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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

24 Hours to Subscribe before the Contest Begins!!

I LOVE Christmas---the colors, the decorations, the gifts, the baking and special time with family--but more than anything I love the celebration of Christ's birth.

We celebrated yesterday since our kids need to go to our daughter-in-law's family today, but what a blessing it was to have everyone together with our 8-month-old granddaughter, Kate! Smiles, giggles, kisses and lots of pictures accompanied our time together.

Now, on to a brief bit of business before I close. Thursday night at midnight I cut off subscriptions for this newsletter. You can still subscribe, but you won't get a copy of the one I'm mailing on Friday with the big contest and prizes!

If you use the form here on my blog to subscribe, be SURE you check your email afterwards, as you'll be getting a message with a link to click on to confirm your subscription. And please be sure you watch your email on Friday (and your spam folder), and add my email to your approved list for all future newsletter--miraleef at gmail dot com.

Merry Christmas to you all!!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Flash!! Newsletter Coming with Contest!!

Do you enjoy contests? Do you like getting something free?

Then you've come to the perfect place! I'm getting ready to send out my first newsletter to subscribers. If you sign up before December 25th, you'll get a free gift AND be eligible for the contest that I'll be announcing in my first edition a few days later.

It will come by email, so all I need is your name and email address, but I'd love to know what country you live in, as well.....some items that I give away can be shipped out of the country, some can't. But don't despair--some international visitors will be a little more limited, but not completely.

On the right side of this blog you'll see a sign up form. It's simple. Fill it out an click on subscribe. You'll be redirected to my website and receive an email asking you to click on the link to confirm your subscription. The email will come from my gmail address, so please check your spam folder if it doesn't arrive within 30 min. You won't be subscribed until you've confirmed.

Don't worry, you won't be getting blasted with non-stop newsletters. No more than 12 a year, and possibly less, depending on my release dates and the contests I run.

Some contests and giveaways (like the upcoming one) will ONLY be available to subscribers, so don't miss out.

If you sign up, refer a friend and make sure you keep track of their name. You'll get an entry for every person who subscribes!

Now what are you waiting for? Pop over to the right side of your screen and sign up! Thanks!!!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas--Bah-Humbug or A Time to Celebrate?

What does Christmas mean to you? A time to celebrate, or a time to crawl into bed and pull the covers over your head, hoping the season disappears soon. 

So many people have lost loved ones in the past, and too often it's happened near a major holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas. Or, a spouse is out of work (like at our house right now) and there's not a lot of extra income for decorations or gifts.

What do you do if you fit into one of these categories?

It's not easy and there's no simple answer, but I do have a suggestion that might help a little.

Find at least one person--maybe even two or three--that are in worse shape than you. That might be an elderly person in a nursing home who never gets a visitor and would love a plate of cookies, a hug and a smile.

It might be a child with both parents out of work (you can talk to the school, your church, or Social Services for suggestions) and see if there's an inexpensive item you can purchase that would bring them joy. If money isn't an issue for you, consider even purchasing something for the parents, as well.

Join a church or community function that reaches out in some way. It might be serving a hot meal to the homeless, singing carols in your neighborhood, or volunteering in some capacity.

Get involved. Giving of yourself and time will do MUCH to bolster your own spirits and take your focus off your own loss.

Jesus came to earth to give His life that we might have life more abundantly. Let's follow His example in some little way while here--the world will be a better place if we do.

Merry Christmas, From Allen and Miralee , and Lacey.
The picture I posted is Lacey, celebrating in her own special way....on HER couch near the wood stove and the Christmas tree!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Julie Lessman--Fantastic Give Away Going on NOW!

On Julie Lessman's Blog
Address shown at bottom of this post

One Woman. Two Men.
One stirs her pulse and the other her faith.
But who will win her heart?
— A Light in the Window
It's here ... the video for A Light in the Window is finally HERE!! And not just "here," my friends, but "here" with a contest to kick off both my $ .99 CHRISTMAS SALE for theA Light in the Window E-book AND the release of the paperback version too!! 
I am reallllly excited to see what you guys think about the video, especially your preference as to the two male models who play Patrick O'Connor and Sam O'Rourke. Since I haven't run a Journal Jots contest in a long time, I thought this would be the perfect occasion for it, don't you?, To enter the contest, all you have to do is watch the video, then tell me which of these bad-boy rogues turns your head for the title of hottest rogue in the Southie neighborhood!
1st Prize (person with the most points) -- gets a character named after them or a loved one in my next book, a signed copy of that book, and a $50 gift card.
2nd Prize (random drawing where every point  earned is an extra chance to win, but even one point can win) -- gets a character named after them or a loved one in my next book and a signed copy.
3rd Prize (random drawing based on 1 point per name entered) -- gets a signed copy of any of my books. 

