Freedom Series: Abuse to Favor

 “For me, my dreams were shaped out of a childhood that was fenced in by fear”

Abuse to Favor is a 96-page minibook that is a part of the Freedom Series created by popular author and speaker, Michelle Borquez. Each booklet shares a woman’s true story about her journey from brokenness to freedom.

In Abuse to Favor, Jo Ann Aleman shares her story, struggles, and triumph over abuse.  It begins with her father, a man she recalls as generous and loving with his children, but extremely abusive to their mother.  Her “normal” was a violently abuse home life fueled by alcohol binges. A home (a life) that healthy families would see as filled with fear-invoking, pain-inducing, spirit-shattering chaos.  Time and again, her mother would pack the children up and flee for safety, then return when things seemed more settled, and so it went on and on.

The cycle brought on by her father’s rage and abuse directed at her mother caused her to go to a place she felt more secure–her mind–a place that no one could touch, a place that seemed safe. Like so many others in her situation, she dreamed about how her life would be different. She fantasized about someone coming to rescue and protect her: a savior.

But, as with any story of abuse, there’s always more than what appears on the surface. Why did her mother stay in that abusive situation? Her mother stayed because of her own experience with abuse. She and her siblings experienced great physical, emotional and mental abuse by their stepfather.  So she promised herself that her future children would never be subjected to a stepfather. But it wasn’t that he was a stepfather. It was that he was a broken abusive man.

“Many times we think of abuse as being only physical; however, abuse takes on many forms. Sexual abuse, verbal abuse, and emotional abuse—even neglect–are all perversions of real, unconditional love.”

Fast forward to Jo Ann Aleman’s adult life… with her childhood promises to herself still with her, she married someone she thought would take her in a direction that was new and better. To a place she could only recognize in her dreams. But he didn’t.  She shares about his abuse and the ultimate disintegration of the marriage.  So longing to be loved, she quickly found herself in another marriage, this time to an older man. She hoped he would bring the security she so desperately wanted. Again, it was not to be found. He too, abused her both physically and emotionally.

“Many nights I was awakened by his fists pummeling my face. He would get so drunk that he would black out, and the next morning we would wake up to a house that looked like a tornado had ripped through it… He was bent on compete destruction.”

As you may have noticed in your own life, there is this resilience about human nature. No matter how bad things get, no matter how improbable the odds, in our little broken torn-apart state, we still somehow find a way to reach out like a flower in the shadows, straining toward the sunshine, hoping against hope for something good.  Jo Ann Aleman was no different. Her heart reached out yet again, longing for love. She spent twelve years in “prison” with her third husband. A man who abused her through fear and intimidation, lashing out through physical, sexual, emotional and verbal abuse. But this time, it spilled over onto her daughter.

That’s when something shifted. This time, she didn’t reach out to a man, but to God. She writes, “Although we are all somewhat conditioned by our environment, something deep inside of us reveals the truth.” There was more for her.  She wanted once and for all, to be free.

Sharon Kay Ball (a professional counselor) uses biblical illustrations to define healthy and unhealthy thinking and behaviors, and speaks to the issues of conflict, power, authority, power struggles, and abuse that can affect any type of relationship. She also walks readers through common abuser behavior:  using rage, silence, intimidation, altering your sense of reality, criticizing, and blame-shifting to control their victim.

“His words only confirmed my feelings. They shaped me, took root in my heart, and I believed the things he said.”

Ball breaks down the phases in the cycle of abuse and talks about making a “safe plan.” Although it’s crucial to get out of an abusive relationship physically, it’s not enough. Victims need to purge themselves from the damaging affects of abuse that are left embedded in their minds and spirits. That means talking about trust, low self-image, forgiveness, anger, and learning how to move forward.

Aleman writes, “I was free on the surface, yet broken and deeply wounded inside.” That was, until she decided to no longer allow herself to be defined by abusive men, but by a loving God who offered hope and healing.

You may also be interested in:

Domestic Violence: But He Really is a Good Person

What is Emotional Abuse?

