Monday, November 18, 2013
Spotlight on Author Ann Gabhart
Here's what she's been up to:
Small Town Girl - In the autumn of 1941, rumors of war whisper through Rosey Corner. The town practically vibrates in anticipation, as if it is holding its breath. But for Kate Merritt, it seems life is letting out a prolonged sigh. As Kate watches her sister marry the man Kate has loved since she was fifteen, her heart is silently breaking. And even the attentions of Jay Tanner, the handsome best man, can't draw her interest.
Then suddenly, Pearl Harbor changes everything. Kate's friends are rushing to get married before the boys go off to war. The newspapers talk of women making airplanes and bombs. Everyone in town begins rolling bandages, planting victory gardens, collecting scrap metal. Kate finds herself drawn to Jay in surprising ways, and when he enlists she can hardly breathe worrying about him getting killed. Could she truly be in love with him? And if she is, will she ever see him again?
Orchard of Hope, is Book Two in the Heart of Hollyhill series - Nothing will be the same after the summer of 1964. Drought has gripped the quiet Kentucky town of Hollyhill, and the town seems as if it is holding its breath--waiting. Jocie Brooke is nervous about starting high school. Her sister Tabitha is experiencing the weariness of waiting for a new baby. Her father David is feeling the timidity of those first steps toward true love. All of these pivotal steps in life are awaiting the Brooke family. Into this cloud of tense anticipation, the Hearndons move their family from Chicago to plant an orchard outside of town. Fresh off the Freedom Train, Myra Hearndon is sensitive to what the color of her skin may mean in a Southern town. Her family will have to contend with more than the dry ground and blazing sun as they try to create their orchard of hope. In this close-knit community, everything is about to change. Let this riveting novel take you along to experience unexpected love, new life, and renewed faith amid life's trials.
Ann shared a little background on writing the third title, Christmas at Harmony Hill.
Her agent suggested writing a sweet, gentle "Hallmark Channel-like" story. Ann said,
"My research into how the Shakers celebrated Christmas in the 1860’s opened up story ideas. Every year shortly before Christmas, the Shakers observed a day of atonement they called Sacrifice Day. On this day, they were to leave behind any grudges, hard feelings and disaffection toward their brothers or sisters. They were to ask forgiveness from those they had wronged and from the Lord. Anything that was settled on Sacrifice Day could never again be brought forward against anyone in their family of believers. They were also to offer forgiveness fully and completely to those they felt had done harm against them. All this fit in with my story’s theme of forgiveness.
But somewhere along the way as I was writing, I must have mislaid my agent’s advice. I doubt readers would classify Christmas at Harmony Hill as sweet or gentle. I’d be pleased if they found the love story touching. Still, Christmas at Harmony Hill is more historical novel than the usual Christmas novella. The story’s set in December 1864 with the Civil War drawing to a close. Gideon is still fighting for the Union Army while Heather returns home to have their baby. When she finds no welcome at her father’s house, she seeks shelter in the Shaker village where her Aunt Sophrena, the Shaker journalist in The Gifted, has lived for many years. Sister Sophrena is ready to help Heather even as she is beginning to doubt her own Shaker walk. And so Christmas comes to Harmony Hill."
Wishing Ann all the best with these and future releases. Looking forward to reading them!
To find out more about Ann or her books visit www.annhgabhart.com. Feel free also to check out her blog, One Writer’s Journal, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
Have you read any of Ann's books? What's on your to be read pile these days?
Happy reading and writing,