Contest Rules:
To enter, scroll down to the Rafflecopter box at the bottom of today's post and click the box that confirms you have watched the video, then click on the next option to vote for your favorite rogue. That's ALL you have to do to enter for the two random drawings. But if you want to win the top prize by accruing extra points, then check out the other options listed in the Rafflecopter box and GO CRAZY!! The contest runs from November 11 through December 31st, with the winner announced in my January 3rd Journal Jot.
You'll need to go directly to Julie's site to finish her book trailer video, then scroll down on her blog to see dozens of ways to get extra entries, including buying her book at only .99! That makes you a winner already, as far as I"m concerned. Julie is a fantastic author and you'll love this book!! Go to the following link to find out more and to enter:

Friday, September 6, 2013

Book Giveaway! Blowing on Dandelions

2 NEW signed copies to be given away of historical romance Blowing on Dandelions by Miralee Ferrell

Want a copy of my brand new historical romance, Blowing on Dandelions?
More than one chance to win!

* Go to my website, 

Leave a comment here on my blog after you view my website and tell me: 

What attracts you on my website?
What you'd like to see there?
Anything you'd change if you could?
Get one entry for each of the questions you answer. 

* Get another entry
Follow my blog or tell me if you already do

Get another entry:

* 'Like' my Author page on Facebook or tell me if you already do--click here to go directly to 'Like' my author page:  

The first Drawing will be held Thursday September 12---Britney Adams is the first winner of a signed book!!

Another Book will be drawn from entries submitted after the 12th and will be drawn one week later. Keep entering!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ghost Towns, Cowboys & Research = Fun!!

It's so much fun to visit the locations where I set my books. So far I've visited towns for 5 of my seven books and have discovered so much rich history. Here are a few pictures from three of the towns. 

This set are from Blowing on Dandelions, my newest historical romance set in Baker City, Oregon

The Geiser Grand Hotel, completed in 1889, a few years after my book, and restored 100 yrs later, is still in use today. 

A 'school bus' from the 1800s

Watercolor painting of Baker City at its inception

From Love Finds You in Last Chance, CA, a historical (Western) romance

The main street of Last Chance possibly taken in the 1880s or 1890s, close to the time my book was set. 

 Last Chance hotel. The upstairs could only be accessed by a ladder on the outside of the building. Mostly unmarried miners used the large room. This building fronted Main Street.

Four old fence posts in the formation of a corral. Very possibly the location of the blacksmith shop. Square nail heads show these posts date to the time of my book, pre-1890s. 

Love Finds You in Tombstone, Arizona, the book that follows Last Chance

I had a ball researching this book as we traveled to the streets of Tombstone that are much the same as they were in the 1880s. Great fun!

I got to dress up and pose for a few pictures while in Tombstone

One of several old stagecoaches that tour the three blocks of old town streets, also going down a back street (this is Allen St, the main one that is very close to what it was in the 1880s) the full three blocks, through some of the residential area, also much the same. 

Cowboy loafers on the main street of Tombstone give it a very authentic look. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Are You a Bargain Hunter?

I love a good bargain, especially if it's something I'd consider buying even if it wasn't on sale, and books fall into that category for me. 

Blowing on Dandelions, my new historical romance is on sale at a great price. I rarely post about my own books on my blog, but my publisher made this too good to pass up.

Until July 5 you can purchase my book in ANY ebook format...Kindle, Nook, any eReader, whether from KOBO, BookShout, Amazon,, Barnes&Noble, or more....for UNDER $3.00. In fact, has reduced it to $2.39, making it the best deal out there.

Here's a brief summary, in case you need your appetite whetted a bit more.

In the first book in the Love Blossoms in Oregon Series, award-winning author Miralee Ferrell presents a powerful novel that blends the warmth and heart of historical romance with a deep exploration of difficult family dynamics--Blowing on Dandelions--a historical romance

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.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Deadly Peril & A Daring Rescue!

I saved over a dozen lives today. Seriously. A dozen babies, all trapped in a storm drain, with their mother pacing above them, crying and nearly wringing her, in despair.