Quotes From Women Who Have Suffered Emotional Abuse

Sexual Violence Against Women: Rape, Abuse and Incest

Innocence Lost: Women and Childhood Sexual Abuse

Note: Rose Publishing provided me with an advanced reader copy of this booklet.

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™–”Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Freedom Series: Abandonment to Forgiveness

Abandonment to Forgiveness is a 96-page minibook in the Freedom Series created by Michelle Borquez. This booklet shares a story and life-changing principles that turn hopelessness to hope, bitterness to forgiveness, and the impossible into the possible.

When Michelle Moore was fourteen, her mother disappeared from her life. The woman who gave birth to her, cared for her, and shared life–the mother she loved–was gone, and without warning. She’d changed her identity and vanished without a trace. Her mother left no forwarding address and no explanation. She said, “My mom was my best friend.”

Michelle’s world, as she once knew it, was turned upside down overnight. None of the adults in her life could fill in the blanks for her, and adding insult to injury, no one else in the family–her father, her aunt and uncle, her grandparents—seemed to want her either. In Abandonment to Favor, Michelle’s questions echo what every other abandoned child (or person) wants to know:

  • Why did this happen to me?
  • Why did the other person get to move on?
  • What am I supposed to do with all of this hurt?

Abandonment leaves a person feeling devastated along with a string of other adjectives: alone, hurt, rejected, sad, angry, bitter, unloved, and the list goes on. Whether it’s a child whose been abandoned, a spouse, friend, or another close relationship, the damage of rejection cuts deep and it takes a great toll. On top of that, the people around her couldn’t understand or relate to the deep pain she carried. When there are no answers, no reasons, no empathy–nothing–the concept of forgiveness doesn’t seem to make any sense. She writes, I couldn’t get past my past.”  And, like so many others, she learned to withhold forgiveness because it gave her a sense of control.

As she moved into womanhood and became a wife and mother, she began to look closer at her abandonment issues. What was it that she really wanted out of life? How did she want the relationships in her life to be that were present and real? She came to understand that holding on to her anger and pain would keep her focused on and locked into the past, when what she desperately wanted was to move forward. Unforgiveness squeezes out our joy and stifles our peace. She wanted freedom from that burden she’d carried around for so long. Over time, Michelle came to realize that to hold on to unforgiveness was really to hold on to a false sense of control. She falsely believed that she could control something that in reality, she had absolutely no power over. The only thing she did have power over was her own choices.

Michelle Moore, Co-author of "Abandonment to Forgiveness"

Although there was no magic bullet, no mantra, no perfect words or behaviors that could reverse or change the reality or the feelings that came from her abandonment, Michelle chose to take what happened to her and use it for good. She purposed to free herself by embracing biblical truths about forgiveness, her own worth, and allowing God’s love to flow into the devastated places in her heart and fill them with hope and promise for her future. She reset expectations, embraced gratefulness for the good things in her life, and chose to take a realistic path of understanding that she could only control the things that were in her grasp.

In the middle section of this booklet, there’s a mini Bible study by Paige Henderson where, in part, she takes readers through a list of myths and truths about forgiveness. One of the biggest myths is a little like the chicken and egg question about what comes first: forgiveness or healing? Truth: We can’t heal until we forgive. “Forgiving is truly an issue of counting the cost and deciding… that either you can stay bitter and deal with the totality of issues that come with that choice, or you can heal… and live!

In the last section, “Steps to Freedom,” Sharon Kay Ball helps define what true forgiveness is and what it is not. She says, When children are abandoned, they learn very quickly not to trust. They learn how to put walls up to protect themselves so they can survive.”  Abandonment leaves us with missing pieces, like a puzzle. When we don’t understand the “whys” that are a part of our puzzle, we tend to try and fill those empty spaces with misfit pieces (people, things, wrong beliefs) that will never fill them. Until we embrace truth, we cannot find our peace and will always be grasping for answers.

In conclusion, she walks readers through the journey to healing by way of reflection and insight, journaling, the importance of telling their story, appropriately grieving the missing pieces, and through brief but meaningful writing assignments that will help them in the healing process. 

