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Word of Mouth

Faithful Fifteen


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FaithfulReader.com Newsletter!

This Month on FaithfulReader.com

October 2007

On FaithfulReader.com

Turning Over a New Leaf

Special Feature: THE FOUR SEASONS OF MARRIAGE by Gary Chapman

Francine Rivers Answers The Faithful Fifteen

Author Talk: Kathryn Cushman, Author of A PROMISE TO REMEMBER

Now in Stores: THE YADA YADA PRAYER GROUP GETS DECKED OUT by Neta Jackson

Now in Stores: THE PARTING: The Courtship of Nellie Fisher #1 by Beverly Lewis

New Discussion Guides for Christian Book Groups
Special Feature: Spotlight on Jane Austen

Reader Comments About AND IF I DIE by John Aubrey Anderson

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

Turning Over a New Leaf

As October races by, it is finally starting to feel like autumn in New York. Our building’s air-conditioning system went silent on Monday as the temperatures outside hover in the high 50s and low 60s. The trees outside my window still are green, but each passing breeze seems to leave behind a golden shimmer in the leaves. When the sun sets, I feel an unfamiliar chill and I know summer really has left us. This month’s FaithfulReader.com update features titles that will be a great companion during those cool autumn days ahead.

Among the books we're spotlighting is THE FOUR SEASONS OF MARRIAGE, in which Gary Chapman --- 
author of the perennial bestseller THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES --- provides a biblically-based reference tool for couples to understand their marriage and improve their relationship. Gary is one of the first Christian authors who I met before we started FaithfulReader.com. I remember his early encouragement fondly each time a new book of his lands in our office.

As always, new reviews have been added to our Faithful Fiction, Christian Living and Marriage and Family sections, including the final book in Neta Jackson's award-winning Yada Yada series. I remember Neta's first book --- and the excitement surrounding its publication. I saw Neta last summer, and she told me her last book in this series was being delivered. I wanted to take a moment to thank her for sharing the Yada Yada Prayer Group with readers.

I failed to note in my opening letter last month that Francine Rivers also is delivering a final book in a series with the fifth installment in her Sons of Encouragement series, THE SCRIBE. This month Francine enlightens us by answering The Faithful Fifteen. Here, she talks about the conclusion of her series and describes some of the spiritual questions that inspired her to write about the men who served some of the greatest leaders in the Bible. Last month we celebrated the release of THE SCRIBE by giving away the entire series to five lucky readers. Click here to see the winners.

Kathryn Cushman --- whose debut novel, A PROMISE TO REMEMBER, follows the story of two grieving women in the wake of a tragedy --- explains how she relates to her characters and how her faith as a Christian plays a role in her work in an Author Talk feature.

For the Christian reading groups out there, this update features several new discussion guides that are sure to stimulate conversation in your group meetings. The life and career of Jane Austen --- whose novels are book club favorites --- are examined in a number of recently released books, which Cindy Crosby reviews as part of a special roundup.

Christian radio continues to be the subject of our poll and question. We would like to know if you listen to Christian radio stations and, if so, whether or not you seek out author interviews on their programs.

In other news, I have an exciting update regarding faith-based materials in prisons. In September’s newsletter, I wrote about how shocked I was to learn that prisons across America were purging their libraries of non-approved religious books and materials in order to prevent them from becoming recruitment centers for militant religious groups. However, the New York Times recently reported that the federal Bureau of Prisons has rescinded this policy, which is now the subject of a class action lawsuit. I find it relieving that incarcerated individuals can continue to find comfort and empowerment through religious reading.

While the bureau said it plans to return all materials by the end of January 2008, publications deemed “inappropriate, such as material that could be radicalized or incite violence” would not be allowed back into the chapel libraries. This is something I’ll be sure to keep tabs on in the coming months.

One more note. For those of you with teens in your house, we have been adding Christian teen fiction reviews on our Teenreads.com website. Here is the link for those of you who want to get these titles on your teen's radar.

As the air gets cooler and the holidays creep closer, may the books we're featuring this month give you the opportunity to read, reflect and relax.



Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)


 

Special Feature: THE FOUR SEASONS OF MARRIAGE by Gary Chapman

THE FOUR SEASONS OF MARRIAGE by Gary Chapman (Relationships/Love & Marriage)
Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the perennial bestseller THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES, provides an easy-to-grasp framework to help couples understand their marriage and seven practical strategies for strengthening or improving their marriage relationship. A valuable resource for couples regardless of how long they've been married, this biblically-based book is a reference tool to help couples through every season of marriage.

