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Word of Mouth

Faithful Fifteen


Click here to SUBSCRIBE to the Newsletter!

This Month on

September 2006


Inspiring Authors Talks to Dan Burstein, Author of SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE

Philip Gulley Answers The Faithful Fifteen

Neta Jackson Answers The Faithful Fifteen

Now in Stores: CLASSICAL BIBLICAL BABY NAMES by Judith Tropea

Now in Stores: THE EDGE OF DARKNESS by Tim LaHaye

Now in Stores: MOZART'S SISTER by Nancy Moser

Special Feature: John Aubrey Anderson, Author of ABIDING DARKNESS

Faithful Fiction Reviews

Christian Living Reviews

Marriage and Family Life Review

Coming Soon on Poll: Your Local Library Question of the Month
Word of Mouth: What You're Reading
Quick Links
Christian Living
Marriage and Family Life
Author Interviews

Inspiring Authors

Back in 2002 when we were working on a plan for, I attended a convention in San Diego where I was meeting Christian publishers for the first time. I was slightly overwhelmed getting to know a whole new market. During one meeting I was talking to a colleague named Beverly Rykerd, who had been encouraging me to start this site. She knew me from one of the other book websites that we had running and she knew my taste in reading. I asked her for a recommendation of a book that I might enjoy. She suggested a book by Philip Gulley, CHRISTMAS IN HARMONY.

I picked up a copy before I left the convention and hopped on a plane to Denver where I was attending yet another book show. I found myself loving Gulley's characters and the way he wrote a story. Ideas for the site started to jell as I was reading. As he had such an influence on the development of the site, I am very happy to share a Faithful Fifteen interview with Gulley this month, which is fitting as we have learned that this is the last book in this series. We also have a Faithful Fifteen interview with Neta Jackson, who has written the wildly popular Yada Yada Prayer Group series. I have met Neta a few times and always enjoy my conversations with her so I am delighted to share this interview with you.

And our own Marcia Ford interviews Dan Burstein, the creator of the bestselling Secrets series, and talks to him about his latest book, SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE. Good reading.

This past week we have taken some time to look back and reminisce as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Book Report Network, the parent company of We threw a party earlier this week where we celebrated this event with a number of author and publisher friends. It was such fun to trace the history of the company by seeing all those faces in the room. It made me think a lot about our readers and the books and authors they have turned us on to over the years. I appreciate how much we have learned from our readers starting with that first book that Beverly plunked into my hands all those years ago!

We have word that GT Media has released the DVD version of the Hallmark Channel Original Movie Though None Go With Me based on the bestselling novel by Jerry B. Jenkins. Cheryl Ladd ("Las Vegas," "Charlie's Angels") stars as Elizabeth Bishop, a woman who never waivers from her commitment to God no matter what tragedies await, in this highly-rated television movie that premiered in April 2006. For more information, visit

I have a couple of friends who are having babies and thus there is a lot of talk about baby names, as well as baby paraphernalia. I also work with a lot of authors who spend time naming characters in their books. Thinking about names takes a new turn in a new book just out called CLASSICAL BIBLICAL BABY NAMES by Judith Tropea, which has details about more than 500 spiritual and meaningful names, including the Biblical story of each name's origin. It's a great gift!

Enjoy this issue, and the start of fall, which is a wonderfully colorful time of year.

Carol Fitzgerald (

Click here to see our 10th Anniversary Page. Talks to Dan Burstein, Author of SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE

Dan Burstein is the creator of the bestselling Secrets series, which includes such titles as SECRETS OF THE CODE and SECRETS OF ANGELS & DEMONS. His latest book, SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE, focuses on this enigmatic figure of the New Testament, thoroughly exploring just how large a role she played in the life of Jesus and the establishment of early Christianity. In an interview with contributing writer Marcia Ford, Burstein describes how he and fellow editor Arne de Keijzer selected the writers and pieces found in the volume, and highlights some of the fascinating information offered in the text. He also discusses the reactions of religious groups toward his books, offers reasons behind Mary Magdalene's mass appeal, and shares his own conclusions on this subject in light of the many conjectures being put forth today.

