Welcome to the Tag Team Tag Team Event & Giveaway!
This is where myself (Sherry at fundinmental) and Laura at fuonlyknew tag team authors and their books. We share our reviews and giveaways, giving you two perspsectives of the book and two chances to win!
The events in The Ice Bridge by Kathryn Meyer Griffith take place on Mackinac Island, and since I am originally a Michigander and I am very familiar with the place. It was just one more reason that I was drawn to The Ice Bridge.
Now…Kathryn Meyer Griffith has something to share about the book. Welcome, Kathryn…
The Writing of THE ICE BRIDGE
By Kathryn Meyer Griffith
In 2003 my husband, Russell, and I were celebrating our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary and decided to return to quaint Mackinac Island in Michigan. We’d been there a few years before, but just for a quick afternoon stopover on our way home from visiting family in Wisconsin. We’d loved the Island for the few hours we’d been on it and promised ourselves we’d go there again someday. So when we began to plan for our anniversary vacation we traveled back for a longer stay of six days. I’d made reservations months ahead at the Iroquois Hotel on the water’s edge of Lake Huron and when the time came, after packing up everything we’d need, we jumped in the car and took off.
The Island doesn’t allow cars, only bicycles, horses and snowmobiles (in the winter) so we left our vehicle in a Mackinaw City parking lot on the mainland and boarded the ferry that would take us across the water to the Island, our luggage and two bicycles in tow. It was much cheaper to bring our own bikes instead of rent them there.
It was late August and the Island was beautiful. Crowded with colorful, fragrant flowers, clomping horses, whizzing bicycles and, of course, lots of tourists. Fudgies as they were called because they came, purchased and devoured so much of the little town’s fudge.
The Iroquois Hotel was lovely with its bright pastel colors and friendly service; a fancy in-house restaurant and our room with its wall of windows facing the lake. A lake that to me was as large as an ocean…because it went on forever.
Our six days there were heaven. We rode our bikes, peddling around the horses, carriages, and equine taxis, around the eight-mile in circumference island and enjoyed the sights. The friendly people. The breathtaking views of water, boats and woods. The fudge. We sped along West Bluff Road to the ritzy Grand Hotel (made famous in the 1980 romantic time travel movie Somewhere in Time with Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve), ate the scrumptious and lavish tourists’ brunch there and afterwards, so full we could barely ride our bicycles, we gawked at the magnificent Victorian mansions with their elaborate gardens lining Lake Shore Drive.
We visited Fort Mackinac and listened amusedly to people talk about the ghost soldier some had reported seeing when twilight began to fall. My husband, a photography buff, even slipped out of our hotel room in the middle of one foggy night to get artsy pictures with our new digital camera of the fort, hoping to catch the ghost. He captured no ghost, but plenty of stunning photographs.
One night we even sat, spellbound, as a Lake Huron thunderstorm pounded wildly at our wall of windows. It was as if we were gazing at a tumultuous ocean.
Then one day someone, in a cubbyhole of a local hamburger joint, over our lunch, said something about the ice bridge, as the islanders called it. During the dead of winter, when the straits froze over, it was a narrow path that stretched about four miles across the ice that separated Mackinac Island from the St. Ignace mainland. The locals would drive in old Christmas trees along the path to show the way, to show it was now safe. To them the ice bridge meant freedom to come and go for up to two months a year without paying ferryboat or airplane fees. To me it sparked an idea for my next book…what if someone crossed the ice bridge one wintry night and fell through the ice? And disappeared…maybe even died?
I started asking questions of the locals: Had someone ever fallen through the ice and perished? Turns out over the years, that yes, some people actually had. Fallen in. When the ice wasn’t firm enough. Or when they’d gone off the solid marked path. Or in a snowstorm. Some on snowmobiles. Some were saved, dragged out, and some had not been. Hmmm.
That’s all it took for the book to begin forming in my head. The rest of the trip I looked at the Island with different eyes. A writer’s eyes. Writer’s ears. I filed away the memories and the home-grown stories recounted to me. Though most of my earlier books were romantic horror, I’d written a couple of straight contemporary murder mysteries, Scraps of Paper and All Things Slip Away, a few years before and Avalon Books had published them. I’d quite enjoyed writing them.
So I thought I’d write another one with Mackinac Island and its real and fictional ghost tales as the background. I’d show the beauty of the island, changing of the seasons, what it was like in summer, fall and winter (tons of snow and ice), and describe the historical landmarks. I’d spotlight the quirky close-knit inhabitants and have the protagonist gather their imaginary spirit stories to put into the ghost book she was writing. I’d make the Island nearly a main character itself with its enigmas, water, snow, ice and fog.
The novel would be about a woman, Charlotte, jilted in love, coming back to heal and visit her poignant childhood playground, and her lonely Aunt Bess. She’d meet an Island cop, Matt, and together they’d not only fall in love but would embark on a great dangerous adventure together. There’d be a spunky old lady, Hannah, living next door and the four would be great friends. Until the old lady disappears on a winter’s night while crossing the ice bridge and the mystery would begin. Had Hannah been murdered by someone….how exactly…by whom…and why? The remainder of the book would be the unraveling of that mystery as the central characters try to keep from being killed themselves by the devious murderer behind Hannah’s death. I’d embed the Island’s so-called ghost tales throughout the book to spice up the story even more. So it’d be a romantic ghostly murder mystery. Ah, ha. I couldn’t wait to begin.
