#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller


And the mystery location was….

Jackson Hole, Wyoming!

Jenni and I left the Triple L at 4:20 AM last Wednesday–yikes–headed for Spokane International Airport.  (I’m not sure where the ‘International’ part comes in, as I don’t think you can fly directly to Canada OR Mexico from there).  We caught a flight to Salt Lake City and then went on to Idaho Falls, ID, (of course), where we picked up our rental car and headed up into the high country, toward Jackson.  (There is an airport in Jackson, but it’s REALLY expensive to fly in, so we decided to drive from ID Falls, enjoy the view, and save a few sheckels.)  The drive is scenic, over twisty mountain roads, and takes about 2 hours.

Why did I choose Jackson?  Because my new “Marriage” series is set in that area, and I needed to get a good look at the place, boots-on-the-ground kind of thing.  While I had the story all figured out, I couldn’t quite get a handle on the setting–and the setting is always a character in its own right–so I felt stuck.  Looking at the pictures online and in books just wasn’t working for me–I needed to BE THERE.  I needed to SEE what my characters saw, in order to get inside their heads and hearts and spin the best possible yarn. 

So, off we went.  We stayed at a lovely lodge, complete with log walls and beautifully carved bears, mostly cubs, frolicking on the sides of the building, etc. 

That first day, after all the flying and driving, we were pooped.  We had dinner in the hotel and crashed.

The second day, we were taking things at a leisurely pace–the altitude affects energy levels, until you have a chance to get used to it–mostly driving around, checking out the touristy but still fun Town Square, buying our fair share of T-shirts, coffee mugs, etc. 

The third day, Friday, we got up early, enjoyed the hotel’s free breakfast, and set out for Yellowstone Park, wanting to see Old Faithful.  Along the way, we passed through another National Park, Grand Teton, and we stopped often to take pictures.  The scenery was positively staggering, it was so beautiful.  Now, the Pacific Northwest, where I’ve lived most of my life, is nothing to sneeze at, scenery wise, but the Tetons took my breath away.  Talk about rugged. 

Old Faithful was amazing, of course.  We arrived just as it was blowing, so we hung around another 90 minutes waiting for the next blast, having lunch and buying more T-shirts and coffee mugs :) and generally admiring the territory.  We had a wonderful day, and after the long drive back, stopped at a restaurant for supper before heading across the street to our hotel and calling it a night.  The place was called Sidewinder’s (probably still is :) ) and they serve great food.  I had some of the best barbecued beef ever.

On Saturday, we did some more exploring and picture taking, indulged ourselves with mud wraps at the hotel spa, and, later on, rode the tram at the ski lodge outside of Grand Teton Village (about 12 miles from Jackson), up to the mountain top.  The view, of course, was spectacular.  Just to add a romantic flavor, there was a bride and groom aboard the tram, along with their wedding party.  The happy couple had already tied the knot, but they wanted pictures on the peak, and I could see why.

Sunday was the wrap up–after checking out of the hotel, we lunched at Wendy’s (by this time, we wanted ordinary food), and headed back down the mountain to Idaho Falls, singing along with Patsy Cline most of the way and generally marveling over what a good trip we’d had.

It was late when we got back to the ranch, for sure, and there was one very happy Yorkie waiting to greet me.

I had some soup and fell face first into bed, surrounded by my in-house menagerie–two cats and the Yorkster–thinking how true it is: the best part of going on a trip, no matter how wonderful it may be, is coming home.

I fully intended to blog yesterday, but I was essentially a zombie.   I stared at walls and took a long, long nap.

As we speak, Jenni is notifying two book winners for last week, and there’s a new contest underway now, so be sure to comment.

I’m still a little tired, but I’m certainly inspired, too.  I can hardly wait to get back to “The Marriage Pact”, now that I have a clear sense of the place.


67 comments to “Finally!”

  1. Marilyn Everhart
      · September 24th, 2013 at 2:58 pm · Link

    Jackson Hole is so beautiful. You’ve reminded me I’d like to visit there again.

