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Monday, December 21, 2009

God is My Stimulus Package

God is My Stimulus Package
by DiAnn Mills

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3:5-6

I remember the bleak day I realized I had enough food for two more days. I had no money and no job. How would I take care of my four young sons? I tried to pray, but fear hung suspended in my mind and choked any semblance of words. I wanted to cry, but realized that once I started, the tears might never end. Single parenting and children who had more needs than I could fill, paralyzed my thoughts.

Swallowing my pride, I phoned my parents in another state. Perhaps they'd take the boys until I got on my feet. The thought of parting with them made me physically ill. They had already dealt with abandonment issues from their father's recent departure, and I knew being separated from me would increase their insecurities-and mine.

After the phone call and the news that they felt something good would happen soon, I painted a smile on my face and went through the motions of preparing the boys' dinner. The doorbell rang, interrupting my silent prayer for faith. A middle-aged woman stood there, looking somewhat perplexed and nervous.

"Can I help you?" My voice released staggering emotions.

She nodded and gave me a faint smile. "I think so. God told me that the family living here needs food. I have my station wagon full of groceries."

My boys rushed to her vehicle and helped carry in bag after bag. Not since Christmas had they been so excited. Me either, for that matter.

God had sent an angel to feed my family! The food in those grocery bags fed us for a long time. Every item was something I would have purchased, even special treats. This blessing marked the beginning of many. Within a week I found a job directing a day care center, and my children never went hungry or without care. The true treasure was the provision of our faithful Father who ensured that our family never had to be separated.

DiAnn Mills has over forty books in print and has sold a million and a half copies. DiAnn believes her readers should "Expect an Adventure."Six of her anthologies have appeared on the CBA Best Seller List. Three of her books have won the distinction of Best Historical of the Year by Heartsong Presents. Five of her books have won placements through American Christian Fiction Writer's Book of the Year Awards 2003 - 2008, and she is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader's Choice award for 2005 and 2007. She was a Christy Awards finalist in 2008. DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Romance Writers of America's Faith, Hope and Love, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is also a mentor for Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writer's Guild. She lives in sunny Houston, Texas. DiAnn and she and her husband have four adult sons.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

When is Enough, Enough?

My back is aching, my bottom is sore, my brain feels useless and I've eaten too much sugar today. When does life start getting simpler?

Have you ever said....
Once Christmas is over, things will slow down. Or....
Once it freezes and I don't have to work in the yard and garden, I'll get more rest. Or...
Once spring comes, I'll get outside and exercise more....Or
When I'm finished with school, and start a REAL job, things will get easier. Or...
After I eat this big bowl of ice cream, I'll feel so much better....

You get the picture.

I think I've said all of those, and so many more. Always looking to tomorrow, and not focusing on what God's given us today.

I want to change that. How about you? Are you ready to embrace what God's given you TODAY?

After all, do we have any guarantee spring will come, or we'll see another Christmas?

No. We only know we have the NOW...Today. Let's start using it, embracing it, and finding what God's will and purpose is for us today.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Finding Adventure After 50

My Hubby's Dream.....

And mine a much smaller degree...

See that gorgeous boat in the foreground, with the double wooden masts? That's my husbands baby. He's been working on it for 5 yrs now and it's almost ready to go. We've sailed it a few times on the Columbia River where it resides, but never taken any extended trips...but that might be coming in our near future.

The Lord has impressed on my heart lately, that Allen has continually put his dream of spending a year or two on a sailboat, cruising the Inland Passage in the summer and Mexico in the winter, on hold for years. First, because we had kids to raise, then a business to run, and later due to our building a home. I've been feeling like it's time for him to realize his dream. I'm not sure exactly how the Lord is going to work that may entail Him blessing the socks off our business (which we could put in the hands of a manager while we're gone) or me being willing to sell our new home...and yes, I'll do that if that's what it takes.

I know the Lord will bless my willingness, and I'm giving it to Him. I can still pursue my writing while sailing, and we don't have grandbabies yet, so this seems like a logical time to go. of these days, Lord Willing, you might be seeing these blogs posted from some exotic location, with pictures sprinkled along the way!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Another Airport Encounter

This episode isn't quite as scary as my shuttle ride (see post below), but it left me shaking my head while it was happening. Let me start from the beginning.....

