Love Life & Literature Pepper Basham Edition!

THE Pepper Basham is in the house today!
Me and Pepper!

Today, this woman—one of mine and Rachael's biggest inspirations/mentors—is here to share—with insight into her upcoming release!—what to look for in a "sweet thing"/The Guy. Be encouraged and uplifted by these wise, sweet words from one of our favorite romance authors. Who we get to see for the second year in a row at the fabulous Christian Fiction Reader's Retreat in TWO WEEKS FROM TODAY! We're just a little bit excited.

Ma Mitchell’s Advice For Finding Your Perfect Hero
There’s something special about homespun advice, right? Okay, some of the advice can be a little crazy like “You keep flappin’ your jaws like that and you’ll git your tongue sunburnt”, but when lots of love and wisdom mixes with advice, it usually cooks up something wholesome and sweet.
Rachael & Pepper! 
Ma Mitchell from my Mitchell’s Crossroads series is definitely a lady who offers some solid advice to the people around her and in my upcoming release, Charming the Troublemaker, she turns her wise words into a romantic direction.
If you know anything about me, I love talking heroes! Come on, that’s why some of us read romance novels, right? Heroes! And it’s really hard to have a good romance novel without a great hero.
In real life, most of us have looked (or are looking) for our own hero and it’s not always an easy journey.

There’s not a clear-cut scale on hero-measurements. If there was, I’d expect Aragorn from Lord of the Rings or maybe even Captain America right up there near the perfect 10 on the scale, but they’re both fictional fellows!
Well, ironically, our fiction can give us some good advice toward real-life romance. When Rainey Mitchell (the heroine in book 2 of the Mitchell’s Crossroads series) asks Mama Mitchell about how you know when the right ‘sweet thing’ has come along (meaning…hero), Mama Mitchell doles out five questions any heroine should answer about a potential hero.

Let’s take a peek at Ma Mitchell’s list.

  1. Does he have a teachable spirit…or “does he already know everything about everything.”
    Humility is a beautiful thing. A teachable heart, someone who’s willing to talk through situations, listen to another person’s side, and grow from what that person can add to their lives, has a skill that is not only a great life skill, but also beautiful.
  2. How does he respond to ‘gettin’ riled’ or being embarrassed?
    My granny once told me that you can tell a whole lot about a person by the way they handle conflict. If they blame others when angry or embarrassed, if they explode (especially without repentance, if they make excuses for their behavior…then those are all red flags in the hero department. Sure, we all have a tendency to ‘lose it’ sometimes, but humbling ourselves to admit we’ve done wrong, seek forgiveness, and attempt to change (repentance) is a sure-fire characteristic of a hero.
  3.  Does he have a tender heart?
    How does the guy respond to those who are weaker? In need? Younger? Does he even ‘see’ them? Does he criticize their position in the world? Is there a gentlness about him when he engages with you? Those are all important sub-questions to answer 😊
  4. Does he have a steady mind?
    This one can be a little tricky, because it doesn’t mean ‘serious’ or even ‘brilliant’. I suppose the best way to define this idea is to mean “is the guy emotionally healthy for the most part?’ Even in his brokenness, even if he has to seek help or shows weaknesses (which of course he will do!), is there an overall ability to adjust to the demands of the world around him and continue on the life-journey.
  5. Are your souls seeking the same thing?
    Big one, here! As Christians, a decision of significance should always come back to the state of a hero’s soul. How can our hero even become all the other things from our list without the assistance of the Holy Spirit to help him? Two people may have different personalities and interests, but if their souls beat in unison with the Gospel, God can work a fairytale out of the differences.
  6. Does he have a sense of humor?
    I’ll quote Ma Mitchell for this one: “Life is so hard sometimes, and some of the steadiest people I know are the ones with the best senses of humor. Laughin’ often and bringin’ laughter to the ones you love? It can get you through a heap of hardship.”

To be perfectly honest, I think Ma Mitchell’s advice sounds like a great list for anyone to aspire to—hero or heroine. Wouldn't it be great if our world was filled with men and women who actually thought about how their answers to these questions might impact others around them in the real world?
It’s easy to be so influenced by the heroes we read or see, that we forget fiction is fiction for a reason. It’s not real life. Real life heroes are flawed. They don’t always say/do the right things. They’re human, just like you and me. They need God’s help, just like we do.
And if we fill our heads and hearts with fictional expectations, we might miss out on a very human prince charming. YES, we should keep our expectations high, but God has specific heroes for specific heroines for some amazing divine romance he’s writing in our lives.

Let me end this advice post with a quote from my current novel, A Thyme for Romance, where my heroine’s best buddy is giving her some advice.

“Jane Austen wrote Mr. Darcy to be Lizzie Bennet’s hero, not yours. Despite what either of them thought in the beginning, they were what each other needed most.”
The truth in Carrie’s words singed into Daphne’s defenses. “But Darcy already had all the makings of a hero underneath. Lizzie just had to have time to unearth them through time and—”
“Mr. Darcy wasn’t written for you, Daphne. You keep trying to find heroes who are meant for someone else, instead of looking for the hero God’s written into your life. And you know what? He may not fit all the things on your very long list…all the things you think you want, but he’ll be all the things you need.”

So…what do you think of Ma Mitchell and Carrie’s advice? Have anything to add?

About Pepper:
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 arrived in March as part of a Love at First Laugh novella compilation and her novel, Just the Way You Are, released on April 6th – a funfilled Britallachian romance! And Charming the Troublemaker is coming out in November! All these books and more are available on Amazon.
You can get to know Pepper on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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

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