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Word of Mouth

Faithful Fifteen


Click here to SUBSCRIBE to the Newsletter!

This Month on

June 2005


Celebrating Summer Bookishly

Sarah Arthur, Author of DATING MR. DARCY, Answers the Faithful Fifteen

W. Dale Cramer, Author of LEVI'S WILL, Answers the Faithful Fifteen

Shannon Ethridge, Author of EVERY WOMAN'S BATTLE, Answers the Faithful Fifteen

Joel C. Rosenberg, Author of THE LAST JIHAD, Answers the Faithful Fifteen

Faithful Fiction Reviews
Marriage & Family Life Reviews

Christian Living Reviews

Reading Group Guides

2005 Christy Award Nominees

2005 Gold Medallion Book Award Nominees

Coming Soon Poll: Summer Versus Winter Books
FaithfulReader Question of the Month
Word of Mouth: What You're Reading
Quick Links
Christian Living
Marriage and Family Life
Author Interviews

Celebrating Summer Bookishly

As I write this note folks are rushing around to get ready for the Fourth of July holiday weekend. I love three-day weekends as they give me more time to spend with my family --- and read. My children know that mom always allows them to have friends over to swim since she can then sit poolside and lifeguard. Mom reads. The boys swim. It's a terrific combo.

Next week I am headed to Denver for the semi-annual Christian bookselling convention. In the past few weeks I have been at Book Expo America and the American Library Association Conference. Once I finish this Denver trip I will have gotten a rounded-out view of what's happening in the book world!

So far, I am seeing more excitement in the market than I have seen in recent years. Fiction is making a comeback with some truly terrific works hitting the market this fall. For readers, it's shaping up to be a wonderful season. This is not to say that summer is at all lacking. Just witness the stack of books that are craving my attention these days! I also look forward to attending the Christy Awards next weekend where the Christian Fiction Awards will be announced. We'll get them to you as soon as we can.

Here's wishing you all a Firecracker Fourth.

Carol Fitzgerald (

Sarah Arthur, Author of DATING MR. DARCY, Answers the Faithful Fifteen

Sarah Arthur, author of WALKING WITH FRODO, WALKING WITH BILBO, and the newly released guide to relationships, DATING MR. DARCY, shares memories of growing up as a "preacher's kid" and her own experiences working in her church's Youth Ministry. She also discusses her literary influences and the importance of the Scriptures and Christian writing as "sticky-note" reminders of our greater purpose.

Read our interview with Sarah Arthur here.

W. Dale Cramer, Author of LEVI'S WILL, Answers the Faithful Fifteen

In this interview W. Dale Cramer --- husband, father, electrician, and author of the acclaimed novels SUTTER'S CROSS and BAD GROUND as well as several published works of short fiction --- talks about his latest work, LEVI'S WILL. He also shares his views on the importance of fiction as a means of self-exploration and explains how one of his novels gave a woman who was dying of cancer an opportunity to laugh and reflect.

Read our interview with W. Dale Cramer here.

Shannon Ethridge, Author of EVERY WOMAN'S BATTLE, Answers the Faithful Fifteen

Shannon Ethridge is the bestselling author of EVERY WOMAN'S BATTLE and co-author of EVERY YOUNG WOMAN'S BATTLE, as well as a wife, mother, speaker, and lay counselor. In this interview Ethridge talks about becoming a "sanctified" person after she wed and her special role as an advocate for sexual integrity. She shares the benefits of her one-year Bible-reading computer program, the significance of writing in her journal every few months, and a priceless encounter she had with a teacher's assistant at Liberty University.

Read our interview with Shannon Ethridge here.

Joel C. Rosenberg, Author of THE LAST JIHAD, Answers the Faithful Fifteen

Joel C. Rosenberg --- author of the New York Times bestselling political thriller THE LAST JIHAD and its sequel THE LAST DAYS --- discusses the nuances of being an evangelical Christian from an Orthodox Jewish background, and explains the eerie coincidences between his novels and real-life events. He also shares the poignant, surprising, and sometimes humorous impact that his work has on his diverse audience.


