A big hello to all of Kathi’s followers. My name is Dina Sleiman. I am a novelist and an editor for WhiteFire Publishing. Although Kathi and I are separated by a continent and at least one generation, she and I have some very important things in common. We both long to write stories that will truly transform lives, and we both have a heart for outreach to the people of the Middle East. There are only a small handful of Christian authors I know of who have dared to write books with Muslim main characters: Kathi Macias, Jeanette Windle, Nikki Arana, Joel Rosenberg, and now you can add me to that list.
My love for the Muslim people was sparked over twenty years ago when I married a man from Lebanon. One of our groomsmen was a Muslim, and pretty much since that time my husband has been involved in ministry to the Middle East in one form or another. I always wanted to write a book about people from this part of the world. A few years ago, an idea finally came to me to write the story of a moderate American Muslim with Lebanese roots who meets a Christian ballerina and a bi-racial, hippie chick of the postmodern persuasion. This book stands apart from the other books written about Islam issues because it turned into a full exploration of faith and of what sort of Christianity is relevant to change lives today. I filled it to the brim with romance, drama, and humor, but at the same time I think it is possibly the most substantial book I will ever write.
If like Kathi and me, you have a desire to reach out to your Muslim neighbors, I believe this book will offer you lots of practical ideas on how to do that. In fact, I think it will give you a heart to reach out to typical unchurched Americans as well. My greatest wish, however, is that this book will draw you deeper into your own relationship with Christ. I long for you to learn to dance from that very unique place deep within your heart just like the characters in the book.
Here’s what Kathi had to say about the novel. “Dina Sleiman has written a heart-gripping and mind-expanding novel about three young women, each in search of something deeper than the usual fare offered by the world. One is a Muslim, one a Christian, and one a former gypsy with no real spiritual roots at all. Yet, as their lives intertwine, they find they truly do have more in common than they would have imagined—though they also learn there can be a serious price required in fulfilling their quest for deeper meaning and wholehearted commitment.”
Dance from Deep Within:
Despite her conservative Muslim heritage, Layla Al-Rai longs for a chance to earn her degree in engineering and perhaps even…dare she dream…to choose her own husband. But young women from her background rarely enjoy such freedoms. When she finally talks her parents into letting her attend college, she is drawn to fellow twenty-something students, Allie and Rain, over a class project. Allie, the blonde ballerina, faces her own struggles as she deals with an ex-fiancé and a church she had hoped to leave behind. Rain, the bi-racial hippie chick, longs for something to believe in, but her questioning could cost her the love of her life. When Layla s childhood sweetheart reenters her world, it seems her dreams might become real. Until everything falls apart. When she meets truth face to face, will she find the courage to accept it even if it requires the ultimate sacrifice?
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