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October 03, 2007


Marti Johnson (aka Sock Queen)

I quite agree with learning more from a good novel (or mystery) than from a history book (and I was a history minor in college!). One of my favorite examples are the books by Dick Francis ... thank Heavens he's back to writing again after his wife's death. I've learned more about various topics, everything from photography to transporting horses by truck or airplane, than a good many history books. His research is always outstanding, and his "franchise" always makes perfect sense in context with the story. Although not normally a mystery, his books are totally engaging, and some of my favorites. Your former editor is to be congratulated for installing that same sense of "franchise" in you. I'm really looking forward to this particular China Bayles story and her involvement with the Shaker Village. Any possibility she might someday visit an Amish community?


This is so much fun, I have just read the entire postings and can't wait for the next "instalment" so to speak. I never thought about not likeing China being out of Pecan Springs, I guess I figured the lady needs to get out sometime:)
I have to agree with you about learning more from a good novel than a history book. And your site trips sound very intersting. Maybe you could send China and McQuaid out of the country. Any place you want to visit in particular:)?

Judith Shaw

Janice Holt Giles also wrote "The Kentuckians" and "Hannah Fowler". Neither is particularly about the Shakers but both are set in Kentucky with lots of background flavor for time Kentucky was first settled. Another great author is Harriette Arnow; her strong women protaganists live in Kentucky in the early 19th century -- not in the Shaker period however. She wrote "The Dollmaker" and "Hunter's Horn". I can't wait to read of China's visit to Kentucky and how you've woven the Shaker plot into the book. Keep up the great writting -- write fast! :)

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