Character Spotlight & Giveaway with Pepper Basham

Anyone who has read the two books in The Mitchell’s Crossroads series by Pepper Basham – Twist of Faith & Charming the Troublemaker is familiar with Ma Mitchell. For those who may not be familiar yet with this delightful series, you can read my reviews for both books by clicking on the titles above.

I’ve invited Pepper Basham to visit today and share with us about Ma Mitchell and the inspiration behind her character. If we are lucky, we may even get a homespun family recipe!

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As a native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Pepper Basham enjoys sprinkling her Appalachian into her fiction writing. She is an award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance, mom of five, speech-language pathologist, and a lover of Jesus and chocolate. She resides in Asheville, North Carolina with her family. You can learn more about her on her website, www.PepperDBasham.com or connect on Facebook or Twitter.

 

  Charming the Troublemaker (Mitchell’s Crossroads #2)

A Twist of Faith (Mitchell’s Crossroads #1)

 

Without further delay, I’m going to turn things over to Pepper and let her share with you in her own words with us about Ma Mitchell. Please give Pepper a warm welcome!

Some characters come purely from imagination and some are born from real life.

Ma Mitchell in the Mitchell’s Crossroads series has a whole lot of real-life inspiration with some imagination sprinkled in.

The matriarch of the Mitchell clan, she’s an ever-present sounding board, wisdom giver, gentle voice, or firm director. She kind of reminds me of a mother hen gathering up her chicks, whether they were biologically hers or not.

Ma Mitchell creates an environment of welcome.

Of belonging.

And, boy oh boy, can she cook!

SpencerfamilyWhen I started daydreaming about the Mitchell’s Crossroads series, I drew from my background of being in a large and wonderful Appalachian family, headed by a beautiful matriarch. My Granny Spencer.

A young widow with six kids to raise, her strength, wisdom, and welcome became the root for her own family as well as many other people who were looking for a good meal, friendly company, a compassionate heart, and a listening ear.

meandgranny1forweb (1)My memories are too many to mention, but some of my favorites are having Sunday lunch at Granny’s house where above 25 people at a time would gather and fellowship. I was also one of Granny’s “yard hoppin’” buddies (went to yard sales with her). Another thing that was particularly special to me was listening to family history stories. She could recount back 5 generations or more. Amazing stuff – and more inspiration 😊

So as Ma Mitchell swelled from my imagination into reality, she began to look a whole lot like my Granny in personality, not so much in physical appearance. (I had to leave some imagination in there)

A couple of things readers have enjoyed about Ma Mitchell are:

  1. Her wisdom- she’s always giving advice in unique ways. Sometimes directly and sometimes through story/example. That’s definitely an Appalachian thing 😉 We love storytelling (true ones and not so true)
  2. Her kindness – she has a sweet way of drawing the lonesome ones into the family. From Dee to Alex (and more to come), Ma Mitchell opens her home and heart to help people find a place to belong. Her faith definitely shines out in both her wisdom and kindness.
  3. Her cooking – Yep, she’s feeding a ‘gang’, as she calls them. Any time you enter Ma Mitchell’s house, you’re going to smell something cooking, whether it’s Breakfast Bake, Pot Roast, or Apple cobbler.

In celebration of the release of Charming the Troublemaker and in memory of my Granny, I’m gonna share a few homespun recipes straight from Ma Mitchell’s table.

This recipe is from a 1920 family journal.

Jam Cake

½ cup sugar
2/3 cup butter
½ cup jam (of your choice)
½ cup sour cream
3 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp nutmeg

Mix all ingredients well and bake in layers put together with caramel icing/filling

Caramel Filling
     3 cups brown sugar
½ cup sweet milk or cream
Butter the size of a small egg
Boil and stir until thick and flavor with vanilla

Homemade Doughnuts

1 c sour cream
1 c sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs
A little salt, ginger and cinnamon and flour enough to make dough to roll.

Fry in hot fat (or oil in our case 😊)

Thank you, Pepper for stopping by and sharing with us about Ma Mitchell and about your own Granny Spencer. It is always a special treat to have you drop by for a visit!
I loved the photo’s you shared. They brought back happy memories I have of my own Grandma.

*** GIVEAWAY ***

Pepper Basham is giving away 1 (one) digital copy of her book “Charming the Troublemaker.” Please review the policies here. The giveaway will be open for one week. At the close of the giveaway period the winner will be contacted via email and announced on this page. Return daily during the giveaway period to tweet for bonus entries using the Rafflecopter entry form.

