Tuesday, August 30, 2022

The Finding of Miss Fairfield


About the Book: 

When an engagement of convenience becomes anything but convenient . . .

Forced into a betrothal with a widower twice her age, Charleston socialite, Sophia Fairfield is desperate for an escape. But, while her fiancé is away on business, he assigns his handsome stepson, Carver, the task of looking after his bride-to-be. Much to her dismay, Sophia finds herself falling in love with the wrong gentleman—a man society would never allow her to marry, given Sophia was supposed to be his new stepmother. The only way to save Carver from scandal and financial ruin is to run away, leaving him and all else behind to become a Harvey Girl waitress at the Castañeda Hotel in New Mexico.

Carver Ashton has had his life planned out for him since birth, but when he encounters Sophia Fairfield, he glimpses a new life—apart from his overbearing stepfather’s business. But, when the woman he loves disappears before he can express his devotion, Carver abandons all to find her. However, his stepfather has other intentions for Sophia and will stop at nothing until she is his bride . . . even if it is against her will.

My Review: 

How would you react if your parents decided to have you marry a man twice your age without your knowledge? I’d want to do what Sophia Fairfield did and run! I truly admired her and the courage it took to escape. 

The inner workings of the lavish Castaneda Hotel, its restaurant, and the Harvey Girls was very interesting. I not only enjoyed learning about them through Sophia’s experiences, but also feeling like you were one of the girls too. I am glad I got to experience it through the story without having to actually be a waitress!

Some stories have one villain, but we are treated to two despicable men. I couldn’t decide which one I despised more. I am glad that Sophia had a champion in Carver Ashton. He risked everything for her, and that showed his love in the most wonderful of ways. 

Seeing Sophia’s fears disappear as she trusts God and strikes out on her own was so rewarding. Her transformation was delightful to read. This is the first book in the Aprons and Veils, so it will be fun to see what other Harvey Girls will find love. 

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley with no obligation to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monday, August 29, 2022

The Bachelor and the Bride

About the Book: 

London, 1866

Dr. Barnabus Milligan has always felt called to help people, whether that means setting a broken bone or rescuing the impoverished women of London from their desperate lives on the streets as part of his work with the Dread Penny Society.

Three years ago, he helped rescue Gemma Kincaid by secretly marrying her to protect her from her family of notorious grave robbers.

But six months after Gemma and Barnabus exchanged vows, she realized her love for her new husband was unrequited. To protect her heart, she left, telling Barnabus to contact her if his feelings for her ever grew beyond a sense of duty.

When Barnabus sends a letter to Gemma inviting her to return home, she hopes to find a true connection between them. But unfortunately, he only wants her help to foil the Kincaids, who have been terrorizing the boroughs of London, eager to gain both money and power.

Heartbroken, Gemma agrees to help, but she warns Barnabus that she will not stay for long, and once she goes, he'll never see her again.

Yet as the couple follows the clues that seem to connect the Kincaids to the Mastiff, the leader of London's criminal network, Gemma and Barnabus realize they might make a better match than either of them suspected. Perhaps the marriage that had once saved Gemma's life might now save Barnabus—and his lonely heart.

But before the once-confirmed bachelor can properly court his secret bride, they'll need to evade the dangerous forces that are drawing ever closer to the hopeful lovers and the entire Dread Penny Society itself.

My Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐//5

If you are looking for a historical romance with mystery, intrigue, danger, plot twists, and villains, purchase t-h-i-s book. Sarah M. Eden does it again with her marvelous, masterful story telling of the Dread Penny Society. She not only has this amazing story about the members trying to thwart the Mastiff, a criminal mastermind, his network, and a family of nasty resurrectionists, but she also tells Barnabus Milligan’s story of his unusual marriage. But, wait, there’s more! There are not one, but two penny dreadful stories included and told throughout the book as well.

