Divas of Damascus Road

Divas of Damascus Road

4.4 15
by Michelle Stimpson
     
 

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*Essence Magazine Bestseller*
After being blamed for her baby sister's death, Dianne Rucker swore she'd never come back to Dentonville, Texas. But her Aunt Gloria, who took her in after the accident, is getting remarried. Going back home means Dianne must face her own demons as well as a drug-addicted mother who is now falling even farther into schizophrenia.

Overview

*Essence Magazine Bestseller*
After being blamed for her baby sister's death, Dianne Rucker swore she'd never come back to Dentonville, Texas. But her Aunt Gloria, who took her in after the accident, is getting remarried. Going back home means Dianne must face her own demons as well as a drug-addicted mother who is now falling even farther into schizophrenia.

But Dianne isn't the only one struggling. Her two cousins must come to terms with their own issues after having grown up in this dysfunctional family of women. And Aunt Gloria may be hiding the biggest skeletons of all.

The women must look to their faith in God as they attempt to turn their lives around like Saul on the Biblical road to Damascus.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781479315345
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
09/13/2012
Pages:
308
Sales rank:
647,643
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.65(d)

Read an Excerpt

Divas of Damascus Road


By Michelle Stimpson

WARNER BOOKS

Copyright © 2006 Michelle Stimpson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-57746-4


Chapter One

Joyce Ann cursed the sunlight as it streamed through the slats in the blinds. Once again, God had ignored her prayer. He had kept her alive through the night. She pulled a pillow over her head and trapped the air in her lungs for a moment, wondering how long it would take to suffocate. Sometimes she felt like killing herself; other times she did not.

It wasn't all her fault. Some of it was, but not all of it. Pondering blame ushered thoughts of her sister, Gloria, and the money order-or rather, the absence of the money order. Joyce Ann tossed the pillow to the floor and sat up slowly. Her brain needed time to catch up with her body. She jumped, startled by movement on the mattress. She tried to replay the night before, but it was either too early or too late in the morning for her to think; her mind had pressed "rewind" without pushing "stop" first. Whoever the man next to her was, he sure slept soundly. Probably Greg, but it didn't matter. Men were like interchangeable paper dolls to Joyce Ann.

Joyce Ann scooted her behind to the edge of the mattress and then heaved herself up to a standing position. Maybe, if Gloria sent that money order, she could afford a decent box spring. That would be a couple of hundred dollars. Then the thought occurred to JoyceAnn: do you know how much vodka you could buy with a couple of hundred dollars? No, she wasn't going to spend good money on a box spring.

The room could have used a lot of things: a rug, sheets for the mattress, a lamp, clothes to decorate the closet. So far she'd done nothing more to add life to this dank, stuffy room than to bring in a bed on which to sleep (or repay debts), a table for divvying up drugs, and a trash can for straightening up when she had a mind to.

Joyce Ann shuffled across the stained carpet, grabbed her mailbox key, and walked barefoot past two buildings to the apartment complex's mail cage. It was early. The air was still light and promising, as if anything could happen today. Birds whistling, dew bathing the grass, and four little girls in a huddle, slapping hands and clapping to the tune of "Rockin' Robin" while they waited for the school bus. For as much mess as she had in her life, Joyce Ann did still appreciate the morning in all its blazing, annoying glory. She pulled her sweatshirt tighter around her torso and shivered as a breeze cut through the thinning fleece. Her hair flopped down against her cheeks with every step, reminding her of better days, when her hair was her best asset. Everyone always said she had "good" hair. With split ends, matted clumps, and graying roots, her hair was anything but good now. It was chaos, but that was fitting. A metaphor for her entire life.

Joyce Ann approached the red mail cage cautiously. She didn't want to walk up on something she shouldn't see or couldn't get out of. All manner of evil went on in that cage: drug deals, sex (consensual and nonconsensual), robbery. When she saw that the coast was clear, she unlocked the gate and made sure it clicked behind her. The concrete floor was littered with junk mail and newspaper. Quickly she put her key into the box, turned the lock, and pulled her mail from the slot. After getting a glimpse of the envelope from Gloria, Joyce Ann happily skipped back to her apartment, making mental plans for the money her sister sent monthly.

