Saturday, November 17, 2012

Unexpected Christmas Hero by Kathi Macias, an interview with the author

Homelessness is a tough topic for Christmas. What inspired you to use that as the basis for your annual Christmas novel?

I’ve been involved in homeless ministries, to one degree or another, for decades, so I’m not new to this area of ministry. But I’ll admit that I had never considered writing a novel about it until someone in my family, who had personally experienced homelessness at one time in his life, suggested it. The more I thought about it, the more it seemed the perfect theme for a Christmas novel. After all, at Christmas we celebrate the birth of our Savior, who was pretty much homeless at that particular point in time and was born in a stable because there was no room for them at the Bethlehem Motel 6.

Despite having previous ministry and even personal experience with the homeless, were there still some difficult times for you as you researched and wrote this novel?

Absolutely! I always try to climb inside the skin of my characters, and when I thought of myself as the young mother Josie, attempting to care for and protect her two small children while living on the streets, I wept. There were times when my own children were little that we didn’t have a lot of material things and almost never had enough money at the end of the month, but we always had a roof over our heads and never wondered where we would find our next meal. When I consider that approximately 25 percent of the homeless in America are families (either single or dual-parent) with small children, it breaks my heart.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of Unexpected Christmas Hero?

This is a story about a young family—husband, wife, two small children—who seem to be living the American dream. But when the husband dies unexpectedly, the wife (Josie) not only has to deal with that loss but quickly discovers that they are destitute. Her husband had lost his job some months earlier but didn’t want to worry her, so he hid it from her, hoping to find another position. He didn’t, and eventually ran up all their credit cards, took out a second mortgage on the house, emptied their savings, and even cashed in his life insurance policy. It doesn’t take long until Josie and her children lose their home and find themselves living on the streets, depending on the charity of others to survive. Then they meet Rick, a homeless Vietnam vet who takes them under his wing and, in a most surprising and sacrificial way, becomes their unexpected Christmas hero.



Tell us about the “story behind the story,” which involves the man on the front cover.

When the publisher sent the designer out to find someone to pose as Rick, the homeless vet in the book, he spotted a man on the street who looked amazingly like him. He asked the man—whose name is Willard Parker—if he would pose for the book cover. The man readily agreed and then explained that he truly was homeless and hoped having his picture on the cover would somehow help him find his family, particularly his grown daughter. We are doing our best to stay in touch with Mr. Parker and also to spread his story across the Internet and on radio/TV in hopes of fulfilling his dream to be reunited with his family. If anyone looks at the picture on the cover and/or recognizes the man’s name (Willard Parker) and knows the whereabouts of any of his family, we would truly appreciate it if they would contact me at ezyrtr@ca.rr.com so we can take the necessary steps to try and make this reunion happen.

Where can people find your book?

It’s available on any of the main online venues (Amazon, ChristianBooks.com, Barnes & Noble, etc.) and many stores nationwide.

Can you give us your website info?

Sure! You can find me at www.kathimacias.com or www.boldfiction.com. I’d love it if people would stop by there and check out all my books, as well as the video trailers that go with them. They can also sign up to receive my weekly devotional, or check out where I’ll be speaking in the near future. Above all, click on “contact” and send me an email. I’d love to hear from them, and I promise to answer.


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I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview and/or book review on my blog. CSS Virtual Book Tours are managed by Christian Speakers Services (http://ChristianSpeakersServices.com).

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Healing Love, The Amish of Webster County by Laura V. Hilton


Over the years, I have read MANY Amish novels written by many different authors... some in different genres (suspense/mystery/romance/comdey/etc).  While this is not the first book I've read by Laura V. Hilton... it is my favorite so far and it won't be the last!!  I COULD NOT put the book down and go to sleep last night!! Seriously, I started the book early yesterday morning, and of course, had life to live between readings, but finished it at 1:15 this morning.  It was THAT GOOD!



About the Book: (from Amazon.com)

Life gets a lot harder for Amish midwife Kristi Lapp when a buggy wreck lands her in the hospital and leaves her with a pronounced limp. Among her biggest concerns is the well–being of her dog, Chinook, as she is no longer able to keep up with the high–energy Siberian husky. Adding insult to injury, she fears she’ll never marry for love, for what man would willingly wed a woman who needs help with even the most basic of household tasks?

Shane Zimmerman moved to Seymour for a fresh start. The veterinarian is still reeling from the loss of his young wife, who died in childbirth—an aneurysm, the autopsy determined, but he still blames the midwife and the herbal remedies she administered. He meets his next–door neighbor, Kristi, when he discovers her wrecked buggy and takes her to the hospital. Eager to deepen the friendship that forms between them, he offers to take care of exercising her dog. But the harsh words of Kristi’s father discourage him from pursuing a relationship further—for the time being. Shane isn’t Amish, although his grandparents were, and Ira Lapp would rather his daughter marry an aging Amish widower than a young Englischer.

Despite all the forces that would keep them apart, Kristi and Shane can’t deny the strong attraction between them. So, their on–again, off–again relationship persists, as Kristi submits to physical therapy for her leg and Shane reevaluates his reasons for being Englisch. But will they find a way to stay together? Or are their differences too divisive to resolve?


About the Author:

Laura is an award winning author, a pastor's wife, married over twenty-five years and has five children. She homeschools, writes book reviews and books, Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts and Promised to Another.

My Review:

As I said at the beginning of this post, I really enjoyed this book.  I read somewhere else that someone thought it was predictable.... and while there are parts you HOPE will turn out a certain way, Laura keeps it to where to you really don't KNOW that it'll turn out that way.  If I had KNOWN whether or not it would work out, I would not have stayed awake until the wee hours of the morning to figure it out.  

I think part of the reason I enjoyed this book so much is that it wasn't your average, normal Amish story, but it did have all the parts of a good Christian romance -- a handsome, SWEET guy, a likable girl and circumstances that seem daunting.  It was the best Amish book I've read in a while!! I can't wait to read the rest of the series!






This book was provided by Whitaker House for review purposes, Blog Tour promoted byLovenGod Promotions

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