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Word of Mouth

Faithful Fifteen


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This Month on

April 2009

Quick Links to Features on

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

Celebrating Our Mothers
We had a sneak peek at summer these past few days, as temperatures in the Northeast soared into the 90s. I was contemplating pulling my hammock out of winter storage before the temperatures finally returned to a seasonal 55-degree range. I guess there are a few more weeks of spring left after all. Either way, it’s nice to finally pack away my winter clothes!

As I watch the color and life return to the landscape around me, I reflect on how spring is a season in which we celebrate family and rebirth. Mother’s Day, which falls on May 10th this year, is a time to celebrate the women who have given us life and raised us. While I wear many hats, I know that being a mom is the most rewarding --- and challenging --- role that I have. I am looking forward to celebrating this joyous holiday with my mother and two sons. I do confess though that I often think we should have Mother’s WEEK!

To recognize this special day, we’ve compiled our 2009 Mother’s Day roundup, which spotlights books about the joys and the challenges of motherhood. Uplifting, humorous, heartwarming and inspiring, these titles make lovely reading selections for Mom.

In addition to our Mother’s Day feature, we have plenty of great books in this month’s lineup. Among our new featured titles are THE 7 GREAT PRAYERS: For a Lifetime of Hope and Blessings by Paul and Tracey McManus, THE RELUCTANT COWGIRL: The McCord Sisters, Book 1 by Christine Lynxwiler and CHASING CHARITY: Texas Fortunes Trilogy, Book 2 by Marcia Gruver. We’ve also added a new discussion guide for MY SON, JOHN by Kathi Macias.

Our Word of Mouth titles are RED, WHITE, AND BLUE, the second installment of Laura Hayden’s America series, and BREACH OF TRUST, the first book in DiAnn Mills’s Call of Duty series. Read on to find out how you can win a copy of these books.

This month’s new Faithful Fiction, Christian Living, and Marriage and Family Life reviews include HIS NAME IS JESUS: The Promise of God's Love Fulfilled by Max Lucado, A HUNDRED YEARS OF HAPPINESS by Nicole Seitz and STILL GOING IT ALONE by Michele Howe.

In this month’s poll we continue to ask if you prefer reading books with short chapters, while our question asks you to share the title of the longest book you ever read. If possible, we ask that you please take a few moments and share your responses.

Spring is a season full of celebration, both in our churches and in our houses. I could not imagine a better time to honor the women who dedicated themselves to giving life and raising a family. Have a happy Mother’s Day.

Carol Fitzgerald ('s Mother's Day Roundup
Whether you call her Mother, Madré or Mutter, she has been there from day one. She was the hand that guided your very first steps, the voice of authority during your tumultuous adolescence, and your confidante through the adult years. In celebration of these phenomenal women, has compiled a number of books that highlight the “motherhood” experience --- from its joys and rewards to its pain and challenges. This roundup of both fiction and nonfiction titles will advise, inspire and undoubtedly entertain.
Click here to see our roundup of Mother's Day titles.

Now in Stores: HIS NAME IS JESUS by Max Lucado
HIS NAME IS JESUS: The Promise of God's Love Fulfilled by Max Lucado (Religion/Inspirational)
In his latest book, Max Lucado takes readers on a guided tour through the Holy Land with inspired prose and enchanting graphics that bring to life the man whose name is Jesus. Perhaps the most prolific among contemporary Christian writers, Lucado describes the God-ness and the human-ness of Jesus simply and lovingly. HIS NAME IS JESUS demonstrates how God’s love for humanity once walked among His people in the body of His son, Jesus. Reviewed by Maggie Harding.

Click here to read a review of HIS NAME IS JESUS.

