Archive | October, 2013

The winner is…

30 Oct

Congratulations, mb55! 

Random.org has chosen your lucky number. 

Blowing on Dandelions

For those of you who didn’t win, I hope you will have a chance to read this wonderful book and series!  Thank you again to everyone who commented.  Thank you, Miralee, for sharing your interview, sneak peek, and generous giveaway.  It has been a pleasure!!  We look forward to the release of Wishing on Buttercups in February. 

Sneak Peek and GIVEAWAY!

25 Oct

I am thrilled that Miralee has taken the time to answer a few questions this week!  Now, I am delighted to have her answer one final question!

Blowing on Dandelions is currently available and Wishing on Buttercups releases in February 2014.  Can you share a little sneak peek at Book 3 with us?
 

I’d love to! You meet the heroine in Blowing on Dandelions, Leah Carlson, and the hero, Steven, in book two, Wishing on Buttercups. They have their own story in book three, Dreaming on Daisies.

Here’s a short summary to whet your appetite….and it releases October of 2014.

Feisty Leah Carlson has always loved her family’s ranch. But now she needs a miracle to save it … and to turn her pa around.

Mid-March, 1881

Baker City, Oregon

Fiery redhead Leah Carlson didn’t expect at the tender age of fourteen to become caretaker and ranch foreman almost overnight. Empty promises, that’s all she ever got from her pa. Promises he’d change. Promises he’d do better. Promises he’d broken ever since Ma died nine years ago. And lately it had only gotten worse. At least the ranch was safe as long as she worked hard to pay the bills, unless Pa tried to use it as collateral for his drinking debts. But something needed to change. She had to find at least one hired hand—the sooner the better.

Steven Harding never thought he’d be left in the dust emotionally when his mother reunited with his long-lost sister. To make things worse, the banking job in Baker City isn’t what he dreamed it would be, and he yearns for the simpler farm life he experienced as a young man. Then he meets the lovely, green-eyed Leah Carlson, who mistakes him for one of her father’s drinking cronies and gives him a dressing-down. Not long after, she steps into the bank to request a loan. Intrigued, Steven determines to help her, even when the bank refuses, but how? All he seems to do is irritate her.

Still, he can’t shake the idea that he might not only be one of the surprising answers she needs to save her ranch … but to win her heart.

Thank you so much for sharing that sneak peek, Miralee!  I look forward to continuing this wonderful series!!

 

Miralee has generously offered one copy of Blowing on Dandelions to be given away to one of my readers. 

Blowing on Dandelions

Giveaway Details:

Leave a comment, along with your email address, to be entered.

To earn additional entries, you may do the following:

  • Let me know you follow my blog
  • Sign up to follow my blog if you are not a follower
  • Sign up to follow Miralee’s blog 
  • Share this giveaway through Facebook, Twitter, your blog, or email

Be sure and leave a comment letting me know what you have done to earn additional entries.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends Tuesday, October 29 at midnight CST.  The winner will be drawn and contacted October 30.  Good luck!!

Author Spotlight- Miralee Ferrell

23 Oct

Miralee Ferrell- headshot

I am delighted to welcome Miralee Ferrell!

In Blowing on Dandelions, Miralee speaks to women’s heartfelt struggles—from family dysfunction to single parenthood—-while offering them the faith-filled hope they need, all wrapped in an uplifting, true-to-life romance.

Miralee and her husband, Allen, live on 11 acres in the Columbia River Gorge. They have two grown children and recently their son and his wife presented them with a beautiful new granddaughter. Miralee has been writing since 2005, and her first book was published in 2007.

Since then, she’s had 7 books published, both in women’s contemporary fiction and historical fiction, with another 6 under contract. Her western romance, Love Finds You in Sundance, WY, was awarded the Will Rogers Medallion for Excellence in Western Fiction and her newest release, Blowing on Dandelions, is the first in a three book series set in Oregon. Miralee loves interacting with people, ministering at her church, riding her horse and playing with her dogs. She also speaks at various women’s functions and has taught at conferences.

