#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Greetings from the sunbelt

No, I’m not in Florida or California–I’m right at home in good ole Spokane, WA.  (For those of you who care, one way or the other, ‘Spokane’ is pronounced SPO-CAN, not SPO-CANE.  Just sayin’. :))  It’s definitely chilly outside, but the sun is shining, the sky is blue and Linda is a very happy camper.  Also, a grateful camper.

This week’s contest winners are: Rhonda Dickinson and Suzanne Mongan.  Congratulations, ladies–books in transit soon.  As always, there’s a new contest beginning today.  Enter a comment, and you’re automatically entered.  How easy is that?  :)  Two winners will be selected, notified and announced on next Monday’s blog, so if you didn’t win this time around, no worries.  There’s always another giveaway coming up soon.

I’m in a reflective mood just now, looking back over 2014.  This was a challenging year for me, in many ways, and yet there were gifts–I discovered crystals and learned a great deal about working with them, I lost a LOT of weight and established a lasting exercise program, delved into “The Course in Miracles”, which has been truly, and broke a certain habit that was causing me considerable concern.  On the downside, I lost a favorite aunt, my 95 year old cowgirl, still saddling up and riding with the best of them.  A good friend lost his battle with cancer, and one of my kitties, fluffy little ChaCha, crossed the river unexpectedly.  I miss my aunt, my friend, and my kitty enormously, but I know I’ll see them all again someday.  Naturally, I mourned all three, but my main emotion is gratitude–it was and is a blessing just to remember them and all the light they brought into my life.

Last week’s visit to Weight Watchers brought a point-eight weight loss–nothing big, but at least I’m going in the right direction.  :)

This year, I’m performing a little private ceremony on New Year’s Eve.  I’ll be lighting 12 small candles, one for each month of 2015, and pondering my intentions for the near future.  There will also be a larger candle to honor and say “thank you” to and for the past year, for all the trials as well as the gifts.  For me, this is about releasing the past, letting go.  On New Year’s Day, inspired by author Isabel Allende, I will WRITE.  Ms. Allende has written on January 1 for years and years, believing that what one does that day sets the tone for the coming year.  Sounds good to me!




79 comments to “Greetings from the sunbelt”

  1. Sharon S.
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 3:05 pm · Link

    Hello, Miss Linda! I received my signed book on Friday! I am so excited. I started it that night. Thank you so much. Merry Christmas and HAPPY new year.

  2. Andrea Lammly
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 3:05 pm · Link

    Wishing you and your family a very Blessed and Merry Christmas.
    Enjoy your holidays.

  3. DONNA
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 3:06 pm · Link

    Happy Holidays – may all your dreams come true!

  4. pat Dennis
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 3:09 pm · Link

    Have a Blessed Christmas. We flew a thousand miles (which really isn’t that far) to see our daughters and granddaughters. We daily miss our grandson that we lost 3 years ago. We light a candle for him.

  5. Virginia H
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 3:12 pm · Link

    Great post and congrats to the winners! As far as weight loss goes at least you are loosing some and not gaining which is what I do this time of the year.

    Hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  6. Hillary Harshbarger
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 3:13 pm · Link

    Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year!!!!

  7. Marilyn Neuhoff
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 3:15 pm · Link

    Your comment about pronouncing Spokane reminds me of how many people can’t pronounce Orygun unless you spell it wrong.
    I also lost a friend on Saturday. Life is too short, however my mother will be 98 on Valentine day and is still healthy but no short term memory. If you ask her who her first grade teacher she can tell you


  8. Nancy Fountain
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 3:27 pm · Link

    Enjoy your blogs very much. Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a wonderful and Happy New Year.

  9. Chris
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 3:42 pm · Link

    I like the candle idea.

  10. Rita Crofoot
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 3:44 pm · Link

    Good post,Linda, I plan to continue to minimize ,both my body and my stuff. Makes me happy.

  11. Pam paterakis
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 3:47 pm · Link

    I have a question I have been battling with friends for several months over. One friend says our spirit lives on at death and two others say no when we die we die. I want to believe a part of us lives on. What do you think and where can I get the answer?

