Synopsis | Reviews | Excerpt
Welcome back to Mossy Creek--the warm-hearted but stubborn residents of the small town whose motto is "Ain't goin' nowhere, and don't want to" are once again sorting out the joys, sorrows and everyday mysteries of life.
This time around they've got the added drama of the big town reunion commemorating the twenty-year-old mystery of the late, great Mossy Creek High School, which burned to the ground amid quirky rumors and dark secrets. Are the villains who caused the fire at the grand old school finally ready to come forward?
In the meantime, sassy 100-year-old Creekite Eula Mae Whit is convinced Williard Scott has put a death curse on her, and Mossy Creek Police Chief Amos Royden is still fighting his reputation as the town's most eligible bachelor. Then there's the new bad girl in town, Jasmine, and more adventures from the old bad girl in town, Mayor Ida Hamilton. And last but not least, Bob the flying Chihuahua, finds himself stalked by an amorous lady poodle.
All this and more—including the introduction of Mossy Creek's new recipe section, courtesy of Creekite Chef Bubba Rice—is waiting for readers in the second novel of the Mossy Creek series.
Source: Best Reviews
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
A WHOLESOME STORY
With the twenty-year reunion at Mossy Creek, Georgia coming soon, Creekites wonder who burned down the town's high school back then that has forced locals to attend nearby rival Bigelow High School? Apparently the arsonist is taunting the Creekites by having sent to the town the ten cent fortune telling machine used during that homecoming day when the fire changed so many lives.
Though not even born yet, wallflower Josie McClure knows the impact of the fire because her mother was the homecoming queen who never celebrated her victory and forced her to compete for the Bigelow High School Homecoming Day Queen, which she humiliatingly lost. Rainey Ann Cecil thinks back to that fatal day in 1981 when she was twelve and with Robert Walker and Hank Blackshear believed they caused the fire. Amos Royden is now the sheriff and would like to solve the case that his now deceased father always felt blemished his law enforcement record. Others are impacted by either the fire or the upcoming reunion. Will the reunion complete the destruction of the Creekites or refurbish the civil pride of being a Creekite?
Written as a series of vignettes tied together through the reunion, the story line is humorous and sad focusing on how a pivotal event can change lives forever. Though an ensemble, the characters come across as genuine, leaving readers to understand their pain, loneliness, and their need to belong. Fans will enjoy REUNION AT MOSSY CREEK and want to read the previous slice of small town Southern living, MOSSY CREEK.
Source: WMAC-AM, Macon, Georgia
Reviewer: Jackie K Cooper
REUNION AT MOSSY CREEK is a collection of short stories written by a group of ladies who live in north Georgia. They are Deborah Smith, Sandra Chastain, Debra Dixon, Virginia Ellis, Martha Shields, Nancy Knight, Carolyn McSparren, Dee Sterling, Carmen Green and Sharon Sala. The stories they write in this book are held together by the location which is Mossy Creek, Georgia; and by the theme which is the high school reunion in Mossy Creek.
It seems that twenty years ago someone burned down Mossy Creek High School. Who started it has never been determined but it is an event which has caused unrest in the town since the night it occurred. The prime suspects are the townspeople of Bigelow, the rival city of Mossy Creek and the county seat. When the fire destroyed their high school, Mossy Creek students had to go to Bigelow High and they were not happy about that.
Bigelowans have always looked down their snooty noses at the good people of Mossy Creek. Even though there have been some inter-marriages, the animosity between the two towns remains at a high level.
All of this is described in detail and with a great deal of humor in REUNION AT MOSSY CREEK. In this latest collection of stories the mystery of the fire gets solved and some new romances get started.
The writing in the book is very simple and enjoyable. Amazingly the connection of the chapters describing a variety of characters and their stories are seamless. Rainey, the town hairdresser, pops up in more than one story as does Sandy the police dispatcher. There are other carry-overs but they never disrupt the style of whatever story is being told.
The book is a collection of mysteries, love stories, comedies, and adventures. It has everything you want in a novel and more. And if you don't like the way things are heading in one story, hold on; a new author will be present with the next chapter to give you another perspective of the town and its people.
REUNION AT MOSSY CREEK is down home story telling at its best. The ten women who have authored it, have made it a total delight from start to finish. Make a visit to the town of Mossy Creek through these stories. You will have a wonderful time.
REUNION AT MOSSY CREEK is published by Belle Books. It contains 427 pages and sells for $14.95.
Source: Romance Reviews Today
Reviewer: Astrid Kinn
Mossy Creek is a quaint town in the middle of nowhere, established in the mid-1800s, and like many other small towns in the South, it has almost developed a mind of its own. The town motto says it all: "Ain't Goin' Nowhere -- And Don't Want To." Lyrical, isn't it? As one would expect, Mossy Creek's citizens are as unique as the town itself. Katie Bell is the gossip columnist for the local paper. She is ready to solve the mystery that has plagued Creekites for twenty years -- who burned down Mossy Creek High School? And what better time to solve it than high school reunion time? All those high school seniors who saw their high school incinerate twenty years ago and had to graduate from the rival town's high school have never forgotten the trauma of not being able to graduate from their alma mater.
