When dreaming up ideas for what would become The Gifted (Revell Books), author Ann H. Gabhart was searching for a fresh way for readers to see the Shaker experience. Soon, the novel’s leading lady, Jessamine Brady, sprang to life in her imagination: “Though Jessamine has grown up among the Shakers, she has an insatiable curiosity about everything in life, including the forbidden ‘world’ outside the village,” Ann shares. “Then I read about the fancy ‘springs hotels’ that were popular in the 1850s. Here the upper class came to take the ‘waters’ reputed to cure many ailments while the elaborate social events at the hotels often cured spinsterhood.”

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