Category: Mackinac Island

Up until now, “tweets” consisted of the sweet call of birds in Brighton,

Brevort and Mackinac.

But as the excitement built as we crossed the Mackinac Bridge this weekend,

I realized why some folks “tweet.”

I just wanted to share the thrill with all those who love Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

and Mackinac Island.

So here is a photo taken while driving on the bridge.

To follow my Tweets (there won’t be many, I promise)

you can go to this Twitter address and follow me:

It snowed 15 minutes after we crossed into St. Ignace.

It snowed 15 minutes after we crossed into St. Ignace.

This is the address for this particular posting.


A Quiet Lane

Tawny’s grandparents’, the Randolphs, like many others on the island,

first lived there as summer residents.  They purchased a small

Victorian cottage down a quiet village lane such as pictured above.

The family enjoyed weekends and summer vacations there,

while their real home was in St. Ignace, where their son, Roy,

Tawny’s father, attended school.

But after Mr. Randolph retired, he winterized the

cottage and created a beautiful year-round home.

Tawny always loved visiting them and when her mother was

temporarily transferred to Germany, Tawny was thrilled to move in.

Of course that meant she had to attend the small high school on

the island. Little did she know how what an amazing and, sadly,

threatening future she faced.

And so the story begins…..

Grand Hotel Team

Readers have asked for more photos of horses on the island.

Of course, because Mackinac is all about horses – those privately owned, those enjoyed

for an hour or two by visitors, and those who work hauling supplies.

And are they loved!

Just as Tawny loved her “Tamarack,” the people who work with the horses

on Mackinac treat them as cherished friends.  They know their personalities and

little quirks and take great care of them.

In the above photo, the Grand Hotel team stands proudly in front of the historic hotel.

Carrying the Load

This strong team knows how to maneuver the busy streets, haul tremendous weights with ease,

can back up into tight corners and put in a hard day’s work.

Anyone interested in the horses of Mackinac should not miss the annual Festival of the Horse.

Please visit:

Mackinac Bridge

When the Tawny’s grandparents, the Randolphs, were young, they had to cross the Straits

of Mackinac by car ferry.  That’s because the Mackinac Bridge

didn’t open to traffic till 1957.

The bridge will play a major role in Book Three of the Trilogy. Unfortunately,

the events that take place there will not resemble the peaceful scene above.

 The Mackinac Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the world, if you

measure between cable anchorages.

The total length is five miles, though it doesn’t seem that far when you drive across.

The folks who walk across it on the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk

probably feel a little differently about the length.

You can learn a lot more about the bridge at:

Dapple Greys

When Tawny was younger, she kept her horse, Tamarack, behind her grandparent’s home

on Mackinac Island. But when her father was killed in Afghanistan,

life took a sudden turn and her world began to fall apart.

As she and her mother began to heal and rebuild their lives,

Tawny eventually returned to riding. Since horses and bicycles are the principle

means of transportation on the island, many residents keep horses in corrals behind their homes.

Cindy's Riding Stable

There are several well-maintained stables on the island. Visitors can rent horses there.

St. Ignace Sunset

St. Ignace’s yacht harbor is easily seen from a distance now that a

new lighthouse is installed at the end of the public pier.

The city itself is important to the novel. Chief’s Tribal Police Station is located north of St. Ignace.

When Chief travels to visit Tawny’s mother, Laura, on the island, he either takes the Star Line ferry or

hitches a ride on the Coast Guard’s launch.

.St  Ignace Light Star Line boat

In this photo, the Star Line ferry leaves the Railroad Dock and turns toward the Main Dock.

The landscape of St. Ignace changed forever in the predawn hours of August 3rd, 2012.

 The foundation of the old railroad track elevator for the rail ferry “Chief Wawatam”

(seen on the left side of this photo) gave way and

left a pile of iron and timber rubble in its wake.

It was a distinguishing feature and historical remnant on the city’s waterfront. The actual

historical figure, Chief Wawatam, and his heroic actions are mentioned in the novel.

Mission Point Spring

One of the novel’s most romantic scenes takes place at Mission Point Resort,

but not in the springtime.

It just seems the right time of year to lift our spirits with

signs of springtime, while we are waiting for the northern snows to melt.


tulips and grand

A very happy Easter to all who are following this blog!

If you live in Michigan you know that the tulip plants are just starting to break through the soil.

The good news is that you still have time to plan a trip to Mackinac to revel

in the island’s beauty in the springtime.

The Grand Hotel gardens feature thousands of beautiful tulips.

As for the novel, could you have a story that takes place on the island without a scene featuring the Grand?

In the story, Chief realizes there might be someone working there, a friend, who could help him solve

the mystery of Tawny’s disappearance in Jamaica. Their interesting conversation

takes place in the Grand’s Audubon Room – a warm

inviting room that no one visiting the Grand should miss.

