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Q: Why, oh why, did you leave Daisy twisting in the wind like that? Curse you! May you burn in hell! (But after you write Daisy’s story.)
A: WARNING. There are bound to be a few spoilers in my reply. If spoilers bother you, please don’t read! If you don’t mind the spoilers, roll your mouse over the hidden parts of the reply to highlight and reveal the text (I’ve written it in white font).
Oh, Daisy. When will you learn? We’ve been following you since you were a troubled child of divorce in Summer at Willow Lake, a pregnant teen in The Winter Lodge, leaving home in Dockside, a college student in Snowfall at Willow Lake, a career girl in Fireside and a busy single mom in Lakeshore Christmas.
And all we’ve ever wanted was for you to find your happily-ever-after.
You keep being pulled back and forth between Logan, the handsome, well-born father of your child, and Julian, the dangerous but adoring adrenalin junkie in search of adventure.
And now this! Somebody’s about to pop the question and we don’t even get to know which one, or what your answer is!
Argh! I could kill you dead right now!
There is no way everyone is going to love everything that happens to a character in a book. I just hope I can be true and fair to the characters and storylines I’ve set up.
It’s true that there is a major, major unanswered question at the end of Lakeshore Christmas. Daisy finds herself in quite a pickle. A delicious pickle.
The good news is, somebody wants to marry her.
The bad news is, we don’t quite know which somebody.
Do I know who dropped the d-bomb on the train platform? Yes.
Is it who you think it is? Probably not.
Disclaimer: Even though I do know how this is going to go down, I haven’t finished Daisy’s book yet, so it’s subject to change. Sometimes a story goes off in its own direction and I have no choice but to follow.
I have a title I really like: Daisy+Logan+Julian which doesn’t really give anything away. It’s a working title and my publisher tends to change them so I’m not holding my breath.
One thing I can promise: The book will be Lakeshore #8 (after the March 2010 release of The Summer Hideaway).

It’s Frustrated Reader time in my in-box. Definitely the most frequently asked question is this:

Q: Why, oh why, did you leave Daisy twisting in the wind at the end of Lakeshore Christmas? Curse you! May you burn in hell! (But after you finish Daisy’s story.)

A: WARNING. There are bound to be a few spoilers in my reply. If spoilers bother you, please don’t read! If you don’t mind the spoilers, hold down the mouse button and roll over the hidden parts of the reply to highlight and reveal the text (I’ve written it in white font).

Oh, Daisy. When will you learn? We’ve been following you since you were a troubled child of divorce in Summer at Willow Lake, a pregnant teen in The Winter Lodge, leaving home in Dockside, a college student in Snowfall at Willow Lake, a career girl in Fireside and a busy single mom in Lakeshore Christmas.

And all we’ve ever wanted was for you to find your happily-ever-after.

You keep being pulled back and forth between Logan, the handsome, well-born father of your child, and Julian, the dangerous but adoring adrenalin junkie in search of adventure.

gettyimages.com

gettyimages.com

And now this! Somebody’s about to pop the question and we don’t even get to know which one, or what your answer is!

Argh! I could kill you dead right now!

There is no way everyone is going to love everything that happens to a character in a book. I just hope I can be true and fair to the characters and storylines I’ve set up.

It’s true that there is a major, major unanswered question at the end of Lakeshore Christmas. Daisy finds herself in quite a pickle. A delicious pickle.

The good news is, somebody wants to marry her.

The bad news is, we don’t quite know which somebody.

Do I know who dropped the d-bomb on the train platform? Yes.

Is it who you think it is? Probably not.

Disclaimer: Even though I do know how this is going to go down, Daisy’s book is full of surprises. As the story unfolded from my imagination, the twists and turns surprised even me. Sometimes a story goes off in its own direction and I have no choice but to follow.

I had a title I really like: Daisy+Logan+Julian which doesn’t really give anything away. It’s a working title and my publisher tends to change them so didn’t hold my breath. Ultimately, the perfect title emerged from lengthy discussions with my editor and agent: Marrying Daisy Bellamy.

One thing I can promise: There is an enticing excerpt from Lakeshore #11 in the back of the new edition of Daisy. Please enjoy the exclusive preview of Starlight on Willow Lake.