    • Gloria
        · December 22nd, 2014 at 7:02 pm · Link

      Pam, you can find the answers in God’s word, the Holy Bible. It can answer all your questions, if you can understand it. I confess I don’t always understand, but I strive.

  12. Dennis
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 3:47 pm · Link

    Have a very Merry & Blessed Christmas and a very Happy New year!!

    Keep up the good work!

  13. barb
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 3:57 pm · Link

    Merry Christmas!

  14. barb
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 3:57 pm · Link

    Merry Christmas

  15. Judy Eagle
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 3:59 pm · Link

    Enjoy your holidays. I hope you are surrounded by many loving spirits visible and invisible. Congratulations on the weight loss, I concur with the others that is a HUGE feat this time of year.

  16. Violette Ruffley
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 4:05 pm · Link

    What a thoughtful way to celebrate on NewYears’s Eve. I shall do the same, now I have to scare up the 12 small candles.

    I wish you a most delightful holiday and may the new year be filled with wondrous blessings.

    Your devotion to your fans, determination in your goals, creativity in the books you write, and charming sense of humor are such a gift to all of us.


  17. Delorse Leeper
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 4:06 pm · Link

    I would love any thing Linda writes :wink:

  18. C Culp
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 4:08 pm · Link

    I love your positive “sunny” mindset! So refreshing and needed. Hoping you have a wonderful holiday and keep writing those wonderful books in 2015.

  19. Lois Rotella
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 4:18 pm · Link

    It is good to reflect. My cousin lost her husband in Sept., my sister in law passed on this month. I also miss my older brother whom passed on 15 years ago new year eve. I am looking forward to the new year and what it has install for me.
    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and to family, animals .

  20. Lorraine Pitts
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 4:31 pm · Link

    Merry Christmas to you from Ga. I am sitting in hospice with my Dad so , all of you people that pray I sure could use some prayers. Got me a Linda book to read in my down time with Dad. Thanks all.

    • Gloria
        · December 22nd, 2014 at 7:04 pm · Link

      Lorraine, I will pray for your dad, and for you. Just keep praying for him.

    • DIANA E
        · December 22nd, 2014 at 7:45 pm · Link

      Lorriane, will keep you and your dad in my prayers.

      • midge watkins
          · December 22nd, 2014 at 10:39 pm · Link

        My prayers are with you. I hope many good memories come
        to you while you are still with your Dad.

  21. Lynn
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 4:44 pm · Link

    Thanks for sharing with us Linda. You are an inspiration.

  22. Denise Olson
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 4:47 pm · Link

    Gifts are wrapped and under the tree so I am taking sometime with Linda book for me.

  23. Cheryl Verkon
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 4:59 pm · Link

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

  24. Debbie C.
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 5:31 pm · Link

    I like the idea of believing what one does on January 1 sets the tone for the coming year. I think I’ll start writing in my journal again and really make it a commitment this year. Merry Christmas Linda and thank you for sharing your time, talent and treasures with us.

  25. Niki Davis
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 5:33 pm · Link

    I will take all the writing you can put out!!!!! I hope that you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Happy New Year. Wish me Happy Birthday tomorrow!!!!

  26. Maria Sanchez
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 5:34 pm · Link


    I like the idea of setting the tone, so this year on January 1, I too will do something productive!

  27. Ruby Norwood
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 5:35 pm · Link

    Congrats ladies on your win!! What you do on January 1 sounds good to me Linda! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!! Linda, I would love for you to write all day Jan. 1 that would mean that we would get that book sooner.. Lol

    Lorraine in Georgia, my thoughts and prayers will be with you and your dad!! Don’t give up there is always a little miracle.

  28. Kay
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 5:38 pm · Link

    Merry Christmas and have a grand New Year!

  29. Linda Wilson
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 5:59 pm · Link

    Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year to you and your family

  30. Dana Sperry
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 6:06 pm · Link

    Love your books, have many of them.

  31. Brenda Ireland
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 6:22 pm · Link

    Hello Linda and wishing you a Merry Christmas from up here in Canada.The weather here is very mild and unChristmas like. I”d love to get up and see snow on the ground Christmas Day.
    I loved the idea of writing on New Years Day.It’s like resolutions but not quite.They say that those than pass away just go to clear the path for us when we are ready.So we will see them all again.
    Again Best wishes to you and your family.

