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Word of Mouth

Faithful Fifteen


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This Month on FaithfulReader.com

January 2009

January Just Flew By....

I feel like I just turned the page to January, and I have my hand poised to flip to February.

While we know this year will be posing many challenges for each of us, we are working to keep things on a positive note. This month’s FaithfulReader.com update has ideas on how to do that.

First up, we are featuring an interview with Keri Wyatt Kent, author of REST. In it, she discusses the physical, spiritual and practical benefits of keeping Sabbath, and explains how to plan to do so amidst hectic work and personal schedules.

For those of you with young readers in your life, please be sure to take a look at our feature for Victoria Osteen’s newest children’s titles. These are wonderful books to share with your family and make very thoughtful gifts. Read on for more details.

Looking for some great discussion titles for your 2009 book club calendar? We’ve added SEVEN new guides this month for Fiction, Historical Romance and Christian Living titles. Among them are LOVING CEE CEE JOHNSON by Linda Leigh Hargrove, a story about a woman’s journey to discover the truth about her life, and FIREFLIES IN DECEMBER by Jennifer Erin Valent, a coming-of-age tale set in the South in the 1930s that addresses themes of race and convention. Critically praised, FIREFLIES IN DECEMBER is also this month's Word of Mouth title. Read on for more information about all of our newly added discussion guides as well as details on how to enter our Word of Mouth drawing.

Among our other featured titles this month are THE RED SIREN, the first installment in bestselling author M. L. Tyndall’s Charles Towne Belle series, and STAND-IN GROOM by Kaye Dacus, a quirky romance about a wedding planner whose dream man also happens to be her client. We also wanted to put the cinematic release of Not Easily Broken on your radar. Based on bestselling author T. D. Jakes’s novel NOT EASILY BROKEN, this is a story of a marriage on the brink of failure and a couple’s ability to find the strength to persevere.

In addition to our special features, we also encourage you to browse through our Faithful Fiction, Christian Living, and Marriage and Family Life review sections. This month’s titles include SARAH'S PROMISE, the final book in Leisha Kelly's Country Road Chronicles, THE GREAT EMERGENCE: How Christianity is Changing and Why by Phyllis Tickle and THE HEALING CHOICE: How to Move Beyond Betrayal by Brenda Stoeker and Susan Allen.

Please take a moment to answer this month’s poll, which asks about your beverage consumption habits while reading. Our question also addresses your reading habits by asking about your favorite spot to read in your house. With a few more months of winter ahead of us, I plan to spend plenty of time in mine!

Here’s to a positive beginning to 2009. As the days begin to lengthen, may we all keep faith that the brightest days are still ahead of us.

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)



FaithfulReader.com Talks to Keri Wyatt Kent, Author of REST
Journalist and public speaker Keri Wyatt Kent is the author of several books, including GARDEN OF THE SOUL, LISTEN and OXYGEN. Her latest release, REST, expounds on the idea of the Sabbath, a topic she introduced in her 2005 publication, BREATHE. In this interview with FaithfulReader.com's Marcia Ford, Kent discusses the physical, spiritual and practical benefits of keeping Sabbath, and explains how to plan to do so amidst hectic work and personal schedules. She also describes how keeping the Sabbath can level social hierarchy, provides advice on incorporating play into days of rest, and shares details about her upcoming book, SIMPLE COMPASSION.

REST: Living in Sabbath Simplicity by Keri Wyatt Kent (Christian Life/Spiritual Growth)
Many people are living in fear right now, thanks to the sinking economy, and they're spinning their wheels trying to stay afloat. A message about Sabbath simplicity may seem incongruous --- who can afford to rest in such dire times? --- but stepping away from the fray and taking time for ourselves may be just what we need right now. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.

-Click here to read a review of REST.

Click here to read our interview with Keri Wyatt Kent.


Inspirational Children’s Books from Victoria Osteen --- Just in Time for a New Year and a New You!
Spend quality time with your family in 2009 reading these inspiring stories of hope and faith from Victoria Osteen!

-UNEXPECTED TREASURES
-MY HAPPY HEART BOOKS: A Touch-and-Feel Book Boxed Set

Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
A CBS COMPANY
LittleSimonInspirations.com

Available January 2009. Visit LittleSimonInspirations.com for downloadable activities, an e-card, an author video, and more!

Click here to find out more about Victoria Osteen and her inspirational children's books.


