Book Review and Giveaway- The Heart of the Mountains written by Pepper Basham- On tour with Celebrate Lit
About the Book
Book: The Heart of the Mountains
Author: Pepper Basham
Genre: Christian Fiction / Romance
Release date: July 1, 2022
Can their hearts overcome the darkness of the mountains?
To escape a forced marriage, Cora Taylor travels from England to the Blue Ridge Mountains in search of her brother, who is working as a teacher in a mission school. She hopes to find a place where her nursing skills and independent ideas will be accepted and appreciated, but nothing prepares her for the wild mixture of isolation, community, brokenness, and hope within these mountains…or in the person of Jeb McAdams.
Returning from the devastation of World War 1 emotionally damaged, Jeb McAdams struggles against the rampant mountain alcoholism to soothe his nightmares. It’s easy to hide within the mountains, or it was, before Cora Taylor arrived. Now, she seems to show up at every turn, bringing her modern ideas, curiosity, and beautiful eyes with her.
Bound by their shared war history, the pair develop an unlikely friendship, which unexpectedly hints to something more. But when Cora’s desire to help the women of the mountains crosses an unspoken line, will Jeb be able to protect this feisty flatlander from the wrath of the mountain men or will he end up losing much more than his heart?
Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her historical romance novels, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge and The Red Ribbon, and her contemporary novels, the Mitchell’s Crossroads and Pleasant Gap series, showcase her Appalachian heritage, as well as her love for humor and family. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus.
You can learn more about Pepper at her website http://www.pepperdbasham.com or connect with her on FB, IG, or Twitter.
More from Pepper
It’s so interesting how one idea can influence an entire series, or…how one person’s story can.
The idea for The Heart of the Mountainsstarted in Laurel’s Dream with a hint of a family history story about a girl named Kizzie. (Someday, I hope to bring Kizzie’s story to the pages of a book). From there, the idea began to grow out of a love for my Appalachian culture into a series of books which highlighted (and fictionalized) stories from my family history.
The main story in The Heart of the Mountainsis about Jeb and Cora, two different people with similar servant hearts, but the secondary story that touched me so much was the one based on my great grandfather’s life. I write about it in the Author’s Note at the end of the novel, so I won’t go into detail about it. However, what I loved getting to do is bring the truth of God’s redemption in my great grandfather’s life…to life again.
I never knew “Papa Rat”. I only knew the stories handed down to me by my granny and my mama, but in writing this story, I feel as though I had a tiny opportunity to “meet” him in these pages. He was a gruff mountain man with a broken past which led him to make a whole lot of broken choices, but his story is incredibly encouraging, because it points to the God of broken people. My great grandpa wasn’t left in his brokenness, but, after years of running away from God, he would later recount that God pursued him. The beauty of Sam McAdams’ journey in The Heart of the Mountains is only a little glimpse into what I imagine my great grandpa’s redemption story looked like.
Because my great grandpa was forever changed when Jesus saved him (as any of us should be).
I think that’s what my granny and her siblings (and even “Papa Rat” himself) would want most -that his story would point to Jesus. I hope that’s what you see when you read about Sam McAdams in The Heart of the Mountains.
Have you ever read a book based on family history? One of my favorites is Catherine Marshall’s Christy.
The Heart of the Mountains is written by Pepper Basham. This is a Christian Historical Romance Fiction. I absolutely loved this book. It’s set right after the First World War. Her characters are well written and descriptive you feel like you really get to know them.
Cora Taylor has fled England after her father arranges a marriage to a man who is a scoundrel. She fells that since she has served in the War she should not have to settle down. She wants to help people and the arranged marriage would not allow that. She goes to Blue Ridge Mountains where her brother moved a few years back. Her uncle is also the preacher in the small mountain town. However she isn’t sure what to make of the town or it’s inhabited. Especially Jeb McAdams.
Jeb McAdams has a lot of demons in his mind since the war. Sometimes those demons are only stopped with alcohol. When he hears Cora’s screams he quickly springs into action. What he doesn’t count on is his reaction to Cora. There’s no way he could fall for a “flat-lander”
These two characters have broken pasts. They have hurts. They have flaws. But they both have big faith in God. I enjoyed seeing them interact through the story. There are several secondary characters that made me laugh. Granny Burcham is definitely one of them. She does not like Cora when she first meets her. She’s the midwife and natural healer of the town. She is not a fan of modern medicine. However as she gets to know Cora she softens.
This book does touch on pre martial relations and drunkenness. However it’s done in a way that shouldn’t scare anyone off. The author has a way of writing in God’s forgiveness and love of these dark issues.
I adore this author and this story. It’s my favorite Basham book yet. Thank you to the author, publisher and Celebrate Lit for allowing me to read a copy of this story. All thoughts are my own.