  32. Kathie Loy
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 6:28 pm · Link

    Merry Christmas Miss Linda!!

    I haven’t been around much but always try to keep up. In October and December 2013 I made major changes in my life, so I have been a bit preoccupied this year. It has been exciting although a bit scary to upend ones life at this age. There are no regrets, as I feel this is where I am meant to be and my heart is at peace. New Year’s will be spent with the forever of my heart surrounded by our children and grands, being ever thankful that life is as it should be.

    Many Blessings and Much Love!! <3

  33. Teresa G
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 6:30 pm · Link

    From my home to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I love your idea of writing on the New Years Day to set the tone. I believe I will try that myself.

  34. Judi Schultz
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 6:39 pm · Link

    Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year!!!!

  35. Ida C.
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 6:54 pm · Link

    What a wonderful evening and New Years Day you have planned Linda. And I really like the idea of ‘writing’ on New Years Day. Do what you plan to do all year, fabulous idea. Hope you don’t mind if I borrow it? Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! :lol:

  36. Leanna
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 6:54 pm · Link

    Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! I love that you will write on New Year’s Day to set the tone for the rest of the year. We are looking forward to the next Marriage Pact book next month, I just reread the first book again.

  37. Gloria
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 7:00 pm · Link

    Congratulations to Rhonda Dickinson and Suzanne Morgan! Enjoy your books and have a Blessed Christmas.

    Linda, I like the candle idea. But, believing what you do on New Year’s Day sets the tone for the rest of the year can be a good thing, or not. Like the year I was in the hospital on NYD. I sure didn’t want to spend the whole year in a hospital. :) And, I didn’t, for which I was very Thankful.

    If we don’t get another Blog before Christmas, I pray you, Linda, and all your family, friends, and readers have a wonderful and Blessed Christmas and a very good New Year.

    Tomorrow is my birthday, and I tell you that to tell you this…I got a card that said to count your birthdays in Blessings instead of years, and I thought that was a very good message, and although age is just a number that I don’t worry about, I am going to try to remember that the next time someone asks how old I am…I can say I am 14 million Blessings. :)

  38. Sandy Hanson
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 7:27 pm · Link

    Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

  39. Marcy Collins
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 7:36 pm · Link

    Linda, I love reading your posts. I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  40. DIANA E
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 7:43 pm · Link

    Congratulations to the winners this week. Linda, wishing you a very wonderful Christmas with your loved ones. Blessings.

  41. carole
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 7:54 pm · Link

    Merry Christmas and love the idea of that letting go of the past with a candle ceremory! Happy New Year too!

  42. Crystal Carney
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 7:59 pm · Link


  43. linda holmes
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 8:08 pm · Link

    Merry Christmas and happy new year.

  44. Tia
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 8:24 pm · Link

    All the best to you and yours
    Have a Merry Christmas

  45. Robin Myers
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 8:47 pm · Link

    Merry Christmas to you and all of your readers. May your New Year be Blessed.

  46. Lea Williams
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 9:12 pm · Link

    Sure will consider that suggestion for New Years Eve. Sounds inspiring. Have just finished another one of you older books. Banner O’Brien. Liked it a lot and if I were in baby years I would name a little girl Banner, however I am not so not to be in this family anyway. Do have a wonderful Christmas. We leave tomorrow for Everett to spend christmas with our girls. Thanksgiving was with our boys so now will be with the girls and their families. I am looking foreward to it. I hope all is filled with the “Wonders of His Love”. Blessings

  47. Michele
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 9:16 pm · Link

    Merry Christmas and to a great new year!. Thanks for writing; I love your books. Looking forward to your next new book.

