Please join me in welcoming Cindy Woodsmall back to the blog today to chat about her new book The Englisch Daughter, which she cowrote with her daughter-in-law Erin Woodsmall! (Always a treat to have Cindy and/or Erin on the blog ♥)
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.
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.
THE ENGLISCH DAUGHTER
GENRE: Contemporary Amish Fiction
RELEASE DATE: April 21, 2020
A marriage is tested in this Old Order Amish novel of longing for renewed love and a path for forgiveness from the best-selling author of Gathering the Threads .
Old Order Amish wife and mother Jemima has put her marriage and family ahead of herself for years. She’s set herself aside. Raising four children, she’s followed all the rules and has been patient in looking forward to her time to chase a dream of her own.
But when she finds out that her life savings for pursuing that dream is gone–and her husband, Roy, has been hiding a child with another woman–her entire world is shattered. Will she be able to listen to God and love Roy’s child? With so much at stake, how can she and Roy fix their relationship before their lives come crashing down?
Hi Cindy! Welcome back to the blog!
Cindy: Music. I enjoy having it on as I go through my day, but when I’m ready to absorb a book, I prefer to read it myself. If I traveled for work or did some type of textile hobby like knitting, I would enjoy audiobooks.
Carrie: I agree – I’m the same way.
Cindy: My latest drink love is ¾ water to ¼ lemonade, but when I do get a soft drink, I prefer Coke. Since Coke was invented in Atlanta, it was so popular in the South when I moved there in the ‘70s, servers would ask: what type of Coke do you want? (Meaning do you want Sprite, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, etc.) Thoughts of me trying to figure out what the server meant by that question still make me smile.
Carrie: mmm that water combo sounds good!
Cindy: Ocean. I love seeing mountains, but I want my vacations to take place at the beach.
Carrie: and if you can see the mountains from the beach, even better! 🙂
Cindy: Print. I buy ebooks and read them, but to really enjoy a book to its fullest, I prefer to have the physical book in hand.
Q: Which books are “on your nightstand”?
Before We Were Yours (Lisa Wingate)
Becoming Mrs. Lewis (Patti Callahan)
Looking Into You (Chris Fabry)
Send Down the Rain (Charles Martin)
Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder: How to Keep Out-of-Control Emotions from Destroying Your Relationship (Shari Y. Manning) A side note: I’m always reading self-help books because I believe the quote: The more I know, the better I forgive.
Carrie: excellent reads!
Q: If I sneaked a peek in your purse right now (which I would never do, I promise!), what would it tell me about you?
Cindy: Ha! You’d be welcome to! I think it would tell you that, at least of late, I’m an extremely practical woman. I wear a small, crossbody bag. It holds my cell (which is in a wallet case with ID, debit card, and a bit of cash), lip balm, keys, fingernail clippers, ink pen, and a few tissues. Like a lot of women in my age group, we need to carry as little weight in our purses as possible so we can pick up and hold grandchildren!
Carrie: lol that’s good reasoning 🙂
Q: What surprised you about The Englisch Daughter or your characters as you wrote their story?
Cindy: I was surprised how much hurt can take place between two people who love and respect each other, between two people who married with the intention of giving one another the best of themselves for life.
Jemima and Roy have been married for ten years and have four children. The journey from closeness and trust to a chasm and disbelief happened during the typical ebb and flow of unexpected trials. They’d weathered the pressures of the trials and kept going, and yet a year later, they find themselves lost from each other. I think this excerpt from chapter one describes them well as they stand inside their farmhouse. Roy is heading for the door to leave for work long before sunup. On a spur of the moment decision, Jemima hurried after him, holding a kerosene lantern. She’s trying to understand the man she once knew so well.
He made no move to hug her or sit at the table with her for even a few minutes. She wanted to hit him…or embrace him. Above all else, she wanted to demand that he return to her. But she refused to ask one more thing of him.
His eyes held her. “It’ll get better, Jem. I promise,” he whispered.
She bit back tears and forced a smile and a nod. His statement meant he felt the barrier between them too, didn’t it? Yet despite her asking him several times, he’d offered no insight and no explanation. If she asked again what was wrong, he’d tell her the same as always: Nothing. Just work.
Another surprise in writing this book was being able to balance out the struggles within Jemima and Roy’s marriage with a fresh, unexpected romance for his fiery twenty-seven-year-old sister. Why was she so set against marriage? For the longest time, even she didn’t know.
Carrie: I love the combination of a 10-year marriage and a new romance – allows for different emotions and scenarios to play out.
Q: Which of your main characters in The Englisch Daughter is most like you?
Cindy: As odd as it seems, I identified with Roy. His love is pure. His intentions are honorable. But his execution of those things backfires because he doesn’t understand the often unconscious needs of the human soul. He tries so hard to protect his wife. Unfortunately, he makes things unbearably worse for Jemima and himself.
Carrie: i think many of us can relate to that!
Q: What do you most want readers to take away from The Englisch Daughter?
Cindy: Love covers a multitude of sin.
Stress uncovers a multitude of sins.
When it’s all said and done, despite that we fail each other, we also redeem each other.
And I believe we’ll most often find that redemption is in the nuances of understanding ourselves, our loved ones, and our Creator.
Carrie: “Stress uncovers a multitude of sins.” – oh boy, isn’t that the truth!
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Cindy: Erin and I are writing on a book that we call Yesterday’s Gone. I think it’s best described as a little bit of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It takes place in a rugged and poor part of the Appalachian Amish Country.
Cindy & Erin Woodsmall are offering an ebook (Kindle) copy of The Englisch Daughter to one of my readers! (Open internationally except where prohibited by law or logistics.) 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 The Englisch Daughter and/or my Q&A with Cindy Woodsmall?