#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

My mystery weekend

Mum was the word on Friday–I was heading to L.A. to attend a surprise party for my dear friend, Cindy Leuty-Jones, so I couldn’t mention my destination for fear of arousing suspicions.  :) 

I stayed at the lovely Westin Hotel at LAX, and on Saturday, Cindy and her romance-hero husband, Jack, met me there for lunch.  Jack and I had been plotting for days, via phone and text, and Jack had told Cindy I was just passing through and wouldn’t it be great if we could get together for an hour or two?  I was nervous–I’m a very bad liar and I knew if Cindy asked any penetrating questions about where I’d been (home) and where I was going next (home), I’d probably trip myself up by saying something like, “Ah–er–um–”

Fortunately, we were so busy hugging, laughing and chattering away–lots to catch up on–that the subject of why I was in town never really came up.


There was a small challenge after lunch, though; when saying good-bye, Cindy teared up–as I said, we’re very old and very good friends who don’t see each other nearly often enough–and she figured it would be a long time before we could get together again.  (It was hard not to say I’d see her that night.)

Another member of our outlaw gang, Annie Kodak, was unable to attend, due to illness.  Kodak, we missed you.  Get well soon!

At five, Jack sent a car to pick me up at the hotel–I told you he was a romance-hero :)–and I was driven in style to their lovely home, where the caterers were busy as the proverbial bees.  Jack and Cindy were still out–they’d gone to dinner and a play–so the guests had plenty of time to arrive.  Since I was a little early, and wanted to stay out from underfoot, I sat in the living room and petted the Jones’s dog, Sydney.  Always a good way to pass the time.  :) 

There were probably a hundred of us there by the time Jack drove up with the guest of honor–and was Cindy ever surprised!  It was so cute–she was overwhelmed and got all misty-eyed again–and after that, we had a great celebration–fabulous food, live music, lots of laughter and good conversation.  Since I turn into a pumpkin at midnight, I was out of there around ten–exhausted but happy.

I chilled at the hotel most of Sunday, finishing up Linwood Barclay’s excellent new book, “A Tap on the Window” and watching a “Storage Wars” marathon (I couldn’t work up any enthusiasm for shopping) then hopped a plane home in the afternoon.  I was, of course, bushed by the time I set foot in Spokane again, but happy.  I had a wonderful, wonderful time.

One thing Cindy and I agreed on–we’re not letting so much water run under the bridge before we have some quality girl-time.

Things are lookin’ good for a long weekend in Santa Fe, with Annie, hopefully recovered by then, in attendance.  Our other dear friend Althea happens to live there, too, which is a definite plus.  Santa Fe is a favorite with all of us–haunted hotels, super restaurants, seriously cool shopping opportunities.   

So that was my weekend.  Much livelier than most of my Saturdays and Sundays.  :)

Now, back to the real world.  (Sigh.)  Dental appointment this afternoon. 

But then I can get back to my new book, and that’s an exciting prospect for sure!

The new contest begins today.  Just comment, and you’re in.  (Saying something nice will improve your chances.  :) )

Until tomorrow.


72 comments to “My mystery weekend”

  1. Andrea Lammly
      · September 9th, 2013 at 3:20 pm · Link

    Wow; you had quite the exciting weekend. Always great to surprise a friend!

    Sante Fe…hmmm that sounds like a good place for one of your future stories to take place. Or the McKettrick’s must have to pass through there again.

    Happy Day Linda!

  2. Emily
      · September 9th, 2013 at 3:27 pm · Link

    Sounds like you had a great time. Good for you! :lol: It is always nice to get away and enjoy friends. Love that! :-D

    Looking forward to your new book as I have already read “Big Sky Wedding”. Love your books, I get so involved in them, you would think I was one of the characters! I have got to stop that!

    Have a great week and stay well.

  3. Diane Ball
      · September 9th, 2013 at 3:29 pm · Link

    I’m glad you were able to get away for a while, and to the dentist appointment, yuck.. not my favorite place to go. I hope you have a great week and happy writing, can’t wait to read your next book.
    Are you ever going to do another book for the MOJO Series?


