Swoony Saturdays – Reese Mitchell

Welcome! Welcome!

Swoony Saturdays are your opportunity to be introduced to a book hero who fits high quality hero characteristics. (okay, so he just makes us weak in the knees for all kinds of reasons, but you get the point)

The photos involved are chosen as the most representative of the heroes featured, so IF they look like someone you’ve seen before, that’s almost entirely accidental.

Reese Mitchell


Hugh Jackman: From OKLAHOMA! to Wolverine, the Boy from Oz can do it all.:

Who? Reese Mitchell

Where can we find this dreamboat? A Twist of Faith by Pepper Basham (released April, 2016)

Personality summary: Reese is a good-hearted country boy who has been deeply wounded in the past and is now raising his two kids on his own. His mildly gruff exterior houses a quick mind, warm sense of humor, tender-heart, and forthrightness. Despite his wounds and his own avoidance of romance, he bears the spirit of a nurturer, and Dr. Adelina Roseland proves a woman in need of a patient pursuit. A big Appalachian family invades his life and holds him close with their idiosyncrasies and love, which is another aspect that not only helps Reese seek a relationship with the “citified” loner, but it is also a catalyst for keeping his opinions balanced when everything falls apart. He’s faithful—and when his focus is set on Dee, well, he’ll do about anything to sweep her off her feet and right into his arms.

What makes us swoon?A Twist fo Faith

Fire lighting proficiency (if you’ve read the book, you understand. Thank you, Beth Erin!)

He’s a great daddy. Loves his kids. And let’s face it! Guys with their little girls or babies? Exponential swoon factor!!

Smart – always a bonus

Willing to sacrifice his pride to give his lady-love a swoony moment

As mentioned by ladies from my Street Team:

Sexy mountain man accent

Sexy mountain man muscles

Sexy mountain man sense of humor

He takes care of his family

He’s the right amount of ornery and flirty

Hugh Jackman - as Reese Mitchell:

Kissing level of such swooniness: Reese is a solid #4 kisser, a smoldering sort of fire that causes the happy recipient to inwardly glow for hours later.

Basic hero type: Reese has been a tough one to place on the ‘hero’ scale. He’s a solid mix between Knightley, Darcy, Wentworth…and even Mr. Tilney. He can brood, when brooding is warranted, but for the most part he’s easy going. He has a fierce protectiveness about him and dedication to his family, but a quick sense of humor too. He’s hardworking, but not to the neglect of his family…or a few flirty moments.

How can I meet this swoony mister? A Twist of Faith is available on Amazon, B&N,  and Christian Book Distributors.

Kissing Levels & Hero Types

Book Journeys – Derbyshire

Last week we visited London from the viewpoint of my character, Eisley Barrett, who is on a genealogical mystery hunt in England. You can check that post out here.

Today, we’re going to journey to Eisley’s next stop – Derbyshire and the ‘inspiration’ for Lornegrave in my novel, Just the Way You Are.


HaddonviewDerbyshire (pronounced Darbisure) is a county in the ‘middle’ of England which also houses a large part of the beautiful Peak District (if that sounds familiar you may have read/heard about it in Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice). I particularly enjoyed the Peak District because the mountain range there (Penines) have a similar geography to many parts of the Blue Ridge 😊 Except, Derbyshire had cliffs (think Lizzie Bennet standing one with her dress billowing around her) AND cooler looking houses.

Some of the lovely sites in Derbyshire are Bakewell (for the famous Bakewell Tarts), Kedleston Hall, Hathersage (where Charlotte Bronte was inspired to write Jane Eyre….and where Little John is buried 😉 Matlock, Chatsworth House (which will be in a later post) AND….my inspiration for my manor house in Just the Way You Are – Haddon Hall.


Oh my, Haddon Hall is a wonderful, out-of-the-way visit in which you feel as though you’ve really stepped back in time. This 12th century house has been used in all sorts of movies like… The Princess Bride, various versions of Jane Eyre, the most recent version of Northanger Abbey, and The Other Boleyn Girl – to name a few. You can learn more about Haddon and those movies here.


In Just the Way You Are, Lornegrave (for which Haddon is the model) is the ancestral home to Eisley’s family mystery – so she gets to do some sleuthing in top-notch fashion in a home that holds as much mystery as any novel. The beauty of the woodwork, the windows, the gardens, all set the stage for a wonderful world of creativity and imagination.

So….when Eisley (my heroine) gets a chance to walk the stone stairs and sneak through subterranean passageways, this is the type of place to create atmosphere 😊

HaddongardenTo give you a sneak peek into one scene in Just the Way You Are, I’ll let you follow along in some of the sleuthing. (She’s accompanied by her English “guide” Lizzie…who kind of looks like Helen Mirren 😊


Derbyshire Excerpt.jpgEisley shuddered. “So, what exactly are we looking for down here? Another letter? Maybe one in a wine bottle or something?”

