Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I'm Wireless Again!

Zowie, Batman.
This connection is FAST.
It's raining here in Spokane. (I could almost believe I was back in Port Orchard!)
Anyway, the blog will be a lot more regular now that I don't have to tie up the phone line and wait half an hour to get online.
I'll see some of you at Auntie's Bookstore tonight.
Don't let a little rain stop you.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Monday on the Triple L

The sky looks heavy with snow, and my towering pines stand tall, as if awaiting a blanket of white. What a joy and a luxury it is to write with this beautiful view before me.

I can just SEE the barn, built in its perfect spot, with my beloved horses home again. Although they are just up the road, in a truly wonderful stable, I miss them so much. This is a critter kind of place--lots of fur around. Lots of warm, wriggly bodies, bursting with unconditional love. (Oh, Lord, make me the kind of person these animals think I am!)

Tomorrow (Feb. 28) I will be at Auntie's Bookstore here in Spokane, at 7:30 pm. I sure hope to see some of you there. "McKettrick's Choice" will be available in paperback, too. The cover is beautiful, and they printed the Angus quote twice. I guess the Universe wants us to pay attention.

What did Angus say? Something like this: "Don't let the bastards make you scared. That's how they get you. Don't you ever let anybody or anything make you scared." He was speaking to Jeb at the time, but I think we would all do well to heed those rough, rustic, and typically Angus McKettrick words.

Fear is a choice, after all. Might just as well choose courage instead, and get on with it. As my daddy always says, and Angus echoed, "We're burnin' daylight!"

Friday, February 24, 2006

Thank God It's...Today!

Every day is truly a gift.
Sure, most of them are ordinary--but isn't that a good thing?
Great things happen in the Ordinary.
Time with loved ones.
The view from our window.
Plenty of people and things to appreciate.
You're all very high on my list of appreciated people.
It's not tomorrow. It's not yesterday.
Thank God.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

As I Write This...

I'm looking out over acres of pine trees, stretching behind my magnificent new house. The sun is gleaming on the needles, and the sky seems burdened with snow. That's what I love about Spokane. It can be colder than cold, but the sun shines more often than not!

For those of you who live in the area, I'll be doing a reading from "One Last Look" at Auntie's Bookstore on the evening of February 28. Stop in and say howdy.

"McKettrick's Choice" hits the stores in paperback that very day. Those of you who have yet to meet Holt and Lorelei have a real adventure ahead of you. Come and ride the dusty trail with Holt and a whole crop of new characters--and expect a surprise visit from someone Holt will be very glad to see.

In the meantime, be blessed.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Do I Hear Hoof-beats?

I do!
It's Holt and his bunch, riding this way in the paperback version of "McKettrick's Choice". If you've been waiting to find out what those McKettrick boys are up to, here's your chance. The book will be in stores on February 28, as I understand it.
Still chaos around here, but it's the happy kind.
To my personal friends: If you've been waiting for a response to your email or the return of a phone call, please be patient. I am SWAMPED, and writing a brand new book in the midst of major changes.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Thanks for Hanging In There

With every passing day, I'm more at home in my wonderful new house.
If you could see the view! A draw full of pine trees, sometimes glittering in the sun, sometimes laced with snow. It's a feast for the eyes.
My dogs and cats are here, and settling in nicely. After that long road trip, in the trusted care of their "nannies", I think they thought this was just another hotel along the way. There was one added bonus, though--Mom is here.
This house is a fabulous place to write. I was very tired at first, but now I'm rallying, and I intend to really roll on the new book, "McKettrick's Luck", next week. I have three chapters done, and I've already fallen hard for Jesse. He lives in the house Jeb (of "Secondhand Bride" fame) built for Chloe. The schoohouse, Jeb's special gift to his beloved, is still there. I'm glad to report that this crop of McKettricks is as handsome, hard-headed and downright fabulous as their ancestors were. Jesse is, essentially, a modern version of Jeb. Cheyenne is not Chloe, but I know you're going to love her as much as I do. Jesse certainly does--though he hasn't figured it out yet.
Have a good weekend and a marvelous holiday.
Things are perkin' along just fine here at the Triple L.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Still Working on the Wireless

So the blog is still a hit or miss affair.
The dog fence is finished, and do Sadie and Bernice ever love it! They have never seen snow before, so it's a hoot to watch them--Bernice bounds merrily through it, and Sadie, in true beagle tradition, eats the stuff. (I've counseled her to avoid the yellow variety.)
I've got lots of help, so things are coming together.
Soon, I'll be blogging faithfully every morning, so please hang in there with me. There will be pictures of the new place, too, as soon as I find my camera!
I may have to take back that remark about the wallpaper, too. It's growing on me.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Dogs and Kitties Are Home!

My little carivan of family members, furry and otherwise, arrived yesterday, at midmorning, and I was out on the front lawn at the first sight of them, jumping up and down for joy. Sadie and Bernice, the dogs, are still getting used to the house, and so are Cha Cha and Jitterbug, the cats. They hid out in the laundry room at first, behind the dryer and on top of the cupboards, but have since ventured forth. All four critters joined me in my specutacular master suite last night, and we all awoke this morning to a beautiful snowfall.

