Thursday, August 18, 2011

Drop by the Tombstone Saloon and Say Hello to Miralee!

Miralee has visited A Pen for Your Thoughts several times. What a blessing to have her join
us once again. And talk about a picture that FITS her style of writing! It's just perfect.
Come on by and spend a few moments with Miralee with me.

Miralee and her husband Allen have been married 39 yrs.
They live on 11 acres in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge
in southern Washington State, where they love to garden, play with their dogs, take walks, and go sailing. Miralee also
rides her horse on the wooded trails near their home with 
her grown daughter who lives nearby. She’s an avid reader
and has a large collection of first edition Zane Grey books,
which inspired her desire to write fiction set in the Old West.

Miralee serves as president of the Portland, Oregon,
chapter  of American Christian Fiction Writers and belongs to a number of writer’s groups.
She also speaks at women’s groups, libraries, and churches about her writing journey.
When  she started writing fiction Miralee believed that she’d always stay with women’s  contemporary, but has since branched out to historical romance.

Her fourth historical romance with Summerside Press in their Love Finds You series, set in Sundance, Wyoming just released. Miralee’s first three are set in 1877, Love Finds You in Last Chance, CA, 1902, Love Finds You in Bridal Veil, Oregon, and 1881, Love Finds You inTombstone, AZ.  The first two have a suspense thread as well as romance and the last two have a higher degree of action. 

Shirley: Welcome to the blog, Merilee. I LOVE the picture you decided to let us share! Let's start out with hearing about this new book of yours. In fact, this visit, we mostly just want to hear about you and your new book. So you're on.

Miralee: (Good to be here again, Shirley.) The book is called: Love Finds You in Sundance, WY.


Angel Ramirez is tired of living a lie. But can she learn to live like a lady?
On the run from a dangerous outlaw, Angel works her way across several states disguised as a boy and working as a varmint tracker and horse wrangler. After taking a job on a Wyoming ranch owned by a bachelor and his widowed sister, she finally reveals her true identity and must fight to prove her worth as a ranch hand while somehow discovering her role as woman.

Hiring a woman doesn’t sit well with Travis Morgan, and the dark-haired beauty is causing a ruckus among his cowboys. Just as Angel decides she’ll never be able to please her boss, an unexpected surprise arrives from across the ocean and makes trouble on the ranch. Will Angel leave with the person who’s come so far to claim her?

SKC: Sounds intriguing already. Will you share an excerpt with us?

Miralee: Here is a short excerpt:

Texas Panhandle, 1887
Angel Ramirez woke with a start, her heart pounding a rolling beat in her chest. Someone was in her room.
Inching her fingers under the edge of her pillow, her hand brushed against the cold steel of her Colt revolver. she eased the gun out and waited, allowing her vision to adjust to the partial darkness of the muggy August night. Uncle Jose had taught her to wait, never to rush when confronting an intruder -- the first shot might be her only one.
Rolling over onto her side, she pointed the gun at the door. "Who's there?"
A half moon sent tentative fingers of light through the small window near the foot of her bed and a dark form stepped forward. "It's Jose. Put your gun down, m'ija." Her uncle's accented drawl was absent -- the words short and clipped. "Get dressed and meet me outside. Hurry now." He slipped out the door and closed it carefully behind him.
Angel drew on her trousers and long-sleeved shirt, tugged on her boots, and shoved her sombrero onto her close-cropped curls. After a quick look around the room, she grabbed her rifle and headed outside. Jose raised his hand for silence and drew her into the nearby stand of trees, not far from their small, three-room cabin. "Keep your voice down. I don't want any of the men in the banda to hear."
The hair on the back of Angel's arms stood on end. "What's wrong?"
"Another cattle raid. I won't leave you behind. It's not safe for you here."
"With the men?"
"Yes. Bart Hinson's up to something."
Angel sucked in a breath between her teeth. "Hinson. He's the worst of this bunch. I don't like the way he looks at me."
Jose stifled what sounded like a curse and gripped her arm. "If anything happens to me tonight, promise me you'll ride out of here and never come back."
Her heart rate accelerated, but she patted his hand. "Nothing's going to happen to you."
He swung her toward him and leaned close, dropping his voice. "I don't trust Hinson. An outlaw banda is no place for a girl, even if you were raised here. You're eighteen and can take care of yourself away from this place." her uncle pointed to the rifle near her knee. "That rifle will take you far -- you shoot better than most men. Keep dressing like a boy and get work on ranches as a hunter or horse wrangler."

