Once Upon a Laugh – Sneak Peek & Giveaway

It is ALMOST release day for this novella collection! Which means, Jane by the Book can be in your hands before this month is over! YAY! Pre-Order Once Upon a Laugh today for UNDER $1!!! This is available only on Amazon Kindle right now. These books will be released individually in the near future as well.

About the Collection

36886005_10216723477220004_8042417349426413568_n.jpgReady for a book collection you can’t put down?

Eight brand new contemporary Christian romantic comedies are here to keep you company. Some of your favorite inspirational authors have come together in this collection of all-new novellas.

From light-hearted romance to laugh-out-loud love, this set will put a smile on your face and keep you reading long into the night.

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Jane by the Book by award-winning author Pepper Basham
She lives by the plans. He talks to imaginary characters. Can they team up to solve a family mystery?


Crossed Out by USA Today bestselling author Christina Coryell
Ruth Erickson always spends her morning break doing the crossword puzzle. Tate Darrow just messed it up. What’s that old saying about love and war?

If She Dares

If She Dares by Mikal Dawn
He’s a board game champion, but can he win her heart?


Definitely by award-winning author Heather Gray
Dating isn’t on her to-do list. Dating a pastor? Definitely not.


Under the Honey Moon by Jessica R. Patch
A honeymoon cottage reunites a pair of childhood friends. Can it offer them a future filled with happily-ever-after?


A (wildly) Wonderful Wedding by Krista Phillips
They may be the worst maid of honor and best man in the history of weddings…


Save the Last Word by award-winning author Betsy St. Amant
When conventional meets creative, who will get the last word?


The Long Game by award-winning author Laurie Tomlinson. Whoever said all is fair in love and war never dealt with small-town football…

Amazon (Pre-Order) | Goodreads

Pre-Order Sneak Peek

jonas-jacobsson-545909-unsplash.jpgI am SO excited to share Titus and Jane’s story that I am offering you a SNEAK PEEK at the book!!! You heard me right! Submit a copy of your pre-order receipt to pepperdbasham(AT)gmail(DOT)com and I will send you the first chapter of Jane by the Book! Available to international readers as well.


1 (One) winner will receive an early release eBook copy of Jane by the Book! Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. No purchase necessary. Open internationally. Void where prohibited.Giveaway.png

a Rafflecopter giveaway

pepper (1)

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!


Writing Short when You’re Long-winded

I’m trying my hand at my very first novella. Anyone else had practice with that? It’s kind of tough for me to think in anything less that 75-90K words. I guess that goes along with being an extrovert/chatty sort of person, but thinking ‘short’ is tough.

The one short story I’ve written took three weeks to write – just because I had to keep condensing, and condensing, and chopping away some more to meet the 2500 word requirement.

It’s tough stuff writing short when you’re long-winded.

So I’m finished with chpt 1- a whopping 3400 words out of 20K. Will I make it? We’ll see. LOL

Here’s a glimpse at the first few pages. Get ready for some home-spun Appalachia and a look into the heart of 1917 Blue Ridge Mountains 😉

“He’s branging nothin’ but trouble with him, Caroline McAdams, make no bones about it.”         

 Imogene Lautner’s voice sliced into Laurel’s thoughts like lightnin’ on a cloudy night. Laurel slid further back into the hay of the loft, tucking her precious novel into the folds of her skirt and praying the voices might turn the other way. No such luck. The barn door groaned open, almost like it hated hearin’ Imogene’s complainin’ too. What was the use of bein’ a grown woman if she couldn’t even hide long enough to read one chapter of a book? Wasn’t there some kind of rule ‘bout grown-up time or something’?

“And you know I don’t wanna gossip ‘bout nobody, Caroline.”

Laurel rolled her eyes to the ceiling and prayed God wouldn’t strike Imogene down on the spot. True or false that woman could spin a yarn longer than Mark Twain, and stretch the truth from here to the horizon. Laurel gave up hope for a brief interruption, and tucked her book closer, sliding her palm across the gold lettering on the cover. Little Women.

“I gotta bad feelin’ about this missionary teacher. Somethin’s wrong with him. Come all the way from New York, and you know what kinda folks is from yonder. Rascals, Caroline. Rotten to the core.”

Him? The new teacher was a him?

