Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Miralee Ferrell - Blowing On Dandelions

Welcome Miralee Ferelle to Ink Dots. Miralee and her husband, Allen, live on 11 acres in the Columbia River Gorge. They have two grown children and recently their son and his wife presented them with a beautiful new granddaughter. 
Miralee has been writing since 2005, and her first book was published in 2007. Since then, she’s had 7 books published, both in women’s contemporary fiction and historical fiction, with another 6 under contract. Her western romance, Love Finds You in Sundance, WY, was awarded the Will Rogers Medallion for Excellence in Western Fiction and her newest release, Blowing on Dandelions, is the first in a three book series set in Oregon. Miralee loves interacting with people, ministering at her church, riding her horse and playing with her dogs. She also speaks at various women’s functions and has taught at conferences.
You can find her at: www.miraleeferrell.com

Blowing On Dandelions - 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.

Here's more about Mirallee Ferrell...

If I could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, it would be... That’s an easy one. To Kake, Alaska, a small native Alaskan village on an island not far from Petersburg. The reason? My husband is working there for the summer, we’ve already been apart 3 months, and he won’t be back for another 2 ½ months. Can you tell I’m missing him? Yes! I hope you get to go soon! 

One thing I enjoyed today is... Taking time to have lunch with my daughter and her husband between getting four loads of hay for their three horses and my one. I love my kids, and it’s always such a joy to spend time with them.

A secret pleasure of mine is... I love gadgets, whether it be electronic or other. For example, I was in a storage store not long ago and found the neatest little thing you screw on top of a big 2 liter jug of soda after it’s been opened. It has a rubber bulb on top that you squeeze. It pumps air into the bottle and keeps it from going flat for days. I bought it, and it works!

A moment that changed my life is... The day my first child was born. I had no idea how completely my life would be poured into our two children and how much fulfillment it would bring. They are still two of my closest friends, and I love spending time with my daughter, my son, their spouses, and now my brand new granddaughter, Kate, who will be three months old in early July.

When I was a child I wanted to... Live on a ranch and raise horses…and of course, marry a cowboy. I didn’t get the cowboy or the ranch, but I’ve owned horses since shortly after marrying, and our house sits on eleven acres out in the country, so I guess I came close.

I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but... I’m sitting here popping mini-chewy Sweet Tarts in my mouth as I write. My daughter introduced them to me, and I’m afraid I’m forming an addiction. They are so yummy!


Thanks for visiting with us Miralee. It's been fun learning more about you, and Blowing On Dandelions sounds like a great book. 

If you'd like the chance to win a copy of Blowing On Dandelions, tell us what your secret lolly/candy pleasure is. You might love Minites, like me. Or Sweet Tarts, like Miralee. Share your favourite and you'll be in the draw. Winner announced on Friday in this comment thread. 

Good luck and Happy Reading, 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Lori Copeland ~ Sisters of Mercy Flats

Lori Copeland is a popular best- selling contemporary and historical Christian author. Her books have been nominated for the prestigious Christy Award, received two Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Awards, Holt Medallion Awards in addition to having her books appear on the Publishers Weekly and CBA Best seller lists. Lori makes her home in Missouri with her husband Lance, three sons and ever growing family. 

Sisters of Mercy Flats ~ The three wily and beautiful McDougal sisters can swindle a man faster than it takes to lasso a calf. But their luck is running out, and they're about to be hauled off to jail. When the wagon carrying them falls under attack, each sister is picked up by a different man. Unfortunately for Abigail, she's grabbed by a twit of a shoe salesman, Mr. Hershall Digman. She steals his horse and rides off to the nearest town, not giving him another thought...until she discovers those secret papers in his saddlebags. Could Mr. Digman be a Confederate spy?

As if to prove it, the man who comes storming after her is no shoe salesman, but a handsome captain who wants his papers back...at any cost. And Abigail wants a ride back home. Together they embark on his mission, determined not to trust each other...or the God who won't seem to let them go. 

Welcome Lori Copeland. It's a pleasure to have you visit Ink Dots this week. What else can you share with us? 

If I could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, it would be... Germany. I would love to take a cruise down the Rhine River. The adventure has been on my to-do list forever and I’m hoping that soon I’ll realize my dream. That's something my Beloved and I have top of our list, too. 