  2. Tonya
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:01 pm · Link

    Love your books :!: Thanks for the chance to win :wink:

  3. Kathleen McCluskey
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:02 pm · Link

    I have always dreamed of being in the mountains. the closest I got is The Grand canyon when I went to Las Vegas.

  4. Jaime brooks
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:05 pm · Link

    I cannot wait to read the new series. I am glad you had a great trip.

  5. Gwen Romine
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:06 pm · Link

    I would love to go visit the National Parks out west. *sigh*

  6. DONNA
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:06 pm · Link

    I love your books!! I am a city girl love reading about “western living”

  7. DONNA
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:08 pm · Link

    I am a city girl & love reading about ranch live. Keep ’em coming.

  8. Lori Rinaldi
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:09 pm · Link

    OMG I am sooo happy that
    you are setting a series there! I am about to leave for my 8th trip to the area…and my husband and I are looking for property! It is the most beautiful spot on earth, and I cannot wait!! Looking forward to your new series…and how about naming the characters Lori and John for my hubby and i?? ;)

  9. Andrea Lammly
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:09 pm · Link

    Welcome back! Sounds like you had an exciting and eventful trip! Can’t wait to see more pictures and to read the new series!

    Always good to come home to the animals; they so appreciate you when you come home from vacation. Happy Day All! :)

  10. Betty Hamilton
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:11 pm · Link

    My son and I went to Jackson Hole this past May. The scenery was gorgeous and the driving a real challenge for this South Florida girl. I loved Yellowstone National Park and the Tetons are glorious! We were high enough in Yellowstone that the light rain became snow flurries and my son got to see it snow for the first time in his life!

  11. Patricia M Hann
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:11 pm · Link

    cant wait for the new series. I do my traveling thru your books.

  12. Becky Strobaugh
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:12 pm · Link

    I came late to the Parable party but just finished a marathon reading of Big Sky Mountain, River and Summer. Can’t wait to find Country and buy Wedding. My backlist is filling in quite nicely!

    Thank you, Linda, for all the time, care and attention you take on your books! My mother (78 years young) and I have been reading your books for years, and enjoy re-reading them, too! They are a permanent part of our librsry. :)

  13. Teresa
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:13 pm · Link

    WOW what a way to view the scenery and get prepared for your next book series – I am most definately green with ENVY!!

  14. Janay Funk
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:13 pm · Link

    It sounds like you had a wonderful trip! I was there two years ago and fell instantly in love with the area. Can’t wait until next time. I am really looking forward to new stories from your heart! I always enjoy them. :)Thank you!

  15. Maryjane Hoffman
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:15 pm · Link

    Enjoyed your photo’s! Such beautiful country Mother Nature has given us as well!! Can’t wait now to see how your story comes together!! Thanks as always for such great books!!!!

  16. Angela Maivelett
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:15 pm · Link

    I have enjoy reading ur book and blog Thanks :lol:

  17. Norma Stanforth
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:21 pm · Link

    Hi Linda,
    So glad you are back, but glad you had a great time, i know your book is going to be great you but your heart in all of you books. The way you describe every thing make you feel like you are there. God bless everyone.
    As always your friend
    Norma :wink:

  18. pat Yates
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:22 pm · Link

    Happy you had such a good trip. Can hardly wait for the new books. I don’t travel much except through my books, and I always feel like I’ve been there after reading yours!

  19. Regina M.
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:23 pm · Link

    Sounds like a WONDERFUL trip!! I’m hoping to one day get out West to see some of those beautiful sites myself. Until then, I will live it through your books! Can’t wait for the new series!!!! :-P

  20. Linda Romine
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:28 pm · Link

    We are planning on going to Jackson Hole next summer. I can’t wait to read your books set there!!!!

  21. Jennifer Damone
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:28 pm · Link

    Sounds like beautiful country! I will have to get out that one day. Can’t wait to read the new book!

  22. Violene Cox
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:30 pm · Link

    Enjoyed your blog of Yellowstone Park, Od Faithful, and through the other National Park, Grand Teton. Have a Great week.

