Miralee Ferrell


Author of Christian fiction and speaker, Miralee Ferrell is here to talk about her new book, Love Finds You in Last Chance, California.

Welcome, Miralee, I’m honored to be interviewing you again.

Hi Deborah, I’m thrilled you agreed to chat with me about my new book, thank you!

Miralee, will you tell us a little about Love Finds You in Last Chance, California?

All of the Love Finds You books are tied together in one way—they’re all set in real towns across the nation and all portray the life, setting and history of the time period the author decides to choose. My Last Chance novel is the first historical to release in the Love Finds You series. It’s now as much of a ghost town as is possible, with the entire town site given over to the encroaching forest. In the 1960’s the Forest Service tore down most of the old homes and businesses, as they were caving in and they felt they were a hazard. The only thing that remains of the “town” is one very small shed built in the 1930’s, the basement excavations, and some 100+ year old cedar posts with square headed nails. A few rusted cans and broken pieces of glass are scattered through-out the woods, as well. 

Here’s a summary of the story line:

It’s 1877 and Alexia Travers is alone in the world. Her father has died unexpectedly, leaving her burdened with a heavily mortgaged horse ranch. Marrying one of the town's all-too-willing bachelors would offer an easy solution, but Alex has no interest in marriage. Instead, she dons men's trousers and rides the range, determined to make the ranch a success on her own.

But despite Alex's best efforts, everything seems to go wrong: ranch hands quit, horses are stolen, and her father's gold goes missing. Alex is at her wit's end when wrangler Justin Phillips arrives in Last Chance with his young son, looking for a job. But there seems to be more to Justin's story than he's willing to share. Will Alex ever be able to trust him? More importantly, will the independent woman finally learn to depend on God?

What led you to choose Last Chance, CA as the setting for this novel?

It was one of the titles in a list that Summerside had chosen. I pitched a story line to the lead editor, and she felt a California setting might work well. The book was originally set as a contemporary, but when I discovered Last Chance no longer existed, I easily transitioned it into a historical.

I’ve seen the photos of your trip to what used to be Last Chance. How did it feel being there? Did you get a sense of your characters, or people like them living, working, and communing in this small town?

Not so much the town, as the entire geographical area. It was amazing to me that anyone would have chosen that site to begin with, as they had to transverse several miles of incredibly steep canyons to arrive there. Had silver not been found nearby in the 1860’s, Last Chance wouldn’t have been born. Just driving the roads and walking some of the trails left me in awe of what those rugged miners and pioneers must have gone through to survive in that area.

I think the main thing that fascinated me in the actual town site, was seeing the 150 yr old headstones in the little hidden cemetery, as well as the spring where the residents drew their water, and the ancient cedar posts still configured as a corral, where I guessed the blacksmith might have kept the horses. I also discovered (based on an entry in an 1860’s diary) the three mile long treeless plateau where the Traver’s ranch was set in my book. It’s now completely overgrown with timber, but at the time it was bare and a perfect spot for a horse ranch.

Did anything specific inspire any of the characters?

My inspiration for Alexia came from two places—the primary one being my grown daughter, Marnee. She's a very independent, clear thinking young woman who was raised loving and riding horses, and worked one summer as a cowgirl on a working ranch. Some of Alex's personality and character traits were my daughter's and some of the idea for Alexia grew out of researching women in the old west running their own ranch. The primary one was Kittie Wilkins, an amazing woman who ran a highly successful horse ranch in the late 1800's.

If Love Finds You in Last Chance, California were to be optioned for a feature film, which stars would you like to see play the parts of your characters?

For the female lead, I’d have Jennifer Garner play Alexia. Jennifer is a down to earth person with tomboy leanings, much like Alexia, and neither are flashy, flamboyant women. I could easily see the two being friends and maybe even taking a horseback ride together.
There was only one person who I felt could fill Justin’s role, and that was George Strait (when he was young) with his gorgeous, heart-stopping smile. He’d be the perfect Justin if he had dark blond hair instead of dark brown (we’d just have to bleach it, LOL!). Justin has the same sweet spirit that you see in George, and they both look great on a horse!

You claim to be a “mostly self-taught” author. Do you have any advice for “self-taught” newbies and others out there?

One of the biggest would be to find a mentor, critique group or strong writer’s group that you can partner with. Getting feedback and help from someone who’s ahead of you in the writing journey will help a young writer grow and improve their craft. Reading good books on the craft is also important, but I can’t stress enough the need to be connected in a writing community. Keep digging…keep learning and growing. Rejections will come, that’s one thing you can count on. Not everyone will love your work…that’s reserved for your mother and your best friends. Others will see the flaws and weakness, and a new writer needs to grow a thick skin, fast. But don’t take it personally, as each critique or comment is meant to help you grow, not to shoot you down. I had a lot of (positive) negative comments, if that makes sense…comments that were telling me what wasn’t working in my writing, but thankfully, done with kindness and with the desire to help me grow.

