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THE SOUND OF SLEIGH BELLS BY CINDY WOODSMALL October 13, 2009

Filed under: Book Review,Giveaways — pattyleblanc @ 3:03 am
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Sound of Sleigh BellsSummary:  

Beth Hertzler works alongside her beloved Aunt Lizzy in their dry goods store, and serving as contact of sorts between Amish craftsmen and Englischers who want to sell the Plain people’s wares. But remorse and loneliness still echo in her heart everyday as she still wears the dark garb, indicating mourning of her fiancé. When she discovers a large, intricately carved scene of Amish children playing in the snow, something deep inside Beth’s soul responds and she wants to help the unknown artist find homes for his work–including Lizzy’s dry goods store. But she doesn’t know if her bishop will approve of the gorgeous carving or deem it idolatry.

Lizzy sees the changes in her niece when Beth shows her the woodworking, and after Lizzy hunts down Jonah, the artist, she is all the more determined that Beth meets this man with the hands that create healing art. But it’s not that simple–will Lizzy’s elaborate plan to reintroduce her niece to love work? Will Jonah be able to offer Beth the sleigh ride she’s always dreamed of and a second chance at real love–or just more heartbreak?

Author Bio:cindy woodsmall

Cindy Woodsmall is the author of When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes, and The New York Times Best-Seller When the Soul Mends. Her ability to authentically capture the heart of her characters comes from her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families. A mother of three sons and two daughters-in-law, Cindy lives in Georgia with her husband of thirty-one years. 

My Review:

Let me just say how much I love the books written by Cindy Woodsmall. This happens to be my third blog post having to do with Cindy Woodsmall. The Sound of Sleigh Bells certainly did not disappoint when it comes to what I expect from the caliber of books written by this author. This was a simple love story with its share of disappointment and heartache, but the characters were overall believable with real emotions. I loved this book just as much as I have enjoyed her other books and would definitely recommend it and pass it along.

Please visit the Random House website to see all of the different options where you can purchase the book online:

http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780307446534

As a participant in this blog tour, I have received a copy to read and review. I also received a copy as a giveaway. My review is not biased by the fact that I was given this book. I HONESTLY read and review any book whether bought or given to me. If I do not like the book I would definitely not give a raving review or recommend it.

If you would like to win a copy of The Sound of Sleigh Bells, please post a comment and leave your email address in code to avoid spam such as name[at]charter[dot]net. Tell your friends about this giveaway also. If you post about it on your blog be sure to give me the link to get a second entry in the drawing, or if your friend posts a message and mentions your name, you will receive an extra entry in the drawing. I will draw a name on October 16th.

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The Hope of Refuge by Cindy Woodsmall August 3, 2009

Filed under: Book Review,Giveaways — pattyleblanc @ 9:41 pm

hope of refuge

Summary:  

Raised in foster care and now the widowed mother of a little girl, Cara Moore struggles against poverty, fear, and a relentless stalker. When a trail of memories leads Cara and Lori out of New York City toward an Amish community, she follows every lead, eager for answers and a fresh start. She discovers that long-held secrets about her family history ripple beneath the surface of Dry Lake, Pennsylvania, and it’s no place for an outsider. But one Amish man, Ephraim Mast, dares to fulfill the command he believes that he received from God–“Be me to her”– despite how it threatens his way of life.

Completely opposite of the hard, untrusting Cara, Ephraim’s sister Deborah also finds her dreams crumbling when the man she has pledged to build a life with begins withdrawing from Deborah and his community, including his mother, Ada Stoltzfus. Can the run-down house that Ada envisions transforming unite them toward a common purpose–or push Mahlon away forever? While Ephraim is trying to do what he believes is right, will he be shunned and lose everything–including the guarded single mother who simply longs for a better life?

Here is a link to an interview that Cindy did on abc Nightline about the Amish: http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/story?id=7676659&page=1

cindy woodsmall pic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author Bio:

Cindy Woodsmall is the author of When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes, and The New York Times Best-Seller When the Soul Mends. Her ability to authentically capture the heart of her characters comes from her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families. A mother of three sons and two daughters-in-law, Cindy lives in Georgia with her husband of thirty-one years. 