When my husband and I returned home, refreshed and happy, I started it right away, with the memories of lovely Mackinac still fresh in my mind. Gosh, how I’d loved that Island. A tiny piece of old-fashioned paradise. The book came easily to me. And so The Ice Bridge was born. Now with a stunning new cover by Dawne Dominique and self-published for the first time along with my other 21 novels (going back to my 1985 The Heart of the Rose), in eBook, paperback and Audible audio book, it’s out in the world again for everyone to read and, I hope, enjoy.
Written this first day of December 2015 by the author Kathryn Meyer Griffith
The Ice Bridge by Kathryn Meyer Griffith is a paranormal suspense thriller that captured me from the opening pages. Kathryn’s ability to spin a tale, writing about realistic characters with a familiar location, Mackinac Island, makes this especially desirable for me.
During the winter, an Ice Bridge forms, allowing the islanders, and anyone else, to more easily navigate to and fro. It made me think of the Ice Road Truckers, who deliver goods to out of the way places that would not have the supplies without the Ice Road. Mackinac Island has a tight knit community and they become even more so in the winter.
Charlotte has come back to Mackinac Island and her Aunt Bess, bringing with her a broken heart. They are both hurting and so much alike, living together may help heal the wounds. Charlotte is an independent woman and doesn’t want to get involved again, but…
Along comes police Lieutenant Mac, a kind man that would make a great catch and has a sad story of his own. I like some romance with my thrills, so I am glad to meet him.
Hannah, who goes missing, has a special talent. They call her The Ghost Lady and she makes me think of Melinda on The Ghost Whisperer. I love that Kathryn Meyer Griffith mixes a mystery with the paranormal giving the story that something extra that I crave.
We definitely have a mystery, but I am drawn into the characters worlds and their life struggles. I am very concerned for their welfare, knowing Kathryn Meyer Griffith has a habit of killing off some of her characters. The writing details their misfortunes, leaving me wanting good things for them, not the bad that keeps coming. I like characters who are flawed and damaged. I want to see them made whole again.
The detailed descriptions of the surroundings bring back fond memories of my visits to Mackinac Island and make it easy to image the isolation, the lack of people and cars, the silence so deep you can hear the snow fall. I want to be there, minus the murder.
There is more going on than broken hearts and murder, and the suspense rises as the killer gets closer and will stop at nothing to get what he wants.
I know the writing is excellent, when I already have the story figured out, but I can’t put the book down anyway.
I received a copy of The Ice Bridge from Kathryn Meyer Griffith in return for an honest review.
AMAZON BLURB: She’ll fall in love again…with a man and the island. Charlotte returns to her Aunt Bess and Mackinac Island, a quaint retreat that welcomes summer tourists and allows no cars, to renew herself and write about the island’s ghosts.
She’s come to help Bess with her heartache, an ended love with Shaun, and to renew a friendship with neighbor Hannah.
In winter Mackinac closes down and everyone looks forward to the ice bridge that freezes across the Straits of Mackinac.
Until Hannah disappears into the icy waters crossing it.
Everyone says it’s an accident. But Charlotte and her admirer cop friend, Mac, don’t think so. Something isn’t right. Hannah was too smart to go off the path.
So it’s murder…but why…how…by whom?
In the end, it’s Mac–and perhaps Hannah’s ghost–who saves Charlotte and Bess’s lives when the killer decides they’re too close to the truth and tries to kill them, too.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Since childhood I’ve been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. But I’d already begun writing novels at 21, over forty-four years ago now, and have had twenty-two (ten romantic horror, two horror novels, two romantic SF horror, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel, one historical romance, two thrillers, and four murder mysteries) previous novels, two novellas and twelve short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books/Eternal Press; and I’ve self-published my last ten novels with Amazon Kindle Direct and my Dinosaur Lake novels and Spookie Town Mysteries (Scraps of Paper, All Things Slip Away and Ghosts Beneath Us) are my best-sellers.
I’ve been married to Russell for thirty-seven years; have a son and two grandchildren and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. We have a quirky cat, Sasha, and the three of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk/classic rock singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die…or until my memory goes.
2012 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *Finalist* for her horror novel The Last Vampire ~ 2014 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS * Finalist * for her thriller novel Dinosaur Lake.
*All Kathryn Meyer Griffith’s books can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/ld4jlow
*All her Audible.com audio books here: http://tinyurl.com/oz7c4or
Novels and short stories from Kathryn Meyer Griffith:
Evil Stalks the Night, The Heart of the Rose, Blood Forged, Vampire Blood, The Last Vampire (2012 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS*Finalist* in their Horror category), Witches, The Nameless One erotic horror short story, The Calling, Scraps of Paper (The First Spookie Town Murder Mystery), All Things Slip Away (The Second Spookie Town Murder Mystery), Ghosts Beneath Us (The Third Spookie Town Murder Mystery), Egyptian Heart, Winter’s Journey, The Ice Bridge, Don’t Look Back, Agnes, A Time of Demons and Angels, The Woman in Crimson, Human No Longer, Four Spooky Short Stories Collection, Forever and Always Romantic Novella, Night Carnival Short Story, Dinosaur Lake (2014 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS*Finalist* in their Thriller/Adventure category), Dinosaur Lake II: Dinosaurs Arising and Dinosaur Lake III: Infestation
Kathryn is offering three (3) prizes. Winners will have their choice: an ebook or FREE Audible Audio Book code.
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