Monday, November 18, 2013

Spotlight on Author Ann Gabhart


Ann Gabhart is back!  This sweet and busy writer has three titles out this fall.  In case you haven't met Ann yet, she is the author of several bestselling novels, and has been called a storyteller, which is not a bad thing for somebody who never wanted to do anything but write down stories. :) She’s published twenty-five novels with more stories on the way. 

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,

Karen

60 comments :

  1. Heyya amigo! Congrads Ann! THREE!!?? WOWEE!!! Talk about busy bee!

    I love the thought of having a Sacrifice Day. I'd like to start that around here on the farm. The books all sound like books I want to read. And I will.

    Great thing to have Ann here Karen even as your own tour is going on! I'm proud to be your pal.

    XOXO

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    1. I found the idea of a Sacrifice Day interesting as well, Robyn. We could all use a little of that kind of forgiveness from our family and friends plus giving out that forgiveness in return.

      It was very good of Karen to have me come over for a visit while she's busy touring the net with her own book. I appreciate her interest in my books, and I appreciate your interest in the stories too. Hope you'll enjoy the books if you get a chance to read them.

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  2. Ooh! What a great story concept. Having not lived through it, I would totally love reading about the time period, the mentality, the chances in society. I think sometimes we forget our history--where we come from and why we function the way we do. It's great to go back and read reminders.

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    1. Crystal, I love dropping my characters down into different historical eras and events. It helps the history come to life for me and makes me see that quite often we've been down some of the same road before. Hope if you get a chance to read any of my books, that you'll enjoy the stories.

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  3. Ann's book Small Town Girl sounds great. Would love to read it.

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    1. Thanks, Rachna. I've really enjoyed writing about my Rosey Corner characters. Small Town Girl continues the story of the Merritt family in Angel Sister five years later. The books are stand alone stories but have some of the same characters and the same setting. Hope if you get a chance to take a reading trip to Rosey Corner, you'll enjoy the visit.

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  4. These sound like delightful stories. Thanks for bringing them to our attention!

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. I really appreciate Karen spotlighting my recent releases.

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  5. Robyn,
    I know, Ann has been busy She's a wonderful writer. It's always fun to have her over. Thanks for chiming it. Hope you get to read some of these soon! :) xo

    Crystal,
    I know it! I think this is one reason why I love historical fiction so much. Thanks for stopping over during your blog tour - I know you are busy! :)

    Rachna,
    Haven't read that one yet, but I am sure it is another winner. All of Ann's books are. :)

    Lisa,
    You are welcome! Hope you get a chance to read one soon. :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  6. I have the wonderful books that she has written , i have read displayed on my table as I have fallen in love with all of them but the one that still holds closest to my heart is Angel Sister. I am in the process of reading Christmas at Harmony Hill. Ann is busy but no matter how busy she is such a wonderful person I just enjoy her books and most of all enjoy the interviews she gives as I find as I read them no 2 are alike . She is one of the authors that i strongly recommend to everyone that i talk to.

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    1. So nice of you to come over and leave such a kind comment, pt. And that you have my books displayed on your table is such a compliment. I do try to make my interviews out on the internet different, but I may be running out of fresh material. LOL. It is so great of you to recommend my books to your reading friends. Word of mouth is the very best advertising a writer can get. Thank you!

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  7. Hello Karen and Ann, busy as a bee in Kentucky...one of my fav authors, I am anxious to read this Christmas story you have out. I am sure learning more of the shaker history for that time of year will be interesting. thanks for all your research and hard work so we can have few hours of enjoyment reading your stories...

    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

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    1. Thanks for coming over to read about my books, Paula. I hope you enjoy my Shaker Christmas story when you get a chance to read it.

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  8. Congratulations, Ann. I bet the Christmas one does really good right now.

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    1. Thanks, Alex. The Christmas books generally are only available during one Christmas season, so I'm hoping readers will give it a try now. The book did find a lot of lookers at the Kentucky Book Fair Saturday. Some of the people who stopped by my table said they collected Christmas books and used them in their decorations. Neat idea!

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  9. Wonderful post! I have read several of Ann's books and loved them. Looking forward to reading the Christmas story! Blessings!