My Review:

This is the first book I have read by Cindy Woodsmall, and I’m very glad I had the opportunity to do so. I have always been intrigued by the Amish community, as I’m sure many people have and that is why it is so popular. Cara is a single mom who fears for the life of herself and her daughter as she struggles to work and keep her daughter safe. She begins to have some flashbacks of her childhood and then finds a key to those flashbacks in notes her mom left for her. This leads her to an Amish community where she finds herself quite the outsider, yet taken in by one of their own, Ephraim. He does this at the risk of his own faith because he feels God telling him to “Be me to her”. How will Cara handle what she learns while she is there and what will happen to Ephraim for taking a chance on following what he feels God calling him to do against his better judgment? I would highly recommend reading this book so you will have the opportunity to find out the answers to these questions and many more. At the end of the book Cindy Woodsmall had me wanting for more. What a great start to what I hope will be more heartfelt stories about the Amish life.

Here is a link to the Random House website. Here you will see all of the different options where you can purchase the book online:

http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781400073962

New York Times bestselling author Cindy Woodsmall is on tour, and she may be coming to a city near you! Don’t miss your opportunity to meet Cindy and have her sign her newest title The Hope of Refuge at one of the following events.

Tuesday, August 11   7 – 8:30pm

Barnes & Noble

5141 Peachtree Parkway, The Forum
Norcross, Georgia 30092
(770) 209-4244

 Wednesday, August 12   7 – 8pm

Barnes & Noble Opry Mills

515 Opry Mills Drive
Nashville, Tennessee 37214
(615) 514-5000

Thursday, August 13   6 – 8pm

Barnes & Noble

2540 Futura Pkwy. #135
Plainfield, Indiana 46168
(317) 838-7941

 Friday, August 14   6 – 8pm

Barnes & Noble

1550 West 75th
Downers Grove, Illinois 60516
(630) 663-0181

 Saturday, August 15   1 – 3pm

Baker Books

2768 East Paris Ave SE
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49546-6139
(616) 957-3110

Sunday, August 16   2 – 4pm

Barnes & Noble Booksellers

3700 Rivertown Parkway Ste. 2058
Grandville, Michigan 49418
(616) 531-1825

 Monday, August 17   7 – 8:00pm

Barnes & Noble Booksellers

1739 Olentangy River Road
Columbus, Ohio 43212
(614) 298-9516

Tuesday, August 18   7– 8:30pm

Joseph Beth Booksellers

2705 E. Carson Street
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15203
(412) 381-3600

 Wednesday, August 19   6 – 8pm

Hackman’s Bible Book Store

1341 Mickley Road
Whitehall, Pennsylvania 18052-4610
(610) 264-8600

Thursday, August 20   1 – 3pm

Rachel’s Country Store (Amish dry goods store)

6352 McClays Mill Road
Newburg, Pennsylvania 17240
(717) 530-9452

 Can’t make the tour? You can still follow Cindy’s adventures on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter. See you there!

I also have a copy of “The Hope of Refuge” to give away. If you would like to win a copy please post a message in code such as name[at]charter[dot]net so as to avoid spam. I will have the drawing on August 11th. Be sure and tell all your friends about this giveaway and send them to my blog to be entered. Tell them to mention your name and you will get another entry into the drawing.

 

 

 

The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner July 15, 2009

Filed under: Book Review,Giveaways — pattyleblanc @ 10:22 pm
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Summary

mercybook1Leaving a life of privilege to strike out on her own, Lauren Durough breaks with her family’s expectations by taking a part-time job from eighty-three-year-old librarian Abigail Boyles. The mysterious employer asks Lauren to transcribe the journal entries of her ancestor, Mercy Hayworth, a victim of the Salem witch trials.

Immediately, Lauren finds herself drawn to this girl who lived and died four centuries ago. As the fervor around the witch accusations increases, Mercy becomes trapped, unable to fight the overwhelming influence of snap judgments and superstitions. Lauren realizes that the secrets of Mercy’s story extend beyond the pages of her diary, living on in the mysterious, embittered Abigail.

The strength of her affinity with mercy forces Lauren to take a startling new look at her own life, including her relationships with Abigail, her college roommate, and a young man named Raul. But on the way to the truth, will Lauren find herself playing the helpless defendant or the misguided judge?

Can she break free from her own perceptions and see who she really is?

