#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Country Strong

That’s the title of my new book, which will be released in six days, on January 21, 2020.  I love, love, LOVE that title, for more reasons than one.  (I’ll get to that.)

Country Strong is the first novel in a trilogy of contemporary Western romance, set in the fictional town of Painted Pony Creek, Montana, and featuring three close friends–Cord Hollister, J.P. McCall and Eli Garrett and the women who are strong enough and smart enough to win their wild cowboy hearts.

Cord Hollister, the hero of Country Strong, is the best kind of cowboy, a man who lives by the classic cowboy code of honor: do the right thing, no matter how hard it is.  Cord is world-renowned for his horse-whispering skills; he uses kindness, patience and bone-stubborn persistence (the kind of grit a person needs if they’re going to be country strong) to win over the animals who have been injured, abused or neglected.  And since I care passionately about critters of every kind, I’m especially sweet on Mr. Hollister.  His life is going along pretty smoothly until two females come out of nowhere to turn his world upside down and inside out–the first is a mysterious teenager, the spitting image of a woman Cord loved years ago, and the second is Shallie Fletcher, an old friend from high school days.

Shallie is out to reinvent herself, and to do that, she needs to tie up a few loose ends–like finding out why her mother abandoned her as a very young child, for instance, and putting her love for Cord Hollister to rest, once and for all.  Cord might remember her as just a friend, but her feelings were a lot stronger.   In short, she’s never really gotten over that early crush and, if she ever wants to find a real and lasting love, she needs to get over a certain hot cowboy…

I truly love the stories in this trilogy, and hope you’ll come along for the ride.  Remember, Country Strong will be in stores on Tuesday, January 21, though, of course, you can pre-order online at any time.

The last couple of years, as some of you know, have meant riding a few rough trails, to put it mildly.  Of course, there have been happy times, too–my dogs bring me great joy, as does my kitty, Mr. Wickle Pickle (aka Wiki), and I’ve developed several new (for me) interests: acrylic pouring, an art form I learned on YouTube, raising orchids, gardening and now canning and preserving food.  My nephew, Dustin, and I are experimenting with hydroponic gardening, and we’re growing kale, green beans, beets and tomatoes in my very large basement.  And since I want to keep canning, and to grow as much of my own produce as possible, I’ve taken up yet another hobby–I am raising earthworms, also in my basement.  I have about 10 bins now, and really enjoy my growing population of tiny recyclers.  Come spring, we’re going to have plenty of worm castings to fertilize the containers and raised beds.

What makes me sad is that we–Jerry, Sally, Pam and I–lost our mom on December 22.  She was nearly 91, she’d lived a good, long life, and she was ready to go on Home and see all those who had gone before.  She would have been the first to say, her death was not a tragedy, and her final days were passed in comfort and love, but still.  She was our mom, and we miss her.

Trying my best to be country strong.



58 comments to “Country Strong”

  1. Margaret Witt
      · January 15th, 2020 at 2:02 pm · Link

    So sorry to hear about you mom Linda. Even though you know it’s coming, it’s still not easy when it arrives. I hope you have a wonderful year coming up and it sounds like you have a lot to keep you busy. Looking forward to reading your new book.

  2. Pat Dennis
      · January 15th, 2020 at 2:14 pm · Link

    So excited to have a new series from you. I truly devour your books.
    So sorry to hear about your Mom. Please know she is in the arms of the Lord!

  3. Evelyn Baldwin
      · January 15th, 2020 at 2:26 pm · Link

    Sorry to hear about your Mom. I lost my Mom when she was 59 year’s old.32 year’s ago. I really miss her! I’m also glad she’s with my 3 year sister that passed before i was born! No one can replace our Mom’s! I saw Country Strong on Audible. Sad Susan Bennett or Pilar Witherspoon wasn’t the narrator. Prayers for your Comfort!

  4. Nancy Rieks
      · January 15th, 2020 at 2:34 pm · Link

    So sorry to hear of your Moms passing. It takes different times for all of us to mourn, just take your time and remember all the good memories ! Thinking of you all.

