Showing posts with label Pam Hillman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pam Hillman. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Review: The Promise of Breeze Hill by Pam Hillman


Heidi Reads... The Promise of Breeze Hill by Pam Hillman

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttp://www.bookdepository.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

Natchez, MS; 1791
 
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?


My Review

I seriously loved the history and setting of this story! It's a time and place I know little about, so I was fascinated by the details of life there, the dangers and struggles, the successes and progress. The vibrant characters made it come alive and it was great to see Isabella and Connor's relationship shift throughout the book. The author chose to let us know who the villain is from the beginning so even though it wasn't a mystery who was causing the destruction, there was still heightened tension and I couldn't help but want to warn Isabella! It was admirable to see how Connor helped Isabella's father recuperate in body and mind, and his strength was able to continue as the foundation of Breeze Hill. The sweet romance is woven throughout various hardships and challenges, and I loved every minute of reading this book. Highly recommend to fans of Laura Frantz and Tamera Alexander!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday: The Promise of Breeze Hill by Pam Hillman


Coming August 2017 is a new historical novel from Pam Hillman, The Promise of Breeze Hill. Isn't that cover lovely?! I've loved every story I've read by Pam Hillman so this is one I'm really looking forward to!

http://amzn.to/2lhZ90j

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

Natchez, MS; 1791
 
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?





Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Review: Home for Christmas: Historical Christian Romance Collection by Janet Dean, Ruth Logan Herne, Pam Hillman, Julie Lessman


Heidi Reads... Home for Christmas: Historical Christian Romance Collection by Janet Dean, Ruth Logan Herne, Pam Hillman, Julie Lessman

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

There is nothing better than romance unless it's faith-filled romance plus Christmas! Join these multi-published, award-winning and best-selling historical authors as they take you on a joy-filled, old-fashioned sleigh ride full of sweet, happily-ever-after romances, the tried-and-true kind that honor God, love, romance and timeless Christmas spirit!

My Review

A Daddy for Christmas by Janet Dean
Rafe learns through the grapevine that the girlfriend he left behind in his hometown had a baby and never told him. He leaves his job working on Mount Rushmore to go home and do his duty so his child won't be fatherless. I admired his resolve to make a family for his child, even though it meant facing unhappy memories from his own childhood and a disapproving father. Tess has been taking care of her niece Josie for three years since her sister died in childbirth and holds Rafe in contempt for leaving her sister. She was a pretty tough nut to crack as she completely resists the efforts of Rafe to get to know his daughter. On top of all that, she and her father are close to losing their store to Rafe's father, leaving them without a way to care for Josie. All the adults become humbled as they put a little girl's welfare above all else during Christmas.

Second Chance Christmas by Ruth Logan Herne
Nellie is on the run from the law, unjustly accused of theft. She arrives in Second Chance, South Dakota to work for the local seamstress, but immediately has a run-in with the sheriff-blacksmith who disdains her impractical fancy city dress. I enjoyed reading as they learn to see beyond first impressions and prejudices.

All Aboard: Destination Christmas by Pam Hillman
My favorite of the collection! This is one I plan to read again.The best kissing scene and an exciting and  compelling plot of survival when the train gets trapped on the tracks by accumulated snow. Great ending for a couple who thought their futures were headed in opposite directions.

The Best Gift of All by Julie Lessman
Julie Lessman's novella would be most appreciated by those who have read her books and already know the family of characters and their dynamics. It was a story of a married couple from one of her previous books and the miscommunications they experience during the holiday season, with moments of humor woven in.


(Thank you to Seekerville for a copy of the book as a gift; this is my honest review)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Review: 12 Brides of Summer Collection #3 by Margaret Brownley, Miralee Ferrell, Pam Hillman


 Heidi Reads... 12 Brides of Summer Collection #3 by Margaret Brownley, Miralee Ferrell, Pam Hillman

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

Love Is Buzzing in the Good Old Summertime!  Spend the sunny days of summer relaxing with an ice cold glass of lemonade and revel in the dreams of twelve brides who are a bit surprised by how the men of their dreams come into their lives.  Journey to the Old West, stay on the prairie, and visit quaint small towns. . . without leaving the comfort of your own front porch!

The dog days of summer are here, but love is still in full bloom with Novella Collection #3:

Dog Days of Summer Bride by Margaret Brownley
Music teacher Miralee Davis and blacksmith Tom Colbert don’t realize they’ve been sharing the same dog until. . .it digs up a stash of stolen loot. The reward will go to the dog’s owner—if only that can be decided.

