Wednesday, September 22, 2010

VALERIA'S CROSS - Kathi Macias & Susan Wales - Free Book and Free Pendant

Kathi Macias (; is a radio host and an award-winning author of more than 30 books, including the popular Extreme Devotion series from New Hope Publishers. A wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, Kathi and her husband, Al, live in Southern California, where they spend their free time riding Al’s Harley—hence, her road name of “Easy Writer.”

Susan Wales, a born storyteller and wife of film producer Ken Wales, is a popular speaker throughout the United States and a frequent teacher at writers’ conferences, as well as an award-winning author of numerous books.

The Morgan Mint has graciously partnered with my Valeria's Cross co-author Susan Wales and me to offer a limited number of King Azes II Silver Pendants (minted in the days of the very early Church) to help promote our new book. If you have already purchased a copy and posted a review on Amazon, your blog, etc., I will be randomly choosing a couple of you to receive one of these beautiful necklaces. For others who will buy a book and email a proof of purchase (minus your credit card info, of course), plus post reviews wherever possible, you too will be eligible to receive one of these lovely pieces. Just be sure to give me clear mailing instructions so I can send one if you win!

I received one of these, and it is really lovely. A real treasure.

Welcome, Kathi. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

At the deepest level of commonality, all my characters, to one degree or another, are ME. However, in Valeria’s Cross, I would say I’m much less visible than in some of my former books. This is undoubtedly because this book is based in historical facts, with very different circumstances than anything I’ve ever experienced. That fact made the writing of this book a much bigger challenge than I’ve faced before, but because my co-author, Susan Wales, is a research aficionado and already quite familiar with third-century Rome, it was a joy to explore and create this fictional account of historical happenings.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

Wow. I imagine people who know me well would say the list is long, but I tend to think of myself as relatively reserved (my German father’s daughter!). However, the very fact that I ride with my husband on his Harley, often going to various biker events to minister any way possible and being known by bikers all over SoCal as “Easy Writer” would probably be at the top of my list of quirkiness.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

I never wanted to be anything else. I was an avid reader as a child, and when I ran out of things to read, I wrote my own stories. A story I wrote for a class assignment in third grade was so well received by the teacher that she and the principal decided to turn it into a play for the entire PTA. I was hooked! It was thirty-five years later before my first book was published, but I’ve considered myself a writer ever since that public “coming out” incident.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

I love both fiction and nonfiction, but I prefer books that challenge me and take me a bit deeper than the usual. I bore quickly with rehashed info and don’t care for “escape reading,” though I realize there’s a huge market for it so I’m not criticizing those who fill that niche. It simply isn’t mine.

What other books have you written, whether published or not?

I’ve written more than thirty books (published under my own name), and scores more for other people (celebs, etc.) Those thirty-plus books include fiction and nonfiction, series and stand-alones, even two collections of children’s issue-related books. All the most recent ones are visible/available on my website ( Right now I seem to be landing more fiction than nonfiction contracts, so that’s what I’m concentrating on at the moment.

I know. I'm landing more historical fiction contracts, so that's what I'm writing right now. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

LOL!!! Who says I do? (Medication helps!) Seriously, the tyranny of the urgent is always threatening to keep us from accomplishing the necessary, so I am very disciplined to maintain my relationship with the Lord first and foremost. If/when He tells me to lay down this writing/speaking ministry He has so blessed me with, I’ll do so and walk away in a heartbeat. I only want to do what He’s called me to do today, for that’s all He requires of me. Of course, it’s easier said than done to maintain that focus, but it’s necessary to preserve our sanity.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

It depends on the type of book I’m writing. It’s much more important in fiction, but when I write contemporary fiction based in the American culture, I just go with names I like and that seem appropriate to the setting. However, in some of my series where the books are set in different countries and cultures, I study the country’s names and their meanings to choose those which best fit the characters’ personalities and experiences in the story. In Valeria’s Cross, of course, the primary characters’ names are historic facts. When we needed to fill in a few blanks with minor characters, we went with common names of the era.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

That’s a tough one. Over the years I’ve worked with some of the biggest names in Christendom and won lots of awards in the process. I’ve had the privilege of ministering in some of the toughest prisons in the country, even spending an entire day on Death Row at San Quentin. I’ve spoken to groups of thousands, both in person and via TV and radio, and led Bible studies in jail cells with two or three grateful inmates. I’ve served meals to the homeless, and seen my weekly devotional ministry, which I send out free each Thursday in both English and Spanish, get picked up and read by hundreds of thousands each week. And in the midst of those thirty-plus published books, I have experienced the stunning joy of having one of them achieve best-seller status. But the greatest success or accomplishment is ALWAYS when one of my readers or listeners comes to me and tells me that something I wrote or said enabled them to receive Jesus for the first time and/or to fall more deeply in love with the Father. It’s the ministry of reconciliation, however that reads out in my life each day, that is the most precious to me.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

