Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author of more than a dozen works of fiction and one work of non-fiction, whose connection with the Amish community has been featured widely in national media and throughout Christian news outlets. She lives outside Atlanta with her family.
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Excerpt from book:
Muffled voices drifted through the living room, but Sadie couldn’t make out the words. She sat in a ladder back, avoiding Daniel’s gaze by staring into a fireplace with its few fading embers. Family members, hers and Daniel’s, peered at her with eyes full of pity and shock.
When Daniel had made his intentions known, folks whispered behind her back that little Sadie Yoder had finally snagged someone’s attention and she better hold on for dear life. She knew that was true, but she hadn’t cared what people thought, not one whit. Daniel Miller had moved to Brim from Tussey Mountain a year earlier, and he’d fallen in love.
Her, of all people. The one best known for being a quiet stick of a girl who caught no man’s eye.
Every day that passed she’d thought her heart might explode from the joy of falling in love. When he’d asked her to marry him, well, she’d all but fainted from the excitement.
Daniel wasn’t just any man. He was above her in every way. He was handsome and had a deep voice, strong shoulders, and a way of winning people’s respect. At twenty-four, only five years older than she, he already had an established horse-trading business. She’d fully believed in him and felt honored he’d chosen her.
She lifted her eyes to meet his, and heartbreak stole her breath. If her legs could carry her, she’d get up and walk out.
“Forgive me.” Daniel’s lips barely moved, his whisper meant for no one but her. He looked as shocked and hurt by his behavior as she was.
She turned her attention back to the stone fireplace. It stood silent, the pile of gray-and-black ashes smoldering from a fire that once burned hot. A perfect depiction of her life.
A blur of crisp magenta folds swirled in front of her, and her cousin Aquilla knelt beside her chair. Aquilla’s perfect oval face radiated beauty. Her blond hair framed her head like a halo, and her green eyes were mesmerizing. And all of it was able to steal Daniel’s heart before Sadie caught a hint of what was happening.
Please? What was Aquilla thinking? Did she hope Sadie could also be convinced of her lie? Or did she want Sadie to have the power to erase their betrayal? their indulgence? their sin?
Daniel had been a perfect gentleman with Sadie, but what she’d witnessed less than an hour ago proved he was not unfamiliar with a woman’s body. She could still see his hands embracing Aquilla, caressing her in a way that would haunt Sadie for years.
She had invited Aquilla two months ago to come from out of town to help prepare for the wedding. What a fool she’d been.
Aquilla clasped her delicate hands over Sadie’s stained ones. “It wasn’t as it looked. I promise. You misunderstood.”
That was a lie. One Aquilla had already repeated a few times, no doubt hoping it would save her from gossip and from looking like the betrayer she was. Sadie kept her gaze fixed on the fireplace, wishing she could escape like smoke up a chimney. Everyone would leave later, but how many would be unsure of what she’d actually seen? This would be her only chance to defend herself against Aquilla’s lies to Daniel’s family, but the words begged to stay hidden.
A mere hour earlier Sadie had been making last-minute alterations toThis Christmas, experience learning to trust alongside the Plain folk of Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania in this heart-warming tale of second chances.
Sadie enjoys her freedom away from home and her mission trips to Peru, but after four years, her Old Order Amish family insists it’s time to come home and settle down. Levi, a bachelor who distrusts women after a family heartbreak, also has no desire for romance. To keep their families from meddling in their lives, Sadie and Levi devise a plan—but soon discover that the walls around their hearts are breaking down. Can they let go of their prejudices, learn to trust each other, and embrace a future together?