I met fellow author Ginny Aiken on the shuttle back to the Denver airport after the ACFW conference. Her plane left an hour after mine from the same gate so we decided to hang out together. We grabbed a bite to eat, chatted enroute with Cara Putman, and eventually made our way to our gate, a full hour before my flight was due to leave.

We found seats (there was still plenty of room, but starting to fill up) and I set my carry-on bags in the empty seat next to mine, then headed to the restroom. When I returned, I found them repositioned in my seat and a duffel bag in the adjoining seat...with an empty seat just beyond.

Ginny leaned close and whispered. "A man moved them. He wasn't too happy that we were taking three seats for two people."

"Where is he?"

She nodded toward a desj where the man bent over his work. "He's kind of grumpy."

I set my bags on the floor and moved them slightly to the side so they weren't right under my feet. A few minutes later the man approached. "I need to move this." He bent over and picked up my bag containing my purse and other items, and plopped it against my feet.

I looked at him, raised my brows and simply said, "okay...?"

He proceeded to rummage in his duffel bag then went back to the small table where he'd been working. Ginny and I simply looked at each other, trying not to laugh. He'd had all sorts of room to reach his duffel, without bothering my items, and they weren't in his way. We talked for a few minutes in a low voice, wondering what his problem might be, then changed the subject and began to chat about other things.

A few minutes later, he returned. He leaned close to my face, about 12" away and hissed. "I was simply moving your bag so I wouldn't step on it. You didn't have to act snooty and make a big deal out of it." Honestly, I don't remember his exact words, as I was so shocked to have him in my face and even commenting on my simple "okay". I guess it really bothered him, and it's possible he thought we were laughing at him, when we got the giggles a little later remembering a disembodied voice in the airport train, warning everyone that they were delaying the departure of the train by standing too close to the door. Whatever his problem, it took me aback.

I looked him directly in the eyes. "You don't need to be rude."

He moved back a few inches and glared. "I'm simply responding to you in the same manner you offered to me." He picked up his duffel bag and stalked two steps across the way to a seat facing us and a little off to the side.

Ginny and I sat stunned, wondering what just happened. We offered each other a small smile and tried some small talk. Finally, she leaned over and told me not to worry, it would be one more story to add to my growing list of airport adventures I could use in a book someday.

We both agreed that most people would be nervous or a bit irritated if a strange man approached a woman in an airport and grabbed her personal belongings rather than asking her to move them, if they were in the way. We changed the subject and decided to try to forget it...although I did whisper that I hoped my seat wouldn't be next to his. The man had ear buds in and seemed to be listening to something, so we assumed he'd settled into his new seat and we wouldn't be bothered again.

About twenty minutes later he stood and walked directly to me, leaning over again. I cringed, wondering what was coming next. "Excuse me?" He waited until I looked up. "I'd like to apologize. I've had a really bad day and I didn't think about the fact that I was moving your purse or personal belongings and it might make you nervous. I shouldn't have acted that way."

It surprised me and I stumbled an acceptance. He went back to his seat and settled in. A few minutes later, I nodded and smiled at him, and he returned the gesture.

I was one of the last to board and I passed down the crowded aisle in the airliner, looking for a seat. There sat the man from the terminal near the front. No, there wasn't an empty seat next to him, but he did sit in an aisle seat and traffic was moving at a crawl. I could have avoided eye contact and pretended I didn't see him, but instead I met his gaze. "I hope you have a good flight, and a wonderful rest of the day. And I wanted to thank you for apologizing...that meant a lot."

He smiled, his face falling into relieved lines and nodded. "Thanks. You too."

I moved on down the aisle, praising God that He'd turned what could have been an ugly situation around. We never know what a cranky, seemingly mean person has been through, what kind of loss they've suffered, or what pain they might be carrying. That man had the courage to stuff his pride and apologize, and I'm so thankful God gave me the grace to keep my mouth shut, when it would have been so easy to snipe back at him.

