What book should you read next? What words should you write next? Whether you're a reader, a writer, or both, you need look no further for ideas and pointers to help you make up your mind. You might even get your next book for free!

Sometimes I even give away my own novels. My Inspirational romances and devotionals are pictured below and are detailed on my Books page. You can always count on a trace of humor in my novels and nonfiction. Whether you're a teen or a woman mature in years, I think these stories will ring true.

Read on, and discover some of today's most appealing Inspirational novelists, their latest books, and their words of wisdom and imagination. Enjoy!

Monday, August 17, 2020

Ann Gabhart and Free Books!

Romance and adventure are in the Kentucky mountain air in this story of a woman yearning for love but caught between two worlds—each promising something different.

Before we revisit today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the free copy of Jim Denny's science-fantasy/spiritual warfare novel, Battle Before Time, is:


Congratulations! We'll get your book right out to you. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right (above my list of books) in order to learn about new releases! U.S. subscribers are entered in the drawings a second time when they comment.

And now let's chat with novelist Ann Gabhart, author of the historical romance, An Appalachian Summer (Revell Books, June 2020).

Ann Gabhart has been called a storyteller. She’s lived up to the title with thirty-five books published and more stories on the way.

Ann likes wrapping her stories around interesting historical times and events in her home state of Kentucky. She’s written about the Shakers in The Refuge, The Outsider and more, gone to the Appalachian Mountains for These Healing Hills and An Appalachian Summer, mined her family history for Angel Sister and Scent of Lilacs, found a feel good story during the 1833 cholera epidemic in Springfield, Kentucky, and more. Even her cozy mysteries under the author name A.H. Gabhart take place in the little town of Hidden Springs, Kentucky.

Ann keeps her keyboard warm out on her farm where she likes walking with her dogs or discovering the wonders of nature with her nine grandchildren. \

Please tell us one random thing we might not know about you.

It’s been years since I bought a loaf of bread, but I’ve bought plenty of bread flour. I’ve been making sourdough bread over thirty years. At first when everybody was passing around the starter back then, I said I didn’t want to do that. Too much trouble. But then I decided to give it a try. About a zillion loaves of bread later with some doughnuts and cinnamon rolls thrown in now and again, my starter is still going strong (I actually keep two going now to be sure I have plenty) and I’m still making bread usually two times a week. I give some away and chow down on some. The scarcity of bread flour on grocery shelves has been weird during this pandemic, but so far I’m still baking.

I did the sour dough thing for awhile several years ago! I loved it--a little too much, as my waistline will attest.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of An Appalachian Summer.

In 1933 Louisville, Kentucky, even the ongoing economic depression cannot keep Piper Danson's parents from insisting on a debut party. After all, their fortune came through the market crash intact, and they've picked out the perfect suitor for their daughter. Braxton Crandall can give her the kind of life she's used to. The only problem? This is not the man–or the life–she really wants.

When Piper gets the opportunity to volunteer as a horseback Frontier Nursing courier in the Appalachian Mountains for the summer, she jumps at the chance to be something other than a dutiful daughter or a kept wife in a loveless marriage. The work is taxing, the scenery jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and the people she meets along the way open up a whole new world to her.

The longer she stays, the more an advantageous marriage slips from her grasp. But something much more precious--true love--is drawing ever closer.

What is it about Piper that will make your readers care about her?

Piper Danson is a young woman caught in an era when more freedoms for women were opening up while at the same time her father is insisting she follow a more traditional path. She’s a reluctant debutant in love with a man her father no longer considers to be someone she can marry since his family lost all their money in the market crash. Piper tries to escape making decisions about her future by going to the mountains for the summer to work as a volunteer with the Frontier Nursing Service where she’ll run errands, take care of horses, and whatever needs doing. I think readers will admire her pluck and the growth of her faith as she discovers what’s most important in life.

What’s the most positive thing you can tell my readers about the state of Christian fiction today?

Readers have so many choices in Christian fiction today with mysteries, historical stories, suspense, contemporary stories that cover a range of topics, and even speculative and futuristic novels. Readers can find their favorite genres and be assured the story will have a Christian worldview.

So true! I've seen that in watching the various authors I've featured here through the years. 

What is the last novel you read that you would recommend?

Key to Everything by Valerie Fraser Luesse. It’s a heartwarming story about a fifteen year old boy set in the 1940’s who makes a bike ride through Florida to Key West to honor the father he loses early on in the story. I think readers will enjoy the characters, especially Peyton, and be glad to share his many adventures on the trip.