This is the fourth book in this series and I wasn’t sure if I would love this as much as the others. Well, I should not have even given it a thought because Ms. Eden has certainly outdone the others and has a cliff hanger that left me shouting, “Nooo! What happens next?!” I can’t recommend this amazing book enough and the rest in the series.

This is my favorite quote that is the motto of the Dread Penny Society. “For the poor and infirm, the hopeless and the voiceless, we do not relent.” I can’t wait to read the next book!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

A Sojourner's Solace Blog Tour and Giveaway


About the Book:

Book: A Sojourner’s Solace

Author: Jennifer Sienes

Genre: Women’s Christian Fiction/ Romance

Release date: July 12, 2022

Is an old love letter the key to her past… and her future?

When Kate Mallory’s mother is killed in a tragic car accident, she’s left with nothing but dead-end jobs, an on-again, off-again boyfriend, and a craving for something… more.

Despondent, she clears out her mom’s apartment and discovers an old love letter from a William Wheaton of Bell Buckle, Tennessee. Could this be the father her mom refused to discuss? With nothing left to lose, she decides to find out.

Noah Wheaton honed the gift of discernment the hard way—through a twenty-year military career and an unfaithful ex-fiancé. So, when gutsy Kate Mallory shows up at the family restaurant and applies for a waitressing job, his internal lie-detector flies off the charts. Why would a native New Yorker seek out a job in small-town Tennessee? Whatever she’s up to, messing with his family is not an option.

Kate could never have imagined that a spontaneous journey to search out an absentee dad was not spontaneous after all. A force bigger than both Kate and Noah is at work, and they may get more than they bargained for.


Click here to get your copy!

My Review: 

Kate Mallory is floundering after her mother dies and she finds an old photograph of a man and a letter from him among her mother’s possessions. She takes a leap of faith and moves to Bell Buckle, Tennessee to see if she can find what she is looking for. 

This Christian romance reminded me of While You Were Sleeping because the Wheaton family takes Kate in and loves her with no questions asked, everyone that is except Noah. While Noah tries hard to figure out what secrets Kate is keeping, he becomes more and more attracted to her. I loved the story of God’s love and mercy for both Kate and Noah. 

This is the first book that I have read from the author and with a cliffhanger like this, I am looking forward to reading more and hope we find out the answer to Kate’s question. I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages. 

I was given a review e-copy of this book through Celebrate Lit.  I am leaving this review voluntarily, and the opinions are my own.

 About the Author:

Jennifer Sienes holds a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in education, but discovered life-experience is the best teacher. She loves Jesus, romance and writing—and puts it altogether in inspirational contemporary fiction. Her daughter’s TBI and brother’s suicide inspired two of her three novels. Although fiction writing is her real love, she’s had several non-fiction pieces published in anthologies including several in Chicken Soup for the Soul. She has two grown children and one very spoiled Maltese. California born and raised, she recently took a step of faith with her real-life hero and relocated to Tennessee.


More from Jennifer

I grew up with three sisters and a brother, and although life could be chaotic and a little crowded, I can’t imagine any other childhood. We spent summers camping with my grandparents and great uncles, and holidays with lots of cousins, aunts, and uncles. Being part of a large family was central to my life. I thought about this as I created the Wheaton family for my Bedford County summer novella. Four siblings—two sons and two daughters—who often rub each other the wrong way, but at the same time, would lay down their lives for one another.

 Noah is the oldest sibling in the Wheaton clan—retired military who’s been badly burned by a woman in the past. Trust doesn’t come easy, and he’s as loyal to his family as they come. Born and raised in the small Middle Tennessee town of Bell Buckle, he’s not a fan of the big city—or of people from the big city. His family owns and operates a restaurant in a nearby town where everybody knows everybody. He’s suspicious of outsiders, especially those of the female persuasion.

And that’s where our heroine, Kate Mallory, comes in. A native New Yorker, raised by a single mother, she never knew who her father was. She arrives in Bell Buckle on a quest to find what she’s missed all her life—family. What she discovers is far more than she bargained for, and her mother’s words come back to haunt her—“Be careful what you wish for.”

