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Word of Mouth

Faithful Fifteen


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FaithfulReader.com Newsletter!

This Month on FaithfulReader.com

October 2006

On FaithfulReader.com

Why I Read....And Books to Inspire You...

Author Talk: Sue Monk Kidd, Author of FIRSTLIGHT

FaithfulReader.com Talks to Philip Yancey, Author of PRAYER: Does It Make Any Difference?

FaithfulReader.com Talks to Mark Buchanan, Author of THE REST OF GOD

Author Talk: Melody Carlson, Author of THE CHRISTMAS BUS

Author Talk: Debbie DiGiovanni, Author of JAMAICAN ME CRAZY

Now in Stores: STRANDED by Lorena McCourtney

Coming Soon: BEFORE I WAKE by Dee Henderson

Now in Stores: MAGGIE by Charles Martin

Faithful Fiction Reviews

Christian Living Reviews

Marriage and Family Life Reviews

FaithfulReader.com Poll

FaithfulReader.com Question of the Month
Word of Mouth: What You're Reading
Quick Links

FaithfulReader.com
Fiction
Christian Living
Marriage and Family Life
Author Interviews

Why I Read....And Books to Inspire You...

Last night as temperatures dipped into the 30s and 40s, I did a frantic race around the deck and patio to gather the houseplants that have been enjoying the sun all summer and bring them in the house. October is a relatively quiet month before the holidays officially begin with, Halloween. Yes, any parent knows that THIS, not Thanksgiving, is the true start to the holidays.

Thus we are happy to share that this month's FaithfulReader.com update provides titles that both will soothe and inspire you, as well as ones that will allow you to sit back and reflect for a bit. We have a wonderful interview with Sue Monk Kidd, whose latest book is FIRSTLIGHT --- a compilation of spiritual articles and essays spanning her writing career of nearly 30 years. This selection of personal reflections and essays is organized around thirteen spiritual motifs and interwoven to create a compelling narrative about the author's spiritual awakening. I love Sue's writing, and reading about her spiritual and literary process was akin to listening to a really good friend who you always admired --- both personal and awe-inspiring.

We also have an interview with Philip Yancey, who tackles the complex issue of prayer in PRAYER: Does It Make Any Difference? In his interview with FaithfulReader.com's Cindy Crosby, Yancey reveals how his coming to pray has changed over the years, how nature has shaped his spirituality and how travel has enhanced his faith.

In his book, THE REST OF GOD, Mark Buchanan explores the act of slowing down the crazed pace of life. In a revealing interview, Cindy Crosby talks with Buchanan about the necessity and the difficulty of keeping Sabbath, his awakening to faith at a later age and his favorite poets.

We also have two Author Talks --- one with Melody Carlson, author of THE CHRISTMAS BUS, and one with Debbie DiGiovanni,  author of JAMAICAN ME CRAZY. Both discuss their writing process, their families and their faith.

Among our reviews and features, we have STRANDED by Lorena McCourtney, BEFORE I WAKE by Dee Henderson and MAGGIE, Charles Martin's welcome sequel to his debut novel, THE DEAD DON'T DANCE.

In our poll and question this month, we want to know who you love to read and why. Whether you read for pleasure, education or spiritual guidance, FaithfulReader.com has titles to inspire, to illuminate and to instruct.

For me, reading is both a luxury and a necessity. I read both to take a break from the hectic pace of my life --- and to gain perspective on it. To me, reading is essential in maintaining a balance in my world. I'm sure you have your own motivations for opening a book. I hope FaithfulReader.com provides you with suggestions to feed your own bookish habit.

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

Click here to see our 10th Anniversary Page.

Author Talk: Sue Monk Kidd, Author of FIRSTLIGHT

Long before her bestselling novels THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES and THE MERMAID CHAIR, Sue Monk Kidd worked as a contributing writer and editor for the inter-faith publication, Guideposts magazine. Her latest release, FIRSTLIGHT, is a compilation of many of these spiritual articles, as well as other emotionally driven and anecdotal essays spanning her writing career of nearly 30 years. In this interview, Kidd describes the pivotal role that faith has played in her writing and recounts the lucky event that jump-started her relationship with the magazine. She also discusses what inspired her to return to her dream of writing fiction, and reveals the difficulties of overcoming her own fears and insecurities to begin working on her second novel after the huge and unexpected success of the first.

