The Only Way to Paradise

What would you do with a month in Italy?

After watching a romantic Italian movie together, four women in a therapy group discuss the question, “If Italy is so wonderful and therapeutic, what are we doing in Ohio?” Dubbing themselves “The Crazy Ladies of Oakwood,” they all take off for Florence, packing their worries with them.

Their lives will change forever in this seat of the Renaissance, but not at all in the ways they expected. Possessed of more than artistic treasures, the Italians seem to have the unique gifts of agape (uncondtional love) and phillia (sisterly and brotherly love). It is this balm that is applied gently into their weary souls. The Crazy Ladies slowly transform while embracing these Italian virtues. They discover romance as well as a healing that binds them together and puts them on the road to recovery, “The Only Way to Paradise.”

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The Last Waltz – New Edition

“The Last Waltz is a book to savor. It educates; it is filled with action; the tender love story is mirrored in the political conflicts of the day, it is filled with points to ponder, and it entertains.”–Meridian Magazine

“In GG Vandagriff’s newest novel, pre-World War II Austria explodes with intrigue, and volatile politics that would eventually bring the Austrian people under Hitler’s rule, and a love story that proves that a woman’s heart is as vast as the ocean.

“Before reading this book, I’d never given too much thought to those who lived in pre-Hitler controlled Austria. Of course, I’ve seen the Sound of Music enough times to understand that those who did not swear allegiance to Hitler were in mortal danger. Yet, the events leading up to this historical time were fascinating. The Last Waltz is truly an epic love tale, spanning four decades of Amalia’s life–following her through triumph and tragedy. She’d lost so much, yet came out so strong.”—H.B. Moore, multi-award winning, best-selling author of historical fiction.

“I highly recommend this book for everyone who enjoys soaking up history in foreign lands and at the same time getting teary-eyed over a wonderful love story.” -–Michele Ashman Bell, best-selling romance writer.

*    *    *

 It is December of 1913 in Vienna and Amalia Faulhaber is surrounded by the whirlwind that is the life of a nineteen-year-old socialite. She is comfortable and confident in her wealth, her heritage, and most of all, in her engagement to the Prussian baron, Eberhard von Waldburg. All this comes crashing to a halt the day that her fiance informs her that their engagement is off since he is returning to Prussia to fight in what he is sure will be a glorious war.

Thus begins the tale of a heroine of extraordinary background and resource who develops into a woman who would be extraordinary in any age.

The men in her life—a German officer in World War I, a patriotic Polish doctor, and an Austrian Baron, all shape her, but more remarkably she shapes them.  Her utopian socialist uncle has raised her with ideas outside those of the upper classes, imparting to her a more complete picture of the day than possessed by the other men in her life.  This quality causes her to champion the Austrian Democratic Experiment and to especially mourn its demise.

The Last Waltz is full of little known history of a land that was, in 1913, the apex of the worlds of science, medicine, art, and music.  The speed with which the five-hundred year old empire fell, and the reasons behind that failure carry many warnings for the world we live in today.

Visit The Last Waltz Website.

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Cankered Roots – New Edition

Alexandra Campbell, a spunky young widow, partnered with Brighamina Poulson, an even spunkier, rifle-toting grandmother thinks that as they have begun a genealogy business (RootSearch, Inc.), it is high time she finds out her family secret. Something went wrong in her family during her adolescence, changing her mother from a Chicago North Shore matron into an alcoholic and a doting father into a workaholic. The moment she graduated from High School, she was sent to the Sorbonne in Paris with a generous bank account and instructions not to return.

It is now fifteen years since she has seen her parents, and she intends to lay the ghost that has separated her family for good. However, as usual in Alex’s unpredictable life, things do not go as planned. After an acrimonious fight with her once beloved father, she leaves with only a wallet-sized photograph of a woman she knows nothing about.

That night, Alex’s father is killed. Bewildered and grieved that her family can never be whole again, she soon finds out that she is the chief suspect in the murder. With the unflappable Briggie at her side, she uses all her new genealogical skills, and (with the help of Briggie’s deer rifle) discovers a secret so bizarre that she finally understands why her parents wanted her far away and safe.

