Christmas in Apple Ridge: Three-in-One Collection: The Sound of Sleigh Bells, The Christmas Singing, NEW! The Dawn of Christmas
Interconnected Stories Make a Fun Collection
"Christmas in Apple Ridge" by Cindy Woodsmall is a collection of three Amish love stories all set in Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania. The books were released individually in 2011, 2012, and 2013, but I loved reading them all together in one package. Though each story is self-contained, characters from previous stories make appearances in the newer ones, so readers get a glimpse into their happily-ever-afters. Woodsmall even worked characters from another novella, "The Scent of Cherry Blossoms," into the mix. I liked that.
Each of these stories focuses on one woman and one man who must overcome some tragedy from the past in order to find the strength to take a chance on falling in love. These characters are strong and determined and often quite stubborn, so there are lots of misunderstandings and issues for them to overcome as they find themselves drawn together. Their stories are sweet and fun to read; the Christmas setting in each adds an extra romantic touch.
If you enjoy simple stories with subtle messages and havenÃ¢ÂÂt read any of WoodsmallÃ¢ÂÂs Christmas novellas yet, I recommend this collection, "Christmas in Apple Ridge," to you. Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers sent me a complimentary copy for this honest review.
November 23, 2013
Great Collection of Christmas Stories
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.
In The Sound of Sleigh Bells, we meet Beth and Jonah. Beth is in mourning over the loss of her fiancÃÂ© 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.
November 22, 2013
Loved Christmas at Apple Ridge
I can't help but enjoy books centered around some of my favorite things. In the Three in One Collection Christmas in Apple Ridge, the author's novellas are sweet short stories of the "Plain People" during the Christmas season - and I thoroughly enjoyed each of the books. The collection includes: The Sound of Sleigh Bells, The Christmas Singing, and the Dawn of Christmas. Although each of the novellas could stand alone, I appreciated how the Ms. Woodsmall was able to weave the stories together and the characters play small parts in each of the stories.
The Sound of Sleigh Bells introduces us to Beth Hertzler. She is a woman that has held fast to an awful past memory and tragedy. She is unable to reconcile with the present. Through a wood carving, she forms an unexpected bond with the wood carver - who she believes to be a lonely grandfather. As they forge a friendship, God does a work in Beth's heart, enabling her to have a spark of life once lost.
Mattie and Gideon are the stars of the Christmas Singing. Feeling rejected when Gideon unexpectedly puts an end to their marriage plans, Mattie determines to leave her home. She begins her life as a cake decorator, fulfilling a dream she's had since she was a girl. Despite trying to begin life with a new love, a return home shows her that it won't be that easy and she learns the truth of Gideon's rejection.
Sadie is also nursing heartache in The Dawn of Christmas. Like Mattie, she runs away and attempts to forge a new life living with a Mennonite family, helping them run their store. After four years of life away, her family wants her back home. She reluctantly returns, secretly plotting to leave again. She finds an unexpectedly friend in Levi, a bachelor, against marriage and courting, harboring his own broken dreams.
Of course, each of the stories are simple ones of misunderstanding and hurt, however it was nice to witness each character grow and change. In the end, it was their shared faith in God that enabled reconciliation to prevail in the most unexpected ways.
November 21, 2013
'Christmas in Apple Ridge' (3-in-1 collection) by
Series: The Apple Ridge Series, books 1-3
Book 1- Ã¢ÂÂThe Sound of Sleigh BellsÃ¢ÂÂ by Cindy Woodsmall
Ã¢ÂÂBeth Hertzler works alongside her beloved Aunt Lizzy in their dry goods store, and serving as contact of sorts between Amish craftsmen and Englischers who want to sell the Plain peopleÃ¢ÂÂs wares. But remorse and loneliness still echo in her heart everyday as she still wears the dark garb, indicating mourning of her fiancÃÂ©. When she discovers a large, intricately carved scene of Amish children playing in the snow, something deep inside BethÃ¢ÂÂs soul responds and she wants to help the unknown artist find homes for his workÃ¢ÂÂincluding LizzyÃ¢ÂÂs dry goods store. But she doesnÃ¢ÂÂt know if her bishop will approve of the gorgeous carving or deem it idolatry.
Lizzy sees the changes in her niece when Beth shows her the woodworking, and after Lizzy hunts down Jonah, the artist, she is all the more determined that Beth meets this man with the hands that create healing art. But itÃ¢ÂÂs not that simpleÃ¢ÂÂwill LizzyÃ¢ÂÂs elaborate plan to reintroduce her niece to love work? Will Jonah be able to offer Beth the sleigh ride sheÃ¢ÂÂs always dreamed of and a second chance at real loveÃ¢ÂÂor just more heartbreak?Ã¢ÂÂ
Spiritual Content- Psalm 4:8, Many Scriptures & Prayers are said.
Negative Elements- N/A
Sexual Content- Two almost kisses that get interrupted.
P.O.V. switches between Beth & Jonah
Book 2- Ã¢ÂÂThe Christmas SingingÃ¢ÂÂ by Cindy Woodsmall
Ã¢ÂÂAfter Gideon coldly broke her heart, can the warmth of the season revive MattieÃ¢ÂÂs hopes?
Mattie thought her childhood sweetheart adored her until he abruptly ended their engagement on Christmas Eve.
Three years later, will learning the truth behind his rejection restore her Christmas joy Ã¢ÂÂ or open the door to even deeper heartbreak?
Spend Christmas with the Amish in this story of love, romance, heartache, and restoration.
Experience the holidays with the Plain folk and discover the power of second chances in this touching story from the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Bridge of Peace.
Gideon Beiler has loved Mattie Eash since they were children. But when faced with unexpected circumstances, he makes up an excuse to end their engagement. He doesnÃ¢ÂÂt want to lie to her, but he believes that telling Mattie the truth will be more hurtful.
Brokenhearted, Mattie moves from Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania to Ohio, where she pursues her longtime dream of becoming a cake decorator. She finds a new beauÃ¢ÂÂa man offering the secure relationship Gideon has denied her.
When Mattie is forced to return to Apple Ridge, she and Gideon must confront the suffering created by his dishonesty Ã¢ÂÂ and address the powerful emotions that continue to bind the two childhood friends.Ã¢ÂÂ
Spiritual Content- Scriptures & Prayers are said.
Sexual Content- A Kiss
P.O.V. switches between them & Sol
Book 3- Ã¢ÂÂThe Dawn of ChristmasÃ¢ÂÂ by Cindy Woodsmall
Ã¢ÂÂSadie enjoys her freedom away from home and her mission trips to Peru, but after four years, her Old Order Amish family insists itÃ¢ÂÂs 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 planÃ¢ÂÂbut 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?Ã¢ÂÂ
Spiritual Content- Like the first two, Scriptures & Prayers are said.
Negative Elements- N/A
Sexual Content- Kisses
P.O.V. switches between them, Beth & Jonah
I really enjoy Amish fiction, and this one was very good! My favorite was the first one. :)
Don't forget to check out the Author's website, read chapter one, and buy it here!
*I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.
*BFCG recommends this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.
November 19, 2013