Friday, June 16, 2017

Why Write About Indentured Servitude? ... And a Giveaway!


by Pam Hillman

Each story idea starts with one tiny little puzzle piece. Just one.

A word, a photo of days gone by, a scent, a location, an event. Before The Promise of Breeze Hill became the full-fledged novel that it is now, it was just a single thought to write about an indentured servant.



Why? Fish out of water, maybe. Or having a character who can’t walk away, but then later doesn’t want to walk away. And, since I like to put a bit of a twist on my stories, I wanted the hero to be the one who was placed in this situation.

And to make matters worse, let’s indenture the poor guy to the heroine, but something in his past makes this a really bad thing. I just kept tightening the ropes on him. I also wanted my indentured servant to be an alpha male, with a take-charge attitude. More thinking outside the box turned Connor into a man who has already served a forced seven year indenture, but willingly indentures himself to pay for his four younger brothers' passage from Ireland.



Fairly quickly in this process, I made the decision to move the story to the late 1700s, early 1800s at the latest, as indentured servants weren’t that common in the 19th century. Not completely unheard of, but not the time period we first think of for indentured servants. So, the 18th century is a departure for me as all my other published works fall between 1850-1890. How my hero ended up being Irish, I’ll not be knowing. It just is.

Then I needed to decide where to set this indentured servant story. More than likely, most of us think of indentured servants solidly in the New England states, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia, the Carolinas, etc. But I’m from the South, and New Orleans and Natchez were bustling ports in the 18th century, so it made sense to plop my characters on my home turf.

The story just keeps growing, one puzzle piece at a time.

https://www.amazon.com/Promise-Breeze-Natchez-Trace-Novel/dp/1496415922/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1486793759&sr=1-1&keywords=the+promise+of+breeze+hill

What would make Connor so adverse to be under the thumb of a woman...something more than just be an alpha male in a time period when women had little say in how things were run? What baggage and problems can I throw at Isabella Bartholomew? And what power (big grin) can I give her? What can push them apart, but draw them together? On and on and on, the pieces just keep falling in to place.

And it all started with the germ of an idea to write about an indentured servant.

Hey, let's have some fun. Solve the puzzle below for a chance to win a signed copy of The Promise of Breeze Hill. Make sure to comment that you'd like to be included in the drawing and leave your email address so that you can be contacted if you win.

Note: Winner will be chosen by Random.org on June 20, 2017 and posted in the comments as well as the HHH sidebar.


131 comments:

  1. Time: 2:28 I'd like to be included in the drawing please :) dreamstogo@hotmail.com

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    1. You are fast, Margaret! Took me a lot longer than that! lol

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  2. Time 5:50. Yes, please I'd love to be included in the drawing. I have had my eye on this book. The cover is gorgeous and the story line has drawn me in. I love reading about indentured servants, especially Irish ones.The Irish were very discriminated against at this time in history.
    Cnnamongirl at aol dot com

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    1. Ah, Deanne, 5:50 is more my speed. I agree about the Irish during that time period. I can't wait for you to read this book. I think there are going to be some WOW moments. ;)

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  3. The Promise of Breeze Hill is going on my TBR list. I love your premise for this inspirational historical romance. I enjoyed the puzzle-2:56 for the time.
    marilynridgway78 [at] gmail [dot[com

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    1. Thanks Marilyn! Great time on the puzzle! :)

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  4. I would love to be entered to win a copy of this interesting sounding book! Thanks. paulams49ATsbcglobalDOTnet
    My time was 4:51. I'm on an iPad and these puzzles don't work that fast with fingers!

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    1. Paula, I'd say that's pretty fast even on an iPad.

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  5. 4:55!!! Thanks for the insight into how you construct your stories. The puzzle was fun. bcrug(at)myfairpoint(dot)net

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Connie. Blessings! :)

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  6. I am a slow turtle doing these puzzles but I love them! Love the post, so interesting! Can't wait to read the book.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. Melanie, so glad you enjoyed the puzzle and the backstory on the book.

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  7. Time 3:03
    I would love to win a copy of this book, thank you for the chance!

    wfnren at aol dot com

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  8. I completed the puzzle. I would love to win a copy.
    Thanks!