  5. Chellie Campbell
      · January 15th, 2020 at 2:37 pm · Link

    So sorry to hear of your mom’s passing on to the next experience. You had her for a long time, and your memories will carry you through. Love the story for your new trilogy – it sounds wonderful! Love and blessings, Chellie

  6. Patti
      · January 15th, 2020 at 2:39 pm · Link

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

  7. Charlotte Litton
      · January 15th, 2020 at 2:46 pm · Link

    I’m very sorry for your loss. I can’t wait for County Strong to release. I love your books

    • Debbie Bultsma
        · January 15th, 2020 at 8:27 pm · Link

      Dear Linda
      So good to hear from you and all the wonderful things you have been doing and will be doing. I hope your health is good and that you’re releasing a new book. Sorry to hear about mom but she is at peace now and looking over you and your family. Good luck on your newbook. Can’t wait to read it! May you have an awesome 2020 you deserve it

  8. Deborah R Nelson
      · January 15th, 2020 at 3:04 pm · Link

    I am very sorry for your loss. There seems to never be enough time with our loved ones, even at the advanced ages and long, lovely lives. :cry:

    Ohhhhh, how I’m waiting for your new series. Yummy :-P

  9. Donna M Brant
      · January 15th, 2020 at 3:16 pm · Link

    So sorry for your loss. No matter their age, a loss is still a loss.
    I am looking forward to your new trilogy of western romances.

  10. Donamae
      · January 15th, 2020 at 3:27 pm · Link

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. My mom is 89 and I sure do worry about her. Love the title and I can’t wait to read your book. Contemporary cowboy books are my favorite. I really enjoy your books so much. You are my favorite author I’m so happy you are writing more books.

  11. Harriet Vick
      · January 15th, 2020 at 3:28 pm · Link

    So sorry to hear about your mom. I bet my mom has found her and they are chatting about your books! My mom loved your books as much as I do! Looking forward to a new trilogy. Take care!

  12. Virginia
      · January 15th, 2020 at 3:35 pm · Link

    So sorry to hear about your mom, I lost my mom many years ago and she was only 58. I also lost my older sister this last Feb. and I don’t think you ever totally get over the lost you just learn to deal with it. I only have one younger sister that is left so I cherish her so much.

    Looking forward to reading your new book and I can’t wait. Hang in there Linda it will get better in time.

      · January 15th, 2020 at 3:41 pm · Link

    I feel your pain having lost my mom 7 years ago and just recently lost my sister, and traveling partner, after a 5 year battle with breast cancer. Can’t wait to read Country Strong. Blessings to you.

  14. Marcia White
      · January 15th, 2020 at 3:43 pm · Link

    Hello,I love your books and can’t wait to read this trilogy.  When I saw the name of the town, Painted Pony Creek, I did a double-take.  We bred, showed and were “owned” by Newfoundlands for 40 years.  Back in the 90s we had a Landseer Newfoundland “Painted Pony”.  If you are not familiar with the Landseers they are usually a white dog with black markings, hence the name “Painted Pony”.  He was large for a Newf, about 32″ at the shoulder, a sweetheart, but dumb as a stump.  He tipped himself over when first learning to lift his leg at about 8 mos. or so. He didn’t always look where he was going and would run into trees and the support pillars under our deck.  He would also annoy the devil out of the girls by trying to breed them when they were not in heat.  He ate pea stonethat we used in our runs and required $1200 of surgery when he couldn’t pass the 8 pounds of it in his gut.  And on it went!  Like all of our Newfs we loved him dearly, but he was a trip!  Congratulations on the new release. Kindest Regards, Marcia White (a faithful reader)Gardner MA

  15. Teresa F
      · January 15th, 2020 at 3:52 pm · Link

    Oh my but what a wonderful full life to make it to 91 – my deepest sympathy!

  16. Sharon Finch
      · January 15th, 2020 at 3:54 pm · Link

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your mother. January 28th will mark one year that our mom has been gone.
    Very excited for the new book. I reread your books over and over.

