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Word of Mouth

Faithful Fifteen


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This Month on FaithfulReader.com

March 2009

Warm Greetings to the Spring and Easter Seasons
I am sure many of you, like me, were eagerly anticipating the arrival of spring. Well, officially it's spring, but the weather is NOT following the calendar. I’m looking forward to hanging up my down vest (even though it's my favorite turquoise color) and watching the color return to the gray landscape outside my window. It has been a very bland winter here in the Northeast.

With the arrival of spring also comes the anticipation of Easter Sunday on April 12th. To celebrate this holy season in the liturgical calendar, we are pleased to bring you our 2009 Easter roundup, which includes books that are perfect for this very special time of year. As you take time to evaluate your relationships with God and those around you, we invite you to browse this year’s selection of Easter titles, which are filled with inspirational stories that are perfect to share with your family and loved ones.

In addition to our Easter roundup, we’re featuring more than 20 new books on the site this month. For those of you looking for titles to discuss at your next book club meeting, we’ve added five new reading group guides, including SHE’S IN A BETTER PLACE, the final installment in Angela Hunt’s Fairlawn trilogy; MICHAL, the first title in Jill Eileen Smith's The Wives of King David series; BREACH OF TRUST by DiAnn Mills, a suspenseful tale about an ex-CIA agent who must risk everything to right old wrongs; RED, WHITE, AND BLUE by Laura Hayden, a story about a woman who must weigh her loyalty to the president and God; and WIND OF THE SPIRIT, the third novel in
J. M. Hochstetler's American Patriot series, which is set during the Revolutionary War.

In addition to our new discussion guides, we are featuring an interview with Mary E. DeMuth. Her new title, DAISY CHAIN, is a beautiful coming-of-age tale about terrible secrets and God’s surprising redemption. Please visit the homepage to see all of this month’s new featured titles.

Last month we offered readers the opportunity to win an advance copy of A VOTE OF CONFIDENCE by Robin Lee Hatcher, which will be in stores on May 1st. We are pleased to announce our 50 advance readers, who are listed here.

This month’s Word of Mouth titles are SHE’S IN A BETTER PLACE and A PROMISE FOR SPRING by Kim Vogel Sawyer. Please also be sure to read on to see the new reviews we’ve added to the Faithful Fiction, Christian Living, and Marriage and Family Life sections.

The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association announced the winners of the 2009 Christian Book Awards earlier this month. I was thrilled to see THE SHAPE OF MERCY win the Fiction Award as I enjoyed this book enormously. Also announced were the nominees for the 2009 Christy Awards, which is now in its 10th year. Read on to learn more about these prestigious awards, which recognize excellence in Christian fiction and nonfiction.

This month’s new poll and question were actually inspired by LOOK AGAIN by Lisa Scottoline, a Suspense/Thriller title we are featuring on Bookreporter.com. As I was reading it I kept saying, “just one more chapter.” Why? The chapters were not that long, so I would flip ahead and say “a few more pages.” Thus we ask if you prefer books with short chapters, and then we go to the other extreme, asking readers what the longest book was that they ever read. I’m looking forward to seeing your responses!

While we anticipate the arrival of warmer weather, we know that the transition of seasons may be difficult for some of you. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those of you in the Midwest who are facing hardship caused by the melting snow and spring storms. I am deeply moved by how everyone came together to help protect the homes of their neighbors and loved ones. This is a fine example of how even in times of great adversity, there is always a shining light.
I wish you all a happy and healthy Easter. Here’s to the coming of warmer and brighter days ahead. May you have time to read and reflect during this holy time.

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)


FaithfulReader.com's Easter Roundup
This Lenten season let FaithfulReader.com be part of your faith journey. Spiritually reconnect and recommit yourself to Christ and His teachings with the titles we have compiled. Be inspired by personal stories of devotion and challenged by new perceptions of the Bible. We are certain you will rediscover the joy and mystery of Easter with the turn of each page.

Click here to see our roundup of Easter titles.


Study Guide Now Available: SHE'S IN A BETTER PLACE by Angela Hunt
SHE’S IN A BETTER PLACE: Fairlawn Series #3 by Angela Hunt (Fiction)
Jennifer Graham is struggling to make ends meet while running the Fairlawn Funeral Home, raising two children and studying for her national board exam. Her work takes on a new dimension when Gerald Huffman, her assistant and mentor, reveals that he has a serious illness. When she learns that he and his daughter haven't spoken in years, Jen decides to help them reconcile...but things don't go exactly as she planned. Once again, the mortuary is a setting for lessons of laughter, love and life.

-Click here to read more about SHE’S IN A BETTER PLACE.
-Click here to read Angela Hunt’s bio.

Click here to see the study guide for SHE’S IN A BETTER PLACE.


Study Guide Now Available: MICHAL by Jill Eileen Smith
MICHAL: The Wives of King David, Book 1 by Jill Eileen Smith (Historical Fiction)
The daughter of King Saul, Michal lives a life of privilege --- but one that is haunted by her father’s unpredictable moods and competition from her beautiful older sister. As a girl, Michal quickly falls for the handsome young harpist David. But soon after their romance begins, David must flee for his life, leaving Michal at her father’s mercy in the prison that is King Saul’s palace.

