Archive for the ‘contest’ Category


Want to Win a Prize from Tuscany?

   Posted by: GG Vandagriff

Enter the Magical Mystery Tour!

My new mystery, Foggy with A Chance of Murder, is scheduled for release at the end of April.  It’s been a while since I’ve publish a mystery (although another Alex and Briggie is also in the works), so to get in the mood, I’m taking my readers on a tour through past mysteries by way of a trivia contest for each book.

Answer these questions about Tangled Roots!

1.  What are the names and species of Gladys Harrison’s


2.  When do Alex and Briggie first suspect that there is

something more going on than just compiling Holly’s gen-

ogram ?

3.  What does Francie’s T-Shirt  say?

4.  What is Uncle Joey’s profession?

5.  What does Briggie say when she confronts the villain

with her deer rifle at the end of the book?

If you can answer these questions, go to and enter the answers.  This will put you “in the hat” to win a little bit of Tuscany!  Winner will be announced here at the end of the month!

Good luck!

Lu Ann Worley is the winner of a special prize chosen for her during my journeys in Tuscany!  She answered correctly the five trivia questions taken from Cankered Roots, the first Alex and Briggie mystery.

If you missed the announcement, I am having a Magical Mystery Tour of all my published mysteries prior to the release of Foggy With a Chance of Murder at the end of April.  From now until February 28, you have the opportunity to answer five trivia questions from Of Deadly Descent, my second Alex and Briggie mystery.  It takes place in one of my favorite places on earth that isn’t Italy.  Oxford, England.  Alex is trying to find heretofore unknown cousins that she has traced to Oxford.  These cousins will share in her own inheritance, so when people start dying, she finds herself again a suspect.  Deadly is the favorite of many of my readers, not only because of its setting, but because it introduces the Divine Charles–perfect, eligible, English gentleman who has a yen for Alex.  This is a great introduction to the series, even if you didn’t read Cankered Roots.  Envelope please . . .

The questions are:

1. With which Oxford College is Charles affiliated?

2. How many children does Charles’s brother Frederick have?

3. What is the clue that finally tips Alex off as to the identity of the murderer?

4. Give one earlier clue that Alex observed, but didn’t understand was related to the case.

5. What is Dr. Daniel Grinnell’s tie to Oxford?

To win a special gift bought by me in Tuscany last week, send answers to my website:, where these questions will also be posted.  There will be a drawing for the winner on Feb 28th, at which time he/she will be announced on this blog, along with five more questions taken from Tangled Roots. 



   Posted by: GG Vandagriff

To Sue, Meredith, Benita, Cindi and Robin for winning copies of the Last Waltz in the Mid-Winter Hop giveaway!  Stay tuned to this blog, as I do frequent giveaways!

Right now I am giving a sterling silver charm of the Eiffel Tower to anyone who buys Pieces of Paris, my new women’s fiction, on Amazon before Christmas.  Supplies limited, so move fast!

To read a little more about my book, go to the home page of my new website:

Happy holidays to you all and may your shadow never grow bulkier!



Winners Announced!

   Posted by: GG Vandagriff

Thank you to all you new subscribers!  I hope my blog is fun, uplifting and useful to you! 

I just drew three names from my mixing bowl !

The big winner is Tressa!  She wins the $20 gift certificate to DB.

The two copies of Hidden Branch go to Lisa Faber and Linda Garner

Winners, please send me your snail mail address at so I can mail your prizes.

As a consolation prize, I have some beautiful bookmarks for Pieces of Paris as well as a bookmark with all the Alex and Briggie book covers on it.  If you are interested in receiving one or more bookmarks, just send me your snail mail at the above address!

Friends, please visit my new website at  If you know anyone with this disorder, this could be the best Christmas present you could give them.

All the Christmas Shopping is done (thank Heavens for Amazon), however the house in in turmoil because I haven’t finished decorating.  Our whole family (including our grandsons!) will be here for Christmas!  We are so excited to have a Christmas Eve pageant again for the first time since the kids have grown up.  We have a baby Jesus (Micah) and Joseph (Jack), but either my daughter or me will have to be Mary!  We need a granddaughter!  We will then have an Italian spread of meats, cheeses, fig jam, and flatbread or bread along with my special Christmas trifle (recipe below) and a dessert as yet to be determined.  After the little ones are in bed, we will put together a very challenging puzzle of the ceiling of the Sistene Chapel that I bought in Rome at the Vatican last May.

