The Thorn Healer – Cover Reveal

TTHgraphicYou guys know I love any excuse to party! And today I have a great one!!!

The third installment of the Penned in Time series (my very first series EVER published) has a cover! The Thorn Healer!!

And you all know that I’ll wait to the very end of the post to show the cover, right?….(okay, how many of you scanned down there early? Are you the same ones who read the last page of a book first?) 🙂

Anway, The Penned in Time series has such a special place in my heart because of the time period, the depth of story, and the fact that I survived writing two additional books within a year! The Thorn Healer is also close to my heart because, not only does it touch on some deep spiritual truth and take place in the Blue Ridge Mountains, it has a completely adorable hero! ADORABLE!!!

TTH graphic2August Reinhold!!! YAY!!!

If you’ve been following along with the series, you’ll recognize three main female characters introduced in the first book, The Thorn Bearer: Ashleigh, Catherine, and Jessica.

Each has her own story – and The Thorn Healer is Jessica’s. Ironic that the one who needs healing the most is also a nurse. We’ve seen Jessica throughout each book until finally we get to read her story…and hopefully, she gets to find her happy ending too.

The novel was the hardest of the three to write. I think it might be because Jessica’s personality was the most different from mine than the other three heroines, but I’m not sure. I might have been from exhaustion too 🙂

Releasing three books in a year and writing another within that same year is an incredibly difficult and daunting experience when you also have a day job, a full family, and other responsiblities. But I’m proud of this story of hope and peace.

TTH graphic1The story takes place in the real tow of Hot Springs, NC – a very small place couched by the Blue Ridge Mountains. Unfortunately, the amazing Mountain Park Hotel no longer stands, but remnants of the hotel are still visible on the site – and the hot springs are still in use.

As far as the German internment camp goes, I found most of my information from Jaqueline Painter’s amazing pictorial entitled The German Occupation of Hot Springs. Up until rather recent history no one knew of the camp’s existence because the residents of Hot Springs refused to talk about World War 1 era Germans once World War 2 hit. It became a shameful memory, but Mrs. Painter (a native of Hot Springs) unearthed pictures and stories so that this amazing tale could now come to life in The Thorn Healer.

So…….

Without further ado, here is the most AMAZING cover of the three (in my opinion)

The Thorn Healer, available November 28, 2016

The Thorn Healer Final

And here it is – The Penned in Time series.

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From Dawn to Dusk – #uk2k16

day1Oh it seems way too long since I returned from my ‘heart home’ in England, but I love getting to revisit the memories and pictures of the trip.

Today, I’m taking you with us on day #2 – London.

It’s amazing what a good night’s sleep and a great English breakfast can do for energy levels. 🙂 And boy, did we need the energy for THIS day!

 

We started our morning with a 25 minute walk to St. Paul’s Cathedral to meet our Christian Heritage Tour guide on the steps.

day2Peter Greyling was such a wealth of wonderful knowledge, taking us on a two hour walk through some of the quieter streets of London to learn more about the less popular stories of Christianity.

We walked in areas where the Wesley brothers had walked and hear their stories. Learned of martyrs, world war veterans, and early Christian fathers – all who walked along the same paths we walked. It was pretty spectacular.

We visited the church where the Wesley brothers preached, saw day2bthe remains of the 2000 year old Roman wall, touched WW2 bomb marks on the walls of buildings, and even stubmled upon the street where “Sherlock Holmes” died (in BBC’s/Benedict Cumberbatch version). (Note Lydia’s ecstatic expression about this little discovery)

 

 

Then we toured the gothic and historic Westminster Abbey. Being among the tombs of so many powerful people of history was an interesting and humbling experience. The day2 sherlockarchitecture, age, and overall beauty only enhanced the awareness of memories painting the walls. At noon, a clergyman addressed the group to engage in corporate prayer for the nation and world. I was glad to be a part of the prayer, because despite the fact that some in the crowd may not have prayed at all, I knew to Whom I prayed….and that He was listening.

