Thursday, April 28, 2011

People of the Book by 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.

Kathi Macias

Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored nearly 30 books and ghostwritten several others. A former newspaper columnist and string reporter, Kathi has taught creative and business writing in various venues and has been a guest on many radio and television programs. Kathi is a popular speaker at churches, women’s clubs and retreats, and writers’ conferences, and recently won the prestigious 2008 member of the year award from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) at the annual Golden Scrolls award banquet. Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias lives in Homeland, CA, with her husband, Al, where the two of them spend their free time riding their Harley.

This blog tour is hosted by:
Christian Speaker Services

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 (

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The LightKeeper's Ball by Colleen Coble

The Lightkeeper's Ball by Colleen Coble is more than what it is billed as-- Christian/Romance. I have read lots of Christian romance and I enjoy it, but often jokingly call it "Eye Candy."  It's what I read when I don't want to have to really focus and work at what I'm reading. It's what I read when I want to relax.  I have read Colleen's Lonestar Sanctuary Series and enjoyed them, but I really got into The Lightkeeper's Ball.  

First, let me say that this book is the third in the Mercy Falls Series.  When I realized that, and the fact that I hadn't read the first two [The Lightkeeper's Daughter & The Lightkeeper's Bride], I was worried that I would be totally lost... and I was at first.  By the end of the book, I wasn't lost and knew exactly what was going on and realized that you don't have to read the first two to understand/pick up The Lightkeeper's Ball.  Now, if you are like me, you will WANT to read the first two books.

Olivia Stewart is expected to save her family's name by securing a husband who can provide the family with the wealth that has always been attached to the family name.  She fights marrying a man she doesn't know or love, until her sister, Eleanor, dies before her arranged marriage to Harrison Bennett can be occur.  Olivia is then forced to become engaged to Eleanor's fiance, but she has her doubts as to whether her sister's death is an accident and if Bennett is responsible.  Olivia goes "undercover" as Lady Devonworth to find out the truth behind Eleanor's death and if Olivia and Harrison are at all compatible.

This is a wonderful book full of mystery/suspense as well as romance and Scripture.  I thoroughly enjoyed The Lightkeeper's Ball and I look forward to reading the rest of the series!