Melanie Holmes


Melanie Holmes is an award-winning author, speaker, educator, and lifelong travel enthusiast. Her previous four books focus on history, diversity, art, and family. Born and raised in rural northeast Illinois, she credits her mother with introducing her to the joy of the open road and credits her husband with helping her to collect three more decades of new travel episodes. To all who’ve asked about her road trips, 100 Things to Do in Illinois Before You Die holds the answers!


Local author Melaine Holmes talks about the inspiration for her new book, 100 Things to Do in Illinois Before You Die.

A gifted composer and pianist, longtime area-theatre reviewer, and staunch advocate of the local art scene will be the featured guest at Coal Valley's Robert R. Jones Public Library on April 6, when Jonathan Turner will serve as a knowledgeable,

Sometimes locals have to entertain out of town relatives who ask, “what’s there to do around here?” Sometimes people just want a change of scenery for a day or two, not a full vacation. There are plenty of places to