A Topnotch Humorous Romance by Pepper Basham!! Enter the Giveaway!!
"Just the Way You Are"
By Pepper Basham
About the Book:
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Single mom, Eisley Barrett, prefers to keep romance safely housed within a centuries-old mystery, but when she travels to England to unearth the secret, an actor with a sordid past offers her reluctant heart a very different type of discovery.
Wes Harrison has a past he’s ashamed to confess. Suspicious and cynical, he’s managed to avoid romantic entanglements since a tragedy upended his career and life, that is until American Eisley Barrett comes along. Her authenticity and kindness upend his bitter assumptions and send his heart into unscripted territory.
When his past threatens to ruin a second chance at love, can some Appalachian matchmaking and letters from the grace salvage their unexpected romance?
My Thoughts: "Just the Way You Are" , Book One in the Pleasant Gap Romance series, was the most enjoyable, light read that I have had in a while!! Pepper has a unique talent of combining a delightful romance with the perfect amount of humor to allow you to giggle throughout the good times and the bad. This author grabbed my attention in the first chapter, making it impossible to put the book down until I had read the last page!! The characters were realistic and totally believable, with whom I could identify easily! What an unlikely couple: a single mom from the Appalachian Mountains and a proper Brit movie star!! That alone brings a smile to my face!! What a strange combination!!! I fell in love with all of these very different characters, with their quirky and humorous ways of dealing with things. The plot moved steadily and quickly, with twists and turns at every corner. Trust issues played a huge part in the development of the romantic relationship, as well as God providing second chances to those who don't always expect them! The fear that Eisley hung on to almost caused her to miss her opportunity to fall in love. Risk taking played an important part of the story as it was proven over and over again that God gives us so much, but the individual must take a chance and put total trust in His power to forgive our pasts. One quote stood out to me and has remained with me long after reading the novel, " God loves you just the way you are." What an awesome and overwhelming truth!! How many of us forget that ?! I absolutely LOVED this book !! I chuckled, I cried, I believed!!! God comes through in the end!!! Definitely a five star book! Looking forward to more by this author. This book was a gift. The opinions and thoughts expressed are honest and my own.
About the Author:
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 recognition in the Inspys, Grace Awards, and the ACFW Carol Awards. Her contemporary romance novel, A Twist of Faith, received 4-stars from Romantic Times, and most recently, her newest release, The Thorn Healer, received a Top Pick from RT with 4 ½ stars. Her newest contemporary romance, Just the Way You Are, releases in April 2016.You can get to know Pepper on Facebook, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley, or Instagram.
Guest post from Pepper Basham
Thank you so much for featuring my newest novel, Just the Way You Are, on CelebrateLit. I am THRILLED to be a part of this and to share a story that is very dear to my heart.
Just the Way You Are is my first ‘true’ Britallachian romantic comedy. Even though I’ve written comedy in some of my other novels and included elements of both Appalachia and Britain, this one embodies the tag #britallachian to the core. For those of you who’ve read some of my previous books, you know I’m a big fan of my native Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian culture. You may also know that I’m a proud Anglophile.
Those two loves met in Just the Way You Are – and I tossed lots of other things I love best into the mix. What are those ingredients, you might ask?
Well, let me just tell ya! Just the Way You Are is a blend of Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian culture, big (hilarious) family dynamics, matchmaking, Britain, a swoony English hero, a quirky, magnanimous heroine, a bunch of adorable kids, Scooby Doo and Indiana Jones references, lots of humor, a historical mystery, a devious villainess, stately manor houses, secret rooms, love letters, and matchmaking all rolled into one…oh, and did I mention brain-numbing romance?
(Did anyone else feel the need to add “fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, miracles, true love….” From the Princess Bride?) J I don’t think I included torture, giants, or monsters in Just the Way You Are…but I may have the other elements in this novel J
Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating about the brain-numbing, but I do have a tendency to err on the side of overly dramatic J
Within the pages of Just the Way You Are, you’ll meet people from my own family, people from my imagination, and some people who stepped into the story without one ounce of my planning to ever meet them. This story came out of my desire to write something I love reading – spicy romance, clean humor, culture clashes, the big love of family, and redemption.
How did my heroine Eisley Barrett evolve? Out of thin air. I was washing dishes one afternoon and staring out the window into our small backyard with the Blue Ridge Mountains painting a purplish-blue frame on the horizon when I closed my eyes. Into my imagination came this ginger-headed woman walking through Heathrow International Airport pulling a hot pink bag behind her…and then, she tripped and fell. That was it. That’s how I was introduced to my insecure, hilarious, romance-loving, single-mom heroine.
And the dashing hero? Okay, this may sound ridiculous, but I was watching an interview about Richard Armitage (Thoron Oakenshield, Guy of Gisborne, etc) regarding his lovely costume drama North and South where he plays a very dashing British hero. Anyway, he was SUCH a gentleman to watch during the interview. So polite. Kind. Funny, in a sweet way, and then, out of the blue, he said the word ‘gosh’. I know, that may not be a big deal to anyone but me, but after watching celebrity interviews where every other word needed a censor, the very fact that this elegant man used the word ‘gosh’, sent my writing brain into motion. My first internal question? What if a movie star with a tender heart had been burned by the pretension and expectation of celebrity status? What kind of woman could touch a heart who’d lost his faith in love’s authenticity?
Enter my red-head single-mom toting her pink bag through Heathrow and you have the very beginning of Just the Way You Are – a story of forgiveness, second chances…and a little bit of movie magic.
Grand Prize Giveaway:
A 'chest' - in JTWYA historical letters are discovered in a chest that relates to the historical storyline, so meof these lovely goodies are going to be safely inside this chest.
Chocolate - several references take place in JTWYA that compare the hero to chocolate ;-)
A plaque about family - because that's a main point of importance in JTWYA
A Spider-man zipper pull - Pete, the heroine's son, is a major Spider-man fan.
English Breakfast Tea - The hero is English...swoony English
A dishcloth - again, something that relates to a scene in the book regarding the hero and dishes (twice)
Stirring spoon and measuring cups - food and cooking are a big part of Appalachian culture and fellowship, something celebrated in JTWYA
A notebook - Eisley (the heroine) is taking notes about a historical family mystery
A lovely container full of cloth flowers (for fun, and beauty) - the container says - Love and you will be loved. Loving others has an amazing way to find its way back to us (as is what happens in JTWYA)
A little plaque that reads "You are Loved" - a theme of this story
A beautiful lace doily from England (the English part of the story)
Some "Pixie Dust" a fun visualization of the 'magic' of romance in this story