Your Days Are Numbered

Your days are numbered.

Did you know that?

As in:

1

45

16,782

Numbered.

And not ONE of them is worthless or unimportant.

Psalm 90:12 “Teach us to number our days so we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

Whoa. So, how do we number our days? Well, the first few verses in that chapter give us some clues. It’s basically this:

Realizing who WE are and what We’ve done in the light of realizing who GOD is and what HE’S done.

Moses starts the Psalm by talking about the greatness and eternality of God.

v. 2 – “Before the mountains were born
   or you brought forth the whole world,
   from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

So, basically – we must try to see our lives from God’s perspective, since He’s been around a bit longer than we have, and knows a whole lot more than we ever could.

To make sure we get the point, Moses goes on to describe our humanness and mortality.

v. 5 – Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—
   they are like the new grass of the morning:
6 In the morning it springs up new,
   but by evening it is dry and withered.

Or

v. 9-10 – All our days pass away under your wrath;
   we finish our years with a moan.
10 Our days may come to seventy years,
   or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
   for they quickly pass, and we fly away.

Pretty gloomy sounding, isn’t it?

Almost in one breath – life is here, then it’s gone.

Does it matter to us?

I don’t know about you, but I struggle with being my own god.

By living my life as if it is going to go on forever, and forgetting why I was created.

I forget that by original design, this world is not my home and the things of it are as frail as a snowflake.

I live my life as if I am the author of my future, the keeper of my past, and the conqueror of my present, but I deceive myself.

The eternal Time Keeper sees the big picture of my life – the good, the bad, and the ugly- and weaves them all together to make me into a child fit for Heaven.

The troubles, the trials, the heartache, and pain, serve a grander purpose. Moses’ words help us put grief and trials in their proper place:

See verses 14-17, particularly verse 15:

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,
your splendor to their children.

17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
   establish the work of our hands for us—
   yes, establish the work of our hands.

It’s really all about seeing things from the right perspective. Who we are and who He is.

If his ‘unfailing love’ truly satisfies us, then whatever the ‘affliction’ or ‘trouble’, we can ‘sing for joy’ and ‘be glad all our days’, because we recognize the extravagance of the Father’s love.

When we are satisfied with His ‘unfailing love’ – then everything else falls into its proper place. Our deeds and our ‘works’ no longer control us but are controlled by the Holy Spirit in us.

The number of our days no longer matter – it’s how we fill each one of those days that begins to shape our points of view.

I don’t know about you, but I really need to get my mind off of me – and onto Jesus!

Blessings,

pepper (1)

World Building

Building a world for your story isn’t always filled with spacecraft and foreign planets. I love creating the place where my characters can thrive, grow, love, and heal.

What storyworld do YOU like to get lost in?


Original Post published 8/19/2015

firstclassdining Currently, I’ve been reading about creating a ‘story world’ and what’s involved in the intricate design of a world where readers can lose themselves in a story.

It may sound fairly straight-forward and simple, but it’s really quite complex. Readers need to feel the cohesiveness of feeling like they are really ‘there’ – in your story, during that time period. This not only requires crafting, but research too.

The most well-loved, memorable, and meaningful stories had a distinct time and place which couldn’t have occurred as effectively anywhere else. For example, Charles Dickens’ brilliant stories cannot be separated from London. I can’t imagine Frodo living anywhere else, except the Shire and Middle Earth.

071In A Twist of Faith, I’ve created the town of Ransom, Virginia – a small community that reminds me a lot of the Blue Ridge Mountain town in which I grew up: Small population, close-knit families, quaint downtown, and amazing scenic views. I want readers to walk the streets of Ransom and Mitchells’ Crossroads as they journey along with the characters.

TheThornbearer 500x750 (1)In my historical series, Penned in Time, I’ve tried to recreate the feel of the World War I era. The uncertainty, the change and energy… the small English villages, manor houses, and clothing.