FIRSTLIGHT: Early Inspirational Writings by Sue Monk Kidd (Inspirational Essays)
Reviewed by Evelyn Bence
Drawn from Sue Monk Kidd's early writings for Guideposts magazine and, to a lesser extent, other publications, this selection of personal reflections and essays is organized around thirteen spiritual motifs and interwoven to create a compelling narrative about the author's spiritual awakening.

Click here to read an interview with Sue Monk Kidd and a review of FIRSTLIGHT.



FaithfulReader.com Talks to Philip Yancey, Author of PRAYER: Does It Make Any Difference?

Writer and journalist Philip Yancey admits that much about prayer is difficult for him. His latest book, PRAYER: Does It Make Any Difference?, offers valuable glimpses of why prayer is crucial, even if we don't comprehend all of its mysteries. In this interview with FaithfulReader.com's Cindy Crosby, Yancey discusses his personal exploration of prayer, what he sees as the biggest misconception Christians have about talking to God, and the questions about prayer for which he still has no answers.

PRAYER: Does It Make Any Difference? by Philip Yancey (Spirituality/Prayer)
Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
Philip Yancey probes the very heartbeat --- the most fundamental, challenging, perplexing and deeply rewarding aspect --- of our relationship with God: prayer. What is prayer? Does it change God's mind or ours --- or both? This book is an invitation to communicate with God the Father who invites us into an eternal partnership through prayer.

Click here to read our interview with Philip Yancey and a review of PRAYER.



FaithfulReader.com Talks to Mark Buchanan, Author of THE REST OF GOD

For Mark Buchanan, a working pastor, there is a delicious irony in trying to make Sunday a day of rest. His wrestlings with creating his own Sabbath and taming the frantic pace of his life to a slower, more reflective way of living make THE REST OF GOD an instructive and interesting read; his beautiful prose makes the journey a delight. FaithfulReader.com's Cindy Crosby talks with Buchanan about the process of finding his ideal Sabbath, his love affair with books and poetry, how he has quit breaking the speed limit, and why busyness is killing our hearts and souls.

Click here to read our interview with Mark Buchanan.



Author Talk: Melody Carlson, Author of THE CHRISTMAS BUS

Melody Carlson has authored over 90 books for children, adolescents and adults, including the popular teen series Diary of a Teenage Girl and her latest work, THE CHRISTMAS BUS. In this interview, Carlson expresses her passion for writing --- especially the act of storytelling --- while revealing dislike for the process that follows. She also describes the slow evolution of the characters she creates and admits that they can even surprise her at times.

Click here to read an interview with Melody Carlson.



Author Talk: Debbie DiGiovanni, Author of JAMAICAN ME CRAZY

In this interview, Debbie DiGiovanni --- author of JAMAICAN ME CRAZY, CONCESSIONS and the Motherhood Club series --- discusses how she began her writing career and what inspired her latest holiday tale. She also reveals what popular series is on her reading list nowand shares a few of her well-intentioned and whimsical dreams for herself and her family.

Click here to read an interview with Debbie DiGiovanni.



Now in Stores: STRANDED by Lorena McCourtney

STRANDED by Lorena McCourtney
"It was lovely . . . until a dead body plummeted from the sky and landed on us. I do seem to attract them."

Ivy Malone isn't kidding. And when her motor home breaks down in Hello, Colorado, there's another murder mystery waiting. The whole town thinks they've already found the killer-the dead man's niece who inherits everything. Ivy's not so sure-but her list of other suspects is growing.

One way or another, this plucky detective is determined to use her curiosity and her talent for invisibility to solve the crime. Will she add another name to the list of people who want her dead? Will she kick up her heels in the town's chorus line? And can she fend off amorous advances long enough to take down a killer.

-Click here to read more about STRANDED.

Coming Soon: BEFORE I WAKE by Dee Henderson

BEFORE I WAKE by Dee Henderson hits stores on October 30th but we're giving you a sneak peak at this intriguing and fast-paced new novel from the acclaimed author of the O'Malley series and the Uncommon Heroes series. BEFORE I WAKE is also one of our featured contest books for Registered Book Groups on ReadingGroupGuides.com --- groups registered by October 13th can enter to win 12 copies of the book for their group. Click here for more details.