After a brief chat with a very nice policeman in the giftshop of Westminster (I tend to talk to EVERYBODY), we went to lunch at St. Martin’s in the Crypt. Yes, you read that right. THE CRYPT. We had lunch in a crypt. (and not creepy). We met another tour guide here, a guy who became an instant friend, day2westminsterKeith Berry, historian and past of New City Church in Hammersmith 🙂 Keith took us on a tour of the British Museum, where we focused particularly on some Biblically significant ancient history. Assyrian, Persian, Egyptian….all these priceless artifacts were housed in this building and many were thousands of years old.

Of course we saw the Rosetta Stone, mummies, and even some fashions of different times, but the ancient wall carvings and paintings were my favorites. Why? Because they told stories 🙂

We headed through St. James Park where hundreds of people day2jenjoyed the balmy day with by having picnic lunches on the grass, and of course we spied Buckingham Palace along the way. We also saw beautiful window boxes filled with flowers (I have a weakness for lovely window boxes).

And then we traveled to the British Library to check out the “Treasures” Room….filled with manuscripts from centuries old to more modern (you know, 1600s ), just kidding – it had handwritten lyrics from the Beattles ;-). This room houses original copies of The day2oGutenberg Bible, Magna Carta, Leonardo DiVinci’s notebook, Shakespeare’s handwritten notes, King Henry VIII’s letters, an original copy of Utopia, and so much more.

We stopped for a bite to eat before heading to the theatre!! What a fun treat to watch a live production of Into the Woods in a small intimate theatre called The Chocolate Factory (where, of course, I had to eat some chocolate). It was a small cast with amazing talent!

The night ended with a walk back to our hotel over London Bridge. What a great day!!

God’s Story in The Thorn Keeper

TheThornKeeper 500x750 (1)Today is the release of my second novel, The Thorn Keeper, and I’m so thankful for the reviews that have come out so far. Here’s why. The main focus for most of the reviews is not the history or the beautiful romance, but the amazing love of a rescuing God.

Catherine Dougall made choices that branded her as a flirt and ultimately left her expecting a child outside of marriage. Now redeemed, she takes her tenacity and determination and turns them toward serving others, especially outcast women. In the middle of a war-torn country and a class system that leads to desperation and death for many ‘fallen women’, Catherine brings the same hope she’s come to know through God’s grace.

And since romance isn’t in her future, she’s ready to find a way to help rescue others in a similar situation as herself. However, God’s plans are quite different as he places the upright and distinguished Dr. David Ross in her life. His kindness, generosity, and ability to see beyond the stains of her past, bring them together and challenge the social systems plaguing on every side.

At the heart of this story is the truth that God is in the business of rescuing lost people. It’s what He sent Jesus to do over 2000 years ago, but is at the very heart of who God is. A rescuer. He doesn’t just give us second chances, he takes all of our mistakes, missed chances, and failed chances, and places them on his Son – so that He bears the brunt of our failures. It’s a beautiful love. A life-changing love.

An eternal, unfailing love that takes the remnants of our lives and fashions them into something beautiful.

Visit the book page of The Thorn Keeper. Read the adventure, romance, humor, and redemption story for yourself.

pepper (1)

LET’S PARTY

CATHERINEDOUGALL!
Inspiration for Catherine Dougall

Today is the day!!

Time to see the cover for book 2 in the Penned in Time series, The Thorn Keeper.

The trick to this ‘game’ is….

I’ve listed 8 blogs participating in the party. You can leave a comment on one or all blogs to get your name in the basket for a digital advanced review copy of The Thorn Keeper (releasing in February 2016).

Here’s a little about the book:

Downton Abbey, 3 Special - Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) ©2012 Carnival
Inspiration for David Ross       ©2012 Carnival

With her past in shambles, how can she fashion a future of hope?

