#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Winners and More

This week’s autographed book winners are: Gayle Larson and Carole Fiore.  Congratulations to both of you.  The new contest is underway now; to enter, simply comment, and you’re in.  Winners will be chosen at random, notified, and announced here next Monday, along with a new contest.

I’ve been working hard on NORTH OF EDEN, and I’m loving the story and the characters, as I hope you will, too.  Because I am equal parts Confederate and Union, at least by heritage, I have deep feelings for all my story people, whether Northern or Southern.  (The Laels are originally from North Carolina, and the Bleeckers, my mother’s people, hailing from Massachusetts, ran a Union hospital.)  I cry sometimes, and even find reasons to laugh, despite the horrible circumstances of this and all wars.  Recently, listening to a book called STRANGE AND OBSCURE STORIES OF THE CIVIL WAR, by a man named Rowland, I wept over the account of General Lee’s dignified surrender at App, ; when he rode in, in full regalia, on his wonderful stallion, Traveller, the Yankee boys doffed their hats and stood solemnly as he passed.  I cried because there wasn’t a single cat-call; these boys in blue, broken, battle-weary and homesick as they were, treated the defeated army with dignity and respect.  I was as proud as if I’d been there.  Later, a Confederate officer rode in, tears pouring down his face, and said (I’m paraphrasing), “Gentlemen, we are starving.”  On General Grant’s orders, food was sent to his troops immediately.  (I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that this same grub had actually been stolen from a Confederate supply train a few days before.)

While I am certainly opposed to slavery, so were many Confederate soldiers and Southern citizens.  I will never forget something I once heard the late Shelby Foote say; when captured and asked by a Yankee officer why he was fighting, a young rebel replied, “Because you’re down here.”  I know my Lael relatives were not slave holders; they, like most Southerners, were too poor.  They did, however, employ black workers to help with the farm work, and this was by no means uncommon.  

Lastly, no matter how busy I am, I always find time to read/listen to books.  This week’s hands down favorite was MY SOUTHERN JOURNEY, by the Pulitzer prize-winning author, Rick Bragg.  I laughed and cried and loved every word of that book.  Little wonder Mr. Bragg won the most prestigious prize in literature–he is gifted.  

And now it is time to bed down and get a good night’s sleep.  Lots of writing to do tomorrow! 


37 comments to “Winners and More”

  1. Diane Sallans
      · December 12th, 2016 at 10:15 pm · Link

    Civil War stories can really touch my heart – I look forward to reading your story – chances are I will shed a few tears.

  2. Roberta Giordano
      · December 12th, 2016 at 10:20 pm · Link

    I look forward to your new book. I will probably cry a lot too. Hope you have a great week

  3. Janie
      · December 12th, 2016 at 10:20 pm · Link

    So looking forward to this book. Did you watch the Mercy Street series on PBS? I think it will be back on in January. I’ve bought the book but haven’t read it yet. Just don’t understand how slave owners could justify their actions. A terrible, terrible thing.

  4. Louise McCourt
      · December 12th, 2016 at 10:20 pm · Link

    Looking forward to North Of Eden. Again, thank you for years of great reading.

  5. Teresa F
      · December 12th, 2016 at 10:21 pm · Link

    love to hear how your writing brings out your emotions!

  6. Evelyn Baldwin
      · December 12th, 2016 at 10:34 pm · Link

    I was born in Asheville, N.C.. I lived in Hope Mills, N.C.. many years! I now live in Asheboro, N.C. Quient little town! My mom and dad never believed in slavery! My dad was Cherokee and mom Irish descendents! Very hard working, my dad would tell stories about his ancesters, Cherokees. Trail of Tears broke my heart! Looking forward to your book! As always! God Bless! Evelyn

  7. Jenifer P.
      · December 12th, 2016 at 10:34 pm · Link

    Can’t wait for the new book. I’m sure I’ll love it! I have a North/South heritage myself (Alabama & Michigan) and I have always enjoyed reading about the Civil War.

