#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

I’m back from my travels!

Where have I been?  Well, dear blog following friends, it feels like everywhere.  :)

We’ll start with my visit to Dodge City, Kansas, at the end of September, where I attended the 60th anniversary of “Gunsmoke”, that iconic television Western that I, for one, well remember.  (I’m aware that many of you are much younger, and may not recall the show, but for the sake of simiplicity, I will write about the experience as if you do.)

I gotta tell you, I’m REALLY just a country girl.  I graduated from Northport High School a long (LONG) time ago, and never really went to college, though I have taken a few extension courses and read like a crazy woman, thereby, to some extent, educating myself.  In other words, I’m a smart cookie, but I’m certainly not sophisticated.  I am blessed, and I live well–but I’m no jet-setter, believe me.

Imagine my delight when I learned that the wonderful perpetrators of the big event, the folks from Boot Hill Casino in historic Dodge City, were picking up their guests in Kansas City and transporting us to and from Dodge via private jet.  Now, a ride in a jet has been on my bucket list for quite a while now, but I thought it would happen somewhere down the line, not almost immediately after I wrote it on the list.  :)

The jet seated six, and was flown by one of the owners of Boot Hill Casino, with an able co-pilot beside him.  It was a wild experience, and, to my surprise, not the least bit scary.  I loved every one of the 40-some minutes of both flights, to and from.

You can see pictures of the whole wonderful visit on my official Facebook page.  I spent time with the remaining members of the “Gunsmoke” cast, including my long-time friend, Buck Taylor, his lovely wife, Goldie, Burt Reynolds–yes, THE Burt Reynolds–Bruce Boxleitner (I had a major crush on him when he played Scarecrow on “Scarecrow and Mrs. King”, actress Jess Walton, of “The Young and the Restless” and many other programs, her husband, John, and others I’ll be telling you about in days to come.

I attended a rodeo, signed 150 books at the rodeo grounds, and got to put my foot and handprints in cement on the casino’s Walk of Fame, right along with Buck and Bruce and Burt and Jess and Lane, whose last name escapes me at the moment.  Lane brought her sweet little dog, Kiki, along on the trip, and, dog-lover that I am, I enjoyed Kiki’s presence enormously.

There’s more, of course, but I don’t want to overwhelm you with verbiage, here.  :)

I still want to tell you all about the trip to Gettysburg, too.  That one was a whirlwind deal, and I didn’t get to contact some of the folks I planned to see, but I’ll be going back in June.  More on that later.

The contest is back in action, as of today.  As before, all you need to do to enter is make a comment.  Two winners will be chosen at random, notified by Jenni, and announced on this blog next Monday.

I’ll be back tomorrow.

91 comments to “I’m back from my travels!”

  1. Alison
      · October 13th, 2015 at 11:46 am · Link

    Welcome back!!!

  2. Ruby Norwood
      · October 13th, 2015 at 11:47 am · Link

    So glad to hear from you Linda, I have missed you while you were away, having all kinds of fun!! That had to be a wonderful trip, enjoyed the pictures you posted.

  3. midge watkins
      · October 13th, 2015 at 11:48 am · Link

    Welcome back. I sure wish I could have ridden along in your
    back pocket! You could make a book out of just your fun travels. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  4. Rose Marie Moran
      · October 13th, 2015 at 11:48 am · Link

    Sounds like you had a good time. Since I probably won’t get to see many of the places that you write about the descriptions make me see the areas.

  5. Joanie gonsalves
      · October 13th, 2015 at 11:48 am · Link

    Wahoo got the new Chtistmas book. Later lol

  6. Teresa
      · October 13th, 2015 at 11:48 am · Link

    loved seeing the pictures of you with Burt and Bruce and the gang!!

  7. Diane Sallans
      · October 13th, 2015 at 11:50 am · Link

    I saw your FB posts on the Gunsmoke reunion – I hadn’t remembered that Bruce Boxleitner was on it (I loved him in Scarecrow & Mrs King too!).
    Sounds like you got a lot of traveling in – so now it’s time to stay home and write!

  8. diane wade
      · October 13th, 2015 at 11:50 am · Link

    glad you had a good trip. I too love gunsmoke, still watch the reruns. looking forward to your new books

  9. Marcia White
      · October 13th, 2015 at 11:51 am · Link

    Sounds like it wasa great time with great people!

  10. Karen Grybko
      · October 13th, 2015 at 11:51 am · Link

    Glad that you had an exciting time

  11. Sandy Fincel
      · October 13th, 2015 at 11:57 am · Link

    The trip in the jet sounds wonderful. The smallest I have been in is a 50 seater.
    Sandy Fincel

  12. Lisa Murray
      · October 13th, 2015 at 11:57 am · Link

    Glad your back. Now get some rest!

