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Word of Mouth

Faithful Fifteen


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This Month on

October 2009

Quick Links to Features on

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

Booking a Mini-Vacation

It feels like summer just ended, yet here I am already making a list of things I need in preparation for Thanksgiving. Seriously folks, is it just me, or did October fly by? While autumn is beautiful in the Northeast, with it comes the waning hours of daylight and the certainty of colder weather in the months to come.

With the days growing shorter, I am finding more opportunities to stay in and read. When you have the right book, you can go on a mini-vacation --- even if it’s only for 10 minutes a day. This month’s update will take you to small towns, centuries past and the Amish countryside.

We are running a special contest for THE CHRISTMAS LAMP by Lori Copeland, a beautiful novella about Christmas spirit in a small Missouri town. Three Grand Prize winners will receive a special gift basket, while 15 additional readers will receive a signed copy of the title. Read on for more details on how to enter.

Our collection of discussion guides continues to grow, and this month we have four new titles: HAVE A LITTLE FAITH, international bestselling author Mitch Albom’s first nonfiction title since TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE; THE JEWEL OF HIS HEART by Maggie Brendan, a historical romance novel set in 19th-century Montana; THE SWISS COURIER by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey, a suspenseful novel set during World War II; and AMISH PEACE by Suzanne Woods Fisher, a book that explains how leading a simpler, more practical life can help one attain inner peace. Suzanne Woods Fisher also shares her responses to the Faithful Fifteen, which you can read here.

Other highlights this month include A LINEAGE OF GRACE, a compilation of the five books in
Francine Rivers’s bestselling Lineage of Grace series; THE GREAT CHRISTMAS BOWL by Susan May Warren, which is also this month’s Word of Mouth title; DOUBLE CROSS, James David Jordan’s thrilling follow-up to his novel FORSAKEN; LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD, the first title in Annalisa Daughety’s Walk in the Park series; and EMMY’S EQUAL, the final book in Marcia Gruver’s Texas Fortunes Trilogy.

We’ve reviewed nine new titles in our Faithful Fiction, Christian Living, and Marriage and Family Life sections, including LIMELIGHT by Melody Carlson and IF GOD IS GOOD: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil by Randy Alcorn. Read on to see all of our new reviews, and visit the homepage to see other titles not featured here.

Last month we held two special contests. Click here to see the readers selected to receive a copy of each title in Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley’s acclaimed Redemption series, and click here to see our winners of the giveaway we ran for A SLOW BURN by Mary E. DeMuth.

I am ready to get back the hour we lost for Daylight Savings Time this weekend. Those precious 60 minutes definitely are missed. And these dark mornings are not working for me when it’s also dark by 6:00 at night. Here’s to making the most of those dark evenings and “getting away” with a great book.

Carol Fitzgerald (

Special Contest and Feature: THE CHRISTMAS LAMP by Lori Copeland
We are celebrating the release of THE CHRISTMAS LAMP by Lori Copeland --- a beautiful novella that sheds light on the real origins of Christmas spirit --- with a special contest. In a wicker gift basket, three Grand Prize winners will receive a signed copy of THE CHRISTMAS LAMP, as well as a large Christmas Eve-scented candle by Yankee Candle Company, two balsam- and cedar-scented Yankee car fresheners, a lamp ornament from Bronners and a container of Godiva Hot Cocoa. Fifteen runners-up will receive a signed copy of THE CHRISTMAS LAMP. Readers who answer the question correctly by reading an excerpt from THE CHRISTMAS LAMP will be automatically entered to win.

THE CHRISTMAS LAMP by Lori Copeland (Fiction)
When the small town of Nativity, Missouri, loses its much-needed seasonal business, more than the economy suffers. Lifelong resident Roni Elliot clashes with the new outside consultant Jake Brisco, whose drastic budget-slashing threatens the traditions and spirit of Nativity. However, as forgotten joys rekindle and new traditions emerge, Christmas once again becomes a season of hope.