Catherine Dougall’s past of manipulation has left her future in threads. With a new faith, she longs to take the remnants of her life and make something beautiful, but shame, societies’ judgments, and the natural consequences of an unplanned pregnancy test her newfound hope. Dr. David Ross doesn’t help either. His kindness, sacrifice, and tenderness tempt her to impossible dreams. A fallen woman doesn’t merit a fairytale.

casualtyclearingstationDavid Ross has made every effort to keep his life above reproach. His passion for the sick pump fresh purpose through his choices, but without financial support to maintain his war hospital, all is lost. When his notorious aunt offers an easy solution, David is tempted to give in to her demands, but his growing affection for the reformed flirt, Catherine Dougall, unwinds the careful wall around his heart and offers an unexpected choice.

When the worst of war tears them apart, can love renew the memory of what was era shoe shoplost or will tragedy steal away their hope forever.

From the beautiful Derbyshire countryside to the trenches of World War One, Catherine and David must learn to trust in a God who designs a masterpiece out of brokenness and fashions hope in the most unlikely places.

So, visit one…or ALL…of these blogs to SEE the new cover and to enter for your chance to win. Just leave a comment about something you like about the cover. Make a guess about the story. Tell us what you enjoy most about a heroine or a hero! What is one of your favorite ‘stories’ from the World War 1 era?

Join the fun!

Angie – http://angiedicken.blogspot.com

Rachael – www.rachaelsreadsrantsandraves.wordpress.com

Robin – http://robinsnest212.wordpress.com

Dawn – www.apassionforpages.blogspot.com

Carrie – Http://readingismysuperpower.wordpress.com

Faith – http://labornotinvain.blogspot.com

Renee – Renee Smith http://reneeannsmith.com/

Stacey – beechtreehollow.com

Marisa – http://www.mdeshaies.wordpress.com

The Beginning of Something….Beautiful – COVER REVEAL

TheThornbearer 500x750 (1)Well, on Wednesday, Feb 11th (my Mom’s BIRTHDAY!) I introduced the world to my debut novel cover! The Thorn Bearer is set to release on May 7th – 100 years after the sinking of the Lusitania. Wow! What an honor to be able to have this book come to the world on such an anniversary!

The novel isn’t about the Lusitania per se – but my characters spend the first 1/3 of the book aboard the beautiful ocean liner. Having the opportunity to write about it, during the time when transatlantic voyagers were near their peak, was amazing.

The Thorn Bearer is the first book in a 3-book series about three strong women who must learn the power of forgiveness.

As an intro, here is a little about The Thorn Bearer.

Can love survive a battlefield of the heart when forgiveness isn’t an option?
Ashleigh Dougall is running away.
When her fiancé leaves her three months before their wedding, the unexpected blow ignites a battalion of insecurities stemming from her father’s intimate betrayal. Her worst fears are confirmed – who could ever love a soiled woman?
In an attempt to escape the shame and disappointment of her past, Ashleigh boards the ill-fated Lusitania to cross the war-torn waters of Europe. Much to her dismay, she isn’t traveling alone.
Sam Miller is always making up for his younger brother’s mistakes. Determined to help his friend, Ashleigh, he offers his compassion and companionship as she ventures across a perilous sea. With the faint hope of renewing his lost love for Ashleigh’s sister, Sam never expects to find the woman of his dreams in his best friend.
As they travel across the Atlantic, neither is prepared for the life-altering and heart-breaking journey of their friendship.
When the truth of Ashleigh’s past explodes in the middle of the trenches of Europe and Sam rejects her, Ashleigh must decide if God is enough – or if the double weight of her betrayal and past will crush her life forever.
From the decks of the ill-fated Lusitania to the smoke-filled trenches of France, Ashleigh must choose between the loss of her past, life in the present, and a Savior who can redeem both of them.

Who’s Got Character with Siri Mitchell

My first introduction to contemporary fiction was reading Siri Mitchell’s fantastic novel, Kissing Adrien. I’d decided never to write a contemporary novel up to that point, but something about the humor, suspense, and excitement drew me in, not to mention Adrien and France. Two years later, I’d completed my first contemporary romantic comedy. Funny what God uses to shock us into his plans J Kissing Adrien is one of those books where you read the last chapter about seven times before you can put the book completely down….sigh.