Lizzie’s finger danced in the air, counting each shelf as she passed. “Ten, as I thought.” She stepped around the final shelf and slid a hand over the wall behind it. Eisley followed, but the flashlight’s golden glow revealed only the dimpled wall.

Nothing.” The pinch of disappointment curbed Lizzie’s tone. “I’m not sure what I expected to find, but at least something.”

Eisley scanned the row of shelves and replayed the words from the letter. Take my wine at half past ten. Half past ten?

She counted back five. “Lizzie, what if it was a twist on the phrase? Maybe half of ten?”

Eisley’s beam sliced like a spotlight down the wall over the previous five shelves, the sound of her breath a whisper in the silence, her hope even smaller. Another crazy delusion of hers? What was she thinking? Her beam smoothed passed a dip in the wall and she stopped. “Lizzie?” Eisley brought the light back to the indention, her breath dropping out altogether. “Lizzie!”

I see it, Luv.” Lizzie came to her side and directed the flashlight’s rays between the shelves.

Aviary Photo_131346060437455072A wooden slab door, perhaps three feet tall, wedged in the shadows, tucked in an unusual curve of the wall. The old door’s faded brown slabs matched the wall color so well it was easily overlooked, especially without the convenience of electricity, and the angle at which the door fit into the wall obscured it from view. It was a perfect hiding place. Maybe even a secret room?

Lizzie moved first, squeezing between the shelves to the wall. “This most certainly isn’t on the blueprints.” She crept along the wall until she touched the ringed handle of the door. “A subterranean passageway, I’ll wager.”

A…a subterranean passageway?” The words stuck in her tight throat. “Underground?”

Lizzie shoved at the latch. It didn’t budge. She took her flashlight and beat against the metal handle until it moved. “We shall see, shan’t we? Come, give us a hand.”

Eisley rushed forward and pressed against the door. With a clank loud enough to rattle the wine bottles, the door lurched open, sending a screech into the shadows surrounding them.


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Swoony Saturdays – Wes Harrison

Welcome! Welcome!

Swoony Saturdays are your opportunity to be introduced to a book hero who fits high quality hero characteristics. (okay, so he just makes us weak in the knees for all kinds of reasons, but you get the point)

The photos involved are chosen as the most representative of the heroes featured, so IF they look like someone you’ve seen before, that’s almost entirely accidental.

Wesley Harrison (1) Continue reading “Swoony Saturdays – Wes Harrison”

Book Journeys – London

In anticipation of my upcoming release, Just the Way You Are, I’m going to take you on my characters’ journeys through different settings in the book.

Our first stop is London….Book Journeys - London

My heroine, Eisley Barrett, arrives in Heathrow International Airport and is swept off her homicidal heels by the suspicious, reformed rogue, Wes Harrison. Her quaint Appalachian world has her daydreaming about England and her wounded heart keeps her from seeing God’s possibilities for her life.

Before traveling to the beautiful midlands of Derbyshire, Eisley is taken on a whirlwind tour of London by Wes’ parents, Daniel and Eleanor Harrison. So…what does she see?

Walk with me Continue reading “Book Journeys – London”

God’s Got This


15179200_10211258017066916_7178522006256679097_nMy 15 year old daughter is a pretty amazing kid. She’s confident, smart, pretty, and has a mad-awesome gift for art. She’s also pretty mature, which is why when she asked to start a job, her dad and I figured she was ready.

She is.

But some interesting things happened for this whole job thing. Last week she had her first day of work (1/2 day) at a local, small restaurant near our house. She was nervous but excited. She folded silverware in napkins for 4 hours.

She was not excited!

Some of Lydia’s artwork

I told her that if she did her work well in small things, they’d give her more responsibility. It’s part of the learning curve.

So when her next shift came up today, she was even MORE nervous and basically told me she didn’t want to go. In fact, she was SO nervous, she almost cried. I was trying to sort it all out and realized she was terrified of two things…failing and not finding joy in what she was doing.

For hours she DREADED going into work. We talked a lot about it. I said, “Lydia, you’ve got this! You have all the skills you need to do a great job AND as they see what a good worker you are, they’ll give you more responsibilities and you’ll like it better”

july2016She didn’t believe me. She couldn’t SEE past her fear.

How often are we like this? As a child of God, I allow fear to crowd out the truth I know that God is in control. So even when I think I’ll fail – even when I don’t believe I’ll find joy in the choices He places before me, He inevitably knows best and I can TRUST that He knows me better than I know myself (and He LOVES me infinitely more than I can ever comprehend)

Even when He pushes me into a situation that leaves me terrified, nervous, uncertain, or even frustrated, His view of my path is certain, sure…and for my BEST!

