Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Guest Blog with Michigan Author Jane Toombs

I live in a truly divided state—Michigan. Before the Mighty Mac, the Mackinac Bridge was built, the Upper Peninsula was separated from the Lower Peninsula by the Straits of Mackinac. To get to one from the other, one had to take a ferry across the miles of water separating the peninsulas. But the division was and is more than water or a bridge. Though they may deny it, the truth is the U.P. as we Yoopers call it, is an unwanted stepchild.

It started way back when Ohio and Michigan, both of which wanted to become states, couldn’t agree on a boundary line. So the US made the decision for them, giving Ohio the contested land and city. As a consolation prize, Michigan was given the U.P and so they both became states.
But the Lower Peninsula didn’t want the U.P-- a rugged land of immense trees and no settlements to speak of, if you exclude the Indian villages. Also no way to get there except by water, by sailing up Lake Michigan or Lake Huron—with no ports to dock at once you got there, except for the fort at Mackinac Island which sits in the Straits.

So we Yoopers are a bit paranoid. This word was not common until after the Mighty Mac was built, and it seemed obvious that we, being in the U.P, were U.P.ers which soon became Yoopers. Obviously, then , those below the bridge had to named Trolls.

I live in the far Western end of the U.P. not far from Wisconsin. In fact, so close the time zone changes at the border of the two states We’re EST and Wisconsin is CST. Ontonagon, my tiny village, borders on Lake Superior and we live just across the road from its south shore. The village is pretty much surrounded by woods, except for the lake, so we do see a far amount of wildlife such as bears, foxes, deer, wild turkeys and such. We do have both coyotes and wolves here, but though we’ve seen coyotes out on the lake ice in winter, we’ve yet to see a wolf. Both a moose and a cougar have been spotted in nearby towns.

The area is really beautiful in all seasons.

I am a Michigan author now because the Viking from my past and I have returned to our old home town to live. I first was a California author, then a New York author, then a Nevada author before I cane back where my roots are,.

Many of my current books are set in the U.P. I call this area North Of Nonesuch, and have an anthology which contains paranormal suspense romance novellas set here. All except one which is the first of my Turquoise series. I set the Turquoise Mask in New Mexico for obvious reasons, but wanted to keep it with all the rest of the Turquoise series.

Recent or soon-to be published books include the following:

Null and Void from Red Rose Publishing was the launch book for the ongoing Shadowed Hearts Gothic Series.

Darkness Of Dragons Trilogy from Devine Destinies: Book I, Dragon’s Pearl. Book II. Dragon’s Diamond. Book III Dragon’s Stone. The first are out and the last will be out in September
Lady Luck, the launch book for Champagne Book’s new In The Cards Tarot series—out in September.

Unwise, the first book in my new Underworld Series will be out from Eternal Press in October. The second book, Unwanted. comes out in January 2011.

My older books and all of the above that are already available can be found there, with excerpts and buy links. Also my entire backlist.


Wendy Marcus said...

Hi Jane!
How wonderful to have lived in so many places. I'm sure your stint in NY was the best, right? (HVRWA and all!)
Thank you for sharing.

Margaret West said...

Wow, you are well travelled! Good luck with all your novels.

booklover0226 said...


These books sound interesting; I look forward in reading them.

Tracey D

Victoria Roder said...

It was fun to learn where the term Yoopers came from!

Estella said...

Very interesting post! I did not know where the Yooper handle came from.

kissinoak at verizon dot net

Sandy said...


I found your post interesting. I don't believe the saying that you can't return home. You definitely can.

Your area in the UP sounds beautiful.

Allison Knight said...


Fascinating, and I'm glad to know where Yooper came from. Also,
I didn't know about the troll bit, I thought we were Michiganders. Definitely, the UP is a beautiful part of Michigan.

Good luck with all the new books.