Pam Hillman – Romantic Character Interview & Excerpts – Part 2 of 2

Shannon here: Historical romance author, Pam Hillman shares insight into her character’s romance plus details on how to win two e-readers, so you can read her latest e-book, Claiming Mariah. Any comments on this post will go into Wednesday and Friday’s drawing. Here’s Pam:

  • Where is the most romantic place your hero and heroine have ever been? 

Slade and Mariah had a very romantic interlude at the church picnic down by the creek…Mariah skirted the crowd and slipped among the trees where she’d last seen Slade. Picking her way carefully down the path leading to the creek, she found him chucking rocks into the water. He glanced up as she approached and his gaze went to the food. His eyebrow quirked upward. 

“Grandma and Sally insisted.” She shrugged.

She held out the heavily laden plate. After a moment of hesitation, he took it from her.

Jim came racing down the path, a quart jar of lemonade in his hand. “Mrs. Winston said to bring this to you.” 

He handed the jar to Slade and took off downstream.

“Jim, get back here,” Slade called after him. “Where are you going?” 

“To catch frogs.” 

Slade jerked his head toward the picnic area. “Get on up there and eat. The women aren’t going to leave all that food out there till you boys decide you’re hungry. Now get.” 

“Yes, sir.” He took off up the hill, running full speed. 

Mariah watched him go. “He’ll probably grab a chicken leg and keep running.” 

“Probably. But at least he’ll have something in his stomach.” 

She stood uncertainly. What would Sally do if she returned? Say something about Slade in front of the other women? She could skirt around the tables and join her grandmother under the trees. Then Sally would be none the wiser. “Well, I’d better—” 

Slade motioned to the tangled roots jutting out from the tree. “That looks like a level enough place to sit. Can you manage?” 

As soon as she was settled, he hunkered down and leaned against the tree, his plate balanced on one knee. He set the jar on the ground between them. “We’ll have to share the lemonade.” 

Mariah swallowed a dumpling. “You might not want to share when you taste it. Sally’s mother makes the best lemonade in the country.” 

They ate in silence, listening to the chatter of the townspeople on the knoll above them. A soft breeze ruffled the leaves overhead, and a squirrel chattered at them from across the creek. 

Slade took a long drink of lemonade. She arched a brow. “Well?” 

He closed his eyes, his mouth puckered as he savored the taste. Mariah’s stomach did a slow flop as he licked the sweet, tart liquid off his lips. He considered the jar and tossed her a wink. “Best stuff I ever tasted.” 

Then he turned up the jar and started guzzling it down. 

“Hey, stop that. You’re supposed to share.” Mariah lunged for the lemonade. She squealed as she pitched over a root as big as her leg, dumping the rest of her lunch onto the ground. 

Slade’s arm snaked out, and he snagged her before she fell headlong into the dirt. He held the jar out of her reach, laughing. “Hey, watch out; you almost spilled the lemonade.” 

His laughter did funny things to her insides, and to cover her embarrassment, she adopted an imperious attitude and held out a hand. “The lemonade.” 

“Nope. You’re not getting it.” He dangled the jar over her head.

  • What simple gesture does your hero do that melts your heroine every time? 

She gets all tongue-tied and flustered when he gives her a little crooked smile or a quick wink…His fingers moved along her jaw down to her chin. Slowly he cupped her face and tilted her chin up, and she focused on his lips again. A half smile played around them. Her stomach did a delicious little roll of delight. 

  • What simple gesture does your heroine do that melts your hero every time? 

I know it’s cliché, but men will be boys, and they really, really do enjoy making a woman blush. But they don’t want to be caught doing it. Just sayin’…A hint of a blush stole over her cheeks; then her gaze lifted and collided with his before she turned away. Perhaps it was the heat from the stove, or maybe she’d felt the same jolt he had when they’d touched. Whatever the reason, he liked the way her cheeks bloomed with color and her brown eyes sparkled in the light cast by the lanterns. 

He sipped his coffee, aware of every movement she made. Soft tendrils of brown-sugar hair resisted the neat bun gathered at her neck, softly framing her face. His fingers itched to tuck the wayward curls behind her ears. He turned and found Buck watching him with a curious look on his face. Slade scowled, moved to the table, and sat down.

  • How soon after meeting the hero did the heroine know he was the one? 

Since they were at odds over a land dispute in the beginning, Mariah fought her attraction to Slade. It was probably about 1/3 of the way through the book before she began to get a clue, much to her consternation and confusion…

Confusion flooded up from her midsection and swamped her. 

What did she want?She wanted everything to be all right. She wanted Amanda to finish her schooling and come home. She wanted the ranch back. And . . . and she wanted a chance to get closer to Slade, to bring him into the light and help him see that he’d been living on the fringes too long. Her heart thudded against her rib cage.  

Could this yearning be love? Or did she just want to fix the man as much as she wanted to fix the poor lonely cat who lived in the woods behind the house?

  • What is the most caring thing your hero has ever done for your heroine? 

He bought her a pair of boots because her old ones were completely worn out. She didn’t want to accept them, but she finally gave in.

  • Who said, “I love you” first, your hero or your heroine? 

Mariah said, “I love you” first, and then regretted it instantly. Slade’s reaction led her to believe he didn’t care for her in return…Slade’s heart hammered against his rib cage. He searched her face, lingering on her eyes, filled with love but overshadowed with uncertainty. 

The realization that he loved her too hit him square in his chest and exploded into a million pieces in his heart, but guilt held him back from confessing it.What had he done? 

About Pam: 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 the 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! Claiming Mariah is her second novel. www.pamhillman.com

About the book: 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. 

Pam is thrilled to announce the release of her second novel,  Claiming Mariah To celebrate, 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 for Kindle/Nook

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.Click here to View Current Giveaways! 

PREVIOUS STOP ON TOUR:March 16th: Jean Kinsey

Click for a Complete List of Stops Along the Tour

Come back March 20th for Donna F. Crow!

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