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In a small Scottish village I came upon an unexpected treasure!

September 20, 2018 by in category A Bit of Magic by Meriam Wilhelm tagged as , , , , ,

I just returned from a long, wonderfully exhausting trip to Europe with my husband. All along the way I faithfully jotted down interesting locations, names and legends in my Book O’ Names – hoping to include a few in one of my future books. I fell in love with shop names like, Thistle Do Nicely and A Spinkle of Kiltness and enjoyed meeting interesting people like Killian the kilt maker and Hamish the sweater weaver.

Throughout England, Ireland, Scotland and Norway we met charming, welcoming people all happy to share their stories. Beautiful old ghost filled castles and open green fields filled with cattle, sheep and Shetland ponies made the trip even better. And, of course, a trip down Strawberry Lane was just too cool to pass up.

Near the end of our travels we came upon the quaint village of Hoswick, Scotland. Venturing down the exceptionally narrow main street, we parked in the one spot big enough to house our massive tour bus; a bus that was half the length of the main street.

The town of Hoswick was tiny but beautiful, situated near a body of clear blue water with rock filled shorelines and lush hills of green. Although I hadn’t noticed it when we drove in, I soon discovered that the village consisted of only two shops and a neighborhood Welcome Center. A dozen or so houses were clustered nearby. Clothes freely flapped on yard clotheslines and the town taxi cab driver chatted up visitors as she waited for her next fare.

We visited the two shops that sold beautiful hand knit sweaters. Although the sweaters were quite lovely, they were made for cold Scottish winters and were far too heavy for either of us to wear on the beaches of California, so we decided to take a walk.

It was in this small Scottish village that I came upon an unexpected tiny treasure; a shop the likes of which I had never experienced before.

Adjacent to the Welcome Center a petite hand painted sign directed us towards Emma’s Cake Corner. As both my husband and I love cake, we couldn’t pass up the possibility of enjoying a late afternoon sweet treat before returning to our ship. Following the sign, we walked up a stone pathway, that ended unexpectedly at a private driveway. I was certain that we had missed the cake shop, although I wasn’t sure how.

Disappointed, we turned around to retrace our steps and stumbled upon a turquoise and yellow painted shed with a sign Emma’s Cake Corner tacked to the front of it. We had not discovered a traditional bakery at all, but rather something quite different. As I tentatively reached to open the shed door, I heard a child’s voice yell, “Mum, there’s someone in the Honesty Box!”

Not discouraged by the warning, my husband opened the turquoise doors and was surprised to find a plethora of treats. Cupcakes, brownies, cookies and more were all individually wrapped just waiting to be discovered. And on the bottom shelf were all sorts of tantalizing local candies. A simple hand scripted sign thanked visitors for coming to Emma’s, encouraged them to help themselves and asked shoppers to please write down what they took and the cost. There was a metal box to place coins in and a plastic container that held any change that might be needed. The Honesty Box held the most incredible looking treats ever and all that was asked in return was for us to be honest and pay the required coins.

We were the first to discover Emma’s but certainly not the last. Before long, it looked like our entire tour bus was loading up on the sweets, happy to pay the very reasonable fare. My husband and I had started a trend and one that seemed to make at least one very small child happy. We could still hear her giggling as we headed back towards the bus.

Since coming home, I have shared our discovery with my friends only to learn that Honesty Boxes are nothing new. They can be found just about everywhere. While baked delights might not be as common, eggs, fruit and vegetables are apparently available in countryside Honesty Boxes throughout the U.S.

I share my story with you because Honesty Boxes were new to me and just might be new to you too. I thought you might like to create your own Honesty Box or maybe even include one in one of your own upcoming stories – that’s what I plan to do!

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Featured Author: Meriam Wilhelm

August 28, 2018 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , ,

Featured Author: Meriam Wilhelm

Featured Author: Meriam Wilhelm

 

For thirty-five years, Meriam Wilhelm worked in education. From high school teacher to college dean to her favorite job of elementary school principal, she took an excitingly non-traditional pathway, always passionate about shaping young minds.

 

When she retired, something magical happened. Wilhelm was bitten by the writing bug and her chosen genre was paranormal romance – specifically of the witchy persuasion. Now, six books into The Witches of New Moon Beach series, she is bringing her passion for learning to her new profession.