  17. Linda Blenkiron
      · January 15th, 2020 at 4:10 pm · Link

    Sorry to hear about your mum. It’s never easy to say goodbye to loved ones. Looking forward to your new book

  18. Shirley Wease
      · January 15th, 2020 at 4:12 pm · Link

    Oh Linda I am so sorry to hear of your mother passing. My heart breaks for you. I lost my husband a few months before your mother death.
    Really looking forward to getting the new book! And let’s all be county strong!

  19. Lois Rotella
      · January 15th, 2020 at 4:14 pm · Link

    Linda and family so sorry for your loss of your mom. It is never easy when it happens no matter our age. No matter what we always miss our mom. My mom has been gone 40 years this November. I still miss her.
    As for your new book I am looking forward to reading it
    Take care. Hugs to you.

  20. Patricia Pelkey
      · January 15th, 2020 at 4:18 pm · Link

    So sorry to hear Linda of your mother’s passing. I lost my mom in 2007 at the age of 93 and my brother this past July. Our memories never fade of our loved ones, no matter how much time has passed.

    I am very excited for your new series release, Country Strong!

    Take care of yourself!

  21. Dixie Hadley
      · January 15th, 2020 at 4:21 pm · Link

    Dear Linda
    So sorry for the loss of your mother. There really are not any words that I can share that would magically take away the pain of your loss, but knowing that others care and will lift you up in prayer may help in the healing process.
    Dixie J. Hadley

  22. Shirley wetmore
      · January 15th, 2020 at 4:30 pm · Link

    So happy to hear from you. Seems like ages since you posted. Will be looking for the new series.

    Gob Bless all your family. I know how hard it is to lose a parent. we be praying for all of you.

    Love and prayers,
    Shirley Wetmore

  23. Kelly
      · January 15th, 2020 at 4:45 pm · Link

    Aunt Lindy–

    You are such a beautiful person with your kindness and gentle humor–just like Grandma. You were gifted with great parents and they in turn brought the lovely you to this world–for people like me, your neice. I see all of their goodness and ability to deeply love in you. Thank you for carrying on despite what may feel like a weighty challenge. You are a light for so many of us.

    Congrats on the new book!

    I love you,

  24. Carol Bradbury
      · January 15th, 2020 at 5:35 pm · Link

    Oh Linda, I am sorry to hear about your Mom passing away. My Dad turned 90 in November and his health has been going down hill for 6 months. He has CHF for 3 years, but now has AFib and
    has to keep getting fluid drained out around his lung. And that hurts every 3-4 weeks when they do it because he can’t breathe.
    My 3 sisters and I try to tell ourselves we have to prepare ourselves for something happening very soon. Prayers for your family.
    I haven’t read any of your books lately, but I used to love the Historical Westerns the best!!

  25. Jackie Cosgrove
      · January 15th, 2020 at 5:45 pm · Link

    Dear Linda , I am so sorry to hear that you lost your Mother . No matter how old you get you still feel like a orphan after a parent passes. You are in my prayers .

  26. Jennifer Warren
      · January 15th, 2020 at 5:46 pm · Link

    I am sorry for your loss. My mother was 90 when she passed but even though she was ready it is never easy to lose our mothers. I have enjoyed all of your books. Jennifer Warren

  27. Linda Beaudoin
      · January 15th, 2020 at 6:14 pm · Link

    I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. No matter how long their life is we always wish our parents could be with us longer.

  28. Caryn Horn
      · January 15th, 2020 at 6:39 pm · Link

    So sorry about your mom and so glad you miss her. My mom passed at 95 four yrs ago and even though I was her caregiver, I don’t miss her. I feel so guilty about that but she was so abusive. I’m excited to see a new series from you. Thank you!

  29. Donna Lohrer
      · January 15th, 2020 at 6:54 pm · Link

    Linda, I am so sorry to hear about your Mom. There’s no one like a Mom no matter how old we are. I can’t wait to read your book, saving it for the beach. I am going to Florida for 2 months, getting out of the cold.

