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Word of Mouth

Faithful Fifteen


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This Month on
Early November 2004


Happy Anniversary, Talks to Ted Dekker, Author of WHITE, a Title in the Circle Trilogy Talks to Charlene Baumbich, Author of the Dearest Dorothy Series
Robin Jones Gunn, Brandilyn Collins and Randy Alcorn Answer the Faithful Fifteen
Faithful Fiction Reviews
Christian Living Reviews
Marriage & Family Life Reviews
Our Monthly Poll: Do You Give Books for Christmas?
FaithfulReader Question of the Month
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading: Win CRYSTAL LIES by Melody Carlson
Quick Links

Happy Anniversary,

Later this month will celebrate its first anniversary. Looking through the archive pages and seeing the books and author interviews that we have shared with you, I see how this website has taken shape and I sit and smile. It's nice when a dream comes true.

There are many people who have helped make this happen. I want to take a moment now to thank a group of people who review for us each month and give the site so much of its voice --- our reviewers. They include Marcia Ford, Cindy Crosby, Evelyn Bence, Lisa Ann Cockrel, Diana Keough, Bethanne Kelly Patrick and Maggie Harding. They not only write, but they also suggest books to review and writers to interview. I love reading their writing and sharing it with you.

I want to acknowledge and thank Tom Donadio, our Editorial Manager in New York, for keeping track of who is reviewing what --- and his editing, often under the gun. He also does not get exasperated when I ask the same question over and over again --- queries like "When are we running that review?" or "Did so and so get the book yet?" Gena Bland, our producer, has been with The Book Report Network for nine years. We have never met, but we have logged more Instant Message conversations and email over these years than I have shared with anyone else. Her attention to detail, diligent followup and ability to keep up with what I dream up is nothing short of Herculean. We now have seven editorial websites, all produced by Gena. I think Tom and Gena's most feared words are when I say --- "I have an idea."

And thanks to you our readers, without whom this site would be a lot less fun. When I read the reviews and write this newsletter, I always am curious what you think as you read these pages. Write me and let me know!

Have a wonderful November...give thanks for the family and friends that you hold dear. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at

Carol Fitzgerald ( Talks to Ted Dekker, Author of WHITE, a Title in the Circle Trilogy's contributing writer Marcia Ford interviewed Ted Dekker, whose latest novel WHITE is the final installment in his Circle trilogy. Dekker explains the universal appeal of his characters, how he is able to balance his personal and professional commitments, and the theme of his first nonfiction title, which will be released next summer.
Read our interview with Ted Dekker and a review of WHITE here. Talks to Charlene Baumbich, Author of the Dearest Dorothy Series
"When the story calls, I listen," says Charlene Baumbich, and for her many loyal readers, Baumbich's fictional evocations of the antics of the residents of Partonville make them seem like old friends, and provide endless pages of enjoyment. interviewer Cindy Crosby recently chatted with the irrepressible Baumbich about the delightful characters who populate the Dearest Dorothy series, her love of a well-told story, the importance of intergenerational relationships, and her confessed addiction to White Castle hamburgers.
Read an interview with Charlene Baumbich and a review of the newest Dearest Dorothy book here.
Robin Jones Gunn, Brandilyn Collins and Randy Alcorn Answer the Faithful Fifteen
Robin Jones Gunn is the award-winning, bestselling author of over fifty books, including the popular Glenbrooke series and the Christy Miller and Sierra Jensen series for teens. In this interview Jones Gunn expresses her love for Imago Dei, a unique church in Portland, Oregon where she and her family are involved in the congregation's various activites. She also talks about several women in her life who have been her spiritual and professional mentors, and the impact that her work has had on readers.

Brandilyn Collins is an award-winning and bestselling novelist, writing in both the contemporary and suspense genres. In this interview Collins explains why she changed her fiction writing from secular to Christian, how her bout with Lyme disease helped shape her Scripture reading habits, and a special faith-based tradition that her husband started for their entire family.