The book has definitely received high marks from reviewers. 

What are you working on now?

Right now I’m doing edits on Along a Storied Trail that is scheduled to release in the summer of 2021. I went back to the Appalachian Mountains for another story, but this time instead of Frontier Nursing history, I’m following around one of the Packhorse Librarians who carried books up to people in the hills of Kentucky. Some of the people in these areas had no libraries and had never had access to books. This works program established during the Great Depression was very popular with the local people. My character shares some of the experiences along the trail and some of the stories of the people she meets. There’s romance, beautiful scenery, and books. What more could a story need?

Really! That sounds wonderful, Ann.

Where else can readers find you online?

Readers can find out more about my books and check out my blog posts at www.annhgabhart.com. I have fun talking with readers on my Facebook Author Page, Instagram, and Twitter. They can also find me on Pinterest and Goodreads . Readers can follow me on BookBub where they will be sure to hear about my new books or any special book sales.

The book can be purchased online via the following button:

Here’s a link to a sample reading of An Appalachian Summer

Or you can check out a sample on Amazon. HERE (click on Look Inside)

Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?

Piper spent a summer volunteering with the Frontier Nursing Service. How important do you think volunteer workers are to our world? Have you been a volunteer in your community?

Thanks, Ann, for visiting and telling us about yourself and your book. Readers, Ann has offered to give away a free copy of her book. To enter, leave a comment and your email below in answer to her question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Remember that U.S. subscribers are entered an additional time in each drawing. The drawing is done by email, so leave your email address, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Only United States residents are eligible for the drawing, but anyone can subscribe to the blog posts via the GDPA-compliant Feedblitz box above my list of books, at right.

Also readers, I'd love it if you'd connect with me on Facebook. Just click on my name at the right of today's post title.

Annoying legal disclaimer: as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases; drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer, GDPA notice, and my Disclosure of Material Connection HERE


kim hansen said...

Why the Appalachian mountains? What is the appeal? cheetahthecat1986ATgmailDOTcom

Elizabeth Litton said...

I think volunteers are absolutely necessary! I volunteer in my church and have also done volunteer work for our local state delegate.
PS. I've always wanted to try making sourdough bread!!


Ann H Gabhart said...

Kim, that's a question I don't think I've ever been asked previously. But it's a good one. With my stories set in the Appalachian Mountains, These Healing Hills and An Appalachian Summer, Appalachia was the only setting possible for the books since they have a background history of the Frontier Nursing Service that was in Leslie County, Kentucky right there in the Eastern Kentucky Appalachian area. And the same is true for my upcoming book, Along a Storied Trail. The packhorse librarians were only in the Appalachian regions. But that said, many people do enjoy reading stories with an Appalachian background, and I enjoyed going to the mountains for those stories.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Elizabeth, find somebody with a starter and see if they'll give you the start. That's easier than making your own starter, but I know some people do. I've given a number of friends and family starter starts, but many of them would rather just have the bread baked and wrapped in a plastic bag. :)

I'm with you. Volunteers make our world better and churches would struggle without the many willing volunteer workers who want to share the Gospel.

Alva Hay said...

Ihaven't read a book by Ann that I didn't love and I am sure this one will be just as good!

Grace said...

I have done funeral dinners, new baby and caregivers dinners through our church and my husband has delivered meals on wheels. Sally Johnson grace44062[at]gmail[dot]com

rbooth43 said...

I understand why the Appalachian Mountains, and the appeal of the books about that region! So much history, so much understanding of the mountain way! My favorite region to read about! Thanks for your books, so appreciated! rbooth43(at)Yahoo(dot)com

Patricia Hawes said...

I have volunteered in my church and in other churches. I've done some volunteer programs(reading) in the local library.

Anonymous said...

Volunteers help bring vibrancy to a community and fill great needs.In the past I have taught Sunday school and vacation bible school.
I also was class mom at school and helped with many fundraisers.
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

Ann H Gabhart said...

Alva Hay, what a very sweet comment to read. I hope you'll feel the same about An Appalachian Summer when you get the chance to win it. I did enjoy going to the mountains and sharing more Frontier Nursing history.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Sally, those are such very special ways to help out others. I'm sure your help with the dinners was always appreciated. It's good when a church family steps up to do something special for those who are grieving, celebrating or perhaps simply tired. And the Meals on Wheels couldn't operate without volunteers like your husband.