(Literary Criticism)
Continuing in the tradition of the New York Times bestselling SECRETS OF THE CODE, the latest book from the Secrets team brings together world class experts from different faiths, backgrounds and perspectives to discuss the most thought-provoking new ideas and original thinking about Mary Magdalene. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.

Click here to read our interview with Dan Burstein and a review of SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE.

Philip Gulley Answers The Faithful Fifteen

Philip Gulley is a Quaker pastor who has written several nonfiction books, as well as the popular Harmony series --- a set of novels about life in a small Indiana town. In this Faithful Fifteen, Gulley discusses his latest book, ALMOST FRIENDS, and explains why he chose to feature a female minister in this sixth installment. He also describes how his faith has progressed over time, reveals his views on the role of Christians in today's society, and shares a memorable experience he had with two of his readers.

ALMOST FRIENDS: A Harmony Novel by Philip Gulley
Pastor Sam Gardner must take a leave of absence from his post at Harmony Friends Meeting to take care of his ailing father. But when spunky pastor Krista Riley comes to fill his position, the quirky Quakers seem to fall in love with her. Philip Gulley's hilarious small-town characters take their final bow in this last installment of the Harmony series. Reviewed by Cindy Crosby.

Click here to read Philip Gulley's answers to The Faithful Fifteen.

Neta Jackson Answers The Faithful Fifteen

Neta Jackson is the author of the popular Yada Yada Prayer Group series, featuring 13 lively women based on Jackson's own Bible study group. In this Faithful Fifteen, Jackson explains the struggles she experienced with her faith, such as accepting the fact that she is "just a sinner, saved by God's grace." She also describes her awe and disbelief at the impact of her books on readers, discusses what she finds admirable in her favorite writers, and shares some of her own poignant family traditions.

Neta Jackson's fifth colorful installment in a series that began with THE YADA YADA PRAYER GROUP enjoyably continues the story of an ethnically diverse group of families trying to follow Christ and forge cross-cultural relationships in the city of Chicago. Reviewed by Cindy Crosby.

Click here to read Neta Jackson's answers to The Faithful Fifteen.

Now in Stores: CLASSICAL BIBLICAL BABY NAMES by Judith Tropea

The perfect name is one of the first and most important gifts parents can give their children --- and often one of the most challenging decisions of parenthood. Expectant parents who want their child's name to be meaningful will find CLASSICAL BIBLICAL BABY NAMES a unique and invaluable resource. Drawing from both the Old and New Testaments, here are hundreds of history's most enduring names, carefully selected to appeal to contemporary tastes yet outlast trends. Organized alphabetically by gender, and complete with fascinating background information, each entry includes:

-Scriptural stories surrounding the name
-Meaning and spiritual connotation
-Citation of where the name appears in the Bible
-Proper pronunciation
-Cultural origin
-Alternate spellings, related names, nicknames
-Famous namesakes

From Adam to Zeph and Abigail to Zia, CLASSICAL BIBLICAL BABY NAMES will enrich your understanding of familiar names and invite you to discover lesser-known possibilities. Names are an integral part of our identity and this one-of-a-kind guide will help you choose a name that reflects your hopes for the future and instills a sense of self in your child.

Click here to read more about CLASSIC BIBLICAL BABY NAMES.

Now in Stores: THE EDGE OF DARKNESS by Tim LaHaye

Tim LaHaye's most exciting series ever, Babylon Rising, continues with this explosive new installment, including more revelations than ever before. In THE EDGE OF DARKNESS, LaHaye reveals the meaning behind some of the most carefully guarded Biblical prophecies to expose a conspiracy with terrifying consequences for our modern world.

This time Michael Murphy sets off in search of the Lost Temple of Dagon and the dark secrets of the strange god once worshipped by the ancient Philistines. His quest will lead to a final confrontation with an old enemy and uncover one of the Bible's most feared warnings-a prophecy of false miracles, false messiahs, and ultimate evil that will be fulfilled in our time...and that not even Murphy can stop once it's begun.

Once again Tim LaHaye combines his unmatched insight into Biblical prophecy with his unique skills as a master storyteller to deliver a suspense thriller of nonstop action with a thought-provoking message for our troubled times.

Click here to read more about THE EDGE OF DARKNESS.