All right, the truth? I did save lives today and am quite happy and content I was able to. Babies? Yes. A dozen tiny, newborn quail that were about 1 1/2" tall...three of them fit in one of my hands.

I pulled into our dentist office parking lot and as I did, I noticed a family of quail hovering over a storm drain grate. After parking, I went back to see what they were doing, and of course, try to get a picture of the family. As I drew closer I saw the mama quail pacing across the grate, peering down and calling over and over, in obvious distress. The daddy kept skirting the edges, not seeming to know what to do, and not doing much to keep the small brood of 8-10 remaining chicks away from the holes.

I edged closer and the mother herded her chicks away. Looking down into the grate I was horrified to see at least a dozen tiny babies had fallen into the hole below. None appeared injured, and thankfully, the ground was dry.

I tried calling the city works department. No one at their desk. Then the local newspaper, as it was less than a block away. They promised to try to help. I kept watch, praying a car wouldn't run over the remaining family, when a woman on a bicycle came flying down the steep hill. I flagged her down, explained the situation, and she bailed off to help.

Together we removed the storm drain cover, I tossed my phone and purse on the pavement and flattened myself on the ground next to the hole, then reached carefully in and captured the first baby. The young woman took the chick and raced up the road a dozen yards to the waiting parents huddled in some bushes, then returned for another chick. At least a couple of cars stopped and the drivers asked if I was injured, as I must have presented quite a sight, lying full length on the pavement (thankfully it wasn't a busy road), reaching into a storm drain hole.

About the time I grasped the last one, a reporter from the newspaper arrived, taking pictures and asking questions. Several chicks raced away from where we'd put them, and made a dash into the road. Catherine and I gave chase, recapturing our prizes and bringing them once more to safety with their clucking, happy family.

A city works employee arrived (called by the kind woman at the newspaper office) after the excitement was over. A dozen lives saved and a good day, all in all!

Friday, April 26, 2013

13 Ideas For Favorite Author Book Promotion--And Giveaway!

3 Free Books this week! 

This is a guest post today, but these suggestions are applicable for any reader wanting to help a favorite author's book become a success. Is there anything here you can do to help someone you enjoy reading? If books don't sell well, publishers stop offering contracts, and the difference often depends on word of mouth and excitement created by readers. Contest rules at the bottom--3 FREE Books! Blowing on Dandelions by Miralee Ferrell, releasing June 1. Copies given will be ARC (advanced reader copies)

Book promotion: bumper sticker
Bly Books bumper sticker

Janet Chester Bly

Want suggestions for how to do book promotions for your favorite authors?

You can make a difference! Here’s 13 things you can do for your own personal favorite author book promotion campaign … pick one or more:
1) Tell a friend what you liked about his or her work. Word-of-mouth book promotion is the best!
2) Recommend the book to your local bookseller(s) or librarian.
3) Give a copy of the book to a public, church, or prison library.
4) Pass the word about their website or blog. Here’s ours – or “On A Western Trail” blog at  (and here's Miralee's....
5) For your friends who do social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc., tell them they can become friends and followers of their favorite authors – share  the links.
6) Give a book by this author as a gift to a family member, friend, or co-worker. Include a rave review of your own.
7) Do a video review and post it on YouTube or other video sharing website. 
8) Tell some book club members about the book(s) or organize a group of friends to read and discuss the book(s) together.
9) If you’re a speaker or do seminars, offer the books for sale on your display table or include flyers about the books. (From Miralee: If your fav author is a speaker, invite him or her to speak at an upcoming function)
10) If you have a website or blog of your own, set up links from your site to your favorite author’s site.
11) Include a feature or interview on your blog about the book(s) or about the author.
12) Write a review for or other online bookstore. (From Miralee: Post reviews everywhere you can. Amazon, B&,, Goodreads, Facebook, they're all a huge help)
13) Email a photo of yourself with the book(s) to your favorite author. If you send one to Bly Books, we’ll feature it at “On A Western Trail” blog … attach it to email and send to janet(at)blybooks(dot)com.  The same for Miralee's books. Send a pic of yourself with one of your favorite books of mine to miraleef at gmail dot com. 
So...what can you do this week to help Janet, myself, or another author you love? We appreciate your help more than you can possibly imagine!
Leave a comment about what you will do for one of us, and be entered into a drawing for an ARC (advanced reader copy) of my brand new book releasing June 1st. And if you actually do one of the things listed above and come back and let me know, you'll get three more entries. If you follow my blog or Janet's, let me know, and you'll get another, so five total possible. 

