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  1. debwilson
    Summerfield, FL
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    December 21, 2013
    debwilson
    Summerfield, FL
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Rhoda Byler runs her own canning business in her Old Order Amish community. Her odd ways and eccentric personality however, have caused many to choose to stay away from her as they do not understand her gift for tending plants and herbs long past their harvest seasons. In an effort to stay away from a community that looks down on her and sees her as a detriment, she keeps her distance as much as possible from the people who observe the Old Ways and nurse superstitious fears.

    An accidental encounter with a girl from the neighboring town of Harvest Mills causes Rhoda to meet the family who own King's Orchard. Samuel is the eldest, and in charge of the orchard, along with brothers Jacob and Eli. A mistake on Eli's part costs them ten acres of good eating apples and leaves behind almost worthless cider apples. When King's Orchard meets Rhode Side Stands, the simple solution to all those cider apples is to can them into products to make a much bigger profit. But will working together really be the answer? Or has Samuel made a mistake that will cost him beloved orchard?

    This is the first book I have read by this author, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised and impressed with this novel. There are so many Amish fiction writers these days, and Woodsmall brings something new, fresh and unexpected to the genre. While the idea of someone being able to see the future is often referred to as being "psychic", this author portrays it just as a simple feeling or emotion; not something that reeks of darker powers and New Age nonsense. A recommended read for anyone who likes something a little different.

    This book was provided for free by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
  2. Robin Wallace
    Florida
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Fantastic New Series!!
    August 16, 2013
    Robin Wallace
    Florida
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    A Season for Tending

    Cindy Smallwood

    Book Summary: In a community where conformity flourishes, seeds of Rhoda's odd behavior were planted long ago. Can she cultivate her relationships with the same care and tenderness that she gives her beloved garden? Old Order Amish Rhoda Byler's unusual gift and her remarkable abilities to grow herbs and berries have caused many to think her odd. As rumors mount that Rhoda's "gift" is a detriment to the community, she chooses isolation, spending her time in her fruit garden and on her thriving canning business.

    Miles away in Harvest Mills, Samuel King struggles to keep his family's apple orchard profitable. As the eldest son, Samuel farms with his brothers, the irrepressible Jacob and brash Eli, while his longtime girlfriend Catherine remains hopeful that Samuel will marry her when he feels financially stable.

    Meanwhile, Samuel's younger sister Leah is testing all the boundaries during her rumschpringe, and finds herself far from home in Rhoda's garden after a night of partying gone badly. But Leah's poor choices serve as a bridge between Rhoda and the King family when a tragic mistake in the orchard leaves Samuel searching for solutions.

    Rhoda's expertise in canning could be the answer, but she struggles with guilt over the tragic death of her sister and doesn't trust herself outside her garden walls. As the lines between business, love, and family begin to blur, can Rhoda finally open up to a new life? And what effect will this odd, amazing woman have on the entire King family?

    Review: I really like Cindy Smallwood's writing style. While this book took me a little while to get into it was worth the effort. Once I got into the flow of it I was hooked! The characters were fresh and completely different from anything I have read by her. This was a well thought out series and I look forward to the next two. This story made me laugh, cry and realize that Rhoda was truly a fresh face for Amish readers. The Kings were fun and lively. While problems seem to plague all of them Rhoda, Landon and the Kings are realistic and fun. I knew what was coming at the end and I was still hanging on the edge of my seat when the events finally came about. Poor Rhoda really needed the Kings and they needed her. Her Daed was fantastic and truly a great addition to the entire story. I want to see more of him. There are so many different things going on at once that I wished I could read faster. I needed time to soak up everything too!

    I would like to thank Edelweiss, Library Thing and Waterbrook Press 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.
  3. Janet
    Belton, TX
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Full of Deep Characters
    October 27, 2012
    Janet
    Belton, TX
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    "A Season for Tending" is the first book in a brand new series by Cindy Woodsmall. I loved the story; this may be her best yet! The characters, themselves, though, were my favorite feature:

    Rhoda Byler is a young woman with a gift for growing things. She also has a gift for understanding people deeply. And sometimes, when people are in danger, she senses it. Unfortunately for Rhoda, instead of people being grateful for her warnings, they feel threatened by them. In their minds, premonitions plus growing things equals witchcraft.