Most women have experienced some degree of rejection or abandonment at some point in their lives. Whether it was as devastating as Michelle’s story, or not, emotional shrapnel gets embedded and it needs to come out. Ultimately, the goal is to move from victim to survivor. It’s time to get free, embrace God’s love, and move forward. “Forgiveness brings ultimate freedom” — Set yourself free!

Purchase the book: Abandonment to Forgiveness

You may also be interested in:

10 Quotes about Forgiveness  

25 Quotes about Anger

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

Note: Rose Publishing provided me with an advanced reader copy of this booklet.

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™–”Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Freedom Series: Fear To Courage

Unhealthy fear is a liar. If not stopped, it will always seek to bully us into believing lies about ourselves and about others, ultimately morphing our reality. It is a thief. It robs our peace and joy, and in many cases, the faith and courage to follow our dreams and live healthy fulfilled lives. But the worst part about unhealthy fear is that it can become a slave master. Its single focused goal is to destroy the truth and any potential goodness in our lives by disempowering us and holding us captive.

From Fear to Courage is a 96-page minibook that is part of the Freedom Series created by author and popular women’s speaker, Michelle Borquez. Women desperately want to get to the other side of fear, shame, low self-esteem, hopelessness, or any other issue that keeps them from finding their ultimate freedom in life, but often they don’t know how. The book’s authors use biblical truths to guide readers out of their unhealthy fears into a place of understanding, healing, and freedom.

Have you (or someone you know) kept a secret that has bound you in chains, choked off your voice, drowned your hopes, or silenced your dreams?

In Fear to Courage, Kim Vastine shares her personal story of shame, betrayal, loneliness, and anger brought on by childhood sexual abuse perpetrated by an uncle, someone she “should” have been able to trust. Instead, she was lied to, stolen from, and enslaved to her abuser.  Fear became an unwanted and demanding companion. She uses words like torment, pain, fear, and grief to describe how the abuse made her feel.

Adding fuel to the fire, yet another family member compounded her abuse profile. Speaking of her father’s volatile outbursts that would leave the family, “cowering, sobbing, or desperately striving to seem invisible,” she concluded, “as bad as it was physically, emotionally it was worse.” And just when you wonder how much more a child can endure, she tells of yet another abuse in a place she “should” have felt safe and secure.

The images and memories of abuse branded in her mind helped formulate how she saw the world, God, and herself. My voice was silent, but my heart cried out for justice.” Like flecks of emotional shrapnel searing through the skin, unless extracted, they remain embedded in our minds and spirits. In her case, she learned to mask her negative emotions in deceptive and unhealthy ways.

Paige Henderson writes, “When fear dictates, love is silenced.” This booklet invites women to take the critical journey “moving from life-crushing fear to life-changing courage.” None of us can survive without hope or apart from love. She helps readers put fear into perspective. To understand the awe-inspired “fear” of God and positive healthy choices, as opposed to unhealthy fear that distorts truth, steals our voice, and robs us of our intended destiny. Love is more powerful than fear, but as long as we give fear a place, we give it power.

Then she uses examples from the Bible to show the consistency (predictability) of human nature in our reaction to fear: hiding or running in the opposite direction, and then speaks to trust and identity issues and how they inform us on how we relate to ourselves and the world. The heavy burden of abuse and its fallout are real, but remember, we are not alone in the battle. When childhood abuse occurs, children are left to define their trauma through their own experience and feelings, never grasping what it all means and where they fit in the overall scheme of what has happened to them. (Underscore, to them.)

Abused children typically draw conclusions based on false thinking, and as they mature and advance into adult relationships, they act out what they believe. Although a woman’s body matures and changes, for those who have suffered from childhood trauma, their wounded little girl remains still very much a part of them. That little girl is desperate to be loved, feel worthy, and to be seen and heard. She needs healing.

Henderson talks about the significance of fortifying our lives (how we think, feel, and act) in the way we build our life foundations.  How important it is that we build wisely, and with truth, because eventually, we act on what we believe. We live out our lives, based on what we believe to be true. Using a simple Q&A format, she encourages readers to pause and reflect, and then record their thoughts and feelings. The process helps define the root causes of fear and the difference between healthy and unhealthy fears and their effect.