  48. Darlene Tomel Sigala
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 9:52 pm · Link

    Hi Linda, Family and Friends and of course all the readers who love Linda as much as I do Have a Very Happy Holiday. It is unfortunate for our family this year we have lost another relative my sister in laws brother passed away and will spend Christmas Even not in mourning but in Celebration of a Great Man Tony Blakely from North Carolina, he is pain free and will love on forever in our hearts. My brothers and I will have to mourn another year of the loss of our sister on December 27th which happens to be my brothers birthday and the loss of our parents. My other brothers wife has cancer and I will find out on January 5th if I have cancer again. But no tears, just happiness for all, just remember to honor our loved ones.

    • Gloria
        · December 24th, 2014 at 3:25 pm · Link

      May God Bless you and yours.

  49. Sal
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 10:11 pm · Link

    I LOVE the candle idea! I believe I’ll follow your lead… I shall SEW on January 1. Thank you for the inspiration, as always… :wink:

  50. Marilyn Fish
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 10:31 pm · Link

    A favorite quote of mine is from Dr. Suess, perhaps you and the other bloggers will like it too. “Don’t be sad because it is over. Smile because it happened.”
    You have inspired me to get out my Weight Watchers’ booklet “simple start”. Thank you for that inspiration. Merry Christmas everyone!

  51. Sheryl Holt
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 10:37 pm · Link

    I volunteer in the used bookstore at our local library. I delight in introducing customers to new authors. Your books have become very popular this year from some of these introductions.

  52. Roberta Giordano
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 10:46 pm · Link

    Merry Christmas!! Happy New Year !

  53. midge watkins
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 10:46 pm · Link

    Hi Linda, I needed your words today, so thank you. I have
    a major leak outside my barn where an old waterer was
    installed and the guy can’t come with the back hoe til Tues
    or Wed. I didn’t know I had it until I got the water bill on
    Thurs for $387! It’s usually $33. I just hope my horses don’t
    sink into infinity. It’s underground about 4ft now and I hope
    it stays there til it can be capped off. Oh well, others have a
    lot greater problems that can’t be fixed by dollars. I’ve been
    praying for all the travelers this time of year and others whe
    have had bad stuff happen . Your candle idea sounds very good. I’m also the first of the year writer and I hope I can
    carry it thru the year. To you and to all the other bloggers,
    a very Merry Christmas and blessed New Year.

  54. Melaine
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 10:58 pm · Link

    Linda, as a new subscriber to your blog, I’m enjoying it immensely and feeling even more connected to you as a person and not just an author. I love your books and just lose myself in them when I’m reading. I don’t have a Kindle or Note or any other type of technology to load books on to, I want the real deal when I’m reading. I brought a large supply of your books with me when I traveled to New Zealand and Australia. To lighten my suitcases a bit, after going from one end of NZ to the other, I packed up the books I had read and mailed them home and kept a decent supply to read throughout the remainder of my travels in Australia.

    Thanks for the correct pronunciation of Spokane. As a native Seatteite, I have heard Seattle, Puget Sound, Spokane, and many of our other cities and towns mispronounced because of their American Indian slant. However, when I first moved near Tucson, AZ I did my share of it with the heavy influence of Spanish street and city names.

    Wishing you a happy, healthy, and fruitful 2015!

  55. Cindy
      · December 22nd, 2014 at 11:12 pm · Link

    Merry Christmas from Ellensburg WA!

  56. Diane Blaser
      · December 23rd, 2014 at 12:06 am · Link

    I’m wishing you a Merry Christmas and blessings for the New Year Linda! Thank you for all the hours of joy your books have brought me! Nobody writes a better cowboy story than you do!

  57. Kelley Morrow
      · December 23rd, 2014 at 1:12 am · Link

    Hope you are finally feeling better. Congrats on the WW, weight loss is hard. And harder to keep off. Have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  58. Terri Shortell
      · December 23rd, 2014 at 1:40 am · Link

    What a great way to usher in the new year Linda. I love the symbolism. I’m sure the holidays are also a little sad for you due to your many losses. I’m glad you are not only mourning but celebrating their lives too. Congrats on the weight loss. Every tiny step adds up. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone.

  59. Angela Beuden
      · December 23rd, 2014 at 3:22 am · Link

    I love the idea of lighting the candles as I believe that the start of a new year is time for reflection. As we get older – and you and I Linda are both 1949 girls – many of us have gone through the loss offriends and/or family members (so many now in my case) and I prefer to celebrate their lives and the time we had together; life is short and our loved ones would want us to be happy.

