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A Season for Tending

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A Season for Tending

Amish Vines and Orchards Series, Book 1
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In a community where conformity flourishes, seeds of Rhoda's odd behavior were planted long ago. Can she cultivate her relationships with the same care and tenderness that she gives her beloved...
In a community where conformity flourishes, seeds of Rhoda's odd behavior were planted long ago. Can she cultivate her relationships with the same care and tenderness that she gives her beloved...
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Description-
  • In a community where conformity flourishes, seeds of Rhoda's odd behavior were planted long ago. Can she cultivate her relationships with the same care and tenderness that she gives her beloved garden?

    Old Order Amish Rhoda Byler's unusual gift and her remarkable abilities to grow herbs and berries have caused many to think her odd. As rumors mount that Rhoda's "gift" is a detriment to the community, she chooses isolation, spending her time in her fruit garden and on her thriving canning business.

    Miles away in Harvest Mills, Samuel King struggles to keep his family's apple orchard profitable. As the eldest son, Samuel farms with his brothers, the irrepressible Jacob and brash Eli, while his longtime girlfriend Catherine remains hopeful that Samuel will marry her when he feels financially stable.

    Meanwhile, Samuel's younger sister Leah is testing all the boundaries during her rumschpringe, and finds herself far from home in Rhoda's garden after a night of partying gone badly. But Leah's poor choices serve as a bridge between Rhoda and the King family when a tragic mistake in the orchard leaves Samuel searching for solutions.
    Rhoda's expertise in canning could be the answer, but she struggles with guilt over the tragic death of her sister and doesn't trust herself outside her garden walls. As the lines between business, love, and family begin to blur, can Rhoda finally open up to a new life? And what effect will this odd, amazing woman have on the entire King family?

Excerpts-
  • From the book

    It's time...Emma's voice rose from the past, encircling Rhoda and bringing a wave of guilt. Unyielding, unforgiving guilt.

    Rhoda plucked several large strawberries from the vine and dropped them into the bushelbasket. "Time for what?" she whispered.

    The moment the words left her mouth, she glanced up, checking her surroundings. She quickly looked beyond the picket fence that enclosed her fruit and herb garden but saw no one. Her shoulders relaxed. When townsfolk or
    neighbors noticed Rhoda talking to herself, fresh rumors stirred. Even family members frowned upon it and asked her to stop.

    It's time...

    Emma's gentle voice echoed around her for a second time. "Time for what?" Rhoda repeated, more a prayer to God than a question to her departed sister.

    God was the One who spoke in whispers to the soul, not the dead. But whenever Rhoda heard a murmuring in her mind, it was Emma's voice. It had been that way since the day Emma died.

    The sound of two people talking near the road caught Rhoda's attention. Surely they were real. She rose out of her crouch, pressing her bare feet into the rich soil, and went in the direction of the voices, passing the long rows of strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries and her trellises of raspberries and Concord grapes. Heady scents rode on the spring air, not just from the ripening fruits, but from her bountiful herb garden that yielded rosemary, sage, scarlet
    bergamot, and dozens of other plants she'd spent years cultivating. Dusting her palms together, she skirted the raised boxes that held the herbs and peered through a honeysuckle bush.

    She was relieved to see actual people speaking to each other. Then she recognized them, and her fingertips tingled as her pulse raced. Her mother's eldest sister walked beside Rueben Glick, a man who wanted to make her life
    miserable.

    "Surely her Daed will listen to me this time." Aunt Naomi clutched her fists tightly. "He indulges her. That's the real problem."

    Rhoda had no doubt they were talking about her. Since Emma's death two years ago, the church leaders had avoided responding to all the trouble that Rhoda caused, however unintentional. They offered grace and mercy as her family tried to deal with their grief from the tragedy. But Rueben and Naomi made it their responsibility to keep Rhoda's family aware of how the Amish and non-Amish in Morgansville felt about her.

    "I can bring a witness this time, more if need be." Rueben's tone was confident, with a familiar edge of bitterness.

    More than anyone else in Morgansville, Rueben detested her. But unlike the others, he was only too happy to speak his mind directly to her and her family. And Rhoda knew why. He wanted to make her pay for turning his girlfriend against him. Rhoda had plenty of things to feel guilty for, but Rueben losing his girlfriend was not one of them.

    Her aunt paused at the corner of the fence, studying Rhoda's house. "There should be no need for a witness, especially from those who are not Amish. The quieter we keep this matter, the better."

    Rueben had found witnesses who weren't Amish? How? She tried her best to keep anyone from knowing her business. She never even shared with her family her comings and goings based on intuition. Dread pressed in on her, and she bit back her growing contempt for Rueben Glick.

    "Kumm." Her aunt crossed the driveway with Rueben right beside her. Naomi tapped on the screen door and waited. The fact that she didn't let herself in was a sign of the troubled feelings between her Daed and his sister-in-law.

    Not counting Rhoda, six adults and five children were living in the house...

About the Author-
  • Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author of nine works of fiction and one work of nonfiction, whose connection with the Amish community has been featured widely in national media and throughout Christian news outlets. She lives outside of Atlanta with her family.

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    The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
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A Season for Tending
A Season for Tending
Amish Vines and Orchards Series, Book 1
Cindy Woodsmall
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Cindy Woodsmall
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