Book Review- People of the Book by Kathi Macias

This book arrived just as I was finishing leading the first retreat of a five part retreat series called Practicing Your Path. I was worn out and needed some light reading to distract me. This is the first book I’ve read of Kathi’s and I must say that I will be reading more.  While this book was so well written that it was both easy and enjoyable to read, it’s message certainly wasn’t light.  There’s meat there and a lot to think about.  I will be reading the rest of the series! Two thumbs up!

Here’s what Kathi had to say about things:

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 (http://www.kathimacias.com;http://www.theTitus2Women.com) or on my Easy Writer blog athttp://kathieasywritermacias.blogspot.com. 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 (www.ChristianSpeakerServices.com).

Book Review and Give-Away – You Are Loved by Linda Gomes

Today’s post is an interview with  Linda Gomes, author of You Are Loved.  i found this book an interesting, but frankly, difficult read.  Linda is open and brutally transparent about her life of childhood abuse and the path that she has been on to healing the wounds of her past, but I found the writing style a little hard to follow in places.  Even still, the story of her journey to healing and redemption is a powerful and inspirational one.  Make sure to comment below…one lucky commenter will win and autographed copy of Linda’s book.


What inspired you to write You Are Loved? And was there a pivotal point that changed your life?

My life and its past had always been a burden to me.  I tried to hide it, lie about it and pretend that I was just as “normal” as everyone else until I realized that my faithful life was being affected by not being myself! I made a decision to become a part of a class at my church called Wounded Hearts that was lead by the most amazing woman!  (You can read more about her in dedication of my book) after several hours of being a part of this group I was encouraged to write or journal and  that lead to asking for prayer and writing Monday Morning Prayer which I emailed to my friends.  It was very well received, much to my surprise as I never thought of myself as a writer!  Then one day I was thrust into a trial that I had no frame of reference to handle.  I thought that my attending my class was confidential until  I read an email from a pastors husband that once again tried to pigeon hole me by suggesting that my crying foul and not tolerating abuse in my life was somehow “because of” my past!  The exact words were “she must have some significant damage in her past to react this way” It had been the story of my life to not speak out when I was hurt, to not demand respect and to take the abusive behavior from others as just another part of my life as if I deserved to be treated less then.  The impression that was transmitted openly in a not so private email was that this man felt that he knew who I was, because of a class that I was attending! God hit me at that moment like a Mac truck!  I was keenly aware that this type of reaction and careless assumption was the reason I had hidden for years, taking me off of my path and “shaming” me back into hiding and away from the blessings God had intended.  I saw it so clearly at that moment!  I was working so hard to not be “pigeon holed” that I was not the authentic person that God was trying so desperately to use for His purpose.

I made the decision that day that I would use my life and all of its facets to speak out and not hide any longer.  I would not allow anyone else to “tell” my story!  I could no longer allow another broken person to define “who I was” and just cower in the shadows.   I realized in that moment that women hide from their abuse because they believe they will not feel loved by anyone if they tell their story.  The ignorance in one email brought me to my knees before God, begging to be relieved from the pain of the secret that was snuffing out my life and the gifts that He had intended me to be blessed with!

You are loved, was the message that I had to accept and then I had to allow Him to use my story to reach out to others!

How can reading your book have an impact on the reader’s life?

My hope and prayer is that my life will encourage other women to be brave in his name!  I exposed my life because I was living in a way that  the world had designed and defined and not the life that God was working to use to restore others. I believe that His plan is to shed the light in the dark corners where we hide our deepest pain.  My book reveals pain and fear that can control and lead a life into desperation and isolation, destroying His purpose!  As you will read in the first page of You are Loved,  Surviving is my History, Living is my Destiny,  the impact will be that my readers will finally know and believe that they are loved and that they are worth it!

What are your plans for the future in the publishing world? Think you have any more books in you?

I am in the process of writing new book called EMBRACE.  This book is a culmination of all the steps it took for me to be the woman God intended.  Embracing your life and all of its facets is a process, this book will bring you full circle, through the pain of your life to the joy that the healing that God creates through that pain, teaching you to walk in His Embrace in order to lead others to His salvation!

What else does God have you doing these days Linda, and how can our readers connect with you?

Embrace Ministries is the passion of my life these days.  I am still writing Monday Morning Prayer and the Daily Light Switch. You can find me atwww.embrace-ministries.net.  I am also on Face book at http://www.facebook.com/people/Linda-Gomes/1260573178#!/pages/You-Are-Loved/281441512624. Both of these pages allow feed back and support.

How can our readers purchase your book?

You can purchase my book on www.embrace-ministries.net.

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 (www.ChristianSpeakerServices.com).

Book release- March 1st!

It is finished! YAY! Living Life with Strings Attached official release date is March 1,2010!

You can pre-order your autographed copy by making a $10 donation to Inspired Girls Life and Leadership Camp here and I will ship the book to you for free!

Would you like to earn a free autographed copy?

Contact me about hosting a book signing, blog book tour, or writing a review, I would love you help and input! You can email me at stringsattachedministries@gmail.com

I look forward to hearing from you all soon!