You can find her at:
Web site: http://www.miraleeferrell.com
Blog: http://www.miraleesdesk.blogspot.com
Facebook Author page: http://www.facebook.com/miraleeferrell
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/miraleeferrell

 
Was it always a dream of yours to write or did you discover your talent through other pursuits?
 

I know a lot of people talk about God nudging them to write, but that truly happened to me. I had no desire to write (other than personal memories/journals/letters). I was visiting a neighboring church to hear a special speaker. At the end of the service I responded to a call for prayer. The pastor/speaker prayed with me and stopped after a few moments. He shared that he felt God was saying that I should be writing…he didn’t know whether fiction or non-fiction, but that it was important it be published. I took that word home, prayed about it and counseled with my pastor, husband and mother, who all urged me to take it seriously. Two-and-a-half years later (after 3 magazine articles were published) my first book, The Other Daughter, released. Since then I’ve had 7 books published and 6 more are under contract.

 
When and where do you do most of your writing? 


It really varies as to the when, but the where is always in my office on the second floor of our house. Here’s a picture!

Miralee Ferrell's office

 
Blowing on Dandelions is the first book in the Love Blossoms in Oregon series.  What was your inspiration for writing this series? 
 

It all started several years ago, when I bumped into an old friend. Over the course of our time together, she let slip little comments about her relationship with her mother. Let’s just say the comments were filled with pain and grief. Mama was alive, well, and still contributing to that pain.

While giving her a hug, I asked if I could pray with her that God would grant her peace and healing. Through barely contained tears, she refused. Not that she wasn’t grateful, but she couldn’t tolerate the thought of attaining some kind of peace, only to return home to the same situation and have it shattered—or worse, new shards embedded into her healed heart. I went home heartsick and unable to shake the urgency to pray for my friend.

As I asked the Lord what my next writing project should be, He directed me back to those memories. I knew He was showing me that thousands of women ache with the same need—for approval, love, and acceptance their mothers.

I started writing Blowing on Dandelions as contemporary women’s fiction, but after two chapters, I decided it would be better received if set in the 1800s, and rather than women’s fiction it needed to be historical romance with a women’s fiction thread. It was a bigger challenge showing the depth of the heroine’s emotions, as so much was demanded during that era in regards to respect and honor toward parents. Children didn’t speak back to their elders and often repressed how they felt. However, although this is a work of fiction in a historical setting with a strong romance thread, it closely parallels daily events in today’s world.

 
The second book in the Love Blossoms in Oregon series, Wishing on Buttercups, releases in February 2014 and is currently available for pre-order.  Here is a brief summary. 
 Wishing on Buttercups

Can Love Survive When Secrets Collide?

She’d kept her secrets safely hidden—those from her past, and those in the present. Some things, Beth Roberts knows, a lady simply doesn’t share, even in the 1880’s West. The townspeople would never understand. No one ever has.

 Jeffery Tucker, a handsome young writer, has kept his own secrets. He doesn’t have a right to pry into Beth’s affairs but finds himself strangely drawn to her and intrigued by the whiff of mystery surrounding her.

Beth knows that one day someone will unravel the threads of her past. And when two men from her past arrive, the truth might just hurt . . . Beth’s future and her heart.

 As shadowy memories surface, Beth sketches the scenes she sees and is shocked by what—and who—her illustrations reveal. Dare she risk her heart again?

I am thrilled that Miralee has offered a sneak peek at Book 3 in the Love Blossoms in Oregon series. 

Please join me Friday as Miralee shares the title, release date, and summary to whet your appetite!

Schedule permitting, Miralee will drop by today, so please feel free to leave comments. 

Blowing on Dandelions

21 Oct

Blowing on Dandelions

Blowing on Dandelions by Miralee Ferrell

Synopsis:

Do Dandelion Wishes Actually Come True?
 
Katherine Galloway knew this moment of calm wouldn’t last, blown away like the dandelion seeds she scattered as a girl. In 1880, three years after her husband’s death, she struggles to run an Oregon boardinghouse and raise two girls alone. Things don’t get easier when her critical, domineering mother moves in. Katherine must make the situation work, but standing up for herself and her family while honoring her mother isn’t easy. And with a daughter entering the teenage years, the pressure on Katherine becomes close to overwhelming. Then she crosses paths with Micah Jacobs, a widower who could reignite her heart, but she fears a relationship with him might send things over the edge. She must find the strength, wisdom, hope, and faith to remake her life, for everything is about to change.

