Friday Feature: Guest Blog Linda Lael Miller & Contest for Big Sky Country

How do you continue to find inspiration after writing so many novels?

That’s a very good question. The answer, I suppose, is that I’m always and forever reading and shamelessly eavesdropping on other people’s conversations. Everything is grist for my mill, so to speak. I might read about a situation and think, “what if–?” and then I’m off and running. My Clare and Tony mysteries, commonly called the Look Books, are a good example—I used to see this guy on TV all the time, when I lived down in Arizona, a lawyer advertising for business. His hair was slicked back and his suit was fancy and I remember thinking he was the ultimate ambulance-chaser, with a clear message: no matter what awful thing you’ve done, we can get you off. I knew that attitude was bound to really tick off, say, a homicide detective, who would have a vested interested in seeing the culprit sent to prison. Voila! Clare Westbrook was my defense attorney heroine, and she was involved with Tony Sonterra, a homicide detective, of course. I’ve been writing for a long time, and I use many techniques to prime the pump—mixed media art is my hobby, and I find that I get some of my best ideas when I’m snipping, gluing, painting, etc. I keep an art journal and make artist trading cards. Trips are always good, too—a change of scene and environment is very stimulating. I need a lot of visual stimulation, I find. I spent a lot of time just looking at things, and imagining things that could happen. I spent a lot of time in Europe, years ago, and oddly enough that was what clued me in that I needed to focus on westerns, since that’s basically my life. You know the old saw, write about what you know.

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Title: Big Sky Country by Linda Lael Miller
Parable Series Book One
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: HarlequinHQN
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B+

Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

The illegitimate son of a wealthy rancher, Sheriff Slade Barlow grew up in a trailer hitched to the Curly-Burly hair salon his mother runs. He was never acknowledged by his father…until now. Suddenly, Slade has inherited half of Whisper Creek Ranch, one of the most prosperous in Parable, Montana. That doesn’t sit well with his half brother, Hutch, who grew up with all the rights of a Carmody—including the affections of Joslyn Kirk, homecoming queen, rodeo queen, beauty queen, whom Slade has never forgotten.

But Joslyn is barely holding her head up these days as she works to pay back everyone her crooked stepfather cheated. With a town to protect, plus a rebellious teenage stepdaughter, Slade has his hands full. But someone has to convince Joslyn that she’s responsible only for her own actions—such as her effect on this lawman’s guarded heart.

The Review:

Big Sky Country is the outstanding first installment of Linda Lael Miller’s newest series set in Parable, Montana. A beautifully written, complex novel that will capture your heart as love slowly grows between Sheriff Slade Barlow and Joslyn Kirk.

Slade Barlow is the classic strong silent type. Despite being from “the wrong side of the tracks”, he is comfortable in his own skin and oozes self-confidence. Slade is calm and in control, rarely acting on impulse. Slade shares a strong bond with his mother, Callie and he is on friendly terms with his ex-wife and stepdaughter Shea. His unexpected inheritance complicates his already contentious and competitive relationship with his half-brother Hutch.

Growing up in Parable, Joslyn Kirk was a rich kid who had it all. Wealthy stepfather, big mansion, and fancy car until she, her mother and housekeeper/friend fled Parable following her stepfather’s arrest. Feeling disconnected and on the fringes of life, Joslyn returns to the place she considers home. Her homecoming proves to be a learning experience as she discovers a few truths about herself as she renews old friendships and begins a new life. She fights her unwanted attraction to Slade with a bristly attitude that is sometimes quite frustrating. She is relatively inexperienced with men and her shyness is an unexpected delight.

The secondary cast of characters is well-developed and quite likable. Joslyn’s friend Kendra Shepherd is an enigmatic character with a bit of a secret past. She and Hutch share an explosive past and the sparks continue to fly between them. Slade’s stepdaughter Shea is a typical teenager and her relationship with Slade reveals just how kindhearted he is.

Slade and Joslyn’s relationship slowly unfolds throughout Big Sky Country. Both characters undergo a great deal of growth as they cope with the changes occurring in their lives. Watching Slade and Hutch make inroads in their fractious relationship is quite fascinating. I am looking forward to seeing how their relationship grows in the next book of the series, Big Sky Mountain.

Big Sky Country is a captivating story that is delightfully heartwarming. Linda Lael Miller once again charms her readers with multi-faceted and engaging characters, a compelling storyline and a sweet romance. Definitely a recommended read for anyone who enjoys contemporary western romances.


To enter the Friday’s Feature Big Sky Country (print copy) contest:

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It’s that easy! The winner will be selected using random.org. This contest is open to US and Canadian addresses only.

The winner will be announced Saturday July 14th.

***The book in this giveaway is courtesy of the Book Trib Blog Tour***

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12 Comments

Filed under Big Sky Country, Blog Tour, Contest, Friday Feature, Linda Lael Miller

12 Responses to Friday Feature: Guest Blog Linda Lael Miller & Contest for Big Sky Country

  1. Mel Bourn

    I always found it amazing how people get inspiration. I am so not creative that it just goes over my head. Thanks goodness for those who can be inspired. I have great stories to read.
    Mel

  2. Angie M

    I have love Linda Lael Miller’s books for years & this sounds like another winner! Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Tiss

    I like LInda Lael Miller’s books and I usually get them in paperback. It’ nice to hear from the authors and how they go about looking for inspiration. Thanks for the contest.

  4. Joanne B

    I love learning how authors get their inspiration. This book sounds like a winner. Can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the giveaway.

  5. Tamsyn

    Sounds like a great book. I would love to know how the step-brother relationship works out. Thanks for sharing and for the contest.

  6. Eileen

    it’s interesting to read that she looks at pictures and commericals and wonders what if. I do the same because there has got to be a story behind that image. I guess everything and anything is fair game.

  7. Jess1

    Interesting to hear how Linda gets her inspiration. The book sounds like a good read with a lot of situations for the characters.

  8. StacieD

    I think it is very interesting how writers find inspiration. I think writers much be more observant than the rest of us.

    Twitter & Email follower

  9. suzanne

    Linda Lael Miller always puts out a good readding story.Starting a totally new series is great. I’d love this book to be the first in my collection.

  10. Heather E

    I completely understand how one TV commercial, one overheard conversations or even a song on the radio can start a story line! My head gets so jumbled sometimes it consumes me. I just need to get to the point where I can write it all down and have it make a good book!

    I really enjoy Linda’s books, and have a ton of hers in paperback that I still need to read.

    Thanks for the interview and the giveaway. 🙂

    Heather E
    hregtvedt@aol.com

  11. Landry

    I love Linda Lael Miller, this is one author that I know and adore. My bookshelf is full of her work and I always anticipate more! Thank you!!

  12. Sherry

    This definitely sounds like a winner. I’ve read quite a few of her books and always enjoyed them all so this is a great contest. Thanks!