  23. Barbara Brown
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:31 pm · Link

    Maybe some day I will want to travel. Right now I get to enjoy different locations by reading all my favorite authors books, yours being the first romance book I read. Thanks all

  24. Patty C
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:34 pm · Link

    Welcome back Linda! Saw the pictures you took. Beautiful!! Sounds like you had a wonderful time doing your hands on research. Please keep those western stories coming. Have a great writing day :)

  25. Sherry Wallace
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:34 pm · Link

    Oh how I love the Grand Tetons & Jackson Hole!! One of the things I loved in particular was the bar with real saddles as seats on the stools at the bar

  26. Julie Sorenson
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:37 pm · Link

    Having grown up in southeast Idaho, I can attest to the beauty of Jackson Hole, the Grand Tetons, and Yellowstone. Have made many visits to all that area thru my lifetime. Just spent a week mid-August exploring Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons with my husband and children. Had an amazing time and the scenery was spectacular. Glad you enjoyed your trip and look forward to the new series.

  27. Juanita Rice
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:37 pm · Link

    Welcome home, Linda! I followed you by your pictures on Facebook and was completely jealous. ;)

  28. Roberta Giordano
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:41 pm · Link

    Sounds like you had a great trip! Hope someday hubby and I get to see some of the national parks.

  29. Ruby Norwood
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:48 pm · Link

    Welcome home Linda, sounds like you had a great time. I can’t wait until the new books come out. I know they will be just as good as all the rest you have written, now that we have actually seen pictures of what you will be writing about about.

  30. Fran
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:54 pm · Link

    I was lucky enough to be in Jackson Hole after spending 3 days in Yellowstone. Got to the top of the mountain at Grand Teton Village on 4th of July and there were people heading off from the tram to ski. Beautiful view as you mentioned. Did you happen to see the post office in Moose, WY? It’s not far from the village on one of the back roads. Neat.

  31. Emily
      · September 24th, 2013 at 3:58 pm · Link

    I just love your books. A friend introduced me to them during one of my husbands many deployments. I have a bookshelf and now a kindle full of them. And I have decided to start re-reading them while waiting on your next Big Sky book to come out. Your writing is so wonderful its like a movie playing in my head. Its true get away when I really need it. Raising 3 kids in a military family is not easy and I use naptime to “take a little trip” with your books. Thank you so much for such wonderful books. :-D

  32. zola udell
      · September 24th, 2013 at 4:20 pm · Link

    Welcome Home!!!. It is so good to hear from you. I am glad that you had a profitable and refreshing trip in Wyoming. Since I have lived in New York City all of my life, I am looking forward to reading your accounts of the beautiful Wyoming and your new characters. Stay well, happy and peaceful!!!

  33. Donna Price
      · September 24th, 2013 at 4:44 pm · Link

    I’m so glad you’re doing a series, love all your books!

  34. Leanna
      · September 24th, 2013 at 4:48 pm · Link

    Your adventures are so exciting! I am very jealous.

  35. Marianne W
      · September 24th, 2013 at 4:50 pm · Link

    My husband and I spent 10 days in Jackson Hole in the fall and loved it! What a great place for a book series!

  36. Tammy
      · September 24th, 2013 at 4:52 pm · Link

    Went to Jackson and the Yellowstone area a few years back. Sure do miss it. Those cubs on the sides of the buildings were just the cutest things. Love the Tetons and the entire area there. Wish I could move there. :wink:

  37. Lois Rotella
      · September 24th, 2013 at 4:57 pm · Link

    Your trip sounds wonderful. I have always wanted to go out west. That is on my bucket list. I saw your pictures on your facebook page and they were beautiful. Waiting for the next installment of Big Sky. Have a great day.

      · September 24th, 2013 at 5:08 pm · Link


  39. Diana E
      · September 24th, 2013 at 5:25 pm · Link

    Sounds like you and Jenni had a wonderful fun trip. We had a family reunion in Yellowstone years ago, included the Grand Teton Park, Jackson Hole and really enjoyed the secenery. My husband and I also went to Yellowstone a couple times in the winter snowmobiling, a whole different take on the park. Good memories.
    I will look forward to this series, Linda and welcome home! Blessings.

