Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Review: Wishing on Buttercups

Wishing on Buttercups
By Miralee Ferrell
David C. Cook, 2014


Can love survive when secrets collide?

She’d kept her secrets safely hidden—those from her past, and those in the present. Some things, Beth Roberts knows, a lady simply doesn’t share, even in the 1880’s West. The townspeople would never understand. No one ever has.

Jeffery Tucker, a handsome young writer, has kept his own secrets. He doesn’t have a right to pry into Beth’s affairs but finds himself strangely drawn to her and intrigued by the whiff of mystery surrounding her.

Beth knows that one day someone will unravel the threads of her past. And when two men from her past arrive, the truth might just hurt . . . Beth’s future and her heart.

As shadowy memories surface, Beth sketches the scenes she sees and is shocked by what—and who—her illustrations reveal. Dare she risk her heart again?

My thoughts

Wishing on Buttercups is the second book in Miralee Ferrell's "Love Blossoms in Oregon" series. This story begins shortly after the end of the previous book and it was wonderful to continue with characters I had come to care about. Jeffery, Beth and Wilma Roberts were secondary characters in Blowing on Dandelions and here we see them developed more fully.

Miralee excels at using complex characterization and plot to explore life/family issues. Beth is a gifted artist who illustrates for a large women's magazine back East and Jeffery is a talented writer, hoping to write the next bestseller - yet both hide secrets and lack self-confidence. Beth reflects that "God might love her, but she didn't know a single man who could look at her scars without cringing."

This is not an action-packed, fast-paced novel; rather, it's strength is characterization and the interesting way in which relationships are explored - Jeffery and Beth, Jeffery and his father, Beth and Wilma. If you were ever on the receiving end of cruel teasing as a child, or struggled to be accepted for who you were, then you will be touched by this story.

Another strength is that Miralee just knows how to tell a good story! The romance between Jeffery and Beth is sweet, and it was good to see Jeffery take small steps forward in his faith as a result of Beth's influence. "Beth informed me there is more to faith than church, and I need to dig deeper. That God wants me to know Him more intimately."

Wishing on Buttercups can stand alone, but having read the first book added much depth and enjoyment for me. I liked the mystery that the flashbacks to Steven and Isabella provided and look forward to more from them. I believe readers will especially enjoy the ending. This story follows a long line of excellent novels by Miralee and I highly recommend it to all readers.

Miralee Ferrell

"My hope in writing this book is to show that God is able to take even the wallflowers of this world and cause them to blossom. No matter what we've been through in our past, He is able to heal the deepest hurt. Our Lord accepts us where we are, for who we are, scars and all. He looks beyond our overweight bodies, our acne-scarred skin, and all our other "deformities" we think or know we might have, and sees what's inside - the lovely person He created us to be."


Miralee Ferrell is a speaker, accredited counselor, and former ACFW chapter president who has published multiple contemporary and historical romance novels since starting to write in 2005. She enjoys horseback riding, gardening, and family gatherings around their eleven-acre property in Washington State’s beautiful Columbia River Gorge. Miralee has had eight books release, both in women’s contemporary fiction and historical fiction, with another 5 under contract. She’s an award-winning author of Western fiction, and her newest novel, Wishing on Buttercups released February 1, and is the second in a series set in Baker City, Oregon, 1880s.

Meet with Miralee online:

Thank you to Miralee Ferrell and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


  1. Miralee, I love this blog tour and the wonderful questions that are coming your way. Words are powerful so my question to you is, " what word comes to mind when you think of a powerful word?"

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

  2. My question for Miralee: I would guess the third book in the series is already finished or close to it, what do you have up next after this series?


  3. Hi Miralee,
    I was just wondering how many books will be in this series, & do you have to read them in a particular order, or are they pretty much stand-alone novels?
    Thanks so much for the blog tour,& have a blessed day :)

  4. Great review and question for Miralee!
    I also enjoyed the "Love finds you" series!

    Thanks for joining this tour!

