My special guest today is Sheila Roberts, the author of the Icicle Falls series, including today’s featured review book, The Cottage on Juniper Ridge. Because this series is so lovely, and the town of Icicle Falls seems like such a marvelous place, I wanted to learn more about it, especially since it is based on a town very near my current homebase of Seattle.
Here’s Sheila to tell us all about her Icicle Falls and the real-life version you can visit!
The Real Icicle Falls
by Sheila Roberts
Readers often tell me that they wish my town of Icicle Falls was a real place. Well, here’s the good news. It is! Well, at least it’s based on one.
My imaginary town of Icicle Falls is based on the town of Leavenworth, Washington, one of my favorite places to visit. Granted Leavenworth doesn’t have it’s own chocolate factory like Icicle Falls does (and it probably doesn’t have some of the squirelly characters, either), but it has the wonderful views, the friendly people and the great spirit of determination. And, just like in Icicle Falls, the people of Leavenworth sure know how to celebrate a holiday. One of my favorite times to visit is during Christmas when they have their town tree-lighting ceremony. (And yes, Icicle Falls has one, too!)
Leavenworth is a popular destination town with a healthy economy but it wasn’t always so. In the early sixties, after The Great Northern Railway pulled out, choosing a different route through the mountains, this town nestled in the Cascades was in danger of becoming a ghost town. But the town leaders put their heads together and decided that, with its beautiful mountain setting, Leavenworth could be as charming as any alpine village. And they set about transforming the town from a typical western town into something truly special. Everyone pulled together to make this happen. “And we did it all without any government help,” says one of the older residents. In this day and age that’s really something to brag about.
In addition to changing the look of their shops and stores, the people of Leavenworth came up with a series of festivals designed to draw visitors. Today these festivals bring in over a million visitors a year.
I love the fact that a little imagination coupled with determination and hard work of the townspeople literally transformed this place. It’s a charming town filled with wonderful people, and I try to convey a little of their town spirit in my Icicle Falls books. I hope my characters are people that readers will enjoy and want to spend time with.
And, if you ever visit Washington I hope you’ll stop by Leavnworth, stay in one of its charming B & B’s, enjoy the scenery and the shopping and the great people who live there. I hope you’ll visit Icicle Falls, too!
Sheila Roberts is married and has three children. She lives on a lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her novels have appeared in Readers Digest Condensed books and have been published in several languages. Her holiday perennial, On Strike for Christmas, was made into a movie for the Lifetime Movie Network and her her novel The Nine Lives of Christmas has been optioned for film. When she’s not writing songs, hanging out with her girlfriends or trying to beat her husband at tennis, she can be found writing about those things dear to women’s hearts: family, friends, and chocolate.
Sheila will be awarding a $25 B & N gift card and an eCopy of The Cottage on Juniper Ridge to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a $25 B & N gift card to a randomly drawn host.
To enter, leave a comment on this post. For more chances to win, follow the other stops on Sheila’s tour.