Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Starbucks at Your Fingertips? - Author Pam Hillman Interview and Giveaway

Pam is thrilled to announce the release of her second novel,

In light of her father’s death, Mariah Malone sends a letter that will forever alter the lives of her family. When Slade Donovan, strong willed and eager for vengeance, shows up on her front porch, Mariah is not ready to hear his truths: her father’s farm, the only home she’s ever known, was bought with stolen gold. With Slade ready to collect his father’s rightful claim and force Mariah and her family out on the streets, Mariah must turn to God for guidance. Though Mr. Fredrick Cooper, a local landowner, promises to answer her financial woes if she agrees to be his bride, Mariah finds herself drawn instead to the angry young man demanding her home.

With the ranch now under Slade’s careful eye, he will unearth more than he ever imagined as a devious plot of thievery, betrayal and murder threatens more than the well-being of the ranch, endangering the lives of those who hold it dear. With days dwindling until the rest of the Donovan clan arrive to the Lazy M ranch, Mariah and Slade must rise above the resentment of their fathers and see their true feelings before greed alters their futures forever.

Interview with Author Pam Hillman

Pam Hillman
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. 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! Claiming Mariah is her second novel.

What should readers know about your latest release?
Some might say that Slade Donovan doesn’t come across as very heroic to begin with, but he believes he has good reasons for his demands. He quickly softens toward the heroine and her family and eventually lets go of his bitterness. I like readers to see part of the story from an unusual angle, a point of view that shines a light a little off center, and in Claiming Mariah, that light is on Red Harper, a secondary character who plays a pivotal role in the story.

What was the main inspiration for the new book?

Several years ago, I read a novel where a bank robber tosses a sack of stolen money in the back seat of a hand-to-mouth college student’s car. She kept the money and eventually started a very successful business. She justified her actions because she anonymously created a charity to help destitute young women get back on their fee.

But, as the old saying goes, two wrongs don’t make a right, and that wasn’t quite right from a Christian’s perspective, was it? I based Claiming Mariah on the following question: “What would a Christian do if they found out their whole livelihood had been based on a lie?” Mariah does the right thing by writing to Slade’s father asking for forgiveness, but the consequences of her actions end up being way more than she bargained for.

Why do you feel compelled to write—in your genre or at all?

I was born and raised on a farm, 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. 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 John Wayne movies 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!).

Some people are born to paint, some to sing, some to build, some to nurture, and others are born to write. I don’t know how or why God gifts each of us with certain talents, but my desire and my talent is to write.

How has travel been involved in your writing and/or research? What’s been your most memorable research experience?

I haven’t had the chance to do much travel for research over the years due to a heavy work schedule, but now that I work full-time from home, I’m hoping that changes. My mother and I took a research trip down the Natchez Trace a few years ago. We spent 3 days on the Trace and in Natchez. I visited Pens on a World Map in December and shared some of our experiences from that fun trip to Natchez. I hope we can do it again soon!

Who has inspired you the most on your writing journey—a loved one, fellow author, favorite teacher?

Not who, but what. American Christian Fiction Writers. Through ACFW, I connected with the Seekers, my best friend, Robin Caroll, my agent, Steve Laube, and my editor, Jan Stob at Tyndale House….just to mention a few. I have found a family of writers who understand me, and once a year I get to see about 700 of the coolest people on earth.

What surprised you the most about the writer’s journey—publication, representation, platform building, the writing itself?

The thing that surprised me the most was the sheer magnitude of work that goes into producing a book. From concept to completion, to publication, to hand-selling the finished product to the public, it is mind boggling!

If you could rewind time to when you began your pursuit of publication, what would you tell yourself?

Focus on perfecting craft, not on premature publication. There were a few times editors seriously considered my work. Yes, I was terribly disappointed, because I offered the best I had at the time, but after I reworked the manuscript to a higher level, I was thankful the editors said no.

What’s your favorite place you have visited?

My parents and I visited The Alamo and the River Walk in San Antonio, Texas many years ago. I’d love to go back some day. I remember the cobblestone walkways, the boats, and the bridges arching over the water. I especially remember watching a professional photo shoot with a woman in a stunning wedding dress posing on a set of ivy covered stone stairs. I would love to recreate that memory of days gone by, the quiet nooks and crannies of the Walk, the peace and serenity so close to The Alamo where so many lives were lost.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Or would you return to somewhere you’ve already been?

I would love to go to Ireland on an extended tour. I would stay for months in one place and tour the countryside, ride the back roads, find out of the way spots. But, mostly, I’d listen to and learn from the people in the small villages. Then I’d move on, and do the same thing in a new part of the country. I also wouldn’t mind touring the United States the same way. Just live in a motor home for months and months at a time talking to the locals, finding out what they find amazing about their part of the world. But I wouldn’t get a thing done, writing wise. lol 

And now a fun tidbit—if there was one special travel destination just for writers and you were its founder, what would the name be and where would it be located?