Every once in a while Gloria would send a little less money, with a note explaining that she had an unexpected expense and that she'd double up the next month. She'd add, "I'll make some calls and see about getting you some sewing work on the side." Joyce Ann would smile inside to read those words, glad to know that she wasn't the only one struggling. Glad to know that Gloria wasn't really getting ahead. "Got a college degree and can't even afford to send money regular," Joyce Ann would laugh to herself. "Now, who's the stupid one? Who's the useless one?" Satisfied that Gloria wasn't too much better off than she, Joyce Ann would wait patiently, take a quick sewing job, and imagine that Gloria had taken a part-time job to catch up.

The only other time Gloria didn't send money was when she'd paid for Joyce Ann's care in one rehab or another. Joyce Ann had been in more step programs than a toddler learning to walk. Two steps forward, three steps back, then flat on your behind. But she humored Gloria every now and then for the chance to stay in the nicer rehabs. It might have cost Gloria an arm and a leg, but so far as Joyce Ann was concerned, Gloria owed every penny of it.

Greg met her at the doorway. "I'm out."

"Bye."

All the more money for Joyce Ann. After paying the all-inclusive rent and buying a few groceries, she could do what she wanted with the rest. Better yet, she might look through the paper and see if there was another all-bills-paid, first-month-free complex she could move to and skip out on her current lease. That would free up even more money. But to do that, she'd need to work for at least a few weeks to show income.

Joyce Ann tore through the envelope and found the money order. It was wrapped in a piece of paper, as usual. And, though Joyce Ann hated to admit it, she was happy to see that her sister had written a note:

Joyce Ann,

This may be the last money order I'll be able to send you for a while. I'm getting married next month, and my husband and I will be joining our accounts. I'll send you money when I can. In the meanwhile, I'll see if I can get you some work.

Gloria

In disbelief, Joyce Ann read the note over again and again. "What you mean, you'll send money when you can? Get me some work?" Joyce Ann screamed. "Who does she think she is? She doesn't deserve to be happy, Miss Goody Two-shoes teacher!" The bare walls screamed back at her.

Suddenly, Joyce Ann wasn't so grateful anymore. How dare Gloria leave her out to dry! Again! Furious, Joyce Ann stuffed everything she owned into the wooden chest with wheels on the end. Gloria May Rucker-Jordan might have tried to dance around Dentonville like she was the belle of the ball, but she would never be rid of the bricks sewn into the hem of her gown. Joyce Ann would see to that.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Divas of Damascus Road by Michelle Stimpson Copyright © 2006 by Michelle Stimpson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Michelle Stimpson is a multi-published national bestselling author. Aside from writing, she regularly ministers to women at her church. She and her husband have two teenage children and one crazy dog. Visit her online at www.MichelleStimpson.com

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Divas of Damascus Road 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
OOSABookClub More than 1 year ago
DIVAS OF DAMASCUS ROAD is a very good read about strong family values and bonds with passionate spiritual ties. As an avid reader, I am confident that others will associate with DIVAS OF DAMASCUS ROAD mainly due to the fact that every family, at the minimum, has one person in their family who has it all together and is stronger than the others as well as a dysfunctional side that you can't hide regardless how hard you try.

Fortunately, for The Rucker family lies the lines of prayer, strength and togetherness which creates an all together different story.

Aunt Toe is the Matriach of the Rucker family. It is her job to keep everyone in line.
Gwen has it all together. She is definitely the strong one with all the answers
Aunt Joyce Ann is in need of some serious help! No one is certain where to begin.
Regina has had a problem all along but, everyone has ignored it until it hits them in the face.
Yolanda is certain that she is the ONLY sane member of the Rucker family.
Dianne is aware that there is a problem with her. She just is not sure what she can do about it.

DIVAS OF DAMASCUS not only shows the power of prayer, but how we are able to overcome consistent trials and tribulations. Isn't it amazing how something so simple can spiral out of control and lead to much larger things?

I really enjoyed reading Michelle Stimpson's contribution to the literary world. In my opinion I didn't think the title fit, THE RUCKER WOMEN would've been a more appropriate one.

