Friday, March 11, 2011

Win a copy of Love Finds you in Tombstone, Arizona!!

By our special guest for the day, author Miralee Ferrel!  Welcome, Miralee!

In a town where dreams are buried, does love stand a chance?

Love and second chances aren’t easy to come by in a town named Tombstone. When Christy Grey receives an urgent summons to Tombstone, Arizona, she reluctantly leaves her new life in California. The trip goes from bad to worse when four masked men hold up Christy’s stage. She finally arrives in Tombstone to find her mother ill and her brother trapped in a life of gambling. Desperate for money to support her family, will Christy bow to pressure from the local saloon owners and return to the life she thought she’d given up for good?

Nevada King has problems of his own. He’s been dodging bullets for years and wants nothing more than to settle down. But he’s on the run from outlaws bent on revenge, and the one woman who captures his interest recognizes him from the stagecoach holdup. Will Christy turn Nevada in to the authorities, or will the outlaws on his trail catch him first?

MaryLu here: I don't know about you, but that sounds like a great story!! I've read prior books of Miralee's and she's an awesome writer!
Here's a bit about Miralee
Miralee serves as president of the Portland, Oregon, chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers and belongs to a number of writer’s groups. She also speaks at women’s groups, libraries, and churches about her writing journey. When she started writing fiction Miralee believed that she’d always stay with women’s contemporary, but has since branched out to historical romance. Exploring family and marriage issues, The Other Daughter follows a family of four who receive a shock in the form of a 13-year-old girl who lands on their doorstep, claiming to be the daughter of the husband/father of the family—a girl they didn’t know existed. Finding Jeena features a character from the first book and explores socio-economic issues through a single woman’s sudden job-loss and ensuing struggle for survival. 

She’s working on her third historical romance with Summerside Press in their Love Finds You series, set in Sundance, Wyoming (it releases this August). All the Love Finds You books are stand-alone novels, and take place in a real town in America. Miralee’s first three are set in 1877, Love Finds You in Last Chance, CA, 1902, Love Finds You in Bridal Veil, Oregon, and 1881, Love Finds You in Tombstone, AZ.  The first two have a suspense thread as well as romance and the third has a higher degree of action. 

Miralee and her husband Allen have been married 37 yrs. They live on 11 acres in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge in southern Washington State, where they love to garden, play with their dogs, take walks, and go sailing. Miralee also rides her horse on the wooded trails near their home with her grown daughter who lives nearby.

Where can people find out more about you/connect with you online?

Web site:   (you can find pictures of our research trips to the historical locations, my journey into writing, family pics and info about my books here)
Blog:  (I do occasional book give aways for my book & other authors, as well as random posts on daily life and my upcoming books)

Now, for the giveaway. In order to be entered to win a signed copy of Love finds You in Tombstone, Arizona, you must post a comment asking Miralee a question. Any question about her book, about her, about her writing process, her testimony.. whatever. Don't be shy!  
I'll draw a name next Friday.


  1. Fri March 11th,
    "Morning, MaryLu and Miralee".
    Miralee -- I have a two-part question for you (hope that's okay) ...
    (1) Have you "always" had a great desire to write novels, (like 'maybe' your entire life) ?
    (2) How long were you at writing and 'trying' to break into the business, before you were actually 'discovered' (to write as a professional author) ?
    Thank-you for taking the time to answer these questions.
    And, I would absolutely love to win a copy of "Love Finds you in Tombstone, Arizona!!" Sounds like a terrific read.
    Thanks for entering me into your contest.
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley
    ( )

  2. Hello, Miralee & MaryLu! Upon reading this post, I was immediately struck by two things: the incredibly atmospheric story line and the beautiful cover of the book. Miralee, I visited your website and discovered that your heroine from "Love Finds You in Tombstone, AZ" first appeared in "Love Finds You in Last Chance, CA". Both of these books sound wonderful, and they are now on my wish list : )

    My favorite era in history is the mid to late 1800's. I feel as though I could set my birth date back 100 years and not lose my stride. So much occurred during a relatively short period of time. Changes to technology, transportation, communications, social mores, religion, fashions, science and medicine, literature, art and entertainment. The American Civil War and its long-lasting aftereffects. The glory and grit of the American Old West. A very rich and revolutionary period in history. What is your favorite historical era, and why is that your favorite?

