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Fayetteville author releases new book

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Young adult novel is set during the Civil War

Belle in the Slouch Hat

By Mimi Mathis

$19.95 paperback

Fayetteville author Mimi Mathis has released a new book that was published by Fayetteville based Phoenix International, which is distributed by the University of Arkansas Press.

The young adult novel, “Belle in the Slouch Hat,” is the story of 15-year-old Belle Brayden and is set during the Civil War. The book has a strong spiritual theme addresses the impact of the war on the young.

Belle’s 18-year-old brother, Bud, who fought with a group of Confederate guerrillas, has been killed. To help soften the sadness over the loss of her brother, Belle puts on her brother’s slouch hat and embarks on a journey to find the man who killed her beloved brother.

In her quest, she joins forces with a spiritual mentor, a horse with magical powers, and her “best-friend-cousin,” 16-year-old Winnie. When Winnie was seven years old she lost her eyesight, but she has an amazing ability to “see with her heart.” Her compassion and humor is a positive influence in Belle’s life.

Mathis is a retired registered nurse. She has written that the inspiration for her novel comes from an old slouch hat with feathers that she saw in a historical display at a tourist center. “After seeing the hat, words kept flitting through my mind to write a story about a slouch hat,” Mathis writers. “For me to think about writing a story wasn’t an unusual thought, because I love writing stories for my grandchildren, but I soon forgot the thought and the hat.”

After going back to the tourist center a few weeks later, the hat spoke to her again. “I had an overwhelming urge to write a book about a high-spirited girl and a slouch hat.”

“Belle in the Slouch Hat” is available locally at Barnes & Noble and Hastings and online at amazon.com or www.Belleintheslouchhat.com.

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