Quarterly Newsletter |


My Dear Friends, 

With the holidays upon us, I want to share a couple ways we celebrate here in North Carolina. From the Annual National Gingerbread House Competition to our own live Polar Express ride, the merriment in my home state is impossible to resist! 

I hope you're able to enjoy some quiet time this season too. In case you're looking for a book recommendation, I've also included a few novels featuring my favorite characters and authors. 

Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday filled with love and laughter.

Sincerely yours,

Nicholas Sparks


Seasons Eatings

Nothing says the holidays quite like a carefully-decorated, candy-coated gingerbread house. A tradition in many homes around the country, it’s the North Carolinians who take this culinary craft to a whole new level.

So if you’re looking for the ultimate holiday treat, look no further than the incredible and oh-so edible creations at the 23rd Annual National Gingerbread House Competition at The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North

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A New Twist on A Famous Ride

Past the majestic scenery of the Smokies, a hush falls over the crowd of pajama-clad kids as a very special train pulls into the station—at the North Pole—and the children (and adults too!) are all vying for a glimpse of the man in red.

That’s Sarah Conley Pressley’s favorite part of the yearly ride on the Polar Express. As the marketing manager for the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, she

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Fireside Favorites

Celebrate the season by curling up on the couch with a great book or two. These novels feature some of my favorite characters and authors—enjoy!

A SONG OF SHADOWS by John ConnollyI’ve been a fan of the Charlie Parker thrillers since the beginning; John Connolly works in a genre of one. They can be very dark and explore the sometimes blurry edges of right and wrong, but I’m a

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