Thursday, September 30, 2010

Drawing Closer to God

Dianne Neal Matthews has done it again! This amazing lady, with a flair for applying scripture to everyday events, has put together another excellent resource for those who want daily meditations to deepen their relationship with God. Drawing Closer to God: 365 Daily Meditations on Questions from Scripture is "a fascinating devotional journey through a year of questions." This is an idea daily study for individuals, couples, families, or groups, so check it out at Dianne's website, along with her other excellent books:

Responding to Instruction/Correction

Do not reprove a scoffer, lest he hate you;
rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
teach a just man, and he will increase in learning (Proverbs 9:8-9).

If you want to see inside someone’s heart and know who they REALLY are, watch how they react to correction or instruction. Do they bristle and become defensive or resentful, or maybe imply that they already know more than the one doing the instructing? Pray for them; they obviously have a lot of growing up to do. But if they humbly consider the advice and seek God about how best to implement it, you may very well be dealing with a wise and mature person, the type of person you might want to consider for a friend and role model.
We all need to hang around people like that, people who have truly figured out that it’s not about them. How else will we grow and become wise and humble? Choosing our companions and mentors is crucial to healthy development because we will eventually become like them.
That, of course, is why it is vital that we spend as much time as possible sitting at the feet of the Father, leaning up against Jesus and listening to His heartbeat like the Apostle John did at the Last Supper, communing with the One who spoke the world into existence and who holds our very life in His nail-scarred hands.
Life is busy and getting busier by the day. How easy it is to neglect that personal time with the Master! But when we do, we quickly find ourselves reacting in the exact opposite way that Jesus did when He walked the earth. Who was wiser or more humble than the Savior Himself, the very One who already possesses all wisdom and had no need to be humble in the presence of His creation? Yet He was our model of how to deal with life and relate to others in humility and wisdom.
May our lives be filled with time in His presence…and subsequently characterized by the wisdom and humility that can be found nowhere else. As a result, when someone reproves or instructs us, may we receive it with that same humility and apply it with wisdom that we might become more like Him.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Press Release from New Hope Publishers

New Hope Publishers Releases Book 3 in “Extreme Devotion” Series

By Ashley Stephens

(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.)—September 29, 2010—Kathi Macias releases third book in “Extreme Devotion” series, Red Ink (978-1-59669-279-4, $14.99, N114127). The story of Chinese woman Yang Zhen-Li tells the desperate tale of her incarceration and separation from her family, as she continues to minister to other prisoners, and even to her guards.

An only child, Zhen-Li was raised by party-faithful parents who were devastated when she became a Christian and married a poor Christian farmer. When she becomes pregnant for a second time and refuses to follow the one-child-per-family mandate of the State, Zhen-Li’s parents have her kidnapped and the baby forcibly aborted. Their actions only serve to reinforce Zhen-Li’s determination to spread the good news of Yesu (Jesus), and she is soon arrested for evangelizing children. Given a ten-year sentence, Zhen-Li’s faith is tested beyond anything she could have imagined. And yet, in the midst of the darkest circumstances, the light of the gospel continues to shine victoriously. Zhen-Li, of course, has no idea that in addition to her own prayers, a former missionary to China, now living on the other side of the world, is praying for her diligently—even as she prays for an acquaintance’s granddaughter who is in danger of being caught up in human trafficking. Through it all and binding them all together is the thread of a distant memory of the song “Silent Night,” wooing the most unlikely with the promise of Christmas.

About the Author

Award-winning author Kathi Macias has written more than 30 books, including the award-winning devotional A Moment a Day and the popular “Matthews” mystery novels. Kathi has won many awards, including the Angel Award from Excellence in Media, fiction awards from the San Diego Christian Writers Guild, 2008 Member of the Year from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association), and the grand prize in an international writing contest. With women’s ministry as her primary interest, Kathi is a popular speaker for women’s retreats, conferences, and churches. A mother and grandmother, Kathi and her husband, Al, call California home.

