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?
My thoughts: I enjoyed this story of two lost souls forming an unlikely friendship against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains. While I didn't read the stories about Cora's brothers (which I will have to remedy!), I was still able to enjoy this story as a stand alone.
I can only imagine how it would have been to be in Cora's shoes, to think that you are prepared for anything after serving as a nurse in war time, only to discover a very different world from your own. As she encounters wild animals and a community hostile to change, she faces new challenges. I thought that the author did a wonderful job of writing a story about two very different worlds colliding. This is an excellent book to pick up and enjoy!
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review.
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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 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 Mountains started 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 Mountains is 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.
Bizwings Blog, July 28
Rachael’s Inkwell, July 28
Bigreadersite, July 28
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 29
Texas Book-aholic, July 29
Inklings and notions, July 30
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 30
Boondock Ramblings, July 30
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 31
Reading With Emily, July 31
Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, July 31 (Author Interview)
lakesidelivingsite, August 1
Where Crisis & Christ Collide, August 1
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 1
Daysong Reflections, August 2
deb’s Book Review, August 2
Live. Love. Read., August 2
Betti Mace, August 3
Book Looks by Lisa, August 3
Locks, Hooks and Books, August 3
Remembrancy, August 4
For Him and My Family, August 4
Blossoms and Blessings, August 4
Mypreciousbitsandmusings, August 5
By the Book, August 5
Wishful Endings, August 5
For the Love of Literature, August 6
Books, Books and More Books, August 6
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 6
Connie’s History Classroom, August 7
SodbusterLiving, August 7
Splashes of Joy, August 7
Where Faith and Books Meet, August 8
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 8
Back Porch Reads, August 9
Through the Fire Blogs, August 9
Pause for Tales, August 9
Labor Not in Vain, August 10
Miriam Jacob, August 10
To Everything There Is A Season, August 10
To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e- gift card and a paperback copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.