Welcome to the first entry in my new "Postcards" series. Each week, I will profile a different city that is mentioned in my debut novel, In the Beginning, which can be purchased here. Some might be shorter than others, depending on what I think you need to know right now at the start of this journey. The idea is to immerse you into the world as if you, yourself have visited. Read on to learn a little more about one of cities on Earth: Murlance.
Do you love small town living? Are you a sucker for tradition and the value of community? Do you want the luxury of "big city living" without actually living in the big city?
If you answered "Yes!" to any of those questions, you're going to love visiting Murlance, Kentucky!
Located just northeast of Lexington, Murlance is the proud home to just under 5,000 residents. Founded by the well-known and highly regarded Jericho family in late July 1776, Murlance is home to Mayor James Jericho and his own family, the city is a picturesque scene of community and family as both Creatures and Humans coexist. Mayor Jericho and his wife, Sylvia Yates, have lived in Murlance for over 50 years. They raised their own children in Murlance, teaching them how important the unity of a family is. Although each of their children left Murlance for a time to experience the world, they all returned to start their own families and help make Murlance the ideal place for anyone to reside.
Historically, Murlance has never gone long without a Jericho in office. In fact, the gap between Mayor Thurston Jericho and Mayor James Jericho was ten years--the longest in Murlance's history--while Mayor James started his own family. As one of only 1% of all cities in the nation that does not limit mayoral terms, the city collectively decided to limit the number of successive terms to two (2) at a time, serving four (4) years in each term.
Originally, Mayor James Jericho did not have plans to take the reins on the city until all of his children were grown and out of the house. The death of his father, Mayor Thurston, before his planned eighth run for office caused Mayor James to step in and undo the injustices brought on Murlance by his successor. Mayor James saw to it that his successor was impeached and removed from office before completing his first term. Before Mayor James took office for the first time, Murlance suffered dark days of near-bankruptcy, corruption by the wealthy families of the county, and the hunting of Creatures on the Full Moon.
Mayor James' leadership has changed Murlance into the thriving oasis that it is today. He has served over 35 years in office as both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor. Age is just a number to our spry and handsome mayor, who has almost completed his forth term as Mayor. Under his direction, Murlance is now home to proud Humans who no longer hunt Creatures for sport and to Creatures who feel safe enough to call the city "home."
We hope you will join us in the next year as Mayor James sets a record for Murlance with most terms served as mayor. The Jericho family has big things plans to commemorate the last 35 years and to ring in next Fall's unprecedented fifth term leading Murlance!
STAYING WITH US
Greenery is abundant in our small town with a big heart so that most residents are easily able to own a small piece of the town they so adore. Drive around town and you will see a variety of dream homes racing from the sprawling ranch home to the multi-level farm house. Want to own your own little slice of Heaven? The Murlance People's Bank will work hard to make you one of the whopping 70% of Murlancers who are proud homeowners!
Homeownership not for you? We understand. Sometimes it's nice to have that "home away from home." That's why the city has partnered with Freedom Park Condominiums to provide vacation rentals to visitors like you. Introducing the Freedom Vacation Rental!
Now you, too, can live like a Murlancer in our luxury condominiums. Located on Freedom Park, we have hand-selected ten of our most exclusive condos to rent out to you, our very special guests. Rentals require a minimum of a week stay, with a maximum of a month. We guarantee you will love our one- and two-bedroom condos, each with their own full bathroom and another full guest bathroom in the hallway. Each condo offers top tier appliances and comes fully furnished! The only thing you should have to worry about is whether to swim in the lake or cookout in the park. Really, why not both?
Enjoy the lake view from your master bedroom, living room, and dining room while knowing you are in a corner unit with maximum solitude in the most highly desired condominium/apartment building in Murlance. Starting at just $500/week*, you will live your best life when you vacation with Freedom Vacation Rentals!
If you prefer to "rough it" in the wilderness, Murlance has that, too! Pitch a tent inside Liberty Forest during the warmer months. Our forest is teeming with wildlife such as bear, wolves, cougar, rabbits, and plenty of foul to catch for feasting (permit required for Humans). If you're craving fish, head to Freedom Park where you can catch fresh fish every day (permit required for all species). With a full belly, you can take a hike to some small natural waterfalls or just lay under the stars at night. Camping in Liberty Forest is worth experiencing at least once.
