The Thorn Bearer Bares All + Giveaway

Do you have your own thorns? Bare it all for our Lord, and find hope.

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Title:  The Thorn Bearer
Series: Penned in Time, Book 1
Author:  Pepper D. Basham
Publisher:  Vinspire Publishing, LLC
Release Date:  May 7, 2015



When Ashleigh Dougall’s fiancé leaves her eight months before their wedding, the unexpected blow ignites a battalion of insecurities stemming from her father’s intimate betrayal. In an attempt to escape her shame, Ashleigh boards the ill-fated Lusitania to cross the war-torn waters of Europe. Much to her dismay, she isn’t traveling alone.

Sam Miller is always making up for his best friend’s mistakes. Determined to help his childhood friend, Ashleigh, he offers his compassion and companionship as she ventures across a perilous sea. With the faint hope of renewing his lost love for Ashleigh’s sister, Sam never expects to find the woman of his dreams in the love of his childhood friend.

Neither are prepared for the life-altering and heart-breaking journey of their friendship.



A bang! That's how Pepper Basham's The Thorn Bearer started off.  Did you read the snippet from my earlier post today? (Click here if you haven't.) My "bang" is not referring to what happened in the snippet, but what the very first words of the story. "Death hovered in the shadows of the room..." (1). I didn't expect to be wrapped in so early on, but I was - the very first page. Pepper's The Thorn Bearer splashed us with a surprising revelation of the horrors of  what Ashleigh faced growing up, and doused us with a sense of disgust and even hatred for Ashleigh's father early on.  I don't know how I could've read on without gritting my teeth.  My heart ached for Ashleigh.

The Thorn Bearer is a beautifully written novel with great historical details and striking characters, interwoven with a strong theme of grace, forgiveness and humble dignity. The story of the sinking of Lusitania during the First World War have created a enchanting backdrop in the struggles our characters face from loss to fear to truth and to hope.   Each character will afflict you with a certain infectious emotion that will stay with you until you release it to a listening ear, with romance and their own spiritual journey. Ultimately, what hits me the most with The Thorn Bearer is the title and the image of what those words meant after reading this story.  Thorns of  pain, fear, bitterness, shame and self-deprecation filled Ashleigh's mind and emotions. Even when her thorns are pulled, scars become visible for all to see and vulnerability kicks in high, God's grace and love, soaked and washed her tears and brokenness. His grace and His love can heal all scars with beauty, dignity, faith and true love.  I am reminded how our Lord Jesus wore the crown of thorns and carried our burdens and sin, and only with Him, can forgiveness and peace preside.

I had an overwhelming amount of highlights while reading this book, as you can see from some of the memes here. Here are just a few more that sparked something in me.

"Thank God for small favors." (Loc 459)
" not stay alone with your prayer. Hold it before you like a beacon and step back into your life, wherever you are, no matter how dark." (Loc 775)
"Many people face heartbreak throughout their lives.  Some fall under the weight of their sorrow, some harden like stone and others blossom from it, as lovely as a winter rosebush in bloom. Trials are a part of life, and pain with those you choose to heal from these wounds will determine what will become of the woman inside of you." (Loc 974) 
Honestly, there are so many, I can go on and on.  I do hope that the small amount I've shown you here will give you a glimpse of the beauty and substance of The Thorn Bearer and Pepper's prose in this heart-wrenching and enlightening story.  I end here with this for you.

NOTE:  I received a complimentary copy of this book through Singing Librarian Tours for an honest review.





Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of 5 great kids, speech-pathologist to about fifty more, lover of chocolate, jazz, and Jesus, and proud AlleyCat over at a group writing blog, The Writer’s Alley. Her debut historical romance novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in May 2015, with the second arriving in February 2016. Her first contemporary romance debuts in spring 2016.

CONNECT TO PEPPER:  website,  facebook,  twitter,  pinterest,  goodreads,  amazon






  1. Oh wow, Annie!!! Thank you so much for this! I can't tell you how glad I am that TTB touched your heart in this way. I'm praying TTK carries the same 'bang' of God's great love in the midst of pain. I love the beautiful idea of Christ, our ultimate Thorn Bearer, taking on our sins and sorrows so that (as Ashleigh discovered) we are made whole and beautiful!

    THank you SO MUCH!!!

  2. Awww. Thanks Pepper! And truly well said. I'm jumping in TTK real soon! I'm also on tour for that one, so my review won't be "up" until my scheduled date of March 2nd.

    Thanks Carrie!

  3. Annie,
    But I really wouldn't mind if you felt the need to drop me a note about your thoughts after you read it. Really, truly. I'd be okay with that ;-)

  4. Great review and sounds a wonderful read without stopping.

  5. I heard this was really good, but missed it. I do have an eARC of book two, so I'll probably grab this one to read before I read that one. Glad you loved it! I love it when there are lots of shareable lines or parts that stick with me when I read.

    Tressa @ Wishful Endings

  6. Marilyn, it is. You won't be able to stop reading...and The Thorn Keeper (book 2) ---- Umm..let's just say I can't wait for you to read my review!

  7. Tressa, thanks for stopping by! What I called the "quotable quotes" are amazing in this book. You'll want to be able to read it all in one sitting, so make time. =) LOL.


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