Throwback Thursday — More Than Conquerors by Kathi Macias

I read More Than Conquerors by Kathi Macias years ago, but it is one of those books that really stuck with me. It opened my eyes to the real life struggles of those living and ministering in Mexico. This book is a highly recommended read! It is also only $1.99 on Kindle right now — what a deal!

True love ignites their passionate pursuit of His call. With violent crime on the rise and the political climate changing throughout certain parts of Mexico, the opportunity for open Christian witness, particularly in some areas of Chiapas State, is rapidly decreasing. Hector Rodriguez pastors a small church in the tourist-popular border town of Tijuana. He also routinely carries Bibles deeper into the hostile areas of Mexico, where he ministers despite increasing difficulty and persecution. Hectors mother accompanied him on one of those trips and felt God called her to stay in the little village of San Juan Chamula, where she uses the Scriptures to teach reading to the families who are open to it.

Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer and radio show host who has authored 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, where the two of them spend their free time riding their Harley.

You can find Kathi online at www.kathimacias.com and at her blog http://kathieasywritermacias.blogspot.com

 

My Thoughts:

Conquistadores — conquerors — this word still inspires hatred and fear in the hearts of the descendants of the once flourishing culture of the Mayans. The Mayans were a people with a very advanced civilization. They had a written language, a developed religious and governmental system, and arts, architecture and literature. A once great society they were finally conquered by the Spanish. However, their language and traditions continue to exist in many central American countries as well as Mexico. Kathi Macias’ newest book, More Than Conquerors, introduces the reader to the modern Mayan, one who still clings to traditions, superstitions, and suspicions of those they term outsiders.

Macias sets her novel in two locations in Mexico — San Juan Chamula in Chiapas State and Tijuana just south of San Diego. San Juan Chamula is a remote  Mayan village in the rain forest. Tijuana is separated from San Juan Chamula not only by distance and bad roads, but by a lifestyle termed primitive even by those living in the poverty stricken border town. But both towns share one thing in common — the grip of evil on their populations. The evil is palpable in the confused psuedo-christian/Mayan worship in San Juan Chamula and in the gang violence of Tijuana.

The scripture that inspires the title of this novel, Romans 8:37, states that children of God are more than conquerors of the things that seek to keep them from the will of God — fear, death, persecution, ridicule, evil forces, and evil men. The verse is illustrated in the characters Macias brings to life on the pages of her book.  Like Macias’ first book in the Extreme Devotion series (No Greater Love), More Than Conquerors is not an easy read. The characters are faced with real life struggles and obstacles. Gang violence, open opposition to the gospel, family and societal pressures are just a few of the things she writes about. The christian life is not presented as a happily-ever-after fairy tale, but as gritty, ugly and tear-filled, yet possessing the peace and joy that only God can give to those He loves.

This book is for those who want to live what they say they believe. Highly Recommended.

(Thank you to Pump Up Your Book and Kathi Macias for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Book Review: Her Cowboy Reunion by Ruth Logan Herne

Happy Friday, dear readers!

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m looking at Ruth Logan Herne’s new release Her Cowboy Reunion, the first book in her new Shepherd’s Crossing series!

About the Book

her cowboy reunionA new life…an old love
Can she risk loving him again in
Shepherd’s Crossing?

With her family in disgrace, Lizzie Fitzgerald never imagined she’d end up at an Idaho ranch.

Fortunately, she’s working with horses she loves—even if it means dealing with her old sweetheart Heath Caufield. The widowed father of an adorable boy, Heath hasn’t forgiven Lizzie for their past.

But even a stubborn cowboy can’t stop the heart’s ability to forgive…or love again.

GOODREADS | AMAZON

My Thoughts

“What we’ve got in mind and what the good Lord’s got planned don’t always agree, but that’s what makes life interesting. Sometimes it’s a collision course. Other times it’s a wide, beautiful curve.”

Ruth Logan Herne always delivers a warm story with a solid message and diverse characters. Her new release, Her Cowboy Reunion, is no exception. I was immersed into the story from the very first page and still didn’t want to put it down even when I reached the end.

The diverse cast of characters gives the story its heart and soul, but adorable Zeke steals the show in the most endearing ways possible! His instant love for “my Lizzie” (oh, my heart!), his enthusiasm for life, his adoration of his dad Heath, and his tender sweet heart made me want to reach inside the pages and HUG that precious boy! The fact that he is bi-racial is just as much a part of his story as all these other things I’ve mentioned, and I love that Herne just lets him be Zeke, in all his endearing adorableness.

