A Potential Valentine’s Day Story

Celebrating Love Lost and Found

Happy Valentine’s Day!

During my search for a Valentine’s Day card to share with you, I came across an image that–what can I say?–it spoke to me.

I felt that little tug in my heart that whispers: here’s a story.

So instead of sending you a valentine, I’m sharing this image with you. Do you hear its whispers, too?

Pretend with me.

Imagine your character is walking in a park, grateful for the warmth of a sunshiny day that promises spring is coming soon. Something shiny in the grass catches her eye, and she finds this ornate key and lock tied with slender ribbon to a ceramic heart. Deep inside she knows it’s meant for her.

But what does it mean?

Does it symbolize a love she has found? Or a love she has lost?

Which story would you prefer to read? Or to write?

Where Treasure Hides February Special!

On the Road: Bisbee, Arizona

The West's Best Small Town to Live

Copper ore mounted in front of the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum.

The charming town of Bisbee, Arizona is proclaimed as “The West’s Best Small Town to Live.” This isn’t idle speculation.

In recent years, Bisbee has been voted the Best Historic Small Town in America by both USA Today readers and Sunset Magazine. It’s also been named as an “alive” place to retire and one of America’s quirkiest towns by the AARP publication Modern Maturity.

My daughter Jill and I spent a few hours there while I was visiting with her family a couple of weeks ago.

Jill in the doorway of the historic Copper Queen Hotel Saloon.

The day was lovely, not too warm and not too chilly. The sun shone upon us so eating lunch on the patio of the Copper Queen Hotel was perfect.

But first we visited the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum. The town, founded in 1880, was home to copper, gold, and silver miners. Since 1929, Bisbee has been the county seat for Cochise County.

I could have spent most of the day in the museum. The exhibits were fascinating. Here are two of my favorites: first a photo collage of one of my favorites–a lunchbox showing what a miner might have taken home with him at the end of the day; second a “movie in the window” showing what it was like for children to grow up in a 19th century mining town.

As we window-shopped the main street of the historic downtown area, I found this storefront. Jill had never heard of Woolworth’s but I remember when it was one of the stores frequented by my parents (though that was in Columbus, Ohio–many miles from Bisbee).

Though we browsed through a couple of thrift and antique stores, and found some really cool vintage items, I think our favorite place was the used bookstore.

Jill found a huge yet very inexpensive tome about Oscar Wilde and I picked up a copy of Blue Highways: A Journey Into America by William Least Half-Moon. We picked up three or four other books, too.

As I needed to add anything else to my “to be read” stack.

But back to Bisbee and a few trivia notes.

A view of Bisbee from the Copper Queen Hotel patio.

John Wayne was a frequent visitor to the Copper Queen Hotel.

Remember Wilson Wilson, the neighbor behind the fence on Tim Allen’s Home Improvement? That was actually Earl Hindman who was born in Bisbee.

The town has been used for several movies and television shows, including both the original and 2007 remake of 3:10 to Yuma and Young Guns II.

The town’s official motto is: An American Original.

Your Turn

Jill and I enjoyed our visit to Bisbee, and we joked about moving there while enjoying hot chocolate at a local café. What place would get your vote as the “Best Small Town in America” and why? If it’s not your hometown, would you move there given the chance?

Prize Packages: Misty Willow Novels & Cary Grant Classics

A Merry Christmas Giveaway!

Christmas is the time for giving and winter is the time for curling up with a good story–a contemporary romance or a classic movie. Here’s your opportunity to win one of two fun prize packages.

Where She Belongs Giveaway

Shelby and AJ quote lines from Cary Grant movies to each other. One of their favorites is An Affair to Remember with Deborah Kerr. But as Shelby says, you can’t watch this classic without watching Sleepless in Seattle, too.

This giveaway includes an autographed copy of Where She Belongs, the first novel in the Misty Willow Series, and DVD copies of An Affair to Remember (25th Anniversary Edition) plus Sleepless in Seattle (10th Anniversary Edition).

When Love Arrives Giveaway

Dani doesn’t want Brett to know she was secretly photographing him. So when they unexpectedly meet, she says her name is Regina Lampert–the name of Audrey Hepburn’s character in the Cary Grant classic Charade.

This giveaway includes an autographed copy of When Love Arrives, the second novel in the Misty Willow Series, and a DVD copy of Charade.

Thanks for entering!

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Note: Two winners will be selected in a random drawing. Contest is only open to those with U.S. mailing addresses.