Thoughts:

Blowing on Dandelions will capture your heart with the very first page and won’t let go until the last page has been turned. Even then, the story will linger and leave you eagerly anticipating the next book in the Love Blossoms in Oregon series.

The characters that come and go through the Oregon boardinghouse each have a unique story. Miralee Ferrell does a wonderful job creating rich characters and vivid descriptions. The emotions she so eloquently portrays will warm your heart and inspire you.

Blowing on Dandelions is a beautiful story of strength, determination, faith, hope, and love!

I highly recommend Blowing on Dandelions and can’t wait to get my hands on the next book in this series, Wishing on Buttercups, which releases in February 2014.

Please join me Wednesday for an Author Spotlight on Miralee Ferrell.  If her schedule permits, she will be dropping by during the day, so please feel free to leave comments.

* I was privileged to receive a copy of this book through a giveaway on the author’s website. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and no monetary compensation was received.

Prairie Song

18 Oct

Prairie Song

Prairie Song by Mona Hodgson

Synopsis:

The first step in a challenging journey is often the one that means the most.

Though it means saying goodbye to the beloved friends and spiritual mentors of her St. Charles, Missouri quilting circle, Anna Goben is certain that she needs to enlist her family in the Boone’s Lick Company wagon train. The loss of her beloved brother in the Civil War has paralyzed her mother and grandfather in a malaise of grief and depression and Anna is convinced that only a fresh start in the Promised Land of California can bring her family back to her. Although the unknown perils of the trail west loom, Anna’s commitment to caring for her loved ones leaves no room for fear—or even loving someone new.

During the five-month journey, trail hand Caleb Reger plans to keep a low profile as he watches over the band of travelers. Guarding secrets about his past and avoiding God’s calling on his life, Caleb wants to steer as far from Anna as she does him, but she proves to be just as he assessed her from the beginning— independent, beautiful trouble.

Led by a pillar of hope, the group faces rough terrain that begins to take a toll on their spirits. Will the wilderness of suffering lead them astray, or will the gentle song of love that echoes across the prairie turn their hearts toward God’s grace and the promise of a new home?

Thoughts:

Prairie Song is the first book in Mona Hodgson’s Hearts Seeking Home series.  The novel, set in St. Charles, Missouri in 1866, begins a journey across the country with Boone’s Lick Company wagon train.  Before you head west, I encourage you to read The Quilted Heart novellas.  These prequel novellas introduce you to the diverse cast of characters. 

After the Civil War, some residents choose to remain in St. Charles.  Others bid farewell to their family and friends and head toward the Promised Land of California.  Their journey is full of trials and tribulation, but faith and hope keep them moving forward.

In Prairie Song, Mona Hodgson paints a vivid picture of life on the prairie.  Life on the wagon train is filled with dreams, but also fraught with despair.  When fears arise, faith overcomes.  The spiritual thread, woven so beautifully into this story, adds to its richness and depth.

Being introduced to the characters in the novellas, I felt like I was catching up with old friends as I read Prairie Song.  I loved this beautiful, heartfelt novel and look forward to continuing the journey through the Hearts Seeking Home seriesPrairie Song is a journey you don’t want to miss!

Biography:

Married forty-one years to her leading man, Mona from Arizona lives in the Southwest where trees have arms instead of branches and salsa is a staple. When Mona Hodgson isn’t writing or speaking, she’s playing Wii games with her Arizona grandson, spending time with her mom, picnicking, texting her sisters, or chatting on Skype with her grandchildren in Africa.

Mona Hodgson is the author of nearly 40 books, historical novels for adults and children’s books, including her popular Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series, The Quilted Heart novellas, and Hearts Seeking Home Series. Her children’s books include bestseller, Bedtime in the Southwest, six desert and princess Zonderkidz I Can Read books, Real Girls of the Bible: A 31-Day Devotional, and her six I Wonder books. Mona’s writing credits also include several hundred articles, poems and short stories, which have appeared in 50 different publications. Mona is a speaker for women’s groups, Christian women’s retreats, book clubs and reading groups, schools, and conferences for writers and librarians.