  5. Carole I loved your review. You said everything I was thinking!

  6. Thanks for dropping by, everyone! I appreciate your comments. And great questions for Miralee.

    Patty, I'm always wanting to know what authors have planned next also!

  7. Miralee,

    Do you hand write out your books or do you type them all?

  8. Hi, Carole! I love the name of your blog, and your review is excellent! I felt the same way about Wishing on Buttercups--the power of words, indeed!

  9. Sarah, you are so sweet...thank you! Of course I love to read, but worship music is my first love, so I thought "the power of words" would encompass it all.

  10. Hello Miralee! I have your first novel on my Kindle, but haven't had a chance to read it yet! However I keep hearing great things about your novels! I need to get on it! What have you enjoyed most about being an author?

    Thank you for the giveaway! :)
    sylesternator (at) yahoo (dot) com

  11. Miralee,
    I have not read any of your contemporary books yet.
    Do you prefer writing historical or contemporary books, and how are your characters different other than the time period? Thank You

  12. I am loving the tour Miralee . Love the post today. Miralee i know you write and have horses, Do you have anymore hobbies? Thanks and would love to win your book . I have them both in ebooks but would love to have the real think.
    Thanks and Blessings.

  13. Laura, Jackie, and my southern neighbor Liz, welcome!

  14. Great question, Melanie! I'd have to say forgiveness, as it so deeply ties into all three of my current novels. If we don't forgive people who hurt us, we're damaged even more than they.

    Patty, yes, the third and fourth books are both finished. I have edits yet to do on both, but the majority of the work is done. Next up is Forget Me Not, a novella releasing the end of March in Kindle, Nook and paperback (via Amazon). Then comes Dreaming on Daisies Oct. 1st, and that wraps up the series, unless I find time to do another novella. We'll see how this first one goes!

    Sharon, I answered the first part of your question in Patty's answer, but while you CAN read them as a stand alone, I truly recommend you read them in order, so you'll get a feel for the characters and their lives. I believe you'll enjoy it much more that way. The novella (Forget Me Not) releasing in late March is the exception. It could be read anytime after book one, and comes in no particular order after that.

    Melissa, Tonya and Carole, thank you all for stopping by! I so appreciate your support.

  15. Hi Danie,

    I recently told my husband that I wouldn't have survived as an author in the era before computers. I can't even imagine typing a full book on an old typewriter, much less hand writing it. I love being able to cut and paste, rearrange sections, edit, and everything else I do with my computer.

    Thanks for stopping in, Sarah! And Carole, I LOVE your banner and heading. Thank you so much for hosting me and for your awesome review!!

  16. Hi Laura, thanks so much for taking part in our tour! When my first book came out, my hope was that it would touch hearts and lives. Of course, I was excited about seeing it in print, but I haven't wavered in what I love most about writing--interacting with readers and hearing their stories when something I've written impacts their life.

    Hi Jackie, I love writing in both time periods, but if I had to choose one it would have to be historical. It's truly my biggest love, and as I think I proved with this new series, I can weave contemporary themes into a historical setting and make it work. There are some things that must be addressed when writing historical (besides clothing/setting/etc), and that's the mindset of that period. People didn't react the same then as they do today. That's why you see (in book one) the main character, Katherine, showing total respect and honor to her mother, even when she was angry and resentful. She didn't allow those emotions to color (to any real degree) her responses.

  17. Hi Liz, yes I have other hobbies, but I don't have time for many of them now. I used to do quite a bit of oil painting, but writing bumped that out of my life. I also used to spend evenings scrapbooking, but now that time is taken with writing. The only thing (besides horseback riding) that I still do is work in my flower beds and garden spring, summer and fall. By the time winter starts, I'm ready for a break and to spend some serious time at my desk.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  18. Enjoyed reading about this book! Looks like a great one!!

