Author Spotlight:The Sound of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall

Posted 18 November, 2009 by Molly(Cover To Cover Cafe) in Book Reviews / 4 Comments

I am delighted to post this interview with a wonderful author!!! Thank you so much, Ms. Woodsmall, for taking the time to answer these questions!!

The Interview:
BRBB:What inspired you to write The Sound of Sleigh Bells?
CW:While staying with my Amish friends, I saw an attraction between two single Old Order Amish people who lived in different states. Story ideas were teeming as I listened to a woman share their situation. The woman who did the talking is represented as Lizzy in The Sound of Sleigh Bells. But I didn’t really know if I’d ever write about what she was telling me. Later, while on the phone with my agent, he mentioned the idea of my writing a novella, and the entire story unfolded in my mind’s eye before we finished our short conversation.
BRBB:Are any of your characters based on people you have met?
CW:Some of the characters in The Sound of Sleigh Bells are based on Amish people I know. My closest Amish friend tells me this story is her favorite of everything I’ve written to date, so I dedicated it to her. She can see her friends and relatives in this story, and she remembers being beside “Lizzy” as she dealt with much of what my character Lizzy deals with.

 BRBB:How long does it typically take you to write your novels?
CW:The Sound of Sleigh Bells is a novella, and it has 60,000 words. My novels are 100,000 words. It took me two to three months to write The Sound of Sleigh Bells. Part of the reason I wrote it so quickly is that once I got started I had a hard time taking a break. The story begged to be written, so I wrote day and night.

BRBB:What message(s) do you want your readers to come away with after reading your novels?
CW:The takeaway is different for each book. In the Sisters of the Quilt series (When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes, and When the Soul Mends), I shared the “nevertheless” principle, which basically says that God is always on our side. No matter where we are or what is going on in our lives, nevertheless He has the power to redeem any circumstance, even though it doesn’t look or feel like it when we’re in the middle of a crisis.

The overall takeaway for each story I write is to see the Creator of life in a way that refreshes and renews the spirit.

Without insights or revelations, we are left with either legalism or fleeting emotionalism. Under the law, I fail. Under emotionalism, I fizzle. But when my eyes are opened to life’s principles, they become a part of who I am. I hope readers enjoy the escape into an engaging story and are strengthened when they rejoin the world around them.

 BRBB:What is in the works that your readers can look forward to in the future?
CW:I’m currently writing book two of the Ada’s House series. Book one is The Hope of Refuge. Book two is tentatively titled The Bridge of Time, and it will be out in the summer of 2010. One of the best ways for readers to keep up with what I’ll have coming out and my upcoming appearances is to sign up for my newsletter. It’s called Plain News. It goes out four times per year, and it’s FREE. I share articles about my time with the Amish, Amish recipes, and a lot more. To join go to

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 fiancé. 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?

The Sound of Sleigh Bells is a heartwarming Christmas novella where lack and abundance inside an Amish community has power for good when it’s tucked inside love. Romantic Times gave The Sound of Sleigh Bells 4 ½ stars, saying ~ This is a wonderfully written, transformative story of two Amish families at Christmastime. It will bring sleigh-riding memories to life as readers vicariously join in this jolly and exciting holiday tradition.

To read the first chapter of The Sound of Sleigh Bells, go to:

Author Bio:
Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best-selling author whose connection with the Amish has been featured on ABC Nightline and the front page of the Wall Street Journal. Her ability to authentically capture the heart of her characters comes from her real-life connections with Plain Mennonite and Old Order Amish families.

Cindy is the mother of three sons and two daughters-in-law, and she and her husband reside in Georgia. Visit her Web site at

My Review:
I really loved reading this book. Maybe it’s because it’s about the Amish (I really love the Amish!), maybe it’s the season of winter (winter=holidays=something else I love!), or maybe it’s the simple fact of Cindy Woodsmall’s beautiful talent of writing a story that I didn’t want to end, that I loved this book so much!

It’s a story of hurt, guilt, faith, love and friendship between two Amish members. The plot of this story is simply life like and warm.

I’m not going to make my review of this book too long as if I do I will be too tempted to tell the end of this magnificent story! And I don’t want to do that as I don’t want to spoil this for my followers! But I WILL give this book praises over and over, and I’ll give the author a 5 star rating for a talent that is truly God-guided and inspiring. The Sound of Sleigh Bells is a book to curl up with at the fire place on a cold winter evening, with a cup of coffee, hot cider, or hot cocoa, and you’ll be warmed from the start! It’s a blessing you won’t want to miss!!!!

*This book was provided to me for review courtesy of the author and her publisher*




4 responses to “Author Spotlight:The Sound of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall

  1. Michelle V

    I love Cindy’s books! I loved both The Sound of Sleigh Bells and Hope of Refuge. I’ll be looking forward to her next book in that series!

    Great interview!


  2. Buukluvr81

    Thanks Michelle! I too can not wait for her next book in that series! She definately has a God given talent!


  3. Emily

    Hey Mol,
    This was amazing! Ever since I saw that you were going to interview Cindy Woodsmall, I’ve been looking forward to it. You did an amazing job!!!!!

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