The Gift Of Christmas Past: A Southern Romance

The Gift Of Christmas Past: A Southern Romance

by Cindy Woodsmall, Erin Woodsmall

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The Gift Of Christmas Past: A Southern Romance by Cindy Woodsmall, Erin Woodsmall

Lies Spoken.
Promises Shattered.
She went to juvenile lockup.
He returned to the safety of his wealthy parents.

Almost ten years later, Hadley and Monroe are both specialists in the field of speech therapy. They meet again…thrown together to help a four-year- old girl rendered mute after a suspected arson. Years of secrets and anger beg to be set free as Hadley and Monroe try to push aside past hurts and find common ground in order to help the traumatized child and her family.

Can the love of Christmas past drift into the present, bringing healing and hope for all?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780998753805
Publisher: Stonewater Books
Publication date: 10/10/2017
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 636,339
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)
Age Range: 3 Months to 18 Years

About the Author

Cindy Woodsmall is the New York Times and CBA best-selling author of eighteen works of fiction. She's been featured in national media outlets such as ABC's Nightline and the Wall Street Journal. Cindy has won numerous awards and has been finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards. Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains. She can be found online at

Erin Woodsmall is a writer, musician, wife, and mom of three. She has edited, brainstormed, and researched books with Cindy for almost a decade. The Gift of Christmas Past is their first coauthored title.


