Small Towns…Big Love

What is it about small towns?

I mean, seriously, Hallmark has basically made an entire network out of small-town stories. And then there are the zillions of books plots that involve either fictional or real-life towns from all over the country…and even the world.

I grew up in a small-town and LOVE writing about them, but I’ve always been interested why there’s this large appeal. Before we talk about some of the reasons I think small-towns are a BIG hit, let’s name a few ‘classic’ small towns:

The set for Bedford Falls (It’s a Wonderful Life), 1946  via life
Bedford Falls – Pinterest

Jan Karon’s Mitford.

Bedford Falls.

Mayberry (one of my favorites because I was raised just outside of it)

Hallmark’s Evergreen

Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford

Meryton in Pride and Prejudice or Highbury in Emma

Middlemarch by George Elliot

And, of course, there’s Agatha Christie, Sarah Addison Allen, LM Montgomery, Robyn Carr, Debbie Macomber, and so many MORE!!!!

So…why are small towns so appealing? (My opinions here)

  1. To steal from the Cheers theme – we wanna go where everybody knows our names- small towns bring a sense of community to them and along with that…a sense of belonging. There’s just something sweet about them, like a perfectly wrapped package for a delightful romance 😊
  2. Quaint – small towns have a charm. There are unique traditions, special buildings, friendly smiles, and welcome folks. (at least, that’s what we see in most of our fictional places 😉…but I’ve found it to be true in a lot of the real-life ones too)
  3. The sun will go on rising and setting whether I fail (in geometry) or not. Rachel Lynde - Anne of Green Gables
    Rachel Lynde – Anne of Green Gables Pinterest

     

    Quirky/unique characters – it’s true, unique characters happen EVERYWHERE, but they seem to be particularly highlighted in small towns. Oh my! There’s the resident sage. Or the local busybody. Or the quirky neighbor.

  4. Scenery – most of our small town (whether in the grand west, on the coast, or in the mountains) bring a view with them. White picket fences, cobblestone streets, lantern-lit walkways, a village nestled at the base of snow-crested mountains
  5. Memorable places to come back and visit again. For some reason, most of these small town settings create an environment of ‘home’ just by the atmosphere. As readers or viewers we step into a world we feel like we ‘know’. There’s a great deal of sweet predictability that appeals to our love that goes back to #1…belonging and home.

Okay, so tell me what you love about small towns? Can you name some books and authors who celebrate the coziness of small towns?

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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!

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The Dynamic Duo: Compassion & Power

the force.jpgI love that my kids have awesome imaginations. Of course, their ways of expressing their imagination is all different – one uses drawing, one – writing, one- crafts cool stuff out of a various assortment of things,…but all love dress-up. My fifth grader inherited some amazing Nerf weapons from his older siblings and these necessary tools, for destroying imaginary enemies, are his joys.

It just so happened that recently he misplaced one of his swords. Maybe I should say THE sword. A Nerf Master Sword (if you actually know what that means, you receive 5 points). This was a BIG deal. He looked everywhere…twice, with no result.

I knew what it was like to lose something I loved. I have a favorite pair of earrings floating around in the world somewhere that I’ve never been able to find. So we sat together, prayed for help, and I tried to comfort him as best I could.

superheroes-2Then I remembered him placing it on a piece of furniture and wondered if maybe have fallen into a difficult nook behind that piece of furniture. So we looked. Sure enough, there it was. Not only was it in a difficult to reach spot, it was also stuck beneath the weight of this large bookshelf. Definitely in a spot my 11-year-old couldn’t get to.

Thankfully, my arms are longer than his, so after shuffling the bookshelf around a little, then reaching my arms down into the narrow crevice of doom, the sword came free and I had a happy son.

As simple as this sounds, it made me think of something eternal.

There’s something beautiful about compassion. When you feel as if you’re not carrying a burden alone, but others see the difficult and share in the struggle by showing kindness. Compassion serves a wonderful purpose of connection and comfort.

But compassion can only go so far. I could try and comfort Samuel about his lost sword, but he’d still hurt from the lostness.

kids1However, I had something else. I had power. Power to remember where I’d seen his sword last and also power to move stuff around to reach the coveted sword. Compassion paired with power is AMAZING.

You know, that’s what we get in Jesus. Just think about two stories in Mark that are told back-to-back. First the feeding of the 5000 and then Jesus walking on water. Jesus had compassion on the hungry people – because not only were they hungry for food but hungry for His words. His compassion was beautiful – but he could do even more. He had the POWER paired with compassion to make a difference.

