Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Deliverer by Kathi Macias

While this is the third and final book in the Freedom Series, I’m sure there are people who are just learning about it. Would you please share what prompted you to write these books on such topic as relevant and difficult as human trafficking?
I was finishing up my previous fiction series for New Hope Publishers (the Extreme Devotion Series, dealing with the persecuted Church around the world) when Andrea Mullins (the publisher at New Hope) asked me what topic I wanted to tackle next. We discussed a few possibilities, and then she suggested human trafficking. I was aware of it and thought it was terrible but had no idea how widespread it was. I agreed to do some preliminary research and get back to her. When I discovered there are more than 27 million people held in various forms of human trafficking (sexual slavery, forced labor or military conscription, involuntary donation of body parts/organs) and that many of them are children (including an estimated 100,000—300,000 MINORS held in sexual slavery in the US today!), I was horrified. I was also convinced that I had to do everything possible to help educate others about this widespread horror and to call them to join the fight. Not only have I now written/released the Freedom Series on human trafficking, but I’m speaking on it everywhere/every chance I get.
What was your original objective in writing these books, Deliver Me From EvilSpecial Delivery, and The Deliverer? And, what are you hearing back from people who have read the books? How are they taking action?
Originally my plan was to see the books alert readers to this horrific crime and, hopefully, challenge them to get involved in fighting it some way. That seems to be happening, but on such a larger scope than I had imagined. The response from readers is overwhelming! Pastors have written to say they are challenging their entire church to get involved on some level, and I’m being invited to speak all over the country on this topic. I am thrilled to see the Light being shined in this terrible darkness at last! As for specific actions, pastors and civic leaders are inviting me (or others in this ministry) to come and speak to their congregations/groups to help educate them on this massive tragedy. Readers tell me they are posting about my books all over the net to help snag people’s attention. I’m getting invitations to speak on radio and TV as well. I’ve also been contacted by readers who are getting involved in setting up safe houses for rescued victims, which is a huge need. I was even contacted by the Department of Homeland Security and invited to participate in group conference calls on the topic. Overall, I’m thrilled at the way God is using these books to help sound the alarm and to “rescue the perishing.”
This is vital to me, and as you said, I almost always include an intercessor in my novels. I know there were intercessors in my own life who prayed me through some incredibly dangerous and difficult times, and I appreciate those heroes of the faith more than I can express. Highlighting their importance in my books accomplishes two things: it enables me to honor those faithful intercessors who often get no recognition in this world, and it also calls others to get involved in intercession as well.It seems there is always someone in your books who is an intercessor. Why is that important for you to include?
You write books as you often call them, parables with a purpose, on topics such as human trafficking, the persecuted church, illegal immigration, and your Christmas 2012 book is about homelessness. Some might call you an advocate. Why is it important for Christians, and the church as a whole, to discuss these issues?
You’re right that I call my novels “parables with purpose,” because I believe Jesus is our example and that’s what He told to His followers—parables with purpose. He didn’t just tell them “nice stories” to entertain them. He told stories that would grab them right where they lived, and then challenge them to change their hearts, their minds, and their lives. The Church has always been at the forefront of serious social change, leading the charge to abolish slavery for instance, and leading the charge on these other issues is right where the Church needs to be now. The first step is to discuss the issues, to make people aware of them, and then to call them to action. I believe gripping fiction is one of the most effective ways to do that.
Will you give us a glimpse, a taste of things to come — without getting too far ahead — of what’s in store for your next series and books on the horizon?
In addition to the 2012 Christmas novel, Unexpected Christmas Hero, dealing with homelessness in America, I will be releasing a new series starting in January. The first of the three novels is called The Moses Quilt, and it deals with a contemporary interracial romance, set against the background of a quilt that tells the story of the courageous, faith-filled woman known as Harriet Tubman. A contemporary novel dealing with the issue of abortion will follow, with the first woman doctor in America, Elizabeth Blackwell, as our backdrop heroine. The final book will be built around the much beloved Fanny Crosby, as we deal with the issue of people with disabilities. That series is from New Hope Publishers, but I also have a book releasing in the Spring of 2013 from B&H Publishers called Last Chance for Justice. It’s part of the multi-author Bloomfield Series, and I’m very excited about it.
You also write a devotional blog. Can you tell us what the focus is and where we can find it?
I started writing a weekly devotional several years ago, in response to a request from the then newly formed group CAN (Christian Authors Network). I sent it out as a group email and had about 40 recipients then. The devotional mailing quickly grew and expanded beyond the CAN group, with countless readers signing up to receive it. I also started posting it each week on my devotional blog (, which is part of my primary website (, where you will also find my “Easy Writer” blog, which is more writing-related. (You can also sign up there to receive the weekly devotional in your inbox.) Over the years the devotional has been picked up by Crosswalk, Black Christian News, Latino Christian News (I offer it in Spanish as well as English),, Christians in Recovery, etc., so the readership has mushroomed beyond anything I ever imagined. God is amazing, isn’t He?
Finally, we know you as an award-winning author, but you also enjoy speaking for women’s events, and other groups, as well. On what areas or topics do you focus your speaking presentations? How can a church or group find out more about having you speak for their event?
I speak on various topics, including the issues I address in my books, but on other topics too. One of my most requested topics is “When Passion and Purpose Collide.” That, along with several other popular topics, can be found in the speaking section of my website ( To see my current speaking schedule and/or to explore the possibility of having me come and speak, just go to and click on the Christian Speakers Services button to make contact. You can also see some of my speaking endorsements at
For more opportunities for free copies of The Deliverer by Kathi Macias, please visit
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 (

