#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller
Rodeo Report 2

The 10th was a very big day. I met Steve Miller, my gracious host, for breakfast, and he brought along two female rodeo champions, Mary Ann and Kim. Mary Ann is a fourth generation buckle winner in the roping event, and Kim has been world champion–catch your breath–EIGHT TIMES. These two women opened up a whole new vista for me–professional women’s rodeo. It doesn’t get near the play in the press–and I think that’s a shame. I intend to see the championships next year, and don’t be surprised if a few rodeo gals turn up as heroines in my books.

After breakfast, we all went over to Cowboy Christmas, where I was a guest on the Flint Rasmussen Show. Flint is a former rodeo clown–talk about dangerous work–and one of the most engaging talk show hosts I’ve ever met. We had a load of fun up there on that stage, and was it ever fun to share the Tonight-Show style setup with Stran, a handsome and good-hearted rodeo champ, singer Tracy Byrd, and an up and coming young singer named Luke Bryan. This cowgirl had WAY too much fun, and the view, of course, was superlative. :)

My wonderful publisher, Harlequin, sent copies of the McKettrick books, and after the show, we gave them away, signed, at the Montana Silversmiths booth. That drew quite a crowd–I so enjoyed talking to veteran readers of my books and a whole new bunch as well.

I’m skipping around a little here, but I’ll get it all in, I promise. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about the Justine Crisis Luncheon–an event to raise money for cowboys who are hurt or sick–and the equally wonderful Western Wishes foundation. Western folks do a lot of good work–there’s a great deal of truth in the image of cowboys and cowgirls pushing up their sleeves and wading in to help in times of trouble.

Gotta go feed the horses. I’m sure they’re listening for the truck to drive up.

Rodeo Report 1

I promised a report on the rodeo, and this cowgirl delivers on a promise–though it may take some time! On top of horse work–man, do they look beautiful out there in that snowy pasture–and starting the new book, “The Montana Creeds: Logan’s Return”, I’m getting to this blog later every day, it seems.

Jenni and I arrived in Las Vegas late the night of the 7th, caught a cab, and checked into the marvelous South Point Hotel, which is the center of all things rodeo. Fantastic place! It has it’s own arena, with accommodations for 1400 horses, a bowling alley, a bingo hall, and a multi-screen movie house. No gambling that night–we were too tired from all the familiar hassles of traveling.

On December 8, I finally got together with the wonderful Steve Miller, of Montana Silversmiths, who made all this possible. (Steve is my ex-husband’s first cousin–I knew him slightly, years ago, but we hadn’t crossed paths in a long, long time.) In addition to his organizational genius, Steve is an accomplished sculptor. There’s a full-page ad for his work in this month’s issue of “Cowboys and Indians”, the one with Trisha Yearwood on the cover. Steve’s wife, Terry, is one of the loveliest women I’ve ever met.

I made my first visit to Cowboy Christmas, the big rodeo-associated gift show, that day and bought myself a pile of jeans. I visited a few of my favorite booths, too, but didn’t spend as much this year as last. Guess I’m getting more conservative as I get older. NOT. :)

Judy Wagner, also of MSS, called to say she’d left something for me at the bell desk. Well, when I got there, I was bowled over! Here was the most fantastic western purse, just crammed with blue jewelry boxes!! Stunning stuff, all from the Montana Silversmiths collection.

There’s more. A lot more. Tune in tomorrow!

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