Free Book – Scent of Lilacs

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal 30 Comments

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Scent of Lilacs

Do you like free things? Do you like to read e-books? To get free books it helps to be an e-reader. I know many of you aren’t e-readers, but then some of you are. I do read on my Nook and also on a Kindle app on my i-pad. But I do like holding that paper book better.

Yesterday, I was one of the speakers at the Women Who Write Conference in Louisville along with many others. My session was about writing through the genres from historical to mystery. That’s what I’ve done in my many years of writing. My first published books were historical romances in the general market. Then I published eleven books for young adults and middle readers.

After that, I had a few years without publishing before I decided to write that one more book and make it one that I really wanted to write. Enter Jocie and family and friends in Hollyhill. That was the book I decided to write as a kind of last ditch effort to be published or as a test to see if maybe I should give up writing. Not sure I would have done that even if Scent of Lilacs hadn’t found a loving editor, but it was in my thinking that I should stop spending time writing if I was never going to see those stories in print.

But the Lord blessed me with that story and is still blessing me with readers’ responses to it. This book started me writing for an inspirational publisher, Revell Books, and for me, it was like coming home. Here were the editors who wanted stories like the kind I liked to write. They put the book out here and I found readers who wanted to read the kind of stories I like to write.

The book went out of print and then my editor and agent went to bat for me and the company re-issued the books with new covers. People are always asking me if I pose for my own covers. No. Not much way I could pose as a 14 year old kid now. πŸ™‚ But I did think the young model on the cover of Scent of Lilacs had an amazing resemblance to this picture of me when I was maybe eleven or twelve. What do you think? That’s about when I started writing stories too.

Anyway, back to those free books. The publishers made Scent of Lilacs a free download once before. It stayed free for almost a year. Then at the beginning of July they decided to give the book another free run. It’s easy to give away e-books. No printing costs. No mailing costs. And for readers it’s easy to download the books. A click and it’s done. Try it at Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Christianbook.com, or your favorite e-book site.

I’m not sure if people are more willing to write reviews when a book is free, but Scent of Lilacs has gathered more Amazon reviews than most of my other books all put together. And so far the vast majority of the reviews have been favorable. You can’t imagine how relieved that makes me. I do care what readers think about my books. Perhaps too much because a writer really can’t get hung up worrying about reviews. Still, it’s good to see remarks like these:

I took longer to read this book than I should have because I savored every word. I even went back and reread some chapters just because I enjoyed them so much.”

From the very beginning the characters of Hollyhill had my attention. A child full of wonder, spirit and life, Jocie is real. She keeps me smiling. Her child like faith teaches me hope.

Ok. I hardly ever review the books I read, but this was a good one. The central theme of the faith of a young girl can be bittersweet, and her answered prayers remind me of the prayers I had answered as a child.

“I completely enjoyed this story and all of the characters in it. I felt as though I knew everyone and loved most of them by the end of the book. A wonderful, heart warming story of a father’s love for his children and God’s love for all of His children.”

“What a heart string tugging, 5 Kleenex story!”

But since I know some of you don’t do e-reading, I’m going to give away a few books. How about one winner every week until the end of August? All you have to do is leave a comment. This week why don’t you let me know if you do have an e-reader and whether you use it. Or you can tell me if I’m way off base thinking that picture of me looks like Jocie on the cover of Scent of Lilacs.

Thanks for reading.

 

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Comments 30

  1. Mary Herrnstein

    I do not own an ereader of any sort…and I don’t download books to my computer…I prefer to read sitting in a comfy chair…indoors or out…preferably when I know I’m not going to be interrupted for a long while…I love the weight and feel of printed books…and the ease in which I can read anywhere…no electric or batteries needed…your books are among my favorites and I would love to win anyone of them….thank you for the chance!

  2. Donna Harmon

    There is definitely a resemblance! I love real books, but read more on my kindle because of the convenience of having it in my purse all the time and being able to read in bed without the light on.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Those are reasons many people do some e-reading, Donna. Also, people who has vision difficulties like being able to make the print larger.