About New Hope Publishers

Representing more than 50 authors and more than 100 individual works, the mission of New Hope Publishers is to provide books that challenge readers to understand and be radically involved in the mission of God. New Hope Publishers is the general trade publishing imprint for WMU, a missions auxiliary to the Southern Baptist Convention. New Hope Publishers is a member of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).

For more information about Kathi Macias or New Hope Publishers, visit Copies of books may be purchased online or by calling 1-800-968-7301.

Valeria's Cross Earns 4-1/2 Stars from Romantic Times

My co-author, Susan Wales, and I just learned that Romantic Times has rated Valeria's Cross a 4-1/2 star read, which I understand is as good as it gets. I've pasted the review in below. If you like an action-packed historical novel with lots of romance thrown in, you probably need to get a copy of this book!

RT Rating
Macias and Wales will win readers’ hearts as they reveal the lives of early Christians. The stories of an esteemed emperor, his family and the soldiers that follow him into battle make for quick reading. The authors give enough supporting historical evidence to bring the characters’ viewpoints to life; we willingly empathize with their circumstances.


In the third century, pampered Roman princess Valeria falls in love with Mauritius, captain of the Theban Legion. He and his entire legion are killed for their faith by the evil Galerius. Then Valeria is forced to become Galerius’ wife. She despises her new husband, but he seems to undergo a change of heart, adopting a child for her and giving her power and authority of her own. She knows that she must remain committed to him, but at the same time she knows she will never find the love she knew with Mauritius again. (ABINGDON, Sep., 383 pp., $14.99)

Reviewed By: Lindy J. Swanson

Friday, September 24, 2010

Someone to Blame

As an author of over thirty books, many of them novels, I sometimes struggle when I read novels by other writers because I find myself second-guessing plots and even critiquing the writing. That didn't happen with Someone to Blame by C.S. Lakin. It is so well written and the plot so crisp and poignant that I forgot I was an author and just enjoyed the book as a reader--and a fan! Yes, I will definitely look for more books by this author. I hope you will too! Check her out at

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Little Shepherd for Christmas!

I am so honored to have been quoted on the back cover of this wonderful new book for Children, Little Shepherd by Cheryl Malandrinos. This is a lovely and unique approach to the Christmas story and will make a perfect gift for children of all ages. I encourage you to order copies for all the youngsters in your life. This grandma is surely going to! Join me at Amazon by clicking on (or pasting into your browser) this link:

Are you wise...or foolish?

But they, measuring themselves by themselves,
and comparing themselves among themselves,
are not wise (2 Corinthians 10:12).

If there is any one criterion that distinguishes us as either wise or foolish, it’s the measuring stick by which judge ourselves. When we want to excuse our own words or actions, we can always find someone else to use as a comparison: “I may do this, but so-and-so does that, which is so much worse!” And that may very well be true. But what do the Scriptures have to say about offering such excuses for our own behavior?
Second Corinthians declares that those who measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves among themselves “are not wise.” God’s wisdom is quite different—and superior—to man’s wisdom. Romans 1:22 says, “Professing to be wise, they became fools.” Though God’s Word clearly states that wisdom is not found in comparing ourselves to other flawed human beings, we often do that, don’t we? In the process, we become fools. And what is a fool, according to Psalm 14:1, but someone who says in his heart, “There is no God; [I will set my own standards].”
God’s criterion for distinguishing between the wise and foolish is how we compare ourselves and judge our own behavior. If our measuring stick is other people, we will always find someone who, in our eyes at least, is worse than we are. But if we adopt God’s standards, the only One against whom we can judge ourselves is Jesus—and He is perfect.
That’s the bottom line, isn’t it? There really are only two ways to get to heaven (yes, I said TWO!): We can be perfect from the moment we’re born until the moment we breathe our last on earth (I don’t see anyone standing in that line, do you?), or we can repent of our pride and failures as we see them so clearly in our comparison to Christ, and then allow the perfection and righteousness of God’s Son to seal us to the Father’s heart and assure our place with Him for eternity.
When I step from this earth into the presence of a holy and righteous and perfect God, I want to do so not as a fool who lived my life according to the standards of others, but rather as one who is wise and depended solely on the standards of the Savior. There is great peace in that choice, my friends—and great promise for eternity.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Win a free video trailer for your book!