  30. Laska Bull
      · January 15th, 2020 at 7:21 pm · Link

    Hi Linda, So very sorry to read of your Mom’s passing. Your a strong lady and have been thru a lot these past couple of years.
    I have missed your emails and so happy to see your email today mentioning your new book. I am so anxious to get the new one.
    Stay strong and thank you for the new book. Can’t wait!!

    Blessings to you….

    ~Laska Bull

  31. Cheri Wood
      · January 15th, 2020 at 7:36 pm · Link

    It’s good to hear from you again & that you’re releasing a new book. I’m so very sorry to hear of your Mother’s passing. I know how hard it is to walk through this journey I lost both my parents at an early age. I will be praying for you and your family.

  32. Sue
      · January 15th, 2020 at 7:38 pm · Link

    I am so sorry for your loss. We lost our mother close to Christmas also. Although it’s been quite a few years, I still miss her. God Bless you and your family.

  33. Fran F
      · January 15th, 2020 at 7:52 pm · Link

    I am so sorry to hear about your Mom’s passing. My heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to you and your siblings. It sounds as if your Mom live a full and fairly long life and I know you will all miss her. I lost my Mom 10 years ago and I still miss her every day. (She was 7 weeks shy of 100 and she, like your Mom, was ready to go and see all who had gone before her.) Warm hugs to all.

  34. Janet Clark
      · January 15th, 2020 at 8:13 pm · Link

    Hi Linda,
    It is so good to hear from you and hear about all the new things you are learning….How exciting!
    I am so sorry to hear about your mom, that is a hard one.
    I lost my mom almost 5 years ago. I still miss her every day. I have learned to live with it, altho there are still tears from time to time when things come up and I want to share with her.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!
    I am looking forward to reading your next series of books and Country Strong sounds awesome!

  35. Juanita Rice
      · January 15th, 2020 at 8:20 pm · Link

    Can’t wait for the new book! And welcome back, Linda. Missed you. :)

  36. Sue McCormick
      · January 15th, 2020 at 8:25 pm · Link

    Sending prayers to you and your family for support in your loss.

    Some people “rate” the strength of a loss. There not valid rating for loss of family and close friends (self-constructed family). Each person who has gone ahead leaves a person-sized hole in your life.

    As you know, it eventually gets easier; but as an example, I still miss my father (after 55 years) almost as much as my son (aflter 5 1/2 months).

  37. Tinna
      · January 15th, 2020 at 9:05 pm · Link

    Praying for you & your family! Love that your growing your own food & the method, & canning it too. So if your doing earthworms what about compost?

  38. Marge
      · January 15th, 2020 at 10:33 pm · Link

    Linda, so very sorry to hear of the passing of your mother. It sounds like she enjoyed life and will love being with those who passed before her.
    Looking forward to your new trilogy. Counting the days until it’s release.

  39. MargeD.
      · January 15th, 2020 at 10:37 pm · Link

    Linda, so very sorry to hear of the passing of your mother. It sounds like she enjoyed life and will love being with those who passed before her.
    Looking forward to your new trilogy. Counting the days until it’s release.

  40. Lorelei Sawtelle
      · January 15th, 2020 at 11:33 pm · Link

    Sometimes the words, “I am sorry for your loss.” Seem trite in the light of how huge our loss truly is. Please know you have thousands of faithful friends and followers who are praying for the comforting arms of the Holy Spirit to wrap around you and bring you peace in this very difficult time.

    Blessings to you and yours,

  41. Prairie
      · January 16th, 2020 at 12:10 am · Link

    So looking forward to your new trilogy. My mother will be 91 this year. She suffers from dementia and having to put her in a nursing home in November has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Adjusting to my new norm and trying to be strong is hard to do. Sorry to hear you loss your mom.

