Happy Thanksgiving! Exciting news–on Black Friday my publisher is offering 20% off of all of her paperbacks which includes all my Revolutionary Faith Series. Also, on Friday Hold Me Close is free in eBook form. Check out all the sales.
Thanksgiving 2020! Who would have guessed what the year would hold? Well, God knew before the New Year’s bell tolled. We can and should rejoice and be thankful even with what 2020 has dealt to our “normal” lives.
My sister sent a challenge to all my sisters and me (four of us) earlier this week: collect the little treasures from the day that God gifts to us and share at the end of the day. Amazing results. Thanks for the reminder, Sis!
On that day I sat in the rental car office awaiting my rental since my car had to make a detour to the service department. For an hour and a half, I read, walked, prayed, and thought about the little treasures. Wait, wasn’t I having to spend extra money for a rental, plus money to fix my car? Yep! But the challenge was to find treasures. I did…because of shortage of economy cars to rent, I received a brand new 600 miles RAV 4! I felt like a princess. Certainly not what I was expecting. A little treasure for me to enjoy for a week.
My list grows daily, hourly…even in 2020 when time expands and warps into new dimensions:
–multiple daily walks with Tully, my rescue 2020 dog
–weekly FaceTime family events full of laughter and shared memories
–new job encouraging 270 online high school students
–precious one on one time with individual family members including a few new additions
–extra hours to read and discover new authors and bits of history on literary adventures
–almost daily visits with my parents who are mostly isolating and staying healthy
–worship, praise, and fellowship (small numbers) with my church family
–writing and receiving cards and notes of encouragement
–renovating a couple of houses and managing a couple of Airbnbs (huge learning curve)
–perfecting some recipes (petit fours and chocolate tart) and making healthy food choices
–oatmeal with Bumbleberry Honey, a gift from a shower I hosted, and hot chocolate with marshmallows
Of course, I rejoice in my faithful, ever present, loving relationship with my husband which has blessed me in this 2020 chaos becoming an anchor that all is not bizarre and new. I can’t forget my children, family, and friends, a constant in the craziness.
So, I’m still finding those little treasures that God is faithful to leave. I’m praying I continue to recognize them in the mundane and the awesome path of life.
I’m sure you have a few to share. Happy Thanksgiving!
Book 4 in the Tree of Life Series: A Father-Daughter Genealogy Team Link Faith Journeys on Family Trees
When 15-year-old Tisha Crowder gets caught shoplifting, attorney Nolan Duffy tries to protect her from consequences that could rattle her already troubled life. His daughter, Jillian, feels like she’s the one being punished instead—by having Tisha assigned to work with her on a backlog of genealogy files. Tisha doesn’t seem interested in taking the job seriously, and Jillian’s patience wears thin. Besides, everyone in Canyon Mines knows the Crowder family has experienced generations of brokenness. Then a sliver of hope turns up in long-ago words in plain sight, challenging shrouded assumptions about Tisha’s family. Now Jillian is the one who can walk with Tisha back to 1893 and uncover where everything went wrong in the first place—and save her from the past.
What You Said to Me is the fourth book in the Tree of Life series by Olivia Newport. You’ll want to return to the lovely Colorado mountain town of Canyon Mines again and again to explore and celebrate unforgettable family stories that will inspire you to connect with your own family histories and unique faith journeys.
I say this every time I read a book in this series: Jillian is my favorite genealogist. In fact, she the only one I “know.” I want her job! Her character expands and grows in each book. Also, who doesn’t love her father with his immense amount of wisdom and love for helping families maneuver through life’s difficult turns?
The split time format is something I am loving in lots of novels. Two seemingly unconnected stories wind their ways through the pages to a point of collision. The moment of contact and connection is a highlight of the novel.
Through the series the characters, major and minor, have developed with depth, making them friends more than fiction. There is a love element that is unresolved, so I do hope there is another genealogist/lawyer mystery ahead.
I still want to pretend to be a genealogist. Does DAR member count? I had to research the death, birth, marriage, and military angles of eight generations. Oh, but I didn’t have to piece together a difficult puzzle like Jillian. Welcome to an inspiring work pulling on the need for forgiveness, strength, wisdom, and letting go of the past.
About the Author
Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. Her husband and twentysomething children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of Pikes Peak.
More from Olivia
“You didn’t just say that.” Or, “I can’t believe you said that.”
