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Rediscover the Values of the Old West with Linda Lael Miller
by Andreen Soley
Even as we have entered the new century, the myth of the American West
still captures and fuels our collective imagination. As mistress of the American Western romance, Linda Lael Miller hopes her newest series, THE WOMEN OF PRIMROSE CREEK, set in 1860s Nevada, will feed our thirst for new legends of the West. Unashamedly responsive to her readers, Linda describes herself as an entertainer, who likes to know what readers want and give it to them. As her popularity and best-selling status attests, Lindas fans love to be transported to the West time and time again.
What allure does the West hold for her readers? Linda believes that the American West has been so successfully mythologized that it occupies a special place in the American psyche. The West was so distinctly different from any period before or after, that even though it lasted 40 years, people identify that time as essentially American [in character].
Though dime novels and popular television programs like Gunsmoke and Bonanza obviously offer romanticized images of the West instead of the stark reality of the difficult and arduous life it must have been, Linda believes they illustrate defining and admirable traits we like to identify with being American. She includes these strains in every one of her stories: peoples ability to face unpredictable conditions in pursuit of a simple goal, often just a place to settle with a family; a ready ability to deal with life on a day-to-day basis; and the loneliness and isolation that must have been present when people lived miles apart from each other. These elements create the backdrop for what Linda says remains the recurrent theme in all of her storiesthe nature of relationships and the process of falling in love. The loneliness of the West provides the necessary contrast for us to understand the value of being connected as either lovers or members of families.
In the second book of the Primrose series, CHRISTY, Linda explores not only the romance between headstrong and independent Christy and her laconic and unnerving hero Zachary, but the ups and downs of the love-hate relationships between siblings. The novel asks us to consider what it would be like to have our whole world fall apart, and how we would put it back together again. What choices would we make? How would we ultimately decide what is of value to us? Christy is tough yet delicate, a product of her Eastern and European education. Her world has collapsed and she must find the strength to rebuild and begin life anew in Primrose Creek. But she struggles to find a balance between her intelligence and her emotions, between what she thinks she needs and what life has presented her, in the form of the hero: together they will find out what is really important, much like those who headed West ultimately came to understand.
Visit Lindas website: www.lindalaelmiller.com at or write to her c/o Pocket Books, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.
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