Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ozark Weddings

by Anita Mae Draper

Ozark Weddings by Anita Higman & Janice Thompson (Barbour Publishing 2010) contains 3 stories set in the Ozark Mountains.

Larkspur Dreams
Everett Holden is a loner and he likes it that way. An accountant who works out of his home, he has no time for friends or leisure. Imagine his shock when he realizes his new house comes with an eccentric extrovert neighbor with a delinquent duck.
Locally famous children’s book illustrator, Larkspur Wendell, loves life. When she sees a lonely introvert move in next door, she takes it upon herself to ensure he experiences life to the fullest . . . whether he wants to or not.

The Love Song
After an emotionally painful childhood, Clair O’Neal feels like she’s invisible to the rest of the world. Quiet and unassuming, she hides away in a bookstore with her only friend, the senior lady who owns the store. Then one special night, as she attends a party on behalf of her boss, Clair catches the eye of not one, but two attractive men.
Ever since musician Hudson Mandel first laid eyes on Clair, she’s been on his mind. She even inspired him to create a song just for her. But, he needs to get his personal life in order before he can actively pursue Clair. While he’ doing that, he sees her spending time with image consultant Glenn Yves and it seems to be more than just a professional relationship.

Castles in the Air
Nori Kelly is thirty years old and wants to get married and start a family. She needs a beau for her plan to succeed, but there doesn’t seem to be one in her vicinity. Can a book on how to catch a ‘dreamboat’ really be the answer to her prayers?
Zachary Martin is the epitome of a geek, right down to the thick glasses, white socks and brilliant mind. A successful geophysicist, he has all the money he needs. What he wants, though, is for the woman-next-door to look at him with the same love he feels for her. Fat chance that will happen when she can’t seem to abide his presence. But what will she do if he loses the ‘geek’ image and presents himself as just a friend?

This book is a fun read with quirky characters. The authors have chosen completely different and complex characters to lead the stories and it seems they’ll never scale the high wall which divides them.

Can people really change? If they do, can you trust that the change was what they wanted, or merely a reflection of what someone wanted for them? These questions came to mind as I read these stories, because each of these characters change in a profound way.

May I tell you my favorite of the 3 tales? At first it was the first story, then the second, but while reading the third, I decided that yes, that was my ultimate favorite. You see, I saw a bit of me in each of the heroines and yet my faith journey paralleled Nori’s in the final story. She shows a child-like faith to follow God and yet when tragedy almost unrails her dreams, she realizes she hasn’t been following God’s chosen path at all. And then she must face her fear . . . are her dreams what God has planned for her life?

If you get a chance, read this book. At the very least, you'll enjoy the colorful characters. And at the most, you might see how your life can change for the better.


  1. Nice review Anita. Each story sounded interesting because of the characters and I love how you said you liked the one you were reading 'most'. It would be hard to not compare them. Glad to have you back home after your trip to Indy last week.

    Congratulations Anita and Janice, I hope you get to stop by the Inkwell. The concept of the novella and your working partnership both deserve their own blog post (they both intrigue me)

    Have a great weekend, everyone!

  2. Wow, what kind words about Ozark Weddings! Thank you so much. I'm so glad you enjoyed the stories. And yes, I think Castles in the Air is my favorite too.

    Anita Higman

  3. Thanks, Deb.

    Yes, I'm very glad to be back home, too. And I'm pretty much caught up on my email except one to the inkies. Haven't posted all my pics yet, but that will have to wait until the evenings as I'm working on my wip during the days.

    Thanks for holding down the fort, Deb. I appreciate it.

    Anita Mae.

  4. Hi Anita, I think Castles in the Air really hit home because I identified with both of the characters. Not that I have a brilliant mind, but I've felt as awkward as Zachary and reacted the same. But as the story went on, he did things so totally unexpected, I was eager to turn the page to see what he was going to do next.

    BTW - When I went to to get the book cover, they have the authors listed as Anita Higman and Janice Hanna.

    I checked at and they have Jancice listed as Hanna Janice Hanna. I sent the .ca one an email telling them the book cover states Janice Thompson and maybe they should change it.

    Maybe someone else should email the .com site and do the same.

    Nice seeing you here and it was a pleasure to read the book.

    Anita Mae.

  5. Three for the price of one! Sounds like a bargain to me! I love quirky characters...

  6. Yes Cheryl, quirky is good and very entertaining. :)

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Anita Mae.


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