Archive for May, 2008|Monthly archive page

Miss Julia Paints the Town by Ann B. Ross

The latest Miss Julia novel by Ann B. Ross features that wonderful lady of an indeterminate age (but past the middle definitely) in her Abbottsville milieu. She awakes one morning to find that three of her dearest friends are suddenly missing husbands — mega-wealthy Mildred’s husband has possibly been killed in a car accident; steady Helen’s Richard has evidently absconded with many people’s investment money; and best friend Lou Anne’s husband has had enough and leaves her to find himself. As if that’s not bad enough, the City Commissioners have sold the beautiful old Courthouse to a Yankee developer who is going to tear it down and build a high rise condominium. Miss Julia’s wonderful husband Sam seems to be consoling poor Helen a little too much and her not so beloved Pastor of her beloved Presbyterian church is thinking of leaving for greener pastures. Miss Julia Paints the Town continues to satisfy this and other readers who enjoy conversation and character based stories. I find these stories absolutely hilarious. If you’ve never read Miss Julia, you must start at the beginning with Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind, in which she becomes the widow of Wesley Lloyd Springer and learns that her stodgy banker husband had a paramour Hazel Marie and a son “Little Lloyd” when they show up on her doorstep. She never slows down from that day onward. Her faithful friend and housekeeper Lillian is always nearby to offer solace, help and advise as is Sam Murdoch, her friend and attorney. Miss Julia’s household expands to include Hazel Marie and “Little” Lloyd in her further adventures in : Miss Julia Takes Over, Miss Julia Throws a Wedding, Miss Julia Hits the Road, Miss Julia Meets her Match, Miss Julia Stands her Ground, and Miss Julia Strikes Back. Definitely, read these stories in order of publication and be prepared to laugh out loud.

Don’t miss the 2009 adventure in Miss Julia Delivers the Goods.

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No Strange Fire by Ted Wojtasik

No Strange Fire by Ted Wojtasik is a story about the Nebraska Amish – the Yoder and Hostettler families. Nineteen year old Jacob Hostetler leaves the order to live among the English to experience freedom. After six Amish barns (with livestock) are burned to the ground resulting in the death of 10-year-old Eli Yoder, Jacob becomes a primes suspect and begins to question the real meaning of freedom. No Strange Fire is loosely based on a historical event of March 14, 1992 when six Amish barns in Big Valley, Pennsylvania burned. Wojtasik lived among this group of people for several week researching the novel in order to portray their plain and simple lives as accurately and realistically as possible. A job well done.

– Kay