Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hockey is a Michigan Tradition

It is finally winter in Michigan. The calendar said it was for the last month but for our household, it became winter this past Saturday with the start of the Red Wings hockey season. The snow and single-digit temperatures didn’t hurt either.

The Red Wings and hockey in general are popular.  I’m not sure why whether it is because it is a cold weather sport or if it is because the Red Wing players are so good at it. (Although their first game wasn’t a stellar portrayal of that skill.) Monday’s game was much better and they won in a shootout. 

The Lumberjacks game in Muskegon
While the Red Wings are the most notable hockey team, there are others. The Griffins in Grand Rapids and the Lumberjacks in Muskegon are always great entertainment. We are able to attend those games much more often. These are great family entertainment for all ages. 

We have attended two Lumberjack games and both were high action. I must admit that I’m not a huge hockey fan but the rest of my family borders on fanatical. I go to games and always have a good time.  The Lumberjack games are very close and really reasonable especially with many deals they offer. Check out their website

The Griffins goalie
The Griffin games are fun because they are a farm team of the Red Wings. We went to a game on January 4 and had seats in the corner but only seven rows from the ice. I thought these seats would be hard for me to keep track of the puck, but they ended up being awesome. Every goal was in the net right in front of us. The other bonus was dollar hot dogs and beers for pregame and the first period on Friday nights. See their schedule here.

Griffin’s players are constantly being called up to the Wings and it was great to see players we watched in Grand Rapids scoring key goals for the Red Wings in the first two games. 

Hockey might not have been made in Michigan but it is a family event for our whole family.

Made in Michigan is a weekly feature on Thursdays by award-winning mystery writer W.S. Gager to showcase the Great Lakes State. To offer suggestions for posts, email her at

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mitch Malone Mondays: Terry Ambrose's Roxy Tanner

Mitch Malone here to find the inside story for my exclusive on those who scam others for a living. I’m talking about con artists. Those who can make any outrageous lie sound like a good deal and part people with their hard earned cash. I’ve got a line on one who might be a little hesitant to come forward. From my research and sources, there is a woman named Roxy Tanner who has the skills and experience to make a good source. She is featured in LICENSE TO LIE by Terry Ambrose. Her story is unique and I will have to use all my skills as a reporter to get the goods.  Let’s get started. Roxy Tanner. Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed today. Can you tell me a little bit about your childhood?

Roxy: Sure Mitch, my childhood was shaped by an event that took place when I was eight. My mom tossed a fake Rolex in the garbage and told me the watch was stolen. She implied that she was worried she might get in trouble if anyone found out she’d purchased stolen goods and, since I was eight and precocious, I assumed the worst. I knew “trouble” was an adult code word, at least in our house, for jail. The minute Mom said that word, I knew I just couldn’t let that happen.

The writer-types you’ve interviewed sure like to wax on about plotters and pantsers, well, even at eight, I was a doer. I took charge and stole the watch from the trash and sold it to a guy in a suit. That’s when I learned my first lesson about reconnaissance.

Reconnaissance, like spy work? What do you mean?

Roxy: It means I’m not talking about that incident anymore. It’s too painful and I had to work through it in LICENSE TO LIE.

One of life’s defining moments, huh? Okay, I get it. Let’s move on. So you always had an ability to, shall we say, put a shine on the truth?

Roxy: Truth can be such a vague concept, Mitch. As a reporter, I’m sure you’ve had occasion to make some of those you’ve interviewed sound smarter or funnier. Right? Maybe you left out a nugget here or there—we’re both in the same game. My stakes might just be a little higher than yours.

I’m not sure I like what you are saying. I’m an honest reporter. I don’t shade the truth. I get the goods, the whole story. Maybe we should change subjects. Family is important to you. You would go to great lengths to protect someone close to you. Tell me how your father got into a fix?

