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Reminder–registration is about to close for both the online workshop, Making a Good Book Great, and the live one on Whidbey Island, Washington. Hope to see you there!


I put two recipes on my web site this summer, along with the promo for my August book, Dockside:

Lemonade cake

The small Catskills town of Avalon, New York, on the shores of Willow Lake, is what I think of as a “Velveteen Rabbit” of a place. It has become real because we love it there. Thanks to everyone who has visited my fictional town in the Lakeshore Chronicles. Dockside is a story for everyone who’s ever dreamed of making a life at an idyllic lakeside inn. Researching this book, I met so many innkeepers who shared not only their passion for hospitality, but some pretty amazing innkeeping secrets as well.

Each section of the book is introduced by a snippet about the Inn at Willow Lake, followed by a hospitality hint from a working innkeeper. They’re little grace notes, the sort that make a guest’s stay just a little sweeter. But the real sweetness comes from the unexpected romance of single dad Greg Bellamy, and the town’s former mayor, Nina Romano. In fact, expecting the unexpected is a major theme in this book.


  • Thanks to all for asking about Just Breathe, originally scheduled to be published in 2006. It is now tentatively slated for September 2008, and I promise, it is worth the wait!
  • By popular request, I’ve added a link to the recipes from my books. Finally! Click here:
  • As always, you’re invited to join in at the message board. If you have a question, ask it there, and I promise to respond right away. Since it’s a public forum, pride compels me to be prompt so I don’t look like a slacker.
  • Also, please check out “The View From Here” (Themed photo shows, including   Barkis the Wonder Puppy, at
  • My local bookstore, Eagle Harbor Book Company, will send autographed copies of my books anywhere you want, personalized however you like. Check it out here: Eagle Harbor Book Company.
  • You can get a Printable List of my books, which includes related books and series by clicking this link: Printable List.
  • You can also subscribe to my occasional newsletter by sending a blank e-mail to
  • Check out the most mysterious site on the Web at
  • And below, the promised recipes. Enjoy!

Happy Reading,

Susan Wiggs

*Note: I couldn’t make up my mind which recipe to post here, so I’m giving you two. Please, try them both. They’re unbelievably delicious:


  • 6 oz. can frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 1 pkg. lemon cake mix, without pudding
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • Small package lemon-flavored instant pudding
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 c. cooking oil

Mix lemonade concentrate with sugar and stir well. Mix the remaining ingredients and beat with electric mixer for 3 minutes. Bake in greased and floured 9×13 pan for about 35 minutes or until done when tested. While cake is still hot poke holes all over cake with large fork and pour lemonade glaze (1T lemon juice + 1 cup powdered sugar) over top. Leave in pan until cool. Dust with powdered sugar. If you’re feeling artistic, lay a stencil on the cake and then dust with the sugar to make a pattern.


  • 1 prepared angel food cake
  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream
  • 1 6-ounce can frozen lemonade (keep this semi-frozen–slushy)
  • 1 small carton Cool Whip, flavored with ½ tsp. lemon extract
  • grated lemon peel, for garnish

Slice cake cross-ways into three even layers. Soften ice cream just enough to thoroughly fold in the lemonade. Spread the bottom layer of the cake with ice cream. Add the second layer, spread with the remaining ice cream. Add third layer and spread entire cake with the Cool Whip. Freeze cake in the freezer. Take cake out of the freezer about half an hour before serving time. Garnish with grated lemon peel.

“Wiggs’s uncomplicated stories are rich with life lessons, nod-along moments and characters with whom readers can easily relate. Delightful and wise, Wiggs’s latest shines.”

Publishers Weekly review of Dockside

Dockside contestToday’s the day! The wonderful folks at are giving away another crop of brand new, hot-off-the-presses books, and Dockside is one of them. You can’t beat that!

Some of my favorite authors are featured in this contest–Lisa Tucker, Lisa Jackson, Marian Keyes, Meg Cabot–and others that look fantastic, and I’ll surely be trying them. This week, Dockside is the featured title. Enter to win this book and a sack full of other great reads by submitting your name here. Good luck!

Lakeshore banner

Publishers Weekly weighs in on Dockside:

“Wiggs returns to the town of Avalon, N.Y., and the shores of picturesque Willow Lake with the fourth* installment of her popular Lakeshore Chronicles (after The Winter Lodge)….Wiggs’s uncomplicated stories are rich with life lessons, nod-along moments and characters with whom readers can easily relate. Delightful and wise, Wiggs’s latest shines. (Aug.)”

Dockside by Susan Wiggs

[*This is one vigilant reviewer! It’s the fourth Lakeshore Chronicles title. Technically, the second was “Homecoming Season,” a novella in the anthology More Than Words 3. I’m very flattered that the reviewer noted that.]

Aaaannd…a propos of nothing, what do the following places have in common?

  1. Surprise, AZ
  2. Maple Grove, MN
  3. Fort Myers, FL
  4. Edina, MN
  5. Rochester, NY

Answer? They are the top 5 cities for selling Wiggs books at Barnes & Noble. I’m now on a mission to visit each one of these cities!

