Sunday, February 15, 2009

Author Miralee Ferrell - LOVE FINDS YOU IN LAST CHANCE, CALIFORNIA - Free Book

I featured Miralle's first book, and I'm happy to have her back with her first Summerside Press book. Welcome, Miralee. Why do you write the kind of books you do?

My first book was women’s contemporary, and the story compelled me to tell it. It was so true to life, with such gripping emotions, that it poured out of my heart. Love Finds You In Last Chance, California, is a totally different type of book, as it’s a historical romance with a suspense thread. To be quite frank, it’s a romance because it needed to fit in with what Summerside wanted, or it might have ended as historical women’s fiction. Now that it’s written, I’m thrilled that it’s a romance…I don’t think it would have been as strong without that aspect. I’m finding that I LOVE portraying characters from the Old West. From now on I may have a tug of war in my heart between writing women’s contemporary and historical, as I’m finding I love both equally well.

I enjoy writing both, too. Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?

I’d have to say when my children were laid in my arms in the hospital. As any mother knows, there’s such an incredible sense of awe that comes with the birth of a child. It’s been a blessing to experience that twice, and the blessings have continued over the years as both our daughter and our son came to faith in Christ, making life decisions that brought joy to both my husband and myself.

How has being published changed your life?

Wow, this could be a long answer…I could almost say “how hasn’t it changed your life” and been shorter, LOL! On a light note, it’s definitely kicked in some brain cells I hadn’t used for years, and is probably keeping me from early senility. I’ve become more creative, more observant, more thoughtful and even busier than I thought possible. Life was going at high speed before I started writing 4 yrs ago, now it’s kicked into super sonic. I don’t have as much time for things I used to do for pleasure…some of those have gone by the wayside. I’ve had to become more focused and disciplined, which has always been a challenge. My writing has stretched me to expand in ways I didn’t know existed before, but I’m loving it!

What are you reading right now?

Much of my reading takes place via audio books right now, when I’m driving, doing housework, etc., but I do try to squeeze in a "real" book as often as possible. Right now I have some of both going…the first in the Yada Yada Prayer Group series, by Neta Jackson, Just As I Am by Virginia Smith, Where the Heart Leads by Kim Vogel Sawyer, and Love Finds You in Valentine, Nebraska, by Irene Brand.

I've read all of them except the Yada Yada books and loved each one of them. What is your current work in progress?

At the time that I’m doing this interview I have several. Of course you know about Love Finds You In Last Chance, California, with the Feb. 2009 release date…I’m in the midst of final edits. I’m doing revisions so I can go into the edit stage with Kregel on Past Shadows (working title only), the sequel to The Other Daughter. And I’ve started writing book 3 for Kregel in that series, and have started another historical romance for Summerside’s consideration.

What would be your dream vacation?

I have so many, it’s hard to pick, LOL! Truly, I’d love to travel abroad on an extended trip, visiting Israel, Africa, Italy, Austria, and New Zealand. How’s that for variety? But I’d also love to find a tropical island somewhere, that is fully equipped just for me…with a satellite for my lap top, a cozy restaurant that serves only foods that I love, a horse to ride around the island, a boat my hubby and I could take out fishing and sailing, and lots of sun and sand to relax on and read….oh, and did I mention Pepsi and chocolate on hand that are calorie free?? Hmm….yep, that works for me!

How do you choose your settings for each book?

I chose the Pacific N.W. for my books with Kregel, as I live there and know the area so well. My Summerside release is set in North Central California, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. That’s the area that the editor from Summerside and I agreed might work best for my story line…it takes place in the small mining community of Last Chance.

My husband and I were able to spend a few days there so I could research the area and bring the same sense of authenticity to it as I did to my books set in more familiar territory. I want my settings to come alive to my readers, so they feel connected to the area, as well as the characters. For me, that will mean living in that area, or visiting and researching in depth.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

Horseback riding is at the top of the list. My horse currently resides with her equine buddies at my daughter and son-in-law’s house, so when I have a chance to trail ride, I also have a wonderful riding partner in my daughter. My husband doesn’t care to ride, but he does love to sail, so I share that with him on our sailboat (when he’s not working on it, that is). I also love to putter in my flower beds and vegetable garden, and IF I had time, I’d be oil painting…something I used to do prior to writing.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?