Wagon Train Wednesday

16 Oct

After reading Mona Hodgson’s Quilted Heart Novellas, I am ready to jump on the wagon train and head west! 

Friday, I will be posting my thoughts about Prairie Song, the first book in the Hearts Seeking Home series.  Until then, Mona has a wonderful post on her website I think you will enjoy!

 

Prairie Song

Prairie Song by Mona Hodgson

 

“Here is a peek at the roster and some of the characters who are provisioning farm wagons and a Connestoga, selling off property, and saying goodbye to friends and loved ones for the Oregon Trail.”

http://monahodgson.com/2013/10/boones-lick-wagon-train-company/

Dandelions On The Wind

14 Oct

Dandelions On The Wind

Dandelions On The Wind by Mona Hodgson

Synopsis:

Tattered relationships and broken hearts, like a quilt, can be pieced together by God’s love.

When Maren Jensen took a job on Elsa Brantenberg’s St. Charles, Missouri farm, she never expected to call the place her home. As she grows to love Mrs. Brantenberg and her granddaughter, Gabi, Maren is transformed from a lonely mail-order bride-without-a-groom to a beloved member of the Brantenberg household.

But when Gabi’s father, Rutherford “Wooly” Wainwright, returns to the farm unexpectedly, everything changes for Maren. Despite the failing eyesight that caused her suitor to reject her, she can see that Wooly desperately needs to reconnect with the family he abandoned when his grief sent him running toward the army—and into the Civil War. She also senses there could be something more between the widower and herself, if either can move beyond their past hurts. 

Comforted and counseled by the wisdom of the women in her beloved quilting circle, Maren begins to discover the cost such decisions demand of her heart. Are her choices in obedience to God, or is she running from His plan? Is it too late for love to be stitched into the fabric of her life?

 
Thoughts:

Dandelions On The Wind is the first of three novellas in The Quilted Heart stories.  These prequel novellas introduce wonderful characters in Mona Hodgson’s Hearts Seeking Home series.
 
I immediately fell in love with the characters of this story:

Mrs. Brantenberg, an aging woman of faith
Gabi, a little girl full of charm
Maren, a young woman whose eyesight is diminishing
“Woolly”, the prodigal son-in-law

 
Dandelions On The Wind is a wonderful story of faith and love, told through vivid imagery.  Though the years of war have been trying, Mrs. Brantenberg and the members of her household are trying to live each day by faith rather than fear.  Find out where their journey leads in Mona’s Hearts Seeking Home series

The Quilted Heart Novella 1:  Dandelions On The Wind
The Quilted Heart Novella 2:  Bending Toward The Sun
The Quilted Heart Novella 3:  Ripples Along The Shore 

 
Biography:

Married forty-one years to her leading man, Mona from Arizona lives in the Southwest where trees have arms instead of branches and salsa is a staple. When Mona Hodgson isn’t writing or speaking, she’s playing Wii games with her Arizona grandson, spending time with her mom, picnicking, texting her sisters, or chatting on Skype with her grandchildren in Africa.
 
Mona Hodgson is the author of nearly 40 books, historical novels for adults and children’s books, including her popular Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series, The Quilted Heart novellas, and Hearts Seeking Home Series. Her children’s books include bestseller, Bedtime in the Southwest, six desert and princess Zonderkidz I Can Read books, Real Girls of the Bible: A 31-Day Devotional, and her six I Wonder books. Mona’s writing credits also include several hundred articles, poems and short stories, which have appeared in 50 different publications. Mona is a speaker for women’s groups, Christian women’s retreats, book clubs and reading groups, schools, and conferences for writers and librarians.

The-Quilted-Heart-Omnibus
From the author:
On January 21, WaterBrook Multnomah will release Dandelions on the Wind, Bending Toward the Sun, and Ripples Along the Shore as a print omnibus–three novellas in one book.