    I have had the blessing of a new granddaughter this year, retirement and a move to the Dorset coast to be closer to my daughter. However, this has been tempered with the sadness of the loss of a dear friend and the ending of both my children’s long-term relationships, which has devastated them. Life gives and takes and it has always been thus.

    For those in the position Lorraine finds herself I wish strength and fortitude and for all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  60. Rhonda Dickinson
      · December 23rd, 2014 at 9:24 am · Link

    Thank you so much Linda! As I have said before, I love your books! I can’t believe I was a winner in your contest! I am so excited! I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and the happiest New Year ever!
    Rhonda Dickinson

  61. Patricia Drennen
      · December 23rd, 2014 at 10:56 am · Link

    Our pets never die but live in our hearts and come to visit from time to time.Merry Christmas

  62. Joyce M.
      · December 23rd, 2014 at 11:33 am · Link

    Merry Christmas!

  63. Theresa Folkvard
      · December 23rd, 2014 at 11:56 am · Link

    I lost my husband 2 years ago so i know it will be hard. Try to have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  64. Rose Marie Moran
      · December 23rd, 2014 at 12:46 pm · Link

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Hope this next year is a good year.

  65. rita hutcheson
      · December 23rd, 2014 at 5:48 pm · Link

    Hope you have a great Christmas and a a Happy New Year. You bring joy to so many people with your books that you deserve a beautiful holiday. So sorry for your loses sometimes they are in a better place although we don’t always want to know that. I hope we have snow for Christmas and have it go way after the new year. But as you and I both know living in the NW you in Spokane me in LC Valley of Idaho it can be sunny on minute and 10 minutes later its rainy or snowy. Take care.

  66. Judy Cooper
      · December 23rd, 2014 at 9:04 pm · Link

    I also have heard that,what you do on Jan. 1st sets the tone for the entire year. It is food for thought and I believe I will keep it in mind. I would like to think that my life will have more meaning in 2015. Blessings to you. :wink:

  67. Deborah Rae Nelson
      · December 23rd, 2014 at 10:58 pm · Link

    Prayers to you and strength to bear your losses.

    You are an inspiration on your intention to write on January 1st. I think in will follow suit and paint, as my creative avenue is my studio work. But what a wonderful way to set the new year’s course.

    Merry Christmas!

  68. Cindi Williams
      · December 24th, 2014 at 3:22 pm · Link

    Merry Christmas Linda from the Spokan(e) Valley. I know what you mean. Whenever anyone called I would know when they weren’t from around here. Hope you have a dry (or rainy) Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  69. mary D. Wornick
      · December 28th, 2014 at 1:35 pm · Link

    Hi and hope all is going good for you and yours. I am really looking forward to 2015 !!. Cause 2014 has not been a good year for me and my family. So here is to 2015 and all it has for us in the coming months.

    Linda you light candles for the past months of 2014 is that right. and then for the coming year ??. I think that is great, first time I have heard of any body doing that. Okay i am going to run.
    Bye for now have a nice day.

    • Jean Petersen
        · December 28th, 2014 at 9:43 pm · Link

      My thanks to you, LLM, for many, many hours of good reading. What a pleasure it has been to get to know the McKettricks and Creeds, as well as all the Springwater and Primrose Creek folks, and your many other friends. I admire your creativity.

  70. mary D. Wornick
      · December 30th, 2014 at 2:58 pm · Link

    Hi all here is wishing all a Happy New Year early.

  71. mary D. Wornick
      · December 30th, 2014 at 3:02 pm · Link

    I am looking forward to 2015 it will be a better year for me and my love ones and for all.

    God bless, keep safe bye for now.

  72. mary D. Wornick
      · December 31st, 2014 at 4:35 pm · Link

    Here is wishing you and yours and all of the wonderful people in here a very Happy New Year. Have a good day, god bless and keep safe. Bye Bye for now.

  73. mary D. Wornick
      · January 2nd, 2015 at 3:52 pm · Link

    Hi to all and very Happy New Year coming your way

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