I would have a huge tropical island (think Fantasy Island) where authors could have everything. They could retreat to a mountaintop cabin, or a beachside hut for their writing. Their every need would be met immediately, and they wouldn’t have to lift a finger.

The purpose of my retreat would be twofold: to write and to recharge. So, the author would arrive onsite and have a week or so to relax, plan, think, enjoy being with other writers. Then they would go to their private writing cave, whether that would be a cabin in the mountains, a beachside hut, or a stark room with a bed, bath, and computer hutch.

The authors would stay a minimum of 3-4 weeks, but stays could be extended to 2-3 months if the author enjoyed the solitude and atmosphere of the island. I actually predict long-term stays from several of my friends in Seekerville, and I can think of a couple of writers who would need 3 weeks of complete solitude multiple times a year.

I’m debating the use of cell phones, but would probably confiscate all electronic devices and ban internet usage. But not to worry: Computers would have immediate access to a staff of experts who would willingly perform any needed research or fulfill any writing related request.

Oh, and all suites, cabins, caves, beachside huts, etc. would have a Starbucks button (computers would have a Starbucks app) within easy reach. Push it once and within moments, your Starbucks beverage of choice is delivered quietly and efficiently by a silent staff member whose every wish is to not disturb the writer’s muse.

Have Starbucks at Your Fingertips? Enter this giveaway.

Click here for your chance to win a $10 Starbucks gift card!!

 For more info about Pam and her writing, visit Also connect with her on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest or her blogs, Calico Trails or Seekerville.

To celebrate her release, Pam is giving away two eReaders

(choice of Kindle Wi-Fi, 6" Display, or Nook Simple Touch)

Two Winners: One on facebook. One through Pam’s Newsletter.

Facebook Drawing: Kindle/Nook Giveaway

Newsletter: Pam’s Newsletter.

Registering both places is not required but will double your chances of winning. Also keep in mind that you will receive updates more often being connected on facebook than through the newsletter. Just sayin’

Contest runs from January 1st until March 31st, 2013.

And....that’s not all! There will be prizes offered randomly throughout the tour.

The Prize Vault Is Open!!

This week’s giveaway on facebook. Click the links below to register:

Winner will also have their choice of ebook version of
Stealing Jake or Claiming Mariah

Pam is also blogging today with Henry McLaughlin.

Stop by and say hi!


Two for One!

January 28th: Sarah Forgrave:

and Seekerville:


January 31st: Blogging with Jennifer Slattery:


  1. First, I am loving the name of this blog. Fantabulous. I have a map on the wall in front of my treadmill and the plan is to WALK to Italy.

    Great Pam Hillman interview as well. Of course I am not waiting for a giveaway. I have my own Mariah!!!

    1. HelLLOOOO, Tina! I love that you have that map on the wall. That is too cool. I need to do that, and use a hi-lighter to mark my way. :)

      I commented earlier, but must not have hit "send". Then life got in the way. Son and DIL are defrosting their freezer, so guess who's got all their frozen food in HER freezer?? I wonder if the counted the packs of meat before they brought it over???? lol

    2. Hi Tina! Thanks!

      And thanks to all the vistors for stopping in and to Pam for being my guest. :)


  2. I want to go to Pam's tropical island for writers and take the beachside hut! Indoor plumbing please...

    1. You've got it, Carole! One beachside hut with indoor plumbing coming up.

      Did you try that link for coffee delivered instantly? I keep clicking it to see if someone magically appears with my white chocolate mocha!

  3. My word veri just now looked suspiciously like HIBISCUS. Is blogger channeling my thoughts today? lol

  4. Wow, yesterday got away and I did not get by! Loving this tour, Pam!
    Jackie Smith

    1. Aww, Jackie, I know ALL about the day taking over! Do you want me to book you in one of the huts at the retreat?? lol

  5. Claiming Mariah is the first Western romance I've read since, well, maybe ever. But I loved the characters and the story. Highly recommend it.

    Pam, your retreat sounds wonderful. I actually did something like that a couple of years ago when my mom and I stayed for several weeks at an unoccupied but furnished house in the southern Ohio hills -- no TV, no internet or cellphone service. We loved it, and I rewrote sections of Where Treasure Hides while I was there. If you ever get that retreat going, let me know!

    1. Johnnie, you're kidding??? What an amazing way to spend a couple of months.

      I know an author who house sits for people all over the world for months at a time. What a life! glad you bit the bullet (pun intended) and read a Western. No turning back now! lol