U.S. Virtual Road Trip- Day 22- Michigan & #Giveaway

Yesterday we where in Massachusetts with author Daniela Ark, check it out here

Today we are in Michigan with author Katie Van Ark, let's see what awaits us.

Michigan is a fantastic place to visit. The west coast, where I'm from, boasts drop-dead gorgeous beaches. From the shore, Lake Michigan looks as big as an ocean – you can't see across it. My family and I love visiting state parks and our favorite is Ludington State Park. The park has an enormous beach front and you can tube down the river into the lake. There's also canoing and paddle boats on the smaller Hamlin Lake, where you can explore small islands. Plus there are miles of hiking trails through all kinds of terrains. If you like history over nature, Mackinac Island offers many historical attractions. Since no cars are allowed on the island – you take a ferry to get there, it feels really authentic, too. If you're more into the cultural scene, Grand Rapids hosts the Art Prize competition every fall. Artists from all over the world participate and their work is on display throughout the city.

Michigan is a pretty big state with a lot of cities and therefore a lot of restaurants. You could visit my hometown for a week and still not hit up all my favorites! But if you go to any of the places above... In Ludington you must eat at House of Flavors. Classic diner food and too many ice cream flavors to count. Bonus if you eat a Pig special (4 scoop banana split) and get the souvenir pin. On Mackinac Island, skip dinner and just get fudge from any of the downtown shops. In Grand Rapids, the Brewery Vivant is not to be missed. This restaurant was converted from a funeral parlor chapel, so the interior is full of soaring ceilings and stained glass. All over the state, there are a number of breweries as well.

Michigan is a state made up of two peninsulas, called the Upper Peninsula and the Lower Peninsula. Conveniently, these peninsulas are shaped enough like hands that us Michiganders like to use our hands as maps when we're talking to other people about where we live. Because a bridge connects the two peninsulas, people from the U.P. like to call those of us who live on the lower peninsula trolls since we live under the bridge. 

Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, is historically probably the most famous person from Michigan. His new assembly line production model was the first to make cars affordable for many people. Will Keith Kellogg, who started the Kellogg's cereal company, is another well-known Michigander. Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, and Sojourner Truth weren't born in Michigan but all lived here for significant portions of their lives. So did Thomas Edison. The Four Tops and the Temptations both formed in Detroit, Michigan. And Stevie Wonder, Kid Rock, and Madonna were all born in Michigan. Of course, we also lay claim to Olympic ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White and are proud to have served as training grounds for Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto as well.

Michigan is home to a lot of authors but if you like YA books, I especially recommend checking out: 

Cori McCarthy's Breaking Sky – teen fighter pilots must master flying a new type of plane to save the United States. If you liked the movie Top Gun, you'll probably get a bookgasm from this one.

Amy Rose Capetta's Entangled and Unmade – this space opera duology is especially good for fans of the TV show Firefly.

K.A. Barson's 45 Pounds (More or Less) – this contemporary YA about a girl who thinks she needs to lose weight before her aunt's wedding is funny and touching and I think the author's site says it best with this description: “Welcome to the world of infomercial diet plans, endless wedding dance lessons, embarrassing run-ins with the cutest guy Ann's ever seen--and some surprises about her not-so-perfect mother. And don't forget the last part of the equation: It's all about feeling comfortable in your own skin--no matter how you add it up! ”

Website / Facebook / @kvanark

Thanks Katie for telling us all about Michigan. It sounds like a great place.

Tomorrow we will be in Minnesota.

Follow all the tour posts here


Katie has kindly offered an ebook of her debut novel The Next Door. Giveaway is sponsored by author, is open to anyone that can receive eBooks. Giveaway Ends 11th August 2015.


Maddy Spier's been in love with the boy next door forever. As his figure skating partner she spends time in his arms every day. But she's also seen his arms around other girls--lots of other girls. How can she make him realize that they can be partners off the ice as well?

Gabe's relationship with Maddy is vital. He can't imagine skating with anyone else, and together they have a real chance at gold-maybe even making it to the Olympics! So he's decided to think of her as a sister. After all, family is forever, but he's never dated anyone for more than two weeks.

Then their coach assigns a new romantic skating program, and everything changes. Will this be the big break that Maddy's been hoping for or the big break-up that Gabe has always feared?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I'm from Ohio - soooo that should say it all. ;)

  2. Michigan sounds like somewhere I would like to visit.

  3. I've been to Lake Michigan, it's huge! Just like being at the seaside, without the tides!

  4. I grew up in Flint, Michigan and still have family there in Grand Blanc and Fenton. I left and moved to the Gulf Coast in 1986 and most of my family now lives in Alabama and Florida. I do miss Frankenmuth, Oscoda, and cold lakes:)

  5. It sounds like a nice place to live, I'd like to try the Pig Special and work my way through the ice cream flavours.