Tag Archive: Tawny


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

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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.”

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.

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.

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/

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.