My RAPID Review - Between Stairs and Stardust


Between Stairs and Stardust is Pepper Basham’s addition to the collection titled, Finding Ever After: four fairytale-ish novellas

Stella Faye Emory has known a life of loss. Orphaned at the age of eleven, she is sent from her home at the Biltmore Estate to become a companion for a wealthy family in Boston. As she grows into a kind and talented young lady, a benefactress recognizes Stella’s artistic skills and funds her education but Stella’s fame as an illustrator inspires jealousy and an unwanted rumor that sends Stella fleeing back to the Biltmore.

James Craven is the second-born son of an automobile tycoon. Following his family to their new estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains, James finds his place among the forests and mountains of the countryside. When his little sister is saved from drowning by the mysterious, “Faye”, James’ interests take a new turn in the direction of this fairy-like artist who seems to appear and disappear at the most unexpected times.

As James and Stella’s friendship deepens, Stella’s past finds her and threatens her newfound romance. Can a charm bracelet and an unanticipated visitor restore hopes for a happily-ever-after?

Finding Ever After

Experience a touch of magic with these four fairytale-ish novellas that span over one hundred years. Linked by an illustrated book of fairytales, each novella is an enchanting combination of a beloved classic sprinkled with the author’s own brand of fairy dust.

Between Stairs and Stardust is set in 1913 Asheville, NC at the beautiful Biltmore Estate and includes a budding children’s book illustrator, an out-of-the box heir, and a teensy bit of Cinderella romance.

Entanglements has a Rapunzel twist and is set in 1920’s Boston between a reluctant heiress, a charming piano tuner, and a game of chess.

Twice Upon A Time is a Beauty-And-The-Beast inspired tale that brings a romance novelist back home to her family’s pecan farm… and the ex-fiance she left behind.

Once Bitten is a nod to Snow White that includes a fake date with a handsome woodsman, seven geeks, and the world’s best apple tarts.

My Thoughts

Once again Pepper Basham has created memorable characters you’ll want to root for. Beginning with a page-turning opening scene, this novella keeps you reading until the very end. Exquisite descriptions place you right in the heart of the elegant Biltmore Estate nestled in the beauty of 1913 Asheville, North Carolina. Her attention to detail and powerful writing style wrap you in the world of Stella and James as they struggle to discover what truly matters and where they belong.

This story made me chuckle, gasp, and grin like a silly woman in all the right places. With engaging characters, vivid setting details, and plot twists you won’t see coming, Between Stairs and Stardust is a tale not to miss. 

About the collection:

Between Stairs and Stardust sets up the following three novellas in the collection by introducing the reader to a unique fairytale book, created by Stella (Pepper’s heroine in Between Stairs and Stardust). This book is passed from heroine to heroine (or hero) in an indirect manner as we travel through time with the final story taking place in modern day. Each story finds a unique way to incorporate the book, interpret the fairytale they’ve chosen to reinvent, and engage our attention as readers. While Pepper’s is probably my favorite, I sincerely enjoyed the other novella’s in this collection as well and recommend it to anyone looking for heart-warming stories that leave you smiling.


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