My Review

Lauren is a college student who has no worries about money, yet she wants to prove to herself she doesn’t need it and lives at the dorm. She seeks out a job and finds herself transcribing a diary written by Mercy, a woman who was accused of being a witch during the Salem Witch Trials. Just as Lauren enveloped herself in Mercy’s story, I found myself eager to turn “just one more page” to see what happens next. There were many messages in this story to all of us of learning who we really are and what drives us. It made me think about myself and how I view others. For Lauren this was a journey of self-discovery. I could relate to Lauren in some aspects of her character, and it made me love the story all the more. I would highly recommend this book. It gave me a desire to learn more about the Salem Witch Trials and what really happened during that time. There is definitely a spiritual element as well, which I would never have even thought about. This is a great book that will definitely be passed around.

susan meissner

Author Bio:

Susan Meissner has been feeding her love of writing all her life. Her first novelWhy the Sky is Blue, was released in 2004, after she resigned her post as editor for a local newspaper in a rural Minnesota town. Since that time she has had eight books published and she moved to San Diego, where she lives with her family.

 

Susan has graciously agreed to give away a copy, so if you would like to win a copy of The shape of Mercy please post a message leaving your email in coded form to avoid spam such as patty[at]aol[dot]com. The drawing will be on July 19th.

 

Review and giveaway of The Vanishing Sculptor by Donita K. Paul June 23, 2009

Filed under: Book Review,Giveaways — pattyleblanc @ 5:46 am
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Summary

Donita K. Paul’s 250,000-plus-selling DragonKeeper Chronicles series has attracted a wide spectrum of dedicated fans–and they’re sure to fall in love with the new characters and adventures in her latest superbly crafted fiction novel for all ages. It’s a mind-boggling fantasy that inhabits the same world as the DragonKeeper Chronicles, but in a different country and an earlier time, where the people know little of Wulder and nothing of Paladin.
In The Vanishing Sculptor, readers will meet Tipper, a young emerlindian who’s responsible for the upkeep of her family’s estate during her sculptor father’s absence. Tipper soon discovers that her actions have unbalanced the whole foundation of her world, and she must act quickly to undo the calamitous threat. But how can she save her father and her world on her own? The task is too huge for one person, so she gathers the help of some unlikely companions–including the nearly five-foot tall parrot Beccaroon–and eventually witnesses the loving care and miraculous resources of Wulder. Through Tipper’s breathtaking story, readers will discover the beauty of knowing and serving God.

Vanishing Sculptor

Author Bio: donita k paul

Donita K. Paul is a retired teacher and author of numerous novellas, short stories, and eight novels, including the best-selling DragonKeeper Chronicles, a series which has sold more than a quarter million books to date. The winner of multiple awards, she lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she spends time mentoring and encouraging young writers. Visit her online at donitakpaul.com.

To learn more about or purchase these books at RandomHouse.com:

http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781400073399&ref=externallink_wbm_thevanishingsculptor_aeb_0427_01

My Review

I wasn’t too sure what to expect when I decided to read this book to review. This was a little out of my comfort zone as far as genre. I decided to step outside the box for my book club and signed up to review this and read it for my book club as well to do a two for one. At first it was hard for me to get interested because I’m not used to fantasy, but once I got into it I really began to enjoy the storyline. The land and the characters are fanciful and quite delightful. Their enchanting personalities captivated my interest and drew me into the story. The author weaves a tale that is wrought with adventure and calls upon imagination. I have to say that I will probably be looking for more books by this author. My 11-year-old daughter keeps telling me to hurry up so she can read it. She has read the Dragonkeeper Chronicles series by Donita K. Paul and loved them. After reading “The Vanishing Sculptor”, I might just have to go back and read those also. I would definitely recommend this book for an adventure you’ll never forget.

If you would like to win a copy of this book, please post a comment and leave your email address in coded form to avoid spam such as youandme[at]yahoo[dot]com. I will draw a name on June 26th.

 

Interview with Tina Ann Forkner May 10, 2009

Tina_Ann_Forkner_Head_and_Shoulders

  1. How many books have you written, and what is your latest book?

Ruby_Among_Us_131_x_200

 I have written two novels. The first one is Ruby Among Us and the one that released May 5th is Rose House. This is the description for Rose House: “Amid a tangle of rose blooms and thorns, widow Lillian Diamon’s private moment of grief is captured in a painting on display in a present-day, Sonoma Valley, California, art gallery. Her quest to find the artist unravels a greater mystery changing everything about her loss — and her future.”

