#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Excuses, excuses

I’ll spare you all the reasons why I haven’t blogged this week.  It’s boring stuff.  :)

Last week’s winners are: Donna Irvin and Amber B.  Ladies, your autographed copies of ONCE A RANCHER are on their way to you now.  A new round will begin this coming Monday.  Just comment, and you’re in–two winners will be chosen at random and announced the following Monday.  (NOT Thursday, I promise.)  The prizes are as above.

Mom is settling into assisted living nicely, but there have been a lot of loose ends to tie up.  Thankfully, my sibs have done their share, and much more.  (Thanks, guys.)  Wendy and Jeremy worked tirelessly clearing out the condo where Mom lived before, and they did a great job.  I feel so grateful for my helpful and loving family.  

Sister Sally’s birthday was the 21st, and this is a belated shout-out.

The weather has been typical of spring in this part of the country; the sun shines brilliantly.  Then, ten minutes later, it’s raining hard enough to scare Noah himself.  Since we had a dangerously dry summer last year, we welcome the rain.

The peonies, my all-time favorite flower, are blooming, much to my delight.  They don’t last long enough to suit me, but I enjoy them while I can.

 Soon, my second favorite, the dahlias, will be on show.  Last year, they were absolutely spectacular, and huge; some of them reminded me of those big ruffs people wore in Elizabethan times (Elizabeth the first, that is.)  

I’m working on a variety of projects: a polish on FOREVER A HERO, the third story about the Carson cowboys of Mustang Creek, Wyoming, the proposal for the next contemporary Western, and NORTH OF EDEN, my big historical novel, mostly set in and around Gettysburg, PA, in the dangerous year of 1863.  It’s a busy time, but I’m so happy to be working on these stories; the characters are very dear to me, and I love sharing in their adventures.

On June 16, I leave for Gettysburg, as I’ve mentioned before, to attend the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College.  I will definitely be blogging, even though my righthand woman, Jenni, won’t be going along this time, as she’s headed for Prague and then Germany on one of her ghost-hunting tours.

Speaking of ghosts, I’m beginning to think I have one in residence.  One recent night, I was awake at 1:30 AM, listening to a particularly gripping audiobook, when I heard a man’s voice downstairs.  The dogs, though small, are terrier-confident, and they barked like crazy and bounded off the bed, darting downstairs.  Thinking one of the crew might have stopped by–it happens, though rarely, at that time of night–I followed Tule and Mowgli to see what was going on.  Nobody there, and I hadn’t heard the garage door open, either.  I decided Wendy and Jeremy must have come in after attending a show at the casino, which is near here, and then left again.  I texted them.  No, came the answer.  After their show, they’d gone straight home.  They asked why I’d asked, and I told them about the voice.  Concerned, they came straight back to Triple L.

Jeremy checked things out, but all the doors and windows were locked, and the garage door was closed when they arrived.  They spent the night, just in case.  I was still thinking that one of the crew must have visited; sometimes Larry, the Canadian Wrangler, decides to cook , and needs to borrow an onion or some soup stock–though not usually at that hour.  :)  The next day, we check with Larry.  Nope, he hadn’t been here.  We questioned everyone else, with no luck.  We’re all mystified.  I definitely heard the voice, and the dogs’ reaction proves I wasn’t dreaming.  I’m not scared, as there was no sense of danger, but I sure am wondering what the heck happened.  If any of you have a theory, I’d love to hear it.

Lastly, the Weight Watchers report: I gained 1.8 pounds.  :(  It’s time for renewed effort.

70 comments to “Excuses, excuses”

  1. Donna White
      · May 26th, 2016 at 6:55 pm · Link

    Love all your books

  2. Theresa
      · May 26th, 2016 at 7:00 pm · Link

    Definitely another dimension!!