Will Michal ever be reunited with David? Or is she doomed to remain separated from him forever?

-Click here to read more about MICHAL.
-Click here to read a review of MICHAL.
-Click here to read an excerpt from MICHAL.
-Click here to read Jill Eileen Smith’s bio.

Click here to see the study guide for MICHAL.


Study Guide Now Available: BREACH OF TRUST by DiAnn Mills
BREACH OF TRUST: Call of Duty Series, Book 1 by DiAnn Mills (Romantic Suspense)
Paige Rogers is a former CIA agent who lost all she treasured seven years ago when her entire team was killed in a covert mission. She blames their leader --- Daniel Keary --- whom Paige believes betrayed them. Disillusioned and afraid for her life, she disappeared and started a new life as a small-town librarian. But when Keary announces his candidacy for governor of her state, he comes after Paige to ensure that she won't ruin his bid for office.

-Click here to read more about BREACH OF TRUST.
-Click here to read an excerpt from BREACH OF TRUST.
-Click here to read DiAnn Mills’s bio.

Click here to see the study guide for BREACH OF TRUST.


Study Guide Now Available: RED, WHITE, AND BLUE by Laura Hayden
RED, WHITE, AND BLUE: America Series, Book 2 by Laura Hayden (Fiction)
Emily Benton has won the office of president, but as she waits to assume that office, her closest adviser, Kate Rosen, is plagued with doubts. As a Christian, Kate owes her allegiance to a higher power. When a scandal brings the president to the brink of disaster, Kate must weigh the bonds of loyalty and duty, ambition and submission, and find a path that leads to the greater glory of God.

-Click here to read more about RED, WHITE, AND BLUE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from RED, WHITE, AND BLUE.
-Click here to read Laura Hayden's bio.


Click here to see the study guide for RED, WHITE, AND BLUE.


Study Guide Now Available: WIND OF THE SPIRIT by J. M. Hochstetler
WIND OF THE SPIRIT: The American Patriot Series, Book 3 by J. M. Hochstetler (Historical Romance)
This long-awaited third book of the acclaimed American Patriot Series once again sweeps readers into the tumultuous world of revolution. The story resumes with Elizabeth Howard scrambling for crucial intelligence General George Washington desperately needs to stop the British from capturing New York. Elizabeth’s assignment will lead her into the very maw of war at the Battle of Brooklyn Heights, where disaster threatens to end the American rebellion.

-Click here to read more about WIND OF THE SPIRIT.

Click here to see the study guide for WIND OF THE SPIRIT.


Author Talk: Mary E. DeMuth, Author of DAISY CHAIN
Mary E. DeMuth is the author of several fiction and nonfiction titles, including WISHING ON DANDELIONS, BUILDING THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY YOU NEVER HAD, ORDINARY MOM, EXTRAORDINARY GOD and the newly released DAISY CHAIN. In this interview, DeMuth recounts her journey to becoming a published author and motivational speaker, and names some of the people who have inspired her both personally and professionally. She also shares her favorite books and reveals what she hopes readers will take away from her work.

DAISY CHAIN: Defiance Texas Trilogy, Book 1 by Mary E. DeMuth (Fiction)
The abrupt disappearance of young Daisy Chance haunts the small town of Defiance, Texas. Fourteen-year-old Jed Pepper searches for answers in this gritty and compelling story of love and sorrow, revealing God’s hand of redemption in impossible situations. Lyrical fiction from a bright new literary talent.

-Click here to read more about
DAISY CHAIN.
-Click here to read an excerpt from
DAISY CHAIN.
-Click here to read Mary E. DeMuth's bio.

Click here to read an interview with Mary E. DeMuth.


The 2009 Christian Book Award Winners and Christy Award Nominees
On March 19th, during this year's Christian Book Expo held in Dallas, the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association announced the winners of the 2009 Christian Book Awards. Founded in 1978, the Award honors the year's finest in Christian publishing.

-Click here to see the winners of this year's Christian Book Awards.

On March 21st, the nominees for the 2009 Christy Awards were announced at the Christian Book Expo. Now in its 10th year, the Awards recognize excellence in novelists and novels in several genres of Christian fiction. The winners will be announced during the International Christian Retail Show, which will be held in Denver in July.

-Click here to see the nominees for this year's Christy Awards.


Faithful Fiction Reviews
THE PASSION OF MARY-MARGARET by Lisa Samson (Fiction)
When Mary-Margaret Fischer met Jude Keller, the lighthouse keeper's son, she was studying at a convent school on a small island off Chesapeake Bay. Destined for a life as a religious sister, she nevertheless felt a pull toward him. After going their separate ways, Jude comes home --- but now he's bitter, dissolute and diseased. And Mary-Margaret receives a divine call that shakes her to the core, a call to give up her dreams for the troubled man who befriended her so long ago. Reviewed by Susan Miura.

