Saturday, February 25, 2012

My perfect day!

Today was a busy Saturday filled with some of my favorite things. It started with prom dress shopping with my daughters in the morning. Shopping is one of my favorite things and it was fun to see what the dresses looked like on the hanger and either looking great or horrible on the body. We are one for two in the success rate so it will require another trip.

Then in the afternoon I was in my favorite kind of store -- a bookstore. It gets better. I was the featured author invited to sign my books. The warm weather and sunshine kept numbers low but I had agreat time with all those who showed. THANKS!

Jennifer has the best job. She gets to talk about books and gets paid for it. I have a good job too. I get to write them which is great. I can't wait to hear how she likes Mitch Malone. If anyone needs any of my three Mitch Malone mysteries, they have a couple copies of each one left. They  are on the west end of the Eastown neighborhood on the corner of Wealthy and Eastern. The buiding was a a bank with tall ceilings, huge windows and gray tiled floor. It is warm and welcoming with a comfy couch in front of a fireplace with my new favorite saying: "Eat, sleep, read."

After that we drove through Eastown and East Grand Rapids seeing the changes and improvements. (I used to work in East Grand Rapids years and years ago.) Our dinner stop was Twisted Rooster on the East Beltline. I loved this place! It focuses on providing Michigan products on its menu and it's signature dishes are Mac and Cheese variations.  I had the Twisted House Salad with Traverse City cherries. Yummy.

The travel day ended with adding another 1200 words to the fifth Mitch Malone book while my husband drove. I love writing in the car. There are no distractions, no internet and no laundry.  I don't know what tomorrow holds, but today was pretty perfect. What is your perfect day?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Book Signing at Literary Live Books in Grand Rapids

Fireplace at Literary Life
This weekend I have the great privilege to spend some time in Eastown in Grand Rapids. I love this eclectic neighborhood and have tried to visit it as often as allowed. I plan on getting a hot dog at Yesterdog and from 2-4 p.m. I will be talking books and maybe signing a few at Literary Live Books on the corner of Wealthy and Eastern. 
I spent a lot of time there when I was in college and home for the summer. There is nothing like a hot dog after a night of dancing. I have to tell you a secret though. About the closest I ever came to being arrested happened in Eastown after enjoying a band at the Intersection. I won't go into the details except to say "I didn't inhale." but luckily someone decided to try a little burglary close by and the officer had to leave in a hurry and so did we!

 I won’t be reliving that but that hot dog is making me mighty hungry and maybe will head down the street for a cold one. I can't guarantee I will make the other sites but will be enjoying two hours surrounded by books. What better for a Saturday afternoon. I will be there rain or lots of snow. I would love to see you there!

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Wendy Gager writes funny mysteries that really keep you guessing!  Come meet her and have her sign your copy of her latest book!  Mitch Malone is a hard-boiled crime reporter who loves facts and doesn’t love kids.  What happens when a cute intern, with a child, gets involved with the mob and needs Mitch’s help?  Buy the book and find out!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Love is Murder is grand time!

This past weekend I attended my second Love is Murder conference at the Intercontinental Hotel in Chicago. This was the perfect place to get my head back in writing and to met some truly terrific people. I also knocked off my to-do list the horrible task of getting a new author photo. I will be unveiling it soon.  Stay tuned. Now back to LIM,  I would like to give you my top 10 list of why you need to put the next Love is Murder conference on your must attend list.

10.   Always be personal in your marketing and put your contact info on your website. This includes an email address.

9.    Sue Peterson from Brain Snacks is a great person to sell your books. Thank you!

8.   My favorite quote: "Positive relationships are your best marking tools." --Karen Syed.

7.   I saw real photos of autopsies of suicides, gun shot wounds, drownings  and other creepy things to help me describe the gore and add realism.

6.   The program had a forensic track that covered every aspect of crime and a few I'd never thought of. It also had a writing tract for those who wanted help with their writing.

5.   Real undercover stories from a New York City cop who was retired but didn't look old enough. I've never seen so many cops get off a bus and will never look at a parquet floor in quite the same way.

4.   Hank Phillippi Ryan, Julie Hyzy and Julie James are three very different, but classy woman who write great books and received some well deserved recognition. They also were very entertaining and shared some secrets as well as embarrassing moments.

3.   I laughed so much and enjoyed Donald Bain's take on ghostwriting and his Cabot Cove jokes. His list of books numbers three digits with many carrying our favorite Maine mystery author as sleuth.

2. David Morrell who made Rambo a household word has a great sense of humor, grounded in the real world and a wicked glint in his eye when contemplating murder and mayhem. I sat next to him on a panel and enjoyed his philosphy of writing only the books he wanted to no matter the pressure.

Drum roll here...And my favorite thing thing from LIM...

1.   The FBI guy (who will remain anonymous for his own protection) talked for hours about life as an agent to writers sharing secrets and showing me his credentials so I could get them right in my next book. I had to call it a night before he did. A true professional about the good, bad and the politics about his job.

While many of these people will not be the guest of honors next year, most of them were no strangers to Love is Murder and regular attendees. Pencil Feb. 1-3, 2013 into your calendar and sign up for the newsletter with all the information at  I would also like to thank all the wonderful volunteers who work so hard to make it fun. I hope you enjoyed your down day. You must have been exhausted but I truly appreciated it!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I'm back and ready to write!

Happy New Year! It’s February 2 and for me it is the beginning of a new and better new year. I want to forget 2010. It was not my year with lots of personal issues. (This blog will be keyed TMI) In the good news department I lost a ton of weight got in shape for the first time in more decades than I want to admit to. The bad news is that losing weight comes with side effects that no one tells you about. So surgery was required in July just after A Case of Hometown Blues was released. Eight weeks of recuperation finished off my summer. Fall came and my plan entailed editing my fourth Mitch Malone Mystery and get a book ahead. I had a great idea and did a ton of research over Labor Day weekend for book 5.

Ready to dive in I started long hours at my computer as well as teaching Developmental English classes at a local college. I’ve had problems for a couple of years with my shoulder with calcium build up and figured it was time to get another cortisone shot. I will spare you the gory details but my tendon hung by a thread from a puncture. It only took two more doctors to find out what the real issue was and I needed another surgery. Not what I had planned for November and December! My right writing arm was immobilized in a sling for six weeks and then at least six weeks of physical therapy to get it usable. I became very proficient at one-handed typing.

February marks the beginning of my freedom. I’m getting better every day. Physical therapy is getting my arm in shape and I can’t wait to get to my computer. I’m up to an hour at a time before I have to quit. I’m planning to get back into Facebook, Twitter, networking groups and blogging. I may be a little sporadic at first. I’ve tried to keep up on email but have more than 600 unread messages which I believed could wait. If I missed something, please resend it.

If anyone will be in Chicago for Love is Murder this weekend, track me down. I can’t wait to reconnect! I’ve missed all my online friends!