Book Birthday – The Thorn Keeper

by | Mar 1, 2018 | Pepper Basham, Pepper Basham's books, The Thorn Keeper | 13 comments

The Thorn KeeperTwo years ago, this story arrived in print! It’s my favorite published historical I’ve written (although I really love them all). Something about this rebel turned heroine reminds me that there is no one too far gone, no heart too entrenched in sin, that God cannot capture!

Unforgiveness leads to shame and despair but Forgiveness leads to healing and hope.

A fallen woman and a WWI doctor discover that the heart can always remember what the mind may forget and that God never forgets his own.

About the Book

28575902_10215694171488004_9111685456091054486_n.jpgSeptember 1916 – Derbyshire, England

With her newfound faith, Catherine Dougall hopes to take the remnants of her threadbare life and make something beautiful, even if society shuns every choice she makes.

Dr. David Ross must save his war hospital from ruin, but when his notorious aunt makes an offer he can’t refuse, he must choose between his surprising affection for a reformed flirt or his dreams.

From the beautiful Derbyshire countryside to the trenches of World War One, Catherine and David must learn to trust in a God who never forgets his children and fashions beauty out of the most broken things.

Do you have a historical novel you’ve read lately that really touched your heart?

lee-campbell-192237-unsplash.jpgAudio Book

I know we have a few audio book lovers out there. The audio version of this book is incredible. Narrated by Gaynor Kelly, you can get your copy through Audible HERE!



Here is a little swoon worthy inspiration for The Thorn Keeper

Sneak Peek from The Thorn Keeper

1“Catherine! Wait, please.” She turned at the sound of her given name, which David rarely used in front of her. She stopped halfway down the hallway, almost to the patients’ rooms. He approached her, watching her face for any anger or softening, but she remained as emotionless as a Grecian statue. “Yes, Dr. Ross?” Her formal address kept a distance between them. He frowned in response. She used Michael’s Christian name, but not his?

“What happened earlier…” He stepped closer, lowering his voice from possible eavesdroppers. “I wanted to apologize for my sister’s carelessness. It was inexcusable.”

She kept her gaze on him, ushering a sobering silence, leaving him unbalanced, uncertain, and completely intrigued. “You don’t have to apologize for her. I expected her reaction.” “There is no excuse for it.” David stepped closer, almost reaching out to touch her arm. He shoved his hands into his pockets. “Regardless of your past choices and mistakes, her behavior was wrong…and surprising.”

Catherine released a ruthless chuckle. “Surprising? No, her response isn’t surprising at all. It’s exactly how I expect society to respond to someone like me. I created my reputation and must live with the consequences.” Her gaze searched his again. “Your response, however, is the surprising one.”


She turned to continue her walk, words lingering in the air, but he stopped her with a gentle tug to turn her to face him. “What do you mean? Have I done something to offend you?” “You truly have no idea?” Her smile spread wide, sweet and beautiful, disarming him as much as her statement. Her question hushed to a whisper. “Dr. Ross, you know my secrets and my reputation. In fact, you were the first person who learned of my…situation.” “But how is that surprising?”

Her expression gentled at his apparent ignorance, giving him another glimpse at her tenderness. “To all accounts I should be an outcast, ignored and reduced to the level of the meanest servant. Your kindness, your patience, and especially your offer of friendship, to someone like me…from someone like you? Of course, it’s surprising.”

“I value your friendship. Besides, you don’t deserve to suffer forever from the choices you’ve made.” She shook her head. “You see, that’s exactly it. You’re not responding as your station demands. You’re so good, certain. You’re like a rock in a storm. Steadfast.” She chuckled and dropped her head, sending a hint of lavender in his direction. “I’ve never understood that word before meeting you.” The look she gave him humbled and shocked him with alarming intensity. It was an expression of unadulterated admiration, turning his insides to mush. He stepped closer into the scent of lavender, toward the magnetizing essence surrounding her, calling his heart.

