BATH, Maine (AP) _ Stephen King, who wrote about the horrors of domestic violence in the best-selling novel ``Rose Madder,'' gave $50,000 to open a shelter for abused women and children.

The gift by King and his wife, Tabitha, means the shelter in Bath will open sooner than expected, said Lois Reckitt, director of Family Crisis Services.

The check arrived on Christmas Eve, when the financial outlook for the shelter was bleak.

``We started dancing around and hugging each other in the office,'' Reckitt said Wednesday in The Times Record of Brunswick. ``That's how huge a gift it was for us.''

The Kings, who live in Bangor, do not comment on their charitable efforts, a spokesman said.