Siri Mitchell doesn’t just write in the contemporary vein. Her most recent novels have been more historical, with enough emotion pumped through them to create a reality t.v. show. Each novel seems to hold a deep message that spans the years to relate to our struggles in our lives and cultures of today.

To learn more about Siri Mitchell, visit her website at: http://www.sirimitchell.com/

Time for Q & A:

1. Who is your favorite heroine & hero you’ve ever written? Why?

I have to say Claire and Adrien of Kissing Adrien. That book was my first in print and the writing experience was magical. Their relationship was so tender and playful. The story nearly wrote itself and they both seemed to sparkle. Some of my other characters in later books have been deeper and more complex, but those two characters were just pure fun.

2. What is the ‘behind the scenes story’ for the creation of that hero & heroine?  

I was an American living in France, just as Claire was. Although all of the cultural differences she noted and spiritual thoughts she had were mine, I have to say quite firmly that she was not a re-creation of me. It was fun to place my experiences into someone else’s life and see how they would change the course of events. The book was derived from a non-fiction manuscript I had previously written and the point of both was to examine how sometimes we mistake our culture for our Christianity. Adrien was a conglomerate of all of the French men I had the good fortune to meet. It was fascinating to watch how they interacted with the women in their lives.

Siri’s novel, She Walks in Beauty has one of the BEST heroes in it and boasts of Siri’s usual historical detail, but her brand new release, Unrivaled, has a hero of similiar stuff. You won’t want to miss either of these Siri Mitchell historicals!!! I think they might be my favorite of her historicals.

Kissing Adrien is still my FAVORITE contemporary of hers.
Character Creation Tip for the Day:

Joy. Don’t discount the joy of writing amazing characters. There’s a lot of hard work involved, maybe even some heart-ache, but the bottom line is that memorable characters are written Unrivaled Siri Mitchellfrom the passion that flows from the author’s pen. There may be frustrations along the way, but if you’ve been following the posts for the past month, all of the authors expressed the fun and joy they experience when breathing life into their heroes and heroines.

If there is no joy behind the process…no excitement in the creation by the creator, then maybe you’ve lost the purpose behind your writing. Joy of the author sets the pulse of the character.

 

Twas the Night Jesus Came – A Christmas Poem

Merry Christmas everyone! Blessings to you and your family.

May you all know the joy of the true reason for this season – the Savior who is Christ the Lord.

 

Twas the Night Jesus Came

Twas the night Jesus came and all through the town,

Not a person would guess The Messiah came down.

The earth gave no warning to speak God’s intent

But this magical night I would never forget.

The streets were all busy with strangers from far;

No time to hear singing or see the bright star.

As my young friends and I kept our watch o’er the flock

We had no idea we’d soon get a shock.

When out of the darkness there rose such a light,

I sprang from the hilltop to gaze at the sight.

An angel came shining as bright as noon-day,

More fearsome and brilliant than I’ve words to say.

At first he said, softly, “There’s no need to fear.”

Which I found hard to do since this host first appeared,

But he said, “Be of Joy! I bring you great news!

Your Savior is born, there is no time to lose.”

“This babe wrapped in cloths has no crib for his bed,

But rests his sweet head in a feed-trough instead.”

And then other angels, more than I can know,

Rejoiced through the dark with their songs and their glow.

Like millions of stars dancing down to the earth,

They lifted their voices in praise of his birth-

Singing, “Glory to God.” Through the stillness of night

“and peace to all men,” then they flew out of sight.

It didn’t take long to break out of our shock.

We ran down the hill leaving our field and flock,

And found the sweet baby inside a damp cave,

But could this be Christ – the whole world to save?

The donkeys and horses had left a foul smell.

The straw was all muddy, the manger as well.

But everything was as the angel had said,

A babe wrapped in cloths in a crude manger bed.

