#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller
My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys

It’s true.  My heroes have always been cowboys, and they probably always will.  #1, of course, is my late, great dad, Grady “Skip” Lael.  

This month, on March 21, my new contemporary western romance, “Forever A Hero”, will be available wherever books are sold, as well as online.  Mace Carson, of Mustang Creek, Wyoming, is both a hero and a cowboy, and he’s a vintner, too.  He’s rough and tumble and all man, and he’s not afraid to wade in and fight when the need arises.  A true cowboy never turns his back on trouble, and Mace is no exception.  He’s already saved beautiful Kelly Wright once, back in college, when she was attacked on campus, and he stepped up, big-time.  What are the odds that, years later, he’ll have to rescue the same woman all over again ?  Sure enough, he has to do just that, though this time, it’s because she manages to run her car off a slippery Wyoming road.  Minding his own business, driving his pickup behind some tourist’s rental, he has no idea that round two is fixing to start–when the car winds up teetering on the edge of a steep bank, he doesn’t know who’s behind the wheel–he’s out of his truck and running through the rain to help.  That’s a cowboy–and a hero–for you.  Act fast and ask questions later.

Not that smart, willful Kelly is a weakling.  No, sir.  She’s one tough cookie, in the boardroom especially, and she’s come to Mustang Creek with a purpose that has nothing whatsoever to do with falling in love!  She’s there to buy Mace’s flourishing winery, and never mind that he has no intention of selling.  Kelly is sure she can persuade this youngest of the hard-headed Carson brothers, (Slade, “Once a Rancher” and Drake, “Always a Cowboy”) and maybe she can.  

Then again, maybe not.  Win or lose, it will be a wild ride for both of them, wilder than any event in the rodeo, that’s for sure.

When these two meet up, stand back, because there will be a lot of fall-out!  

The Book is Done!

Well, mostly done.  There will be revisions, but the story is complete.  I finished yesterday afternoon, and I think I was in shock for the rest of the evening.  I made supper, took a relaxing bath, went to bed and listened to a good part of Naomi Judd’s new book, “River of Time.”  As a big fan of the Judds, I found the book incredibly interesting, though parts of it made me very sad.  Many of you will remember her struggle with Hepatitis C; there is treatment for this virus today, but when Judd suffered from it, the prognosis was gloomy.  She was told she had approximately three years to live, and she was a reasonably young woman at the time.  In short, she decided she wasn’t going to die, thank you very much, and got busy researching alternative medicine and, being an RN before she became part of the legendary mother/daughter duo, she knew her medical terminology.  

I remember seeing her on TV once, around that time, and it was obvious that she was very, very ill.  She was the strangest, scariest blue-gray color.  While she had financial resources beyond the wildest dreams of most people, I don’t think it was her money that saved her.  I think it was because she decided not to die, and stuck by it.  She recovered and, in the process, learned a lot about health, especially of the mind/body connection variety.  I’ve had similar experiences myself, on a much less dramatic way; sometimes, I wake up feeling cranky and discouraged, and who wants their whole day to go down the tube that way?  I’ve learned to change my mood, basically by deciding to have a good day.  I might dance around a little (the dogs love that) or belt out a song like “Rise and Shine” or “O, Happy Day”, and just like that, I’m in a very different place.  Note, I’m NOT saying that would work for everyone, every time.  Sometimes, as in Naomi Judd’s case, depression is far to severe for simple remedies.  “River of Time” is an account of her most recent challenge, depression and panic disorder, and what she does to cope.  Her courage is inspiring, to say the least.

I’ve met Naomi Judd, and I saw her perform with Wynona years ago, as a part of a day-long seminar in Phoenix.  It was a Tony Robbins event, and Wendy and I went.  It was an amazing day, and it was a tragic day, because Tony came on stage at the end of the afternoon and told us about the school shooting in Loveland, Colorado.  It had just happened, and he said he didn’t want us to go back to our cars, all revved up (trust me, if you’ve been around Tony Robbins, you’re gonna be revved up!) only to switch on the radio and hear such terrible news with no preparation.  On the up side, the day was marvelous, featuring many celebrities.  Christopher Reeve was there, in his wheelchair, and he spoke for about 20 minutes.  In most cases, an actor is not the character he plays, but take it from me, Reeve was superman.

A few years later, I was attending a party and John and June Cashes’ place in Hendersonville, Tennessee.  June had just released a CD, and there was a big celebration.  I was fortunate to attend, and I met several celebrities that night: Roseanne Cash, Dianne Ladd, George Jones, Jane Seymour and, of course, Naomi Judd.  The party was outside, under canopies, and believe me, it was glamorous.  Some of us were inside, just chatting, and we were standing in the living room, which was filled with lovely and valuable things June had collected in their many travels around the country and the world.  Everything was beautiful, but let’s be honest, there was a lot of it.  Ms. Judd walked in with her husband, and I heard her say to him, “Good God, where’s the gift shop?”  It wasn’t a mean remark, and everyone knew it.  We all got a chuckle, and I introduced myself to the couple and said I had enjoyed seeing her and Wynona at the Tony Robbins event.  She was gracious, and we went our separate ways.  She is a beautiful woman, very petite, and she has real gumption.  And if there’s one thing this ole cowgirl admires, it’s gumption.

 

The Pony Express was in operation for only nineteen months from April 1860 through October 1861.

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