Randy Alcorn is the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries and the author of many award-winning and bestselling books. In this interview Alcorn talks about his new nonfiction work HEAVEN, describes what he believes the role of writing in religion is, and relates the story of a young man who was brought to Christ after reading one of Alcorn's novels.
Read the Faithful Fifteen interviews here.

Faithful Fiction Reviews
SARAH'S SONG by Karen Kingsbury (Fiction)
Karen Kingsbury's Red Gloves series focuses on the spirit of Christmas and Christian giving, and SARAH'S SONG continues in that vein as an elderly nursing home resident reaches out in the only way she knows to a disillusioned young nurse. Reviewed by Bethanne Kelly Patrick.

WHITE by Ted Dekker (Suspense)
In this final installment in Ted Dekker's Circle trilogy, Thomas Hunter struggles to stave off a war and a virus that are simultaneously ravaging two world's populations, and must also contend with the ramifications of an incredible love story that unfolds. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.

SISTERCHICKS IN SOMBREROS by Robin Jones Gunn (Fiction)
The third Sisterchicks novel from Robin Jones Gunn concerns actual sisters rather than closely knit friends. When two Canadian siblings set out to take care of some family business, they discover that being part of God's family is their true inheritance. Reviewed by Bethanne Kelly Patrick.

DEAREST DOROTHY, HELP! I'VE LOST MYSELF by Charlene Ann Baumbich (Contemporary Fiction)
Partonville fans won't want to miss this latest installment in the Dearest Dorothy series, full of the same loveable characters, intergenerational relationships, and endearing perky antics of the 87-years-young Dorothy. Reviewed by Cindy Crosby.

CRYSTAL LIES by Melody Carlson
(Contemporary Fiction)
As the wife of a prominent city attorney and the mother of two teenage children, Glennis Harmon lives the kind of successful, high-profile life that many people envy. But when nineteen-year-old Jacob is drawn into substance abuse, Glennis's perfect world shatters. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.

BOO WHO by Rene Gutteridge
(Contemporary Fiction)
Skary, Indiana --- the setting of Rene Gutteridge's latest novel --- is an unlikely town full of unlikely people doing unlikely things. But if you can get past this, you're in for a charming little tale in which the past must be uncovered in order to save the future. Reviewed by Lisa Ann Cockrel.

THE LAST STORYTELLER by Diane Noble (Contemporary Fiction)
Completely unprepared to face parenthood alone, Taite Abbot decides to get an abortion. But without any emotional or financial resources, she first seeks solace from her Welsh grandmother. Reviewed by Lisa Ann Cockrel.

AT THE SCENT OF WATER by Linda Nichols (Contemporary Fiction)
Life is rewarding for Samuel Truelove. But when he misdiagnoses his daughter's illness and is suddenly called away to perform emergency surgery, a deadly cascade of events is set in motion. Reviewed by Marcia Ford
Read our Faithful Fiction lineup here.

Christian Living Reviews
SMALL CHANGE: It's the Little Things in Life That Make a BIG Difference! by Susan and Larry Terkel (Self-Help)
Husband-and-wife writing team Susan and Larry Terkel offer readers a gentle yet powerful program for making significant changes in their lives based on three basic principles. Reviewed by Diana Keough.

HEAVEN by Randy Alcorn (Spirituality)
We all have questions about what heaven will be like. Randy Alcorn helps answer some of these inquiries by sharing his extensive research on the topic, all from a biblical perspective. Reviewed by Lisa Ann Cockrel.

COME THIRSTY by Max Lucado (Christian Living)
In this renewing and life-giving book, Max Lucado leads us to the four essential nutrients needed by every soul. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.

JAN KARON'S MITFORD COOKBOOK & KITCHEN READER by Jan Karon, edited by Martha McIntosh (Cooking)
Beautiful artwork, lush full-color photography, and pertinent excerpts from the Mitford series make this book as delicious to read as the recipes are to enjoy! Reviewed by Cindy Crosby.

