Announcing: Cecile’s Christmas Miracle

Cecile's Christmas Miracle Book Cover

Today is the day Cecile’s Christmas Miracle becomes available! You can download your copy from:

At this point, the story is only available in e-book format. Keep your eyes and ears open for releases in print format in 2014.

Synopsis: It’s Christmas time, but Cecile is surrounded by heat, dust, strangers, and death. If she’d accepted Colin’s proposal and stayed in Canada, she would be enjoying a “normal” Christmas. Instead, she’s stranded in the middle of the Kalahari Desert, serving as the lone nurse at a mission clinic, faced with medical emergencies she wasn’t trained to deal with. Little has changed despite months of hard work. Cecile has never been a quitter, but she’s tempted to just pack it in and return home. She wants her life to make a difference. Did she mistake God’s calling in her life?

Bio: Ruth L. Snyder was privileged to spend the first ten years of her life in southern Africa where her parents were missionaries. She now lives near Glendon, the pyrogy capital of Alberta, Canada with her husband Kendall and their five young children. Ruth enjoys reading, writing, teaching piano, photography, crafts, and travel. She is a member of The Christian PEN, The Word Guild, and InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship. Learn more about Ruth and her writing at http://ruthlsnyder.com.


Guest Post – Reaching out at Christmas

Today I’m pleased to welcome Kathi Macias to my blog. I’ve enjoyed reading some of Kathi’s books and in August Kathi invited me to join her as an author in her Kathi Macias 12 Days of Christmas Series.

Kathi MaciasKathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored nearly 40 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. She won the 2008 Member of the Year award from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) and was the 2011 Author of the Year from BooksandAuthors.net. Her novel set in China, Red Ink, was named Golden Scrolls 2011 Novel of the Year and was also a Carol Award Finalist; her October 2012 release, Unexpected Christmas Hero, was named 2012 Book of the Year by BookandAuthors.net. Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias lives in Homeland, CA, with her husband.

Kathi is passionate about The Voice of the Martyrs and Open Doors.  To learn more about the persecuted church, please visit VOM’s website and Open Doors Website

Reaching out at Christmas

I must admit that Christmas Eve has always been my favorite time of year. When I was a child it seemed “magical,” as we waited for Santa to bring us the gifts we would open the next morning. I know now, that though Jesus most likely wasn’t born on the night of December 24, the real gift of Christmas is what we celebrate on this most loved of holidays. I also know, as a former biblical counselor on a large church staff, that this is the time of year that heightens all our emotions–whether joyous or heart-wrenching. Right now I can’t help but think of the many families who have been impacted by various tragedies throughout this past year, particularly school shootings or other crimes involving our beloved children. Regardless of where they stand on the purpose for Christ’s birth, this has got to be the most difficult time for them that any human can experience.

We’ve all lost loved ones at some point in our lives, but our children? No pain can compare–except perhaps that of the Father, as He watched His only Son suffer and die at the hands of His own creation. And that’s the answer I give when asked, “Where is God when such a horrible event takes place?” He is where He always is, sitting on the throne in complete control and yet weeping with those who weep, hurting with those who hurt, mourning with those who mourn–because He’s been there and He knows better than anyone the tragic outcome of evil, selfish choices. The Scriptures say that God bottles our tears, and that one day in heaven He will wipe them all away. Until then, He stands waiting, His nail-scarred hands extended and ready to carry us through to the other side.

There are practical and creative ways we can offer our own hands and hearts to assist those who are experiencing grief beyond imagining at this time of year, whether it’s donating meals, money, or flowers, and I encourage you all to take advantage of those opportunities whenever possible. But I also encourage you to pray, not just when the pain is fresh but for a long time to come because losing a child isn’t something anyone will get past quickly or easily–possibly not ever on this earth. We may never personally meet any of those who have lost loved ones in such a manner, but we can give them a selfless gift at Christmas–a commitment to pray for them for as long as we have breath to do so. Then one day, when we have “graduated to heaven” and meet all those precious little ones who went on ahead of us, God will wipe away our tears as well.

A very blessed Christmas to you all, beloved, as you give of yourself to those who need an extra touch of Christ’s love.


Behind the Scenes – Cecile’s Christmas Miracle

Kathi Macias 12 Days of Christmas SeriesIn August 2013 I was invited to write a story for the Kathi Macias 12 Days of Christmas Series which is being published by Helping Hands Press. This story started over a year ago when I wrote a 1,000 word entry for a Fiction in Five contest. The prompt I received was: “Living in the desert at Christmas time is so depressing,” along with five words I had to use somewhere in the story (like turkey, carols, etc.)