David and I will not be going abroad this year, because I have plenty of material for three books already!  We have decided to give each other a trip to Jackson Hole in the spring for our Christmas gift.


G. G.’s Christmas Trifle

  • 1/2 Angel Food Cake broken into chunks
  • 2 large cans of pears
  • 2 large pkgs vanilla pudding (cooked)
  • 2 cans cherry pie filling
  • 2 pts. whipping cream (whipped)
  • 1 small pkg slivered almonds

Using a glass punch bowl, crumple angel food cake into the bottom.  Pour about 1/2 the pear juice over cake.  Arrange pear halves so they show on the outside of the bowl. Pour hot cooked pudding over all.  Top with canned cherry pie filling, making sure that plenty of it shows on the outside of bowl.  Put whipping cream over all and sprinkle with almonds.  Enjoy!!!!

We all know, of course, that genealogists make the best detectives!  And we know who the best fictional genealogist is, don’t we?  Here is the complete set of my Briggie and Alex books for you to choose a gift for that special someone (your mother-in-law?) for Christmas.  They are all available on Kindle as well.

I also have some exciting news and a contest!

Exciting News!

I have a new suspense novel, Foggy With a Chance of Murder, coming out in the spring, featuring a new sleuth, Chloe Greene, who looks like a sprite, writes suspense novels set in foreign places, and packs heat which she doesn’t hesitate to use when required.  Her mother is a Texas lady with an attitude.  Add a terrorist cell, an old love and a new one (who someone is trying to kill), and you have a dangerous recipe!

More exciting news!

At this moment, I am plotting with my cohorts a new Alex and Briggie Christmas novel for ’11!

A nice interview:


If you subscribe to this blog today, and leave me a comment telling me so, you will be able to enter the drawing for one of two copies of Hidden Branch, the fifth A & B adventure or a $20.00 gift certificate for Deseret Book.  If you win, You will get it in time for Christmas.  But you must act now!

Reminders of why you love Briggie:

Cankered Roots:

A split second later she heard the front door.  Whirling, Alex ran into the entryway and stared out into the night.  It was easy to see Briggie in the moonlight, her white Royals nightie, giving her the appearance of an overweight fairy as she sprinted across the lawn to her Bronco.  Another shape, this one rotund and not quite as fast, was lumbering down the driveway from the back of the house.

Briggie emerged, backside first, from the Bronco, her thirty-aught-six rifle in her hand.  Meanwhile, the rotund shape had made it into the street and was hustling across to what looked like an aged Pinto.

Her partner[Briggie] took aim, “Hands up!” she cried.

Ignoring her, the intruder opened the car door . . .

Hey!” she yelled, running across the lawn.  The car started.

Alex heard a shot.  There was a burst of fire by the back tire.  Another shot.  “Darn,” she exclaimed as the Pinto disappeared around the corner.

Of Deadly Descent

[Briggie upon being introduced to antique wonders of Oxford, England]

Well, Stewart [Alex’s dead first husband]what do you think?” she asked aloud.  “Is heaven as magnificent as Oxford?”

Of course, there was no one beside her in the bus but Briggie.  Clutching her duffle with unusual ferocity, Alex’s white-haired friend looked at her in reproach:  “in heaven they drive on the right side of the road.”

The picture of comic terror, her white, wiry hair on end from a night passed on a train, Briggie suddenly relaxed her hold on her bag to pat Alex’s knee.  “When I picture Stewart in the spirit world, I see him pacing.”

Look around you, Briggs! Have you ever seen any place like it?”

Gold flags glinted from the four corners of Magdalene Tower.  Though the November trees were bare, the landscape was far from stark with the college walls glowing their warm honey color in the morning light.

The bus swerved to avoid a bicyclist.

No.” Briggie answered shortly, renewing a death grip on her belongings.

Tangled Roots

[Briggie introducing Alex’s mother to what it means to be a genealogist]

“Oh my goodness,” her mother said.  “This is getting dangerous.  Do you think we should go ahead with it?”

It’s our business,” Briggie told her briskly.  “If it’s an inheritance deal, then something’s up with this genogram.  You say Gladys has the family Bible?” she asked Alex.


Maybe that will give us some kind of lead,” Briggie said, squinting to peer through the falling snow.  “Boy, this is getting interesting.”


Suddenly, behind her [Alex] she heard a commotion.  Everyone looked up.