Let’s get back to Lydia?

She was given two new responsibilities today and came home grinning – sooooo happy with her own accomplishment and job. In fact, she hummed, had a lighter hop to her step, and all those fears had dissipated. She told me, “Mom, I’m sorry I complained. I can handle this, I just couldn’t see it.”

God sees so much better than we do, and he doesn’t leave us without the resources (in Him) that we need to complete the tasks He gives us to do!

Isn’t that an amazing grace!

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according  to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Eph 3:20-21 (ESV)


Book Journeys – Bath UK Part 2

my son ,”Jane”, me, and my hubby

On March 6, my first novella is released in a fun compilation entitled Love at First Laugh. Seriously, people, it’s 8 stories, to tickle your funny bones and tie up your heartstrings, for only .99!! WOW!

You certainly want to purchase those now. Right here 🙂

But in the celebration of my novella, Second Impressions, I’ve been taking you on a journey of the setting for the story. Bath, UK. A beautiful city that ooz13781894_10210072080859252_4424339124400341310_nes history from the mortar between the stones to the pavement in the streets. Part 1 is here

Now, in my novella, my heroine is in search of the epic Jane Austen experience – The Jane Austen Festival…some of the time in the story she’s in full regency apparel :0)

In the previous post, I talked about Bath, in general, and the ballro
oms. In this post, I’m going to show you two other important points of interest in Bath, that also show up in my novella.

A wonderf13775397_10210072081779275_6033081796946729175_nul scene in the story takes place in the Jane Austen Centre in the Tea Room. Oh my, that was such a fun experience. We have high tea in a room decked out in elegant fashion – and in the center of the main wall of the room? A portrait of Colin Firth as Darcy (a realization the hero doesn’t quite understand, so the heroine has to explain t
he full significance of the portrait).

Tea time is scrumptious, with lots of options. To see the menu, check out this link.

I, of course, had the delectable selection of Tea with Mr. Darcy. Yummy!!! My very own pot of tea and some tasty tre13873161_10210072081859277_4483649918944225108_n-1ats in a regency-styled tea room in Bath, England? People, I was livin’ it UP!!

My 19 year old was with me too – but he’s NOT a tea drinker…or a…um…regency fan – but
there’d been a dragon show up at the tea room, he’d have had a blast! (both figuratively and literally, most likely)

Another important point of interest in Bath, which relates to my novella, is the entire reason Bath has its name. The Roman Baths. The actual Baths found (and now excavated) were the main reason people came to baththis town to benefits from the ancient spa – where the hot waters are still active. A museum and the remains of the Temple of Aquae Sulis are on display for history lovers. Interestingly enough, the first shrine built on the baths location was built by the Celts – but the current spa was built during the Roman occupation of Britain in 75 AD.  (you can learn more info here)

My hero and heroine have quite a lovely scene that takes place in this particular spot, so make sure to check it out in the compilation Love at First Laugh which released on March 6!!

To hear the first page of the novella, check out my video here


Book Journeys – Bath, UK #1

second-impressions-cover-embellishmentsMy upcoming novella, Second Impressions, which is released in a fun compilation called Love at First Laugh, takes place in the beautiful city of Bath, UK during the Jane Austen Festival.


A few things of note:13882671_10210072079179210_8611067354192595449_n

  1. Bath is a beautiful city.
  2. There’s lots more to see than just what is in the city.
  3. The spirit of Jane Austen is still alive and well in Bath – especially durin
    g this festival 😉

So, since Second Impressions is on the way, I thought I’d share some highlights from my visit in July 2016, so you guys could enjoy some of the sights.

My heroine, “Austen nut” Nora Simeon, arrives in Bath to her lovely inn. Now, my inn in the novella is fictional, so I’ve put a phot13654186_10210072085059357_6555886267897989381_no up of a LOVELY building in Bath that just looked delightful! The Huntsman.

There are all sorts of shenanigans that happen to poor Nora…and her new acquaintance, Ethan Keller.

One of Nora’s first stops is to practice dancing at the Assembly Rooms in Bath – so you’ll see a few photos of those and a FUN video of my daughter in the middle of one of the ballrooms.
The grand Promenade down the streets of Bath happens pretty early during the Jane Austen Festival – so here’s a photo of one of the streets and a few of the lovely buildings.

Now…Part 2 – I’ll share some photos of the Jane Austen Centre and Tea Room as well as the Roman Baths….the city’s namesake. BOTH play a fun part in my novella, Second Impressions.

Bonus points if you know why the title of my novella is important 😉

The novella is part of the Love at First Laugh collection which is ONLY .99!! That’s less than a dollar for 8 fun stories. You can preorder it HERE – and enjoy these stories in only a little over a week!