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Sunday, October 03, 2010

New Giveaway! Now I'm giving away Red Ink by Kathi Macias!

For a chance to win a copy of this book simply post a comment regarding the power of prayer - even if you didn't know who you were praying for. How about a time when you found out that a prayer you offered to God had been miraculously answered, or if you have seen an answer to prayer that you would not have believed if you had not seen it with your own eyes? If you can't comment on either of the above, just post a comment after reading my review in regards to why you want to win this book. I will draw a winner's name using the randomizer program next Sunday, October 10th.

Red Ink (Extreme Devotion Series, Book 3)

About the book:

A young Chinese woman, Zhen-Liraised to observe the party line, including its one-child-per-family doctrine falls in love with and marries a Christian, and adopts his faith. Though the couple downplays their Christianity in an effort to survive, Zhen-Lis family is appalled, and she and her husband are ostracized. When she becomes pregnant for the second time and refuses to have an abortion, the persecution begins in earnest. Zhen-Lis parents, under pressure from the government, pay to have Zhen-Li kidnapped and the baby aborted. It is then Zhen-Li decides she must live up to her name, Truth, and take a firm stand for her faith, regardless of the consequences, and so she begins to regularly teach children about Zhu Yesu Lord Jesus and to distribute Christian literature every chance she gets. Based loosely on the life of Christian magazine editor Li Ying, currently serving a ten-year prison sentence in China, the story of 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.

My review:

Red Ink follows a number of people and their spiritual journeys. Interestingly enough, I've been following stories of the persecuted church in China while reading this book. But the story is not just about China. Julia, an elderly woman, and her friend and prayer partner Laura are American senior citizens who are compelled to pray for people in China. Their urges to pray coincide with persecution, which the reader knows about when the setting reverts to China. Paralleling this story is another one about a young teen who is being manipulated by a man who intends to sell her as a sex slave.

Red Ink is about unconditional love, ultimate sacrifice, and faithful allegiance to the one true God, Tian Fu. The female prisoner in China, Zhen-Lei, whose name means truth, is compelled to serve her Savior even in prison, and to love even the people who have abused and betrayed her as Christ compelled her to do. She suffered, and yet she sought Christ's comfort and strength. Her story is powerful, and the impact it had on the people who knew her in China was life-changing because of her obedience to God's direction each step of the way. His plan and purpose is much greater than hers and the impact is felt by those around her. I loved the subplot with her cell mate Mei and how their relationship changed over the course of the book. That was powerful story as well.

In Red Ink, there is not a happy ending for everyone, but then again, this book is about persecution in the church, not happily ever after. The parallel story with Maggie and her crotchety grandma Margaret was pretty intense, as well very edgy, which I loved. It was amazing how these stories dovetailed together and complimented each other. The bottom line is that praying for people who are being persecuted is always effective, and listening to God's call to love the unlovable is a powerful weapon against ultimate destruction. Other than the occasional confusion over the many Chinese names (which I was able to keep straight about halfway through this book) and the numerous points of view, I found this story to be compelling and easy to follow. This novel is full of spiritual food for thought and is sure to nourish people who read it.

Here are a few words from the author, Kathi Macias, about why she writes... 

I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember, and fiction has always been my focus. But journalism training sent me off into nonfiction, as did the curriculum work I did at Gospel Light Publishing years ago. Though I published a handful of novels over the past couple of decades, primarily I wrote nonfiction—until recently.

Joan Hochstetler at Sheaf House published my stand-alone novel My Son, John a couple of years ago, dealing with a woman whose son is arrested for the murder of his grandmother. It is anything but an easy read, but the responses I’ve received from readers who were able to reach a place of forgiveness as a result of the book spurred me on to write more of what I call “issues-related fiction.”

New Hope Publishers, which has been publishing my nonfiction for a while, agreed with me to launch a first-ever “fiction with a mission” line this year, using my four-book Extreme Devotion series as their opening books. This series deals with the persecuted Church around the world, with each book set in a different country (South Africa, Mexico, China, Saudi Arabia) and loosely based on real-life stories of modern-day martyrs of the faith. Three of those four books have released, with book four in production, and we have just begun the next issues-related fiction series: the Freedom Series, a three-book set of novels based on the topic of human trafficking. In addition, I co-authored a stand-alone historical novel with Susan Wales titled Valeria’s Cross, dealing with the persecuted Church in the third century.

Again, none of these novels is an easy read. They will, however, challenge readers and, hopefully, make them a bit uncomfortable with “business as usual” and encourage them to launch out a bit deeper in various areas of ministry, even as they find some of their own very deep and very real hurts healed in the process. I’ve been teaching about this type of fiction writing at conferences lately, titling it “Do You Have Issues with Fiction? If Not, Maybe You Should!” and the response has been tremendous.

Hearts are healed, not in the comfort zones of life, but in the trenches—the types of places Jesus would go if He still walked the earth today. Do I believe there’s a need for this type of writing? Absolutely! And I hope you’ll join me in it…both as readers and writers!

***Kathi Macias (www.kathimacias.com) is a radio host, a popular speaker at women’s retreats and writers’ conferences, and an award-winning author of more than 30 books, including her most recent releases, Red Ink and Valeria’s Cross. She and her husband, Al, live in Southern California where they spend their free time riding Al’s Harley—hence, Kathi’s “road name” of Easy Writer.


16 comments:

debbie said...

I would love to read this book. I believe the goverment that is ruling China right now is truly evil, and Christianity will never be allowed widespread while they are in power. Your review was very good. I have followed many people that are imprisoned in China. She is very blessed to still be alive. This book sounds so good.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

Annette said...