Now in Stores: MOZART'S SISTER by Nancy Moser

MOZART'S SISTER by Nancy Moser
A Woman Ahead of Her Time...Forgotten by History.

In the shadow of her brother, can Nannerl Mozart's dreams survive the life she's destined to live?

Nannerl Mozart's early days seem to be the stuff of fairy tales --- traveling far and wide, performing piano concerts with her younger brother, Wolfgang, before the crowned heads of Europe. But behind the glamour lurk dark difficulties --- the hardship of travel, agonizing bouts of illness, and the constant concern over money. Their father, Leopold, is driven by a desire to bring his son's genius to the attention of the world.

But what about Nannerl? Is she not just as talented? In a world where women's choices are limited, what hope does she have of ever realizing her own dreams?

In this lovingly crafted novel, author Nancy Moser brings to life one of history's hidden heroines.

-Click here to read an excerpt from MOZART'S SISTER.

Click here to read more about MOZART'S SISTER.

Special Feature: John Aubrey Anderson, Author of ABIDING DARKNESS

ABIDING DARKNESS by John Aubrey Anderson
This sweeping saga weaves a riveting tale about a young girl's battle with one of hell's minions determined to destroy her and those closest to her.

-Click here to read an excerpt from ABIDING DARKNESS.
-Click here to read more about John Aubrey Anderson.
-Click here to read the Reading Group Guide for ABIDING DARKNESS.


Click here to read more about ABIDING DARKNESS and John Aubrey Anderson.

Faithful Fiction Reviews

VIOLET DAWN: Book One in the Kanner Lake Series by Brandilyn Collins (Suspense)
A young woman with a mysterious past and a deep need to belong. An assassin with unusual methods and great professional pride. One woman's secrets unleash an entire town's pursuit, and the truth proves as elusive as the killer in their midst. Reviewed by Cindy Crosby.

A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND: Spa Girls Collection #2 by Kristin Billerbeck 
The second novel in Kristin Billerbeck's Spa Girls Collection focuses on Morgan, who seems to have it all. But her etiquette-controlled, well-sculpted life has left her without an identity to call her own. It's time for a getaway with her best gals so Morgan can rejuvenate, regroup and figure out how to make a life she can live with! Reviewed by Cindy Crosby.

UNCHARTED by Angela Hunt (Fiction)
It was supposed to be an adventure. A little time off to honor the memory of a friend and complete a service project in the tropics. But when a storm rocks their plans, five long-time friends from college find themselves hurled onto a desolate island, and relief fades to fear. Reviewed by W. Terry Whalin.

A PROMISE FOR ELLIE: Daughters of Blessing #1 by Lauraine Snelling (Historical Fiction)
After graduating in 1900, Andrew Bjorklund and Ellie Wold make plans to marry once the harvest is over and their new house in Blessing, North Dakota is finished. Everyone rejoices in their happiness --- except for Toby Valders, who is determined to get even for all the drubbings he has taken from Andrew through the years. Reviewed by W. Terry Whalin.

HOOD: Book One in the King Raven Trilogy by Stephen R. Lawhead (Historical Fiction)
For centuries, the legend of Robin Hood and his band of thieves has captivated the imagination. Now the familiar tale takes on new life, fresh meaning and an unexpected setting. Stephen R. Lawhead has created a lyrical rendering of a time-honored story that will lead you down strange pathways into another time and place. Reviewed by W. Terry Whalin.

WAKING LAZARUS by T.L. Hines (Suspense)
Jude Allman has died and come back to life three times. Children are disappearing in his adopted hometown of Red Lodge, Montana, and he may have the key to solving the crimes --- hidden inside the mysteries of his own deaths. Jude's days of hiding are over, and now he must face the questions that have haunted him for years. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.

READING BETWEEN THE LINES by Rick Hamlin (Romance)
At a church rummage sale in Manhattan, Elizabeth Ash buys several paperback novels in which someone has written love letters in the margins and between the lines. Who wrote these intimate letters, and to whom? How can she get these books back to their rightful owner? Reviewed by Evelyn Bence.

Click here to read our Faithful Fiction reviews.