 

Rose_House

 

 2.  I love the covers of both your books. The colors are so vivid. How did you come up with them? 

I only wish I had enough talent to come up with such lovely covers. Kelly Howard, a graphic artist for Waterbrook Press, came up with both of the covers. I have been amazed at not only how vivid and artistic they are, but at how well both covers encompass the feeling of the story. Kelly’s work is amazing. I noticed that she also had a hand in the cover, along with Kristopher Orr, of Cyndere’s Midnight, by Jeffrey Overstreet. It is also a stunning cover. Waterbrook artists do great work. 

3.  How does the storyline of Rose House go with Ruby Among Us? 

There is a line in the prologue of Ruby Among Us that talks about how the Rose House will become a place of hope for all that visit it. This is exactly what happens in book two. 

Rose House is set in the vineyards of the Sonoma Valley and is about Lillian’s journey through the grief of losing her family and how she finds hope again. It’s also about sisters, is a mystery and a love story, but on a bigger level, Rose House is really about God as the Master Artist in our lives, as well as about the concept of where and how we all find hope.  

4.  Is there more to come in this story or will you be moving on to a new project? 

I am not sure if we will do more books about La Rosaleda or not, but there are some threads left untied just in case. In the meantime, I have started some new projects that are women’s fiction, but not related to the first two novels. I’m really excited about those. 

5.  I hear some people have given a series name to your books. Tell us about that, and what do you think? 

Some online stores have given both books the name “La Rosaleda Series.” I don’t mind and it just tells me that they think the books complement each other even more than I set out to do. I think it does fit both books nicely since they are so closely related. I set out to write two stand-alone novels, but they are very connected. 

6.  Will a reader be lost if they pick up Rose House and haven’t yet read Ruby Among Us? 

No, not at all. You can read Rose House and never read Ruby Among Us and not be lost. I’ve already heard from several readers who did that and still loved the book. Reading “Ruby” first will just enrich Rose House for the reader. 

7.  How has becoming a published author changed your life? 

Not that much really. I still have to scrub my own toilets, taxi my kids around to activities, and pay bills. The writing life, as my friend Amanda Cabot (Author of Paper Roses) says in one of her workshops, is not the Glamorous Life. 

What I love about it is that I get to create stories and characters that touch readers. Every story needs a reader and being published gets my books out there. I love that. I love hearing feedback from readers about how my stories have touched their lives. 

8.  Thank you Tina for your time and for offering a book to give away. How can readers contact you or purchase your books? 

You are so welcome. I am so excited that Rose House is finally out to join its sister, Ruby Among Us. Both are available for readers at  their favorite local stores, http://www.christianbook.com and other online stores. 

Tina has agreed to give away a copy of Rose House so leave a message indicating that you would like to be entered for the drawing and also be sure to leave your email address in coded format to avoid spam such as pattyleblanc[at]123[dot]net. The drawing will be on May 15th.

 

GIVEAWAY OF A PASSION DENIED May 1, 2009

Filed under: Author interview,Giveaways — pattyleblanc @ 11:47 pm
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julie-lessman-2-12Julie Lessman is a new author who has garnered much writing acclaim, including ten Romance Writers of America awards. She resides in Missouri with her husband and their golden retriever, and has two grown children and a daughter-in-law. She is the author of The Daughters of Boston series, which includes A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, and A Passion Denied. You can contact Julie through her Web site at www.julielessman.com.

1.This being the third book, give us a little background on the first two books and then the storyline for A Passion Denied.

 The Daughters of Boston series is what I like to call a “family-saga romance” because not only does it focus on the love relationship between the hero and heroine, but also on the romance between the mother and father and the other sibling couples throughout all three books. I suppose I’m not a “typical” romance writer—I like to keep the reader guessing as to whom the heroine ends up with, and I also like to incorporate lots of other surprises as well. So this is one series you DEFINITELY want to read in order to get the fullest impact. That said, here are the jacket blurbs for each book:

 Book 1: A Passion Most Pure:

She’s found the love of her life. Unfortunately, he loves her sister.

As World War I rages across the Atlantic in 1916, a smaller war is brewing in Boston. Faith O’Connor finds herself drawn to an Irish rogue who is anything but right for her. Collin McGuire is brash, cocky, and from the wrong side of the tracks, not to mention forbidden by her father. And then there’s the small matter that he is secretly courting her younger sister. But when Collin’s affections suddenly shift her way, it threatens to tear Faith’s proper Boston family apart.