 You may wonder why I chose New York City for Kate’s upbringing. My son lived in Tokyo for five years—a city of almost 14 million people. He told me on several occasions that living there, he never felt more alone or isolated. I wanted Kate in A Sojourner’s Solace to experience the same thing. Plopped into Middle Tennessee, she discovers a world as foreign to her as Tokyo was to my son—just in the opposite way.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 24

Christina’s Corner, August 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 25

Texas Book-aholic, August 26

Books, Books, and More Books., August 26

Inklings and notions, August 27

For Him and My Family, August 28

Genesis 5020, August 29

Book Looks by Lisa, August 29

deb’s Book Review, August 30

lakesidelivingsite, August 31

Sylvan Musings, August 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 1

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 2

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 3

Back Porch Reads, September 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 4

Splashes of Joy, September 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 6


To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card & a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


Thursday, August 25, 2022

A Tenuous Betrothal Blog Tour & Giveaway


About the Book:

Rhianna Davies is well-acquainted with heartache after the painful loss of her parents. At the arrival of her ghastly uncle, she is brought even lower: Rhi has been banished from her family’s estate home and must rely on the kindness of her tightly knit Welsh miners for help. Without the protective love of her parents, Rhi has no illusions that hers will be a happy ending—until an addendum to her father’s will arrives in the hands of a prince.

Marc Wilhelm, Prince of Oldenburg, is in Wales with one purpose: to claim his betrothed. A long-ago promise between their fathers forges an indelible link between Rhi and Marc, but there remains just one problem: neither wants to marry a stranger. With no remaining ties to Wales, Rhi agrees to accompany Marc to Oldenburg, where he will forfeit their betrothal so she may have her pick of husbands. But their journey takes them down unexpected paths, from the depths of a Welsh mine to the marriage mart of London to a warm reception in Oldenburg. Rhi and Marc discover that their connection and their challenges run deeper than either anticipated, but whether from their own hesitations or from danger that threatens without, the couple might be thwarted before they can even begin the happily ever after they so richly deserve.

My Review: 

Prince Marc Wilhelm, in true knight in shining armor fashion,  swoops in and saves Rhianna Davies from her odious and greedy uncle. I enjoyed the setting of Wales, the strong and caring Rhi, and all of the princes in the Wilhelm family. Rhi had the patience of a saint to wait on Marc to overcome his self-made obstacles of marriage. They make a great pair and I hope to hear more about them in upcoming books in the Royal Regency series. 

If you like historical novels, arranged marriages, and a bit of political intrigue, then you will enjoy reading this book. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an e-arc of the book. A positive review was not required and all opinions are my own. 

You can enter the Giveaway for a chance to win a free print copy of the book: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0ae98b8a314/?widget_template=5cf8617cb5df9c301e802fff

Monday, August 22, 2022

Gold Rush Bride Caroline Giveaway


About the Book

Book: Gold Rush Bride Caroline

Author: Linda Shenton Matchett

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: July 21, 2022

She thinks he’s high-handed and out for her gold. He thinks she’s difficult and money-hungry. Will they discover that love is the true treasure?

Scarred in a childhood accident, Caroline Vogel has yet to find a man willing to marry her, so she heads to the Pike’s Peak goldfields to pan enough ore to become a woman of means. When she and the handsome assistant trail boss hit it off, she begins to hope her future may not be spent alone. Then she catches wind of dark secrets from the man’s past, and she’s not sure what or who to believe.

Orphaned as a teenager, Oliver Llewellyn stole to survive, then used his skills for the army during the war. Nowadays, he applies his knowledge to catch dangerous thieves for the Pinkerton Agency, so guarding a young woman during a wagon train journey should be easy. But he didn’t count on the fact she’d angered a man bent on revenge. He also didn’t count on losing his heart.