Have you ever said that in retort to someone whose comment offended or wounded? I know I have. But what cuts me even more deeply is when I say to myself, “I can’t believe I just said that.”
The words of a parent at wit’s end, a spouse harboring hurt, a friend saddened by misunderstanding, an employee feeling undercut—they have all been my words. And they came out too fast to swallow back before they did their damage.
I hope I have also had the words of a parent who set aside busyness to listen, a spouse offering loving encouragement, a friend checking in with someone going through a tough patch, a coworker curious to see how I could help rather than compete. Those are the kinds of words I’ve never regretted, never had to repent of, never had to do rebuild from.
I certainly didn’t write What You Said to Me because I think I get it right all the time or even most of the time. Far from it! In our culture of rushing and achieving and—let’s face it, sometimes just getting through the demands of the day—sometimes our words are the last thing we are careful with. Yet they have the longest lasting consequence in our relationships and families—sometimes for generations. The dual-timeline story traces how words that injure became a pattern in one family line until one girl finally fought back to find healing for her future.
My challenge for myself, and all who read What You Said to Me, is to be the person who speaks healing words of hope so that “I can’t believe you said that” becomes “Thank you for saying that.”
If you have a particularly poignant experience of how another’s words impacted you, I’d love to hear from you.
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Do historic venues, front porch reads, and voyages inspire you? As someone who loves all things historical, I read and write inspirational and historical fiction for those who crave old homes, gardens, and a good cup of tea.
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Hey, friends and readers. My publisher is Celebrate Lit. I enjoy these multi-author giveaways so much. I’m giving away Draw Me to Your Side. Be sure to enter.
We want you to know how thankful we are for you! Your thoughts, your prayers, your support – They mean so much! Thanksgiving being in the month of November, I have teamed up with Celebrate Lit and other authors to offer a fun giveaway just to honor you!
We want you to have a chance to win 40+ of books or a $500 Amazon card to buy a ton of books yourself in the Celebrate Lit 3rd Annual Thankful for Our Readers Multi-Author Giveaway!
Genre: Historical Christian Romance; Regency Romance
Release Date: May 29, 2020
“I am not romantic, you know. I never was.”
Newly escaped from a loathsome engagement of convenience, Charlotte Lucas has no interest in romance. More than ever, she is convinced that no man would—or could—love her. As companion to an aging aunt, Charlotte’s new life is as predictable as it is circumspect.
But then she is rescued from a robbery by her uncle’s heir, a masterful man who is disastrously handsome. Why has he remained as a guest in the house? Why is he so determined to draw Charlotte out and make her talk? And what of his invitation to visit his home by the sea?
Romance is not on the chart for Captain Jack Blunt. Never again will he be played for that kind of fool! He is ashore only to heal from an injury and see to business, nothing more. And yet the pointed disinterest of his cousin’s pert niece is intriguing. She is forthright, refreshingly honest—and altogether lovely. She will make a fine wife for one of his officers. But not, of course, for him.
So This Is Love is a joyride of a Regency, bringing whirlwind romance and happily-ever-after to Jane Austen’s staid and practical Charlotte Lucas.
I have read every one of Laura’s novels. She stretches my imagination in such fun and beautiful ways! In this Austen based jewel, Elizabeth Bennett step aside. A new star is born in the brilliant, refurbished Charlotte Lucas. She needs a story, I agree. As she takes center stage, hope is born for all of us struggling to find our footing in this crazy world. Not all of us can be Elizabeth Bennett. Huzzah for Elizabeth’s faithful friend.
Several relevant themes wind through the English 1800 countryside and cities, giving the reader glimpses of the roaring coastline and waving fields. The main character faces challenges of her will, alternatives, living the consequences of decisions, weighing the options, all with an open prayer to God to guide. Don’t we all have to do that every day? One decision sets a course. I’m not going to tell you what choice Charlotte makes. You will have to read that on your own!
I look forward to Laura Hile’s next novel….
About the Author
Encourager. Believer. Author. Teacher. Friend.
By day, Laura Hile teaches at a Christian school. By night—or rather, in the early morning when she can think! —she writes Jane Austen and Regency romance with laughs and happy endings.
The comedy Laura comes by as a teacher. There’s never a dull moment with middle school students!
She enjoys gardening (she is a weed warrior!), choral singing, and having coffee with friends.
