Unexpected Christmas Hero by Kathi Macias

Unexpected Christmas Hero

What a delightful read! I hated to put it down, even to eat.

By using a young woman and her two children as the main characters, Kathi Macias immediately draws her reader into their desperate situation. I ached for them to have a warm meal, or a proper bed to sleep in. I felt quite cross with Josie at times when she turned down offers of shelter, even though I understood her point of view. I don’t think I could have been that brave. The idea of this young woman and her children curled up in her little “spot behind the cleaners” terrified me, especially with the approaching winter.

I ached for them to have a warm meal, or a proper bed to sleep in. I felt quite cross with Josie at times when she turned down offers of shelter, even though I understood her point of view. I don’t think I could have been that brave. The idea of this young woman and her children curled up in her little “spot behind the cleaners” terrified me, especially with the approaching winter.

Despite it having a Christmassy title, this is a book for all year round. As I followed the story, I became increasingly aware of the tragedy and despair of homelessness. Josie had done nothing to deserve this, and it made me realise how often this is probably the case. I will never look at a homeless person in quite the same way again.

It also made me aware of the even more helpless situation for the homeless person in South Africa, where we do not have the regular soup kitchens and shelters that are described in this book. Oh, that Unexpected Christmas Hero will come to our country so I can encourage people here to buy it. Maybe someone somewhere will catch a vision and start a new work.

The real-life miracle that occurred at the same time as the book’s release was so very exciting, and made to an even more thrilling read. For those who don’t know, the man the publishers chose for the book cover was indeed homeless. As a result of this book’s promotional material, friends of the family recognised him, and today he is reunited with his own family. This book has already brought change and transformation into the lives of many, and I believe it will continue to do so.

Kathi Macias

Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored nearly 40 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. She is a popular speaker at churches, women’s clubs and retreats, and writers’ conferences. She won the 2008 Member of the Year award from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) and was the 2011 Author of the Year from BooksandAuthors.net. Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias lives in Homeland, CA, with her husband.

 

The Greenfield Legacy by Rose Dee, Amanda Deed, Meredith Resce and Paula Vince

Greenfield
Mattie was in love with Billy, but she was too young to wed. When Billy was conscripted to fight in Vietnam, they made a decision that affected their lives and their future. But so much pain resulted that Mattie never really healed. Every turn Mattie made affected her daughter and her granddaughter in ways she didn’t even realise. But forty-six years later, is it time for things to be set right?

Navy is a young woman who has never known her family. But what could be a wonderful opportunity is met with jealousy and apprehension from her cousin Brooke and her aunt Connie, especially with handsome Aidan around. Each must look past their struggles and find forgiveness and trust and perhaps even love.

This absorbing family drama, set in South Australia’s beautiful McLaren Vale wine region, is written by four of Australia’s outstanding Christian fiction authors who have brought you best-selling and award-winning novels.

My Review

This is an unusual book for two reasons. It has been written by four authors, and it has four main characters. Each character is written by one of the authors, and the four stories are brought together in a skilful way. The story is clever and clearly shows the impact one foolish decision can have on future generations. A harsh, judgemental father triggers turmoil that disrupts the lives of four women and their families. The story reveals the hardship and bitterness than can occur as a result of unforgiveness and family secrets.

It is almost like reading four novellas interwoven to make one story. I found this book difficult to get into as the story jumped back and forward between the characters, and I battled to figure out who the characters were and how they related to one another. Once I discovered the Character List at the end of the book, I found it easier to follow. As the characters developed in my mind, I began to relax and enjoy the story. Being from South Africa, I appreciated the Australian descriptions and context, and I wondered how often the same story occurs undiscovered in our own country.

I would definitely recommend this book for an intriguing read although I would like readers to know about the Character List before they started reading. Thank you, ladies, for a brave idea cleverly implemented.

About the Authors
Writer's get away. 006

Left to Right: Rose, Meredith, Paula, Amanda.

