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Word of Mouth

Faithful Fifteen


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This Month on

September 2009

Quick Links to Features on

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

Back to Books

The leaves are falling, and each time I hear one plunk to the ground (they sound louder than usual this year), I realize summer is behind us. Oh yes, the “colors of fall” are just lovely, but each time the wind blows I feel like the warm days are flying out of here way too quickly. The other day, as I was driving around town doing some errands, I was trying to remember the trivia fact about which tree loses its leaves first; you know those things you learn in elementary school when you have lots of memory cells ready to dedicate to things like this. That factoid definitely was lost.

Like the students returning to school earlier this month, September is also a time to get back to books. It's a great time for us to do a newsletter subscription drive, thus may we ask that you forward this newsletter to friends who you think might enjoy it, or send them this link to sign up?

This month we have TWO special contests running. In the first, readers will have the opportunity to win a copy of each title in Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley’s Redemption series, which was repackaged and re-released by Tyndale House Publishers. We also have a special giveaway for A SLOW BURN, the second title in Mary E. DeMuth’s Texas Defiance Trilogy. Read on for more details about these books and contests.

Melody Carlson answers The Faithful Fifteen and offers insight on her newest book, THE CHRISTMAS DOG. We have also added discussion guides for three titles: WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE LOVELY: Must-Have Accessories for God’s Perfect Peace by Rhonda Rhea, AN EYE FOR AN EYE: Heroes of Quantico Series, Book 2 by Irene Hannon and FOOLS RUSH IN: Weddings by Bella, Book 1 by Janice Thompson. Please be sure to also visit our Daily Devotional page where throughout September we have been featuring quotes from Steven James’s A HEART EXPOSED: Talking to God with Nothing to Hide.

This month’s Word of Mouth titles are LOOK TO THE EAST: The Great War Series by Maureen Lang and
SWEETWATER RUN by Jan Watson. See below for more information about how you can win a copy of these titles.

There are also 10 new books reviewed in our Faithful Fiction, Christian Living, and Marriage and Family Life sections, including Ted Dekker’s GREEN: The Circle, Book Zero: The Beginning and the End and Max Lucado’s FEARLESS: Imagine Your Life Without Fear. Read on to see all of our new reviews, and visit the homepage to see other titles not featured here.

While I could spend countless hours reading on my hammock in the summer, many of my friends tell me that they have a harder time during the warmer months because there is so much going on. Luckily with the autumn, the shorter and cooler days mean more time inside to read and less guilt about missing the action outside. I find that books make the best companions on those chilly evenings. Here’s to finding a whole stack of them to keep you company through the season.

Happy reading.

Carol Fitzgerald (

Special Contest and Feature: Redemption Series Giveaway
Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley’s acclaimed Redemption series is being re-released, and we here at are celebrating with a special contest. Three readers will have the opportunity to win a finished copy of each title in the series, including REDEMPTION, REMEMBER, RETURN, REJOICE and REUNION.

REDEMPTION: Baxter Family Drama - Redemption Series, Book 1 by Karen Kingsbury with Gary Smalley (Fiction)
REDEMPTION is the first book in the five-book Redemption series that Gary and Karen will write about the Baxter family --- their fears and desires, their strengths and weaknesses, their losses and victories. Each book explores key relationship themes as well as the larger theme of redemption, both in characters’ spiritual lives and in their relationships.

-Click here to read more about REDEMPTION.
-Click here to read an excerpt from REDEMPTION.
-Click here to read Karen Kingsbury's bio.
-Visit Karen Kingsbury’s official website,
-Learn more about the Redemption series here.

Click here for more details about the contest and how to enter.

Special Contest and Feature: A SLOW BURN Giveaway

We are celebrating the release of A SLOW BURN --- the second title in Mary E. DeMuth’s suspenseful Texas Defiance Trilogy --- with a special contest. In December, three Grand Prize winners will receive a fresh, seasonal bouquet of flowers from the "Flower of the Month Club" as well as a finished copy of the first two books in the Defiance Texas Trilogy, DAISY CHAIN and A SLOW BURN. The winners will also receive a new bouquet in January and February. In addition, 15 runners-up will receive a finished copy of DAISY CHAIN and A SLOW BURN.

A SLOW BURN: Defiance Texas Trilogy, Book 2 by Mary DeMuth (Mystery)
Emory Chance needs to find who killed her daughter Daisy and unravel the mystery behind a sickening premonition --- a man with a snake tattoo. The second book in the Defiance Texas Trilogy, A SLOW BURN, is a suspenseful story about courageous love, the power of forgiveness and the bonds that never break.

-Click here to read more about A SLOW BURN.
-Click here to read an excerpt from A SLOW BURN.
-Click here to read Mary E. DeMuth’s bio.
-Click here to read an interview with Mary E. DeMuth.
-Click here to read more about DAISY CHAIN.

Click here for more details about the contest and how to enter.