Click here to get your copy!


My Review

"I ought to put a hole in you right now.” Finger resting on the trigger, Caroline Vogel squinted through the sight of her rifle. 

It would take a great amount of grit, determination and pluck to leave your wealthy parents and go out west to pan for gold, but Caroline is exactly that type of woman. Not only does she pursue her dreams, but she also is tenderhearted and compassionate as she invites a downtrodden woman to join her on the journey west. She is one young woman who I would have enjoyed calling a friend.

I don’t think Pinkerton Agent Oliver Llewellyn had any idea what he was committing to when he accepted the assignment to protect Caroline. As part of the detail he becomes the second in command of the wagon train that will take Caroline to the gold fields. The mishaps and danger that they encounter as they travel and then pan gold together made this story a fun read. This is the second book in the series, but it can be read as a standalone. I would recommend this book if you like Christian romance or westerns. 

I was given a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII, Linda is a former trustee for her local public library. She is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry. Linda has lived in historic places all her life, and is now located in central New Hampshire where her favorite activities include exploring historic sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.


More from Linda

Dear Readers,

Have you ever heard the quote about Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers that says, “Sure he was great, but don’t forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did, backwards…and in high heels?” Originally seen in a 1982 Frank and Ernest comic strip, the line has been used by many people from comedians to politicians.

 A slight twist on the statement can be made about women in the centuries before modern attire allowed them to wear slacks…they did everything men did, but in floor-length skirts (to say nothing of when they had to wear corsets!). A few examples include cooking over an open hearth, hauling water before the invention of pumps and indoor plumbing, farm work such as milking cows or gardening, and riding a horse.

 One of my favorite aspects about writing is developing the characters, especially the female protagonists. Mine are typically…well, untypical. The gals in my books are war correspondents, mechanics, spies, doctors, pilots, and midwives, just to name a few. While thinking about what to write next, I stumbled on an article about female prospectors, and I knew I had my story. The few images I found confirmed my suspicion. These women prospected alongside the men,  swirling their pans of silt hour after hour…all while wearing a dress.

 I continued to dig and was delighted to find journals and diaries of these stalwart women who either followed their husbands, brothers, or fathers to the gold field or actually set out on their own. The first book in the series, Gold Rush Bride Hannah takes in northern Georgia during the rush of 1829 when more than one million dollars of gold was unearthed.

 Today’s tour book, Gold Rush Bride Caroline, is about Hannah’s daughter and takes place during the 1859 Pike’s Peak Gold Rush in Colorado. I hope you enjoy Caroline’s story.


Linda Shenton Matchett

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 13

Texas Book-aholic, August 14

Inklings and notions, August 15

For Him and My Family, August 16

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 17 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, August 17

Bizwings Blog, August 18

deb’s Book Review, August 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 21

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, August 22 (Author Interview)

Book Looks by Lisa, August 22

Betti Mace, August 23

Connie’s History Classroom, August 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 25

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 26


To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Visa Gift Card and signed copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


Friday, August 19, 2022

Kiss and Tell

About the Book:

Her ex is back to hold her to a marriage pact they made ten years ago . . .

Tabitha Winters, glamorous celebrity chef, loves her life and growing empire in New York. But when her best friends buy the old summer camp where they worked as counselors, she can't turn down their invitation to appear at the opening week fundraising gala . . . even if it means confronting the memories of her first love and its disastrous ending.

She never imagines she’ll run into Sawyer Reed again—her old flame has no business being at Oak Crest. And worse? He’s there to collect on a marriage pact they made ten years ago when they were clueless college kids.

But Tabitha never could resist a dare, and when Sawyer double dares her to give him a week to show her they still have their old magic, she's all in to prove he's wrong.