“Now, Gene, we cain’t go jumpin’ to conclusions about him.” Laurel’s mama’s usual reaction. Calm. Peace. Laurel couldn’t help but smile. “Dun’t make sense, him comin’ all the way down here just to lead our younguns astray.”

“There ain’t nothin’ good come from the city. Nothin’.” Imogene bellowed on, her voice as harsh as Laurel’s mama’s was easy-goin’. “He even looks like trouble. Mavis saw him, didn’t ya, Mavis?”

“Came right down into Miss Cappy’s store last evenin’.” Mavis replied. “Fanciest giddup I ever did see, and a face as smooth as his voice. Smelled like the city.”

“You mean he smelled like sin.” Mrs. Lautner preached louder, causin’ the cows to scuttle about nervously. “Drawin’ you in and sickenin’ your soul. That’s what he’s gonna do, Caroline. You just wait and see. What we need to do is—“

“Pray?” Her mama’s word stopped the conversation dead. “I couldn’t agree more, Gene. We’ve been prayin’ for a new school teacher all summer long. God might not have sent what we expected, but we can’t deny Mr. Carson is an answer to prayer. School’s already startin’ two weeks later for lack of one.”

Praise God for her mama. At least one woman in that gaggle talked sense.

“Besides, he’s from the city. Course he’s gonna dress differnt than the likes of us. It’d be good to learn ‘bout the world outside o’ here. After all, many of our boys from the valley have gone across the world to fight in the War and−”

“Anything we can’t get or make back on our mountain, the good Lord ain’t never meant for us to have.”

Laurel balled up a fistful of skirt and almost threw her book from the loft, just to see if it’d knock some sense into Imogene. Of all the narrow-minded things to conjure up, Imogene Lautner ruled the mountain, and if somebody didn’t take in mind to help the new teacher, Imogene’d have the whole mountain convinced he was a worthless, peddler of sin.  

 “Imogene, Mavis, I heerd my rooster crowin’ last night, and just look at the sky.” Her mama tsked. “Sure ‘nough. That ol’ rooster must a’ bin right. Looks like rain.” Laurel glanced out the loft window at the afternoon sky, a few clouds passed over the sun, but nothin’ serious. Oh, how she loved her mama. Honey-coated clever, if she’d ever heard of it.

“Ya’ll might wanna git on home afore it starts. Ain’t you wearin’ your new store bought sweater, Gene?”

 “Well, now. If’n that rooster of yours crowed, ain’t no need to chance it.” Imogene hesitated. Laurel heard the shuffling of feet against dirt and the barn door open. “You comin’ to the store this week, Caroline?”

“Imagine so, gotta trade in some eggs, but for now I better make sure the milkin’s done afore the rain. Ya’ll have a good night, ya here?”

The two women’s muffled goodbyes disappeared behind the closed barn door, and silence returned. Welcome silence. Laurel sighed back against the hay and opened the novel, but curiosity interrupted her concentration. Missionary teacher? From New York City? Her lips came unhinged and she clutched the book to her chest. He probably went to college too. Most teachers from the city do. Maybe he even got a two-year degree.

Her gaze flitted to the far corner of the barn, where her precious stash of savings hid at the base of the post. Six more months workin’ for Mrs. Cappy was all it’d take.

“Come on down here, Laurel.”

Laurel’s shoulders fell forward in defeat and she snapped the book closed.  It wasn’t like she didn’t know the novel by heart, anyway. She moved to the edge of the loft and looked down into her mama’s hazel eyes. “How’d you know I was here?”

 “I’m your mama, girl.” Her mama placed her hands on her hips as if that explanation was enough. “Which book ya readin’ now?”

 “Little Women.”

“Ain’t you read that’n plenty of times afore?”

Laurel shrugged and felt a grin stretch across her face. “Yes ma’am, but I never git tired of it. Good stories are always worth another read, Mama.”

Her mama nodded her head as if she understood and Laurel felt a spark of guilt dampen her thrill. Her Mama hadn’t ever learned the joy of readin’.

“Come on down here, girl. I gotta a job for you to do right quick.”

Laurel blew a strand of hair from her face as she shimmied down the loft ladder. What other chore could Mama possibly want her to do? She’d finished all her mornin’ chores well before church.

“You need to git down to the mission house and invite the new teacher for supper.”