Read our interview with Joel C. Rosenberg here.
Faithful Fiction Reviews
LEVI'S WILL by W. Dale Cramer (Fiction)
Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
Readers will come away from W. Dale Cramer's quiet, thought-provoking novel with a new appreciation for the power of forgiveness, the need for reconciliation in relationships, and the cost of repeating the same mistakes through generations.
THE DEPARTED by Kathryn Mackel (Thriller)
Reviewed by W. Terry Whalin
When strange voices begin to haunt Joshua Lazarus --- a medium with his own television show --- and ghosts seemingly cry out to him for help, he realizes he's involved with forces he never before believed existed. As Joshua and his wife Maggie try to make sense of the visitations, a closer, more visible force is preparing to attack.
SARAH: A Novel - Book One in The Canaan Trilogy by Marek Halter (Fiction)
Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
Biblical fiction doesn't get much better than this engrossing tale of Sarah, the wife of Abraham and the mother of the Israelite nation. For people of many faiths, Sarah is a tantalizing figure, and Marek Halter brings her vividly to life in this first installment of The Canaan Trilogy.
ENDLESS CHAIN by Emilie Richards (Fiction)
Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
In this follow-up to WEDDING RING, engaging, well-developed characters, an interesting plot, and faith themes with some real-life grit in them equal a page-turning read that's difficult to put down.
DEATH WATCH by Jack Cavanaugh and Jerry Kuiper (Mystery/Suspense)
Reviewed by W. Terry Whalin
Rookie news reporter Sydney St. James found the first Death Watch notice in a vehicle at the scene of a fatal accident. That was just hours ago. Now other notices are turning up worldwide --- and Sydney finds herself paired with renowned international newscaster Hunz Vonner in a desperate attempt to unmask the terrorists.
A SONG I KNEW BY HEART by Bret Lott (Fiction)
Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
Critically acclaimed author Bret Lott, whose 1991 novel JEWEL centered on a strong-willed mother raising a Down's syndrome child, shines new light on the familiar landscape of grief in this quiet story paralleling the biblical narrative of Ruth and Naomi.
Our Faithful Fiction reviews may be found here.

Marriage & Family Life Reviews

ADVENTURES IN HOLY MATRIMONY: For Better or the Absolute Worst by Julie Anne Fidler (Marriage/Spirituality)
Reviewed by Lisa Ann Cockrel
In this unique and welcome addition to the pantheon of marriage literature, reporter and freelance writer Julie Anne Fidler recounts the rough and tumble first few years of her marriage to Scott --- a marriage that stood on the brink of divorce and, happily, remains intact.

Read our Marriage & Family Life reviews here.

Christian Living Reviews

SIMPLE HOSPITALITY by Jane Jarrell (General Interest/House & Home)
Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
Dubbed "the Queen of Hospitality," Jane Jarrell is passionate about creating an environment of love and encouragement, even in today's hectic world. Keep this book handy for quick inspiration when last-minute company is on the way, a new family moves in next door, or when your best friend needs a pick-me-up.

BEYOND JABEZ: Expanding Your Borders by Bruce Wilkinson, with Brian Smith (Inspirational)
Reviewed by Maggie Harding
Bruce Wilkinson's inspiring sequel to THE PRAYER OF JABEZ is sure to help those who read it expand their understanding of the importance of prayer and faith, as he challenges his audience to broaden their horizons.

CONFESSIONS OF A CAFFEINATED CHRISTIAN: Wide-Awake and Not Alone by John Fischer (Christian Living)
Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
Musician turned author John Fischer prompts Christians to quit observing their world and risk becoming more engaged with people in 19 coffee-themed essays that span everything from evangelism to marital commitment.

HE HAS MADE ME GLAD: Enjoying God's Goodness With Reckless Abandon by Ben Patterson (Christian Living)
Reviewed by Evelyn Bence
The Christian gospel is about grace. The Christian life is about gratitude and joy. In this sheer delight of a book, Ben Patterson --- chaplain of Westmont College and a regular contributor to Leadership Journal --- whimsically connects God's gift with our response.

