Category: Mackinac Island


I regret that I’ve neglected both this blog and publicizing the third and final novel in the “Mackinac Trilogy,” but in spite of that, the “St. Ignace News” did pick up on it and wrote this interesting article.  In addition, each week new readers somehow manage to find and purchase my novels, perhaps because they search for books dealing with their favorite island – Mackinac. “Promised” delivers several surprises and introduces new characters that I loved creating. It’s actually my favorite. All three novels are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other online book sites. I promise to add images this week that deal with “Promised,” especially photos of St. Kitts. If you read the novel, you’ll understand w hy.

promised-complete-article

Advertisements
The Gripping Finale to the Mackinac Trilogy

The Gripping Finale to the Mackinac Trilogy

 

Promised WORD PRESS BACK COVER

Never easy for an author to end a series and say goodbye to beloved characters – especially Tawny, Takoda and Todd who truly took control of the novel and created their own ending.

Young and with a world of choices before them, they have enough tough, sometimes heartbreaking decisions to make. But then, in comes Tawny’s vicious antagonist from Book One, “Discovered – The Cross of Lorraine.” “Ice Blue” intends to not only attack Tawny and everyone she holds dear, but to also create a disaster for the Northern Straits and the Great Lakes. Our old hero, “Chief,” the character older readers enjoy the most, jumps into action, paired with an unlikely hero from a distant island.

This action-packed, quick summer read is available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle form. You can also find it online at websites such as Abe Books and Adlibris.

Both Novels Available in paperback and electronic formats

Both Novels Available in paperback and electronic formats

This past August the inaugural Grand Garden Show was held on Mackinac Island. It featured expert gardening presentations, private garden tours, and cocktail celebrations. Proven Winners flower company and the Grand Hotel sponsored the event. Was it because of the tour or the extraordinary climate of the island that the gardens this August looked particularly gorgeous? Tawny’s grandmother is a master gardener and Chief always remembers to compliment her gardens. But in Book Two – one character’s reaction exposes his true personality.

050 bbb

West Bluff Garden

Steamboat Style Home

This West Bluff home is built in the Steamboat Style.

West Bluff

Dazzling Display!

Author's deck

On the author’s deck in the UP.

This is located right near the hummingbird feeder.

And, this weekend, the female, who is dominating the feeder and fighting off all interlopers,

decided it was easier to guard it from the nearby flowers. See her?

Our hummingbird

This and the next shot were taken through a screened window.

She loved sitting on that tender tendril, even in the wind!

Hummingbird through screened window

Just had to add the latest boat we saw this past weekend docked at St. Ignace.

Fastest boat yet

This belongs to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

In the last post we wondered which of the protective services had the fastest boat.

Take a look at these on the stern.

Homeland Security power

This boat will be very important to the story in Book Three

of the Mackinac Trilogy.

In “Discovered – The Cross of Lorraine” several types of law enforcement boats

play a role in the search and rescue of Tawny.

While in the Straits area last week I photographed a few of them.

Homeland Security

Take a look at the powerful engines mounted on the sterns of these vessels

and you can understand how they can reach such amazing speeds.

.Stern Homeland Security

 

Michigan Conservation Officer

This craft is manned by Michigan Conservation Officers.

Stern of Michigan Conservation Officers' Boat

Michigan Conservation Officers Emblem on Door

The above shots were taken at the St. Ignace Harbor. In the novel,”Chief” hitches a ride

from there on one of these boats. The law enforcement agencies in the Straits

work well together.

US Coast Guard Boat

Last, but certainly not least, the U.S. Coast Guard boat temporarily docked at

Mackinac Island Harbor. I had to quickly capture this shot on a cell phone

before they sped off again.

Wouldn’t it be great to see these three boats in a race across the Straits?

 

Book Signing at the Island Book Store

Yes, the book signing at the Island Book Store was a great success. All copies were autographed and sold. Many thanks to Mary Jane and Tammy for making it such a fun experience. I found that people who enjoy northern Michigan treasure fictional stories that take place there. The adventurous, dramatic storyline appealed to young and old.