Lizzie and Heath are old flames, whose history is bumpy to say the least. Both have skewed perspectives of a very significant event in their past, and both are still nursing their wounds all these years later. And with good reason, when you consider the erroneous view of the truth from which they’re each approaching the situation. Yet, Herne takes their story – all its tangled emotional mess – and gently allows God to restore and heal their hearts and their relationship. With some soul-deep Ruthy wisdom via the character of Corrie, an almost-mama to Lizzie and her sisters.

“Sometimes we spin in circles because we’ve misplaced our direction. When we can’t see our way forward we tend to run in place.”

Bottom Line: Lizzie’s resilience (I love the strong women in Herne’s stories!) and Heath’s steadiness (for the most part lol) set the tone for this delightful story filled with horses and sheep and a precocious little boy. The glimpses into life on a horse farm/sheep ranch are unique and intriguing (a mare app…. who knew?!?), and Lizzie and Heath’s shared history is just as much so. The added subplot of the dying small town also captured my attention, and I look forward to where she takes this in future books in the series. Herne takes this story and these characters and wraps them in grace, strength, courage and wit – and love, lots of love. A must-read for all!

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I purchased for my own collection.
All opinions expressed are only my honest opinion.

About the Author

ruthyRuth Logan Herne has more than a million books in print, including over twenty Love Inspired contemporary novels. She loves God, her family, country, coffee, chocolate and dogs, and wishes possums would leave the cat food on the side porch alone.

Ruthy is also a founding member of Seekerville, a popular writing-collective blog. A country girl who loves the big city, Ruthy and her husband live on a farm in upstate New York.

website  | Facebook | Twitter

 

What about you, dear readers? Have you ever been on a sheep ranch?

Book Spotlight: A Time to Stand by Robert Whitlow

Hello, reader friends! Today’s featured book is written by a new-to-me author and I’m so intrigued by the blurb and the mood set with this cover. Be sure to tell me what your first impressions are and let me know if you’re familiar with this author’s work.

About the Book

A Time to Stand by Robert WhitlowIn a small Georgia town where racial tensions run high and lives are at stake, can one lawyer stand up for justice against the tide of prejudice on every side?

Adisa Johnson, a young African-American attorney, is living her dream of practicing law with a prestigious firm in downtown Atlanta. Then a split-second mistake changes the course of her career.

Left with no other options, Adisa returns to her hometown where a few days earlier a white police officer shot an unarmed black teen who is now lying comatose in the hospital.

Adisa is itching to jump into the fight as a special prosecutor, but feels pulled to do what she considers unthinkable—defend the officer.

As the court case unfolds, everyone in the small community must confront their own prejudices. Caught in the middle, Adisa also tries to chart her way along a path complicated by her budding relationship with a charismatic young preacher who leads the local movement demanding the police officer answer for his crime.

This highly relevant and gripping novel challenges us to ask what it means to forgive while seeking justice and to pursue reconciliation while loving others as ourselves.

goodreads | amazon | bookdepository | christianbook

 

About the Author

Robert Whitlow is the best-selling author of legal novels set in the South and winner of the prestigious Christy Award for Contemporary Fiction.

A Furman University graduate, Whitlow received his J.D. with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law where he served on the staff of the Georgia Law Review.

A practicing attorney, Whitlow and his wife, Kathy, have four children. They make their home in North Carolina.

website | facebook | twitter

So intriguing! What a great story for book club discussions!
Enter to win a paperback copy of A Time to Stand
What are your thoughts reader friends?

Spotlight by Beth Erin

Open Discussion – Christian Diverse Fiction Touching on Contemporary Issues

DBTP - letstalk

Happy Saturday, everyone! Lately with all the chatter about race and diversity in the news, it reminds me of the continued importance of not only having diverse characters in Christian fiction but also in responding to racism and other contemporary issues through a Christian lens.

Our question for today is: What are the pros and cons of touching on contemporary issues through diverse Christian fiction? Where have you seen it done well (please name books/authors)? What contemporary issues would you like to see covered in Christian fiction?

We very much appreciate hearing from you! Please comment below!