Monday, November 12, 2012

Unexpected Christmas Hero by Kathi Macias

Josie Meyers thinks she is living the American dream when she marries a nice, handsome man with a promising future. The dream quickly becomes a nightmare when Josie becomes a widow and must deal with the fallout of her husband’s decisions. She soon finds that she and her two small children are forced to live on the streets and in homeless shelters.

While the scenes surrounding Josie are dominated by Christmas decorations and carols, Josie finds herself struggling with the demands of caring for her two small children. She is forced to lean on the kindness and generosity of others. What she doesn't know is that the influence of one homeless man in particular is about to change the course of her life and lead her home to the One who waits for her. He becomes her unexpected Christmas hero.
from the publisher)

Watch book trailer by clicking on this link.

This latest book by Kathi Macias is a fictional story of a family who suddenly have found themselves homeless and the hardships they face trying to stay warm and fed. The action takes place beginning as they are preparing to eat Thanksgiving dinner at a local shelter, and meet a homeless Vietnam veteran named Rick. For the next few weeks, we share the highs, lows, difficulties and blessings Josie and her children encounter as they meet new friends who want to help but whose hands are also tied. Josie also has gone from apathy toward God to bitterness for the way her life has turned out. The kindness of others slowly melts her cold heart, and watching the way Rick has survived his own situation with a steadfast faith, shows her that God is ever watchful and caring no matter how big the storm is that rages within and without.

This is one of those books that I did not want to put down once I started reading it, and the characters quickly became dear to me. It also made me think more of what I can do to become part of the solution. The needs of the homeless are many and sometimes the resources are limited or unavailable. There are also many faces and stories that get untold when it comes to those who find themselves homeless; I hope this gives more readers a desire to see how they can do something to help others during this time when many of us are struggling. So, a story that captured my heart and imagination...and gave me something to think about. Well done!

Please read the interview with author Kathi Macias....and see if you can help with a search to find one man's family!!

Homelessness is a tough topic for Christmas. What inspired you to use that as the basis for your annual Christmas novel?

I’ve been involved in homeless ministries, to one degree or another, for decades, so I’m not new to this area of ministry. But I’ll admit that I had never considered writing a novel about it until someone in my family, who had personally experienced homelessness at one time in his life, suggested it. The more I thought about it, the more it seemed the perfect theme for a Christmas novel. After all, at Christmas we celebrate the birth of our Savior, who was pretty much homeless at that particular point in time and was born in a stable because there was no room for them at the Bethlehem Motel 6.

Despite having previous ministry and even personal experience with the homeless, were there still some difficult times for you as you researched and wrote this novel?

Absolutely! I always try to climb inside the skin of my characters, and when I thought of myself as the young mother Josie, attempting to care for and protect her two small children while living on the streets, I wept. There were times when my own children were little that we didn’t have a lot of material things and almost never had enough money at the end of the month, but we always had a roof over our heads and never wondered where we would find our next meal. When I consider that approximately 25 percent of the homeless in America are families (either single or dual-parent) with small children, it breaks my heart.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of Unexpected Christmas Hero?

This is a story about a young family—husband, wife, two small children—who seem to be living the American dream. But when the husband dies unexpectedly, the wife (Josie) not only has to deal with that loss but quickly discovers that they are destitute. Her husband had lost his job some months earlier but didn’t want to worry her, so he hid it from her, hoping to find another position. He didn’t, and eventually ran up all their credit cards, took out a second mortgage on the house, emptied their savings, and even cashed in his life insurance policy. It doesn’t take long until Josie and her children lose their home and find themselves living on the streets, depending on the charity of others to survive. Then they meet Rick, a homeless Vietnam vet who takes them under his wing and, in a most surprising and sacrificial way, becomes their unexpected Christmas hero.

Tell us about the “story behind the story,” which involves the man on the front cover.

When the publisher sent the designer out to find someone to pose as Rick, the homeless vet in the book, he spotted a man on the street who looked amazingly like him. He asked the man—whose name is Willard Parker—if he would pose for the book cover. The man readily agreed and then explained that he truly was homeless and hoped having his picture on the cover would somehow help him find his family, particularly his grown daughter. We are doing our best to stay in touch with Mr. Parker and also to spread his story across the Internet and on radio/TV in hopes of fulfilling his dream to be reunited with his family. If anyone looks at the picture on the cover and/or recognizes the man’s name (Willard Parker) and knows the whereabouts of any of his family, we would truly appreciate it if they would contact me at so we can take the necessary steps to try and make this reunion happen.

Where can people find your book?

It’s available on any of the main online venues (Amazon,, Barnes & Noble, etc.) and many stores nationwide.

Can you give us your website info?

Sure! You can find me at or I’d love it if people would stop by there and check out all my books, as well as the video trailers that go with them. They can also sign up to receive my weekly devotional, or check out where I’ll be speaking in the near future. Above all, click on “contact” and send me an email. I’d love to hear from them, and I promise to answer.
This time, just leave a comment here (or on my FB page) to be entered into a random drawing. The winner will be selected Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012 at 9am (CST)

I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview and/or book review on my blog. CSS Virtual Book Tours are managed by Christian Speakers Services (


sewblessed27 said...

Such a timely story with the holidays coming up. Hearts are more open to helping others this time of year, but homlessness is an all year long reality. I hope this books helps people to see that.

Christian Speakers Services / CSS Virtual Book Tours said...

Thank you for participating in the virtual book tour! Stay tuned for FREE book giveaways and more tours with our authors at

Carolyn said...

I want to be entered.

Debra Brown said...

I definitely want to read this one. Please enter me in the drawing.