Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sugar and Grits

Title: Sugar and Grits
Authors: DiAnn Mills, Martha Rogers, Janice Thompson, Kathleen Y'Barbo

This charming book is four stories by four different authors.
The women are friends that live in Calista, Mississippi. Two
of them are older and two are younger, but despite the
difference in their ages they are always there for one another.

Mississippi Mud by DiAnn Mills
This is Berta's story. She owns a business called "Bert's Dirts".
She works along side the Crawford brothers and their big job
is to clear land for Matthew Jordan VanMichael III. At the
completion of this job Berta will have enough money to go to
New York and finish her Master's in music. However, God had
different plans for Berta. She learned of Matt's plan to build
a home on the land she was clearing to house elderly friends
of his grandmother's. The home they were in was being closed
and Matt did not want them parted. Meanwhile Berta has to deal
with Bubba Crawford's crush on her. She doesn't want to hurt
him, but has to let him know that she only loves him like a brother.
The road to happiness is paved with pitfalls and misunderstandings
as Berta struggles with a decision to go to school or stay at home.
Was Matt her destiny?

Not on the Menu by Martha Rogers
Dottie Jean Miller grew up on the wrong side of town. Her mother
used to sew for the fashionable ladies in town and would make Dottie
Jean clothes with the left over fabric. When she grew up Dottie Jean
married Hank Weaver. They moved to Calista and helped run the
family business, they also opened a restaurant called "The Catfish
House." After Hank's passing Dottie and her daughter Jenny ran
the restaurant together. One day Fletcher Cameron was driving
through Calista and saw "The Catfish House". His son had said he
stopped there and the food was good. So, Fletch decided to give
it a try. Fletch was taken aback to see Dottie Jean Miller standing
by the counter. She saw him too and decided to go and speak.
They ate lunch together and caught up on their lives since high
school, when Fletch was in love with Dottie but she didn't know it
and Dottie had a crush on Fletch and he didn't know it. Fletch
invited Dottie to a fundraiser, it would be formal so Dottie would
have to get a new outfit. The night of the dinner Dottie was confronted
with several girls that she had known in high school. In the bathroom,
with Dottie listening they made catty remarks about her being with
Fletch. Dottie was heartbroken and left to go home. Would Fletch
be able to convince Dottie to take a chance on them?

Gone Fishing by Janice Thompson
Wendell Meeks had it bad for Sassy Hatchett. Sassy thought of
Wendell as a friend, but that would not stop him. Whenever Sassy
needed anything fixed Wendell was there. When she wasn't
running the Bait and Tackle Shop, Sassy could be found on the
pier fishing. It was where she could think and talk to God. One
saturday night Sassy got pulled into the river, just then Wendell
had come along and fished her out. She was so embarrassed
that she could not go to church the next morning. She could not
face Wendell or take all the giggles that were sure to come her
way. However, when she got together with her friends Dottie Jean,
Berta, and Sue Ellen the next tuesday none of them said a word.
Sassy kept waiting for the shoe to fall and finally said something
herself about her fall. they told her that Wendell had not said a
word to anyone. Sassy then started to look at Wendell in a different
light. Could Sassy give up her grouchy ways and be happy with
the mailman?

Falling for You by Kathleen Y'Barbo
Sue Ellen Caldwell moved back to Calista and bought out
Rhonda Vous hair salon. She had enough of the big city and
wanted to be close to her grandpa Gus. When she was
growing up her best friend was Bud Briggs. Bud is now a
deputy sheriff in Calista. They see each other around town
and say hello but that's about all there is to that. Then Dottie
Jean and Fletch Cameron decide to throw a New Year's Eve
party and Bud is goaded into inviting Sue Ellen. While they
are waiting for the ball to drop they get to talking. Bud tells
Sue Ellen that she needs to watch what she eats and exercise.
Sue Ellen tells Bud that he needs to lighten up like he was
when they were younger. Bud has applied to the FBI, but
before he leaves he vows to get Sue Ellen in shape.
Will Bud stay in Calista or go to the FBI?

In each of the stories the hero and heroine are faced with a
problem. How do they overcome it? They ask God for guidance
and in each case he answers. The faith these four women have
shines through each story. They are uplifting stories of not only
love but of devotion to God.

Each story was enjoyable in it's own right. I would highly recommend
this book to anyone who is a reader of inspirational fiction.

Lightning and Lace

Title: Lightning and Lace
Author: DiAnn Mills

This book is about Bonnie Kahler and her extended
family. It's a book of tragedy, triumph, inspiration and
love of God. The secondary character in the book is
Travis Whitworth the new pastor of Kahlerville, Texas.
The reader learns of his trials and tribulation before
coming to Kahlerville.

Bonnie's husband passed away and she was not able
to handle her family, her ranch and her grief. A not so
well meaning friend got her hooked on drinking spirits
before bed. Her son Zach lost all respect for his mother,
and became quite a handful. The local teacher would
not welcome him in her classroom, especially after the
church was vandalized and the blame was placed on
Zach. Brother Travis says he will keep the boy and also
home school him in an effort to turn the boy around.

There is rumor of an affair between Bonnie and Brother
Travis. It was started by Lester Hillman the not so well
meaning friend. He is married but wants Bonnie for himself
and will do anything to make that happen.

Rosie a local lady of the evening, who turned her life over
to the Lord, is murdered. Again Lester implicates Zach
and Brother Travis. Between Bonnie's brothers and Travis
they firgure out who the real killer is and put a stop to Lester's
reign of terror.

Ms. Mills was very successful in getting the point of her book
across. There is nothing that God can't handle and turn around
for good. Her characters are very well thought out, and presented
in a way that makes you feel like you know them personally.

If you are a reader of Christian fiction, then you will love this book.
It's an adventure from beginning to end.

This book was thoroughly enjoyable to me and I would be interested
in reading more of Ms. Mills work. I highly recommend it and hope
other readers enjoy it as much as i did.