ROSE DEE was born in Ingham, North Queensland, Australia. Her childhood experiences growing up in a small beach community would later provide inspiration for her first novel. Rose, who holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree, decided to try her hand at writing two years ago. The result of that attempt is her first novel, ‘Back to Resolution’. Her novels are inspired by the love of her coastal home and desire to produce exciting and contemporary stories of faith for women. ‘Beyond Resolution’, and ‘A New Resolution’ are the second and third books in the ‘Resolution’ series. Rose resides in Mackay, North Queensland with her husband, young son, and mischievous pup, Noodle.
 
South Australian Author, MEREDITH RESCE, has been writing since 1991, and has had books in the Australian market since 1997. Following the Australian success of her “Heart of Green Valley” series, an English Publisher has taken the first three books in this series, and has released them to the British and American markets. ‘The Greenfield Legacy’ is her 15th novel published. Apart from writing, Meredith also takes the opportunity to speak to groups on issues relevant to relationships and emotional and spiritual growth. Meredith has also been co-writer and co-producer in the 2007 feature film production, “Twin Rivers”. With her husband, Nick, Meredith has worked in the ministry since 1983. Meredith and Nick have one daughter and two sons.
 
Award winning Australian author, PAULA VINCE, loves to evoke tears and laughter through writing fiction. She has a passion to provide inspiring stories that highlight her own beautiful country.
 
AMANDA DEED grew up in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne in a Christian home, and found faith at an early age. She has followed her passion to serve the Lord through music and literature since her teen years. Now married, with three children, Amanda enjoys the variety of being a mother, finance administrator, musician and historical romance writer. Her debut novel, The Game, won the 2010 CALEB Prize for fiction, and Ellenvale Gold was a finalist for the same prize in 2012.
 

Good Morning, Lord by Sheila Walsh

Good Morning LordThis book can best be summarized by the words on the back cover: “Delightful and insightful, Sheila Walsh shares life-learned trust that says, ‘I don’t know where you’re going today, Lord, but I’m going with you!’

This book contains over 100 morning devotional readings. Each begins with the words, “Good morning, Lord! Today help me to . . . “ The message that follows combines personal anecdotes with Scriptural insight. read more

The Boy who Changed the World by Andy Andrews

Boy who Changed the WorldThis beautifully illustrated book is one of these children’s books which will also inspire and entertain the adult reader. The message revealed through this engaging tale is that every choice you make, whether good or bad, can make a difference. It illustrates the so-called butterfly effect in a way that even the youngest child will understand, yet will also engage the adult reader.

Andrews weaves together the stories of four little boys who each grew up wanting to make a difference to the world. Norman Borlaug, Henry Wallace, George Washington Carver and Moses Carver each played a key role in developing a special food that ultimately helped feed two billion people.

Each of the four stories is well told and the way each character influenced the other is clearly demonstrated. Instead of working forward chronologically, Andrews works backward, and the adult reading the story to a child may have to point out the significance of the names. Otherwise, an excellent book with a clear Christian message. I give it 4 out of 5 and look forward to passing it on to my grandchildren whom I know will love it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through theBookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

To Catch a Thief Series – by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

burglar

Reluctant Burglar – Book 1:

Art stole her heart . . . Now can she return the favor? Desiree Jacobs faces a ring of cutthroat art thieves and accepts help from the man she most distrusts in her attempt to return priceless art to the rightful owners.

An unusual twist to a clever plot. An entertaining read. Well done Jill! 

 

 

 

Runaway

 

 

Reluctant Runaway – Book 2:

Stolen Indian artifacts . . . A murdered museum guard . . . A missing woman . . . A baby in danger . . . Only Desiree can unearth the horrifying secret that links them all.

A gripping story high in suspense and romance. Thank you for a good read, Jill.

 

 

 

 

smuggler

 

 

Reluctant Smuggler: Book 3

They say keep your friends close and your enemies closer . . . but what if you can’t tell the difference.

Even with Tony at her side, Desiree needs more than luck to survive in this final novel of the series.

Thank you for a fascinating trio of books, Jill. Keep up the good work!