Wednesday, March 29, 2006

More on the McKettricks

Today, God willin' and the creek don't rise, I will finish the new book, "McKettrick's Luck", which will be in stores next February.

The modern McKettricks, you'll be happy to know, are every bit as rowdy and stubborn as their predecessors. At times, the story moved at such a break-neck place, I had to hold on with both hands! There is tenderness, too, of course, and several times, I laughed out loud, sitting here at my computer.

"McKettrick's Luck" is sexier, too. Some like it hot--and Jesse and Cheyenne fall into that category.

What's next?

Texas. Then Phoenix. Then Buffalo. Then Phoenix again. (Phew)

Then, back home to Spokane. Rance and his lady are waiting to tell their story, "McKettrick's Pride". (In stores in March of 2007--no long waits between books with THIS series!)

I know it's going to be another wild ride. Better double up on my vitamins!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Those McKettricks

I wrote 47 pages yesterday!
Jesse and Cheyenne are on a real roll. I just go along for the ride!
Tomorrow, I expect to bring "McKettrick's Luck" in for a landing. On Thursday, I will be leaving for Dallas, and my gig at the Dreamin' in Dallas conference. I'm looking forward to seeing all my Texas buddies, especially Kathy Baker, and making lots of new friends, too.
I will barely catch my breath from that trip when I'm off again, this time to Buffalo, by way of Phoenix and Sedona.
In Phoenix, I'll be stopping by Springwater Station for a look-see. In Sedona, I'll be speaking and signing at a benefit for the symphony. Is there anything better than music? AND music amid those fabled red rocks???
Then, on to Buffalo, where I will be signing copies of "The Man from Stone Creek", at the warehouse. The book actually comes out in June, so this is an advance run. There will be 2000-3000 autographed copies of the book floating around out there. (Look for a sticker.) Maybe you'll find one!
The long and short of this is that the blog is going to be a hit-and-miss affair for a while. I'll come online every chance I get, and keep you updated.
In the meantime? Gotta get back to those McKettricks.
They are UP TO SOMETHING, those little devils.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Best Laid Plans

I didn't make it to the Four Seasons concert. Oh, I was there at the casino, playing a slot machine, with my ticket tucked safely in my purse. Then the call came from home--Sadie-beagle was all swollen up, and covered with hives. I rushed home, and niece-assistant Jen and I took Sades to the pet emergency clinic.

A couple of shots, a prescription, and a cheeseburger on the way home, and she was on the mend! (Given her doggie druthers, I'm sure Sadie would have opted for more cheeseburgers and fewer shots.) The diagnosis was an allergic reaction--to what we do not know, and the vet kindly instructed us not to drive ourselves crazy figuring it out. Good advice--and not just when it comes to pet care.

I'm always trying to figure things out! Some of them just have to go into what one of my favorite authors, Joel Osteen, calls the I Don't Understand It file.

In the meantime, I'll be grateful. Sadie is sleeping nearby, on her pink doggy bed.

Me? I'm headed for McKettrickland. I can hardly wait to see what Jesse and Cheyenne are up to today!

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Four Seasons

Tonight, I get to hear one of my all time favorite bands, in person. The Four Seasons!


Make it a good weekend.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

More Good News!

The good news just keeps on coming!

First, the decision to keep Springwater Station.

Then, word came that my book, "The Last Chance Cafe", is to be made into a Lifetime movie, starring Kevin Sorbo!

And now "McKettrick's Choice" has hit #15 on the New York Times list.

As soon as I get over this darn flu, I mean to celebrate!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Hang That Springwater Station Sign Back Over the Gate!

I'm keeping Springwater Station, my Arizona place, at least for the foreseeable future--and unless I get an offer I simply can't refuse!

I love Washington. It's home. Every day, I drink in the sight of my pine trees like ambrosia. But part of my heart remains in Arizona. I have so many good friends there.

So the 'for sale' sign comes down.