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    1. Marguerite, I hope you stop back by and leave your email address so I can contact you if you win, substituting AT for @ and DOTcom for .com to confound the trolls. :)

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  9. I solved the puzzle and would like to win the book! jarning67(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  10. 2:51 was my time! I love those puzzles, they are so fun. Please enter me for the giveaway! Congratulations on the new release!

    colorvibrant at gmail dot com

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    1. Thank you, Heidi! I'm so excited. :) 2:51??? Another swifty! lol

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  11. Time 3:52 and I would like to be included in the giveaway please. I can't wait to read this one. Thanks for the giveaway and good luck everyone.

    princessdebbie1_2000@yahoo.com

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    1. Debbie, so glad you stopped by. You're in the drawing. :)

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  12. That was fun, Pam. Thanks. I look forward to reading it, but no need to include me in the drawing. :)

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    1. Martha, thanks for commenting. Aren't those puzzles just too much fun? And it really is just like that when we piece a book together.... but more like a 90K piece/word puzzle instead of 30-40! lol

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    2. I had never really thought of our stories as puzzles, but it makes perfect sense. Seems more like a 1000 piece puzzle sometimes when I hit a road-block. :)

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  13. I love these puzzles!! I had a 2:25 time. I would love to be included in the drawing! Wow, thank you for sharing how it is like a puzzle in getting a story together. So neat to learn! lattebooksAThotmailDOTcom

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    1. 2:25??? Wow, Susan. You are GOOD! :)

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  14. I love jigsaw puzzles but have not played with one recently so my time was 5:57. I spend so much time reading reviewing. Perhaps, I need to start listening to audio books so I can do both!! Thanks for the fun. Can't wait to read this book.

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    1. Connie, don't worry about the time. I think mine was about the same. I just like seeing the pictures emerge. Audio books are cool, aren't they? We're such multi-taskers. :)

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  15. Time 5:08 I love doing puzzles. That was fun. This book sounds very interesting. I would like to be entered in your drawing. Thank you! lovablemom1951@yahoo.com

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    1. Marilyn, so glad you enjoyed the puzzle and the backstory on the book. You're in the drawing! :)

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  16. I've puzzles 3:39 time. Please include me in the drawing.
    Congrats on the New Release. Thanks for the chance.
    Carol Smith
    penelope223(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  17. Took me 8:28... My brain isn't working today! Loved the excerpt, Pam. I want to read this book! Will have to look for your other ones, too! I'm excited to see your books in print.

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    1. Oh, thank you, Melanie! So appreciate you and am glad to see you even if it is online. It's been way too long!

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  18. I enjoyed reading about how you "puzzled" your story together Pam. Sounds like one I would enjoy reading. Also had fun with the puzzle you provided for us to do. Always takes me a little longer to do on my laptop, finished it in 3:51. Please enter me for a chance to win a copy of your book, The Promise of Breeze Hill.
    Blessings, Tina
    KINGsDaughter5683 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. You're in the drawing, Tina! :) And 3:51 is nothing to sneeze at. MUCH better than I did and I created the puzzle! lol

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  19. Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Lori. :) I hope you stop back by and leave your email address so I can contact you if you win, substituting AT for @ and DOTcom for .com to confound the trolls. :) Blessings, friend!

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  20. Since I only have a white screen where the puzzle is and nothing happens when I click on it, I'll skip that part. Would love to win a copy of the book. pat at ptbradley dot com

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    1. It did come up and I was waaay slow. lol

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    2. Hello Pat! I woke up this morning and realized that I hadn't checked to make sure the puzzle uploaded correctly when the blog went life at midnight. Thankfully, it was okay. Whew! Glad it finally came up for you.

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  21. Love puzzles... Thanks. The book sounds so interesting.

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    1. Donna, so glad you stopped by. I hope you get a chance to come back and leave your email address so I can contact you if you win, substituting AT for @ and DOTcom for .com to confound the trolls. :)

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  22. 3:38 I'd love to be included in the drawing! Thank you, Pam!
    betherin02 AT gmail DOT com

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  23. The puzzle was fun! Please enter me: diloward at gmail dot com

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  24. I would love to win a copy of this fascinating book that I'm adding to my TBR pile and I can't wait to find out how it ends.Thanks for the fun puzzle too! y3lily(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Stephanie, your enthusiasm makes me very happy! :)

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  25. 2:49!! Love puzzles!! thanks for the chance. I would love to win.
    justcommonlyATgmailDOTcom

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  27. 3:10 Sounds like a good book. Thank you for the fun puzzle and the giveaway.