The point of this give away is to find influencers who are willing to help promote my new release. I'd love to have you help Janet, as well, with the book she helped finish writing for her husband, Steven Bly. The ARC copies I'll give away are unproofed book, fully bound, with all the content intact, but not the final copy. They may not be given away, sold, or donated. You are not obligated to buy anything, nor do you have to promise a 5 star review, and it is open only to residents of the U.S.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Kathleen Fuller--Read the Entire First Chapter of Her New Amish Novel

                Today I'm featuring Kathleen Fuller--
Author Extraordinaire of Christian Fiction and a Personal Friend

Bio: Kathleen Fuller is the author of over twenty-five novels. Her latest book, Letters to Katie, is the third book in the Middlefield Family series, and releases May 7, 2013. Kathleen lives in Geneva, OH with her husband and three children. For more information about her books, visit

To download the first three chapters of Letters to Katie, click  here.

And here's a preview of the first chapter. Enjoy!

Letters to Katie
Chapter 1
            “Oh, Katherine. This is so schee.”

            Katherine Yoder smiled at her best friend, Mary Beth. She’d spent hours working on the baby quilt, making sure the tiny stitches were as perfect as possible for Mary Beth’s new baby.  “I’m glad you like it.”

            “Of course I do.” Mary Beth touched the soft flannel quilt, running her fingers over the pale yellow, blue, and peach blocks. Each block had a ragged edge, a new pattern she hadn’t attempted before. The simple style was well suited for a baby, and Mary Beth’s was due within a few weeks.

            “I love it.” Mary Beth folded the quilt and placed it on her knees, her expanded belly barely allowing the space. “Danki for such a beautiful gift.  Although I don’t see how you have the time, working so many hours at the restaurant.”

            All I have is time, Katherine thought. She pushed the self-pity aside and managed a smile. She didn’t want to ruin the moment between them with jealousy. Unlike Mary Beth Shetler, Katherine didn’t have a husband—and soon a child—to take care of. Outside of working at Mary Yoder’s and helping her parents at home, her only other pursuits were her sewing and needlework.  She was always busy, yet longed for something different. Something more.

Apparently God had other plans. 

            Mary Beth managed to rise from the chair in her tiny kitchen. Her husband Chris had built the four-room home behind Mary Beth’s parents’ property. The dwelling resembled a dawdi haus, and likely would be used as such once the rest of Mary Beth’s siblings—Johnny, Caleb, Micah, and Eli—married and left home. But for now, the tidy, cozy home was enough.

            And more than Katherine had.

            Mary Beth placed the quilt on the table. “I’m glad you came over. Since I’ve gotten so big, I haven’t gotten out much.” Her light blue dress draped over her bulging belly.

Katherine’s eyes widened. “Are you sure you’re not having twins?”

            “Nee.” Her friend laughed. “But I look like I am.” With a waddling gait she moved to the cabinet. “Do you want anything to drink?”

            Katherine shook her head. “I can’t stay too long. I wanted to make sure you got the quilt before the boppli arrived. I have to work later today.”
            “Maybe just a few minutes?” Mary Beth went back to the table and sat down. She reached for Katherine’s hand. “It’s been so long since we talked. ”

            “We’ve both been busy.” She squeezed her friend’s hand. “And you’ll be even busier in a few weeks.”

            “Ya.” A radiant glow appeared on Mary Beth’s cheeks. “But I don’t want us to drift apart. You’re mei best friend.”

            Katherine released her hand. “And I promise I’ll be the best aenti to your boppli.”

            “The baby has plenty of onkels, that’s for sure.” Her smile dimmed a little.

            Katherine frowned. “What’s wrong? It’s not the boppli, is it?”



“Chris is fine too. We’re happier than we’ve ever been.”

            “Then what is it?”

            Mary Beth sighed, but she didn’t reply.

            “You know you can tell me anything. If something’s troubling you, I want to help.”

            Her friend looked at Katherine. “It’s Johnny.”

            Katherine’s heart twisted itself into a knot. She glanced away before steeling her emotions. “What about Johnny?”

            “Are you sure you want to talk about him?”

            “I’ve accepted that there’s no future for us. What I felt for Johnny was a childhood crush.”

