The alphabet cone shell, the shell museum and a popular used-book store on Sanibel are part of the inspiration for Linda Salisbury’s eighth book in the Bailey Fish Adventure series, "Treasure in Sugar’s Book Barn."
Salisbury will autograph copies of her books on from 11 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, May 31 at The Island Book Nook, located at 2330 Palm Ridge Road.
The series is based on an 11-year-old Florida girl, Bailey Fish, who is sent by her traveling mother to live with her grandmother, Sugar, in Central Virginia. Bailey has fond recollections of Sanibel, where she and her mother, a writer, visited and gathered shell treasures numerous times on the beach.
Bailey’s best friends are adopted 12-year-old brothers, Noah and Fred Keswick, who live next door at a country inn owned by their parents. Sugar’s Book Barn is opened in a little barn on the property. When Bailey and the boys help Sugar unpack the cartons of used books, they make astonishing discoveries and the adventure begins.
The newest book, the eighth in the award-winning series, was inspired by the Island Book Nook.
"Much like the bookstore’s owners, Sugar decides to sell a mix of used books and her favorite new ones," says Salisbury, a former longtime resident of Charlotte County with timeshare on Sanibel.
The inspiration for clues in the story’s mystery is an unusual shell on display at the Shell Museum.
"I visited the museum when I was working on details for the book," says Salisbury, "and have received help from Dr. Jose Leal, the museum’s executive director as I’ve verified information for the nonfiction material in the back."
She added that although she herself has never found an alphabet cone shell while walking the beaches, but during a visit to the island had read an article about Harlan Wittkopf and a brochure he had developed for school children. That led to using the fun shell in the book.
"I immediately purchased an alphabet cone shell at one of the local shell shops to take to schools and programs," said Salisbury. "Kids and adults are fascinated by it."
Salisbury’s books have won numerous awards, including gold and silver from the Florida Publishers Association, bronze from the Eric Hoffer, Moonbeam, and ForeWord book contests.
In addition to the Bailey Fish adventures (www.baileyfishadventures.com'>www.baileyfishadventures.com), Salisbury has also written "Mudd Saves the World: Bugger Glue, Cow Diapers and Other Good Ideas," a humorous environmental book for the same age group (8-12).
Other books in the series include, "The Wild Women of Lake Anna," "No Sisters Sisters Club," "The Thief at Keswick Inn," "The Mysterious Jamestown Suitcase" (Best Children’s Fiction, 2009, FPA); "Ghost of the Chicken Coop Theater," "Trouble in Contrary Woods," and "Captain Calliope and the Great Goateenies."