We are celebrating The Thorn Healer by Pepper Basham with an excerpt and a giveaway right here on Faithfully Bookish! PLUS I couldn’t contain my excitement in just one post so hop over to Pepper’s spotlight post as well!
about the book
The Thorn Healer by Pepper Basham (Penned in Time book 3)
Genre: Fiction, Historical, Romance, Christian
Publisher: Vinespire Publishing
Publication date: December 6, 2016
Number of pages: 327
Jessica Ross’ scars run much deeper than the wounds of war. Determined to escape the ghosts of her past and the German influence on her nightmares, she returns home to the sleepy Appalachian town of Hot Springs, NC, only to find the renowned Mountain Park Hotel has been converted into a ‘prison’ for displaced Germans. To Jessica’s dismay, her grandparents have befriended one of the treacherous internees.
August Reinhold has not only found kinship with Jessica’s grandparents, but as they share their granddaughter’s letters from the Front, he discovers a surprising bond drawing him toward the independent and beautiful woman. Displaced by a war and a painful history, he finds Hot Springs and the intriguing Jessica Ross a tempting place to start over. Determined to scale the heights of her bitterness and show her the power of love, August faces more than just Jessica’s resistance but a more devious design to harm the civilian sailors housed in Hot Springs.
Will August’s tender pursuit bring Jessica the healing and hope she needs, or will bitterness force her into the hands of a “true” enemy waiting to destroy much more than her heart?
The Thorn Healer is an engaging and heartfelt story that’s simply packed with nuggets of wisdom and subtle life lessons.
Jessica Ross has experienced the horrors of war and betrayal. Coming home was supposed to help her escape the memories that haunt her but reminders of the war are all around her, even in her tiny mountain town. Feisty Jessica reacts to the unwelcome changes with anger and I can’t really blame her.
August Reinhold has hurts of his own but he’s quietly determined to win Jessica’s heart, no matter how long it takes. *Swoony!!!* August is a clever and immensely talented man, I especially enjoyed reading about all the different ways he comes up with to demonstrate his affection.
The historical information about Hot Springs is fascinating and makes me want to visit the town to experience it for myself.
I requested the opportunity to read and review this book through Singing Librarian Books Tours. The opinions expressed are my own.
about the author
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 most recent historical romance, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge, showcases her Appalachian heritage and history, 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.
The Thorn Healer excerpt
He’d learned hard lessons on patience—lessons, no doubt, she’d push to the edge if his first few days with her proved typical. But he’d found his home in Hot Springs. He’d never known what it meant to belong somewhere until he’d run to the assistance of Dr. Carter when a woman collapsed at the train depot a few months after his arrival to the camp. From that moment, the gentleness and forbearance, the trust, offered by Dr. and Mrs. Carter began the long and sweet healing August’s heart needed.
A place of belonging.
And Jessica’s entrance, along with the three-inch block of resentment on her shoulder, threatened to wedge distance between August and his beloved Carters. If nothing else, he had to win her indifference, but he wanted much more.
“You have had a busy entrance, no?”
She slid him a glance from her periphery and continued moving forward without a response.
“It must be difficult returning after so long. Much has changed for you but stayed the same for your small town.”
Her sudden exhalation of air broke the quiet and she shot him a heated look. “My small town hasn’t stayed the same from where I’m standing, Mr. Reinhold. The flood. The camp.” She focused ahead. “Not the same at all.”
“The spirit of your town is the same. Kind people, like your grandparents, and the beauty of the —”
“You need to understand something.” She stopped on the trail, her palms planted on her hips as she turned the full brunt of her fiery gaze on him. “We are not going to be friends.”
He combatted her statement with a shrug. “I am an optimist.”
She groaned and resumed her frantic pace up the hillside, slowed only by the limp in her stride. Silence moved between them like a wall. August glanced up at the afternoon sky, awash with a mixture of clouds and sun. He had to return to camp by dusk or he would endanger the freedom his good name allowed.
“Just because you think you know my grandparents doesn’t mean you know me.” Jessica’s words erupted in a harsh whisper, fueling her steps to an even faster rhythm.
He kept the pace. “No. But knowing the kindness and the welcome from your grandparents has made me wish to know you as well. They assure me you can be kind.”
She turned the power of those emerald eyes on him, her mouth dropped wide. “Of course I can be kind. I’m a nurse, for heaven sakes.”
“I would not see the two as related.” August shoved his hands in his pockets, holding his grin in check. At least he had her talking. “Nurses have always brought needles and stings to me.”
Her brow tilted skyward. “Perhaps you deserved the needles and stings.”
The grip on his smile loosed completely. “No doubt, Nurse Ross. No doubt.”
Her gaze hesitated in his before she jerked her attention back to the path ahead and tightened her jaw into a line of defense. The fiery glint in those large eyes fascinated him. He knew the gentleness and longing braided through her letters, the dry humor and compassion infused onto the pages. But those eyes added a dimension of depth he’d failed to anticipate. Fascinating. Challenging.
In celebration of the release of The Thorn Healer, Pepper Basham is providing 2 ebook copies for the tour giveaway.