-Click here to read more about THE CHRISTMAS LAMP.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE CHRISTMAS LAMP.
-Click here to read an interview with Lori Copeland.
-Click here to read Lori Copeland's bio.

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

Study Guide Now Available: HAVE A LITTLE FAITH by Mitch Albom
HAVE A LITTLE FAITH: A True Story by Mitch Albom (Spirituality)
Mitch Albom offers a beautifully written story of a remarkable eight-year journey between two worlds --- two men, two faiths, two communities --- that will inspire readers everywhere.

HAVE A LITTLE FAITH is a book about a life’s purpose; about losing belief and finding it again; about the divine spark inside us all. It is one man’s journey, but it is everyone’s story.

-Click here to read more about HAVE A LITTLE FAITH.
-Click here to read an excerpt from HAVE A LITTLE FAITH.
-Click here to read Mitch Albom’s bio.

Click here to see the study guide for HAVE A LITTLE FAITH.

Now in Stores: A LINEAGE OF GRACE by Francine Rivers
A LINEAGE OF GRACE by Francine Rivers (Historical Fiction)
In this compilation of the five books in the bestselling Lineage of Grace series by Francine Rivers, we meet the five women whom God chose --- Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba and Mary. Each was faced with extraordinary --- even scandalous --- challenges. Each took great personal risk to fulfill her calling. Each was destined to play a key role in the lineage of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World.

-Click here to read an excerpt from A LINEAGE OF GRACE.
-Click here to read Francine Rivers’s bio.

Click here to read more about A LINEAGE OF GRACE.

Now in Stores: THE GREAT CHRISTMAS BOWL by Susan May Warren
THE GREAT CHRISTMAS BOWL by Susan May Warren (Fiction)
Marianne Wallace loves the holidays. But when her children begin to leave home --- and their traditions --- behind, she has one last chance to create a holiday they’ll never forget.

Heartwarming and hilarious, THE GREAT CHRISTMAS BOWL is a story about family, traditions and rediscovering the real magic of Christmas.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE GREAT CHRISTMAS BOWL.
-Click here to read Susan May Warren’s bio.

Click here to read more about THE GREAT CHRISTMAS BOWL.

Now in Stores: DOUBLE CROSS by James David Jordan
DOUBLE CROSS by James David Jordan (Thriller)
DOUBLE CROSS follows the exploits of Taylor Pasbury, a young ex-Secret Service agent with a checkered past and a penchant for finding trouble. Even as a high school kid, Taylor knew she was not like most other girls. Raised by her father, a retired Special Forces officer, she learned to camp, shoot, and most of all, take care of herself. Now a young adult, Pasbury opens her own security agency and finds herself in the middle of a mysterious case full of danger and intrigue.

-Click here to read James David Jordan’s bio.

Click here to read more about DOUBLE CROSS.

Study Guide Now Available: AMISH PEACE by Suzanne Woods Fisher

AMISH PEACE: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World by Suzanne Woods Fisher (Inspirational)
You don't have to become Amish to make personal peace a reality. Organized around five central themes in Amish life, AMISH PEACE shows you how you can cultivate a simple life of love, gratitude and faith in the midst of a very complicated world.

-Click here to read Suzanne Woods Fisher’s answers to The Faithful Fifteen.
-Click here to read more about AMISH PEACE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from AMISH PEACE.
-Click here to read Suzanne Woods Fisher's bio.

Click here to see the study guide for AMISH PEACE.

Study Guide Now Available: THE JEWEL OF HIS HEART by Maggie Brendan
THE JEWEL OF HIS HEART: The Heart of the West Series, Book 2 by Maggie Brendan (Historical Romance)
Juliana Brady is alone in an 1890s Montana mining town, with few prospects for making a living. But she is determined not to be dependent on the charity of others.

Josh McBride is trying to scrape up a living from his sheep herd while he builds his ranch. But when he discovers some rare stones on his property, he’s tempted by the prospect of fast money.

When their paths cross, Juliana and Josh must make a choice --- the world’s riches and promises, or the eternal value of love.

