders, and a way of winning people’s respect. At twenty-four, only five years older than she, he already had an established horse-trading business. She’d fully believed in him and felt honored he’d chosen her.

Now…

She lifted her eyes to meet his, and heartbreak stole her breath. If her legs could carry her, she’d get up and walk out.

“Forgive me.” Daniel’s lips barely moved, his whisper meant for no one but her. He looked as shocked and hurt by his behavior as she was.

She turned her attention back to the stone fireplace. It stood silent, the pile of gray-and-black ashes smoldering from a fire that once burned hot. A perfect depiction of her life.

A blur of crisp magenta folds swirled in front of her, and her cousin Aquilla knelt beside her chair. Aquilla’s perfect oval face radiated beauty. Her blond hair framed her head like a halo, and her green eyes were mesmerizing. And all of it was able to steal Daniel’s heart before Sadie caught a hint of what was happening.

“Please, Sadie.”

Please? What was Aquilla thinking? Did she hope Sadie could also be convinced of her lie? Or did she want Sadie to have the power to erase their betrayal? their indulgence? their sin?

Daniel had been a perfect gentleman with Sadie, but what she’d witnessed less than an hour ago proved he was not unfamiliar with a woman’s body. She could still see his hands embracing Aquilla, caressing her in a way that would haunt Sadie for years.

She had invited Aquilla two months ago to come from out of town to help prepare for the wedding. What a fool she’d been.

Aquilla clasped her delicate hands over Sadie’s stained ones. “It wasn’t as it looked. I promise. You misunderstood.”

That was a lie. One Aquilla had already repeated a few times, no doubt hoping it would save her from gossip and from looking like the betrayer she was. Sadie kept her gaze fixed on the fireplace, wishing she could escape like smoke up a chimney. Everyone would leave later, but how many would be unsure of what she’d actually seen? This would be her only chance to defend herself against Aquilla’s lies to Daniel’s family, but the words begged to stay hidden.

A mere hour earlier Sadie had been making last-minute alterations to her wedding dress. As daylight grew faint, she’d needed a new propane tank for the gas pole light in her bedroom. She hadn’t even known Daniel had arrived for a visit. As she’d crossed the backyard, she’d breathed in the fall air and enjoyed the red and yellow leaves of maple and birch trees.

Then she’d opened the shed door. In a moment of time, as quickly as the hope of being loved had come to her, it had fled. Every hope of marrying Daniel shattered. The laughter of their future children silenced.

She’d run back to the house, fleeing a truth she could not escape. Once inside, she’d slammed the door tight, locked it, then fallen against the frame and wept. When she’d looked up, dozens of her relatives and Daniel’s were staring at her. She’d forgotten they were there to help prepare for her and Daniel’s wedding day.

Daniel and Aquilla had pounded on the door, demanding she let them in.

Sadie’s Daed had hurried to her, asking what was going on, and she’d whispered what she’d witnessed. The emotions that crossed her Daed’s face mirrored her own. He’d been the one to encourage the relationship, nudging the two of them together from the moment Daniel had arrived in the community. When Daed had opened the door to Aquilla and Daniel, Sadie had expected their guilt to be evident on their faces. But they’d looked only upset, and Aquilla’s first words were a lie she didn’t even stumble over.

Aquilla’s eyes had glistened with tears, and her angelic face radiated sincerity. “I fell off a stepladder, and he caught me.” She’d turned to face everyone in the room. “She’s insecure about Daniel, imagining her worst fears concerning him.” She’d wiped tears from her face. “Why would I want the only man she’s ever dated when I can date anyone I choose?”

Immediately the heads of loved ones had begun to nod, and murmurs rippled through the room. Daniel had stood by quietly, neither denying nor confirming Aquilla’s account. Her cousin had skillfully planted doubt in everyone’s mind, and in so doing, Sadie felt what little strength she still possessed drain from her. It wasn’t Sadie’s nature to defend herself, to stir anger and resentment when the argument would still leave people unsure of who was right.

If given time, would Daniel take up Aquilla’s lie too?

Sadie closed her eyes, trying to reconcile what was happening with what was supposed to take place tomorrow. She pulled free of her cousin’s hand and rose, hoping her legs would not fail her. Standing mere feet from Daniel, she stared into his eyes, remembering how they’d grown so close over the past months, talking for hours, laughing at things only they shared. She studied him now. Who was this stranger? What did he see when he looked at her? Did his heart break for all he’d forsaken?

He gazed at her. “I swear to you on my life, nothing like this has happened before or ever will again.”

She was tempted to believe him. But how could she be sure? Did he mean what he said, or would he say anything to end this nightmare?

She’d never know.

What she did know was that her family believed she’d remain unwed forever if she didn’t marry Daniel. Even rebellious teens weren’t gawked at or gossiped about like a woman who had never married—at least until the woman was past thirty. Then everyone accepted her fate without further discussion.