Join Alex and Briggie in the first of their hair-raising adventures!

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The Arthurian Omen – New Edition

What Was King Arthur’s True Identity?

When Maren Southcott’s sister, a noted Welsh Scholar, is murdered immediately after she has discovered news of a relic that would prove King Arthur’s identity, dangerous event are put in motion. As Maren hunts for her sister’s killer, she knows the best way to find him is to go after the manuscript herself. Soon she has not only the police, but MI5, and two rival Celtic scholars joining her search. Unbeknownst to her, among them is an Arthur-obsessed psychopath who needs the fifth-century manuscript as the “magic” token necessary to incite a Welsh revolution, overthrowing the Windsor Dynasty and restoring the Britain of Arthur’s time.

G.G. Vandagriff weaves a tale psychological suspense as Maren and her unwanted fellow travelers follow a trail winding through Welsh castles and monasteries. When her daughter is kidnapped and the manuscript specified as ransom, her chase grows desperate as she must outwit her followers and be first to discover Arthur’s omen. With her own life threatened by Rachel’s killer, the unknown psychopath, and even her estranged husband, Maren needs all her knowledge of Welsh and Arthurian lore, as well as her acquaintance with self-defense techniques to save not only herself, but her beloved child.

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Foggy, With a Chance of Murder

What should have been a peaceful walk on the beach turns tragic when best selling suspense author Chloe Greene fails to save a ten-year old boy from drowning along the California coast.  For Chloe, the boy’s death is simply more evidence that God does not exist–that anyone or anything can be taken by random chance, just as her own father was taken five years earlier.

Rob Stevens, the boy’s grieving father and a recent widower, isn’t sure he believes in God anymore, either, but when he becomes the target in a chain of violent attacks that are anything but random, he is forced to examine what he believes and what he has to live for.

As the pair search for answers, Chloe is introduced to a new religion that offers her the first hope and peace she has felt in years.  That peace is threatened, however, when Chloe’s old boyfriend, Luke, reenters her life and stirs up old memories and old desires.

Chloe finds herself at a crossroads of the heart as well as of the soul, but her chance for a new beginning could be destroyed when a dense fog provides the perfect cover for an unknown assailant and one final attack.

Buy Foggy with a Chance of Murder on Amazon.


Pieces of Paris

Is it possible to forget who you once were?
Annalisse and Dennis seem to be living the American dream until Annalisse’s secret past threatens to destroy their family.

This skillfully crafted novel from Whitney Award winner G.G. Vandagriff explores the long-term effects of personal tragedy in haunting flashbacks of Annalisse’s former life—flashbacks that are interwoven with a passionate romance to reveal a person entirely different from the woman Dennis thought he had married.

But as Annalisse struggles with long-buried memories, Dennis’s investigation of a toxic waste incident ignites the wrath of a former political ally and an industrial firm that will go to any lengths to cover up a shocking crime.

Can Annalisse reconcile her past and present before it’s too late? And can Dennis find a way to save his family and the town they’ve called home?

Buy Pieces of Paris on Amazon.


The Hidden Branch

When the murder of Armenian-American billionaire inventor Paul Mardian takes Alex and Briggie to Huntington Beach (aka “surf city”), California to hunt for heirs, Briggie is immediately smitten with ideas of wetsuits and boogie boards.
Alex believes the killer is a relative of the victim, but her pursuit of the truth nearly costs another life–her own. So many suspects, so little time. Could it be the real estate typcoon with the trophy wife? The pompous attorney who spends every cent he makes on high living? The professor of Middle Eastern studies with a penchant for Armenian antiquities? Or even the darlky handsome surfer who has more than a passing interest in Alex?
While her fiance struggles with a crisis of faith, Alex searches for answers, putting her life on the line, yet again, to discover the missing link that will solve this captivating mystery.

Buy The Hidden Branch on Amazon.