  4. Diane M
      · September 9th, 2013 at 3:36 pm · Link

    What an awesome uprise for your friend Cindy. And a great weekend for you.
    I spent a lovely day with my daughter, son-in-law and grandson apple picking. With a 2 year old it’s an experience not to be missed. He kept showing us the apples down. He loves Thomas the tank engine, so the tram ride was fun with him. Now comes the fun baking part of this past weekend.
    Looking forward to the coming weekend to head to king Richards faire. Love getting dressed in renaissance costumes.

    Have a great week.

  5. Brenda Irvin
      · September 9th, 2013 at 3:37 pm · Link

    That must have been a fun weekend! I’m sure it was good to reminiscence with your friend Cindy.

    Have a great weekend in Sante Fe!

    Happy writing!

  6. Laurie Haas
      · September 9th, 2013 at 3:41 pm · Link

    Sounds like a perfect weekend! I miss my girlfriends from college. We’re all spread out too, busy with families and jobs, but when we DO get together we’re right back in our dorm.

  7. Jayne JAGELER
      · September 9th, 2013 at 3:50 pm · Link

    I’m glad you had a wonderful weekend. We all need a weekend to relax. It was so nice of Jack to do this for his wife!

  8. Jennifer L.
      · September 9th, 2013 at 3:51 pm · Link

    It sounds like you had a busy and wonderful weekend. I’ll bet your friend was thrilled with the surprise! I hope you have an excellent writing day (I can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store for us next!). :)

  9. Pat W.
      · September 9th, 2013 at 4:02 pm · Link

    Sounds like a great week-end. Your books are great & really enjoy reading the. Keep writing

  10. Emma
      · September 9th, 2013 at 4:07 pm · Link

    Hope everyone has a great week.I’m glad you had a wonderful weekend.

  11. Gwen Romine
      · September 9th, 2013 at 4:12 pm · Link

    Sounds like a great weekend. Finishing up Big Sky Wedding. Wonderful as always!

  12. judy
      · September 9th, 2013 at 4:21 pm · Link

    Glad you had a great weekend. Better then mine. Got Big Sky wedding but have not had a chance to read it yet. Will in a day or two.

  13. marilyn hurst
      · September 9th, 2013 at 4:33 pm · Link

    One of my favorite things is to surprise my friends on their special days! Glad you had a wonderful weekend.

  14. sam
      · September 9th, 2013 at 4:34 pm · Link

    Friendships are so special, it’s nice to hear you had a good time. As always, I look forward to the next book :)

  15. CJ Vierow
      · September 9th, 2013 at 4:42 pm · Link

    So much fun surprising those we care for and sharing the joy and excitement. Glad you had a wonderful time.

  16. Patricia M Hann
      · September 9th, 2013 at 4:46 pm · Link

    It was good for you to get away and visit friends. I am glad to hear you having another weekend plan for the friends.

  17. Bonnie G Fahy
      · September 9th, 2013 at 4:52 pm · Link

    Thanks for letting us in on the wonderful surprise for your friend. Yes, old buddies are the best and its wonderful to stay in touch with old girlfriends. I still talk to my best friend I had since 1968. (ok that dates me a bit) Sounds like you had a perfect weekend and I can’t wait for your new book to come out too!

  18. Teresa Fordice
      · September 9th, 2013 at 4:59 pm · Link

    Dear friends are a real treasure to be cherished!! Fantastic that you found time to visit!!

  19. Gloria
      · September 9th, 2013 at 5:03 pm · Link

    Linda, I’m glad you had such a good weekend. And, I envy Cindy…I’ve never really had a party in my honor, surprise, or otherwise. I don’t know what I’d do if it ever happened.

    I had a aunt who threw herself a party on her 50th birthday. I guess I could do that, but…it’d have to be a lot more than 50 : :wink: . I won’t say how far past it, though :-D .

    I pray things went well at the dentist’s office.

  20. Pamela Black
      · September 9th, 2013 at 5:04 pm · Link

    Linda you’re the best friend ever!!
    What a great
    Surprise that was.
    Can’t wait for the next book!
    Wooo hoo!!!

  21. Beverly Ellis
      · September 9th, 2013 at 5:10 pm · Link

    Glad you had a great weekend celebration, as I work in a dental office, can’t see why you would dread the visit, lol.

