HI. MY NAME IS CECILY STERLING AND I'D LIKE TO WELCOME YOU TO ICICLE FALLS. Our little town is in Washington Sate, just east over the Cascade Mountains. It's nestled in Icicle Valley where Icicle Creek and the Wentachee River come together. With it's Bavarian architecture, beautiful flowers everywhere, and charming town square (not to mention our gorgeous mountain backdrop), our town is as lovely as any you'd find in the Alps.
It's a favorite destination spot for summer sports buffs in search of river rafting or hiking adventures as well as skiers looking to stay near the slopes. A stone's throw from the orchards, vineyards, and wineries of Eastern Washington, it's also becoming an attraction for wine lovers.
My family's chocolate company, Sweet Dreams Chocolates, is here, and we sponsor an annual chocolate festival that you won't want to miss. You'll especially love our pageant where our local men compete for the title of Mr. Dreamy. That's enough to make a girl's mouth water. Of course, we have more than chocolate. You can't beat the scenery and that cozy small town feeling.
Our town has quite a history. Once a logging boomtown, Icicle Falls was in danger of extinction due to the depression followed by the loss of the railroad, until the early sixties when our town leaders came up with the idea of turning it into a Bavarian Village and making it a tourist attraction. Of course, local legend is helping to lure tourist business, too. Did you know that we have our very own ghost?
She's called the Lost Bride. An early settler, Joshua Cane, ordered a mail order bride, making himself the envy of every man within a fifty mile radius. Rebecca was beautiful. In fact, she was so beautiful that poor Joshua had a hard time keeping her to himself. Legend has it that she fell in love with his younger brother, Gideon, a gold prospector. Townspeople witnessed fights between the two brothers in the local saloon and threats were exchanged. Then one day Rebecca went missing. So did Gideon. Speculation abounded. The two had run off. Joshua had murdered them both and buried them somewhere on Sleeping Lady Mountain. Joshua murdered his brother and left Rebecca on the mountain to starve. Joshua got out of town before anyone could solve the mystery. As time went on, Rebecca began to reappear as a ghost. A prospector saw her and shortly after struck it rich. The town wallflower was sure she saw Rebecca standing behind Icicle Falls right before the new Methodist preacher (her future husband) moved to town. Another woman saw her the day before her sweetheart proposed. Soon it became a lucky thing to catch sight of the lost bride's ghost flitting behind the waters of the falls, and still today town locals often take their girlfriends up there to propose. Of course, most see the bride (after enough glasses of champagne).
WE'VE GOT OUR SHARE OF TOWN CHARACTERS. I bet some of you have already met Dot Morrison. She's not exactly your sweet, little old lady. No, she's something very different, and we all love her to pieces. Then there's Billy Williams, one of our local cowboys. Everyone calls him Bill Will. He fancies himself a ladies' man and a great dancer. He's a flirt, I'll say that for him. As for the dancing, well, don't tell him I said so but he's not very good. He managed to step on my gown at our first chocolate festival ball and rip it. It was a good thing I had a safety pin in my purse!
We have our share of celebrities, too. My mom, Muriel Sterling, writes self-help books, and she's beginning to make a bit of a name for herself. We're all very proud of her. Then there's Jake Wilder. He and his wife still have a house here but they make their home in Nashville now. Jake is an up and coming country singer. He's going to be a big star someday. Meanwhile, he's not so big that he won't come back to town and play for special occasions. Like the reopening of Zelda's restaurant after a bad fire.
Maybe you'll get a chance to meet my big sister Samantha, who runs our company, and my little sister Bailey who owns Tea Time tea shop. Her lavender scones are to die for! I know you'll want to come up, visit some of our cute little shops where you'll find everything from imported Christmas ornaments to special Northwest products. And you won't find better restaurants anywhere. (I'm especially partial to Zelda's, which is owned by my friend Charley, but there are plenty of others, too.) I love this town. I love the people in it. They pull together when times are hard and they're always there for you when you need them. It's as close to perfect as a town can be and do hope you'll come and visit us soon! READERS, CHECK OUT ALL THE ICICLE FALLS NOVELS. BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE (re-titled SWEET DREAMS ON CENTER STREET) MERRY EX-MAS WHAT SHE WANTS (re-titled ROMANCE ON MOUNTAIN VIEW ROAD) THE COTTAGE ON JUNIPER RIDGE THE LODGE ON HOLLY ROAD THE TEA SHOP ON LAVENDER LANE A WEDDING ON PRIMROSE STREET CHRISTMAS ON CANDY CANE LANE HOME ON APPLE BLOSSOM ROAD STARTING OVER ON BLACKBERRY LANE CHRISTMAS IN ICICLE FALLS