Monday, May 21, 2012

Travels With Maggie

Just got back from a whirlwind weekend of travel to Kansas City to see one of my nephews graduate.  Lots of ideas to blog about.  Lots of story ideas and research details hit me every time I'm back home in the Kansas City area.  Saw lots of people I love (Hi, Aunt Margaret!  Thanks for letting me use your grandson's name as a future hero ;))  Even though it was my nephew's day (he got a scholarship to play baseball for a Missouri university!), everyone was so kind to also celebrate my good news... I made the USA TODAY Bestseller List with my current release, THE MARINE NEXT DOOR!!!  (Thank you to all the readers who put me there!)

But, since it was a long, fast trip, and we're picking up furniture and helping my son move it into his apartment (he's been sleeping on a cot there for a week) today, I'll keep the blog simple and share some pictures.

Our sweet dog Maggie traveled with us this time.  She was a hit everywhere she went.  Even had to doublecheck Grandma's bag to make sure she hadn't packed Maggie inside to take her home with her. ;)

 Here she is lounging on the king-size bed she was forced to share with hubby and me.
 Of course, if she could find a lap, that's what she preferred.
 She staked out territory and secured the perimeter at various locations in the K.C. area.  Also made a new friend with her cousin Cleo--a basset hound living in K.C.  Unfortunately, neither of them could attend the graduation.  But they both enjoyed running in the back yard with my son after the festivities.
Maggie even joined us at a fun diner in Marysville, Kansas on the way home to Nebraska.  Okay, so she didn't go inside with us, but she did get a couple of sample bites of their Swiss cheese burger, and she gave it a four paws up.
 I suppose I should share some pix from the big event.  Here I am with my brothers.  Little brother the Major (and proud papa of the graduate!) on the left.  Big brother (who thankfully, took far better pix than I did!) on the right.  Our next big trip will be to his daughter's wedding in St. Louis.  Lots of family doin's this summer.  (And hmm... lots of tall genes in my family, but they obviously skipped yours truly)
 And here's my nephew with his proud parents.  It was a lovely commencement.  Congrats to the Class of 2012!










So what are you celebrating?  I share a signed copy of one of my backlist title--or THE MARINE NEXT DOOR if you haven't had a chance to get a hold of my current release yet--with one lucky poster today.

Off to do some heavy lifting,
Julie Miller

22 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Julie! I am super pumped for you! I recently read BEAUTY AND THE BADGE from the same "The Precinct" series and loved it, loved it, loved it, so I'm anxious to read THE MARINE NEXT DOOR too. (BTW, what I loved about your book was that every step of the way, I was wondering what would happen next. You kept me guessing so much that I gave up and finally just kept reading to find the answers. Loved the pace and especially loved the grandmother's parts of the story. Thanks so much, Julie!)

    In answer to your question, I guess you could say we are celebrating life this summer!

    Every summer we have a potluck outdoor party, and 40-75 usually attend. (We celebrated our 30th anniversary last year, so good friends of ours with a band surprised us at our potluck and played for everyone in the evening!)

    My sister and her husband plan on visiting us in the late summer for at least a week, and we always have a great time with them. (As a bonus, my BIL fixes things really well, and he always insists we prepare a "to do list" for him of things he can fix for us. Two years ago, I asked him to fix one piece of our garage siding before our summer potluck, and they stayed for several weeks in order to re-side the entire garage for/with us instead!)

    Oh yeah! We have a friend of the family's son's wedding to attend, and our daughter's boyfriend's graduation. I'm sure there will be lots more on our calendar before long too

    Have a great summer, Julie, and good luck with that "heavy lifting", LOL!

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    1. Oh, wow, Laney4--that's a big party! Sound like a great time, though. We have some friends who host an annual 3rd of July party that has a big turnout (grilling, corn on a stick, pot luck, yard games, and a huge fireworks display). We always look forward to that.

      And I'm so pleased to hear how much you enjoyed BEAUTY & THE BADGE. Kevin Grove was such a wonderful hero to write--he's on my favorites list!

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  2. Maggie is adorable. You said she gave the burger 4 paws up and that had me picturing her flat on her back, tongue hanging out.

    Not celebrating anything. No drama - which I like!

    The pics are awesome. thanks for sharing a piece of your life.

    MarcieR

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    1. That's funny, Marcie. Yes, Maggie has been known to nap like that. She's really such a gentle little creature--she wants to be with someone all the time if possible. And she's not a big mooch (like our late Maxie was--we called her a professional moocher;)), but she certainly doesn't mind if we offer her a bite of cheese or hamburger from time to time.