    Thank you,
    Stephanie

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    1. So glad you dropped by Stephanie! :)

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  28. Sounds like a very interesting book--I can't wait to read it! :-)
    myancestry101 at aol dot com

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    1. Gracie, thanks for commenting. I've tossed your email address on the auction block. ;)

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  29. Thanks for the puzzle. I'd love to win.

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    1. Janie, thank you for commenting. I hope you get a chance to stop back by and leave your email address so I can contact you if you win, substituting AT for @ and DOTcom for .com to confound the trolls. :)

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  30. Time 3:32 . I'd like to be included in the drawing. The puzzle was fun and I look forward to reading the book. lisabugajski@hotmail.com

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    1. Lisa, so good of you to drop by. Got you in the drawing!

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  31. You guys are rocking this page! :) Make sure you leave your email address so I can contact you if you win, substituting AT for @ and DOTcom for .com to confound the trolls. :)

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  32. Time: 2:17 Becky I haven't read anything by Pam Hillman but it looks good. lelandandbecky at reagan dot com.

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    1. Becky, we'll hook you yet! Got your name in the drawing. :)

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  33. I would love to be included in the drawing! I really enjoyed the puzzle. Emai: ahma2sevenatgmaildotcom Tks.

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    1. Got you down, Pam. Glad you enjoyed the puzzle. :)

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  34. 5:15 Would love to win! from half-Irish Kathleen :)
    lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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    1. You're on the list, half-Irish Kathleen! :) I haven't had my DNA tested, but somehow I just think there's a good bit o' Irish somewhere in there. And... ps... If I'd know you ere half-Irish, I would have had you read for accuracy! :)

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  36. I would love to be included in your drawing. ccutting70@msn.com

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  37. I didn't realize it was timed but I finished it.
    Please include me in the contest
    jwisley(at)aol(dot)com

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  38. I am slow at doing these things but I love doing them. I would love to be put in the drawing. I haven done a puzzle for a while so I am even slower. Thanks so much for the chance to win your book sounds awesome.

    quiltlady110 at gmail dot com

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    1. So glad you stopped by, Quilt Lady! :)

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  39. 12:17 sad score! I would love to win your new book; it sounds like a real treat! Thank you for the chance to win! Even if I was a bit slow on the puzzle.
    jeaniedannheim (at) ymail (dot) com

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    1. Jeanie, don't worry about the score! :) As long as you enjoyed the process. It's quite relaxing isn't it? You're in the drawing! :)

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  40. 3.33 at least I can remember the numbers well. it was fun love the look of the book. Congrats on the new book Pam

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    1. Jenny, so good to see you here in HHH! :) I hope all is going well for you, my friend!

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  41. It took me 6:59. I'd love to be entered in the contest. Thanks.

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    1. Lesia, so glad you stopped by. I hope you get a chance to come back and leave your email address so I can contact you if you win, substituting AT for @ and DOTcom for .com to confound the trolls. :)

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  42. I LOVE THE PUZZLE! YOU WILL TELL ME HOW YOU DID THAT!!!!

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  43. I didn't time myself. Oops. Trying again.

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  44. 2:08 but on my second try so that might factor in!!! Still!!!!

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    1. I don't know, Mary, I think I got slower every time I tried to solve it. Obviously, I'm not talented in that area. lol

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  45. 4:42 is my time on my laptop. Probably could have done faster on my desktop computer with my mouse,lol! I'd love to be in the draw, thank you!

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  46. I'm always quite slow doing these puzzles but do enjoy them. After reading some of the other times, I'm too embarrassed to tell you how long it took! I would like to be entered in the drawing. The book sounds really good!

    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. No worries, Pam! As long as you enjoy seeing the end result, that's what counts. You're in the drawing!

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  47. TIME: 5:49 - This is the first time I've ran into a contest where you had to work the puzzle but what a nice change it was!! I'd love to be entered for a chance to win this great book. Thanks mucho!!

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    1. Glad you dropped by and that you enjoyed the puzzle, Judy. Last year I had a novella in the California Gold Rush Collection and the story revolved around a cartographer who hand carved puzzles for fun. I found jigsawplanet and had a ball creating memes with it. :)

      Oh... I hope you get the chance to come back and leave your email address so I can contact you if you win, substituting AT for @ and DOTcom for .com to confound the trolls. :)

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  48. The first puzzle I have done on my iPad so took me awhile to get the hang of it. Please enter me.

