image: header image: header image: header
Home | About Miralee | Blog | Books | Contact | Speaking icon: facebook icon: twitter

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Managing Your Step Family

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned sharing articles on combined families. This is the first half of an excellent article I just discovered. I'll post the second half in a couple of days, so please check back.

Managing Your Step Family

By Garrett Coan, Psychotherapist

If you are a member of a stepfamily, you know how difficult it can be to integrate all of the new members and adjust to the new boundaries and rules. The following ideas may help you make a successful transition during this challenging process.

Have patience

Establishing new families takes time. Just because you love your new partner, it is unrealistic to think that you will automatically love his or her children.

It is equally unrealistic to expect that your new partner’s children will instantly love you. It can be difficult to accept that even though you wish to have a relationship with your stepchildren, they may not be ready for a relationship with you.

Expect to adjust

With proper help and guidance, children can recover from family disruption. All children experience a difficult adjustment period following a divorce or remarriage.

It takes time

It takes time, patience, and perhaps some professional assistance, but most children are able to regain their emotional bearings. It is critical that the adults manage their own emotional recovery in order to help the children adjust without trauma.

If you are part of a part-time stepfamily, you may need a longer adjustment period. All relationships take time to grow and develop. When stepchildren see you less often, you have less time to get to know each other. This is why it may take a part-time stepfamily longer to move through the adjustment process.

Don’t expect your new family to be like your first family

If you expect that your stepfamily will be just like the family of your first marriage, you are setting yourself up for frustration. Your new family will have its own unique identity and will evolve in its own special way.

Expect confusion

Forming a stepfamily is a confusing time for everyone. Think about how confusing it is for a child to become part of two new families. All of the family members—parents and children—must learn to understand the new structure and learn to navigate the boundaries.

Allow time for grieving

Stepfamilies begin with an experience of loss, and everyone needs to grieve. The adults’ losses are not the same as those of the children, and both must be respected. Adults grieve the following losses:

  • The loss of a partner
  • The loss of a marriage relationship
  • Lost dreams of the way they thought it would be
  • They must adjust to changes that result from the divorce or death (moving to a new house, starting a new job, adjusting to changes in lifestyle, etc.)
  • Children grieve, too. Their losses are usually different from those of their parents:
  • They may now be living with one parent instead of two.
  • They may have less time with one or both parents during times of dating and remarriage.
  • There may be less stability in their homes.
  • They must adjust to changes that result from the divorce or death. (They may have a new place to live and go to a new school; they may have lost friends in this process.)
  • They have lost the fantasy of how they wanted their family to be.

Children have an especially difficult time resolving their grief when their parents are hostile with one another, when one or both of their parents remarry, and if they have trouble accepting their new stepparents.

Garrett Coan is a professional therapist, coach and psychotherapist. His two Northern New Jersey office locations are accessible to individuals who reside in Bergen County, Essex County, Passaic County, Rockland County, and Manhattan. He offers online and telephone coaching and counseling services for those who live at a distance. He can be accessed through or 201-303-4303.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Contest! Win A Copy of My Book!

Hey everybody! Would you like one more chance to win a copy of my new book? A friend of mine is doing a give away of her own copy. It's been gently read one time, she did a review for me, loved the book, but likes to share with others.

Just pop over to Pam's blog site and leave a comment to be entered into the drawing.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Radio Interviews and Thanksgiving Time!

God has been so good to my family this year, and we have much to be thankful for. New Friend Cindy Woodsmall and I at the ACFW Conference

In July, we moved into the new home we'd spent over a year building, and began the ongoing process of unpacking, landscaping and finishing little bits and pieces not quite completed when we moved. We're loving our new home and it's everything I've dreamed of and more.

Our son married for the first time at the age of 29, and added a wonderful Christian girl to our family.

My husband graciously encouraged me to attend my first ever ACFW writer's conference in Dallas, TX in September.

Then in October, my debut novel The Other Daughter, released with Kregel Publications. It's getting excellent reviews and doing well. My second book (the sequel) is being reviewed now for a possible contract. I'm hoping to hear something in the next couple of months from my publisher.

Recently, I've done two radio broadcasts to help market my new book. The first aired on in early November. The next will air December 6th at 11:00 a.m. on KNEO...if you can't get it on the radio (it's in Missouri) you can find it at

I truly enjoyed that particular interview. The announcer asked insightful questions and gave me adequate time to reply. I'm hoping my publicist might be able to put together a couple more radio spots for me between now and Christmas, if schedules aren't completely booked.

