Swoony Saturdays – Samuel Miller

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.

Samuel Miller

picture of the hero in my WW1 novel, The Thornbearer, Sam Miller. Kind, generous, and faithful, he's faced with the issue of whether to forgive his mother for abandoning him as a child:

 Who? Samuel Miller (Sam)

Where can we find this dreamboat? The Thorn Bearer by Pepper Basham (released May, 2015) debut. Add to Goodreads HERE.

Personality summary: Loyalty is a key component to Sam’s personality. He’s a defender of the right and is a faithful friend and confidante. One deterrent to Sam’s overall jovial and kind demeanor is the bitterness he harbors against those who’ve deeply wounded him, but once he realizes how grace demands forgiveness, his heart opens wide with an even deeper love and gratitude than he had before. The sweetest romances are born of friendship, so when Sam’s affections turn to his best friend, Ashleigh, there is no way she can withstand the appeal of such steadfast, fun, and tender emotion.

The Thorn Bearer - NovelWhat makes us swoon?

His ready humor lightens moods

He’s a rescuer

Lifesavers…of the yellow variety

Heart of GOLD

He has a tender protectiveness for those he loves


lifesavers, the old fashioned candy - when they had the white pineapple flavored ones!!  Mmmm!!!!  Green, yellow, and then orange were my least favorite.  So, I guess that means I really only liked the cherry and pineapple!:

Sam is always ready to give a helping hand

Boyish Charm

He sets you at ease/calms

When he realizes he’s in the wrong, he seeks forgiveness


Kissing level of such swooniness: Sam is a solid 4 kisser, but when he thinks he’s lost the woman of his dreams, those kisses bump up into the 5 range.

Basic hero type: Sam has a whole lot of Knightley in him but a little of Captain Wentworth too. A faithful friend and devoted lover, resentment could deter him from making the wisest choices, but good sense, honest friends, and a steadfast Savior, soften his hardened head and awaken his reluctant heart.

How can I meet this swoony mister? thethornbearer-500x750-1

Ashley Dougall has a terminal disease and forgiveness is the only cure.

Ashley Dougall’s father stole her innocence, her selfish fiancé stole her heart, and unforgiveness is slowly stealing her life.  Drawn by the desire to help others, she tries to escape haunting memories and enlists her services as a nurse in war-torn Europe.  Along with her childhood friend and fiance’s best friend, Samuel Miller, the fragile threads holding Ashley’s life in place one-by-one begin to snap. From the deck of the ill-fated Lusitania to the smoke-filled trenches of WWI, Ashley must choose between forgiveness of the past, life in the present, and a Savior who is willing to help her face them both.

You can find The Thorn Bearer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads as well.

Kissing Levels & Hero Types

Book Journeys – The Lusitania

The Lusitania

I’ll get back to my Book Journeys tour of The Biltmore next week, but since it’s the 102 commemoration of the sinking of the Lusitania this week AND since my debut novel, The Thorn Bearer, features this ill-fated vessel, I thought we could feature it today.

The Lusitania - www.lostliners.com:

On May 1, 1915, the largest ocean-liner on the seas set sail from New York harbor on it’s way to England. Built in 1906, The Lusitania, had been one of Cunard’s longest running ships and it boasted some of the newest innovations in transatlantic crossing, such as lifts (elevators for us Americans), a wireless, electric lights, and…turbine engines – which also made it fast.

The Lusitania was referred to as a floating palace for many different reasons. Passengers enjoyed 50% more space in their glamorous lodgings (even third class had nice accommodations compared to other passenger ships), a two-level dining saloon, a first class lounge with marble fireplaces, and even a veranda café, where passengers could enjoy the views of outdoors from the protection of a roof.

Let’s look at a few of the features of this glorious palace of the seas.

RMS Lusitania's first class dining saloon.:

Here is a picture of the dining saloon with his dome-shaped ceiling. Can you imagine eating your choice of Roast Mallard Duck, Boiled Codfish with Oyster Sauce, Roast Beef, or Corned Pig’s Cheek (yummy…ugh). Not to worry, other options were cheese and crackers, Plum Tart, and even ice cream.

Perhaps, later in the evening, we could enjoy sitting to hear a concert in the First Class Lounge with its ornate glass ceilings.

The Lusitania, 1905-1907. First class lounge and music room. Love the way this looks. Would be a nice dance/party/lounge room for events.:

With all the glamour, beauty and even, speed, the Lusitania seemed to have it all – but speed wasn’t going to help this floating palace when it surged into war-torn waters.

On May 7th, a single torpedo from a German U-boat (U-20), hit the ship and in a feat that still marvels researchers today, the colossal ship sank in only 18 minutes, taking over 2000 lives. This single event would be a part of the catalyst that would spurn America into joining the world war across the ocean. Because among the dead, there were about 128 American citizens.