    US Resident, GFC Follower, Subscriber

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  3. Miralee, all of your books sound like very good reads! My question is what type of books do you like to read? What are some of your favorite books/authors?

  4. Thanks for sharing, MaryLu!

    Merrilee, I have read several of your books and really enjoy them.

    I have two questions for you.

    How hard was it to switch from contemporary novels to Historical?

    Was the switch well-accepted by your readers and publisher?

  5. This book sounds fantastic! My question is, Which process takes you longer - the research for the book, or writing the book itself?


  6. Hey, I'd love ot be counted into the giveaway. I haven't read the other comments, so hope this question hasn't already been asked. But....What made you decide to write LFY books? Where did you get the idea for LFY in Tombstone?

    Thanks for the chance!

    ~ Katy

  7. Hi Brenda,
    Both good questions, thank you! I'm almost embarrassed to admit I never had a desire to be a writer. Ever. Funny, huh? Six yrs ago the Lord showed me it's what I'm supposed to be doing. Literally. I attended an evening church service with a special speaker I'd heard many times and trusted. He prayed with me over a small matter later and ended by saying he felt (strongly) that the Lord was telling him I'm supposed to be writing and that it needed to be published. He urged me to pray about it. I did, as well as seeking counsel with my pastor, husband and mother. They all agreed and I jumped in with both feet.

    This is the answer to your second part:
    Eight months later I'd written several articles, three of which were picked up by magazines, written a 100K word memoir of my spiritual journey since marrying, and completed a 95K word contemporary novel. That was fall of 2005. Spring of 2006 I contracted with an agent (who I still work with and love), Dec. of 2006 I signed a contract with Kregel Publications for The Other Daughter, which released Oct. of 2007. That was 3 1/2 yrs ago. Since then I've had 5 books release with a 6th coming Aug 1st this year.

  8. Hi Virginia,
    Thank you for visiting my website and checking out my books. I was very blessed that Summerside allowed me to carry a character from Last Chance forward into a new book. So far it's the only time it's happened with any of the LFY books, but I'm hoping it will happen again soon. I have a 'sequel' or spin off in mind for a character from my Sundance, WY book releasing in August.

    Now to your question. I'd have to say my era is during the building of the old west. I'd have been one of the women out riding the range and leaving the housework and cooking to someone else, LOL! The heroine of Last Chance was loosely built around my grown daughter who worked on a an actual cattle ranch, as well as on horse ranches. She and I are both avid horsewomen and do a lot of trail riding together. I think sometimes that both of us were born in the wrong era. However, I must say I can't envision myself scratching out a novel with a pen and paper, LOL!

    Kirsten --- great name, by the way! I used it for one of my strong secondary characters, a sweet little girl, in my book Finding Jeena.

    My reading is all over the map, but probably the writer who influenced my current writing the most was Zane Grey. I started reading his westerns early in high school and was hooked. I have pretty much all his titles, with many of them in first edition and quite a few with dust jackets. But I also enjoy a good suspense or mystery, love historical romance as long as it's not a drippy, mushy romance (I don't read or write 'em!). I also read contemporary, but not a lot of issue driven...I love Jan Karon's Mitford books, Renee Guttridge's 'Boo' series and so many other.

  9. Good morning, Cap'n and Miralee!
    First of all, I want to ask all of you to be in prayer about the tsunami and those affected by it's devastation.........
    Now, for my question. Now this may 'age' me, but I was wondering, Miralee, if you enjoy watching episodes of Bonanza and Gunsmoke? Your novel reminds me a lot of these shows. My husband and I love watching old reruns of these shows. I would love to win this novel and get to know your writing style. I am an avid reader and have read a variety of writing styles. None have really disappointed me, except for when Ted Dekker took a weird turn in one of his recent novels. But, his new novel seems like it might redeem him in my eyes.
    Anyway, thank you for your time and have a great day! God bless.
    Debbie Mitchell

  10. Hi Sheri,
    I'm so tickled you've read my other books and enjoy them! First, I have to explain that the 'switch' to historical happened by accident. I signed a contract for LFY in Last Chance, CA (my first with that line) planning to write it as a contemporary set on a horse ranch. Until I did the research on the town I'd been assigned...Last Chance...and discovered it to be a non-existent ghost town. I had no choice but to write it as a historical. It was my first one, as well as my first romance and my first book with a suspense thread, all rolled into one. My publisher approved because it COULDN'T be a contemporary and be realistic, and of course, because historical novels were selling better at that time.

