#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Hello? Can you hear me now?

For whatever reason, I couldn’t get onto this blog yesterday, but I think I remember Jenni passing on the news that the website was being shifted to another server, so maybe that’s it.  In any case, here I am, ready to rock n’ roll!  I’m working long hours on THE MARRIAGE PACT, and even though it’s been among the most challenging books I’ve ever written, I suspect it may also be one of my best.

I’ll let you be the judge of that.  :)

On to miscellaneous stuff–there’s a new contest underway this week, so be sure to comment.  All this time, been raving about Danielle LaPorte’s excellent book, using the wrong title!  THE DESIRE MAP is the correct one. Anyway, just like last week, two winners will receive prizes–one will receive a copy of THE DESIRE MAP along with my new book, BIG SKY SECRETS, autographed, of course!  A second lucky blog-commenter will receive BIG SKY SECRETS, autographed, and a fun piece of jewelry I brought home from the National Finals Rodeo. 

Today is my weigh-in day at Weight Watchers, and I’m of two minds about that.  On the one hand, I’d rather stay home and work on the new book.  On the other, I am committed to the plan and to the many benefits of eating the WW way.  Last week, I switched to the new Simple Start program, which basically means I eat certain “power foods” almost exclusively, instead of counting points.  So far, I’ve loved it, since I happen to like vegetables and other famously healthy foods.  (I also get 49 points for the week, for those times when you don’t want to eat a power food or, in my case, for that nightly glass of wine.)  Has it worked?  I know I feel skinnier, but I could be fooling myself.

Oh, yes, and I happen to LOVE bad puns.  I even subscribe to an app called Daily Puns, and I like to forward the funniest ones to my sister, Sally.  There isn’t much she can do to stop me.  :)  (We also send each other phone pictures at the beginning of particularly ominous hair-days–we firmly maintain that we’re the victims of evil alien hair experiments.)

The Christmas decorations have been taken down and put away for another year.  I’m of two minds about that, too.  (I seem to be of two minds about a whole lot of things lately, which may be why I’m considering carrying a supply of post-it notes around with me as I move from room to room and project to project.  :)  Can’t you just see me bristling with hundreds of little bitty pieces of paper, like feathers?  Big Bird, only pink!)

Anyway, I love Christmas, as I’ve often mentioned on this blog and elsewhere, but let’s face it, this is one holiday that can really get out of hand, in a hurry.  The Real Reason for the Season gets lost in the shuffle.  People, myself included, get frantic–buy and wrap those presents!  Put up the tree!  String lights around the eaves!  Get those packages in the mail and those cards written!  All this, and we still have our regular jobs to do, deadlines to meet, children-and-or-aging-parents-and-or-pets (the and-ors could obviously go on forever) to care for.  Phew!

Sure is a good thing we women have superpowers.  :)

52 comments to “Hello? Can you hear me now?”

  1. Pam Brewer
      · January 8th, 2014 at 3:32 pm · Link

    Speaking of Christmas, my granddaughter wanted me to purchase that character that is all the rage – the one who pops up all over the house doing who knows what, trying to get the kiddos to behave during Christmas time. However, my niece introduced me to the Christmas Angel, that concentrates on what the kids can do for others – the angel leaves notes such as “smile at someone today” or “open the door for someone”, which brings it back to the reason for the season. What would He want us to do to celebrate his birthday?
    I also hate seeing the decorations coming down; the house looks so empty! But then again, there is a lot less to clean when it’s all put away.
    Have a great day Linda :-D

    • linda
        · January 10th, 2014 at 2:17 pm · Link

      What a beautiful idea!

  2. Anita C
      · January 8th, 2014 at 4:31 pm · Link

    I have all my Christmas goodies down, but NOT put away. Everything is in an upstairs bedroom, just waiting for me to come and put it all away. Now, I’ve been meaning to, but good books keep getting in the way – including, but not limited to, Big Sky Secrets. Loved it – Landry and Ria were an awesome couple…. Now I’m re-reading some of my Nora Roberts keepers – then on to a few more of my favorite authors too while we endure the Arctic Vortex that has hit most of us. The fireplace, coffee and a good book are just too irresisitable to ignore right now. And in the meantime, my poor Santa’s, elves, reindeer, my Nativity set, angels, etc. etc. are enjoying a few more days of freedom from my Christmas totes, where they usually reside for 11 months of the year. I love the idea of a Christmas angel to pay good deeds forward! But I also an Elf on the Shelf too! I only move the little guy if my grandchildren happen to be here, but I’m going to try that little Christmas angel next year. Have a good day – and STAY WARM!

