Real People in My Books

Many things have inspired me over the years.  Even though I make up the stories that happen in my books, some of the people and places actually do exist.  I have written fiction about all of them - so the stories are all in my head.  Some of the events have happened, but again, the people are all just characters in the books.  I thought you might be interested in knowing some of the real people, places and things in my books.

The Webber House was real but I never went inside the house. When I searched the Internet for Webber house it took me to Saginaw Public Library articles and I read Anna Mae Maday's description (The link is no longer on the website) and based lots of my writing on that. It did terrify me when I was little when I walked past it.

Bertie's Bakery on the corner of Sheridan and Hoyt. Yes, Mr. Roennicke made the most delicious glazed donuts. My sister, Kathy worked there during her high school years and she said Hattie was a worker there.

Eastside Soup Kitchen really exists in Saginaw and Ms. Pam Cole is the wonderful director. There is a link above to go to their website. Please make a donation to help them continue their mission in Saginaw.  Eastside Soup Kitchen has so far made it into all of my series.

Rosie in the first book was our cleaning lady when I was little. She always told me if I didn't eat the crusts of my sandwiches I would never have curly hair. I don't have curly hair!

Martha Street Market on the corner of Martha Street and Ward Street was a little neighborhood grocery store that we went to all the time. There was a curtain behind the cash register check out and I always tried to imagine what would be back there.

St. Mary Cathedral is a Catholic church in Saginaw. It is on Hoyt and Owen across the street from St. Mary Hospital. Kevin really was a musician there and the best choir director ever! Fr. Jack was pastor at the Cathedral for several years. Sr. Honora began as an associate pastor and when Fr. Jack was transferred to another parish at the end of his assignment, she became the pastoral administrator.

St. Mary Cathedral School was where I attended school. We had dedicated religious and lay teachers. There is a blog with many stories about the school. It is

Saginaw Police Department is downtown on Federal Street and I worked there for several years. None of the people in the book are based on real police personnel. I was blessed with a fabulous group of people to work with throughout my career.

Fandangles' in Flushing is real, co-owners Tom and Steve run a fabulous restaurant and catering business. They also support local artists by having an open house for the artist when they change the art on their walls. My cousin Mary Andrews (I have Mary create her art in the Holiday Series) has had a quilt art exhibit there. They cater the elegant and delicious wedding reception at the Webber House for Sarah and Joseph and Tom and Janet take the "Lifeguards" there in Daniel's Den. Click above to go to their website.

Star Factory in Oak Park, Michigan is real. They have a boot camp with classes to turn talent into star power. Mr. Brandon Smith knows talent and his staff inspires clients to do better than their best.

Tony's on Weadock was the place to go after football games or anytime you could. The owners were the Lagalo family and they always gave us quarters for the jukebox to play music and a piece of Bazooka bubble gum when we left. They made the best steak sandwiches on Italian bread and the family continues the tradition today in several locations in and around Saginaw today.

Bringer Inn is a great diner. It is located on Genesee Street in Saginaw. Owned by a local family. If you want the best breakfast in town - stop by Bringer Inn.

Andersen Pool was a favorite spot for all of us. We went with friends during the day and every once in awhile we would get our Dad to take us and rough house with us in the water, the last time he took us was the inspiration for the chapter one whistle blowing!

Daniel's Den was a wonderful place to meet friends, flirt and dance and hear great music. Officer Ed was the greatest and he was there every weekend to make sure everything went smoothly. There were so many stars that performed there, including Sonny and Cher. Click on the link above to read about it

Schirmer Drugstore was across diagonally from Bertie's Bakery. There really was a woman Hazel who worked there and she gave out candy sometimes.

Mary's Art in the Holiday Series is actually my cousin Mary Andrews' artwork. Our family visited my brother in Arizona where we went to the Chihuly exhibit at the Botanical Gardens. Mary was inspired to create her quilt art of the pieces in the exhibit. They are the most beautiful quilt pieces I have ever seen.

Donna from Funky Junk Interiors is someone I met online and she inspired me to try to explain inspiration in the fourth book of the Holiday Series, A Very Thankful Thanksgiving. Always open your heart to inspiration - look for it in the ordinary as well as the extraordinary.

Chaos Corner in Absarokee, Montana - We visited this summer. Celeste from the X Hangin X Creative gave me a few good quotes and suggested where Sean and Noreen could go to take pictures in the Four Season Series.  Ginger from the Coffee Corral was in Billings the day we visited.  We also met Danelle at the Upper Cut Salon. 

The artwork of Stephen Knapp was actually displayed at the Midland Center for the Arts.  The St. Mary Cathedral Art and Environment committee went to visit and were so inspired they actually created a light display behind the cross for Easter. The picture on the blog is that display.

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