  3. Renae Kinsey
      · May 26th, 2016 at 7:00 pm · Link

    Have u ever had any ghost hunting experimentst in your home?
    I’m glad you’re safe and there was nobody to be found however!!! Always good to read your blog -)

    • linda
        · May 30th, 2016 at 1:32 pm · Link

      I can think of at least two. :)

  4. Socorro Smith
      · May 26th, 2016 at 7:00 pm · Link

    I missed your blogs. This Time I miss reading since I’m confined in the hospital. My only access is through my blackberry. And I don’t have any of your books download on My KOBO books but I’m sure I will keep up to date when I geT discharged

    • linda
        · May 30th, 2016 at 1:33 pm · Link

      I hope you’re feeling better!

  5. Kathy rubeo
      · May 26th, 2016 at 7:01 pm · Link

    Love the books ! One of my favorite authors !

  6. Margy Manear
      · May 26th, 2016 at 7:06 pm · Link

    Here we’ve gone right from springing to summer!! From 50 to 90! I have to say my iris are beautiful this year. I only live about 30 miles from Gettysburg. Wish I could meet you there.

  7. Hilda
      · May 26th, 2016 at 7:09 pm · Link

    Hi, Linda. I have three possible theories

    1. You fell asleep and a man was speaking in your dream, but it seemed so real it woke you up. (This has happened to me.)
    2. A radio might have been on, and then automatically shut itself off. (This happened to my Dad 3 weeks ago.)
    3. Could it have been a voice speaking in the background of your audio reading?

    You may never know, but these are the thoughts that came to my mind right away. Regardless, if all is well, that’s something to be thankful for!

  8. Linda Solcich
      · May 26th, 2016 at 7:09 pm · Link

    I love peonies too. My mom had a bush in her yard in Kansas. She has been gone these many years now and I have never had luck trying to grow them in Texas.

    I am intreguied by the voices (ghosts). Please keep us posted if it should happen again.

    Glad to have you back

  9. lillian anderson
      · May 26th, 2016 at 7:26 pm · Link

    Linda – I have things fall without anyone being in the room alot.I am not the only one that has seen this happen. No one can explain it either. I don’t know what to tell you -maybe I have a ghost here to. No one gets hurt so we just pick up whatever falls and comment “don’t do that” and nothing happens for a little while.

  10. Ruby Norwood
      · May 26th, 2016 at 7:29 pm · Link

    Congrats to the winners, and so glad to have you back!! I have no clue about the man’s voice you and the little dogs heard, but I do hope you can find out what or who it was….

  11. Melaine Langi
      · May 26th, 2016 at 7:31 pm · Link

    Not sure what’s happening, but this is the first email I have received from you in weeks. Hope I’m back on track for getting them into my email. I assume the others that you have sent out are circling cyberspace somewhere with my name on them. I love the peonies, also, but really miss the fragrant lilac bushes I had. But, still love AZ!

    Always fun to read your blogs, Linda.

  12. Lauri
      · May 26th, 2016 at 7:35 pm · Link

    I am glad your mom is doing good. Our flowers are just starting to come out and make everything see wonderful. And as for the ghost thing. I think we have all had something like that happen to us. :wink:

  13. Nadine spradlin
      · May 26th, 2016 at 7:37 pm · Link

    Glad all is well in the North-West . “well” all except your voices , in the night . sometimes we have a strange flash of light in our front bedroom . can’t account for it at all. BUT it is weird

  14. Diane Sallans
      · May 26th, 2016 at 7:51 pm · Link

    Here’s what happened to me with a voice in the night – I was dozing one night but suddenly heard a man’s voice – since I live alone that was unexpected! Couldn’t figure out what it was. But then another time it happened again. Figured out that it was because the electric had briefly gone out then on which caused my phone answering machine to restart – which means a voice prompt spoke with directions to do something. :lol:

  15. Lois Rotella
      · May 26th, 2016 at 7:56 pm · Link

    Love your books both modern and historical. You have had a spirit come for a visit. If the dogs reacted then you all heard something. Animals are sensitive to all sounds. Glad you have family near by to be there to assist if needed. Have a great Memorial Day Weekend.