The Springwater Station sign, handmade by my dear daddy, goes back up over the courtyard gate.

And that's the news from Linda-land.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Oh, Those McKettricks

I counted up the other day, and by the time I finish, there will be nine McKettrick books!

It all began with "High Country Bride", Rafe and Emmeline's story.
Kade and Mandy followed with "Shotgun Bride".
Jeb and Chloe starred in "Secondhand Bride".
Holt and Lorelei, "McKettrick's Choice".
Then there are the modern McKettricks:
Sierra and Travis in "Sierra's Homecoming", a Silhouette Special Edition to be published this December. (Actually, this book is both contemporary and historical, because Hannah and Doss McKettrick get to tell their story, too. Doss is the youngest son of Holt and Lorelei.)
In the spring of 2007, you'll meet Jesse and Cheyenne ("McKettrick's Luck"), Rance and Echo ("McKettrick's Pride"), and Keegan and Molly ("McKettrick's Heart"). No long wait between books--they come out in sequence, over three months.
Is your head spinning yet?
Don't worry. I'll keep you up to date on the website, with covers, news, and release dates.
Finally, you will receive Meg McKettrick's story. She's Sierra's sister, and her book will also be a Special Edition. I'll let you in on the title as soon as I figure out what it is.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Fletcher's Woman

"Fletcher's Woman" was my very first published book. Pocket released it in August of 1983 as part of their Tapestry line. I will never forget the thrill of holding that cover proof in my hands for the first time, seeing MY name and the title in raised letters.

The story was set in and around Seattle, in 1889. That same year, Washington became a state, and Seattle was devastated by a terrible fire. The city on Puget Sound rose valiantly out of the ashes, and businesses and homes sprang up immediately--in canvas tents and shacks cobbled together with scraps of wood. Around that same time, a dam burst above Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and the results were, of course, disastrous. Most of the town was swept away, and many lives were lost. In true American spirit, Seattlites, after all they'd been through, still managed to send generous donations to a place where the need was even greater. They did so with smiles, grateful that they had something to give.

Now, Pocket Books is rereleasing this book of my heart, with a lovely new cover. It will be in stores at the end of March and the beginning of April. I'm still proud of the story. It has stood the test of time, and now it will be available again, for those of you who missed it, and those of you who still have one tattered copy. It's thick and it's meaty, with lots of subplots.

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Friday, March 17, 2006


This is what one of my favorite authors, Gladys Tabor, used to call a "pencil-sharpening" day. Today, I am especially tired, so I will putter and watch TV and play Slingo on my computer.

Have a happy weekend.

Be blessed.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Snow is Gone

And to look out this window, you'd think it was high summer. It's so sunny, though I know from letting the dogs out that there's a nip in the air. We do have our overcast days here in Spokane, of course, and those tend to make me yearn for Arizona.

I'm gearing up to fly to Dallas for the DREAMIN' IN DALLAS conference, March 31 through April 2. The event is produced by the Dallas Area Romance Writers, a chapter of Romance Writers of America. I'm sure they have a website--do join us if you can.

Now, back to "McKettrick's Luck".

See you tomorrow. In the meantime, be blessed.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


I rarely sleep past sunrise--I'm just made that way. But after a long flight back from Philadelphia--I hit Cleveland and Phoenix before finally landing in Spokane well after 10 pm--I was zapped. Crowds. The inevitable delays. Not to mention airport security. The dogs and I had our usual welcome home party--Sadie rushed around with her beagle ears tucked in a this-happiness-is-just-too-much-to-contain way, and Bernice was about to turn inside out. Soon, we were all crashed.

I woke to daylight and a a beautiful sight, which I'm still enjoying as I write this, because my chair looks out over that draw filled with pine trees. A lovely snow had fallen in the night, and the world seems blanketed in white. The pine branches are wearing lace, like tall and sturdy spinsters crowding the doorway of a dance hall.