Laura lives in Beaverton, Oregon, with her husband and a collection of antique clocks. One day she hopes to add a cat or three.
More from Laura
In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Charlotte Lucas is stuck marrying the awful Mr. Collins. It is a prudent choice, given her age and circumstances, but still.
Generations of women readers have felt badly for her, including me. “No, no!” we want to shout. “The man’s a spineless braggart! Don’t marry him!”
Charlotte claims that she is not romantic. We don’t believe that for a minute. She simply hasn’t met the right man.
With an eye on the rugged seaside setting of the classic movie The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947), I decided to change all that. With two little words, I sent Charlotte’s story spinning from its Pride and Prejudice rails: What If?
What if, when Collins returns to Meryton to negotiate the settlement, his lustful thoughts overpower good sense? What if, before they are married, Collins gets handsy—and something within Charlotte snaps? What if she abruptly ends the engagement?
That’s what we would do in real life, right? We’d kick Collins to the curb!
What if, to escape gossip, Charlotte is sent to live with her father’s sister and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Allen (borrowed from Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey). Mr. Allen’s heir is also a house guest, and thus we have a perfect opportunity for romance.
Although I intended to use The Ghost and Mrs. Muir’s Captain Gregg as a model, Captain Jack Blunt wasn’t having any. He strode onto the story’s quarterdeck as very much his own man. For one thing, he is Royal Navy (1812), not merchant marine. And for another, he is surprisingly devout. Although he has a gentleman’s beard like Gregg, he is blond.
If you’re thinking Chris Hemsworth in Thor, you’re getting the right idea.
Look, if our girl Charlotte is brave enough to give Collins the heave-ho, she deserves to meet a swoony hero, right?
Captain Blunt’s house by the sea in Dorset plays the role of Captain Gregg’s Gull Cottage. Cliff House, and the cove it’s built above, almost become characters themselves as Charlotte and Jack share daily walks beside the sea. This book is filled with delicious banter between the two. Isn’t that our favorite thing about a romance?
So This Is Love is a swashbuckling, sweep-away Regency that is just plain fun to read. I think you’ll enjoy it.
What a year 2020 has been, and it isn’t over yet! As I am living this year of unpredicted, unusual, unprecedented events, I reach back into history, wondering how unique this strange year is in the centuries. I’m no expert on politics or pandemics, but I do love studying historical events. The one I’m most familiar with is the American Revolution. Even with my research, I have only touched a fragment of available information.
Anyway, I can’t help but make a little comparison. I’m not going to touch the subject of the politics of today. Let’s go on a journey to the 1770s in the thirteen colonies. What a conglomeration of people from different nations, backgrounds, and languages. The things they had in common circled around wanting something different than they had in their former lands, whether for religious, financial, or political reasons. Some even involved criminal elements. But did they expect a major war that would turn their world upside down.?
It wasn’t total chaos. Years of preparation, discussions, decisions, study, and even voting flooded the colonies. The destiny of a nation was formed through debate, disagreements, amendments, creativity, prayer, and eventually battles. The birth of our nation was painful, but the Patriots thought it important enough to press on to claim freedom for all mankind. Perfect? Far from it. I think we are still pursuing that goal today.
Heads up, my friends. Looking into the past can bring you hope in these times. Faith in our God goes a long way to living a peaceful life even in a year as confusing as 2020.
Can you think of another example of when the world was thrown into chaos and survived?
Book 8 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History
In Carroll County, a corn shucking is the social event of the season, until a mischievous kiss leads to one of the biggest tragedies in Virginia history. Ava Burcham isn’t your typical Blue Ridge Mountain girl. She has a bad habit of courtin’ trouble, and her curiosity has opened a rift in the middle of a feud between politicians and would-be outlaws, the Allen family. Ava’s tenacious desire to find a story worth reporting may land her and her best friend, Jeremiah Sutphin, into more trouble than either of them planned. The end result? The Hillsville Courthouse Massacre of 1912.
The author takes the reader back in time to a mountain community broken by feuds and long malicious intentions divided on the grounds of something that happened before any of the characters were born. Feuds have been around since the beginning of mankind, back to Genesis. In current times the word feud is not used, rather grudge, unforgiveness, pain, splits, slander, lies, hatred. But should feuds be allowed to dictate lives generations later, even weeks or months later?