    I had a few readers who loved my contemporary women's fiction who weren't thrilled with the switch, but not many. Overall my readers have loved both genres...I think the key is to write a good story and your readers will follow you anywhere!

  11. Hi Sapphire (cool name!)
    It takes me a lot longer to write the book than do the research. I spent a couple of intense weeks (typically) on research (not counting the trip to the area when possible) then continue with bits and pieces of research as needed throughout the writing process. It normally takes about 4 months for me to write a full length trade novel.

    Hi Katy,
    Thanks for the questions! A good friend (also multi-published author) Kim Vogel Sawyer was asked to write for the LFY line but was under contract with another publisher and couldn't. So she recommended myself and a couple of other authors. As a result, Summerside contacted me and loved the story lines I pitched for both Last Chance, CA, and Bridal Veil, OR. I got a lot of feedback from readers about Christy Grey, the saloon girl who came to Last Chance to cause problems for Alexia and Justin, and really wanted to give her a story of her own. I pitched the story line to my editor and asked if it might be possible to use Christy as the heroine, if I moved her from Last Chance, and got approval. And I didn't come up with Tombstone for the location...I simply asked my editor if she had any old west towns available that might fit my story line. She gave me a list of four and I pounced on Tombstone, knowing it was the perfect fit!

  12. Hi Debbie,
    Yes, prayers are definitely needed for Japan right now. Thank you for that reminder.

    I grew up watching everything 'western' on tv that I could. LOVED Bonanza and Gunsmoke. My hubby and I still watch an occasional rerun of Gunsmoke when we happen to find one. I also grew up reading Zane Grey and Louis L'Amour books, and love anything related to the old west. I think you'd especially like this one, but you might want to read the one set in Last Chance, CA first, to get acquainted with Christy when she first appears in town. Also, my next one set in Sundance WY is a true western with a lot of 'horse stuff' as well as action and adventure (with romance and handsome cowboy's thrown in, LOL!).

    Thanks for stopping by!

  13. I have read one of her books! It was excellent! I really want to read this one! How do you think of the plot? And do you have the ending planned out when you first start writing or do you decide as go along?

  14. This looks really good! Miralee, what first inspired you to start writing?

  15. Hi Sarah,
    I'm so tickled to hear you read one of my books and enjoyed it. I'd love to know which one?

    On a romance novel you always have to have a happy ending with the hero and heroine getting together, so of course I know generally speaking how it will end. But no, I rarely have the specifics when I start. Much of what happens comes to me as I write. I get a lot of inspiration from the characters themselves as they grow, develop and change as the story moves forward. I typically have an overview of the 'big story' but have to work out individual plot points as I go.

    Hi Suzanne,

    Great name...I used it as the heroine in my first book, The Other Daughter.

    I started writing 6 yrs ago when a pastor prayed with me and told me he felt the Lord was saying I was supposed to be writing, and it needed to be published. God has taken me on an amazing journey since then, opening doors I could never have opened alone. I chose to be obedient to what I believed was His call on my life and He's blessed richly ever since.

  16. Miralee where do you get your ideas on what to write about? I really enjoy your books


  17. Hi Edna,
    It's nice to see you here! I've gotten ideas from a variety of places. Some grow from the book I've just written, others from a news story I've seen, or brainstorming with a friend. Quite honestly, getting new ideas is the hardest part of writing for me. Thankfully it's been getting easier the longer I write!

  18. Hi Miralee! I'd love to read this book-mostly because of the intriguing synopsis on the back. :)
    So anyways, here is my question: Do you use any of your own personal experiences or your testimony in your books? I would love to hear what some of them are!


  19. Is your book about Sundance, Wy. going to be a LFY book? I read The Other Daughter and loved it; will you do a sequel to it? I would love to win this LFY book!

  20. Hi Eszter,
    I have used some of my own feelings and experiences in a few of my books, but most of them are made up based on what I need to have happen to my characters. The book that hit the closest to home for me is The Other first novel, a contemporary. It's about a 13 year old girl who lands on the doorstep of her dad after her mother dies of cancer. But Dad has no idea she exists, and he's now married with two other children. A firestorm erupts as his wife feels she's been lied to.