All of those things make a storyworld.

Developing a strong story world helps readers take a trip and never leave their chair.

It gives me a great sense of joy and awe to think that, because of my Christian perspective, the stories and novels I write might give a sense of hope to those who read them. Through the time, place, characters, dialogue, and exposition – readers will sense the beautiful truth of hope in the Lord, no matter the circumstances. What a wonderful goal for which to aspire!

pepper (1)

Cover Reveal and Giveway – Jane by the Book

About the Book

Four years ago, Jane Warwick escaped the shame and heartbreak of being jilted at the altar by becoming a housekeeper at the secluded Inn at Simeon Ridge. Predictable and quiet, the inn helps Jane find a place to heal and celebrates her strengths, where she is promoted to head housekeeper. But an unexpected visit to Bath, England, upsets Jane’s plans and sends her out of her comfort zone, directly into the harrowing path of historical detective author, Titus Stewart. The only plans Titus sticks to are family holidays and the ones that send him careening into his story worlds, but when an uptight and nervous innkeeper stumbles into his life – and his latest novel – nonfiction begins to take on a much more interesting gleam.

As the unlikely pair delve into the mystery behind a one-hundred-and-fifty-year-old letter, will they both uncover a romance that stands the test of time?

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The Cover!

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JBTB (3)

GOODREADS

You can find Jane by the Book this JULY in the Once Upon a Laugh Novella Collection.

About the AuthorPepper Basham

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes historical and contemporary romance novels with grace, humor, and culture clashes. She’s a Blue Ridge Mountain native and an anglophile who enjoys combining her two loves to create memorable stories of hope. You can connect with Pepper over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley, her website, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter.

Also by Pepper Basham

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Amazon | Goodreads

Second Impressions

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Giveaway

As part of this Cover Reveal Blitz, I am giving away 1 (ONE) ebook copy of Second Impressions. Please enter via the Rafflecopter Form below.

SI Giveaya

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Big Picture of God’s Story & Giveaway

In the beginning was…

The story

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It’s true. If you start with Christian (or Jewish or Muslim) history, “Genesis” even means ‘an origin, creation, or beginning’.

The Genesis of God’s story was creation.

But we can really sum up the entire Bible into one sentence.

What is the Bible about?

God rescuing His people.

A Father rescuing His children.

Pure and simple.

The BIG picture of the Bible isn’t about mighty men and women of God overcoming massive obstacles – although (with God’s strength) some of them do.

priscilla-du-preez-172593.jpgIt’s not about amazing historical (and miraculous) events – although there are many.

At the heart of the Bible – it’s all about RESCUE! Rescue and love!

As a Christian, this should encourage you (and me).

Even if this last year wasn’t a year of celebration, or amazing things, in the grand scheme of things, it’s another piece to God’s BIG puzzle of rescue. His giant story of finding His lost children and bringing them back home.

There’s a great deal of comfort in the truth that All things work together for them who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28)

We see our lives like this:

We’re looking through the lens of a camera. All we can see is the small square of site through the lens.  And what we see may look like a barren, deserted, wasteland…

Until we step back from the lens and see the ‘big picture’ to realize we’re staring at a small piece of the Grand Canyon.

*I’ve included several examples of this concept in my pics for the post. If you only see a part of the picture, you’re interpretation is skewed – until you see the FULL picture. THEN you can understand how that small piece you saw through the lens, fits into the BIG picture

We only see a piece of our lives, but God sees the whole span of eternity.

And our rescue is a part of His Master plan.

Because He loves us THAT much.

I want to leave you with these FABULOUS verses from I Corinthians 13, as paraphrased from The Message.

12We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

 13But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

May you trust God to the Big Picture of your life and Rest in His LOVE.

For more on ‘beginnings and writing’, check out my post on The Writers Alley. It’s all about the ‘beginning of stories’.

Pepper

Giveaway!