    Samuel King is the oldest of three sons working together to manage the struggling family apple orchard. Samuel not only carries the self-imposed burden for this orchard, but also for the behavior and needs of his younger siblings, girlfriend, and her younger brother.

    Jacob King, slightly younger than Samuel, has just returned from a few years of living and working in the Englisch world. Though he seems to be doing well back among the Amish, he carries painful secrets from his time away.

    Leah King, the oldest sister of the King family, yet younger than her brothers, struggles with the freedom of her rumschpringe. Determining to make wiser choices than some she has made, she still longs to leave the Amish, but does not know how.

    Together, these four and their families must find a way to save two businesses: Rhoda's Rhode Side Stands and the King Family Orchard. I enjoyed reading of their efforts and am looking forward to the next book in the "Amish Vines and Orchards" series.

    Thank you, Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers, for sending a complimentary copy of this book for this honest review.
  4. Jodi
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Season For Tending is a Must Read!
    September 30, 2012
    Jodi
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    "God used the oddest situations to line people up and get them involved in each other lives."... "And from now on, he would be patient with the frustrating events, believing that God would use them to get His children to walk a new path" - A Season for Tending.

    I received a free copy of A Season for Tending from Waterbrook Press to read and review and I was so delighted! Cindy Woodsmall is one of my favorite authors. Thanks Waterbrook!

    A Season for Tending is the first book in the Amish Vines and Orchards Series. If you've never read any of Cindy's books before I would recommend that you try them. Even if you are not a fan of Amish fiction.

    If I gave this book a theme verse it would be:

    "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" Jeremiah 29:11.

    Every year, since she was a little girl, Rhoda Byler received a berry and an herb plant from her father for her birthday. Now a grown woman, Rhoda's garden has grown to an acre in size and she is the operator of a successful canning business called Rhodes Side Stands. Rhoda is a very intuitive woman, which along with her desire to use herbs as a healing property, has caused some problems for her in her community. She also carries a load of guilt and wishes she had followed her intuition before it was to late.

    Ever since he was a little boy, Samuel King's grandfather gave him the very first apple harvested from Kings Apple Orchard. Since his grandfather passed, Samuel has been in charge of the apple orchard. Due to a series of unfortuante events, Samuel is forced to look for help as well as a solution to the orchards overabundance of cider apples. Maybe Rhoda is the solution?

    Will Rhoda agree to help the Kings? Will she be an outcast in the Kings community as well as her own?

    This book had me captivated from beginning to end. When I thought I had it figured out, Cindy offered up a new twist in the plot. She takes the time to properly introduce her characters before diving into the heart of the story. A Season for Tending is going to be a well-worn favorite of mine for sure
  5. Michelle Dawn
    Ohio
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Could Not Put This Book Down!
    September 15, 2012
    Michelle Dawn
    Ohio
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Oh why must Cindy Woodsmall tease me so! How can I possibly wait almost eight months for the sequel to A Season for Tending? She has written a beautiful tale that has left me with an overwhelming realization that I will not be able catch up with my new found friends for months! This book is absolutely wonderful. What characters Cindy has fashioned. Rhoda Byler is unique, beautiful, and has been blessed with the ability to sense when something bad is about to happen. Almost like a sixth sense. Many in her community would consider this a curse rather than a blessing. Rhoda's knack for growing berries and herbs also makes her the talk of the town. People just find her very strange and tend to steer clear of her. Samuel King is hardworking, stubborn, and a bit blunt so to speak. Samuel is struggling to keep his apple orchard fully operational. Jacob King is charming and carrying around a secret from his past that is threating his future relationships. Leah, oh young impressionable Leah, she is notoriously bad at making choices. One of which lands her spending the night in Rhoda's garden. The gifted, the charmer, a man with determination, and one lost little girl will be intertwined forever by this one chance encounter........

    A Season for Tending will leave you sighing as if to say.... yes this is how books are to be written. I was literally swept up in this story and could not put it down. This is a book that demands your attention, so readers beware you may lose a day or two of cleaning the house time. Not to worry though, the pile of laundry will be waiting for you after you are done roaming around King's Apple Orchard. When a book has the ability to make the reader get lost in the story for a few moments in time, letting whatever may be ailing you that day fall by the wayside, then the author has hit the nail on the proverbial head. Well done, Cindy Woodsmall, well done.

    This book was provided by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for review.
Displaying items 1-5 of 47
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