It's wonderful to be home, though I had a marvelous, productive meeting in Philadelphia with my agent, Irene Goodman, Nancy Berland, my personal publicist, and Leslee Borger, who is retained by my publisher. We didn't have much time, but we took in Independence Hall and saw the Liberty Bell, and dined at a marvelous place called City Tavern. I had an ale, purported to be one of Thomas Jefferson's favorite drinks, and the weather was so nice that we sat outside, on the veranda, dahling.

I could write several blogs on what it meant to me to be in the very place where the Declaration of Independence was drafted and signed, where one of the greatest experiments in the history of humanity actually began.

Alas, I need coffee, and the dogs need to go outside.

Real life. You gotta love it.

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Good News Just Keeps On Comin'!

"McKettrick's Choice" has gone back to press!

Thanks to one and all of you.

Have a happy weekend. Practice being nice to yourself.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


"McKettrick's Choice", paperback version, is #19 on both the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists!! This cowgirl is riding in circles and waving her hat in the air, yelling, "Yipee!"

It is a beautiful day here. We had snow last night, and today the sun is out, in typical Spokane fashion, glittering on all that beautiful white.

I got an email from Mark McElroy, author of one of my favorite books, "What's In the Cards for You?", and creator of the Bright Idea deck. The Tarot is a wonderful tool for many things, including plotting books. If you're in any kind of creative endeavor, you need Mark's books and deck of cards. I've read a lot of books on the Tarot, but his really took me to a new level. Check out his methods.

Today is golden.

Make the most of it.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Do You Ever Think...

That rather than not trying hard enough, you might be trying too hard?

It came to me today, while I was journaling, that I need to lighten up. Stop making a federal case out of everything. Maybe stop being so darned introspective all the time, and try some extrospection? Is that a word, or did I just invent one?

Writers live in their heads a lot.

I think I'll go outside my busy, busy brain and see what's happening in the rest of the world.

Today, I will offer just one prayer.

Make me more grateful.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


We're enjoying an unexpected bonus here on the Triple L--our very own moose!

He showed up yesterday, grazing on the ten acres in front of the house. What sight! I've never seen a real MOOSE before--and I certainly never thought I'd see one on my own property. This morning, as I was journaling and doing my devotions, I could hear him just beyond the fence, making moose-noises. Bernice and Sadie almost turned inside out. Bernice, the fearless Yorkie, wanted to go right out there and take him on. Sadie, the Beagle, is a lover, not a fighter. She was giving little uncertain woofs. (Sadie is definitely more inclined to sing do-wah in the background than take the microphone and boogie. Discretion, she believes, is the better part of valor, and Beggin' Strips are better still.)

Who knows what creature will show up today.

Maybe a giraffe.

Monday, March 06, 2006

My Trees

I'll bet you're getting tired of my going on and on about the trees. They are so beautiful, though, I can't stop talking about them.

I loved Arizona, but one of the things I missed most, in the dry desert clime, was TREES.

The sky is overcast today, and we might get more rain. I will be philosophical about that. Of course I prefer the sunshine.

The train is rolling by, sounding its whistle. I love that sound.

I didn't watch the Oscars last night, but I was thrilled to learn that Reese Witherspoon won Best Actress for her role as June Carter Cash, in Walk the Line. For me, it's as if June won, too. I know she's pleased, and I'm pleased for her.

Make it a good Monday.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

10 Reasons Why I Love the McKettricks!

1) They aren't afraid to make mistakes.
2) They live at full throttle.
3) They are people of integrity.
4) They are brave.
5) They don't know the meaning of the word "quit"!
6) They make me laugh.
7) They make me cry.
8) They'll fight like cats and dogs among themselves, but let trouble come, and it's all for one and one for all, and settle up accounts later.
9) They're a family, in the truest sense of the word.
10) They're proud, they're lucky, and they have heart, with a capitol H.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Broken Toys

Do you ever feel like a broken toy, once grand, but now lying dusty and forgotten in the corner of a Cosmic Toybox? Is your paint scratched, and even rubbed off in places? Have your batteries run down? Do you feel as though, when you DID get out of the box, your key was wound too tightly and all you could do was run into walls until you'd dented yourself beyond repair?

