Friday, January 28, 2022

Virginia is for...



Virginia is for...what? Below. But first:
Breaking news! The winner of Gabriel Valjan’s HUSH HUSH is Kathy Boone Reel. 
The winner of Heather Webb’s THE LAST SHIP HOME is Joan Emerson.
And the three winners of THE MIRROR MAN are Coralee Hicks, Karen in Ohio, and Andrew Ball. Message or email me your addresses!


HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: What a great idea for a short story anthology—to have authors choose a famous landmark (is that redundant?) and set a mystery there.

The fab Teresa Inge set that question to fifteen authors in Virginia—and the result it a wow. In historic hotels, oceanfront estates and boozy bars, you’ll discover blackmail, revenge, sinister conspiracies--and landmarks made for murder.

But hey—why let me tell you? Here’s the editor herself to give you the scoop.


Virginia is For….

by Teresa Inge



Thanks for inviting me to be a guest on the Jungle Red blog! I am excited to be here.



My latest book, Virginia is for Mysteries III will be released in February. Virginia may be for lovers, but to fifteen authors, Virginia is for Mysteries. Each short story transports readers across a diverse backdrop to a unique and deadly landscape, filled with Virginia landmarks, crime, and murder.




I have two stories in the book. “Kiss, Makeup & Murder” is set at the Cavalier on the Hill in Virginia Beach. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and built-in 1927, the hotel hosted 9 U.S. Presidents, icons Jean Harlow, Judy Garland, Pharrell Williams, and Kim Kardashian to name a few. I love the hotel’s grandeur. From the chandelier suspended above the vintage lobby and original checkerboard floor to the grand salon, and ocean view backdrop. It was fun creating a third-generation owner, an aging cosmetics queen, a kiss with a wealthy playboy, a suspicious family member, and murder. My own family and I have celebrated birthdays and anniversaries at the hotel and lodged there to research my books.



My second story, “Chalk it Up to Murder” is based on The Raven, a once-notorious, 50-year-old boozy bar and restaurant in Virginia Beach. I have also celebrated special occasions there. The story features a chalkboard artist who creates daily specials on a large, standing board in the restaurant. The artist becomes a prime suspect when a customer is murdered.

Some of the other landmarks in the book include:

· Virginia’s oldest church. St. Luke’s Church and Museum, established in the 17th century in Smithfield

· Chincoteague Island. Home to the Chincoteague Island Pony Swim attended by thousands of spectators each year and the setting of Marguerite Henry’s 1947 classic children’s book Misty of Chincoteague

· The Francis Land House, circa 1805, one of Virginia Beach’s plantations

· Fort Monroe National Monument in Hampton. A key defense site at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay

· Historic Fairview Cemetery in Culpeper


Using Real Names of Places in Fiction

Virginia is for Mysteries series allows the writers to showcase real locations in their crime fiction. Virginia is such a diverse part of the country this collection affords readers the opportunity to travel across the Commonwealth from the comfort of their homes.


By adding fictional characters to real places, authors create a fun element. Even with crime-ridden stories, we make the charm of each location favorable and apparent to readers. And we had the fantastic opportunity to sign books for a Poe descendant at The Poe Museum in Richmond.


The series is inspired by the state motto, Virginia is for Lovers. Before the first book’s publication, I received approval from Virginia Tourism to use Virginia is for Mysteries since “Virginia is for” is trademarked. 
his collection provides readers a chance to combine mystery fiction with real places. Check out the maps in the front of each anthology to see the variety of sites highlighted! 

Thanks for letting me visit with Jungle Red readers!


HANK: You are so welcome—as always! And congratulations to you and your contributors for a terrific anthology.


So how about you, reds and readers? If you were going to write a short story, what landmark in your state or province would you choose?









About Virginia is for Mysteries


Virginia is for Mysteries: Volume III is an anthology of diverse short stories for mystery lovers, and it appeals to visitors to the Commonwealth who want to read tales about interesting locations and historical sites.