    • linda stancill
        · January 10th, 2014 at 11:11 am · Link


  3. Connie Johnson
      · January 8th, 2014 at 4:51 pm · Link

    I love Christmas and hate to see it go.

  4. Virginia Horton
      · January 8th, 2014 at 6:28 pm · Link

    I couldn’t get into the site yesterday either. I thought I had all of my Christmas stuff put away and went to town today and noticed that I still had the front storm door decorated. Haven’t been out much in the past few days because its so cold. Its going to be warmer tomorrow so I think I sould take those decoration down also. Could just leave that old Santa Clause out there to spring I guess.

  5. Norma Stanforth
      · January 8th, 2014 at 6:58 pm · Link

    I love Christmas to the celebrating Jesus Christ birth. Spreading joy to other! I love all the trees with there lights and trimmings. Linda, my computer has been down and i haven’t gotten all your email. I enjoy reading your emails. Hope everyone has a wonderful day and blessings.
    As always your friend,

  6. Emily
      · January 8th, 2014 at 8:11 pm · Link

    Love getting the decorations out for Christmas, and love putting them away.

    Loved “Big Sky Secrets”. Sorry the series has ended, but looking forward to the next series! :-D

    Will be gone for awhile as we have sick relatives. :cry:

    Have a great week, wish I had your energy!

  7. Vanessa Young
      · January 8th, 2014 at 9:00 pm · Link

    I’m just finished one book and can’t wait to sit down to read “Big Sky Secrets”. I’d forgotten that I preordered it and was thrilled when I saw it waiting for me on my Kindle. Your books are such a wonderful escape. Thanks for sharing your stories.

  8. Vanessa Young
      · January 8th, 2014 at 9:02 pm · Link

    I just finished one book and was thrilled to see “Big Sky Secrets” waiting for me in my Kindle menu. I’d forgotten that I had pre-ordered it. Thank you for sharing your stories. Your books are a wonderful escape that I look forward to all day long.

  9. Ashley Snyder
      · January 8th, 2014 at 9:20 pm · Link

    You got to love Christmas. But Christmas has gotten so much better for me because I get to watch me kids face when they see what Santa has left. I have not had a chance to read Big Sky Secrets yet! I have a stack of all these new books that have come out this year I cant seem to keep up. At least I won’t be running out of books to read! :wink:

  10. Susan Murra
      · January 8th, 2014 at 9:23 pm · Link

    I too enjoy Christmas, also was enjoying Elf on the Shelf as my daughter in law post the pictures to facebook. All the decorations are put away for another year, I do have a few snowman that stay up all year long. Cant wait to get Big Sky Secrets, just need to finish readying Sea Glass Island, then off to the store.

  11. Patricia Hann
      · January 8th, 2014 at 9:26 pm · Link

    My kids could not wait to put up the tree. they beg for days. But it came the time to put the tree down and not one of them wanted to help. But they were bored. And bored had 3 syllables to it. Cant wait to read Big Sky Secrets.

  12. Sue lindgren
      · January 8th, 2014 at 9:36 pm · Link

    My sister from California came to Iowa. First Christmas here in 30 yrs. It was great. Family is important. More so at the holiday’s. Love your books thank you!

  13. Becky in Hauser, Idaho
      · January 8th, 2014 at 9:37 pm · Link

    Usually by New Year’s Day I am ready to take the Christmas tree and other inside decorations down, and start the new year with a clean less cluttered house. But this year I was sad to see the tree go, knowing I would never see this particular one again! I always have a real tree as we did when I was a child. This year’s tree wasn’t really anymore special than any of the others from past Christmases, but for some reason I just seemed to enjoy it more than normal. It just seem to make the house feel so happy. Then again, I’m finding lately that the closer I get to our Savior, the more joy I am able to experience in things. :)

  14. Lyla Pedersen
      · January 8th, 2014 at 9:45 pm · Link

    I love to see Christmas come and I love to see Christmas go…then get back into a routine when selfishly, I can have more time to lose myself in a good book while Mother Nature and Ol’ Man Winter wreak havoc claiming weather supremecy.
    Loved Big Sky Secrets with Ria and Landry and am going to miss all the colorful characters from Three Trees and Parable. I really enjoy having “old friends” from previous books pop into a new story too. Thank you so much for your entertaining stories and hope 2014 is a wonderful year for you.