Only she doesn’t count on him knowing her better than he has a right to. Or having the perfect dates to charm her. And she definitely didn't plan on their attraction still burning hotter than the end-of-season bonfire. But summer camp isn’t real life, and Tabitha won’t let the spell he’s weaving derail her well-planned future. Except no other guy has ever gotten to her the way Sawyer does, and as his knee-buckling kisses work their magic, Tabitha wonders: can she risk her heart again on the only man who ever broke it?

My Review:

The setting of Camp Oak Crest of the campfire, cabins, trails, and the activities brought back fond memories of the years that I attended church camp. Ms. Jacobson artfully describes the revitalized camp that I could easily see myself being there. This was such a fun and sweet romance of two camp counselors who haven’t seen each other in nine years and are reunited to have their second chance at love.

Bravo to Sawyer for admitting his mistakes and setting about winning Tabitha’s heart once again. He was patient and understanding with her as she works through the pain of his past rejection. The camp activities were a really special and creative way to show Tabitha how much he cared for her. The dual timeline worked so well in seeing what Tabitha experienced in falling in love as a teenager. The pace of the book was just right, not too fast, and not too slow as Tabitha has to decide if she is going to let go of the past and make a leap of faith to trust her heart. 

I received a copy of the book and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own. 

(Book Two of Creekville Kisses)

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

The Physician's Dilemma


About the Book:

A female surgeon must navigate society’s restrictions in this fun and courageous tale about finding love where you least expect it.

A physician seeking love
Julian Grey has led a charmed life. His every endeavor has been easily achieved, and he doesn’t want for much. Freedom from the females in his family. A man-sized scone. A bride so he might join his friends in wedded bliss. He’s even found the perfect lady to court. But first, he needs to hire a surgeon for Heloise Manor, London’s newest foundling home.

If only it weren’t for the annoying Miss Grace, whose brash manner and freakishly accurate memory irritate him like a pebble in his boot.

A surgeon seeking employment
Charlotte Grace wants nothing more than to be a surgeon, but she’ll be content helping her father treat his patients. Until he retires, that is.

Set adrift, Charlie goes to London to further her studies and seek like-minded doctors for intelligent discourse. Instead she encounters small minds and Dr. Julian Grey, a physician who studied with her father years ago. Life is too easy for Dr. Grey—even London’s stubborn traffic parts for him. With little effort he’s gained the entrée into the medical world that she desperately longs for. But she’s willing to overlook his failings if he’ll hire her on as surgeon at Heloise Manor.

When an impossible choice demands courage, will Julian and Charlie find their way to love?

My Review:

Charlotte (Charlie) Grace wants one thing in life and that is to be a surgeon. She has studied for years, has gone with her doctor father on calls, and is progressive in her treatment plans. She is an excellent physician, but there is only one problem, she is a woman living in 1819. 

Brash and outspoken, Charlie hides behind her gruff exterior in order to guard her heart and hide her disappointment in not being accepted in the medical field. Her tenacity and perseverance made me root for her and want to see her succeed. I loved seeing her go from being brusque and somewhat of a know-it-all, to transforming into a surgeon with compassion for the children at the orphanage. 

Julian Gray and Charlie were a perfect fit. As both of them let down their defenses, they could see the possibility of a lifetime of love. When Julian allowed Charlie to try some innovative medical treatments and pursue her dream of being a surgeon, I couldn’t wait for them to discover that two are better than one. Hats off to Julian when he gave Charlie credit and recognition for her medical practices in front of a room full of male physicians.

If you love historical fiction, this is a book you will want to read. I learned so many interesting things about the medical practices of that time. Ms. Smith has written a story with such detail that I really felt I was there with Charlie and Julian and the children at the foundling home. This is part of the Something Wonderful series, but can be read as a standalone. 

I was given a copy of the book and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Scarlet Bergamot pictured here on the left is an herb that has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes. 

Sunday, August 7, 2022

The Last Way Home

 About the Book: 

"A disgraced former NHL player and a local artist are thrown together when her pottery studio burns to the ground on the day he returns to Prince Edward Island. But as they work together to rebuild, their secrets will come out, putting even their hearts on the line".

