Thursday, October 23, 2014

Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind - The Friday 56 and Book Beginnings on Friday

     Miss Julia is a straight-laced Southern lady (in her 60s?) with a strong sense of what's proper and what isn't, a pillar of her small town's First Presbyterian Church, and a recent widow. But it isn't long before her late husband's mistress and illegitimate son show up on her front porch. Told with humor and a Southern voice, this book is the story of how Miss Julia copes with this situation, as well as deals with a hypocritical minister, crooked televangelist, kidnapping, and other surprises that surface.   
     Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind is the first book in a series of fifteen. I've read six or seven of them and although each book stands alone, they're more enjoyable if read in sequence.

Book Beginning:
I'd just caught my breath after the shock of my husband's sudden passing when his last legacy showed up on my front porch. We'd buried Wesley Lloyd Springer some few months before that hot, still morning in August, and I hoped I was through signing forms and meeting with lawyers and shuffling through various and sundry legal papers. I declare, this business of dying has more legal aspects to it than you would think. The deceased never knows what you have to go through to get his affairs in order, and Wesley Lloyd's were in as much order as they could get. I thought.

The Friday 56 (from 56% on my Kindle):
[Miss Julia is describing Pastor Ledbetter's secretary.]
She liked to make out like she was so professional, but she was the biggest gossip I knew. That's why she liked her job, since every Presbyterian in trouble sooner or later ended up talking to the preacher. I'd warned Pastor Ledbetter about her talkative tendencies, but he'd just patted my shoulder and told me he'd take care of it. Ever since then she'd flounced herself around anytime I was in her office, not that anybody with all that weight ought to do any flouncing.

Genre: Women's Fiction / Humor
Length: 273 Pages (Trade Paperback)
Amazon Link: Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind
Author's Website: Ann B. Ross

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
      Miss Julia, a recently bereaved and newly wealthy widow, is only slightly bemused when one Hazel Marie Puckett appears at her door with a youngster in tow and unceremoniously announces that the child is the bastard son of Miss Julia's late husband. Suddenly, this longtime church member and pillar of her small Southern community finds herself in the center of an unseemly scandal - and the guardian of a wan nine-year-old whose mere presence turns her life upside down.
      With razor-sharp wit and perfect "Steel Magnolia" poise, Miss Julia speaks her mind indeed - about a robbery, a kidnapping, and the other disgraceful events precipitated by her husband's death. Fast-paced and charming, with a sure sense of comic drama, a cast of crazy characters, and a strong Southern cadence, Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind will delight readers from first page to last.


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Laura Thomas said...

15 book series. You are brave to begin this. I sometimes have trouble following the series when it's this many. That said, this sounds fun. A character around sixty is a nice change from 17 to 20 and Miss Julia sure got a kick in the kaboose when they showed up on her doorstep. LOL
Here is my 56 -

JC Jones said...

It has been awhile but I read a few of the Miss Julia books and though they were really fun.

Juli Rahel said...

I'm feeling the same as Laura, 15 books sounds exhausting! But then, when you love a series you never want it to end! I do like the sound of the F56, but I always find books set in small towns or villages a bit stifling because I myself couldn't stand living there! I hope you enjoy this one! Thanks for sharing :) hope you have a great weekend!
My Friday post
Juli @ Universe in Words

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Oh, wow, that will be a lengthy series, but it's good that this is the first one. I love the sound of it...who doesn't enjoy watching a straight-laced woman manage her feelings in the situation in which she finds herself? The characters sound like fun, too, and I'd like to see Julia give that secretary a comeuppance or two.

Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I've been reading the series off and on over the past several years. There's no way I'd read them one after another! The characters are fun -- I feel like I've met Miss Julia -- and the plots are lighthearted.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

It has probably been several years since I read this book, but when I was looking for something to feature on today's post, I pulled Miss Julia from my shelves. Now I want to figure out where I am in the series and read another one!

Sandra Nachlinger said...

Miss Julia is a quirky character. You're right -- it's fun to see her grapple with what's "proper" versus what her feelings tell her is the "right" thing to do.

Claudia {Sparrowhawk} said...

For me, the book beginning certainly posed a some questions and thoughts. Like: what showed up at the front porch!? Is there an actual mourning period where the legalities surrounding the death of a loved one can be placed on hold? I can’t imagine being able to ration and shuffle through sundry legal papers when the love of your life has just passed; how awful!

Still and all, this one sounds great! Thanks for sharing Sandra and have a lovely weekend :)

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I was the executor of my dad's estate and, unfortunately, shuffling through legal papers after a death is what has to be done. Yes, there are certain things that have to be taken care of immediately. I thought of my role as helping him, in a way. But after plowing through his accumulated papers, I came home and shredded a bunch of extraneous paperwork I'd kept. Don't want my son to have to go through all that mess!

Cheryl said...

This sounds like a fabulous book. I love the writing style and the cover art. I'll have to add it to my wish list. Thanks for visiting The Busy Mom's Daily.

Anonymous said...

The first person I thought of when reading your excerpt was Rachel Lynde from Anne of Green Gables, she means well but she can be a tad nosy and judgmental.

LadyD Piano said...

I love hearing about the Christian grapevine, so to speak with all the drama. This is a wonderful post, Sandra and I like it when 60 year-old women speak their minds! She sounds like a delightful character!

Elizabeth said...

A long series, but it sounds quite good.


THANKS for sharing.

Silver's Reviews
My Book Beginnings

fredamans said...

Sounds like Miss Julia is a snarky lady... I like that.
Happy weekend!

Sandra Nachlinger said...

She's a memorable character, for sure.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

The author did a great job of portraying a small town and that includes gossipers and busybodies. Miss Julia is definitely a strong woman and not someone to be trifled with.

Bea said...

Oh, I like those samples! Dying is indeed a messy, complicated legal process. Blergh.

I have one of the books from the series, I don't remember somewhere in my pile of Doom, aka the TBR pile. I like the sound of this one so maybe I'll find mine and push it up the pile.

Yvonne said...

I have wanted to read this series for a long time. It sounds wonderful.

Nyze Gremio-Velasco said...

Interesting opening. Thanks for sharing! :)

Here's mine:

Anne Bennett said...

The book sounds like a good, comforting one. My Friday Quotes

Lauren Stoolfire said...

Sounds like quite a series! Thanks for sharing with us. :)

LuAnn Braley said...

I like sassy southern women, so I've TBR'd the book on GoodReads! And fifteen books? That is a longer-than-usual series, but if they are good books, hey, the more the merrier! :O)

Sandra Nachlinger said...

My excerpts are a little bit longer than usual, but I wanted to show the author's "voice." I'm glad you enjoyed them.
By the way, I like the name you've given your TBR pile. I have a "Pile of Doom" too.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Sounds like a fun series!

guiltless reader said...

15 books? I'm not sure I'm up to that many although maybe if I fall in love enough with Miss Julia, it's not such an issue ;)

Katherine P said...

Oh this sounds interesting! I like the excerpts as well. Are you enjoying this one?

Kiran J. @ Book Maniac Reviews said...

Interesting picks this week :P It definitely sounds full of good humor :) Thanks for visiting by Friday post :)
Book Maniac Reviews