  16. Evelyn M. Villanueva
      · May 26th, 2016 at 8:00 pm · Link

    I missed you. Your ghost is very real, I am sure. I live in
    Sacramento, ca, and there abounds spirits from the ancient natives to the Gold Rush settlers. The Old Sacramento area has been featured in “Ghost Hunters” and I have felt spirits there, also.My mom is currently reading your new book, then I get my chance. Adios.

  17. Marcia White
      · May 26th, 2016 at 8:20 pm · Link

    Ghosties & Ghoulis?
    Love your books and blog.

  18. Kandis
      · May 26th, 2016 at 8:32 pm · Link

    Those things are real… been there a number of times. Haven’t heard the voice, but felt the presence, felt one sitting on the bed and felt one as they touched me. I also never had the feeling of danger, so I just role with it.

  19. Beverly Sivacek
      · May 26th, 2016 at 8:45 pm · Link

    Linda, perhaps the voice you heard was from one of the characters from your Civil War period story. He decided to visit to check you out to make sure you were doing a good job writing about them and the time period. I have no doubt that he was happy with what he found out. :-)

    • Debbie G
        · May 27th, 2016 at 11:23 pm · Link

      In response to Beverly S. About the ghost of civil war participants – I think You are absolutely correct.

  20. Joann Quijada
      · May 26th, 2016 at 8:51 pm · Link

    Hello Linda,

    Glad to have u back, loved Once A Rancher & cannot wait for the next one to come out. So nice to know your mom is happy & settling in for change is never easy for them, i too am going through this with my Mother-in-law. Wow so you for sure had a late night visitor just as i have. Yes our dream’s sometimes seem so real but we also know that difference when it happens. I woke up one night to someone calling my name and felt my shoulder being touched. I thought it was my daughter who was maybe 7 at that time but she was sound asleep in her room & would have said “Mom”. Would love to know if you experience more. Someone chose to come too you for a reason.

  21. Judy Patno
      · May 26th, 2016 at 8:56 pm · Link

    We often hear voice or other noises at my house. They come and go. Good luck with that ghost. While you are in Gettysburg will you be at any of the book stores? We live just north of Gettysburg. If you get a chance you have to see Ike’s farm. It is beautiful.

  22. Connie
      · May 26th, 2016 at 9:00 pm · Link

    I do believe animals are sensitive to thing that go “bump in the night “. Love your books!

  23. Ann Diener
      · May 26th, 2016 at 9:09 pm · Link

    Sounds like you had a few busy weeks! Your weather pattern sounds pretty much like it is here in PA, but my peony bushes are still tight little balls. Have hit the 90’s in the last 2 days, so I am sure they will bloom soon. Can’t wait to smell them!

  24. Virginia Horton
      · May 26th, 2016 at 9:13 pm · Link

    So glad your mother is doing well, just be glad you still have her. I can’t say I have ever had those bumps in the night here. As far as weather here its been rain, rain, rain. My back yard is a swamp. We tried to mow today and just got finished when the rain started again. I let husband mow the back part of the yard that hadnt been mowed in several weeks and he was mowing through puddles. Its is a bit of a mess.

  25. Darlene
      · May 26th, 2016 at 9:30 pm · Link

    Love all your books! I am rereading some now for about the third time. They never get old. I’ve had some strange experiences at my house since my mom passed away 2 years ago. I think she’s letting me know she’s around. I never feel afraid. I wish I could see her but that might be a little scary. One time we went out to dinner and came home to find the fireplace lit. In the summer. In Texas. Another time a decorative plate flew off the wall and broke in a million pieces. The picture hanger was still on the wall. The hook was still on the back of the plate. The plate did not fall straight down and hit plates hanging beneath it. I watched it come out and then fall. Other things to but that’s enough for now. I don’t have the new book yet so hope I win it!

  26. Des
      · May 26th, 2016 at 9:40 pm · Link

    Hi Linda

    I think if was one of your cowboys coming to check that you were okay. Maybe one of the McKettricks? They would all definitely look out for you and make sure you were safe.