As a child I became acquainted with the Kalahari Desert while living in Botswana, Africa, where my parents were serving as missionaries. We had an “aunty” who was a missionary nurse in the Kalahari Desert. I was surprised how many memories came to life as I thought of Aunt Ngairie and her work among the San Bushmen. Writing a very short story was OK, but I wanted to expand it.

When the opportunity came to write a story for the 12 Days of Christmas series, I decided to revisit Cecile and her adventures among the San Bushmen. The story needed fleshing out, so I did some research and discovered the controversy over the resettling of the San Bushmen. (For more details, Google “Botswana resettlement”.) This helped add a new dimension and external conflict to the story. Colin and his story grew out of the early flashback which Cecile has and then he took on a life of his own.

Here’s a small introduction to Cecile’s Christmas Miracle

Living and working here was nothing like she had imagined it. In many ways, Cecile felt like she’d been plunked into the middle of a movie set for The Gods Must Be Crazy. The calendar said 2002, but these people lived like early settlers in North America. To top it all off, she was hearing rumors about the government relocating the San Bushmen and closing clinics. Something to do with a major discovery of diamonds in the area. She had poured her heart and soul into ministering to these people. Was it all going to come to a sudden ignoble end, like a puff of dandelion seeds being blown into the air?

The story is slated for release on December 1st with Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. Stay tuned for further details!


Announcing a deal from Helping Hands Press

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A WORD FROM HELPING HANDS PRESS, THE PUBLISHERS OF Amazon Top 100 AUTHORS SARAH PRICE AND WHOOPIE PIE PAM JARRELL’S #1 BEST-SELLING STORY- “The Divine Sisterhood of the Whoopie Pie Sisters Trilogy”.

Hi,

We would like to thank all of the wonderful readers that have purchased, read and reviewed Book I and Book II of the #1 Best–Selling Trilogy “The Divine Sisterhood of The Whoopee Pie Sisters” by Amazon Top 100 authors Sarah Price and Whoopie Pie Pam Jarrell.

Whoopie Sisters

Good news about the Trilogy!

The price of Book II was originally $1.99 but has just been lowered to $.99.

Here is the Amazon Kindle link:

http://www.amazon.com/Divine-Secrets-Whoopie-Pie-Sisters-ebook/dp/B00G6U3FA0/ref=sr_1_5?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1384202748&sr=1-5&keywords=whoopie+pie+pam+jarrell

Anyone that has purchased Book II at the $1.99 price is welcome to come to the Helping Hands Press Facebook page, message us there, and we will be happy to send you some amazing stories to compensate you for the price reduction.

The Helping Hands Press Facebook Page link is : https://www.facebook.com/HelpingHandsPress

Remember: there is only one dynamic author duo named Sarah Price and Whoopie Pie Pam Jarrell and there is only one original series named “The Divine Sisterhood of The Whoopie Pie Sisters”. Except no imitations! 


Book Review: Fatherless – Ruth L. Snyder

Fatherless by Dr. James Dobson and Kurt Bruner
Fatherless by Dr. James Dobson and Kurt Bruner

Title: Fatherless

Authors: Dr. James Dobson and Kurt Bruner

Pages: 431

Publisher: FaithWords (a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.)

Date of Publication: January 2013

What will our world be like in 2042 if we follow the current moral trajectory? Dr. James Dobson and Kurt Bruner team up to “vividly imagine a future in which present-day trends come to sinister fruition.” If you’re looking for a compelling story that will make you think, read Fatherless.

Julia Davidson, a journalist who is struggling to revive her career, is sent on a mission to uncover facts about a presidential candidate’s platform. In the process, she reconnects with a former classmate, Angie, and her husband Kevin as well as Kevin’s handsome assistant, Troy. Angie, Kevin, and Troy’s belief system is diametrically opposed to Julia’s. Angie has given up a lucrative career to stay home and raise children – several children, including a daughter society sees as a “debit”. Instead of being angry and bitter, Angie is contented and fulfilled. As Julia pursues her story, she digs up “dirt” on Kevin. Will Julia protect Angie and her family, or will she choose to expose Kevin and revive her reputation as an award-winning journalist?

Matthew Adams has always wanted to become a professor. Instead he has been saddled with the care of his mother and her deteriorating mind. His religious upbringing taught him that assisted suicide was wrong, but society shows that “transitions” are best for everyone. What should Matt do? Will he follow his heart or his mind?

The United States are at a critical crossroads. “For the first time in human history, the economic pyramid has flipped: the feeble old now outnumber the vigorous young, and this untenable situation is intensifying a battle between competing agendas.” Kevin sets out to unveil facts about “bright spots” and gain support for his proposal. Will he be able to persuade the presidential candidate and his supporters, or will his political career come to a sudden ignoble end?

