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Amish Group Reads > November's Book - The Christmas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall

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message 1: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand This month we're reading our first Christmas-themed Amish book, The Christmas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall!

The Christmas Singing A Romance from the Heart of Amish Country by Cindy Woodsmall

After Gideon coldly broke her heart, can the warmth of the season revive Mattie’s hopes?

Christmas has always been special to cake decorator Mattie Eash, who was born on the wondrous holiday.

Yet the season has lost its appeal in the three years since then, her childhood sweetheart abruptly ended their engagement on Christmas Eve. Mattie has moved on, left Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania and pursued her dreams of a cake shop in Berlin, Ohio and given her heart to someone new. Someone unlike Gideon Beiler. Someone safe.

Then an unforeseen setback forces her home and into painful proximity to Gideon. Will learning the truth behind his rejection restore her Christmas joy—or open the door to even deeper heartbreak?


Try not to post too many spoilers already on in the month in case some of us haven't finished the book! Just in case, please post ***SPOILER*** before writing anything that might give away a major plot point.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and any questions you have for the group. There's no real protocol for our discussions, just jump on in!

Happy reading!


message 2: by Camille (new)

Camille (camlovesraptors) | 802 comments My library just notified me that the copy is available for me! Yay!


message 3: by Lisa (new)

Lisa conner (ptl44lmc) | 99 comments i have this on hold at my Library so waiting patiently well mayb patiently :) for the book


message 4: by Camille (new)

Camille (camlovesraptors) | 802 comments Oh no! I was wrong, they had my other Cindy Woodsmall book ready for me, but not yet The Christmas Singing. :(


message 5: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (misscalico) | 128 comments Just finished reading it the other day... I loved it! The plot was charming.


message 6: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (goodreadscombarbara_beers) | 1492 comments Mod
I can't wait to get back to it, but I am really enjoying A Lancaster County Christmas by Suzanne Woods Fisher!


message 7: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand I'm going to start this very soon. We have a "Reading Week" in November when we don't have any classes and are just meant to get caught up on reading, so I'll have a bit more time to do fun reading too :)


message 8: by Kav (new)

Kav | 28 comments Has anyone finished reading it yet besides me? I don't want to post any spoilers, but I don't think this would be considered one since the blurb about the book talks about her cake shop. So....I loved that Mattie had this rather unorthodox job for an Amish woman. And it tickeled me that this 'plain' woman would make such outrageously decorated cakes. Funny because it is my understand that in many Amish communities even being an artist is frowned upon but that's what Mattie was only her paintbrush was an icing bag!


message 9: by Paula-O (new)

Paula-O (kyflo130) | 119 comments I have Kav, and it is really a great story, yes she was an artist with her cakes, So sad that Gideon broke her heart and she moved away from her home comunity to make a new life without him, Cindy made this a really good story to read.


message 10: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand I just started this book this morning, definitely finding Mattie's job as a cake decorator to be a unique one. It's a nice change from the typical roles of homemaker, teacher, shopkeeper etc, that are found in other Amish books.


message 11: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (goodreadscombarbara_beers) | 1492 comments Mod
Anne wrote: "I have an opportunity to request this one for review purposes. Should I?"

Yes!


message 12: by Lorie (new)

Lorie | 1324 comments Mod
I thought the cake decorator was different too. I really liked it.


Mybucklingbookshelf | 5 comments I finished it...and boy did it make me hungry! ;)


message 14: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (goodreadscombarbara_beers) | 1492 comments Mod
Just 125 more pages to go in Along Wooded Paths till I can get back to this month's read.


message 15: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (misscalico) | 128 comments Barbara Ann wrote: "Just 125 more pages to go in Along Wooded Paths till I can get back to this month's read."

I just finished reading Along Wooded Paths , and I truly enjoyed it! I think I need to go back and read the first one in the series... I didn't realize it was the second.

Over the weekend, I read The Christmas Singing .... for the second time!


message 16: by Kav (new)

Kav | 28 comments Anne you must definitely review this book. It's a lovely Christmas story -- well actually it wasn't at all as Christmasy as I expected it would be. Did anyone else find that?

Has anyone tried any of the cake recipes at the back of the book? Oh la la, just the descriptions of the cakes made my mouth water!!!!


message 17: by Lorie (last edited Nov 07, 2011 05:43PM) (new)

Lorie | 1324 comments Mod
I think it was more wintery than Christmasy until the end. I know wintery and Christmasy aren't words just all I could think of lol.


message 18: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand I'm about halfway through this now, juggling between this book and one for university, The Ministry of Fear: An Entertainment by Graham Greene. Two very different books, LOL!