Armed with a healthy understanding about fear, love, and the importance (and power) of taking personal responsibility for our ultimate wholeness and freedom, Sharon Kay Ball rounds out the book with a section called, “Steps to Freedom.” She discusses the devastation of sexual and emotional abuse including disempowerment and trauma. Readers are then given steps to help in the process of healing those broken places.

Victims of abuse will learn how to un-pack and re-pack, so to speak, their belief systems (about truth, themselves, and others), so they can move from fear to courage, and from victim to survivor. That means taking the power away from the perpetrators, and reclaiming it for ourselves. She reminds us that, “secrets only carry power when they are kept secret.” And discusses how to get past self-blame, the importance of not stuffing bad memories, and how to process anger in a healthy way. She also underscores the value of journaling and working with a professional therapist if necessary.

“When fear enslaves us, it paralyzes us and keeps us from having the courage to live out our purpose in life.” –Michelle Borquez

This booklet begins with Kim’s story about sexual and other abuses. Maybe your fears have different origins. But the fact remains: fear is a liar and fear is a thief. Eventually, unhealthy fear becomes a slave master, and until we replace it with truth, it will keep us where we don’t want to be, in a perpetual internal prison.

It’s time to let go of fear and claim your freedom. Commit to the process because you are worth it. Give yourself permission to take the journey that will eventually lead you out of the cage and into your freedom.

Purchase the book: Fear to Courage

You may also be interested in:

Fear is a Liar

20 Quotes about Pushing Past Fear

Live Fearless, Live Free.

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

Note: Rose Publishing provided me with an advanced reader copy of this booklet.

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™–”Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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God Crazy Freedom

 

In her book, God Crazy Freedom, author Michelle Borquez brings together over 20 real-life stories from women who found freedom. Even after the odds were stacked so high against them, each woman shares her own very personal journey and how she learned to embrace the future in a brand new and liberating way. Michelle has a passion to ignite and inspire women to seek freedom from whatever is blocking their path to wholeness. To not allow their past to define them, but to discover and then live out the dreams and destinies that await them.

 

“There is nothing more powerful than hearing the story of someone who has overcome and is willing to be real and share about it.”  

Words have power. That is one of the reasons that women sharing their stories of hope and freedom can motivate even the weakest and most fearful among us. They can give us courage to choose to really live. To hear of shattered dreams being made whole, deliverance from an abuser, an addiction, or a paralyzing fear; or victory after a devastaing event in someone else’s life means that there is hope for us. In each chapter you will find a “Freedom Story” along with a biblical-based devotional and practical hope-filled action points.

Michelle is also the author of the Freedom Series. A biblical-based series of mini-books that help women find freedom from bondages, abuse, shame, paralyzing fear, rejection, and more. Look for these books as they become available over the next few months.

“We are God Crazy Women who have found hope at the other end of heartbreak, love at the other end of loneliness, and grace at the other end of our garbage. Join us on the journey!” -Michelle Borquez

About the Author

Author Michelle Borquez-Thornton

Michelle Borquez has hosted and co-produced television’s Shine with Michelle Borquez on INSP; and has also hosted and been a featured guest on numerous radio and television shows. She founded and was the Editor-in-Chief of Shine Magazine, a 40,000 subscriber publication for women. Michelle is a prolific writer, coach, public speaker, and a passionate advocate and mentor for girls and women. 

Currently she is CEO of Bella Women Network (launching in June) featuring Shine with Michelle Borquez along with other programs for women, Bella Bella Gifts, and founder and President of the Dream, Hope, Love foundation, a mentoring organization for young girls. Michelle travels and speaks with her God Crazy team of authentic, very cool, amazing women, and lives with her husband Michael and four children in Nashville, Tennessee.

Purchase the bookGod Crazy Freedom 

Learn More: The Freedom Series by Michelle Borquez

Check out Shine With Michelle Borquez and the Bella Women Network, or join her on Twitter @GodCrazy.

