Happy Monday, Reader Friends!
I hope you had a good weekend! I’m excited to kick off the weekend with a fun chat with Pepper Basham. Her book A Match for Emma releases tomorrow. You’ll definitely want to add the third Mitchell’s Crossroads book to your TBR pile.
About the Book
Emma Mitchell may enjoy sprinkling romance into the lives of others, but her own plans involve a single first-class ticket to culinary school in Europe.
When her best friend, Jon Noble, suddenly moves back to Ransom, Emma’s fairly certain her life can’t get any better…until her matchmaking schemes nosedive, her culinary future falls flat, and a life-long friendship begins to teeter on the brink of something unexpected.
With a little inspiration from Jane Austen’s classic and a touch of Blue Ridge charm, will Jon and Emma discover that what they need the most may be the last thing they’re trying to find?
Toni: Pepper’s here! I’m so glad you’ve joined me today. I cannot wait to talk about your book, but first, I want to be
a little nosy. 😉 When did your love of reading start?
Pepper: Oh wow! I can’t remember the first book I ever read…so I guess I have no memory of NOT reading. My mom and dad read Bible stories to me from really early and “stories” are an ingrained part of my Appalachian heritage, so I’ve always loved them.
Toni: I love that! What’s your favorite holiday and why?
Pepper: I am a big fan of holidays in general, but my absolute favorite is Christmas. I love the whole Hallmark countdown, Christmas carols in November kind of thing. Of course, the main reason is to celebrate salvation coming to the world through Jesus’ birth, but I also have tons of family memories and experiences wrapped around this holiday. I also have a thing for twinkly lights.
Toni: You had me at Hallmark countdown! Now I’ve been dying to ask what drew you to write a book loosely based on Jane Austen’s Emma?
Pepper: For some reason I’d known Emma Mitchell was going to be inspired by Austen’s Emma from the first time I wrote her onto the page in A Twist of Faith. Each of the books in this series have been loosely based on classics, so she just grew out of the Mitchell family as my very own matchmaking Emma from the very beginning. Plus, I really wanted to try and do Emma’s character justice, because Austen’s Emma gets such a bad rap, and when I’d read the book I saw more to her. I asked myself, “Why would a great guy like Mr. Knightley fall for Emma if she was so bad?” and as I reread the book, looking for that answer, I noticed more about her character to love. I wanted to try and show that for a more modern audience.
Toni: Wow! What a way to look at it. Now which character in A Match for Emma most reminds you of yourself?
Pepper: I wish I could say Ma Mitchell 😊 But…I’m afraid Emma is the most like me of all the characters in A Match for Emma. I struggle with pride and the worry of what others think of me – and my desire is to please God, but I fail so often. Grace is a beautiful thing and my hope is that God will slowly make me more like Ma Mitchell as I learn to love Christ more.
Toni: I haven’t reached the Ma Mitchell level of wisdom. Maybe one day. 😉 One last question before you dash off to another blog, what do you hope readers take away from this story?
Pepper: I think there are several things I’d like readers to take away from this story. One is that we can really convince ourselves that we’re doing the right things if we’re not seeking God’s way first. Secondly, God is in the business of redeeming his kids and he’ll use our mistakes to get our attention and shape us to look more like him. It’s a great comfort to know there is no mistake we can make to separate us from God’s love.
Toni: Amen! Thank you so much for joining me today. Readers, do you have any questions for Pepper?
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. You can learn more about her on her website or connect on Facebook or Twitter.