  22. Marianne W
      · September 9th, 2013 at 5:11 pm · Link

    So glad you got to enjoy some time with friends. My girlfriends and I try to go out to dinner once a month. Otherwise, life just gets too busy and we lose too much time! 8-)

  23. zola udell
      · September 9th, 2013 at 5:16 pm · Link

    I’m glad you had such a wonderful time. I experienced listening to Springwater Wedding for the first time on audio cd.
    I’m looking forward to other novels as well.I got this from my library. It’s easy on the eyes, among other things, as so enjoyable.

  24. Janie
      · September 9th, 2013 at 5:20 pm · Link

    What a great weekend, time with friends. I spent all day Saturday with a dear friend on a “shop til you drop trip.”

  25. Nancy
      · September 9th, 2013 at 5:42 pm · Link

    I love reading your books. ” Big Sky Wedding was great!

    Have a great and awesome week!

  26. Jean M.
      · September 9th, 2013 at 5:57 pm · Link

    I’m glad you were able to share in such a fun surprise for your
    friend. As another fan has said (something I feel very strongly
    about) :-D “Friends truly are treasures that we are blessed with”!! Being able to chat, share, AND hug friends changes our
    world! Makes you happy with a “new” outlook in life. Yep…even
    helps you be “brave” at the dentist! :) Always look forward to
    your books! Reading them is almost like being with one of
    my “old friends”! :)

  27. Darlene Tomel Sigala
      · September 9th, 2013 at 6:09 pm · Link

    Hi Linda,

    I just have to tell you how much I loved Big Sky Wedding. I am reading it again because now I have to wait for January for Big Sky Secrets. Thank you and keep writing! Darlene :-D

  28. Ruby Norwood
      · September 9th, 2013 at 6:22 pm · Link

    Hi Linda,
    I know you had a great weekend with your friends, I can actually hear it in your blog today. You stay so busy, I think it was a trip well deserved.
    Take Care

  29. Carol Bradbury
      · September 9th, 2013 at 6:25 pm · Link

    Hi Linda, I would really like to win something from you. I have all your books and have been reading you for a long time. Please pick me! I enjoy your blog too. :wink:

  30. Norma Stanforth
      · September 9th, 2013 at 6:29 pm · Link

    It sounds like your had a good time, and it was great to help your friend Cindy, enjoyed the party that her sweet husband did for her. Glad you enjoyed your weekend. Hope everyone had a great weekend. GOD bless you all.
    As always your friend,
    Norma :-D

  31. Leanna
      · September 9th, 2013 at 6:35 pm · Link

    I love surprises like that. For my moms 40th birthday he flew one of her best friends who lived in Virginia, we lived in Minnesota.

  32. Beverly
      · September 9th, 2013 at 6:37 pm · Link

    It’s always wonderful to be able to spend time with your nearest, dearest & lifelongest girlfriends! Way to go, Linda! :-)

  33. Joyce M.
      · September 9th, 2013 at 6:50 pm · Link

    Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend. Mine was quiet which is just how I like it.

  34. Lois Rotella
      · September 9th, 2013 at 7:10 pm · Link

    Sounds like you had an awesome weekend. I did that once. My niece was graduating from college and I told her I could not come. I was in the stands with the family and she saw me. It was a short weekend but fun for all. :) :)

  35. Diana E
      · September 9th, 2013 at 7:38 pm · Link

    Sounds like a really fun time. So glad you pulled it off and didn’t give it away.

  36. Lorraine Pitts
      · September 9th, 2013 at 7:43 pm · Link

    It is a wonderful thing to see someone you love be so excited and happy. Linda, please know that your fans feel this way when we know you are well and working on a new book for us to read!!! :-D

  37. Angela Freeman Chandler
      · September 9th, 2013 at 8:01 pm · Link

    I spent the weekend in bed with walking pneumonia. Finally feeling better.

  38. Betty Andersen
      · September 9th, 2013 at 8:04 pm · Link

    I hope you have a good week after your busy weekend. :wink:

  39. Jennifer Damone
      · September 9th, 2013 at 8:07 pm · Link

    Wow! What a great weekend! Almost done with Big Sky Wedding. Love it! I also had to go to the dentist today, not one of my favorite places to visit. Have a good week!

  40. Lori
      · September 9th, 2013 at 8:08 pm · Link

    I love your books and can’t wait for your new one in Janurary!