The Lusitania Sinking, 1915:

Seen as a brutal attack on civilians, Germany was accused of ruthlessness. However, it was later confirmed that despite the fact the Lusitania flew a ‘neutral’ flag, it carried munitions to Great Britain to help with the war effort.

Many people, like the Titanic only 3 years before, died of exposure in the cold Atlantic waters, but hundreds of bodies were never recovered.

TheThornbearer 500x750 (1)Though the Titanic’s story is more well-known, The Lusitania’s tragic ending is just as devastating.

You can find out more about my debut novel, The Thorn Bearer HERE.

Have you heard of the Lusitania before?

Lusitania at the bottom, By Ken Marschall:

Audio Book Giveaway for The Thorn Bearer

TheThornbearer 500x750 (1)Oh boy! Oh boy! I have two audible copies to give away of my debut novel, The Thorn Bearer!! And guys, the narrator for the book is ENGLISH! Her accent and voice are so nice as you are swept away aboard the ill-fate Lusitania to the Derbyshire, England countryside.

You can hear Rachael’s lovely voice in this sample:


For your chance to win a copy of this audio version to add to your collection, you can do these things for a chance to be in the drawing.

  1. Leave a comment to this blog post with your email address. This will get your name in once. Easy peasy!
  2. Like my Author Facebook Page (to have your name added again!!)
  3. AND if you’ve already read The Thorn Bearer and just want this amazing audio version to add to your collection – I’ll place your name into the drawing for each review you’ve added for Amazon, B&N, and/or Goodreads. Leave that info in the comments too!! I’ll check out your review and then add your names to the drawing! So…. you could possibly have your name added five times!

Soooo…… leave your comments, reviews, and likes for your chance to win! The contest will be live until Wednesday, November 18th, 10pm.

Thanks so much for being a part of this journey.

The Ultimate LifeSaver

booksigningI had the wonderful opportunity last weekend to have my first booksigning even at Barnes and Noble. There was a great turnout, and despite my discomfort at being the center of attention, I loved getting to share the experience with friends who have followed my writing journey a looooonnnnggg time! Particularly my college buddy, Jessica, (namesake in the book) and some of my coworkers and friends from my FIRST JOB in Charlotte, NC (15 years ago!!!). They drove all the way to Asheville to celebrate with me. Wow!!

So, as you can see I decorated my table with some fun stuff. A box for the $50 gift card raffle, scones and gingerbread (straight from England as a gift from my wonderful cousin-in-law, Judy), books (0f course) and….lifesavers.

Why lifesavers?

booksigning1Well, if you’ve read The Thorn Bearer, you get the reference. It’s a ‘sweet’ theme between my hero and heroine throughout the book, but on a much deeper level there is reference to a “Lifesaver” working his ‘sweetness’ throughout the lives of all the characters.

Also…my poor characters are getting on a sinking ship! Who wouldn’t want a life saver, right?

Tragedies, tensions, and difficulties strike us all. Maybe they don’t all involve childhood secrets or sinking ships, but some can be just as life-threatening, debilitating, devastating, or life-altering. In essence, there are going to be times in life where we are all in danger of drowning under the flood of living in a fallen world. Whether our tragedy comes at our own hands (as a few of my characters discover) or at the hands of others, we are certain of one thing…. no one gets out of this life without some stings and pains along the way, that’s why we all need a true LifeSaver.

There are doctors, counselors, family, and friends who can help us during our broken times, but their reach can only make it so far, because the ultimate issue at the heart of every person, is sin. It’s the whirlpool beneath our skin tugging us under, further and further, and without some divine intervention, we will (inevitably) drown.

But there is a Rescuer for this particular darkness…and only one.

The Ultimate LifeSaver.

John 3:17 – (Jesus said) For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (ESV)

Colossians 1:13-14 (from The Message paraphrase)

God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating.

Psalm 91:14-16 (booksigning2from The Message paraphrase)

“If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God, “I’ll get you out of any trouble. I’ll give you the best of care if you’ll only get to know and trust me. Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times; I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party. I’ll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation!”

God’s best care is at the soul level. Through Christ, He does what no one else can do – cleans our hearts and rescues our souls. The sort of sweetness He brings through His healing goes beyond the trials, sufferings, pains, and heartaches (that will continue to come) because we are still living in a broken world and waiting for a heavenly one.

But he is efficient 🙂 He will use our trials here to make us more and more fit for our new homes and to bring about in us the Ultimate Plan of the Ultimate LifeSaver, because he’s not in it just for today…but for eternity.