      And I guess it wasn’t just my imagination about that cover model. Many of you are agreeing that there’s a resemblance. πŸ™‚

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  3. KayM

    I do think the girl on the cover resembles you in the photo. That’s kind of fun! As for ebooks–yes, I have an ereader, a Kindle Paperwhite, which I really like. However, I still prefer “real” books. The Kindle is wonderful in certain instances, such as for traveling, reading outdoors at baseball practice for my grandson, and reading in low light conditions.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Good reasons to use an e-reader, Kay. Doctors’ offices are another good place to carry an e-reader. My husband has eye appointments that take hours. Great time to pull out my e-reader while I’m waiting for him. But sometimes I stick a real book in my pocketbook too.

      I did think it was fun when I decided the girl on the cover looked like this old picture of me. She’s the same model on the other two covers too, but I don’t think she looks that much like me in those.

  4. Connie Lee

    I loved your book “Murder at the Courthouse”. Please enter me to win a copy of “Scent of Lilacs”, I know it will be just as much fun to read. I like a paper copy of a book, although I do have a Nook that I have never used. Maybe one day I will get it out and do something with it, ha!

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      Ann H Gabhart

      It appears that Nook technology is a loss for you, Connie. I’m almost as bad, but have read a few books on my Nook. So glad you enjoyed my first Hidden Springs mystery, Murder at the Courthouse. I do have to confess the same little hometown was a model for both Hidden Springs and Hollyhill.

  5. Loretta Shumpert

    Just don’t like reading anything but a paper book. I downloaded the app from Amazon to my computer and have only read one book on it. Perhaps because a PC is bulky, you can’t move around much, hard to read it in bed or need to stay in one posistion.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      All of that is true with the PC reader apps, Loretta. I’ve read a couple of books on my computer but do not like that at all. I only did it because the author asked me to read the book for endorsement and I couldn’t get the book to download on Kindle for some reason. But I stare at a computer screen all the time while I’m writing. I don’t want to do that while I’m reading for pleasure. So those paper books are the first choice for me too.

  6. Marji Entler

    I have paperback copies of SCENT OF LILACS and the ‘sequels’…..also have e-reader copies.
    I prefer a book I can hold in my hand, but have been ‘storing up’ books in my Kindle library on my iPad….can’t pass up the free/low cost book offers.
    (Yes, your picture could have been the inspiration for the picture on the cover)

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Hi, Marji. Always fun to hear from you. I’ll throw your name in my drawing hat and if you win, you can decide if you want Scent of Lilacs or a different book. I do appreciate you having copies already, but books make fantastic gifts if you have friends who like to read. I have downloaded a few free books too. I’m not sure when I think I’ll have time to read them, but I have hope. Actually missed out on a low price book a couple of weeks ago. Forgot to do it the day I saw the offer and the next day it was gone! It is very tempting to grab those books. I’m hoping people are being tempted by the low price on The Innocent and the rest of the Hollyhill books.

      But I too prefer that book in hand.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      So glad you enjoyed reading about Jocie and friends, Teresa. If you win the drawing you can pick a different book if you want to. I didn’t put that it was a choice of my books, but it can be.

  7. Margaret Nelson

    I got Scent of Lilacs when it was free the first time as an e-book and LOVED it! I got books 2 & 3 as “real” books, so it would be fun to get #1 as a “real” book too πŸ™‚

    I got my first tablet 2 years ago when I was going to have heart surgery, and realized it would be awkward to hold a book and turn pages while I was lying down. Then when Kindle came out with the Fire for $50, I got one of those (and passed the tablet on to my husband). In some ways I prefer to have a book in my hand, but when I can get so many good e-books for such good prices (and many free ones), I’m using the Kindle more and more. We’re going on a trip this week on the train, so I’ve got a whole library available at my fingertips!

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      Ann H Gabhart

      That is the great advantage of the e-readers, Margaret. You can carry a lot of books in your purse. You just have to make sure you have a way to charge the readers to keep from losing power in the middle of an exciting scene. πŸ™‚ The prices can’t be beat on those e-books too. Free is as good as it gets. Right now I also have The Innocent at a reduced e-book price until the end of July.

