How did you come up with the idea for A Christmas Journey Home?
I knew I wanted to do a Christmas book—the first of what would become an annual event that my publisher and I were discussing—and I also knew that despite the lighter tone required in a Christmas book (as opposed to the darker themes of the persecuted Church and human trafficking, which I’ve been writing about), I had to stick to my “brand” as closely as possible: hence, an “issues-related” Christmas novel, dealing with the issues related to illegal immigration.
What was your favorite scene to write in A Christmas Journey Home?
I loved writing this entire book, and the characters are delightful (except the villains, of course!), so I loved almost all the scenes. But I think I liked the scenes with Isabella’s old abuelo best, as the grandfather reminded me of my own grandpa and even my dad, both of whom I loved dearly. I love incorporating at least one elderly saint in each of my books, and in this one I decided on a man since most of the other books have had women as the elderly, praying characters. I also brought in a little boy because children can add such a delightful element to any story, and six-year-old Davey certainly does that in A Christmas Journey Home.
What was the most difficult scene, and why?
The toughest scene had to be when Francisco and Isabella thought they were finally on the verge of being able to get away from the migrant camp and find a small home of their own, where their baby could be born in relative comfort and safety. If you’ve read the book, you know that isn’t at all what happens. But this heartbreaking scene had to take place to bring the story to its miraculous conclusion.
What is there about you, apart from writing, that many people don’t know?
First, my “road name” is “Easy Writer” because my husband and I were Harley riders for many years. (We’ve traded the bike in on a 2005 Corvette, so I’m still “Easy Writer” but in comfort now!) Also, I served on staff at a large Southern California church for several years, training small group leaders and doing biblical counseling, among other things.
Who are some of your favorite writers, and are you an avid reader?
Absolutely I’m an avid reader! I have always loved books/reading/words and been fascinated by them. When I ran out of books as I child, I started writing my own. (Voila! Look what came of that!) As for favorite writers, that’s tough, but here are just a few: Brock and Bodie Thoene, Francine Rivers, Patti Lacy, Athol Dickson, Jim Rubart, and Alan Paton, who wrote my favorite all-time fiction book, Cry the Beloved Country. That book changed my life and inspired my novel set in South Africa in 1989, No Greater Love. I also enjoy reading Brennan Manning, Jennifer Kennedy Dean, Oswald Chambers, and Max Lucado for nonfiction.
What’s on the horizon for you now, so far as future book projects?
I am currently finishing up the final book of the three-installment Freedom series (Deliver Me From Evil, Special Delivery, and The Deliverer). Then I will jump into my Christmas 2012 novel (working title is A Home For Christmas) and a novel called Last Chance for Justice, which is part of the multi-author Bloomfield Series with another publisher. After that I hope to get going on a new fiction series, which is still in the discussion/planning stages with my publisher and agent. So life is busy, but most contracts coming my way seem to be fiction right now. I am also keeping busy with very occasional editing projects and some speaking/teaching around the country.
Where can we find out more about you, The Freedom Series, and keep up with your to-be-released books?
Please feel free to visit my website at www.KathiMacias.com.
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 (ChristianSpeakersServices.com).
During Isabella Alcantara’s seventh month of pregnancy, her parents and siblings are murdered in gang- and drug-related violence, simply because their home was targeted by mistake. Isabella knows she was spared only because she now lives in a different location, but she knows too that the same thing could easily happen to her and her husband, Francisco. When her grandfather offers to hire a “coyote” to bring them across the border to America, she agrees. But Francisco and Isabella are abandoned by the coyote and left to die. Francisco then valiantly sacrifices himself to get Isabella to safety. Homeless, nearly penniless, pregnant, and alone, Isabella determines to find a way to honor her promise to her beloved husband.
Living on one of the smaller spreads along the Arizona border, Miriam Nelson becomes furious with God and turns from her faith when her
border patrol agent husband, David, is killed in a skirmish with drug smugglers. Though her mother and young son do their best to woo her back from the anger and bitterness that have overtaken her, they make little headway.
Two widows—one driven by fear and a promise, the other by bitterness and revenge—must make their journeys along different pathways, but with the same destination: a barn full of animals that stands waiting for them on Christmas Eve. Forced to face their personal demons, Isabella and Miriam soon discover a common yearning that will bind them together in a most miraculous way.
I requested this book cos it looked interesting and was a Christmas book. I got more than I expected. This book deals with issues showing things are not always black and white. Isabella and Francisco have escaped to America to get away from the violence but its not as simple as it seems they are left to die in the desert. What happens to them and their story is heart wrenching. I understand the way they entered America illegally but we learn why and what happens to many illegals. On the other side of the coin we have Miriam who's husband was killed by drug smugglers. She is bitter and angry at all illegals blaming them for her husbands death. When their paths eventually cross on Christmas Eve a miracle happens. I loved this story we learn why Isabella's Grandfather wanted her safe. There were times this book had me almost in tears and made me think of the issues. I loved the way Kathi told the story and I hope many will see another side of this issue. I could see this book being used to break down some misconceptions and be used to create awareness. This is a good read and I would recommend this book.
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