#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller
The Cash House

As many of you will know, the former home of Johnny Cash and wife, June Carter Cash, burned down on Tuesday. I was greatly saddened, for the Cashes were friends of mine, and I have visited that house on several occasions. I met other extraordinary people there, besides the Cashes, including Naomi Judd, Jane Seymour and George Jones. I was always welcomed warmly, and I cherish the memories.

June, smiling and arranging an enormous bouquet of flowers, sent to her in celebration of a CD release–by Garth Brooks. John, sitting in his favorite chair, often in his pajamas, booming out, “Come over here and hug my neck!” when I arrived. In point of fact, I got the worst case of flu of my life from giving John a hello kiss one time. As soon as I got back home, the bug hit me like a freight train, and I spent several hours on my bathroom floor. I joked afterwards that it was worth it–after all, I kissed Johnny Cash!

There were other visits, in other places–I attended John’s last birthday bash, at their fabled place in Jamaica, Cinnamon Hill. Both John and June were funny, smart, generous to a fault, and unfailingly kind.

I’ll miss the house in Hendersonville. But not nearly as much as I miss the wonderful people who lived there, once upon a time.

Little Orphan Annie Was Right

The sun DID come out “tomorrow”. The draw is awash in spring sunlight as I write this from my ‘ivory tower’–the long needles of the pine trees glimmer with it, shifting and sparkling in a light April breeze.

I am SO close to finishing this book I’ve been working on–”The McKettrick Way”, Silhouette Special Edition, December of this year. It’s a McKettrick book, a follow-up to “Sierra’s Homecoming” and it’s very special to me. But, then, all my books are special to me. When people ask what my favorite is, I always reply, in complete honesty, that it’s the one I’m working on right now. Why? Because I’m so fully engaged with the characters and setting. They become so real to me. If I met Jesse, Rance or Keegan on the street, for example, I would know them instantly.

Out on the front 10, they’ve poured footings for the pillars that will support the barn. Construction goes slowly, but having the fence in really helps to get the vision of what it will all look like in the very near future. Skye, Buck, Coco and Banjo are going to love having all that room to explore and just be horses. After all, that’s their job. And they’re very good at it–especially the eating part. :)

One chapter, after this one. I’m on the homestretch. It will be a big relief to send the last chunk to my wonderful, fabulous editor (who has, I’m sure, wings on her feet, secreted under sensible shoes), but I will also mourn a little. Despite revisions, galleys, the whole publishing process, when the manuscript goes in, it’s as if my beloved children have all gone off to college at once.

The mourning phase passes quickly, though, because “The Rustler” is waiting to be written. The characters are already whispering to me…

In the old times sometimes cowboys referred to beans as “Deceitful Beans” because they talked behind your back.