    • Juanita Rice
        · May 26th, 2016 at 9:48 pm · Link


  27. Juanita Rice
      · May 26th, 2016 at 9:53 pm · Link

    I was in Boise for a memorial over the weekend and the widow of the deceased had received a peonie plant with huge, fluffy, pink blossoms. It was gorgeous. I thought of you. :)

      · May 26th, 2016 at 10:03 pm · Link

    we have a visitor in our house too. i, however, believe it is my brother that past away january 16, 2007. our most recent events have been my husband in the family room & i’m in the living room which is open with the dining room & the kitchen. all of a sudden the kitchen faucet is turned on & water running. no one was standing there (that i saw lol) to turn it on. another was i was napping one afternoon on the bed with my lab retreiver at the end of the bed. she suddenly comes up by my head & places her paw on my arm. she’s panting hard & her heart is racing & she keeps looking at the end of the bed. all of a sudden, i feel three knee kicks that jars the bed at the end. i turn around to see & just smile because i know i have a visitor. he can visit as often he wants

  29. Eliza Rosales
      · May 26th, 2016 at 10:23 pm · Link

    Excuses, I’ve got those mastered.

  30. Lorelei
      · May 26th, 2016 at 10:34 pm · Link

    I was at a writers conference a couple weeks ago and bid on and won a basket of books by you! Thanks for writing!

  31. Leanna
      · May 26th, 2016 at 10:35 pm · Link

    I can’t wait for more Carsons of Mustang Creek books. Earlier this week I reread a couple of the Parable, Montana books.

  32. midge watkins
      · May 26th, 2016 at 10:43 pm · Link

    I’m so glad you’re back. My next door neighbor has peonies,
    so I have a blossom on my mantle along with my first rose of
    the season. I read “once A Rancher” and am looking forward to
    the next one. While I’m waiting, I’m reading Kat Martin’s books
    (the ones with the sexy, muscled guys on the covers) and love
    her work, too. I happen to be reading one that has to do with
    ghosts in an Alaska fishing lodge. I don’t believe in them, but
    some things do leave unanswered questions. Also, I believe
    in the animals instincts big time! Have fun in Gettysburg.

  33. Debbie
      · May 26th, 2016 at 10:50 pm · Link

    Believe it or not my door bell speaker picks up cb radio talk sometimes and is the cause, especially at night, for male voices on my first floor of my home. Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend and everyone takes time to remember those who gave all on Memorial Day.

  34. Caryn Horn
      · May 26th, 2016 at 11:48 pm · Link

    You write your blogs like you write your stories. I can see in my head everything you describe. I am in North Spokane for the weekend. Such a relaxing visit! Have a great Memorial Day weekend!!!

  35. Dona Kutska
      · May 27th, 2016 at 12:32 am · Link

    The lilacs are starting to blossom! Love the fragrance. Once the hot water came on full blast upstairs and no one was up there. Another time someone kept shaking my shoulder and I thought it was my daughter and she was sleeping. The third shake I said to cut it out and looked, there was a small girl with blonde curly hair dresses in white standing by the bed. She just disappeared.. I know what I felt and saw, just don’t understand it.

  36. Shirley Meyle
      · May 27th, 2016 at 12:50 am · Link

    Hi Linda,
    We also had a ghost in our older home years ago. We would hear music and knocks on our door and our cat would act weird. Things would come up missing and then suddenly appear. We just learned to live with it and sold the home 17 years ago. Our Casper did not relocate here – yet! Good Luck.

  37. Deborah Rae Nelson
      · May 27th, 2016 at 6:06 am · Link

    Just finished the audiobook of Once a Rancher. Looking forward to the next in the series. Loved it!

    Glad your mom is settling in to her new digs. Challenging times.

    Your mystery voice in the middle of the night is scary. Take care.

  38. Priscilla Hayes
      · May 27th, 2016 at 6:36 am · Link

    The ghost is trying to let you know it wants to be in one of your books. I would like that too.