Looking back now, I wonder if the ear buds were actually some type of device to increase his you see advertised on TV, when people want to listen to conversations a distance away? He may have heard us comment that we were concerned when he picked up my bag, and felt ashamed that he's touched another person's possessions with permission...or the Lord might simply have moved on his heart. Whatever it was, I'm thankful. God is Good.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Part Two...Shuttle Nightmare

This is the second part of this true experience I had a few days ago....but it won't make sense if you read it first. Scroll down to the older blog entry and start there, then come back and finish with this one.

“It's kind of late now.” Lisa nodded at the driver snapping his seat belt and inserting his key in the ignition. He reached for his radio and spoke to whoever dispatched him to the airport. I only heard one side of the conversation. “Yes. We picked up two women. No. No one else wanted to go.”

We looked at each other, and I saw the same concern I felt, mirrored on her face. I made a decision. “Driver?”

He turned around. “Yes?”

“I'd like to see your license, please.”

He just stared at me, and the man in the back sat unmoving, but clearly listening. The driver looked surprised, but didn't produce the requested document.

I tried again. “We don't know you, or the company you work for. I want to see your license, please.”

He grabbed the badge hanging around his neck. “This is my badge. No one can drive down here without a security check.”

I told him that was good, but I still wanted to see the company information and license, not just his badge. He unrolled his window and called to a security officer patrolling the sidewalk and beckoned the man over. “You want to see my badge?” He held it up to the open window and shoved it toward the officer.

The man raised his brows and shook his head. “No. And you don't need to offer to show it to me, unless I ask for it.”

I leaned forward and explained that he'd solicited us to ride with him, and we weren't familiar with his company....and that I wanted to be sure he was legit. The officer assured us NO ONE could get down into that area without a full security clearance, so we had nothing to worry about. Huh. Right.

We sat back in our seats and allowed him to drive off the airport property, although part of me still wanted to bolt from the van and make a beeline back to the Super Shuttle line, but off we went.

Yes, we arrived safely, with Lisa and I praying much of the way. Then two days later Lisa arrived breathless at my table in the conference dining room. “Did you hear the news about the shuttle driver?”

My mind immediately flew to OUR shuttle driver. “No. What's up?”

She leaned over my chair, her eyes wide. “It's on the news. The Feds just arrested terrorists posing as shuttle drivers here at the Denver airport. Wouldn't that be something if it was OUR driver?”

Yep. There's absolutely no need to worry, because NO ONE can get onto the airport pick up area without security clearance.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Shuttle Nightmare

It started innocently enough. I booked a Super Shuttle trip from the Denver airport to the hotel where our ACFW writer's conference would take place, not realizing I'd be imagining myself kidnapped before the end of the day. I know it sounds funny, but have you ever been in a situation where you truly thought your life could be in danger? Here's how it happened....

I arrived at the Denver airport and bumped into another ACFW conference attendee, Lisa Buffalo. Lisa and I made our way to the baggage claim area, then tootled on out to wait for our ride to the hotel. We passed the long line at the Super Shuttle desk, congratulating ourselves that we'd been smart enough to book our ride in advance. We confidently dug out our receipts and stood with the gathering crowd of women waiting outside. One of the gals was moaning about having to wait in the long line inside, and we suggested she might want to book online after this, and save the wait. She turned with snort of disgust. “I did. They made me go back in and get a ticket. The online receipt isn't good enough.”

No way. We couldn't believe it. I got right on the phone with the main office and they confirmed our fear....we had to go brave the line and miss this shuttle. We'd probably not arrive at the hotel for another hour, and we were both already tired from our early start and long day.

A shuttle driver who was clearly from a mid-eastern country (and had the accent that went along with it) from another company sidled over while I was talking on the phone I heard him urging Lisa to ride with him instead. “Only ten dollars each,” he insisted. She politely told him we'd already paid our fare, but thank you anyway. Five minutes later he was back. “Five dollars each.”