 

A world traveler, Wilhelm has researched the history and culture of witchcraft and found inspiration as far away as Bergen, Norway and as close as her home town. A Redondo Beach resident, she decided there was no better location for her family of witches to reside than the beaches outside her own front door. “I think there is magic in everyone you meet,” Wilhelm says. “You just have to look for it.”

 

In her case, you also must write about that magic. Currently, Wilhelm is working on book seven, The Witch of Bergen.  She is the recipient of the Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers Choice Award. She is married and the mother of three grown children and a brand-new grandma. When not writing or traveling, Meriam Wilhelm can be found at her sewing machine, at yoga class or, of course, reading.


Books by Featured Author: Meriam Wilhelm

MIDNIGHT MADNESS

Buy now!
MIDNIGHT MADNESS

MORNING MAGIC

Buy now!
MORNING MAGIC

MURDER BY MAGIC

Buy now!
MURDER BY MAGIC

NIGHT FLIGHT

Buy now!
NIGHT FLIGHT

SEA DREAMS

Buy now!
SEA DREAMS

SUNSET SPELLS

Buy now!
SUNSET SPELLS
THE WITCHES OF NEW MOON BEACH BOXED SET

THE WITCH OF BERGEN

Buy now!
THE WITCH OF BERGEN
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August Featured Author: Meriam Wilhelm

August 21, 2018 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , ,

August Featured Author: Meriam Wilhelm

 

August Featured Author: Meriam Wilhelm

 

For thirty-five years, Meriam Wilhelm worked in education. From high school teacher to college dean to her favorite job of elementary school principal, she took an excitingly non-traditional pathway, always passionate about shaping young minds.

 

When she retired, something magical happened. Wilhelm was bitten by the writing bug and her chosen genre was paranormal romance – specifically of the witchy persuasion. Now, six books into The Witches of New Moon Beach series, she is bringing her passion for learning to her new profession.

 

A world traveler, Wilhelm has researched the history and culture of witchcraft and found inspiration as far away as Bergen, Norway and as close as her home town. A Redondo Beach resident, she decided there was no better location for her family of witches to reside than the beaches outside her own front door. “I think there is magic in everyone you meet,” Wilhelm says. “You just have to look for it.”

 

In her case, you also must write about that magic. Currently, Wilhelm is working on book seven, The Witch of Bergen.  She is the recipient of the Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers Choice Award. She is married and the mother of three grown children and a brand-new grandma. When not writing or traveling, Meriam Wilhelm can be found at her sewing machine, at yoga class or, of course, reading.


Books by August Featured Author: Meriam Wilhelm

MIDNIGHT MADNESS

Buy now!
MIDNIGHT MADNESS

MORNING MAGIC

Buy now!
MORNING MAGIC

MURDER BY MAGIC

Buy now!
MURDER BY MAGIC

NIGHT FLIGHT

Buy now!
NIGHT FLIGHT

SEA DREAMS

Buy now!
SEA DREAMS

SUNSET SPELLS

Buy now!
SUNSET SPELLS
THE WITCHES OF NEW MOON BEACH BOXED SET

THE WITCH OF BERGEN

Buy now!
THE WITCH OF BERGEN
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THE CORNER THAT’S SEEN IT ALL – A LIVELY PLAYGROUND FOR A WRITER’S IMAGINATION!

August 20, 2018 by in category A Bit of Magic by Meriam Wilhelm tagged as , ,


My sister-in-law and I recently took a trip down to La Brea and First Street in Los Angeles, California. Saddened by the news that our favorite fabric store, The Fabric Store, was going out of business, we hoped to grab a final few moments playing with colors, textiles and patterns, and of course snag a few bargains!

Unfortunately, increased rental costs have hastened the closure of this fabulous store. A fact that seems to be plaguing others in this neighborhood of upcoming fashion boutiques, upscale condos and vogue restaurants.

Arriving before the store opened, we decided to venture down the block to Nick Metropolis’ Collectibles; one of the most interesting and unique playgrounds for the mind in town. A place sure way to spark any writer’s imagination.

Not your traditional shopping experience by any means, this open air shop is filled with movie memorabilia, quirky collectibles, odd pieces of artistic expression and a million other items you might never have seen before. Sprinkled throughout the site you’ll also find some beautiful paintings, trendy pop culture artwork, lamps, dishes, unusual furniture, mannequins, sculpture and a whole lot more.

