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Word of Mouth

Faithful Fifteen


Click here to SUBSCRIBE to the Newsletter!

This Month on

October 2005


Great Fall Reading....

Author Talk: Bruce Feiler, Author of WHERE GOD WAS BORN

Author Talk: Larry Julian, Author of GOD IS MY SUCCESS

Kristin Billerbeck Answers The Faithful Fifteen

Now in Stores: CHRIST THE LORD by Anne Rice

New Reading Group Guides

Now in Stores: THE EUROPA CONSPIRACY by Tim LaHaye

Faithful Fiction Reviews

Christian Living Reviews

Marriage and Family Life Reviews

In a Book Group? Register Your Group With November is a Month You Will Not Want to Miss!

Check It Out --- has Launched a Community Message Board Poll: Question of the Month
Word of Mouth: What You're Reading
Quick Links
Christian Living
Marriage and Family Life
Author Interviews

Great Fall Reading....

As the days get shorter I find myself spending more time indoors. While I love these sunny warm fall days there is a part of me that looks forward to curling up on the couch with the roar of a crackling fire as the only sound effect in the room as I read. I found myself making a reading list as we edited the month's update. I hope you feel the same way once you finish this newsletter.

On this month you'll find interviews with authors Larry Julian, Bruce Feiler, Kristin Billerbeck and Anne Rice. Each author is different in the way their faith manifests in their work, but all are inspirational. Larry Julian has just launched a new website where you can read more about his work as a faith-based business consultant and inspirational speaker.

Rice's newest novel, CHRIST THE LORD, hits shelves tomorrow, and we are pleased to be able to give you the chance to preview it. Those of you who know Rice's Vampire Chronicles series know that this subject matter is a departure for her. In her interview, Rice reveals what drove her to write this novel, what obstacles she overcame in its creation, and her thoughts on the finished product.

For those of you in a book group we have details on's newly launched message board, and information about registering your group with for the chance to win books, chat with authors, and receive other exciting offers.

Our poll and question ask about holiday giving, because it's never too early to start thinking about it. Are you finding yourself in a holiday mood? I'm not quite there yet, but I am heading in that direction. Each year we create a tree for a charity event and I make many holiday gifts. I spent yesterday getting my paints and brushes ready. Once again I have a plan to pace myself and get this all done in a leisurely manner. This year WILL be different!

Enjoy this month's reading....

Carol Fitzgerald (

Click here for a list of places where you can donate your books to Hurricane Katrina survivors.

Author Talk: Bruce Feiler, Author of WHERE GOD WAS BORN

In this interview, Bruce Feiler --- author of WALKING THE BIBLE and ABRAHAM --- discusses his latest book, WHERE GOD WAS BORN, and how it arose from his need to explore the fluctuating role of religion in society. He recalls how his family's attitudes toward their spirituality impacted his own, reflects on the importance of words in mending cultural and faith-based rifts, and even shares an amusing anecdote about a religiously symbolic dessert to be served at book club discussions

WHERE GOD WAS BORN: A Journey by Land to the Roots of Religion by Bruce Feiler (Religion/Current Events)
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman
Bruce Feiler, author of the New York Times bestsellers WALKING THE BIBLE and ABRAHAM, travels ten thousand miles through the heart of the Middle East --- Israel, Iraq and Iran --- and examines the question: Is religion tearing us apart...or can it bring us together?

Click here to read an interview with Bruce Feiler and a review of WHERE GOD WAS BORN.

Author Talk: Larry Julian, Author of GOD IS MY SUCCESS

Larry Julian, a successful business consultant and speaker, is the author of GOD IS MY CEO and GOD IS MY SUCCESS. In this interview, he chronicles how a professional, physical, emotional, and personal low point in his life served as the catalyst for a spiritual awakening, altering his notions of success from society's perceptions to God's aspirations. Julian discusses key elements of his books, such as integrating work and faith, the obstacles that keep people from becoming the successes that God intended, and the seven hidden blessings of pain that will transform adversity into destiny. He also underscores the importance of resisting financial slavery and creating a partnership with God.

GOD IS MY SUCCESS: Transforming Adversity Into Your Destiny by Larry Julian (Christian Living/Business/Leadership)
Reviewed by Michele Howe
Widely respected leadership expert and bestselling author Larry Julian identifies five built-in roadblocks to success and shows that by partnering with God, they can be overcome. Although human beings are designed for success, Julian says there remain hidden obstacles that keep people from realizing their dreams.

-Click here to visit Larry Julian's website.

Click here to read an interview with Larry Julian and a review of GOD IS MY SUCCESS.