What a truly blest year this has been! I've much to be thankful for, and I know the blessings have only begun.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Interview With Tricia

Here's the interview I promised with Historical Author Tricia Goyer

Q and A with Tricia!tric


A Shadow of Treason follows A Valley of Betrayal. This is the first time you've written books as a series instead of stand alone. Which way do you like better?

A: I love writing in series. It was great to continue with the same characters. In my stand-alone books I fell in love with these people and then I had to say good-bye after one book. It was wonderful to be able to continue on.

Q: In A Shadow of Treason Sophie must return to the person who betrayed her in an effort to help the Spanish people. It makes the book hard to put down because the reader has to know how Sophie's heart will deal with it. Why did you decide to make this an element of the book?

A: There are very few of us who go through life without giving away a part of our hearts to someone who didn't deserve it. Even though Sophie had the best intentions, she gave away her heart and she was hurt-not only that she must revisit those emotions.

I wanted to include this element-to delve into the topic that emotions are sometimes as big of a trap as any physical cage. Emotions are real and they guide us -- even when we don't want to admit it. Poor Sophie, not only does she have to deal with a war around her -- she also has to deal with a war within herself. It's something I've battled, and mostly likely others have too.

Q: There is an interesting element that arises in this book and that is Spanish gold. I know you can't tell us what happens in this book, but can you give us a brief history of this gold?

A: Sure. When I was researching I came upon something interesting. The Spaniards, as we know, had taken much Aztec and Inca gold during the time of the conquistadors. Well, at the start of The Spanish Civil War much of this gold was still held in Madrid. In fact Spain had the fourth largest gold reserves in the world at that time. The Republican government was afraid Franco would take the city and the gold. They had to get it out of Madrid and this included transporting priceless artifacts. The element of gold does make its way into my story. It was great to include this little-known (and true!) element into my story.

Q: Another historical fact I learned about was the Nazi involvement during this time. Not only were the Germans active in Spain, but they had spy networks busy around the world. How did you find out about this?

A: I love reading tons of research books. Usually I find one little element that I dig out and turn into a plot line. This is what happened with my plot-line for the Nazi pilot, Ritter. I dug up this bit of research of Nazi involvement in Spain -- and the United States -- because a lot of people aren't aware of the Nazi involvement prior to WWII. The truth is they were busy at work getting the land, information, and resources they needed far before they threatened the nations around them. The Germans knew what they wanted and how to get it. And most of the time they succeeded!

Q: A Shadow of Treason is Book Two. When will Book Three be out? Can you give us a hint of how the story continues?

A: Book Three is A Whisper of Freedom. It will be out February 2008. The characters that we love are all still in the midst of danger at the end of Book Two. Book Three continues their stories as we follow their journeys in -- and (for a few) out -- of Spain. It's an exciting conclusion to the series!

Q: Wow, so we have a least one more fiction book to look forward to in the near future. Are you working on any non-fiction?

A: Yes, I have two non-fiction books that will be out the early part of 2008. Generation NeXt Marriage is a marriage book for today's couples. It talks about our marriage role models, our struggles, and what we're doing right as a generation. It also gives advice for holding it together.

I've also been privileged to work on the teen edition of Max Lucado's book 3:16. It was a great project to work on. What an honor!

Tricia is available for further interview. Contact Amy with your ideas and questions!
Tricia's Bio:

Tricia Goyer has published over 300 articles for national publications such as Today's Christian Woman, Guideposts for Kids, and Focus on the Family, and is the co-author of Meal Time Moments (Focus on the Family). She has led numerous Bible Studies, and her study notes appear in the Women of Faith Study Bible (Zondervan).

She has written seven novels for Moody Publishing:
  • From Dust and Ashes (2003)
  • Night Song (2004)
  • Dawn of a Thousand Nights (2005);
  • Arms of Deliverance (2006)
  • A Valley of Betrayal (2007)
  • A Shadow of Treason (Fall 2007)
  • A Whisper of Freedom (February 2008)
Night Song was awarded American Christian Fiction Writer's 2005 Book of the Year for Best Long Historical. Dawn of a Thousand Nights won the same award in 2006.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Tricia Goyer---Author of Historical Fiction

My friend Tricia Goyer has a new book that she's taking on tour right now. She's an amazing author of historical fiction and has done a number of fascinating interviews with retired service men and women to gain a deeper insight into the lives and hearts of her characters. I'll be posting more about Tricia in the next day or two, so please check back. But until then, read this little blurb about her book.