Misty, at Trailer to the Stars, is giving away two 30-second Book Trailers on November 1st. Be sure to enter the drawing. Just visit her website:

and fill out the form on the right side. That’s all, and you are entered. Misty produces all of my book trailers, and I love her work. If you have a book coming out this fall or early 2011, you really should talk with Misty about a trailer. I recommend her work highly.

Interview on Christian Devotions

Be sure to join us on Christian Devotions Speak Up! on Tuesday, September 28, from 6-7 p.m. (Eastern), 3-4 p.m. (Pacific). Help spread the word, will you? Blessings!

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Memory Between Us

Wow, I haven't enjoyed a read this much in a very long time! As a writer, I sometimes feel as if I'm on a "busman's holiday" when I read other people's books, and even when they're well done, that tends to rob a bit of the joy from the experience. But that simply didn't happen with A Memory Between Us by Sarah Sundin. Not only is this a great story, but the writing is superb! This is my first Sarah Sundin novel, but it won't be my last! Even if you're not a WWII fan (and I am!), you'll still enjoy this well-told and well-researched story. This is a romance, but so much more! Men as well as women will be captivated with it. Come on! I'll meet you at the bookstore--or at Amazon or CBD. Let's all order a copy for ourselves and one for a friend. This one is too good to pass up!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Three-Book Giveaway

With the release of book three of the four-book Extreme Devotion series from New Hope, Red Ink, CBD is offering a great deal on the three books together. In honor of that, I'm offering a FREE three-book set to one (possibly more!) of this blog's followers. Just leave a comment about why you'd like the set, and please leave CLEAR email contact info so I can get hold of you to get a snail mail address. And if you aren't already a follower, be sure to become one so you can qualify for the giveaway! Thanks so much!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

We are under attack!

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand (Ephesians 6:12-13).

We recently observed the nine-year anniversary of September 11, 2001, a morning eerily reminiscent of December 7, 1941, a “day of infamy” that caught Americans by surprise and ended the lives of many of our citizens. Each tragic event thrust us into a war to defend our sovereignty, our families, and our futures.
I was up early that September morning. When I turned on my computer and checked my emails, the first message I saw was from my husband at work. “A plane has flown into one of the Twin Towers in New York,” he wrote. “Turn on the news.” I did, and it wasn’t long until I watched in horror as a second plane purposely flew into the second tower. “We’re under attack,” I said aloud, as realization hit me.
I immediately dropped to my knees and began to intercede for our country in general and for those trapped in the burning towers in particular. As a believer, I knew enough to realize that though this event would no doubt precipitate a response in the physical world, my part was to wage war in the spiritual realm.
But isn’t that true every day? Thank God we don’t have 9-11 experiences on a regular basis, but not a day goes by that we aren’t under attack. We have an enemy more formidable than any who planned or executed the tragic attack on the World Trade Center, and this enemy never stops attacking. As surely as there is a God who loves us and desires His best for us, there is an enemy who works tirelessly to defeat us and keep us from stepping into God’s best. We must therefore remain vigilant all the time, never letting our guard down or relaxing in our defense of ourselves, our loved ones, or even those who would destroy us if they could and yet desperately need Jesus themselves.
May we stay focused and vigilant in fighting the enemy of our soul, even as we cling to the One who is the “Lover of our soul” and who has promised never to leave or forsake us. We do NOT fight this war alone or on our own, but shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of God’s people, relying solely and completely on the strength of our Commander-in-Chief, the LORD of Hosts.
And one more thing: Read the end of the Book often, and then celebrate God’s promise of ultimate victory!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Please stop by Susan Reinhardt's blog and read part 1 of her interview with yours truly. If you leave a comment, you just may win one of my books! Thanks so much.

