CSS Blog Tour – “SPECIAL DELIVERY” by Kathi Macias
Mara’s Fight for Freedom: In book two of the “Freedom” series, readers find Mara fighting against her attraction to Bible college student Jonathan Flannery even while wrestling with risking her own precarious safety to become involved in the rescue of another girl who is pregnant and desperately wants to escape her captors and save her own life, as well as her child’s.
Halfway around the world in a brothel in Thailand, a young girl is rescued with the promise of being reunited with her younger sister who was adopted by an interracial couple in the States, friends of Jonathan’s family. Meanwhile, Jefe—Mara’s uncle, who held her as a sex slave in his brothel in San Diego for years—seeks revenge for Mara’s testimony that put him behind bars for life.
Will his underworld connections be successful in kidnapping and killing the girl who believes she has finally won her freedom?
Watch the book trailer video … click on the graphic below
Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored nearly 30 books and ghostwritten several others. A former newspaper columnist and string reporter, Kathi has taught creative and business writing in various venues and has been a guest on many radio and television programs. Kathi is a popular speaker at churches, women’s clubs and retreats, and writers’ conferences, and recently won the prestigious 2008 member of the year award from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) at the annual Golden Scrolls award banquet. Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias lives in Homeland, CA, with her husband, Al.
Special Delivery is book two in the Freedom (human trafficking) series. For anyone who may not have read book one, Deliver Me From Evil, can you fill us in on the focus of the series in general, and Special Delivery in particular?
The Freedom series is a three-book fiction series built around the horrifying topic of human trafficking. People often ask me why I decided to write about such a dark topic. First, I explain that I’m not writing about a dark topic; I’m writing about the Light that shines in that darkness. And second, I believe the Church should be at the forefront of the modern-day abolition movement to set the captives (modern-day slaves) free. The three books in this series specifically follow the life of a young woman named Mara, who was sold into sexual slavery by her own parents in Mexico, and then smuggled across the border into San Diego by her uncle who then served as her pimp. A strong sub-plot throughout the series tells of two sisters in the Golden Triangle of Thailand, Chanthra and Lawan, who are also trapped in a brothel. Finally, a teenage girl named Francesca, kidnapped in Juarez, Mexico, and forced into prostitution, is introduced in book two. Special Delivery picks up two years after book one, Deliver Me From Evil, ends, and continues with the stories of Mara and Lawan, as well as others carried over from book one. Mara hopes she is finally free to pursue her own life because she was rescued from the brothel and her testimony helped lock up her uncle for life. But the man has underground connections and is driven by revenge to reach out from behind bars and deliver the ultimate punishment to his niece.
This isn’t the first fiction series you’ve written on nationwide and even worldwide social issues, the one previous to this being the persecuted Church. What draws you to these difficult topics?
As a Christian, I believe I am compelled to use my God-given gifts to honor God in all I do—and that includes exposing the deeds of darkness, calling sinners to repentance, and taking a stand for righteousness by doing all I can to help rescue those who are suffering. I dare not turn my back on “the least of these.” I also believe that God placed this sort of burden on my heart even before I became a Christian at the age of 26. I’ve always been a champion of the underdog, a “soap-box” preacher, if you will. When I met Jesus, I simply redirected that passion toward His people, realizing I couldn’t effect real change in my own strength anyway.
With your obvious passion to right social and moral wrongs through the power of the Gospel, how did writing and speaking enter into that?
I’ve known I wanted to be a writer since I was a child—never wanted to do anything else. When I was a teenager I told my then boyfriend (now husband) that I was going to be a writer one day. What a blessing that God allowed me to fulfill that dream! After becoming a believer and growing in my faith, it was natural to take my passion to fight for others and incorporate it into my writing. Speaking, on the other hand, was an entirely different story. I was terrified of public speaking when I was young, and the day I received Christ I made a “bargain” with God, promising to do anything He asked of me—so long as it didn’t include public speaking. (Does God have a sense of humor or what???) Now, when I stand in front of audiences where I believe God has called me to speak (and actually find myself enjoying it!), I tell my listeners that if God has called them to do something and they feel it’s impossible, they can consider me their “visual aid” that NOTHING is impossible with God IF we will simply take that first step of obedience and let Him fulfill His purpose in and through us.
With the topics of the worldwide persecuted Church and human trafficking under your belt, what other issues are you dealing with in your writing?
My Christmas 2011 book, A Christmas Journey Home, dealt with the immigration/border problem, and my Christmas 2012 novel, Unexpected Christmas Hero, will be about homelessness in America. The next issues-related fiction series I have on tap—which I am just starting to write, by the way—is called the “Patches of Courage” series and will begin releasing in late January 2013. Book one is The Moses Quilt, based on the life of Harriet Tubman, and will be followed by The Christmas Quilt and The Impossible Quilt. This series of books will highlight historical American women whose Christian faith enabled them to walk in great courage and make a difference in the lives of countless people.
Where can people find out about you and your books/speaking/appearances?
They can go directly to my website (www.kathimacias.com or www.boldfiction.com) or my Easy Writer blog: http://kathieasywritermacias.blogspot.com. I’m also on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, and various other social sites. Would love to hear from all of you!
This blog tour is hosted by:
Special Delivery is the story of Mara, who is now free from sex slavery. It is the story of her life. Yet it’s more than just her life. It’s the suspense of revenge from Jefe. It’s the opportunity to help other girls get free. Will Mara find the grace to work through her personal issues and reach forth and help?
With Kathi’s incorporation of a tensive romantic relationship that intrigues both Jonathan and Mara, would Mara be able and willing to have a relationship that’s ‘normal’ with a husband? Would Jonathan be able to handle her brokenness?
Though this malady is worked feverishly in other countries, such as Lawan’s story and experiences, the United States is one of the biggest perpetrators of sex slavery. It’s an extension of what we have known as pimps and prostitutes, only in an uglier way, as it includes girls from ages five and up.
Kathi once again fleshes out the reality of sex trafficking and the devastation it brings upon the girls–mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. You will see how the repugnant self-centered, self-serving mindsets of the perpetrators clash violently with those willing to give their lives to help girls trapped in this horrendous situation. That there are lost, sleazy men and women who will do the bidding of the perpetrators. Her characters dig deep under your skin, crying out for you to help. It’s personal, drawing you into the devastation with a cry for freedom and abolition.
You will find that Special Delivery is just as compelling as Deliver Me From Evil. Both books are meant to draw you into the battle and expose the debauchery of humankind, bringing justice to the perpetrators and freedom for the slaves. What is God calling you to do? Will you heed the call?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 (http://ChristianSpeakersServices.com). No monetary compensation was exchanged.