The Dogwood Blossom Bride by Miralee Ferrell
Gracie Addison is a tree-climbing tomboy, and practical Will Montgomery objects to her unladylike influence on his niece. Will his judgmental attitude come back to bite him?

The Lumberjack’s Bride by Pam Hillman
Chicago transplant, Lucy Denson cooks for a logging crew in the Mississippi backwoods until she can return to her idea of civilization. Can Eli Everett help her rethink her ideals?


My Review

These are some sweet novellas to read on a hot summer day! It starts out strong with Dog Days of Summer, a humorous tale of the frustrations of two strangers who unknowingly share custody of a dog, who switches households partway through the week. Tom's bulk and dustiness starkly contrast Miralee's prim and cultured tidiness. They butt heads over the dog, but form a friendship despite their differences. Some small-town drama intervenes, however, and the road to romance is not smooth. (3 stars)

The Dogwood Blossom Bride also had a couple with a love-hate relationship, this time disagreeing over Will's headstrong niece. Grace and Will struggle with giving each other the benefit of the doubt, jumping to conclusions, and unrealistic expectations. Not much depth to their characters though. (3 stars)

My favorite of the collection was The Lumberjack's Bride, the sequel to The Evergreen Bride from the 12 Brides of Christmas Collection. Lucy is a city girl who grows to love the forest and a particular lumberjack who not only is sweet on her but rescues her from various mishaps. Even though she is completely out of her element, she reaches out to others and pitches in to help with a compassionate nature. (4 stars)

(Thank you to Barbour Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Review: The Evergreen Bride by Pam Hillman


Heidi Reads... The Evergreen Bride by Pam Hillman

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

Mississippian Annabelle Denson dreams of visiting cousins in Illinois and seeing a white Christmas. In the face of her excitement, Samuel Frazier hides his growing affection for her behind a quiet smile and a carpenter’s lathe. Samuel starts to worry that if she goes, Annabelle won’t return. Can he convince her to stay?

My Review

Ah, I love stories of unrequited love! You can just feel Samuel's longing for Annabelle, but he wants to wait until his fledgling business has the means to support a family before he declares his affections. Even though he'll miss her, he doesn't say anything to put a damper on her trip. The sweetness of the story comes from Annabelle's slow awareness of Samuel as an extremely attractive man with his strength, steadiness, and quiet humor. This novella was such a pleasure to read! For only 99 cents, it's a fabulous deal for a delightful story.

(I received a copy of this book from a giveaway which did not affect the honesty of my review)

Friday, August 14, 2015

Guest post: Author Pam Hillman!

Welcome to author Pam Hillman! She has some great history and pictures to share with us. Be sure to check out her books- I've thoroughly enjoyed each one I've read and can't wait to read more!


Sometimes you live within a few miles of something that impacted your community—or the world—and don't even know the significance of it. You might not even know it exists. This happened to me this last year. I was introduced to the Soulé Steam Feed Works, which is about fifty miles from me in Meridian, MS.

There are thousands of handcrafted mahogany patterns for large and small gears, balcony railings, andirons, etc. on display throughout the museum. This one was a manhole cover for the city of Meridian, MS.

A nameplate for the lumber stacker manufactured in 1897. Samuel Frazier in The Evergreen Bride would have given his eye teeth for one of these.

Soulé focused on servicing the lumber industry from 1892 until the mid-1950s. And since I was writing two novellas set in Mississippi in the 1890s focused on the steam-powered logging industry, I found the entire place fascinating. The founder of Soulé Steam Feed Works, George W. Soulé, patented more than 20 items during his lifetime. Some of Soulé's most notable products were rotary steam engines, lumber stackers, mechanical log turners, and a cotton seed huller. Soulé's steam engines are still in operation today, deep in the forests of India and Australia.

Technology students from MCC demonstrate the antique equipment in the machine shop. The Soulé Steam Works Machine shop contains an operating 120' (that's FOOT) line shaft with original belt-driven equipment that dates from the turn of the 20th century.

I signed books at the Soulé Live Steam Festival on October 31-November 1, 2014 and enjoyed the experience tremendously. Approximately 2000 people tour the restored buildings and watch the steam engines belch out steam, while reminiscing about the industrial revolution each year at the festival.