One thing I enjoyed today is... Sunshine! We’ve been in a season of severe storms and lots of rain. This morning the sun was out, the flowers were perky and it’s a beautiful season to be alive.

A secret pleasure of mine is... Old movies. Sometimes when I’m stressed I slip away to another part of the house and watch some of my favorite that include: You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, Return to Me and Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. I love them all!

A moment that changed my life is... The day I became a mother for the first time. I gazed into my infant’s eyes and I knew that my life would never be the same.

When I was a child I wanted to... Be in the circus. I longed to be one of the pretty women who swung on the high ropes in gorgeous costumes.

I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but... I’d still like to be in the circus, gorgeous and being swung on a high rope.


If you'd like the chance to win Lori's fabulous book, Sisters of Mercy Flats, please leave a comment below to enter the draw. Tell us which old movie is much loved in your home. When I was growing up it was The Sound of Music, and for obvious reasons, The Wizard of Oz. How about you? 

I'll announce the one lucky Ink Dots winner on Friday. 
Good luck and happy reading,

Monday, June 10, 2013

Carrie Fancett Pagels ~ Return to Shirley Plantation

I'm welcoming Carrie Fancet Pagels back to Ink Dots. Last time we chatted, Carrie was pre-published, waiting for her big break. Now, she's back with her deubt releaseReturn to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance, a Kindle Civil War best seller. Congratulations on the release of your novella, Carrie! What a wonderful achievement. 

Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance  Abducted against his will, Matthew Scott is conscripted into the Confederate army because of his Copperhead father’s political leanings. Injured at Malvern Hill, Matthew is taken by the Union army to Shirley Plantation in Virginian where he is tended by seamstress Angelina Rose, a freed slave. Given an opportunity to leave the South and start a new life for herself, Angelina remained for the sake of her sister’s orphaned twins who are still enslaved. Will Matthew’s return to Shirley Plantation settle a mystery concerning his father’s past? And help Matthew find the family he longs for.

Welcome back, Carrie. What more can we discover about you this time around?

If I could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, it would be…Mackinac Island—and I AM going there very soon!!! When I read that question I had planned to cancel my trip because of my continuing foot problems. But circumstances now have me going. Love Mackinac Island!!!

One thing I enjoyed today is... talking with a freelance editor who is helping me with my Christmas short story for Guidepost Books.  She is so helpful and encouraging. Giving a shout out to Vicki McCollum who I met several years ago through Fellowship of Christian Writers where she headed up the critique group. 

A secret pleasure of mine is... making beaded jewelry. Maybe not so secret but I haven’t gotten to do a lot of it in a while. But then my daughter came over and we made some things together.

A moment that changed my life is... surviving a wreck in which I could have been killed. I believe God’s hand spared me from certain death. Thank you, Jesus!

When I was a child I wanted to... be a ballerina! I thought that was the coolest thing ever. And I wanted to be an author! 

I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but... I’m afraid of going to Australia. I had the opportunity to be considered for a professional presentation there, but was having nightmares about it! My boss, at the time, was going over there and speaking at Australian conferences. Oh, what a shame you didn't make it. We would have tied up the crocodiles for you. :) Perhaps some other time. 


If you'd like the chance to win Carrie's Return to Shirley Plantation, AND a pair of her gorgeous handmade earrings, tell us about a place you'd be scared to visit. What destination gives you nightmares, or are you the fearless traveller? I'll announce the winner in the comment thread on Friday. 

Good luck and happy reading,

Friday, June 07, 2013

Steps to Yesteryear - Winter Mornings

Photo Source - The Murmuring Cottage
The wooden fence around our vegetable garden soaked up so much of last night's rain, by midday it steamed like a locomotive in the winter sun. I wish I had my phone on me when I spied the sight... and regret not running upstairs to grab it for a fabulous photo opportunity. It's not everyday I see the fence pumping plumes of steam befitting an olde worlde railway platform. 

But I've had the gadgets hiden most of this week. Beeps and rings turned to low, and the internet silenced, until the words I wish to see before day's end fill the page. (ok, some gadgets don't ever dim ~ I may gag Google, but the cursor remains)

Huddled beneath my writing shawl, I've nestled into a wintery routine of low lights, candles and pots of tea... and let the dawn frosts hit all momentum thieves.

