It has been woefully too long since I hosted my dear Pepper Basham here on the blog, so I’m even more delighted than usual to welcome her to the blog today to chat about her upcoming release A Match for Emma & to give us a tour of Ransom, Virginia where her Mitchell’s Crossroads series is set!
A MATCH FOR EMMA
SERIES: Mitchell’s Crossroads #3
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: November 21, 2019
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?
amazon affiliate link used
Also available to read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited
welcome to ransom!
by Pepper Basham
Just so you know, you are no longer at your computer…or on your phone.
Nope. You have just entered a new realm. A fictional realm. A place with front porch talks and a cherry blossom-lined Main Street. The accents around you tend toward the Southern Appalachian variety, where the /r/ sounds are sure and strong, and vowels can take on multiple lives of their own. The smiles are friendly…for the most part…and the pine-scented air is flavored with hints of fried food from the quaint, local restaurants nearby.
Welcome to Ransom, Virginia.
Ransom is a small town nestled in the crook of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a mountain range that is part of the larger Appalachian Mountains. The Blue Ridge Mountains (referred locally as The Blue Ridge) spreads from southern Pennsylvania to Northern Georgia and includes The Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. They’re known best for their gentle blue-toned sloping curves that spill one over the other into the horizon.
Now, if you’re standing at the top of Main Street in Ransom, which is nestled on a knoll overlooking the rest of the town, you’ll see a delicious creamery on your right called Sugar Top, for one of the local mountains…and for the treats inside the shop. Right next to this pink-fronted sweetshop is Emile’s Fine and Local Jewelry, a unique place which features exquisite, top-of-the-line jewelry as well as a healthy amount of local artisan. In case you didn’t know, the folks in Appalachia are known for their handcrafts, which includes jewelry, woodcrafts, quilts, instruments, and a whole host of other things.
Just across the street from Sugar Top sits the municipal building with its statue of Angus Blackwood, the first official mayor of the “frontier” town of Big Lick Falls, whose name was later changed to Ransom (thank goodness). Big Lick Falls is still a beautiful natural feature tucked on a few miles drive, or bicycle ride, from Ransom – and there are loads of other hiking trails to see, as well as Lake Blair which spills over into the neighboring town of Orchard Falls.
From your perch at the top of Main Street, you can take in almost the entire town of Ransom, with its mixture of an old brick square buildings, a few Victorian-style rooftops, some more modern angles of glass and metal, and various steeples from the five main churches of the town – all framed by the blue-tinged mountains in every direction on your horizon. If you look really hard, you might even see the sunlight reflecting off one of the glass-covered buildings of Blue Ridge University in the distance. You’ll see dozens of houses dotting the landscape, sharing space with crop fields and cattle.
Walking down the cobblestone sidewalk with flower baskets filled with multicolored impatiens hanging from the black-iron lanterns, you’ll pass a bevy of storefronts and restaurants. The local luthier, a few antique shops, a furniture store or two – the largest one is most likely Spencer’s. There’s a vintage toy store, a few consignment shops, a little Italian place, sandwich shop, candy store, and classic movie theater, which shows both modern movies and has an old-time music festival with jam sessions every Friday night. Blair Theater and Dance studio stands catty-corner to an amphitheater in the park which hosts weekly outdoor music of all kinds, sometimes featuring the university orchestra or ballroom dancing competitions.
Blair Park surrounds a World War 1 memorial erected to remember the many young lives lost of the town over a hundred years ago and features a duck pond, playground, walking trail, and Gerald’s Hot Dog stand. No one really knows how Gerald got that prime spot, but since he’s probably as old as Ransom, no one argues.
There’s a woodcarver’s shop, a few hair salons, one or two florist shop’s, your occasional dress shop, historic society, a shoe shop or two, and a vintage bowling alley…without the vintage shoes.
About halfway down Main Street there is a restaurant of particular significance to the Mitchell clan. Daphne’s. With its two-story, white slate exterior and flat front, it might remind you a little of a store-front from the Wild West, but the red awning with Daphne’s printed in white across the front, the welcome flower boxes in the windows, and the fantastic smells wafting from the open door, will make you feel more at home than on the frontier.
Come on in for a spell. Get you some delicious southern fare and enjoy a friendly, homespun story or two from one of the locals. Make sure to look for an adorable waitress with a ready smile and a penchant for fashion. She’ll make sure you leave with a full tummy and a grin on your face.
Thank you, my dear Pepper! I love getting to see Ransom through your eyes 🙂
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 most recent historical romance, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge, showcases her Appalachian heritage and family history, 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. Her upcoming release, A Match for Emma, is the third book in her popular Mitchell’s Crossroads series.
Pepper loves getting to know readers and other authors through social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. You may also learn more about her on her website at www.pepperdbasham.com
Pepper Basham is offering an ebook copy of A Match for Emma to one of my readers! (Open internationally as long as you can accept digital files via email. Void where prohibited by law.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What’s the first place you’d visit if you went to Ransom? (and/or What interests you most about A Match for Emma?