Book 2 in the Chronicles of the Spanish Civil War series

A Shadow of Treason (Fall 2007)
Sophie discovers that nothing is as she first imagined. When Walt, the reporter who helped her over the border, shows up again after Guernica is bombed, Sophie is given an impossible mission. She must leave behind the man she's fallen in love with and return to the person who betrayed her. Another layer of the war in Spain is revealed as Sophie is drawn into the international espionage schemes that could turn the tide of the war and help protect the soldiers from the International Brigade ... she must find a way to get a critical piece of information to Walt in time.

Tricia's Bio:

Tricia Goyer has published over 300 articles for national publications such as Today's Christian Woman, Guideposts for Kids, and Focus on the Family, and is the co-author of Meal Time Moments (Focus on the Family). She has led numerous Bible Studies, and her study notes appear in the Women of Faith Study Bible (Zondervan).

She has written seven novels for Moody Publishing:
  • From Dust and Ashes (2003)
  • Night Song (2004)
  • Dawn of a Thousand Nights (2005);
  • Arms of Deliverance (2006)
  • A Valley of Betrayal (2007)
  • A Shadow of Treason (Fall 2007)
  • A Whisper of Freedom (February 2008)
Night Song was awarded American Christian Fiction Writer's 2005 Book of the Year for Best Long Historical. Dawn of a Thousand Nights won the same award in 2006.
Tricia has also written Life Interrupted: The Scoop on Being a Young Mom (Zondervan, 2004), 10 Minutes to Showtime (Thomas Nelson, 2004), and Generation NeXt Parenting (Multnomah, 2006). Life Interrupted was a 2005 Gold Medallion finalist in the Youth Category.
Also, coming out in the next year are: My Life, Unscripted (Thomas Nelson, 2007), Generation NeXt Marriage (Multnomah, Spring 2008), and 3:16-the teen version of the a book by Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson, Spring 2008).
Tricia and her husband John live with their three children in Kalispell, Montana. Tricia's grandmother also lives with them, and Tricia volunteers mentoring teen moms and leading children's church. Although Tricia doesn't live on a farm, she can hit one with a rock by standing on her back porch and giving it a good throw.
Important Links!
First Chapter:
Amazon Link:

The Hunt is On!

Welcome to the Scavenger Hunt!

Playing is easy. Get the list of clues—questions you need to answer. Visit the authors’ below, and read the Q&A with Miralee Ferrell. You’ll find the answers you need! Once you have them all, just email the answer to the Christian Review of Books!

Everyone with the right answers will be entered to win a signed copy of Miralee Ferrell’s The Other Daughter.

Need the list of clues for the Scavenger Hunt?

Go to

Well, you all should have all but three answers now, if you’ve read everyone else’s blogs. The last three answers can be found in the following excerpt from The Other Daughter’s opening scene.

Dark clouds mushroomed and thunder rumbled over the house on Mountain Brook Road, disrupting the peace of the late May afternoon. Above the diminishing rumble, a motor roared and the sharp ping of flying gravel sprayed the side of the house. Susanne ran from the laundry room and peered out the front window in time to see a battered old pick-up tear down the lane away from her home, sounding like a steam boiler ready to explode. What in the world? Some teenagers out playing a prank?
They must have turned down the wrong lane, an easy thing to do this far out of town. She headed across the living room and stopped in the kitchen doorway, stifling a groan. The kids had tracked in mud before they left for school and dirty dishes still littered the kitchen counters. She’d been busy changing beds and catching up on laundry all morning and forgot about the kitchen.
She leaned against the wall, feeling about as energetic as the loser of a ten-mile race, her enthusiasm drained by the recent phone call from her husband setting back their plans for her birthday.

The door bell rang. The truck had disappeared down the road and she hadn’t heard anyone else arrive. Great. The last thing she needed was company. The house certainly wasn’t in its usual neat state. She sighed and smoothed back her rumpled curls. She should have stayed in bed this morning.
The door bell rang again, it’s insistence pulling her away from the wall where she leaned.
“I’m coming, I’m coming!”

