Friday, September 15, 2017


Bio: Cindy Woodsmall is the New York Times and CBA best-selling author of nineteen works of fiction and non-fiction with more than a million copies sold. Her connection with the Amish community has been featured in national media outlets such as ABC's Nightline, the Wall Street Journal, and a National Geographic documentary on Amish life. Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains.
Find out more about Cindy at http://www.cindywoodsmall. com.

Welcome back, Cindy, so glad to have you on my blog again. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
My heart was fully vested in Amish stories for the last fifteen years, in great part due to the seeds planted because of my friendship with a Plain Mennonite friend during childhood and into my teen years. But there are other facets of my heart that I haven’t searched or given freedom to rise to the surface and share its creativity. That’s what I see on the horizon, telling contemporary “Englisch” stories. I have my first such story coming out this October, but I think that’s the surface of a very deep ocean. Time will tell.

Tell us a little about your family.
My husband of forty years and I are now empty nesters. We have two married sons who live close by, and we have five grandchildren we love having time with. We also have a third son, the youngest of the siblings. He’s unmarried son and lives in New York. All three were homeschooled, the older two until ninth grade and the youngest until third grade. I love that we live in a country that allows us to educate our children as we see fit, and that as a parent we can choose when it’s in their best interest to enter a public or private school system. Each has a college degree—bachelors or doctorate. Two are in the healthcare field and one is in the arts. I love my daughters-in-law more than I could have imagined! And I’m writing novels with my daughter-in-law Erin. It gets crazy around here at times, but I’m so very grateful and caught-off-guard by how much my daughters-in-law have opened their hearts and lives to me.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
I think writing has changed my reading habits a lot. I used to read whatever book cover caught my attention, and sometimes I thoroughly enjoyed the book and sometimes I didn’t. Before I started writing, I couldn’t really understand what the problem was with the books I wasn’t enjoying. I thought it was me, and I’d stick with the book through the whole story, and close it thinking—hmm, what was wrong with me that I didn’t enjoy that? Now I know, it wasn’t me. It was the writing. Some authors put their heart, skill, and time into writing a book, and others slap it on paper and call it a day. I’m quick to know which is which nowadays, and I’ll set a book aside. I consider it a huge honor when readers give me the most valuable part of their life—time. I do all I can to make sure I’ve given them a story that is worthy of that precious gift of time.

What are you working on right now?
I’m writing on a story called Soft Dusks and Noonday Fire. It’s set in my home state of Georgia in the Golden Isles, which is a small set of islands off the Georgia Coast. It’s a contemporary, non-Amish story that means so much to me. Its relationships, humor, and heartache feels a bit like Steel Magnolias and Fried Green Tomatoes.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
I feel as if the settings choose me. Most of my Amish stories have settings in the Maryland and Pennsylvania areas where I’ve lived or stayed with Old Order Amish friends. St. Simons Island, in the Golden Isles, is in my home state, where my daughter-in-law Erin spent her summers because her mom grew up there, so as she talked about it or we visited the area over the years, it then called to me.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Martin Luther King Jr.! Oh, what a fascinating, eye-opening conversation that would be. I’d be a sponge, seeing things impossible to grasp through media and books. He understood the depth of injustice against an entire race. He understood the laws set against his race, and yet he rallied black and white people behind him to fight a culture steeped in acceptance, complicity, and apathy. There were outliers and exceptions, but he knew that for the most part, he was rallying a movement against the most powerful and wealthy people in the most powerful and wealthy country. Wow.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
Writing is done in solitary. Our writing space is often quiet for long periods, and I like that part, but I wish I’d understood that even when a work space looks and sounds peaceful, there is a tremendous amount of pressure being applied, constantly. I blamed myself for feeling lots of stress, as if—because the house was quiet and the workload is done in silence all feelings of pressure were of my own making. It wasn’t. I can see that now, and because I see it, I can better prepare myself mentally and emotionally.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Although I can keep everything in my outer world running smoothly, my emotions and focus tend to scatter easily. I equate my emotions and focus to someone walking through fallen leaves in autumn—they scatter in every direction. Like many families, my family is feeling the pressure on all sides—illness, extra family responsibilities, career workload, etc. I’m learning how to keep my brain focused no matter where my emotions are.

