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Word of Mouth

Faithful Fifteen


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This Month on

May 2009

Quick Links to Features on

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

A Busy Start to Summer

It’s finally beginning to feel like summer here in the Northeast. I have four bushes of peonies, which are my favorite kind of flower, at my house. While I was delighted to see them in bloom, they typically come out the week of the BookExpo America (BEA) conference so I get to see them maybe for a day or two. By the time I get back, they are usually just massive clumps of petals on the ground. This year is no exception. To get around this, I cut a few lush flowers and put them in a vase and plopped that on my desk in New York, then moved it to the hotel in the city where I am staying. At least I can enjoy some peonies since I know rain, cold and wind will scatter the petals by Sunday afternoon. Between those and the lilacs, the weekend did smell lovely.

My family and I celebrated Memorial Day by attending our town’s annual parade. I am always moved by the sacrifice of the men and women who serve our country in uniform. My younger son Cory played the drums in this year’s procession, and I felt extremely honored watching him march alongside our nation’s veterans.

While Memorial Day has come and gone, Father’s Day is not too far behind. It falls on June 21st this year, and we here at are commemorating the dads in our lives with our annual Father’s Day roundup. We’ve compiled a list of more than 30 titles that not only explore the importance of fatherhood, but also include the subjects that dads just love to read.

This month, we are holding two special giveaway opportunities. To celebrate the release of A GIFT OF GRACE, the first title in Amy Clipston’s Kauffman Amish Bakery series, we’re offering three readers the chance to receive an Authentic Amish Gift Basket, which is full of delicious goodies as well as a copy of the title. We are also running a special contest in which 45 readers will have the opportunity to each win one finished copy of SAINTS IN LIMBO by River Jordan. You can read more about the titles and contests below.

Not to be overlooked this month, we’ve added six new discussion guides and are featuring an interview with Elizabeth White, author of TOUR DE FORCE. We are also spotlighting a number of new reviews in our Faithful Fiction, Christian Living, and Marriage and Family Life sections.

The staff and I are looking forward to attending BEA this weekend. In addition to the panels I am working on, I plan on seeing many of our friends from the Christian publishing houses, which is always a treat since many of them are based outside of New York City. I am looking forward to hearing about the upcoming projects that are exciting them. These conversations also give me a chance to explore ways in which we can make an even better site for our current and future readers. I am sure many of the books we learn about this weekend will find their way onto in the months to come! If any of you will be attending, please drop me a note.

Between the various holidays and BEA, the beginning of summer is never dull! While this is a busy time of year for many of us, may we take a moment to honor the father figures in our lives who helped shape us with their discipline, wisdom and love. To all of the dads out there, have a happy Father’s Day.

Carol Fitzgerald ('s Father's Day Roundup
When a man becomes a father, he embarks on the most challenging adventure of his life. There is no rulebook or map demonstrating the effective ways to be a great dad. Yet, even without a manual, these men are the foundation on which we continue to build our own lives. So to celebrate Father’s Day, has compiled a list of titles that not only focuses on the multifaceted role of “father,” but also includes the subjects that dads just love to read. These books are excellent gifts and a great way to tell your father he is appreciated.

Click here to see our roundup of Father's Day titles.

Special Feature and Contest: Authentic Amish Gift Basket Giveaway
We are celebrating the release of A GIFT OF GRACE --- the first installment of Amy Clipston’s Kauffman Amish Bakery series --- with a special contest. Three readers will have the opportunity to each win an authentic Amish gift basket filled with homemade jam, apple butter, pure maple syrup, Shoofly Pie mix, Apple Crisp mix and a collection of Amish recipes, as well as a finished copy of A GIFT OF GRACE, which is now in stores.

A GIFT OF GRACE: Kauffman Amish Bakery Series, Book 1 by Amy Clipston (Fiction)
Rebecca Kauffman's tranquil Old Order Amish life is transformed when she suddenly has custody of her two teenage nieces after her "English" sister and husband are killed. Instead of the beautiful family life she has dreamed of, Rebecca feels as if her world is being torn apart by two different cultures, leaving her to question her place in the Amish community, her marriage and her faith in God.

-Click here to read more about A GIFT OF GRACE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from A GIFT OF GRACE.
-Click here to read an interview with Amy Clipston.
-Click here to read Amy Clipston's bio.
-Visit Amy Clipston's official website,

Click here to read all the contest details.

Special Feature and Contest: SAINTS IN LIMBO by River Jordan
We are celebrating the release of SAINTS IN LIMBO by River Jordan, a novel woven from elements of the supernatural and tangible touches of God’s redeeming grace, with a special contest. 45 readers will have the opportunity to each win one finished copy of SAINTS IN LIMBO, which is now available in stores.

SAINTS IN LIMBO by River Jordan (Fiction)
This Southern lyrical novel, threaded with redemptive and mystical elements, centers on widow Velma True, who believes her purposes are “dried up.” But when a stranger visits her rural home, the mysterious gift he leaves behind will trigger a chain of events that alters Velma and those she loves most. Will reliving the past stir up old regrets --- or awaken her hope for the future?

