UPDATE: There were over four hundred wonderful participants in this “Win a copy of The Christmas Singing and an Amish-made wall hanging” giveaway. Thank you to everyone who helped make this book-launch giveaway so much fun! I used Random.org to choose a number, and the winner is Mary Weed! Congratulations, Mary!
The Christmas Singing hits store shelves October 4!
Three years ago, at Christmastime, Mattie Eash’s life was everything she could hope for. That is, until her childhood sweetheart, Gideon, betrayed her.
Heartbroken, Mattie retreated to her brother’s home in Ohio and poured her life into the dream of running her own cake shop. There, she found someone unlike Gideon. Someone safe.
But a devastating fire forces her back home…and right into the path of Gideon Beiler.
Will learning the truth behind his rejection restore her Christmas joy—or open the door to even deeper heartbreak?
This holiday season, Mattie’s best gift might just be the harmony of unexpected truth and reconciliation.
Spend Christmas with the Amish in this story of love, romance, heartache, and restoration in The Christmas Singing.
Cold darkness and the sugary aroma from the cake shop below surrounded Mattie as she slid a solid-colored dress over her head and tied her white apron in place. The Old Order Amish here in Ohio didn’t wear the black aprons—a difference she enjoyed—and only those involved with baking wore the white apron from the waist down. After brushing her hair, she fastened it up properly and donned her prayer Kapp. Who needed a light or a mirror to get ready for the day? She’d been wearing similar clothes her whole life, and the Ohio Amish pinned up their hair in much the same way as she had back in Pennsylvania.
Now, cake decorating—that required good lighting and great attention to detail. And her favorite season for making specialty cakes—Christmas—was right around the corner.
Ready to take on a new day, she hurried down the rough-hewn steps that led into her shop, lit a kerosene lantern, and pulled on her coat while going out the back door. Before getting to the woodpile, she paused a moment, enjoying Berlin’s lights. Illuminated white bulbs hung like beacons against the dark night. Although she missed her Mamm and Daed, this was home now, not Pennsylvania.
She scanned the silhouettes and shadows of nearby homes and shops. The golden full moon had a silky glow around it, a ring almost as clear and defined as the moon itself. What would it look like if she designed a cake with a halo?
Eager to make notes, she loaded wood into the crook of her arm and went inside. She dumped the logs in the bin and then stirred the embers in the potbelly stove and added kindling. Before her first customer arrived, she’d have the place toasty warm.
The shop was old and narrow, but Mattie loved it. When the previous owner, a man who sold saddles and such, decided to sell his place a few weeks before she moved here, her brother James had helped her buy and remodel it. They’d torn out all the old counters, workbenches, and shelving.
The ceiling, floors, and walls were made of unfinished, exposed wood. She’d put in a huge display case along the left wall, and a couple of small tables sat to the right. Stainless-steel sinks and a gas-powered commercial oven and refrigerator filled the back wall. Her work station, where she pieced together and decorated her cakes, sat a few feet away. Even in cooler weather, keeping the place warm without electricity wasn’t much of an issue with the heat radiating from the oven and the wood stove. Hot summer weather was a little more problematic, but the many windows helped.
She began searching for her spiral notebook, which she often referred to as her brain. The pages of her combination sketch pad, scrapbook, and journal were covered with drawings, doodles, and pictures from magazines and newspapers. It’d been a gift for her twelfth birthday, and although the gift giver had broken her heart seven years later, she still appreciated the book. Her day planner was in the back of it, with the types of cakes she needed to make, due dates, and all her clients’ names and phone numbers. Without it she wouldn’t know how to run her store.
She knelt and looked under her work station. It was there, maybe two feet away. Reaching as far as she could, she touched the edge of the thick binder and grabbed it. Now where did she leave her pencil?
Is it behind your ear, Mattie Lane? Gideon’s voice washed over her.
She shuddered, detesting hearing him inside her head, especially with the added use of the pet name Mattie Lane. Lane was not a part of her given name or her surname. When they first broke up, his voice had played constantly in her mind, but after three years these whispers from the past were rare.
They’d been good friends most of their lives. He was three years older than she, and it had stung when he began dating at sixteen. But worse than seeing him with other Amish girls was seeing him with Englischer girls. At eighteen, he’d stopped seeing others and told her that he’d decided to wait for her.
Their first date had taken place on her birthday, Christmas Eve, and she’d attended her first singing with Gideon. The magic of Christmas seemed to surround both of them as their voices rose in celebration of Christ’s birth and the blessing of being together. Nothing in her life had ever compared to the emotion of that night, not even owning her own shop. For the next three years, they enjoyed the glorious Christmas singings together.
And then she caught him.
To read the rest of chapter one, click here.
For a chance to win an autographed copy of The Christmas Singing and this Amish-made wall hanging, please leave a comment below. This contest ends Wednesday, October 5 at midnight.
Only comments left on my website will be entered. If you’re reading this on Facebook or such, please hop over to https://www.cindywoodsmall.com.
Thanks! (It’s just too hard to track down all the comments left in various places, and it’s too easy to miss some of them.)
I will have a FUN (and adorable!) wall hanging giveaway on my Facebook page this Tuesday, October 4.
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