Real quick–there’s an excerpt of Dockside online here. Let’s just say we all have a Shane Gilmore somewhere in the past. Here’s hoping he stays there. Enjoy!

Book people. You know the type. They read. They remember, they have their favorites, they have a gift for matching up books and readers. They can tell you where they were when they first read [fill in groundbreaking title here]. They know exactly where a certain book is shelved, even if it was put there months and years ago.

You’ll be happy to know that the people in charge at Barnes & Noble are extreme book people. I had a very happy meeting with Tommy Dreiling, Antoinette Ercolano and Bob Wietrak in New York this week and I have to tell you, it’s a treat to sit down and visit with people whose careers are dedicated to selling books. Dating myself: I was able to share with them the fact that I’ve been a B&N customer since before there were B&N stores. As a student, I used to order from the B&N catalog every month. Bob & Tommy have worked for bookstore chains nearly all their adult lives and know them inside and out. Antoinette, too, and she has visited some 500 of the 800 B&N stores. You can mention “Bellevue, Washington” and yes, she’s been there. We are in very good hands.

And P.S.–I got to dine at two unforgettable restaurants: The Modern and Beppe. Not to be missed if you’re in Manhattan.

That’s entertainment–Levy Home Entertainment: I attended the Levy National Meeting last month. Outside of publishing, people might not be familiar with this firm, but it is one of the biggest players in the industry. And once a year, they have a meeting at a great resort. [Note: This year, the locusts were out in their 17-year cycle, which I’d never seen (or heard) before. These bugs are so huge and fly in such impressive force that they look like alien invaders. In fact, at the airport, they would periodically explain the phenomenon over the PA system, so people wouldn’t look out the window and panic that something very Old-Testament was taking place.]

Back to business–My publisher arranged for me to attend the Levy meeting. Think about it. A week of meetings completely dedicated to getting books into readers’ hands. Meetings attended by people at the highest level of publishing and book distribution, like Louise Burke of Simon & Schuster and Donna Hayes, president of Harlequin–every major publisher sent their top people. The workshops and seminars were designed to maximize the exposure of our book to readers. That’s what Levy Home Entertainment, based in Illinois, is all about. If you bought a paperback at a big discount store, chances are, it was placed there by Levy. Their main warehouse, in the appropriately-named Romeoville, is the size of an airplane hangar and staffed by the nicest people you’d ever want to meet. I know. I was lucky to meet them when I went to the warehouse to sign 6000 books. What 6000 books looks like

That’s not a typo. I signed 6000 books. Levy is going to distribute them to their accounts so 6000 readers can have a signed book. Then I rushed back to the hotel for–wait for it–a booksigning.Yes, I seriously signed 6000 books.

I didn’t know whether or not I could survive signing so many books. On my best day, I’ve written maybe 5000 words in longhand. But the Levy people made it easy. They had us set up assembly-line style so helpers would open the carton, sticker the book, open it to the title page and put it in front of me for my hasty–but legible–signature. Picture the candy-factory scene in “I Love Lucy,” and you get the idea. To make the time pass, we took breaks to dance to the incredibly cheesy disco music being piped into the room. We played with my screaming monkey slingshots. We guzzled bottled water. Tamar Kipper of Levy showed me some chiropractic exercises for hands and I am none the worse for the wear. There is something so special about meeting people whose entire job involves getting my books to readers. Also about attending a banquet with fellow authors Dave Barry, Carol Higgins Clark, Mary Jane Clark, Joanne Fluke, Laura Lippman, Ridley Pearson, Deanna Rayburn, JR Ward. We were all privileged to hang out with the Levy people.

God, I love this business.

You never know when you’re going to need this–How to say “Cheers” in any number of languages. It’s a long story–like, 110,000 words long at this point–but I needed to have a character say “Cheers” in a South African dialect: “Amandla!”

I can’t vouch for its accuracy but the French and German are trustworthy.

According to this chart, you toast somebody in Asturia by saying, “Gayola.” I can think of some places that would get you a punch in the nose for that. And others that might get you a date…



Tonight the RITA Awards were given out in Dallas. Summer at Willow Lake was a finalist. It would have been my fourth RITA and I cannot tell a lie, I would have been thrilled to win. However, I told myself that if I don’t get the statue, I can get a new pair of Camper Twins (cutest shoes ever) to wear on the plane to New York next week. How’s this for a consolation prize?Camper twins

Congratulations to the winners! My feet are doing the happy dance for you–honest!

Would you please see if you get “Sunrise Earth” on your telly? December sunrise over Mt Rainier…And then set your DVR to capture it every day, preferably in High Definition? It’s the sort of program to put on while you’re fixing your morning coffee and then staring dully around, trying to figure out what to write for the day. That’s how it works for me, anyway. I have the prettiest sunrise view in the world, right here (see photo above) but I seriously love getting up with the bison of Wyoming, or with frogs on the Amazon, or the fisherman of Sri Lanka. The only sound track is the natural sounds that take place in the scene. Anyway…check it out. There’s nothing else quite like it on TV.

Join me on Facebook. You won’t be sorry.

I tend to spontaneously give stuff away to readers and libraries. Join the fun here. Really.

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July 2007