COME AS YOU ARE: An Open Invitation From the Heart of God by Sheila Walsh (Inspirational)
Reviewed by Lisa Ann Cockrel
In the beautiful, warm style of OUTRAGEOUS LOVE, Sheila Walsh reminds women of an Open Invitation from the Heart of God. She walks readers through the invitation to Come As You Are, not just as you wish you were.

Read our Christian Living reviews here.

Reading Group Guides

SARAH: A Novel - Book One in The Canaan Trilogy by Marek Halter (Fiction)
From the great ziggurat of Ishtar to the fertile valleys of Canaan, the bedchamber of the Pharaoh to the plateau where Abraham would sacrifice their son Isaac, SARAH immerses readers in an ancient world of spectacle, intrigue, and miracles. This guide is designed to help direct your reading group's discussion of this powerful novel.

LEVI'S WILL by W. Dale Cramer (Fiction)
LEVI'S WILL is the haunting story of a fallen man seeking to reconcile the best of the old world with the lessons of the new, in the process building a bridge across three generations.

ENDLESS CHAIN by Emilie Richards (Fiction)
With the warmth and comfort of a hand-made quilt, ENDLESS CHAIN -- an exploration of the intricate patterns of family and community, and the threads that bind them together -- will envelop and welcome readers into the richness of life in the Shenandoah Valley.

See more discussion guides here.

2005 Christy Award Nominees

Here are the nominees in six categories for the 2005 Christy Awards honoring Christian fiction. 

2005 Nominees

First Novel
THE DEAD DON'T DANCE by Charles Martin (WestBow Press)
THE MENDING STRING by Cliff Coon (Moody Publishers)
THERE IS A WIDENESS by Mark McAllister (RiverOak) 

BAD GROUND by W. Dale Cramer (Bethany House Publishers)
NO DARK VALLEY by Jamie Langston Turner (Bethany House Publishers)
TIGER LILLIE by Lisa Samson (WaterBrook Press)

KING'S RANSOM by Jan Beazely/Thom Lemmons (WaterBrook Press)
RETRIBUTION by Randall Ingermanson (Zondervan)
THIRD WATCH by Bodie & Brock Thoene (Tyndale)

SECRETS by Kristen Heitzmann (Bethany House Publishers)
WILD HEATHER by Catherine Palmer (Tyndale)
WINTER WINDS by Gayle Roper (Multnomah)

THE ASSIGNMENT by Mark Andrew Olsen (Bethany House Publishers)
RIVER'S EDGE by Terri Blackstock (Zondervan)
TIGER IN THE SHADOWS by Debbie Wilson (Kregel)

BEYOND THE SUMMERLAND by L.B. Graham (P&R Publishing)
DRAGONSPELL by Donita K. Paul (WaterBrook Press)
THE SHADOW WITHIN by Karen Hancock (Bethany House Publishers)

2005 Gold Medallion Book Award Nominees

The Gold Medallion Book Awards, established in 1978, recognize the absolute highest quality in Christian books. Based on excellence in content, literary quality, design, and significance of contribution, the Gold Medallion Book Awards are among the most prestigious in the industry.

THE YADA YADA PRAYER GROUP GETS DOWN by Neta Jackson (Integrity Publishers)
REJOICE by Karen Kingsbury, with Gary Smalley (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.)
REUNION by Karen Kingsbury, with Gary Smalley (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.)
SECOND TOUCH by Bodie & Brock Thoene (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.)
OCEANS APART by Karen Kingsbury (Zondervan)

WHEN I LAY MY ISAAC DOWN by Carol Kent (NavPress)
REFINED BY FIRE by LTC (RET) Brian Birdwell & Mel Birdwell, with Ginger Kolbaba (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.)
A MAN OF FAITH by David Aikman (W Publishing Group, a Division of Thomas Nelson, Inc.)
A TABLE IN THE PRESENCE by Lt. Carey H. Cash (W Publishing Group, a Division of Thomas Nelson, Inc.)
JOEL by Joel Sonnenberg, with Gregg Lewis (Zondervan)

