In those hours in August 2016 after we at the newspaper first learned a young woman had died in the horrendous fire that consumed the Valle Landing building, officials hadn’t yet identified her.

The story that emerges from the pages of Wiley Cash’s third novel, “The Last Ballad,” is one of validation and victory. It is the real-life story of a woman whose existence in the early 20th century did not surpass 29 years. It is the story of a tragedy that many worked hard to suppress and,…

Just like a blushing bride and a grinning groom, we are beaming with excitement to bring you the 2018 edition of the award-winning All About Weddings, a special publication of All About Women magazine.

In March, in honor of Women’s History Month, we again want to feature multiple women who are “making their mark” here in the High Country — and we need your help to find them!

Tom Petty. I won’t attempt to add to the canon of worthy and well-spoken tributes to this mighty musician, but suffice it to say, wow, what a punch in the gut. As I get older and my heroes start to pass, I’m aware that this loss, while it stings, comes nowhere close to the pain that many fee…

A collection of poignant stories, “The Love of Baseball” reveals writers whose love for their sport spans lifetimes, generations, and continents. These personal narratives evince a loyalty, commitment, and devotion that is contagious for even baseball’s toughest critics.

As far as milestone birthdays go, turning 40 earlier this year was rather uneventful. I felt sure that, on the big day, I would awaken feeling a) very wise or b) near death. I also considered the possibility that, because 40 is the new 30, I would be instantly returned to a thinner, perkier,…

There are quilters, knitters, and rug hookers, but crochet seems to be my family’s chosen craft, at least on my mother’s side.

Some people are born into families who provide a stable and loving environment; they are born and brought home. Others are not as fortunate, and part of their lives is spent in search of a home — a haven and a refuge — from the troubles life inevitably carries.

I like a clean house; my husband, Roger, likes an uncluttered house. Between the two of us, our house is very neat and tidy. Neither of us are collectors of stuff, and before bringing an item into our home, I ask myself, “Do I love this enough to dust it?”

In June, two friends, A.J. and I pointed our Subarus in the direction of Lost Cove to explore the remnants of an abandoned community. This is not the Lost Cove area near Wilson Creek with which High Country denizens are most familiar; instead, this ghost town is located in Yancey County, N.C…

It’s the reason many of us are here—the mountains’ scenic beauty, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the heavenly summers. Like many, I’ve spent much of my time in the Boone area relishing these opportunities: hiking for views from the summit, cooling off in swimming holes, and floating down the New an…

There are several stories embedded in “Finding Strong,” a loving memoir written by Claude Cooper with his daughter, Leigh Cooper Wallace. First is a story of strength—physical, mental, and emotional strength. The strength it takes to push past your limits in a race, to admit you are an athle…

An acquaintance once asked me if I was a mountain girl or a beach girl. After a moment of consideration, I responded, “I think I’m a city girl.”

Past and present, loves lost and found, failed attempts and zealous restarts overlap in Barbara Claypole White’s latest novel, Echoes of Family. Set in both Carrboro, North Carolina and Newton Rushford, England, White brings generations, families and secrets together for a final coup de grac…

The federal observance of March as Women’s History Month — which highlights the contributions of women to events in history and society — turns 30 years old this year.

“I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.”

Have you ever wondered what to gift your hypochondriac cousin? What about your geeky baker colleague? Or, your teacher friend with the wicked sense of humor? Perplexed and pressed for time, have you quickly given up and purchased a gift card?

In the final pages of her new book “Aviatrix,” Kimberley Jochl includes a picture in which she is jumping as high as she can in the air — a victory jump — taken in front of her airplane after soloing a flight to the Tri-Cities airport. As she shares with readers, “I got out of my Skylane, th…

Anyone who knows me is familiar with my affinity for all things festive. I relish any opportunity to don a costume, or to deck out a space, such as my tailgate, in the colors and symbols of the occasion.

For more than 10 years, this community news journalist has, for the most part, successfully managed to avoid the first person. Committed to fair reporting, I prefer not to become part of the story, and I’m quite comfortable in the role of invisible observer.

My father, Paul, has two brothers: Darrell the elder and David the younger. In another time and place, I could easily believe that the notorious Young brothers would have been swashbuckling pirates or a Wild West gang of outlaws. Whenever they are together, my father and uncles love to remin…

Eight years ago this past July, I wrote my first editor’s note as I began an incredible journey with All About Women magazine. I was in unchartered territory at the time, having written only a food column and feature stories for about 25 years leading up to that point. I was nervous about th…

My heart is racing, my knees feel slightly wobbly, I think I just cried a little and at the same time, I have the urge to let out a loud yelp while doing cartwheels. Before you fear for my health, know that I just watched the trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” again, for about the t…

October is one of those months about which few people can rightly complain. It’s one in which nature’s beauty is perhaps at its greatest height, while at the same time, helping ease us into a new season.

In “Wuthering Heights,” Catherine Earnshaw haunts the moors; in “Gone With the Wind,” Scarlett O’Hara vows that she and her family will never be hungry again. In Peggy Poe Stern’s “Heaven High and Hell Deep,” Elaine Elder Johnson milks cows, shoots preachers and kills panthers with a pitchfork.

Spring is such an amazing time when everything comes back to life again. Most of us find ourselves energized and ready to hit the trails, the lawns and garden spots in celebration of the new season bearing warmth, sunshine and opportunity.

As we age, it seems that time comes and goes faster than ever before.

If I could recall being opposed to having my picture taken as a child, I would argue for a genetic predisposition inherited from my mother who was harassed during her formative years by her brothers and their cameras, but I cannot. Rather, I posed and preened for the camera, entering a multi…

From its opening pages, the story of generations of “gifted” Waverley women is hinged upon that pivotal moment when the earth turns away from the sun and the zap of the first frost is a harbinger for the cold months ahead.

My friend, Jean, and I had shopped all day on what had become our annual Christmas shopping spree. But, I had not found a suitable gift for my mother, and we needed to head home. Mama had been sick for several years and confined to bed most of the time.

Fans of Sharyn McCrumb will be excited to see her first-ever holiday novella on the shelves this Christmas season. Not only does this book feature the joy and nostalgia that surrounds Christmas, it adds to the story of Nora Bonesteel, a McCrumb readers’ favorite.

For years, I have been wrapping all of my holiday gifts, well, actually all gifts, in brown Kraft paper. There is something clean and easy about it that I have always liked. No need for birthday wrapping paper, Valentine’s wrapping paper, Christmas wrapping paper, etc. — I simply use brown p…