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  3. So far, I don't have any "real" plan's but since I now have a much better " newer" car I would love to drive down to Pa. to Williamsport just to have Dairy Queen ice cream! Seriously! We have one in the Rochester area but I do know where the Williamsport one is at. Going out of state seems more like a vacation day! Mostly I'll just b at home walking the neighbor's dog's and reading! Ohh and sharing books with Jenny!

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    1. DQ has always been a great way for our family to celebrate... after ball games or concerts or a hard day of yard or house work, etc.

      Have fun!

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  4. Thanks for sharing! Enjoyed the pics! No big celebrations... well nephew #2 will be 4 at the beginning of July... we will celebrate that. Then he will start preschool part time towards the end of Summer... I will do a little happy dance for a little free time! LOL!

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    1. Too true, Colleen. It's such a blessing to get to spend that quality time with the children in our families. But it's also nice to get a little free time back, too. Tell him Happy Birthday!

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  5. Congrats to you, Julie! I am celebrating two things! First, my son just got accepted to grad school - YEA! However it's in New Jersey (he lives in Utah!) so that means he's taking my new granddaughter all that way across country! sigh... The second is my daughter is finishing up her first year of teaching! So proud of her. She's been a great 3rd grade teacher. It's been her life-long dream to be a teacher and I'm proud that she made it happen!
    Valri Western

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    1. Congratulations to your son, Valri! I've worked in the university setting, and I know how competitive getting into grad school can be. Best of luck to him!

      And congrats to your daughter, too. I come from a family with a lot of teachers, and am a teacher myself. So it's always heartening to hear about enthusiastic young teachers being so successful. Awesome!

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  6. Congrats, Julie. We're not celebrating anything big, no graduations or weddings.

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    1. This is a banner year for us, Jane. The stars are just aligning that we have a lot going on this year. It's nice to just kick back and relax, too.

      BTW, we got our son all moved in. Well, mostly. We got his bed all put together and set up. But the dresser we ordered won't be in until Friday. So (lucky him!) his parents will be back for another visit to the new digs later this week. But he's thrilled to be off the cot, too. A cot and sleeping bag are great for camping, but not so much for every night of the year. ;)

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  7. Laura AKA Loves 2 Read RomanceMay 21, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Congrats on making the USA Today best seller list! I can see why as I loved The Marine Next Door. I can't wait for Kansas City Cowboy in August. So this summer I don't have a lot planned but trying to lose some weight so I can find a dress for my brother's wedding in October. So besides that I'll just be reading some great books.

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    1. Thank you, Laura! I was so excited, too. My friend, BJ Daniels told me I'd made the list. I wasn't expecting to, so I hadn't event checked. Now I go and look at it on the website every day. It makes me smile. ;)

      I'm on a similar track--my son will graduate from college in May--and I want to lose weight before that. Of course, I wanted to lose more before my niece's wedding, but only a little thus far. I guess I have to pace myself and not expect it to all just fall off. (Though wouldn't that be great!) Good luck to you!

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  8. Very cute dog! Congrats to your nephew! We're not celebrating anything.

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  9. Thanks, bn100! We think Maggie's a sweetie, too. And we're all very proud of Christian (our nephew).

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  10. Julie, congrats for making the USA Today Bestseller list. Enjoyed your pictures. Maggie looks like a sweetie too. The only plans I have are to take a week and go to Wildwood NJ. with my daughter and her boyfriend who will be visiting from Wisconsin. It will be a quit summer for me.

    Ruth

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    1. quite summer. For some reason I keep dropping the e off of words lately.

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    2. Thanks, Ruth! I think that's great that you'll be getting together with your family. That's always a treat for me as my family is pretty spread out. Enjoy!

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  11. Hi Julie,

    Thanks for sharing your pictures. Maggie is a sweetie. My 30 year High School Reunion is this Summer. I am not sure I am celebrating it. More in denial about how quickly 30 years went by. I feel so old!

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  12. Your post made me grin, Tammy. I understand the love-hate thing you're feeling about the reunion. Time flies when you're living your life, doesn't it? But still, it'd be fun to reconnect with your friends and catch up with each other. My mom (whose class is celebrating their 60th reunion this year!) says that reunions get better and more fun over time. I believe her. She and her buddies seem to have a blast just planning the event.

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  13. And the winner is... MarcieR!

    The star of the day (Maggie) nosed your name out of the pile and selected you as the blog winner.

    Just send me an email with your snail mail addy, and let me know what book you'd like to win (maybe give me a couple of options since I don't have extras of every title) and I'll get it in the mail to you ASAP!

    And thanks to everyone for blogging with me. And thank you to all of you who've joined us at all the Intrigue events on www.eharlequin.com this month. I'll be back to blog here next month. And I'll be on the eHQ discussions boards. Have fun celebrating whatever's on your to-do list this summer!

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