Oh, now, that’s a good one! I love the independence of cats (and relate well to that), but God is always dealing with me about NOT being so independent, so maybe that wouldn’t be a good thing. Dogs are so faithful and loyal, so perhaps I’d have to go that route. At the same time, I must confess that my life is WAY too busy for any pets right now.

What is your favorite food?

I wish I could say it was something healthy, like celery or bean sprouts, but then I’d have to repent for lying. Pizza is right at the top of my list, along with nachos and Tillamook ice cream. (Yes, it HAS to be Tillamook!) However, you’ll seldom see me turn down a good cheeseburger or taco or… Well, you get the picture.

My favorite ice cream is Blue Bell. It's made here in Texas. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

Two things. First, writer’s block. Journalism taught me there’s no such thing. Just sit your rear end in the chair and get to work, like any other job! Second, marketing. I hate it, and there’s no easy fix for that one. But I’m tenacious when I set my mind to something, and so I’ve made myself learn everything I can about that aspect of successful writing (since selling what we write is a definite part of that equation, right?), and I’m seeing some success.

What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

At the risk of being the most unoriginal person on the planet, I’d have to say, Keep your day job! Unless you’re independently wealthy and simply don’t need to generate an income for a very long time (possibly forever), you need to maintain another source of financial support. I never cease to be amazed at how many people think I’m absolutely rolling in money because I’ve had a few books published! With few exceptions, I actually made more money doing ghostwriting and editing for other people than writing my own books. And, of course, I have a wonderful husband with a “real” job, who supports me financially as well as emotionally.

Tell us about the featured book.

This is a fictional account of historical happenings, a book about lost love, torn loyalties…and a dangerous faith. In the 3rd century, pampered Roman princess Valeria falls in love with Mauritius, captain of the Theban Legion. She sends him off to battle, where he suffers under the schemes of a notorious pagan general with an ambition for power and a lust for Valeria. In a scene based on true events, the evil Galerius kills Mauritius and his entire legion for their Christian faith. And in a shocking turn of events, the grieving Valeria is forced to become Galerius’ wife against her will. Never has a marriage been set up for such failure! Valeria loathes her new husband, but he seems to undergo a change of heart, adopting a child for her and giving her power and authority, and even love. She struggles with the commitment she knows she must keep, and the love she knows she will never find again.

Please give us the first page of the book.

Shame on you! Valeria chastised herself as she serpentined through the secret passageway that led to her mother’s boudoir. Had the agonizing thought of leaving the palace during the exciting winter social season reduced her, the emperor’s daughter, to a common spy? Absolutely! Overhearing snippets of her parents’ conversation in the hallway, she knew she had no choice; eavesdropping was her only weapon. Valeria was determined to discover why her father was so insistent that she accompany her mother to Egypt.

Near the end of the tunnel, Valeria broke through a maze of cobwebs to reach the secret entrance to her mother’s room. She pushed the door, rusted shut by years of neglect, but it would not budge. As a young girl, she had frequently played in the tunnel, but a couple of years ago, she had put away her childish ways. Frustrated, she kicked the door repeatedly until at last it opened. A puff of dust blew into the room and settled over the Turkish carpet like a storm cloud, but there was no time to clean. The echo of her mother’s singsong voice drifted down the hallway, warning of her imminent approach. Valeria scurried to a hiding place behind the damask draperies—just in time! The door swung open, and her parents, Emperor Diocletian and his beautiful wife, Empress Prisca, entered the room.

Don't stop there. What a teaser! How can readers find you on the Internet?

They can find me at my website,, or my blog, I am also on Facebook, Twitter, Shoutlife, and various other social sites.

The video trailer for the book can be found at

Thank you, Kathi, for the visit today.
Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here’s a link.


Patsy said...

Enjoyed the interview. It doesn't seem like Kathi would be the kind to ride a Harley. That's great that she spends that time with her husband. This book sounds great and the pendant is beautiful. Looking forward to reading the book. Thanks for giving away this prize.

Kathi Macias said...

Lena, it's always a joy to visit with you and your readers.Thank you so much for featuring Valeria's Cross. I pray it will be a blessing to many!

wmmahaney said...

