About Me I am a retired librarian and I now support books and authors through my reviews.

I have always loved to read and I was able to share that love through my work as a public librarian for 22 1/2 years. I now enjoy reading to my granddaughter and supporting authors through my reviews!

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Hearts on Lonely Mountain by A.M. Heath: Blog Tour with Reviews & Giveaways

I am thrilled to be a part of this tour because the subject is very dear to my heart. I hope you'll read to the very end of this post because there is very special content


ABOUT THE BOOK

Can two lonely people find more than a fleeting friendship or
will a prejudiced town keep them apart?

When Ivory Bledsoe left the city to minister to the people of the rural mountain town of Willow Hollow, she never expected to be shunned rather than welcomed. Seeing the town as a lost cause, she’s eager to return home, but when the bridge leading out of town is washed away during a flood, she finds herself stranded in the last place she wants to be.

Ben Thrasher was content with his quiet life until he met the new librarian. He can’t help but be drawn to the friendly and lively Ivory Bledsoe, despite her being at the center of the town’s latest superstition. It’s only a matter of time until she captures his heart, turning his world upside down in the process.

Has Ivory gotten God’s plan for her all wrong or is there still a way she can serve these people? And can Ben ask her to stay in a place where so few are willing to embrace her?

MY THOUGHTS.....

In 1936, as part of the Works Project Administration, people from other states chose to go to Appalachia to work as librarians. In Kentucky, these "pack horse librarians", who were mainly women, rode mules and horses, in all kinds of weather, to deliver books to the people who lived in isolated mountain areas. Hearts on Lonely Mountain tells the story of one of these brave young women and even though Ivory Bledsoe is a fictional character, much of this novella is based on true facts. 

Author A. M. Heath completely captures Ivory's deep desire to share the joy of reading with the lonely mountain people around Willow Hollow and the disappointment that she feels when the director decides that he needs her help in the library. Fear and superstition surround her, an unwelcome stranger who is soon dubbed the Moon Witch, and Ivory constantly faces rejection from everyone she meets, including the other pack horse librarians. These words from her journal say it best: "from the moment I stepped foot into this town, I was brushed aside, shunned, and labeled a curse." This smiling, happy young woman who had left Nashville to spread joy to others had become a sad, lonely person. Could a somber, hardworking mountain man and a charming little boy offer her hope, or would Ivory's overwhelming sorrow force her to leave Willow Hollow? 


Heath offers a realistic account of the loneliness and poverty that plagued Kentucky during the Depression and one person's determination to change it. It is a beautiful reminder that even when our best intentions seem defeated, there is always a victory waiting to happen. God's Plan may not be what we intended but the outcome is exactly what we need!



This is a wonderful story about an unique period in my state's history and the resilient people who were part of this era. I truly enjoyed Hearts on Lonely Mountain and I recommend it to all who enjoy historical Christian romance.

I received a complimentary copy from the author. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts. 

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

"Besides being an Indie Author, I’m a wife, mother of four, Sunday School teacher, sweet tea drinker, history fanatic, romantic, bubbly, lover of broccoli, and a retired cake decorator who has a soft spot for Christmas trees, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. What I’m not is a laundress (or at least not one who keeps up very well), a duster, tall, or patient in a doctor’s office."

I’d love to hear from you and you can visit me at the social media sites listed here.  *Note: I’m most active on Facebook and my blog.

Website     Blog     Facebook     Twitter     Pinterest     Bookbub

You can also keep up with me by signing up for my newsletter. I’ll send you a direct link to your email anytime something big happens. http://eepurl.com/dDbVNz

                                                  

I have 2 ebook sales for you. Hearts on Lonely Mountain is still .99, but it won’t be for much longer!

My Ancient Words Series is also marked down for a limited time.



GIVEAWAY


I’m so excited to offer this tote from ParLaGrace. Be sure to visit her Esty page and enter the giveaway.

This time, I have exclusive bonus content for you at each and every stop. Tucked away, inside each post is a key word/phrase. If you complete the phrase,  you’ll earn bonus entries in the giveaway. Have fun!

