Pepper Basham’s Summer Reading List

I have an optimistic book list for this summer, but I’m SOOOO excited about it. I’m NOT promising I’ll finish any of them, but I’m going to desperately try!

The Sound of DiamondsThe Sound of Diamonds by Rachelle Rae
Publication Date:  June 15, 2015
Publisher:  WhiteFire Press 

What’s it about:  Her only chance of getting home is trusting the man she hates.

With the protestant Elizabeth on the throne of England and her family in shambles, Catholic maiden Gwyneth seeks refuge in the Low Countries of Holland, hoping to soothe her aching soul. But when the Iconoclastic Fury descends and bloodshed overtakes her haven, she has no choice but to trust the rogue who arrives, promising to see her safely home to her uncle’s castle. She doesn’t dare to trust him…and yet doesn’t dare to refuse her one chance to preserve her own life and those of the nuns she rescues from the burning convent.

Dirk Godfrey is determined to restore his honor at whatever cost. Running from a tortured past, Dirk knows he has only one chance at redemption, and it lies with the lovely Gwyneth, who hates him for the crimes she thinks he committed. He must see her to safety, prove to the world that he is innocent, prove that her poor eyesight is not the only thing that has blinded her–but what is he to do when those goals clash?

The home Gwyneth knew is not what she once thought. When a dark secret and a twisted plot for power collide in a castle masquerading as a haven, the saint and the sinner must either dare to hold to hope…or be overcome. 

Pepper’s thoughts:  I hope to finish The Sound of Diamonds by Rachelle Rea. She writes with such intensity and there is a lot of adventure in this book. The hero is rather swoony too (never a bad thing).


One Plus One Equals TroubleOne Plus One Equals Trouble by Sondra Kraak
Publication Date:  October 31, 2015
Publisher:  Trail House Publishers 

What’s it about:  The one room schoolhouse isn’t big enough to hold thirty-four students, let alone the egos of two teachers. He can’t afford to lose the position, and she refuses to lose her heart. 

Washington, 1891

Humiliated after her broken engagement, Claire Montgomery flees her comfortable life in San Francisco for a teaching position in Pine Creek, Washington, a dot of a town nestled in the rugged Cascade Mountains. She’s determined to succeed—for once in her life—only to discover, upon her arrival, that success will have to be won. Thanks to a school board error, two teachers have been hired.

When scandal forces professor Barrett Clarke from his position, he returns to Pine Creek where his uncle, chairman of the school board, sets forth an irresistible offer: teach one year in return for ranchland. For this would-be rancher, nothing is more tempting than resurrecting his childhood dream, and nothing can deter him from earning that land.

Except perhaps Claire Montgomery. Losing the battle for the classroom means losing the ranchland, but winning may mean losing Claire’s heart.

With large doses of humor and romantic tension, this Christian historical love story offers a picture of grace, forgiveness, and finding true worth.

Pepper’s thoughts:  Because Rebecca Maney sings its’ praises and I loved getting to meet Sondra in person! She’s a debut novelist AND lives in the Asheville area. I started the book already and it’s a great start! (humor…humor always tempts me)


A Season to loveA Season to Love by Nicole Deese
Publication Date:  February 2, 2016
Publisher:  Waterfall Press 

What’s it about:  At this point in her life, bravery is not a trait Willa Hart would readily claim. She believes her seven-year-old daughter, Savannah, who never knew her father and successfully tackled chemotherapy, is truly the courageous one. Yet after Willa has a fateful encounter with handsome young doctor Patrick McCade, her outlook—and her view of herself—begins to change.

Patrick, a thrill-seeking world traveler and temporary resident of Lenox, Oregon, sets out to show Willa the value of adventure, even within her tiny town. But just when their friendship shows signs of turning into something more, Patrick’s life as a traveling doctor calls him back. Will his last days in town signal the end of their journey, or will Patrick and Willa find the courage to transform a single season into a lifetime?

Pepper’s thoughts:  Romance! I’ve heard so many great things about the sheer romance of this book that I’m nearly drooling in anticipation.


Dance Over MeDance Over Me by Candee Fick
Publication Date:  September 19, 2016
Publisher:  Bling 

What’s it about:  Danielle Lefontaine, a fledgling actress raised to the lullaby of Broadway, searches for her long-lost brother and her place on the stage, but a jealous cast member andnumerous fruitless leads threaten to drop the curtain on her dreams and shine a spotlight on her longing for a place to belong. 

Meanwhile, Alex Sheridan is living his dream except for someone to share it with. When Dani dances into his life, he hopes he’s found the missing piece to his heart but fears the bright lights of the stage could steal her away. Will the rhythm of dancing feet usher in their deepest desires or leave them stranded in the wings? 

Pepper’s Thoughts: Candee is a publishing house sister and I’m looking forward to diving into her story and celebrating this opportunity with her!


The hardest peaceThe Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts
Publication Date:  October 1, 2014
Publisher:  David C. Cook 

What’s it about:  Kara Tippetts knows the ordinary days of mothering four kids, the joy of watching her children grow … and the devestating reality of stage-four cancer. In The Hardest Peace, Kara doesn’t offer answers for when living is hard, but she asks us to join her in moving away from fear and control and toward peace and grace. Most of all, she draws us back to the God who is with us, in the mundane and the suffering, and who shapes even our pain into beauty.

Pepper’s thoughts:  Kara’s life-testimony alone, in the middle of pain, is enough to make me want to read what she has to say about suffering with grace.


The Christian ImaginationThe Christian Imagination compiled by Leland Ryken
Publication Date:  February 19, 2002
Publisher:  Shaw Books

What’s it about:  The Christian Imagination brings together in a single source the best that has been written about the relationship between literature and the Christian faith. This anthology covers all of the major topics that fall within this subject and includes essays and excerpts from fifty authors, including C.S. Lewis, Flannery O’Connor, Dorothy Sayers, and Frederick Buechner. 

Pepper’s thoughts: Oh my goodness, this book is filled with essays written by some of the foremost authors and thinkers about the Christian Faith and literature. Basically it’s a very long book by some amazing authors about how to think “Christianly” about literature.

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