She and I looked at each other and from the look on her face I knew what she was thinking. I nodded and proceeded to cancel our reservation. By the time I hung up, our bags were in the van and the smiling driver was holding the door open. “Only twenty dollars and I take you right to your hotel.”

I help up my hand and shook my head. “Hold it. You said ten dollars, then five. What's with the change?”

He proceeded to explain that he'd thought the entire group would be coming and he couldn't take only two people clear across Denver for $5. each. The rest of the gals had already climbed on the Shuttle and it had driven off into the, sunny we were stuck.

We climbed into the van and only then noticed a VERY scruffy man in unkempt clothes with at least two days growth of beard, was climbing in, as well. He slid into the seat directly behind us, and the driver slammed the door shut. I started thinking about the appearance of the van, and realized I'd only notice a small decal on the side, and the vehicle had seen better days. The locks clicked down and the driver walked around the van, heading for his seat. Something in my spirit rose up and waved a red flag, and dread clamped onto my stomach. Get out of here. Now. I didn't know if it was the Lord speaking a warning, or just the over active imagination of a writer, but I knew I wanted out of that van.

I turned to Lisa and whispered. “I have a very bad feeling about this. I don't think we should go.”
Continued tomorrow.......

Friday, August 21, 2009

New Addition to the Family!

Nope, not a grandchild, as much as I wish that were true...although in a way, I guess I added a "grandchild" and a "daughter" all in the same day. Now hold may be rolling your eyes and shaking your head. No. I'm not one of those women who pack their poodles around in their purse, dress their little Maltese in clothing, and baby talk to their dogs. Nope. Not me. But daughter got a puppy on the same day I did, so that comes close to being a grandchild, since she and her husband (my daughter, not the puppy, LOL!) have no intention of ever supplying said grandchild.

Lacey is my pup and she's the one on the left with her ears up...her sister Bella is very possessive of the stick (on the right) and got it first, but Lacey wanted to hold it too.

All right, enough goofing off. I'm tired, it's time for bed, but I really want to brag on our two little girls. Sisters they are...and a breed I NEVER thought I'd ever own...same with my daughter and her husband. In fact, both our husbands have been just a bit, that's too strong...shocked. You see, we've always owned big dogs...German Shepherds, Labs, a big mutt, and the smallest we've ever owned is my current dog, a Border Collie (shown above checking out the competition). I've never considered a little dog, but we saw these puppies and couldn't resist. Actually, I was shopping for a small breed, as our old guy is getting up in age, and I decided it would be fun to have a dog I could cuddle, as I spend so much time at my computer. My daughter went along for the ride, and fell in love with one of the little girls I'd gone to see. We made the owner a 'two for one' offer, and she agreed.

Admit it, Chihuahua or not, they're darling!!! (and of course, all you Chihuahua lovers will be saying Of course they are!)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


What a crazy, busy summer this has been so far. It's incredible that it's already half gone! I've been spending way too much time on my computer instead of outdoors, but hopefully that will change soon. I turn in my newest book on August 1st, then no more projects for a month or so, and time to relax and get some sun!

We went in together with our daughter & her hubby, and son and his wife, to buy and restore a 16' ski boat. Engine works great, just needed a battery and a couple of cables, but the boat had been a home for a family of raccoons for the past year or two. You can only imagine the stench inside! The guys ripped out all the carpet and we took the seats to be reupholstered...they were shredded by sharp little raccoon claws. It now has new seats, new carpet, new tires on the trailer and we're ready to launch and try her out. Next year she'll get a new paint job, but there's no extra money in the budget this year, so she'll go as she is. My hubby is looking forward to putting our smaller trolling motor on and going bass fishing, as well.

Then there's the huge vegetable garden and flower beds...those get me outside, as does the mowing and watering. My roses, delphinium, blue bells, petunias, geraniums, lilies and so much more are in full bloom, displaying dazzling colors in 5 different flower beds. Love 'em!

I'm also making progress on my next book release, Love Finds You in Bridal Veil, Oregon....due to come out Feb. 1st next year. I'm almost finished writing it, then will do my own editing and polishing and turn in on Aug. 1st to my editor. I'm excited about this new Love Finds You's set in 1902 and I've woven a number of historical events/facts into the story line.

