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Madison's Chiaverini finds inspiration in Mrs. Lincoln's dressmaker

It's hard to say if anyone could have foreseen what "The Quilter's Apprentice," the debut novel by Madison author Jennifer Chiaverini has wrought. That 200-ish-page book was the first in what is now a series of Elm Creek Quilts novels that runs 19 bestselling books long. Her first non-series book, "Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker" - based on the life of Mary Todd Lincoln's seamstress and confidante Elizabeth Keckley, who was a former slave - is due out on Jan. 15.