Study Guide Now Available: FIREFLIES IN DECEMBER by Jennifer Erin Valent
FIREFLIES IN DECEMBER by Jennifer Erin Valent (Historical Fiction)
Jessilyn Lassiter never knew that hatred could lurk in the human heart until the summer of 1932 when she turned 13. When her best friend, Gemma, loses her parents in a tragic fire, Jessilyn's father vows to care for her as one of his own, despite the fact that Gemma is black and prejudice is prevalent in their southern Virginia town. As tensions mount in the small community, loyalties are tested and Jessilyn is forced to say good-bye to the carefree days of her youth.

FIREFLIES IN DECEMBER is the 2007 winner of the Christian Writers Guild's Operation First Novel contest.

-Click here to read more about FIREFLIES IN DECEMBER.
-Click here to read an excerpt from FIREFLIES IN DECEMBER.
-Click here to read Jennifer Erin Valent's bio.

Click here to see the study guide for FIREFLIES IN DECEMBER.


Study Guide Now Available: LOVING CEE CEE JOHNSON by Linda Leigh Hargrove
LOVING CEE CEE JOHNSON by Linda Leigh Hargrove (Fiction)
The sequel to THE MAKING OF ISAAC HUNT returns with a new character, Cee Cee Johnson, a reporter who lies about her identity. When given an assignment in her hometown, Pettigrew, Cee Cee comes face to face with the truth about herself, her father, and the love she so desperately needs. Join us on this roller coaster ride of emotions filled with suspense, as Cee Cee Johnson discovers the truth about her life.

-Click here to read more about LOVING CEE CEE JOHNSON.

Click here to see the study guide for LOVING CEE CEE JOHNSON.


Books into Movies: Not Easily Broken
Not Easily Broken, based on NOT EASILY BROKEN by T. D. Jakes
Chronicling the story of one couple’s love, loss and ultimate faith in another, Not Easily Broken follows the lives of Dave and Clarice Johnson in their second decade of marriage. Dave’s dreams of major league baseball success were dashed by an injury in college, leading him to a steady but unfulfilling career as the head of a small construction firm. Clarice is basking in the glow of real estate stardom, creating a life that revolves around her rise to the top. She has become blind to Dave’s needs, the most important being his desire to become a father and start a family with her.

Click here for more details about this film.


Now in Stores: THE RED SIREN by M. L. Tyndall
THE RED SIREN: Charles Towne Belle Series, Book 1 by M. L. Tyndall
(Historical Romance)
Faith Westcott is a lady by day and a pirate by night. Can she garner the riches she so desperately needs before her secret is revealed? Captain Dajon Waite is determined to catch the fiery redhead who has been pillaging the Carolina coast. When Faith invites his courtship, she hopes his infatuation will shield her true identity and keep other suitors at bay. Can the love of a godly captain win her heart, or will she be forced to marry Sir Wilhelm Carteret, a man obsessed with taking her to wife?

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE RED SIREN.
-Click here to read M. L. Tyndall's bio.

Click here to read more about THE RED SIREN.


Now in Stores: STAND-IN GROOM by Kaye Dacus
STAND-IN GROOM: Brides of Bonneterre, Book 1 by Kaye Dacus (Romance)
Get ready to attend the quirkiest wedding ever in this delightful romance by Kaye Dacus, a new voice in women's contemporary fiction. When wedding planner Anne Hawthorne first meets George Laurence, she thinks she's found the man of her dreams. But when she discovers he's a client, she knows planning his wedding will be no honeymoon. Can Anne remain professional while falling for the groom? Or will she risk her heart, her values, and her career in the midst of planning the wedding of the century?

-Click here to read an excerpt from STAND-IN GROOM.
-Click here to read Kaye Dacus's bio.

Click here to read more about STAND-IN GROOM.


New Discussion Guides for Christian Book Groups
In addition to FIREFLIES IN DECEMBER and LOVING CEE CEE JOHNSON, we are featuring the following discussion guides for Christian book groups this month:

PAPER ROSES: Texas Dreams Trilogy, Book 1 by Amanda Cabot (Historical
Romance)
Leaving the past behind in Philadelphia, mail-order bride Sarah Dobbs arrives in San Antonio ready to greet her groom, Austin Canfield, a man she has never met but whose letters have won her heart from afar. But there is one problem --- he has died.

As Sarah tries to reconcile herself to a future that is drastically changed, Austin's brother, Clay, struggles with his own muddled plans. But something between them is growing and neither Clay nor Sarah is ready to admit it.

-Click here to see the study guide for PAPER ROSES.