The feuds in The Red Ribbon destroy, kill, and maim lives that God means for good. Yet, good is present in the lives of characters who believe God knows what is happening and has an answer to prosper and heal. This age hold story of impenetrable walls reads fresh, maybe too fresh in the world today.
A quote from the novel says “They wanted you to live, Ava. So, live with joy and freedom and love.” I want to do that too. Do I hold grudges? Unfortunately, I do, if not grudges then vivid memories lurking at the forefront of my mind of wrongs done to me. What would it be like to exist outside of feuds and damaging images and words?
The mountain dialect transports the reader to walk among the unique characters. But the thread of forgiveness and hope winds its way into my life. Joy, freedom, and love—a great reason to live.
About the Author
Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She’s a native of the Blue Ridge Mountains where her family have lived for generations. She’s the mom of five kids, speech-pathologist to about fifty more, lover of chocolate, jazz, and Jesus, and proud AlleyCat over at the award winning Writer’s Alley blog. Her debut historical romance novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in April 2015, and the second in February 2016. Her first contemporary romance debuted in April 2016.
More from Pepper
Feuds, Moonshine, and Family Loyalties by Pepper Basham
My upcoming release for Barbour’s True Colors series is really close to my heart…and pretty close to my house.
The Red Ribbon, my first foray into a historical suspense novel, takes place in the county where I grew up. Carroll County, Virginia, is a county on the border of Virginia and North Carolina, not too far from Mt. Airy (Mayberry). Nestled in the foothills and mountains of the Blue Ridge, it is a part of the Appalachian Mountains, and with that comes similar histories as other backwoods Appalachian communities: feuds, moonshine, and family loyalties.
One thing I love most about my Appalachian upbringing is the intense closeness of family – and when I say ‘family’ I mean, of course, my mom, dad, and brother, but also my aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents…the whole “gang”, as my granny used to say.
The closeness of family, and the protection of the family name, is a big deal in Appalachia. There’s a lot of pride in the way your ‘name’ is thought of throughout the community, so when someone insults your name, there’s a good chance the repercussions aren’t going to be pleasant. Especially back in the early 1900s, when The Red Ribbon takes place. In fact, insulting someone by “stealing a kiss” is one of the events that leads to The Hillsville Courthouse Massacre/Tragedy.
A long-time feud between the Allen family and the “Courthouse Clan” came to a head inside the Hillsville Courthouse in March 1912 and this event resulted in the largest shootout within a courthouse in Virginia history. The story followed with a nationwide manhunt and made national news until the sinking of the Titanic the following month.
Growing up in Carroll County, I knew a few things about this story. Rumors and whispers, really. Most folks didn’t talk about it because it still caused a stir among those who were descendants (because another thing about Appalachia is that families tend to stay on or around family land for generations). People still took “sides”. So, when I decided to write this book, I knew I was stepping into precarious territory. Not that anyone would start up a shootout nowadays because of a book, but because people still have some deep feelings about how their ancestors are portrayed in history, and since many of my family members still live in Carroll County, I wanted to tread carefully into the events of “The Allen Tragedy”.
What I discovered was a story that still held a whole lot of mystery even one hundred years later. Bullet holes still mark the courthouse steps from that fateful day, rumors still circulate about who was to blame, and no one knows who fired the first gunshot that began the tragic shooting.
I’m not a “scary” book writer or reader, but I love a good adventure, so this book takes the reader on an adventure into Appalachia to my neck of the woods, and follows the journey of Ava Burcham and Jeremiah Sutphin as they live among the illegal moonshiners, dirty cops, and mountain gunslingers of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Here are a few words from Sandy Barela, Owner of Celebrate Lit Ministries:
Hello Readers! Any weather is book weather….but now it is curl up with a blanket, coffee, and book weather! Adding to the excitement is the Christmas books that are starting to release. I have already started to read a few new ones plus a few of my favorites while listening to Christmas music (shhhh….don’t tell the fam!). In this edition, we hope you are able to find the latest going on with all our #BecauseFiction Authors, enter some fun giveaways, grab some free books, plus add some to the fall TBR list. Have a wonderful November, Friends!
I have an article in the Historical Edition of the magazine.
“Stop by and read our #BecauseFiction October Historical Edition with featured authors such as Marguerite Martin Gray, Carolyn Miller, and Caryl McAdoo!”