  13. Melaine
      · October 13th, 2015 at 11:58 am · Link

    So glad you are back, I’ve missed your blogs. Your travels sound great and looking forward to hearing more about them.

    I thought I read that you have a new book coming out this month; however, I don’t recall which series, maybe The Brides of Bliss County, and when it’s due out. Would you please put something in your next blog about it? I like to pre-order so I can get the book quickly. Thanks Linda!

  14. Fran F
      · October 13th, 2015 at 12:01 pm · Link

    Like you, I also had a crush on Bruce Boxlightner. Have you seen him in the Cedar Cove series on the Hallmark Channel. He still looks great after all these years.

    Congratulations on being on the walk of fame at the casino.


  15. Linda Wirth
      · October 13th, 2015 at 12:01 pm · Link

    Hi Linda 2
    Loved your new book and read it in 2 days. Had to stop to sleep. I have loved reading your books since the 80’s. The first one I read was published in Good Housekeeping. Thanks for so Meany years of great stories.
    Linda also……..

  16. Theresia Wheetley
      · October 13th, 2015 at 12:02 pm · Link

    Sounds like a blast! Good to see you back.

  17. pat Dennis
      · October 13th, 2015 at 12:06 pm · Link

    I envy you! I always wanted to be Miss Kitty

  18. Evelyn Baldwin
      · October 13th, 2015 at 12:09 pm · Link

    Thank you for enlightening us. Glad to hear you had a great safe and enjoyable trip. Missed hearing about your adventures! I am from the gunsmoke age too. God Bless! Evelyn

  19. Dawn Roberts
      · October 13th, 2015 at 12:11 pm · Link

    Growing up I too watched Gunsmaoke with my dad, along with every John Wayne movie ever made. He was a huge western fan, which I think is why I love your books so much. As I reflect on his life today, the 15 anniversary of his passing, I always watch McKlintock, on of my dad’s favorite John Wayne movies he made. Thanks for sharing the great photos from your trip.

  20. Sharon S.
      · October 13th, 2015 at 12:11 pm · Link

    How much fun you must have had. I hate flying and in my old age, (63), I refuse to fly anywhere. Good for you! It sounds like a ball and I too fell in love with Bruce. Still think he’s sexy as all get out.

    Can’t wait to hear more about the Gettysburg trip.

  21. Pam p
      · October 13th, 2015 at 12:11 pm · Link

    Loved Doc, Miss Kitty and Festus!

  22. Diane McCarthy
      · October 13th, 2015 at 12:18 pm · Link

    What an awesome adventure. I look forward to hearing more about your trip to Gettysburg as I was there last week. We took a bus tour of the battlefields and was I ever amazed at the information our tour guide gave us that I didn’t know. Thank you for letting us see into your travels.

  23. lucy brewer
      · October 13th, 2015 at 12:22 pm · Link

    I too remember gunsmoke.watched it with my dad.

  24. Bonnie Cupples
      · October 13th, 2015 at 12:25 pm · Link

    You are so lucky . I always had a thing for James Arness and his brother Peter Phelps (?) of Misson Impossable fame. And Burt Reynolds was so , so, so young. To top it all off I was very envious of Miss Kitty. A woman , unmarried and running her own bussiness that happened to be a bar. I always loved the story line and wanted to meet them all , including Chester…..I still can hear him calling ….”Mr. Dillon, oh Mr. Dillon , sir……..” I know you had a great time.

  25. Rita Crofoot
      · October 13th, 2015 at 12:28 pm · Link

    Welcome home, and can’t wait to hear about the rest of the story!

  26. Caryn Horn
      · October 13th, 2015 at 12:28 pm · Link

    Sounds like terrific fun. And THE Burt Reynolds!

  27. Monika
      · October 13th, 2015 at 12:31 pm · Link

    What an awesome sounding trip. And yes I do remember Gunsmoke. Loved it. From what I remember it played every Sunday night. Now a days one channel has Western days on Saturdays and I love it. Not much gets done around the house on those days. Just celebrated our Thanksgiving here in Canada. Wishing you many blessings. Monika

  28. Marilou
      · October 13th, 2015 at 12:39 pm · Link

    Had a ride in a small plane years ago in South Dakota flown by the Uncle of my husband. Uncle Joe was a member of the flying farmers.