Am I the only person who hasn't read a Cindy Woodsmall novel before? I can't believe I've never read one of her books as everyone raves about her. I'm a bad moderator for our group :P


message 19: by Lorie (new)

Lorie | 1324 comments Mod
I loved her Sister's of the Quilt series. I think I read them all in less than 2 months. You have to read those soon Rachel, they are so good!


message 20: by Diane U (new)

Diane U (djuseless) | 1411 comments Rachel, I have not read anything by Cindy yet either. I will be reading this book as soon as I am done Lydia's Charm. You are not a bad moderator! There's just so many good Amish authors and not enough free time!


message 21: by Camille (new)

Camille (camlovesraptors) | 802 comments Yeah, don't think you're a bad moderator Rachel! I mean, I just read my first Karen Kingsbury book... And everyone says how good her books are! There's just so many good authors out there and not enough time!


message 22: by Lorie (new)

Lorie | 1324 comments Mod
I agree, you're not a bad moderator.


message 23: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand LOL, thanks guys. I didn't actually think I was a bad moderator, it just seemed funny that everyone in the group was raving about Cindy and I suddenly realised I'd never read a single one of her books - and she has quite a few! I actually have her first Sisters of the Quilt series, AND my library catalogue has the whole series (amazingly for our secularised library system in the UK) so maybe this will be a plan for over the Christmas holidays? Maybe Diane and I should pledge to read her books, LOL!

Camille, I've only ever read one Karen Kingsbury book and it was a Christmas novella! I read the sample on Kindle for one of her Bailey Flanigan books and it didn't really appeal to me but some of her older stuff looks really good. So many Christian authors I've yet to read.


message 24: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (misscalico) | 128 comments Rachel wrote: "LOL, thanks guys. I didn't actually think I was a bad moderator, it just seemed funny that everyone in the group was raving about Cindy and I suddenly realised I'd never read a single one of her bo..."

Rachel, is it hard for you to find Christian fiction in the UK? I have heard other people say something along those lines, and I was curious as to whether or not it was so.


message 25: by Rachel (last edited Nov 08, 2011 02:32PM) (new)

Rachel Brand Sarah wrote: "Rachel wrote: "LOL, thanks guys. I didn't actually think I was a bad moderator, it just seemed funny that everyone in the group was raving about Cindy and I suddenly realised I'd never read a singl..."

I can buy it at lots of online retailers, and a small supply in the occasional Christian bookshop but Christian bookshops are few and far between and most only have a small selection of particularly well-known Christian fiction (The Shack, Redeeming Love, etc), mainly selling CDs, DVDs and non-fiction. My local library system actually has something like 30 Christian novels throughout the region which is amazing compared to the other library catalogue I access where I go to university, which as far as I can tell, has three Beverly Lewis books and one by Leisha Kelly and nothing else! It's strange Christians in the UK seem really wary of Christian fiction. I didn't even really realise it was such a big genre until last year, but now I barely read anything else! So yeah, it's hard to find because it's not popular so not sold or advertised over here. I get most of my books from Amazon, and sometimes CBD which ships over here, thankfully.


message 26: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (misscalico) | 128 comments Hmm... that's interesting... thank you for explaining. :) I am going to a CBD sale this Friday... and I'm really excited!


message 27: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (goodreadscombarbara_beers) | 1492 comments Mod
Sarah wrote: "I am going to a CBD sale this Friday."

Where do you go to go to a CBD sale?


Mybucklingbookshelf | 5 comments Ooooh Sarah, I am so jealous (in a good Godly happy for you kind of way)...I'd love to live close enough to CBD (christianbook.com) HQ to go to one of their warehouse sales. Hope you find some goodies!


message 29: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (misscalico) | 128 comments Well, in Massachusetts they have a huge warehouse sale where they sell the slightly imperfect Christian books, movies, schoolbooks, Bibles and whatnot from CBD. I bought several Beverly Lewis, Jerry Eicher, and Wanda E. Brunstetter books last year.... for 50 cents apiece! Too much fun... it's definitely worth the wait in a huge line that wraps all around the building by 6am!

Thank you, Mybucklingbookshelf, I hope to find some "goodies" too! I understand your Godly happy jealousy!


message 30: by Diane U (new)

Diane U (djuseless) | 1411 comments Sarah wrote: "Well, in Massachusetts they have a huge warehouse sale where they sell the slightly imperfect Christian books, movies, schoolbooks, Bibles and whatnot from CBD. I bought several Beverly Lewis, Jer..."

Sarah, I live in MA. Where and when does this take place?


message 31: by Sarah (last edited Nov 09, 2011 07:04AM) (new)

Sarah (misscalico) | 128 comments http://www.christianbook.com/html/cms... should tell you everything you need to know. It takes place at the warehouse in Peabody, MA from 8 - 3am on Saturday, Nov. 12. Let me know if you end up going! I know you'll enjoy it!


message 32: by Diane U (new)

Diane U (djuseless) | 1411 comments Hmmm, that's about an hour away. I wonder what hubby would think about a little road trip on Saturday! I'm thinking Christmas presents for my mom - Amish books!


message 33: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (misscalico) | 128 comments I hope you can make it; I don't think you'll be disappointed!


message 34: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (misscalico) | 128 comments (PS: Sorry, folks, I sorta took us off-track.)


message 35: by Diane U (new)

Diane U (djuseless) | 1411 comments Sarah wrote: "(PS: Sorry, folks, I sorta took us off-track.)"