What is a piece of advice you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Don’t be afraid of failure. When we’re faithful to a hard thing, we are teaching others that there is no such thing as failure. Faithfulness is its own success. Someone is watching you and learning that it’s okay to pour your heart and soul into something, whether it bears the desired fruit or a different kind of fruit.

Tell us about the featured book.
Finally back in the Old Order Amish world she loves, will Ariana’s new perspectives draw her family closer together—or completely rip them apart?

After months away in the Englisch world, Ariana Brenneman is overjoyed to be in the Old Order Amish home where she was raised. Yet her excitement is mixed with an unexpected apprehension as she reconciles all she’s learned from her biological parents with the uncompromising teachings of her Plain community. Although her childhood friend, ex-Amish Quill Schlabach, hopes to help her navigate her new role amongst her people, Ariana’s Daed doesn’t understand why his sweet daughter is suddenly questioning his authority. What will happen if she sows seeds of unrest and rebellion in the entire family?

Meanwhile, Skylar Nash has finally found her place among the large Brenneman family, but Ariana’s arrival threatens to unravel Skylar’s new identity—and her sobriety. Both Ariana and Skylar must discover the true cords that bind a family and community together and grasp tight the One who holds their authentic identities close to His heart.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Summer Grove, Pennsylvannia
Ariana’s head roared with voices, those in the kitchen around her and others from far away, even from hundreds of years in the past. Voices of real people she’d talked to or had heard preach or teach, as well as the voices from the many books Nicholas had asked her to read. The voices grouped in clans, their murmurings growing fervent, in­sisting precisely what she needed to believe, who she needed to be, and why she needed to march to the beat of their drum.

Ariana needed to know herself well enough to pick a tribe she agreed with and shut down the rest with her own reasoning. But she couldn’t parse what she believed, and they hounded without mercy.

Marred flatware jangled endlessly as her nine siblings, five of her four­teen nieces and nephews, her Mamm and Daed, and Skylar sat around the table in rickety chairs. The mid-January wind pushed against the house and seemed to come right through the walls.

An old galvanized bucket sat in the sink because the water pipe to the kitchen was broken again. If the pipes to the sink in the mudroom hadn’t been working, getting breakfast on the table would’ve been a lot more work.

Rickety furniture, cold winds seeping in, and broken pipes didn’t bother her. Money and work could easily fix those things. What nagged at her was much deeper. She was finally in the very home she’d pined for while away, and yet only a fragment of herself seemed to be here.

Interesting. How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Cindy, for sharing this new book with us. I’m so glad my copy is at the top of my to-be-read pile on the table.

Readers, here are links to the book.
Gathering the Threads -
Gathering the Threads: A Novel (The Amish of Summer Grove) - Amazon paperback
Gathering the Threads (The Amish of Summer Grove) - Amazon large print hardback
Gathering the Threads: A Novel (The Amish of Summer Grove) - Kindle
Gathering the Threads - Audio book

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


Anonymous said...

sounds like another winner, Cindy! Shelia from Mississippi

Lane Hill House said...

So enjoy Cindy Woodsmall's writings. Would love to be entered to win a print copy of Gathering the Threads in this drawing. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House in Missouri

Emma said...

I am looking forward to reading Gathering the Threads. Thank you for the opportunity to win.I enjoy reading your books

Anonymous said...

Cindy's book sounds like one I would enjoy reading. Thanks for the interview and chance Lena
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com
Maryann in New York

Elly said...

My sister LOVES Cindy Woodsmall's books!
Elly -Indiana-

Vivian Furbay said...

Cindy Woodsmall is one of my favorite writers. I've been waiting to read the last book in this series and would really enjoy winning a copy.

Robin in NC said...

Cindy, I love your Amish books, but I'm also very excited to see where your heart takes us next! Thanks for sharing!

Robin in Raleigh, NC

susanlulu said...

Sure sounds like a great book!
Susan in NC

kim hansen said...

I just love this series. north platte nebraska

Unknown said...

Lovely interview!
Thank you for the chance to win.

Melody B (Que, Canada)

Melanie Backus said...

What a great book!

Melanie Backus, TX

VanG said...

I love books by Cindy. Thanks for a chance to win a copy of this one.
Vangie in NC

Unknown said...

I have been looking forward to reading this book. I always feel so ispired when I red a book by Cindy.