A crush. The truth was, Katherine had loved Mary Beth’s twin brother Johnny for as long as she could remember. For years she held out hope for a chance, however small, however remote. She had clung to that dream as if she were drowning and it was her only lifeline.

            But not anymore. 

            She sat straight in the chair, brightened her smile, and said, “What’s going on with him?”

            “He’s been acting. . .different.”

            “What do you mean?”

            “Distant. Partly because he’s been working so many hours at the buggy shop.  Mamm said she barely sees him except for church service. He leaves early in the morning and comes home late. But when he is around, he’s quiet.”

“That doesn’t sound like him,” Katherine said. “Do you think he’s keeping something from your familye?”

Something. . .or someone?

Despite Katherine’s vow not to care, her heart constricted again at the thought.

“I don’t know.” Mary Beth’s brown eyes had lost the warmth they’d held moments ago. “He’s becoming like a stranger to me. To all of us. We’ve drifted apart.” Her smile faded. “Like you and I have.”

            Katherine shook her head in protest.  “You know I’m always here for you.”

            Tears welled in Mary Beth’s eyes.

Katherine drew back. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to make you cry.”

            “I’m always crying.” Mary Beth wiped her eyes. “It makes Chris ab im kopp. Hormones, I’m sure.” She sniffed, wiping her eyes. “I’m glad we’re still best friends.”

            Katherine hugged Mary Beth. “We always will be.”


         Johnny Mullet put his hands on his hips and surveyed his new property. Four acres, a small house and an even smaller barn. All his.

         The sad little farm didn’t look like much. But by the time he finished fixing everything up, no one would recognize it. He glanced at the empty pasture on the left side of the house. Tall grass, green and dense, swayed against a southerly breeze. He planned to purchase that acreage, too. Expand, and make his horse farm something he could be proud of.

         If only Daed could see. . .
          At the thought of his father, the grin faded from his face.

         Hochmut, his father would say. Pride.

         The worst character flaw any Amish could have.

         But was there something wrong with feeling satisfied after hard work? After a job well done?

         This wasn’t about pride. It was about independence. Making a good living. He’d seen his family struggle. He didn’t want that for his future. A future that, God willing, wouldn’t include only him.

         With the hazy orange sun dipping below the horizon, Johnny hopped into his buggy and headed home. Ten minutes later he pulled up to his parents’ house. He was late for supper. Again. He quickly put up his horse and hurried into the house, sliding into his seat just as his father closed his eyes for grace.

         After prayer, his mother passed his father a platter of ham. He speared a slice with his fork, peering at Johnny as he did. “Late day at work again?”

         Johnny picked up a roll from the basket on the table. He drew in a deep breath. “Nee.”

         “Then why are you late?”

         “I bought a farm.”

         Silence. Johnny glanced around the table. Caleb’s mouth dropped open, and Micah’s fork was poised in mid-air. Even six-year-old Eli gave him a funny look.

         “You what?” His mother’s eyes went wide with shock.

         “You know that house down the road a piece? The one with the barn in the back?”

         “You mean that shack?” Caleb shook his head.

         Micah scooped up a forkful of green beans. “Calling it a shack is a stretch.”

         Their father cleared his throat. The boys ducked their heads and kept eating. He turned to Johnny. “When did you do this?”

         “Signed the paperwork yesterday.”

         “Where did you get the money?”
         He was already tired of the third degree, but he had expected no less. “Savings. From my job at Gideon Bender’s.”

         “You must have gotten it for a song,” Caleb added. “Or less than a song. Maybe just a note.” He chuckled.

         “Caleb.” His father shot him a silencing look before turning to Johnny again.  “I wish you had consulted me first.”

         “I’m an adult, Daed. I didn’t think I had to.” Seeing the flash of hurt in his father’s eyes, he added, “Trust me. I know what I’m doing.”

         “I hope so.”

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Granddaughter is Coming!!

I'll admit to being just a little bit excited....ok, who am I kidding....a whole lot excited! Like, over the moon excited! 

What's happening that would have me in such a state, you ask? Can you get a hint from the color of ink I chose?

Tomorrow night by this time our family should be welcoming a new granddaughter into the world. Kate Isabelle Ferrell is due to arrive tomorrow as they've decided to induce delivery. Our son and his lovely wife live about 2 1/2 hrs away, so it will depend on how late in the day the blessed event happens as to whether we make the trip tomorrow or Monday. We don't want to tire our daughter-in-law too much if she has a long day of it and is exhausted. 

