Friday, October 16, 2009

"The Sound of Sleigh Bells" Book Review and Giveaway!

The Sound of Sleigh Bells
by Cindy Woodsmall

Author Bio:

Cindy Woodsmall is the author of When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes, and The New York Times Best-Seller When the Soul Mends. Her ability to authentically capture the heart of her characters comes from her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families. A mother of three sons and two daughters-in-law, Cindy lives in Georgia with her husband of thirty-one years.

Beth Hertzler works alongside her beloved Aunt Lizzy in their dry goods store, and serving as contact of sorts between Amish craftsmen and Englischers who want to sell the Plain people's wares. But remorse and loneliness still echo in her heart everyday as she still wears the dark garb, indicating mourning of her fianci. When she discovers a large, intricately carved scene of Amish children playing in the snow, something deep inside Beth's soul responds and she wants to help the unknown artist find homes for his work-including Lizzy's dry goods store. But she doesn't know if her bishop will approve of the gorgeous carving or deem it idolatry.

Lizzy sees the changes in her niece when Beth shows her the woodworking, and after Lizzy hunts down Jonah, the artist, she is all the more determined that Beth meets this man with the hands that create healing art. But it's not that simple-will Lizzy's elaborate plan to reintroduce her niece to love work? Will Jonah be able to offer Beth the sleigh ride she's always dreamed of and a second chance at real love-or just more heartbreak?

Buy a copy of this book here.

Visit Random House to find out more about this book...


This book was a nice, fresh insight into the Amish world without being forced. While it gave me a peek into the business side of Amish crafts and even some interesting insight into the whole graven images issue, the real impact of the book is dealing with forgiveness. Self-forgiveness.

Beth has totally closed herself off from everyone and everything since her fiancee died. But there are some surprises in the reasons why she has done so, and it isn't necessarily because she is heartbroken. I love the way that Cindy really reaches into our darkest depths to see what we've done that is so bad that we can't forgive ourselves. Can God forgive anything? If so, shouldn't we?

Lovely story that is so much more than just a Christmas story!


If you would like a chance to win this beautiful, hard back book then leave a comment telling me why you think the Amish are against graven images (photographs, pictures, portraits, etc...) and be sure to leave an email address in case you win. Good luck!

Special thanks to Waterbrook Press for a copy of The Sound of Sleigh Bells for review!


silverhartgirl said...

I think they dont want to be vain. you look at a picture and say i look god. you try to look good for pics, just a idea.
silverhartgirl at

Marjorie said...

The same reason that they dress
very plain, because of vanity I think.
I would love to win this super

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

Theresa N. said...

I'm honestly not sure why. I guess it's one of the things plain folks don't believe in because of the modern way it's done. I'm a BIG fan of Cindy's books.
Theresa N

Anita Yancey said...

I really don't know why since I don't know much about the Amish. But I would love to read this book. Please enter me. Thanks!


Brenda said...

I really don't know, I do know they like to live really plain so wouldn't keep a photo album around. I would imagine they would think it was an invasion of their privacy for others to take their pictures. I love reading about them. I would love to win the book! I posted it to my blog!
dancealert at aol dot com

Mystica said...

Apart from preventing vanity, I also think it may be that we should just accept what we are and not try to change ourselves. Something to do with maybe being made in the image and likeness of god and so no improvement is really necessary.



Anonymous said...

They probably don't believe in vanity. wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

Cecelia said...

I think it's because they don't want to be vain, also, they don't want to worship objects?? I'm just guessing, not really sure! Enter me into the drawing please.
cdnovelist (at) aol (dot) com

Jo said...

I'm not sure since I don't know much about the Amish but I do think it has to do with them not wanting to be vain.


tanya904 said...

I think that it is because the believe that it is a sin in god's eyes because of the bible says "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image"

Paula said...

I would think it would have to do with vanity. If your pic is taken, perhaps vanity would creep into your mind. Thinking you were worhty of a certain type of respect due to your appearance.


Linda said...

Would love an opportunity to win Cindy's book. I love Amish books. Please enter me.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com
Thank you.

Carol said...

They don't want to stand out, they should just kind of blend in with everyone. I've recently started reading about the Amish and have enjoyed the books very much. This book is another I would enjoy. THanks!


Winning Readings said...

strict adherance to the 10 commandments... And vanity might play a role...

We've posted about this at Winning Readings:

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Michelle said...

"The Amish forbid photographs of them being taken based on the Biblical instruction that Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth (Exodus 20:4)." (from

Thank you for entering me into the contest! I'd love to read this book!

scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Jessica said...

I think they don't want the focus on themselves. If they view pictures they might get caught up in images.

rubynreba said...

I've always wondered why too. The only reason I can think of is what everyone else has been saying - they don't want to be vain! This would be a really great book to read.

Emma said...

The Amish forbid photographs of them being taken based on the Biblical instruction that Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image. The Sound of Sleigh Bells sounds wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.Thank you.

Doreen said...

I think because in the Bible, you aren't suppossed to have any graven images. purposedrivenlife4you at gmail dot com

Arin said...

Because the didn't want people to start worshipping idols? I am not exactly certain i know enough about amish people to answer this one correctly but that would be my guess.

CherylS22 said...

According to an article on the Amish, they are against graven images because it violated the 2nd Biblical commandment - ‘Thou shalt not make unto thyself a graven image.’

Thanks ~ megalon22{at}yahoo{dot}com

Debbie F said...

I think it is because they dont want to become vain. Looking at yourself too much.
dcf_beth at verizon dot net

"Miss" Anita said...

I think the Amish are against graven images because one of the Ten Commandments given by God says we shall not make for us any graven image.

roseinthemorning [at] gmail [dot] com

Carolynn W. said...

The Amish are against graven images because of their beliefs. The 2nd commandment states that You shall not make for yourself a carved image--any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

LoveMy2Dogs said...

I feel that it is because the are not vain and are a very private community. Just guessing. I have recently read 3 other books about the Amish and I would love to add this one to that list.


Charity L. said...

I think it is what has been said on here. They see it as idolatry. Please enter me. Thanks!

Martha A. said...

Well, they say it is because of the Thou shalt not have any graven images and for vanity, but I think really mostly because their fathers said so and their fathers before them said so......most of the ones I know have a couple pictures at least somewhere tucked away.

Deb K said...

I believe that they don't want their pictures taken because they are very private people and want it to stay that way.


Sandee61 said...

The Amish forbid photographs of them being taken based on the Biblical instruction that Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth (Exodus 20:4).
I live near the Amish, and they are very humble and kind. Please enter my name in your giveaway. Thank you! I would love to read Cindy's book.



Cheryl said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. Please enter me in this contest. My email address is shryackmom[@]charter[.]net

Janna said...

And the winner is...