That's okay! It was useful information!


message 36: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand Don't worry Sarah, it wasn't totally off-topic, we were still talking books!

I finished this book this morning and quite enjoyed it. While the story was one that had been done many times I thought that Cindy definitely spiced it up with the careers of the main characters - I mean, has anyone ever read about an Amish cake-decorator and hunter before?

One thing that totally confused me, being British, was that near the end of the book Sol is described as taking off his taboggan. To me, a taboggan is a sled! I was really bemused by this, but Google informed me that a taboggan is also a type of hat? I hope so, otherwise he was wearing a sled, somehow... LOL!

Anyway, I didn't love this story but it was a really nice, sweet read, it was just so typical of the kind of book you want to read at Christmas time. I'll definitely be reading one of her full-length novels sometimes as novellas aren't always totally representative of an author's work so I'm looking forward to seeing what her other books are like.


message 37: by Camille (new)

Camille (camlovesraptors) | 802 comments Starting this today!


message 38: by Kav (new)

Kav | 28 comments My head is spinning from the subject hopping on this thread. LOL. Hope whoever goes to the big CBD warehouse sale reports back and tells us what it was like and what they got! That sounds like a divine way to spend a Saturday!

I have an excellent Christian bookstore in my town. It's a bit of a busride but well worth it. They have a great fiction section and will order in requests. It's a family run, independent bookstore so I like to give them my business whenever I can.

Now back to the book...Here's a bit of trivia: I just finished reading A Lancaster County Christmas by Suzanne Woods Fisher and it centres around the story of an Amish couple, Mattie and Sol. I've never read a single book about a Mattie and now I have read two in just a couple of weeks!


message 39: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (misscalico) | 128 comments I did go, and I got sixteen books for under thirty dollars! I can tell you what they were... I'm still feeling a bit strange taking the discussion in a different direction... well, here goes:

Amish reads: A Secret Identity, Simple Choices, The Outsider (about Shakers!) Sarah's Garden, and The Indiana Cousins Trilogy. Plus more novels, a Bible, and a concordance. Diane, did you end up going?

I lent The Christmas Singing to a friend who is also enjoying it!


message 40: by Diane U (new)

Diane U (djuseless) | 1411 comments Nope, I was going to ask my neighbor but she had prior commitments. Hubby would have been more annoing than useful so I did not even mention it to him.


message 41: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand Sarah, I also lent my copy to a friend once I finished it. Maybe I'll convince her to come and tell us her thoughts too :)

Who else is still reading this book?


message 42: by Camille (new)

Camille (camlovesraptors) | 802 comments I am still finishing it up. Alas, I will be more engrossed in Real Estate Transfer, Finance, and Development and reading all sorts of Estate & Gift Tax literature until after December 13. :( So I may be slow to finish anything!


message 43: by [deleted user] (new)

Rachel wrote: "Sarah, I also lent my copy to a friend once I finished it. Maybe I'll convince her to come and tell us her thoughts too :)

Who else is still reading this book?"


I haven't started it yet. I plan to do that this week. Things have been a bit crazy this month!


message 44: by Diane U (new)

Diane U (djuseless) | 1411 comments I haven't started it yet either but don't wait for me. It's been rather difficult for me to get some quality reading time. I need to read Naomi's Gift: an Amish Christmas Story for my neighborhood book club by 11/30/11. It's rather short so I should have no problem. Then I was hoping to get to The Christmas Singing!


message 45: by Abbie (new)

Abbie (weatherlover1) | 240 comments I really want to read this book but I have a full plate with review books right now. I read her last Christmas book which I borrowed from the library a few weeks back and loved it! I may have to give in and buy it before the holidays are over it looks like a great book!


message 46: by [deleted user] (new)

Started it, but didn't like it, so I quit.


message 47: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (misscalico) | 128 comments Elizabeth wrote: "Started it, but didn't like it, so I quit."

Was there anything in particular you didn't care for, or did it just overall not interest you?


message 48: by Camille (new)

Camille (camlovesraptors) | 802 comments Just finished this! I didn't realize it had some of the same characters as The Sound of Sleigh Bells, which luckily I read right before I read The Christmas Singing. Not my favorite Christmas book of all time, but super sweet nonetheless. :)


message 49: by Kara (new)

Kara I agree with you Elizabeth, I was excited about this book but it didn't do it for me :) stopped reading after 10 chapters, I felt the book was misleading and filled with sorrow. I would like to know if it's a happy ending, but it just didn't keep my interest long enough to find out. My first time reading this author, but I also have a library book she wrote and will give it a chance :)


message 50: by Camille (new)

Camille (camlovesraptors) | 802 comments If it helps, Kara, it has a happy ending!


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