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'Alexandria was paradise'

Just one year after the launch of her debut novel, Coming Apart, author Nicole Garber announced the release of its sequel, Satan Like Spam.

While Garber used her hometown, Bartlesville, Oklahoma, as the setting for Coming Apart, she takes the reader 750 miles away to Alexandria in Satan Like Spam.

The main character, Rae, has this to say about Alexandria after she arrives:

"This was only my second morning in Alexandria, but so far, May in Minnesota felt like January back home. The air was cold, and residual ice lingered on the lake where it was shaded beneath the trees."

Garber chose Alexandria as the setting for Satan Like Spam not only because it's one of her favorite places, but also because she believes it is a place of rest, relaxation and peace of mind.

"I placed the heroine of the story in a setting that is completely serene so that when Rae's world begins to unravel, Alexandria and the cottage on Lake L'Homme Dieu will be a shelter from the storm," Garber said.

Coming Apart concluded with Rae searching for the truth. In Satan Like Spam, she is still determined to discover the secrets of her past. However, she is faced with a new dilemma. By unveiling closely guarded family secrets, she might lose the love of her life.

Rae spends most of her time in her cottage, one of the only places where she and her boyfriend Alex can go to escape the troubles that surround them:

"For a couple of months, it seemed that Alex and I were in another universe, away from the world that brought us so many problems, the world that told us it would never work out for the two of us to be together. Alexandria was paradise, and the cottage on Lake L'Homme Dieu was our heaven."

Although Garber now lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with her husband and two children, she vacations in Alexandria every summer and stays at a cottage on Lake L'Homme Dieu that has been in her family for more than 90 years.

Her embarking on the journey of writing the books was motivated by the simple desire to tell a story.

"I didn't set out to write a book because I desperately wanted to become an author," Garber said. "It was the idea behind the book that drove me day and night. I wanted to write a story about eternal love and supernatural healing. A year and a half later, the story developed into the book that I had in mind."

Coming Apart and Satan Like Spam are the first two novels in a planned series of four. They are available locally at Cherry Street Books. For more information on Garber's series, visit

Jessica Sly

Jessica Sly has been working as a content writer at the Echo Press since May 2012, contributing, proofreading and editing content for both the Echo and Osakis Review. A Wadena native, she graduated from Verndale High School in 2009 and worked that summer at the Wadena Pioneer Journal as an intern reporter. She attended Northwestern College in St. Paul (now the University of Northwestern - St. Paul), where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in writing and a minor in Bible. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the piano (and learning the violin), reading, writing novels, going to the movies, and exploring Alexandria.

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