Tour Stops:

Aug. 31:
Becky @ Blossoms and Blessings: Review and Ivory’s Romantic Fiction Recommendations
Anne @ The Naptime Author: Review and Overview of the WPA

Sept. 1:
Amanda @ Amanda Tero Blog: Review and Character Interview: Curt Armstrong

Sept 2:
Nyla @ Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess: Review and More Horseback Librarian Reads
Julie @ Bizwings Blog: Review and Historical Note on the Horseback Librarians

Sept 3:
Tarissa @ In the Bookcase: Review and Common Great Depression Sandwiches

Sept 4:
Hannah: Nook of Grace: Review and Hearts on Lonely Mountain Inspiration Picture
Deana: Texas Book-aholic: Review and Ben’s Love Song to Ivory

Sept 5:
Kaitlyn: Maidens for Modesty: Review and My Inspiration for Ivory

Sept 6:
Debbie: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations: Review and Ivory’s Children’s Book Recommendations

Sept 7:
Tara @ Tower in the Plains: Review and More Great Depression and Appalachian Reads
Jana @ Reviews from the Stacks: Review and Authentic Horseback Librarian Audio Clip

Sept 8:
Vicky @ Vicky Sluiter: Review and Character Interview: Gerrit Callon

Sept 9:
Connie @ Older and Smarter: Review and Interview with a REAL Mobile Librarian from Kentucky
Loretta @ Just Writing: Review and 1930’s Music

Sept 10:
A.M. Heath @ A.M. Heath Blog: 1930’s Slang
Abigail @ Read Review Rejoice: Review and Character Interview: Ivory Bledsoe

Sept 11:
Virginia: Bigreadersite: Review and Character Interview: Ben Thrasher
Karen: Karen Sue Hadley: Review and Common Great Depression Desserts

AND NOW, WITHOUT FURTHER ADO


Interview with a REAL Bookmobile Librarian from Kentucky


Where did you work and for how long?


I worked at the Fleming County Public Library in Flemingsburg, KY for 22 1/2 years, and I started out working one day a week. This was fine because my husband and I also operated a dairy and tobacco farm and he really didn't want me to consider this job.


The director intended for me to eventually replace the bookmobile librarian who was nearing retirement in a few years and the next year, when I began working two days a week, I went with her on the bookmobile route on one of those days,


Out of those 22 years, how long did you work as a mobile librarian?


I was part-time for 3 years but never the full-time bookmobile librarian because I was asked to take over the cataloging and inter-library loan duties.


Did your library have the horseback librarians during the 30s?


Our county didn't have a public library until the early 1960s so NO, we didn't have horseback librarians. There's a popular picture of a group of Kentucky librarians on horseback and it was a joke among our staff as to which one each of us were.


What was your first experience like as a bookmobile librarian?


The first time that I drove the bookmobile I almost felt like I was driving an Army tank! Most bookmobiles today are mini vans but it was a very large truck-type vehicle. I just remember how happy I was when I safely arrived back at the library and how proud that it looked like it did when I left that morning! I truly enjoyed serving the patrons and they were so appreciative to have books brought to them!


What was the hardest part of being a bookmobile librarian? And what was the easiest?


In our county, the bookmobile also serves five schools during the school year so a day checking out books to several hundred students made for a hard day, because you just don't have books going out, you also have that many coming back in. So, the day didn't end when I left the school yard and this was before our library was automated! The easiest, or should I say, the best part, was definitely seeing those young smiling faces as the children climbed on the bookmobile and picked their books. Some were shy and they immediately picked out a book or two, and then, went back to their room. Others wanted to talk and kill time so that they could get out of class!


I did, however, have individual house stops on other days and those were the people who were so happy for us to serve them. Some of the ladies were eager to talk and share what was happening in their lives and some of the more avid readers often checked out 10 or 12 books to last until the next visit in 2 weeks!


Can you think of a particular story to share with us from your bookmobile days?


I can't immediately think of one specific story but the Bookmobile Summer Reading Program was another highlight for the children who lived in the county. They weren't able to attend the Summer Reading programs held at the library but they were still given small treats, printed handouts with activities, and coupons for admission to Kentucky state parks and places of interest. At the end of the program they were also invited to attend the special SRP wrap-up and many of them were able to come to this special event.


A love of reading exists in people of all ages and bookmobiles are such an important service for people who don't live near a public library. This is one reason why I love this series. Those women who rode their horses to share books with others are such an important part of our Kentucky history and our Kentucky library system!


Secret Code # 14: she


4 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wonderful review Connie! Thank you for hosting.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This was so neat to read, Connie! What a blessing having you cheering on this series has been!

    ReplyDelete