The little maid was screeching as Charles and Briggie rounded the corner into the corridor.  Briggie took one look at the scene before her and raised her deer rifle, squinting into its sight.  “Hands up!” she commanded.  “Unless you want your ugly head stuffed and mounted on my living room wall.”

Poisoned Pedigree

[Alex, as she races to rescue Briggie from almost certain death]

How in the world could she bear losing Briggie?  Alex thought of her staunch freind, who had rescued her from her bottomless grief and abandonment in Scotland.  Stewart’s Scottish relatives had been so stoic and phlegmatic that Alex couldn’t pour out her grief to them.  The cold village kirk had offered no comfort.  There hadn’t been a body to mourn, or even a memorial service.  After she lost the baby, Alex had begun to waste away, not caring whether she lived or died.  One day Briggie had appeared at her bedside, and in her gruff American accent had told her she was related to Stewart.  Briggie invited her to get out of bed and try to help her prove it.  Since the, she had issued one challenge after another.  Come home to the States where you belong.  Come live with me in my house, and we’ll start a genealogy business together.  Go to my friend, Dr. Brace, and get some help for your depression.  Listen to the missionaries–they have a message that will give meaning to your life.  Go see your parents and make peace with them . . .

Hidden Branch

[Alex is just coming to from another head injury on the floor of a fugitive’s house, when she gets a frantic call on her cell phone]

Briggie’s voice said, “Alex, Leon and I are both in jail in Santa Ana.  Can you come and tell these stupid cops that I didn’t steal those coins and that I didn’t steal those coins and that [ can’t be a spoiler here] . . .”

How did you wind up in jail this time?” Alex asked, exasperated.

“Leon was chasing me in his car, and I ran a couple of lights.  We were both doing about sixty in a twenty-five zone.  We both got stopped.  I thought it was my lucky day.  I told them about Leon, but as soon as they called in, the cops fount out about my arrest the other night.  Leon was claiming I had stolen the coins.  But since I claimed he was a murderer and the FBI was after him, the cops decided to take both of us in.”

“Well, at least you’re safe in jail. . . “

That’s all from Briggie and Alex until next Christmas, which gives you plenty of time to catch up on anything you’ve missed (put it on your Amazon wish list), or introduce the indefatigable Briggie to your friends and relatives! (Click on book cover to order from Amazon)

Contest ends December 6.


Pieces of Paris

   Posted by: GG Vandagriff

A great part of my writing past is about to see the light of day on October 1.  For twenty-five years, I have been layering and reconstructing the novel now known as Pieces of Paris (which my long-time editor claims is my best work so far).  My original title, back in the eighties, was Paddle on the Right, named after a humorous canoeing incident in some river in Missouri where my husband and I capsized.  That scene has long been axed, and the novel has evolved to such an extent that it has gone through at least ten titles.  However, one thing remains.  The question: “What do you do when you find out you are married to a stranger?”

I am not talking about a dangerous stranger, a criminal, or any kind of person with a “shady” past.  I’m talking about a fairly familiar phenomenon.  We never know who the person we marry is in a complete, eternal sense.  As my heroine’s father says, “Why shouldn’t a good marriage be an endless process of exploration and discovery?”

I didn’t know that this book was emotionally biographical.  I was just confused about a lot of issues in my life that had never been resolved.  Alone with my three children most of the day and many nights while my husband worked, or was away, I began having flashbacks to these issues and experiencing long suppressed anger and feelings that had been been put to rest.    In my efforts to deal with these, I entered a sort of twilight life where I existed in the present, but my mind was caught up in the past.

Annalisse Childs, my heroine, has a very dramatic, passionate past, just as I did.  However, hers is full of different and far more interesting issues.  Once a European concert pianist, she is endeavoring to partner her idealistic husband of four years in his “Walden” experience on a farm in Southwest Missouri.  To his credit, Dennis knows nothing of her past except that she grew up on a farm in Wisconsin.  Because of tragic memories Annalisse has no intention of revisiting, she has cut music out of her life.  But, bit by bit, the pieces she once performed in Paris, accompanied by their ecstatic and terrible memories are the thin edge of the wedge.  Once she goes back to the piano, she cannot help the flashbacks from recurring.

As her husband witnesses the transformation of his stoical, practical wife into someone who makes public scenes, cries in closets and basements, and yet clings with superhuman tenacity to his heroic version of reality, he feels as if the ground beneath him has crumbled.  What should he do?  Does he have anything in common with this woman?  Why does she suddenly hate farm life and express a desire to sit up all night in Paris discussing the Opera?  Where is their marriage headed?