Interview Today on Kalon Women

If you get a chance, please join host Sandra Levitin and me at 3:30 p.m. (Pacific) today at as we discuss my longtime passion with words and how it led me to the writing/speaking ministry God has so blessed me with today. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"Love Me Tender" Guest Interview

Hollywood Heartthrob, “Man About Town” Column

Welcome, readers! This is Sunset Sam, columnist for Hollywood Heartthrob magazine, here to interview several characters from LOVE ME TENDER, a new book by author Janice Hanna Thompson. I read the book in preparation for this interview and had a hip-hip hoppin’, be-be-boppin’ time reading about the characters down at Sweet Sal’s Soda Shoppe in Laguna Beach. I’ve been to Sweet Sal’s many times, of course. Everyone in Hollywood knows it’s all the rage. Where else can you get a big, thick cheeseburger, hot, salty fries and the thickest chocolate malts in the country? Now that I’ve enticed you with the food, let’s have a little chat with some of the key players in our story. We’ll start with Debbie Carmichael, daughter of the owners of Sweet Sal’s.

Debbie, could you tell us a little about what your day-to-day life is like?
Most of the girls my age are in college, but I decided to stay in Laguna Beach and help my parents out at our family run soda shop. I have the best life ever! I live across the street from the Pacific Ocean, and love spending time at the cliffs, watching the waves lap the shore. When I’m at the soda shop, the jukebox is always playing. I’m gaga over Elvis’s new song, “Love Me Tender.” It’s all the rage with teen girls right now. Of course, I’m also head over heels for Bobby Conrad, but don’t tell my friends, okay? They think I’m more mature than most of the other teen girls who hang out Sweet Sal’s. Of course, I’m a little distracted by that new guy, Johnny Hartman. He’s so sweet and handsome, and I hear he’s a great singer, too!

Johnny, I read in another article that you came all the way from Topeka Kansas to Hollywood to make it big. How does Hollywood compare to Topeka?
There’s really no way to compare Topeka to Los Angeles. People out here (in California) are more up on current styles, the hottest tunes and the hippest actors and actresses. Back home, folks are so grounded. That isn’t always the case here in L.A. I hope I don’t sound too stuck up when I say that back in Topeka, I was a big fish in a small pond. And because my dad’s a pastor, I had plenty of opportunities to sing in church. But out here in L.A. no one even knows who I am. My agent, Jim Jangles, is working hard to get me a gig on television. I’m auditioning for Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts soon. Say a little prayer for me!

Bobby, I understand you were slotted to sing at the fundraiser at Sweet Sal’s Soda Shoppe, but had to cancel. Could you explain your sudden departure?
Yes, I was scheduled to sing at the fundraiser, but just got word that I’ll be filming my new movie that same weekend. I was really disappointed to have to tell the Carmichaels the news, but hopefully they understand. I think it’s going to be okay, because my agent, Jim Jangles, is sending his latest prodigy—a kid from Topeka named Johnny Hartman—in my place. I hear he’s quite a singer.

Sal, could you tell our readers about some of the Hollywood stars you’ve met over the years?
First of all, thanks for including me in this interview! It’s been decades since I was a teen, but I still secretly read Hollywood Heartthrob magazine. (Shh! Don’t tell my husband, Frankie, or my daughter, Debbie!) I’m blessed to be the co-owner of Sweet Sal’s Soda Shoppe in Laguna Beach, and I’ve met a lot of stars who’ve come through on their way to places like Dana Point and San Diego. Here’s a list of some of my favorites: Doris Day, Gregory Peck, Frank Sinatra, Audrey Hepburn, Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Ozzie and Harriet. There are dozens more, of course. I want to personally invite all of your readers to stop by Sweet Sal’s Soda Shoppe so that they can see the photos on our walls! And while you’re here, why not enjoy a creamy chocolate malt?

