Guest Post (and a Giveaway!): Ann H. Gabhart & Along a Storied Trail

Posted June 3, 2021 by meezcarrie in Ann H. Gabhart, Author Interview, Christian, giveaway, historical, Kentucky, romance / 50 Comments

I’m so delighted to welcome Kentucky author Ann H. Gabhart back to the blog today to share about her new historical fiction, Along a Storied Trail!

GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romance
RELEASE DATE: June 1, 2021
PAGES: 364

Kentucky packhorse librarian Tansy Calhoun doesn’t mind the rough trails and long hours as she serves her Appalachian mountain community during the Great Depression. Yet she longs to find love like the heroines in her books. When a charming writer comes to town, she thinks she might have found it–or is the perfect man actually closer than she thinks?

Perdita Sweet has called these mountains home for so long she’s nearly as rocky as the soil around her small cabin. Long ago she thought she could love, but when the object of her affection up and married someone else, she stopped giving too much of herself away to others.

As is so often the case, it’s easier to see what’s best for others than to see what’s best for oneself, and Perdita knows who Tansy should choose. But why would anyone listen to the romantic advice of an old spinster?

Saddle up for a heartfelt story of love–love of family, love of place, and the love of a lifetime–from bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart.


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by Ann H. Gabhart, author of Along a Storied Trail

Tansy Calhoun from Along a Storied Trail  Shares News of the Packhorse Libraries

February 2, 1937. Roving reporter, Damien Felding here, in the Eastern Kentucky Appalachian Mountains to report on Packhorse Libraries, a unique WPA government program. I’ve asked Tansy Calhoun, one of the packhorse librarians, to give us the straight deal on this program and why they matter to her community.

I am happy to tell people about our Packhorse Library here in Owsley County, Kentucky. I have always loved stories and have known many good storytellers up here in the hills where I live, but most of us don’t have books in our homes except for the Bible.

So, you can imagine how I treasured every book that did fall into my hands. That’s why I was so overjoyed to get a job as a book woman. That’s what the local folks call packhorse librarians. With times hard, I would have taken any job to help my family, but the job of carrying books along our trails to folks hungering for something to read is perfect for me.

source: public domain

The $28 a month book women get paid helped my family keep off the dole. I did have to come up with my own horse or mule. I lease a Morgan horse from a neighbor for fifty cents a week. Shadrach gamely tackles the rough terrain and endures the mean weather we can have up here in the hills. I ride out on several different routes to loan out the books. Two weeks later I retrace the routes to pick up the loaned books and leave new books. Four other women are also packhorse librarians here, but some counties have six or eight.

All the counties around were eager to have a Packhorse Libraries, but some requirements had to be met. First, we had to find a place for a library. You see, we had never had a public library. Here, we found an old store building to use. Other counties found places in churches or courthouses. One librarian stays at the library while the rest of us book women go there once a week to work on the books and load up with different books to take on our routes.

Yes, we do work on books. While the program pays the book women, it doesn’t supply books. A library without books isn’t much good, but when people heard about how the Packhorse Libraries needed books, donations started coming in. We get a lot of books and magazine big city libraries are throwing away because they’re in such bad shape. We’re glad to get them and find ways to fix up the books with tape and new covers. We paste pictures and articles from the dilapidated magazines on thick paper to make new magazines we can loan out.

Those along our routes like stories with pictures. Sometimes we might print out poems or information about the pictures. We even put together some scrapbooks with recipes or quilt patterns the folks share with us. The people really like those. Then, school kids and PTA groups collect pennies to buy new books for the Packhorse Libraries. With pennies hard to come by right now, that makes those books extra special. And can you believe that the other day a woman from New Jersey just drove up to our library with the trunk loaded with books and magazines to give us?

I guess it’s plain plenty of folks in this big country think books and libraries are important. The Packhorse Library has been a blessing to all the people who keep a lookout for the book woman to ride up the trail to their houses or schools. The kids run out to us at the schools begging for a book. Any book. Since I know just how they feel, I’m happy to be a book woman bringing those books.

Thank you, Mr. Felding, for the chance to tell everybody about the Packhorse Libraries and the book women.