Several steam engines doing their "stuff" at the entrance of the Mississippi Industrial Heritage Museum where the festival was held. The lattice truss frame sign was completed in 2013.

Given the nature of this event, many of the attendees were male. Late on the first day, one of the museum volunteers and a steam engine enthusiast who'd just arrived hurried into the area where I’d set up my table next to the welcome desk. Both men looked like two kids on Christmas morning. The enthusiast had brought a steam whistle that was so large he hadn't been able to build up enough steam to blow it. They made plans to connect it to a bigger steam engine so they could try it out.

Manual Underwood typewriter. One of the curators at the museum gave me a private tour a couple of months ago, and she said that Mr. Soulé kept everything, so a lot of the antiques are literally pieces that were used in the daily operations of the business. The vault even has copies of receipts and payroll records from the 1890s and early 1900s.

Periodically, a loud blast could be heard throughout the whole facility. I later found out that it was a steam whistle (equipped with a safety valve, of course) with a rope pull that kids could pull to make the blast. No wonder we were treated to the whistle multiple times throughout the two-day event!

I didn't get as many photos as I would have liked since I was signing books, but I hope to be back in November 2015. There were so many people I would have loved to interview for future blog posts.
  
This is the brick-paved alley between two of the buildings that are part of the museum complex. The ambiance between the buildings with the steam billowing out of the pipes was an interesting experience. The museum staff and volunteers have done an amazing job restoring the buildings and the steam engines.
Hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane. I’d love for you to check out my stories set in this era.

http://www.pamhillman.com/books/
Annabelle's plans for a white Christmas in The Evergreen Bride (12 Brides of Christmas) involve a trip to Illinois to visit her relatives, in particular her cousin Lucy Denson, a dainty petite city gal.

The Lumberjack's Bride (12 Brides of Summer) returns to the same heart of the Mississippi pine belt 18 months later. Many of the characters return in the sequel when the family sawmill and logging operation has expanded. They need additional help and ask for business assistance from Lucy’s father, and he moves the family to Mississippi. The pretty young woman soon catches the eye of Eli, a rough-and-tumble Mississippi lumberjack in an earth-shattering meeting deep in the forest.

http://www.pamhillman.com/books/stealing-jake
Pam is also excited to share news of her latest full-length novel, STEALING JAKE. When Livy O’Brien spies a young boy jostling a man walking along the boardwalk, she recognizes the act for what it is. After all, she used to be known as Light-Fingered Livy. But that was before she put her past behind her and moved to the growing town of Chestnut, Illinois, where she’s helping to run an orphanage. Now she’ll do almost anything to protect the street kids like herself.

Sheriff’s deputy Jake Russell had no idea what he was in for when he ran into Livy―literally while chasing down a pickpocket. With a rash of robberies and a growing number of street kids in town―as well as a loan on the family farm that needs to be paid off―Jake doesn’t have time to pursue a girl. Still, he can’t seem to get Livy out of his mind. He wants to get to know her better . . . but Livy isn’t willing to trust any man, especially not a lawman.

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. www.pamhillman.com

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Review: Stealing Jake by Pam Hillman


Heidi Reads... Stealing Jake by Pam Hillman

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

http://www.amazon.comhttp://amzn.to/1T50vBwhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

When Livy O’Brien spies a young boy jostling a man walking along the boardwalk, she recognizes the act for what it is. After all, she used to be known as Light-fingered Livy. But that was before she put her past behind her and moved to the growing town of Chestnut, Illinois, where she’s helping to run an orphanage. Now she’ll do almost anything to protect the street kids like herself.

Sheriff’s deputy Jake Russell had no idea what he was in for when he ran into Livy—literally—while chasing down a pickpocket. With a rash of robberies and a growing number of street kids in town—as well as a loan on the family farm that needs to be paid off—Jake doesn’t have time to pursue a girl. Still, he can't seem to get Livy out of his mind. He wants to get to know her better . . . but Livy isn’t willing to trust any man, especially not a lawman.