Thank you to my readers and all those who stopped by at the signing.

See islandbookstore.com to buy from Mary Jane. Or call the store at (906) 847-6202

One of the problems of enjoying a nice long vacation up north is that this blog gets neglected. However, I did take many new photos and promise to post some soon.

Great news! The Island Book Store on Mackinac Island not only carries “Delivered – The Cross of Lorraine,” they have also scheduled a book signing!

I will be at the book store on Main Street, Saturday, August 3rd from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. This is such great news because my dream is to have people who know and love the island enjoy the story of Tawny and Takoda.

Grand Hotel

Grand Hotel

Every day seems like the 4th of July at Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel.

A line of flags stand at attention along the “longest porch in the world.”

The total length is 660 feet (200 m).

Porch Chairs at Grand Hotel

The patriotic theme is enhanced with bright red geraniums punctuating the glistening

white colors of the hotel, porch chairs, flower boxes and railings.

Grand Hotel Carriage

When it came to designing the cover of Discovered – The Cross of Lorraine there was no question.

The Grand Hotel HAD to be on the cover!

Grand Hotel from speedboat

Lining up the Round Island Lighthouse with the Grand required

boating out to a good vantage point and trying not to bounce the camera

while ferry waves tossed the bow rider in choppy waters.

Star Line Ferry Enters the Picture

Tawny’s favorite – the Star Line ferry  – happened to cruise by during the photo shoot.

The secret to taking these shots on a rocking boat? Experienced sea legs and

setting the camera for “action shots.”

The June 27th edition of the weekly St. Ignace News featured

Discovered – the Cross of Lorraine.

If you double click on the image below,

You just might be able to read it.

The reporter did a nice job. Hope the potential audience saw it!

St. Ignace News Story

Arnold Dock During Races

When entering the Mackinac Island’s harbor, visitors are immediately drawn to the historic

barns on the Arnold Dock. Iconic reminders of Mackinac’s rich past, the barns are very

much in use today. Invariably, at least one horse drawn wagon will be pulled up along side,

as merchandise is loaded or unloaded.

Horse drawn Wagon at Arnold Dock

In the novel Discovered – The Cross of Lorraine, Takoda’s workshop is located

in a historic barn out on the old Coal Dock.

Entance to Arnold Dock

The Grand Hotel, Ft. Mackinac and the Arnold Dock are probably the most prominent

and priceless structures on the island and we’re fortunate that they are well-preserved

and cared for by their owners and protected by the City of Mackinac.

Mackinac Harbor at night

 

Approach to Arnold Docks

Mackinac Island Shoreline Docks

While reading “Discovered – the Cross of Lorraine” some fans have had

difficulty picturing the coal dock where Takoda has his workshop.  The above photo

focuses on the Arnold Dock below Fort Mackinac. The coal dock is to the left, just out of sight.

View of coal dock in winter

This winter shot was taken from the Arnold Dock – looking toward the Coal Dock.

Of course it is all fiction, but this was an ideal spot for Takoda’s boat restoration

business since it is isolated, near the hardware store and wonderful boats

have actually been restored there.

Coal Dock

In 2005, extensive restoration of the Coal Dock began. Built before 1910, possibly as early

as 1860, the Coal Dock was aptly named, since coal used by residents was unloaded there

as well as hay, firewood and barreled fish. It was owned by the Arnold Line system for more

than 100 years, but before that belonged to Captain James Bennett and was known as

Bennett’s Wharf.

It is one of the most attractive sites on the waterfront and deserves preservation so that all visitors

throughout the coming years can enjoy seeing such a beautiful remnant of Mackinac’s past.

Handcrafted

The stern of one of the gorgeous wooden boats handcrafted at the Coal Dock barn.

Photos of the Arnold Dock will be featured in the next posting.

