Tag Archive: Michigan


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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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.

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 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.

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.

 

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:

https://twitter.com/BrightonAuthor

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.

https://twitter.com/BrightonAuthor/status/332258719737991169/photo/1

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/

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.

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 Amazon.com, 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.