The front of our's been so hot the lawn isn't doing well since it's a new lawn. We'll have to overseed again this fall.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Marriage...Testing Our Faith

It's hard to believe, but this good looking couple to the left just celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary tonight! Yep, that's Allen & I taken a year ago on a trip to visit our son and his bride.

I told Allen as we took a short walk this evening down to our little pond, that it's not possible we've been married that long, since I'm only 35, LOL! We sat on the porch for a few minutes after walking back up the hill and before heading to town for a very nice dinner, holding hands and enjoying being together. But it's not always been that way. We've weathered some incredibly tough times in our marriage, where I wondered if we'd make it at all. My faith has been stretched, pummeled, tested, and practically turned inside out, but I've grown so much as a person, and as a wife.

Isn't that what marriage is supposed to be about? A time to grow, to mature, for the Lord to make the two of us one in Him? Yes, it's often painful, but comes sprinkled with seasons of intense joy. I'm not the person I was when I married...a girl with an expectation of a husband who would fit into the mold I'd created for him out of my own personal daydreams...The Lord is remaking me into a woman who's working hard to love and accept unconditionally, just the way I pray and hope Allen accepts me.

Funny, isn't it? We have so many expectations and ways we want our men to change...but when the shoe is on the other foot, and they're not happy with something we're doing, it hurts. I think I've learned more in those rare times that I've been able to truly evaluate how I'd feel if Allen imposed some of the same 'conditional' love that I've given to him at times....ouch! It wasn't a pretty picture.

We agreed tonight that we want to keep going for another 37 yrs....we'll barely be 90 by then, so I think we'll make it....and I pray the Lord will continue to grow and mature us in our continuing love and commitment to one another.

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Few Things I've Learned

A few things I've learned in my 50+ years here on Miralee Ferrell

Life is too short to waste in worry.

We only have today, tomorrow can take care of itself.

God only gave us one body. Take care of it like you hope it will last two-hundred years, and pray that it makes it in good shape for half of that.

When I get close to the grave, I want to be remembered for my relationships, not my resources or accomplishments.

Laughter truly does do good like a can't laugh too often.

Allowing joy to flood your life impacts you physically, mentally, emotionally and relationally.

No one will ever understand you like God does...turn to Him with every care, no matter how large or small.

If you have something to complain about, take it to God and leave it there. Most of your friends really don't want to hear about it.

If you have a big vision or dream, only share it with those who you know will encourage it.

God wants to stretch our vision beyond what we can imagine. Let Him.

You can't succeed if you don't try. Often when you try, you'll fail. Failing shows you what NOT to do next time. Try again.

A true friend believes in y0u, cries with you, and listens with their heart.

Other than your relationship with God, there is nothing more important than family.

If you don't spread your wings and try to fly, you'll live in the nest your entire life, and miss out on the world's breathtaking beauty.

God never said we could do it all....He said In HIM all things are possible. Only believe.

Sometimes you must allow your children to fail, or they'll never grow beyond where they are now.

My husband is often right, but it takes a big woman and a humble heart to admit it.

Try something new on a regular basis. You might surprise yourself and find out you love it.

You're never too old to jump into your dream. Keep your hand in God's as you jump, and you can't go wrong.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Motivation---It helps to be deaf!

Once Upon A Time...

Once upon a time there was a bunch
of tiny frogs.... who arranged a
running competition.
The goal was to reach the top of a
very high tower.

A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer
on the contestants....The race began....

No one in the crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the
top of the tower. You heard statements such as:

"Oh, WAY too difficult!!"
"They will NEVER make it to the top."

"Not a chance that they will succeed.
The tower is too high!"

The tiny frogs began collapsing. One
by one....

Except for those, who in a fresh tempo, were climbing higher and higher..

The crowd continued to yell, "It is too difficult!!! No one will make it!"

More tiny frogs got tired and gave up.... But ONE continued higher and higher and higher....

This one wouldn't give up!

At the end everyone else had given up climbing the tower. Except for
the one tiny frog who, after a big effort, was the only one who reached the top!