Now in Stores: FINDING GRACE by Donna VanLiere
FINDING GRACE: A True Story About Losing Your Way in Life…and Finding it Again by Donna VanLiere (Memoir)
FINDING GRACE is the powerful, often humorous, and deeply moving story of one woman’s journey of broken dreams. It is the story of how a painful legacy of the past is confronted and met with peace. This book is for anyone who has struggled to understand why our desires --- even the simplest ones --- are sometimes denied or who has questioned where God is when we need him most. Reviewed by Evelyn Bence.

Click here to read a review of FINDING GRACE.

Now in Stores: THE 7 GREAT PRAYERS by Paul and Tracey McManus
THE 7 GREAT PRAYERS: For a Lifetime of Hope and Blessings by Paul and Tracey McManus (Spiritual Growth/Prayer)
THE 7 GREAT PRAYERS has already touched the lives of people all around the world. Now it can do the same for you.

This powerful book guides you through seven simple yet life-changing prayers. These prayers are for all people and all faiths. Authors Paul and Tracey McManus show you how to overcome life’s challenges, get closer to God, and attract blessings into your life through the power of prayer.

-Click here to read the first five chapters of THE 7 GREAT PRAYERS.
-Click here to read Paul McManus’s bio.
-Click here to read Tracey McManus’s bio.

Click here to read more about THE 7 GREAT PRAYERS.

Now in Stores: THE RELUCTANT COWGIRL by Christine Lynxwiler
THE RELUCTANT COWGIRL: The McCord Sisters, Book 1 by Christine Lynxwiler (Romance)
Enjoy a front row seat as two reluctant lovers take center stage in award-winning author Christine Lynxwiler's latest riveting romance. New York actress Crystal McCord puts her career on hold to return home to Arkansas to help take care of her family's ranch. When she meets cowboy neighbor Jeremy Buchanan, sparks fly. But when Jeremy's never-before-mentioned family appears on the scene, he drops out of the picture. Will Crystal's country road home turn out to be a dead end? Is it time for a U-turn back to the Big Apple? Or will Jeremy manage to book her for an unlimited engagement?

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE RELUCTANT COWGIRL.
-Click here to read Christine Lynxwiler’s bio.

Click here to read more about THE RELUCTANT COWGIRL.

Study Guide Now Available: CHASING CHARITY by Marcia Gruver
CHASING CHARITY: Texas Fortunes Trilogy, Book 2 by Marcia Gruver (Historical Romance)
Fuel your love of romance in this mesmerizing sequel to Marcia Gruver's DIAMOND DUO. In this second book of the Texas Fortunes series, Charity Bloom is left stranded at the altar after her best friend takes off with her fiancé. How will she ever show her face in town again? After Buddy Pierce discovers oil on the Bloom property, he realizes the real treasure may be above ground --- in the form of Charity Bloom. Can he strike it rich in Charity? When her ex-fiance decides he wants her back, whom will Charity choose --- the handsome roughneck or the deceitful rogue?

-Click here to read an excerpt from CHASING CHARITY.
-Click here to read Marcia Gruver’s bio.

Click here to read more about CHASING CHARITY.

Study Guide Now Available: MY SON, JOHN by Kathi Macias
MY SON, JOHN by Kathi Macias (Fiction)
When Liz Peterson’s elderly mother is found murdered, Liz and her husband, Charles, along with their grown son, John, and teenage daughter, Sarah, are horrified beyond words. Their previously predictable, respectable lives seem to have vanished without a trace, as they struggle to make sense of a senseless act.

But what comes next rocks them to their core. John is arrested for his grandmother’s murder. As what’s left of the Peterson family begins to crumble under the weight of loss and accusation, the Petersons’ longstanding Christian faith is put to the test in a way they could never have imagined, and unconditional love is stretched to its limits.

-Click here to read more about MY SON, JOHN.

Click here to see the study guide for MY SON, JOHN.

Coming Soon: A List of Upcoming Books
If you’re wondering what books have been released recently, or are coming out in the months ahead, then be sure to check out our Coming Soon feature on Currently we have titles from May through August listed. Please note that we have not included every book being published, but rather some that caught our eye --- and that we thought should catch yours as well.

