Tag Archive: Mackinac Island


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.

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PROMISED COVER FINAL WITH MATILDA small copy

“Ice Blue” plots revenge from her prison cell, while the “shadow men” from Books One and Two join forces in a blockbuster criminal event that impacts Northern Michigan. If that isn’t enough, Tawny finds herself torn between the two men in her life. Several new interesting characters emerge and life changes for Tawny’s mother. As an author, I feel very close to my characters and empathize greatly with our heroine’s tough choices. Life is jagged and uncertain and sometimes our hearts must break.

Both Novels Available in paperback and electronic formats

Both Novels Available in paperback and electronic formats

Wonder why there haven’t been many postings lately?

Well, besides breaking to enjoy the last days of summer in the UP, I’ve been wrapping

up Book Two of the Mackinac Trilogy.  “Witnessed – Measures of Love” is

now in final edit and should be available soon. Here is a sneak peek at the cover art.

Witnessed COVER

Witnessed Back Cover

If you’d like to see the beginnings of the cover for Book Three, let me know.

I don’t have the model shots yet to Photo Shop into it, but the background shot

and title and sub-title are ready. Oh yes, and I have to finish writing the book.

Seven chapters so far and, as you know, I like to write while flying to distract me from

the fact that I am in a little metal capsule high above the clouds, trusting pilots I know nothing about.

And I am flying soon! Always great to write when fear is present and emotions are high.

Adds that extra verve to the novel!

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.

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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?

 

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.

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.

 

 

 

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.

Winter Dry Dock is Over

Even though it snowed a little yesterday, May 12th, at Mackinac,

the ferry boats are all out of dry dock now and

busy taking visitors and residents back and forth

from both St. Ignace and Mackinac City.

Photo Stitched Catmarans

This photo was taken several winters ago in St. Ignace.

Actually, it is three photos “stitched” together.

Word is that a certain young family cruised over to Mackinac this weekend

and their sailboat was the only one in the harbor.

Mackinac sailboat first

This photo was taken last year, when they also were the first to dock at the island.

Nothing better than an early glimpse of Mackinac in spring.

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/