Melody Carlson, Author of A CHRISTMAS DOG, Answers the Faithful Fifteen
In this Faithful Fifteen interview, Melody Carlson --- author of over 200 novels for women, children and young adults --- discusses what inspired her latest book, THE CHRISTMAS DOG, and explains how her personal beliefs color her writing. She also recalls how she found her faith despite growing up in a non-religious household, details her organic approach to praying, and shares a touching story about meeting a fan.

THE CHRISTMAS DOG by Melody Carlson (Fiction)
Betty Kowalski isn't looking forward to the holidays. She just can't seem to find Christmas in her heart. Maybe it's because her husband is gone. Maybe it's because she's missing her children. Or maybe it has something to do with her obnoxious new neighbor, who seems to be tearing his house apart and rearranging it on the lawn.

But when a mangy dog appears at her doorstep, the stage is set for Betty to learn what Christmas is really all about.

-Click here to read more about THE CHRISTMAS DOG.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE CHRISTMAS DOG.
-Click here to read Melody Carlson's bio.

Click here to read Melody Carlson's answers to The Faithful Fifteen.

Now in Stores: GREEN by Ted Dekker
GREEN: The Circle, Book Zero: The Beginning and the End by Ted Dekker (Fantasy/Suspense)
The story of how Thomas Hunter first entered the Black Forest and forever changed our history began at a time when armies were gathered for a final battle in the valley of Migdon. GREEN is a story of love, betrayal and sweeping reversals set within the apocalypse. It is the beginning: the truth behind a saga that has captured the imagination of more than a million readers with the Books of History Chronicles. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.

Click here to read a review of GREEN.

Now in Stores: FEARLESS by Max Lucado
FEARLESS: Imagine Your Life Without Fear by Max Lucado (Christian Life)
Fear is sly. It has a way of sneaking into your neighborhood, your home and your life. Once it takes up residence, it doesn’t want to leave. But Max Lucado wants to let us know that fear doesn’t have to make us change who we are. In his latest book, FEARLESS, Lucado encourages people to say goodbye to fear. In 15 carefully crafted chapters, he explores the source of our fears and the secret to being more courageous in our everyday lives. Reviewed by Margaret Oines.

Click here to read a review of FEARLESS.

Study Guide Now Available: WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE LOVELY by Rhonda Rhea

WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE LOVELY: Must-Have Accessories for God’s Perfect Peace by Rhonda Rhea (Christian Living)
A beautiful bracelet, stylish new scarf, or pair of sleek sunglasses --- there's always room in a girl's wardrobe for the perfect fashion accessory. But what about spiritual accessories? Pure things, holy things... lovely things. These are the life “accessories” that are must-haves, says Rhonda Rhea. And using Philippians 4:8-9 as a springboard, she takes you on a fun adventure infused with practical spiritual truth about how focusing on those things can lead to a more fruitful, more blessed and more peace-filled life.

-Click here to read more about WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE LOVELY.
-Click here to read an excerpt from WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE LOVELY.
-Click here to read Rhonda Rhea's bio.

Click here to see the study guide for WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE LOVELY.

Study Guide Now Available: AN EYE FOR AN EYE by Irene Hannon
AN EYE FOR AN EYE: Heroes of Quantico Series, Book 2 by Irene Hannon (Romantic Suspense)
After an accidental shooting during a tense standoff, FBI Hostage Rescue Team member Mark Sanders is sent to St. Louis to work as a field agent and get his bearings while the bad press settles. Just weeks away from returning to Quantico, Mark has a chance encounter with his first love, Emily Lawson. But their reunion is cut short by a sniper. Now Mark must find the shooter before he strikes again.

-Click here to read more about AN EYE FOR AN EYE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from AN EYE FOR AN EYE.
-Click here to read Irene Hannon’s bio.

Click here to see the study guide for AN EYE FOR AN EYE.

Study Guide Now Available: FOOLS RUSH IN by Janice Thompson

FOOLS RUSH IN: Weddings by Bella, Book 1 by Janice Thompson (Romance)
Bella Rossi’s life is just starting to get interesting. When her Italian-turned-Texan parents hand over the family wedding-planning business, Bella quickly books a Boot-Scootin’ wedding that would make any Texan proud. There’s only one catch --- she doesn’t know a thing about country music. Where will she find a deejay on such short notice who knows his Alan Jackson from his George Strait? And will Bella ever get to plan her own wedding?

-Click here to read more about FOOLS RUSH IN.
-Click here to read Janice Thompson’s bio.

Click here to see the study guide for FOOLS RUSH IN.

Now in Stores: A HEART EXPOSED by Steven James
A HEART EXPOSED: Talking to God with Nothing to Hide by Steven James (Devotional)
In A HEART EXPOSED, Steven James presents an original collection of image-rich prayers that reflect a heart laid bare before God and invites you to speak to God with nothing to hide.

If you want to be completely real with God, these prayers will pave the way for a life of honest, soulful communication with the God who is always waiting, always available, always listening.