Flowery Branch, GA  30542

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The Gift Of Christmas Past: A Southern Romance 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
janesquires More than 1 year ago
Hadley is a foster child. She is wrongly accused and loses her foster home and boyfriend who's parents are wealthy. Her boyfriend's' parents pay for an attorney on condition Monroe not see her anymore. After Hadley is cleared, her and Elliott take off and live on their own. Hadley becomes a Speech Therapist. She is forced out of her apartment when there a fire. Chloe, a little girl with a speech problem has been under Hadley's care. After fire Chloe quits talking Hadley ends up working with Monroe which don't set well with his parents. Monroe gives everything up to be with Hadley. They adopt foster kids as well as have some of their own.
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
The Gift of Christmas Past was a sweet holiday read that really packed in some important issues. From foster children to speech therapy, this was a story that balanced a couple of love stories and a little light mystery with characters that definitely showed what caring for your neighbor as yourself really looks like in action. Starting 10 years previous, Hadley, a foster kid, is accused of a crime she did not commit. She turns to her boyfriend, Monroe, to help her get out of her present circumstances. He believes her innocent and even though they both are only 17, they think the best solution is marriage. However, Monroe’s parents put a stop to that when they offer him an opportunity to help Hadley but cut off all ties with her. For some reason, I felt this book had a little Romeo and Juliet thread running through it. Ten years later, Hadley and Monroe meet up again due to a little girl who cannot speak anymore. I do enjoy a romance that reunites couples who truly loved each other and watch them pick up the pieces of their lives and I enjoyed the bond Hadley and Monroe still had after all those years. Some people are just meant to be together no matter the difficult circumstances that kept them apart. There were some people I really thought needed a reality check in this book and a little less control over people’s lives. I did appreciate the author’s sensitivity to foster children and some of the preconceived prejudices that they may face growing up. I received a copy of this novel for free. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
booksandbeverages More than 1 year ago
This is for my readers who love a Christmas romance! Releasing her first non-Amish novel, Cindy Woodsmall teams up with her daughter-in-law, Erin Woodsmall, bringing readers a love story spanning over a decade. There’s romance, faith and Christmas – a great mix for my contemporary romance fans. With a Hallmark movie feel and topics that go beyond a love story, I know fans of Woodsmall will enjoy this southern fiction read. But more than the sweet romance, this story also deals with important issues, such as foster care and children who go through speech therapy, inviting readers to look into lives that may not be their own or in their circles. I really enjoyed that piece of the story and love when authors are willing to go deeper. What’s one of your favorite Christmas novels? (Thank you to BookLook Bloggers for a copy of the book. All views expressed are my own.) Originally posted at
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
I'm sure all of us can remember our first loves. Those times when we believed we were invincible based on the belief that love would and could conquer any challenges that we faced. Then it seems as if somewhere along the way our fairy tale bubble burst. We were faced with dealing with picking up the pieces of our broken hearts and no longer did we want to believe in love again. That is the very underlying theme facing Hadley when faced with moving from foster home to foster home and dealing with the emotions one might when you feel your life slipping away. Now trying to work through anger management issues and facing the threat of possible jail time for a crime she didn't intentionally commit. She was now facing having to find somewhere else to live after her current foster parents were asking her to leave. They couldn't deal with her lies and not being able to trust her, when they had tried to give her the benefit of the doubt. But Hadley knew that if she could just find a way to reach Monroe, the love of her life, she might convince him to marry her quickly and the two of them could runaway together and find a new life and future. After he gladly proposes, he tells her that he will meet her later once he is able to go home, talk to his parents and get the money he has saved up, which will be just what they need to start over. Only like most parents, they refused to let Monroe leave. Once they knew that Hadley was facing jail time, his wealthy parents, offered to pay for the best lawyer and provide a financial scholarship for her to continue to pursue her dream as a speech therapist without knowing his family provided it. It was the only reasonable option that would benefit Hadley the most, and with it came the exception that he could not reveal any of it to Hadley and he would break off any future contact with her. Now ten years later, the two have moved on respectively in their own futures but like all divine appointments, God will once again intervene like a wonderful Hallmark movie and cause them to reconnect not only to find out if they have feelings for one another, but more importantly to heal the brokenness they each have carried since carrying the secrets into their futures. Will there be a true Christmas miracle in store for them both and will love really conquer their tainted pasts to give them a future neither could imagine? Pick this one up to find out. I received The Gift of Christmas Past by Cindy and Erin Woodsmall compliments of Woodsmall Press and Litfuse Publicity. While you might be thinking this is something predictable, there is a bigger lesson at work between the cover of this novel. It is showing that forgiveness can be found, even if despite all the evidence facing you that points to someone's guilt, resolution is possible. It shows how carrying secrets that could lead to restoration have caused additional pain and hurt that were not needed, but most of all it does show that love really is the greatest gift one could possess. I give this novel a 4 out of 5 stars and it does include discussion guide questions at the conclusion which is perfect for book clubs.
MeezCarrie More than 1 year ago
At first glance, The Gift of Christmas Past seems like a sweet romance between high-school sweethearts who find each other again after being apart for 10 years. And it is. But it’s also a story that shines a spotlight on foster care, pediatric speech therapy, and looking past our own biases to see people as they really are. It’s fascinating and relatable and will touch your heart. The writing draws you in immediately, and the story flow keeps you hooked through to the end. The characters are engaging and relatable, and Hadley & Elliott (foster sisters who haven’t stopped looking out for each other) are women I would want as friends. Watching them grapple with the wounds of their past and come out victorious is inspiring. Bottom Line: The beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains provide the setting for a tender and engaging novel, and the authors have done a great job of using that gorgeous backdrop to its potential. Along with the scenic views, The Gift of Christmas Past gives us vibrant characters, poignant histories and gentle romance. This is an emotional story, to be sure, but it never feels too heavy. And there are plenty of moments that will have you smiling or cheering or swooning. Or sometimes all three at once! Put this one on your Christmas list! (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)