Debbie, a little birdie told me that you and the other girls in Laguna Beach are gaga over Elvis, Pat Boone and Bobby Conrad. Now that you’ve gotten to know (and love) Johnny Hartman, what would you say sets him apart from the other great singers you’ve known?
Oh, no doubt about it. . .Johnny isn’t just a great singer, he’s got a heart of gold. I especially love his strong faith. Unlike so many of the other singers in town, he doesn’t put himself first. With Johnny, it’s God first. . .all the way! And when he sings. . .man! That voice! It’s a smooth as velvet. (And it doesn’t hurt that he’s so dreamy! Talk about handsome!)

Johnny, you’ve been asked to fill in for Bobby Conrad at the Laguna Beach fundraiser. Can you tell us how you’re feeling as you look forward to the big day?
I don’t mind admitting I’m a little nervous. Who wouldn’t be? Thousands of girls from Orange County and beyond are looking forward to seeing Bobby Conrad in person. Now I’ve been asked to fill in for him. I’ll be lucky if they don’t boo me off the stage or toss rotten tomatoes at me! Hopefully my new love song—the one I wrote for the gorgeous Debbie Carmichael—will win them over. I hope so, anyway!

Bobby, many Christians have a hard time hanging onto their faith once they achieve stardom. You seem so grounded. What’s your secret?
I always try to honor God in everything I do—whether it’s movies or songs for the radio. There’s a verse that I love, and it’s one I try to live by: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” The way I look at it, if I make a choice to put God first, He’s going to bless me above and beyond anything I could ever ask for, anyway. Even if He didn’t bless me, though, I would still serve Him. It’s really the only way to live a fulfilling life. (And trust me when I say that people out here in L.A. are looking for ways to live a fulfilling life!)

Sal, we were sorry to hear about your husband’s health problems. How is he doing now?
Praise the Lord, Frankie seems to be doing a little better. His heart attack several months ago really shook us up. And we got behind on the mortgage, which has made me a little nervous. Still, I choose to trust God. And now that everyone in town is banding together to put on the fundraiser to save the soda shop, I’m feeling more hopeful than ever!

Debbie, is there anything you’d like Hollywood Heartthrob readers to know as we end this interview?
Yes, I would like people to know that it is possible to live in Hollywood—to be a big star, even—and still be a person of faith. I’ve witnessed it in Bobby Conrad’s life, and in Johnny’s, too. I’d also like to share that putting your trust in God is really the only way to go. Some problems are just too big for us to handle on our own. When my dad got really sick, I made up my mind to try to “fix” the situation. What I’ve learned is this—only God can truly “fix” anything. And trust me when I say that His “fix” is far greater than anything we could ever dream up!
Thanks so much, folks! It’s been a great interview.
Well, there you have it, Hollywood Heartthrob fans. This is Sunset Sam, signing off for this week. See you next time!

Book can be purchased at or at

GIVEAWAY INFO: Janice Hanna Thompson is hosting a giveaway on her Facebook page ( To enter, leave a comment on her page with the name of your favorite ‘50s star (movies or music) and explain why you liked him/her. The drawing to win the Be-Boppin’ ‘50s Basket (filled with great ‘50s memorabilia) will take place on the weekend of October 29th – 31st. Why? Because that’s the same weekend Janice is directing a local (Houston) production of JOHNNY BE GOOD the musical comedy that served as inspiration for LOVE ME TENDER.
To visit Janice’s webpage, go here: www.janicehannathompson.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

New video trailer for Red Ink!

Okay, ladies and gentlemen, the new video trailer for Red Ink, crafted by Misty Taggart of Trailer to the Stars, is up on YouTube. You really need to see it--it's breathtakingly beautiful!!! Here's the link:

Demanding out "rights"--or doing the right thing?

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves.
Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16).