Coming up with a solid story idea. Once I have the idea, the characters and setting are easy for me. When I began writing I strictly wrote non-fiction and truly thought I didn’t have enough creativity to write fiction. The Lord has broadened my abilities and mind to encompass fiction now, but it’s been a challenge at times. Overcoming? Hmm…I think keeping open ears and eyes to what’s happening around me. Looking and listening for potential story ideas in the news, in people’s lives, in a song…there are so many ways stories can come to a person…it’s a matter of tuning in and being more aware.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?

Don’t get discouraged because your book isn’t snatched up and published the moment you’re finished writing it. Don’t give up because agents and publishers aren’t beating down your door for the first chance at your work, no matter how brilliant you think it might be. Realize that most published authors sweated, worked, learned, cried, and overcame many, many obstacles to get where they are. LEARN the craft before you present your work to an agent or author. Get people’s opinions (beyond your family and friends) from people who ARE published, and be willing to listen. Grow a tough skin and be open to receiving honest critiques of your work. The industry moves slow in some ways, but can change at lightening speed in others. Learn not only the craft, but how the industry works, and you’ll avoid so many “newbie” mistakes.

Tell us about the featured book.

I Love this book. Is it okay to say that first? The characters became so real to me, and their plight important to resolve. The setting in the Old West drew me, as I have a love for that era.

It’s set on a horse ranch on the outskirts of a small mining town in California. Rugged country where even the toughest men find it hard to succeed. Our heroine, Alexia Travers, finds it doubly so, since her father died and left their large horse ranch in her hands. He took out a mortgage on the ranch days before his unexpected death. Alex’s hands are quitting, as they don’t want to work for a woman, and her horses are disappearing. A stranger and his three year old boy come seeking a job and a home. But when disaster threatens Travers Ranch, they must work together to save someone they both love. Can these two independent people learn to depend on God and on each other, and untangle the mystery surrounding the ranch?

I can hardly wait to read and review your book. It's on the top of my to-be-read pile. How can readers find you on the Internet?

I have two sites where I can be found. My web site is updated as I sign contracts for new books, or a book releases. It also has my author bio telling how I started writing, and some of my personal testimony, as well as family pics, and more. The address is:
http://www.miraleeferrell.com/

My blog is updated 1-2 times per week, sometimes less depending on my writing schedule. I try to include articles that deal with family and marriage, as well as do an occasional book review for an author friend, and post updates on my books. It can be found at:
http://www.miraleesdesk.blogspot.com/

Thanks, Lena. It’s been a pleasure chatting with you and your readers, and I hope you’ll all race to your local Christian book store, Sam’s Club, Borders, Barnes and Noble, Family Christian store, or your favorite place to shop online to buy a copy of Love Finds You In Last Chance, California.

Thank you, Miralee, for spending this time with us.

Readers, you can order this book using this link:

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Be sure to check back a week from next Saturday to see if you won. Or you could sign up for Feedblitz at the top of the right hand column, and the posts will come to your Inbox.

42 comments:

Jo said...

Great interview Lena and Miralee. Please enter me in the drawing to win a copy of this book. Would love to read it.

Blessings,
Jo
ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

Martha A. said...

It sounds great! I love old west romances!
martha(at)lclink(dot)com

Dana said...

I'd love to throw my name in the hat! Thanks!

dana{at}mccalled{dot}com

Cleda said...

All the best ladies..... I am just waiting for my copy through a flash fiction entry at pix-n-Pens.... maybe it will be waiting for me when I get home later today.....GOD bless.... great interview Lena.... going to go and look at winner results.... I believe I saw my name through feedblitz.... appreciate you much Lean and the authors you interview....

Kim Vogel Sawyer said...

I already have the book (it's very good!), but just wanted to say I enjoyed the interview! Thanks, ladies!

Pat said...