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Freedom Series by Michelle Borquez

The Freedom Series by multi-award winning author & speaker Michelle Borquez includes 12 mini-books focused on key issues that sabbotage women from living their lives to the fullest. Words, life circumstances, and choices that steal our courage, hope, and joy for life. The issues that hamper our ability to forgive or seek forgiveness, and the ability to truly see our future as it can be, which ultimately robs us of what we so desperately want, our freedom.

Topics that resonate with women include fear, abuse, shame, abandonment, divorce, lonlieness, self-value, and more. The primary purpose of this biblical-based series is to bring truth, healing, and hope to women who are caught in the lies that hold them down and keep them from breaking free and reclaiming the lives they were meant to live. This series created by Michelle Borquez presents a variety of authors and will be in book stores beginning in April. 

“Michelle Borquez is a bundle of energy; a veritable wellspring of love, joy, and enthusiasm; and an incredible communicator of a message that can transform the world. Her passion for her work is only exceeded by her compassion for those who hurt. She truly brings life, hope, and healing to everyone she encounters.” -Ken Abraham, New York Times bestselling author

About the Author

Author Michelle Borquez-Thornton

Michelle Borquez hosted and co-produced I-Life Television’s SHINE with Michelle Borquez on INSP. She has hosted and been a featured guest on hundreds of television and radio programs, including, NBC’s Midday Connection, The 700 Club, Life Today with James and Betty Robinson, Positively Texas, TBN, just to name a few. She founded Shine Magazine, a 40,000 subscriber publication for women featuring fashion, travel and health articles. As Editor-in-Chief, she interviewed well-known personalities such as First Lady Laura Bush, Anne Graham-Lotz, Michael W. Smith, Kurt Warner, Chuck and Gena Norris, Beth Moore, and many more. She is a prolific writer and passionate advocate and mentor for girls and women. 

Currently she is CEO of Bella Women Network (launching in June) featuring, Shine with Michelle Borquez along with other programs for women; Bella Bella Gifts; and founder and President of the Dream, Hope, Love foundation, a mentoring organization for young girls. Michelle travels and speaks with her God Crazy team of authentic, very cool, amazing women, and lives with her husband Michael and four children in Nashville, Tennessee.

You may also be interested in:

God Crazy Freedom (or purchase the book, God Crazy Freedom by Michelle Borquez.)

Live Again: Wholeness After Divorce (8-session DVD kit for individuals or groups)

Check out Shine With Michelle Borquez and the Bella Women Network, or join her on Twitter @GodCrazy.

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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THE DELIVERER: An Interview with Abolitionist & Author Kathi Macias

 

Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning author who writes from the heart about some of the most important issues of our time: human trafficking, sex slavery, homelessness, border issues, freedom of religion, and historically courageous women. She is also an abolitionist, fighting and rallying others to fight, against modern-day slavery with her Freedom Series, a collection of fiction novels published by New Hope publishers. The third book in the Freedom series, The Deliverer follows her second book, Special Delivery, and her inaugural title, Deliver Me From Evil.

“I was horrified. I was also convinced that I had to do everything possible to help educate others about this widespread horror and to call them to join the fight.”

View the Book Trailer Now

Join me as we discuss the human trafficking novel, The Deliverer, and learn more about Kathi’s work and heart to see people set free:

While this is the third and final book in the Freedom Series, I’m sure there are people who are just learning about it. Would you please share what prompted you to write these books on such topic as relevant and difficult as human trafficking?

I was finishing up my previous fiction series for New Hope Publishers (the Extreme Devotion Series, dealing with the persecuted Church around the world) when Andrea Mullins (the publisher at New Hope) asked me what topic I wanted to tackle next. We discussed a few possibilities, and then she suggested human trafficking. I was aware of it and thought it was terrible but had no idea how widespread it was. I agreed to do some preliminary research and get back to her. When I discovered there are more than 27 million people held in various forms of human trafficking (sexual slavery, forced labor or military conscription, involuntary donation of body parts/organs) and that many of them are children (including an estimated 100,000—300,000 MINORS held in sexual slavery in the US today!), I was horrified. I was also convinced that I had to do everything possible to help educate others about this widespread horror and to call them to join the fight. Not only have I now written/released the Freedom Series on human trafficking, but I’m speaking on it everywhere/every chance I get.