My 'trail boss', Debbie Korrell, is here from Colorado Springs, and what a worker she is. She's decided to paint the guest room she's occupying--once she's gotten everything turned on and switched over and all those things you have to do when you move. To say that Deb goes above and behond the call of duty would be an understatement. When she rides to the rescue, it's as if the cavalry is coming over the next rise--I'd swear I heard a bugle!

Tomorrow, I should have wireless again, and I will be much more consistent with my blog, I promise.

Until then...

Thursday, February 09, 2006

I Saw a Man on the Street...

the other day. He was holding a megaphone, and flanked by other men carrying signs. One read, "Homosexuality is an Abomination!" I considered joining him, with a sign of my own. "Bigotry is an Abomination!" would have been good. (Actually, having just moved into a new house which, while beautiful, was apparently decorated by Holly Hobby two weeks after her prescription ran out, I think "My Wallpaper is an Abomination" would have been the most honest.)

Watching these men, and being a writer, I couldn't help imagining the Jesus I know on the scene. I suspect it would have been a real surprise to the haranguer and his co-horts. (I'm not here to debate homosexuality, so don't write to me. I'm making another point entirely, and it wouldn't matter what hot topic these misguided people would have chosen.) I think He would have smashed the sign and thrown the megaphone into the shrubbery. I think there would have been a loud lecture on judging others, and that would only have been the beginning.

People like these men do real harm to the very cause they claim to support. Nobody looks at them and says, "Gee, I want to be hateful and judgmental and even vicious, too! Where can I sign up?" When was the basic message of love and forgivenesss forsaken for self-righteousness and wholesale judgment of things only God can fully understand?

I'll probably take some heat for this blog. So be it. Some people are so busy making other people wrong, they don't notice the inconsistencies. Fortunately, God loves them, too. And all the rest of us, who have signs and megaphones of our own.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Organized Chaos

As many of you will have noticed, there was no blog yesterday.

That's because it was a zoo around here! Two big trucks were unloaded. A forklift zipped back and forth, all day long. Willing hands lifted and carried--it was a flurry of activity. The place was full of friends and family--from a little baby, not even walking yet, to a beloved aunt in her eighties! One of the many reasons I came home--for these people, who love me enough to drive U-Hauls and semis, to load and unload.

Last night, I slept in my own bed. What a blessing.

This morning, as I write, the sun is rising over the pine trees and the mountains across the way.

I have come home, in so many ways, simple and profound.

Today, workers will begin setting posts for the big back yard fence. My dogs and kitties will have a safe place to run. They will arrive this weekend sometime, and my little family will be complete again.

I know I will write many wonderful books in this house. I will laugh here, and cry here. I will love and be loved. I will put my roots down deep.

I have come home.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

The Hardest Part of This Move Is...

Being separated from my dogs. Yes, I certainly miss the cats, too, but they're independent creatures, and do not love me in the same way Sadie and Bernice do.

My pets are in loving hands. They will be with me, on the Triple L, very soon. But the separation is hard, and it requires a lot of prayer.

This morning, in my devotional time, it came to me that I would like to become the person Sadie and Bernice see when they look at me. They love me unconditionally. They always greet me with tail-wagging joy, whether I have been on a mailbox run, or in some far away city. They believe utterly in my goodness, my provision, and my protection. They know I will go to any length for them. I want to see God the same way they see me. And I want to live up to their faith in me, always.

More on the loving hands and hearts that have made this move possible: Mary Ann, Jenni and Larry. Steve and Debi and Bo and Billie. Vicki and Larry Webster. Debbie Korrell. Kathy Bannon, and her cat, Rudy. I am thankful to, and for, all of you. I am grateful to be blessed with such a family, and such good friends. May I be as much a blessing to all of you as you have been, and continue to be, to me.

All this ties into the reasons I write romance. It's all about love, gang. Furry love. People love. Nothing in all Creation is more important than LOVE.

Look into the eyes of your child, your pet. See yourself as they see you. And don't assume they're wrong to love you so much. They're right, you know.

Pass it on.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Back in the City of My Birth

I am sitting in the kitchen of my new house, on the land that will become the Triple L. (That stands for Linda Lee Lael, my original name.)

It's a beautiful place, and somewhat like camping out, since none of the furniture has arrived. Most importantly, my dogs and cats haven't arrived--and without them, I'm just not myself. They will be here soon, though, and it will be a mother-and-dog (and cat) reunion. I feel joy just thinking about it.

In the meantime, I'm writing "McKettrick's Luck", the first in the new series for HQN. This is the story of Jesse McKettrick, directly descended from Jeb and Chloe, of "Secondhand Bride" fame. He lives in the house they built, on the mountain top, and the little school Jeb constructed for Chloe to teach in is still there. Wait till you meet Jesse's lady, Cheyenne. She's equal to loving, and being loved by, a card-carrying (card-playing) McKettrick. Jesse, you see, is a master poker player. Can Cheyenne beat him at his own game? You'd better believe it. It takes a hell of a woman to best a McKettrick man.

And also in the meantime, I've having my huge back yard fenced in, so the dogs and kitties can play safely there. They'll love the grass, and be mystified by snow, being Arizona critters.

Good Lord willin' and the creek don't rise, I'll be back tomorrow.

It's wonderful to be connected to you again.