  41. Joanne Ozment
      · September 9th, 2013 at 8:22 pm · Link

    Always nice to see friends & surprises are the best. Can’t wait for the new book.

  42. Barb Zachow
      · September 9th, 2013 at 8:28 pm · Link

    Just finished Big Sky Wedding. Loved, loved, loved Zane! The kind of guy any of us would fall for. Can’t wait for the next Three Trees/Parable story…..has to be Landon, I guess!

  43. Vicki Ferris
      · September 9th, 2013 at 8:37 pm · Link

    I am so very happy that you had such a great time with your friend. I have a friend that I almost never get to see, so on the rare occasions that we do it is so special.
    I always look forward to a new book by you. Can hardly wait for your next one. :-D

  44. Tamara Christensen
      · September 9th, 2013 at 8:38 pm · Link

    Glad you had a awesome weekend. Can not wait to read the 2 Big sky books that just came out.

  45. Jeri H
      · September 9th, 2013 at 8:41 pm · Link

    I’m glad you had a good time with your friend. I have had a good friend since 6th grade. We have always talked on the phone several times a year but never found the time to get together. We are both cancer survivors now and we see each other every 2 – 3 months as well as talk on the phone. Nothing better than a good friendship.

    Take care.

  46. Debra
      · September 9th, 2013 at 8:49 pm · Link

    What a wonderful weekend!!!!! So nice you got to spend time and surprise your friend.

  47. Alisa Boisclair
      · September 9th, 2013 at 9:09 pm · Link

    What a great weekend! Any hints on upcoming books?

  48. Fran
      · September 9th, 2013 at 9:25 pm · Link

    Hi Linda,
    Glad you had a part in surprising your good friend. It’s always fun to catch up with friends you haven’t seen in a while. Just finished reading Big Sky Wedding which I loved, as I love all your books and your various characters. Santa Fe is one of my favorite places to visit as well. Enjoy. Thanks for all your wonderful books.

  49. pat Yates
      · September 9th, 2013 at 9:31 pm · Link

    Your weekend sounded like so much fun. I have friends I don’t see often and whenever we get together we always say never again will we be so long in seeing each other. Life always gets in the way, we are so scattered!
    My weekend was very good. Found the salad fork from my good set of flatware, been missing since March, won Your contest for Big Sky Wedding, and my nephew sent me his English bulldog to care for. He is Navy and is going over seas for 2 years. No airline will fly Jack, so I have him.
    Have a blessed week

  50. Heather Charity
      · September 9th, 2013 at 9:41 pm · Link

    What a lovely thing to do for your friend. She must have just been THRILLED to have more time with you. And because of the efforts YOU made, her efforts will be all the stronger in the future. :-D

  51. Joanie gonsalves
      · September 9th, 2013 at 9:45 pm · Link

    U bring us joy LLM with your log as well as your books :)

  52. Roberta Giordano
      · September 9th, 2013 at 10:21 pm · Link

    Glad you had a very nice weekend with friends. Hope your week is a great one too !

  53. Ida C
      · September 9th, 2013 at 10:41 pm · Link

    What a fabulous weekend! Love to read your messages. Hugs to all.

  54. Juanita Rice
      · September 9th, 2013 at 10:55 pm · Link

    Wonderful way to spend a weekend, Linda! :) I’m off to Oregon tomorrow so will likely have a lot to catch up on when I get back on Saturday. :)

  55. Merry M
      · September 9th, 2013 at 11:26 pm · Link

    Sounds like a great weekend. Seeing friends is always the best :-)

  56. Lea Williams
      · September 9th, 2013 at 11:56 pm · Link

    What a marvelous way to spend a weekend. We spent it working on the pump – no water except the hose from next door. I am excited to go tomorrow to Oregon where my horse Sage is and get to ride her. She has been there for 6 weeks and it will be a joy to see her. I have never been to Santa Fe but I have always wanted to. Have a blessed week.

  57. Connie Johnson
      · September 10th, 2013 at 12:17 am · Link

    Got Big Sky Wedding yesterday, can’t want to start it.