After the Daisy question, probably the most frequent query I’ve had from readers this month is this:

so many books, so little time

so many books, so little time

“Why did you publish the latest ‘Lakeshore Chronicles’ book, Lakeshore Christmas, in hardcover, after hooking readers into the series with paperback originals?”
A: I’m glad this question has been asked (and asked and asked) by readers. It is annoying to get hooked into a series at once price point–pocketbook-friendly paperbacks–and then to find the next eagerly awaited book as a hardback that costs more than twice as much.
The explanation is, it’s a balancing act. Having low-cost paperbacks available is a great way to build a readership. A reader is more likely to take a chance on an author she’s never read before if she only has to invest $8 or so in the book.
On the other hand, the lack of a hardcover edition creates huge problems for the public library. With their dwindling budgets, libraries can’t afford to buy many paperbacks, because they tend to fall apart. So that creates problems for libraries with tough choices to make.
When I decided to write a Christmas book about saving the library, the best choice seemed to be a hardcover edition, followed by a paperback edition a year later.
It’s not a perfect solution, and it doesn’t thrill me to ask paperback readers to wait. But anyone with a library card can read the book (or audio) for free by taking this form http://susanwiggs.com/library_form.html to the local library and asking them to acquire the book.
That said, I should point out that the decision about a book’s format is made by the publisher. Sometimes the author is consulted, sometimes not. The publisher makes the call based on their goals and marketing research.
Question for readers–does your library provide a “patron request” service? I’m happy to say mine does! Thank you, Kitsap Regional Library!

Q: “Why did you publish the latest ‘Lakeshore Chronicles’ book, Lakeshore Christmas,* in hardcover, after hooking readers into the series with paperback originals?”

A: I’m glad this question has been asked (and asked and asked) by readers. It is annoying to get hooked into a series at once price point–pocketbook-friendly paperbacks–and then to find the next eagerly awaited book as a hardback that costs more than twice as much.

The explanation is, it’s a balancing act between fulfilling the mass market needs (individual readers) with the hardcover market reads (libraries and hardcover fans). Having low-cost paperbacks available is a great way to build a readership. A reader is more likely to take a chance on an author she’s never read before if she only has to invest $8 or so in the book.

On the other hand, the lack of a hardcover edition creates huge problems for the public library. With their dwindling budgets, libraries can’t afford to buy many paperbacks, because they tend to fall apart. So that creates problems for libraries with tough choices to make.

When I decided to write a Christmas book about saving the library, the best choice seemed to be a hardcover edition, followed by a paperback edition a year later.

It’s not a perfect solution, and it doesn’t thrill me to ask paperback readers to wait. But anyone with a library card can read the book (or audio or large print edition) for free by taking this form to the local library and asking them to acquire the book.

That said, I should point out that the decision about a book’s format is made by the publisher. Sometimes the author is consulted, sometimes not. The publisher makes the call based on their goals and marketing research.

Question for readers–does your library provide a “patron request” service? I’m happy to say mine does! Thank you, Kitsap Regional Library!

*Note: All the links in this article will take you to WorldCat.org, or Better World Books.  Both are book sites with a social conscience and library-centric attitude. 🙂

she is one smart cookie

she is one smart cookie

So the lovely and talented Lindsey has made something for you. A downloadable, print-outable reading group guide, with a favorite recipe. Because we all know that a book club meeting without food is like a day without sunshine, eh? Enjoy!

Lakeshore Christmas- book club

My book club has trouble staying on topic. It’s such a great time to get together with friends. The one thing that excites us, though, is a really great read, one we can’t stop talking about. This fall, I convinced my gang to adopt When Autumn Leaves by Amy S. Foster for an upcoming meeting. I adored this debut novel and want to make all my girlfriends read it. I’m also excited about Tell Me Something True by Leila Cobo (yes, THAT Leila Cobo). Interesting that both Leila and Amy have strong, strong ties to the music industry. Look them up and see what I mean.

I would love to hear about your book group. What are your meetings like, do you get in cat fights, are Cheetos involved, what?! Inquiring minds want to know. Post in comments below.

Christmas Memories by Susan Wiggs, author of Lakeshore Christmas
Lakeshore Christmas is my first full-length novel set during the holidays, so I relied on my deepest and most cherished personal memories for inspiration.
First, there’s the weather. I’m originally from a tiny town in the wilds of New York State, and to a child, the winters there are a time of enchantment. The snow is so deep and thick that the streets become virtual tunnels, and everything looks beautiful. My very favorite sports–skiing, sledding, and curling up with a good book while sipping hot chocolate top the list.
Next, there are the cookies. Are you kidding me? Between my mother, two grandmothers, various aunts and other women in my life, the holiday was one giant cookie. My Grandma Anna was the inspiration for Helen Majesky, who founded Avalon’s Sky River Bakery, and she was a maniac in the kitchen. The smells alone conjure up warm afternoons with my mother–cinnamon and cardamom and ginger, butter and marzipan and chocolate–and evoke vivid memories of standing on a step stool to help with the frosting and sprinkles.
One of the reasons I included a playlist in the Cookie Exchange Cookbook (a special end-of-book feature of the novel) is that there is no way I can separate the memories of making cookies from the background music. I had a very musical childhood, and our Christmas record selection was vast, from “Alvin and the Chipmunks” to Handel’s Messiah. Our selections were extremely secular, I have to admit. We were as likely to be found making gingerbread men to the tune of the William Tell Overture as we were to Herb Alpert’s “Tijuana Taxi.”
Readers of Lakeshore Christmas will find a tribute to the most treasured resource of any community–the public library. The library of my small-town girlhood loomed large in my imagination. Like the library in the book, it was an imposing, Gothic-revival-style building filled with all the wonders of the world. At the holidays, a tall fresh tree would grace the atrium of the building, and each year I would fashion a special ornament to hang on it. One year when I was about eight years old, I wrote a Christmas story on tiny pieces of paper, made it into a book and hung it on the tree. I don’t know what ever became of that story, but you can bet it had a happy ending.
And finally, there is inspiration in the magic of Christmas itself. I was a true believer long after most of my friends moved on to reality. And I still am. When I see a glow of happiness in a child’s eyes, or observe a stranger’s act of kindness, or hear a song I’ve known all my life, I know the Christmas spirit is present.
This is the Christmas story I’ve always wanted to write, and to be able to tell it in the context of the Lakeshore Chronicles is just perfect. I’m excited to share it with the world.