Mackinac Beidge from Lower Peninsula

You can’t truly experience Northern Michigan without crossing the “Gateway to the Upper

Peninsula” – the Mackinac Bridge, and visitors to Mackinac Island miss out

if they don’t visit St. Ignace and enjoy this historic town’s natural harbor.

A sailboat enters the St. Ignace harbor with Mackinac Island in the distance beyond.
A sailboat enters the St. Ignace harbor with Mackinac Island in the distance beyond.

For centuries, Native Americans, French, British and, of course, our own citizens have enjoyed the beauty of St. Ignace’s natural harbor of refuge. After crossing the bridge, visitors turn east toward town.  The road makes a curve to the left and goes downhill, opening to the most amazing vista ahead – the aquamarine waters of Lake Huron, wrapped on three sides by a pristine harbor – St. Ignace.  Chief’s office looks out on the bay and he often hitches a ride to the island on the Coast Guard boats or the local ferries.

Star Line Ferry skims by the St. Ignace Marina

A Star Line Ferry skims by the St. Ignace Marina

The Mackinac Bridge provides a marvelous panorama of the Straits of Mackinac and lakes Michigan

and Huron. Freighters are often seen passing underneath and Mackinac Island gleams to the east.

Mackinac Bridge near fort

Romance permeates Mackinac Island.

Part of the allure is the architecture both large and small – especially

the intricate and intimate structures scattered throughout the landscape and

enhanced with floral displays.

Pergola in the woods

This privately owned “pergola” sits in a field of blossoming ground cover in the woods

in the Annex behind the West Bluff.  Todd, Tawny’s friend who is desperately in love with her,

lives in the annex with his parents.

Entrance to Grand Hotel's Jockey Club

Commercial establishments add embellished structures to enhance their properties.

This intriguing arch beckons visitors to the Grand Hotel’s Jockey Club restaurant.

The outdoor seating there provides dramatic views of the golf course and the Straits of Mackinac.

Inn on Market Street

Visitors to the island need to explore beyond Main Street. This gateway leads to a popular bed and

breakfast located on Market Street. Guests at the Metivier Inn love to sit on the porch

or in the Adirondack lawn chairs to relax and socialize.

In Discovered – The Cross of Lorraine, the main characters are often travelling

back and forth to Mackinac Island on the Star Line ferries.

A chapter in Book Two, Witnessed – Measures of Love (to be published in late summer)

explains a little about this ferry line’s fascinating boats.

Star Line Ferry's Dramatic Rooster Tail

Here’s a preview of the text:

 “The ferry was pretty empty since the high tourist season begins Memorial Day weekend. Tawny and Takoda had the top deck to themselves. They waved hello to the captain and sat near the bow, close to the side rails, and looked on as the practiced crew flung the lines off the dock pilings.

The captain gunned the engines and quickly swung the boat around to face their destination, Mackinac Island. After they gained speed, he turned on the hydro pump that sucks up lake water, then shoots it out at the stern in a large plume of water.

Star Line is known for those towering “rooster tails.” Children and adults are all amused by the playful effect of the towering sprays.”

Star Line Approaches Dock

If you’re lucky enough to have “Scut” crewing (as seen on bow)

you’ll have great entertainment. This energetic wonder adds excitement to

the trip from St. Ignace to Mackinac and always gets folks laughing on the way back.

When Tawny and Takoda paddled their kayaks on the north side of the island,

they passed by Arch Rock.

Arch Rock - Mackinac Island

The dramatic limestone formation, Arch Rock, has a huge fan club.

And why not?  It’s size and beauty are intriguing and so is the view of the lake, 145 feet below.

There is an ancient legend that the arch was formed by the tears of a young Indian

woman who fell in love with a native “sky person”

and was forced by her father to stand upon a large rock until she

promised never to see her true love again.  Her tears slowly melted

the rock and formed an arch.  Ultimately, her “sky love’ came and

took her up to the stars to live in eternal happiness.