  15. Emma
      · January 8th, 2014 at 9:45 pm · Link

    looking forward to reading THE MARRIAGE PACT.Have a wonderful week.

  16. Becky
      · January 8th, 2014 at 9:50 pm · Link

    I have all my Christmas things down except my Tree which I keep up until after the Stock Show ( a tradition in Denver ) but I love my tree so it is a great tradition!!!!

  17. harriet vick
      · January 8th, 2014 at 10:17 pm · Link

    Finished Big Sky Secrets last night. I enjoyed it so very much!

  18. Roberta Giordano
      · January 8th, 2014 at 10:41 pm · Link

    This year I just couldn’t wait to get Christmas tree down and decorations away, had it all done two days after Christmas! Never heard of the Christmas Angel,haven’t seen it anywhere,will have to watch for it next year and send to my grandchildren,know reason why they can’t do elf and the angel. I have been noticing my pants are fitting nicer just on scale and lost 5 lbs and wasn’t really even trying, but I will be now. Have a great weekend

  19. Cheryl Messer
      · January 8th, 2014 at 10:53 pm · Link

    Linda, I am like you, when it comes to not wanting to take down the Christmas decorations… My son, if he had his way, would keep them up all year! One year I had to threaten that the Easter Bunny wouldn’t come if they were still up! I ‘allow’ it until his birthday (which is the 23rd of this month), by then , even my own mother gets on my case about taking them down….

    *sigh* if only they made they healthy foods inexpensive and the junk food expensive… Obesity would be on the DECLINE….

    • linda
        · January 10th, 2014 at 2:21 pm · Link

      So true–unhealthy food is cheap, fast and easy.

  20. Ruby Norwood
      · January 8th, 2014 at 11:20 pm · Link

    I have all of my Christmas goodies down and put up also. Linda with all the energy you have I can see you now running through the house with your little pink sticky notes. I enjoyed your blog today, but I didn’t get and e-mail. I saw where you had blog today on Facebook.

  21. Karen Cotton
      · January 9th, 2014 at 12:16 am · Link

    . I still have my Christmas tree and Christmas lights on outside.
    January is so blah, cold, gloomy and depressing the beautiful lights make my family smile. We must remember all of the wonderful lessons that Jesus taught us that are in the Bible. I feel by leaving my lights on and tree up I am celebrating a new year, and the fact that God wants his children to live life to the fullest.
    Our lives are our gift from Him.
    New year’s resolutions are great and all, but you have to remember you are one of His children and he loves you no matter what.
    Don’t worry about being skinnier. Set your sights on being more healthy all around and make a lifestyle change. Exercise, meditation, having a support system in place and journaling.
    I have a really wonderful trainer that helped me stay healthy when I was a gestational diabetic and was pregnant two years ago with my daughter. I had to manage my diabetes with a new way of eating healthier. Mind you right after I had my baby and learned I didn’t have the diabetes anymore I scarfed down French toast with tons of syrup because I could again. I’m mindful that I could eventually be a diabetic, so I do my best to cut down on sweets.
    Food diaries are helpful …you can look back and figure out what your habits are and find out on your own how to fix them.
    I was trained to count carbs and I find that to be easier than WW.
    I kept a booklet , that my nutritionist gave me, in my wallet and would pull it out everytime I ate.
    I also recommend a trainer…not the ones that want to whip you into shape, but a trainer that will be gentle with you, work on nutrition with you, and keep you motivated to become healthier.
    I also agree that Christmas is too commercialized, and to not get caught up in that,which is tough.
    Can’t wait to read your book that you are working on.
    Also , I have always truly admired you as a perso
    n …not very many people can call themselves best sellers…my other writer friends and I can only dream for that to happen.
    Rub your worry stone when you need it and may God bless you in this New year. Xoxo Karen
    Ps once you meet a weight goal treat yourself to a right hand diamond ring:-)

    • linda
        · January 10th, 2014 at 2:23 pm · Link

      Thanks, Karen! I’m so enjoying your beautiful gifts.

      • Karen Cotton
          · January 22nd, 2014 at 10:28 pm · Link

        I’m glad …i have been meaning to give you that necklace for a long time. I made it at a jewelry bead store in Cody :)

  22. Betty Andersen
      · January 9th, 2014 at 2:03 am · Link

    How was your weigh in? You are a strong women, I could never do WW. Should though. Keep up the good work.