Lakeshore Christmas is my first full-length novel set during the holidays, so I relied on my deepest and most cherished personal memories for inspiration.

First, there’s the weather. I’m originally from a tiny town in the wilds of New York State, and to a child, the winters there are a time of enchantment. The snow is so deep and thick that the streets become virtual tunnels, and everything looks beautiful. My very favorite sports–skiing, sledding, and curling up with a good book while sipping hot chocolate top the list.

Next, there are the cookies. Are you kidding me? Between my mother, two grandmothers, various aunts and other women in my life, the holiday was one giant cookie. My Grandma Anna was the inspiration for Helen Majesky, who founded Avalon’s Sky River Bakery, and she was a maniac in the kitchen. The smells alone conjure up warm afternoons with my mother–cinnamon and cardamom and ginger, butter and marzipan and chocolate–and evoke vivid memories of standing on a step stool to help with the frosting and sprinkles.

[above: sfogliatelle. An Italian pastry that will change your life.]

One of the reasons I included a playlist in the Cookie Exchange Cookbook (a special end-of-book feature of the novel) is that there is no way I can separate the memories of making cookies from the background music. I had a very musical childhood, and our Christmas record selection was vast, from “Alvin and the Chipmunks” to Handel’s Messiah. Our selections were extremely secular, I have to admit. We were as likely to be found making gingerbread men to the tune of the William Tell Overture as we were to Herb Alpert’s “Tijuana Taxi.” To sample Maureen’s playlist, click here. To see Eddie’s, click here.

Readers of Lakeshore Christmas will find a tribute to the most treasured resource of any community–the public library. The library of my small-town girlhood loomed large in my imagination. Like the library in the book, it was an imposing, Gothic-revival-style building filled with all the wonders of the world. At the holidays, a tall fresh tree would grace the atrium of the building, and each year I would fashion a special ornament to hang on it. One year when I was about eight years old, I wrote a Christmas story on tiny pieces of paper, made it into a book and hung it on the tree. I don’t know what ever became of that story, but you can bet it had a happy ending.

And finally, there is inspiration in the magic of Christmas itself. I was a true believer long after most of my friends moved on to reality. And I still am. When I see a glow of happiness in a child’s eyes, or observe a stranger’s act of kindness, or hear a song I’ve known all my life, I know the Christmas spirit is present.

This is the Christmas story I’ve always wanted to write, and to be able to tell it in the context of the Lakeshore Chronicles is just perfect. I’m excited to share it with the world.

How about you? List some of your most vivid Christmas memories below.

It’s the final day in the Twelve Days of Christmas giveaway extravaganza! All you have to do is check in on this blog for a trivia question from Lakeshore Christmas, and send your answer to ll.wiggs @ gmail.com (remove the spaces). Correct answers will be entered to win.

Today’s question: When little Eddie went to see Santa, what did Santa ask him for?

Today’s prize: A signed copy of Lakeshore Christmas!

A list of things to talk about while you’re eating cookies and talking about Lakeshore Christmas. Note–some of the questions might be spoilers. I don’t think so, but if spoilers drive you crazy, don’t read this until after you’ve read the book:

Reading Group Questions for Lakeshore Christmas by Susan Wiggs
1. What is Maureen’s role in her family, and how does that shape who she is?
2. Have you ever changed your dreams like Maureen did when she gave up on acting?
3. If you were the Havens, how would you have raised Eddie?  Do you think they did the right thing by keeping him on the road?
4. What are your thoughts on Maureen’s inability to trust men?  Do you think her experience in Paris gives her reason to doubt all men?
5. If you were Daisy and you knew that one of those men, Logan or Julian, was carrying an engagement ring, who would you hope was going to propose?  The man who holds your heart or the father of your child?
6. If you were Maureen, a dedicated librarian, how would you have reacted to the budget cuts and the imminent closure of the library?  What would you have done?
7. Do you think that Maureen should have taken Mr. Byrne’s offer and given Cecil the main role in the play if it meant saving the library?
8. Maureen’s favorite time of the year is Christmas. What is yours?  Do you get excited about the upcoming holidays or is it overwhelming?
9. What do you think Jabez’s role in this book was?  What purpose did he serve?
10. Have you ever had a life altering experience like Eddie had the night he crashed his van?
11. What are your fondest memories of the library?
12. What are some of your favorite traditions during the holiday and where did they come from?

