Many of the landmarks, homes and businesses in my books are no longer in Saginaw. They were here when I was growing up. If I put them in one of my stories it is because I have most of them in my heart. I say most because Webber House still sends chills up my spine!
All of my stories blend the Saginaw of my childhood with the Saginaw of today. The best of both worlds.
I love the art of my covers. I have been blessed with four artists who have provided not only their artwork, but inspiration for my writing.
I will go backwards in time, starting with my latest book.
My classmate Clarence Lum was preparing to show his art at Fandangles' in Flushing, Michigan. He had several pieces standing on a chair in his living room. I was looking through them when Prada Girl jumped out at me. It was so compelling. A story started to form and the images just kept popping into my head. I had been trying to find a new storyline for a few months. That night, I wrote the first three or four chapters. It is a story from my heart and the inspiration from his art is why this story has been told. I purchased a digital copy for my cover.
A great Saginaw Photagrapher, Mike Sonnenberg, has been posting his pictures on Facebook for sometime. I love looking at his photos. They are from all over Michigan. And if you know anything about me, you know I love Michigan. One day he posted a picture of the Tawas Lighthouse. It was so amazing. We have camped in Tawas many times, so when I saw this picture I thought I would research it a bit. Hah, I found a few references to it being haunted by a little girl. A story began to form and I contacted Mike to purchase a digital copy to use for the cover. His website is: Lost in Michigan
When I was looking for covers for the Holiday Series, my daughter suggested someone she knew, Hope Sweigart. At that time she was a college student. I met with her at Barnes and Noble in the coffee shop and I told her the storyline of the Holiday Series. A few weeks later she had the cover photos I would use. I loved them so much that a year later I asked her to work on the Four Season Friends cover with me. I purchased the digital photos for the covers.
When I was writing my first book, Webber House, I didn't know what I was going to do. The four books in the series were well-known landmarks in Saginaw. I called my brother-in-law and thankfully he agreed to do the sketches.
The Webber House was torn down in the 60's, but their was an historical picture on the Saginaw Public Library site. Bertie's Bakery building is still standing, but it doesn't look anything like a bakery anymore. Dan took my description and transformed that old building. Andersen was sketched from an old postcard. His favorite was Daniel's Den. Dan and his brothers went to several concerts at Daniel's Den and he really liked drawing that one. I purchased the artwork to use on these covers.
I am so excited - my latest eBook is now available on Amazon.
This has been a wonderful experience getting to know these characters. They are sweet, mean, loving, upsetting, caring, joyful, and filled with love.
Annie and Aubrey move to Saginaw to live with Riley and Brianna.
It takes some time to get to know each other and even longer to become a family.
Aubrey is on the cover of the the book below.
Click on the book to go to my Author's Page on Amazon
where you may purchase the book and see where she's going!
In the book New Beginnings,
Riley and Annie sing at
Christmas Eve Mass.
The David Haas arrangement of
Ding Dong Merrily on High
is their first choice.
As they left church that evening, many parishioners mentioned how beautiful the song was and how well they sang it. Annie smiled and quoted her own choir director, "You can't go wrong with a David Haas song!"
Click picture above
to go to website to purchase.
Click video below to listen
When one of the characters in the book, New Beginnings, is looking for an apartment, this grey building in the background is where she will move. It is called the New Amadore Apartments. When it was first built it was for the very rich citizens of Saginaw. Parquet floors, high ceilings, large windows, even a magnificent entrance.
In 1976 my Mom moved into that corner apartment on the first floor. Although it was no longer for the rich, it was a lovely apartment. The wood floors were still in perfect shape (until a certain 18 month old took a pen to the bedroom floor, thankfully easily covered by a throw rug!) She had beautiful drapes custom made to fit the tall windows - after she moved out of the apartment I used those drapes and curtains for over 30 years and they were still stylish and in good shape! They were from a store on the corner of Genesee and Michigan called A.A. Meyers.
Just past the apartment building, across the street, is St. Mary Cathedral where our main characters, Riley and Annie, go to school.
"The guests were pleasantly surprised to see the bride and groom waiting to welcome them on the front steps of the Cathedral."
"Todd had come for several weekends in a row to work on the flower beds in the garden overlooking Lake Huron."
The evening began to get dark and the LED Falling Raindrop lights set the mood.