  8. Cassandra
      · December 12th, 2016 at 10:55 pm · Link

    Ms. Miller thank you for this uplifting post…I read historicals occasionally…of course I have read all of your historicals…I am African-American and all of my family roots are from Georgia…reading about the Civil War including Gone With the Wind (the first “big book” I read around age 10) makes me sad (I will leave it at that one word)…my Brother who is 18 months younger than me loves Civil War history…just name a battle (smile)…You gave me food for thought today…I will definitely read Mr. Bragg’s “My Southern Journey”…Thanks again.

  9. Leanna
      · December 12th, 2016 at 11:01 pm · Link

    I’m with you, there is always time to read! Looking forward to your new books next year.

  10. Diana E.
      · December 12th, 2016 at 11:05 pm · Link

    Looking forward to North of Eden. Blessings.

  11. Matt Alling
      · December 12th, 2016 at 11:12 pm · Link

    Linda…. did you see the movie “Free State of Jones”?? Great movie with Matthew McConaughey!

  12. Charlotte Litton
      · December 12th, 2016 at 11:31 pm · Link

    I’m so excited about North of Eden. Do you have an estimated release date?

  13. Peggy
      · December 13th, 2016 at 12:00 am · Link

    You have been on quite the journey with this book. I cannot wait until it is published so we can take the journey as well! I had a wonderful weekend! I was in Colville on Friday for the birth of my first granndaughter! I have been blessed with 3 grandsons, but there is something about an angelic little girl! I then spent the rest of the weekend with Lyle’s parents; Joe and Julie, who as you know, are such awesome people! I never dreamt growing up that our children would one day marry and I would be attached to such wonderful people through marriage; but I have been blessed to be taken in as a token “Murphy”! It was so much fun, to go to down to the school in Northport last night for the annual Lion’s Christmas event. Santa was there, handing out treats and gifts as he has for years, I must admit, I did miss the old tradition of the tree lighting and Santa arriving on the fire truck to greet the children… but this was much warmer, pictures, treats and all inside where it was warm, then everyone loaded onto a school bus to tour the Christmas light displays around town.. There is nothing like Christmas in our hometown! It was also so much fun to go past Marion’s house, Lee had decorated it all up and posted a sign dedicating it to Bob Long, which made it all the more special! I loved his clothes line which he traditionally hangs with all Mr and Mrs Claus’ clean laundry… So much fun!!!

  14. Caryn Horn
      · December 13th, 2016 at 2:06 am · Link

    Every time you write to us I can see everything you describe in my mind. And your books are the same! Happy writing LLM, I can tell you’re having a grand old time!

  15. Kelley Morrow
      · December 13th, 2016 at 2:45 am · Link

    Love the insight into your stories. Have a blessed week Linda!

  16. Lisa murray
      · December 13th, 2016 at 6:57 am · Link

    Wishing you and your the happiest of holidays. We are in Michigan with our oldest and her family. Got a foot of the white stuff with more to come this week!

  17. Pat Dennis
      · December 13th, 2016 at 7:52 am · Link

    Can’t wait for your new series to come out. Love hidtory.
    I always,enjoy Rick Braggs articles in Southern Living

  18. Ruby Norwood
      · December 13th, 2016 at 8:50 am · Link

    Congrats to Gayle and Carole on your win!! I’m just getting so excited on the new book you are writing North Of Eden, looking forward to reading it.

  19. Virginia Horton
      · December 13th, 2016 at 9:19 am · Link

    Congrats Gayle and Carole! Linda it seems like you are moving right along with your new book. I love books set during that time period and I can’t wait to read your new one. Gone with the Wind has always been a favorite of mine. It is the book that got me started reading to begin with. I remember doing a book report on it back in high school.

  20. Susan Craig
      · December 13th, 2016 at 9:24 am · Link

    I am looking forward to the new book. It sounds like you are pouring your whole heart and soul into it.