Three Work Horses at Arch Rock

This sturdy team of work horses from Mackinac Island Carriage Tours takes a break

in front of Arch Rock. They just pulled a wagon full

of tourists up the hill and don’t look as exhausted as the people

who biked or walked there.

Mackinac Island Carriage Tours

Another team arrives. Their handlers say that when the horses

arrive on the island in spring, they can’t wait to get  to work.  They truly get bored

with relaxing all winter and want to expend that energy.

Horse carriage on Mackinac Island

Carriages like this, with the fringe on top, line up in front of Fort Mackinac,

waiting to take tourists for a spin around the island. The drivers have

great tales to tell, but it’s the horses that people never forget.

 

 

 

Spent too many days enjoying Mackinac this past Memorial weekend

and didn’t post on blog. There are many new photos to share, however.

Spring flowers are resplendent throughout the island.

Some planted – others put down roots on their own.

Grand Hotel's Greenhouse

The Grand Hotel greenhouse is filled with geraniums ready for planting.

Grand Hotel Flowers to Plant

Tons of flowers are tucked behind the Grand Hotel’s greenhouse.

Soon they’ll grace the hotel’s many gardens. With such an

ideal climate, they’ll quadruple in size in a matter of weeks.

Grand Hotel walking paths

Island visitors can enjoy the walking paths tucked into the woods near the
Grand Hotel’s swimming pool.  Beautiful in all seasons, but best in springtime.

Grand Hotel's Winding Paths on Mackinac

Tawny’s grandmother, Mrs. Randolph, takes pride in her gardens. Chief’s trained eyes

notice everything and, even under the stress of the investigation, he makes a point to compliment her.

Horses Pulling Wagon in Winter at Mackinac Island

What is Mackinac Island Like in Winter?

That was one of the questions asked last week when a winter scene

from “Discovered – The Cross of Lorraine” was mentioned.

The answer? Very different.

Mackinac ISland's Main Street in Winter

Yes, motorized vehicles, snowmobiles that is, are allowed.

But bikes are used too, as long as possible.

With the awnings, flags, signage and colorful storefronts gone,

the streets look quite bare.

Snowy streets lead to lake at Mackinac Island

But the peaceful blanket of snow makes the island even more beautiful.

Especially when contrasted with the brilliant blue skies and stormy lake waters.

If you haven’t seen the video, “The Ice Bridge – Mackinac Island’s Hidden Season,” you should.

Available at the Island Book Store on Mackinac. It is stunning.

 

Family drives carriage at Mackinac

Mackinac Island is all about horses.  The amazing strength and curious

personalities of these marvelous animals never fail to charm visitors.

A “drive yourself’ carriage ride always provides a surprise or two and

is not difficult. These horses not only know the way they’re headed,

they know which horse they want to follow. And you’d better listen,

or they’ll vocalize loudly till you shape up!

 Tub of clean water

Island horses love their work, but better yet, what follows.

A nice tub full of clear clean water and then…

Jack's Livery Horse Bath

…. a cool shower, scrub down, food and rest.

Jack's Livery Stable

The above photos were taken at Jack’s Livery Stable on Mackinac Island.

When the carriage returned to the stable, the horse was immediately greeted

with affection by the staff. In “Discovered – The Cross of Lorraine,”

Tawny takes a romantic winter ride with Takoda. This time, the horses pull a sleigh.

 

Main Street Mackinac Island

One of the fun things to do when visiting Mackinac in springtime is to walk

Main and Market streets and observe the changes.

Storefronts, signage, awnings, and other architectural details continuously improve.

Scoops

In Book Two Tawny visits her favorite bakery on Main.

She buys an apple turnover to bring to Takoda as a surprise.

But the tables turn….badly.

Starline

The reader isn’t the only one shattered. It’s hard for the author to see

bad things happen to her favorite characters.

Mudminnow Press

Independent publisher located on the Keweenaw Peninsula

bahamiantrek

Homeschooling family on an adventure of a lifetime