Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage . . . They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
~Psalm 84:5

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Christmas Journey Home

This is a great book I'm still not quite finished with. I'll soon be giving away the free copy I received from the author via Christian Speakers Services. Please comment on the original blog post by Sunday, October 30 if you would like to be included in the drawing for the book.

How did you come up with the idea for A Christmas Journey Home?

I knew I wanted to do a Christmas book—the first of what would become an annual event that my publisher and I were discussing—and I also knew that despite the lighter tone required in a Christmas book (as opposed to the darker themes of the persecuted Church and human trafficking, which I’ve been writing about), I had to stick to my “brand” as closely as possible: hence, an “issues-related” Christmas novel, dealing with the issues related to illegal immigration.

What was your favorite scene to write in A Christmas Journey Home?

I loved writing this entire book, and the characters are delightful (except the villains, of course!), so I loved almost all the scenes. But I think I liked the scenes with Isabella’s old abuelo best, as the grandfather reminded me of my own grandpa and even my dad, both of whom I loved dearly. I love incorporating at least one elderly saint in each of my books, and in this one I decided on a man since most of the other books have had women as the elderly, praying characters. I also brought in a little boy because children can add such a delightful element to any story, and six-year-old Davey certainly does that in A Christmas Journey Home.

What was the most difficult scene, and why?

The toughest scene had to be when Francisco and Isabella thought they were finally on the verge of being able to get away from the migrant camp and find a small home of their own, where their baby could be born in relative comfort and safety. If you’ve read the book, you know that isn’t at all what happens. But this heartbreaking scene had to take place to bring the story to its miraculous conclusion.

What is there about you, apart from writing, that many people don’t know?

First, my “road name” is “Easy Writer” because my husband and I were Harley riders for many years. (We’ve traded the bike in on a 2005 Corvette, so I’m still “Easy Writer” but in comfort now!) Also, I served on staff at a large Southern California church for several years, training small group leaders and doing biblical counseling, among other things. 

Who are some of your favorite writers, and are you an avid reader?

Absolutely I’m an avid reader! I have always loved books/reading/words and been fascinated by them. When I ran out of books as I child, I started writing my own. (Voila! Look what came of that!) As for favorite writers, that’s tough, but here are just a few: Brock and Bodie Thoene, Francine Rivers, Patti Lacy, Athol Dickson, Jim Rubart, and Alan Paton, who wrote my favorite all-time fiction book, Cry the Beloved Country. That book changed my life and inspired my novel set in South Africa in 1989, No Greater Love. I also enjoy reading Brennan Manning, Jennifer Kennedy Dean, Oswald Chambers, and Max Lucado for nonfiction.

What’s on the horizon for you now, so far as future book projects?

I am currently finishing up the final book of the three-installment Freedom series (Deliver Me From Evil, Special Delivery, and The Deliverer). Then I will jump into my Christmas 2012 novel (working title is A Home For Christmas) and a novel called Last Chance for Justice, which is part of the multi-author Bloomfield Series with another publisher. After that I hope to get going on a new fiction series, which is still in the discussion/planning stages with my publisher and agent. So life is busy, but most contracts coming my way seem to be fiction right now. I am also keeping busy with very occasional editing projects and some speaking/teaching around the country.

Where can we find out more about you, The Freedom Series, and keep up with your to-be-released books?

Please feel free to visit my website at


I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speakers Services (

Monday, April 25, 2011

People of the Book

I'm still reading through my copy, so I'll have to post my thoughts later (so far I'm LOVING it!). But for now, here is the interview with author Kathi Macias that Christian Speaker Services conducted. 

P.S. Leave a comment on this blog post to be eligible to enter a drawing for the complete Extreme Devotion Series set. More details to come . . . 

P.P.S. Probably what I love most about this interview is in question #3 where Kathi mentions how she always wanted to be a writer. She nonchalantly mentions that her bf at age 13 ended up being her husband. Love it!


Interview with Kathi Macias

People of the Book is the fourth and final book in your Extreme Devotion series. Each book is set in a different country, with the theme of first devotion and commitment to Christ above all else running through all four. How is People of the Book different, and who/what inspired you to write this book?

People of the Book was the most difficult of the four Extreme Devotion series books to write, but it is also the strongest when it comes to a call to personal commitment to Christ and to the fulfillment of the Great Commission. With each of the books, I began drafting the manuscripts through Internet research, since I had never lived in any of the four countries and had only visited one of them. After the original draft, I worked with someone who either currently lived in the country or who had recently spent many years there. People of the Book was the toughest because the Saudi women I connected with via the Internet were understandably apprehensive about associating with me. Most, in fact, were terrified to do so. I was therefore quite pleased to meet a young woman named Dolly Dahdal here in the States who, until just a few years ago, had spent the majority of her life in Saudi Arabia and understood perfectly why I had chosen to write this book. We shared a passion to help expose the fallacy of “honor killings,” a horrific crime perpetrated primarily against women and girls who in some way bring “dishonor” on their Muslim families, and Dolly was a major contributor to the authenticity of this book.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of this story?