The Grand Hotel's Audubon Room

In honor of a very special 16-year old’s birthday, (That’s you. Tillie), the novel Discovered – The Cross of Lorraine is officially available at


Think of a modern day Nancy Drew type of heroine, add the excitement and suspense of hidden treasure such as in National Treasure, set the novel in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Mackinac Island, incorporate Native American heroes – and unite them in one intense love story, and you begin to sense the nature of this novel.

PLEASE SCROLL down through all the past postings on this blog to get more of a sense of the novel’s setting and plot.

Discovered - Book Cover


Discovered - Back Cover

Rendevous at the Straits PowWow

As Tawny is held captive, memories of her times with Takoda help boost her spirits.

Each time “Ice Blue” taunts her, Tawny’s mind retreats to Takoda and

how intensely she loves him. Every touch, every word is replayed in her mind.

In one chapter, she recalls how proud she was to stand at Takoda’s side at the PowWow in St. Ignace.

The Rendezvous at the Straits is held each year at St. Ignace and is sponsored by the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians, the St. Ignace Chamber Of Commerce, and the Michilimackinac Historical Society. This year it will be held Friday, August 23, through Sunday, August 25, 2013,  at the Father Marquette Memorial Park.

Historical reenactors

Historical re-enactors portray French traders and Native Americans living in harmony.

The Star Line Ferry

Although Tawny has moved in with her grandparents on Mackinac Island, she often shuttles back and forth to the mainland at St. Ignace. In the novel, she and her mother travel on the Star Line Ferry. A popular choice of tourists, these ferries sport a large plume of water spraying out from the stern.  This distinct, playful touch can be spotted from miles away.

Rooster Tail

Star Line ferries and all ferry lines pick-up tourists at St. Ignace and Mackinac City.

Zooming across the Straits is one of the fun highlights of trips to the island.

Little Stone Church


Little Stone Church is a popular choice for a romantic wedding on Mackinac Island.

Most brides ride to the wedding ceremony in a elegant carriage. After the ceremony, the bride and groom follow the centuries old tradition of parading through Mackinac’s scenic roads in the elaborate white carriage. Tourists cheer and wave, congratulating the happy couple.


In the Mackinac Trilogy, a wedding will take place there,

but the actual bride and groom will surprise the readers.

Sunset at Mackinac's Harbor

Is there any better setting for a romantic novel than Mackinac Island?

Our heroine, Tawny Randolph, knows the island well, having spent

many summers at her grandparent’s home there.

Suddenly transferred to the very small high school on the island for her senior year,

Tawny suddenly feels like an outsider. But once she meets Takoda, everything changes – in more

ways than either could have predicted.

Rose Hall Plantation, JamaicaYoung Tawny’s (fictional) abduction takes place at Rose Hall, Jamaica – an intriguing plantation with a fascinating history.

Built in 1770 by John Palmer and his wife, it eventually became the residence of their grandnephew, John Rose Palmer. In 1820, Palmer married Annie, a beautiful but feisty English girl. Feisty may be the word used on Rose Hall’s web site, but that’s like calling a tornado a slight breeze. She was quite brutal and was rumored to be possessed with “black magic” powers.

Annie not only murdered her first husband, as mistress of the plantation, Annie did away with two more husbands and countless lovers. “The White Witch of Rose Hall” has fascinated generations, and even today, there are those who claim to see Annie passing through the Great House.

The novel paints a vivid picture of the estate and explains why it was one of the very few plantations to survive the devastating slave rebellion of 1831 – 1832.

When you walk through the halls, you can just sense Rose Hall’s macabre history – a perfect setting for Tawny’s violent kidnapping.

First Edition of the Mackinac Trilogy

First Edition of the Mackinac Trilogy

The novel Discovered – The Cross of Lorraine is scheduled to be published on, on March 30th, in honor of a very special girl’s 16th birthday.  Written for pre-teen and teenage girls, it grabs the attention of readers of all ages.

Think of a modern day Nancy Drew type of heroine, add the excitement and suspense of hidden treasure such as in National Treasure, set the novel in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Mackinac Island, incorporate Native American heroes – and unite them in one intense love story, and you begin to sense the nature of this novel.

Tawny Randolph, the heroine and central character is 17 years old – independent, clever, and athletic, yet softly beautiful and loving. Her tale is fast-moving, exciting, and inspirational.

While vacationing in Jamaica with her mother, Tawny is forcefully abducted by the wealthy son of a notorious leader of the Russian mafia. Convinced that she holds the key to enormous treasure hidden centuries earlier, the Russian and his terrifying conspirators force her to lead them to a secret cave on a remote island in the Great Lakes region.

As this captivating and romantic tale unfolds, so does the intense and stirring love story of Tawny and her heroic Native American friend, Takoda.  The timeless magnetism and unique atmosphere of Mackinac Island serve as a breathtaking backdrop to this suspenseful tale of ancient legends, hidden treasure, tender romance and one girl’s daring bravery.

Mudminnow Press

Independent publisher located on the Keweenaw Peninsula


Homeschooling family on an adventure of a lifetime