My Review: 

Eli Ross has made a huuuge mess of his life and professional hockey career and the only option left to him is to return home after a stormy departure years ago. Violet Donaghy fled from her guilt and pain to the place and very family that Eli had left behind. 

I loved the way that Ms. Johnson wove the lives of Eli and Violet’s brokenness, pain, and their healing together. The story of the prodigal child was masterfully crafted and was a reminder of how much love can transform us. 

The Ross men and their mother are such a wonderful family that you just want to be a part of their family. The townspeople are fun and I can see myself going to the hockey games and rooting for Eli's team. I loved how the town all rallied around Eli to help him. This can be read as a standalone, but I am looking forward to reading more stories in this series. 

Thank you to the Revell Reads program and NetGalley for an advanced electronic copy of the book. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own. 

Thursday, August 4, 2022


About the Book: 

When ISB Ranger Madison Thorn arrives in Natchez to investigate a white-collar scheme, she has no idea she will be thrown back into the violent crimes division--or that it will get so personal. She'll have to work with her childhood-enemy-turned-handsome-charmer to unravel the clues before it's too late.

My Review: 

You know how your English teacher says the way to read your story is to have a good hook.  Well, how about this one? “Today was not a good day to die.” This sure had my attention and the opening scene was not only exciting, but also surprising and wanting to read more. 

Secrets, corruption, murder, and action had Madison, Clayton, and me all trying to untangle the web of deceit that Madison had been completely unaware of even existed. That is, until someone totally unexpected comes crashing into her life and turns everything upside down. With twists and turns and several false leads, you are sure to want to read this book. It is this fourth book in the Natchez Trace Park Rangers series, but can be read as a standalone. I have read the other three books, but there are only cameo appearances from other characters in the series and they are only there to provide assistance and support to Madison and Clayton. 

I received this book through Net Galley and the publisher, Revell, and was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

The Heart of the Mountains Giveaway

About the Book

Book: The Heart of the Mountains

Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Christian Fiction / Romance

Release date: July 1, 2022

Can their hearts overcome the darkness of the mountains?

To escape a forced marriage, Cora Taylor travels from England to the Blue Ridge Mountains in search of her brother, who is working as a teacher in a mission school. She hopes to find a place where her nursing skills and independent ideas will be accepted and appreciated, but nothing prepares her for the wild mixture of isolation, community, brokenness, and hope within these mountains…or in the person of Jeb McAdams.

Returning from the devastation of World War 1 emotionally damaged, Jeb McAdams struggles against the rampant mountain alcoholism to soothe his nightmares. It’s easy to hide within the mountains, or it was, before Cora Taylor arrived. Now, she seems to show up at every turn, bringing her modern ideas, curiosity, and beautiful eyes with her.

Bound by their shared war history, the pair develop an unlikely friendship, which unexpectedly hints to something more. But when Cora’s desire to help the women of the mountains crosses an unspoken line, will Jeb be able to protect this feisty flatlander from the wrath of the mountain men or will he end up losing much more than his heart?


Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her historical romance novels, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge and The Red Ribbon, and her contemporary novels, the Mitchell’s Crossroads and Pleasant Gap series, showcase her Appalachian heritage, as well as her love for humor and family. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus.

You can learn more about Pepper at her website http://www.pepperdbasham.com or connect with her on FB, IG, or Twitter.

 More from Pepper

It’s so interesting how one idea can influence an entire series, or…how one person’s story can.

The idea for The Heart of the Mountains started in Laurel’s Dream with a hint of a family history story about a girl named Kizzie. (Someday, I hope to bring Kizzie’s story to the pages of a book). From there, the idea began to grow out of a love for my Appalachian culture into a series of books which highlighted (and fictionalized) stories from my family history.

