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Well, let me tell you a story.

During Christmas break we were traveling in our RV to AZ where my
husband's family lives.  We stopped one night in Las Cruces, NM,  and as
my husband was connecting everything outside while I was readying the
inside, he was commiserating with the guy in the next parking spot as
they worked in the cold.  Somehow in their conversation, they discovered
that both their wives wrote for publication.  We got together and I
discovered that the next-door lady was *published*!  She has numerous
mass-produced romance novels and, I believe, they all have historical
settings.  At least the ones I read do.

After we met I made it a point to read _Texas Silver_ and _Texas Jade_
(the 3rd one is due out this summer).  They are very light reading and
fast.  I told her that I couldn't recommend them for purchase for a high
school library because of the sexually explicit descriptions, but I
would not hesitate to recommend them for reading by more experienced
high school readers. They appeal mostly to females because the
protagonist is a strong character, a medicine woman who had an anglo
father and Indian mother (the first one did).  The men in their lives
are all respectful of the woman's skills and knowledge (of course, the
villains aren't).

Now the clincher....they (Arlene Hodapp aka Holly Harte aka Arlene
Holliday) and her husband travel around the country in their huge 5th
wheel RV and explore/research her settings and ethnic backgrounds.  Her
novels are set in the West of the 19th century, and the Texas ones that
I read are accurate geographically and historically.  Talk about an
ideal job! That sounds *almost* as much fun as being a librarian!  :-)

Although the books are very light reading, I recommend at least the
"Texas Healing Women Trilogy".  (I haven't read any of the others.)  I
don't have her web site address at hand, but I think a "Holly Harte" web
search might get it.  I think the Texas members of LM_NET would probably
enjoy the settings as much as the stories!  (One thing that I noted
though, the *cover* of one of the books was supposed to depict the Davis
Mountain region of Texas.  The text description was accurate, but the
picture looked like the Colorado mountains!  I think the cover is the
publisher's prerogative.)

I, too, am saving all of your good suggestions for summer reading.

Betty Dawn Hamilton, LRS * mailto:bhamilt@worldnet.att.net
Historian, Terry County Historical Commission
Librarian, TEXAS LIBRARY JOURNAL Contributing Editor
911 East Oak Street, Brownfield, Texas 79316

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