1. What is Maureen’s role in her family, and how does that shape who she is?

2. Have you ever changed your dreams like Maureen did when she gave up on acting?

3. If you were the Havens, how would you have raised Eddie?  Do you think they did the right thing by keeping him on the road?

4. What are your thoughts on Maureen’s inability to trust men?  Do you think her experience in Paris gives her reason to doubt all men?

5. If you were Daisy and you knew that one of those men, Logan or Julian, was carrying an engagement ring, who would you hope was going to propose?  The man who holds your heart or the father of your child?

6. If you were Maureen, a dedicated librarian, how would you have reacted to the budget cuts and the imminent closure of the library?  What would you have done?

7. Do you think that Maureen should have taken Mr. Byrne’s offer and given Cecil the main role in the play if it meant saving the library?

8. Maureen’s favorite time of the year is Christmas. What is yours?  Do you get excited about the upcoming holidays or is it overwhelming?

9. What do you think Jabez’s role in this book was?  What purpose did he serve?

10. Have you ever had a life altering experience like Eddie had the night he crashed his van?

11. What are your fondest memories of the library?

12. What are some of your favorite traditions during the holiday and where did they come from?

It’s Day 10 in the Twelve Days of Christmas giveaway extravaganza! All you have to do is check in on this blog for a trivia question from Lakeshore Christmas, and send your answer to ll.wiggs @ gmail.com (remove the spaces). Correct answers will be entered to win.

Today’s question: What book did Maureen suggest to Lonnie?

Today’s prize: A $25 gift card to Borders.

Day 9 is here! All you have to do is check in on this blog for a trivia question from Lakeshore Christmas, andsend your answer to ll.wiggs @ gmail.com (remove the spaces). Correct answers will be entered to win.

Today’s question: Who funded the library almost 100 years ago?

Today’s prize: A $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble.

It’s Day 8 in the Twelve Days of Christmas giveaway extravaganza! All you have to do is check in on this blog for a trivia question from Lakeshore Christmas, and send your answer to ll.wiggs @ gmail.com (remove the spaces). Correct answers will be entered to win.

Today’s question: What is the famous line from Eddie’s Christmas movie?

Today’s prize: A $25 Indie Bound gift card. I’m giving away another one because independent bookstores are awesome.

You’ll want to live on Angel Lane when you read this terrific new novel by Sheila Roberts. Here’s her guest post:

DOUBLE THE FUN

fabulous new book

fabulous new book

What’s more fun than having a new book out? Having a new book out at the same time as your good friend! I’m excited about my new release Angel Lane, but I’m doubly excited that it coincides with the release of Susan’s fab new Willow Lake chronicle, Lakeshore Christmas (my personal favorite!). This means we get to do some fun events together to celebrate the birth of our new brain babies. And our calendars are full! We’re doing everything from women’s show appearances to radio interviews. At one of our book signings (Eagle Harbor Books, Bainbridge Island, WA) we’re even having a Christmas cookie contest with a fabulous prize for some lucky winner. How fun is that? Several of our events will include our buddy Suzanne Selfors, popular YA author, who is enjoying the success of her latest book Coffeehouse Angel, so then it will be triple the fun.

and another!

and another!

Since we moved out to our little lake I haven’t seen as much of Susan as I used to, so I’m looking forward to some serious hang-out time and hoping lots of readers will come hang with us and find out what our new books have in common.

Speaking of things in common . . . at first glance Miz Wiggs and I might look like polar opposites. She’s totally fit and is a fearless skier. I’m an out of shape blob who dreams of someday conquering the bunny slope. I could happily spend hours playing all kinds of goofy parlor games. Susan plays with me just to be a sport. If locked in a room and left to solve the world’s problems we would . . . never reach an agreement on how to do it. So, you may be wondering, what the heck do we have in common? The same thing most girlfriends do: love of family, loyalty to friends, delight in finding a great new recipe, an addiction to chick flicks, What Not to Wear, and anything chocolate. We also share a love of reading and a sense of adventure. (No, I won’t climb Mt. Rainier with her, but I’ll cross the ocean in a rowboat (we’ve done something darned close to that!). And we both keep each other highly entertained. Now, here’s hoping we’ll keep you entertained this fall, too.

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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