  40. Marilyn Hurst
      · September 24th, 2013 at 5:38 pm · Link

    Wyoming is one of the states that I want to visit and just have not gotten to yet. Glad to know that the trip to Jackson Hole area is possible via car. Definitely going to go there in the next year.

  41. Joyce M.
      · September 24th, 2013 at 5:44 pm · Link

    Sounds like it is an awesome area.

  42. Anita C
      · September 24th, 2013 at 6:05 pm · Link

    What a nice relaxing trip! And while it was for work, you got to see all that gorgeous scenery of that area and drink in the ‘feel’ of the area too. Glad to hear of it and live it vicariously. I needed that trip to Wyoming right now. :-P

  43. Lisa Johnson
      · September 24th, 2013 at 6:45 pm · Link

    Another of my fav authors writes from Jackson Hole…but having you, Linda, write a series set in this amazing place ….all I can say is Hallelujah!!!!!! Cooler weather in our neck of the woods now too. Maine has the most colorfully visual seasons, but in all the books I’ve read and movies I’ve seen, Wyoming is gorgeous too.

  44. Darlene Tomel Sigala
      · September 24th, 2013 at 6:45 pm · Link

    Hi Linda, Now you are in my neck of the woods. I split my time between Seattle and Wyoming which will now be my permanent residence and ranch. Wyoming. :lol:

  45. Gloria
      · September 24th, 2013 at 6:50 pm · Link

    No wonder you were tired. I was exhausted just from reading about it, but I’m glad you’re both back safely.

  46. carole
      · September 24th, 2013 at 6:57 pm · Link

    I’d be pooped to with all the traveling and the sights you saw. I want to visit Jackson Hole one day, just the state of Wyoming and Montana are on my bucket list. Can’t wait to read this series. love all your books!

  47. Sandra S
      · September 24th, 2013 at 7:32 pm · Link

    Love the pictures and looks like you both had a wonderful trip. I am excited about the next books being set in WY. I love both of those parks so much. I’ve got the NPS websites for Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Glacier saved on my favorites list so I can just go and look at the live webcams.

  48. Heather Charity
      · September 24th, 2013 at 7:59 pm · Link

    I spent my best years in I.F. GO TIGERS!!! On clear days you can see the Tetons and not too far in the other direction Craters of the Moon (or Hell-depending on how you look at it). I haven’t been back since I left in 91, so I’m very jealous of your trip! :wink:

  49. Shirley Stieb
      · September 24th, 2013 at 8:07 pm · Link

    My friends Kathy & Pete was at Yellowstone today. They sent pix of Old Faithful & a warning to stay on the boardwalk! Someday…

  50. Jeri H
      · September 24th, 2013 at 8:15 pm · Link

    I can’t wait for your next book. I would love to visit those parks again. One of these days! Glad you had a good trip.

  51. gloria bare
      · September 24th, 2013 at 9:36 pm · Link

    So glad you enjoyed your trip. I can’t afford trips out west so I really enjoy your books,that way I can put myself in those places and enjoy all the places the characters see.

  52. judy
      · September 24th, 2013 at 9:56 pm · Link

    I finished Big Sky Wedding and it was sure good. Just like the other Big Sky books. Glad you had a good trip. Have a good week.

  53. Joy Newcomer
      · September 24th, 2013 at 10:03 pm · Link

    Love, love, love Jackson Hole. All time favorite…haven’t been there in a while…but remember with fondness and deep appreciation of the beauty. Stayed in a log cabin for a couple of nights…really cool, huh. Glad you enjoyed your time.

  54. Rosanne Bolton
      · September 24th, 2013 at 10:25 pm · Link

    I agree its a beautiful area, I was there 5 years ago on the trip out west with my two sisters. We saw Old Faithful and the Tetons. Yellowstone Park was fantastic. We went to Trout Lake, Washington and it was beautiful. I lost one of my sisters 18 months ago, so it was a trip remembered. I love your books about the west and your trilogies. Thank you for all the reading hours of pleasure you have given me and I’m sure many other fans. I’m glad you had a great trip Looking forward to reading your new book set in Wyoming.