  29. Sheila Haag
      · October 13th, 2015 at 12:43 pm · Link

    Hi Linda,
    Since my Husband and I are both pilots and owned a four seater plane and flew all over the United States. I really enjoyed your recent trip. Thanks, Sheila

  30. Marge Dominic
      · October 13th, 2015 at 12:44 pm · Link

    WOW, that really sounds like a Great time. You will need a long rest after that trip. Have a great week.

  31. DONNA
      · October 13th, 2015 at 12:48 pm · Link

    Sounds like a wonderful trip! I remember my father watching Gun Smoke as a child. I think the reruns are on one of the cable stations now. I always wanted to go to Gettysburg – maybe one of these days.

  32. Ann Bartholomew
      · October 13th, 2015 at 12:58 pm · Link

    I am SO glad you’re back from your trips, but also very happy you had a good time. Christmas in Mustang Creek is great, as expected. I’ve taken some favorites off the shelf to reread. Right now I’m about half way into Willow. I love the period pieces as well as anything McKettrick. Glad to have you back with us!

  33. Gale Sroelov
      · October 13th, 2015 at 1:19 pm · Link

    What an amazing experience! You sound like you were such a fan-girl — and that is wonderful! We are glad you are back, safe and sound, and letting us hear about your adventures.

  34. Mellissa Baker
      · October 13th, 2015 at 1:21 pm · Link

    I still love the show Gunsmoke thank goodness for reruns
    Glad you had a safe and enjoyable trip

  35. Sharon Rackham
      · October 13th, 2015 at 1:27 pm · Link

    Dear Linda,

    Welcome home! Can’t wait to hear more of your trip to Gettysburg and also Dodge City!


    Your neighbour from Canada

  36. Beverly Evanger
      · October 13th, 2015 at 1:36 pm · Link

    WELCOME HOME. wow! it sounds like you had an awesome time. I’ve always loved Gunsmoke. Still watch it in fact.

  37. jep
      · October 13th, 2015 at 1:40 pm · Link

    Gunsmoke was a favorite show in our home when I was growing up. Marshall Dillon could do no wrong except I kept wanting him to marry Miss Kitty. ;) Thanks for bringing back those memories and so glad you had a good time and now are safely back home.

  38. Jan
      · October 13th, 2015 at 2:20 pm · Link

    Our entire family watched Gunsmoke on Saturday nights. Good memories. Glad you’re home.

  39. Virginia Smaka
      · October 13th, 2015 at 2:39 pm · Link

    The family watched Gunsmoke. Loved it.

  40. Laura McCarty
      · October 13th, 2015 at 2:43 pm · Link

    Sounds like an amazing adventure! :-D

  41. Mary
      · October 13th, 2015 at 2:57 pm · Link

    How fun you got to cross an item off your bucket list! Sounds like a fantastic event too.

  42. Leanna
      · October 13th, 2015 at 3:02 pm · Link

    So glad to hear you had a great time! We missed you.

  43. Linda Blenkiron
      · October 13th, 2015 at 3:29 pm · Link

    Hi Linda. Glad you are back. You have been missed!!! Linda

  44. Pamela Devereux
      · October 13th, 2015 at 3:29 pm · Link

    When I saw the pictures, I never remembered Bruce Boxleitner on Gunsmoke. I totally agree about him on Scarecrow & Mrs. King. Glad to hear you crossed off an item on your bucket list. Looking forward to more posts of your trip to Gettysburg.

  45. Linn Carlile
      · October 13th, 2015 at 3:39 pm · Link

    Oh My, sounds like a wonderful trip or should say trips. So glad you had such a good time and got back all safe and sound.
    Looking forward to some more tales of your trips. Hugs :wink:

  46. Kathy
      · October 13th, 2015 at 3:42 pm · Link

    Glad you’re back! Gunsmoke was one of my all time favorite westerns. I still watch the reruns today.

  47. Helen Gaines
      · October 13th, 2015 at 3:43 pm · Link

    Welcome home!!! We sure missed you!!
    So glad you had a wonderful trip!!

  48. Linda Lattin
      · October 13th, 2015 at 4:01 pm · Link

    It sounds like you had the time of your life!! Good for you :)

  49. Marilyn Fish
      · October 13th, 2015 at 4:27 pm · Link

    You make my world bigger. Thanks!

  50. Carol Monson
      · October 13th, 2015 at 5:04 pm · Link

    I grew up in Kansas and loved visiting Dodge City on vacations.

  51. Betty L Worley
      · October 13th, 2015 at 5:07 pm · Link

    Welcome home.. So glad you had a wonderful well deserved trip..

  52. theresa
      · October 13th, 2015 at 5:19 pm · Link

    Glad u are back safe & sound! Got your New book but not going to start reading until Thanksgiving!