Poisoned Pedigree

Is there such a thing as “bad blood?” Take a rifle-toting grandmother and a recently engaged young widow, combine with a passion for genealogy, and you have RootSearch, Inc, dedicated to unraveling complicated family trees. The most recent client of Alexandra Campbell and her associate, Briggie, is a famous singer who at the age of thirty-seven wants to marry and have a family but is terrified by childhood memories of whispers of a family curse and “bad blood.” The investigation leads to a remote Ozarks town and a strange woman known as the Keeper, who holds secrets that turn out to be deadly. Her sudden murder leaves Alex and Briggie no alternative but to piece together the mystery of a 150-year old scrapbook and tombstones in the local cemetery with cryptic references to a lynching. It takes all of Alex and Briggie’s ingenuity to discover the source of the “bad blood” and escape death deep in the Missouri woods.

Buy Poisoned Pedigree on Amazon.


Deliverance from Depression – Finding Hope and Healing Through the Atonement of Christ

Clinical depression brings turmoil, despair and pain that can crush the well-being of its victims and their loved ones. But the merciful power of the Atonement can lift even thisheavy burden.

This inspiring guide portrays the experience of the Vandagriff family, which struggled under depression for more than twenty-five years before relief came through the grace of Jesus Christ. G.G. Vandagriff and her son, Gregory, suffered the physical and emotional effects of depression, while David Vandagriff endured the deep difficulty of trying to support his wife and son during the turbulent years of their illness. Yet in the midst of great strife, the family saw the hand of God revealed in the form of inspired physicians, effective medications, and, most importantly, the direct influence of the Spirit.

Written in turns by mother, son, and father, this poignant and uplifting account shows how to rely on the Spirit during times of adversity and draw on the Savior’s blessings of peace, hope, and healing.

Buy Deliverance from Depression: Finding Hope and Healing Through the Atonement of Christ on Amazon.

Tangled Roots

Accompany Alex on her attempt to unravel a family tree that proves to have more branches than she bargained for, not to mention a murderer, a misappropriated fortune, and a family secret someone is willing to kill for! As she grapples with this unwieldy job, she is also trying to learn to get to know her mother, whom tragedy separated from her as a teenager. A recent convert to the Church, she is still trying to trust God and discover the true essence of forgiveness. On top of all these issues, she also has serious conflicts in matters of the heart. Should she marry the charming Englishman Charles, who courts her so exquisitely, or the down-to-earth Daniel who knows her better than anyone?

Buy Tangled Roots on Amazon.


Of Deadly Descent

Where do you start looking for an ancestor without a name with whom you share an inheritance?

At their last known address—The Argonne Forest, France, 1919.

In their previous adventure, Alexandra Campbell and her business partner, Brighamina Poulson, discover a branch of Alex’s family that was previously unknown.  Because of wicked deeds in days gone by, a soldier in World War I who should have been part of Alex’s family was lost.  In fact, he was so lost, he didn’t even know his own name!

Through a series of coincidences (and we all know there are no coincidences in genealogy!) they track their man from France to Oxford, and even give him a name.  However, upon their arrival in Oxford, before they even contact the man’s descendants, a member of the family is pushed under a bus right before their eyes!  It soon becomes evident that the death was connected to the coming legacy.  Who knew they were coming to Oxford with news of a fortune?  What role does the mysterious Frenchman Etienne play in the dastardly doings?  And what about Charles Lamb, a very eligible bachelor, also an heir to the estate?

Briggie is lost without her deer rifle and can’t keep up on the standing of her Kansas City Royals Baseball Team.  She doesn’t think much of Oxford, either, and is worried about the effect of this center of secular wisdom on Alex.  She is even more worried about Charles Lamb.

Buy Of Deadly Descent on Amazon.


Voices In Your Blood: Discovering Identity Through Family History

Because I am a mystery enthusiast, this how-to genealogy book is written as a mystery. It is currently out of print, but can often be found on-line. It needs to be updated to account for modern technology (it was written in 1993), and I have been asked to do a new edition, but haven’t done it yet!

Buy the original edition of Voices in Your Blood: Discovering Identity Through Family History on Amazon.





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