What a thrill. Walking into the Inn was like walking into a best friend’s house. I knew every room and furnishing. I knew about Luther’s railings and the names of the all the guest rooms. And I couldn’t wait to try out the bathrooms and heated towel racks. I knew about everything, even though I’ve never been to Boonsboro, Maryland.
How? Because I’ve spent hours with the Montgomery boys and their brides as they created an inn out of the oldest building in town.I read it in Nora’s books.
Writing a book is about creating a world that readers want to visit and then come back to again and again. That’s what Nora has done. Her trilogy, Inn BoonsBoro, chronicles the renovation of the actual Inn by the fictional Montgomery men. I stepped off the pages and into the Inn and knew the features of each room as Ellen, the live-in innkeeper showed my husband and me around. The entry has a beautiful tile rug.
Our room, Titania and Oberon, had a fabulous draped bed with cashmere throw and a huge copper tub along with a magic toilet. (Very strange to have a heated seat along with a dryer. Unfortunately, the bidet parts weren’t working.) Our porch overlooked Main Street, although I was disappointed that Liza, the ghost, didn’t show up. The books and video in out fairy bower of a room were—you guessed it—Midsummer’s Night’s Dream.
Ever since I heard that the books were about an actual Inn, I wanted to go. The marketing concept and reach intrigued me. So I bid on a one night’s stay in the 2012 Brenda Novak Auction for Diabetes.
And the marketing isn’t limited to tying her books in with the Inn. Each room has a signature scent for infusers, soaps, and bath salts created by a local artisan. (T&O’s was pixie dust.) I was able to buy any of the Inn’s amenities and a mug over at Gifts Inn BoonsBoro.
The gift shop is across the street from the inn and next to Turn the Page bookstore and Café owned by Bruce Wilder. The bookstore was a busy place, but my favorite room, was the room filled—with Nora’s books.
There are two restaurants across from the Inn, both owned by Nora’s sons. Vesta, which appears in her books and is run by the heroine from The Last Boyfriend and Dan’s, which is MacT’s Restaurant and Tap in that same book. Don and I enjoyed dinner at Dan’s on our first night.
My husband had his hair cut by Dick who appears in all three books. Dick insisted we check out Crawford’s (also mentioned), where the sign indicated Restaurant, Guns and Ammo. (You really could get all three in the store.)
The artwork throughout the Inn is by local artists and available for purchase. The wine I drank during the social hour in the Lounge was local and carried an Inn BoonsBoro label. The tea was designated by each of the rooms. I ended up drinking Eve and Roarke’s Irish Breakfast. But my husband’s favorite amenity was the Jameson whiskey available in the Library.
In talking with the wonderful Inn staff, their pride in this incredible boutique hotel is evident. Not only has Nora rehabilitated a local eyesore, she has brought business to a small community (3,339), created opportunities for local artisans and linked everything to three wonderful books.
Before, she was my hero because of her outstanding books and career. Now, she’s allowed me the pleasure of walking through the pages of her stories.
Thanks Nora! We’ll be back.