Kristin Billerbeck Answers The Faithful Fifteen

Kristin Billerbeck, one of the first Chick Lit authors, has written WITH THIS RING, I'M CONFUSED, SHE'S OUT OF CONTROL, WHAT A GIRL WANTS and SHE'S ALL THAT. In this interview, Billerbeck details her aim to reach Christians outside of the mainstream church and discusses how much of her calling is focused on the youth ministry and in the raising of her own children. She recalls the conversion from her Roman Catholic background to Evangelical Christianity in her early twenties, and reveals her reliance on secular media to keep herself informed of her target audience.

SHE'S ALL THAT: Book #1 in the Spa Girls Collection by Kristin Billerbeck (Chick Lit)
Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
Chick Lit fans: If you enjoyed THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA and the "Shopaholic" series, but disliked the profanity and gratuitous sex, then this is your book. The first novel in Kristin Billerbeck's Spa Girls Collection focuses on Lilly Jacobs, a San Francisco fashion designer determined that her "bad hair" is the root source of her problems --- although a nagging grandmother, a vixen boss and well-meaning friends certainly aren't helping matters.

Read Kristin Billerbeck's answers to The Faithful Fifteen here.

Now in Stores: CHRIST THE LORD by Anne Rice

Anne Rice's magnificent novel about the early years of CHRIST THE LORD is based on the Gospels and on the most respected New Testament scholarship. The book's power derives from the passion its author brings to the writing, and the way in which she summons up the voice, the presence, the words of Jesus who tells the story.

In a starred review, Kirkus calls it "...a triumph of tone, and of character, the boy is fully believable --- and yet there's something in his supernatural empathy and blazing intelligence that conveys the wondrousness of a boy like no other. This is fiction that transcends story and instead qualifies as an act of faith. It joins Nikos Kazantzakis's THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST as one of the bolder re-tellings."

-Click here to read a Q&A with Anne Rice about CHRIST THE LORD.

-Stay on the lookout: Our review of CHRIST THE LORD will run this week on

Click here to read more about CHRIST THE LORD.

New Reading Group Guides

THE REVELATION: Abram's Daughters #5
by Beverly Lewis
In this fifth and final installment of the Abram's Daughters series, Beverly Lewis deftly manages to wrap up the oft-troublesome and frequently heartwrenching tangles the Ebersol sisters endure as ever-emerging Amish women who, one by one, come to faith in Christ.

NEW TOWN: A Fable . . . Unless You Believe
by Harry Blamires
Can a man caught between dream and reality choose between the familiar and the unknown? Or is there more to this mission of destiny? When Bernard Dayman is unexpectedly deposited on the streets of Old Town, he hasn't a clue how he got there or why he's come to this decaying city. Follow Bernard on his journey of self-discovery and discover for yourself the difference between the dream of heaven and the stuff of earth. Readers who appreciate C.S. Lewis should note that Blamires was schooled by him and his writing has a similar sensibility.

See all our guides here.

Now in Stores: THE EUROPA CONSPIRACY by Tim LaHaye

Tim LaHaye has called Babylon Rising his most exciting series ever, and THE EUROPA CONSPIRACY is the most thrilling and suspenseful installment yet. Reaching back to some of the most dramatic and prophetically significant stories of the Bible, and forward to the creation of ultimate evil in the modern world, the awe-inspiring revelations never let up. It begins when Michael Murphy heads to the ancient city of Babylon in pursuit of one of the most famous and mystifying of Biblical prophecies: The Handwriting on the Wall. But the closer he gets to deciphering the true meaning of Daniel's ancient message for our troubled times, the closer Murphy comes to a shattering confrontation with the forces of darkness that will cause the earth itself to tremble.

In THE EUROPA CONSPIRACY, Tim LaHaye once again shows how his thrill-a-minute storytelling and deep understanding of the Bible have combined to make him one of today's most popular and influential fiction authors.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE EUROPA CONSPIRACY.

Read our more about THE EUROPA CONSPIRACY here.

Faithful Fiction Reviews

THE PRESERVATIONIST by David Maine (Fiction)
Reviewed by Norah Piehl
David Maine cleverly re-imagines the well-known story of Noah's Ark in this inventive exploration of faith, hope and family, as Noe's wife, sons and daughters-in-law tell what it's like to live with a man touched by God, while struggling against events that cannot be controlled or explained.

-See our Reading Group Guide for THE PRESERVATIONIST here.

THE ASSASSINS by Oliver North and Joe Musser (Suspense)
Reviewed by W. Terry Whalin
With this suspenseful, action-packed finale, which takes place soon after the sixth anniversary of the September 11th attacks on America, retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North concludes the trilogy that has included his bestselling novels MISSION COMPROMISED and THE JERICHO SANCTION.