  39. Kay Moorhead
      · May 27th, 2016 at 7:40 am · Link

    Always love reading your blogs. :-P

  40. Jane
      · May 27th, 2016 at 7:54 am · Link

    Glad you’re back. Have had some minor encounters with spirits – mainly taking things off the walls and once, moving our bikes (which had been stored by the front door down a flight of stairs with a 90 degree turn in it) up the stairs and parking them by our bed in the bedroom. In the middle of the night…. The house was 100 years old and had a lot of history. Glad your mom is making the transition to assisted living. I have several aunts and uncles in assisted living and they really like it.

  41. Dorian
      · May 27th, 2016 at 8:02 am · Link

    Definitely sounds like a spirit to me. Most likely friendly. You should talk to him every now and then, maybe he will make himself known.

  42. Linda Romine
      · May 27th, 2016 at 9:16 am · Link

    Like you, I have been struggling with my weight watchers weigh-in. It has been all this rain we have been having in north-central Arkansas. I have not been able to get out & do my walking. And I still hate that treadmill!!! But, I am renewing my efforts all over again. Good luck to you!

    And I can’t wait to hear more on your new books you are working on now! Good luck with that too!

  43. Linda Beaudoin
      · May 27th, 2016 at 9:54 am · Link

    You just may have a ghost. The dogs wouldn’t just start barking at the same time you hear a voice, if nothing was there. I think that’s cool.

  44. Rhonda Dickinson
      · May 27th, 2016 at 10:16 am · Link

    I’ll bet it was a ghost. We used to live in a very old house and would hear someone walking around upstairs and coming down the steps several times while watching tv. Doors would come open by themselves. It was kind of cool! The next person that lived there didn’t think so. He was spooked. Glad your mom is doing well in her new home. We are working through getting my dad accustomed to the nursing home. Glad we are all so close so we can visit often. Keep writing those books! Love your books and you!

  45. Lynn Hill
      · May 27th, 2016 at 10:20 am · Link

    I am glad your mom is settling in. Change is never easy. Oh a ghost, how awesome as long as he is a friendly one that would be ok. Life does seem to rear-end us when we least expect it doesn’t it. Just slow down and and breath and enjoy those flowers!!

  46. Eriko
      · May 27th, 2016 at 10:54 am · Link

    Oh MY! a GHOST! i

    • Eriko
        · May 27th, 2016 at 10:55 am · Link

      I am not sure what I would do. Talk to this ghost next time you hear him? Tell him this is your home and thanks for visiting, but it is time to leave.

  47. DONNA
      · May 27th, 2016 at 10:58 am · Link

    Happy all is well – Sounds like a lot going on!! A possible ghost in residence sounds interesting. My aunt had one in her house who only made noise on the major holidays.

  48. Lisa Hicks
      · May 27th, 2016 at 11:04 am · Link

    This happens to me at times.it could be you needed to walk around a bit so a past member of close family or your guardian angel spoke to get u moving

  49. Trudy Wilson
      · May 27th, 2016 at 11:07 am · Link

    Love your books. Would love to have an autographed copy of one of your books to add to my favorite authors collection.

    Thank you! Happy Memorial Day!

  50. Lorraine Pitts
      · May 27th, 2016 at 11:24 am · Link

    Sometimes you can tell yourself that you imagined the sound or you were just hearing things, but when your pet reacts to the noise, you know it’s not you. I lived in a house like that. I never believed in ghosts, but I loved a good ghost story. One day when I was alone, I heard footsteps pacing above me in my bedroom. As I sat in my family room downstairs I tried to tell myself it was nothing, but I finally checked the house. I was completely alone. I decided to brace myself and check out my bedroom. As I enter the stairs, I looked up and the family pets ( a bulldog and a Siamese cat) were backing away from my bedroom door. The dog was whinning, every hair on the cat standing out, the literary crept backwards from the door to me at the top of the stairs. I worked up my nerve and went into the bedroom……..no-one was there. I checked the entire upstairs! I was alone! The pets sat with me the rest of the afternoon until my girls came home from school. Sorry this is so long, but I believe pets see what we can’t! Have a great weekend and keep us updated.

  51. Margaret
      · May 27th, 2016 at 11:50 am · Link

    Personally I would have been scared spitless! My theory is that it was your dad just checking up on you to see how you are doing. He probably said something like ” this girl is doing fine, no need to worry about her”. True or not this is an explanation that would make me feel good and explain the occurance. Keep up the good work.