A glass of wine and a hour to relax would help put her back in the mood for tonight, if David kept his word and made it in time for their reservations. She'd get rid of whoever was at the door and try to pull herself together. This needed to be a special evening. They'd had so few of those lately.
She swung open the door. “May I help yo..”
A bedraggled girl who appeared to be about twelve stood before her, clutching a battered, well-worn suitcase. Small boned and petite, she could’ve been pretty but for the greasy dark hair and dirt streaked face.
Staring up at her were a pair of strangely familiar eyes that gazed at her shyly before darting away in apparant fear.
A prickle of apprehension ran through her as she’d looked in those eyes, but she’d brushed it away. Her imagination must be working overtime today.

“Is Mr. David Carson here, ma’am?” The waif shifted her weight from one foot to the other, glancing over her hunched shoulders to the base of the driveway.
What was someone thinking, dumping a child off and driving away. If she was selling something, or needed directions, the driver could have stayed nearby, not headed down the road.

“I’m afraid he’s at work right now. Is there something I can help you with?” Susanne pushed open the screen, curiosity and sympathy drawing her forward. "Are you selling something? Do you need help?"
The youngster’s gaze returned to Susanne’s face, a worried pucker showing around the corners of her mouth. “I’ve come to live with him.” Her voice was barely audible but hit Susanne like a clap of thunder. Confusion raced through her mind. Was this someone's idea of a joke?
“Live with him? What do you mean?” She pushed the door open a bit wider. Had David offered to take this poor girl in without discussing it with her? Of all the times for David to drop a strange child in her lap.
The girl took a deep breath, pulling her suitcase a little closer to her trembling legs. “My mama’s dead. He's my daddy.”

Visit these other authors’ sites for the rest of the clues!

Have all the answers? Then email the list to with a subject line of “Hunt Answers.”

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A New Game is Coming!!! Win a Book Too!

Been missing the sponsored games where you can win an autographed book? Well, wish no more! Another's on its way and will be arriving on Friday, ending just before Thanksgiving next week. This time you'll have a chance to win the fantastic women's fiction THE OTHER DAUGHTER by Miralee Ferrell.

It's going to be a Scavenger Hunt, and playing will be simple and fun.

1. You'll start out at the Christian Review of Books' page, where you'll be given a list of questions you have to find answers to.

2. You'll follow the links to seven different author pages. Each other will have in her blog a question she asked of Miralee Ferrell about her new novel, THE OTHER DAUGHTER. Read through her answers, and you'll find the answers to the questions on the list!

3. Go to ShoutLife and Send the Christian Review a ShoutMail with the list of answers, and have a chance to WIN, WIN, WIN! The link below that says "Roseanna White"

This is going to be lots of fun, and we've gathered together some new authors for you to get to know, so be sure and check out their pages! Come back on Friday to get started!


Miralee Ferrell
Roseanna White
Molly Noble Bull
Tricia Goyer
Deborah Piccurelli
Christy Barritt
Susan Meissner

Roseanna M. White

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Tribute To Veterans---From Tricia Goyer

Tricia Goyer is a well known author of WWII books. I'll be hosting her here in a few days and highlighting her newest book. She's given me permission to share this article she wrote recently honoring Veteran's. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Veteran's Day is a time to remember:

In 2000, I got my idea for what came to be my first historical novel, From Dust and Ashes. Wanting to know more about the 23 men who liberated Mauthausen concentration camp, I contacted the 11th Armored Division who put me in touch with six of the veterans. These men then invited me to attend the 59th reunion of their division. I wasn't expecting that at all. I thought they'd point me to a good research book or allow me to interview them over the phone.

I felt SO unworthy to meet with these men. I knew very little about WWII, and I didn't want my inexperience to show. Not to mention the $1000+ for airfare, hotels, rental car for a book I didn't have a contract to write.

I urged a friend to go with me, and I've been so thankful we went. The men were caring and opened their hearts to me. They shared stories with me that they hadn't shared with anyone before. They laughed. They cried. They took my hands and thanked me for caring about their story. They hugged me and kissed my cheeks.

When it came to writing my novel, I wasn't writing about fictional characters. I was writing pieces of Charlie's story, bits of Arthur's experiences. The memories that made LeRoy cry made it into my book. The snapshots that Tarmo carried around in his mind for 60 years transformed into scenes in my novel (and the novels to follow!).