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    1. Jackie, thanks for stopping by and playing! :) I hope you get a chance to come back and leave your email address so I can contact you if you win, substituting AT for @ and DOTcom for .com to confound the trolls. :)

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  49. Time 6:21....I love puzzles! I was just relaxing doing it and then realized I was being timed...lol. What a GREAT idea to incorporate a puzzle of the book cover to parallel with how your story came to life! :) From the first time I saw the cover and read about 'The Promise of Breeze Hill' I was smitten. It is on my TBR list. Pam, please enter me in the drawing for a chance to win it!!! Thanks so much for the opportunity of this giveaway! ~Alison

    I am also a FeedBurner subscriber.

    nj(dot)bossman(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Alison, I am STOKED that TBoBH is on your TBR list. Yes! :) You're in the drawing! :)

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  50. I love puzzles! Completed in 2:30. The book sounds wonderful. Please enter me in the drawing. My email is embteri@yahoo.com. Thank you.

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    1. Teresa, aren't they so much fun? You're in the drawing! :)

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  51. 4:04 - so much fun thank you.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  52. I love doing these puzzles. I was a little slower today. 4:35.

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.
    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

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  53. I'm not a fast puzzler. :) 4:48 Very pretty cover! rw620 AT aol DOT com

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    1. Me either, Robin, but they are fun, aren't they? Tyndale did an amazing job on the cover. I love it, too! :) You're in the drawing, friend!

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  54. I got it in 3:16. Thanks for the fun puzzle and a chance to win a signed copy!!! darholley1@aol.com

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    1. Glad you stopped by, Darlene. You're in the drawing.

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  55. Time 3:45. Pam, I'm excited to read this one. Thank you for the chance.
    psalm103and138 at gmail dot com

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    1. Thank you, Caryl. Got you down for the drawing. :)

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  56. what a grand idea doing the puzzle. I would love to be included in the drawing. thank you. this sounds like a great book.
    quilting dash lady at Comcast dot net

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    1. Lori, thanks for stopping by and glad you enjoyed the puzzle. You're in the drawing! :)

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  57. I love the puzzle! Thank you for a fun way to look at genealogy and history!

    kvsmm1945@gmail.com

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Ingrid. Got you down! :)

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  58. Thanks Pam for writing this story,it sounds so interesting and exciting! Thanks also for the giveaway,please throw my name in the drawing,too. lynnefeuerstein(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Thank you, Lynne. And you're in the drawing! :)

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  59. I haven't done a puzzle since my parents used to do them, when I was a child at home, many decades ago! So, I completed it but was slow. Interesting project and story line. dixiedobie at yahoo dot com

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    1. CC, my dad and I used to put a puzzle together every Christmas. Also a long time ago. :)

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  60. 7:19. I can't do these on my phone very fast or well! But they are fun!

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    1. Nancy, I'm not sure I could do much on my phone either! Thank you for trying. Made me realize that I need to keep smart phones in mind when creating puzzles. Thanks!

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  61. Time 3:04. A beautiful cover, and sounds like a great story. Would love a chance to win! hollipop984@gmail.com

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    1. Holly, so glad you stopped by. You're in the drawing! :)

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  62. 3:45 for me. I love the puzzle analogy and the fun of putting it together. Thanks for the giveaway and the look at the process of putting your novel together. danandlyndaedwards (at) msn (dot) com.

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    1. Lynda, thank you for commenting. Got your name in the hat for a chance to win. :)

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  63. Hi Pam: I solved the puzzle. It was the first I have ever tried to solve. It took some learning. Please put me in the drawing. I've read several books about the Trace and have been there many times. My best friend lived about 500 feet off the trace. Beautiful country. Looking forward to reading the book.

    Vince

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    1. So glad you stopped by, Vince. So cool that your friend lived so close to the trace. Biking is hugely popular. My husband and sister-in-law love to ride. Me? I'm a klutz. But... I just thought about getting an adult tricycle. Now that I could do. Hubby probably wouldn't want to be seen with me though! lol

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  64. Ahhh....I love stories set in the old south on plantations. This book sounds really good and I am looking forward to reading it.

    I did the puzzle in 2:42.

    nina4sm at gmail dot com

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    1. Sylvia, thanks for stopping by, and you enjoyed the puzzle. Blessings!

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  65. And the winner of a signed copy of The Promise of Breeze Hill is LYNDA E.

    Lynda, I'll email you privately. Thank you all for showing up in such a big way!! You all are so amazing.

    And, finally, Thank YOU for being readers!. Without you, there would be no need for what I do.

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