At the top of my favorite fictional heroes list is a mister steady mountain man from Mitchell’s Crossroads with an excellent sense of humor and swoon-worthy fire lighting skills, Reese Mitchell. In honor of Pepper Basham’s upcoming release, Charming the Troublemaker, I’ve invited Reese to chat a bit about his story give us his insight on the hero of book 2, Alex Murdock.
Meet Reese Mitchell
Reese Mitchell is a thirty-ish single-father of two who has a real heart for family. Second-born son to a family of four (two girls and two boys), he values home, honesty, and hard work, but his life hasn’t been easy.
Widowed two years earlier after discovering his wife was unfaithful, Reese has struggled with resentment, especially for people outside of his family or community around Mitchell’s Crossroads. Adelina Roseland moves into Ransom and shifts his perspective and heart, so he’s learned a thing or two about forgiveness, healing, and second chances…even with an “outsider”.
Favorite holiday celebration
Reese: Christmas at my Mama’s house with the whole gang. We sing carols, eat great food, read the Christmas story, and then open presents like a bunch of greedy young’uns.
Beth: That sounds wonderfully chaotic and delicious!
Reese: Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Beth: A classic!
Favorite outdoor activity
Reese: Hiking or taking walks.
Beth: With the beautiful scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains, who could resist?!
Favorite time and place to read and write
Reese: Well, with the kids I don’t get much time to read or write until after they go to bed, so I’m an evening reader.
Beth: Same here! Sometimes I’m even a burning the midnight oil reader/blogger (and beyond)
Reese: Batman and Robin (said with a crooked grin)
Beth: I see what you did there. Clever.
About Alex Murdock
Reece: You want to know about Alex? Well, I’ve gotten to know him a little better over the past few months, but I’ll tell you up front I wasn’t too impressed with the guy at first. He waltzed into the place like he was better than everybody else with his puffy hair and slick style. Reminded me of a sneaky car salesman.
The big changer for me was when he contacted me to show up at the gala at Dee’s university. He made sure I got there. He set it up, and I realized he was doing it all for Dee. Then when she got the promotion and he didn’t, well…I realized the guy couldn’t be all bad. He’s got a good heart, but he has a whole lot to learn about bein’ a country boy.
Reese: Naw, he’s still too citified for any country boy, but his heart is in the right place. (squeezes eyes closed) And he really needs to learn how to pick the right kind of car for living in the country.
I think the biggest tension for Alex is going to be the tension he makes for himself. Man versus nature maybe too.
Beth: Good to know!
There’s a certain hashtag associated with Charming the Troublemaker… what are your thoughts on #AdorkableAlex?
Reese: That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. I probably agree with the ‘dork’ part of that word. He’s weird. Likes Hallmark movies. (shakes his head in bewilderment)
Now that you and Dee are living your happily ever after up the road a piece, Alex will be filling her shoes at Blue Ridge University and the rental cabin at Mitchell’s Crossroads. Do you worry about the amount of time he could potentially be spending with your sister?
Reese: (laughs) My sister’s a pretty tough cookie. I might worry more about Alex than Rainey.
Beth: City boy versus mountain mama… yeah, I think she’ll be just fine 😉
Speaking of Rainey, she’s been through a bit of a rough patch thanks to her scoundrel of an ex-husband. How’s she holding up?
Reese: She puts on a strong front, but I know, firsthand, what that kind of betrayal feels like. We got a great family, solid faith, and she has a strong support system at work. I know it’s hard, but she knows she’s not alone, and that makes all the difference.
Beth: Faith and family, healing doesn’t get much better than that.
Would you ever consider passing along your fire-lighting skills to Alex?
Reese: (laughs and covers his eyes with his hand) Good grief. I’m never gonna live that down.
We’re talkin’ about my sister, here, Beth.
I ain’t giving Alex Murdock any help on that one. He can learn his own fire lightin’ skills like the rest of the boys.
Beth: You made quite an impression, Reese. (unsuccessfully smothers schoolgirl-ish giggles) Your enthusiastic readers just can’t help themselves.
Describe Alex in five words.
Reese: Fancy, Flirt, Flashy, relaxed, and I reckon he’s nice enough, but…Hallmark movies???
Beth: (whispers) I don’t even watch Hallmark movies…
Tell us about Pepper Basham. Is she easy to work with during the writing process?
Reese: She did make me out to be a pretty good guy. I can’t complain too awful much about her.
Beth: Completely agree. You’re quite the well-crafted character and I like her style!
What do you think readers will gain from Alex’s story?
Reese: All of us are carrying around backstories that might be hiding behind a smile – and having a place to belong helps us work through our pain and find home.
Beth: So true!
Reese: (he grins with raised brow) Agricultural Economics. Sounds loads of fun, right? I’m also reading the Nancy Drew series with Lou. (his palm raises) Not my choice.
Beth: Brains, brawn, AND heart… (and oh, that grin)
What is your go-to beverage?
Reese: Sweet tea.
Beth: That is a staple around these parts as well.
What is your comfort food?
Reese: Beef, in any cooked form.
Beth: You and my husband would get along just fine! Thanks so much for sittin’ a spell and allowing me to pick your brain, Reese.
Your mountain man seal of (begrudging) approval will be a great asset to our city-boy friend Alex (adorkable as he is with his Hallmark movies, every little bit helps) and his November 1 release.
About the Mitchell’s Crossroads series
A Twist of Faith by Pepper Basham
Dr. Adelina Roseland has worked ten years in research as an accent reduction specialist to attain her dream job. But a secret wager to transform Appalachian cattle farmer Reese Mitchell into corporate material challenges Adelina in ways she never expected, threatening her new position.
For one, Adelina didn’t plan for the faith and friction of Reese, or the unexpected influence of his chaotic family. Now, drawn into a culture she’d tried to forget, Adelina finds the warmth of family, the hope of faith, and the joy of love melting away the deep wounds of her past.
But when Reese discovers that he’s a pawn in her climb up the academic ladder, will he forgive Adelina’s deceit or will their miscommunication end in two broken lives?
review | goodreads | amazon | bookdepository | christianbook
Charming the Troublemaker by Pepper Basham
When Dr. Alex Murdock is demoted to a university in rural Virginia, the last thing he expects to find is a future. But country charm never looked as good as it did on Rainey Mitchell.
Rainey Mitchell does not need a high-class flirt in her wounded world, but trouble and temptation wafts off the new professor as strong as his sandalwood-scented cologne.
When circumstances thrust them together to save her tutoring clinic, can the troublemaker find the hero inside and encourage the reticent Rainey to open her heart again?
review | goodreads | amazon | bookdepository | christianbook
About the Author
As a native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Pepper Basham enjoys sprinkling her Appalachian into her fiction writing.
She is an award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance, mom of five, speech-language pathologist, and a lover of Jesus and chocolate.
She resides in Asheville, North Carolina with her family.
Pepper Basham is providing a giveaway for the winner’s choice of book 1 or 2 of the Mitchell’s Crossroads series
A Twist of Faith OR Charming the Troublemaker ebook!
I don’t know about y’all but I’m ready for a visit to Mitchell’s Crossroads!
Share YOUR thoughts, reader friends!
Be sure to add all the Mitchell’s Crossroads titles to your tbr!