Monday, January 16, 2017

Five Reasons to Love Mississippi AND Cover Reveal!

by Pam Hillman

Having been born and raised in Mississippi, I’d like to share FIVE reasons that make Mississippi an amazing place to set an entire series in my home state.

1) Mississippi River - The Mississippi River runs North/South all the way from Minnesota along the western border of Mississippi to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Native Americans, mostly hunter-gatherers and Mound Builders formed agricultural societies up and down its banks.

The river was (and still is) a major transportation hub as well as a barrier and boundary for those without the means to cross. Farms, plantations, cities, shipping, barges, flatboats, riverboats all vied for a place on or near the Mississippi River.

2) Natchez Trace - The Natchez Trace, also known as the "Old Natchez Trace" and “The Devil’s Backbone”, runs roughly 440 miles from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee.

The Old Sunken Trace and Cole's Creek

The trail follows a ridge line, and animals naturally followed the pathway to distant grazing lands, the salt licks in Tennessee, and to the Mississippi River. Native Americans, then European and American explorers, traders, and settlers followed in their paths, improving and widening the road with each passing year.

3) Natchez, MS - Natchez, at one time the capital of the Mississippi Territory, is one of the oldest and most important European settlements in the lower Mississippi River Valley. Changing hands from France, Spain, Great Britian and eventually becoming part of the United States of America, the city is a smorgasbord of nationalities, cultures, and architecture.

The strategic location on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River and at the Southern end of the Natchez Trace ensured its place as a center of trade and commerce for well over two centuries from its founding.

4) Plantations - Plantations are self-sustaining and self-contained settlements. The proximity of the Mississippi River and the Natchez Trace, and later, the invention of the steamboats plying the river in conjunction with the vast tracks of fertile land in the surrounding lowlands enticed wealthy Southern planters to take up residence, growing cotton and sugarcane and to lesser degrees, indigo and tobacco. Natchez became the principal port from which these crops were exported, both upriver and downriver to New Orleans and to Europe.

5) Highwaymen - Highwaymen weren’t confined to the English countryside. Because of the high rate of traffic on the Natchez Trace before the steamboat was launched on the Mississippi River in 1811, thieves and robbers plied the trace, stealing and killing unsuspecting travelers.

With all these fascinating people, places, events within a few hours of me, how could I not write about them? So I did.

The Promise of Breeze Hill - Available for preorder from your favorite Retailer

The Promise of Breeze Hill, A Natchez Trace Novel
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?


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  1. Very pretty cover. Sounds really good.

  2. Beautiful! I CANNOT wait. But I have to. :'(

    An Irish carpenter indentured to a Southern Belle plantation owner? *swoon* I can't imagine the sparks that are going to fly between those two. Something tells me Connor isn't used to taking orders from a woman. :)

  3. Love the cover and premise! Congrats, Pam!

    1. Thanks, Lyndee. I think Tyndale did an awesome job on the cover. We all agreed that it fits the genre, but isn't quite like anything we've seen. Perfect for the area, the title and the story. :)