Monday, September 10, 2012

The Deliverer: A Book Review

About The Book:


In The Deliverer, Mara has to make some major choices: 1) whether to trust her feelings for Jonathan, despite the fact that she fears men in general; 2) will she risk returning to Mexico to find her family, the very ones who sold her into slavery when she was just a child; 3) will she receive God’s forgiveness and then offer that forgiveness to those who have so viciously hurt and betrayed her?
Lawan is also deeply involved in this final book, as it opens with her winging her way from Thailand and all that is familiar to come and live with the family who adopted her younger sister, Anna. Though still a child herself, Lawan has survived nearly three years in a brothel and feels much shame as a result. Will she be able to bond with her new family and allow God to heal the losses and pain she has sustained in recent years?
Jonathan too has much to deal with, primarily his feelings for Mara. Can he, a Bible college student, establish a deep and meaningful relationship with a young woman who has spent the majority of her life as a sex slave?
At New Hope Digital (newhopedigital.com) you can find study questions for each book in this series and an “ideas and resources” list to help educate readers and enable them to apply what they've learned and become actively involved in this massive and ongoing human tragedy—Trafficking in Persons.

About The Author:
Award-winning author Kathi Macias has written nearly 35 books, including the “Extreme Devotion” series, Beyond Me, How Can I Run a Tight Ship When I’m Surrounded by Loose Cannons?, Mothers of the Bible Speak to Mothers of Today, the best-selling devotional A Moment a Day, and the popular “Matthews” mystery novels. Kathi has written commentary for Thomas Nelson’s Spirit-Filled Life Bible (Student Edition); was part of the devotional writing team for Zondervan’s New Women’s Devotional Bible; and has ghostwritten for several prominent individuals including Josh McDowell; former NFL player Rosey Grier; and the late chaplain of the United States Senate, Richard Halverson. An avid writer, Kathi has published numerous devotionals, articles, short stories, and poems in various periodicals. The readership of her weekly devotionals has grown into the hundreds of thousands, being picked up by the Christian Civic League, Black Christian News, Latino Christian News, Christians in Recovery, and crosswalk.com.
A former judge for the Christy Awards, which recognize Christian novels of excellence, Kathi has won numerous awards herself. These awards include the Angel Award from Excellence in Media, a Hollywood-based organization set up to improve the moral and ethical content of films, television shows, books, etc.; fiction awards from the San Diego Christian Writers Guild; Golden Scroll Novel of the Year (Red Ink); Christy Award finalist (Red Ink); 2011 Author of the Year from BooksandAuthors.net; and the grand prize in an international writing contest. A former newspaper columnist and string reporter, Kathi now serves as a staff member for the Christian Communicator Manuscript Critique Service and spiritual advisor to the Christian Authors Network. She has also appeared on several radio and TV programs.
A popular speaker for women’s retreats, conferences, and churches, Kathi has taught creative writing and business writing in various venues; and has served on staff at a large church in Southern California, where she participated in biblical counseling, trained small-group leaders, and oversaw support/recovery ministries. With women’s ministry as her primary interest, Kathi also loves reaching out to others through various prison and homeless ministries. Passionate about praying for and aiding the persecuted church around the world, Kathi is a mother and grandmother and currently resides with her husband, Al, in California.

Interview with the Author:

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.”

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 tohttp://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.
My Review:
I have had the amazing opportunity to be able to review the work of Kathi Macias several times over the last two years, including the first two books of The Freedom Series. Recently, I read The Deliverer, the third, and final, book in the series. 

This entire series has brought to the forefront, the issue of human trafficking and how we, as Christians, and churches need to fight it with everything we have. The book is very well written, and I have fallen in love with all the characters. To read the journey Mara has taken has been very difficult at times, but also so incredibly inspirational. To be sure, the topic of this series is not a pleasant one, and its not supposed to be. Our hearts are supposed to be broken as we read the book and challenged to do our part to stop human trafficking, both locally and internationally. 

Over the next year, Kathi Macias has a number of new novels, and I can't wait to read them.

If you are a fan of Macias, you will enjoy this novel, and I highly recommend it.

BUY IT: You can purchase The Deliverer at your favorite bookseller, from New Hope Publishers.

***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)***


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for participating in the CSS Virtual Book Tour for THE DELIVERER by KATHI MACIAS.

    For information where FREE copies of this book will be given away, please visit: http://christianspeakerservices1.wordpress.com/. We are giving away a complete 3-book set of the Freedom Series, including the latest release, THE DELIVERER.

    Also follow on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CSSVBT.KathiMacias.

    STAY TUNED ... more books by Kathi Macias will be on tour soon. Visit:http://www.christianspeakersservices.com/virtual-book-promotions.html.

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