Sunday, October 02, 2011

A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY HOME - Kathi Macias - Free Book

Welcome back, Kathi. I just love Christmas stories. How did you come up with the idea for this story?
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.

If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
I always struggle with this because I have so many “favorites,” but if I have to narrow it down I guess I’d have to go with Patti Lacy, Susan Meissner, Jeanette Windle, Mary DeMuth, Athol Dickson, and Jim Rubart. All are different and unique, and all are people I greatly admire, and I also appreciate that their fiction is more than just entertainment. I like to come away from my reads feeling challenged at some point, and these authors always deliver.

Now let’s do that for a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Of course I’d have to invite my sister-in-law Kacy Barnett-Gramckow because I love her Genesis trilogy. Also, Francine Rivers, Bodie Thoene, Eugenia Price, Kay Marshall Strom, Sarah Sundin, and Laurie Alice Eakes. Though I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, these ladies all write about eras I find fascinating, so I usually try to make time to read their latest offerings.

Many times, people (and other authors) think you have it made with so many books published. What is your most difficult problem with writing at this time in your career?
Oh, if they only knew! People are surprised when I tell them I don’t get contracts for every proposal my agent sends out, but it’s true. However, I must sheepishly admit that my greatest problem right now is far too many contracts and not enough time to write! I also do a little editing and collaborative writing on the side, plus travel/speak/teach, so life is crazy-busy!

Tell us about the featured book.
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.

Sounds interesting. Please give us the first page of the book.

            Isabella shivered, her teeth chattering as she huddled against the frigid night air, doing her best to burrow her backside into Francisco’s embrace. How could her esposo  sleep in such harsh conditions? She and her husband had not eaten in nearly three days, they were almost out of water, and now she felt as if they would surely freeze to death before morning. And yet his even breathing, blowing warm against the back of her neck, assured her that her beloved had indeed escaped their dilemma for at least a few hours.

            Isabella wished she could do the same. During the daylight hours, when her feet burned with each tortuous step, she imagined that she could fall asleep in an instant if given half the chance. But when the desert sun, still hot in mid-autumn, finally sank below the flat, dismal horizon and the night winds blew mercilessly upon them, sleep eluded her. True, Francisco did everything he could to protect her from the elements, even using his body to shield her as they sought meager shelter under a small rock overhang or behind a sand dune, but it was never enough. They were going to die; she was sure of it. She and her husband of eleven months would perish in the middle of the Arizona desert, with only the scavengers to dispose of their remains.

            A slight flutter in her stomach reminded her that death would come to three of them, not just two. The baby that had been growing in her stomach for seven months and that less than a week earlier had kicked with strength and determination now grew weaker by the day.

            Perhaps it is best, she told herself. It was a foolish dream to think we could escape the violence and poverty of our home country and find a new life here, north of the border. My abuelo meant well, but we should never have listened to him…should never have taken his money and given it to the coyote….

            The ominous glare of the coyote, the man who had promised to take them safely to the United States but who instead had stolen their money and left them to die in the desert, danced through her memory, but she pushed it aside. Instead she focused on the beloved face of her grandfather, her abuelo, and fought the hot tears that stung her eyes as she wished yet again that she and Francisco were back in Don Alfredo’s casita, sharing a simple meal of tortillas and frijoles with the leathery-skinned old man Isabella had adored since she was a tiny girl.

            Despite her discomfort, the memory of her abuelo’s face brought a smile to her lips, as she snuggled closer into her esposo’s embrace. But then another memory, the horror of what had driven Don Alfredo to the point of pleading with them to flee across the border, wiped away her smile and once again brought tears to Isabella’s weary eyes.

Sounds like a heart wrenching story. I can't wait to read it. How can readers find you on the Internet?

I am also on Facebook, Twitter, Shoutlife, and various other websites/blogs

Thank you, Kathi, for sharing your book with us.

Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
A Christmas Journey Home: Miracle in the Manger

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (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 4 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 if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


fredamans said...

Sounds like an uplifting story for the season. Please enter this gal from Ontario, Canada. Thanks!

