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Gabhart, Ann H. (Ann Gabhart)

Gabhart, Ann H. (Ann Gabhart)

PERSONAL:

Born in KY; married Darrell Gabhart (a singer); children: Johnson, Tarasa, Daniel. Education: Earned high school diploma.

ADDRESSES:

Home—KY. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer; also raises beef cattle on a farm in Kentucky.

WRITINGS:

NOVELS

A Forbidden Yearning, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1978.

A Heart Divided, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1980.

The Look of Eagles, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1986.

A Chance Hero, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1987.

Kindred Spirit, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1987.

The Gifting, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1987.

Wish Come True, Avon Flare (New York, NY), 1988.

Only in Sunshine, Avon Flare (New York, NY), 1989.

For Sheila, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1991.

Discovery at Coyote Point, Avon Camelot (New York, NY), 1991.

Two of a Kind, Avon Camelot (New York, NY), 1992.

Bridge to Courage, Avon Flare (New York, NY), 1993.

Secrets to Tell, Avon Flare (New York, NY), 1994.

"HOLLYHILL" NOVEL SERIES

The Scent of Lilacs, Revell Books (Grand Rapids, MI), 2005.

Orchard of Hope (sequel to The Scent of Lilacs), Revell Books (Grand Rapids, MI), 2007.

Summer of Joy, Revell Books (Grand Rapids, MI), 2008.

NONFICTION

Angels at the Crossroads: Jerry Shepherd's Story of Redemption and Love (biography), iUniverse (Lincoln, NE), 2006.

Contributor to periodicals, including HomeLife.

SIDELIGHTS:

Ann H. Gabhart is the author of the inspirational novel The Scent of Lilacs and its sequel, Orchard of Hope. Gabhart told Christianbook.com interviewer Dianne Burnett: "I want to inspire people to step into the sunshine of the Lord's love and to realize the Lord is always there for us, the same today as he was yesterday and as he will be tomorrow. I want people to read my stories and feel the joy of Christian living."

Set in Hollyhill, Kentucky, The Scent of Lilacs concerns Jocie Brooke, a thirteen-year-old living with her father, David, a newspaper editor and the interim pastor at Mt. Pleasant Church. Still haunted by the memories of his wife, who left him seven years earlier, David also cares for Jocie's Aunt Love, an elderly spinster who suffers from dementia. When Jocie begins investigating her family's history, she uncovers some startling secrets. "Young women will identify with Jocie's small-town adventures," noted Booklist contributor John Mort.

In Orchard of Hope, set during the summer of 1964, Jocie makes friends with Noah Hearndon, an African American teen who has moved into town with his family. Hoping to start an orchard on the outskirts of Hollyhill, the Hearndons must deal with a drought that has gripped the region, and they face racism when it is announced that the local schools will desegregate.

While Gabhart has published a number of young adult novels and historical romances, she has also written a biography. Angels at the Crossroads: Jerry Shepherd's Story of Redemption and Love, tells of a troubled man who devoted his life to God while serving a life sentence in prison. "Jerry's story has some dark moments," Gabhart admitted to Reader Views Web site contributor Debra Gaynor. "I had to get inside his skin and go down those painful roads with him in order to write the story, so I'm not sure I could say I enjoyed those parts at all. However, it was great to walk out of those dark valleys with Jerry and back into the sunshine of his realization of the Lord's love and rejoice with him in his second chance at life."

Gabhart told CA: "I've been writing ever since I was ten and got hooked on reading. I decided then that I wanted to be the person who wrote the words down in some of those books.

"The last few books I've written have been inspirational stories and I've gone back and used things I remember from when I grew up and from the stories my mother and my aunts tell me about their younger years. I enjoy thinking about how things used to be and realizing that although some things change, the joys and sorrows people have in their lives are much the same from one generation to the next.

"I work on a computer. I started out writing in wirebound notebooks. I graduated to a manual typewriter and then an electric model and finally a word processor. I sometimes miss the paper trail but the word processor saves a lot of typing over. I usually start with my characters and say what if this or that person did this or that. The story grows from that. However I have written one story based on a certain setting and it turned out well. I fit my characters into the setting.

"I suppose the most surprising thing is that something I want to do so much and have always wanted to do—write—is still such hard work. Sometimes I feel like I'm having to dig the words out of my head.

"It's hard to pick a favorite. I loved my book Discovery at Coyote Point because it was about a favorite place of mine and was well received by my young readers. I had a lot of teachers read it aloud to their students and then the students wrote me letters. So that was fun. I also really enjoyed my ‘Hollyhill’ series—The Scent of Lilacs, Orchard of Hope, and Summer of Joy. Jocie and her family were such fun characters.

"I want my books to make people smile and fall in love with my characters. I hope my young adult books will make young readers want to read more books and develop a lifelong love of reading. I hope my stories inspire my readers to look for the joy in life."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, October 1, 2005, John Mort, review of The Scent of Lilacs, p. 24.

Publishers Weekly, January 4, 1993, review of Bridge to Courage, p. 74.

ONLINE

Ann H. Gabhart Home Page,http://www.annhgabhart.com (July 1, 2007).

Christianbook.com,http://www.christianbook.com/ (July 10, 2007), Dianne Burnett, "Our Interview with Ann Gabhart."

Reader Views,http://www.readerviews.com/ (July 30, 2007), Juanita Watson, "Interview with Ann H. Gabhart," and Debra Gaynor, review of Angels at the Crossroads: Jerry Shepherd's Story of Redemption and Love.

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