Review: Christmas in Apple Ridge: Three-in-One Collection by Cindy Woodsmall

13532254If 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.

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? (5 stars)

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.

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Cindy Woodsmall

Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best-selling author who has written a dozen (and counting!) works of fiction and one of nonfiction. She and her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud, coauthored the nonfiction, Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. Cindy’s been featured on ABC Nightline and the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and has worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life. In June of 2013, the Wall Street Journal listed Cindy as the second most popular author of Amish fiction, following Beverly Lewis.

She is also a veteran homeschool mom who no longer holds that position. As her children progressed in age, her desire to write grew stronger. After working through reservations whether this desire was something she should pursue, she began her writing journey. Her husband was her staunchest supporter as she aimed for what seemed impossible.

She’s won Fiction Book of the Year, Reviewer’s Choice Awards, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Contest, as well as one of Crossings’ Best Books of the Year. She’s been a finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards, Christian Book of the Year, and Christian Retailers Choice Awards.

Her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity. Though she didn’t realize it at the time, seeds were sown years ago that began preparing Cindy to write these books. At the age of ten, while living in the dairy country of Maryland, she became best friends with Luann, a Plain Mennonite girl. Luann, like all the females in her family, wore the prayer Kapp and cape dresses. Her parents didn’t allow television or radios, and many other modern conveniences were frowned upon. During the numerous times Luann came to Cindy’s house to spend the night, her rules came with her and the two were careful to obey them—afraid that if they didn’t, the adults would end their friendship. Although the rules were much easier to keep when they spent the night at Luann’s because her family didn’t own any of the forbidden items, both sets of parents were uncomfortable with the relationship and a small infraction of any kind would have been enough reason for the parents to end the relationship. While navigating around the adults’ disapproval and the obstacles in each other’s lifestyle, the two girls bonded in true friendship that lasted into their teen years, until Cindy’s family moved to another region of the US.

As an adult, Cindy became friends with a wonderful Old Order Amish family who opened their home to her. Although the two women, Miriam and Cindy, live seven hundred miles apart geographically, and a century apart by customs, when they come together they never lack for commonality, laughter, and dreams of what only God can accomplish through His children. Over the years Cindy has continued to make wonderful friendships with those inside the Amish and Mennonite communities—from the most conservative ones to the most liberal.

Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains in their now empty nest.

You can connect with Cindy at and, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads and Pinterest.



About Brittany

I am a homeschooling mother of four children. I am an avid reader and have been for as long as I can remember. I truly enjoy reading and reviewing books I focus my reading and my reviews on Christian fiction, primarily Christian romantic fiction. I hope you will find my reviews helpful in your decisions on what books to read.
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2 Responses to Review: Christmas in Apple Ridge: Three-in-One Collection by Cindy Woodsmall

  1. Hello!

    A friend of mine just published her second book and I am helping to put a book blog tour together for her. This is book two in a three book series but can stand alone. Here’s the book blub:

    The Scent of Fear by Susan J. Reinhardt

    After three years of tenuous peace, John and Ellie Zimmerman are shocked when two old friends show up in disguise. Their world is once again sent into turmoil.

    Jim Kenneman, Director of National Security, masterminded the break up of a group persecuting Christians in the Lancaster Tourist Zone. Now, they’re gunning for him. At first, he relies on his negotiating skills, but his best operative convinces him that won’t work.

    Monty, a topnotch operative, worked on the Bird-in-Hand assignment and helped bring down the New Patriots. A recurring dream prompts him to rescue his boss from possible murder. The agency might not be sending him on assignment, but he knows God is directing his path – one that could wreck his career, family, and cost him his life.

    Dr. Abby Weaver strives to save infants and toddlers in Holmes County, Ohio. When she meets two strangers, she can’t get the tall, handsome one out of her mind. Will their paths intersect again or will dangerous times keep them apart?

    I noticed that you like Amish fiction. This book would be labeled under Amish Futuristic Suspense. If you would like to be a part of the blog tour, I would be happy to forward a PDF copy of the book to you and then set up a schedule of when everyone would post their reviews. I am hoping to get the blog tour together in December and there will also be a $25 Amazon GC and book giveaway involved also. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Thanks for your consideration!

    Diane Estrella

  2. Pingback: Review: A Love Undone by Cindy Woodsmall | Britt Reads Fiction

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