THE PASSION OF JESUS CHRIS by John Piper (Crossway Books)
HIS PASSION by David R. Veerman (Integrity Publishers)
GOD'S WAY DAY BY DAY by Charles F. Stanley (J. Countryman/Thomas Nelson)
LIFE AS A VAPOR by John Piper (Multnomah Publishers, Inc.)
ENDING YOUR DAY RIGHT by Joyce Meyer (Warner Faith, a Division of Time Warner Book Group)

A GREATER FREEDOM by Oliver North (Executive Editor) and Sara Horn (Broadman & Holman Publishers)
JESUS WEPT by Bruce Marchiano (Howard Publishing Company)
IT'S NOT ABOUT ME by Max Lucado (Integrity Publishers)
THE HEARTACHE NO ONE SEES by Sheila Walsh (Nelson Books, a division of Thomas Nelson Publishers)
THE SCHOOL OF DYING GRACES by Richard Felix, with Rob Wilkins (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.)

Christian Living
GOD AS HE LONGS FOR YOU TO SEE HIM by Chip Ingram (Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group)
SERIOUS TIMES by James Emery White (InterVarsity Press)
THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES FOR SINGLES by Gary Chapman (Moody Publishers)
IN EVERY PEW SITS A BROKEN HEART by Ruth Graham, with Stacy Mattingly (Zondervan)
WHEN GOD DOESN'T ANSWER YOUR PRAYER by Jerry Sittser (Zondervan)

Christianity and Society
UNDER GOD by Toby Mac and Michael Tait (Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group)
TOTAL TRUTH by Nancy Pearcey (Crossway Books)
THE DESIGN REVOLUTION by William A. Dembski (InterVarsity Press)
BREAKING THE DA VINCI CODE by Darrell L. Bock, Ph.D. (Nelson Books, a division of Thomas Nelson Publishers)
THE DA VINCI DECEPTION by Erwin Lutzer (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.)

A HUSBAND AFTER GOD'S OWN HEART by Jim George (Harvest House Publishers)
LOVE & RESPECT by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs (Integrity Publishers)
REKINDLING THE ROMANCE by Dennis Rainey and Barbara Rainey, with Bob DeMoss (Nelson Books, a division of Thomas Nelson Publishers)
EVERY HEART RESTORED by Stephen Arterburn, Fred & Brenda Stoeker, with Mike Yorkey (WaterBrook Press)
LOVE TALK by Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott (Zondervan)

Family and Parenting
THE MOST IMPORTANT PLACE ON EARTH by Robert Wolgemuth (Nelson Books, a division of Thomas Nelson Publishers)
THE NEW STRONG-WILLED CHILD by Dr. James Dobson (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.)
GRACE BASED PARENTING by Dr. Tim Kimmel (W Publishing Group, a Division of Thomas Nelson, Inc.)
WHY CHRISTIAN KIDS REBEL by Dr. Tim Kimmel (W Publishing Group, a Division of Thomas Nelson, Inc.)
THE HIGHLY HEALTHY CHILD by Walt Larimore M.D. (Zondervan)

Click here to view all the 2005 Gold Medallion Book Award nominees.

Coming Soon

Wondering what books are just out, or coming out in the months ahead? Be sure to check out our Coming Soon section on We have titles from May thru August listed. Please note that we have not listed every book coming out, but rather some that caught our eye --- and that we thought should catch yours as well.


Click here to find out what's coming soon. Poll: Summer Versus Winter Books

Do you read different kinds of books over the summer than you do the rest of the year?

Yes, I want more escapist fiction.
Yes, I tackle longer reads.
No, I don't change my reading habits.
I am not sure what I do.

Answer the Poll here.

FaithfulReader Question of the Month

What book are you most looking forward to reading this summer?

Please note that the next Question of the Month update will be on July 27th.

Answer the Question of the Month here.

Word of Mouth: What You're Reading
Tell us what books YOU are reading and loving --- or even those you don't. You could then be eligible to win FAME by Karen Kingsbury. Note that the next Word of Mouth update is July 27th.
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 or change your preferences below.

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

--- Carol Fitzgerald (

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