I'll post on Monday evening or Tuesday with the news, the stats and best of all, pictures! I hope you'll rejoice with me as I enter a new phase in my life--one I've been looking forward to for a long time--one of my kids presenting me with a child of their own. It doesn't get much better than that. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Win a Historical Novel by Mary Connealy

Swept Away by Mary Connealy--This One is a Keeper!

Swept AwayThis is my first book by Mary Connealy. Let me preface by saying I wasn't sure if it would be something I'd enjoy. I'd heard reviewers in the past say Mary's style is romantic comedy and that doesn't fit with what I typically enjoy.

I was wrong.

The characters were wonderfully drawn and strong, and the story was interesting, not silly, with touches of humor that I could thoroughly relate to and enjoy. I LOVE historical novels set in the old west, and a romance makes it even better. I enjoyed everything about this book and will definitely be looking for others by this author from now on.

I would highly recommend this book.

When a cowboy focused on revenge encounters a woman determined to distract him, there’s going to be trouble in Texas!
Swept away when her wagon train attempts a difficult river crossing, Ruthy MacNeil isn’t terribly upset at being separated from the family who raised her. All they’ve ever done is work her to the bone. Alive but disoriented, she’s rescued by Luke Stone…so unfortunately, there are more chances to die in her immediate future.
Luke is on a mission to reclaim the ranch stolen from his family. But the men currently on the property won’t let it go without a fight. Luke plans to meet up with friends who will help him take back the land, and since he can’t just leave Ruthy in the middle of nowhere, she’s going to have to go with him.
But the more time Luke spends around the hardworking young woman, the more he finds himself thinking of things besides revenge. Will Ruthy convince him to give up his destructive path and be swept away by love?
Now for the giveaway....
the winner must live int he US. To enter, please leave a comment telling us if you've ever read any of Mary's books and what your favorite genre is to read. If you only leave a comment saying you want to be entered to win, you won't be entered (I like to see that you've actually read the blog post and aren't just finding book giveaways and scrolling to the end to leave a comment). 
Be sure you leave a way for me to contact you in case you win. 
If you want a second entry, sign up to follow my blog, or let me know you already do, and I'll enter your name twice. 
Drawing will be done this coming week end. Thank you!!!

I was given a copy of this book to review but that in no way influenced my review.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Speaking for Christ--and About Books!

Miralee Ferrell at the Yakima, WA, Church Librarians Conference 

Have I mentioned I love speaking to groups? I do. Whether it be speaking on a spiritual subject or talking about my writing career, I love sharing the joy I find in my faith or my work with others. 

I've spoken at historical societies, women's luncheons and teas, women's conferences, at the North West Church Librarian's Conference, at retreats, and in churches, both on Sunday morning, Wednesday night and special services. 

So if you are located in the Pacific Northwest and are in need of a speaker this spring, summer or fall, drop me a note. I'd love to chat with you about it, and have the opportunity to meet you in person, whatever your need might be. 

God bless!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Moving Those Mountains

Mt. Adams, Washington State

Pretty, isn't it? I see this mountain every time I drive home, and I love it. But I'm not crazy about the mountains that keep rearing up in my path as I journey through life. We've had more than our share of those the past two years, and most of them have centered around financial challenges. Businesses spiraling, a job lost, people who took advantage, and debt that kept growing with not enough income to keep up. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, I'm simply stating what we've been dealing with for sometime. Mountains that looked nearly insurmountable--craggy outcroppings that left hands bleeding and raw just trying to hang on and not fall into a crevice. 

Have you experienced that in your life lately? Maybe it's financial or a health issue--or a relationship you treasured gone sour. Someone who hurt you when you didn't expect it--a child who strayed down the wrong path or a spouse who deserted you when you needed them the most. 

Whatever your mountain, let me assure you that God is NOT ignoring you. In fact, He may be trying to get your attention--or He may be quietly fighting on your behalf as Satan attempts to tear you apart. 

Lately I've been doing something I used to do, but had kind of forgotten. I've been praising God out loud for His provision even when it seemed there was none in sight. I've been speaking scriptures while I pray, proclaiming that what He said is true....He WILL provide for our needs. He does want us to prosper and be in health, even as our souls prosper. He cares for us and will never abandon us, or allow us to carry more than we can bear...He will bear it for us. 

