Forgive, as You have been Forgiven

“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” Matthew 6:14-15

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32

“If you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.” Matthew 5:23-24

Forgiveness is another theme found in my latest novel, Caribbean Freedom – the third & final Island Legacy Novel. Because of past hurts, the hero has difficulty forgiving the heroine’s father. Ultimately he must choose to either allow bitterness and resentment to control his life, or to forgive the one whose actions caused him and his family pain.

Book Giveaway

Caribbean Freedom officially releases on Saturday, April 6, 2013, but on Tuesday, April 2I’m giving away another advance copy of Caribbean Freedom.

Here’s how to enter:

1. Help promote the Book Signing at my bungalow retreat, which will be held on Saturday, April 6, 2013. Even if you will be unable to attend, you can still enter the giveaway and help promote the book signing.

Examples of how to help: 1 – Last Wednesday, March 27, I shared the announcement below on my Author, Teri Metts page as well as on my personal wall. Share this announcement with your Facebook friends.  2 – Send an e-mail to family and friends telling them about the upcoming book signing. All the information you need is posted below.

2. Let me know that you want to be entered by: 1) Leaving a comment at the end of this post. (To leave a comment, scroll to bottom of THIS POST and click on “comment on Another Caribbean Freedom Book Giveaway”.) or 2) Posting on my personal Facebook wall or my Author, Teri Metts wall.

**PLEASE, PLEASE be sure to let me know you want to enter the giveaway and have helped promote the book signing in some way. In the giveaway last week I discovered Facebook DID NOT always notify me whenever someone shared my status updates. I found quite a few shares “by accident”.

Don’t forget, photographs of Cuba used as inspiration in the writing of Caribbean Freedom can be found on my Pinterest board: Cuba-Caribbean Freedom. If you’re on Pinterest, you might want to check it out: Caribbean Freedom

 ~~~~~~

Excerpt from Caribbean Freedom

Mateo pierced Andrés with a hard stare. Surely he’d misunderstood what his older brother had said. Mateo refused to believe it possible Doctor Valdés would be foolish enough to bring Rudi Ramírez’s daughter back to Cuba with him. Sure, the man was getting older, but at sixty-nine he wasn’t that old. Had he forgotten the heartache his son-in-law caused all of them? Doctor Valdés may have forgotten, but not Mateo. He would never forget. And as far as Mariela Ramírez was concerned, he figured growing up under the tutelage of Rudi Ramírez had resulted in another Ramírez best banned from the country of Cuba. Mateo gave his head a firm shake. No way was he giving the girl a warm welcome, and he hoped her stay would be brief.

“Why are you shaking your head?”

Andrés’ question snatched Mateo out of his private debate. “I was hoping to shake loose the cobwebs, because it sounded like you said Doctor Valdés is bringing Mariela Ramírez home with him. But there’s no way that could be true.”

Andrés lifted the straw hat off his head and ran his fingers through the thick black curls underneath. “You can shake your head until your brain rattles, but it’s true. Doña Valdés received word just this morning.” He returned the weather-worn hat to the top of his head. “It seems Doctor Valdés crossed paths with Mariela in Haiti. She’s a nurse, and they were both working in medical clinics in the same village. They’ve spent some time getting reacquainted, and Doctor Valdés has convinced his granddaughter to come back with him to Viñales for a visit. He wants me to drive their car to Havana next Monday to pick them up at the airport.”

“But she’s an American citizen. Isn’t it against their laws for her to visit Cuba?”

“You know as well as I do, Americans have been finding ways around the U.S. travel restrictions for years now.” Andrés swung his hand in the general direction of downtown Viñales. “Have you not noticed all the English-speaking Americans we have visiting our quaint little village in droves? Besides, I recently heard the U.S. government has become more lax about allowing their citizens to visit Cuba, especially if it’s for some kind of humanitarian cause. In Mariela’s case, as a Cuban-American, it should be even easier.”

“Obviously the authorities didn’t consult me.” Mateo kicked a clod of dirt, shattering it into little pieces. “If it were up to me, there would be a ban on any member of that family ever entering Cuba again.”

“You seem to be forgetting that family is part of Doctor and Doña Valdés’ family. Mariela is their granddaughter. Her mother is their daughter. Surely you aren’t so bitter that you’d deny them the opportunity to spend time with a granddaughter they’ve not seen in eighteen years.”

Mateo combed his own hair with shaky fingers and stared at the dirt-encrusted toes of his work boots. “As I see it, her father made that decision for her years ago. He took away her right to call herself Cuban or claim her position as Doctor and Doña Valdés’ granddaughter. She should go back to Miami where she belongs and let us be.”

“I’m sorry, little brother, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

Mateo pierced Andrés with another hard stare. “By coming here, she’ll only stir up bad memories and make matters worse than they already are. You can wear rose-colored glasses all you want, but I can’t forget. I can’t just move on and let bygones be bygones. And while I’m speaking my mind on the subject, I can’t believe Doctor Valdés even entertained the notion of bringing her back here, much more actually extended the invitation.”

“As I’ve already said, she’s his granddaughter, who was only six years old when her parents took her away from Cuba. She had no say in the matter.”

“But she grew up in Rudi Ramírez’s shadow, and you know how he feels about Cu — ”

“No, I don’t.” Anger edged Andrés’ voice. “I know what he thought about Cuba. But he’s been gone almost two decades. I don’t have a clue what he thinks about his homeland now.”

“His homeland! Are you kidding? By now Rudi Ramírez has probably convinced himself he’s not even Cuban, which if he has, is fine with me. And as far as I’m concerned, his daughter isn’t Cuban either.”

As Mateo tromped toward the door of his brother’s house, he noticed Andrés was now the one shaking his head. Maybe if he shook it long enough, he’d shake some sense into that hard head of his. How could he not see the turbulent clouds on the horizon? Whether Andrés admitted it or not, Mateo had no doubt Mariela’s arrival would produce a storm with hurricane force winds.

~~~~~~

Now at my bungalow retreat, where I depict country living, bungalow-style through photographs and scripture: Celebrating God’s Faithfulness & Lovingkindness. I hope you’ll drop by for a visit: www.bungalowretreat.com. And don’t forget, you can also connect with me on Facebook: Author, Teri Metts, or follow me on Twitter or Pinterest.