She tried to laugh off his concern, but the effort nearly choked her. "This is my home. You've had these feelings before, and you've always come back safely."
Jose placed his arm around her shoulders and squeezed. "I wish I'd made other choices years ago, m'ija. If your parents were alive, they wouldn't have chosen this life for you. I should have sent you back to your mother's people in Italy." He dug into the pocket of his denim jacket and removed a small bag. "There's gold in there -- enough to keep you a couple of years, if you're careful and work when you can."
She drew back, hating the thought of taking it. She'd never considered where Jose's money came from, but accepting a bag of gold procured from other people's loss didn't set right. besides, her uncle's words implied he might not be along. "You're scaring me."
He closed her fingers over the handful of gold. "I plan  on living for a long time, m'ija. but you must be ready." He swung away from her and called softly over his shoulder. "Saddle Bella, bring a bedroll, and put whatever you value most in your saddlebags -- quick. And whatever you do, stay close to me on the trail."
SKC: You have my interest. That's the truth. How did this book come to life?

Miralee: I'd had the idea for this book but only knew there would be a young woman raised in an outlaw band. I had no concept what she looked like or what her name might be. While drifting off to sleep one night, I saw a distinct picture of a black-haired woman in her early twenties with small bones, fine features, and wide, dark eyes. She proceeded to say, “My name is Angel. Angel Ramirez.” So, there you have it. I didn’t name Angel; she introduced herself to me. 

SKC: I love it. No one can say there's nothing in a dream. So, has this new book released yet?

Miralee: It officially released August 1. I love opening my books when they first come and reveling over the feel of something in my hands that I created. I LOVE writing Westerns.

SKC: It's only in the last couple of years, I've come to find out how much I enjoy reading them. As Christians, most of us are blessed by various scriptures we read. Do you have a special verse or Scripture passage, special to you, that you would be willing to share with us?

Miralee: I LOVE Jeremiah 29: 11-13….Verse 11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I cling to that verse many times when my life hits stormy waters, knowing that God has GOOD plans for me and that my hope is in Him, not in the world or what it can offer. That’s so comforting

SKC: Great verses, I agree. Tell us where our readers can find you.


SKC: I know there are a lot of readers who love what you write, myself included. Since you've generously offered to share your newest book with us this week, what question would you like to ask them?

Miralee: Do you think Western romances (historical) are making a comeback? What do you like about historical set in the Old West & would you like to see more of them in the future?

SKC: Great question. What's your answer folks? Drop us your comments, and we'll put you in our possibility for a giveaway basket.


Congratulations to Courtney Melone of Moxee, Washington! You've just won Miralee's new book. Be watching for it soon! And thank you so much for following A Pen for Your Thoughts.


  1. My copy of your book just came today. It went to the top of my to-be-read file, right after a manuscript I'm reading for an endorsement.

    You're cute in the picture. I'll bet your husband really liked it.

  2. I'm always game for more Westerns. I like the romances and I read as many new authors as I can find. I think I prefer Westerns to Prairie romances.
    Betty F
    Windsor, CA

  3. I have always been fascinated by the old west and novels written from the late 1800's/early 1900's. Yes, westerns do seem to be coming back quite a bit more.


  4. I think westerns will be around, along with other historical novels because people look back to a simpler time, not so wired as ours is, especially as our world has grown more complicated and at times threatening with unknown changes.

  5. I have always loved westerns and the cowboy/cowgirl era has a special appeal to me. They were so rough and ready back then. And the girls were so special. And I think there are about the same amount of westerns. Not sure if there are more or not.
    Would love to win a copy of your book!


  6. I personally never thought I'd enjoy reading western novels. I mis-judged them though and once a friend begged me to read a favorite western of hers, I've found that I LOVE westerns now! I would love to win a copy of this book! Thanks

    kcmelone at yahoo dot com

  7. Oh, I hope they are and yes, there can't be too many. What I like most is reading the Old West historicals as well as writing them. Is there anything better than opening a book and being transported back to this special time in our history?

    I love the Love Finds You books!

  8. Thanks, gals, I'm tickled you like my picture. It was tons of fun getting these taken and I got several great ones.

    So glad to hear most of you enjoy historical romance with a western slant. Sundance has a lot of action, adventure, romance, and great characters.I'd love to hear from any of you who end up reading it. Blessings!! Miralee

  9. I so enjoy a good Western, and romance was the only thing really missing from a Zane Grey, although he left a lot to the reader's imagination.
    This looks like a good story, I loved it that she donned trousers.

  10. I like many others grew up on westerns. There is nothing like a good black and white western. Brings back memories that's for sure.

    Great blog by the way !!!

  11. It was a simpler time, but people had to work hard in order to live. I do not envy that time period when it came to sickness, but when things happened, the community rallied around each other. We tend to keep ourselves isolated from our neighbors nowdays.
    I would also love to win a copy of your book. I have read your other LFYI books and loved them all. Thanks for the chance to win.

  12. This sounds like a great book. I like the idea of hidden identities. The Ballad of Little Jo, a movie from 1993, tells the story of a woman who disguises herself as a man to survive in the wild west. It is a true story.

    I will put your book on my to be read list.

  13. Great interview, Shirlee and Miralee. The first Christian fiction series I read--oh, about 15 years ago--was Gilbert Morris' historical series that tracked the move west. I really enjoyed learning a little American history (I'm Canadian) along with a good story. There definitely seems to be a resurgence in historical releases in all time periods. I, for one, hope it lasts.