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Word of Mouth

Faithful Fifteen


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This Month on

November 2006


Giving Thanks For You Talks to Lisa Samson, Author of STRAIGHT UP Talks to Robert Whitlow, Author of MOUNTAIN TOP Talks to Mark Batterson, Author of IN A PIT WITH A LION ON A SNOWY DAY

Jamie Langston Turner Answers The Faithful Fifteen

2006 Christmas Roundup

Now in Stores: ONE SHINING MOMENT by Gilbert Morris

Faithful Fiction Reviews

Christian Living Reviews

Marriage and Family Life Reviews

Christian Fiction Reviews on

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

Giving Thanks For You

I love the rituals of the Holiday season. I love the gathering of family and friends, the coming together over a shared breaking bread, and the spirit of giving thanks. But I also find that, with the onslaught of tasks that need to be done --- the shopping, cooking, preparing and coming together --- it's easy to get lost in a list of 'must-dos' and forget what the spirit of the holidays is all about. With that in mind, is devoted to providing you with the tools --- the books and the reflections of authors --- that allow you time to contemplate and renew your faith.

In our Christmas Roundup you will find books to inspire and reflect on the true meaning of the holiday. We also have three interviews --- with Lisa Samson, author of STRAIGHT UP; Robert Whitlow, author of MOUNTAIN TOP; and Mark Batterson, author of IN A PIT WITH A LION ON A SNOWY DAY. Lisa Samson discusses how perceived setbacks --- the often grueling writing process, emotional and physical illness --- can serve both to test one's faith and strengthen one's resolve. A very different type of writer, Christy Award-winner Robert Whitlow reveals his surprising second choice for a profession, why he admires Hemingway and what books you'd find on his night table. Finally, Mark Batterson talks about what it means to be a "recovering perfectionist," the boundary-less nature of God, and why he loves blogging.

We are also featuring WINTER BIRDS author Jamie Langston Turner's answers to our Faithful Fifteen. A literature and creative writing professor, Jamie's responses are both thorough and thought-provoking. 

Our reviews --- Faithful Fiction, Christian Living and Marriage and Family Life --- also provide a multitude of titles that will enrich, awaken and inspire you. Furthermore, if you're going down your holiday list, we remind you that a good book is often the best present one can give, or receive.

Finally, we give thanks for you --- our readers --- this Thanksgiving season and look forward to sharing the books we love with you in the months and years to come.

Carol Fitzgerald (

Click here to see our 10th Anniversary Page. Talks to Lisa Samson, Author of STRAIGHT UP

Christy Award-winning writer Lisa Samson is one of faith fiction's most engaging novelists. Quirky, multi-ethnic characters and the folks you'd find sitting next to you in the pew in your church community populate her 17 novels. Samson's themes often reflect her own battle with depression, the joys and trials of motherhood and marriage, and the intersection between faith and social justice. In this interview,'s Cindy Crosby talks with Samson about her new novel, STRAIGHT UP, her recent political activist picketing escapade, her diagnosis of Wolff-Parkinson White Syndrome and her secret desire to be a barber.

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.

Click here to read an interview with Lisa Samson and a review of STRAIGHT UP. Talks to Robert Whitlow, Author of MOUNTAIN TOP

Legal thrillers are a wonderful showcase for examining good and evil, and few writers in the faith fiction market do them as well as Christy Award-winning author (and attorney) Robert Whitlow in his many absorbing novels set in the south. In fact, THE LIST has been made into a film, which will hit theaters in 2007. Here, Whitlow chats with Cindy Crosby about his latest book, MOUNTAIN TOP, his beliefs about dreams and visions, and that interesting southern delicacy, livermush.

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.

Click here to read our interview with Robert Whitlow and a review MOUNTAIN TOP. Talks to Mark Batterson, Author of IN A PIT WITH A LION ON A SNOWY DAY

Mark Batterson is the lead pastor of the National Community Church in Washington, D.C. and the author of IN A PIT WITH A LION ON A SNOWY DAY. In this interview with's Margaret Oines, Batterson explains some of the key concepts in his book and provides examples of how he has utilized them in his own life. He also shares his thoughts on the "dimensional limits" of God, discusses some of the unconventional ways his Church shares the Gospel and describes the impact of his daily blog on his sermons.