My Writing Shawl ~ Crabapple House

I'm drawn to early morning. Especially in winter. Before much of the day's had a chance to melt into busyness, I love to scratch away at my journal with ink pen and capture the thoughts that follow dreams. To ponder my plans for the day and God's nudging of my heart as I'll record it, someday... further along.  

Better than a steaming bowl of porridge, a morning talk with God fortifies me for the day ahead. 

But not everyone likes an early start. I was one such mama when my babies rang the wake up bells. But now, I find the silence of a household not yet awake, a stolen moment in time. How about you? Are you a morning person, or are you just gearing up when the sun sinks into a glorious puddle? Or perhaps, you're somewhere in between...

Blessings for a wonderful weekend, 

Monday, June 03, 2013

Stephanie Landsem ~ The Well

It's my pleasure to welcome Stephanie Landsem to Ink Dots. Stephanie writes historical fiction because she loves adventure in far-off times and places. In real life, she’s explored ancient ruins, medieval castles, and majestic cathedrals around the world. Stephanie is equally happy at home in Minnesota with her husband, four children, and three fat cats. When she’s not writing, she’s feeding the ravenous horde, avoiding housework, and dreaming about her next adventure—whether it be in person or on the page. 
The Well ~ Could he be the one we’ve been waiting for?
For the women of the Samaritan village of Sychar, the well is a place of blessing—the place where they gather to draw their water and share their lives—but not for Mara. Shunned for the many sins of her mother, Nava, Mara struggles against the constant threats of starvation or exile.
Mara and Nava’s lives are forever changed with the arrival of two men: Shem, a mysterious young man from Caesarea, and Jesus, a Jewish teacher. Nava is transformed by Jesus, but his teachings come too late and she is stoned by the unforgiving villagers. Desperate to save her dying mother, Mara and Shem embark on a journey to seek Jesus’ help—a journey that brings unexpected love and unimaginable heartbreak.
Want to know more about the writer of The Well? Here's a few of Stephanie's secrets...
If I could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, it would be...I've traveled a great deal and hope to go many more places. I've been to Europe, Africa, and this summer I'll be in Brazil. But if I could go anywhere, it would be to the Great Barrier Reef. My children and I have talked about it since they were small, and it is our dream vacation. We'd want at least a month to explore the beaches and see some of the great Australian continent. What a great answer! Let me know when you plan on visiting and I'd love to be your tour guide if you make it to Melbourne. 
One thing I enjoyed today is... My oldest daughter is at college most of the year, and the other three kids are busy with work, school, friends, and activities. But the moment that I love is in the summer when everyone gets home for the night. All the cars are home, we're together, and I have a feeling of peace in my heart.
A secret pleasure of mine is... getting lost. I know that's usually what people fear the most when they are in a new place. But I think it's the only way to truly get to know a new city or country. You never know what you might find, and it might be better than what you were originally looking for.
A moment that changed my life is... stepping into the Koln Cathedral when I was 17, on my first trip to Germany. It is a massive, Gothic cathedral and when you look at it you can't even wrap your mind around the idea that generations of people built this amazing monument to God. It is so steeped in history, you can almost imagine the stones can speak.
When I was a child I wanted to... be an explorer. I still want to explore new cities, new countries and cultures. After my first trip to Germany when I was 17, I never lost the desire to travel and explore. I think that is why I write historical fiction. It's my way of exploring not only exotic places, but other times as well. And I can do it and still get dinner on the table and the kids to karate.
I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but... I'm deathly afraid of sharks. I know, it makes no sense. I live in landlocked Minnesota, as far from saltwater as you can get in the US and yet I still have nightmares about sharks. And yes, my answer to #1 still stands. If I ever get to the Great Barrier Reef, I'll just have to face my fears and jump in. Thanks for joining with us this week, Stephanie. I hope you get to explore the Great Barrier Reef (minus the sharks), and perhaps even get a little lost in Australia sometime soon. 
If you'd like to explore Stephanie's The Well, (e-book) please leave a comment below. I have a copy for one lucky Ink Dots friend. For your chance to win, tell us about a time you, or someone you love, got lost. I'm one of those mums who has a story about their lost child in a major shopping centre. It was not fun then, and still not much fun to think about now, even with our happy ending. 

How about you? Got a lost story? I'll announce the winner in the comment thread on Friday. Good luck and happy reading,