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Intersection Column | God’s Bookish Strategy

by Pepper Basham


Some stories impact us more than others for many different reasons. Maybe it’s the right season for a certain story, or perhaps we enjoy the style of another, or maybe we needed the laugh or the understanding or the knowledge.


I love that there are so many good books to read that we have a variety of stories to touch us in various ways at different times in our lives.


The same thing is true when writing a book, too. There have been times when I didn’t even know how much I needed the book I was writing until I was either in the throes of writing it or rereading it during one of its various iterations of edits.


Loyally, Luke is one of those books. In fact, God used this entire series of books (Authentically, Izzy, Positively, Penelope, and Loyally, Luke) to comfort, inspire, and encourage me throughout their creations. How?


Well, these books are not just romantic comedies.


They’re not just about romance.


And they’re not just about family. Even though all those things are fun and wonderful and true.


Among other things, Izzy’s story touches on belonging, Penelope’s on identity and grief, and Luke’s on choices and the everyday hero.


How did God use these stories to encourage and comfort me at just the right time?


The same week Authentically, Izzy released, my dad unexpectedly passed away in his sleep. I’m a daddy’s girl, and my dad took up a lot of space in my history and life because he was a larger-than-life personality who loved big but served in the background as a police officer and carpenter. He was my biggest fan and had developed a social media following through the hashtag #rambodad because he’d try to add Rambo to all my books as he’d read them. He also brainstormed with me, an unlikely pairing of my burly Appalachian dad and his “kissing book” writing daughter.


As I drove back and forth to be with my mom after Dad’s death, I listened to Authentically, Izzy which was fabulously produced. The narrators brought the story to life for me in a new way, and the joy and family and belonging of the story comforted my heart in special, intangible ways. I was also editing Positively, Penelope at the same time. I had no idea that during the edits on a book with grief themes, I’d be going through my own massive grief. But the words, truths, and joy within the story reminded me of what I believe and how much God’s gift of joy is constant, regardless of circumstances.


Then came Loyally, Luke. Luke happens to be the last book my dad and I brainstormed together. There is so much of him in Luke, an unassuming, hard-working man who believes in loving big, working hard, and living like you mean it. But he’s also a behind-the-scenes guy who is more likely to encourage others in the spotlight than to take it himself. Rereading this book reminded me of how very big God is and how He is extremely strategic in our lives to make us aware of His presence. He’ll use all sorts of ways to catch our attention or remind us that we are not alone and we are His.


Through these stories, God reminded me that He is not only very strategic to show me His presence, but He also loves me so much He’ll use all sorts of modes (maybe even books) to get His point across.


He is with us.


He cares.


And we belong to Him.


About the Author

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance “peppered” with grace and humor. Writing both historical and contemporary novels, she loves to incorporate her native Appalachian culture and/or her unabashed adoration of the UK into her stories. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC, where she is a wife, mom to five great kids, a speech-language pathologist, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus. Her dual timeline novel, Hope Between the Pages, was a 2022 finalist for the prestigious Christy awards. She loves connecting with readers and other authors through social media outlets like Facebook and Instagram and on her website at


About the Book

Luke Edgewood isn't a romantic. Or, at least, he's always felt certain things like rom-coms were invented as punishment for average guys. So when he travels to the island of Skymar to work a few months on restoring abandoned buildings, he never expects to find himself directly in the middle of a romantic, trope-filled story with a real princess.


Did You Know?

More people today are going to therapy than ever before. People seem to have a desire for counselors who will listen and give them wisdom. Life is filled with many ups and downs, and learning to trust Jesus feels like a lifelong process. The key to cultivating deeper faith is knowing and understanding Jesus’ names. One of the most endearing names for Jesus was given to us by the prophet Isaiah. He calls Jesus, “The Wonderful Counselor” (Isaiah 9:6).


As the Wonderful Counselor:

  • Jesus has perfect wisdom. Life is filled with so many unexpected twists, turns, and countless decisions, we need a trusted guide who can give us wisdom. As the wonderful counselor, Jesus has wisdom that in the words of Paul, is unsearchable and goes beyond our human understanding (Romans 11:33-35). Vastly beyond our understanding, Jesus’ wisdom is infinite and perfect.

  • Jesus bends down to listen. If I went to a counselor to seek advice, I would want to find one who was a great listener. Jesus is the God who in the words of the Psalmist, “bends down to listen” (Psalm 116:1-2 NLT).

  • Jesus offers His continual and comforting presence. Towards the end of His life on earth, Jesus told His disciples that He would not leave them as orphans. He promised He would send His Spirit to comfort us continually with His presence (John 14:17). What a gift!


-Becky Harling, Tethered Trust 


Why I LOVE My Local Christian Bookstore

“Bookstore owners have it tough. They are struggling to move inventory and competing with bigger online booksellers. Shopping at a bookstore forges a relationship between me and the owner. It shows them what they do matters.”


-Michelle S. Lazurek, Hall of Faith 


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