  42. Bonnie smith
      · January 16th, 2020 at 12:31 am · Link

    I love your books! I’m sorry for your loss. I know the feeling , my Mom passed on November 11,2019, she would have been 90 on December 25. It’s very difficult, but at least she is not in pain anymore. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your Siblings!❤️

  43. Kathy Potosky
      · January 16th, 2020 at 12:51 am · Link

    I’m sorry for your loss. I have always been a fan of your books especially those that are western themed. Thanks for writing again.

  44. Jeannine Klimt
      · January 16th, 2020 at 5:19 am · Link

    I am so sorry for you and your family’s loss, Linda. My prayers and thoughts are with you all. And thank you for writing. Your books are like old friends for me.

  45. Andrea Lammly
      · January 16th, 2020 at 9:06 am · Link

    So very sorry for your loss Linda. You and your family will be in our prayers.
    Looking forward to this new series and to the second in your Gettysburg series.
    Sounds like you are busy growing and harvesting in your basement and your homestead. Here’s to a successful 2020 both personally and professionally. Hugs to you and all your critters.

  46. Ruby Norwood
      · January 16th, 2020 at 11:42 am · Link

    So sorry, for you and your family’s loss Linda. I think we should rename you to” Linda The Jack Of all Trades”! is there anything that you can’t do? I am so looking forward to reading “Country Strong”. I have all of your books that I have kept over the years. I usually donate my books to our local Library , but never yours. Have a good week my friend!

  47. Susan Lee
      · January 16th, 2020 at 12:12 pm · Link

    Dear Linda:
    How great to hear from you. The book sounds fabulous and I will certainly read it. I have missed your blog , I hope this year is a better one for you. I pray for you that the eyes of your understanding might be opened and you might know the hope to which he has called you, his glorious inheritance in the saints and his incomparably great power for us who believe. (Ephesians)

  48. Diana Eagen
      · January 16th, 2020 at 11:28 pm · Link

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Linda. Sending love and blessings

  49. Donna McCord
      · January 17th, 2020 at 12:01 am · Link

    Welcome back Linda!!! I have missed your books. I am sorry to hear about your mother. It will be 10 years this year since I lost my mom and I still miss her every day.

  50. DONNA
      · January 17th, 2020 at 3:27 pm · Link

    I so sorry for your loss. I love your books & am looking forward to yyour new one coming out next week

  51. Barbara Callihan
      · January 17th, 2020 at 7:02 pm · Link

    So sorry for the loss of your mother.
    Welcome back, we’ve missed you! You are my favorite author and
    Anxiously await new books! Looking forward to this triology!
    Thank you for your many books!

  52. Ann Bartholomew
      · January 18th, 2020 at 12:15 pm · Link

    I am so sorry to hear of your mother’s passing, but going Home has such a promise with it. My mother was 92 when she went Home. After a long life it’s hard to feel sadness except for ourselves.

    On a happy note, I’m now planning a trip to Barnes and Noble Tuesday! I will need to finish my Ree Drummond book so I can start right in on your latest!! Hopefully I can perfect her cinnamon roll recipe in order to have something good to eat while I read Country Strong.

    Welcome back!!

  53. Kathryn Riley
      · January 18th, 2020 at 12:30 pm · Link

    Dear Linda,

    God’s blessings on you and your family. Having lost my Mother twenty years ago, I know how painful it is. Even knowing they are in a better place doesn’t make the loss much easier.


  54. Linda Holmes
      · January 21st, 2020 at 3:09 pm · Link

    Sorry to here about your mom. Just purchased your new book today.

  55. Linda Holmes
      · January 21st, 2020 at 3:21 pm · Link

    Sorry to hear about your mom. Just purchased your new book today.

  56. Sandy Mowrey
      · March 1st, 2020 at 5:52 pm · Link

    I have enjoyed all your books but feel that “Country Strong “ was written by a different person. There’s a difference in the way these characters were introduced, sometimes their dialogue and thoughts come across as amateurish, and love scenes were non-existent (they were too tired, come on.). Sorry but had to let you know how I felt.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

:wink: :-| :-x :twisted: :) 8-O :( :roll: :-P :oops: :-o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :-D :evil: :cry: 8) :arrow: :-? :?: :!: