Category: Native Americans


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

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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

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?

 

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

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.

 

 

 

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:

http://www.mackinacislandfestivalofthehorse.org/

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:

http://www.mackinacbridge.org/

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.

WEB IMG_8107 SMALL

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 Amazon.com.

SEE: http://www.amazon.com/Discovered-The-Cross-Lorraine-Volume/dp/1475176333

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

FOR MUCH MORE INFORMATION ON THE NOVEL AND TO ORDER IT, PLEASE VISIT:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Discovered+-+The+Cross+of+Lorraine

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.

Mudminnow Press

Independent publisher located on the Keweenaw Peninsula

bahamiantrek

Homeschooling family on an adventure of a lifetime