Read an Excerpt
"Yeah, it gets cold enough to freeze a dinosaur around here. It feels like the winds are made of ice at times. But I like the island in the snow and through the holidays with the decorations strung from light post to light post. Like the huge Christmas tree in the center of town. I enjoy riding around on a snowmobile and skimming across the ice bridge to the mainland, bundled up in two coats and three pairs of gloves. I like not having much to do. You know, winter's the only time we get the island back to ourselves."
"After the boatloads of tourists leave, hey?"
"Yeah, after the fudgies leave." He smiled at her as she sidestepped a pile of horse manure in the middle of the road.
A horse and carriage rattled by, bikes whizzed around them and it was as if she'd never left. She was twelve years old again running wild around a place that'd been magic to her. Her tension was already easing away.
She looked up and took in the stately Victorian homes that lined Lake Shore Road with their skillfully painted exteriors and their elaborate flower gardens that were now beginning to wilt. She'd always dreamed of owning and living in one. Now? Fat chance. Only princesses and millionaires could afford one of them. Oh, well. Perhaps someday.
She lowered her head and watched where she put her feet. A puddle of what appeared to be water but wasn't, cascaded down the gutters behind a horse taxi with a covered roof and four speckled white Clydesdale horses pulling it. The beasts whinnied and clomped their hairy hooves, looking around as if they were bored. It would take her a while to get used to the pungent horse odors again, she mused, but, eventually, she would, as shehad when she was a kid.
"Fudgies," she said, as she pushed her bike, "they still call the tourists that?"
"Still do. As long as they come, buy and eat so much fudge, I guess we'll always call them that. They're our bread and butter, though, so we can't complain. The islanders wouldn't have jobs; I wouldn't have a job, if not for the tourists. Their money pays the bills."