Daniel angled his head. “Don’t call off the wedding, Sadie,” he whispered. “It’ll cause a scandal. And there’s no sense in trying to weather that.”

Visions of him with Aquilla tore at her again. His mouth pressed against Aquilla’s, his hands under her dress, roaming over her body. The pain struck again, so deep, so intense, Sadie longed to ease it. She only needed to nod, and he’d embrace her. Relief would rush through him and their families, and everyone would surround her with words of hope and encouragement. Her pain would ease.

But would it ever go away?

She feared not. Doubt would fade when she was in his arms, then grow as bright and scorching as an August sun when she wasn’t.

Could she live with that? The seconds ticked by as she studied him, and anger grew in Daniel’s eyes.

“Despite what you thought you saw,”—Daniel took a step back, talking loudly enough for most everyone to hear him—“Aquilla has told the truth, and I’m begging you not to call off the wedding over a misunderstanding.”

His words hit hard, and she felt the weight of judgment from her family and his bear down on her. Trembling, Sadie struggled to catch her breath. She wasn’t strong enough to cope with a broken heart and the fallout of people’s disappointment in her if she chose to call off the wedding.

But was she strong enough to marry a liar?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

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(13)

4 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 2, 2014

    Highly Recommend

    Wonderful book. You would enjoy it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2014

    Great read

    Enjoyed very much!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2014

    Another great read

    This was another grestDS

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  • Posted April 8, 2014

    The Dawn of Christmas Cindy Woodsmall Book Summary: Sadie en

    The Dawn of Christmas
    Cindy Woodsmall




    Book Summary: 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?




    Review: I loved Sadie and Levi. It was great to see all the previous Christmas Novella characters back. The story line was great and fun to read with great dialog going between Sadie and Levi. Like every Cindy Woodsmall book it has some teary eyed moments that were quite worth it. I can’t wait for the next book!. I enjoyed the off beat traits that Sadie had and Levi was a great companion to her. It is a rare gem of a story and look forward to visiting them in the future. 
    I would like to thank Waterbrook Press and Blogging for Books for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 23, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Part of Apple Ridge Series

    This book is part of the Apple Ridge series...

    Sadie has been away from home on a mission trip in Peru, but her Old Order Amish family insists it's time to come home & settle down. Levi, is a bachelor who no longer trusts women after heartbreak in his life, and he has no desire for romance. Sadie and Levi devise a plan to keep their families from meddling in their lives, but will their plan backfire on themselves? Can they trust each other & maybe have a future?


    I couldn't get into this book when i started to read it. That has happened to me before. That in no way means this a bad book. I will just have to try again.


    *I received this book from Waterbrook in exchange for my review.*

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 8, 2014

    Trust Doesn't Come Easy.... The Dawn of Christmas is relevan

    Trust Doesn't Come Easy....




    The Dawn of Christmas is relevant to much more than the holiday. Two young adults have been badly hurt, each by a member of the opposite gender, and have lost all hope for a future relationship or imminent marriage. This Amish tale is a story of learning to trust where all hope of trust has been destroyed by another. As the two discover one another a friendship of sorts begins. Upon pressure from her father, Sadie and Levi formulate a plan to "court" to satisfy the demands of Sadie's family. The friendship between them is comfortable over time until each realizes there is more to the relationship than just convenience and friendship alone. With issues from the past staring them in the face the question appears regarding where this relationship should go. Will one betray the other when the going gets rough? You'll have to pick up a copy and see for yourself.




    Cindy Woodsmall is well versed author, and writes with integrity and fluency. She knows the Amish way of life well, and weaves an excellent story of the vulnerabilities in life. I would have enjoyed this as a full-length novel rather than a novella. There is so much more to the story, and I felt some predictability due to the brevity of the book. As a whole the characters are very strong and likable, people I'd love to know, and the events throughout the story kept me wanting more. This is an excellent book to read at any time throughout the year. I'm looking forward to more from Cindy Woodsmall!




    Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 5, 2014

    A very well written romance that focuses on the importance of fa

    A very well written romance that focuses on the importance of family, trust, overcoming prejudices and discerning God’s will for you. It is entertaining with fun banter between the characters. The characters are well-developed and realistic with normal flaws.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 29, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The Dawn of Christmas By: Cindy Woodsmall I loved this story by

    The Dawn of Christmas
    By: Cindy Woodsmall

    I loved this story by Cindy Woodsmall. The Dawn of Christmas is a story of two Amish people, Sadie and Levi. They’ve both been hurt by love and are determined to not get married, regardless of the expectations from others. When Levi is thrown from a horse and Sadie finds him, they spend more and more time together while pushing away their growing feelings for each other.

