What kind of book do you think a woman named Lisa Renee Sorbo Walsh Felsh Heidenstecker Mikitarian would write? If you said an eclectic mix of short stories featuring women in various seasons of their life, you would have a beginning understanding of this wonderful author’s debut book, Her Safari.
I know… you’re thinking “This is an off-grid news site. This is where we go to learn how to be self-sufficient. Why are we showcasing this book here?”
I have known Lisa for several years now. She has a heart as big as a house, a wicked sense of humor, and an uncanny ability and gift for portraying the human condition in ways that will bring tears to your eyes and a chuckle to your lips. As the blurb on the back of her book says, “Life is a mix of love, humor, faith, ingenuity, and tragedy—sometimes all in the same day!” At some point we all need a moment to escape the constant worries and sorrows that we are heir to in this life. A book such as Her Safari is one of those ways. When I grabbed my quilt and cup of hot chocolate and tucked her book under my arm, I expected to read until the hot chocolate was gone and then close the book.
I not only stayed on the couch until the hot chocolate was gone, I stayed until I was finished with the book. In this collection of short stories we meet women who are witty, adventurous, melancholy, and calculating. They are the women we know and are friends with. Among them, a woman who distrusts men yet flirts with her doctor while under the influence of Percocet, a wife who considers divorcing her husband over Christmas décor, and a widow who is ready for bridge but not community living. We see women who have been hurt, who are exasperated, who are funny, and who are desperately looking for love and acceptance.
We are looking at women who are the many faces of us.
Life hasn’t been an easy row to hoe for many of us, and Lisa can be counted among those people. Her many last names are evidence of a chaotic upbringing (and a wonderful biography!) that God has used to mold the woman she is today. She was born Lisa Renee Sorbo but never knew her father. During this time of early childhood, she moved to Germany from California to live with her grandmother.
She took on the name Walsh when her mother married her stepfather and brought her back to the United States. Lisa dubs these years the “not-so-stable” years. She took the name Felsch after the family who became her guardians during her junior and high school years, a time when life got complicated at home and was definitely not “stable.”
And at 18 she legally changed her last name to Heidenstecker in honor of the grandmother who was such a port in the storm. She moved back to Germany after joining the army and was reunited with her grandmother. While there, she met her husband Sam Mikitarian, the one she has loved and danced with the last 24 years. They have three children—Maddie, Spencer, and Katalina—and she spends her time writing books and harassing her friends on her cheeky blog , Connecting Now , one that she has in partnership with her equally cheeky daughter, Maddie. Various conundrums of life are showcased weekly from letters sent in by readers, with Maddie and Lisa jumping in with sage and whacky advice.
However, Lisa isn’t just an artsy woman breezing through life. She has embraced off-grid living in a variety of ways—from homeschooling her children to joining a raw milk co-op (that later disbanded, much to her sorrow). Unlike many writers, I have found Lisa firmly planted in reality, yet with the ability to wrestle that reality into submission through her various writing outlets and ministries.
Lisa and her publisher, Demme House, have decided to team up to help one of the charitable outreaches we have sponsored here on Off the Grid News—Heart of God International Ministries. When you go to the special link we’ll provide at the end of this article, we give you the chance to purchase Lisa’s wonderful book for yourself, but knowing that a portion of those proceeds are going to benefit Heart of God International Ministries. This ministry is the operating arm of many outreaches including orphanages, schools, and ministries in Haiti, India, Uganda, Israel, the United States, and a special section for our men and women in uniform, the Soldier’s Bible Ministry.
If you want a book that will make you laugh, cry, or just shake your head at the antics of the characters, then you’ll want to read Her Safari. If you’re a man, your wife, girlfriend, mother, or sister will thank you for this wonderful gift. You can even read it yourself to try to figure out that age old mystery of how women think! And remember, your order today will benefit the awesome ministry of Heart of God International. Click here  to order your copy today (and click the order button “HGIM Network” to make sure part of your purchase goes to HGIM).