 To Enter the Giveaway: 

1.)  Leave a blog post comment answering the following question:
“Do you have a favorite family recipe and when did you last make it?”

2.) CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter entry form.

*** Giveaway Ended ***

Congratulations to Chanel M.

 

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Character Spotlight & Giveaway with Naomi Rawlings “Love’s Every Whisper (Eagle Harbor #2)

Join me in giving a warm welcome to Naomi Rawlings.

Naomi-Rawlings-Author-1024x857Naomi Rawlings is the author of seven historical Christian novels, including the Amazon bestselling Eagle Harbor Series. While she’d love to claim she spends her days huddled in front of her computer vigorously typing, in reality, she spends her time homeschooling, cleaning, picking up, and pretending like her house isn’t in a constant state of chaos. She lives with her husband and three children in Michigan’s rugged Upper Peninsula, along the southern shore of Lake Superior where they get 200 inches of snow every year, and where people still grow their own vegetables and cut down their own firewood–just like in the historical novels she writes.  You can connect with Naomi at these locations:

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter

I am thrilled to have Naomi vising with us today and sharing about two special characters from Love’s Every Whisper, book 2 in the Eagle Harbor series! Just to give you a little background in case you’ve not read this delightful story (see my review here)

LEWVictoria Donnelly wants to do something right at least once in her lifetime. With five years of failed courtships behind her and the calendar inching closer to another birthday, she’s finally found a way to redeem herself in the eyes of her family. But her plan requires her to return to her home town of Eagle Harbor, where forgotten feelings for a man she can never have lie buried.

Elijah Cummings has loved Victoria for fifteen years. But fishermen’s sons don’t marry shipping barons’ daughters. He knows it. She knows it. The entire town knows it. Resolved to keep his distance from Victoria, Elijah focuses on establishing a much needed life-saving station, risking his own life by rescuing sailors stuck aboard shipwrecks… until he learns she’s about to make an irreversible decision, one she’ll spend the rest of her life regretting.

He knows how to save drowning sailors—but how is he to save the woman he loves from the biggest mistake of her life… without destroying both their hearts in the process?

Trisha: Hi Naomi, I’m thrilled that you are visiting today to share with us insight on the two main characters from your book “Love’s Every Whisper”, and a little bit about the inspiration behind the story.  Victoria & Elijah’s story is such a fun story to read, I’m looking forward to getting to know them even better.

Naomi:  Thanks for having me today, I’m happy to share with you more about Victoria and Elijah, and about Love’s Every Whisper.

Victoria Donnelly: With a stutter that drives potential suitors away after two minutes of conversation and five years of failed courtships, Victoria can’t find a positive thing to say about herself. She’s too tall compared to her petite mother and sister, her hair is too dark, she has a jaw that’s a square as a bucket, and her nose sticks out like a ship’s rudder. There is nothing dainty or feminine about her.

Olivia WildeFor my inspiration for Victoria, I chose Olivia Wilde. 

No matter how hard she tries to be a lady and make her parents proud, she fails every single time. And if Elijah tells her that she shouldn’t allow herself to be pushed around? To be prodded into a marriage that resembles a business partnership rather than a husband and wife relationship? Well, she’s not sure her own desires matter that much. It seems the best thing to do with her future is use it to please her parents. But what if her parents ask too much of her? What if all the henpecking she endures teaches her to set her stutter aside and finally stand up for herself?

Elijah Cummings: With eyes the color of a stormy sea, maybe it’s fitting that Elijah has started a volunteer life-saving team to rescue people on wrecked ships. He learned to sail and fish at his father’s side, and now that he’s taken over the family fishing business, he uses his large size, strength, and frontier upbringing to fight storms when he goes out on rescues.

chris-hemsworth-7-768For my inspiration for Elijah, I chose  Chris Hemsworth

Elijah wants to establish an official life-saving station for Eagle Harbor rather than a volunteer service like he runs now, and he’s not going to let anyone stop him. Surely his determination is a strength, right? He’s risking his life so that others can live. But could his determination become a weakness for him, especially if it makes him too proud to listen to others?

My inspiration for the character of Elijah was Joshua James. James is known as the Father of the United States Life-Saving Service. James witnessed the deaths of his mother and baby sister when he was ten and helped with his first ship-wreck rescue at the age of fifteen. He went on to save over 200 lives. I took several elements of James’s life and work in Massachusetts and used them for Elijah and his work on Lake Superior.

