Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Sound of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall & GIVEAWAY

The Sound of Sleigh Bells
by Cindy Woodsmall
Format: Hardcover, 208 pages
ISBN: 978-0-307-44653-4

Book Summary:

Beth 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 people’s wares. But remorse and loneliness still echo in her heart everyday as she still wears the dark garb, indicating mourning of her fiancĂ©. When she discovers a large, intricately carved scene of Amish children playing in the snow, something deep inside Beth’s soul responds and she wants to help the unknown artist find homes for his work–including Lizzy’s dry goods store. But she doesn’t 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 it’s not that simple–will Lizzy’s elaborate plan to reintroduce her niece to love work? Will Jonah be able to offer Beth the sleigh ride she’s always dreamed of and a second chance at real love–or just more heartbreak?

My Review:

Cindy Woodsmall has done it again! This is the 2nd book I've read of hers in the last couple of months and this author does NOT disappoint! I love her Amish novels. She gives such a refreshing look at their way of life in a fictional setting.

So often the Amish community seems oppressive and oftentimes cruel if you're not the Bishop. Not in Cindy's novels. The Sound of Sleigh Bells once again reflects what the rest of the world struggles with: feeling like we've done something so bad we can't be forgiven, past hurts, anger, etc. But with Cindy, she has a wonderful balance with her characters knowing what's right, but still struggling with their sin nature.

We meet Lizzy who has never married and has carried around the weight of that since her 20's. Now she sees her niece Beth heading in the same direction, although Beth had expected to get married. Lizzy and Beth work closely together and allows for Lizzy to see things the rest of the family & community doesn't.

Lizzy so desperately wants Beth to move on with her life she begins concocting ways to help. Yes, an Amish woman sneaking around! That's one of the elements I enjoyed in this novel. I also liked the humor that's portrayed along with some sarcasm, two things you rarely find in Amish novels.

Jonah is a flawed man, but has a sweet love for the Lord. His life hasn't been easy, but he's making the best of what he has, especially after Lizzy and Beth enter his life. The "old man" finds himself working with his hands again, and it seems to have breathed new life into him, along with the women who have recently entered his life.

I'd like to thank Liz at Multnomah Books, a division of Random House, for my copy and giveaway copy of The Sound of Sleigh Bells. Visit their site to learn more about this book and any others.

Author Bio:

Cindy Woodsmall is the author of When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes, and The New York Times Best-Seller When the Soul Mends. Her ability to authentically capture the heart of her characters comes from her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families. A mother of three sons and two daughters-in-law, Cindy lives in Georgia with her husband of thirty-one years.


For a chance to enter this giveaway, let me know what one of your favorite winter activities is. Since I'm not a wintery kind of girl, especially here in Minne'snow'ta, I'll have to say curling up with a book and reading. I know, no big surprise there! I suppose if I had a snowmobile ("sled" in MN terms) I'd be doing that!
Leave your email address along with your comment. Open to US residents 18 and older. Void where prohibited. Giveaway ends Oct 20, 10pm CST. Winner drawn randomly by Top Hat software.


Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

Great review, Mimi!

What a fun bad I don't have a fun answer for you! Down here in GA, we're like...what are winter activities??? LOL We may get a small amount of snow once every 5-10 years?? Back in January we had about 3-4 inches in one day, so we were ecstatic! Now we probably won't see any for a few years. :(

I would have to agree with you...I love snuggling up next to the fire with a cup of cocoa and a great book. There's nothing better on a cold day!

I don't normally read "Amish" fiction, but I love Christmas stories, please enter me!

Thank you!
~ Lori


Anonymous said...

I am not a 'winter person' either...I like your idea of sitting in my cozy chair w/ a good book while sipping on some hot tea. thanks for the opportunity to read this fabulous book.

karen k

Carole said...

Our winter season is fairly short here in Georgia, but I love cold weather. My husband builds a fire in our wood stove and like you, nothing is better than curling up on the sofa and reading a good book. But my favorite winter activity is watching figure skating competitions on TV or my computer.

Cindy's book sounds like a perfect seasonal read and I appreciate the chance to win a copy, Mimi.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Project Journal said...

Hey Mimi!
This sounds really great! Too bad I'm not 18 yet... : )

However, I'll still answer. I live in Vermont, so Lori you saying no snow makes me sad! I can't imagine not having any snow! I don't always love it(especially when it's already snowed once this week and we're supposed to get more tomorrow!), I love it too. Lol...confusing, I know! I'm a very confusing person, I think.

Anyway, I love going sledding. My sister amd I have always gone sledding at my grandparent's house. They own a farm so there is plenty of room to sled there. We also snowshoe, which is fun. However, I really like(around Christmas time anyways) to sit inside with all the lights off except for Xmas lights(like on the tree) and watch the snow fall. It's calming. I LOVE the Xmas season : ) and not just the presents. Everyone's attitude is so...nice around the holidays.

There's a mystery "story" going on at my blog right now. New installment up today probably!

Thanks Mimi!

Lindsey said...

I love winter and all the snowy outdoor activities that go with it! Unfortunately we move around a lot (hubby is in the Army) and haven't been anywhere with snow in a long time. So, I'll have to say baking lots of yummy treats. And then eating them with a nice cup of tea or cocoa while curled up with a good book in the peace and quiet after the kids are asleep. Ahh... bliss.


Anonymous said...

We love to spend the night playing board games in the warmth of our home or snuggling together under lots of blankets to watch movies.


Unknown said...

I dont' really like winter all that much! LOL! I would also have to say reading a good book or playing on the computer! Thanks for the giveaway!

Renee G said...

I love to go sledding with my boys.


Mandee said...

I love sitting by the fire sipping something hot (tea, coffee, hot chocolate) and cuddling up under a blanket and either reading a good book or watching a movie with my family.

I also love building snowmen with the boys, however I'm not one for the cold and don't like to be out long.

I found your blog at MBC and am now following you! :)
Feel free to stop by and sign up for one of my fun giveaways if you like

Unknown said...

I love to go christmas shopping, watch dvds, and drink coffee.

babybarnplus (at) embarqmail (dot) com

Ang said...

Hmmm My kids would say sledding, but I just can't always do the cold weather anymore, so I would say curling up on the couch with a big cup of hot coco.


Theta Mom said...

Great review! It makes me want to read a good book. I used to be an avid reader before I had children, and now it's either pick up a book or blog and I find myself blogging! Found your blog through MBC! It's fantastic. Great design, too! Would love to be anew follower if you follow as well. :)

adge said...

My favorite winter activity would have to be being in bed and not letting the cold get to me. I like reading Christmas books too.

Joshlin said...

Well, In Louisiana we don't have much to do as far as snow and stuff,but we do love sitting outside next to a great big fire. We do this a lot. My hubby plays his guitar and we all have a good time.

savingmomssanity at gmail dot com

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

I really want to read this one! And, living in Idaho, I've come to love winter. Well, I love fall more, but I do love winter. I don't ski, but I love getting out and playing in the snow with my boys. There's nothing better. Well, except coming back indoors and curling up on the couch with a book, a blanket and a cup of cocoa afterwards!


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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.