We all know that power by itself isn’t necessarily a good thing. It’s been misused for centuries to the detriment of millions -but paired with compassion it’s world-changing.

day5pAfter the feeding of the 5000, Jesus sees his disciples trying to cross the sea only to be met by strong winds slowing them down. What does he do? He goes to them…walking on the water. If he was just trying to show off power, he’d have kept walking right past them, but he doesn’t. Compassion for his wayward disciples pauses him and even compels him to still the winds so they could make it across the sea.

I find such comfort in this! Why?

Life happens! – with all of its messy, storming, achy, heart-bending brokeness.

And though God is a god of compassion – and that compassion can comfort in part, He is also a God of power, which makes the comfort whole.

He is able to take on the storm, the hungry, the broken…the mess, and do something about it out of his overwhelming goodness. If you’re struggling with finding your hope, remember, He not only showers His children with compassion – He has the ability  “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.” (Ephesian 3:20-21)

The outcome might be what we expect (ie…water walking), but it will be what we need most. At our cores. And it will be wrapped in his love.

That, we can count on.

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Book Birthday – The Thorn Keeper

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!

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Inspiration

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.”

3

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.”

Reviews

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.

 

 

Giveaway

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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.

Magic Eraser and the Desperate Leper

Magic Eraser.pngAs a parent, I’m sure you can commiserate with me. Permanent marker is not a 3 year old’s friend, and especially not a mother’s. In less time than in takes for my seventy pound dog to eat his breakfast, a 3 year old can make quick artwork on any item within a home. Permanent.
If you can guess, I’ve had it happen – except, it was on my wall in my office at work. Worse. Much worse. The only thing scarier than permanent marker at work is getting it on the in-laws walls. Yikes!

So, besides freaking out and melting into a embarrassing state of hysteria, I searched for every possible cleaning agent known to man. Greased Lightening (which can take off paint, but not permanent marker), Bleach (yeah, crazy), even The Magic Eraser. Nothing worked.

So the only thing to be done was…repaint the wall. After that, I got rid of all my permanent markers.

MarkerThe wall looked perfect – the evidence removed. Only memory kept the marks clear in my head.

There’s a story in the Bible that reminds me of this. It takes place in Matthew 8 and revolves around some of the most ostracized people in the world. Lepers. The diagnosis of leprosy was catastrophic. It meant the person was removed from his family, friends, and all ‘polite’ society, so to speak, and had to live outside the camp of God’s people. It was humiliating to the point that anytime someone came close to them, they had to yell out “Unclean! Unclean!” to warn the approaching people. Even touching a person with leprosy made the uninfected person ‘unclean’ for a while.

A few amazing things about this story…

1. Jesus TOUCHED the leper. Now, did Jesus need to touch him to heal him? No, but he did this to prove to the doubters and others that he would take the uncleanness of this outcast on himself (as He would do on the cross).
2. Jesus did it ALL. The leper could do nothing to clean himself – no Magic Eraser could take the sores and scars away, but the Great Physician wiped him clean with one touch. Jesus willingly took on the ‘stigma’ of unclean by touching the leper. He was…and is willing. We can never keep the law in any way that completely satisfies God’s requirements. We MUST have grace. Our healing is all about Jesus.
3. We all have a type of leprosy. We are lepers of the heart. Our hearts are infected by the debilitating, corrosive evil of sin. With such an infectious heart, we cannot do good or even ‘see’ clearly. No amount of praying, working, boasting, giving, helping, singing, or learning will clean our hearts. It takes Jesus. For our impure, leprous hearts, he gives the ultimate cleaning. His grace. His sacrifice. His love. As with the leper from Matthew, he looks at us with an ageless, eternal love and says, “I am willing. Be clean.”
Pepper

Magic in the Real World

 

Magic in the Real WorldPeople like C.S. Lewis, Madeline L’Engle, Eric Carle, Dr. Seuss and so many others have a very special mind-set. They still ‘see’ the world from the magical perspective of a child.

And the world is still filled with magic.

I stand amazed on a daily basis at the wonder of simple magic and the grandeur of unusual magic. Do you? The beauty of forgiveness between my children – that’s amazing. The awe of the lights in their eyes as they stare up at the Christmas tree (which is NOT set up yet this year). The marvelous swell of the miraculous in the vast landscape of the world around me.

-Children see magic because they look for it.-.pngThe sweet warmth of tender memories not lost in the past. The tickle of joy in a baby’s laughter. The hug of a dear friend. The tingle of the perfect kiss.

Magic? If we look for it, we can still find it. I might refer to it as God’s fingerprints in our world, but it doesn’t lose it’s glimmer or mystery.

