I have been hearing good things about Pepper Basham for awhile and have even purchase some of her books. Unfortunately my review calendar has not allowed much time for reading books not on it. I was excited to actually put “Just the Way You Are” on my calendar so I could see for myself what everyone was talking about. Just wow!
First of all, this author has an amazing gift with words. The dialogue was so natural and engaging. Characters were strongly defined with enough of both good traits and flaws to make them realistic. Of course at least one character exhibited quite a few more flaws than the others. I was captivated at the opening scene and didn’t want to put the book down until I finished it.
If you can imagine laugh-out-loud humor combined with sizzling romance and topped off with strong faith, that is what you get with “Just the Way You Are”. The book is filled with so many perfectly quotable lines that I would find it difficult to choose a favorite. I loved both Eisley and Wes. Eisley could be such a klutz but was always able to laugh at herself and move on. Wes turned out to be so different from what one would expect of a man in his position and it was easy to see why Eisley would fall for him despite her vow to avoid romance.
“Just the Way You Are” is a fun yet serious look at learning to see ourselves how God sees us and following His plans for our lives. I thoroughly enjoyed Basham’s pairing of two such opposite characters from opposite sides of the world. I look forward to another visit to Pleasant Gap. I hope I don’t have to wait too long!
I voluntarily reviewed a digital copy of this book provided by Celebrate Lit. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Single mom, Eisley Barrett, prefers to keep romance safely housed within a centuries-old mystery, but when she travels to England to unearth the secret, an actor with a sordid past offers her reluctant heart a very different type of discovery.
Wes Harrison has a past he’s ashamed to confess. Suspicious and cynical, he’s managed to avoid romantic entanglements since a tragedy upended his career and life, that is until American Eisley Barrett comes along. Her authenticity and kindness upend his bitter assumptions and send his heart into unscripted territory.
When his past threatens to ruin a second chance at love, can some Appalachian matchmaking and letters from the grace salvage their unexpected romance?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes novels inspired by her love for history and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her Penned in Time series has garnered recognition in the Inspys, Grace Awards, and the ACFW Carol Awards. Her contemporary romance novel, A Twist of Faith, received 4-stars from Romantic Times, and most recently, her newest release, The Thorn Healer, received a Top Pick from RT with 4 ½ stars. Her newest contemporary romance, Just the Way You Are, releases in April 2016. You can get to know Pepper on Facebook, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley, or Instagram.
GUEST POST FROM PEPPER BASHAM:
Thank you so much for featuring my newest novel, Just the Way You Are, on CelebrateLit. I am THRILLED to be a part of this and to share a story that is very dear to my heart.
Just the Way You Are is my first ‘true’ Britallachian romantic comedy. Even though I’ve written comedy in some of my other novels and included elements of both Appalachia and Britain, this one embodies the tag #britallachian to the core. For those of you who’ve read some of my previous books, you know I’m a big fan of my native Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian culture. You may also know that I’m a proud Anglophile.
Those two loves met in Just the Way You Are – and I tossed lots of other things I love best into the mix. What are those ingredients, you might ask?
Well, let me just tell ya! Just the Way You Are is a blend of Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian culture, big (hilarious) family dynamics, matchmaking, Britain, a swoony English hero, a quirky, magnanimous heroine, a bunch of adorable kids, Scooby Doo and Indiana Jones references, lots of humor, a historical mystery, a devious villainess, stately manor houses, secret rooms, love letters, and matchmaking all rolled into one…oh, and did I mention brain-numbing romance?
(Did anyone else feel the need to add “fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, miracles, true love….” From the Princess Bride?) J I don’t think I included torture, giants, or monsters in Just the Way You Are…but I may have the other elements in this novel J
Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating about the brain-numbing, but I do have a tendency to err on the side of overly dramatic J
Within the pages of Just the Way You Are, you’ll meet people from my own family, people from my imagination, and some people who stepped into the story without one ounce of my planning to ever meet them. This story came out of my desire to write something I love reading – spicy romance, clean humor, culture clashes, the big love of family, and redemption.
How did my heroine Eisley Barrett evolve? Out of thin air. I was washing dishes one afternoon and staring out the window into our small backyard with the Blue Ridge Mountains painting a purplish-blue frame on the horizon when I closed my eyes. Into my imagination came this ginger-headed woman walking through Heathrow International Airport pulling a hot pink bag behind her…and then, she tripped and fell. That was it. That’s how I was introduced to my insecure, hilarious, romance-loving, single-mom heroine.
And the dashing hero? Okay, this may sound ridiculous, but I was watching an interview about Richard Armitage (Thoron Oakenshield, Guy of Gisborne, etc) regarding his lovely costume drama North and South where he plays a very dashing British hero. Anyway, he was SUCH a gentleman to watch during the interview. So polite. Kind. Funny, in a sweet way, and then, out of the blue, he said the word ‘gosh’. I know, that may not be a big deal to anyone but me, but after watching celebrity interviews where every other word needed a censor, the very fact that this elegant man used the word ‘gosh’, sent my writing brain into motion. My first internal question? What if a movie star with a tender heart had been burned by the pretension and expectation of celebrity status? What kind of woman could touch a heart who’d lost his faith in love’s authenticity?