Contributing Authors:

Teresa Inge, Heather Weidner, Kristin Kisska, Yvonne Saxon, Frances Aylor, Jayne Ormerod, Michael Rigg, Maggie King, Smita Harish Jain, Sheryl Jordan, Vivian Lawry, Maria Hudgins, Rosemary Shomaker, Max Jason Peterson, Judith Fowler






Teresa Inge is an author in the Mutt Mysteries series, Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, Coastal Crimes: Mysteries by the Sea, and Murder by the Glass.


She is president of the Sisters in Crime, Mystery by the Sea chapter, a member of the Guppies chapter, and Short Mystery Fiction Society.



For more information about her and my books, check out www.teresainge.com

90 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Teresa . . . I’m looking forward to reading the latest Virginia mysteries . . . .

    If I were writing a short story featuring a state landmark, I’d choose Hangar Number One at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station. It’s a National Historic Landmark . . . and it’s the site of the 6 May 1937 Hindenburg disaster . . . .

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    1. Hi Joan! It’s so interesting that you would choose Lakehurst Naval Air Station as your location! My father was in the Navy and retired from there And my grandfather was a firefighter who took a picture of the Hindenburg. I love that you would choose this location! Thank you!

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    2. Wow, that's amazing, Teresa, that you would have such a connection to the Lakehurst Naval Air Station [which is close to my home] . . . I guess that sometimes the world is very small . . .

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  2. Congrats. This is a great idea for an anthology.

    I think a story set around the Santa Monica pier would be great. I was reminded recently (when I relistened to it) that Michael Connelly has already done that in The Reversal, but there are so many different ways this could be used. Like the body of a young, up and coming actor found in the sand under the pier....

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    1. Hi Mark! I’ve visited the Santa Monica Pier! Awesome location for a short story setting!

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    2. That's a great idea! Perfect, and so cinematic.

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  3. Welcome Teresa! Congrats on your upcoming book release.

    If I was writing a short story, I would feature either Prospect Park or The Brooklyn Bridge.

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    1. Love those ideas. My grandchildren live right by the Park...hmm.

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  4. I love the Brooklyn Bridge! A great location for a short story. And I love Neil Diamond’s Brooklyn Roads song! Thank you, Dru!

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  5. Congratulations, Teresa! Virginia is such a fabulous state and well suited to mysterious happenings.

    I'm currently living in the Crown of Maine. The Allagash Wilderness is well known as the locale of many unexplained events!

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    1. That is such a beautiful location! Interesting about the unsolved mysteries and abductions! I’ve never been there but it would awesome to see!

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  6. Congratulations, Teresa!

    I have set parts of short stories in the Amesbury Friends Meetinghouse and in John Greeneleaf Whittier's home, which are both on the National Register of Historic Places.

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    1. That is so beautiful with a postcard view! I would love to visit the house!

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    2. Nice! And so perfect for your books...

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    3. Edith, for years now, I’ve wanted to visit Amesbury and will certainly do it someday.
      First, it was because my father is born there and then, because of your writing.

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    4. I hope you do! I will take you on a walking tour.

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  7. Teresa, welcome to JRW and congratulations on the third Virginia is for mysteries anthology.

    It seems we're all sticking close to home for our stories so I guess I'd choose the Mark Twain House on Farmington Avenue, Hartford for my setting, but the year would be 1955 or better yet, 1895. For the historical time-frame, bit of research would be involved.

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    1. Our Sisters in Crime chapter toured the Mark Twain House some years ago - fascinating!

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    2. I would absolutely love to visit there! There is also a Mark Twain National Forest! My husband and I drove near it this past summer on our RV trip but didn’t get to stop! Has anyone visited the forest?

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    3. That's such a beautiful house, Judy. I can easily see it as a setting for a mystery.

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    4. Hank, because I envision a kind of noir mystery and that time frame, soon after WWII, with populations shifting to the suburbs, huge developments and new schools being built, stately old mansions being torn down, land being subdivided, the beginning of the end of Main Street...Corruption? Racial strife? So much to choose from!

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    5. Very cool! I want to visit there one day.

