The Thorn Bearer

Penned in Time Book 1

The Thorn Bearer

Join Ashleigh as she boards the ill-fated Lusitania and embarks on a journey in search of the truth that can ease the deep wounds of her past.

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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 brother, 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.

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  • RT Book Reviews –  ★ RT RatingA beautifully written debut novel with memorable characters who are hanging on by a thread due to those they trust have betrayed them. The historical details about the Lusitania and her sinking are amazing without overwhelming the story. There is also the subject of child molestation which is handled with great care and does not offend the readers. Pepper Basham did her research in all aspects of the subjects her novel touches upon. Cannot wait for the next installment of the series. Summary – 1914-1915 – Ashley Dougall has to get away from the pain her father has had inflicted on her, the pain her fiancé caused her by breaking her heart. Her unwillingness to forgive is dragging her down. With her training as a nurse, she flees to war torn Europe to help those who need all the help they can get. Coming with her as a protector is Sam Miller, her friend from childhood and the man she is in love with. They travel on the Lusitania and are the lucky ones who survived the Germans torpedoing and sinking the ship. She helps with the wounded and sick in the hospital and soon finds herself very sick with pneumonia and she will need to find a way to forgiveness in order to survive the sickness both in her body and soul.” (Vinspire Publishing, May). -Patsy Glan
  • Library Journal – “Ashleigh and Sam must come to terms with events in the past and learn to be accepting of others and themselves. Themes of forgiveness, redemption, and grace are interwoven throughout their stories in Basham’s debut novel. For readers who enjoy historical fiction, romance, and Christian fiction; a moving and enjoyable read.”—Lisa M. Jordan, Johnson Cty. Lib., Overland Park, KS

What Readers are Saying about The Thorn Bearer

Awards and Nominations for The Thorn Bearer


2016 – ACFW Carol Award Finalist

2016 – Shortlist for The Inspy Awards

2015 – Finalist for The Grace Awards

2015 – Readers’ Favorite Award – Bronze

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