Guest Post and Excerpt from Big Sky Country by Linda Lael Miller

I am pleased to be able to host an excerpt and guest post from Linda Lael Miller in support of her latest book, Big Sky Country.    You can also click here to WIN a copy!  You can also check out the rest of the tour at Book Trib

Parable is the one place Joslyn Kirk swore she’d never set foot in again. She was a self-centered little rich girl back then until her stepfather cheated everyone in town out of their savings and she and her mom were forced to slink out of Parable in the middle of the night like criminals. But Joslyn spent years working to secretly pay back—out of her own hard-earned money—everyone her stepfather had bamboozled. Now Joslyn is home to face the people she ran away from years ago. But people in Parable haven’t forgotten the past and aren’t so accepting. Slade wants to convince Joslyn that she’s not responsible for her stepfather’s mistakes. She has nothing in her past to apologize for. But Slade isn’t so comfortable with his own family issues.Why doesn’t he sell the ranch to Hutch? Is it because he wants to claim his birthright, or is he just making things difficult for his half brother? Either way, Hutch is going to force Slade’s hand. These cowboy brothers are heading for a final Wild West showdown in front of the whole town with everything riding on the outcome.

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.

And now for the Excerpt:

Maggie clicked the mouse, and her printer began spewing sheets of paper as she turned to face Hutch and Slade head-on.
“I’ll spare you all the legal jargon,” she said, gathering the papers from the printer tray, separating them into two piles and shoving these across the top of her desk, one set for each of them. “All the facts are there—you can read the wills over at your leisure.”
Slade barely glanced at the documents and made no move to pick them up.
“And what facts are those?” Hutch snapped, peevish.
Pecker-head, Slade thought.
Maggie interlaced her fingers and smiled benignly. It took more than a smart-ass cowboy to get under her hide. “The estate is to be divided equally between the two of you,” she announced.
Stunned, Slade simply sat there, as breathless as if he’d just taken a sucker punch to the gut.  A single thought hummed in his head, like a trapped moth trying to find a way out.
What the hell?

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for publishing this post.  It contains an affiliate link to Amazon.