-Click here to read our Study Guide for BEFORE I WAKE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from BEFORE I WAKE.


More about BEFORE I WAKE:
The sheriff of Justice, Illinois, is hunting a killer. Women visiting town are being murdered, tourists in nice hotels, money still in their billfolds, jewelry still on the dresser. Quiet kills--they go to sleep and never awaken. The sheriff is not pleased to find the new detective in town, Rae Gabriella, working the case on behalf of one of the families. She's staying in the same hotel as one of the victims--and her looks suggest she could be the next victim.


And stay tuned to FaithfulReader.com as BEFORE I WAKE will be our featured Word of Mouth book in November.

Now in Stores: MAGGIE by Charles Martin

MAGGIE by Charles Martin (Fiction)
Reviewed by Michele Howe
Life began again for Dylan Styles when his beloved wife Maggie awoke from a coma, which was brought upon by the intense two-day labor that resulted in heartbreaking loss. In this poignant love story, Dylan and Maggie must come to terms with their past before they can embrace their future.

Click here to read our review of MAGGIE.

Faithful Fiction Reviews

SAINT by Ted Dekker (Suspense)
Reviewed by Michele Howe.
Carl Strople is an assassin with unusual telekinetic gifts. He's been kidnapped, taken into hiding, and had his memory wiped out over a ten-month period of intense training and torture. With a new set of memories and developing skills, he is being molded into a killer for an extraordinary mission.

MOUNTAIN TOP by Robert Whitlow (Legal Thriller)
Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
Mysterious visions appear to be more curse than blessing when they land Sam Miller in jail for crimes he did not commit. Soon, Mike Andrews, a lawyer-turned-minister, represents Miller and must uncover the truth about the visions' origin and meaning. This is a compelling Southern legal thriller from bestselling novelist Robert Whitlow.

BACK HOME AGAIN: Tales from Grace Chapel Inn by Melody Carlson (Fiction)
Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
This inaugural title in Tales from Grace Chapel Inn sets the tone for a series that embraces family and friends, good neighbors and good will, and an enduring faith in God. The Howard sisters live their faith by example and bring a sense of community to Acorn Hill as they go about their days.

WINTER BIRDS by Jamie Langston Turner (Fiction)
Reviewed by Marcia Ford
Sophia Hess has lived most of her life without ever knowing genuine love. Her professor husband had married her for the convenience of having a typist for his scholarly papers. The discovery of a dark secret opens her eyes to the truth about her marriage and her husband.

-Click here to read an excerpt from WINTER BIRDS.
-Click here to read a Reading Group Guide for WINTER BIRDS.

SCOOP by Rene Gutteridge (Fiction)
Reviewed by Michele Howe
In the first installment of the Occupational Hazards series, author Rene Gutteridge begins a delightful yet brief introduction to the Hazard family of seven. She has created yet another imaginary world where real-life issues meet fictional characters in a most entertaining and instructive way.

STRAIGHT UP by Lisa Samson (Fiction)
Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
Lisa Samson's delightful prose and interesting, gritty characters propel STRAIGHT UP, a novel about choices and consequences, the could-have-beens and should-have-beens, grief over wasted opportunities and our need for community.

MONDAY MORNING FAITH by Lori Copeland (Fiction/Romance)
Reviewed by Maggie Harding
The New Guinea jungle holds many fascinations, but not for librarian Johanna Holland. Johanna is simply aghast at the lack of hot showers...and clothing! She is positive the mission field is most certainly not God's plan for her life, but will that mean letting go of the man she loves?

Click here to read our Faithful Fiction reviews.

Christian Living Reviews

PRAYING FOR MY LIFE by Marion Bond West (Memoir)
Reviewed by W. Terry Whalin
When life experiences became overwhelming and her faith was severely tested, popular author and Guideposts magazine contributor Marion Bond West found herself praying for her life --- praying a desperate prayer for confidence in God's promise of faithfulness. In her new spiritual memoir, the author shares her story and the prayer that changed her life.

THE UNUSUAL SUSPECT: My Calling to the New Hardcore Movement of Faith by Stephen Baldwin with Mark Tabb (Inspirational)
Reviewed by W. Terry Whalin
Actor Stephen Baldwin, who happened upon Christianity via a most unusual conversion, takes us behind the scenes and tells the stories we've yet to hear --- of celebrity fun, curious family and hardcore faith. He takes an in-depth look at the church's current role in society and the extreme faith movement.