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  8. Teresa, welcome and congrats on the new anthology. I think I'd have to do the Erie Canal, the terminus of which was unearthed on Lake Erie several years ago. Now imagine if that along with the canal terminus, they unearthed a body...

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  9. This anthology sounds interesting. Thanks for introducing me to it, Teresa.

    It could be fun to set a story at the spot that marks the geographical centre of Canada, 96/48/35 (I can't find the proper symbols for latitude markings). It is marked by a park...and a lot of wide open space. Anything could happen there!

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    1. Maybe someone on the blog knows the markings! It sounds beautiful!

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    2. SO very cool! Or the numbers are a clue....

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    3. I typed latitude, but I meant longitude; oops!

      Those are the actual numbers: from Wikipedia -- "There is a sign on the Trans-Canada Highway at 96°48'35"W (slightly east of Winnipeg) proclaiming it the longitudinal centre of Canada; in effect, the north-south line midway between the extreme points of Canada on the east and west, including islands (including Newfoundland since 1949)."

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    4. And Hank, your idea about the numbers being a clue is very clever!

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  10. Welcome Teresa. I never went to Virginia. Maybe your stories would induce me to go.

    For a short story, I would choose the Chateau Frontenac that overlooks St Lawrence River and the old part of Quebec City .
    I love to return to old Quebec because there are so many places to discover.

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    1. The Frontenac is amazing. My Canadian-citizen sister lived near it for a few years. The walls of her apartment were six feet thick!

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    2. Such a beautiful place! I'd love to go there..

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    3. The Old City of Quebec is such a lovely spot. Bring your hiking shoes if you want to explore, parts of the city are vertical.

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  11. Murders in landmark locations sounds very intriguing. An obvious place in my home state of Michigan would be the Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island. However, I would bring it downstate closer to where I live and choose the Ft Gratiot Lighthouse. It's on Lake Huron within sight of the Blue Water Bridge and the Canadian shoreline.

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    1. Beautiful lake! Also, I love historical hotels. I always try to stay in them when traveling.

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    2. There really is something special--or scary or wonderful--about historic hotels.

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  12. Teresa, congrats on the newest anthology! I love Virginia--the state is so diverse in landscapes, history, people. Highlighting real places in each story is a stroke of genius!

    In my home state of Ohio, I'd choose Serpent Mound--the largest effigy mound in the world. I like a bit of woo-woo with my stories, so the setting would be perfect.

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    1. Thanks! The Virginia is for Mystery series is great with our tourism which is cool for people to see the location maps in the books and visit! I will have to look up the Serpent mound!

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    2. Wow, what is Serpent Mound? And that sounds like an instant book!

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    3. The Great Serpent Mound is a 1,348-foot-long, three-foot-high prehistoric effigy mound near Ohio Brush Creek in Adams County, southern Ohio. Ohio is home to thousands of prehistoric mounds and enclosures, especially in southern Ohio, along the major rivers and streams.

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    4. Perfect spot, Flora! It has its own distinct spiritual character, too.

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  13. I love anthologies! Thank you Teresa for keeping this literary form alive. Good choice for a setting, VA has so many opportunities for mystery themes.

    In Florida I would stick with what I know. Ybor City historical district in Tampa. Settled by Sicilian Italians Cubans, and Afro Americans. It was home to POC before integration. The local newspaper, The Gazette published in 3 languages, one of the only newspapers in the US to do this. In addition crime came in 3 flavors. Traficante a notorious mafia don lived in Ybor. The LGBT nightlife flourished flourished. It is a wonderful place to find everything a suspense person needs, along with the tropical heat waves.

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    1. That sounds incredible..and an instant movie setting, too, don;t you think?

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    2. Sounds like a wonderful setting and community!

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  14. Teresa, the anthology sounds fascinating. I would pick Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester. It was established in the early 1800s and is very Victorian. The land was formed by glaciers and is filled with valleys and sharp hillsides. Both Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass are buried there. It's also a great place for birdwatching.

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    1. Oh that’s perfect… you can instantly imagine a story, right?

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    2. I love historic cemeteries! And that’s cool with Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass!