What was your original objective in writing these books, Deliver Me From Evil, Special Delivery, and The Deliverer? And, what are you hearing back from people who have read the books? How are they taking action?

Originally my plan was to see the books alert readers to this horrific crime and, hopefully, challenge them to get involved in fighting it some way. That seems to be happening, but on such a larger scope than I had imagined. The response from readers is overwhelming! Pastors have written to say they are challenging their entire church to get involved on some level, and I’m being invited to speak all over the country on this topic. I am thrilled to see the Light being shined in this terrible darkness at last! As for specific actions, pastors and civic leaders are inviting me (or others in this ministry) to come and speak to their congregations/groups to help educate them on this massive tragedy. Readers tell me they are posting about my books all over the net to help snag people’s attention. I’m getting invitations to speak on radio and TV as well. I’ve also been contacted by readers who are getting involved in setting up safe houses for rescued victims, which is a huge need. I was even contacted by the Department of Homeland Security and invited to participate in group conference calls on the topic. Overall, I’m thrilled at the way God is using these books to help sound the alarm and to “rescue the perishing.”

It seems there is always someone in your books who is an intercessor. Why is that important for you to include?

This is vital to me, and as you said, I almost always include an intercessor in my novels. I know there were intercessors in my own life who prayed me through some incredibly dangerous and difficult times, and I appreciate those heroes of the faith more than I can express. Highlighting their importance in my books accomplishes two things: it enables me to honor those faithful intercessors who often get no recognition in this world, and it also calls others to get involved in intercession as well.

You write books as you often call them, parables with a purpose, on topics such as human trafficking, the persecuted church, illegal immigration, and your Christmas 2012 book is about homelessness. Some might call you an advocate. Why is it important for Christians, and the church as a whole, to discuss these issues?

You’re right that I call my novels “parables with purpose,” because I believe Jesus is our example and that’s what He told to His followers—parables with purpose. He didn’t just tell them “nice stories” to entertain them. He told stories that would grab them right where they lived, and then challenge them to change their hearts, their minds, and their lives. The Church has always been at the forefront of serious social change, leading the charge to abolish slavery for instance, and leading the charge on these other issues is right where the Church needs to be now. The first step is to discuss the issues, to make people aware of them, and then to call them to action. I believe gripping fiction is one of the most effective ways to do that.

Will you give us a glimpse, a taste of things to come — without getting too far ahead — of what’s in store for your next series and books on the horizon?

In addition to the 2012 Christmas novel, Unexpected Christmas Hero, dealing with homelessness in America, I will be releasing a new series starting in January. The first of the three novels is called The Moses Quilt, and it deals with a contemporary interracial romance, set against the background of a quilt that tells the story of the courageous, faith-filled woman known as Harriet Tubman. A contemporary novel dealing with the issue of abortion will follow, with the first woman doctor in America, Elizabeth Blackwell, as our backdrop heroine. The final book will be built around the much beloved Fanny Crosby, as we deal with the issue of people with disabilities. That series is from New Hope Publishers, but I also have a book releasing in the Spring of 2013 from B&H Publishers called Last Chance for Justice. It’s part of the multi-author Bloomfield Series, and I’m very excited about it.

You also write a devotional blog. Can you tell us what the focus is and where we can find it?

I started writing a weekly devotional several years ago, in response to a request from the then newly formed group CAN (Christian Authors Network). I sent it out as a group email and had about 40 recipients then. The devotional mailing quickly grew and expanded beyond the CAN group, with countless readers signing up to receive it. I also started posting it each week on my devotional blog (http://kathimacias.com/category/devotional-2/), which is part of my primary website (www.kathimacias.com), where you will also find my “Easy Writer” blog, which is more writing-related. (You can also sign up there to receive the weekly devotional in your inbox.) Over the years the devotional has been picked up by Crosswalk, Black Christian News, Latino Christian News (I offer it in Spanish as well as English), Believe.com, Christians in Recovery, etc., so the readership has mushroomed beyond anything I ever imagined. God is amazing, isn’t He?