EagleHarbor_LSS_C A rescue boat from Eagle Harbor, MI circa, 1913

Inspiration for the Story 

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My inspiration for Love’s Every Whisper comes from living in a town on Lake Superior and witnessing how sudden and violent the storms here can be. I felt compelled to tell a story about the struggles of settlers on Lake Superior and how they dealt with the extreme weather as well as isolated conditions. When I visited a maritime museum and Marquette, Michigan and read about several life-saving rescues, I knew I had to tell a story of my own.

 

Interesting Historical Fact

Fresnel Lensv2 2010

During my research for the Eagle Harbor Series, I’ve visited several lighthouses on Lake Superior, including the one in the real-life town of Eagle Harbor Michigan. I always love looking at the Fresnel lenses on display. It’s amazing that something so small can send such a powerful beam of light over the water. Most of the lighthouses on the Great Lakes are either fourth or fifth order lenses, which seem really powerful. Some ocean ports used first order Fresnel lenses. I’ve never had the opportunity to see that type of lens, but I can only imagine how strong that beam of light would have been.

 

 

Thank you Naomi for visiting today and sharing with us about the characters Victoria & Elijah. As well as the inspiration and history behind the location of Love’s Every Whisper. It’s been fun vising Eagle Harbor, MI through your eyes!

If you haven’t yet visited Eagle Harbor thru Naomi’s books, you can pick them up at amazon or your local book vendor.

 Love’s Unfading Light (Eagle Harbor #1)

  Love’s Every Whisper (Eagle Harbor #2)

 Love’s Sure Dawn (Eagle Harbor #3)

   Love’s Eternal Breath (Eagle Harbor #4)

    Love’s Winter Hope (Eagle Harbor #5)

   Eagle Harbor – 5 book series 

 

Giveaway

Naomi is graciously offering to giveaway one (1) copy of:
Love’s Every Whisper (Eagle Harbor #2)
winner’s choice print (USA only) or digital

To Enter:

1.)  Leave a comment below, answering the following question(s):
“Have you ever visited any of the great lakes?  If so, did you have a favorite?  If you have not, do you have one you would like to visit?”

2.)  CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter form and follow the directions within.

NOTE: You may earn one entry per day during the giveaway period by Tweeting about the giveaway using the rafflecopter link above.

The giveaway will be open for one week. The winner of the book will be contacted via email, as well as announced on this page at the conclusion of the giveaway. Please see the Disclosures and Policies page for additional rules. 

 

 *****  The Giveaway is Closed *****

The winner of one copy of “Love’s Every Whisper” is:
Heidi R.

 

Author: Pepper Basham with a Character Spotlight & Giveaway!

I’m so very excited to be hosting Pepper Basham on my blog today!  Pepper is as super sweet in person as she is on-line, she enjoys connecting to her readers.

pepperbarnsmile

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of 5 great kids, speech-pathologist to about fifty more, lover of chocolate, jazz, and Jesus. Her debut historical novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in May 2015 and has garnered awards such as Reader’s Favorites Award, finalist in the Grace Awards, shortlisted for the Inspy Awards, and most recently a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards. Her second historical novel, The Thorn Keeper, released in Feb 2016 and her first contemporary romance, A Twist of Faith, released in April 2016 with a 4 star review from Romantic Times. The third book in the Penned in Time series, The Thorn Healer, released in December 2017 with a 4 1/2 star review from Rt and Top Pick rating.

Pepper’s first novella arrives in March as part of a Love at First Laugh novella compilation and her novel, Just the Way You Are, releases on April 6th – a funfilled Britallachian romance! Both books are up for preorder on Amazon.

You can get to know Pepper on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram

I’ve invited Pepper to stop by and share with us about Julia Ramsden & Geoffrey MacLeroy, two secondary characters that caught my attention and curiousity from Just The Way You Are.  Please join me in welcoming The Pepper Basham!

Trisha,
It’s such a delight to get to visit with you today and talk about my upcoming novel, Just the Way You Are. It’s even MORE interesting to get to share two characters who people know VERY little about—but their story creates the subplot of the novel.
So…a little info: Julia Ramsden is Eisley Barrett’s (my heroine’s) ancestor, and Eisley sets out on a journey to England to uncover the mystery behind this amazing woman. All she has is a letter passed down through her family, along with a few generationally-shared hints about her smuggling Tyndale Bibles during King Henry VIII’s reign. No one knows who she married, how she survived capture, and…interestingly enough…how she smuggled the Scriptures.

(And, as a teaser, someday I’m going to write this story because I have it outlined and ready to go 😉 As a treat I might share the first paragraph or so 😊)    

Anyway, my inspiration for Julia and the hero of the story, brooding Geoffrey MacLeroy, were not too difficult to find in this wonderful age of visual media and amazing movies. It may sound pretty petty, but I really like to find pics of my characters dressed in period-attired (or as close to that attire as I can get).