    A similar situation happened with us, only it was an 18 yr old girl who wrote a letter as she believed my husband was her father. She didn't need to move in with us, and her conception occurred before Allen and I started dating, but it was still a shock. I accepted the girl into our lives more easily than my heroine did, but I still drew on some issues/feelings/situations for the book from our lives/experiences...just not the same circumstances and much of it is altered in some way. But it still came from a real event.

  21. Hi Jackie,
    I'm so glad you asked both of these questions!! Yes, the next one that's set in Sundance, WY is a LFY book as well. It takes place on a cattle ranch in 1890 and I'm doing the final edit right now. I loved writing this book!!

    There IS a sequel to The Other Daughter. It released a year ago and is called Finding Jeena. It follows the life and struggles of Jeena, the friend of Susanne's who meant well but didn't help matters when she tried to interfere in Susanne's marriage. It's available on Amazon and Thanks for asking!

  22. This sounds like a great book! I would love to read it.
    I have two questions for you, Miralee. What do you like most about writing a novel? Did you like the switch from women's contemporary to historical romance?

  23. I hope it's ok that my question is completely different.
    What kind of dogs you have? I know I now look like an oddball, but I'm very curious. :)

    bluerosesheart at yahoo dot com

  24. Hi Tori,

    What do I like best? I LOVE the research phase, and I love it when the ideas are rolling and I'm writing 5 or 6,000 words in a day. Unfortunately, I have a lot more days where I only hit 1-2,000 words and I'm struggling with where the story is going. Believe it or not, I actually enjoy the editing phase, as I love seeing the book come together and shine.

    I enjoy both contemporary and historical, and it wasn't hard for me to make the switch. For now, I'm solidly plugged into the historical genre because I love it, and because it's what seems to be selling well. I'm so thankful I have the 'voice' and desire to write both though, as it gives me a lot of flexibility should the market swing back toward contemporary. Thanks for stopping by!!

    Hi Bluerose,

    Actually I LOVE your question as I enjoy talking about anything family or pet related. These questions are fun for me so thank you!! We've had large breed dogs all of our marriage, with mostly German Shepherds, a lab, a Border Collie/Aust Shepherd cross.... and right now we have a Aust Shepherd/Blue Heeler cross that was dumped on our doorstep around Mother's Day last year. She's a sweetie, was well trained, and we kept her.

    Due to having always had large breed dogs I NEVER envisioned myself with a small dog. But I fell in love with one that a relative owned and started thinking a little lap dog might be good company. I ended up buying a medium to long haired Chihuahua puppy about 18 months ago--her name is Lacey. She's a super sweet little girl, loving, not yappy, and my favorite dog I've ever had. Go figure, LOL!!!

  25. Miralee,

    I am originally from Washington state. I love it and miss it! When you were approached about doing the LFY books did they give you the towns that you had to write about? If so why did you choose towns in Arizona and Wyoming?

  26. Miralee,

    Hello. Just wondering how you select the names of your characters? Have a great day. And thank you for the opportunity to read your latest novel.

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  27. Hi Danielle,

    When I started with Summerside on the LFY novels, I pitched two different story ideas to the editor and she loved them both. She suggested setting the first one in CA, as it involved a horse ranch. When it was time for the second one, I asked for the list of towns available and requested Bridal Veil, OR., as I wanted the book set in the NW if possible, and because Bridal Veil is less than an hour from my home.

    The book set in Tombstone is my third LFY, the upcoming Sundance one my 4th. I needed a true 'western' setting for both, and Tombstone is so well known for the shoot out at the OK Corral, that I jumped at the chance to set my book there. Sundance needed some rugged country where cattle rustlers could work/hide, as well as vast acres of pastureland for a cattle ranch. Wyoming fit the bill perfectly. I chose Sundance and proposed it to Summerside and they agreed.

    Hi Karen,
    It varies on picking character names. Sometimes I look up names online that were used during the time period my characters would've been born & see if there any that fit. Mostly I pick names that I feel truly fit my character's personality as well as that are strong names that evoke positive emotions (at least in me). Of course, we all have names we like and ones we don't, which plays a big part with any author.

    Thank you both for stopping by!!!