THE EDGE OF LIGHT: At Home in Beldon Grove, Book 1 by Ann Shorey (Historical Romance)
It is the summer of 1838 in St. Lawrenceville, Missouri, and Molly McGarvie's life is about to change forever. When her beloved Samuel succumbs to cholera, Molly is heartbroken but determined to take care of herself and her children. But when Samuel's unscrupulous brother takes over the family business and leaves Molly to fend for herself, she knows she must head out on her own. Somehow she must find a way to make a living, keep her family together and fend off some over-eager suitors.

-Click here to see the study guide for THE EDGE OF LIGHT.

NO PLACE FOR A LADY: Heart of the West Series, Book 1 by Maggie Brendan (Historical Romance)
Crystal Clark arrives in Colorado's Yampa Valley amid the splendor of a high country June in 1892. After the death of her father, Crystal is relieved to be leaving the troubles of her Georgia life behind to visit her aunt Kate's cattle ranch. Despite being raised as a proper Southern belle, Crystal is determined to hold her own in this wild land --- even if a certain handsome foreman doubts her abilities.

-Click here to see the study guide for NO PLACE FOR A LADY.

PRAYER POWER: 30 Days to a Stronger Connection with God by Peter Lundell (Devotional)
Intensely practical and straightforward, PRAYER POWER helps you improve on 30 essential facets of prayer such as passion, routine, fasting, praying with others, listening to God, handling distractions and spiritual warfare. In each brief chapter you'll be inspired by stories of people whose lives of prayer give us powerful examples.

PRAYER POWER can be used as a month-long devotional, a prayer guide, or a reference for help in specific areas. Whether you're a new believer or think you've heard it all, this book's refreshing and honest insight will guide you to a deeper connection with God.

-Click here to see the study guide for PRAYER POWER.

ALL I NEED IS JESUS AND A GOOD PAIR OF JEANS: The Tired Supergirl's Search for Grace by Susanna Foth Aughtmon (Christian Living)
Susanna Foth Aughtmon knows what it's like to be a tired supergirl, fighting the enemies of pride, worry, jealousy, busyness, loneliness, and many more. With humor and courage, she lays bare those times in her own life when she found it a challenge to live the life God wants for her. But even tired supergirls have a secret weapon: God's Truth.

-Click here to see the study guide for ALL I NEED IS JESUS AND A GOOD PAIR OF JEANS.


Faithful Fiction Reviews
SARAH'S PROMISE: Country Road Chronicles #4 by Leisha Kelly (Historical Romance)
SARAH'S PROMISE is the final book in Leisha Kelly's Country Road Chronicles, the story of Depression Era families and the struggles they face in an attempt to rebuild their lives. It's also a love story involving Sarah Wortham and Frank Hammond and the roadblocks to their relationship. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.

THE ROSE CONSPIRACY by Craig Parshall
(Legal Thriller)
Newly acquired pages from John Wilkes Booth’s diary prove deadly to the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution as he excitedly examines them late one night. The secretary is found dead in his office, but the mysterious pages have disappeared. Many groups and individuals would do anything to acquire the famous lost pages, but it is a beautiful sculptor who becomes the prime suspect. Reviewed by Susan Miura.

OUT OF HER HANDS by Megan DiMaria
(Fiction)
Linda Revere’s grown children are poised to launch into life, and, like all parents, she only wants the best for them. She’s been praying for her children’s future spouses since they were small. Confident that her prayers will be answered, Linda isn’t prepared for the young woman her son brings home. Will Linda be able to trust that God is in control when the situation is out of her hands? Reviewed by Marcia Ford.

WIND DANCER by Jamie Carie (Historical Romance)
Raised in a British-held frontier town during the American Revolution, Isabelle Renoir is not like other women around her. A free spirit, she dances in the moonlight as a praise offering to God and is more at home fearlessly taking her long rifle and knife into the woods for adventure and inspiration. But Isabelle’s latest journey may be more than even her strength can handle when a huge storm throws her off course and into the path of rugged American spy Samuel Holt. Reviewed by Susan Miura.
 
A BEAUTIFUL FALL by Chris Coppernoll (Fiction)
At first glance, A BEAUTIFUL FALL appears to be that perennial staple of contemporary CBA fiction: the story of a successful young city woman who, in response to some emergency, temporarily returns to the small town where she grew up, only to discover her true home and the love of her life in the town she vowed she'd never see again. Thankfully, Chris Coppernoll handles this staple better than most. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.

Click here to read our Faithful Fiction reviews.