What magic have you seen in your world?

ACFW 2017 – Peeps on the Journey

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I look forward to the ACFW conference every year.

beckycarolWhat in the world does ACFW stand for? Well, it’s the American Christian Fiction Writers – an organization for Christian fiction writers – and they converge once a year so that like-minded, fiction loving authors can join forces with editors, agents, and marketing people to form a magnificent force of great minds.

And maybe a few scary minds.

We DO talk to people no one else can see 😉

This year, the conference was held in Grapevine, TX in the Dallas/Fortworth area at the MASSIVE Gaylord Resort. Me in awe:

Yes, this place was huge.

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A little village inside one building. It had an expansive atrium, complete with live plants, a little pond, and a cool miniature railroad track, but everything was enclosed…like one of those sci fi books where a colony is placed on Mars 😊

Except a LOT nicer. And less likelihood of death by dropping oxygen levels.

What happens when a lot of writers get together?

21766407_10213940304322689_4106097733915362874_nWell, funny stories emerge. Silly photos. Encouragement. Brainstorming (I got to brainstorm with New York Times Bestselling author Rachel Hauk and that was so. Much. Fun!

There are opportunities to actually HUG people you’ve only met online – like Savanna Kaiser, Erica Hogan, Rebekah Millet, the gracious Cathy Goeke, and Sarah Ruut – AS WELL as, catching up with amazing authors like Becky Wade, Mary Connealy,  Lisa Jordan, Cathy West, Carol Moncado, Janice Thompson, Cynthia Ruchti,  Deb Rainey, and so many more.

I attended excellent classes from Jim Rubart, Cara Putman, the team at Harper Collins 21768451_10214336852475877_8714949246374914216_nand more!

Gleaned encouragement and guidance from beautiful people like Colleen Coble, Pam Hillman, Shaina Turner, Janice Thompson, Brandilyn Collins and MORE.

Had a fab meeting with my agent, Julie Gwinn.

Worshipped on the praise team with an awesome band (thanks so much Javi, Tom, Jason, Jeremy, and Eddie) with the remarkable addition of fellow author, Amanda Wen, on the cello, and led 22008349_10214336872436376_7502329595824910784_nby encourager-extraordinaire, Rachel Hauck.

Um…I got to see DENISE HUNTER AGAIN!! (fan girl moment. She’s so sweet! AND so is her hubby)

Then, of course, there was my time with my ALLEYCATS!  There’s a precious, sweet bond between us and getting to hug them and chat with them IN PERSON is such a refreshment. Cara Putman, Angie Dicken, Casey Herringshaw, Sherrinda Ketchersid, Mary Vee, Ashley Clark, and Laurie Tomlinson – I am SO thankful for you all!! (Ash, Ang, and Case – I LOVED getting to have my last meal/snack at conference with you all…just sharing and loving each 22141195_10214336921437601_2188058956282146488_nother). And Cara and Angie – sooooo thankful for time to encourage one another.

(meet some of them here 🙂

So, what did I GET from ACFW? Besides the obvious fun time and wealth of information?

Renewed and NEW connections with a group of people who all want to glorify God through story.

Massive amounts of encouragement.

22008337_10214336912797385_6135043439045117348_nA solid dose of challenges – let’s face it, this writing gig and the published world isn’t always an easy place.

A heap of love.

And…I even happened to sneak off with a copy of Joanna Politano’s DEBUT novel, Lady Jayne Disappears. (Yes, be jealous)

If you’re a writer, attending a conference is a wonderful way to realize YOU ARE NOT alone – especially when you’re the only person in your family who still talks to imaginary friends 😊

And a Christian writer’s conference? Well, the game changes, because we’re not competing Against each other for something because all of our goals are the same. Using the God-given gift  we have to share the gospel (whether overtly or covertly).

22089935_10214336915037441_6920393314400122921_nIt changes the playing field and makes the journey more like a race uphill with a lot of friends than a tug-of-war with enemies.

God LOVES story!

And we all have one to tell.

Having people on the journey with you, is a must!

And if you want to join some more of the fun of ACFW – check out the fun giveaway I have going on in celebration of my upcoming release Charming the Troublemaker!!! Visit FB or Instagram to join the fun!!

Join the fun HERE on Facebook

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A Wounded Head…But a Healthy Heart

Mother's Day and Brain Injury

So, did that title snag your attention?

Well, the combination of those two things have certainly snagged mine this week.

Mothers-DayFor anyone who knows my brother, you will agree that he is an energetic, kind, sometimes silly, but super sweet kind of guy. He’s ready to give a helping hand, a big hug, a funny response, or a positive word whenever he can. He’s also a really hard worker and, as is true with most of the people in my family, he loves to talk.

