Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Death of a Six Foot Teddy Bear

Every now and then in my prayers, I ask God to show me where I'm sinning in my life so that I can make some changes. Today was one of those days. I encountered three different people who I've been holding grudges against (some I don't even think about anymore). Meeting each one made me uncomfortable and angry inside as I remembered all of the things they had done to hurt me in the past. The first was a former landlord. I tried to avoid eye contact with him, but I could tell he recognized me from somewhere and was kind with a smile and greeting. A few minutes later I ran into another former landlord (what are the odds??). This one didn't even recognize me. The third encounter was at the election polls. I ran into the parents of a friend of mine from elementary and high school. I don't hold the grudge against them, I'm hurt at things their daughter said to me over seventeen years ago. (She told me I was going to hell for having premarital sex after I was pregnant with Doogie) They were thrilled to see me again, remembered my name, and wanted to know how I was doing. My anger and hurt at these people does nothing to them. They live in complete freedom from the pain that they caused me, while I've allowed it to drag me down, in one case for seventeen years. No more! Today I forgive Nick, Denise, and Sarah. I'm done with the sick feeling in my stomach when I think about them or meet them. Asking God to show me my sins is not an easy process, and I know he's far from done, but I hope that I can meet each challenge with the release I feel today.

Death of a Six Foot Teddy Bear by Sharon Dunn is the second book in the Bargain Hunters Network series. Ginger, Kindra, Suzanne, and Arleta are back for more discounts and deals along with a few crimes and misdemeanors along the way. The pack has descended upon a hotel in Calamity, Nevada in time for the World's Biggest Garage Sale. Also being held in the hotel are an Inventor's Convention (where Ginger's husband Earl is hoping to find a market for his new device the Pepper Light) and the Squirrel Lover's show featuring Binky, the water-skiing squirrel. But soon, a man in a six-foot teddy bear costume is dead and Ginger is the prime suspect, so the women have to track the clues to discover who wanted the man dead so badly that he was choked with a squirrel (poor Binky!). While the premise is chick-lit lite, the material is much deeper. Kindra feels sparks for an actor, but stays focused on God's plans for her. Arleta comes to faith after seeing a woman with a chronic pain's grace. Ginger and Earl struggle to repair the damage that Earl's obsession with his invention has wraught on their marriage. Heavy issues are tackled with grace and deft humor. This is a unusual idea for a series that works very well. I look forward to the next installment.

I'm giving away a copy of this book on Friday, Feb. 22. If you are interested in winning, drop me an email at clockstein@centurytel.net letting me know, and I'll be glad to sign you up. I'll take entries until midnight Thursday and announce the winner on Friday. Good luck!