Christian Living Reviews

FOR THESE TOUGH TIMES: Reaching Toward Heaven for Hope & Healing by Max Lucado (Inspirational)
When tragedy strikes, people desperately search for answers. Believers and unbelievers alike find themselves turning to God. Bestselling author and pastor Max Lucado points to the only real answer to tragedy and crisis: Prayer. In FOR THESE TOUGH TIMES, Lucado helps us understand how to pray despite our doubt and fear.. Reviewed by Cindy Crosby

LET YOUR LIFE COUNT: Make a Difference Right Where You Are by Donna Partow (Christian Living)
Packed with powerful storytelling and insightful Bible teaching, Donna Partow's newest book will open your eyes and your heart to the countless ways God can use you --- just as you are and right where you are --- to answer someone's prayers. Reviewed by Michele Howe

SAILING BETWEEN THE STARS: Musings on the Mysteries of Faith by Steven James (Christian Living)
We live in a world of tension, and as much as we'd sometimes like it to, our faith was not meant to relieve that tension but to make some sense of it. Through stunning essays and evocative stories, Steven James explores the wonder, paradox and presence of Jesus in life today. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.

WHAT WAS I THINKING? Things I've Learned Since I Knew It All by Steve Brown (Christian Living)
Seminary professor, radio broadcaster and former pastor Steve Brown set out to revitalize his faith by reexamining his thoughts and his faith. And he shares his invigorating discoveries with readers. A potent tonic for those whose faith feels flat, WHAT WAS I THINKING? fully engages the heart, mind and soul. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.

FORGIVE TO LIVE: How Forgiveness Can Save Your Life by Dr. Dick Tibbits with Steve Halliday (Christian Living/Self Help)
According to Dr. Dick Tibbits, understanding and practicing forgiveness can literally save your life. He reveals the clinically proven steps and tools every person needs to uncover their grievance story, eliminate the unresolved anger that they can and can't see --- and forgive for good. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

JOURNEY TO THE MOUNTAIN OF GOD: Pursuing Intimacy with Your Creator by David D. Ireland, Ph.D. (Christian Living/Inspirational)
For some, sustaining closeness with God can be a daunting or overwhelming task --- like climbing a mountain. Now Dr. David Ireland has devised a practical, proven plan that will help people achieve and maintain their personal passions for God. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

JUST WALK ACROSS THE ROOM: Simple Steps Pointing People to Faith by Bill Hybels (Church & Ministry/Church Life)
Believers universally affirm that evangelism is a vital part of what God calls them to do, but very few make a practice of doing it. Drawing on fresh perspectives from the author's own experiences, as well as time-tested and practical illustrations, this book encourages and equips readers to routinely initiate spiritual conversations with those who don't know Christ. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

THE MIRACLES by Simon J. Kistemaker (Baker Books)
Simon J. Kistemaker helps you take a closer look at the miracles of Jesus to better understand the purpose behind each one. By carefully laying out cultural background, symbolism and Old Testament connections, Kistemaker shows you how these miracles relate to the way you follow Jesus.. Reviewed by Margaret A. Feinberg.

Click here to read our Christian Living reviews.

Marriage and Family Life Review

MARRIED BUT NOT ENGAGED: Why Men Check Out and What You Can Do to Create the Intimacy You Desire by Paul & Sandy Coughlin (Love and Marriage)
Paul Coughlin, author of the catchy NO MORE CHRISTIAN NICE GUY, is back with his latest project, MARRIED BUT NOT ENGAGED. He has teamed up with his wife, Sandy, for the book, and together they tackle false guilt that women sometimes feel about connecting with their emotionally uninvolved husbands.


Click here to read our Marriage and Family Life review.

Coming Soon on

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 September through December 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: Your Local Library

September is Library Card Sign-up Month. Do you have a library card at your local library?

-No, but I plan on getting one
-I'm not sure

How often do you use your library card?

-About once a week 
-About once a month 
-Several times a week
-Less than once a month 
-I don't have a library card

Does your library have a good selection of Christian titles?

-I'm not sure

Answer the Poll here. Question of the Month

Tell us about one of your fondest library memories.

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 a copy of THE EDGE OF DARKNESS: Babylon Rising by Tim LaHaye and Bob Phillips.
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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