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    1. Great to hear from you here, Marian. How's everything your way? Hope you do get to read the Christmas story and that you'll enjoy it when you do.

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    2. hi Ann, I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy Christmas at Harmony Hill. The only 'problem' is time to read. Since I started writing I'm months behind on reviewing and I can't seem to catch up. But I plan to read some good Christmas stories in the week for Christmas, so I will problably download a Kindle copy then.

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    3. That's the thing about writing. It does take time and life takes time and reading seems to be the thing we shove to the side. But reading can be a gift we give ourselves and a time to take a few minutes to recharge our creative batteries. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas, Marian.

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  10. Ptclayton,
    She is a wonderful writer, I agree! You sound like a big fan. :) I can't say that I blame you. Thanks so much for coming by!

    Paula,
    She is one busy writer! You're right, she puts in a lot of work so that we can relax and enjoy a great story! Good point! :)

    Alex,
    Hard to believe it's that time of year already. Wishing Ann well with all her books. :)

    Marian,
    It's always a pleasure to have Ann stop by. She's a wonderful guest!

    Happy reading and writing,
    Karen

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  11. Hi Karen...No, I've never read that author but the Christmas book with the Shakers sounds very intriguing. I'm reading a really short book on Gratitude by Melodie Beattie, a Trader Joe's cookbook by an independent author, snippits of my Simple Abundance book and, of course, God Will See You Through by Mary Kupferle, my daily read always. Susan

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    1. Sounds like a very interesting mix of books, Susan. Happy reading!

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  12. Twenty-five novels! Wow! I have not read any of Ann's books but they sound charming. I love a good Christmas novel, but I may have to read Small Town Girl first. That one particularly interests me. Thanks so much for spotlighting Ann's work here, Karen.

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    1. I hope you will give one of my books a try, Ruth. You might like Angel Sister too. It's the same characters as Small Town Girl five years earlier set during the Depression years. But both stories are stand alone books.

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  13. Susan,
    I know you are more of a non fiction reader but you just might like Ann's books should you ever decide to give them a try! She's a wonderful writer. :)

    Ruth,
    I'm thinking that's where I'd like to start too. Ann's stories are always good, but that one just draws me too! :)

    Happy reading,
    Karen

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  14. These three stories all sound great. I can't believe a story set in the year I graduated from high school (1964) is historical (LOL).

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    1. quietspirit, I don't think Orchard of Hope is considered historical. I read once it had to be pre-WW II to be considered historical, but then again 1964 is 50 years ago now. I'm like you. That's hard to think about. Hope you'll like my stories is you give them a try.

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  15. Each of these books sounds like a great read. I love the 1940s setting of the first one and the 1860s is fascinating too! I will have to check these out. Wishing Ann the best of luck!
    ~Jess

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    1. Thanks, Jess. I appreciate your good wishes and I hope if you give one of my books a try, you'll enjoy the stories. Wishing you a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.

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  16. Cecelia,
    I think you might like Ann's stories. How about we say they are just marginally historical then? LOL Thanks for coming by. :)

    Jess,
    I agree, both time periods sound interesting. Looking forward to reading them all. Good to see you. :)

    Happy reading,
    Karen

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  17. Wow. I'm happy for her success! And I'm happy for yours, too, Karen. Hope all is going fabulously with the blog tour. Smiling and waving...

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    1. Thanks, Rhonda. I'm sure Karen is getting lots of smiles and waves on her blog tour. Have fun, Karen.

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  18. Hi Ann! What fun to meet an author so full of ideas and excitement for the subjects you cover. And how blessed to be filled with inspiration. Do you ever feel stuck? It sure doesn't look like it!
    Best of blessings on the release of your new books. It's such a pleasure to meet you. I'll have to keep my eye out for your new titles :)
    Ceil

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    1. Oh yeah, Ceil. I feel stuck several times in every book. I describe as like being caught in the doldrums with no creative wind blowing. But that's when I have to just keep plugging along and it always amazes me how the story somehow keeps going even when I'm thinking it isn't going anywhere! Right now I'm beginning a new book and I'm excited about the idea but wondering how it will all come together. I have to tell myself I've done this before. I can do it again. At least I think I can. :) Thanks for your kind wishes and I hope you'll enjoy the story if you pick up one of my books.