Great review.Please enter me as I love mystery and romance together.
Thanks Pat
grist(at)mweb.co.za

Miralee Ferrell said...

Jo---Thank you! I enjoyed chatting with Lena, as well.

Martha--This is my first "old west" romance, but it was SO much fun to write. I hope you enjoy it!

Dana & Pat---The combo of mystery and romance worked well in this western novel. Let me know what you think if you get a copy.

Thanks, gals, for stopping by!
Miralee Ferrell

www.miraleeferrell.com

Audra Marie said...

I can't wait to read this book! :)

herwittywords(at)gmail.com

Mary said...

Lena and Miralee,

This was a terrific interview. I am in the midst of reading the book at present and it is a page turner.

I wish both of you good luck in future endeavors.

Blessings,
Mary

Abi said...

I have heard about this series of books. I'd love to win this one and read it. Thanks for the give away.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

brendalottakamaggiebrendan said...

Miralee and Lena, I enjoyed the interview and learning more about Miralee. Neat to learn that she rides horses. I wish that I could do that.
Congratulations on the book!

Miralee Ferrell said...

Hi Cleda! You're book was shipped a week ago, so it should be arriving right away. Let me know if it doesn't appear by Wed.?

Kim---Thank you so much for your support. To everyone else, Kim is an incredible writer and I'm SO blessed that she agreed to do an endorsement for my book.

Hi Mary! It's good to see you here, as well and I'm glad you're enjoying my book.

Miralee Ferrell said...

Audra Marie (love your name!) I hope you'll have the chance to get a copy.

Abi--The series of books have been fantastic and I'm blessed to be in the company of a great group of writers.

Brenda--I've owned and ridden horses for 36 yrs., and still love hitting the trails. I loved incorporating my passion for horses in this book. Thanks for your comments, all~

G.R.I.T.S. said...

I just finished reading Love finds you in Humble, Texas! Can't wait to read more...Please enter me!

Rae Byuel

Keli Gwyn said...

Enjoyable and informative interview, Lena and Miralee.

I'm eager to read Love Finds You in Last Chance, California. I live in the Sierra Foothills in a Gold Rush era town not too far from the site of Last Chance, so the setting is a huge draw. Plus, my favorite reads are historical inspirationals.

I loved your advice to not-yet-published writers, Miralee. As much as we want to think our "babies" are perfect, we must take the time to learn craft and develop our voices. I'm on my sixth manuscript. The first five were--you guessed it--historical inspirationals, all set in the heart of California's Gold Country. I feel like I'm just now getting close to having something worthy of submission.

You don't need to enter me in the drawing, Lena. My copy of Last Chance should be arriving soon.

mez said...

Please include me in the drawing for Love Finds You in Last Chance, CA. I love the names of these small towns in this series. Thanks!
worthy2bpraised{at}gmail{dot}com

Edna said...

I would love to be entered into the contest for this book, I love books, all books.

May God bless

Miralee Ferrell said...

Mez...aren't the names of the towns fun? And it's neat to see how each author brings the name into the story line, as well. Thanks for stopping by!

G.R.I.T.S....thank you for entering my contest and for your interest in my book. Hope you enjoy it!

Keli---I just read that you have a copy of my book coming. Please drop me a line at miralee at gorge dot net when you finish reading it, I'd love to hear your thoughts! Thank you for stopping by to share.

Edna---I'm glad you were able to find the contest...and thank you for dropping me a note so I could point you this direction.

darbyscloset said...

Would love to read this sweet book!
Please enter me,
Thanks!
Darby
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Mandie said...

Sounds like an awesome read! Can't wait!

windycindy said...

I enjoy Miraliee's books! Please enter me in your drawing for this book. It sounds like a very good one! Thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

kalea_kane said...

Wonderful interview, and I would be thrilled at the opportunity to read Love Finds You in Last Chance, California. I have read a few stories now that take place out West, and I am loving them!

Thanks for the opportunity.

Blessings,

Kelly

kalea_kane(at)yahoo(dot)com

Stacie said...

