Dianne KC, you are the winner of the ARC from Meg!
Jessie: Spending the lazy summer days thinking up my next novel and catching up on my to-be-read pile!
I am delighted to welcome Meg Mims to the Wickeds today! I’ve gotten to know her over the last couple of years as we both participate in the Sleuths in Time Facebook group. She is one of those people who seems to possess boundless energy writing both contemporary and historical mysteries and is a great deal of fun besides! Take it away, Meg!
A Teddy Bear Love Story
Given how I’m writing the fourth book in my Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear cozy mystery series with Kensington, one might assume that I once dragged around a teddy bear – a la Christopher Robin. Not so! Instead I had Jerry the Mouse. From the Tom and Jerry cartoons, which I loved. (I still love cartoons.) Teddy bears were not part of my childhood. But when I traveled to England as an adult, and spied a stuffed Paddington Bear at Harrods in London, I stopped cold.
Who wouldn’t fall in love? That soft, woolly, stuffed bear in his blue raincoat and red hat, had such an adorable and curious expression! The tag proclaimed, “Please look after this Bear Thank You” – which spoke to me. I plucked him up, bought him, and squeezed the toy into the last tiny bit of suitcase space left over before heading to Heathrow airport and home. Then I had to find and read the Michael Bond book to discover his adventures after leaving darkest Peru. And his love of marmalade sandwiches. How sweet! I was also pumped when they recently brought Paddington Bear to life in films. I loved both, and highly recommend them to children and adults.
I’m afraid buying the Paddington book started a dangerous trend – I had to add Corduroyto my bookshelf, along with Winnie the Pooh, several Maurice Sendak illustrated Little Bearbooks, plus others. I often took We’re Going on a Bear Huntwith me during my years of substitute teaching to read – and the lower elementary kids loved all the fun sound effects included in the story. Wish I’d written that book!
Once I started writing my adult cozy series, I decided to get serious about collecting teddy bears. I am the proud owner of “My Bear Lady” dressed in the black/white gown for Royal Ascot, “Beary” Poppins, and multiple Santa Bears, winter bears, an aviator bear, small vampire beanie babies, the purple Princess Diana beanie baby, plus other miniature bears. I’ve given several teddies away to charities and children in my family or to friends’ children. Having recently moved, I also plan to set up a new display – with the best of the best.
Long ago my mother also fell in love with teddy bears after seeing my Paddington Bear and started giving me little trinkets. A Christmas tree book ornament with several “Teddy Bears on a Lark” short stories; a small bear who looks half asleep (her favorite); ceramic bears; wooden teddy bears mounted on a wall hanging with hooks for coats; mugs with teddy bears, etc. I inherited several of Mom’s teddy bears when she died of cancer – a ballerina bear and two bears in lace dresses. I treasure all of these items and dedicate each of my cozy teddy bear books to her memory.
My daughter was given a Red Riding Hood teddy bear as a child, which is adorable, plus a Hudson’s Santa Bear, and she found a Teddy Roosevelt bear in South Dakota to add to my collection. I’m hoping she’ll treasure the bears in the years to come and keep the legacy alive.
Teddy bears still catch my eye wherever I go. I can’t help myself, and I love to see little kids hugging their bears. And for every baby shower I attend, I tuck a small soft teddy into the gift bag. To me, teddy bears represent love and comfort. And security, in a world that seems to get crazier every year. Cozy mysteries can also give readers comfort, since justice is always served in the end, and the fictional world is restored to normal. If only reality could be the same.
Don’t have a teddy bear? It’s not too late. It’s a proven fact that sleeping with a stuffed teddy reduces anxiety and gives a sense of security. Not convinced? Just put it on a nightstand near you. That might be close enough, after all.
My Paddington Bear approves, from his display shelf.
Readers, do you have a teddy bear story of your own? Leave a comment for a chance to win an ARC from Meg!
BIO: Award winning author Meg Macy writes the “Shamelessly Adorable” Teddy Bear cozy mystery series for Kensington, and is also one-half of the writing team for the Agatha Award-nominated historical mysteries featuring Eliza Doolittle and Professor Henry Higgins. As Meg Mims, she’s written award-winning western historical mysteries and sweet Christmas-themed romance novellas with rescue dogs and cats. Meg tackles her to-be-read pile between deadlines, and enjoys tearooms, flowers, and gardening. Visit her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or her website at www.megmacy.com