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Word of Mouth

Faithful Fifteen


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This Month on

June 2008


A New Season, A New Chapter Talks to Rene Gutteridge, Author of SKID

Special Contest and Feature: Win a Copy of SHE ALWAYS WORE RED by Angela Hunt

Now in Stores: WASHINGTON'S LADY by Nancy Moser

Now in Stores: DEEP IN THE HEART OF TROUBLE by Deeanne Gist

Now in Stores: FROM A DISTANCE by Tamera Alexander


Coming Soon: A List of Upcoming Books

Christian Fiction Reviews on

Faithful Fiction Reviews

Christian Living Reviews

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

A New Season, A New Chapter

After a cool spring, summer in the Northeast began ahead of schedule earlier this month with a heat wave. With high humidity and near-100 degree temperatures, we jump started summer. Now that temps have returned to a more seasonal 80 degree range (I say this is California weather), I am enjoying spending time reading outside, which is one of the reasons I love this time of year.

For many of you, these days also signal the end of the school year. Since my two sons FINALLY are out of school, I look forward to spending time with them sans alarms and homework. It's always more pleasant when the to-do lists are not lurking.

My older son Greg graduated from high school last night, and that makes this summer break different from previous ones. I want to spend as much time with him as possible before he sets off for college at Fordham University at the campus here in New York City. I confess that I am comforted to know that he will still be close by, even if he is no longer living at home. He also is pulling together a plan to get the laundry home for the housekeeper to handle, which amuses me. As he sets off to begin a new chapter in his life, I look back at all of his accomplishments with great pride and know that there are many more wonderful things still ahead of him.

My younger son is a "book a day" kind of reader, so I have spent most of this week trying to "feed his habit." I love it when I overhear him talking to his friends about's interesting to hear his promotion lines for them!

This month we have a terrific list of titles to start your summer reading off right. We are holding a special contest for SHE ALWAYS WORE RED, the second installment in Angela Hunt’s Fairlawn series. Read on to find out more about the book and contest details. We're also awarding Hunt's latest novel to the winner of our Word of Mouth contest, along with DEEP IN THE HEART OF TROUBLE by Deeanne Gist, a historical romance about unexpected love.

This month we are bringing you an interview with Rene Gutteridge, whose new book, SKID, is a quirky story that takes place on a flight from Atlanta to Amsterdam. Read on to learn more about the book and the author.

Other featured titles include WASHINGTON’S LADY by Nancy Moser, a story told from the perspective of Martha Custis, the woman who would later marry George Washington; FROM A DISTANCE by Tamera Alexander, a historical romance set in 19th-century Colorado; and TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN HEALTHY SEXUALITY by Jim Burns, a useful tool for parents seeking advice on how to address the topic of sexuality with their children.

Among the reviews this month in our Faithful Fiction, Christian Living and Marriage and Family Life sections are DEEPER WATER by Robert Whitlow, FATHER & SON by Walter Wangerin Jr. and Matthew Wangerin, and RAISING UNSELFISH CHILDREN IN A SELF-ABSORBED WORLD by Jill Rigby.

With fiction in mind we remind you that the winners of the 9th annual Christy Awards will be announced on July 12th, and the next night the 2008 Christian Book Award winners will be revealed. Check back with us next month for the results.

Tell us about your home book collection by responding to our poll. We also encourage you to answer our question, which asks what books in your personal library reflect you.

Here’s to a great summer. Congratulations and best wishes to all of the graduates out there. May the warm days ahead allow for more time with family, friends and good reading.

Carol Fitzgerald ( Talks to Rene Gutteridge, Author of SKID

Rene Gutteridge is the author of such novels as GHOST WRITER, MY LIFE AS A DOORMAT and the titles in the Boo series. In this interview with's Cindy Crosby, Gutteridge describes how her initial idea for a series about undercover police officers eventually grew to what is now the Occupational Hazards series --- which includes her latest release, SKID --- and shares her thoughts on the difficulties of being categorized under specific literary genres. She also explains how she is able to naturally incorporate her spiritual beliefs into her writing, discusses details about future projects, and reveals how the 1980 comedy Airplane! impacted her writing career.

SKID: Occupational Hazards #3 by Rene Gutteridge (Fiction)
Fasten your seatbelts low and tight across your lap, break open that bag of tiny peanuts and get ready for a rollicking fun flight as Rene Gutteridge, the funniest inspirational novelist in the business, pens SKID, the third installment in her Occupational Hazards series. This time, Gutteridge turns her pen to the airline industry, managing to incorporate enough wacky characters and oddball situations to fuel a year-long television sitcom. Reviewed by Cindy Crosby.

-Click here to read a review of SKID.

Click here to read our interview with Rene Gutteridge.