Deanne in PA

Patty said...

Cindy's Sisters of the Quilt series is one of my favorites!

Patty in SC

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway SC.

Trixi said...

I love Cindy Woodsmall's writing and have enjoyed many books by her! Thanks for the fun interview and giveaway chance :-)

Trixi in OR

Cindy Woodsmall said...

Hello! Thank you, Lena, for the interview, and thank you to everyone who's left a comment! Reading is so much fun, isn't it? And having reader friends brings joy to the day!

Judy said...

I live Cindy's books! Would love it if you would enter this New Jersey girl into the drawing for the book!

O Norman said...

Love Cindy's books.
Traphill, NC

Critchmom said...

Have had my eye on this book. Would so love to win. Love these books by Cindy. I live in Virginia!

Jackie Tessnair said...

I am looking forward to reading Gathering The Threads,it sounds awesome.I love your comment on what the Lord is teaching you emotions are scattering in all directions right now,so I can relate.Thanks for writing great books for us to enjoy.Thanks for the post.Blessings...Jackie in Spindale NC

Brandy Rendon said...

Thanks for writing great books! It gets me into reading. Love your books.

Unknown said...

Would love to win one of your books. Utica

Kristina Kohler said...

Thanks for a chance to win GATHERING The Threads. I'm from Utah.

Mary Tullila said...

Howdy do from the bluegrass of Kentucky!! Sounds like another good book !!

Unknown said...

Thanks, Cindy, for writing such wonderful books about the Amish!

JoAnn Rogers
Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas

Connie Porter Saunders said...

Thanks for sharing this book and giveaway.
Connie from KY

Dana Wild said...

Thanks for the chance to win a copy!I love Cindy's writing!
Dana Wild

Brenda said...

I love Cindy's books. I am from Northeast MS.
Thanks for the giveaway!

Anonymous said...

I've been a Cindy Woodsmall fan for a long time. I hope I win this book. Thanks for the opportunity.
Cindy-Cheyenne, Wyoming

Unknown said...

Sounds like a great book! I'm from West Michigan.

Anonymous said...

Love Cindy Woodsmall books. This sounds like a good one. Thanks for the chance to win.

The Herd said...

Love her books---TEXAS

Unknown said...

Cindy you have done it again. Sounds like you have another winner. I have loved every book you have written. Just can't put them down. Love your books in North Carolina.

Unknown said...

Cindy Woodsmall is one of my favorites. This book is on my wish list. Teresa from enid, Oklahoma.

rubynreba said...

I always Cindy Woodsmall books and looks like a great Amish story!
Beth from IA

Unknown said...

Anxiously awaiting reading this book,in Minnesota!

Beverly Knudsen said...

I am from Washington State. I am very interested in reading more of your books.

Tanya Tomasovich said...

Tanya Tomasovich from Pittsburgh. Pa. I love to read, I love the Amish, and can't wait to read this book! It sounds wonderful! Thank you for this opportunity!💜🙏📖

Tammie Edington Shaw said...

Sounds wonderful. Tammie from Illinois.

Anonymous said...

Love uour books would love to win a printed copy of your book. Thanks Kim in Webster Florida

Wendy Newcomb said...

Oh how I 'NEED' this book that is on my wish list and I appreciate the chance to win a copy, thank you!

Wendy in South Sioux City, NE

wfnren at aol dot com

Jayne said...

I'm looking forward to reading this book. I'm in Southern Oregon.
Thanks for the giveaway.

Unknown said...

LOVED this book!

LeAnn Kelly said...

I live in the Virginia. I've always enjoyed reading Cindy's books. Excellent story teller. Look forward to reading more of her books.

Anonymous said...

Live in south Dakota. Love Amish stories i used to Livein a heavily Amish community.

grams said...

I'm from Mid-Michigan and love Cindy's books!


Unknown said...

A beautiful cover. When the cover is beautiful like that. Then I know that it's a good read.

Jennifer Hibdon said...

I am in Vermontville, Michigan, home to a thriving Amish community, visiting my parents. Next week I head back to Lubbock, Texas. Thanx for the giveaway!!!!

Brenda Arrington said...

I enjoy reading Cindy's books. Thank you for the chance to win. I'd love to win.
Brenda in VA