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  19. Rhonda,
    Ah you and Ann both make me smile! Waving back! :)

    Ceil,
    I think you might enjoy Ann's books. I'm happy to make the introduction! :)

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  20. Three in one season? Makes my head spin! But I'm very happy for her success; thanks for sharing her with us, Karen.

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    1. You know what, Jeanette? My head's been spinning some this year too, especially with everything else going on in my life right now. My mother has dementia and I spend a lot of hours with her most every day. Also, one of the books was a re-issue, so not new writing. However, that was a lot of promoting and I doubt I did that great a job with Orchard of Hope. That is a book that I really like. It took me back down some memory trails in the 1960's and opened my eyes to things that happened in the Civil Rights movement that I was too young or blind to see back then.

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  21. Glad to "see" you again, Ann! Enjoyed talking with you last month at Cincinnati's Books by the Banks and have my autographed copy of Small Town Girl on the very top of my TBR stack. Can't wait to get started :-) Best of luck with Christmas at Harmony Hill...

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    1. Great, Kenda. It was fun talking to you there too. I always enjoy Books by the Banks even though I don't know as many readers up in that area. I do hope you'll enjoy my Rosey Corner story! And Karen was right on time with welcoming me over since Christmas at Harmony Hill is making the rounds on the blogs this week.

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  22. Her historical novels sound fantastic. It was a pleasure meeting the author.

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    1. Thanks, Medeia. Hope you'll give one of them a try someday.

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  23. Jen,
    I know, Ann is quite the prolific writer! :) And her stories are always good too. :) You are welcome. It's a pleasure to have Ann stop by.

    Kenda,
    It's great fun to meet Ann in person, isn't it? I had the privilege of meeting her at a small conference in town. So glad I did! I really think that the three of us are almost neighbors. :)

    Medeia,
    I think they will be. Her track record is a very good one! Glad you were able to come by. :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  24. Wow! Three books! That's amazing! Congratulations to Ann! Christmas at Harmony Hill sounds interesting.

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    1. Hi, Tyrean. Three books was a lot for me in one year, but as I told Jeanette, one of them, Orchard of Hope, was a re-issue of a book that had gone out of print. Still it was fun having so many books out in one year. Next year will slow down with one two books and one of them will be a re-issue too. The Christmas book tipped the scales at three this year.

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  25. This sounds really amazing! I would like to read it.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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    1. I hope you can give my story a try, Gina. Some giveaways going on now around the blogsphere and I'll be sending out a newsletter soon with a Christmas giveaway.

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  26. I wish Ann all the best. These books sound great reads. Congratulation!

    Nas

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    1. Nas, Romance Book Haven sounds like a great place to spend some good reading hours. :) Thanks for your good wishes, kind words, and congratulations. I appreciate them.

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  27. Tyrean,
    I know, Ann is one busy writer! And a good one at that! :) Can't wait to read her latest. :)

    Gina,
    Hope you get a chance to read some of Ann's books. You might like them. :)

    Nas,
    I think they will be wonderful reads. Ann is a great storyteller! :)

    Happy reading,
    Karen

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  28. Karen, it's been fun visiting and chatting with all your followers. Love talking books with people who love reading and writing.

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    1. Ann, it's always a pleasure to have you stop by! So glad you were able to this week. :)
      Happy Thanksgiving!

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  29. Congrats to Ann. Her historical novel sounds fantastic.

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    1. Thanks, Natalie. Hope you'll give one of my stories a try someday.

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  30. Wow, Ann is such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing-- I hope to read one of her books soon!

    Have a wonderful week end and Happy Thanksgiving!!

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    1. Thanks, Cheryl. I'm always happy when someone wants to read one of my stories. Hope you have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.

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  31. Natalie,
    Ann does them very well! She's a talented writer. :)

    Cheryl,
    She is, I agree! Hope you get a chance to check out her books. :)

    Happy Thanksgiving,
    Karen

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  32. Yes, wishing Ann all the best indeed! Lots of books to be read in my pile. So many books available these days, and most with just the click of a button. Thanks for this interesting post, Karen.

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!