    • linda
        · January 10th, 2014 at 2:23 pm · Link

      I did well at the weigh-in–down 1.8 pounds, after doing Simple Start very imperfectly!

  23. Sandra Wheeler
      · January 9th, 2014 at 3:03 am · Link

    Everything is down, put away, and won’t be thought of again until I become frantic on December 5, 2014, and remember, when I am one row away from the top, that I needed two more packages of lights. I think I will concentrate on Easter, the big stores are already doing it, why shouldn’t I. Have a great time at WW and good luck on those scales.

  24. Lori K
      · January 9th, 2014 at 7:57 am · Link

    My tree is still up, been sick and busy. Was able to readBig Sky Secrets let week while I was home sick. Hated to see it end! One of your best series! Can’t wait for the next one! Hope you reach your weight loss goals! I am getting back on track this month too!

  25. Lois Rotella
      · January 9th, 2014 at 8:57 am · Link

    I am in the process of reading Big Sky Secrets. I am loving it. I don’t want to finish it because it will be while before your next book comes out. I will miss the people of Montana. Looking forward to the new books. I am starting a new phase in my life without a job but retiring. I worked for 41 yrs and then the job stated to a few of us that our job is no longer needed. I look forward to the next phase. :-D

    • linda
        · January 10th, 2014 at 2:25 pm · Link

      God bless you. I’m sure you’ll find plenty of fascinating things to do in retirement. 41 years is long enough, don’t you think? :)

  26. Jennifer Damone
      · January 9th, 2014 at 9:12 am · Link

    Hey Linda, hope you have been having a good week! We took all the Christmas stuff down a couple days after Christmas in preparation for my daughter’s birthday party. I just wasn’t feelin it this year. I actually couldn’t wait for Christmas to be over, which was weird because I usually can’t wait for it.

    I finished reading Big Sky Secrets a couple days ago. I think it is my favorite book in the series! I am sad to see that series end, I really enjoyed it. Can’t wait for the new book!

  27. Debra Drabert
      · January 9th, 2014 at 9:49 am · Link

    Would love a copy if your new book, love reading them. Also I go to weight watchers, going on 13 years with a total of 150 pounds lost.

    • linda
        · January 10th, 2014 at 2:26 pm · Link

      WOW! You’re a champ!

  28. Teresa Fordice
      · January 9th, 2014 at 9:55 am · Link

    Loved Big Sky Secrets!!

  29. Donna Zema
      · January 9th, 2014 at 10:55 am · Link

    I haven’t taken any of decorations down. I keep saying I have to leave them up until Epiphany, but, I think it might be a case of laziness.
    Can’t wait to read the first book of the new series.

  30. Patty C
      · January 9th, 2014 at 1:29 pm · Link

    Hi Linda. I just finished reading “Secrets” from my Kindle. Loved it! (I also, purchased the book) I recently purchased my Kindle and I am now reading some of your older books; such as My Outlaw, One Wish, Pirates, Resurrection, etc. I am not a computer person, but wow! How easy it is to down load and start reading within seconds. This method I love. However, I am a book person. Some how holding a Kindle is not the same as holding a book. (which is why I had to buy the book) Maybe with time I will get use to it. Looking forward to your new series.

  31. Joyce M.
      · January 9th, 2014 at 1:40 pm · Link

    This is going to sound bizarre but when I first got my kindle and used it the metal feel drove me crazy but once I got a cover I found I could lose myself in it for hours.

  32. Patricia Burleson
      · January 9th, 2014 at 4:03 pm · Link

    I just bought, “Big Sky Secrets” yesterday. I was up till midnight reading because your books are soooooooooo good I just cannot put them done once I start one. I can’t wait for “The Marriage Pact”. Write fast ! ha,ha. Just kidding, love your books !

  33. Juanita Rice
      · January 9th, 2014 at 4:45 pm · Link

    Welcome, back, Linda! :)

    Reading “…Secrets” and oh my!! I was sure I wasn’t going to like Landry as well as his brother, but I’m here to tell you he’s growing on me. ;)

    Happy writing to you! :)

  34. Diana E
      · January 9th, 2014 at 6:34 pm · Link

    Glad to see your blog is up and running today.
    I hate to see the joyous season come to an end, turned off my outdoor lights but still have my tree up and it cheers me to see it next to the TV. I have to wait for my son to come over to take it down so might as well enjoy it.
    Hope your WW meeting came out successful this week and you have good results to post for us soon. I finished readind “Secrets” and look forward to the new series. Enjoy your blog as always, Linda. Blessings.