  58. Tracy Kruse
      · September 10th, 2013 at 7:40 am · Link

    OH MY ! I am wishing I were on this weekend! It sounds amazing! :wink:

  59. donna harris
      · September 10th, 2013 at 8:14 am · Link

    Glad you had a nice fun weekend catching up with an friend you don’t see very often is so exciting! As we get older we always think of why don’t we see a person/s more often. But with busy schedules it’s hard.
    The fun weekend over, now it’s time to get back to the daily routine, sucks!!! Have a nice day!!

  60. Anita C
      · September 10th, 2013 at 8:20 am · Link

    What a nice way to spend the weekend – it inspired me to call my good friend and set up a play date (aka girl time!). I can’t wait to see her. I picked up Big Sky Wedding, but haven’t gotten the chance to sit down and savor it yet, but am looking forward to that too.

  61. carole
      · September 10th, 2013 at 8:22 am · Link

    Hi! Your weekend was much more exciting than mine, its fun getting together with girlfriends. Its been awhile since I’ve been able to chat or see my cousin Joanne, one of these days we will, sure we chat on the phone but its not the same. Glad you had a great time! Have a great rest of the week,

  62. Regina M.
      · September 10th, 2013 at 9:26 am · Link

    What a GREAT hubby Cindy has and to have YOU as a friend to pull off this wonderful party for her. So glad you had a good time!!!

  63. Barbara Brown
      · September 10th, 2013 at 2:26 pm · Link

    I can never thank you enough for getting me reading Western Romance and other romance books. It has changed my life forever for the better, too bad I started reading at 69. Just reading BIG SKY WEDDING and noted the 3 new books coming out. Down side, have bought over 100 books since May, now using the Nook also for titles. Thanks again for all you contribute to use. bb

  64. Shirley Wetmore
      · September 10th, 2013 at 3:20 pm · Link

    Such a wonderful visit you had with one of you best friends. I lost my best friend a couple of years ago, so hearing about your good time with yours made me smile and remember the good times I had with mine. Can’t pass up these time because you never know when it will be the last one you have with them. Keep the books coming and we will keep reading them. Haven’t read a bad one yet…

  65. Pat Burleson
      · September 10th, 2013 at 4:30 pm · Link

    What an exciting week-end for you ! Keep up with your dear friends, I lost my oldiest, dearest friend to cancer a couple of years ago. I don’t mean to push, but, I am anxiously waiting for the next book. Keep up the writing !

  66. Deborah Nelson
      · September 10th, 2013 at 5:08 pm · Link

    Such a lovely week! And you’re visiting wonderful Santa Fe, where I am lucky enough to live. Isn’t the light in New Mexico the most amazing? Have a great time.

  67. Anne-Marie Olka
      · September 10th, 2013 at 8:24 pm · Link

    Truly enjoyed reading about your weekend. I wish I had opportunities like that but you have worked hard to make them happen in your life and you deserve every good thing that comes your way. Have a safe and restful night.

  68. debbie g
      · September 10th, 2013 at 10:30 pm · Link

    As I read your blog about surprising a dear old friend and promising to gether more often…. it brought a very happy but sad feeling. Earlier this year my older brother emailed, my older sister and 2 younger brothers ( I am the middle child and also have ADD). He wrote that we should get together (to include our first cousins which we are close to), for a reunion. He wanted to get the reunion for a happy time instead of just wakes and funerals. We are getting together on 9/22/13. I am the only one who is the furthest away and will be flying in for a week. It is happy because we will see each other, sad that we are all getting older……….. Debbie G.

  69. April Mc Vey
      · September 11th, 2013 at 7:19 am · Link

    I love it when surprises are successful. It is such a great time when friends connect.

  70. Tammy Beck
      · September 11th, 2013 at 8:12 am · Link

    It sounds like you had a great time. I love surprising a friend with a visit. It’s great when the surprise works out. I usually let something slip out and give myself away.

  71. Jennifer Legan
      · September 11th, 2013 at 1:46 pm · Link

    Glad to hear you had fun! I love when I get the chance to have a girls day or girls weekend with my best pals. Thanks for the chance.

  72. Sue
      · September 18th, 2013 at 1:04 am · Link

    Ah…how about they come to Minnesota for a bit? :) They found some relative that they never knew about by one of the 10k+ lakes on a cabin beside the shores…?? We have gorgeous sunsets. :)

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