Once I started this book it was hard to put it down. Even my husband, who rarely reads fiction, was captivated by the story. We were both challenged to consider the path our culture is on and to reexamine not only the basis for our beliefs, but how we can encourage others to make godly choices.

This is the first book in a trilogy. Childless is scheduled for release in the Fall of 2013 and Godless will be available in the summer of 2014.


The Moses Quilt – Interview with Author Kathi Macias

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Kathi Macias
NOTE: Enter to win a free copy of The Moses Quilt by leaving a comment after this post! Draw will be made on March 1, 2013
The Quilt Series sounds interesting, but what makes it unique or sets it apart from the many other quilt books that are so popular right now?
First, I must confess to NOT being a quilter. I’ve never even considered taking it up! Second, I love quilts and have always been fascinated by the stories behind them. I combined that fascination with my passion for writing issues-related fiction, and I ended up with a three-book series that is, for the most part, contemporary but told against historical backdrops.Sounds interesting! Can you tell us a bit about each of the three books in the series? Sure! Book one, The Moses Quilt, involves an interracial romance, where the couple works through their concerns and apprehensions as they learn the story of Harriet Tubman’s faith and courage as told through the patches of the Moses quilt that represents her life. Book two, The Doctor’s Christmas Quilt, deals with the topic of abortion told against the backdrop of the life of America’s first woman doctor, Elizabeth Blackwell, who was strongly pro-life. Book three, The Singing Quilt, deals with a young woman overcoming a physical disability; the background for that story is based on the “Queen of Gospel,” Fannie Crosby.

Was it difficult to do the research on these women, particularly Harriet Tubman? What did you learn about her in the process? I knew more about Harriet Tubman than I did about Elizabeth Blackwell or Fannie Crosby, but I expanded my knowledge of each as I did the research. Harriet Tubman’s amazing faith and courage is what stood out most to me about her life. Here was a woman born a slave, penniless for the majority of her life, and illiterate except for the scripture verses she had memorized (even if she couldn’t read them). Her prayer life was powerful, even as a child. After she escaped to the North and began making forays back into the South to help bring others out of slavery, friends would caution her against it. “Harriet, there’s a reward on your head—dead or alive. Aren’t you afraid?” She brushed off their fear and explained that she believed God had called her to help rescue her people; therefore, He would protect her. When her job was done, He would take her home to heaven, so what was there to fear? Wow, what a dynamic woman of God! I also learned that her achievements went far beyond rescuing slaves, though that’s what she’s best known for. She also served as a spy for the Union Army, worked as a nurse, and opened a home for indigent elderly former slaves. She died there herself in her mid-nineties, and the entire town flew their flags at half-mast in her honor.

Tell us a little more about the contemporary story in The Moses Quilt. The majority of the contemporary story is set just outside San Francisco. Mazie is white and deeply in love with Edward, an African-American lawyer who adores her and wants to marry her but tries to be respectful of her hesitation to make a commitment. What he doesn’t know is that Mazie is disturbed by what she considers secrets in her family’s past, secrets that begin to be unraveled as her great-grandmother, Mimi, tells her and Edward the story behind her Moses quilt, which she bought years earlier in Gee’s Bend, Alabama, a little town famous for its quilts. Edward thought he knew everything there was to know about Harriet Tubman, who had always been somewhat of a hero to him, but Mimi’s story opens up new avenues of discovery for both the young people in this relationship—and takes them straight back to the quilt’s origin in Gee’s Bend.

This sounds like more than just a “feel-good” story. Can it be used as a study book in some way? Absolutely! As with nearly all my books we have free downloadable discussion questions at www.newhopedigital.com that will enable The Moses Quilt to be read as a study book for individuals or used as a discussion/study book for groups.

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For more opportunities for free copies of THE MOSES QUILT by Kathi Macias, please follow this book tour on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/CSSVBT.KathiMacias. This blog host was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview and/or book review on this blog. CSS Virtual Book Tours are managed by Christian Speakers Services (http://ChristianSpeakersServices.com).

About the Author: Kathi Macias

Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored nearly 40 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. She 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.

Lynn Dove Launches Love the Wounded

Lynn Dove is launching her new book, Love the Wounded, October 30th.
Love the Wounded is the final and dramatic conclusion to her brilliant Wounded Trilogy series that has followed the lives of teenagers Jake, Leigh, Mike, Dylan and Tim as they come to terms with a series of tragedies and events that have made each of them question why God allows “bad things to happen to good people.”
You can help her achieve ‘best seller’ status by purchasing the book at amazon.com TODAY – and receive all kinds of free gifts while you’re at it!
Here’s how:
1. Go to the Landing Page on Lynn’s Word Salt Website
2. Buy the book at amazon.
3. Go back to the Landing Page and fill in the {{{{{{{form}}}}}} with your name, email and purchase number.
It’s that easy! You’ll be directed to your free gifts and all you have to do is choose which ones you want.

