ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
She was also a homeschool mom. As her children progressed in age, her desire to write grew stronger. After working through reservations whether this desire was something she should pursue, she began her writing journey. Her husband was her staunchest supporter.
Her first novel released in 2006 to much acclaim and became a best seller. Cindy was a 2007 ECPA award finalist, along with Karen Kingsbury, Angela Hunt, and Charles Martin.
Her second book, When the Morning Comes, hit numerous best-sellers lists across the US, including edging into the extended list of the New York Times, coming in at number thirty-four.
Her third book, When the Soul Mends, hit the New York Times best-sellers list, coming in at number thirteen, as well as making the USA Today’s best-sellers list.
Cindy continues to write and release best-selling works of fiction, and she’s also written a nonfiction work with an Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud. The book is titled Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. It will release March 11, 2011.
Her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity.
As an adult, Cindy became friends with a wonderful Old Order Amish family who opened their home to her. Although the two women, Miriam and Cindy, live seven hundred miles apart geographically, and a century apart by customs, when they come together they never lack for commonality, laughter, and dreams of what only God can accomplish through His children.
Cindy, her husband, their three sons and two daughters-in-law reside in Georgia.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Love alone isn’t enough to overcome some obstacles.
Lena Kauffman is a young Old Order Amish schoolteacher who has dealt all her life with attention raised by a noticeable birthmark on her cheek. Having learned to move past the stares and whispers, Lena channels her zest for living into her love of teaching. But tensions mount as she is challenged to work with a rebellious young man and deal with several crises at the schoolhouse that threaten her other students. Her lack of submission and use of ideas that don’t line up with the Old Ways strengthen the school board’s case as they begin to believe that Lena is behind all the trouble.
One member of the school board, Grey Graber, feels trapped by his own stifling circumstances. His wife, Elsie, has shut him out of her life, and he doesn’t know how long he can continue to live as if nothing is wrong. As the two finally come to a place of working toward a better marriage, tragedy befalls their family.
Lena and Grey have been life-long friends, but their relationship begins to crumble amidst unsettling deceptions, propelling each of them to finally face their own secrets. Can they both find a way past their losses and discover the strength to build a new bridge?
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If you would like to read the first chapter of The Bridge of Peace, go HERE.
The Bridge of Peace by Cindy Woodsmall is the second book in the Ada's House series. Lena Kauffman treasures her job teaching the children in her small Amish community; she even attended public school past the usual age for Amish girls in order to be a better teacher. But her job is threatened when a boy and his family decide that the school would be better off without her. Grey Graber has been trapped in a loveless marriage for too many years, and divorce is not an option. Just when he breaks through his wife's shell and they begin to move together, tragedy puts an end to their relationship permanently. Meanwhile, Cara and Ephraim's relationship is moving forward though she is struggling on the path to joining the Amish community, and Deborah is still grieving the end of her engagement to Mahlon who left her and his mother Ada alone and without income to live in the world of the Englischers. Woodsmall has plenty of characters in Dry Lake, Pennsylvania to keep this story moving quickly. She's created an interesting town that is just as full of drama and turmoil as any non-Amish town. Lena is a delightful character. While the large birthmark on her face strikes fear in her heart that no man will ever look past it and consider marrying her, she is full of life and love and regularly plays pranks on her friends and family. Woodsmall focuses on the fact that while the Amish are hard-working Plain people, they also love to laugh and enjoy life. The plot of Dwayne's obsession with Lena is a bit overdone and seems out of place with the rest of the novel that revolves around Deborah and Jonathan's romance, Lena and Grey's growing attraction, Cara's struggle to give up worldly thing for her love of Ephraim, and Lena's desire to be the best teacher possible, despite the school board's interference. There was plenty of drama in place without Dwayne's insanity. I appreciated that while introducing new characters, Woodsmall doesn't shove characters from the first book into the background. I look forward to the next book in the series and to discovering where Woodsmall plans on taking this beloved community of believers next.