  55. Lea Williams
      · September 24th, 2013 at 11:13 pm · Link

    Have never been to Jackson Hole but know its wonderful. Yellowstone is awesome. Old Faithful is one of my favoirite views there. I am glad you had a good trip. I would be tired too.

  56. Debra
      · September 25th, 2013 at 7:20 am · Link

    I went to Wyoming a few years ago with my daughter and I feel I left a piece of me there. I fell in love and hope to go back some day. Can’t wait to read the new story!

  57. Kristie Wilson
      · September 25th, 2013 at 9:18 am · Link

    Sounds like you had a marvelous trip! I’ve never been out west (the farthest I’ve been in the east coast of Texas!) so that’s definitely on my bucket list.

    I live minutes outside of Nashville, Tennessee so I’m partial to the rolling hills of the great South, but would love to see the mountains and the Pacific Northwest.

    Just got Big Sky Wedding a few days ago and can’t start to read. Thank you for sharing your gift of writing with us!

  58. Emily
      · September 25th, 2013 at 9:54 am · Link

    What a great place to visit. We are going to go there next year on our driving trip. Can’t wait. We took our kids when they were young, (long ago) so it will be great to re-live the memories and see what is new.

    As always, love your books. My book-shelves are over-flowing. I am always looking forward to the next one.

    Have a great week, and stay well! :-D

      · September 25th, 2013 at 10:31 am · Link

    I am glad you enjoyed your visit to Wyoming. That is one state I have always wanted to visit. Can’t wait for the new series. But I am waiting for the new book in January, I think.

    I hope you are rested by now and enjoy the rest of the week.

  60. Sharon Skasick
      · September 25th, 2013 at 10:48 am · Link

    Will the new “Marriage” books be contemporary or take place in the “cowboy days”? I’m hoping for the latter, you write them so well. Keep up the good work Linda. I’m looking forward to the new books!

  61. Ida C
      · September 25th, 2013 at 10:55 am · Link

    Sounds like you had a wonderful mini vacation. Would love to visit that area of your great country. And I do agree, the best part of the vacation is coming home. Enjoy your week and hope the writing goes well! Happy fall to everyone. :wink:

  62. Becky Johnson
      · September 25th, 2013 at 10:55 am · Link

    Glad you had such a wonderful and safe trip. Now you’ve got me all excited…can’t wait to read the new series!!!! :-P

  63. Lorraine Pitts
      · September 25th, 2013 at 11:53 am · Link

    Wow! Would love to take a trip like that. Can’t wait for the books!!!!!!

  64. Sandra Wheeler
      · September 25th, 2013 at 2:03 pm · Link

    So glad you had a great trip. The picture you posted with the Tetons in the background is almost identical to a picture I took in 1990 on one of our trips to Montana. I entered it in a photography contest and I was so excited when it won a second place ribbon. I moved and went to work at a small hospital here in North Texas that has a rural health clinic in it. On one of the clinic walls is a picture that almost matched mine. The rugged peaks of The Teton range. I discovered that it is one of the most photographed sites in this country. I absolutely love that place. I am excited about the new series. Have a nice day.

  65. Deborah Rae Nelson
      · September 25th, 2013 at 2:05 pm · Link

    Some of my favorite country! I’m currently painting a classic view, with horses in the foreground, of the Tetons. Wonderful scenery! And I’ll be looking forward to your new series. :-P

  66. donna harris
      · September 26th, 2013 at 8:31 pm · Link

    I’m happy to hear you had a wonderful time. I’ve never been there but always wanted to. As far west I’ve ever gone was a little in Iowa. Glad you made it home safe.
    Can’t wait to read the new book!

  67. Judy Manning
      · September 27th, 2013 at 12:53 pm · Link

    I love anywhere west of the Mississippi. Probably has something to do with having been born and raised in Michigan. You know, ‘grass is always greener’ and the west being ‘the other side of the fence’. So, I envy you your trip. I love that your stories take place in my favorite part of the US.

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