Eighteen-year-old Farah, who lives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with her family, wants nothing more than to develop a deeper, more meaningful devotion to her Muslim faith. She sees the month of Ramadan as her chance to draw nearer to Allah, and she pursues that goal throughout the holiday. All goes well until the prophet Isa—Jesus—appears to her in a dream and calls her to Himself. At the same time, her only brother, Kareem, who has never liked Farah, actively seeks an opportunity to expose her for the sham he believes she is.

Meanwhile, Farah’s seventeen-year-old cousin, Nura, has begun to frequent an online chat room where former Muslims gather to discuss their new faith, based on their belief that Isa is much more than a Muslim prophet—He is actually the Son of God. While there, Nura becomes acquainted with an American girl of Muslim ancestry—now a devout Christian named Sara—and a friendship quickly develops. However, Sara has problems of her own due to her fifteen-year-old brother Emir’s involvement with a gang.

The lives of Farah, Nura, and Sara ultimately dovetail until each finds herself at a place where her faith is put to the test. Will they remain faithful to the end? Will God protect and keep them safe in the midst of persecution and treachery? Or will they be required to pay the ultimate price for their faith?

Kathi, how did you get into writing? Has it always been your passion, or is it something you came to later in life?

I’ve always wanted to write, for as long as I can remember. I was an avid reader even before I started kindergarten. I wrote a short story in third grade that the teacher liked so much she showed it to the principal, and they decided to turn it into a play for the entire PTA. I was hooked! One day when I was about 13, I was walking home from school with my then boyfriend (now husband), Al, and I told him I’d be a writer some day. He often reminds me how blessed I am to have been able to do what I dreamed of all my life.

I understand you’re running a special contest that has to do with this book. Can you tell us about it?

Not only are there several opportunities to win a copy of the book on various blog sites included in this tour, but I’m giving away the entire four-book series at the end of the tour to someone who leaves a comment on one of the blogs, so be sure to check them all out and leave comments on each one!

In addition to writing, you are a popular speaker at women’s event, writers’ conferences, and various venues around the country. How can people find out more about you, your writing and speaking, sign up for your weekly devotional newsletter (in English or Spanish), and/or just view your many book videos, etc.?

They can find me at one of my websites (; or on my Easy Writer blog at There is a “contact” button on my Kathi Macias website if they’d like to send me a message. I always respond to all my emails!


I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speaker Services (


Ok, not realized it's been 6 months since I've last blogged. It's been an intense 6 months. Heck, it's been an intense year!

Here are some snapshots, although I'm not at liberty to share all:

On October 8, 2010 my Grandma Virginia, my dad's mom, went to be with the Lord (just shy of two months after my Aunt Eva, her daughter-in-law, took the same journey). 
She was 93. 
She was an amazingly strong woman of God who prayed without ceasing until the day she came face-to-face with her Creator.

My Uncle Robert, my mom's brother, lost his battle to brain cancer on December 18, 2010. 
Since he lived with her before getting sick, for over a year I would take my grandma to visit him or take her shopping or bring her to our house so she wouldn't be alone. 
My uncle took his last breath just moments after his momma arrived at his assisted-living facility to visit him late that Saturday night. 
He sang with the most amazing, deep bass voice, and as we sang "It Is Well With My Soul" at his memorial service the absence of that voice struck me. But I undoubtedly knew, and still know, he's using that voice and joining with the angels in singing praises to his God.

Out of nowhere, the holidays snuck up on us. Our immediate family opted for a smaller celebration in Waco rather than our large family get together in Houston. Certain absences were strongly felt and, with the losses of the year, our joy was a bit strained at times. But God is good and we did our best to rally for the monkeys.

My poor daddy has had various health scares as well. Thankfully, he's able to utilize resources at the VA and has received loads of treatment that would have otherwise been beyond our resources.

As for me, I've continued working two part-time jobs subbing and tutoring. 
In early March I took a long-term sub position teaching Kindergarten. Thankfully, that opened new opportunities and just today I was offered a position for next year teaching 2nd grade! PTL!
For weeks the news has been reporting about all the budget cuts and layoffs in local school districts. I'm so blessed to actually get a job at this time. 
Truth be told, I was more than a little worried!

Ok, I'll try to be a better blogger. I lost my voice for a bit, but I feel it slowly returning . . .
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