RBooth, I'm glad you enjoy going to the mountains for a story. I think many people agree with you that the Appalachian region has much unmined history and some great characters to drop down into a story. I hope you'll like my mountain stories.

Patricia, it sounds as if you know the joy of volunteering. For a while I volunteered as a reading instructor with the community ed program. It was sometimes frustrating when my student wouldn't show, but I kept showing up and sometimes he did too. He was able to learn some basic reading skills. For that I was grateful.

Maryann, Bible school was always a highlight of summer for me. I enjoyed teaching the kids and getting to know them. We had fun. And I loved been a room mother for my kids when they were in school. Then, some years ago, it was easy to volunteer but now the school in our area require a volunteer to jump through more hoops. I understand why, but I still wish the school could be unlocked and any parent could step up to help. Of course, with COVID, everything is changed for schools and volunteers.

Caryl Kane said...

Volunteers are extremely important! It's a great way to serve others. I volunteering at our local food bank for several years.


Lucy Reynolds said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful interview. I used to volunteer all the time at church. Volunteers are vital. I love making sour dough bread. Yummy

Ann H Gabhart said...

Food banks are so needed, Caryl, especially right now and they depend on volunteers to make it work Along with those voluntary contributions. I'm sure you were a blessing to your community when you were helping make sure those in your area didn't lack food.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Always fun to see your comments on one of my posts, Lucy. You are right that volunteers are vital for our communities and country. I just took two whole wheat loaves of sourdough bread out of the oven. So now I'm taste testing one of the heels. The best piece. :)

Trish Perry said...

It's fun to read how others have volunteered, especially since so many enriching memories come back. Church is such a great place to find those volunteering opportunities--many of my experiences were wrapped around the church body. Before I was a Christian, I also did volunteer work through a professional organization, and I was able to bring my young daughter with me for a lot of them. It did her little heart good to see the needs of others and to have a role in helping.

Anonymous said...

I love reading historical fiction. My Dad used to volunteer to do minor home repairs for Silver Key which helps a lot of seniors here in Colorado Springs. He enjoyed helping others and did volunteer work at his church. Vivian Furbay jtandviv (at) q (dot) com

Gail H. said...

Volunteers are absolutely needed! I candystriped when I was a teenager. I have volunteered in my church library. I also donate books I’ve read and reviewed to that library.
Appalachian Mountains are so beautiful and I love stories in that setting. The characters are so lovable.

Ann H Gabhart said...

It's so great when people put feet and hands to their prayers and bless others with their talents, Vivian. And if you need something fixed in your home and can't do it yourself, you're very happy to appreciate handyman talents. Sounds as if you have a great example of giving from your father. I'm glad you enjoy historical fiction. I enjoy dropping my character down into historical eras and events to see what might happen next.

Ann H Gabhart said...

I'm so happy you enjoy stories set in the Appalachian Mountains, Gail. I've enjoyed going to the mountains for stories and really liked sharing more of the Frontier Nursing Service history in An Appalachian Summer.

Recently, I sent out a newsletter and I asked people to share about their volunteering experience. I heard from many candystripers and most all of them seemed to remember that time in their life with fondness.

Vie said...

My heart is in the Appalachian Mountains! We recently moved from our home on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia to the Nashville, Tennessee area. Now I want to learn more about my mountains in this area. I loved reading this interview, Ann. I'm new to your books, and they sound fabulous. My daughter-in-law is a librarian in Nashville, so I'm especially intrigued by your WIP.

I believe that volunteers are critical to so many services we enjoy--such as fire and rescue volunteers who support paid staff, volunteers in our local schools, volunteers running the food pantries and various shelters.

O Norman said...

Volunteers are vital especially in these times. Looking forward to reading this new book and the next. Just finished The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michelle Richardson and it was good. This bookwoman was one of the blue people of Kentucky.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Ola, always good to see your comments and appreciate you reading my stories. I've heard a lot about The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek and have come across the blue people in my research. I haven't read the book since I was writing my own packhorse librarian book and didn't want to be influenced by her story. Glad you enjoyed Kim Michelle Richardson's story. It's gotten a lot of attention. Sorry you didn't win my book, but I know you'll try again when I have a giveaway in the days ahead.

Joan A said...

Volunteers are necessary for manythings today. I have volunteered many hours at my church. I had planned to volunteer at the local Pregnancy Resource Center when I retired but God said no! Instead I lead a church book group at my home twice a month and try to mentor these ladies. jarning67(at)hotmail(dot)com



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