The jewel of the north, indeed. Isn't it simple to see why I would choose to base a few of my books there? Mackinac is unbelievably beautiful, with sparkling crystal blue water, and balsam and fir, pine and limestone.
I've said before that I'm not as big of a fan of the sea, I much prefer the fresh water of the lake, and the water in the straits doesn't get any clearer or fresher. I realized on this latest trip up north that I have spent a majority of my life's worth of birthdays on the island. It was only fitting then to be on Mackinac for the big 3-0. Maybe because I was also there for so many other birthdays, I also felt like I was 3, and 13 and 22, and all the ages in between. Memories of riding behind my dad in my baby bike seat and my hair blowing in the wind on the ferry. Or the time when I was 20 when my mother rolled her eyes as I used a really terrible fake ID to get a daiquiri, only for me to leave the ID at the restaurant, and I not drink most of the too-sugary drink.
Biking around Mackinac is a tourist highlight, but I prefer to bike through. The bike trails within the island are smoothly paved and take you through tunnels of trees with sparkles of sunshine falling through like snowflakes. The scent of balsam is so strong and the sounds of the modern world so far away that it is easy to forget what time you are in, or that time exists at all.
No cars, cellular reception that is spotty at best, fudge and horses and buggies and carriage rides through the dark woods on a cool night. A quick bottle of champagne at the top of the cupola of the Grand Hotel and the sounds of the waves and the lights from the bridge as I swing on the playground of the tiny island school.
Mackinac, a gem and a jewel, and a sparkling beacon of memories past and present. No wonder I love writing about such a magical place.
Links to my current books set in Mackinac, and don't fret, the last book in the trilogy will be out in 2017.
Sunlight Serenades of Wind & Iron, Book 3, coming late 2017