THE CHRISTMAS SCRAPBOOK: A Harmony Story by Philip Gulley (Fiction)
Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
Quaker Pastor Sam Gardner finds that the seemingly simple act of creating a memorable Christmas gift for his wife lands him in hot water in this slim novella, which is packed full of wry humor and fun.

SAVANNAH COMES UNDONE by Denise Hildreth (Fiction)
Reviewed by Michele Howe
Denise Hildreth, author of SAVANNAH FROM SAVANNAH, returns with another tongue-in-cheek, highly entertaining fictional account of those pampered residents ranking in the higher society of Savannah, Georgia. Here, the whole town is in an uproar when Savannah's own mother chains herself to a much-disputed monument downtown.

NOTE OF PERIL: A Hideaway Novel by Hannah Alexander (Suspense)
Reviewed by Michele Howe
The unusual gift arrived after country singer Grace Brennan's show in Branson --- a music box with an anonymous note. Only Grace recognized the message's implied threat. Someone had discovered the Hideaway native's past indiscretion --- and intended to jeopardize her present success.

FIESTA MOON: Book Two in the Moonstruck Series by Linda Windsor (Fiction/Romance)
Reviewed by Michele Howe
When Mark Madison is arrested for his third DUI, big brother Blaine pulls a few strings, sending Mark to convert a rundown hacienda into an orphanage. But even the best-laid schemes can be and often are hijacked by circumstances, people, and most importantly, God.

WHEN THE SANDPIPER CALLS: A Cozy Mystery by Peggy Darty (Mystery)
Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
Christy Castleman is a young novelist who has made a name for herself writing books about mystery and intrigue. The Sassy Snowbirds, a group of lively ladies, spread fun, friendship, and good deeds around the seaside town of Summer Breeze. Everyone is content in their cozy world --- until a message is found in a small Victorian glass bottle half-buried in the sand.

NEW TOWN: A Fable...Unless You Believe by Harry Blamires (Fiction)
Reviewed by Lisa Ann Cockrel
When Bernard Dayman is unexpectedly deposited on the streets of Old Town, he hasn't a clue how he got there or why he's come to this decaying city. But as he learns more about his surroundings, Bernard catches a glimpse of what his life could be --- and immediately sets out to achieve his heart's desire.

QI by David Aikman (Suspense)
Reviewed by Margaret Feinberg
Richard Ireton is a Hong Kong-based foreign correspondent for an American weekly news magazine. When he is sent to Guangdong, the Chinese province adjacent to Hong Kong, to investigate the disappearance of American Chuck McHale, he discovers there are dangerous new political currents flowing through South China.

TIDINGS OF COMFORT AND JOY by Davis Bunn (Fiction)
Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
When Davis Bunn is at his best, he's difficult to top --- and this newly re-jacketed sweet nostalgic Christmas novella from 1997 is a real fan-pleaser, a sweet read that you'll want to revisit each holiday season.

Read our Faithful Fiction reviews here.

Christian Living Reviews

PROVOCATIVE FAITH: Walking Away from Ordinary by Matthew Paul Turner (Christian Living)
Reviewed by Marcia Ford
In these pages, Matthew Paul Turner shares a fresh concept of grace that will give you a better understanding of God's goodness. His story --- and those of others like you --- will inspire you to break out of the ordinary and actively respond to Jesus's teachings.

REVOLUTION: Finding Vibrant Faith Beyond the Walls of the Sanctuary by George Barna (Church Life)
Reviewed by Margaret Feinberg
World-renowned pollster George Barna has the numbers, and they indicate a revolution is already taking place within the Church. He predicts how this revolution will impact the organized church, how Christ's body of believers should react, and how individuals who are considering leaving (or those who have already left) can respond.

SISTER FREAKS: Stories of Women Who Gave Up Everything for God by Rebecca St. James (Inspirational)
Reviewed by Evelyn Bence
Bestselling author and award-winning singer Rebecca St. James brings together a group of radical and inspirational true stories about young women who gave their all for Jesus. She profiles both contemporary women and historical figures from around the world --- from Joan of Arc to a Midwest high school student to an Olympic athlete.

THE RANSOMED HEART: A Collection of Devotional Reading by John Eldredge (Devotional)
Reviewed by Lisa Ann Cockrel
For millions of people, reading the writings of John Eldredge has been a deep and profound experience, generating a hunger to integrate his ideas and insights into their daily lives. Meeting that need in an innovative way, THE RANSOMED HEART features 365 daily readings gleaned from Eldredge's best-known works.

TOO SMALL TO IGNORE: Why Children Are the Next Big Thing by Dr. Wess Stafford with Dean Merrill (Christian Living)
Reviewed by Margaret Feinberg
The time has come, argues Dr. Wess Stafford, for a major paradigm shift: Children are too important and too intensely loved by God to be left behind or left to chance. Children belong to all of us and we are compelled to intervene on their behalf. We must invest in children --- all across the world.