Friday, September 21, 2012

NIV Rock Solid Study Bible for Teens

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books.  A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured.  The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between!  Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card is:

NIV Rock Solid Study Bible for Teens

Zondervan; Special edition (August 21, 2012)

***Special thanks to Rick Roberson for sending me a review copy.***


This all-new, full-featured NIV Bible is great for teens looking to grow their faith, increase meaning in their lives, and find hope for their future. The Rock Solid Bible for Teens is a timely guide for teens grappling with big questions about the world, their future, and their faith.  Featuring the complete New International Version text, apologetics helps, hundreds of call-outs, and concrete promises for the future, the Rock Solid Bible provides firm traction for the development of beliefs and behavior rooted in the unchanging love, guidance, and promises of God.

Product Details:
List Price: $29.99

Reading level: Ages 13 and up
Hardcover: 1664 pages
Publisher: Zondervan; Special edition (August 21, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310723302
ISBN-13: 978-0310723301


Chapter will be placed up here soon.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Love Surrendered by Julie Lessman

A Love Surrendered is the last book in the Winds of Change Series by Julie Lessman.  It tells the story of the youngest son of Patrick and Marceline O'Connor.

Steven is the youngest son of Patrick O'Connor... the serious one... the straight-laced, upright son.  Until he goes to college.  After making some mistakes and "sowing his oats," Steven changes his life around and becomes a Prohibition Officer/federal agent.  He struggles with trusting himself with a relationship with any young woman, and his friends think he's become boring and they worry for his social life.

Annie is just off the farm.  After the death of her mother, and a few months later, her father, she and her little sister, Glory, move into the big city with their estranged Aunt Eleanor.  Aunt Eleanor is a strict and seemingly loveless woman who is miserable in her spinsterhood.  Annie previously went by Susannah Grace, but decided that with the change of living arrangements she needed to change her own life and her future... she wants to try new things and to be a new her.  When her new friend Peggy invites her to sneak out and go to the pier with her and her sister and her sister's older friends, she decides to take a chance.  On the way to the pier she is accosted by two men in a dark alley.  She is afraid of what they are going to do to her, until she is rescued by an officer who came from nowhere.

Can Steven ever trust himself again?  Why is he so drawn to Annie?  Can he save her from herself? from him?  What will happen when Steven finds out the secret she's been hiding?

