For the 200th article on Writing to Inspire, guest Pepper Basham shares some of her inspiration for her latest novel, The Thorn Healer. Stay tuned to the very end, because there's a giveaway!
Discovering The Thorn Healer
by Pepper Basham
It doesn’t have to be big, life-changing pain, but many of us may have experienced that kind too.
Living in a fallen world, wounds happen – what really matters is how those wounds shape us - what we do with them.
We’ve buried loved ones, faced sickness, moved our families to new places and struggled through the transitions, grieved the loss of a dream or relationship, stumbled through fractured expectations. We shouldn’t be surprised that a broken world is not only made up of broken people but causes brokenness.
But perspective changes everything.
Hope changes everything.
In a world where pain is inevitable, God gives us a story where pain is turned on its head to not only teach us that there is a future without pain, but there is a purpose within it. His story!
Thankfully, as a writer, God’s beautiful story inspires my stories – and my upcoming novel, The Thorn Healer, touches upon this very topic. From pain to bitterness to healing, the journey of WW1 nurse, Jessica Ross, takes us on familiar path toward restoration of heart.
The Thorn Healer is the third book in the Penned in Time series, a series that begins in 1915 and runs through 1918 following the lives of three women. Each book takes readers on a journey of self-discovery, strength, and romance. The first book, The Thorn Bearer, shows the power of how the truth truly sets a wounded soul free. In The Thorn Keeper, the reader discovers the power of true love to create second chances and instill hope. The Thorn Healer delves into the depths of bitterness and suffering to facilitate a journey to find perfect peace.
Here’s a blurb for The Thorn Healer:
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 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?
Interestingly enough, the premise for The Thorn Healer began over eight years ago when I purchased a book for twenty-five cents at a yard sale. The book by Jacqueline Painter described a German internment camp that housed over 2400 Germans in the little town of Hot Springs, NC during World War 1.
It was so much fun, challenging, and sometimes difficult, to take the research I uncovered from Hot Springs and incorporate it into this story – but oh how interesting!
With the Biltmore Estate twenty minutes from my house and Hot Springs only forty-five minutes away, I’m nerd-fully delighted to delve into the historical worlds in which my stories occur.
What about you? Are there any amazing historical areas near where you live? Place waiting for a good story? ;-)
Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes novels inspired by her love for history and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her Penned in Time series has garnered awards and her contemporary romance novel, A Twist of Faith, received 4-stars from Romantic Times. She’s a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, her family, and Jesus – not in that order. You can get to know Pepper on her website, Facebook, Twitter, over at her group blog, The Writer's Alley, or Instagram.
One (1) winner, abroad or domestic, will win one (1) electronic copy of The Thorn Healer. It will be given in a PDF or .mobi file for your eReader. The giveaway will run through Thursday, with the winner chosen on Friday.
How do you enter?
Easy! Just answer today's discussion question and include your e-mail address.
The winner of the giveaway was Sylvia. Congratulations!
The winner of the giveaway was Sylvia. Congratulations!
*Photos courtesy of Pepper Basham.
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Hm, I've never read a book set where I live, but I've written one. It was a lot of fun!!
I CAN'T WAIT to read this book!!! Pepper is one of my favorite authors! Kansas City, Missouri is full of historical places. One of the places that interest me most is The Vaile Mansion built by Colonel and Mrs. Harvey Vaile in 1881. It was "the most princely house and the most comfortable home in the entire West." It's fascinating!
Becky, thanks for commenting today! Please add your e-mail address if you'd like to be in the running for the giveaway.
Sounds like a neat experience! Thanks for sharing.
There are many amazing historical places near where we live. Yorktown VA, Williamsburg VA, Jamestown VA just to name a few. Walter Reed's birthplace is a mile from our home. I could go on and on.
CherylB1987 AT hotmail DOT com
Oh, yes. I live in North Carolina and of course there's the beautiful Biltmore Estate which everyone knows about. If you like settings from 1917-1940 you should visit Reynolda House in Winston-Salem. Reynolda House is different than Biltmore and is a mansion bungalow! It's considered a museum of art now, so they feature artwork. The artwork is displayed like you would display it in your house; on the walls in the living room, dining room, etc., not in one room just for exhibits. You can still tour a good portion of the house that is decorated with the family's furnishings (some copies). The Reynoldses' younger adult children were friends with the Vanderbilts at Biltmore and would visit each other. Can you imagine the house parties? Whenever I visit Reynolda House I always think of Bertie Wooster, Agatha Christie, and the 1936 film, My Man Godfrey.
I am looking forward to reading The Thorn Healer very much.
Sounds like you're in a very history-rich part of the country. Thanks for sharing!
What a lovely mind-picture you just painted for me! Those two houses sound beautiful, but wouldn't it be something to have witnessed them and their residents back in their prime? Thanks for sharing!
Olivia, what do they say? Write what you know! :-) (okay, so technically I never lived during WW1, but I DO know the setting pretty well :-)
Oh Becky!! GREAT time period! I love those tidbits of history that can lead to a story.
And thank you SOOOOOO much for your kind words.
Whoa Cheryl! Your home is filled with stories!!
Sylva, I've been to the Reynolda House, but oh my goodness, I can't even remeber how long ago! I grew up near Mt. Airy, NC. And now I live 20 minutes from the Biltmore. Absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE the history around these places!
My email is: lelandandbecky (at) reagan (dot) com
I've never thought in this manner .. going to a place and thinking 'oh this would be a great setting for a book.' I am not an author .. so I don't think like one. What I am, is a reader who admires the writers who can transports me to another place and time and can captive my mind while they teach me more about history.
Thank you for this opportunity ...
Elmer Kelton sure thought the area where I live was worth writing about.
Jlytranch at hotmail dot com
Neat glimpse into a writer's mindset, wasn't it? I like your view of wanting to be transported to another time while still learning a bit of history. That's also what I love about historical novels. Thanks for sharing, LouAnn!
That's really neat! Thanks for sharing, JJ.
Love historical fiction -- enjoyed J. Hedlund's Beacons of Hope series set in Michigan were I grew up. Now that I live in NC, I'd like to read something similar about the NC lighthouses . . .
Oh, that's so neat that your grew up around the same place where Ms. Hedlund's Beacons of Hope series was set. Thanks for sharing!
Was winner chosen and announced?
So sorry! I've been on an editing deadline, and I completely forgot to announce the winner. Yes, the winner was chosen. Will go update that now. Thank you!
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