Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: The Heart of the Mountains by Pepper Basham


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!

My Thoughts:

This was such a satisfying story. Right after WWI Cora Taylor wants to recover emotionally and doesn't quite know how to go back to her normal life, or even if she can. Then her father determines to marry her off to a man who is not a good man but good for her father's wealth. So, she runs away from England to try and find her brother and uncle in the Blue Ridge Mountains. From the moment she gets there, her life will never be the same.

Within the first few pages I felt for poor Cora. She really had nowhere to go, and she met danger left and right. I liked her character strengths as she showed she was going to adapt to her new home, for the time being, and do her best to help others with her nursing skills. No matter what.

Thankfully she had a right handsome, strong man who seemed to come to her rescue all the time. And not only that, but they also shared similar wounds from the war. Jeb McAdams has come back from the war with nightmares. He does not want to go the way of his father with strong drink, instead he pours himself into building and creating with his woodworking. He is quite good at it too. But when Cora drops into his life, literally and figuratively, he knows there is no going back.

I enjoyed the beautiful descriptions of the landscape and how very real the dangers were both to the natives and the outsiders. The way they lived, their culture, lifestyle, even clans was very foreign to Cora. However, she settled well and her and Jeb had a most swoon worthy romance.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.


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.

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.


Saturday, August 6, 2022

Epic cover reveal: Embrace of Shadows by Jes Drew

So today I have the privilege of showing you the cover of a story that I am really excited to dive into this fall! Really excited. Are you ready? 

First, what is it about?

She’s a mortal with no memories.
As her fae liege, he knows only that he must protect her.
But is he her hero . . . or her captor?

Salma knows only her own name. She doesn’t even remember why she’s ill. Then a fae lord who claims he knows her snatches her back to his manor, and she learns that some things more sinister than death. Like the Court of Dusk where everyone seems to know more about her than she does and nightfall is a deadly affair.

Adom’s book of truth tells him that the woman he doesn’t recognize is a vital member of his household. But the Manor keeps its secrets well, even from its own master. And even the Shadows seem to want the beautiful, mortal nuisance he has pledged to protect.

As the threat of an invasion from night itself continues to mount, Adom knows there will be consequences if he can’t protect her. And Salma wonders if she can trust him to protect her from himself. Because sometimes Adom isn't the begrudging, aloof fae he appears to be. Sometimes he's someone— or perhaps something— else.

The beginning of a haunting, slow-burn, closed-door fae romance with elements of Beauty & the Beast, Hades & Persephone, and Egyptian mythology. Perfect for fans of Sylvia Mercedes, Tara Grayce, and Emma Ham.

Now the magnificent cover:


From the Author:

I wrote this book off the cover, which I saw and had to have. I plotted it and its sequel (and planned the last two books) in a haze Labor Day weekend. I wrote it around the finals of my master’s program, and during these last few weeks of freedom from school.

To be perfectly honest, as I started drafting it, I expected the normal loathing that hits on a second draft. But it didn’t come this time, and I have to say I genuinely love where this story is right now (and I know I’ll love it more when my editor is done with it!).

I can’t wait to share it with you all come September 24th!

Just $2.99 right now Amazon.com: Embrace of Shadows (Cursed Fae of Orphydice Manor Book 1) eBook : Drew, Jes

Monday, August 1, 2022

Review: Critical Alliance by Elizabeth Goddard



She's seeking answers. He's seeking respite.
The past is seeking both of them.

Mackenzie Hanson's special set of skills opened the door to a successful career as a professor of cybersecurity at a Michigan university, allowing her to put her criminal past behind her. But when a long-ago partner in crime delivers a cryptic message about her father's tech company being under cyberattack, she heads for Montana to secure exposed assets, close security breaches, and protect her father's company.

Diplomatic Security Services special agent Alex Knight is back home in Montana to decompress from a mission gone wrong. But even as he's trying to relax, he's drawn into another mystery, complete with suspicious deaths, lethal threats, and whispers of espionage that all have one thing in common--a beautiful cybersecurity expert with a dark past.

When the situation turns deadly, Alex and Mackenzie will have to work together to find the answers they need--before someone silences Mackenzie for good.

My Thoughts:

This was one of those stories that really showed the creepy side of the technology that we all like and even depend on to make our lives go smoothly. I mean how many of us really think about the ramifications of technology and what could happen when it is used against us. Well Mackenzie has been on the wrong side of the law with technology. Now she uses her skills for good. However, due to her past she has been estranged from her family. Her father now dead and a warning concerning his business, Mackenzie heads back home. Hoping for a somewhat warm reunion with her brother and sister. What she comes back home to is so much worst. What is going on? Why is she and her family being targeted?

DSS special Agent Alex Knight is supposed to be taking it easy. But he has run into the one woman he would have liked to get to know better. He is also very perceptive and notices suspicious happenings around Mackenzie that have a certain deadly bent. He determines to protect her and now they both are in danger.

Romance, suspense, and danger, this story kept me up late several nights as Mackenzie becomes the hunted and Alex will do what he must to save her.  Their best chance for survival is to work together even when the sparks fly, especially in the romantic department.

I was provided a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own. 

About the Author:

Elizabeth Goddard is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of more than 50 novels, including the Rocky Mountain Courage and Uncommon Justice series. Her books have sold over 1 million copies. She is a Carol Award winner and a Daphne du Maurier Award finalist. When she's not writing, she loves spending time with her family, traveling to find inspiration for her next book, and serving with her husband in ministry. For more information about her books, visit her website at www.elizabethgoddard.com.