THEN all of the other tiny frogs naturally wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it? A contestant asked the tiny frog how he had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal?

It turned out....That the winner was DEAF!!!!

The wisdom of this story is: Never listen to other people's
tendencies to be negative or pessimistic....because they take your most wonderful
dreams and wishes away from you -- the ones you have in your heart!

Always think of the power words have. (There's life and death in the power of the tongue - Proverbs 18:21.)

Because everything you hear and read will affect your actions!

Therefore: ALWAYS be.... POSITIVE!

And above all: Be DEAF when people tell YOU that you cannot fulfill your dreams!

Always think: God and I can do this!
Pass this message on to
"tiny frogs" you care about.

Give them some motivation!!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Feeling Lost? Need Directions?

Feeling Lost? Need Directions?

Author Shares Six Tips for Finding Your Route

(Orlando, Florida) Have you ever wished you could look into the future and obtain better insight in order to make wiser decisions for your best outcome? So many times, results from poor choices could have been avoided if we had seriously considered the direction of God's guidance for our lives, instead of trying to figure things out on our own. In her book, Direction: Discernment for the Decisions of Your Life, Cheri Cowell presents six questions readers should ask themselves when facing important decisions. Through observation and exploration, she examines each question and shares examples of how others--from Bible times to present day--have used these questions to find God's way in the story of their lives. From career options to medical decisions to relationship questions, Cowell's instruction and guidance helps readers learn how to make confident choices as they seek God's direction on the road of life.

Paperback: 192 pages

Publisher: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City

ISBN-10: 0834123355

ISBN-13: 978-0834123359

Cost: $14.99

Cheri Cowell, a popular conference speaker and writer, uses her experience in ministry to encourage and equip Christians seeking answers to the unspoken questions of faith. She is earning a degree in theological studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida, where she and her husband, Randy, call home.

For more information, see:

Check back again....I'll be posting some interesting interview questions by Cheri soon, as well as info on her contest!

Monday, February 2, 2009

I've Fallen off the Wagon

I don't know about you, but it's only Feb. 2 and I've already fallen off the wagon, If I were really honest, I'd admit that I never quite got both legs off the ground and up into the wagon...I've been dragging one foot and bouncing along the ground a number of times. Sigh.

And no, it's not the typical alcohol wagon that I've fallen off, it's the SUGAR wagon. I do have an excuse though, really I do! It's Valentine's Day and Easter. I mean honestly, the stores know my weakness for sugar and they're purposely loading the shelves for both holidays right now. I can't walk into ANY store it seems, without bumping head on into a candy aisle.

How about you? Are you struggling with one or more of your goals that you really wanted to keep this year? Or did you make it all the way through January and are doing great? Feel free to leave a comment and share if you even set a goal, and if so, how you are doing? And if anyone wants help being accountable let me know. I've got a great support group on Facbook that I'll plug you into that have agreed to help hold one another accountable.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

100 Things About Me

I’ve seen these lists make the rounds of people’s emails and blogs but have never done one myself. After seeing another one today I thought…Why not? Looks like it might be fun. Besides, it’s a new year and maybe it would be good to reflect on where I’ve been. It might help me firm up my goals on where I want to be this coming year. So here goes (only I shortened the list from 106 to 100…let’s see what you can come up with!

Feel free to copy this list to your blog and asterix the things you've done and add a few new things. I’m not using the exact same list that’s being passed around, as I wanted to add a few new things of my own, and left off some that other’s have added that didn’t fit for me. Leave a comment here and tell me about some of your adventures or leave a link to your blog.