 Book 2: A Passion Redeemed:

No man can resist her charms. Or so she thought.

Depth of beauty … shallow of heart, Charity O’Connor is a woman who gets what she wants. Her stunning beauty and flirtatious ways have always succeeded with men … that is, until Mitch Dennehy. Brilliant and dangerously handsome, Mitch is a no-nonsense newspaperman who wants nothing to do with her. Charity burned him once, destroying his engagement to the only woman he ever truly loved. He won’t play with matches again. But Charity has a plan to turn up the heat, hoping to ignite the heart of the man she loves. And she always gets what she wants—one way or another.

 Book 3: A Passion Denied:

A Love So True, a Memory So False … and a Passion Denied

Elizabeth O’Connor is the little sister John always longed for. With a fire for God in his belly, he has been her spiritual mentor since she was thirteen, sharing her love of literature and her thirst for God.  But when his gangly protégé blossoms into a beautiful young woman bent on loving him,  he refuses to act on the attraction he feels.  His past won’t let him go there.  Unfortunately, “Lizzie” won’t let him go anywhere else … until his dark and shocking secrets push her away.

 2.  Tell us how these stories came about.

 Four life-altering words: Gone With the Wind. When I read that novel at the age of twelve, I was swept away into the world of romance for the very first time. It captured me like no other book had done, and I immediately set out to write (along with thousands of other love-struck young girls, I’m sure), what I hoped would be “the great American novel.” Obviously my dreams of grandeur didn’t go anywhere (grin), but I did write 150 single-spaced pages of a story that is the basis for my debut novel, A Passion Most Pure.

 Fast forward almost forty years later—I was sitting in a beauty parlor reading a Newsweek magazine July 16, 2001 cover article about Christian entertainment. It said Christian books, movies and music were on the threshold of exploding. My heart jumped, and something in my spirit said, “It’s time to finish your book.” Now, I have to be honest with you—up until that moment, I had never seriously considered writing a book. But the pull was so strong, that I started writing A Passion Most Pure the next month, finally selling it to Revell 4-1/2 years and 42 rejections later.

 3.  What do you have planned for the O’Connor family next?

 Oh my, you wouldn’t believe the trouble brewing in O’Connorland! There are six O’Connor children in all, four daughters and two sons, and each one will have their own story. As a matter of fact, I JUST finished Book 1 of the next series on St. Pat’s Day—pretty timely, eh, for a series about an Irish family? It is Katie’s story, the fourth daughter, which was fun because she is a pistol who comes of age in the Roaring Twenties, right before The Great Depression.

 Books 2 and 3 will be about the O’Connor brothers, Sean and then Steven, all during the exciting era of speakeasies, dance marathons, gangsters, G-men and era criminals like Bonnie & Clyde and John Dillenger. Sean’s love interest will be … guess who? Emma, Charity’s scarred friend from book 2, A Passion Redeemed! Steven will be a tall, brooding G-man-type modeled after real-life Elliot Ness. I am very excited because all three plots are very involved, include detailed sub-stories for ALL the character couples (can you say “complicated”???) and each plot has surprises that I hope and pray will blow readers away.

4.  Besides writing, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?

 Oh, you mean how I USED to spend my free time? That’s easy: watching old movies (Gone With the Wind, That Touch of Mink, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Susan Slept Here are some of my favorites), reading more books, gardening and hosting elaborate dinner parties a la Martha Stewart. I’m pretty driven in whatever I do (anal might be a better word). And, yes, I’ve been known to pipe guest’s initials into their twice-baked potatoes, cut napkin rings out of real lemons to hold lemon green beans, and sketch a layout for how the food would be placed on the plate. Which was fine when I was younger and had the energy to do it, but these days, sitting at my computer with a candle burning and a cup of Hazelnut Cinnamon coffee is my pastime of choice.

 5.  Are you a fulltime writer or do you have another job as well?

 I am a fulltime writer now since I quit my part-time travel writer job over a year ago, which is great time-wise, but a little scary in the payroll department, given the tight economy.

 6.  What types of books do you read and what are your two all-time favorites?

 Well, number one is no secret—Gone With the Wind. This is the book that launched my romance-writing career at the tender age of 12! J I think I may be one of the few people around who actually LOVED Scarlett O’Hara … and don’t even get me started about Rhett Butler! Another all-time favorite of mine is To Kill A Mockingbird—incredible storytelling.