    Sadie has been hurt by Daniel. Right before their wedding she caught him with another woman. How can she ever trust another man again? She’d rather do mission work and not deal with it. Levi was hurt when his brother’s wife left him and his son. They now live with Levi. Levi can’t see putting his heart in the hands of someone who will just up and leave without notice.

    I was pleasantly surprised this wasn’t another story of we both don’t want to get married, let’s do it since we both know we aren’t going to fall in love, and then they do. The Dawn of Christmas is a very sweet romance between two people and Cindy Woodsmall draws you into their deepening relationship. Their distrust of each other comes to a head with words from Sadie’s ex-fiancé, Daniel. Does she care that now Levi won’t have anything to do with her? Isn’t it for the best since they were getting too close? Read this wonderful romance to find out!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 12, 2013

    The Dawn of Christmas by Cindy Woodsmall is a wonderful story de

    The Dawn of Christmas by Cindy Woodsmall is a wonderful story dealing with second chances and learning to trust. Sadie was engaged to Daniel and shortly before the wedding she caught him kissing her cousin but he tried to convince her that she did not see what she thought she saw. In fact, most people in the community did not believe Sadie. Her family decided that it would be best if she
    moved away and this gives her the opportunity to spend time in Peru as a missionary. After four years, Sadie is ready to go back home and her family welcomes her back. Soon after Sadie arrived back home she is out walking and finds Levi lying in the snow seriously injured after being thrown from his horse. He distrusts women after watching his brother suffer when his wife left him with a young son to rear alone. Their families and friends begin to meddle in their lives by trying to get them romantically interested in each other. To keep the peace, Sadie and Levi decide to pretend that they are courting and this leads to lots of interesting situations..

    This story was very well written and all the characters were so well developed that they came to life. Through the dialogue of the characters I could feel their pain and sorrow. All the scenes were so descriptive that I was right in the middle of the action. Both main characters had suffered from the actions of others and I really liked the way the author had them turning to God for guidance and for the ability to forgive the ones who wronged them. It was interesting to follow Sadie and Levi in their journey of learning to trust again.

    I definitely recommend this book to all readers who are lovers of Amish fiction that involves a great romance.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 4, 2013

    Cindy has another great hit with this Christmas book.  I thought

    Cindy has another great hit with this Christmas book.  I thought it was very interesting that Sadie traveled to Peru for a mission trip. I thought she was a very strong person. Another thing I enjoyed was reading about her and Levi and how their relationship developed throughout the book. I felt bad for Levi and Sadie and felt bad for both of them and understood why they felt the way they did. This was such a good book that you can read it in one weekend. I highly recommend this book as you will not be disappointed. Cindy has a way of writing books so you feel like you really know the characters and feel all of their emotions. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 21, 2013

    The Dawn of Christmas by Cindy Woodsmall is a wonderful story de

    The Dawn of Christmas by Cindy Woodsmall is a wonderful story dealing with second chances and learning to trust. Sadie was engaged to Daniel and shortly before the wedding she caught him kissing her cousin but he tried to convince her that she did not see what she thought she saw. In fact, most people in the community did not believe Sadie. Her family decided that it would be best if she
    moved away and this gives her the opportunity to spend time in Peru as a missionary. After four years, Sadie is ready to go back home and her family welcomes her back. Soon after Sadie arrived back home she is out walking and finds Levi lying in the snow seriously injured after being thrown from his horse. He distrusts women after watching his brother suffer when his wife left him with a young son to rear alone. Their families and friends begin to meddle in their lives by trying to get them romantically interested in each other. To keep the peace, Sadie and Levi decide to pretend that they are courting and this leads to lots of interesting situations..




    This story was very well written and all the characters were so well developed that they came to life. Through the dialogue of the characters I could feel their pain and sorrow. All the scenes were so descriptive that I was right in the middle of the action. Both main characters had suffered from the actions of others and I really liked the way the author had them turning to God for guidance and for the ability to forgive the ones who wronged them. It was interesting to follow Sadie and Levi in their journey of learning to trust again.




    I definitely recommend this book to all readers who are lovers of Amish fiction that involves a great romance.




    I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers through their Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2013

    Sadie and Levi are two single Old Order Amish who are intent on

    Sadie and Levi are two single Old Order Amish who are intent on being friends only. Soured on having a romatic relationship both agree to be friends but to the community they act like they have a promising relationship in order to have their families stop their respective match making. Can this relationship grow beyond friendship? Or will they remain friends in name only? Christmas is full of surprises in Apple Ridge in Cindy Woodsmall's new book The Dawn of Christmas. An easy read to put you into the Christmas spirit of faith, family and forgiveness.
    I received this book for free to review from Blogging for Books.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2013

    Neon

    Your story is amazing!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2013

    What happened to this story

    Please continue! Please!!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2013

    Amber

    Make chapter six!! Peeze!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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