Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Owls - Real and the Reading Kind

Do you like my owl? Over on my back to nature part of the farm, we have a cliff. An owl couple decided the rock ledge partway around the cliff is a good place to raise little owls. This is at least the fourth year we've seen the owls nesting there. Usually we see the young owlets already hatched, but I'm thinking the way this owl just looked at us and stayed put that she was sitting on her eggs. She didn't even worry about the dogs, or maybe she did worry and that's why she stayed put. I had some of the grandkids with me that day and they were glad to see some wildlife.

Now talking about an owl of a different sort - I got one of the nicest reviews ever from Books4Betty on a website called Night Owl Reviews. Here's the first bit of her review.


Angel Sister, the beautifully molded and eloquently crafted novel by author Ann H. Gabhart is worthy of more than five-stars. If I could give this a “priceless” or “epic” or “must read” I would, and I will.

After the first couple of pages, I was hooked completely and drawn into this powerful novel about a family; not just a family, but a family from the Depression Era. The dry, and hot, backdrop of a Kentucky summer is wonderfully and majestically written. I felt like I needed to fan myself because of the heat permeating from the pages. The summer days, long and so full of hot moisture is a surprising character in this novel. From morning until late in the evening, Gabhart does an amazing job with using the Kentucky landscape as her canvas. She beautifully painted in each aspect. I could see, smell, and feel every summery stroke.

By the time I finished reading her review, I was ready to go out and buy the book myself. LOL. Here's the link if you want to read the entire review to see if you might feel the same way - I hope, I hope. Don't worry. If you haven't read Angel Sister and do plan to someday, the reviewer was careful not to give away any spoilers.

I have gotten several really enthusiastic reviews of Angel Sister, and a few not so enthusiastic, but none as bad as one I got for Summer of Joy several years ago. That reviewer had liked my first two Hollyhill books, but thought Summer of Joy so bad that she suggested it couldn't have possibly been written by the same author. Ouch! I didn't know whether to crawl under my desk and hide or stand up and claim every word as my own - good, bad or otherwise. Of course I did stand up and claim the words. I actually liked a lot of the words in Summer of Joy. I really liked the doctor's office scene with Adrienne. Thought everybody would. But if there's one thing I've discovered in my years of living is that there are very few things that "everybody" likes. Very, very few. Even chocolate. Or dogs. And certainly books. What's that old saying? Variety is the spice of life. Wouldn't be much fun if everybody liked exactly the same thing. 

Another thing I've learned is that the bad comments linger longer, much longer in a writer's mind than the good comments. That's kind of sad, but true. And not only true for writers. That's in your children's heads, your friends' heads, and your co-workers' heads just to mention a few. So it's good to consider our words carefully as advised by James in the Bible and leave a lot of happy echoes.

So tell me. Are you a nightowl? Do you sit up late at night or rise early in the morning or try to insanely do both? I try to do both and that's why I fall asleep at my keyboard sometimes. Lots of words still to write. 

Thanks so much for reading. And a special thank you to those of you who have signed on as followers of my this and that journal. I also appreciate those of you who check out what I've written here when I post the link on Facebook or Twitter.  Hope you all have a blessed Easter and get to see some youngsters decked out in their Easter finery.  


  1. Hi Ann,
    Hope you are doing well.

    I have to agree with the review of Angel was beyond great!! I still keep thinking of that book.

    Just got an e-mail from our library and The Believer is in.
    Can't wait to start it.

    I loved Summer of Joy, but like you said...everyone is different.

    We are not really night owls...we go to bed around 10:30 or 11:00 and are up early for my husband to go to work...he's a criminal investigator.

    Have a blessed day,

  2. Thanks for chiming in, Cathy. Hope you enjoy Ethan's and Elizabeth's story. On this cover, Ethan is just as I imagined him. Elizabeth not so much, but she's all right.

    Hope you have a blessed Easter weekend.

  3. I'm a big fan of owls and I have to admit, sometimes I'm a night owl (not always by choice). There's an owl in my newest book. I named her Isra, which means night traveler. Nice post, Ann. And thanks for the picture.

  4. Isra - very nice. Is that Latin? Sounds like an interesting book with an owl named Isra, Betty.

  5. Hi Ann, thanks for the link to my blog. Sounds exciting in regards to those wonderful reviews. May God bless you richly as you write and serve him.


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