I am hosting a giveaway for my NEW SUBSCRIBERS! If you don’t receive my newsletter yet…You can sign up HERE. Your name will automatically be entered to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card! YAY! Spread the word! Giveaway will close 2/11/18 at 11:59pm EST.

New SubscribersGiveaway!

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”

Book Journeys – Bath UK Part 2

england2016bath
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

Enjoy!!!

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!

 

Cover Reveal…and massive celebrating

img_5842Okay, this week has been CRAZY…and it’s ONLY Tuesday!

At least it’s the good kind of crazy, right?

I have so much to share with you guys!!! (and….of course, I’m saving my favorite for last…so don’t scroll down and steal my thunder 😉

  1. There is a fabulous Scavenger Hunt going on right now involving kisses, misses, and chances to win 8 super novels! You can find out ALL about it here! And since I’m not above name dropping….can I just say it’s an honor to have my name beside authors like Melissa Tagg, Jessica Patch, and Sara Monzon 😉

2. My first contemporary romance novel, A Twist of Faith, is FREE on kindle this week. (So you can buy this and save your money to actually purchase the next two items on the list 😉 http://amzn.to/2ld5QjO   This story has garnered so much praise and it’s such a fun book. 16640751_487167148073737_1130643388656871229_n

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3. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to write my first
novella! A fun, romantic comedy with a touch of Jane Austen flair! It’s up for preorder in this compilation with some other fantastic stories (and authors). And the price is superb! Check out this beauty and make sure you preorder today for just .99!!!! http://amzn.to/2kMxOlP

This story is all about romance, humor, The Jane Austen Festival in Bath, UK, AND a homicidal bonnet. Be prepared 🙂

 

4. Okay, okay….arjtwyaback-coverwebjpege you ready for my Valentine’s GIFT???

That might be a bit melodramatic 😉 but I’m so excited about this novel. This romantic comedy releases on April 6th and is my very favorite book I’ve written so far.

Why? Because I poured all the things I love best into one story…and hopefully an entire series.

Just the Way You Are is the book equivalent of my FAVORITE dessert!

Filled with romance, humor, mystery, adorable kids, hilarious families, England, Appalachia, Blue Ridge Mountains, a swoony British hero, an adorable heroine….and Scooby Doo references. What’s not to like, right? This story may have more of me…and my heart than any other story I’ve written to date.jtwya-web-frontjpeg

So….without further drama. Let me show you the cover to Just the Way You Are!

Isn’t it sweet!!! AND you can preorder it NOW!!! http://amzn.to/2lJ6PGa

I cannot wait for you to meet Eisley, Wes, the Harrisons, the Jenkins, and Lizzie! This is definitely a romantic comedy….with a little bit of old-fashioned Hollywood magic sprinkled in!

Only $4.99 to preorder!!

So….what do you think? Sound like a story that’s up your alley?

 

Creating a Word…Shakespeare-style

imageYou know what happens when you leave a creative mind in a car alone for too long?

Crazy stuff.

Like….creating a word that holds the essence of your brand! YES!

Historic note: It is theorized that playwright William Shakespeare first cited from over 200 to 1500 words! Whether he was the inventor of them or not, we can’t know for sure, but he’s given credit for a BIG bunch of them.

Another historic note you can use on Jeopardy some day: Author John Milton is said to have coined over 600 words still listed in the Oxford Dictionary! WOW!!

Word inventing is cool…especially if it is meaningful to the story or author 🙂

2011-05-14 11_16_52I have channeled my inner Williams Shakespeare/John Milton and created a word that embodies the type books that I usually write.