  52. Teresa G
      · May 27th, 2016 at 12:46 pm · Link

    Love your posts. Enjoy your spring.

  53. Tamey
      · May 27th, 2016 at 1:29 pm · Link

    My husband passed away a few days before Christmas and my cats seem to be talking to him.

  54. Diana E.
      · May 27th, 2016 at 3:07 pm · Link

    Congratulations to this weeks winners. So glad to hear from you Linda and that things are well. I’m sure you’ll take the ghost business in stride!!! Blessings.

  55. Elaine Key
      · May 27th, 2016 at 4:56 pm · Link

    Greetings from Tennessee:

    I was wondering where you were and what you were doing? I finally came to the conclusion that you were awfully busy.

    I have a theory about ghosts. They are demons and sometimes they take on the persona of the dead. Anyway the Bible is clear we are not to concern ourselves with such things.

    Since Jenni can’t go to Gettysburg with you, can I come and be your assistant? I have never been to Gettysburg and I have always been interested in the Civil War. My grandfather fought in the Civil War for the South and was hit in the shoulder by one of those balls they used for bullets back then. He survived the Civil War and died sometime in the 1900’s with that ball still in his shoulder. I’m not sure of the date. Anyway keep us informed. You lead a fascinating life.

  56. Sue Gahagan
      · May 27th, 2016 at 6:07 pm · Link

    My sons girlfriend went to the old prison in Deer Lodge on a ghost hunting tour. She felt someone grabbed her ankle but no one was there. Somethings can’t be explained. Have a Good Weekend.

  57. D'Anna Brown
      · May 27th, 2016 at 7:51 pm · Link

    I can’t get enough of the Creeds!

  58. Charlotte Litton
      · May 27th, 2016 at 10:56 pm · Link

    Hi Linda, when I lived in Florida, I had a ghost who we named Casper. She (because she wore enough rose perfume for 6 people )would walk by and leave a perfume trail. I never saw her but my ex did. We had added on to the house and she would stand where the old house ended looking confused at the new addition.
    I’m sure glad your Mom is comfortable with her new home.

  59. Peggy Casey
      · May 28th, 2016 at 2:43 am · Link

    Glad you have your new fur-babies to keep an eye on you and reinforce your knowledge that you had a guest… perhaps one of the Civil War characters is going to move in and help you with your books!
    Happy Memorial Day!

  60. Lynn
      · May 28th, 2016 at 1:14 pm · Link

    Wow! What a week! Totally believe in the ghost. We’ve had one off and on for years. Didn’t worry me too much until I heard the voice in my ear one night. Just as clear and soft… I answered before I thought and it hit me. Talk about chill bumps.

    Hope things settle down for you. Would love to see your ranch some time. God bless


  61. Lorelei
      · May 28th, 2016 at 9:58 pm · Link

    You’ve been on the up side of the scale before and keeping 60+ pounds off for as long as you have says that this little snafu is only a temporary setback. You can do this. I believe in you.

  62. Judith Cooper
      · May 29th, 2016 at 1:22 am · Link

    Your posts are always so interesting. I believe you about the ghost. I have never thought too much about them. some of my family members have encountered them. Especially after your guard dogs reacted as they did. Stay safe.

  63. Teresa W
      · May 30th, 2016 at 12:57 am · Link

    I am always hearing sounds from the spirits, ghosts, or whatever label one might want to assign to such, that I attribute to some much loved and not too distantly passed furry family members and others not so furry. Sounds of their specific strides in the hall, etc etc. Let me know that our love and care for each other lives on as real today as when they visibly were with me. Love never dies, we always carry them with us, just in different forms.

  64. Sharon Sovereign
      · May 30th, 2016 at 9:15 am · Link

    It sounds like a friendly ghost anyway. Good luck on writing.

  65. Diane Lussier
      · May 30th, 2016 at 9:03 pm · Link

    Love your books!!! Good luck writing!!

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