The biggest power of prayer story from my own life was when my son David was deployed in Iraq. Often I would be awakened in the middle of the night to pray for him. It would be like an alarm that would go off and I would scramble out of my bed covers to pray for him, kneeling beside my bed. There were a few times that I was told (I don't know how else to explain it, not an audible voice, but a voice in my heart). That I needed to battle in prayer, that this was serious, and I prayed prostrate on the floor of my bedroom.
David had 2 deployments. I only asked him about 1 of the times---he told me they were ambushed.
I kept a journal of both times that he was deployed, he kept journals also. When he is ready we may talk about it more and compare the dates.
Thank you Michelle for the giveaway!

Kathi Macias said...

Thanks for posting about Red Ink, Michelle. This book is loosely based on the life of my own personal heroine, Li Ying, who is currently serving a ten-year prison sentence in China for printing/distributing Christian literature, particularly to children--something many of us do without a second thought. I pray for Li Ying daily; I hope many of your readers will do the same. Blessings!

beemama said...

There was a time when my 21 yo was small that we simply didn't have the money to get his next box of diapers. We gathered as a family and placed our need before the Lord. One of the older children wanted to go for a walk in the woods behind the house so we went. While we were walking we spotted something in a mud puddle. When we got closer we looked and there was a $20 bill in the mud puddle and it was dry. No one but God could put a $20 bill in a mud puddle in the middle of the woods and keep it dry. He is so amazing!

Jennifer @ Quiverfull Family said...

I've really enjoyed Kathi's novels about the persecuted church, so I'd love to enter.

The largest answer to prayer I've seen is my husband's salvation, very early in my Christian walk, but there have been so many 'little things' to where God has provided :).

jennifer at quiverfullfamily dot com

Lelia Foreman said...

This sounds like an awesome book. I can see the day when Chinese missionaries come to America.

Ginny said...

After I invited the Lord into my life in 2000, I began to pray for my mother's salvation. At the time she lived 300+ miles away and didn't want to hear about the Lord.

One afternoon during my prayer for her, I got an image of my mother seated in the front row of my church. I responded aloud, "Lord this will definitely have to be You...because we both know she doesn't travel."

Fast forward three years later. My mother retired and relocated to So. Cal. She was then diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. That Christmas she attended our church. A short time later she invited the Lord into her life (at age 70).

She has been in remission for the past 18 months!

BTW, please don't enter me for the drawing. I already "Red Ink" and it's fabulous!

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed when I think back to the times
I tried to take over the entire situation of something
I had no business doing. When finally giving it to the Lord,
I've been blessed to see His faithfulness and promises that
put my feeble attempts to shame. It's at that point that I
chastise myself, and try to remember....just walk with Him
daily and when I do and give even the simple things to Him,
He does a much better job with my life, than I ever have!

Dona Watson said...

Great review! Thanks for the chance to win the book. I help manage a book club and I'd like to check it out to see if it could be one of our selections. As for answered prayer, once (when I was a young girl) we ran out of money and couldn't buy groceries. All we had was onions so my mom was slicing them up into water to make soup. Before she finished, there was a knock on the door. We opened it to find a friend with a couple of bags of groceries. She said God told her to bring them. God is truly amazing!

Cass Wessel said...

Persecution comes in many forms, but none so vehement for people in Western 'tolerant' nations as that in China and other places. Kathi Macias writes books dealing with the edgier topics of the Christian faith. She is a good writer with a lot to say. I would love to own this book.
As for answers to prayer, recently prayers have gone heavenward on behalf of my brother. We've yet to see a really good outcome, but we have seen assurances that God is with us. Blessings, Cass Wessel

Tore said...

I would love to read this book. The power of prayer for me has been when we found our son. We have been trying for years to have a child but to no avail. Then we heard from a preacher who knew someone who wanted to give up her baby when he was born. We met with her and she liked us and it was not longer after she went into labor and had our son. She was early of course and he spent 3 months in the hospital but there was nothing serious wrong with him. He has been a blessing to us and God answered our prayers. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

Anonymous said...

I would love to read this book. I have read a lot about the cultural revolution and business in China but nothing on this topic.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Tore said...

I would love to read this book. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

barbjan10 said...

This treatment of it's citizens is very hard to imagine. Could our own country ever come to this point? I thank God that our family sizes are not limited to number; but to the discretion of each couple as to what they can afford. The persecuted church and the stories are not easy to read, and probably less easy to write about. I admire Kathi's delving bravely and deliberately into these, in my estimation,immoral rules without justice. They can't keep the power of Jesus out of these countries. Jesus is there, close enough to reach out and ask him into their hearts. It takes real guts on those who claim Christianity and die for Jesus. I shouldn't get started on these topics, they anger me. At least Kathi's not stayed in her comfortable chair and avoided confronting the matter. Thank God for those praying against the persecution in China and other countries. The power of prayer is existent. Medical dr's predicted that my life would soon end when I was struck down by a flesh eating bacterial infection; but God still had plans for my life and I lived. Miraculously and through the power of prayer of family, the church and many friends. Jesus is the power I hold fast to each moment.
Thank you for this giveaway and the chance to win this book. I hope I do!

Sharing the Love of Christ,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

Lindsey said...

Wow. I want to read this for so many reasons - because I'm interested in the plight of Christians in others countries where there is no freedom and because I think it would be good for me to read something that is painful but true to life like this. Thank you for giving it away!

Lindsey

Michelle Sutton said...

and the winner is..

Dona Watson!

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