  21. Dotty Weis
      · December 13th, 2016 at 9:30 am · Link

    Have your read The Killer Angels by Michael Sahaara about the battle of Gettysburg. He also won a Pulitzer for it. It is one of my favorite Civil War books

  22. Marcia White
      · December 13th, 2016 at 9:43 am · Link

    Really looking forward to North of Eden. I had a gr-gr grandfather who died of dysentery in VA within a year of his enlistment and a gr grandfather who was a captain in a NY regiment. From his pension papers it appears he might have suffered from PTSD for a few years after the end of the war. Very few families of the time were untouched by the war in one way or another

  23. Melaine
      · December 13th, 2016 at 9:48 am · Link

    I so enjoy your blogs, Linda, and I clearly understand the deep emotions felt for both sides of the Civil War. In most cases, prideful every day people fighting for their region.

    If only it was possible to stop all wars, not just the ones the US gets involved in, but all wars world wide. It seems nearly impossible to imagine a world at peace.

  24. Marilyn Fish
      · December 13th, 2016 at 10:02 am · Link

    I enjoy your blog and your books. Thank you for both.

  25. Pat
      · December 13th, 2016 at 11:29 am · Link

    I am amidst in my own Civil War story. That of my 2nd great grandfather as I just received his pension file. He was at the Battle of Shiloh and then on to Corinth. He had been ill during both battles and then sent to Keokuk, Iowa to a hospital. There due to his health problems he was discharged. After researching both battles, it is amazing to me that he made it home. Looking forward to your new book.

  26. Elaine Key
      · December 13th, 2016 at 11:36 am · Link

    My grandfather fought in the Civil War. My family didn’t own any slaves either but he fought just the same. He was shot in the shoulder and lived the rest of his life with that bullet in his shoulder. The Civil War was about more than slavery as I am sure you learned from your research.

  27. Tammy Carter
      · December 13th, 2016 at 11:40 am · Link

    I am really looking forward to reading North of Eden. It has been awhile since you have released a historical novel. I know I will love it!

  28. Elaine Key
      · December 13th, 2016 at 11:49 am · Link

    The Civil War was about more than slavery as I am sure you learned in your research. What upsets me was the fact that the Northern states would sell slaves to the Southern states and then cry slavery was unconstitutional. Back then like today it’s all about money. Then during Reconstruction the North took advantage of the South and stole our land. Even today there is still some animosity between the Northern states and the South.

  29. Janet Hurt
      · December 13th, 2016 at 1:08 pm · Link

    I enjoy your weekly writings. I will definitely go out and look for “My Southern Journey” by Rick Bragg. If you put your stamp of approval on it…it must be worthy!
    Thanks for all you do! Jan

  30. Nadine spradlin
      · December 13th, 2016 at 1:22 pm · Link

    Congratulations ladies , on your win !!!!

  31. Trudy Wilson
      · December 13th, 2016 at 2:32 pm · Link

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

  32. Gloria Herring
      · December 14th, 2016 at 7:05 pm · Link

    Sweet dreams, Linda!

    • Gloria Herring
        · December 14th, 2016 at 7:06 pm · Link

      I forgot to congratulate the winners, so…CONGRATULATIONS, Ladies!

  33. Doris Ellis
      · December 15th, 2016 at 8:22 am · Link

    Wow..being born in the South your words hit home…For the record I love reading your books. I live with your characters…

  34. Barbara
      · December 15th, 2016 at 10:25 am · Link

    What a touching, thoughtful, and thought provoking message. Thanks for helping us to slow down and take a few minutes to internalize and reflect.

  35. Diane Lussier
      · December 15th, 2016 at 1:00 pm · Link

    Sounds like a great book!!! Congratulations to the winners!!!

  36. Denise Ayotte
      · December 15th, 2016 at 6:46 pm · Link

    I can’t wait for North of Eden. Civil War stories are my favorite. Happy Holidays!

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