-Click here to read more about SAINTS IN LIMBO.

Click here to read all the contest details.

Study Guide Now Available: THE MOMENT BETWEEN by Nicole Baart
THE MOMENT BETWEEN by Nicole Baart (Fiction)
Abigail Bennett was completely in control of her life until tragedy suddenly pushed her to the brink of something she’s never experienced: obsession. Now, she’s given up everything to chase down the object of that obsession. His name is Tyler Kamp.

THE MOMENT BETWEEN is a complex novel about the emotional risks of relationships between a 30-year-old unmarried accountant looking to reinvent herself, her troubled sister and the man who becomes, for very different reasons, their shared obsession.

-Click here to read more about THE MOMENT BETWEEN.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE MOMENT BETWEEN.
-Click here to read Nicole Baart’s bio.

Click here to see the study guide for THE MOMENT BETWEEN.

Study Guide Now Available: NOTHING BUT TROUBLE by Susan May Warren
NOTHING BUT TROUBLE: PJ Sugar Series #1 by Susan May Warren (Romance)
PJ Sugar knows three things for sure:
After 10 years on the run... she needs a fresh start.
The last person she wants to see is her old flame... the reason she left town.
And... Her best friend’s husband absolutely did not commit murder.

Adventure... Humor... Poignant life lessons... From award-winning author Susan May Warren, meet PJ Sugar, a woman who always hopes for the best but somehow falls short of her dreams...or does she?

-Click here to read more about NOTHING BUT TROUBLE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from NOTHING BUT TROUBLE.
-Click here to read Susan May Warren’s bio.

Click here to see the study guide for NOTHING BUT TROUBLE.

Author Talk: Elizabeth White, Author of TOUR DE FORCE
Elizabeth White is the author of such Christian romance titles as CONTROLLING INTEREST, FAIR GAME, the Texas Gatekeepers series and the newly released TOUR DE FORCE. In this interview, White discusses what prompted her to center this latest novel on a character from a previous work, and describes how she was able to portray the world of professional ballet so accurately in the text. She also reveals her most and least favorite aspects of being a novelist, elaborates on the role her spirituality plays in her writing, and shares what she hopes readers will take away from her books.

TOUR DE FORCE: A Love Story by Elizabeth White (Romance)
Gillian Kincade is a rising New York ballet star. When Jacob Ferrar --- artistic director of a small, regional company --- casts Gilly in his compelling ballet, it seems like a match made in heaven. But unexpected challenges and career conflicts soon have the couple questioning whether they’re truly following God’s direction --- or their own.

-Click here to read more about TOUR DE FORCE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from TOUR DE FORCE.
-Click here to read Elizabeth White's bio.

Click here to read an interview with Elizabeth White.

Now in Stores: SISTERCHICKS IN WOODEN SHOES! by Robin Jones Gunn
SISTERCHICKS IN WOODEN SHOES! by Robin Jones Gunn (Fiction)
A multi-tasking mama, Summer Finley has found ways to handle whatever life throws at her with grace and a grin. Until now, that is. An “abnormal” medical test result sends Summer into an emotional tailspin and prompts her to fulfill a life-long dream of “meeting” her best friend and pen pal since fourth grade, Noelle Van Zandt, face-to-face. Reviewed by Susan Miura.

Click here to read a review of SISTERCHICKS IN WOODEN SHOES!

Now in Stores: BELOVED COUNTERFEIT by Kathleen Y'Barbo
BELOVED COUNTERFEIT: Fairweather Keys Series, Book 3 by Kathleen Y'Barbo (Historical Romance)
Batten down the hatches and get ready to be swept away by BELOVED COUNTERFEIT, the third book in the captivating Fairweather Keys series by bestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo. Ruby O’Shea is determined to start a new life. When her heart is claimed by Micah Tate, it seems all her dreams are coming true. Until a villain resurfaces and her sins are revealed. Will she receive a pardon for past deeds? Or will her protector abandon her as she’s caught in the riptide of her own duplicity?

-Click here to read an excerpt from BELOVED COUNTERFEIT.
-Click here to read Kathleen Y'Barbo’s bio.

Click here to read more about BELOVED COUNTERFEIT.

New Discussion Guides for Christian Book Groups
In addition to THE MOMENT BETWEEN and NOTHING BUT TROUBLE, we are featuring the following discussion guides for Christian book groups this month:

A PASSION DENIED: Daughters of Boston, Book 3 by Julie Lessman (Historical Romance)
Elizabeth O’Connor has been like the little sister John Brady always wanted, sharing his love of literature and his thirst for God. But in the throes of the reckless Roaring Twenties, Lizzie has grown up. Suddenly she wants more from the man who has been her friend since she was a child. When this shy little bookworm blossoms into a beautiful young woman bent on loving John, she discovers that his past won’t let him return that love. But Lizzie refuses to give up --- until his shocking secrets push her away.

-Click here to see the study guide for A PASSION DENIED.

