Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Try Dying

I love thrift stores. We do live on a tight budget, so part of it is necessary, but I also love the thrill of the hunt. I sent Mia to school today in head-to-toe thrift or clearance items, and she looked so cute, I had to share. I paid 10 cents for the shoes at a thrift store in Gillett. I got the tights there for 29 cents, and the skirt for $1.99. The shirt was $3.50 at Wal-Mart. But the jacket was my find of the season. I paid 99 cents for it at Goodwill. It was priced at $9.99 on a gray tag, but each week they have a special on color tags. I watched it for a few weeks and waited for gray tags to go on sale. During the week they are half off, but on Saturday, everything that color is 99 cents. After I brought the jacket home, I discovered that the original store tags were still on it with the price: $59.99! It was brand new. There's nothing like a good deal!

Try Dying by James Scott Bell is the first book in the Ty Buchanan series. Ty has everything going for him: well-paying job as a attorney with a high-priced Los Angeles firm, beautiful fiancee, good friends. Until his fiancee, Jacqueline, is killed in a freak accident on the freeway. Ty hasn't even begun to deal with the loss when he's approached by a man who says that she was murdered. Ty grasps onto the news with both hands and as he struggles to discover the truth, he quickly loses everything he built his life on. Suspected of murdering a television reporter who was working on the case, he loses his job, his home is fire-bombed, and his friends avoid him as though he has the plague. The only people willing to listen to Ty and believe him are a internet-savvy nun and a defrocked priest in a monastery in the hills above LA. I was thrilled to find out that this book is just the first in a series. Ty is a terrific character. His disconnection from life shines through his narration. He relates even violence with a deadpan tone and blase demeanor. But Bell manages to let Ty's desperation and grief through on every page. As Ty loses everything, he finds out who and what he can really depend upon, and it's not money, career, or friends. Ty doesn't suddenly come to faith at the end of the book, it wouldn't be in his character. But he moves closer to understanding God as he turns his back on his former life and takes up a new one as a defender of the poor. Great characterizations, powerful action, and terrific story-telling make this one you don't want to miss!

And you won't have to if you win my contest for a free copy of this book. Just drop me an email at clockstein at before midnight Friday to enter. Good luck!