-Click here to read more about THE FOUR SEASONS OF MARRIAGE.
-Click here to read a review of THE FOUR SEASONS OF MARRIAGE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE FOUR SEASONS OF MARRIAGE.
-Click here to read Gary Chapman’s bio.

Click here to see the study guide for THE FOUR SEASONS OF MARRIAGE.



Francine Rivers Answers The Faithful Fifteen

Francine Rivers is the bestselling author of REDEEMING LOVE, THE LAST SIN EATER and THE SHOE BOX, as well as the Lineage of Grace and The Mark of the Lion series. In this Faithful Fifteen interview, Rivers discusses the final installment in her Sons of Encouragement series, THE SCRIBE, and describes some of the spiritual questions that inspired her to write about the men who served some of the greatest leaders in the Bible. She also details how she found her faith despite being raised in a Christian household, explains the effect that this conversion had on her writing and names some of her spiritual mentors, who range from Sunday School teachers to relatives and friends.

THE SCRIBE: Book #5 in the Sons of Encouragement Series
by Francine Rivers (Fiction)
In the last novella of the Sons of Encouragement series (the follow-up to her Lineage of Grace series), Francine Rivers imagines the little-known life of Silas, one of the first Christians and the beloved traveling companion of the Apostle Paul.

-Click here to read more about THE SCRIBE.
-Click here to read a review of THE SCRIBE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE SCRIBE.
-Click here to see the study guide for THE SCRIBE.
-Click here to read Francine Rivers's bio.
-Previous titles in the Sons of Encouragement series: THE PRIEST, THE WARRIOR, THE PRINCE and THE PROPHET

 

Click here to read Francine Rivers's answers to The Faithful Fifteen.



Author Talk: Kathryn Cushman, Author of A PROMISE TO REMEMBER

In this interview, Kathryn Cushman recounts the difficult personal experience that prompted her to write her debut novel, A PROMISE TO REMEMBER, and explains how her faith as a Christian plays a role in her work. She also describes the similarities between herself and her main characters, discusses the benefits and drawbacks of writing fiction, and shares advice for aspiring writers.

A PROMISE TO REMEMBER by Kathryn Cushman (Fiction)
Andie Phelps is the envy of Santa Barbara. A devoted mother with a loving son and a successful husband, her greatest joy comes from reaching out to others.

Melanie Johnston is the envy of no one. A single mom who works long hours to pay the bills, her greatest joys relate to her teen daughter and son.

Then there is an accident that changes everything. When opposite worlds collide, the impact reaches far beyond these mothers’ personal losses.

-Click here to read more about A PROMISE TO REMEMBER.
-Click here to read an excerpt from A PROMISE TO REMEMBER.
-Click here to see the study guide for A PROMISE TO REMEMBER.
-Click here to read Kathryn Cushman’s bio.

 

Click here to read an interview with Kathryn Cushman.



Now in Stores: THE YADA YADA PRAYER GROUP GETS DECKED OUT by Neta Jackson

THE YADA YADA PRAYER GROUP GETS DECKED OUT by Neta Jackson (Fiction)
Although the final installment in this series is shorter than its predecessors, in THE YADA YADA PRAYER GROUP GETS DECKED OUT Neta Jackson offers an entertaining and often thought-provoking end to a story with a rainbow cast of characters that has spanned seven books. Reviewed by Cindy Crosby.


Click here to read a review of THE YADA YADA PRAYER GROUP GETS DECKED OUT.


Now in Stores: THE PARTING: The Courtship of Nellie Fisher #1 by Beverly Lewis

THE PARTING: The Courtship of Nellie Fisher #1 by Beverly Lewis (Romance)
Nearly 100 days have passed since the untimely death of Nellie Mae Fisher's beloved younger sister, Suzy, and Nellie dares again to dream of a future with handsome Caleb Yoder. But with rumors about Suzy still flying among the People, there are those who would keep the young courting couple apart --- including Caleb's own father.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE PARTING.

Click here to read more about THE PARTING.


New Discussion Guides for Christian Book Groups

In addition to THE FOUR SEASONS OF MARRIAGE and A PROMISE TO REMEMBER, we are featuring the following discussion guides for Christian Book Groups this month:

DOESN'T SHE LOOK NATURAL? by Angela Hunt (Fiction)
Forced to live with her mother until she can find work on Capitol Hill that does not involve her gregarious ex-husband, Jennifer Graham's efforts are stymied until she learns that she has inherited a funeral home in picturesque Mt. Dora. Jennifer journeys to the small Florida town with her two sons and her mother, never dreaming that within a mortuary she will discover she has inherited a rewarding career that teaches her far more about life than death.