GET THE JUNK OUT OF YOUR TRUNK: Let Go of the Past to Live Your Best Life by Duane Vander Klok (Christian Life)
Reviewed by Maggie Harding
Your heart is like a trunk --- a suitcase you carry with you throughout your life. Pastor Duane Vander Klok shows you how to recognize unforgiveness in your life and reveals how Scripture can help you clean out your trunk for good. In doing so, you will make room for the peace and victory God wants you to experience every day.

SEISMIC SHIFTS: The Little Changes That Make a Big Difference in Your Life by Kevin G. Harney (Christian Life)
Reviewed by Maggie Harding
Just as seismic shifts in the natural world have radical and far-reaching effects, there are seismic shifts in our personal lives that can transform our hearts, relationships, physical health, faith, and every aspect of our lives. These are the little changes that can make a huge difference.

Read our Christian Living reviews here.

Marriage and Family Life Reviews

PARENTING IN THE HOME STRETCH: 12 Ways to Prepare Your Kids for Life On Their Own by Connie Neumann (Parenting)
Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
Connie Neumann offers encouraging stories and realistic advice from her own parenting experiences so you can prepare your children for life after high school. And to help you evaluate how you're doing, each chapter ends with a checklist of questions, divided into age-specific sections.

ONE MARRIAGE UNDER GOD: Building an Everlasting Love by Dr. H. Norman Wright (Love & Marriage)
Reviewed by Michele Howe
Dr. H. Norman Wright, a marriage and family therapist who is the prolific author of more than 70 books, offers today's easy access divorce-prone culture a hope-driven yet practical alternative to succumbing to the statistics of marital demise.

Click here to read our Marriage and Family Life reviews.

In a Book Group? Register Your Group With November is a Month You Will Not Want to Miss!

Each month book clubs that are registered with are offered exciting opportunities that include chats with authors like Robert Hicks, author of THE WIDOW OF THE SOUTH, and Denise Hildreth, author of SAVANNAH FROM SAVANNAH, book giveaways --- and more. offers registered groups the chance to enhance the experience of being part of a book club with these kinds of exclusive offers. Also, beginning in Spring 2006 Registered Groups will receive additional exclusive content each month in their Registered Book Club newsletters.

In November will be featuring an unprecedented FIVE offers for registered readers. Don't let you or your book group miss out on the chance to connect with some of your favorite authors, receive free books --- or win a very special offer that is bookishly entertaining.  It's so special that we're keeping the details under wraps for now, but by registering your group, you'll not only be the first to know all about this special gift, but you'll also be eligible to win it!

More than 3,100 groups already are registered with us. Registration is free and easy. Along with the regular newsletter, registered readers receive an exclusive monthly mailing with descriptions for all the giveaways going on that month and details on how to enter.

Click here to register your group.

Check It Out --- has Launched a Community Message Board

We have launched a message board on where book club members can post messages for other book club members.

-Looking for new members for your group? Then post a listing.
-Looking for a new group to join? Post a listing.
-Tell us what your group is reading.
-Share how you choose books
-Give us your tips for leading a discussion
-Share your book club story
-Tell us some fun and interesting ideas for book clubs
-Post recipes and serving ideas

Please Note: To post on the Message Board you will be asked to register a username and password. Simply follow the directions in the registration window that pops up the first time you post. After that you will be able to create new discussion topics and reply to others' discussions whenever you are logged in.

Click here to go to the Message Board. Poll:

When do you start your Christmas shopping?
I already started.
I start in November.
I start in December.
I wait until the last minute.
I have finished shopping already.
I don't buy Christmas presents.

Do you purchase books to give to friends and family for Christmas?
I never have, but I would if I thought it would be appropriate

Answer the Poll here. Question of the Month

What book are you most inclined to give this year?

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 LIFT UP YOUR HANDS: Raise Your Praise and Get Lost in God by Gloria P. Pruett. 

This book will do for praising God what Prayers That Avail Much and What Happens When Women Pray did for raising the level of personal prayer among Christians. Oftentimes when praying, people get frustrated and stuck using the same phrases and words over and over in their effort to tell God how much they appreciate and honor Him. In LIFT UP YOUR HANDS, Minister Gloria P. Pruett delivers "The ABCs of Praise" to help readers focus and uncover their personal, plentiful reasons to give God praise. This simple but effective and powerful tool is accompanied by Pruett's own praise testimony, examples of how to personally use her method to develop a new way of praising, and exercises designed to get the most out of daily prayer time.
Tell us what you are reading here to be eligible to win!

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

--- Carol Fitzgerald (

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