They sat in companionable silence, watching the sky catch fire as the sun fell into the sea. Clouds turned a mewling pink, then a hot scarlet, and finally a glowing orange. The water mirrored the vibrant blaze in breathless closure of the night. Scant starlight pierced the darkness. The seaside seemed so placid, yet it was twisted with trauma.
-- Excerpt from The Tide Turns
I’ve lived a good portion of my life along the cliffs of Lake Michigan—one of the Great Lakes in the midwestern United States. This massive body of water covers over twenty-two thousand square miles, offering an unbound view that mimics the ocean. It’s no wonder that my stories are nestled within a seaside community. I’ve seen countless sunrises and sunsets along the shore, trapped in that moment of transition on the thin edge of dawn or the verge of night when the sun turns the water into liquid fire with an eloquent palette of colors. It’s a heart-stopping experience.
It is very calming to walk along Lake Michigan’s shoreline. I collect her polished sea glass, listen to the endless shushing of her waves, and watch sailboats dancing across her surface. This lake may seem placid, but dive down to the bottom and you’ll find a graveyard of over two thousand shipwrecks—yes, the water truly is twisted with trauma. I cannot imagine the total number of lives lost beneath the cold spray. Last autumn, I tumbled across a few graves in a pocket-sized littoral cemetery that cradles two, unidentified sailors who were washed ashore in the mid-1800s. No one should die unsung, so I paused to remember them in my first book:
Smuggling was a dangerous business both on water and on land. “There’s a few of them from the Isle of Man buried here beside St. Elwicks, their bodies washed ashore with none to claim them. It’s a sad thing to be buried with not a soul to mourn your passing."
-- Excerpt from The Stars Prevail
For a stunning view of Lake Michigan’s sunken ships and to learn about underwater archaeology, try boarding this website.
This blog is where I post my inspirations for each book in the Barrington Bay series as well as behind-the-scenes tips, pics, and other tidbits. Feel free to click 'Read More' for in-depth posts.