A Love Surrendered was a wonderful conclusion to the O'Connor stories and the Winds of Change series in particular.  There are twists and turns that I never expected and the romance as well as the spiritual aspects are so passionate and well written!  I was just drawn into this story and felt like I was right there on the pier with Annie, Peg, Steven and the gang.  I LOVED this book, and would definitely recommend it to others!

About the Author(From her website):

Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of 14 Romance Writers of America awards and was voted by readers as “Borders Best of 2009 So Far: Your Favorite Fiction.”
Chosen as the #1 Romance Fiction Author of the Year in the Family Fiction magazine 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie was also awarded #1 Historical Fiction Author of the Year in that same poll and #3 Author of the Year, #4 Novel of the Year and #3 Series of the year. She resides in Missouri with her husband, daughter, son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter and is the author of “The Daughters of Boston” series—A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, and A Passion Denied. Book 1 in her “Winds of Change” series A Hope Undaunted ranked #5 on Booklist’s Top 10 Inspirational Fiction for 2010.

I was provided a copy of this book by NetGalley for my honest opinion and review.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Every Day Matters Bible for Women.. Practical Encouragement to Make Every Day Matter

I recently opened my mailbox to find a Bible that I had requested to review.  Well, I found the box it was in... ya know, the ordinary brown kind of box within which we ship things.  I rushed inside and tore open the box (with a knife, 'cause it was well wrapped) to find a beautifully covered Every Day Matters Bible for Women.  

Isn't that lovely!?  So, of course, I wanted to dig right in and check it out!  After the table of contents and a few items of introduction (to the New Living Translation and a few other matters), I came to a section that tells about the "extras" that the publishers have included in the Bible.

"The purpose of Everyday Matters for Women is to help you use spiritual disciplines to make your everyday life fuller, richer and deeper.  We have chosen to focus on twenty-four disciplines that are especially pertinent to this theme."

There are over 300 articles that focus on 24 Spiritual Disciplines include but are not limited to: Acceptance, Bible Study and Meditation, Confession, Faith, Fasting, Gratitude, Hospitality,  Mentoring, Prayer, Silence, Solitude, Stewardship and Worship. 

These spiritual disciplines "help us shut out distractions (and still get everything done) and help us to dwell in God's presence and be aware of him in and with us every moment."   I believe these articles on spiritual practices will help women to keep their focus where it should be and even deal with instances that come up every day in our lives.  

Also included in this Bible are the following:

Everyday Matters: 2 page articles that introduce major themes relevant to each spiritual discipline or focus on an essential part of understanding and practicing the discipline.  Each spiritual discipline showcases two of these feature-length articles.

Everyday Profiles: they have included profiles of 25 women or groups of women who practiced  or highlighted a particular discipline.  It is easy to forget that the women of the Bible are not just story characters, but wives, mothers, warriors, and businesswomen who lived and experienced many of the same feel ins, decisions, and challenges that we do today.

Everyday Q&A's:  Each question-and-answer feature (two per discipline) delves into a puzzling aspect of the spiritual practice or offers some practical help in how to incorporate the discipline into your daily life.

Everyday Reflections: These "shorts," five to ten per discipline, touch on varied aspects of the practices.  This feature highlights one of our intents: to showcase many writers and allow their voices to illustrate the possibilities for personalizing and applying God's Word to your own situation.

In the very back of the Bible (p1569), there is a "How to Use this Bible in a Small Group Study" to help you dig deeper.  Next is an "Index of Spiritual Practices" so you can go to a specific discipline that you have a need for encouragement, understanding and uplifting in, and study what the Bible says on it for the day.

This is a beautiful Bible filled with GOD's Word, sure, but in addition, you get guidance that helps you to study deeper and come to a fuller understanding of what God has in store for you.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

Christian Bookshelf Reviews: Interview & Giveaway! Jessica Nelson ~ Author of "...

Christian Bookshelf Reviews: Interview & Giveaway! Jessica Nelson ~ Author of "...: Today, we have with us Jessica Nelson ! Her debut novel is Love on the Range  and you'll have a chance to enter to win a copy (details belo...