Then I know – it was clear. Where else would he be?

The Teacher and Healer to make the blind see.

The Savior who’d carry the sins of us all,

Where else would show love than an old cattle stall?

This baby, The Christ, would clean up all our messes.

He’d take on our curses and give us His blessings.

So as I adored Him, God’s Son, the true Light,

God seemed to be whisp’ring to all a “good night”

copyright 2009   Pepper D. Basham

 

A Day Off to WRITE

I can’t remember the last time I had a day off JUST TO WRITE!

The last day off I took to write, two of my kids got sick the night before and were home from school with me.

But today….

TODAY……

I am sitting at the kitchen table staring at an empty house and getting ready to open up a manuscript to DIVE INTO.

FOR. THE. DAY!! (or until 3:30)

It’s my big attempt to get ready for ACFW which happens in THREE WEEKS! I will get to meet CASEY HERRINGSHAW, ANGIE DICKEN, MARY VEE, WENDY MILLER, and SARAH FORGRAVE!! My ALLEY CATS!!!

Did I mention Casey is a FRASIER FINALIST!!

Did I also mention I get to stalk…er…meet RUTH LOGAN HERNE!!!

Anyone else get excited about writing days? I’m feeling very Connealy-esque here. Might have to shoot somebody! 😉

Love at First Thought with Ruth Axtell Morren

Anyone in love with Regency?

Julia over at The Writers Alley had a great post about Jane Austen yesterday. And today, I have Regency author extraordinairre, Ruth Axtell Morren. Now Ruth writes more than Regency, but most of her books have been during that era…and incredibly memorable.

Oh my goodness, she has such a beautiful way of bringing out the Gospel within the romance of her characters. It’s truly amazing.

So… let’s see what inspired her First novel?

The idea for my first published novel, Winter Is Past, came from the Lord, pure & simple.  He had me go through a process in my own spiritual walk, whereby I had to put my writing on the altar–and be willing to completely give it up, if that was HIS perfect will for my.  This period lasted about 2 years. At the end of it, the Lord gave me a dream. That dream became the seed of the idea for Winter Is Past. It was for a regency romance, an era I had never even considered writing in, even though I loved to read regencies.  It took me another 2 years to research/write/edit/submit it in contests, before it sold–and I was offered a 3-book contract.  God’s timing or what?

Wow Ruth, I love this story – and your perseverance. And the novel? Winter Is Past – it was the first one of your novels that I read. FABULOUS!!

So, has anyone here been inspired by a dream?

Inspirational Thought:

I John 3:11-16

 11 For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters,[b] if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15 Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.

 16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

What does love look like?

Jesus – his example.

Giving of ourselves isn’t easy. It requires sacrifice.

In case you’ve never realized it – love is an ACTION, not just a feeling. We cannot see the feelings, but we see the actions that take place because of the feelings inside.

The most inspiring thing in all the world is love. Real love.

Not only does it inspire more love, but random acts of beauty.

Jesus’ life did that.

Will ours?

The After-Christmas blues?

I stare out my dining room window this morning, watching as snowflakes dance and twirl to the frosted ground. Just me, a tall glass of chocolate milk, my computer, a darkened dining room, and the light from the framed winter wonderland.

 It’s the day after Christmas. My children are still sleeping, my husband is off to give the final touches to his sermon, and I’m listening to Christmas music. Thinking. Wondering.

Many people find December 26 a very somber day. Did they get their heart’s desire for Christmas? Who never came  home for Christmas? Who was missing around the Christmas tree? Amidst the bright lights and snowfall, how many tears went unnoticed?

I have hope for you. For me.

Emmanuel.

God with us.

The greatest gift, the one you can never out-use, out-grow, overextend, break, never runs out of batteries, never needs new parts, doesn’t go out of style, and only increases in value the longer you possess it.

Even when spots are empty around the Christmas tree, our hearts never have to be empty again.

All because, Jesus came.

He is the reason why the spirit of Christmas can be held all through the year.

Blessings,