BLOWN COVERAGE: A Riley Covington Thriller by Jason Elam and Steve Yohn
(Thriller)
Linebacker Riley Covington returns to another season of mini-camp for the Colorado Mustangs just as a wave of terrorist attacks begin to occur across the country. Sleeper cells are being awakened --- likely by the leader of the Cause, who has recently escaped from captivity and is coordinating attacks not only on America but also on Riley and his loved ones. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

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. Reviewed by Maggie Harding.

Click here to read our Faithful Fiction reviews.


Christian Living Reviews
LET GO: Live Free of the Burdens All Women Know by Sheila Walsh (Christian Life)
In LET GO, bestselling author and speaker Sheila Walsh walks readers through the journey to freedom in Christ. Along the way, she tackles some of the toughest struggles that weigh women down, answering them with overwhelming truth, promise and hope. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

ENOUGH: Contentment in an Age of Excess by Will Samson
(Christian Life)
In ENOUGH, his latest wide-ranging, insightful book, Will Samson addresses the idea of finding contentment in an age of conspicuous consumption. With a casual, accessible writing style, he discusses consumerism, contentment as a Christian discipline and the notion of stewarding our resources. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

AS WE FORGIVE: Stories of Reconciliation from Rwanda by Catherine Claire Larson
(Current Events/Christian Life)
Can a country known for its radical brutality become a country known for an even more radical forgiveness? More than a decade after the 1994 genocide, the Rwandan government has released tens of thousands of murderers back into the communities they ravaged. Inspired by the award-winning film, this book explores the pain, the mystery and the hope through seven compelling stories as victims, orphans, widows and perpetrators journey toward reconciliation. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.

THE GREAT EIGHT: How to Be Happy (Even When You Have Every Reason to be Miserable) by Scott Hamilton with Ken Baker
(Self-Help/Memoir)
“Everything I’ve learned about how to find happiness stems from what I learned through the repetition and discipline of perfecting my figure eights.” Olympic Gold figure skater and cancer survivor Scott Hamilton reveals eight fundamental secrets to finding the silver (and gold) lining no matter what life throws at you. Reviewed by Evelyn Bence.

THE MONKEY AND THE FISH: Liquid Leadership for a Third-Culture Church by Dave Gibbons
(Christian Church/Leadership)
THE MONKEY AND THE FISH decodes profound shifts and events taking place in the world today due to globalism, multiculturalism and technology, and introduces an original approach to ministry, church and leadership known as The Third Culture. The book title refers to an Eastern parable that will challenge you to reexamine fundamental assumptions of the evangelical movement. Reviewed by Margaret Oines.

LOST AND FOUND: The Younger Unchurched and the Churches that Reach Them by Ed Stetzer, Richie Stanley and Jason Hayes
(Religion & Spirituality)
Leading missiologist Ed Stetzer and his associates offer a detailed investigation of the four younger unchurched types. With a better understanding of their unique experiences, they clarify the importance each type places on community, depth of content, social responsibility and making cross-generational connections in relation to spiritual matters. Reviewed by Margaret Oines.


Click here to read our Christian Living reviews.


Marriage and Family Life Reviews
PRAY BIG FOR YOUR CHILD: The Power of Praying God's Promises for Your Child's Life by Will Davis Jr. (Parenting)
Talking to your kids is important. Talking to God about them is critical. PRAY BIG FOR YOUR CHILD is packed with relevant prayers to get you started, including specific prayers for both daughters and sons. It includes a powerful 31-day prayer guide and 12 around-the-clock reminders to help you pray for your child throughout the day. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

THE MARRIAGE TURNAROUND: How Thinking Differently About Your Relationship Can Change Everything by Mitch Temple
(Love & Marriage)
What if you were sitting in a room with all sorts of struggling couples, and you were one of them? What would it take to turn your marriage around in a short period of time? Mitch Temple says it would take a change of mind, of heart, and of practice, all of which could be done by two people willing to discard the old myths and put on the new truth. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.

Click here to read our Marriage and Family Life reviews.


FaithfulReader.com Poll
Do you try to stop reading at the end of a chapter?

Yes
No
Not sure

Do you prefer books with short chapters?

Yes, I like this.
No, I do not like this.
This does not matter to me.

Vote in our Poll here.


FaithfulReader.com Question of the Month
What is the longest book you ever read?

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 SHE'S IN A BETTER PLACE by Angela Hunt and A PROMISE FOR SPRING by Kim Vogel Sawyer. 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!


Quick Links to Features on FaithfulReader.com

Reviews, Features, About the Books, Book Excerpts, Study Guides, Coming Soon and Award Winners

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.

Those of you who wish to send mail to FaithfulReader.com, please see the form on the
Write to Us page.

Happy reading! Don't forget to forward this newsletter to a friend or to visit our other websites from TheBookReportNetwork.com: Bookreporter.com, ReadingGroupGuides.com, GraphicNovelReporter.com, Teenreads.com, Kidsreads.com, AuthorsOnTheWeb.com and AuthorYellowPages.com.

--- Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

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