-Click here to see the study guide for DOESN'T SHE LOOK NATURAL?

EVERY SECRET THING by Ann Tatlock (Fiction)
When Elizabeth Gunnar accepts a job as an English teacher at the school she attended as a girl, she finds herself returning to more than a place. Seaton Preparatory holds so many memories --- of a beloved teacher who left under mysterious circumstances, of a young woman searching for her place in the world, of a former love.

Once there, Elizabeth finds unexpected challenges --- and challenging people. As new friendships form and the past is brought to light, Elizabeth finds renewing from a most unexpected source.

-Click here to see the study guide for EVERY SECRET THING.

PRICED TO MOVE by Ginny Aiken (Romance)
When the stress of her job in the New York Diamond District starts to catch up with her, gemologist Andrea Adams decides to swap the noise of the Big Apple for the peace of Louisville, Kentucky. With an expert knowledge of everything shiny, Andrea joins the Shop-Til-U-Drop TV shopping network as their jewelry host, only to find that the S.T.U.D. network has more than one stud. Her new co-host is quite a looker. But things aren’t as clear as a two-carat diamond --- and one of Andrea’s colleagues is not as innocent as everyone thinks.

-Click here to see the study guide for PRICED TO MOVE.

SEARCHING FOR ETERNITY
by Elizabeth Musser (Fiction)
Sent away to live with a grandmother he never met, French-born Emile de Bonnery arrives in the strange environment of 1960s Atlanta with decidedly mixed emotions. As he thinks about the father who disappeared from his life, some memories make Emile want to believe the best of his father. Others cause him to fear the worst. Does his mother know more than she's willing to tell? Determined to learn the truth, Emile finds an ally and friend --- who seems to be hiding secrets of her own. Together they search for answers…and what they find changes everything.

-Click here to see the study guide for SEARCHING FOR ETERNITY.



Special Feature: Spotlight on Jane Austen

Everything is coming up Jane Austen recently, with the release of Austen-themed movies Becoming Jane and The Jane Austen Book Club, accompanied by a landslide of related books. Although Austen, a literary icon --- and arguably one of the greatest literary novelists in the English language --- wrote only six books in her lifetime (SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, MANSFIELD PARK, EMMA, NORTHANGER ABBEY and PERSUASION), the number of spin-off titles continues to boggle the minds of book lovers. Jane-ites just can't get enough. With this in mind, FaithfulReader.com's Cindy Crosby takes a look at 15 recently published books --- both fiction and nonfiction --- that celebrate all things Austen. If you can't decide what to try first, look for Cindy's picks at the end to discover which ones are don't-miss, hands-down favorites. Intrigued? Read on, Austenophiles...

Click here to read our Jane Austen feature.


Reader Comments About AND IF I DIE by John Aubrey Anderson

We gave a select group of readers the opportunity to read and comment on AND IF I DIE, the third book in John Aubrey Anderson's Black or White Chronicles. Their feedback on the book can be found here.

AND IF I DIE: The Black or White Chronicles, Book Three by John Aubrey Anderson (Suspense)
Mose Washington and his “grandson,” Bill, are still on the lam in 1968 after fleeing Cat Lake where Bill's mom was brutally slayed years earlier. When a dangerous and determined assassin hired by an enemy closes in, Bill's faith is challenged to a point where even Mose's devoted guidance can't seem to save him.

-Click here to read more about AND IF I DIE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from AND IF I DIE.
-Click here to read John Aubrey Anderson’s bio.


Click here to see reader comments for AND IF I DIE.


Faithful Fiction Reviews

DOESN’T SHE LOOK NATURAL?: Fairlawn Series #1 by Angela Hunt (Fiction)
Angela Hunt is one of the most prolific and enjoyable inspirational novelists writing today. So it’s no surprise that DOESN’T SHE LOOK NATURAL?, the story of a middle-aged woman coping with loss --- and learning to run a funeral home --- is an entertaining and thoughtful read, and a promising beginning to a new series. Reviewed by Cindy Crosby.

