#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller
The Early Bird…

Gets to let the dogs out, then in again, then make the coffee! I got up at four this morning, which is around my usual time–lately, though, I’ve been sleeping in till seven. :)

The house is very quiet–Bernice is at my feet, and Sadie is snoring on the bed. Even the sun isn’t up yet, but we are.

I love this time of day. My mind is fresh, and I’m always inspired after my journal/prayer session at the kitchen table.

I’ll be writing straight through the weekend, being nearly finished with the first book in the Montana Creeds series, “Logan’s Return”. The Creeds are distant cousins to the McKettricks, and many of you met Logan, very briefly, in “The McKettrick Way”. On some level, I’m already rubbing my hands together in anticipation and thinking, “Bring on Dylan Creed!” He’s the second brother, and Tyler is the third. These are Montana cowboys, from the soles of their beat-up boots to the brims of their hats, a bunch of hell-raisers, and all of them are mad at each other.

Since I seem to be mastering the blog-on-the-road thing, I’ll be giving you daily accounts of my adventures in New York.

For today, though, there’s writing to do. And maybe I can squeeze out an hour or two to mess around with polymer clay or resin or collage–any one of my three messy passions. The snow is still too deep for riding horseback, but, on the other hand, it might make for a softer landing. :)

Steve Miller

Today I’m going to tell you about Steve Miller, a good friend and a very talented western artist.

As you’ve no doubt noticed, we share the same last name. That’s because Steve is my ex-husband Rick’s first cousin. He lives in Montana, with his beautiful wife, Terry, and heads up the marketing department at Montana Silversmiths, the place where I buy a lot of great jewelry and purses :), but there’s more to Steve than marketing, and that’s for sure. Steve is a gifted sculptor and storyteller, and a genuine cowboy to boot. His event is team roping, and he’s the guy who got Wendy and I a behind-the-scenes look at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas this past December.

I think his work is truly spectacular, on a par with Remington and Russell, which is why I want to share it with you. At present, I own two of his pieces, “The Highest Price for Beef” and “When Beef was Wild”, and there are more on the way. Steve does his pieces in clay and wax first, then has them cast in bronze, and the detail is enough to take your breath away. He has a great love of the Old West–and the new one, too–and it comes through in his sculptures and the stories that accompany each one. On top of that, the price truly fits a cowboy’s (or cowgirl’s) budget–around $200–as Steve told me, a cowboy has to be able to afford them after paying entry fees, gambling, and a couple of beers. :) You can have a look online at http://www.montanasilversmiths.com/ or in person at your local Western store.

Me, I’m stocking up. This guy is going to be famous. Don’t say I didn’t tell you ahead of time, so you could get in on the ground floor. :)

The stitching across the toe of a cowboy boot is called a toe wrinkle.

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