  35. Valdi McCoy
      · January 9th, 2014 at 9:15 pm · Link

    Linda, I just finished reading Big Sky Secrets but I have to ask
    “What was the Secret”? I might be obtuse but a husband cheating on you is usually not a big secret, neither is marring someone you don’t love. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the book. I always enjoy your work, I just waited for some big secret to be revealed!!
    Oh well! Christmas now, there is the biggest secret for most people.Why do we go to all the trouble to celebrate the Holiday when a lot of people don’t even know the Birthday Boy. Why does everyone but the Birthday Boy get gifts? Shouldn’t we first get to know who we are celebrating and why he is worthy of celebration before we throw a party? HIS NAME IS JESUS. The only gift he wants is your heart. Yes, HE is worthy.. We had a great Birthday Party for HIM and had a wonderful time giving gifts to people we barely know, all in HIS name.
    I hope you continue to enjoy your WW plan. The best part will be the friends you make at the meetings.

  36. Karen Koval
      · January 10th, 2014 at 9:30 am · Link

    Yesterday was my big day to get all the Christmas stuff back into the attic. it’s a bitter sweet time of year for me. I love walking my dog at night with everything magically lit up and 8 foot Santa’s waving in the wind; but I also like the feeling that all is back to normal when my home has everyhting back in its place and my stress level returns to normal. :lol:

  37. Vicki Felty
      · January 10th, 2014 at 10:56 am · Link

    Bought the book “Big Sky Secrets” and read it in one day. Could not put it down. Love, Love, Love this writer. Great book as always.!!!

  38. Ann
      · January 10th, 2014 at 11:02 am · Link

    Linda Lael Miller, you are amazing as always!!! :-D

  39. CathyShouse
      · January 10th, 2014 at 11:05 am · Link

    Linda: It’s my first blog visit and I can really relate to your writing sticky notes about the various projects you hope to tackle. Just today I set up a ring binder with lined paper. An organizer at our Romance Writers meeting a few years back said to stop with the little notes and create a notebook. Write every “to do” in it. As you cross some off, transfer the remaining ones to a new page. Fingers crossed I can get rid of all of my little notes that get “misplaced.” :) Your books sound interesting and I’ve enjoyed getting to know you a little bit. Best of luck in 2014.

  40. Judy Neuberger
      · January 10th, 2014 at 12:39 pm · Link

    Still have the Christmas tree up. I love the lights in that corner of the room.

  41. Jan Buckles
      · January 10th, 2014 at 12:53 pm · Link

    Just now taking computer time and read this post from yesterday…..love the part about the post-it-notes! That is totally me, as I had a habit not long ago of having a small space on the kitchen counter by the phone with several notes reminding me of important things, and my little space kept getting a bit bigger, until I was gently reminded that the counter was also needed for other things! It really had gotten out of hand. But it was me! :)

  42. Tammy Lever
      · January 10th, 2014 at 1:17 pm · Link

    How did you WI go Linda?? I started the Simple Start program as well last week, and I am not as optimistic as you. I did stick to it like glue but I have a feeling that this program is not something that is going to work for me, and I am going to have to stick to good ol tracking instead. I had no trouble with the foods as I loved fruits, veggies, chicken and fish etc, but for some reason, it’s just not co-operating with my body. :(

    I picked up Big Sky Secret to read while I am in Cuba next week on the beach. Cannot wait. First I have to read An Outlaw’s Christmas which unfortunately I did not get a chance to read over the holidays. I’ll probably read it on the plane ride down. I am looking forward to both!

    Hope your New Year is starting off great!

  43. Julia David
      · January 10th, 2014 at 1:35 pm · Link

    All of my Christmas is down, but not put back up into the garage attic yet. I am reading Big Sky Secrets right now. Almost finished with it. I really love this series. I do hope there will be more.

  44. Cindie
      · January 10th, 2014 at 2:04 pm · Link

    I just finished coming down from the attic putting the last of the decorations away. I still have a few kids at home or all I would decorate with would be my Nativity Scene and the postcards I get. I like to send out our family picture each year and the people who send me their own pictures get placed on my fridge and stay there all year! I have spent this New Year reading all my favorite LLM Christmas books. I think I might make that a tradition. Oh, BTW where is Kate McKettricks story? I think I missed it somewhere.

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