BLINK OF AN EYE: Love Changes Everything by Ted Dekker (Fiction)
2003 saw the publication of Ted Dekker’s BLINK, an intoxicating tale set amidst the shifting sands of the Middle East and the back roads of America. In anticipation of the film version, which will be in theaters in 2008, the book has been re-released under a revised title, BLINK OF AN EYE: Love Changes Everything, and with new added content. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

A FIRE WITHIN: These Highland Hills Book #3 by Kathleen Morgan (Historical Fiction)
Kathleen Morgan concludes her These Highland Hills trilogy with a tale of intrigue, romance, forgiveness and faith. Her story, which is set in 1568 in Scotland, follows the Campbell clan chief’s sister Caitlin. She is both attracted to and repelled by the handsome Darach “Dar” MacNaghten, who is on a mission to rescue his imprisoned brother --- and will seemingly stop at nothing to achieve his ends. Reviewed by Cindy Crosby.

THE POTLUCK CLUB TAKES THE CAKE by Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson
(Fiction)
This third installment in the Potluck Club series, THE POTLUCK CLUB TAKES THE CAKE, offers plenty of romance and mayhem for readers. The lovable (and some harder-to-love) characters from the earlier books are here in full force, with continuing crises and triumphs. Reviewed by Cindy Crosby.

Click here to read our Faithful Fiction reviews.



Click here to read our Christian Living Reviews Click here to read our Christian Living Reviews Click here to read our Christian Living Reviews

Christian Living Reviews

KNIT TOGETHER: Discover God's Pattern for Your Life by Debbie Macomber (Religion & Spirituality)
Full of encouragement and divine empowerment for women, Debbie Macomber’s first nonfiction title centers on the Bible's assurance that God knits each one of us together in our mother's womb. She deftly weaves her own story throughout the book, using the knitting theme of her most recent bestsellers to create metaphors that explore God's handiwork in creating us for a purpose. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.

THE GOD OF INTIMACY AND ACTION: Reconnecting Ancient Spiritual Practices, Evangelism, and Justice by Tony Campolo and Mary Albert Darling (Spirituality)
Beloved author and activist Tony Campolo teams up with spiritual director Mary Albert Darling to show how contemplative spiritual practices can lead to greater intimacy with God and fuel passion for reaching out to others through spreading the Good News and fostering justice for the poor and oppressed. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.

I’LL BRING THE CHOCOLATE: Satisfying a Woman’s Craving for Friendship and Faith by Karen Porter
(Christian Living)
Like chocolate --- that “something extra” --- friendships can sweeten a woman’s life. Blending true stories with rich biblical examples, Karen Porter explores eight ways that friends can help each other enjoy life and stay close to God. Reviewed by Evelyn Bence.

CREATIVE PRAYER: Speaking the Language of God’s Heart by Chris Tiegreen
(Christian Living)
In CREATIVE PRAYER, Chris Tiegreen encourages us to communicate more intimately with God by speaking the language of His heart. Drawing on Bible stories, psalms and historical examples, Tiegreen reminds us that our praises and petitions can reflect the unique gifts God has given us. Reviewed by Margaret Oines.

Click here to read our Christian Living reviews.


Marriage and Family Life Reviews

IT’S ALL ABOUT HIM: Finding the Joy of My Life by Denise Jackson with Ellen Vaughn (Memoir)
America knows Alan Jackson as a country music star. Now his wife Denise tells the story of their high school romance, Alan’s ride to success and the “good life,” the crisis that nearly destroyed their marriage and the lessons they’ve learned about love and faith. Reviewed by Evelyn Bence.

THE FIRST FIVE YEARS: Make the Investment that Lasts a Lifetime by Bill and Pam Farrel (Marriage)
Pam and Bill Farrel believe that more than half of all divorces occur in the first seven years --- and something needs to be done about it. In THE FIRST FIVE YEARS, this husband and wife writing team offers a conservative take on navigating the early stages of marriage in a way that ensures a long-lasting commitment and good communication. Reviewed by Cindy Crosby.

Click here to read our Marriage and Family Life reviews.



FaithfulReader.com Poll

Do you listen to Christian radio stations?

Yes, I only listen to Christian radio stations.
Yes, I sometimes listen to Christian radio stations.
I never listen to Christian radio stations.

Do you seek out author interviews on Christian radio stations?

Yes

No
I am not sure.
I do not listen to Christian radio stations.


Vote in our Poll here.



FaithfulReader.com Question of the Month
What author have you most enjoyed listening to on a Christian radio station? Name up to three.

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. This contest period, one winner will receive THE FOUR SEASONS OF MARRIAGE by Gary Chapman and A PROMISE TO REMEMBER by Kathryn Cushman. To put your name in the hat, submit your current reading list and ratings by completing the form here.
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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