After fleeing Los Angeles when her attempt to break up her best friend's marriage fails, Jasmine is now a changed woman...and a Christian. She vows to attend church every Sunday, swears off married men, and begins her search for the soul mate she is sure God has for her. Now living in the Big Apple, she has shed twenty-five pounds, shaved ten years off her age, filled her expensive apartment with designer clothes...all to begin her man-finding mission.
She quickly meets her dream mate -- a preacher -- who falls head over heels in love with her. Surely, God is good! But things start slipping when another man from Jasmine's past refuses to stay there, and an unexpected pregnancy threatens to sabotage all of her dreams. Will Jasmine's lying and scheming continue? Or will she finally learn that honesty is the only path to redemption?
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May 31, 2006
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Excerpt from A Sin and a Shame by Victoria Christopher Murray
Jasmine swung the designer dress in front of her as she gazed into the mirror. "Can you believe this is a size six "
Serena leaned against the silk pillows stacked against the bed's headboard. "I can't believe you bought all these things," she said to her sister. "How are you going to pay for this " Serena motioned toward the bags and boxes strewn across the room.
"You didn't answer my question," Jasmine said, fixing her eyes on her reflection.
"You didn't answer mine."
Jasmine faced her sister with raised eyebrows. "Why are you worried Dad left us --"
"Not enough for you to be going off like you're Oprah."
Jasmine sighed. That was what was wrong with Serena. She lived life in the middle. She lived in a middle-class neighborhood, with a middle-class job, trudging through her middle-class life. But there was nothing "middle" about Jasmine. She lived outside of the box where she knew all the abundant blessings could be found.
"Can you believe this is a size six " Jasmine repeated, turning back to the mirror, this time with a silk pantsuit draped in front of her.
A slight smile crossed Serena's lips. "You do look good, girl."
Jasmine smiled too. She'd worked hard to lose twenty pounds and get in top shape for her mission.
Serena sighed. "Wish I could do that."
"I thought you'd joined Curves."
Serena waved her hand in the air. "Girl, I'm a Curves dropout. The women there were looking at me like they wanted me to really exercise. I pretended I had to go to the bathroom, and snuck out the back door."
Jasmine laughed. "Well, you should take up running, like I did." She didn't mention that along with her almost-daily sixty-minute runs, she'd spent hundreds of dollars on laxatives in the last three months.
Serena said, "I ain't running nowhere. I've decided that I am perfectly fine in my size eighteen." Serena squinted as her sister primped in front of the mirror. "Seriously, Jasmine. I'm worried about you."
"No need. I'm just preparing for my new life in New York. I plan on having much sex in the city and I've got to be ready."