Are you ready for it? It’s the FIRST time anyone has EVER seen it in cyberspace. (except a very small group of individuals with whom I shared it first to make sure I wasn’t going completly off my rocker…or if I WAS going completely off my rocker, they were rocking right along with me. So I’m not alone 🙂

And…my agent approved…which means she’s off her rocker too – OR – she knows when to encourage a good branding strategy 😉

This new word embodies THREE key elements of my stories:

  1. Those of you who follow my writing know that I’m an Appalachian girl. The Blue Ridge Mountains are my home and such a part of my heart and stories. So many of my novels have some sort of Blue Ridge Mountain or Appalachian element in them.
  2. You ALSO know that I have an obsess….um….deep interest in all things British. From England to Scotland to Wales and Ireland, I love it – cheers and all. Many of my novels reflect this infatuatio…um…interest by involving a character and/or setting of the UK.
  3. Most of my novels hold some element of culture clashing. Yes, oh yes, I love to pair two different cultures together and watch the story unfold with all of its humor, conflict, and steps-to-understanding. SUCH fun!

day1So, without furthur embellishment from yours truly, here is the word I’ve created 🙂

Britallachian

Yes, you read that right!

I write Britallachian novels.

Woohooo!!! Just so you know, I will begin to use this word freely and probably drop it in the middle of conversations with unashamed and completely biased pride 🙂 (note the fun-loving sarcasm)

Have you ever created a word? Do you have a brand? If you’ve read my novels, do you think the word fits?

Share, oh share!!

uk2k16 -Edinburgh 1

day5To continue with my love for England, I’m going to take you on our quick trip to Edinburgh.Oh my, this might have been our favorite part of our recent trip. I plan to take some time in the future to talk about other England adventures, but Edinburgh was amazing – a city that didn’t feel like a city.

But…to start, since it was Sunday, we worshipday5oped in a wonderfully historic (and evangelical) church called All Souls Langham Place.What a wonderful place to visit! Such a warm and friendly church where you could feel the welcome and community of faith. We witnessed a baptism, learned some new songs, and enjoyed a chat with another
visiting American family…and OF COURSE we got to spend time with our new friends Peter and Ilona.

Well, after church we picked up a quick lunch in Kings Cross station and then day5chopped on the train for our 4 hour ride to Edinburgh. It was such an enjoyable trip. On the way up, we all actually got to sit together in a four seat set with a table in between. The scenary was lovely – we saw the English coastline just
before we crossed over from England to Scotland. BEAUTIFUL.

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It’s around 5 by the time we get to Edinburgh, so we load up in a taxi, take our bags to our hotel, and walk directly to Arthur’s Seat. But on the way to the hotel, and looming directyl over the train station, is the amazing Edinburgh Castle. Oh my, day5djust turning around and seeing this medieval fortress towering above you is impressive enough, but knowing we were going to get to tour it made it even more exciting. Again…photos seem SO small!!

day5eArthur’s Seat is part of Holyrood Park – 360 acres attached to the Queen’s Scottish residence Holyrood Palace.  The hike is probably considered a moderate one, until you get near the top – which is more rigorous – but we didn’t get the opportunity to hike all the way to the ‘Seat’ because of the lateness of the hour. However, we hiked halfway and had an amazing view day5kof Edinburgh and even the North Sea.  Hailed as one of the possible sites for the legendary Camelot, it immediately becomes a place filled with stories waiting to be told (or that’s how it was for me anyway 😉

I’ve posted a few videos below so you can see our hike in real-timday5le 🙂 Lydia and I had lots of fun creating videos, so if you want to see more – we’ll have links at the end of the post.

After our little hike, we went to grab some DELICIOUS burger at Byron’s. Wow! Yum!! And the hot chocolate was stupendous. Our waiter, Ross, was wonderful – with the endearing mix of Scottish accent and dry humor. Definitely a future character in a book!! (well, his personality paired with a waiter we met the next day…adorable young men who need day5hto be in a book)

We then attended a free piano concert inside of St. Giles (the ‘home’ of Presbyterianism). I’ll tell you more about St. Giles in my next post because we actually toured it then, but needless to say, it has a lot of history and fantastic accoustics.

Photos truly do not do this city justice! Beautiful! and OLD!