Thanks for another great interview and opportunity.

A J Hawke said...

Thanks for the interview. I look forward to reading LOVE FINDS YOU IN LAST CHANCE, CALIFORNIA.

Please enter me to win a book.

ajhawke@ajhawke.com

Patricia PacJac Carroll said...

HI Miralee and Lena,
God interview. I just finished reading Last Chance. What a good read. I enjoyed the characters and mystery. The romance and the setting. It's a winner.
Patricia

Marla said...

Sounds like another book I would really enjoy reading. Thank you for the entry.
koinonia572001@yahoo.com

Miralee Ferrell said...

Patricia....thank you for the kind words and I'm glad you enjoyed my book!

Cindi--I appreciate your confidence in my writing ability, as well. Good to see you here!

Kelly...I'm discovering that I love writing an old west historical. This won't be my last. Thanks for stopping in and entering the drawing.

Miralee Ferrell said...

Marla, A.J., Stacie, Darby, & Mandie...Wow! I so appreciate you gals dropping by and leaving a comment. Thank you!!!

Keli---that's cool that you live in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mts where my book takes place. I hope you'll find it realistic.

Hugs and blessings to you all...I wish everyone could win a book! Miralee

Stephen and Janet Bly said...

We enjoyed the interview--and would like to be part of the drawing!
On the trail,
Steve & Janet
www.BlyBooks.com

Becca said...

I'd like to be in the draw as well. Hope the book sells like hotcakes, Miralee!

becca_carter@yahoo.ca

Libby McKinmer said...

Great interview, Miralee!

Sheila Deeth said...

Great interview. Interesting that it wasn't necessarily going to be a romance, and nice that you feel the romance aspect deepened the story. Makes me more interested in reading it.

lilac grandma said...

I would love to read this book. Thanks for entering me and for the interview!
msproule1225at gmaildotcom

rebornbutterfly said...

I would love to read this book!
I'm going to be reviewing two of the books in the series, so i'd love to write a review on this one!

Katie said...

Please enter me....!!!!! Thanks

katie8407 (@) gmail (dot) com

angela said...

Looks good. Thanks for sharing Miralee.

Miralee Ferrell said...

Hi everyone! The comments are coming in faster than I can keep up with, thank you all! In fact, I've posted two times in response to the more recent comments and for some reason can't get my post to show up. I'm trying one more time...and please forgive me for not mentioning each of you by name. I've done that twice and lost it all, and just don't have time to rewrite it all, as much as I'd like to. I'm working on edits for a new book and am under a bit of a time crunch.

But I SO appreciate everyone stopping by and all the nice comments and encouragement about my book. I wish each of you could win one...but if you don't, and choose to buy a book, I'd love to hear your thoughts when you finish. Visit my website and drop me a note. I'd love to see you there!

Oh...and if you sign my guestbook you get another chance to win a book!

www.miraleeferrell.com

Kathy Carlton Willis said...

I loved Miralee's first book, and it would be great to read this one as well. Please enter me in the drawing. If I should win, my address is WillisWay (at) aol (dot) com. Thanks, Lena for this great interview, and Miralee, I wish you all the best with your book campaign!

Bonnie Leon said...

Is there still time to get in on this drawing? I'd really like to read Miralee's latest book.

Bonnie


www.bonnieleon.com

Miralee Ferrell said...

Hi Libby!! It's great to see your name here. Libby was one of my very first mentors when I started writing and a good friend since.

Bonnie...you made it in time! Bonnie Leon is an excellent writer and will be speaking to our ACFW group in April.

Kathy...it's nice to see you here! Kathy helped me with some awesome marketing suggestions for my first book.

Hi Angela! Hope to see you at OCW this year if I make it.

Thank you all for stopping by. And I SO wish you all could get a book!
Miralee Ferrell
www.miraleeferrell.com

sarahw said...

thanks for the interview. i've never read a book by Miralee but this one looks awesome. please enter my name in the draw. thanks,
sarahwoll at hotmail dot com

Ausjenny said...

oh love the cover of this book please enter me sounds like a great read.