Enter my red-head single-mom toting her pink bag through Heathrow and you have the very beginning of Just the Way You Are – a story of forgiveness, second chances…and a little bit of movie magic.
April 6: Reading Is My SuperPower
April 6: cherylbbookblog
April 6: Fiction Aficionado
April 7: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
April 7: Smiling Book Reviews
April 7: Singing Librarian Books
April 8: Bookworm Mama
April 8: my site/autism mom
April 9: Quiet Quilter
April 9: Inklings and notions
April 10: Faithfully Bookish
April 10: Back Porch Reads
April 11: Robin’s Nest
April 11: Christian Chick’s Thoughts
April 12: Blogging With Carol
April 12: Just the Write Escape
April 13: Cordially Barbara
April 13: Moments Dipped in Ink
April 14: His Grace is Sufficient
April 14: A Greater Yes
April 15: Just Commonly
April 15: 100 Pages per Hour
April 16: Book by Book
April 16: A Baker’s Perspective
April 17: Splashes of Joy
April 17: Christian Bookaholic
April 17: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
April 18: Karen Sue Hadley
April 18: History Mystery & Faith
April 18: Through the Open Window
April 19: Henry Happens
April 19: Baker Kella
April 19: Daysong Reflections
To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away a Grand Prize consisting of:
A ‘chest’ – in JTWYA historical letters are discovered in a chest that relates to the historical storyline, so all of these lovely goodies are going to be safely inside this chest.
Chocolate – several references take place in JTWYA that compare the hero to chocolate ?
A plaque about family – because that’s a main point of importance in JTWYA
A Spider-man zipper pull – Pete, the heroine’s son, is a major Spider-man fan.
English Breakfast Tea – The hero is English…swoony English
A dishcloth – again, something that relates to a scene in the book regarding the hero and dishes (twice)
Stirring spoon and measuring cups – food and cooking are a big part of Appalachian culture and fellowship, something celebrated in JTWYA
A notebook – Eisley (the heroine) is taking notes about a historical family mystery
A lovely container full of cloth flowers (for fun, and beauty) – the container says – Love and you will be loved. Loving others has an amazing way to find its way back to us (as is what happens in JTWYA)
A little plaque that reads “You are Loved” – a theme of this story
A beautiful lace doily from England (the English part of the story)
Some “Pixie Dust” a fun visualization of the ‘magic’ of romance in this story
and A copy of Just the Way You Are!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b3e0
“A Stranger at Fellsworth” is a Regency era romantic suspense that grabbed my attention from the very beginning. Its brisk plot and strong characters kept me engaged and I quickly finished reading it in just a couple of sittings.
The suspense is fairly tame yet interesting. A bit of a mystery about poaching on two estates near Fellsworth is finally solved with some surprising results. A couple of truly nasty characters add to the drama and an unexpected romance will make the story worthwhile for many readers.
A story of betrayal and forgiveness, this novel was an enjoyable read that kept this reader occupied and happy for a few hours. I always enjoy a novel by Sarah E. Ladd.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book that was provided by Amazon Vine. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Could losing everything be the best thing to happen to Annabelle Thorley?
In the fallout of her deceased father’s financial ruin, Annabelle’s prospects are looking bleak. Her fiancé has called off their betrothal, and now she remains at the mercy of her controlling and often cruel brother. Annabelle soon faces the fact that her only hope for a better life is to do the unthinkable and run away to Fellsworth, the home of her long-estranged aunt and uncle, where a teaching position awaits her. Working for a wage for the first time in her life forces Annabelle to adapt to often unpleasant situations as friendships and roles she’s taken for granted are called into question.
Owen Locke is unswerving in his commitments. As a widower and father, he is fiercely protective of his only daughter. As an industrious gamekeeper, he is intent on keeping poachers at bay even though his ambition has always been to eventually purchase land that he can call his own. When a chance encounter introduces him to the lovely Annabelle Thorley, his steady life is shaken. For the first time since his wife’s tragic death, Owen begins to dream of a second chance at love.
As Owen and Annabelle grow closer, ominous forces threaten the peace they thought they’d found. Poachers, mysterious strangers, and murderers converge at Fellsworth, forcing Annabelle and Owen to a test of fortitude and bravery to stop the shadow of the past from ruining their hopes for the future.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for The Heiress of Winterwood. She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing family and spunky Golden Retriever.
I didn’t realize how much I had missed Gothic romance novels until Sandra Byrd released her first book in the Daughters of Hampshire series. I enjoyed it so much that I looked forward to each subsequent book. “A Lady in Disguise” is the third and final book if the series follows the usual rule of three. I personally would love to see this author continue to write novels in this vein.