Finally, we know you as an award-winning author, but you also enjoy speaking for women’s events, and other groups, as well. On what areas or topics do you focus your speaking presentations? How can a church or group find out more about having you speak for their event?

I speak on various topics, including the issues I address in my books, but on other topics too. One of my most requested topics is “When Passion and Purpose Collide.” That, along with several other popular topics, can be found in the speaking section of my website (http://kathimacias.com/speaking/).  To see my current speaking schedule and/or to explore the possibility of having me come and speak, just go to http://kathimacias.com/speaking/speaking-schedule/ and click on the Christian Speakers Services button to make contact. You can also see some of my speaking endorsements at http://kathimacias.com/speaking/endorsements/.

FREE BOOK GIVEAWAY! To Enter to win a free copy of The Deliverer by Kathi Macias, simply post a comment below. You can also help spread the truth about human trafficking by re-posting this interview on Facebook and sharing it with your friends. The winner will be announced by Sept 30, 2012!

Follow me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

For more opportunities for free copies of The Deliverer by Kathi Macias, please visit Facebook.com/CSSVBT.KathiMacias.

Note: 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). 

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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SPECIAL DELIVERY: Interview with Abolitionist & Author Kathi Macias

Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning author who writes from the heart about some of the most important issues of our time: human trafficking, sex slavery, homelessness, border issues, freedom of religion, and historically courageous women. She is also an abolitionist, fighting and rallying others to fight, against modern-day slavery with her Freedom Series, a collection of fiction novels published by New Hope publishers. The second book in her series, Special Delivery, follows the inaugural title, Deliver Me From Evil.

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?
 
“I’m not writing about a dark topic; I’m writing about the Light that shines in that darkness” – Kathi Macias
 
 
 
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 follows 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!

FREE BOOK GIVEAWAY!  To be considered for the SPECIAL DELIVERY free book giveaway, simply post a comment below. Help spread the truth about human trafficking by re-posting this interview on Facebook and sharing it with your friends. The winner will be announced at the end of this month!
 
Where can people find out about other free book giveaways on this blog tour?

The blog tour host is giving away a set of two books from the Freedom Series –  Book 1 (Deliver Me From Evil) and Book 2 (Special Delivery). Also, readers can follow @ChristianSpkrs on Twitter or follow on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CSSVBT.TheFreedomSeries for more book giveaway locations on the tour.

Note: 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). 

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”
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Special Delivery: A Freedom Series Novel on Sexual Slavery & Human Trafficking

 

Special Delivery is the second book in the Freedom Series written by multi-award winning author, Kathi Macias. In her first novel, Deliver Me From Evil, the author succeeded in raising awareness and spurring readers to abolitionist action to end human trafficking aka modern-day slavery. 
FREEDOM SERIES BOOK 1: DELIVER ME FROM EVIL
In the inaugural novel, Deliver Me From Evil, the author introduces readers to Mara, an eighteen-year-old girl who has been enslaved for nearly ten years, having been sold by her parents in Mexico and then smuggled across the border into San Diego where she was forced into sexual slavery. Readers will also meet 18-year-old, Bible-college-bound Jonathan and his 16-year-old sister, Leah, whose paths cross Mara’s and who become involved in her dramatic rescue.Interwoven between the stories of Mara, Jonathan, and Leah is the heartbreaking story of another young woman in captivity in the Golden Triangle of Thailand, whose past life mysteriously connects to the young people in San Diego.
 
FREEDOM SERIES BOOK 2: SPECIAL DELIVERY
In Special Delivery, 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?
 
        

Award‐winning author Kathi Macias has authored more than 30 books, including the “Extreme Devotion” series of novels for New Hope Publishers, and has 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 for women’s retreats, conferences, and churches. A mother and grandmother, Kathi and her husband, Al, call California home. (www.kathimacias.com)

Purchase for Yourself or a Fellow Abolitionist!