I get many letters from readers who say that my novels come to life on the pages--that's because the men's experiences came to life to me as I looked into their eyes and saw glimpses of young heroes. Also, the following year I went to Europe and walked the streets of the SS housing with a man who'd been nine-years-old when the camp opened near his home. Again, I "saw" the story in his eyes as he shared--this time from someone on the outside.

There was an added benefit to this diligent research that I didn't expect. After my second novel Night Song came out I received a letter from a veteran. He made a list of twenty minor research points that I'd gotten right, and then he asked, "One thing I didn't understand was the faith element of this story. Can you tell me more about your faith in God?"


Because I had done the research, I'd was able to share about my Jesus with a veteran who has since passed away.

One more fun thing I didn't expect. One of the men I met at the reunion was Pete. Pete was a medic--the one medic I met. Years later I received a letter from a reader who had read From Dust and Ashes. She was a survivor of Mauthausen--actually, she was born there. When she was 3-weeks-old she was close to death. When the gates were open a medic spent a full day lancing and cleaning infected boils on her skin, saving her life. She asked me if I knew any medics. I knew one, and I passed on his phone number. It turns out Pete was the one who saved her life! They have since met on numerous occasions.

If I hadn't gone to that reunion I wouldn't have met Pete, and I wouldn't have been able to connect him with Hana--what a God thing!

Of course, I do have regrets concerning research, too. In my most recent series on the Spanish Civil War I received a letter from a SCW veteran who said he was willing to help me with research. The letter got put into my "very important" pile on my desk and weeks and months passed. I pulled it out again, and I planned on calling him when I heard from someone else that this man had passed away. That has happened more than once with men who offered to be interviewed, and I'm always regretful of the "one more story" I missed. After all, once gone they are gone for good.

If you have a veteran in your life ... today is the perfect day to reach out--to listen to his or her story. Don't let the stories die, when you have a chance to make a difference.

Below are photos of a few of the men I've interviewed.

To read some of their stories, go to:

To see more photos (including real photos from the liberation of Mauthausen) go to:

To watch my NEW video about my WWII Liberators Series, go click here.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Help For Blended Families

I'm going to be writing and sharing articles about blended families....whether it be foster, step children, mixed marriages, adoptions, etc. Even within the Christian community families and marriages are in need of help.

My debut novel, The Other Daughter, deals with the issue of an unexpected blended family and all the varied emotions that can take place. We see a family and marriage almost derailed by the strong emotions and struggles that ensue when an unexpected addition to their family arrives in their midst.

How do marriages survive when a child appears...whether it be a teen or an adult, years after the event in question....especially when one of the spouses haven't been told of the child's existence?

I've already had three different readers mention that either they or a close friend have experienced the same type of situation. Our family did, also. The premise for the book was taken from our life...only we had an 18 yr. old girl write a letter to my husband, explaining that she believed him to be her father. Were we shocked? Yes. Were we angry at one another or did the shock turn to distrust and destroy our marriage? Thankfully, no.

We decided that the hurts and needs of this young woman were more important than what we might be feeling. She'd been told most of her life that her father didn't want her and she had some deep hurts that needed to be addressed. Trisha is now a part of our family, and her father was able to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day, and we're now grandparents to her three children.

God is able to take that which the enemy wants to destroy, and bring beauty from the ashes. He's the restorer of broken hearts and the one who keeps relationships in tact. Lean on Him for your family's needs and look to Him to bring peace into turmoil. He's faithful, so very faithful!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

We Have A Winner!!!

The Fall Bloggy Tour/Give Away has ended and We have a winner!!!

I'd love to have you still leave comments....if you do and I get at least 20 next week, I'll do another drawing, so check back again if you didn't have a chance to enter, or want to enter again. sure to check out my book on Amazon. Go to this link, and you can find my book and read the first 7 pages to see if it's something you'd like to buy.

If you don't want to wait on shipping, pop in your local bookstore and ask them to get it for you, if they don't already have it on their shelf.

Read the first chapter here

Thanks to everyone for entering....The Winner is...

Karen Chen, from Hillsboro, Oregon!! Congratulations, Karen!
Content Copyright Miralee Ferrell | Site by Eagle Designs