Click here to read our interview with Mark Batterson.

Jamie Langston Turner Answers The Faithful Fifteen

Literature and creative writing professor Jamie Langston Turner has written six books, including the Christy Award-winning novel, A GARDEN TO KEEP. In this Faithful Fifteen, Turner discusses the inspiration behind her latest work, WINTER BIRDS, and expounds on its underlying message of faith and healing. She also chronicles her calling as both a writer and a believer, describes her personal mission as a Christian and shares what she hopes her work will inspire in her readers.

Click here to read Jamie Langston Turner's answers to our Faithful Fifteen.

2006 Christmas Roundup

During the months of November and December it's difficult not to get swept up by the superficial aspects of the holiday season, such as planning parties and shopping for presents. We often forget that Christmas is a sacred and joyous time steeped in spirituality, history and custom, which is meant to be cherished and celebrated.

This year, we at have compiled a list of books perfect to share with the whole family that reflect the richness of this meaningful holiday. In this roundup, you'll find inspirational, heartwarming and humorous stories, faith-stirring devotionals, and thought-provoking history and trivia, as well as guides to keeping old traditions alive and creating new ones in both the home and the community. With these fiction and nonfiction titles, readers can nurture their faith, indulge in the joys of simple pleasures and cultivate the spirit of giving this holiday season.

Click here to read our 2006 Christmas Roundup.

Now in Stores: ONE SHINING MOMENT by Gilbert Morris

ONE SHINING MOMENT by Gilbert Morris

Relive the American dream with bestselling author Gilbert Morris

Join the Stuart family in the American Century series as they journey from the hills of Arkansas to the Hollywood stage, from the Oklahoma oil fields to the war-torn battlefields of twentieth century Europe --- and beyond!

Click here to read more about ONE SHINING MOMENT.

Faithful Fiction Reviews

GERM by Robert Liparulo (Thriller)
Reviewed by W. Terry Whalin
The list of 10,000 names was created for maximum devastation. Business leaders, housewives, politicians, celebrities, janitors, children. None of them is aware of what is about to happen --- but all will be part of the most frightening brand of warfare the world has ever known.
A CAROL FOR CHRISTMAS by Robin Lee Hatcher (Fiction)
Reviewed by W. Terry Whalin
What would you give up for love? For Carol, it was her passion to sing. But was her sacrifice worth it now that her marriage is crumbling? In this heartwarming novella, two people discover the true essence of Christmas and its power to rekindle the flames of love.
RECIPES & WOODEN SPOONS: Tales from Grace Chapel Inn #2 by Judy Baer (Fiction)
Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
In RECIPES & WOODEN SPOONS, Judy Baer continues the Tales from Grace Chapel Inn series begun by Melody Carlson in BACK HOME AGAIN. Jane, an artsy 50-year-old divorcée with a flair for cooking, now takes center stage, as she and her two aged sisters have gotten their bed and breakfast off and running in their old Victorian family home.
ANGEL'S REST by Charles Davis (Fiction)
Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
ANGEL'S REST is a compelling story of prejudice, love and loss set against the backdrop of the Allegheny Mountains. Debut novelist Charles Davis paints a convincing portrait of a young boy's love for his parents and his struggle to make sense of a life suddenly gone awry.
A PAGAN'S NIGHTMARE by Ray Blackston (Fiction)
Reviewed by Marcia Ford
An unwary "pagan" discovers he's one of the last remaining unbelievers in a world populated by Christians. Or so imagines Larry Hutch, a screenwriter with hopes of writing a hit movie. While struggling in his faith and dealing with personal crises, he imagines a strange new world.
COOL, CALM & ADJUSTED: Spa Girls Collection #3 by Kristin Billerbeck (Fiction)
Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
The third novel in the Spa Girls series focuses on Silicon Valley chiropractor Poppy Clayton, who is as calm, cool and adjusted as they come. Or is she? Known for her bad fashion sense, a love for all things natural and the inability to get a second date, Poppy is beginning to wonder if she might be misaligned herself.
RESCUED by John Bevere, with Mark Andrew Olsen (Thriller)
Reviewed by W. Terry Whalin
For Alan Rockaway, his teenaged son Jeff and Alan's new bride Jenny, it's been little more than a fascinating tourist submarine excursion, a leisurely end to a weeklong church-couples' cruise. But then comes the horrifying crash and the plunge toward the unknown...