      Thank you so much for taking a chance on Scent of Lilacs the first time it was a free download and then for buying the “rest of the story” with the other two books. Of course, that’s what publishers hope will happen when they run these free or low price specials. I’ve got you entered.

  8. Paula

    Hi Ann, I used to have a kindle but didn’t use it much. I have an iPad that has a kindle app on it; but I much prefer to feel the book in my hands. I buy books at the library for a dollar. So I have quite a few on my shelves. My husband uses his kindle app all the time.
    I would love to read Scent of Lilacs .
    I just finished Muder at the Courthouse and Murder comes by Mail! Great small town flavor. A step up from Mayberry! After all Andy never had to deal with a MURDER! Can’t wait for the next one. Is that the last or are you going to let us get aquatinted with more residents of Hidden Springs? But maybe Michael is tired of solving murders in such a nice little town and wants to settle down with Alexandra! That would make Aunt Lindy happy. Great who -done-its. Keep writing!

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Not sure about whether the crime spree in Hidden Springs is over or not, Paula. Michael does have one more murder scene to investigate coming up in Murder Is No Accident coming out next spring. So we’ll see after that.

      I use my Kindle app on my iPad more than I do my Nook. But I’ve got some good books on both of them that I have yet to sit down to read. One of my sons loves his Kindle app on his phone, but I don’t like reading on my phone at all.

  9. Karen Jones

    I’ve already been the winner in the past of A Scent of Likacs. I had read the book on my Kindle and followed with the rest of the series and wanted more!!! I had the book I won sent to my sister in Houston, unaware that she had already read it on her Kindke from my recommendation. She suggestEd I have the book sent to me. Too late, since it was on the way to her. She, also, finished reading the series. And, yes, I think the girl on the cover bares a close resemblance to you. 😊
    So glad you found a publisher and continue to write.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      I’m glad I found that loving editor for my book and had the opportunity to keep writing too. I’ve enjoyed sharing a number of stories since then. Sorry your former winning copy of Lilacs didn’t end up where you wanted it to. But glad you and your sister both read the book. Maybe she could have passed it on to a friend or to a library in her area.

      But this time, if you win, you can choose a different book, Karen. Always fun to hear from you.

  10. Susan Wilson

    The girl in the book cover photo does resemble you! How cool is that?

    I do have a Kobo e-reader which I do read sometimes. I also have lots of books on my Kindle Cloud Reader on my PC. I’m still trying to win a Kindle Fire, though πŸ™‚ Mostly I prefer holding a book in my hands to read! I would love to read Scent of Lilacs very soon.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      I did think it was neat, Susan, when I remembered that old photo of me that I thought bore a resemblance to the girl on the cover.

      There are often giveaways that feature the Kindle Fire. I’ve never done that because I always thought many of you would already have one. I think for my birthday giveaway that I’ll have soon, I might just do gift cards. Then the winner can get what they want. But right now I’m giving away books and you’re entered.

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  11. Pat Merritt

    I love reading! I have a Kobo Reader but haven’t used it for over a year. It just isn’t the same. I like flipping the pages and you do not have to get the battery
    up to par.
    I have a Library in house and I love the look of the books lining the shelves.
    I have not read “Scent of Lilacs”. Would love to have my name drawn for this free book; paperback or hardcover.
    Pat Merritt

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      Ann H Gabhart

      I’ve thrown your name in my giveaway drawing hat, Pat. I like having books too, but right now I need more bookshelves or to give away some books. And there’s something about sticking that bookmark in a book that’s sort of like a promise to yourself to make some more time for reading.

      Most all my books are paperback. The only one in hardback was the Shaker Christmas book, Christmas at Harmony Hill.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      I’ve heard other people say the same thing, Sonja, about how the Kindle saves lots of room. I’m continually amazed by how many books you can download on a Kindle or Nook. You can carry around a pretty big library. But there’s a difference in flicking a page by swiping your finger on a screen or actually feeling that paper page under your finger. πŸ™‚

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