I’m a West Virginia girl at heart, so when it came time for me to publish some of my first novels, the urge to celebrate what’s good about my mountain state was just too irresistable. I hope that when you’re reading my latest book, The Christmas We Knew, you’ll enjoy some of the amazing, Christmassy attractions you’ll find between the pages. Why make something up, after all, when the real places are so cool? Let me take you on a little tour.
While the characters, Caine’s Christmas Outpost, and Holliday Hot Rods are completely fictional, the town this book is set in, Lewisburg, WV, most assuredly is not. In the southern part of the state, Lewisburg is known for its rolling hills, beautiful farms, a quaint Victorian downtown, and it’s proximity to The Greenbrier Resort. People call The Greenbrier (pictured above) “America’s Resort” for a reason. Built in the 1700s, it once was the site of an underground bunker designed to house the entire US congress in the event of a nuclear strike. It’s still there, and you can take a tour. But there’s a lot more to the resort than that. It’s a magnificent place to visit during the holidays, and there’s always something to see and do.
By the way, when you sign up for my newsletter, you’ll get bonus material from the Greenbrier. They let me plan a fictional wedding for my characters in Wrecking Christmas (the other book in the Mountain Magic Christmas Series), and could not have been lovelier to work with, for an author. (BTW, you can buy paperbacks of my books in the Greenbrier gift shop!)
I confess I have not yet worked up the nerve to do the New River Gorge Bridgewalk, but it’s on my bucket list. The folks there were tickled to have the BridgeWalk included. And it was my pleasure to do so. The Gorge is amazing…one of our nation’s true natural wonders. And the bridgewalk lets you cross the bridge, 800 feet over the river, on a little catwalk that makes you feel like you’re walking on air. I couldn’t have found a better place for my hero and heroine to share their first kiss (the second time around).
Skiing plays a pretty big role in this book, since wintery activities abound, and no better place could be found than Snowshoe Mountain, which, conveniently, is close to Lewisburg. Snowshoe Mountain Resort is the scene of a whole chapter in the Christmas We Knew, and it really doesn’t do it justice. It’s a beautiful resort and a great place to get your winter fun on.
Okay, I admit it. Not everything in the book is set in West Virginia. Since Hopper and Cookie spent their young lives in the Atlanta area, I added in a throwback to a date they had in Helen, Georgia. This little hamlet is a Christmassy, Bavarian-themed town in the Georgia mountains and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it was the place where the term “cute as the Dickens” was invented. Since so much of the scene takes place in a horse-drawn carriage, I thought y’all might want to see what my characters might have seen if they were on a carriage ride in the town.
I hope someday you’ll get to visit some of these amazing attractions in person. I also hope you enjoy reading The Christmas We Knew, any time of year. It’s never a bad day to put the spirit of the season’s love, hope and forgiveness in your heart!