    Want to hear more about your adventures!

  53. Rosemary
      · October 13th, 2015 at 5:24 pm · Link

    Hi Linda & LLL Team,

    It is always a delight to hear about your adventures and research trips, please keep’m coming.

    Love from Texas!

  54. Cricket McCloud
      · October 13th, 2015 at 5:28 pm · Link

    Still watch Gunsmoke reruns and any other western movie I can find on tv especially John Wayne. Thanks for writing the best books!

  55. Diana E.
      · October 13th, 2015 at 5:28 pm · Link

    So good to have you back Linda. Sounds like a wonder trip. Of course I remember Gunsmoke, loved it. Looking forward to hearing more soon. Blessings.

  56. Rosemary
      · October 13th, 2015 at 5:30 pm · Link

    Oh My Goodness…. And, I Love Love Love “Christmas in Mustang Creek”! I have read the book and listened to the audio (twice, and that is rare for me).

    You nailed it – awesome as always.

    God Bless You Linda.

  57. Nadine spradlin
      · October 13th, 2015 at 5:35 pm · Link

    Glad that you are home , looking forward to hearing about your travels & adventures .I bought your new book today & will read it right away. So glad that you enjoyed yourself ..

  58. Virginia H
      · October 13th, 2015 at 5:46 pm · Link

    Glad you are back Linda and it sounds like you have a wonderful time on your trip, can’t wait to here more. :-P

  59. Lynn Grier
      · October 13th, 2015 at 5:50 pm · Link

    Glad you had a good time and that is a lot of book signing. Blessings to you!

  60. therese lopez
      · October 13th, 2015 at 6:02 pm · Link

    It sounds like you had an awesome time!! Your trip and book signing kept you very busy bit must have been so much fun. Can’t wait to hear more about it.

  61. Pat Parker
      · October 13th, 2015 at 6:05 pm · Link

    So glad you had such a good time, and really happy to have you back.

  62. Darlene Holley
      · October 13th, 2015 at 6:17 pm · Link

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time. Lucky you to meet all those wonderful actors :) I loved seeing all of the pictures you posted on fb. Hope you have a wonderful and relaxing week!!

  63. Terri S.
      · October 13th, 2015 at 7:01 pm · Link

    It sounds like you had a blast. I’m glad you enjoyed yourself and met such great people. I’m a little jealous of the jet plane experience but happy you were able to scratch off an item from your list. Lol Can’t wait to hear more about your trip.

  64. Dona kutska
      · October 13th, 2015 at 7:01 pm · Link

    Yay! Your back! It’s great to hear from you, sounds like you had a fantastic time! I missed your blogs, Kiki the dog has a cute name, are you getting yourself a pet soon?

  65. Lynn G.
      · October 13th, 2015 at 7:06 pm · Link

    Missed you! Glad you are back safe and sound.

  66. Gloria Jenkins
      · October 13th, 2015 at 7:36 pm · Link

    I wish I was there with you . I’m old enough to remember Gunsmoke, we still watch reruns. The Sunday of the anniversary my husband started DVR from the first episode. Another one of our favorites is John Wayne and he introduced the first episode. I’m glad you had a goid tine. Can’t wait to hear about Gettysburg. Until tomorrow goodnight.

  67. Lois Rotella
      · October 13th, 2015 at 7:37 pm · Link

    Hi Linda sounds like you had a great time in Dodge City. Wow you got to meet people I loved to watch on tv. Looking forward to more of your adventures.

  68. Gloria
      · October 13th, 2015 at 7:40 pm · Link

    I’m glad you had a great trip and a safe trip, to and from, and I’m glad you’re safely home.

  69. Pat Yates
      · October 13th, 2015 at 7:53 pm · Link

    Missed you! Glad you are back and that you had a good time.

  70. Darlene
      · October 13th, 2015 at 7:58 pm · Link

    Welcome back, Linda! I’m thinking you will have lots of exciting material for a new book. I just finished the Christmas book and now I’m in the Christmas spirit! Thank you for your wonderful stories!

  71. Roberta Giordano
      · October 13th, 2015 at 8:16 pm · Link

    Welcome back ! You were missed but sounds like you had some great times. Can’t wait to here more about.

  72. Sharon Baumgartner
      · October 13th, 2015 at 8:50 pm · Link

    I had the same crush on Bruce as Scarecrow. Still enjoy watching him on Cedar Cove and whatever else he’s on. Glad you had such a good time.

  73. Louise McCourt
      · October 13th, 2015 at 8:51 pm · Link

    Glad you had a good time in Dodge City…my husband still watches reruns of Gunsmoke. Welcome back….