Reviewed by: Carmen
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Entertaining, with stories that are highly relatable to any woman who has grown up in a female dominated household.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Family ties, forgiveness, relationships, independent women, dysfunction are all themes explored by the author as secrets are finally revealed. Tragedy as well the happy ending of couples coming together make this an intriging story. It should be noted the author makes strong and sometimes lengthy statements on spiritual faith which sometimes digress from the storyline. While the re are a lot of characters for the most part each has a distinct viewpoint to share. Quick read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
THIS WAS MY FIRST BOOK BY THIS AUTHOR. THIS WAS THE MOST INSPIATIONAL BOOK, IT WILL SHOW YOU THE POWER OF PRAYER. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED EVERY PAGE OF THIS BOOK. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My daughter loves the book
SEA02 More than 1 year ago
I was drawn into this book and it was such an easy read.....even for me. When reading, it's easy to paint a visual picture of all of the characters and the setting. They become part of you and you a part of the family. The author does a great job of presenting the emotions of the characters. And as for the family secrets, I never would have guessed. The confessions near the end bring everything to full circle. I would highly recommend this book. I love reading good Christian Fiction and this book is it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. It portrayed some serious family issues that many families deal with.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I LIKED THIS BOOK A LOT... I REMINDED ME OF REAL LIFE FAMILY ISSUES WE DEAL WITH ON A DAILY BASIS... THE BOOK MADE ME SMILE, LAUGH, CRY, ETC. IT KEPT ME SO CAPTIVATED I COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN AND THAT'S ALWAYS A GOOD THING... THIS IS A DEFINITE GOOD READ, WOMEN WOULD LATE MORE THAN MEN...
Guest More than 1 year ago
DIVAS OF DAMASCUS ROAD is a very good read about strong family values and bonds with passionate spiritual ties. As an avid reader, I am confident that others will associate with DIVAS OF DAMASCUS ROAD mainly due to the fact that every family, at the minimum, has one person in their family who has it all together and is stronger than the others as well as a dysfunctional side that you can't hide regardless how hard you try. Fortunately, for The Rucker family lies the lines of prayer, strength and togetherness which creates an all together different story. Aunt Toe is the Matriach of the Rucker family. It is her job to keep everyone in line. Gwen has it all together. She is definitely the strong one with all the answers Aunt Joyce Ann is in need of some serious help! No one is certain where to begin. Regina has had a problem all along but, everyone has ignored it until it hits them in the face. Yolanda is certain that she is the ONLY sane member of the Rucker family. Dianne is aware that there is a problem with her. She just is not sure what she can do about it. DIVAS OF DAMASCUS not only shows the power of prayer, but how we are able to overcome consistent trials and tribulations. Isn't it amazing how something so simple can spiral out of control and lead to much larger things? I really enjoyed reading Michelle Stimpson's contribution to the literary world. In my opinion I didn't think the title fit, THE RUCKER WOMEN would've been a more appropriate one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dianne left Dentonville, Texas vowing never to return until she got a call from her aunt Gloria begging her to come to the wedding. Dianne did miss her family. She always had an excuse for the major events of life cousin Yolanda's graduation from pharmacy school, her sister ¿ Regina's baby shower, great aunt Toe's birthday party, and it would be heart-wrenching to miss aunt Gloria's wedding. Dianne called on her trusty male friend to accompany on her the long bus trip from Conroe back home. Things were fine until her mom, Joyce Ann, showed up in town. All the family secrets started falling out of the closet and they can only hope prayers will be enough as their family is sinking fast. Just like Boaz Brown, Stimpson's first book, Divas of Damascus Road is a page-turner that will capture your attention from page one. The characters are easy to identify with. You can place them within your own family while they grow and develop into people you love at the end. The storyline has twists and turns you will never see coming with outcomes only the Lord can workout. Stimpson carefully weaves God's love and forgiveness into the story by changing the hearts and actions of the women within the family. The implied lessons can be used in reader's everyday lives. Bravo for a story brilliantly written! Reviewed by: M. Bruner for Loose Leaves Book Review