Click here to read our Faithful Fiction reviews.

Christian Living Reviews

TAKE FLIGHT! A Sisterchicks Devotional by Robin Jones Gunn and Cindy Hannan (Devotional)
Reviewed by Maggie Harding
Spread your wings and really go places with TAKE FLIGHT!, the first devotional/ponder/prayer/make-it-what-you-need book in the Sisterchicks in the Word series. Robin Jones Gunn and Cindy Hannan offer a collection of fresh, insightful devotions that will rejuvenate the quiet time gone dry. 
THE WAY OF THE WILD HEART: A Map for the Masculine Journey by John Eldredge (Christian Living/Spiritual Growth)
Reviewed by Michele Howe
THE WAY OF THE WILD HEART reaches out to "unfinished men" trying to understand and live their role as men and fathers. Exploring six biblically based stages, John Eldredge initiates men into a new understanding and ownership of their manhood and equips them to effectively lead their sons to manhood.
A SIMPLE CHRISTMAS: A Faith-Filled Guide to a Meaningful and Stress-Free Christmas by Sharon Hanby-Robie (Practical Life)
Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
With her inspiring narrative, real-life examples and expert tips, Sharon Hanby-Robie helps readers cut through the stress and anxiety of the Christmas rush and keep attuned to the true spirit of the season.
STRANGERS AND NEIGHBORS: What I Have Learned About Christianity by Living Among Orthodox Jews by Maria Poggi Johnson (Memoir)
Reviewed by Margaret Oines
STRANGERS AND NEIGHBORS is the compelling, insightful and challenging memoir of a Christian woman's exploration of her faith while living in community with strictly Orthodox Jews. This well-written book will enrich many a reader --- no matter what their faith. 
A YEAR WITH JESUS: Daily Readings and Meditations by Eugene H. Peterson (Devotional)
Reviewed by Margaret Oines
Eugene H. Peterson is our trusted guide on an intimate year-long journey with Jesus. Chosen from the Gospels of Matthew and John, these 365 readings encourage us to remove ourselves from our hectic, day-to-day pace and pray with the natural, comforting rhythms of Jesus's own teachings.
THE LANGUAGE OF GOD: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief by Francis S. Collins (Religious Studies)
Reviewed by Marcia Ford
Does science necessarily undermine faith in God? Or could it actually support faith? Until now, most scientists have argued that science and faith occupy distinct arenas. Francis Collins, a former atheist as a science student who converted to faith as he became a doctor, is about to change that.
INSIDE MY HEART: Choosing to Live With Passion and Purpose by Robin McGraw (Memoir)
Reviewed by Evelyn Bence
Robin McGraw shares the story of her journey as a free-thinking woman, mother and wife of America's favorite therapist, Dr. Phil. She inspires women to embrace and celebrate the many roles they play and encourages them to make deliberate choices that lead to a richer, happier and more meaningful life.
SO CLOSE, I CAN FEEL GOD'S BREATH by Dr. Beverly Rose (Memoir)
Reviewed by Lisa Ann Cockrel
God is always near, but sometimes we aren't able to feel his presence. Through an honest, in-depth look at her own life, Dr. Beverly Rose finds those thin places where the barriers between us and God are nearly transparent. She shows how you can see Him and touch Him for yourself today --- if you learn the right places to look.
FAITH THAT ENDURES: The Essential Guide to the Persecuted Church by Ronald Boyd-MacMillan (Religion & Spirituality)
Reviewed by Marcia Ford
Most of us are blissfully ignorant of the true extent and nature of the persecution of Christians today. And we don't know how to effectively help our suffering brothers and sisters. Now comes Faith That Endures, one of the most comprehensive and authoritative guides on the persecution of the church today.
RECIPE FOR LIFE: How to Change Habits That Harm into Resources That Heal by Graham and Treena Kerr (Religion & Spirituality)
Reviewed by Marcia Ford
"Galloping Gourmet" Graham Kerr and his wife Treena have spent the past 20 years embracing a Christ-like lifestyle they call outdulgence. Here, the Kerrs share the transforming details of such a truly good life that trades constant consumption and self-serving for creative simplicity and healthy self-denial to benefit others.