    Hmm. A question. In writing a character who is an aspiring author I'm sure there was a lot of research that went into the setting and publishing during that time. Is it easier or harder to be published in our time than in the time period you wrote about?

  19. I knew it!!! Jeffery is a writer!! I'm reading Blowing on Dandelions and loving it. So intrigued by Beth and Jeffery. Can't wait to get that book! pat at ptbradley dot com

  20. Enjoyed the interview and love Marilee's books. I have Wishing on Buttercups on e-book and would like to have a paper back copy.

    Miralee, when you finish a book do you spend some time to relax before you start into another book?

    blessings, Tina

  21. Hi, Miralee! Touring with you is fun.
    My next question is if you have a feeling about any one of your books that it in particular has made the most difference in reaching and changing hearts for Christ's purposes?

    Thank you for your answer.
    Janice jsmithg(at)hotmail(dot)com

  22. Miralee, it's great to have you with us today! And I appreciate your comments about my banner because, as a church pianist for many years, it has a special draw for me, making me think of so many beautiful hymns that are rarely sung today.

    I love Danie's question because I typing and shorthand were two of my favorite classes in high school, and I was a very fast typist. In fact, when my husband bought our first computer, I refused to use the word processor, much preferring my typewriter!

  23. What's your favorite flower?

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  24. Carole great job. My question for Miralee, Who is your favorite character in your book? Do you create characters from people that you know in real life??

  25. What prompted you to start writing fiction?

  26. Absolutely LOVE your review Carole! You have a way of describing a book that draws the reader in. Thanks for sharing!

  27. Hi Carole, great review! I'm so excited about this book and can't wait to read it!!

    A question for Miralee: you often pick tough subjects to write about in your book - like bullying - how much research goes into this aspect of your writing?

    Would LOVE to win!!
    Thanks! Shannah

  28. popping in late, but wanted to come say Howdy and that I cannot wait to read the next book and I am so looking forward to more of Miralee's books and learning more about her.
    Linda Finn

  29. Hi Miralee,
    I love your name and the way your mother spelled it :) Being a Car'Y'l (pronounced carol) I was never able to get anything ready made with my name on it. I imagine that's true of you. Have you enjoyed the spelling and unusual name anyway?
    I pray blessings and favor on you series, I love the titles.

  30. I know authors can get very close to their characters. Which is your favorite character from your books?

  31. Natalie, as for writing during that time period, authors typically would travel to the setting they wanted to include, so they could bring it to life. They didn't have the research tools we have now, and yes, they did have to go to a lot more work than we did. I think it would have been much harder to be a writer during that time period. Thank you for stopping by!!!

    Patricia, you're very astute to guess that Jeffery could be a writer before you got to that part in the book, LOL! You didn't ask a you want to be entered in the drawing?

    Mrs. Tina, it depends on if I have another deadline looming. I recently finished Forget Me Not and I need to finish editing and tweaking, but I must start on another book right away. If I don't have a hard deadline, I'll typically take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks off.

    Janice, great question and one I can answer easily. I believe the book that's made the most impact spiritually on readers is The Other Daughter. I've gotten more letters as a result of that book than any other. Thank you, I'm so glad you've enjoyed the tour! Me too!

    BN100, my favorite flower? That's so hard to pick, I have so many! Can I choose more than one? Roses, delphenium and day lilies. Oh, that was hard!! I'm a total flower nut!

    Sonja, I think my favorite character in this book is Mama...Frances Cooper. She was my least favorite when I created her, but she's grown on me...especially when she interacts with Wilma Roberts. Those two ladies bring a touch of humor to the story. Thanks!

  32. Julia, so nice to meet you! I started writing in 2005, 9 years ago this month, after God spoke to me about writing while praying with a pastor after a special service. I started with non-fiction, then a friend suggested I consider Christian fiction. I've never regretted that decision.

    Hi Shannah, I do often pick tough subjects. The majority of my knowledge has come from being a lay-counselor. I'm certified with The American Association of Christian Counselors and minister to women within a church setting. I never use real people or real situations in my books, but I have been inspired or gotten direction as a result of some of my counseling.