Some of my Inspirational favorites are Francine Rivers, of course, particularly Redeeming Love and her Mark of the Lion series—both awesome. I absolutely love Liz Curtis Higgs’ Scottish trilogy, Fair is the Rose, Thorn in My Heart and Whence Comes a Prince, as well as Kathleen Morgan’s Child of the Mist and Daughter of Joy. And Kristin Heitzmann’s Diamond of the Rockies series is another favorite.

 Newer authors that I particularly like are Tamara Alexander, Maggie Brendan, Patti Lacy and absolutely anything by my Seeker buds, Mary Connealy, Janet Dean, Deb Giusti, Myra Johnson, Glynna Kaye, Sandra LeeSmith, Missy Tippens, Camy Tang and Cheryl Wyatt.

 7.  What are you currently reading and what is the short list in your to be read pile?

 I am currently reading Maggie Brendan’s The Jewel of His Heart and The Moral Premise by Stanley D. Williams, an excellent writing book recommended by my agent. On my short TBR list? Janet Dean’s Courting the Doctor’s Daughter, Cheryl Wyatt’s Ready-Made Family and Tamara Alexander’s The Inheritance.

 8. How can readers find out more about your books and where can they be purchased?

First of all, thank you so much, Patty, for allowing me this time to connect with you and your readers. Anyone who would like to contact me can do so through my website at www.julielessman.com, either by sending an e-mail via my site or by signing up for my newsletter, in which I feature book giveaways. Finally, I invite your readers to visit The Seekers, a group blog of which I am a part that talks about “The road to publication. Writing, contests, publication and everything in between.” You can find us at http://seekerville.blogspot.com/. 

lessman_denied_use_this_one

Julie’s tagline is”Passion With a Purpose”, and I heartily agree, as God’s love is woven through her stories in such a fashion that the message cannot be denied. Julie has agreed to give away a copy of “A Passion Denied”, the third installment in the Daughters of Boston series. Post a message leaving your email address coded to avoid spam such as 123[at]charter[dot]net. I have just begun reading it myself and will post my review before the drawing. The drawing will be on May 7th. I also love this poster that her husband created showing all three books. Isn’t it amazing? I am quite impressed.

daughters-of-boston-series

 

Interview and giveaway with Miralee Ferrell February 7, 2009

Filed under: Giveaways — pattyleblanc @ 7:38 am
I recently asked Miralee Ferrell to do an interview for my blog, a giveaway of her new book, scheduled her to come to my book club, and also scheduled her for a book signing at Borders while she was in town. I am pleased to have Miralee here for my blog. If you would like to win a copy of her latest book, “Love Finds You in Last Chance, California” post a message and be sure to leave your email in the form to prevent spam such as 123[at]456[dot]com.  I look forward to hearing from you. Drawing will be on February 12th.

miralee1

1.    How did you get started writing?

It was very unexpected. I visited a neighboring church as they were hosting a guest speaker that I’ve come to respect over the years. He had a call for prayer at the end of the service and I went forward. He prayed for me, then stopped and said he felt strongly that the Lord showed him I had a call on my life to write, and that it needed to be published. I agreed to pray about it and did so for about two weeks. Then I wrote a 100,000 word autobiography beginning with my marriage, and continuing on with our spiritual journey (which I’ve shelved for now). Then I wrote several articles that were picked up by magazines, then a friend suggested I try Christian fiction. I shrugged it off, as I didn’t feel I had any real creativity. She continued to urge and I decided to try. The Other Daughter was birthed from an incident in our lives where an 18 year-old-girl contacted my husband, believing he might be her father. I had no idea if it would ever be published, but God in His grace decided it should be, and I’ve continued from there.

 

2.    How many books have you written, published or unpublished?

Four that are complete, with one of those in rough draft stage. It’s non-fiction and may never see the light of day. Two of the four are published, and one is in process with Kregel, (the sequel to The Other Daughter), my women’s contemporary novel. I’m also working on two new books at this time; another one for Kregel and a second historical romance.

 

3.    How long did it take you to get published?

I started writing fiction in Sept. of 2005, and finished my rough draft of The Other Daughter in 5 weeks. At the time, I had no idea that was fast, but it consumed me and I couldn’t stop until it was complete. Eleven months later I received a request for a full manuscript from Kregel, and four months afterwards signed a contract. So it was a little over a year from finishing the rough draft to a contract offer, and ten months later the book was in my hands.