Good news. Somebody wants to fix you. Somebody wants to polish you up and put you back in the game.

All you have to do is ASK.

Go ahead. I dare you.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A Very Personal Story

But maybe it will help you. So I'm going to tell it.
A few years ago, I was really depressed and discouraged. A friend had lost a beloved pet in a way that traumatized me, because I'm an animal lover, as you know, and September 11 left me reeling, as it did so many of us. The war started and the world seemed upside down and backwards to me, and I'm sure you can relate to that. Things just accumulated, as things will.
Those of you who have followed this blog for any length of time have probably figured out that I am a Christian. I was raised in the church, as a matter of fact, and it wasn't one of those mean churches, either, the kind that present such a vicious picture of God that one doesn't really need a devil. It was a good church, so I don't have an excuse for losing my faith, but I did. Or at least, mostly. I was searching, though. I knew what was missing. I found a new church, one I loved, that swept through my life like a fresh wind. But I was still hurting, and I was still broken.
Can just the title of a book change a person's life?
I'm here to tell you that it can.
One day, in the church bookstore, I picked up a volume called "Jesus, Personal Coach", by Laurie-Beth Jones. Nice gig if you can get it, I thought. I was that jaded. So I threw off one of those half-assed prayers you don't expect to be answered--"Be my personal coach." That was about all there was to it. Maybe I had the presence of mind to say "please", but I'm not sure.
Guess what? He took me up on it. Immediately, and in ways that made it hard for even me to doubt. It isn't an easy process--mountain-moving, after all, is messy work. It can feel a lot like an earthquake, or an erupting volcano. But the work began, and in earnest, the moment I prayed that prayer. I have never even read the whole book, that's the crazy part.
Other books followed. "Love Without End", and dozens of others. It was as though someone had thrown open the doors and windows of my mind! (Hint: Someone did.)
To paraphrase one of my now-favorite authors, Max Lucado, once the Master moves in, He's there to stay. He throws open windows, pulls down cobwebs, sweeps floors. He tears down walls--ones I've huddled behind. It's a scary process, sometimes, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.
I call Him Jeshua, and I dedicated "McKettrick's Choice" to Him. See for yourself.
What's my point in baring my soul like this?
Well, I'm thinking you might be discouraged and depressed, too. You might have become jaded, and lost your joy. You might feel unloved, forgotten and left behind, the way I did.
Offer the prayer, if you're brave enough.
If you're up for an adventure.
If you're tired of being stuck.
Go on, I dare you.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Day After

I had a lovely time at Auntie's Bookstore last night. There were some familiar and very beloved faces in the crowd, and I met some new people, too. I did an informal talk, and then a Q&A thing. As usual, I got a lot of insightful questions.

The view is stupendous this morning. It looks as though there will be sunshine. Until a little while ago, the lights in the valley were twinkling, a little scattering of gold. Being a writer, I wonder about the people living in those houses. Everyone has a story--everyone is a story.

I'm proud to tell you that my upcoming hardcover, "The Man from Stone Creek", June, HQN, will also be released by Brilliance Audio. I love recorded books--listen to them at night, when I'm tired of looking at words on my computer screen--and in the car. And Brilliance always produces a high-quality product.

I've got my copy of "Walk the Line". Can't wait to watch it. Interestingly, I couldn't go and see it in the theater--it will be too personal an experience for that. John and June were two of the kindest and most generous people I ever met, and I miss them sorely. But how thrilled they must be that the movie was such a success.

I guess that's enough rambling for today. If you haven't treated yourself to a copy of "McKettrick's Choice" yet, pick one up soon. You'll love the trail ride, and you won't even have to get dirty--or saddle-sore!

See you tomorrow.