About the book:
Leigh does not know who to choose…her heart tells her she will always love Jake, but he has changed so much since the death of their friend, Ronnie, and with his mother going through breast cancer; he has totally closed himself off from her emotionally. Now she is dating Dylan and try as she might to accept him for who he is, she can’t stop thinking about Jake! Dylan has never gotten over the loss of his father and little sister, killed by a drunk driver when he was just a young boy.

After a horrific accident that has put both Tim and his little brother, Evan in the hospital, everyone knows that not only is he being bullied at school; he cuts himself to cope with it all. But meeting Cassidy has given him the courage to stand up to the bullies and at the same time give her what she so desperately needs…a life-giving bone marrow transplant. Jake’s mother keeps telling him that “God works all things out for good” but with all the things going on in his life and with his friends, he’s just not sure anymore. It is only after Mike is paralyzed in a car accident that Jake was partially responsible for that all the families and friends will be brought back together, not by coincidence, but by God’s design and then Jake will finally believe that God truly does “Love the Wounded”.

“A life of working with youth has inspired Lynn Dove, a Cochrane mother to turn her experiences into a book trilogy…(the Wounded Trilogy) series that parallels the struggles of students…(and) covers the angst of some of the real serious issues that teenagers face today, particularly with bullying and gossip. ” -Rocky View Weekly-

What others are saying:
“I couldn’t put the book down…(A) dramatic ending to a wonderful series about five teenagers and their families who are struggling through life,…Lynn Dove has created a cast of teenage characters we grow to love over this three book series,…It is a wonderful, good, clean book with twists and turns about issues on a young adult level that they will enjoy reading.” – Readers Favorite–
“A personal story of honest truth – offer(s) an uplifting spiritual message” – Cochrane Times –
Author bio:
Lynn Dove is a wife, mother, grandmother, teacher and writer. Winner of a Canadian Christian Writing Award in 2011, Lynn Dove’s debut novel, Shoot the Wounded, written for teens and young adults was a finalist in the 2010 Readers Favorite Book Awards. Heal the Wounded, released in 2010, the second book in this series won the Bronze Medal in the 2011 Readers Favorite Book Awards in the Young Adult – Coming of Age category. Love the Wounded is the final book in the “Wounded Trilogy.”

FREE STUFF:
Here’s just a sampling of the FREE e-gifts from generous supporters:
Free Kindle version of Tracy Krauss’s best seller: Wind Over Marshdale
Autographed copy of The Chamomile by Susan F. Craft
Autographed copy of award winning They Stood Alone by Sandra McLeod Humphrey
Free ebook Fit for Faith by Kimberley Payne
Free PDF copy of Live Without Stress by Shelley Hitz
First Three Chapters of The Legacy of Deer Run by Elaine Cooper
Plus more!
All if you buy your copy of Love the Wounded at amazon.com on Oct 30! All links will be operational on the ‘Landing Page’ at the Word Salt website on that day only!
DISCLAIMER: This ‘Best Seller book launch’ has been coordinated with the help of the ‘John 3:16 Marketing Network’ and many other generous supporters. The free gifts are deliverable electronically over the internet or by email (or mail) by individual authors and supporters. They are not in any way associated with, nor deliverable by, amazon.com


An Interview with Author Kathi Macias

The Deliverer by Kathi Macias has just been released. This is the third book in the Freedom Series. In this interview, Kathi gives some background information about the book. I am offering a free copy of the book. To enter, post a comment below. I will draw a name on September 30th and announce the winner. For my response to The Deliverer, check out my book review.

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?

Kathi Macias

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 Evil, Special 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.”

It seems there is always someone in your books who is an intercessor. Why is that important for you to include?

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.

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 (http://kathimacias.com/category/devotional-2/), which is part of my primary website (www.kathimacias.com), 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), Believe.com, 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 (http://kathimacias.com/speaking/). To see my current speaking schedule and/or to explore the possibility of having me come and speak, just go to http://kathimacias.com/speaking/speaking-schedule/ and click on the Christian Speakers Services button to make contact. You can also see some of my speaking endorsements at http://kathimacias.com/speaking/endorsements/.

For more opportunities for free copies of The Deliverer by Kathi Macias, please visit Facebook.com/CSSVBT.KathiMacias.

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. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speakers Services (http://ChristianSpeakersServices.com).

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