 

4.    What do you do when you are not writing?

Horseback riding is at the top of the list. My mare currently resides with her equine buddies at my daughter and son-in-law’s house (their property adjoins ours), so when I have a chance to trail ride, I also have a wonderful riding partner in my daughter. My husband doesn’t care for horses, but he does love to sail, so I share that with him on our sail boat (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 scenery…something I used to do prior to writing.

 

5.    Do you have another job or are you a full time writer?

I worked in sales for years, mostly part time when our kids were growing up, then helped out in my husband’s sawmill business for a number of years. We sold that three years ago, about the time I got serious about writing, and I chose not to find another job. The sale of the business allowed me to stay home and I haven’t missed working outside the home. I’m not sure how women do it that raise kids, work and try to fit a writing career into their lives. I don’t think I could have done it when my kids were home and am so thankful the Lord didn’t give me a nudge to write until they were gone.

 

6.    Tell us about your newest book coming out?

Love Finds You in Last Chance, California was such a fun story to write. It’s a historical romance set in 1877 in the old west, during the gold and silver rush. Here’s just a bit about the story:

last-chance1

 

It’s 1877 and Alexia Travers is alone in the world. Her father has died unexpectedly, leaving her burdened with a heavily mortgaged horse ranch. Marrying one of the town’s all-too-willing bachelors would offer an easy solution, but Alex has no interest in marriage. Instead, she dons men’s trousers and rides the range, determined to make the ranch a success on her own.

 

But despite Alex’s best efforts, everything seems to go wrong: ranch hands quit, horses are stolen, and her father’s gold goes missing. Alex is at her wit’s end when wrangler Justin Phillips arrives in Last Chance with his young son, looking for a job. But there seems to be more to Justin’s story than he’s willing to share. Will Alex ever be able to trust him? More importantly, will the independent woman finally learn to depend on God?  

 

 

 

7.    How did you find yourself with Summerside Press?

They found me via a good friend who’s a respected author. She was asked to write for their new Love Finds You line at its inception, but had to turn the offer down due to her exclusive contract with another company. She graciously gave them four names of writer’s whose work she respected, who might not be under an exclusive, and I was one of the four. The Summerside publisher contacted me immediately after, then I chatted on the phone with the lead editor, and pitched a couple of ideas. The rest, as they say, is history.

 

8.    Do you have other projects on the horizon?

Yes, I’m very excited about a new historical romance that I’m writing as a possible Summerside book (should I be blessed to sign another contract). It takes place in 1902 in Oregon, and will have a lot of true historical details woven into the story line, including an actual catastrophic event that happened during that time period. It won’t be your typical ‘old west’ scenario as Last Chance was, but will still have the flavor of the west and that time period.

 

9.    Where can people get in contact with you and where can they purchase your books?

I’d love to have readers drop by my web site where they can always find information about new and current releases, see photos of me and my family, and read my bio. They can also learn how I started writing, and sign my guest book for the chance to win a free book. You can visit me there at www.miraleeferrell.com, or stop by my blog at www.miraleesdesk.blogspot.com

Books will be available at Lifeway, Parable Books, Borders, Barnes and Noble, some WalMart stores and Sam’s Club, Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, Christianbook.com, and most Christian book stores. I’d be thrilled to hear from any readers after they finish my book, and of course, I always appreciate reviews left on Amazon, as well.

 

10.               What was it like to do your first book signing and where was it at?

Our small local library hosted my first book signing and we had about 25 people attend over a two-hour period. The library staff mailed fliers, put them up around town, served coffee and cookies and did a wonderful job promoting the event. My first in store signing was at a local (secular) bookstore about 20 miles from my home, along with two secular authors from our community. It was very well attended and the store owner was thrilled with the turnout and book sales. It was so much fun interacting with prospective readers and chatting with people who love reading, and hopeful writers, as well.

 

If you don’t mind, I’d like to mention that I love doing conference call (speaker phone) chats with book clubs that choose to read my book, and I’ll send out free book marks and promotional flyers if wanted. I’m also available for speaking to groups or doing book signings within a reasonable driving distance from my home. Just visit my web site and click on the “Speaking” link, then drop me an email.

 

Thank you, Patty, for hosting me and giving me this opportunity to share with your readers!