ORDINARY LOSSES: Naming the Graces that Shape Us by Elisa Fryling Stanford (Spirituality)
We often think of loss as a part of later life, but in truth, loss shapes us from the time we are born. In this book of memories and reflections, Elisa Fryling Stanford explores the realities and redemptions of loss that are unique to a young adult. Reviewed by Marcia Ford and Lisa Ann Cockrel.

FINDING GOD IN THE EVENING NEWS: A Broadcast Journalist Looks Beyond the Headlines, by Jody Dean (Christian Living)
With insider knowledge of the media, television journalist Jody Dean shares how he found God at work in some of the biggest news events of the past thirty years. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.

FINDING GOD IN THE MOVIES: 33 Films of Reel Faith, by Catherine Barsotti and Robert Johnston (Christian Living)
This enthusiastic viewers' guide explores biblical themes --- such as forgiveness, faith and repentance --- in 33 movies, ranging from Tender Mercies to X-Men. Reviewed by Evelyn Bence.

TOTAL TRUTH: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity by Nancy Pearcey
(Christian Living)
Does God belong in the public arena of politics, business, law and education? Or is religion a private matter only? In TOTAL TRUTH Nancy Pearcey explains how this public/private split impedes our efforts at both personal and cultural renewal. Reviewed by Lisa Ann Cockrel.
Our Christian Living reviews may be found here.

Marriage & Family Life Reviews
THE PROPER CARE & FEEDING OF HUSBANDS by Dr. Laura Schlessinger (Marriage & Family Relationships)
Dr. Laura Schlessinger urgently reminds women that to take proper care of their husbands is to ensure themselves the happiness and satisfaction they yearn for in marriage. Reviewed by Diana Keough.

WOMAN POWER: Transform Your Man, Your Marriage, Your Life Dr. Laura Schlessinger (Marriage & Family Relationships)
Through a series of provocative chapters and Q&As, Dr. Laura guides women on how to assess what is valuable and what is vulnerable in their marriages, and stimulates them to think about what is really important about being a woman, a wife, and a mother. Reviewed by Diana Keough.

MOM, DAD...I'M PREGNANT: When Your Daughter or Son Faces an Unplanned Pregnancy, by Jayne E. Schooler
(Parenting & Families)
Long-time educator, writer, and speaker on family life issues Jayne Schooler offers a comprehensive guide to the challenges faced by parents of children who experience unplanned pregnancies. Reviewed by Lisa Ann Cockrel.

THE MOST IMPORTANT PLACE ON EARTH: What a Christian Home Looks Like and How to Build One, by Robert Wolgemuth (Parenting & Families)
Many people did not grow up in a Christian home, and many more do not consider their childhood experience a good model. THE MOST IMPORTANT PLACE ON EARTH covers eight answers to the question "What does a Christian home look like?" Reviewed by Lisa Ann Cockrel.
Read our Marriage & Family Life reviews here.
Our Monthly Poll: Do You Give Books for Christmas?
Do you give books for Christmas?

All of the time
Some of the time

Has there ever been a book that you bought multiple copies of to give as a gift?

Not sure

What kinds of books do you give as gifts for Christmas?

Fiction titles that I have enjoyed and think others will like as well.
Fiction titles that I think the recipient would like, even if I have not read them
Christian Living
Christmas specific books
Marriage and Family Life
Books about home and living
Small gift books
I do not give books for Christmas.
Vote in the Poll here.

FaithfulReader Question of the Month
What was your favorite book that you have either given, or received, at the holidays.
Answer our Question of the Month here.

Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading: Win CRYSTAL LIES by Melody Carlson
Tell us what books YOU are reading and loving --- or even those you don't. You could then be eligible to win CRYSTAL LIES by Melody Carlson.

Please note that the next Word of Mouth update is November 17th.
Tell us what you are reading here to be eligible to win!

As always, here are a few housekeeping notes. If you are seeing this newsletter in a text version, and would prefer to see the graphics, you can either read it online (see the link on the upper right) or change your preferences below.

Those of you who wish to send mail to, please see the form on the Write to Us page.

Thanks for reading....and don't forget to forward this newsletter to a friend.

--- Carol Fitzgerald (

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