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  15. Anthologies are usually snapped up quickly in my Little Free Library, so either they are generally popular, or there's someone in my neighborhood who is a particular fan.

    There are so many fascinating places to set stories, aren't there? Cincinnati has a bunch, but if I have to pick one, I would choose the Museum Center, which was--and still is--an Art Deco treasure of a train station. Now, though, it also houses the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History, the Children's Museum, the Cincinnati Historical Society archives, a historic model train collection, a gift shop, and an IMAX theater. It was renovated recently, and I suspect they found all sorts of fascinating nooks, crannies, and artifacts.

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    1. What a fascinating sounding place! Is it getting touristy?

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    2. Toursity? I'm not sure, but it is always busy. When I have out-of-town guests I often take them there, because it's such a beautiful place with incredible architecture. The rotunda is an enormous half dome with a unique feature that lets an individual whisper into a corner that can be heard in the opposite side of the room, 200' away. There are massive murals dating back 100 years that depict the industrial history of the area, and an exquisite ice cream parlor made entirely of Rookwood tile: floors, walls, ceiling, and even the booths and counter.

      Out front there's a spectacular seashell-shaped fountain that tumbles down a couple dozen steps. It's really a must-see destination for this area. And I can remember going there as a child to take a train to Philadelphia or Boston.

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    3. Love train collections and museums!

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  16. I'm going to have to get this anthology, because for me, Virginia is family! Despite our roots in upstate New York, my brother, sister, their families and now my son and his significant other all live in the Old Dominion.

    As I live in Maine, I think every landmark that CAN be used in crime fiction has been. Maybe I could set something at the "world famous" Cryptozoology Museum in Portland - someone is murdered with a stuffed Bigfoot!

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    1. That would be a cool setting! And I’m glad to hear about your family in Virginia!

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    2. Julia, I had to look up the word cryptozoology! How fun, that there's a museum to mythical creatures!

      That so would be a fun place for a murder.

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    3. Cool! (speaking of which, batten down for the weekend...)

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  17. Welcome to Jungle Red, Teresa, and congratulations on your anthology. I don't know Virgina at all, so this will be a good chance for me to get acquainted. Since we're sticking close to home, I think I'd set a story, not in Dallas (nearest city) but in my town's (McKinney's) historic cotton mill. We're very touristy these days, with our historic town square and homes, but I'm fascinated by the history of the cotton industry and the railroads. That's what brought the settlers--and the money--to this part of Texas. I'm sure there's a story somewhere in it!

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  18. That sounds like a wonderful story setting!

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  19. Greetings from Lexington, Virginia! We'll be heading back to Houston on Sunday, dodging snow. I think you could set a lot of good stories on Galveston Island. The Hotel Galvez is reputedly haunted. The old Balinese Room (no longer with us) had crooks, illegal gambling, celebrities, all sorts of illicit activities for a night club built out over the water. The infamous 1900 hurricane killed thousands.

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    1. Love haunted hotels! Hope you enjoyed Lexington! The snow is coming!

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    2. Wow, that sounds so perfect..Can you imagine? And yes, weather is so unstoppable..

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  20. Great Blog! Thanks for representing, Teresa! Can’t wait to read stories set in the places mentioned!

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    1. Thanks, Mike!! Virginia has great landmarks and settings!

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  21. I've never been to Virginia. Who am I kidding, I've hardly been anywhere but I would like to visit Virgina, all those historic places. Of course, I wound want to go in the non-tourist season to it would be less crowded and I could see something.

    I think I would choose Fort Ross State Historic Park for a mystery. Fort Ross was the southernmost settlement of the Russian colonization of North America. It is north of the town of Jenner, which is located, surprisingly, at the mouth of the Russian River. It is also about 90 minutes away from Mission San Francisco de Solano, in the town of Sonoma. Sonoma Mission is the northenrmost mission of the California mission trail.

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    1. Oh, that's a terrific idea. I am learning about so many new places today!

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    2. So awesome! I love learning about so many places!