“A Lady in Disguise” continues the series with its wonderfully sinister atmosphere, heightened suspense, and characters perfectly suited to their roles. I loved how difficult it was to determine whether certain characters were friend or foe. There were moments that I suspected each of them even when I hoped I was wrong. I did begin to suspect one over the others and my suspicions turned out to be correct; however that did not affect my enjoyment of the story one bit. The dialogue between Thomas and Gillian was delightful. I so enjoyed their scenes together.
With the perfect combination of drama, suspense, romance, and faith with just a touch of humor, “A Lady in Disguise” was exactly what I had hoped. The suspense element grew at just the right rate and had me worried about whether Gillian would survive her troubles. A surprise or two along the way were the icing to the cake. My only complaint is that it ended much too quickly but then I shouldn’t read so fast. I can’t wait to see what the author has in store for her readers next.
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
After the mysterious death of her father, Miss Gillian Young takes a new job as the principal costume designer at the renowned Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. But while she remembers her father as a kind, well-respected man of the Police Force, clues she uncovers indicate he’d been living a double life: a haunting photograph of a young woman; train stubs for secret trips just before his death; and a receipt for a large sum of money. Are these items evidence of her father’s guilty secrets? His longtime police partner thinks so.
Then Gillian meets the dashing Viscount Thomas Lockwood. Their attraction is instant and inescapable. As their romantic involvement grows, Gillian begins to suspect even Lockwood’s motives. Does Lord Lockwood truly love her? Or is his interest a front for the desire to own her newly inherited property? And what should she make of her friend’s suggestion that Lockwood or men like him were involved in the murder of her father?
Soon Gillian is convinced that her father has left evidence somewhere that can prove his innocence and reveal the guilty party. But someone wants
to stop her from discovering it. The closer she comes to uncovering it, the more menacing her opposition grows. With her life on the line, Gillian takes on an ingenious disguise and takes on the role of a lifetime to reveal the true killer—before it’s too late both for her and for those that she loves.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sandra Byrd has published four dozen books in the fiction and nonfiction markets, including her two historical series with Howard Books. For nearly two decades, Sandra has shared her secrets with the many writers she edits, mentors, and coaches. She lives in the Seattle, Washington area.
Although it is book five in the Drew Farthering mystery series, “Murder on the Moor” easily stands on its own merits. Because of a heavy review calendar, I have had opportunity to read only the first book in the series prior to this one and I had no problems at all figuring out what was going on.
I am not certain if “Murder on the Moor” would be considered a cozy mystery but it is a fairly easy-going read with light suspense and plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor. Several quirky characters help keep things interesting with several of them considered good candidates for the guilty party. Plenty of unexpected twists and a surprise ending were in store. Just when I was beginning to think that Drew was never going to put all the clues together, he came through with flying colors. I sure didn’t see that coming!
I loved this book, especially the subtle humor that runs through it. One scene between Drew and Constable Watts had me in stitches. I highly recommend “Murder on the Moor” as well as the previous books in this series.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Celebrate Lit. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
At the urgent request of an old school friend, Drew and Madeline Farthering come to Bloodworth Park Lodge in the midst of the Yorkshire moors, a place as moody and mysterious as a Brontë hero. There have been several worrisome incidents around those lonesome rolling hills–property desecrated, fires started, sheep and cattle scattered. Worst of all, the vicar has been found dead on the steps of the church, a crime for which Drew can discern no motive at all.
Few in the town of Bunting’s Nest seem like suspects, and Drew can’t keep his suspicions from falling on his friend’s new bride. Do her affections lie more with her husband’s money and estate, while her romantic interests stray to their fiery Welsh gamekeeper? As the danger grows ever closer, it’s up to Drew to look past his own prejudices, determine what’s really going on, and find the killer before it’s too late.
Click here to purchase your copy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Julianna Deering is the creator of the acclaimed Drew Farthering Mystery series. She has always loved British history and is a particular fan of the writings of Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie. She graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a degree in business administration and spent several years as a Certified Public Accountant. She lives outside Dallas, Texas.
For more information visit www.juliannadeering.com.
March 2: Fiction Aficionado
March 2: Inklings and Notions
March 3: ASC Book Reviews
March 3: Just Commonly
March 4: Reading Is My SuperPower
March 4: A Baker’s Perspective
March 5: The Power of Words
March 5: knightress4theking
March 6: Bibliophile Reviews
March 6: Splashes of Joy
March 7: Blogging With Carol
March 7: Through the Open Window
March 8: Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot
March 9: Thoughts from Mill Street
March 9: Christian Bookaholic
March 10: History, Mystery and Faith
March 10: Daysong Reflections
March 11: Just the Write Escape
March 11: Book by Book
March 12: Radiant Light
March 12: Bigreadersite
March 13: A Simple Life, really?!
March 13: Carpe Diem
March 14: Pause for Tales
March 14: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
March 15: Back Porch Reads
March 15: Baker Kella
To celebrate her tour, Julianna is giving away a set of the A Drew Farthering Mystery
(5 Book Series)!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!