HANG OUT IN MURLANCE
If you're looking for quaint relaxation vibes with a dash of serious party, then look no further! Murlance checks all the adventure boxes.
Are you a shop-a-holic? A self-proclaimed foodie? Put both tastes to the test in Downtown Murlance! Only 10% of our stores and restaurants are chains. The rest are locally owned, and all profit gets put back into the Murlance economy to help keep the city thriving. From boutiques and bookstores to toy stores and speciality stores, we have them all for you to eagerly peruse. And your taste buds will thank you when you stop by one of our cafes for lunch or one of our fine dining restaurants for a hearty dinner.
Liberty Forest is one of Murlance's top attractions. The thick, tall trees carry the scent of oak and pine throughout the city. The air is so fresh, your lungs will feel like they've been rejuvenated at a spa. Hidden deep within the Forest are several naturally made waterfalls. They may be small, but they provide lots of lush greenery to the wildlife that roam.
Throw a party at Freedom Park! With numerous park benches; six (6) state of the art propane grills at your disposal; and a city-owned beach with boat rentals to take onto the lake, you could host an entire family reunion in our park--and many have! Bring kids and dogs for some playtime; bring that special someone for a romantic picnic. Whatever your plans, we are sure Freedom Park can accommodate.
Come visit us during July 4 for a fireworks event unlike any other in the region. The Murr County Independence Day Fireworks Spectacular is known for going above and beyond to celebrate the greatest revolution in both American history as well as Murlance history: Independence Day. Because of our nation's revolution to independence, Murr County was able to become a place all its own when Robert and Tilly Jericho founded it in late July 1776. All food and activities are provided by the Jericho family at no cost to you! If you would like to participate in other ways, the Mayor's wife, hosts an annual bake sale to raise money for a cause, hand-selected by the Mayor's wife. Many of the residents set up shop in the provided tents to sell brownies, cookies, cakes, and so much more while the rest of Murlance eats them! This year, Sylvia is raising money to preserve Liberty Forest as a historical landmark and all proceeds from the bake sale will go to that cause.
So bring your families and your swim suits for an unforgettable summer!
A SAFE COMMUNITY FOR ALL SPECIES
Our residents are a healthy blend of Human and Creature, and they show the utmost tolerance for all species during any time of the year. This shining example of working toward a common goal to succeed in peace and harmony is encouraged by the Jericho family as they lead by example.
Sadly, Mayor Jericho and his family are aware of some of the prejudices that face Creatures in these modern times. That is why Mayor Jericho has joined forces with Verum Humanior Lab Corp. to launch a new program to unite Humans and Creatures as one. The Conquisitors are among the top-ranked scientists in the region, and they are working tirelessly to compound a variety of genetic solutions that will end the unique suffering of the separate species.
With Director Kordelia Danes, Ph.D., at the helm, Creatures can rest assured their genes are in safe and caring hands. Dr. Danes' own daughter, Peyton Jericho--a Lycanthrope--has joined the cause to make the world a better place. They encourage you to inquire how you can continue building a safe community for everyone while you visit Murlance.
Mayor Jericho and his family want you to maximize your time in Murlance and enjoy every moment you are here. In compliance with the legal obligations required by the federal government to ensure peace and safety between the species, below is our Key Ordinance. Please note that all residents and visitors must follow in order to ensure both Creatures and Humans are kept safe, happy, and healthy in our fabulous community.
Murlance Key Ordinance 314.090:
Camping is strictly prohibited during the three (3) day period of the Full Moon. The three (3) day period includes the day/night before, the day/night of, and the day/night after a Full Moon each month. Penalties for illegal camping during such time includes, but is not limited to, up to 48 hours jail time and a $5,000.00 per day fine.
Campers entering Liberty Forest throughout the year acknowledge it is at their own risk. Murr County and the Jericho family are not liable for any theft, injury, and/or death or any other harm that shall mentally, emotionally, or physically be caused to campers while in Liberty Forest.
I hope you enjoyed that profile of Murlance! Next week, we'll visit the other city in Murr County: Falshooke Mountain. Until then, buy In the Beginning (and/or tell your friends to buy it); read through it; don't forget to leave a review; and, most importantly, enjoy the Hell out of it!