A Flabbergasted Winner

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal 14 Comments

Flabbergasted, Surprised and Astonished

Have you ever been totally astonished? Even flabbergasted? (That’s one of those words that just sounds exactly like what it means. Love those kinds of words.) But back to being flabbergasted. I was last Wednesday when my book, Love Comes Home, won the Selah Book of the Year Award. 

My books have been in the running for prizes before. The Believer was a finalist for the Carol Awards given out by the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) group. The Outsider was a finalist for the ECPA Fiction Book of the Year and Angel Sister was up for RT Book Review Magazine’s Inspirational Book of the Year once. Sort of one of those always a bridesmaid and never a bride situations. And so when I found out my book, Love Comes Home, was a finalist for a Selah Award in the Historical Romance Category, I was excited because it’s great to even be a finalist, but I didn’t expect to win. Not at all. 

However, I did decide to attend the banquet because the place where it was being held, Ridgecrest, North Carolina in the Blue Ridge Mountains looked like such a peaceful and beautiful place when I checked it out on the internet. And it was. A plus was that it’s not all that far from my daughter’s house in South Carolina. So going to the awards banquet in order to have a couple of days to unwind at Ridgecrest and then a visit with my daughter seemed a good idea. Not only would I have an excuse to dress up, I would enjoy seeing some writing friends I knew would be there. I could sit at my table and clap and be happy for the winners. 

I Won!!

Then amazingly enough Love Comes Home won the Selah Award for the Christian Historical Romance. That was a wow right there. But when they announced the Book of the Year and Love Comes Home won that too, that’s when the wow went straight to flabbergasted. I couldn’t believe it. But Eva Marie Everson, who was presenting the awards, had a plaque with my name engraved on it. And she gave it to me! I was smiling, with a few tears mixed in, all night. Felt just like I was at the Oscars or something. Well, maybe not exactly like that. But it was exciting and fun to have my book win. Oh, and Darrell and I also had a relaxing day enjoying the scenery and peace and quiet at Ridgecrest too.

Don’t Forget About the Mother’s Day Contest

One more week to get your entry in for my contest celebrating mothers. You can check out the prizes and details on my website Events Page. Some of you have been sending in stories about your mothers or special Mothers’ Day stories. I appreciate all of you who enter and doubly appreciate you sharing a story. 

First here’s one from Kim that made me smile.

My story about my mom isn’t from Mother’s Day,
but rather my wedding day a few years ago. It’s my favorite mom story
(and that says something because I have a lot!). My sisters and I helped
mom pick out a new outfit for the wedding, she got her hair done at the same
time I did, and I even gifted her with jewelry for the occasion. At the wedding
and reception so many people told her that she looked great (and she did!),
that she stopped me at one point and asked, “How bad do I normally look?” 
My mom has been gone nearly four years, but that
story and many others make me smile when I want to cry.

Love that story, Kim. And here’s one from Cam that seemed to fit Memorial Day weekend and did make me remember Mom. 
Your newsletter brought to mind my own mother’s battle with dementia…she passed away 5 years ago at the age of 95 no longer knowing her children. It was sad…she was a bright, up front, outgoing woman…who graduated from college at a time when women didn’t even consider going to college. She spent her life working as a teacher, and a secretary and, after retirement, volunteered so much that she won an award. She was a mother to be very proud of, and as I get older I realize that fact more and more. A dear uncle of mine told me once that after he lost his parents (my grandparents), never a day went by that he didn’t think of them.  And, oh, he was so right!

So…cherish the memories, remember the good days and always acknowledge that it’s ok to shed a few tears!

Thanks for the great advice, Cam. We do need to cherish the memories of our loved ones. And if your mother is still down here on earth with you, hug her and tell her how much you love her. 

Comments 14

  1. Grace

    I keep an Excel spreadsheet of the books that I've read. After reading Love Comes Home I made a comment that the book was GREAT!!!! So I'm not surprised that it won. Congratulations and thanks for all the hard work you put into everything that you write. How fun that the "baby you birthed" grew up to become famous!!!!!!!!

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      Ann H Gabhart

      That's a fun way to look at it, Grace. I'm always pleased when I find out a reader has joined her imagination with mine to make my characters come to life in their minds. Thank you for reading my book. So glad you liked it. But yes, I was surprised to win the Selah Book of the Year.

  2. Robin in NC

    Congratulations Ann!!! That's got to be awesome! I don't have my mom here on earth anymore, but we'll be together again one day. I know you're really missing your mom this Mother's Day. Thank you for the contest. rw620ATaolDOTcom

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Thanks, Robin. It was exciting to actually win, especially since I had not even considered the possibility of winning. I am missing Mom, but I suppose I always will. She was such a good friend besides being my mom.

  3. Linda D. McFarland

    CONGRATULATIONS! It is not surprising that you won. Your books are fantabulous! (Kinda like flabbergasted!) Very proud of you! Have a blessed week and I'm sure you're still smiling! Linda

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Thanks, Linda. I was certainly smiling that night but I have floated down to earth now. I'm home and ready to get back to work on another story that I can only hope with "flabbergast" my readers. In a good way, of course.

  4. Anonymous

    Congratulations Ann. How wonderful to be the Book of the Year with one of your books and it also be winning the Selah Award for best Christian Historical Romance. How exciting that would be. I think everyone would have heard my scream. I am so glad GOD nudged you into going. Such a blessing. (((Hugs))) Maxie

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Thanks, Maxie. It really was a nudge of some sort that had us on the road to drive down to the dinner. But I'm glad I got that nudge and I appreciate your congratulations. Always nice to hear from reading friends like you.

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  5. Nancy Vance

    How about that! Congrats on a double win, perhaps worth the wait after all. I'm sure it feels good deep down to have your work validated, not only by your faithful readers, but also by the industry. Way to go, Ann!!

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