 The main story in The Heart of the Mountains is about Jeb and Cora, two different people with similar servant hearts, but the secondary story that touched me so much was the one based on my great grandfather’s life. I write about it in the Author’s Note at the end of the novel, so I won’t go into detail about it. However, what I loved getting to do is bring the truth of God’s redemption in my great grandfather’s life…to life again.

 I never knew “Papa Rat”. I only knew the stories handed down to me by my granny and my mama, but in writing this story, I feel as though I had a tiny opportunity to “meet” him in these pages. He was a gruff mountain man with a broken past which led him to make a whole lot of broken choices, but his story is incredibly encouraging, because it points to the God of broken people. My great grandpa wasn’t left in his brokenness, but, after years of running away from God, he would later recount that God pursued him. The beauty of Sam McAdams’ journey in The Heart of the Mountains is only a little glimpse into what I imagine my great grandpa’s redemption story looked like.

 Because my great grandpa was forever changed when Jesus saved him (as any of us should be).

I think that’s what my granny and her siblings (and even “Papa Rat” himself) would want most -that his story would point to Jesus. I hope that’s what you see when you read about Sam McAdams in The Heart of the Mountains.

 Have you ever read a book based on family history? One of my favorites is Catherine Marshall’s Christy.

My Review: 

What caused Cora to flee to the Appalachian mountains was desperation; what caused her to stay was determination. Pepper Basham’s familiarity with the Appalachian culture and her family’s roots in the area the story is set brings richness to the characters and depth to their way of life.  

Cora Taylor was an outsider (flatlander) and at first didn’t understand the ways of the mountain folk.  But, she fell in love with the people, their fortitude, and their loyalty to each other. I admired her courage as she put aside her fears to help when she was needed. The opening scene of Cora riding a mule into the wilderness to find her uncle and her brother was both hilarious and hair-raising. I would have been tempted right then to go back to town, but I quickly realized that Cora doesn’t give up easily.  She was one of my favorite characters for not only this reason, but her heart of compassion as she serves the people of Maple Springs and wins the hearts of many of them. 

Jeb McAdams was a big-hearted man who ends up coming to Cora’s rescue again and again. Helping Cora tend the medical needs of the community comes at a great price to himself, but he puts aside his misgivings to do whatever she needs. He was a true treasure that I’d definitely want to be my friend. 

Some favorite quotes of mine are:

“Adventure and danger are often thrust on a person here.”

“There is no fast thaw with these people. Slow and steady faithfulness and authenticity reach them.”

“Love’s worth being brave, Ain’t it? Brave again and again and again.”

I highly recommend this book. I would add it to your library as I am sure you will read it often.  

I was given a copy of this book through NetGalley and Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

Blog Stops

Bizwings Blog, July 28

Rachael’s Inkwell, July 28

Bigreadersite, July 28

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 29

Texas Book-aholic, July 29

Inklings and notions, July 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 30

Boondock Ramblings, July 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 31

Reading With Emily, July 31

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, July 31 (Author Interview)

lakesidelivingsite, August 1

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, August 1

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 1

Daysong Reflections, August 2

deb’s Book Review, August 2

Live. Love. Read., August 2

Betti Mace, August 3

Book Looks by Lisa, August 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 3

Remembrancy, August 4

For Him and My Family, August 4

Blossoms and Blessings, August 4

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, August 5

By the Book, August 5

Wishful Endings, August 5

For the Love of Literature, August 6

Books, Books and More Books, August 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 6

Connie’s History Classroom, August 7

SodbusterLiving, August 7

Splashes of Joy, August 7

Where Faith and Books Meet, August 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 8

Back Porch Reads, August 9

Through the Fire Blogs, August 9

Pause for Tales, August 9

Labor Not in Vain, August 10

Miriam Jacob, August 10

To Everything There Is A Season, August 10


To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e- gift card and a paperback copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


Rocky Mountain Journey

About the Book Book:  Rocky Mountain Journey (Sisters of the Rockies: Book 3) Author:  Misty M. Beller Genre:  Christian Historical Romance ...