As a writer who loves to dabble in the world of paranormal phenomena and magic, I felt like I’d stumbled upon an inspirational treasure trove. My imagination kicked into overdrive as I wandered through the tight, not so easily maneuverable pathways. What stories could I ring from the many items I’d discovered? Were there confused spirits trapped within this realm, afraid to release items they’d once cherished? Who had previously owned the beautifully sculpted marble angels and where had one rather spooky picture of two washed-out toddlers previously hung? What child had played with the now tattered bride doll or raced through their back yard on the now ancient lady bug cart? I was stunned to learn that one of the sculptures was actually an artist’s rendering of the children of a very popular actor. How had it ended up there? Hmmm, possibly one of these would serve as interesting fodder for a paranormal tale or two.

For over twenty-six years Nick Metropolis has bought, sold, rented and collected pieces from studios, actors, private collectors and everyday folks hoping to make a buck. Studio reps regularly stop by to rent out mid-century couches, an avant-garde painting or to grab items like an old telephone from the 1950’s – perfect for a scene in an upcoming TV show or movie. And numerous stars have popped in to see Nick in the hopes of finding that perfect retro piece or quirky artwork just right for their Southern California home. Nick seems to know them all and he is more than ready to help any customer find just what they are searching for be they a star, a studio rep or just someone hunting for their own inspiration.

Right behind Nick’s shop, homeless Vietnam War Veterans wander the alleyways; he greets them all with kindness and respect, happy to hear their stories. Known for his generosity, the Vets in turn watch out for their friend on this active corner. Unfortunately for the Vets – and those of us who love Nick’s place – the ever increasing rental costs are threatening the future of the site.

The King of Collectibles, as he calls himself, Nick has recently captured the attention of a local production company who is considering creating a reality show based on the happenings of this eclectic, happening place. Ever the entrepreneur, Nick is hopeful that the show will generate funds needed to keep this imaginative playground alive.

If you ever get down to 100 South La Brea, I encourage you to stop by. Don’t be put off by the apparent chaos of the place. Walk in, meet Nick and his wife. You’ll quickly have a couple of new friends. And if you take the time to really look about, you’re sure to find that candy for the imagination abounds at every turn in this ever changing, enchanting spot on La Brea Avenue.

http://www.californiacuriosities.com/nick-metropolis-trash-and-treasure-at-las-most-unique-vintage-shop/

http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-lopez-nick-metropolis-05242017-story.html

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Featured Author of the Month: Meriam Wilhelm

August 14, 2018 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , ,

featured author meriam wilhelm

 

Featured Author of the Month: Meriam Wilhelm

 

For thirty-five years, Meriam Wilhelm worked in education. From high school teacher to college dean to her favorite job of elementary school principal, she took an excitingly non-traditional pathway, always passionate about shaping young minds.

 

When she retired, something magical happened. Wilhelm was bitten by the writing bug and her chosen genre was paranormal romance – specifically of the witchy persuasion. Now, six books into The Witches of New Moon Beach series, she is bringing her passion for learning to her new profession.

 

A world traveler, Wilhelm has researched the history and culture of witchcraft and found inspiration as far away as Bergen, Norway and as close as her home town. A Redondo Beach resident, she decided there was no better location for her family of witches to reside than the beaches outside her own front door. “I think there is magic in everyone you meet,” Wilhelm says. “You just have to look for it.”

 

In her case, you also must write about that magic. Currently, Wilhelm is working on book seven, The Witch of Bergen.  She is the recipient of the Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers Choice Award. She is married and the mother of three grown children and a brand-new grandma. When not writing or traveling, Meriam Wilhelm can be found at her sewing machine, at yoga class or, of course, reading.

 

MIDNIGHT MADNESS

Buy now!
MIDNIGHT MADNESS

MORNING MAGIC

Buy now!
MORNING MAGIC

MURDER BY MAGIC

Buy now!
MURDER BY MAGIC

NIGHT FLIGHT

Buy now!
NIGHT FLIGHT

SEA DREAMS

Buy now!
SEA DREAMS

SUNSET SPELLS

Buy now!
SUNSET SPELLS
THE WITCHES OF NEW MOON BEACH BOXED SET

THE WITCH OF BERGEN

Buy now!
THE WITCH OF BERGEN
0 0 Read more

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