Delighted to welcome Erin Woodsmall back to the blog today to share about her new book, A Christmas Haven!
A CHRISTMAS HAVEN
SERIES: An Amish Christmas Romance
GENRE: Inspirational Amish Romance
PUBLISHER: WaterBrook Press
RELEASE DATE: September 24, 2019
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.
what is your playlist for “A Christmas Haven?
I’m so glad you asked this question! Music is a great inspiration and motivator to me as I write. I create unique Spotify playlists for every book that I’ve written with Cindy, and I share them with her, although she prefers to write to music without words. Here is a selection of some of the songs that were on my playlist for A Christmas Haven.
“Roll Away Your Stone” by Mumford and Sons
“Roll away your stone, I will roll away mine. Together we can see what we can find. Don’t leave me alone at this time. For I’m afraid of what I will discover inside.”
I think of this song as if it’s from the point of view of Ivy and Arlan, who are each on a journey of questioning the faith they grew up with—Ivy in the Old Order Amish and Arlan from the much stricter Swartzentruber Amish. By the end of the story, they each find themselves with stronger faith and a new appreciation for their life.
Another great verse of this song is: “It seems that all my bridges have been burned. But you say ‘that’s exactly how this grace thing works.’ It’s not the long walk home that will change this heart, but the welcome I receive with every start.”
Arlan finds a new home with the Zooks and the Old Order community and for the first time comes to know grace.
“In the Bleak Midwinter” words by Christina Rossetti and music by Gustov Holst
“What can I give Him,
Poor as I am? —
If I were a Shepherd
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man
I would do my part, —
Yet what I can I give Him, —
Give my heart”
This is one of my very favorite Christmas songs! I included the last verse because I feel like it’s the most powerful, but all are beautiful. Jesus said in Matthew 25:40, “whatever you did for one of the least of these you did for me.”
The Raysburg Amish community is deeply caring and generous, and although the characters deal with pushing up against the limits of what is allowed (such as with Ivy’s business), there’s no question that this community’s heart is in the right place.
“Lost in My Mind” by The Head and the Heart
“Put your dreams away for now
I won’t see you for some time
I am lost in my mind
I get lost in my mind
Momma once told me
You’re already home where you feel love
I am lost in my mind
I get lost in my mind”
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.
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!
WaterBrook is offering a print copy of A Christmas Haven to one of my readers! (US only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What interests you most about Erin Woodsmall’s playlist and/or A Christmas Haven?