I’m delighted to welcome author friend Cindy Woodsmall today! She has answered a few q&a’s about her latest release with Erin Woodsmall, A Christmas Haven, for us and they have provided a giveaway as well!
about the authors
Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author of twenty-five works of fiction and one nonfiction book. Coverage of Cindy’s writing has been featured on ABC Nightline and the front page of the Wall Street Journal. She lives in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains with her husband, just a short distance from two of her three sons and her six grandchildren. Visit her website or connect with Cindy on facebook or twitter!
Erin Woodsmall is a writer, musician, wife, and mom of four. She has edited, brainstormed, and researched books with Cindy for almost a decade. More recently she and Cindy have co-authored five books.
C: My coauthor, Erin Woodsmall, is busy with her four little ones and proofreading the manuscript The Englisch Daughter, which is our next release.
B: I’m so happy you could join us, Cindy! I have also have four children and they were especially time-consuming when they were little! Please tell Erin hello for us.
What is your favorite activity or hobby not related to books?
C: Any type of playtime with the grandkids! We have six grandchildren, ages seven to one year. Both sets of parents live close by, and I love, love, love time with all of them, but playing with the grands feels like the joy of playing as if I was once again a child—only my skills at getting along and being a peacemaker is MUCH improved.
B: That is a wonderful way to spend your time!
C: I’ll create an acrostic of Cindy: Creative. Independent. Nonaggressive. Determined. Yeoman. (A servant to nobility)
B: Fun, fun! I’ll play too! Book Enthusiast, Thoughtful & Huggable! Confession: t & h were hard, I had to beg my friends for help!
How would you briefly describe A Christmas Haven?
C: A Christmas Haven—when God’s grace connects with human courage, miracles happen.
B: Amen to that!
What did you learn or discover about yourself and your characters while writing A Christmas Haven?
C: I learned how much value I put on relationships between sisters. I guess I should’ve realized this from my debut series, of which the first book was released 2006. But until I saw the sisters interact in last year’s Christmas novella, The Christmas Remedy, and those same sisters interacting again in this year’s Christmas novella, A Christmas Haven, I didn’t realize the depth to which I believe in the bonds between sisters.
Holly and Ivy, named because each one’s birth was during Christmastime, are very different young women. They have strong principles and opinions, but most of those iron-clad ways are in opposition to the other one’s. An excerpt of one argument:
Holly grabbed Ivy by the shoulders. “I’m yours. You’re mine. We’ll learn to navigate everything else. Okay?”
B: Sisterly love is potent stuff!
What is your reading style?
C: I’ve purchased many ebooks, but I much prefer print books, even though they are a bit heavy, and it’s easy to lose the page I last read. No other book form feels or smells as good as a physical copy of a book.
B: Well said and I completely agree!
What is your next release?
C: The Englisch Daughter, coming out in the spring of 2020. I love this story! Not only do we get the pleasure of seeing a new romance bud, we go through the complex situation of a couple who’ve been married quite a while, and Jemima discovers things about her husband that threatens to undo her.
B: Sounds intriguing and this cover is a beauty!
What’s your writing style?
C: I’m a plotter, but I only plot five to seven chapters at a time, and all plotting is tentative. I give room for creativity to spring new ideas and develop any character differently than I originally envisioned them. But my co-author daughter-in-law and I begin by writing a brief (usually a page or two) overview. We write out the characters’ back story and all the things that make them who they are. Then we hammer out the specifics of the first five to seven chapters.
Once those are written, we get together and plot out the next five to seven chapters. Doing it that way allows us a lot of freedom to chart a new path while giving us a good, but a fluid outline. In every book I’ve written thus far, it takes a lot of rewrites to get a solid first chapter written. After that, each chapter, about two thousand words, usually takes a day to write and a few days to hone.
To me, I’m not sprinting to get done. It’s an artwork that I’m asking people to exchange their most valued commodity of time to read a story I/we have written. That’s asking a lot of people, and I want to give my best. I admire authors who can write super fast, but if I do so, no one will admire what I put on the page.
B: Slow and steady wins the race or writes the stories! Thank you so much for chatting with us today, Cindy!
about the book
A Christmas Haven by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall
For fans of holiday romances and Amish life comes a new Christmas tale of surprising expectations and discovering miracles.
Old Order Amish Ivy Zook is wrestling with her need to shed her community’s ways so she can grow the business of her dreams: planning parties. As long as she’s stuck living without modernization, she can barely get her business on its feet. But if she leaves too soon, she’d cause trouble for her sister, Holly, who is planning her wedding to Joshua Smucker. All of their plans become twice as complicated when an old car crashes into the storefront of Greene’s Pharmacy, carrying a Swartzentruber (ultra-conservative sect) Amish man, Arlan, and his very ill sister.
The Zooks take in Arlan and Madga, tending to the woman’s illness and Arlan begins helping around the family farm. Ivy and Arlan are on different tracks, one wanting to leave her community and the other to return to his. But both young people are trying to discover what God has in store for their futures and what miracles might lie around the corner this Christmas season.
Thanks to the generosity of the authors and publisher, one fortunate Faithfully Bookish reader friend will win a signed print copy of A Christmas Haven by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall!
US only | ends 10/4 | giveaway policy
It has been so nice visiting with Cindy today, be sure to say hello in the comments!
Let me know if you’ll be adding A Christmas Haven by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall to your tbr!