What a wonderful interview. The book sounds wonderful, and I would love to read it.

Jan Cline said...

Oh, I say Amen to the Tillamoook ice cream. The pendant looks beautiful. Im glad to hear historical fiction is still so hot...I'm hoping to be on that bandwagon.
thanks for a great interview

grannyvon said...

My favorite is Blue Bell also. The Key Lime Pie and Buttered Pecan are my favorites. Great interview. I would love to win this book. Thanks for the chance.

jenmmcclure said...

Sounds like a great book! Would love to read it! I enjoyed your interview as well. I would have to say Blue Bunny is the best ice cream!

Beth Reinke said...

Lovely interview. I admire Kathi so much for her discipline and commitment to folowing God's will for her life.

Oh my goodness, I'm hooked by that teaser! What happens next??

Robyn said...

What a beautiful piece of jewelry. I think the book sounds like it will be a fantastic read as well.

coolestmommy200 at gmail dot com

peachykath said...

I have heard good things about this book and after reading the interview with the author I have added the book to my wish list. Please enter me in the drawing.
Thank you,


Charity said...

I would love to be entered in this giveaway:) I really liked reading Susan's books and this one sounds neat as well. Thanks for the interview!


Bakersdozen said...

Thanks for these great interviews and giveaways. I love how she said that leading others to Christ is what means the most to her. I really want to read this book. As to Tillamook, I haven't tried the ice cream, but it was the only cheese my dad liked when I was a kid.

Jeanne Doyon said...

I am just getting to know Kathi a little and would love to read her book.


K said...

This book sounds so good! Please enter me!

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Don't get me wrong I love a Western as much as the next gal but I also LOVE to read books that are set many centuries ago! I'm so glad it's starting to be a trend!This looks soooo good!

XOXO~ Renee

Casey said...

Thank you for entering me. :)

Ann Lee Miller said...

Please enter me in the drawing for a chance to read the book.
Ann Lee Miller

Cindy W. said...

I enjoyed the interview and would love to read Valeris's Cross. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

Cindy W.


Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in.

Julia M. Reffner said...

Please enter me, this story has sounded fascinating to me for a while.


Anonymous said...

I so enjoyed Kathi's first book in this series. Please enter me.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Wendy said...

I love this time period. I am looking forward to reading this book.

Anna W. said...

Please drop my name in the hat!

Lindsey said...

What a beautiful cover! I enjoyed the interview and really want to read this book. I would love to be entered!

Maureen said...

The only place I can get Blue Bunny Ice Cream here is at Walmart, and unfortunately their selection isn't very good!
Loved this interview!
Thank You!

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Maureen, I actually don't eat Blue Bunny Ice cream. I eat Blue Bell ice cream. There's a big difference.

holdenj said...

What a nice interview! It looks like a great story, thanks for the info and chance to win.

barbjan10 said...

Lena, your interviews with guests are so well done. Kathi is a talented writer and this must have been a difficult story to write for that time period. Let's us realize that human beings are the same throughout history in their personalities and character. I've read so much about "Valeria's Cross," and I'm anxious to read it. Thanks for the giveaway...the pendant is gorgeous and I appreciate the chance to win. I hope I do.

Sharing Faith,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

karenk said...

would enjoy reading this novel...thanks for the opportunity ;)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

ladybug said...

would love to win this. have been looking forward to its release!

rubynreba said...

Sounds like a very good book. The pendant is beautiful.

Carole said...

I've heard this is a sad, but excellent, book. Kathi doesn't write comfortable reads, but I've enjoyed and been challenged by her books. Thank you for the interview and chance to win Valeria's Cross.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Jennifer @ Quiverfull Family said...

I really enjoy Kathi's fiction, please enter me!

jennifer at quiverfullfamily dot com

Carol M said...

This really sounds good and I love the pendant! Please enter me!
Thank you!

Judylynn said...

Please enter me in this giveaway - Thanks!


Theresa N. said...

I'm very interested in reading this book.
Theresa N

Brenda said...

I would love to read the book!
Great interview!

dancealert at aol dot com

Hope said...

Wow! Sounds like a very interesting book!

Megan said...

I already have a copy of the book, so please don't enter me in the giveaway -- but I would LOVE to win the necklace. And Kathi, I read your book More than Conquerors and it was fantastic. Perfect timing as I was spending a month in Mexico on the mission field! Thanks again, Lena. I'm not sure how you manage all of these emails!