-Click here to read an excerpt from A HEART EXPOSED.
-Click here to read daily devotions from A HEART EXPOSED.
-Click here to read Steven James's bio.

Click here to read more about A HEART EXPOSED.

Now in Stores: A COUSIN'S PRAYER by Wanda E. Brunstetter
A COUSIN’S PRAYER: Indiana Cousins, Book 2 by Wanda E. Brunstetter (Romance)
After her boyfriend is killed in a van in which she was also a passenger, Katie Miller finds herself suffering from depression and anxiety attacks. What --- or who --- will deliver Katie from the bondage of her fears? Freeman Bontrager has been attracted to Katie for years. Now that she’s home, can he break through her emotional scars long enough to reach her heart? When a mysterious package brings Katie out of her despair, hope looms, until the “gift” must be returned to its rightful owners. Will Katie find the courage to really live --- and love --- again?

-Click here to read an excerpt from A COUSIN’S PRAYER.
-Click here to read Wanda E. Brunstetter’s bio.

Click here to read more about A COUSIN'S PRAYER.

Faithful Fiction Reviews
STRAY AFFECTIONS by Charlene Ann Baumbich (Fiction)
The last thing Cassandra Higgins expects out of her Sunday is to be mesmerized at a collectors’ convention by a snowglobe. She’s enjoying some mommy time, with husband Ken at home tending their brood of four young boys, when she’s utterly charmed by the one-of-a kind globe containing figures of three dogs and a little girl with hair the color of her own. It sparks long-dormant memories for Cassie, of her beloved Grandpa Wonky, the stray she rescued as a child, and the painful roots of her combative relationship with her mother. Reviewed by Susan Miura.

OFFWORLD by Robin Parrish (Science Fiction/Thriller)
The return of NASA's first manned mission to Mars was supposed to be a momentous day. But when the crew loses touch with ground control before entry, things look bleak. Safe after a treacherous landing, the crew emerges to discover the unthinkable --- every man, woman, child and animal has vanished without a trace. Alone now on their home planet, the crew sets out to discover where everyone has gone. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

THE BELIEVER by Ann H. Gabhart (Historical Romance)
Elizabeth Duncan has nowhere to turn. In charge of her younger brother and sister after their parents die, her options are limited. When Elizabeth hears that the Shaker community in the next county takes in orphans, she presents herself and her siblings at Harmony Hill. Despite the hard work and strange new beliefs around her, Elizabeth is relieved to have a roof over her head and food to eat. But life gets complicated when she finds herself attracted to a handsome young Believer named Ethan. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

BO’S CAFE by Bill Thrall, Bruce McNicol and John Lynch (Fiction)
High-powered executive Steven Kerner is living the dream in southern California. But when his bottled pain ignites in anger one night, his wife kicks him out. Then an eccentric mystery man named Andy Monroe befriends Steven and begins unravelling his tightly wound world. Andy leads Steven through a series of frustrating and revealing encounters to repair his life through genuine friendship and the grace and love of a God who has been waiting for him to accept it. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

Click here to read our Faithful Fiction reviews.

Christian Living Reviews
THE LOVE REVOLUTION by Joyce Meyer (Christian Living)
What does it mean to start a revolution? Is it possible to create change in people’s lives at home and around the world? Your initial response may be “Not in a million years,” but according to bestselling author Joyce Meyer, a revolution is at hand and it will transform everything in its wake. THE LOVE REVOLUTION is a powerful call for every man, woman and child to live out their faith through love. Reviewed by Margaret Oines.

THE MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION: Embracing the God-Filled Life by Anne Graham Lotz (Christian Living)
What is your passion? What ignites the glimmer in your eye? What compels you to climb out of bed every morning? In other words, what is your magnificent obsession? For bestselling author and Bible teacher Anne Graham Lotz, she knows only one magnificent obsession: God. In her latest book, Lotz details the story of Abraham to illustrate a life wholly devoted to God. Reviewed by Margaret Oines.

SCOUTING THE DIVINE: My Search for God in Wine, Wool, and Wild Honey by Margaret Feinberg (Christian Living/Spirituality)
A Bible full of ancient, agrarian truths. A woman living a modern life. To discover deeper meanings of God’s message, popular author and speaker Margaret Feinberg spends time with an Oregon shepherdess, a Nebraska farmer, a California vintner and a veteran beekeeper. Reviewed by Evelyn Bence.

Click here to read our Christian Living reviews.

Marriage and Family Life Review
I DON’T WANT A DIVORCE: A 90 Day Guide to Saving Your Marriage by Dr. David Clarke with William Clarke (Love and Marriage)
Dr. David Clarke uses his 20 years of counseling experience to provide couples with a proven way to save their marriages. Using Scripture, anecdotes and humor, I DON’T WANT A DIVORCE promises to help husbands and wives not only save their marriages, but completely change their relationships. Reviewed by Maggie Harding.

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 LOOK TO THE EAST: The Great War Series by Maureen Lang and SWEETWATER RUN by Jan Watson. 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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Write to Us page.

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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