It isn’t often that I address controversial subjects in this venue, but on occasion conscience requires it. This is one of those occasions.
A pastor—and, I assume, a brother in Christ—has proclaimed his intention to burn the Koran on 9/11. A second pastor—this one living in a Muslim country and most certainly a brother in Christ—has requested other believers to petition the first pastor to reconsider. Why? Because this public burning of the Koran will most certainly result in increased suffering for Christians in Muslim countries. That in itself should be enough to convince the first pastor not to go through with his plans. However, if that isn’t enough, what about the fact that it simply isn’t right?
Some years ago I served on a church staff, and we had weekly meetings to pray together and discuss various ministry issues. One day the senior pastor brought up something that several of us disagreed with (not a moral or biblical issue); one staff member voiced his disagreement aloud. The senior pastor, however, remained unchanged in his opinion. The staff member who had vocally disagreed later told me he had been ready to turn the situation into a heated debate when he sensed God telling him not to do so. The man argued silently with God, declaring that he knew he was right in his opinion. God’s Spirit then asked him a vital question: “Which is more important—to be right or to be righteous?” The staff member held his tongue.
I’ve thought about that many times, particularly lately when two issues have played predominant roles in the news. Do the supporters of the planned mosque at Ground Zero have a legal “right” to build it? Absolutely. Is it the righteous thing to do? Certainly not. Does that pastor have the legal right to burn Korans? Apparently so. Is it the righteous thing to do? I don’t believe it is.
Jesus instructed us to “be wise as serpents and harmless as doves” when dealing with a world that is antagonistic to the message of the gospel. It certainly seems that the issue of burning the Koran on 9/11 falls into that category and should be treated as such. I am praying accordingly; I hope you will consider doing the same.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Silver Coins from the Morgan Mint!

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!

Mikey's dad--our son--sees him off...

The ship has weighed anchor, and our brave men and women have headed for sea. This shot of our son Michael, saying goodbye to his son/our grandson Mikey, was taken just before they left this morning. Godspeed to them all!

Anchors Aweigh!

This post is dedicated to our hero grandson, Michael Macias (aka to his grandparents as Mikey!), who deploys this very morning for 6--8 months at sea. Vaya con Dios, nieto! We love you and we're praying for you and all your valiant shipmates!

If you love this country and support our troops, you need this book!

I love this book! As the daughter/mother/wife/grandmother of former and current military heroes, I'm honored to endorse this book and recommend it to others. Get one for yourself and copies as gifts. Heartwarming and beautifully done!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Is Your Fire Burning Hot?

Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! (1 Corinthians 9:16, NKJV)

I was reading from one of my favorite publications this morning, The Voice of the Martyrs magazine, and I was struck by the passion of those who preach the gospel in lands of persecution.
I read of a man who lives in the forest, running for his life from those who would kill him for no other reason than that he is a Christian and tells others of his Savior. Separated from family and friends, his only lifeline is his cell phone, which he uses whenever he has a signal to preach to two different house churches. I then read of people who escaped the terrors of North Korea and now devote their time to launching gospel messages in balloons to fly over their former homeland, in hopes that they will land where those still trapped in darkness will read the Good News and turn to the Light of the world.
Wow. All I could think of was how much time and energy I spend as a writer trying to “get the word out”—to market my books to potential readers. True, I need to do that if I believe in the message of my books, for what’s the point if I write them and no one reads them? But do I even begin to have the passion for preaching the gospel that these precious men and women in other countries exhibit as they take their life in their hands to reach others?
May it be so, God, for each of us, regardless of whether we write books, drive a truck, or perform brain surgery! Light the fire in us, Father, until we too proclaim with passion, “Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!”

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Stepping Stones 4 Readers

And a happy September to you all! Can you believe we're in the ninth month of the year already? How did that happen???

To start off our pre-fall season right, here's a link that will take you to Stepping Stones 4 Readers (a great blog to follow!), which today features my letter to readers about the writing of my newest book, Valeria's Cross:

Hope to see you there!