I used photos of  Natalie Dormer as she plays Anne Bolyen from The Tudors (which I’ve not watched but the time period fits beautifully). GW200H240

And here’s another

23ae53dff006caf31079d09f8b8f8905Lady Julia Ramsden is a strong-willed, intelligent, compassionate woman who lives under the tyranny of a cruel father. Left motherless from a young age, her maid, Marguerite, has attempted to fill the maternal void in Julia’s life and also nurtured a deep-set Protestant faith in her – unknown to her irreligious father. Her father has designs on increasing his prosperity and name by marrying Julia off to a wealthy lord, who is a devout Catholic, so the knowledge of her faith (let alone the fact that she helps smuggle Bibles) could pose a definite threat to her father’s plans.

Clive Owen as he looks in King Arthur, is the picture I have of Lord Geoffrey MacLeroy. A strong face, serious, cautious, with an eye-color as changeable as his moods 😊 MCDKIAR EC010(and here’s a pic just so you can see his pretty eyes) young-clive-owen-wallpaper-5

Lord Geoffrey is the step-son of Lord Alastair Blackwood, a kind-hearted lord who married the widowed bride of a close friend and inherited, not only a vast estate, but also the heart of the bride and the son from her previous marriage, Geoffrey. Having been left as a single parent to a daughter, Alastair took great care to raise Geoffrey as his own while respecting his old friend’s memory. Geoffrey grew up fiercely loyal to the land he is to inherit, the much older sister he gained through the marriage, and to the father who raised him.

When a land dispute, followed by some questionable deaths, lead to Geoffrey’s younger brother, Philip, kidnapping Lady Julia Ramsden—the enemy—an unlikely bond bridges the wounded gap in both their hearts, but Julia’s father will do whatever it takes to get his daughter back…or sacrifice her life in his desire for power, especially if she is unwilling to relinquish her hold on her faith for his future.

So…. want a teensy bit of a peek at the story? It’s not much yet, but a little 😊

The wind passed harsh judgment through the oaks along the wooded path. “Treason,” it whispered with the thrums of Julia Ramsden’s pulse. “Death.” And a shudder tensed her shoulders, but she forged ahead into the twilight, sliding into the shadows of the well-worn trail with her latest painting tucked beneath the cover of her cloak.

Condemnation already stung a blow from her fiancé’s hand six months before, when he’d quitted their betrothal due to her Protestant leanings, his concern palpable in the letter he left in her maid’s care. The wind’s fury paled in response to her father’s reaction. Her cheek still warmed from the memory of his blow—a heavy hand and a dark warning to her future. She offered a silent prayer into the gray dusk and resumed her steps down the path to her meeting place. Some things were worth her future. Her fingers wrapped more tightly around the canvas of her latest landscape as she scanned the darkening forest for Thomas.

His tall, lean frame emerged out of the shadows of the trees, and even in the fading light she could see the ashen stains on his breeches and hosen. She almost grinned away the warning of the wind at her friend’s approach. Obviously his leather apron protected his shirt from the toils of blacksmithing, but little else. Would she ever recognize him without the remains of coal smoke dusting up his clothes?

He removed his cap and gave his customary bow at her presence, reminding her of their differing stations, but the smile in his eyes held no distance. A bond forged in a year of their secret mission. His golden hair curled in an unruly mass, dimmed by the fading light.
“I had thought you might not get away.”

She turned to scan the path behind her and the hood of her cloak fell away, her dark curls whispering against her cheeks. “I almost did not, but for my faithful maid’s creative distractions.” A smile pushed free at the corners of her mouth. “The poor guards will be itching for a few days with the powders she hid in their doublets.”

Thank you Pepper for stopping by to share with us about these two intriguing secondary characters, and for giving us an inside look at their story. I look forward to reading more about them in the future!

And now for the giveaway!  One lucky winner will be chosen to receive a digital copy of Just The Way You Are.

To Enter the giveaway for your very own digital copy of Just The Way You Are Please comment below which Pepper Basham book is your favorite, or which one you are most looking forward to reading & click on the Raffelcopter giveaway below.   The winner will be contacted via the email provided.

The drawing runs from 3/27 – 4/1/2017 and is open to both national and international entries.  The winner will be announced on this page at the conclusion of the giveaway.

CLICK HERE for Raffelcopter Giveaway

*** The Giveaway is over. The Winner is Yolande R.

Thank you to all who entered!