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Romance, Intrigue, And Another Bible Bad Girl

Here are some holiday gift
ideas for the bookworms on your list.

Fans of Liz Curtis Higgs’
talented writing style will be pleased with her latest account of
another bad girl of the Bible. Mary Magdalene is the sole subject
of Mad Mary (Waterbrook Press, $19.95). Higgs had intended
to include Mary Magdalene in her former bad-girl studies, but
decided she deserved more than just a chapter. Read Higgs’
fictional account of a modern-day Mary first, then delve into the
scriptural Mary Magdalene story to learn about her sordid,
demonized past before she encountered Christ.

For the romantic person on
your gift list, Laura Sutton and Leila Salisbury have the perfect
stocking stuffer. Romantic Kentucky (Blair Publishing,
$10.95) promises suggestions of "more than 300 things to do
for Southern lovers." The book is broken down into types of
Kentucky sites to see and things to do such as gardens, state
parks, horse farms, and historic sites. It also includes romantic
dining spots and a list of Kentucky bed and breakfasts. Contact
information and a description of activities offered are listed for
each location.

For the short-story
enthusiast, Zigzagging Down A Wild Trail, by Bobbie Ann
Mason (Random House, $22.95), is a great choice. Eleven short
stories make up this book, all containing similar themes. The
characters all seem to be searching-some for answers, some for
guidance, and some to find themselves and their purpose in life.
All are written in Mason’s award-winning style.

Shiloh and Other Stories
(University Press of Kentucky, $18.00) is one of Bobbie Ann
Mason’s earlier works. This collection of 16 short stories,
Mason’s first work of fiction, earned her the PEN/Hemingway Award
for First Fiction. The theme of this collection centers around
grief or loss. Also highlighted is the influence of pop culture on
our lives and how "the good old days" have slipped away.

One of the hottest items on any reader’s Christmas
list this year should be a copy of The Bluegrass Conspiracy by Sally Denton
(iuniverse.com, $26.95).
At its first printing in 1990, this true story became so controversial it was
pulled from publication, leaving many would-be readers searching for remaining
copies. Now in its second printing, copies are sure to be in high demand. The
story exposes an international web of corruption, drugs, and murder, with Lexington
policeman Andrew Thorton at its center. Thorton jumped out of the plane he was
piloting with $75 million worth of cocaine and a destined-to-fail parachute strapped
to his body. Retired Kentucky state policeman Ralph Ross knew just how deeply
Thorton’s involvement in the government went, and was determined to get to the
bottom of the scandal Thorton’s death brought to light. This is a must-read for
fans of local mystery and true crime.

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