Roxy: My dad was always interested in what I did from the time I was little. When he retired, he started spending an inordinate amount of time following my new business. Dad made the mistake of letting his emotions take hold and got drunk when he saw how big my business was getting. I had $5 million in the bank and I guess that worried him. He got drunk and started talking to some guy in a bar and the next thing I know, he’s been kidnapped and is being held for ransom.
Is that when you asked for help? I’ve been trying to get an interview with this do-gooder who helps people. His name is Skip Cosgrove. You’ve had some experience with him. I’ve been hearing rumors about you two. Are you changing sides of the law?
Roxy: There you go again spouting platitudes. I mean, really, Mitch, “sides of the law?” You and Skip would get along great because he does that quite a bit too. He’s all, you know, “that’s not right, Roxy” or “that’s against the law, Roxy.” Maybe you two should pal around or get drunk. Just don’t go making up things for me to say, I’ve got a red belt in karate and a black belt in tongue lashing. So tread lightly.
Whoa. Don’t shoot the messenger, err questioner. You are a bit testy when it comes to Mr. Cosgrove. Anything going on between you two?

Roxy: What is this, high school? You really expect me to kiss—or not—and tell? Skip and I have our ups and downs, so to speak. We didn’t get off to a very good start, but we’re sorting things out. Besides, I’m definitely not a girl that likes to spoil the surprise. Get my drift, Mitch?

Okay, I get the message.  No need to threaten.  You are one tough lady. I think this interview is over. To find out more about Roxy and Skip, check out Terry Ambrose’ s website at

Facebook: suspense.writer
Twitter: @suspense_writer

With $5 million and their lives on the line, can a determined criminologist and a beautiful con artist learn to trust each other?  Or themselves? Roxy Tanner lies for a living. Skip Cosgrove uncovers the lies others tell. Now they have twelve hours to meet a ransom demand or her father will die. When Roxy reveals she has the money, Skip is sure of one thing: his way-too-attractive client is lying to him. As events unfold, these two loners discover that for those living on the edge, trust is a luxury they can’t afford. There’s only one thing left for them to do. Never trust a soul…even your own.
 "License to Lie is fast and well written, almost sure to satisfy discerning readers of thrillers.  There’s a verve to Ambrose’s language and the story moves with assurance, defying easy predictions.  Bravo to this writer.  I hope there’s more to come."
—T. Jefferson Parker, Author of The Jaguar and The Border Lords
Terry Ambrose started out skip tracing and collecting money from deadbeats and quickly learned that liars come from all walks of life. He never actually stole a car, but sometimes hired big guys with tow trucks and a penchant for working in the dark to “help” when negotiations failed. A resident of Southern California, he loves spending time in Hawaii, especially on the Garden Island of Kauai, where he invents lies for others to read. His years of chasing deadbeats taught him many valuable life lessons such as—always keep your car in the garage.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Made In Michigan: Downtown Detroit

Today is the first post for my Made in Michigan posts that will run on Thursdays throughout 2013. I'm starting with Detroit. Just saying the word evokes all kinds of images, instantly. Mostly they are bad but people forget about what made Detroit the Paris of the West as D.E. Johnson puts it in his books about Detroit in turn of the century when dozens of companies were building cars.

Pregame show before Little Caesar's Bowl
While some of that glitz and glamour is gone, the energy is still there. Last week we were in downtown to watch the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl with Central Michigan University playing Western Kentucky. We walked around down town from our hotel by the Renaissance Center to Ford Field where the game was played. We saw lots of people ice skating on an outdoor rink lite with Christmas lights.

It is hard to see skaters on right side.
There were lots of people downtown for a variety of events including wrestling and the Greek Town casinos. It was fun and safe. It can be dangerous in Detroit like any city people prey on the weak but we weren't stupid advertising to be robbed and I never felt vulnerable like I have in some cities.

If you are looking for a stay-cation or a quick weekend trip, check out downtown Detroit. It has so much to offer!