ENDURING LOVE: Sydney Cove Series, Book 3 by Bonnie Leon (Historical Romance)
It’s 1807 and Australia settlers John and Hannah Bradshaw have worked hard and long to make a good life for themselves at their sheep farm in New South Wales. But just when things are looking up, their world is turned upside down when an unexpected visitor appears in Sydney Town.

The suspenseful conclusion to the Sydney Cove series, ENDURING LOVE is a gripping story laced with the tender romance and hope that readers have come to expect from Bonnie Leon.

-Click here to see the study guide for ENDURING LOVE.

JILLIAN DARE by Melanie M. Jeschke (Romance)
Thrilled to land a job as a nanny at a large country estate in the rolling foothills of Virginia, Jillian Dare is enthralled with the beauty of her new home. But just as Jillian begins to feel at home, she meets her handsome but moody employer, Ethan. In spite of herself, Jillian realizes she might be falling for her boss.
This contemporary story, inspired by the well-loved classic JANE EYRE, will capture your heart with its timeless romance and the mystery of love.

-Click here to see the study guide for JILLIAN DARE.

PARENTING YOUR TEEN AND LOVING IT: Being the Mom Your Kid Needs by Susie Davis (Parenting)
Cell phones and Facebook. Slammed doors and mood swings. Somehow, your sweet child changed into a baffling bunch of hormones you barely recognize. You love your teen but worry about being the mom you need to be.

Susie Davis can help. She gives you the information you need to understand where your teen is emotionally, intellectually, physically and spiritually. With humor and transparency, this seasoned mother of teens answers your big questions.

-Click here to see the study guide for PARENTING YOUR TEEN AND LOVING IT.

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 December through April 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 VOTE OF CONFIDENCE: The Sisters of Bethlehem Springs, Book 1 by Robin Lee Hatcher (Historical Romance)
Beautiful and single, Guinevere Arlington knows her “place” in the early 20th century. She just refuses to stay there. Gwen loves her life in Idaho --- the mountains, the town, her independence. But when she runs for mayor --- and falls in love with her opponent --- Gwen realizes winning may come at too high a price. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

ROSE HOUSE by Tina Ann Forkner
Still mourning the loss of her family in a tragic accident, Lillian Diamon finds herself drawn back to the Rose House, a quiet cottage where four years earlier she had poured out her anguish among its fragrant blossoms. But then Lillian stumbles onto an unexpected discovery: displayed in the La Rosaleda Gallery is a painting that captures every detail of her most private moment of misery. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

Click here to read our Faithful Fiction reviews.

Christian Living Reviews
A LIFETIME OF WISDOM: Embracing the Way God Heals You by Joni Eareckson Tada (Christian Living)
At age 17, Joni Eareckson suffered an accident that left her a quadriplegic for life. Now, more than 40 years later, she looks back across her journey, speaking the wisdom of age and faith to her younger self and to all who have been angry with God, who pray for healing and who hope for answers. Reviewed by Evelyn Bence.

THE UNEXPECTED ADVENTURE: Taking Everyday Risks to Talk with People about Jesus by Lee Strobel and Mark Mittleberg
(Christian Living)
Are you missing one of the most exhilarating and rewarding dimensions of the Christian life? Bestselling authors Lee Strobel and Mark Mittelberg use compelling and humorous stories from their own lives in a devotional-style book that paints an irresistible picture of what personal evangelism can be --- the fulfilling adventure of a lifetime! Reviewed by Margaret Oines.

THE PRINCIPLE OF THE PATH: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Andy Stanley
(Christian Life/Spiritual Growth)
There is often a tension between where we want to end up in life and the path we choose to get there. We fail to see that having good intentions is never good enough. So how do we get from where we are to where we truly want to be? THE PRINCIPLE OF THE PATH is a road map to proper direction and discipline. Reviewed by Margaret Oines.

LONGING FOR GOD: Seven Paths of Christian Devotion by Richard J. Foster and Gayle D. Beebe
(Christian Life/Spiritual Growth)
Truly experiencing the love of God gives us a taste of His goodness and His love for us, but often those moments are fleeting. We get distracted by life. Our awareness and understanding fade while our longing to experience Him that way again increases. In these pages you can begin to fill that longing by developing your capacity to receive and respond to God's love. Reviewed by Margaret Oines.

Click here to read our Christian Living reviews.

Marriage and Family Life Review
RAISING BOYS TO BE LIKE JESUS by Sharon Norris Elliott (Parenting)
RAISING BOYS TO BE LIKE JESUS is a persuasive self-improvement book that offers counsel and assistance to Christian parents who are raising sons. Sharon Norris Elliott explores many subjects, including early spiritual preparation, laying the foundations of biblical commitment, social temptations for Christian boys and young men, basic parenting techniques, and personal values. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

Click here to read our Marriage and Family Life review.

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 7 GREAT PRAYERS: For a Lifetime of Hope and Blessings by Paul McManus and Tracey McManus and THE MOMENT BETWEEN by Nicole Baart. 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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--- Carol Fitzgerald (

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