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Captiva island

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Atlanta columnist and Buckhead resident Julia Parks is invited to the lush South Florida island of Captiva to interview and write the biography of renowned romance novelist and Georgia native Helen Van Buren. No one had ever been granted the opportunity to interview the 86-year-old recluse throughout her 21-book career, though fans remained curious why she abruptly stopped writing decades ago. Julia's intrigue as to why she's the chosen one sends her packing and on a plane headed South in a…

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The vibrant Sanibel and Captiva islands are ecological marvels compared to Florida's many overbuilt barrier islands. Development began with the construction of the Sanibel Island Lighthouse in 1884, when only the lighthouse keeper and assistant and their families lived on the island. Noted conservationist Jay N. "Ding" Darling led the charge in preserving the islands' wildlife and natural beauty from the greed of real estate speculators and land developers in the 1930s. Former presidents…

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