Special Contest and Feature: Win a Copy of SHE ALWAYS WORE RED by Angela Hunt

We are celebrating the release of SHE ALWAYS WORE RED, the second installment in Angela Hunt’s Fairlawn series, with a special contest. Ten readers will have the opportunity to each win one finished copy of SHE ALWAYS WORE RED, which is now available in stores.

SHE ALWAYS WORE RED: Fairlawn Series #2 by Angela Hunt (Fiction)
Jennifer Graham --- mother, student and embalmer's apprentice --- could use a friend. She finds one in McLane Larson, a newcomer to Mt. Dora, and is delighted to learn that the young woman is expecting a baby. While McLane's soldier-husband serves overseas, Jen promises to support McLane and then learns that her tie to this woman goes far deeper than friendship. When a difference of opinion threatens their relationship, Jennifer discovers weaknesses in her own character...and a faith far stronger than she had imagined.

-Click here to see the study guide for SHE ALWAYS WORE RED.
-Click here to read more about SHE ALWAYS WORE RED.
-Click here to read an excerpt from SHE ALWAYS WORE RED.
-Click here to read Angela Hunt’s bio.

Click here to read all the contest details.

Now in Stores: WASHINGTON'S LADY by Nancy Moser

WASHINGTON’S LADY by Nancy Moser (Historical Fiction)
Known for moving first-person novels of Nannerl Mozart and Jane Austen, Nancy Moser now brings to life the loves and trials of the first First Lady of the United States.

Though still a young woman, Martha Custis is a widow. But she is not without means and has no desire to remarry. Not, that is, until a striking war hero steps into her life and she realizes she is ready to love again. Yet she wonders whether this man, accustomed to courageous military exploits, can settle down to a simple life of farming and being a father to her children.

-Click here to read more about WASHINGTON’S LADY.
-Click here to read an excerpt from WASHINGTON’S LADY.

Click here to read a review of WASHINGTON'S LADY.

Now in Stores: DEEP IN THE HEART OF TROUBLE by Deeanne Gist

DEEP IN THE HEART OF TROUBLE by Deeanne Gist (Historical Romance)
Essie Spreckelmeyer is the last woman anyone in Corsicana, Texas, expected to see with a man on her arm. And the last man who seems willing to give her a second glance is Tony Morgan, newly hired at Spreckelmeyer's oil company. The disinherited son of an oil baron, Tony wants most to restore his name and regain his lost fortune --- not lose his heart to this headstrong blonde.

-Click here to read an excerpt from DEEP IN THE HEART OF TROUBLE.
-Click here to read Deeanne Gist’s bio.

Click here to read more about DEEP IN THE HEART OF TROUBLE.

Now in Stores: FROM A DISTANCE by Tamera Alexander

FROM A DISTANCE: Timber Ridge Reflections, Book 1 by Tamera Alexander (Historical Romance)
Determined to become one of the country's premier newspaper photographers, Elizabeth Westbrook travels to the Colorado Territory to capture the grandeur of the mountains surrounding the remote town of Timber Ridge.

Daniel Ranslett, a former Confederate sharpshooter, is a man shackled by his past, and he'll do anything to protect his land and his solitude. When an outspoken Yankee photographer captures an image that appears key to solving a murder, putting herself in danger, Daniel is called upon to repay a debt.

-Click here to read an excerpt from FROM A DISTANCE.

Click here to read more about FROM A DISTANCE.


TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN HEALTHY SEXUALITY: A Biblical Approach to Preparing Them for Life by Jim Burns (Parenting)
Thanks to the Internet, graphic images in the media and their "know-it-all" friends, kids today grow up earlier than ever. They have questions, and as a parent, your responsibility is to clear up the mixed messages and lead them to a healthy, value-centered view of sexuality. Sure, conversations with your kids about these topics can be uncomfortable --- but they don't have to be. Jim Burns gives expert advice on how and when to talk with your children, and he provides answers to the most difficult questions your kids and teens might ask.


Coming Soon: A List of Upcoming Books
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 June, July and August 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 read what's coming soon.

Christian Fiction Reviews on

In March 2006 we began running reviews of Christian fiction for teens on From popular Christian series like TrueColors and The Secret Life of Samantha McGregor by Melody Carlson, Christy Miller and Sierra Jensen by Robin Jones Gunn, and Payton Skky by Stephanie Perry Moore, to stand-alone titles like A FRIEND AT MIDNIGHT by Caroline B. Cooney, MY BEAUTIFUL DISASTER by Michelle Buckman and THE GIFTED SOPHOMORES by Terri Blackstock, we have books that will inspire and enrich the lives of teen readers.

-Click here to read our most recent reviews.

Click here to see all our Christian fiction reviews on

Faithful Fiction Reviews

DEEPER WATER: Tides of Truth Series, Book 1 by Robert Whitlow (Fiction)
In the murky waters of Savannah's shoreline, a young law student is under fire as she tries her first case at a prominent and established law firm. A complex mix of betrayal and deception quickly weaves its way through the case and her life, as she uncovers dark and confusing secrets about the man she's defending --- and the senior partners of the firm. Reviewed by Susan Miura.