And you know what? Hope is rising. God is moving. Things are changing in the spiritual realm, and I'm beginning to see changes in the natural, as well. Life isn't perfect by any means, but I know my God is in control and there is nothing that's happening that He can't change or turn for my good. 

Hold on, friends. Press through to victory. Don't give up. God doesn't send the trial, he allows Satan to send them so we can whip the enemy to bring glory to God. 

1 John 4:4

New International Version (NIV)
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Do Dandelion Wishes Always Come True?

Blowing on Dandelions, by Miralee Ferrell
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.

Releasing June 1 at a store near you, or purchase on any online book selling site,

This is the first book in a three-book series, but it does stand alone. The story will be completed in book one, and we'll follow two secondary characters from this book on into book two, with much of the plot taking place in a boardinghouse on the outskirts of Baker City, Oregon, in 1880. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Scam a Day Will Take Your Money Away

Gorgeous, isn't she? This is our 51' sailboat that we've had listed on a few internet boat sites and apparently it was the perfect lure for a scammer.

We received an inquiry with a few specific questions, then the man, "David", said he was interested in buying our boat, but he wouldn't be able to come see it for a few weeks. He said he'd like to send us a check and have us hold it for him. Several emails later (that still didn't answer or clear up all of our questions) he sent a check via Fed Ex Overnight Global Express from Canada.

Now that should've made us feel confident it was real, as well as that it being a cashier's check, right?

Nope. I smelled a scam from the beginning, but figured there might be a 1% chance he was legit, so we decided to play it out. The check was for the exact asking price, and David was in no hurry to come get the boat. In fact, he stated he'd make transportation arrangements after it cleared. where's the scam?

I took the check to the bank and discovered it was counterfeit. Not drawn on a real account but a check designed to look real that was actually fake. Depositing it would have gotten us a bad check fee, and of course, if we'd tried to use any of it, our checks might have bounced.

We turned him in to the local Sheriff who could do nothing, since it was out of the country. He suggested the State Attorney General. They said they don't deal with fraud/scams/criminal cases and to take it to the FBI. They could have cared less since the check didn't come via the mail. Fill out a fraud form on the internet and don't bother us.

We let David think we'd deposited the check, and two days later discovered 'the rest of the story'. He wrote saying he'd caught his wife in bed with his best friend and since the boat was a gift for her, he needed his money back ASAP, although we could 'keep' 5% of the money for our trouble.

We ignored him, and he got more insistent for about 24 hrs, then quietly disappeared, apparently figuring out we'd uncovered the truth.

The lesson? Don't assume because it's a cashier's check OR arrives by overnight express that it's legit. Take it to your local bank and have them verify first, before you deposit it, and NEVER, NEVER send money back or let the person take the item you're selling until the check clears.

We're so thankful we didn't fall for this scam, but the sad fact is, a lot of people do, or these bottom-feeders wouldn't keep doing what they do.

Have you ever fallen for a scam? What happened and did the people ever get caught? Any other advice you'd like to offer my readers? Please share!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Kim Vogel Sawyer--A VERY Talented Author!

From Bethany House Publishers 

CBD 2009 Bestseller; CBA Bestselling Author Kim Vogel Sawyer


To protect their oldest son from forced military involvement, Reinhardt and Lillian Vogt make the difficult decision to leave their Mennonite village of Gnadenfeld on the grassy plains of Russia and settle in America, the land of freedoms. Reinhardt and his foster brother Eli Bornholdt, who agreed to accompany the family, harbor wonderful dreams of establishing farms in the newly-established state of Kansas, stirring Lillian's excitement for their venture. When tragedy strikes on the journey, Lillian's enthusiasm melts well as her confidence that God will care for her. Can Lillian recapture the long-held faith of her fathers in an unfamiliar, untamed land? 


I loved this book....the deep characterizations, the heart-tugging emotions portrayed, the awesome romance that developed slowly and naturally, as well as the story that wouldn't let go, long after I finished reading. 

I highly recommend Kim Vogel Sawyer if you enjoy historical romance, and even if you don't, give her a try. She has never disappointed me in any of her many books that I've read. Truly a strong voice in the Christian community and one I believe you'll come to love. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Buzzard, the Bat, and the Bumblebee

This is not original to me, and I'm sure many of you have seen it various places on the internet or in an email forward, but it's so true, and was so applicable for me today, that I had to share CASE you haven't seen it.


If you put a buzzard in a pen that is 6 feet by 8 feet

and is entirely open at the top,

The bird, in spite of its ability to fly, will be an absolute prisoner.

