Lone Star Book Blog Tour: These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart

THESE HEALING HILLS

by
ANN GABHART

Genre: Historical Romance / Christian
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: September 5, 2017
Number of Pages: 368

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Bestselling Author Transports Readers to the Appalachian Mountains for Adventure and Healing

Packed with history, These Healing Hills by bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart introduces readers to the fascinating and difficult life of frontier nursing.

When the soldier Francine Howard planned to marry after WWII writes to tell her he is in love with a woman in England, Francine is devastated and in need of a change. She seeks a fresh start in the Appalachian Mountains, training to be a nurse midwife for the Frontier Nursing Services.

It is in these mountains that Francine crosses paths with Ben Locke, a soldier still very much suffering from the horrors of war. With his future shrouded in as much mist as his beloved mountains, he’s at a loss when it comes to envisioning what’s next for his life.

While Francine and Ben find they are from completely different worlds and possess very different values, they both learn that things don’t always go the way we plan. Ann H. Gabhart invites readers to witness the healing power of love and step forward to tantalizing new possibilities.

Praise for These Healing Hills:

“Reading These Healing Hills is like wrapping up in a beloved quilt and stepping back in time. Ann H. Gabhart captures a fascinating slice of Appalachian history in this tale of a mountain midwife and a soldier, bringing it to life as only a native Kentuckian can. Poignant and romantic, witty and wise, with enduring spiritual truths, this is my favorite novel of hers to date.”

—Laura Frantz, author of A Moonbow Night

“What a wonderful story! Filled with true-to-life characters (including some four-footed ones) and fascinating historical details, These Healing Hills is a beautifully written, heartwarming story of life in the Appalachian Mountains at the end of the Second World War. Ann Gabhart combines vivid descriptions, meticulous research, and a deep understanding of the human heart to create a story that will linger in readers’ memories long after the last page is turned. This is a book to savor, not just once, but over and over. A true keeper.”

—Amanda Cabot, bestselling author of A Stolen Heart

“Ann H. Gabhart delivers a rich tale set in Kentucky’s Appalachian Mountains at the close of World War II. Francine buries the painful loss of the man she loves beneath the difficult work of a frontier nurse-midwife. The mountain people touch a place deep in her heart, and she gladly sacrifices the life she always wanted in order to serve them. But can she ever be truly happy among the hills and hollows where modern medicine often gives way to ancient folk cures? These Healing Hills is a fascinating and beautifully crafted story that I highly recommend.”

—Virginia Smith, bestselling author of The Amish Widower

“You are sure to enjoy this endearing story of love lost and found in the enchanting hills of Kentucky.”

—Jan Watson, author of the Troublesome Creek series

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Chapter One
These Healing Hills
by Ann H. Gabhart

May 15, 1945

Francine Howard stepped off the bus into another world. She should have been prepared. She’d studied the Frontier Nursing information until she almost knew it by heart. That should have given her a glimpse into this place.

Hyden was in the Appalachian Mountains, but it was still Kentucky. While she lived in Cincinnati, she had spent many summer weeks on her Grandma Howard’s farm in northern Kentucky. But somehow the train from Lexington to Hazard and then the bus from Hazard to here had transported her away from everything she thought she knew about Kentucky and dumped her out in a place that looked as foreign to her as the moon.

But wasn’t that what she wanted? To be in a new place long before Seth Miller brought his English bride home from the war. That might not be long. The war in Europe was over. Now, with all the firepower of the Allies focused on the Pacific, surely an end to the terrible war was in sight.

When the news flashed through the country last week that Germany had surrendered, Francine celebrated along with everybody else. How could she not be happy to think about the boys coming home, even if Seth’s last letter had changed everything? Seth might finally be on the way home, but not to her.

The news of his betrayal hadn’t taken long to circulate through Francine’s neighborhood. Not from Francine. Seth’s little sister took care of spreading the news. Alice had shown everybody the picture Seth sent home of him with his arm around this English woman. She’d even shown Francine.

“I know you and Seth used to date when you were in high school, but he didn’t give you a ring or anything, did he?” Alice must have seen the stricken look on Francine’s face, because she pulled the picture back quickly and shoved it in her pocketbook.

“No, no ring.” Francine managed to push a smile out on her face and salvage a little pride.

Alice fingered the clasp on her purse. “You want to see the picture again? I jerked it away pretty fast.”

“I saw it. She’s very pretty.”

She’d seen enough to know that. The woman had barely come up to Seth’s shoulder. Petite with curly blonde hair and a dimpled smile. Nothing at all like Francine with her plain brown hair and hazel eyes. Just looking at the woman’s picture had made her feel tall and gawky. In heels, Francine was nearly as tall as Seth.

Built strong, Grandma Howard used to say. Her grandmother told Francine she was pretty enough, but a person didn’t want to be only for pretty like a crystal bowl set on a shelf folks were afraid to use. Better to be a useful vessel ready to be filled with the work the Lord intended for her. Back in her neighborhood, Francine had felt like a cracked bowl somebody had pitched aside.

People sent pitying looks her way. Poor Francine Howard. Going to end up just like Miss Ruby at church, who cried every Mother’s Day. No husband. No children. No chances.

But where one door closed, another opened. If not a door, a window somewhere. Another thing Grandma Howard used to say. The Lord had opened a way for Francine to escape the pity trailing after her back home. The Frontier Nursing Service. She had a nursing degree and she could ride a horse. She needed an adventure to forget her bruised heart.

An adventure. That was what the woman had offered when she came to the hospital last November to recruit nurses to train as midwives at the Frontier Nursing Service in Leslie County, Kentucky. The need was great. The people in the Appalachian Mountains didn’t have ready access to doctors the way they did in Cincinnati.

At the time, Francine imagined it might be thrilling to ride a horse up into the hills to deliver babies in cabins, but she gave it little consideration. Seth would be home from the war, and she planned to have her own babies after they got married. Babies she might already have if not for the war or if she hadn’t let her mother talk her out of marrying Seth before he went overseas. Then everything might be different.


Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels—The OutsiderThe BelieverThe SeekerThe Blessed, and The Gifted—as well as Angel SisterSmall Town GirlLove Comes HomeWords Spoken True, and The Heart of Hollyhill series. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky.

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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!

Grand Prize:
Copy of These Healing Hills + The Kentucky Snack Basket (11 items including a Derby Pie Tart, Bourbon Pecan Brittle, Bourbon Chocolates, Spiced Pretzels, Modjeskas, Coffee, Snack Mix, Candy Bar, Caramel Corn, and a Horseshoe from Churchill Downs!)

First Runner-Up:
Copy of These Healing Hills + $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card

Second Runner-Up:
Copy of These Healing Hills + $10 Starbucks Gift Card

September 5 – 14, 2017
(U.S. Only)

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CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

5-Sep Playlist Texan Girl Reads
6-Sep Review Syd Savvy
7-Sep Character Interview Books and Broomsticks
8-Sep Review The Page Unbound
9-Sep Guest Post Forgotten Winds
10-Sep Review StoreyBook Reviews
11-Sep Scrapbook Page Books in the Garden
12-Sep Excerpt Reading by Moonlight
13-Sep Review Missus Gonzo
14-Sep Author Interview The Librarian Talks

6 Replies to “Lone Star Book Blog Tour: These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart”

  1. Awesome blog and giveaway. I lived in Kentucky from age 4 through 4th grade and I want these Kentucky goodies! I’m always looking for a new author to add to my go to list too.

    • I’ve only been to Kentucky once, and that was for work, so I didn’t get to see much. I’ll go back one day because it looks beautiful! These Healing Hills and this giveaway basket of goodies are awesome!

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