  74. Ann
      · October 13th, 2015 at 9:08 pm · Link

    Glad to hear you had a wonderful time on your trips.
    Perhaps you will get to spend more time in Gettysburg next year. Will you be having a public meet/greet there? I live about 2 hours away.

  75. Valdi M
      · October 13th, 2015 at 9:31 pm · Link

    Glad you had a good time! No twisted ankles?

  76. Kay Schock
      · October 13th, 2015 at 10:11 pm · Link

    Have read your books for years. Thank you for many hours of wonderful reading. Would love to win on of your books.

  77. Deborah Rae Nelson
      · October 13th, 2015 at 10:38 pm · Link

    Welcome back! I’ve been missing your news, and now we know why.

    We are the same vintage and your fondness for Gunsmoke and Scarecrow and Mrs. King rings true for me as well.

    I used to work as a programmer for the Encore Media Group in Denver. The broadcasters offering the Western Channel. Dennis Weaver used to come into the studio there to record the commercial spots. He was such a warm and congenial person. If you recall, he was on the Gunsmoke series as Chester.

    Listened to the audio version of Christmas in Mustang Creek while you were galavanting and loved it! I had intended to wait until after Thanksgiving to listen to itit, but couldn’t wait.

    Looking forward to more blogging from you. So glad you’r back.

  78. Janie K
      · October 13th, 2015 at 10:56 pm · Link

    My husband and I still watch Gunsmoke reruns. Wish I could have made the trip to see you, I live about 3 hours east of Dodge.

  79. Shelia Lindsey
      · October 13th, 2015 at 11:05 pm · Link

    Hi Linda, My husband and I went to Dodge City, Kansas to see where “Gunsmoke”, Boot Hill”, The Long Branch was and they told us about Doc Holliday, The Marshall, Miss Kitty, Bat Masterson, all of whom were on Gunsmoke. we got to see a very old type tv, like the ones we had when I was a kid.
    All- in – all, it was a great stop we made there.

  80. Jeannine Klimt
      · October 13th, 2015 at 11:13 pm · Link

    Welcome home Linda. It sounds like an amazing time.

  81. Juanita Rice
      · October 14th, 2015 at 4:00 am · Link

    Glad you had such a good time. Welcome back! :)

  82. lillian anderson
      · October 14th, 2015 at 7:56 am · Link

    Linda – loved reading about your trip to Dodge city and meeting the survivors of gunsmoke. I envy you for getting to do that. I would also love to win the 2 hats 1 heart necklace. it sure is pretty. I am trying to collect all your books on the McKettrics and others too. love reading them a lot. Cant wait to read your next blog also.

  83. Donna Colton
      · October 14th, 2015 at 9:00 am · Link

    Loved the story on Facebook about your travel to Dodge City, and yes, I do remember Gunsmoke. It doesn’t age us, just makes us feel great to have been able to watch it with our family!

  84. Rhonda Dickinson
      · October 14th, 2015 at 10:13 am · Link

    So glad you got to make the trip to Dodge City. Sounds like a great time! I so loved Gunsmoke and still watch it. You can’t beat that old western! Who wouldn’t love to have Mat, Festus, Doc and Kitty as friends!

  85. Sandy D
      · October 14th, 2015 at 10:45 am · Link

    Congrats on being inducted to the Walk of Fame! You know Gunsmoke is still on everyday on TVLAND channel. It’s great to see great actors in one of their first roles. And they are so young! Just saw Gary Busey last week on an episode.

  86. LynneW
      · October 14th, 2015 at 10:49 am · Link

    Welcome back! So glad you were having a good time.

  87. Karen Dieffenbaugher
      · October 14th, 2015 at 5:44 pm · Link

    Sounds like you have an amazing trip….And all of the celebrities that you met are favorites of mine also…You are one lucky lady….
    Thanks for sharing…and for the contest..

  88. Linda Solcich
      · October 14th, 2015 at 6:01 pm · Link

    Love Dodge City having been born and raised in Kansas. Spent time there as a kid

  89. Lisa hicks
      · October 15th, 2015 at 12:28 pm · Link

    I’m so happy u had a great time and I’d like to visit there I grew up watching gunsmoke and do you remember dirty dally western that’s what papal called me oh the memories

  90. Julie Watson
      · October 18th, 2015 at 9:45 am · Link

    What a great experience, meeting the stars and getting to be part of the walk of fame. Few deserve it more. Anyone who enriches the lives of others as you do is extra special. Congratulations.

  91. mary ann fuhs
      · October 18th, 2015 at 10:58 pm · Link

    WoW what a time you had

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