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Lived in Alaska
4. Visited a foreign country
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland and Disneyworld
8. Climbed a glacier
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a duet with a friend at church (or a solo if that fits you)
11. Ridden a horse
12. Helped an animal give birth (in my case it was a horse)
13. Been close to where lightening struck the ground
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Been a foster parent
16. Had a case of Shingles
17. Driven a car in Mexico
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Driven the Al-Can highway two times (from Alaska thru Canada to Washington St)

20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Ice Skated
23. Owned more than four different types of animals at the same time
24. Built a snow fort
25. Been sledding on the old time runner sleds
26. Gone skinny dipping (in our own private pond lest anyone is gasping)
27. Had a cougar in my car
28. Took a cougar to work
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Been on a girls baseball team
32. Sailed on a sailboat
33. Owned a cougar
34. Gone camping
35. Ran the mile in track in high school
36. Learned a foreign language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Taken an honor’s class in college
39. Camped in the woods
40. Roller skated
41. Gone fishing in the ocean, river, lake and pond
42. Spoken in front of a group of people (at least 50)
43. Paid for something for a stranger
44. Owned pond we stocked with trout with it’s own fish ladder
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Flown in a two person airplane
47. Painted at least one oil painting (several)
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Had the mumps (while in college)
50. Gave the mumps to a loved one (my fiancé)
51. Been called for jury duty
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Met someone famous
57. Started a business (at least four)
58. Started or have a web site
59. Visited Baja
60. Served at a teen shelter for street people
61. Been in the Girl Scouts
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Led a high school youth group
65. Taught a Sunday School class
66. Joined a book club

67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (book!)
70. Ridden in a glass bottom boat
71. Eaten lobster
72. Lost a loved one
73. Been on a bucking horse
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Worked for a newspaper
76. Driven 100 miles an hour (in a Corvette on a straight stretch one time)
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle (I thought it was speeding, LOL!)
79. Sold a piece of art (oil painting)
80. Published a book
81. Been involved in a law suit
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Been stung by a bee
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible (I'm not sure on this one, but have come close.)
86. Owned a cell phone
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (includes fish)
88. Had the mumps (while in college)
89. Gave the mumps (or measles) to a loved one (my fiancé)

90. Worked at a saw mill

91. Ran a piece of power equipment (saw, drill, planer, etc)

92. Driven a school bus (used for church groups)

93. Driven a Cat and/or excavator (heavy piece of equipment)

94. Acted in a play

95. Attended a musical

96. Felled a tree

97. Slept over night in a car

98. Built our own house

99. Threatened someone’s life (when I was 3 yrs old, LOL!)

100. Taught a class at school

Monday, January 5, 2009

Blessings Poured Out

My new historical romance (inspirational) Love Finds You In Last Chance, CA releases Feb. 1st and my author copies arrived this week end. I stood in quiet joy holding my newest (& 2nd) book in my hands after opening the case. Summerside Press is such a wonderful publishing house to work for, and they do beautiful work. I'm excited about my new release, but also thrilled to share the first official review.

A few days ago I discovered Romantic Times Magazine (one of the largest print review publications featuring both secular and Christian fiction) had just released my review and rating. My book received a 4 1/2 star rating out of 4 1/2 stars, something that I understand is not common in the tough, competitive rating world. The review states the following:

RT Rating: 4½
Published: February 2009
Type: Inspirational (Historical)

Ferrell has done her research and produced a well-written tale, set in 1877 California, with characters that show depth of emotion and spiritual clarity. She adds a touch of suspense with plot twists that tweak at the heart. Readers will definitely want to read more from this author.
Summary: Alexia Travers' father died suddenly, leaving her burdened with a heavily mortgaged horse ranch. Getting married would be an easy solution, but instead, she puts on men's clothes and sets out to make the ranch a success on her own. When Justin Phillips comes to Last Chance with his young son, Toby, the effort to save the ranch quickly turns into a competition between cowboy and tomboy. But when disaster threatens, they must work together to save someone they both love. Can two independent people learn to depend on God and on each other? (SUMMERSIDE, Feb., 320 pp. $12.99)

—Lindy J. Swanson

I'm honored and blessed by the reviewers thoughts and rating.

Also, Kregel has officially offered and signed a contract for the sequel to The Other Daughter, tentatively titled Past Shadows. It should release in the fall of this year and I'll begin edits and revisions later this month. I should have a firm title and cover design to share within the next 2-3 months.

So as you can see, I'm indeed triply blessed by all that's happening in my career at this point and so very grateful.
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