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From my book:

“On magical spring days I clip my feet into bicycle pedals and cruise along country roads. The steep hills rising up and out of the many nearby rivers and creeks make my heart want to pound out of my chest. Little-used country roads connect tiny towns, arteries to hearts. I head east and in thirty minutes, I’m in Elysian. Who was the European settler who named this place? A farmer who knew the works of Virgil and Dante, someone who thought southern Minnesota invoked the essence of heaven.

“Elysian looks like any other small Minnesota town: a gas station at the city limits, an aging water tower, faded red granaries.”