Click here to see our Coming Soon feature.

Faithful Fiction Reviews
A HUNDRED YEARS OF HAPPINESS by Nicole Seitz (Fiction)
In the South Carolina Lowcountry, a young mother named Katherine Ann is struggling to help her tempestuous father by plunging into a world of secrets he never talks about. A fry cook named Lisa is trying desperately to reach her grieving Vietnamese mother who has never fully adjusted to life in the States. And somewhere far away, a lost soul named Ernest is drifting, treading water, searching for what he lost on a long-ago mountain. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

ANGEL OF WRATH by Bill Myers (Thriller)
Thirteen-year-old Jazmin, her ex-Special Ops uncle Charlie, and former FBI agent Lisa are reunited in the second of the Voice of God series to stop an assassin driven to murder members of a megachurch led by Lisa's brother. This assassin has drawn in a coven of teens toying with satanic practices to support his efforts. The naive youth engage in ceremonies that appear to usher in the death of each of his victims. When their rituals open a portal into the spiritual realm, a terrifying and mysterious entity crosses over to our world. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

LAST MANGO IN TEXAS by Ray Blackston (Fiction)
Texas Tech student Kyle Mango is attending a fraternity party when he meets Gretchen, an artsy animal lover whose independent spirit immediately sparks his attention. But after a month of bliss, they suddenly find themselves in rough waters. When Kyle inherits four oil wells from his uncle, he sees his affluence as an opportunity to impress Gretchen. But just before he makes his move, Gretchen joins a group of campus activists in Alaska for the summer to clean oil from suffering birds. Reviewed by Susan Miura.

ACCORDING TO THEIR DEEDS by Paul Robertson (Mystery)
Charles Beale lives outside the shadow of Washington, D.C. Politics and power matter only when a client crosses the Potomac to visit his Alexandria Rare Books shop. But that all changes when a former client --- a man deeply connected in the Justice Department --- is found murdered after a break-in gone bad. Reviewed by Susan Miura.

Click here to read our Faithful Fiction reviews.

Christian Living Reviews
SO BEAUTIFUL: Divine Design for Life and the Church by Leonard Sweet (Christian Life/Spiritual Growth)
What is commonly known as DNA today was called " pretty!" when it was discovered years ago, and over the course of his ministry, author Leonard Sweet has discovered that this divine design also informs God's blueprint for the church. Here, he shares the woven strands that form the church: missional, relational and incarnational. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

THE SACREDNESS OF QUESTIONING EVERYTHING by David Dark (Christian Life/Spiritual Growth)
In this provocative, entertaining book, author David Dark writes, “The summons to sacred questioning, like a call to honesty, like a call to prayer, is a call to be true and to let the chips fall where they may.” Far from being a sign of cynicism or weakness, questions are not only positive but crucial for our health and well-being. Reviewed by Margaret Oines.

Click here to read our Christian Living reviews.

Marriage and Family Life Review
STILL GOING IT ALONE: Mothering With Faith and Finesse When the Children Have Grown by Michele Howe (Family/Women’s Issues)
STILL GOING IT ALONE is the second in a series of inspirational/self-help books by Michele Howe, released 10 years after the first volume. GOING IT ALONE explored the social topic of raising children effectively as a single mother, and STILL GOING IT ALONE continues to delve into single motherhood as well as the challenges of raising teenagers and adapting to life gracefully with adult children. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

Click here to read our Marriage and Family Life review. Poll
Do you try to stop reading at the end of a chapter?

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. 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 RED, WHITE, AND BLUE: America Series, Book 2 by Laura Hayden and BREACH OF TRUST: Call of Duty Series, Book 1 by DiAnn Mills. 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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Happy reading! Don't forget to forward this newsletter to a friend or to visit our other websites from,,,,, and

--- Carol Fitzgerald (

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