THE MOON IN THE MANGO TREE by Pamela Binnings Ewen
Family history and fiction mingle together in former lawyer Pamela Binnings Ewen's THE MOON IN THE MANGO TREE. Ewen sets her second novel in Siam during the Roaring Twenties and bases the protagonist on her grandmother, a suffragette and an aspiring opera singer who gives up everything to follow her new husband to the medical mission field. Reviewed by Cindy Crosby.

PERFECT by Harry Kraus, MD (Mystery/Suspense)
The talented Harry Kraus crafts this absorbing, suspense-filled story of Wendi Stratford, a surgeon's wife who has the perfect life and everything money can buy --- but finds it is not enough. Her husband is frustrated by her lack of attention and vulnerable to sexual temptations that lurk right around the corner. Will their marriage be able to stand up to the mayhem about to be unleashed? Reviewed by Cindy Crosby.

ANATHEMA by Colleen Coble (Romantic Suspense)
After years of running, Hannah Schwartz has finally built a life for herself --- far from the insecure husband who bullied and abused her, and far from the close-knit Amish community who raised her, then shunned her. Only love can bring her home again. But can love heal old wounds…or keep the community safe from a deadly danger? Reviewed by Susan Miura.

Rob Stennett, an award-winning screenwriter and a playwright, knows how to craft a good scene, and the pacing of his debut novel never falters as the story pushes to its inevitable conclusion. This sparkling addition to Christian fiction will provide plenty of thoughtful introspection about churches, worship services and pastors today, even while it succeeds as pure entertainment. Reviewed by Cindy Crosby.

Click here to read our Faithful Fiction reviews.

Christian Living Reviews

FATHER & SON: Finding Freedom by Walter Wangerin Jr. and Matthew Wangerin (Memoir)
Award-winning novelist Walter Wangerin Jr. and his adopted son, Matthew, share their deeply personal story. Each in his own words, father and son narrate the history of their relationship and how they found new meaning --- and new identities --- through times of brokenness, hope and rediscovery. Reviewed by Evelyn Bence.

THE ATTENTIVE LIFE: Discerning God's Presence in All Things by Leighton Ford (Christian Life/Spiritual Growth)
If you're busy, distracted and rushing through each day, you might be feeling disconnected from God, unable to see how He's working. You might be missing Him. But the way toward Him starts with a pause and a prayer --- with intention and attention --- and becomes a way of life, awake and alive to the peaceful, powerful presence of God. Reviewed by Lisa Ann Cockrel.

HOW WOMEN HELP MEN FIND GOD by David Murrow (Christian Life)
In this follow-up to his bestselling WHY MEN HATE GOING TO CHURCH, author David Murrow speaks directly to women to help them understand the real reasons men resist Christianity. He offers a way of talking about faith that intrigues men instead of repels them and then challenges them to bring more risk and adventure to their own walk with the Lord. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

PERSONAL GOD: Can You Really Know the One Who Made the Universe? by Tim Stafford (Christian Life/Spiritual Growth)
What does it mean to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? Even though Tim Stafford grew up in evangelical circles, he often wrestled with this question and its implications. In PERSONAL GOD, the co-editor of THE STUDENT BIBLE and regular contributor to Christianity Today tackles the question of what it means to know God and to live in relationship with Him. Reviewed by Margaret Oines.

40 DAYS LIVING THE JESUS CREED by Scot McKnight (Christian Living)
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. your neighbor as yourself." Scot McKnight has come to call this vital teaching of our Lord the Jesus Creed. He recites it throughout the day every day and challenges you to do the same. Reviewed by Lisa Ann Cockrel.

Click here to read our Christian Living reviews.

Click here to read our Christian Living Reviews

Marriage and Family Life Review

After decades of experimenting with child-focused parenting, parents are beginning to realize that the result is often self-centered children who tend toward narcissism, selfishness, mediocrity and dysfunction. Jill Rigby espouses a new goal of parenting: gently bumping children off self-center and teaching them to be unselfish givers instead. Reviewed by
Margaret Oines.

Click here to read our Marriage and Family Life review. Poll

How many books are in your home library?

Under 50
1,000 to 2,499
2,500 to 5,000
More than 5,000
I do not keep books once I have read them.

Vote in our Poll here. Question of the Month
Name three books from your personal library that could best illustrate who you are.

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 a copy of SHE ALWAYS WORE RED by Angela Hunt and DEEP IN THE HEART OF TROUBLE by Deeanne Gist. 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!

As always, here are a few housekeeping notes. If you are seeing this newsletter in a text version, and would prefer to see the graphics, you can either read it online or change your preferences below.

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

--- Carol Fitzgerald (

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