The Heart of a Story Teller {A Pinned in Time Guest Post + Giveaway }

Welcome to the Pinned in Time Blog Hop: a twelve day party celebrating Pepper Basham's Penned in Time series! There is a Pinterest scavenger hunt, exciting giveaway, behind the scenes looks into the worlds of The Thorn Bearer and The Thorn Keeper--as well as a glimpse into the heart of their talented author.

It is my joy to "host" this wonderful friend/mentor who is also one of my favorite crazy-talented authors. In celebration of the Pinned in Time blog tour, Pepper is here today to virtually have a cup of tea (on that--check out the giveaway below!) and pour out some words of wisdom. Words I so hope everyone who stops by is touched by--I know I was.
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. You can get to know Pepper on her website, on FacebookTwitter or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley.
Stories are powerful. They have the ability to teach deep truths wielded through words and veiled in imagination. They give us visual ‘images’ and emotional connections to print on a page or characters we’ve never met. It’s a magical journey with the ability to prick our consciences, grip our hearts, inspire our dreams, and point us in the direction of healing.
Stories are powerful.
I grew up in a world of stories, but not the typical kind one might think of. We had very few children’s books in my young world and the majority of the ones we did have were children’s Bible stories. Interesting books filled with colorful illustrations that helped bring the Bible to life for a young mind, but I also learned the power of story through my Granny.
You see, I’m from Appalachia. Storytelling is as much a part of the culture as family get-togethers. In fact, lots of times those go hand-in-hand. Much like the stories of the Bible, my Granny would tell stories passed down through five, six, seven generations or more. She knew details genealogy sites couldn’t provide. Fascinating and unbelievable stories that carved out the lives of my ancestors and put flesh-and-bone on names. Good and bad tales. Heart wrenching and joyous tales. Every possible kind woven through the palate of our family history, but one thing remained constant.
The thread of Redemption.
God ALWAYS showed up in some part of the stories. In fact, as I look back on those stories (many of which I tried to write down to remember), I’m in awe of how God used all sorts of situations – horse thieves, fires, sickness, death, trading wives, stowaways, martyrs, meanness, alcoholism, strength, addiction, grace, money, weakness….- to bring about the most amazing beauty and show His mercy and plan.
And from that culture and background, God cultivated in me a deep love of story. I think it’s also an example of why I like so many different types of stories, because truth and depth can grow from all sorts.
When I write I cannot separate the understanding that God’s fingerprints are stamped on each scene of every life, and whether overtly or in more subtle ways, that truth comes out in my writing. Not every story of mine has an obvious faith thread, but for those who have eyes to see those Godly fingerprints, they’ll recognize them.
Hope is the theme of God’s love and the main goal of what I hope writers find when they open the pages of my stories. Hope brought so many of the Bible characters through dark times and helped them rejoice in the truth. Hope quilted my family’s generations with grace and offered a glorious option to despair.
The Gospel is an awe-inspiring reminder that Christ’s love for His Father was so fierce, powerful, and pure that He would choose to die for His enemies to rescue them for His Father. That sort of eternity-shaking, world-changing kind-of-love causes ripples throughout time, space, and imagination. It inspires the heart of many stories from some of the greatest authors to those of us who are still finding our feet in the writing world.
And its beauty shines in stories that never even mention the name of Jesus, because…. His story has power. Heart-shaking, life-changing power. And it should be told in every form, through any genre, in various colors, shades, and hues. Which is what I hope to do.
When you read novels, which do you prefer – overt Christian threads or themes that are more subtle? Does it make a difference to you?

ABOUT THE BOOKS:
Title:  The Thorn Bearer
Series: Penned in Time, Book 1
Author:  Pepper D. Basham
Publisher:  Vinspire Publishing, LLC
Release Date:  May 7, 2015
 THE THORN BEARER:
Find it on AMAZON & GOODREADS
When Ashleigh Dougall’s fiancĂ© leaves her eight months before their wedding, the unexpected blow ignites a battalion of insecurities stemming from her father’s intimate betrayal. In an attempt to escape her shame, Ashleigh boards the ill-fated Lusitania to cross the war-torn waters of Europe. Much to her dismay, she isn’t traveling alone.
Sam Miller is always making up for his best friend’s mistakes. Determined to help his childhood friend, Ashleigh, he offers his compassion and companionship as she ventures across a perilous sea. With the faint hope of renewing his lost love for Ashleigh’s sister, Sam never expects to find the woman of his dreams in the love of his childhood friend.
Neither are prepared for the life-altering and heart-breaking journey of their friendship.

Title:  The Thorn Keeper
Series: Penned in Time, Book 2
Author:  Pepper D. Basham
Publisher:  Vinspire Publishing, LLC
Release Date:  February 28, 2016

 THE THORN KEEPER:
Find it on AMAZON & GOODREADS
With her past in shambles, how can she fashion a future of hope?
Catherine Dougall’s past of manipulation has left her future in threads. With a new faith, she longs to take the remnants of her life and make something beautiful, but shame, societies’ judgments, and the natural consequences of an unplanned pregnancy test her newfound hope. Dr. David Ross doesn’t help either. His kindness, sacrifice, and tenderness tempt her to impossible dreams. A fallen woman doesn’t merit a fairytale.

David Ross has made every effort to keep his life above reproach. His passion for the sick pump fresh purpose through his choices, but without financial support to maintain his war hospital, all is lost. When his notorious aunt offers an easy solution, David is tempted to give in to her demands, but his growing affection for the reformed flirt, Catherine Dougall, unwinds the careful wall around his heart and offers an unexpected choice.
When the worst of war tears them apart, can love renew the memory of what was lost or will tragedy steal away their hope forever?
From the beautiful Derbyshire countryside to the trenches of World War One, Catherine and David must learn to trust in a God who designs a masterpiece out of brokenness and fashions hope in the most unlikely places.
***
Join the Pinned in Time scavenger hunt for a chance to win this awesome Penned in Time-themed prize pack below plus a $25 Amazon gift card.
Pinned in Time Scavenger Hunt Rules:

  1. Each blog hop stop contains an image clue, with a link to a Pinterest Board filled with pictures related to the Penned in Time series. 
  2. Using the image clue, find the corresponding answer image.
  3. Create a Pinterest board, titled "Penned in Time," and pinned the answer image to your board, and hashtag #pinnedintime.
  4. Enter your pinned (answer) image link on the Rafflecopter entry form, correspond to the stop on the Blog Hop. 
  5. Check out the other blog hop stops for more entries!

Here is my clue for the scavenger hunt!

TOUR SCHEDULE:
August 2  l Mikal Dawn
August 3  l Just Commonly
August 4  l A Way With Words
August 5  l  A Northern Belle
August 9  l Stuff and Nonsense
August 11 l Bookworm Mama
August 12 l Faithfully Bookish
Meghan M. Gorecki
Meghan M. Gorecki

Words, history, and grace color my days here in The Burgh where I seek out the perfect coffee and red lipstick.