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  • Writer's pictureAmy Q. Barker

Two Towns for the Price of One

Updated: Jan 26, 2022

It was called the eighth wonder of the world when it was built and you can see why--a huge free standing 200-foot dome that takes your breath away. The West Baden Springs Hotel and Resort, built in 1902, boasted the largest dome in the world at that time and remained the largest dome in the United States until 1955. It's an awesome thing to behold. Until you're standing under it, you can't imagine the scale, nor can you explain in adequate detail the way it makes you feel--the history, the nostalgia, the uncanny way the structure managed to survive multiple years of complete and utter neglect and even willful destruction.

But survive it did! Can you see why I was inspired to write an entire novel about this magical, mystical, historical place? Riley Cartwright, the main character in Bibliointuitive, is just as strong and indestructible, not to mention magical and loveable. Much like West Baden, she tackles her demons and comes out the other side an icon reborn, a source of strength and awe.

I decided to bring Bibliointuitive to the place where it was born this week. The place where two towns converge on a creek that contains gold--the profitable and healing waters of the springs, which have been revered for over a century. There's something about this place that makes you feel like you've been dropped onto another planet or certainly into another time. Everything in the French Lick and West Baden hotels are done to perfection--from the food, to the décor, to the service, to the restaurants, to the gardens, to the display cases (with original china and letters and photos from the 1800s), to the immaculate holiday decorations, to the fully functional train (and transport trolleys), to the steakhouse (where the waiter said he'd been working for 24 years!), to every single thing. And I'm so glad I was able to bring a small taste of this magical place (which is truly in the middle of nowhere Indiana!) to my book.

Also, another fun fact: French Lick is the birthplace of tomato juice. They serve it with every meal in the restaurant and it is SO good.

More info from Google: A tomato juice company was formed in French Lick and given the secret recipe in order to make the juice in large quantities for the hotel. But once folks had a taste for it, the demand for tomato juice increased substantially, and by 1928, canned tomato juice was available on the commercial market.

Check-out this article:

Click to purchase Bibliointuitive. Thank you for your support! Love you all, Amy

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