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  22. Hi ,this anthology sounds like a great read, Congratulations! I think a good landmark to write a story of where I live would be the desert, the desert always makes for a good story. Especially now, with all the illegal people crossing through the desert and ending up sometimes on peoples yards. and sometimes not even making it over which is so very sad. Have a great weekend and stay safe. aliciabhaney(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

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  23. These kind of stories are right up my alley, Teresa! Although originally from NOLA (teeming with history & millions of stories) I've lived mostly in Texas since I was 13. Once for NaNo I wrote romantic suspense set mainly in the historic town of Jefferson, centering around haunted Excelsior House Hotel, the oldest hotel in that part of the state, which is a little over an hour's drive from our home in East TX. The hotel was built by steamboat captain Wm. Perry, trying to keep the Big Cypress Bayou navigable, via New Orleans and St. Louis, when cotton was king. The town was cursed by robber baron Jay Gould, who was angry about a railroad deal that fell through, and he signed the guestbook at the hotel "The End of Jefferson". The other notorious story is the murder of Diamond Bessie by her gambler lover Abe Rothschild, acquitted after 3 trials, and her grave is in nearby Oakwood Cemetery. Even director Steven Spielberg was spooked spending one night at the hotel, and he moved his crew out immediately, then made the movie Poltergeist! Unbeknownst to us, we spent our first overnight w/friends at the hotel, in the haunted Jay Gould Room, where dh & I both heard and saw strange,scary things occur from the big armoire noises, and the rocking chair suddenly creaking and moving, and I swear I saw a ghostly figure of Bessie. My bff & I dressed in vintage nightwear and went downstairs to sit & chat w/wine and discuss the spookiness in our different rooms, and our hubbies tricked us by sneaking in behind and scare us witless.We continued to visit Jefferson, with MIL & Mom and other pals, several times to antique-shop, and dh & I also spent the night another time in the same spooky but beautiful Rm. 215, Jay Gould Room! I love that town, despite the tourists and ghost-hunters now. Maybe one day I'll actually re-edit and polish that book I started years ago!

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    1. What absolutely fantastic stories! I think you should absolutely polish that book! Cannot wait to read it…

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  24. This is brilliant! How have I never heard of these anthologies? I love it - so clever. Off to go scoop them up.

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  25. Teresa, this anthology sounds so interesting. When my husband was stationed at the Pentagon, we took little side trips to Virginia, with the Shenandoah Valley and the Shenandoah National Park being favorite areas. We stayed in a B&B right outside of Luray one time, and one evening we went to the local theater to see a Star Wars movie. It was literally a mom and pop operation. Mom was at the snack bar and Pop sold the tickets. I wonder if that old theater has survived. Another favorite Virginia place is the Great Falls and the C&O Canal path. Of course, the Maryland side is nice, too.

    For Kentucky, I'd go with either the Red River Gorge, Cumberland Falls, or the Daniel Boone National Forest (named after my great-great-great-great uncle).

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    1. The Shenandoah Valley is so beautiful! I love going there! All the places in Kentucky sound wonderful! My husband and I have visited Kentucky many times and we love it there.

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    2. Love that mom and pop movie theater!

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  26. Teresa, I just realized you edited Murder by the Glass, which I won from the lovely Eleanor Cawood Jones, and it's on top of my TBR stack!

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  27. I love stories where the places play a pivotal role. These look like fun.

    I have seen a bit of Virginia. We have family history in Manassas including an ancestor on the battlefield. I've driven the Blue Ridge and stopped to gawk. I've studied the gardens of Monticello and stood in line to see inside the house. Usually though it is just a name of the road to somewhere else.

    The land of my heart is Northern New Mexico. I would pick the Plaza in the middle of Taos or better yet, an Earthship house! Taos is full of strange venues.

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    1. I’ve been to New Mexico and loved it! An Earthship House sounds interesting! I’m also glad to hear about your visit to Monticello and the Blue Ridge Parkway!

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    2. Oh, another tantalizing thing to look up! Thank you!

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  28. Great to hear more from Teresa Inge, a short story writer who depicts authentic-feeling situations, characters, and dialogue!

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