Wendy Newcomb said...

Love the Christmas stories,I live in Florida


Cindy W. said...

I love book Christmas and stories set at Christmas time. Also love the cover art. :)

Would love to win a copy of A Christmas Journey Home. Thank you so much for hosting such wonderful contests each week!

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.
from Indiana


scottsgal said...

I'd love to read this - one of my fave genres is holiday stories
msboatgal at

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Patsy said...

A Christmas Journey Home sounds really good.Would love to read it.

south MS


Rebecca said...

I would love to read this. Thanks for the chance.

I am from Oklahoma.

Kathi Macias said...

Thanks, Lena, for the great post about my first-ever ANNUAL Christmas novel (meaning I'm planning one every year now). Multiplied blessings to you and your readers!

Jo said...

I love reading Christmas stories. Thank you for the opportunity of reading this book.

Jo from Southern Arizona

Kathy Bruins said...

Love Christmas stories!

Tim said...

Would love to win a copy of this excellent book. Please enter me in the contest from Charlotte, NC.

Debbie Clark said...

A Christmas Journey Home sounds like a good book to read. Too many of us are prejudice regarding those that come from below our borders. Please enter me in the drawing. I am from Beavercreek, Oregon. Thanks so much for the chance to win.

Judy said...

I have read several interviews with Kathi and have read several of her books. I have become a huge fan of her writings. I am looking forward to reading "A Christmas Journey Home". It would be great to win a copy of it.


Judy B from Indiana

rubynreba said...

I'd love to read this. I'm from the great state of Iowa!

rubynreba said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Great book! Have to purchase it, thanks for sharing it, love the post!

Sample Contracts

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

i love Christmas stories that are more than just entertainment! Thanks Lena and Kathi for the giveaway.


from Peace River Country, Alberta

Anonymous said...



Coolestmommy said...

What a captivating opening and storyline. Sounds like a book I'll be up all night reading because I don't think I can put it down.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Patty said...

Christmas stories are always fun to read any time of the eyar!

Patty in SC

Joanna Richmond said...

sounds interesting I Love Christmas stories. I would Love to
read it. enter me in the drawing
Joanna Richmond,
Blanch, NC.

Abigail Mitchell said...

Looks interesting! Please enter me. Thanks!
Abigail Richmond
Blanch, N.C.

Faith's Grandma said...

Kathi,Looking forward to reading your first Christmas Novel.Thanks for a chance to win.... Faith's Grandma/Ohio

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a very interesting story. I'd love to be entered in the drawing.
~Amber S.
Larkspur, CO

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

It looks and sounds interesting!
Please enter me in the drawing.
God Bless,
Sarah Richmond

Anonymous said...

Dearly love these Christmas Stories, thank you so much for the chance to win! Have a blessed day! Dawn

Jo said...

I love reading Christmas stories and would love to read this book. Please enter me.

Jo from Southern Arizona

Nathanael Richmond said...

Looks interesting!
Please enter me in the drawing.
Nathanael Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Sharon Richmond said...

Sounds like a great story! I love reading and would love to win this book. Thanks and God bless!
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Aizess said...

I would enjoy a nice book to relax with during the coming holidays. Please enter me in the giveaway.


I live in New York

Charlotte Kay said...

Charlotte Kay, Ohio:

I LOVE Christmas stories, and am happy to be considered for this giveaway.

Anonymous said...

I know this book is going to be a great read!

JoyAnne in TN

Kristie said...

Wow!! Talk about your unusual Christmas novel!! Sounds compelling and different. Not very light and fluffy. Which is a good thing sometimes. I'm from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

Ann Lee Miller said...

Immigration is one of my pet topics, and I'd love to read A Christmas Journey Home.

Ann Lee Miller
Gilbert AZ

peachykath said...

This sounds really uplifting. In the spirit of Christmas, the women must find their faith and way in the world. I find that inspiring. Please enter me in the drawing for this book. Thank you.

Katherine from Northern California


rubynreba said...

Love to read this Christmas story.
Beth from Iowa