Christian Living Reviews
THE GREAT EMERGENCE: How Christianity is Changing and Why by Phyllis Tickle (Religious Studies)
Rooted in the observation that massive transitions in the church happen about every 500 years, Phyllis Tickle shows readers that we live in such a time right now. Combining history, a look at the causes of social upheaval and current events, THE GREAT EMERGENCE shows readers what the Great Emergence in church and culture is, how it came to be, and where it is going. Reviewed by Margaret Oines.

COME ALONG: The Journey into a More Intimate Faith
by Jane Rubietta
(Christian Living)
Through 10 illuminating encounters, walk into Jesus’ life, love and delight! Laugh, grow and rest in Christ’s presence as you share these vivid meetings with the One who loves you more than life itself. With humor and spiritual depth, Jane Rubietta passionately draws you into the hope of a freeing relationship with Christ --- freedom from false expectations into the brilliance of being fully loved. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

REFUEL: An Uncomplicated Guide to Connecting with God by Doug Fields (Christian Living)
If you’ve always struggled with the stereotypical “quiet time,” don’t give up hope. In REFUEL, Doug Fields, teaching pastor at Saddleback Community Church in Mission Viejo, California, offers an uncomplicated, practical way of recharging your spiritual batteries and getting to know God. Reviewed by Evelyn Bence.

THE ECHO WITHIN: Finding Your True Calling by Robert Benson (Christian Living)
When one day a friend wondered if he was being called to a certain field of work, he asked Robert Benson, “Do you think I am?” THE ECHO WITHIN is Benson’s illuminating answer, a thoughtful, honest, profoundly affecting account of his own search and failings and eventual discovery of the Yes he describes --- what it is one truly is called to do and be. Reviewed by Evelyn Bence.

WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT FEELING BAD?: Finding Purpose and a Path through Your Pain by John C. Thomas and Gary Habermas (Christian Life/Spiritual Growth)
Subtitled "Finding Purpose and a Path through Your Pain," WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT FEELING BAD? delivers on the implied promise in that subtitle. John C. Thomas and Gary Habermas, both professors at Liberty University in Virginia, offer a wealth of information and practical help to people who are suffering. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.

GOOD NEWS FOR THOSE TRYING HARDER by Alan Kraft (Christian Life/Spiritual Growth)
Countless believers are pursuing spiritual growth, only to repeatedly find themselves spinning their wheels and making no progress. Many are driven to just try harder. Others feel a growing sense of failure and distance from God. What can we do when trying harder isn't working? Author and pastor Alan Kraft invites us to be still --- still enough to hear the twin melodies that comprise the good news of the gospel: brokenness and faith. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.

THE GOD I DON’T UNDERSTAND: Reflections on Tough Questions of Faith by Christopher J. H. Wright (Biblical Studies)
If we are honest, we have to admit that there are many things we don’t understand about God, especially in the face of terrible suffering and evil. Christopher Wright offers reflections and encouragement from the Scriptures, so that those who are troubled by these tough questions can still sustain their faith. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

UNCENSORED GRACE: Stories of Hope from the Streets of Vegas by Jud Wilhite with Bill Taaffe (Christian Living)
Jud Wilhite and Bill Taaffe introduce readers to card players, exotic dancers, a flying Elvis, an “American Idol” contestant and a beat cop turned hero, among others. Each has one thing in common --- at their moment of extreme need they encounter an extraordinary God. And the place they find Him is in an unusual church community that is gambling everything on a hope-filled message they call “uncensored grace.” Reviewed by Margaret Oines.

Click here to read our Christian Living reviews.


Marriage and Family Life Review
THE HEALING CHOICE: How to Move Beyond Betrayal by Brenda Stoeker and Susan Allen (Love and Marriage)
THE HEALING CHOICE is actually two books in one: Brenda Stoeker's account (with commentary from her husband, Fred) of the grief she experienced when her mother died of mesothelioma, a deadly form of lung cancer, and Susan Allen's account of the betrayal she experienced when she discovered her husband's serial unfaithfulness. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.
Click here to read our Marriage and Family Life review.


FaithfulReader.com Poll
What is your beverage of choice when you are relaxing and reading a book?
 
Water
Coffee
Tea
Hot chocolate
Soda
Mineral water
Wine/Beer/A cocktail
Other (Please specify)
I am not sure I have a favorite.
I never drink when I read.

Vote in our Poll here.


FaithfulReader.com Question of the Month
Where is your favorite place to read in your house?

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 FIREFLIES IN DECEMBER by Jennifer Erin Valent. 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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