What makes us as readers gravitate to a particular genre when we start reading?
What makes one child fall in love with cowboys and Indians, and another devour
every fantasy or science fiction novel she can get her hands on?
Then some of us realize that not only do we love to read, we want to create
stories for others to read. And that same passion kicks in and we naturally
write the same kinds of stories we’ve always loved to read.
I was born and raised on a farm in Mississippi, and from an early age I loved
horses and all things western. I was a bit of a tomboy and cut my teeth on Louis
L’Amour westerns and John Wayne movies.
My mother is at a loss to where I inherited this passion to create. Surely there
was somebody in my family tree who made up stories in their heads. But so far we
haven’t made a connection with anybody.
But wherever it came from, I got it bad, and I got it early, as early as first
Our neighbor’s husband worked in the oil fields of Alaska and was gone months at
a time. She’d invite my brother and me over to watch westerns on Friday nights.
We’d have popcorn and soda, or she’d bake a butter cake (the smell of hot butter
cake fresh from the oven still makes my mouth water!), and we’d eat cake and ice
cream while watching the movie.
All that immersion in country life, cowboys, prim school teachers, pioneers, and
westerns might have shaped my love of historicals and my dream of writing them.
Fast forward thirty years, and I’ve expanded my passions to include
18th century colonials with a healthy dose of romance and suspense.
Is it nature or nurture, or just in my genes? I’m still not sure.
I like my creature comforts, and I don’t have a secret longing to go back in
time and live in the 18th or 19th century. And, even
though an outlaw or a highwayman might kidnap my heroine, I’m definitely a wimp
when it comes to any kind of suspense in real life. I’d rather write about it
That’s the beauty of reading and writing fiction. We can go anywhere, be
anything, do anything, all from the comforts of home, the beach, or the hammock
in the backyard.
Anxious for his brothers to join him on the rugged frontier along the
Mississippi River, Connor O’Shea has no choice but to indenture himself as a
carpenter in exchange for their passage from Ireland. But when he’s sold to
Isabella Bartholomew of Breeze Hill Plantation, Connor fears he’ll repeat past
mistakes and vows not to be tempted by the lovely lady.
The responsibilities of running Breeze Hill have fallen on Isabella’s
shoulders after her brother was found dead in the swamps along the Natchez Trace
and a suspicious fire devastated their crops, almost destroyed their home, and
left her father seriously injured. Even with Connor’s help, Isabella fears
she’ll lose her family’s plantation. Despite her growing feelings for the
handsome Irish carpenter, she seriously considers accepting her wealthy and
influential neighbor’s proposal of marriage.
Soon, though, Connor realizes someone is out to eliminate the Bartholomew
family. Can he set aside his own feelings to keep Isabella safe?
CBA Bestselling author PAM HILLMAN was born and raised on a dairy farm in
Mississippi and spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking
hay. In those days, her daddy couldn't afford two cab tractors with air
conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove an Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her
daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn't mind raking.
Raking hay doesn't take much thought so Pam spent her time working on her tan
and making up stories in her head. Now, that's the kind of life every girl
should dream of.