The reason is that a buzzard always begins a flight from the ground

with a run of 10 to 12 feet.

Without space to run, as is its habit, it will not even attempt to fly,

But will remain a prisoner for life in a small jail with no top.



The ordinary bat that flies around at night, a remarkably nimble creature in the air,

Cannot take off from a level place. If it is placed on the floor or flat ground, all it can

do is shuffle about helplessly and, No doubt, painfully, until it reaches some slight 
from which it can throw itself into the air. Then, at once, it takes off like a flash.



A bumblebee, if dropped into an open tumbler, will be there until it dies, unless it is taken out.

It never sees the means of escape at the top, but persists in trying to find some way out

Through the sides near the bottom. It will seek a way where none exists, until it completely 

destroys itself.


In many ways, we are like the buzzard, the bat, and the bumblebee.

We struggle about with all our problems and frustrations, never realizing that all we have to do is look up!

That's the answer, the escape route and the solution to any problem...

Just look up!

Sorrow looks back,

Worry looks around,

But faith looks up!

Live simply,

Love generously,

Care deeply.

Speak kindly, and

Trust in our Creator,

Who loves us.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Who Can You Trust?

I've been thinking about this lately--who can I really trust? Not because I've been betrayed recently, but I want to use wisdom in where I trust my heart. No, I'm not looking for romance, as I'm happily married, and I do trust my husband. I also trust my mother, my kids and a few close friends.

That's not what I'm talking about here. When trouble hits and you want to talk to someone, but it's sensitive and maybe even hurtful, where do you turn? When everything seems to be falling apart, what do you do?

My husband and I have endured a lot of stress the past two years, with our business failing, Allen getting laid off recently, and getting hit with some health problems. I realized that, while I have friends and family who care, none of them could make the stress go away--none could offer the fix I wanted. So why was my first impulse to pick up the phone and call my mom, my grown kids, or a friend? Wasn't that putting my stress on their shoulders? Yes, they did pray, and I value that above all else.

But only God can change my circumstances. He is my provider, my healer, my comforter, my friend. He goes to war on my behalf, champions me when I'm despondent, fights for me when I'm under attack. He brings peace when I'm confused and gives answers where there are none. I can trust him. Totally. Completely. Forever. With everything.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Do Not Be Afraid--The Lord Will Fight For You!

By Kathi Macias    Communicating the vision… (Hab.2:2)

And Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the
salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today.

For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.
The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace." (Exodus 14:
13-14, NKJV).

At last, after years of enslavement and degradation, the Israelite's had escaped from Egypt! Not only had they escaped, but they had done so with jewels and money, livestock and clothing, and everything they'd been deprived of during their lengthy sojourn. Now they were free, and joy
bubbled up in their hearts and no doubt overflowed in their words and actions.

Then, in a brief moment, everything changed. They found themselves with the uncrossable Red Sea on one side and their infuriated former captors closing in on the other. There was no way of escape. None. The situation was as hopeless as it could get.

Ever been there? Who hasn't, right? You've been in the midst of a seemingly unending trial and then suddenly it seems deliverance has come at last. You've scarcely begun to celebrate when once again you find yourself on the verge of destruction. All hope of escape is gone. There is
nowhere to turn except to God. Which, of course, is what He intended all along.

Can you imagine the recently-delivered Israelite's level of terror and despair at that point? Their joy had just been turned to horror, and the only choice they had was between drowning in the sea or slaughter at the hands of the Egyptians.

Moses proved himself a wise leader at that crucial moment. He knew there was nothing he could do to help his people. Only God could deliver them now. And so Moses declared, "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace."

Do not be afraid.

The Lord will fight for you.

Those are the words we all need to hear, not just when we're between the proverbial rock and a hard place, but always-every day, at every juncture of our lives. There is no reason to fear because the very God who delivered us from bondage will fight for us! Can there be any better
assurance than that?

Romans 8:31 asks, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" Who, indeed? Nothing or no one can harm or defeat us because God is the One who fights for us. Wow, what a great truth-one that should set our feet to dancing and our mouths to singing! For Romans 8 also declares that, no matter what difficulties or hardships we face, "we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (verse 37).

If you're hemmed in by threats or enemies or circumstance today and there seems to be no way out, don't despair. Remember, it is the Lord who fights for you, and you are more than a conqueror through Him.

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