You’ve said writing was something you had been interested in at one time, years before a prophetic speaker told you it was your calling. How deep was that interest then, and what kept you from pursuing it?

I never had any thought of writing something that might one day be published. My interest lay in compiling a book or series of “letter type” works, that would chronicle myself and my husband’s spiritual and family journey. I made attempts to start it over the years, writing bits and pieces of memories, but never got very far. After the speaker prayed over me, I took it much more seriously, and over the next 3-4 months completed the ‘book’, ending with about 90k words. I’ve never polished it or gone back to it, as I felt it was meant for family use. I doubt it will ever be published, but it was a good writing exercise, and got me started in what I’m doing now.

I see that, in desiring to be an obedient and faithful Christian, you do not charge a fee for your speaking. While most speakers do, what else moved you to give of your time, talent and self for no compensation?

I’ve been involved in ministering to women (prayer and counseling) for years, and have never charged a fee. I believe the Lord is our rewarder, and we’re called to follow in His steps. If I’m asked to travel, I ask the place where I speak to pick up my expenses. If they decide to give a love offering, that’s fine. If they can’t or don’t think about it, that’s perfectly fine, as well. I don’t designate a fee and doubt I ever will, as I want to be available wherever the Lord wants me to go. Writing has never been about the money for me…but about speaking the words God gives me to share and praying it touches at least one heart along the way.

Miralee, what can we expect from you in the near future?

My next release returns to my original book, The Other Daughter. “Finding Jeena” will release (aprox) the end of Jan., next year. As you might be able to tell, it follows the not-so-nice friend of Susanne’s, Jeena. We find out why she was crying when she ran down the court-house stairs at the end of the book, and what makes her tick. You can find a brief summary of the book on my website under “books”. I hope to post the cover art by the end of April, as well.

I’m also working on another book for Summerside, set to release next February. I don’t have permission to release the title (town name) yet, as the release date has been changed once, and it will be another month or so until all the details are firm. I can share that it’s another historical, set at the turn of the century. I’m very excited about it, as it’s set in the Pacific NW, my neck of the woods!

I also am submitting another two proposals for future books, but that’s out there a ways. Both are historicals…one returns to the old west, the other is set in the roaring twenties!

Where can readers find you on the net?

I’m active on several spots…my web site of course, which is You can read about my personal journey into writing, check on upcoming new releases, see family pictures and more.

My blog where I post 1-2 times per week about a variety of subjects is 

I have a Facebook page

And a Facebook Fan Club for my books (and me).

One last question. A picture on your website shows a sailboat owned by you and your husband. Have you sailed anyplace you consider extra-special in recent years?

I wish I could say yes to this question. We bought the boat about five yrs ago, and my husband and three of his friends sailed it from Oakland, Ca., to Portland, Or., where we had it pulled out of the water and had the hull refiberglassed. I didn’t make that trip, as it was horrible weather and the storms and high waves forced them to port the boat three times on the way up, leaving it until the weather moderated. I did make the trip up the Columbia from Portland to our home port of Hood River, and we sail it on the river. But my husband had a number of large renovations to make it comfortable for a long voyage. We hope to live on it for 2-3 months at a time in the near future, when he completes the work.

Thank you so much, Miralee, for visiting. It’s been such a pleasure.

If you’d like to win an autographed copy of Love Finds You in Last Chance, California, just use my Contact page, and type “drawing” in the comments box. Miralee put a qualifier on the drawing, since her publicist has already allocated the books out for drawings. Miralee will sign and ship a free book if we get a minimum of 10 comments from 10 different people. And you need to answer this question: What was one of the reasons she would pick George Strait to play Justin?

The deadline to enter is April 24th.

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Content © Copyright 2018 Deborah M. Piccurelli
Deborah Piccurelli is an author and deborah piccurelli is a writer of Christian Suspence and Christian Fiction. Deborah Piccurelli writes suspence for Christians who want to read wholesome suspense and thriller writing. Deborah Piccurelli has written and authored in the midst of deceit a suspense novel. In the midst of deceit is a book that deborah m piccurelli has published, but deborah m piccurelli is writing other suspence works as well. Deborah Piccurelli writes thriller novels and has published In the Midst of Deceit. For more information about Deborah M Piccurelli you can visit her site Also, her tag line is Uncovering the Unthinkable. The phrase Uncovering the Unthinkable represents what Debbie Piccurelli writes in the books that she authors, expecially in the suspense novels.