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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Spotlight on Miralee Ferrell and The Other Daughter

Today, I am one stop on a long blog tour of others who are also featuring this book. Find the complete list at the bottom of this interview. AND, Miralee will be doing a BONUS drawing for a FREE book from ALL of the comments left on ALL of the blogs on her tour. So, the more comments you leave on every blog, the more chances you'll have to enter. Visit them all and follow the tour. You'll not only learn a lot about Miralee, but you'll gain a LOT of chances to win.


I'm over 50, married for 35 years, and have two wonderful children, Marnee and Steven. I'm active at our small church, serving on staff with my ministerial license and working with women in a counseling/ministering capacity. My husband and I are looking forward to full retirement soon and taking off for a few months at a time on our 51' sailboat, where my writing will take on an entirely new creativity. We have a horse, a dog and two cats that my daughter and her husband will inherit while we're gone. Thankfully, they live on the adjoining property and are animals lovers, too. Visit my blog and my web site.

By Miralee Ferrell
Four-star Review from Romantic Times
Available Now!

The girl standing at the door took a deep breath, pulling her suitcase a little closer to her trembling legs. "My mama's dead. He's my daddy."

Susanne Carson knew that she could trust the love of her life—her husband, David—until she discovered a strange, unkempt young girl on their doorstep, claiming to be David's daughter.

Not that their marriage had ever been perfect—David's decision to embrace the Christian faith had strained their relationship. Susanne may not have agreed with his beliefs, but at least she trusted him. Had David been hiding this not-so-little secret from his past? He wanted Susanne to believe in his God, but believing hadn't done much to keep David out of another woman's arms.

As David confronts the truth of his past, Susanne must face her own moment of truth as her marriage is taken to the breaking point and the life of one young girl is left in her hands.

Read the entire opening scene at Miralee's web site.


1. You have a book about forgiveness, secrets, healing and faith. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

Great question and one has a very personal answer. I was brainstorming with a friend who suggested I use an experience from my life as the basis or theme for my first novel. I ran through several scenarios in my head, as we've had many interesting things happen in our marriage...some great, some not. This personal incident did indeed capture the essense of secrets, forgiveness and healing...not as much in my life as in our marriage and the life of an 18-year-old girl. About 17 years ago my husband received a letter stating a young woman believed him to be her biological father she'd never met. We agreed to meet and hear her story, and after some investigation came to believe he probably was her dad. The episode was similar to that of David in the book...a one-night-stand prior to his becoming a Christian, but that's where the similarity stops. He was not dating me at the time, and I had a strong relationship with the Lord and didn't have a problem accepting Trish into our lives.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced the characters of Susanne and David? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?

David's character and responses are much more me than my husband, and the way Susanne deals with stress depicted my husband in the earlier years of marriage. He struggled with alcohol and 'kicked against the pricks' to use a biblical term....or just plain fought against anyone's authority being above his, including God. That's since changed and our marriage is strong and stable, but it wasn't always. We did have a divided household where the aspect of our faith was involved and many times it was tough. Very tough. Some of David's frustrations with Susanne and her way of dealing with life came from my memories of the same type of circumstances.

3. What themes exist in The Other Daughter that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

The most important theme to me is the one of releasing control of your life to your Heavenly Father, and seeing that He cares more about your future than you ever can. Until a person bows their will to His and falls into His arms, there will be no true, lasting peace....and it's tough to find real forgiveness, or give it to others.

The character of Grandfather, a part Native American relative of David's, didn't exist in the first rough draft, but came quite some time after. He was brought into the picture to help both David and Susanne examine their motives and reactions to one another and to Brianna on a deeper level. He's a picture of unconditional love that we all wish for in our lives and the type of person we could all use, when we're heading the wrong direction.

4. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

The most difficult parts were the revising. I didn't really experience any struggles in the initial flew from my fingers and mind onto the computer screen as fast as I was able to type. I did the initial rough draft in five weeks, but the revising and editing and additional scenes took several times that long, as I had so much to learn. I found it difficult to tone down a couple of people who needed to be rude and or snotty, but also had to do so in a believable way. My first attempt was very sad....they were straight out of a Grade B movie, LOL!