Pre-order the BookSpecial Delivery by Kathi Macias

Order the  Book: Deliver Me From Evil by Kathi Macias

Related Articles:

Deliver Me From Evil: A Freedom Series Novel on Sexual Slavery & Human Trafficking

Deliver Me From Evil by Kathi Macias (an interview with the Author)

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Human Trafficking Novel: Deliver Me From Evil

Deliver Me From Evil is the inaugural book in the Freedom Series by award-winning author Kathi Macias.  The novel serves as a catalytic spark raising awareness for the millions trapped in sexual slavery and calls for nothing less than the abolition of human trafficking.

Earlier this month, I announced a chance to win a free copy of the book, Deliver Me From Evil in my interview with author, Kathi Macias.  I’m pleased to announce Bev Littau as the winner in our random drawing on October 31st.

Deliver Me from Evil introduces readers to Mara, an eighteen-year-old girl who has been enslaved for nearly ten years, having been sold by her parents in Mexico and then smuggled across the border into San Diego where she was forced into sexual slavery. Readers will also meet 18-year-old, Bible-college-bound Jonathan and his 16-year-old sister, Leah, whose paths cross Mara’s and who become involved in her dramatic rescue.

Interwoven between the stories of Mara, Jonathan, and Leah is the heartbreaking story of another young woman in captivity in the Golden Triangle of Thailand, whose past life mysteriously connects to the young people in San Diego.

Evil is the enemy of life, love and freedom.  It chokes the breath out of dreams and destinies. It cannot be flirted with, negotiated with or haphazardly allowed to exist, because it always seeks to rob, steal and destroy.

Read the First Two Chapters FREE

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(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Deliver Me From Evil: A Freedom Series Novel on Sexual Slavery & Human Trafficking

 

WHO CARES ABOUT HUMAN TRAFFICKING?

The family and friends of the estimated 27 million modern-day slaves entrapped in sexual slavery, debt bondage and human trafficking today.

But they are not alone.

There are also a number of what I call “creative advocates” who join me in using creative means to raise our collective voice to bring attention to and call for the abolition of human trafficking.  Kathi Macias, award-winning author and former journalist stands out among those voices.

As creative advocates, we strive to create awareness, stir a desire to get involved, deliver a challenge and leave a lasting imprint on hearts and minds.

Kathi passionately uses her experience and talent to do just that.  Partnering with New Hope Publishers, she has created the three-part Freedom Series devoted to spread the fire of truth about sexual exploitation and human trafficking.  In Deliver Me From Evil, the first book in the series, she issues a call for the abolition of human trafficking, aka modern-day slavery.

DELIVER ME FROM EVIL — FREEDOM SERIES #1 

Deliver Me From Evil introduces readers to Mara, an eighteen-year-old girl who has been enslaved for nearly ten years, having been sold by her parents in Mexico and then smuggled across the border into San Diego where she was forced into sexual slavery. Readers will also meet 18-year-old Jonathan and his 16-year-old sister, Leah, whose paths cross Mara’s and who become involved in her dramatic rescue.

Interwoven between the stories of Mara, Jonathan, and Leah is the heartbreaking story of another young woman in captivity in the Golden Triangle of Thailand, whose past life mysteriously connects to the young people in San Diego.

“A startling encounter with the real-world horrors of sexual trafficking that could have come from the pages of any major newspaper” –Lisa L. Thompson, MA, liaison for the abolition of sexual trafficking, Salvation Army National Headquarters

RAISING AWARENESS AND BEYOND

Raising awareness is critical and necessary to peel back the reality of this massive global modern-day crime, but we can’t stop there.  We need to connect with others to create an even stronger net, commit to persistently employ our voices and then pair our resources with those voices.

While some have the ability to fuel the fight against sexual slavery and human trafficking with finances, others can make a difference through strategic networking in their community, initiating or assisting in creative projects that draw attention to the subject, partnering in key legislation and/or through targeted education.

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