Click here to read our Christian Living reviews.

Marriage and Family Life Reviews

CONFESSIONS FROM AN HONEST WIFE: On the Mess, Mystery & Miracle of Marriage by Sarah Zacharias Davis (Love & Marriage)
Reviewed by Lisa Ann Cockrel
Is your marriage everything you hoped it would be --- with effortless compromise, joyous companionship and near-constant romance? Probably not. And if you're like most women today, you don't feel comfortable admitting that you're disappointed. Sarah Zacharias Davis offers you a fresh perspective on the greatest issues wives face.
HOW WE LOVE: A Revolutionary Approach to Deeper Connections in Marriage by Milan & Kay Yerkovich (Love & Marriage)
Reviewed by Michele Howe
Your early life experiences create an "intimacy imprint" --- an underlying blueprint that shapes your behavior, beliefs and expectations of all future relationships, especially your marriage. Relationship experts Milan and Kay Yerkovich help you pinpoint the reason your marriage is struggling, and they reveal exactly what you can do about it.
I PROMISE YOU: Preparing for a Marriage That Will Last a Lifetime by Willard F. Harley, Jr (Love & Marriage)
Reviewed by Michele Howe
I PROMISE YOU offers couples four ways to create a healthy and vibrant marriage: care, protection, honesty and time. Each chapter contains useful and practical exercises to help readers make each of these four keys second nature in their relationships.

Click here to read our Marriage and Family Life reviews.

Christian Fiction Reviews on

We now have the following reviews of Christian Fiction for Teens running on

THE SHADOW AND NIGHT: The Lamb Among the Stars Series, Book 1 by Chris Walley (Futuristic Fiction)
On the faraway planet of Farholme, humans live in peace under the gentle rule of the Assembly. War and evil are ancient history. But suddenly, almost imperceptibly, things begin to change. Slowly a handful of men and women begin to realize that evil has returned and it must be fought. THE SHADOW AND NIGHT was originally published as two separate volumes --- THE SHADOW AT EVENING and THE POWER OF THE NIGHT. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

THE DARK FOUNDATIONS: The Lamb Among the Stars Series, Book 2 by Chris Walley (Futuristic Fiction)
THE DARK FOUNDATIONS is part three of The Lamb Among the Stars series --- picking up where THE SHADOW AND NIGHT left off --- which weaves together the worlds of science and the spirit, technology and the supernatural, into something unique and haunting. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

BRIANA'S GIFT by Lurlene McDaniel (Fiction)
When Briana runs off to Los Angeles with her boyfriend, 13-year-old Sissy is heartbroken to lose her older sister. Then, after nearly a year with hardly a word, Briana suddenly returns home, and Sissy welcomes her back with open arms. But when tragedy strikes, Sissy and her mom face some impossible decisions --- and one of the greatest gifts ever offered. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

A FRIEND AT MIDNIGHT by Caroline B. Cooney (Fiction)
Lily's brother Michael chooses to go live with their father after their mother remarries. But then Lily receives a phone call from Michael at the airport, where their father has abandoned him. Little does she realize the extent to which her faith in God will be tested. Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle.

Click here to read our Christian Fiction reviews on

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 November and 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

How often do you read for pleasure?

-Every day
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-Not sure

Vote in our Poll here. 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 BEFORE I WAKE by Dee Henderson.
Tell us what you are reading here to be eligible to win!

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--- Carol Fitzgerald (

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