#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller
Winners and Other News

This week’s winners in the contest are: Carrie M. Schlawin and Susan Mae Lincoln.  Congratulations, both of you.  As for everyone else, please comment to enter the current round.  That’s all you need to do; two winners will be selected at random, and each will receive an autographed copy of “Once a Rancher”, my latest.

Susan Mae Lincoln, are you any relation to my favorite President of all time?  :)

Well, I’ve come up with a title for the third book in my new historical series.  NORTH OF EDEN and SOUTH OF GLORY are the first two, followed by WEST OF SUNSET.  The release of the first novel is still a ways off, but you can be sure I will keep you updated.  Here’s the plan: these stories will be published first in hardcover, then in trade paperback, then in regular paperback.  If your budget doesn’t stretch to the price of a hardcover, no worries.  (Also, I’ll be giving away one copy of the hardcover each week, right here on the blog.)  I will still be writing about my beloved cowboys and their spunky ladies, and these books will be paperback originals.  Still, you can expect a difference: instead of three separate books, you’ll be able to read about three sets of characters–in the same book.  That way, you won’t have to wait to find out what happened to everyone.  :)  My next two books, ALWAYS A COWBOY and FOREVER A HERO will wrap up the series begun with ONCE A RANCHER.  

I am loving this spring weather!  The tulips are still coming on strong, though my beloved lilacs will soon be gone.  No problem there.  The peonies will be here in a month or so, and I can hardly wait!

What I’m listening to: MAISIE DOBBS, by Jacqueline Winspear.  My dear friend and accountant, Debbie Korrell, recommended the Maisie Hobbs series, and I’m loving the story.  The setting is England and France, circa World War I.  In the to-be-listened-to category: THE RAVEN BOYS, by Maggie Stiefvater, THE CURIOUS CHARMS OF ARTHUR PEPPER, by Phaedra Patrick, SWEET LAMB OF HEAVEN, by Lydia Millet, THE DOLDRUMS, by Nicholas Gannon and, YIPPEE!!!, BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE, by Fredrik Backman.  I loved, loved, loved Backman’s other books, A MAN CALLED OVE and MY GRANDMOTHER ASKED ME TO TELL YOU SHE’S SORRY.  As you will possibly notice, some of these books are written for young adults, and I must say, I’ve become a fan of young adult novels, especially those with a touch of magic.

Tomorrow is Weight Watchers, and for once, I’m looking forward to stepping on the scale!  I’ve finally gotten back on track, and that really feels good.

I’m feeling great, now that I’ve recovered from my travels, the flu and a series of rainy spring days.  :)  I’m working on new projects and tweaking FOREVER A HERO, and enjoying the whole process immensely.

The dogs, kitties, and horses are all doing well.  I do have to keep an eye on Mowgli, lest he chew up yet another shoe or steal a bra.  :)  He’s an outlaw, but I love him to pieces.  As I often tell him, and Tule, too, it’s a good thing I love bad dogs.

Where have I BEEN?

So many places!

First, my apologies for the long silence.  As you know, Mom recently moved into assisted living, and there was a lot involved, even though I must admit my sibs, Jerry, Sally and Pam, have done most of the work.  Mom’s a collector, and she has quite a bit of stuff to be sorted, packed, given away, etc.  I’m happy to report that she’s very happy at the new place, though she has had breathing issues and wound up in the ER a couple of times.

Soon after she moved, and when I had just returned from the charity gig in Tampa, Florida, I came down with the worst case of flu I’ve ever had in my fairly long life.  I mean, I was WIPED out for something like 10 days.  My sister, Pam, was so sick with this stuff that she wound up in the hospital for three days.  I had barely recovered when it was time for a quick trip to New York to meet with my agent, Irene Goodman, and have lunch with the crew from Harlequin Books, some of my favorite people.  And I’m thrilled to report that we’ve made a deal for my Civil War novel, NORTH OF EDEN, along with two connected stories–SOUTH OF GLORY and WEST OF—well, I haven’t quite figured that out yet.  :)  Any suggestions?

I know it’s Tuesday, a day late for the new contest to begin, but here we go.  Just comment, and you’re entered.  Two winners will be chosen at random, and each will receive an autographed copy of ONCE A RANCHER, my current book.  Forgive me for bragging, but it’s been on the New York Times list for 3 weeks–and in the top 10, too.  Thank you, once and all, for the part you played in this achievement.  Next Monday (unless I come down with the plague), I will announce our winners right here and start a brand new round for the following week.

The pets are all thriving.  Mowgli and Tule have turned out to be quite the little mischief-makers, and it’s a good thing they’re so cute.  While I was sick, they swiped one of my bras out of the laundry room and headed for the back yard.  When I finally noticed, they were playing tug-of-war with it.  Tule must have figured they were in trouble, because he took off while I was getting my phone (I know, most people would go for the bra, not their cell) in order to take a short video.  Anyway, by the time I got back, Tules had jetted off to another part of the yard, as if to say, “Mom, I had nothing to do with it!  I was over here by the planter the whole time!”  Mowgli, on the other hand, is an incorrigible little stinker, and he was having a great time playing with Mom’s underwear.  I retrieved it, and took it back to the laundry room, only to have Mr. Mowgli steal it all over again.  (I told you he was incorrigible.)

Between being sick for so long and traveling to and from NYC, I’ve listened to a LOT of audiobooks.  I greatly enjoyed the DOROTHY MUST DIE series, by Danielle Paige.  The stories are a clever twist on the Wizard of Oz, and I couldn’t stop listening.  Gobbled up all three full-length novels, one after the other.  And since I was on a YA kick, I listened to I WOKE UP DEAD AT THE MALL and DREAMLAND SOCIAL CLUB–though written for teens, all these books were clever and entertaining.  There were a bunch more, too, but I’ll tell you about those in future blogs.

Tomorrow is my Weight Watchers meeting.  It ain’t gonna be pretty.

 

Cattle drives rarely went more than ten or twelve miles a day, as the cattle had to be given time to rest and graze. A drive from Texas to Montana could take up to five months.

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