    Linda, good to see you here. You didn't leave a question....

    Caryl, I love the unique spelling of your name! Believe it or not, my dad came up with my name and the spelling. I've always loved my name, although like you, it's caused me some issues over the years on the pronunciation. The most common is Marilee, Mary lee, Myra Lee, Mary Lou (yep!) Marylyn, (don't ask me, LOL!) and more.

    Janice Hopkins, I think my favorite character so far was Christy Grey. She was a secondary character in Love Finds You in Last Chance, CA, then went on to have her own book in LFY in Tombstone, AZ, because I loved her so much. She was a saloon girl with a very rough past who was trying so hard to make good choices and change.

    Thank you everyone for stopping by!! Great questions!

  33. The book sounds intriquing and I absolutely love Oregon stories
    God bless u
    Chris Granville
    a 50 year Oregonian


  34. great interview.How long did it take to write Wishing on Buttercups?Have a wonderful weekend.

  35. Miralee, I would like to ask that if you were ever asked to write a book that was completely out of your comfort zone, what kind of book would it be? (I loved Blowing on Dandelions!)
    marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

  36. If you were to write a book in a genre other than historical romance, what genre would you choose?

  37. I'm an art major, so Beth being an illustrator is an intriguing idea(especially in the 1880s). I also love reading historical fiction, though I haven't read Ms. Ferrell's books yet. I'd be interested in learning about the author's book cover ... were you involved in the development of the cover art? How much, if any, say did you have in shaping the final piece? I'm interested in learning about authors' relationship to the book cover artist/designers ... it often can be very different depending on the publishers and authors themselves ...

    Thanks for the chance to win --I'll be keeping an eye out for Ms. Ferrell's books!


  38. Hi Miralee! Here is my question: When you write a series do you have an idea of which characters you are going to focus on in each book so you can craft the back stories of secondary characters who will later be your main characters or do you start writing the first book and see what secondary characters develop and seem to need their own books?

    Thanks! Kelly kosterbind (at) gmail (dot) com

  39. Miralee, Do you have a favorite genre? To read or to write?

  40. Hi Chris, so glad to have you stop by...but I didn't see a question?

    Emma, it took about 4-5 months, due to other work-related obligations and 'life' in general. If I could write straight through with no interruptions and knew exactly what was going to happen, I could finish a book this size in 4-6 wks, but that's not ever apt to happen, LOL!

    Maryann....a book outside of my comfort zone would be sci-fi or fantasy. I enjoy reading them, but my brain isn't wired in a way to come up with all the creatures and scenarios required. Great question!

    LadyDragonKeeper (LOVE your user must enjoy fantasy!) I had a lot of input on all my covers in this series (there will be four). I gave the designers the basic idea of what I wanted to see, as well as the colors, and they found models who fit and put it all together. I was allowed to tweak each one as needed. I was more deeply involved with these covers than with any....other than my first two contemporary, as I actually took those photos myself (The Other Daughter and Finding Jeena). Great question!!

    Hi Kelly, I've had it happen both ways. I've had a secondary character in mind (like with Beth during book 1, who became primary in book 2), so I purposely put little hints and things in book one to make readers wonder. I've also had no idea who was going to appear until they showed up at the door (Mrs. Roberts is a case in point) and she became a strong secondary character in book two, and even had her own plot line.

    Tammy, I can't say I have a favorite to read, but at this point in my career, I prefer to write historical romance. I also enjoy contemporary women's fiction (writing, not reading) but my voice is strong in historical.

    Thanks everyone, for your awesome questions. This has been fun!!! I hope you've enjoyed getting to know me a little bit more.

  41. Kello O, you are the winner! Congratulations - and I know you will enjoy this book. I sent you an e-mail.

    And a special thank you to all who joined in this blog tour! I hope all of you will discover Miralee's writing if you haven't already.