Appledore Books Newsletter
May 2009
Reading Group Discusses With Author
This Desired Place & The Island Queen
Of The Isles of Shoals Trilogy

The Adult Reading Group based at the Stephenson Memorial Library in Greenfield NH invited Julia Older to a lively discussion April 29 of the first two books of her Isles of Shoals Trilogy.

The Island Queen, a biographical novel of Celia Thaxter of the Isles of Shoals, is set during the literary and resort era of the intriguing collection of islands offshore Maine and New Hampshire. This Desired Place focuses on 17th century life when The Shoals rivaled Boston as a New World port of entry.

Discussing The Island Queen, group members wondered if Louis Wagner was guilty of the double-axe murder on Smuttynose Island at the Shoals. Older said that identifying Wagner as the prime suspect was not controversial then as are modern conspiracy theories. She calls fiction written solely from conjecture "speculative fiction." For her, historical novels must be based on researched facts about real events and people.

The reading group also explored the colorful Shoals language Older used in This Desired Place and the shocking way the Salem witches were examined by judges for the trials. Readers also wondered if the Salem witches perhaps suffered from ergot grain molds.

Older writes the novels with the Isles of Shoals as a character of place that changes the people who inhabited them as much as the people changed the place.

Taylor Morris Reads and Signs in New Orleans

Five independent and national chain bookstores in New Orleans hosted Taylor Morris for reading and signing his novels in April.

Now based in Peterborough NH, Morris was born and bred in New Orleans. His first two novels New Orleans and Flight are set in the Louisiana city-town on the Big Muddy delta. Morris did everything from swim across the Mississippi River to flying off to the Second World War in a fighter plane.

His first two novels are combined in his trilogy titled All the Clouds'll Roll Away, available from Appledore Books.

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