SeasonsofGrace More than 1 year ago
I am still whirling from the heart-rending emotion of reading this book. Touching, Beautiful, Inspiring... It was such a quick read for me. Once I picked it up, I literally struggled to put it down, sneaking every moment I could find to read just a little bit more. The story is a story of struggle, misunderstanding, pain, love, forgiveness, and so much more. My heart went out to young Hadley as she faced her trials alone, and yet, I understood in part the struggle her foster parents must have gone through again. After years, of foster care living, making mistakes and feeling like a misfit, this was Hadley's final straw. I felt trapped with Monroe, Hadley's boyfriend, as his parents manipulated the situation in their favor while offering hope. It grated my nerves. His willingness to sacrifice for her though - spoke of true love. Yet, in some ways I really wanted to see him stand up for himself and others around him. All the characters were amazing, Elliot - a loyal friend, going the extra mile, sacrificing for those she loved, yet always carrying around the wounds she'd been dealt and struggling to trust. Trent - his gentle, understanding, compassionate nature was extremely appealing. I was immediately drawn to him, and hoped Elliot would budge a little, and at least give him a chance. Having seen both sides of the fence, this story really tore at my heart. I, of course, rooted for Hadley and Elliot. But I also hoped, in the end, love would win out, and all would find happiness and forgiveness. I loved how each character was shaped by their past and yet, with God's help was able to overcome and use their experiences to better the lives of those around them. I also gleaned some interesting information on apraxia and selective mutism. I can't recommend this book enough!! Yes!! You will want to get your copy of this one. I received a free copy courtesy of Litfuse Publicity. I was not asked to review positively and all opinions are my own.
Debragg More than 1 year ago
"A Gift of Christmas Past" by Cindy and Erin Woodsmall is a holiday treat. I really enjoyed this story. Hadley and Monroe have not seen each other for years. They are seeing each other right now to try to help a little girl. Monroe has no problems his rich parents are there. Hadley has to instead get arrested. . Because they are both practicing in the same medical field they are both trying to help a little girl speak again. She has survived a fire but now cannot talk. Will they realize that they should be together? Will they ever be able to forgive each other? I was given this book by Litfuse Publicity Group and all opinions are mine. I give this book a 5/5.
lolly-pops More than 1 year ago
THE GIFT OF CHRISTMAS PAST is every so much better than I ever imagined. I already knew Cindy Woodsmall could write. I've read most of her Amish books and enjoyed them. Several are on my keeper shelf permanently (and you know how crowded an avid reader's keeper shelf gets!) The rest have been donated to the library so I can reread them anytime I want. The librarian loves me. I donate tons of books. Hadley is a foster child. And of course they have a bad rap to start with. Add a fiery temper and she was in trouble with the law and a permanent enemy of the neighbors next door. Long story short, a good deed gone bad, and parents who want to protect their son from a serious mistake, and we have the here and now. Both grown up. Hadley still trying to make something of herself. Monroe is living her dream--and when she walks into his clinic he has two choices: ignore the terms of his contract and allow her to stay or kill her dreams and force her to leave. What is a guy to do? Despite who Monroe is I adored him. But oh, my favorite was another point of view character, Trent, who works under Monroe and notices Hadley's best friend Elliot. Two romances. One book. Wow. I *loved* this book. Adored it. I signed up for the litfuse tour (but was not accepted), so I was excited when I was offered a spot on another tour. I went in, not sure what to think, but this writing team has won me over with their first indie published book. HIGHLY recommended. Fans of Woodsmall's Amish will not want to miss this book written by her and her daughter-in-law. I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I first found out a Cindy Woodsmall book was releasing, I immediately thought it would be an Amish book. So, in complete honesty, I was a little leery of it because I am not what you would call a "romance" reader. However, I was so pleasantly surprised. The story grabbed me right away. I was excited to also see that it was co-authored by Erin Woodsmall. Hadley and Monroe are high school sweethearts but Hadley has a lot of issues and can't seem to keep her anger in check. When a crime happens, and Hadley is blamed, Monroe is forced, for reasons I won't post here, to walk away. Fast forward years later, Hadley and Monroe meet again. What will happen? You have to read to find out. I really enjoyed this story and read it very quickly. I was just saying to someone the other day that in this day of violence, and almost how things are so accepted in regards to explicit language and situations, it's so refreshing to read a good, wholesome story. I was glad I had the opportunity to read this. No re
LucyMR1 More than 1 year ago
Cindy Woodsmall and her daughter in law Erin Woodsmall have collaborated to write a beautiful heart touching story that you don't want to put down. With realistic characters that let you see into the world of foster care and the heartbreak of being accused erroneously of a crime. Hadley's story will make you weep, but also show that God has a plan for her life and He will bless the broken road she walks with her foster sister, Elliot. The injustice that occurs because of her boyfriends wealthy family is sad, but shows we all need forgiveness and grace. What a beautiful portrait this book paints of love, forgiveness, grace, mercy, and restoration. I hope these authors write many more stories together, as they hooked me. I received a complimentary copy from the authors. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
BookReviewerTG More than 1 year ago
Cindy Woodsmall has branched out into a different genre other than Amish reads. And this time she has a coauthor, Erin Woodsmall, who has edited, brainstormed and researched books with Cindy. Hadley and Aaron are friends and then the fire! The fire changes things. Hadley was arrested but Aaron went home to his wealthy parents. Ten years later they meet again. And they are both specialists in speech therapy. They are to put there knowledge together to help a sweet little four-year-old who was traumatized by a fire. As Hadley and Monroe work together secrets, hurts and something more comes out in their relationship. This is quite a story! The lives, loves and secrets of Hadley and Monroe take the reader on a journey of compassion, mercy and grace. Sometimes life isn't all about us. Sometimes it includes others and extending mercy to them. A great story! *This book was provided for review by the author*