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman

I was recently visiting one of my favorite blogs and the blog that day was about an author that I had never read before. I checked out her books on and found that I had previously purchased two of her books.  Book 1 of the Daughters of Boston series (A Passion Most Pure) and book 1 of the Winds of Change series (A Hope Undaunted).  So, Julie, the author, challenged me to read her books and share a review if I liked her books and I took her up on it.

I sat down to read A Passion Most Pure and was immediately drawn in by the emotions and happenings in the book.  The series, Daughters of Boston, are about the daughters of Patrick and Marcy O'Connor, a very much in love Irish couple who have a houseful of children.

Faith O'Connor is the oldest of the O'Conner children and has been enamored with Collin McGuire since they were children, but she is determined to find a love that will please God and be in His will for her.  She sets her heart against Collin and the feelings she has for him, but her heart seems to have other ideas.

Collin McGuire is not the same chivalrous young man that he was before his father's death.  When his dad died, he changed and so did his relationship with God, his mother and women.  Instead of having a reason for living, he was just living it up however he could.  Women are drawn to him like moths to a flame, and he takes every advantage he can.  When he realizes that he is attracted to Faith O'Connor, everything changes, especially the relationship he has with Faith's younger, more attractive and loose sister, Charity.

In A Passion Most Pure, Faith, Collin and even Charity learn more about themselves than they every thought possible.  Will any of them find the love that God has for them?  Can they overcome the tragedies in their past to find the hope and love for their future?

I really enjoyed this book.  There were intense moments of passion and there were intense moments of spiritual significance.  Both are important in our lives.  I've heard some people don't love the amount of passions Lessman writes into her books, but I love it... because it is REAL!  If you would like to check out an excerpt of both the passion and spiritual moments, check out this link on her website:


(From her website):

Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of 14 Romance Writers of America awards and was voted by readers as “Borders Best of 2009 So Far: Your Favorite Fiction.”
Chosen as the #1 Romance Fiction Author of the Year in the Family Fiction magazine 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie was also awarded #1 Historical Fiction Author of the Year in that same poll and #3 Author of the Year, #4 Novel of the Year and #3 Series of the year. She resides in Missouri with her husband, daughter, son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter and is the author of “The Daughters of Boston” series—A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, and A Passion Denied. Book 1 in her “Winds of Change” series A Hope Undaunted ranked #5 on Booklist’s Top 10 Inspirational Fiction for 2010.

Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund

About the Book: 

Did you ever love anyone enough to give your life for them?  Lily did.  She loved her sister so much, that she was willing to risk her life to find her and rescue her.  

When things go awry, she wonders:  

"Did God still care about her?

Could she trust that He was creating a beautiful quilt -- a bigger plan for her life -- even when the pieces didn't look so pretty at the moment?  

She'd been trying so hard to put together her life the way she'd wanted.  Was it possible God had other plans for her that didn't fit the pattern she'd tried to create?"

Connell had never seen a lovelier lady.... or one with more gumption.  He himself had never stood up to anyone -- his brother, his father, his employees.  Can he find the courage to stand up for what he believes in and gain her appreciation?

My Review: 

This is the first book I have read by Jody Hedlund, but it won't be the last!!  I loved this book.  Jody did a great job broaching the subject of "white slavery" (aka. human trafficking) in the years of the lumber boom (the 1870s to the early 1880s).  While telling the story of the lumber mills in Michigan and the towns that sprung up in the towns where the lumber companies set up mills and harvested the lumber.  This is exactly the kind of book I enjoy reading... it has a great story line based on true historical events and is interwoven with God's grace and love and the truth that He has a plan for you.  Make sure you read the Author Note at the end of the book. 

Meet Jody: 

Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of "The Doctor's Lady" and "The Preacher's Bride". She won the 2011 Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, the 2011 Award of Excellence from the Colorado Romance Writers and was a finalist for Best Debut Novel in the 2011 ACFW Carol Awards. Currently she makes her home in central Michigan, with her husband and five busy children. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog.

Visit her website:

Link to buy the book:

For more information about the  GIVEAWAY check out this post:  Unending Devotion Nikon Photogrpahy Package Giveaway and Author Chat Facebook Party: