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Excellent storytelling, accurate historical reporting, and gritty, persevering characters

The Story behind Gathering the Threads by Cindy Woodsmall

Ooo, I can’t tell you all how excited I am to have Cindy Woodsmall on the blog this week! Cindy is a well-known author of Amish novels and has a new release, Gathering the Threads. Here’s a little bit about the book.

Finally back in the Old Order Amish world she loves, will Ariana’s new perspectives draw her family closer together—or completely rip them apart?

After months away in the Englisch world, Ariana Brenneman is overjoyed to be in the Old Order Amish home where she was raised. Yet her excitement is mixed with an unexpected apprehension as she reconciles all she’s learned from her biological parents with the uncompromising teachings of her Plain community. Although her childhood friend, ex-Amish Quill Schlabach, hopes to help her navigate her new role amongst her people, Ariana’s Daed doesn’t understand why his sweet daughter is suddenly questioning his authority. What will happen if she sows seeds of unrest and rebellion in the entire family?

Meanwhile, Skylar Nash has finally found her place among the large Brenneman family, but Ariana’s arrival threatens to unravel Skylar’s new identity—and her sobriety. Both Ariana and Skylar must discover the true cords that bind a family and community together and grasp tight the One who holds their authentic identities close to His heart.

Learn more and purchase a copy:

Cindy, could you share with us about the real-life people who inspired the book?

My latest release, Gathering the Threads, is the third and final book in the Amish of Summer Grove series. It centers around two young women—one Amish and one Englisch—who were switched at birth. After finding out that life-altering news, they both have to go live with their birth parents for a time.

I molded Ariana after a young Amish woman I met and have heard stories about for years, so it was fairly easy to get inside her head. She is both optimistic and vulnerable. Ariana is a go-getter despite being raised in poverty. She knows how to have almost nothing and turn that into something that will put food on the table. But she’s convinced that each aspect of life and the faith that she’s been taught in her sheltered Amish community is completely right. And she has the willpower to honor her Amish parents through obedience . . . until her intellectual atheist “Englisch” dad confuses her on all fronts.

Skylar, who was raised by modern American parents, was a harder character to work with. She’s both spoiled and wounded by her childhood. In order to do her justice, I needed to find and work closely with a real person about her age who had experience with drugs in a similar manner to Skylar. Researching this character caused me to dig deep into illegal prescription drug use among young people. I also had long, intense conversations with an intellectual atheist in order to create Nicholas, Ariana’s biological dad and the man who helped raise Skylar.

I hope that both of these girls feel very real for readers, because I believe I understand people from those walks of life much more now than I did before I wrote the series.

Wow, those must have been some interesting conversations you had with people to build those characters. Thanks for joining us! Continue to scroll down for your chance to win a copy of the book.

Cindy Woodsmall is an award-winning New York Times and CBA best-selling author who has written 20 works of fiction, including her most recent series, Amish of Summer Grove. Her connection with the Amish community has been widely featured in national media outlets, including ABC’s Nightline. The Wall Street Journal listed Woodsmall as one of the top three most popular authors of Amish fiction.

RT Book Reviews recently presented her with a Career Achievement Award and gave her latest release, Gathering the Threads, a Top Pick review.

Woodsmall and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains.

Learn more about Woodsmall and her books at She is also active on Facebook (@authorcindywoodsmall).

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Good luck to everyone!


  1. Cindy is a new to me author and her books sound like good ones.

  2. The most interesting person I have ever met was my husband.

  3. I love Cindy’s books and have read many! Probably the most interesting people I’ve ever met are through historical fiction. I’ve “met” John Newton through Jody Hedlund’s book “Newton and Polly”. I never really knew the man behind the song Amazing Grace or the history behind why he wrote it. But wow, this book opened up my eyes! I think if we could go back in time to meet anyone we wanted, I would choose him. His life was a mess until he met his Savior. There have been many more, but he stands out in my mind. 🙂

    Thank you for the giveaway chance for “Gathering the Threads”! This whole series is on my must-read list.

  4. The most interesting person I have ever met were two men who were known in the scientific community for their inventions.

  5. I met Beverly Lewis recently.

  6. Gathering the Threads sounds like a wonderful book. Thank you for the opportunity to win.I enjoy reading your books.

  7. I heard David Wilkerson preach years ago in Minneapolis MN & got to shake his hand!

  8. I think I need to seriously think about who is the most interesting person I’ve met. Hmm.

  9. A local cowboy who is an avid reader, loves God, and is smart.

  10. Met Loretta Lynn years back. Have enjoyed her music for years, so was a treat to finally meet her.

  11. I really can’t think of anyone off hand.

  12. My mom, who just passed away. I met her when I was two weeks old and she was the most interesting, sweetest person I have ever known.