My Review

There are so many things I like about this novel- the western setting, the steadily building friendship and romance between Livy and Jake, but what really touched my heart was the abuse of child labor and street orphans. Livy's compassion for the orphans and Jake's duty as sheriff's deputy to investigate them as robbery suspects have them crossing paths and butting heads over how the situation should be handled. A few parts are told from the perspective of Luke, one of the boys living on the street, as he seeks to rescue his brother from captivity in a hidden sweatshop. It is astounding how little the lives of the orphans are valued not only by their abusers but defensive members of the growing town. With part of the mystery known to the reader and part of it revealed towards the end, there is an element of tension and suspense. The story includes other facets of frontier life that are woven in seamlessly, including the dangers of coal mining, a judgmental school teacher, and the dynamics of neighbors and friendships in a tight-knit community. I recommend this book to fans of Mary Connealy, Karen Witemeyer, and Regina Jennings.

(Thank you to the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

About the Author


Award-winning author Pam Hillman writes inspirational fiction set in the turbulent times of the American West and the Gilded Age.

Born east of the Mississippi and a hundred years too late, Pam still boasts of wrangling calves, milking cows and putting up hay, first as a child, and later with her own personal hero, Iran, on their family farm in Mississippi.

A voracious reader as a child, Pam especially enjoyed stories involving the great Westward expansion, and television shows such as Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie, and Gunsmoke. The western writer, Louis L’Amour, kept Pam mesmerized with his tales of cowboys and Indians, mountain men and outlaws, prim schoolteachers, hot dry deserts, and boom towns.

Pam’s life in the country and her love of the old west bring authenticity to her work and depth to her characters, something that has been recognized many times in the industry through writer’s awards.

Her debut novel, Stealing Jake, was a finalist in the International Digital Awards and the 2013 EPIC eBook Awards. Claiming Mariah, her second novel won the Inspirational Readers Choice. Her latest release, The Evergreen Bride, is set in the heart of Mississippi. Pam lives in Mississippi with her husband and family.
Blog 


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Review: With This Spark by Mary Connealy, Ruth Logan Herne, Pam Hillman, Myra Johnson


Heidi Reads... With This Spark by Mary Connealy, Ruth Logan Herne, Pam Hillman, Myra Johnson

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

With a love of God, country and romance, award-winning and best-selling authors Mary Connealy, Ruth Logan Herne, Myra Johnson and Pam Hillman take you back to a simpler time in America's past... but romance is never quite as simple as it might seem and these authors use their love of God and expertise to delight readers all over the world!

My Review

I'm a total novella junkie! I love the quick fix of starting and finishing a story at the end of a long day or during naptime. I'm always a fan of these short stories by my favorite authors like Mary Connealy, but collections like With This Spark also introduce me to authors I haven't read yet but discover that I love their style, like Pam Hillman! (I'm looking forward to reading more by her in the near future...) In fact, Castaway With the Cowboy was my favorite of this collection and I would give it an individual rating of 5 stars. The characters were ones I quickly connected with and there was enough action to make the story feel like a full-length novel. I also enjoyed Texas Tea by Mary Connealy, since it featured minor characters from some of her earlier books, but the explanation of how the families and individuals are connected would be confusing without reading the other books first (the Lassoed in Texas trilogy). All the stories feature that wonderful spark of attraction between the main characters that make me love reading romance ;)

(Thank you to the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Review: The Homestead Brides Collection by Mary Connealy, Darlene Franklin, Carla Olson Gade, Ruth Logan Herne, Pam Hillman, DiAnn Mills, Erica Vetsch, Becca Whitham, Kathleen Y'Barbo


The Homestead Brides Collection by Mary Connealy, Darlene Franklin, Carla Olson Gade, Ruth Logan Herne, Pam Hillman, DiAnn Mills, Erica Vetsch, Becca Whitham, Kathleen Y'Barbo

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

Through nine historical romance adventures, readers will journey along with individuals who are ready to stake a claim and plant their dreams on a piece of the great American plains. While fighting land disputes, helping neighbors, and tackling the challenges of nature the homesteaders are placed in the path of other dreamers with whom romance sparks. And God has His hand in orchestrating each unique meeting.

My Review

This is an enjoyable collection of stories about pioneers homesteading and falling in love :) I learned A LOT about sod houses since almost every story featured one and a few even described the building process which is far more extensive than I had previously assumed. The romances are sweet and each story line is unique. I thought most of them were 4 stars, with a few 3 stars mixed in. My favorites were the ones by Mary Connealy, Darlene Franklin, Ruth Logan Herne, Pam Hillman, and Erica Vetsch. They incorporated themes of grief and hardship as well as strength, hope, and family loyalty.

(Thank you to Barbour Books for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)