My favorite parts I think, were developing the characters....especially the children and Grandfather. They came alive for me. Of course, the two younger kids, Josh and Megan, were very similar to my kids, Steven and Marnee at that age, so they sprang to life with little effort. There are no similarities to anyone else real besides those two people, and David and Susanne. But characterization comes easy to me, regardless and my greatest joy is working to develop characters the reader will feel they know. That's what I look for in a book and what I'm trying to give to my readers.

5. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

That's up to Kregel and my readers, quite literally. They choose not to give multiple book contracts to a new author, with good reason....they'd like to see some sales figures from book 1 before signing for book 2. So far I've had pretty good results, with my ranking steadily rising on CBD, but the jury's still out.

The second book is nearly finished and ready to present to Kregel and my editor there is excited about the story line. It follows a secondary character in The Other Daughter named Jeena....pronounced Gina.... She's a bit of a pill---not a Christian, a bit worldly and very career minded, but has had some very hard knocks growing up and a couple of devastating ones as an adult. So far my advance readers have wanted to spank her, hug her, cry with her and shake her....but the few that I've allowed to see it so far have been rooting for her to make it through the dark shadows that are rolling in around her. Sorry, wish I could tell you more, but don’t want to spoil it! Not sure of the title yet...but I'm considering Past Shadows or Sheltered...again, that will ultimately be Kregel's decision.

Thanks so much for having me here, it's been a lot of fun talking about some things that I'm not often asked.

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Thank you, Miralee, for being in the spotlight. Readers, leave a comment for your chance to be entered in the drawing for a FREE, autographed book. If you don't wish to be entered, say so when you post. This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.

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20th - Karen Phillips---Sky-High View
LaShaunda Hoffman and See Ya On The Net

21st - Angie Arndt---The Road I'm Traveling

22nd - Deena Peterson---Deena's Books

22nd - Teresa Morgan---Teresa Morgan's Blog

23rd - Rose McCauley---Stories of Faith, Hope and Love

23rd - Pattie Reitz and Fresh Brewed Writer

24th - Cecelia Dowdy---New Christian Fiction Reviews

Tiffany Amber Stockton--A Fiction-Filled Life (You're HERE already!)

25th - Bonnie Way---The Koala Bear Writer

Stormi Johnson---Write Thoughts

26th - Robin Grant---Queen Of Perseverance

27th - Delia Latham---The Melody Within

28th - Jennie McGhan and Jen's Life Journey

29th - Susan Lohrer ---Inspirational Editor

30th - Carla Stewart---Carla’s Writing CafĂ©

31st - Christina Berry--- Posting with Purpose


1st - Bonnie Leon---Bonnie's Blog

2nd - Jan Parrish---Bold and Free

3rd - Tina Helmuth---The Ink's Not Dry

4th - Teresa Slack and ShoutLife Blog

5th - Pam Meyers---A Writer’s Journey

6th - Betsy St. Amant---Betsy Ann's Blog

7th - Megan DiMaria---A Prisoner of Hope

8th - Christa Allan---CBAllan WordPress

9th - Susan Marlow---Suzy Scribbles---Homeschool Blogger

10th - Jamie Driggers---Surviving the Chaos

11th - Cindy Bauer----Christian Fiction Author & Speaker

12th - Angie Breidenbach---God Uses Broken Vessels

13th - Patricia Carroll---Patricia PacJac Carroll

14th - Toni V. Lee---Spreading Truth Through Fiction

15th - Camille Eide---Faith Inspiring Fiction

16th Lisa Jordan---Musings


Miralee Ferrell said...

Hi Tiff! Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog. You're questions were excellent and I enjoyed chatting with you. I'd be happy to answer any other questions your readers might have. Blessings! Miralee

Deborah said...

please enter me for this book. i must have been spaced out earlier lol.

Cherie J said...

Lots of new authors on the blog lately! That is so cool! Love trying new authors.

Anonymous said...

Add me for this one as well.

Thank you!

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

Well, this one was tough. Had Miralee and me both wondering if there was a conspiracy or something. No comments until Friday morning. VERY odd for this blog.

However, we DO have a winner and that is:

Vader's mom!

Congratulations. Email me with your mailing address and how you would like Miralee to personalize your book so she can send it out to you.

More winners tomorrow and Friday so check back on previous spotlights and blog tour posts to see if you've won!

ChristyJan said...

Miralee is a new author to me and I enjoyed learning more about her.