HAVING A MARY SPIRIT: Allowing God to Change Us from the Inside Out by Joanna Weaver (Spiritual Growth)
Reviewed by Margaret Feinberg
In this life-changing book, Joanna Weaver, author of the perennial bestseller HAVING A MARY HEART IN A MARTHA WORLD, directs your gaze past your own shortcomings to the God who stands ready, willing and able to make a new woman out of you.

G. P. TAYLOR: Sin, Salvation & Shadowmancer by G. P. Taylor as told to Bob Smietana (Autobiography)
Reviewed by Margaret Feinberg
G. P. Taylor, who has written the novels SHADOWMANCER, WORMWOOD and TERSIAS, has had a life as weirdly fantastic as the plot of one of his books. From punk to police officer to bestselling author, this is a life filled with twists and turns that you simply won't be able to predict.

THE WISDOM OF WILDERNESS: Experiencing the Healing Power of Nature by Gerald May (Memoir)
Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
The natural world has a power to inspire the best and soothe the worst in each of us. It also has much to teach us about the wilderness within and the divine presence that is manifest in nature. Beloved author Gerald May offers a memoir and spiritual guide that reveals the great lessons available to us when we retreat from our busy lives to the serenity of the natural wilderness.

GRIEVING FORWARD: Embracing Life Beyond Loss by Susan Duke (Spirituality)
Reviewed by Marcia Ford
When Susan Duke's teenage son was killed in a car crash in 1990, the grieving mother believed she would never recover from such a devastating loss. Now, 16 years later, she believes she is finally in a position to share her grief --- and the journey she has taken toward healing --- in book form.

GOD AND COUNTRY: How Evangelicals Have Become America's New Mainstream by Monique El-Faizy (Current Events/Religion)
Reviewed by Marcia Ford
In this important, illuminating exploration of one of the most misunderstood phenomena of our day, former fundamentalist Christian Monique El-Faizy explains how evangelicals have been able to increase their influence by mimicking elements of mainstream culture.

BELIEVERS: A Journey Into Evangelical America by Jeffery L. Sheler (Religion)
Reviewed by Marcia Ford
Award-winning religion journalist Jeffery L. Sheler offers a unique and intimate look at the evangelical Christian subculture --- a faith tradition that some 60 million Americans call their own. Sheler, who grew up as an evangelical, breaks through the stereotypes to examine not just the big-time ministers but also the ordinary people who make up this dynamic movement.

SHOUTS AND WHISPERS: Twenty-one Writers Speak About Their Writing and Their Faith edited by Jennifer L. Holberg (Essays)
Reviewed by Evelyn Bence
SHOUTS AND WHISPERS contains a fascinating array of reflections on topics surrounding the often-perilous intersection of writing and faith. The authors all agree that literature can help us to be more faithful, yet they approach the subject in ways as diverse as their biographies.

Click here to read our Christian Living reviews.

Marriage and Family Life Reviews

21 DAYS TO A GREAT MARRIAGE: A Grownup Apporoach to Couplehood by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend (Love and Marriage)
Reviewed by Margaret Feinberg.
In a mad-dash world filled with long to-do lists and too many commitments, it's easy for one to lose perspective of what matters most. That's why Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend have teamed up to pack their very best relationship principles in a powerful 21-day program designed for today's busy couples.

BOUNDARIES WITH TEENS: When to Say Yes, How to Say No by Dr. John Townsend (Parenting)
Reviewed by Maggie Harding.
In this exciting new book, Dr. John Townsend gives important keys for establishing healthy boundaries --- the bedrock of good relationships, maturity, safety, and growth for teens and the adults in their lives. It offers help in raising your teens to take responsibility for their actions, attitudes and emotions. 

 

Click here to read our Marriage and Family Life reviews.

FaithfulReader.com Poll

How often do you read for pleasure?

-Every day
-A few times a week
-Never
-Not sure

Vote in our Poll here.



FaithfulReader.com Question of the Month

Who is the Christian author who you find most inspiring?

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 STRANDED by Lorena McCourtney.
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 (
Carol@bookreporter.com)

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