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels—The Refuge, The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted—as well as other historical novels, including Angel Sister, These Healing Hills, River to Redemption, and An Appalachian Summer. She and her husband live on a farm a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Ann enjoys discovering the everyday wonders of nature while hiking in her farm’s fields and woods with her grandchildren and her dogs, Frankie and Marley.

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Revell is offering a print copy of Along a Storied Trail by Ann H. Gabhart to THREE of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What makes you want to read Along a Storied Trail by Ann H. Gabhart?

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50 responses to “Guest Post (and a Giveaway!): Ann H. Gabhart & Along a Storied Trail

  1. Suzanne Sellner

    I’m currently reading Along a Storied Trail and LOVING it! Not only are two suitors after Tansy, the book woman, but various other suspenseful threads are woven into the story. Aunt Perdie is quite the character along with Coralee, who needs a little help. The plight of a little pup is part of the sweetness of the story. I love how the mountain people look after one another helping chop or restock wood, sharing food, etc. As a character, Tansy is a delightful character who gains insight into her own feelings as she provides such joy to those reading the books she delivers, evaluates which suitor is best for her, and learns to appreciate the best qualities of those in her life.

  2. Megan

    I find the idea of a packhorse librarian endlessly fascinating. I think that’s so cool that they took books to people way back in the hills. Bet it makes a great book, thanks for sharing!

  3. Cathy

    The historical period – Great Depression – is very interesting. And who would not love a story about books! Always enjoy Ann Gabhart’s novels, as I have read several.

  4. Roxanne C.

    A story about the importance and influence of books in people’s lives is a must-read, and the romance sounds sweet.

  5. Megan H

    I trust that I’ll learn a few things and get a good faith challenge with Ann’s newest book!

    Doesn’t hurt that it fits a reading challenge either: read a book that involves a librarian
    … if I can figure out how to get it into my hands, that is.

  6. Anne

    A librarian during my favorite era. Books, a librarian and a wonderful and captivating story which is a real treasure.

  7. Angela Johnson

    The historical things that are incorporated into the story….and I enjoy reading Ann’s books (great stories and characters, set in Appalachia..feels like I’m there, as I’m from WV). Thanks for having this giveaway!!

  8. Lelia (Lucy) Reynolds

    Just the name Ann Gabhart makes me want to read. Her books are fabulous.

  9. Kay Garrett

    “Along a Storied Trail” sounds like a marvelous book. Since I love this author’s books and inspirational historical romances, this book was already on my TBR list. Can’t wait for the opportunity to read it.

  10. Vivian Furbay

    I like historical fiction and have read a few of her books. She is a great writer.

    • What a nice thing to say, Vivian. Thank you. I do hope you will enjoy riding my book woman’s book routes up in the hill with her in Along a Storied Trail.

  11. Thanks to all of you who have commented that you think you’d like to ride along with Tansy, my book woman on her book routes. That is, Along a Storied Trail. I so appreciate you considering giving the story a try and do hope you’ll enjoy the story.

    Thanks, Meez Carrie, for letting me come visit and talk books and more.

  12. Merry

    Different historical time periods fascinate me and a pack librarian sounds like such an interesting job I would enjoy reading more anout,

  13. Elizabeth Litton

    I love reading about Appalachia, and the packhorse librarians are fascinating! I kind of wish I could be one too! 😀

  14. Connie Scruggs

    I love to read stories about the pack librarians. What a great job that would have been for me.

  15. Paty Hinojosa G

    She’s a new author to me and her book sounds awesome! My kind of book!
    Thanks for the chance!

  16. Patty

    I look forward to reading Tansy and Perdita’s story! Both interesting, unusual names. I look forward to getting to know them.

  17. Hesper Fry

    I love the historical setting in the Appalachian mountains and the time period. This sounds so interesting and really draws me to the book!

  18. Loved visiting here, MeezCarrie, and so glad Revell’s Roundup newsletter picked it up to include it their news. Thanks to all of you who stopped by and I hope those of you who haven’t read any of my books will give one of them a try. Along a Storied Trail would be a fine one to start with. 🙂

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