There are plenty of other characters that are interesting, to say the least. Mossy Creek has its very own Bigfoot, who gets "befriended" by the daughter of the homecoming queen-to-be twenty years ago. Josie, who dabbles in the art of napkin-folding, has heard (ad nauseum, I might add) the story of how her mother was almost the Mossy Creek High School homecoming queen until, of course, the fateful night the high school burned down. Josie's touching account of finding the love of her life will bring a tear to your eye.
There's more, a lot more. Amos, the police chief, and the most sought after unmarried man in town has a hankering for a woman several years older than he, who also happens to be the town mayor. Will he ever act on it, or will the new pregnant town widow catch his eye? And where would Mossy Creek be without the town's oldest resident, Eula Mae Whit? Not to mention, the sub-plots of the disappearing elephant and the return of the Ten-Cent Gypsy. The common theme, though, is the mystery of who burned down Mossy Creek High twenty years ago, and it runs through the stories of the lives of the quirky residents of Mossy Creek.
I want to live in Mossy Creek. It is the most touching little town, and it has just enough funk and spark to ensure that anybody who passes through the town via this delightful book will be positively affected. All of the characters tell their own version of what happened as they traverse through their entertaining, if sometimes bizarre, lives. There are even recipes at the back of this book that had me howling. Bubba Rice's Southern guy's version of Fried Rice is a good one, not to mention Potato Salad For Folks Who Don't Like Potato Salad. I know, it sounds a bit overwhelming and a tad confusing, but believe me when I tell you it all comes together beautifully, and I enjoyed every minute of this book.
I particularly enjoy the idea of several authors collaborating through membership in the "Mossy Creek Storytelling Club", with each adopting some of the characters of the story and making them their own. The authors in this second novel are Sharon Sala, Deborah Smith, Sandra Chastain, Debra Dixon, Virginia Ellis, Martha Shields, Nancy Knight, Carolyn McSparren, Dee Sterling and Carmen Green. Every single one of them molds and creates their characters with impeccable detail and delicious wit. REUNION AT MOSSY CREEK is the second installment of the Mossy Creek series, and thankfully, not the last. There is a third one, SUMMER AT MOSSY CREEK, due out in June 2003. With some of the same characters returning, and some new ones to meet, it, too, promises to be another charmer.
Wild and wacky, REUNION AT MOSSY CREEK is sheer escapism and enjoyment. Please go out and buy yourself a copy today. It's worth reading more than once.
Source: Heartland Reviews
Reviewer: Bob Spear
Reunion at Mossy Creek is the follow-on to Mossy Creek. These southern belle authors have done it again, even better this time. Each author takes the persona of one or more characters. Each chapter is from a different character's point of view. The 150-year-old rivalry between the small Georgia mountain town of Mossy Creek and their much larger, snobbier neighboring community, Bigelow, comes to a head as the secrets behind the burning of Mossy Creek's high school twenty years before come to light in an incredible show-down scene at the town's reunion.
Each chapter is quirkily funny in its own right; however, some are also down right touching as well. Granted, there are some who will call this a "chick" book and I generally hate over-indulgent emotional books; however, I came close to breaking out in actual tears at the end of the first chapter about an ugly duckling girl by the name of Josie. Several other chapters created lumps in my throat. These authors make the characters so real, so understandable (even when they're dead wrong), that they suck the reader into the stories. I find it amazing how well these different ladies blend their writing so well. I have no idea what their writing process is; however, I have pictures in my mind of cathartic group meetings well lubricated by moonshine and home brew, which dissolve periodically into giggle fests and crying jags. We rated this book one of the highest five hearts we have ever given out.
From "The P Patch"
by Carolyn McSparren
My daughter, Marilee, swore I was clinically depressed. Well, heck, yes, I was depressed! In a little over a year I'd lost my job, my city life, and my husband. But I wasn't clinically depressed. Just garden-variety, if you'll excuse the allusion. If Marilee hadn't brought in the mail when she came to see me, if she hadn't seen the Mossy Creek Garden Club return address on their invitation to me, none of it would have happened. So in a sense it's her fault. I would have declined the invitation politely and gone back to the latest true-crime police novel on my nightstand.
But Marilee, who is unfortunately a status-conscious Bigelow by marriage, screamed so loud when she saw the invitation that my Maine coon cat, Dashiell, leapt to the top of the nearest bookcase and hissed at us. "Mother, you have to go to that tea! The garden club is the smallest, most exclusive club in Mossy Creek! My Claude would kill to be a member."