He stumbled through a reply. “I…I’ve failed in many ways to do what’s right, but this I know. You are much more than what society deems. God has a precious plan for your future.” Tenderness softened his voice, his attention drawn to those dazzling eyes. “Something beautiful, even—”

2A scream broke into their conversation. A loud crash followed from the hospital room, sending David into motion. Everyone remained where they’d been before except the other two nurses cowering in a corner… And for Mr. Clayton. Heat drained from David’s face. Clayton stood in the middle of the room, with the assistance of a crutch. His wild-eyes searched the room as if for unseen enemies, and he clenched a scalpel in his fist. “I won’t be prisoner to no Fritz. Let me outta here or I’ll kill the lot of you.”


What people have been saying about The Thorn Keeper over the last two years…

Although these are fictional characters and situations, there were many times I could actually sense the Holy Spirit’s presence as part of their story as it unfolded. Very moving and authentic portrayals in this book of God’s grace, his overwhelming love, and his ability to bring beauty out of ashes. – Michelle Lunsford (Goodreads)

I loved seeing Catherine’s continued transformation and the growth of her relationship with Christ… In fact, I love inspirational fiction because it is one of the ways I am able to grow in my own relationship with Our Lord. – Lindsay Trapp (Goodreads)

Pepper takes difficult situations…and deals with the gritty reality of them. Though, it’s not all suffering and turmoil through the whole course of the book. Pepper also writes about the beauty in these difficult situations as her characters learn about God’s grace, forgiveness, and healing. – Rachael at Rachael’s Reads

A story of God’s love and His relationship with us. A story of forgiveness and redemption, compassion and service, The Thorn Keeper deserves a place in your heart and on your shelves. – Annie at Just Commonly

Exciting News

TTHI was so thrilled to find out a couple weeks ago that The Thorn Healer is a FINALIST for the RT’s Reviewers’ Choice Awards!

Such an honor to be listed alongside so many incredible authors!

Winners will be announced at the National Convention in Reno at the end of May.




Book Birthday - TTK.png

I am doing something a little different for this giveaway….Since The Thorn Keeper has been out for a couple years now, there is a pretty good chance that you have read it/own it/re-read it…etc. Therefore, I am giving you the opportunity to enter for yourself OR for a friend! The winner of this giveaway will be able to choose if they want to keep the eBook, or gift it to a friend of their choice!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends 3/7/18 at 11:59pm EST.


  1. Tracey Hagwood

    Hi Pepper, I’ve read your contemporaries, but not your historicals, so I would love an opportunity to read The Thorn Keeper. I’ve had this series on my TBR list for a while. Thanks for the giveaway! Blessings, Tracey

  2. Phyllis

    I, too, have read your contemporary books but not the historical ones. You are one of my favorite authors and I look forward to reading more of your books.

  3. Suzanne Sellner

    I love historical fiction, so I look forward to reading your books!

  4. Michelle Lunsford

    I adore this story so much, and am honored to have part of my review included in these birthday celebrations.

    I don’t think I knew – or at least, i don’t recall knowing – that actor Dan Stevens was an inspiration for the character of Dr. Ross. But it definitely works. With that charm, those blue eyes, that delightful smile – oh yes, it works very, very well. 🙂

  5. Gail Hollingsworth

    Happy Book Birthday! I simply adore every book you’ve written so far. Keep ’em coming!

  6. joanarning

    I’ve read the e-book so would probably give the book to a friend!

  7. carylkane

    Happy Book Birthday! Pepper your books are swoon-worthy! 🙂

  8. Pam K.

    I’ve several of your contemporary books but not the historical yet. Thanks for the giveaway to celebrate the book birthday of The Thorn Keeper. It sounds like a great book.

  9. Janice Moore

    I keep hearing about this book with such great recommendations, so I will be keeping it!

  10. agboss777

    HaPpY BoOk BiRtHdAy, PePpEr!!! I have not read this book and have heard such rave reviews about it, that if I win, I will be keeping it for myself 🙂

  11. Chanel M.

    I haven’t read The Thorn Keeper Yet, so I would like to have this copy for myself. I hope I win, then I can finally read those closet kisses everyone talks about… 🙂

  12. MJSH

    Would love to read this one! And I’ll be keeping it!

  13. Carol Alscheff

    I don’t think I have ever read one of your books. I would keep the ebook.


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