Being the big sister, I’ve known him his whole life 🙂 and to be perfectly honest, he’s stayed about the same… In the best ways 🙂

Recently my brother was in a serious car accident which left him with a brain injury. If you don’t know, brains take a while to heal and the type of brain injury that usually accompanies a car accident impacts the front of the brain.

Mothers-Day 1What are some things that go on in the front of the brain?

Short term memory, focus, organization, parts of your personality, reasoning, and…inhibition—which basically means “the filter” on your words and actions has been kicked to the curb.

You could say that in a moment like this, your truest thoughts and actions emerge uncontrolled by your usual ‘catch’.

So, what are we seeing from my brother as he is continuing to heal from this brain injury?

Well, let me just tell you, the nurses have loved coming into Dustin’s room because he compliments them so much.

Every lady is beautiful.

Every guy is his buddy.

Everyone is awesome.

He’s giving an extreme amount of hugs.

Mother's Day Quote.pngHe has such a thankful heart to everyone who is helping him, and will express that thankfulness a lot, and though he’s saying some goofy and/or funny things at times, (more so than usual) his words and actions have remained sweet and kind.

And boy oh boy, he’d rather talk than eat or sleep. He has all kinds of things to say, some are on-target and some not quite, but all positive, encouraging, and kind.

Yes, God created my brother and his optimistic personality, but my mom is one of the most influential people who instilled in my brother a love for others, respect for them, kindness and joy—characteristics that are still shining through in him even though his filter is temporarily on the blink.

Mothers Day 4Moms have an amazing influence. Whether they are biological moms, adoptive moms, moms from the heart, or moms for the moment, the love, patience, kindness, and wisdom they leave behind are powerful enough to resurrect in the most trying of times.

Dustin and I are blessed to have a mom like that. A woman who loves big, who fights ferociously for her children, who believes the best in them even when she knows they could do better, and whose timeless influence reaches to the core of who we are and helps us love others well.

So even if my brother can’t remember the nurse’s name right now, he will certainly remember how to treat her.

It’s a part of his heart not just his head.

Mothers-Day 2

Swoony Saturdays – August Reinhold

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.

August

Branson..will he be next heart throb when Dan Stevens (Matthew) exits in Christmas episode in Season Three:
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Who? August Reinhold

Where can we find this dreamboat? The Thorn Healer by Pepper Basham (released April, 2016)

Personality summary: Oh my! If you like a gentle, caring hero with a quiet strength, determined spirit, and a wonderful sense of humor, August is your man. With a past that left him wounded and a present that has left him a prisoner, August faces his life with an optimism born through trial. His easy confidence and observant nature gives him an advantage with fiery and furious Jessica Ross in a way that totally knocks down the steel-guard she has around her heart. With patience and kindness, along with some great skills on the badminton court, his steady pursuit tends her wounds and her spirit, helping her look beyond her pain to the beautiful opportunity he presents.

What makes us swoon?Aviary Photo_131236339965708023

His steadfastness

His gentleness

Proficient in swoon-worthy letter writing

His relaxed personality

His compassion

Quiet strength

Confident

Excellent with kiddos

A man of few words, but the ones he wields are powerful

Loyal heart

Allen Leech, Tom Branson....doesn't really matter I just LOVE HIM!:
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There’s such a kindness to him that makes him beautifully attractive

Along with a dashing smile, the fresh scent of pine is with him wherever he goes

Author Barbara Brutt says this about our swoony hero, “I like how patient and gentle he was, especially with a fiery and headstrong woman…where most men might try to ‘tame’ her by force. He never did that.”

Kissing level of such swooniness: August is definitely a #4 kisser and by the end of the book, you get the sense he can quickly move to a #5 when given ample opportunity.

Downton Abbey: Tom Branson (Allen Leach) ,daddy and Baby Sybbie. Heart explodes <3 <3 <3:
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Basic hero type: August’s gentle, easygoing personality meets all the expectations of our Knightley hero with a little Wentworth thrown in. His letter writing skills and depth of feeling exhibit more of Wentworth’s and his humor, gentleness, and overall likeability (with a good dose of directness) matches our Knightley. His steadfast devotion to those he loves, particularly to wooing Jessica Ross’ wound-hardened heart into a malleable offering he longs to cherish. With his patience and perseverance, there’s a good chance he’ll win the desire of his heart…and end up transforming hers in the process

How can I meet this swoony mister? The Thorn Healer is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christianbook

Kissing Levels & Hero Types

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.:
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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:
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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