As nearly everyone who has read this manuscript has noted, Dennis is a thinly veiled version of my husband David.  Both are truly one-in-a-million amazing men.  And hopefully, reading the account of the hairpin turn in the fictional story will cause you to think deeply about your own relationships, and be filled with the kind of deep-seated well-being that accompanies the truest kind of love.

A MOMENTO: Pieces of Paris is now available for pre-order on Amazon.  Anyone who pre-orders and e-mails me (through my website a copy of their confirmation and snail mail address will receive a sterling silver charm of the Eiffel Tower! Deadline is the end of August.

EXAMINER CONTEST: The winner of the three copies of The Last Waltz are: Wendy Pop, Mary Deborde, and Kristine Armstrong!


Alex and Briggie Fan Fiction Contest!

   Posted by: GG Vandagriff

Dear fans,

You have until April 15 to produce a work of fan fiction! The topic? The weddings of Alex and Briggie. The length? Anything over 8 pp. You can also make your fiction more interesting by casting all the characters (how many can you get in there?) as movie people. Am particularly interested to see whom you cast as Charles! Be sure to include a guest list! (You may increase your chances of winning if you have read all the books and know who should be invited!) You are free to make the weddings separate or together, design wedding invitations, clothing, etc. Remember that Briggie is already sealed to her Ned, so she can’t be sealed to Richard.

If you want to throw a mystery in there, feel free. But Alex and Briggie have to solve it.

Submit to my e-mail as an attachment with your name, e-mail address, and page number on each page.

The prize: The top three entries will receive a $20.00 gift card from Deseret Book.

So try your wings at some fiction with these well-beloved characters! I look forward to your entries!


A New Contest!

   Posted by: GG Vandagriff

The Last Waltz is being read in 3 book clubs that I know of in January: 2 in Colorado and 1 in California. I had nothing to do with setting these up, other than putting a book club page on TLW website ( The book lends itself to book clubs really well because when people finish it, they always seem to want to talk to someone about it.

In order to encourage more book club selection of The Last Waltz, I am offering a wonderful prize: A very trendy 75% cashmere 25% silk scarf/shawl purchased by me in my recent trip to Florence! All you have to do is get your book club to schedule Last Waltz for 2010 and be the first to do so! Then let me know! I’ll have some consolation prizes for those of you not so quick off the mark. The deadline is Nov 30. I love to participate in Book Clubs by speaker phone, if this is something you would like.  If you live on the Wasatch Front, I have been known to visit in person (unless you want to say bad things about the book!)


Winners and Personal Plans

   Posted by: GG Vandagriff


I’ve gotten behind in my blogging, but wanted to announce the winners for the Alma and Saving Madeline "contest winners."


They are:  Night Owl Mommy and Suze (Saving Madeline)

            Deron Fraley (Alma)


I am busier than a one-armed paperhanger trying to get ready for my trip to Florence next week to research for Crazy Ladies, my next series.  Am trying to finish up current novel (The Only Bright Thing), and am in a very difficult part in the rewrite.  Have been working on this one for twenty-five years.  Hopefully, this will be published in 2010, however I have no idea of the timing. 

Have to buy a raincoat, and umbrella, and a new rolling bag . . .


Watch for reviews of The Hidden Branch which should be coming out soon since DB finally got around to sending out review copies yesterday!


All you readers who live in Utah County–don’t forget to come visit me at the University Mall DB Ladies’ Night!


Winner in The Hidden Branch Launch, Review, and Signings!

   Posted by: GG Vandagriff

The Hidden Branch is being launched as I write this.  It has been in the stores for about a week, and already has a review from my great fan, Britt!  You can read it at

The winner in our contest is:

Susan Winterton from Chandler, AZ.   She will receive the entire set of Alex and Briggie books as well as the same gift package of memorabilia that all the other contestants will receive.

I will be signing all my books at the Layton Hills Mall, Layton, Utah on Saturday, the 26th of September, as well as on Ladies’ Night at the University Mall in Orem, Utah.  (Good to have some signings near home for a change).

After conference, my husband and I will be flying to Florence to research my first book in my new series: The Crazy Ladies of Oakwood, Part One: The Escapade.  I am hoping this will be balm for all of you who are mourning the loss of Alex and Briggie.  There will be four new eccentric heroines, exotic places, and complications galore.