"Since I've heard that you have to be female, over fifty, and definitely not a Bigelow to be invited, I don't think he's got a snowball's chance in hell."
"Please, mother, say you'll go. Since Daddy died all you've done is sit in this house with that wicked cat and read books." She waved a hand at the bookshelves that were double and triple-shelved with paperbacks. "One of these days I'll find you buried under a pile of books with one frail hand scrabbling feebly at the carpet."
"My hands are not frail, thank you very much. Your father and I should never have allowed you to audition for the Playmakers at North Carolina WHAT, Marilee. You've over-dramatized ever since."
"Say you'll go to that tea, mother. Swear!"
I knew I'd never get rid of her otherwise, so I swore. Garden club indeed. Those exclusive old ladies would take one look at me, shout 'unclean' at the tops of their voices, and kick me out.
The party was at Ida Hamilton Walker's. Ida Walker is mayor of Mossy Creek and just barely eligible, age-wise, to join the club. Looks-wise, she could be forty, tops. A good-looking forty, too. I knew she lived just outside town at the Hamilton family's showplace farm, in a large, Victorian home full of inherited antiques, but I'd never been invited there, before. I expected to be grilled about my theories on rutabagas by Mayor Walker and a crowd of superbly svelte crones with perfectly coiffed hair, fake fingernails, and sporting a combined carat weight of diamonds that would sink the Titanic. All drinking oolong out of Lowestoft cups.
And wearing ultra-suede, lots of it. I have a friend who swears ultra-suede rots the post-menopausal brain.
When Ida's housekeeper, June McEvers, ushered me into the library, instead I found half a dozen women in Wranglers and chinos knocking back mimosas with their Nikes propped on stacks of gardening magazines on Ida's antique butler's table. I felt overdressed in the black blazer and skirt I'd dredged out of the back of my closet for the occasion. I even had on panti-hose and pumps with heels.
I was introduced all around to women with names that meant almost nothing to me. I've never been good at names, even though there were only five of them, not counting my hostess. I knew the mayor, of course, and had met a couple of the others casually at Mossy Creek's Mt. Gilead Methodist Church, but I felt certain none of their names would stick, especially since I never expected to be asked to another meeting.
They shoved a mimosa into my hand and proceeded to try to get me drunk as a skunk.
While I was fending off a giddy urge to hiccup, the aged elf next to me, Louetta, put a nearly transparent paw on my arm and whispered, "We want you to join our club, dear. We like the way you drink. But lose the pumps, all right?"
Okay, I thought, while I can still walk, I'd better disabuse these ladies of any hope that I could be an asset to them. "You ladies really don't want me in your club. I swear." That brought a flurry of disclaimers. I held up a hand-I still saw only one, thank God-and said, "Look, you're wonderful people and I've enjoyed this 'tea' thoroughly. But you are about to clasp a viper to your bosom. I'm no gardener. I can even kill philodendron."
Gasps. Nothing can kill philodendron.
"You remember that story about the princess whose father kept her in a poison garden?" I went on. "Then one day she got out, and every plant she touched died? You are looking at Rappaccini's great-great-great-whatever granddaughter. I am come as a blight upon your land." As a former English professor I tend to talk flowery when I get smashed, which I do about once every twenty years.
"But dear, anybody can garden!" Louetta said.
"That's like saying anyone can cook or ride a horse or do quantum physics. It ain't necessarily so. My husband was the gardener. If you've driven by and seen our place looking half-way decent, it's because Ben did a bunch of work before he died, and my daughter and son-in-law have tried to keep the lawn mowed and the shrubs cut back since then. Frankly, I haven't had the heart."
"Don't worry. We'll help you." This from a large woman wearing a Hawaiian shirt. She looked like a small tropical island after a typhoon.
"I don't want to be helped. I want to sit indoors with my cat and read mysteries."
"And get old and shriveled and just wait to die?" Louetta added helpfully.
After a moment of dull dignity, I gave up and nodded.
I saw Ida's fingers begin to drum on the candle table by her chair. I heard concerted sighs. I saw an exchange of looks that could only be called 'speaking.'
That's when I should have tossed my empty mimosa glass at them and run for cover.
"We're staging an intervention on your behalf," Ida said, leaning toward me and motioning for a tiny lady near Louetta to refill my tumbler. "We need you. Mossy Creek needs you. Your garden needs you. Surely that makes a difference."
"Not to my ability."
The tiny lady actually began to stroke my hand, much the way I stroke Dashiell when he's annoyed at me. "We always counted on dear Astrid," she said. "At least until she got so blind she couldn't tell an ageratum from a hydrangea."
Titters all around. Apparently ageratum and hydrangeas look different to the trained eye.
"We can't afford to lose just because she died and sold you the house."
"Lose? Lose what?"
"The contest, dear. The gardening contest against the Bigelow Garden Club."