-Click here to read more about THE JEWEL OF HIS HEART.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE JEWEL OF HIS HEART.
-Click here to read Maggie Brendan’s bio.

Click here to see the study guide for THE JEWEL OF HIS HEART.

Study Guide Now Available: THE SWISS COURIER by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey

THE SWISS COURIER by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey (Historical Fiction)
It is August 1944 and the Gestapo is mercilessly rounding up suspected enemies of the Third Reich after an attempt on Hitler’s life. Gabi Mueller is a young woman working for the newly formed American Office of Strategic Services (the forerunner to the CIA) in Switzerland. When she is asked to put herself in harm’s way to safely “courier” a German scientist who is working on the atomic bomb out of enemy territory, the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

-Click here to read more about THE SWISS COURIER.

Click here to see the study guide for THE SWISS COURIER.

Now in Stores: LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD by Annalisa Daughety
LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD: A Walk in the Park, Book 1 by Annalisa Daughety (Romance)
Take a walk in Shiloh National Military Park in this fun, fast-paced romance by Annalisa Daughety, a new voice in women’s contemporary fiction. Recent history has taught Kristy O’Neal not to believe in love or risk her heart. Ace Kennedy came to Shiloh to research his family history --- but it’s Park Ranger Kristy he’s studying. Using his own ancestors as an example, can he prove that true love really does exist before Kristy walks away forever?

-Click here to read an excerpt from LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD.
-Click here to read Annalisa Daughety’s bio.

Click here to read more about LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD.

Now in Stores: EMMY'S EQUAL by Marcia Gruver
EMMY’S EQUAL: Texas Fortunes Trilogy, Book 3 by Marcia Gruver (Historical Romance)
Strong-willed Emmy Dane didn’t want to journey to South Texas, and she vows to hate every minute of it. But when Emmy insists on going with ranch foreman Diego Marcelo to search for her missing family, she will find she’s met her match in the stubborn vaquero. Faced with a stampede and a wildfire, will Emmy and Diego be able to surrender their wills and recognize true love before it’s too late?

-Click here to read an excerpt from EMMY’S EQUAL.
-Click here to read Marcia Gruver’s bio.

Click here to read more about EMMY'S EQUAL.

Faithful Fiction Reviews
LIMELIGHT by Melody Carlson (Fiction)
Claudette Fioré used to turn heads and break hearts. She relished the glamorous Hollywood lifestyle because she had what it takes: money, youth, fame, and above all, beauty. But age has withered that beauty, and a crooked accountant has taken her wealth, leaving the proud widow penniless and alone. Armed with stubbornness and sarcasm, Claudette returns to her shabby little hometown and her estranged sister. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

THIRSTY by Tracey Bateman
Struggling to recover from alcoholism, Nina Parker is forced to return to Abbey Hills, Missouri, the hometown she abruptly abandoned nearly two decades earlier. Her unexpected arrival in the sleepy Ozark town catches the attention of someone --- or something --- igniting a 250-year-old desire that rages like wildfire. Unaware of the darkness stalking her, Nina is confronted with a series of events that threaten to unhinge her sobriety. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

FACES IN THE FIRE by T. L. Hines (Supernatural Thriller/Mystery)
Somewhere underneath the lives of the ordinary are the “bottom feeders,” those who blend in with everyone else but have something to hide or to run from. FACES IN THE FIRE enters the realm of the noir, telling a story of lost souls who have become trapped by their choices and whose experiences seem to be linked by one bizarre number. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

JUST BETWEEN YOU AND ME: A Novel of Losing Fear and Finding God by Jenny B. Jones (Fiction)
Maggie Montgomery lives a life of adventure. Her job as a cinematographer takes her from one exotic locale to the next. When Maggie is not working, she loves to rappel off cliffs or go skydiving. Nothing frightens her. Nothing, that is, except Ivy, Texas, where a family emergency pulls her back home to a town full of bad memories, painful secrets, and people Maggie left far behind…for a reason. Reviewed by Susan Miura.

Click here to read our Faithful Fiction reviews.

Christian Living Reviews
IF GOD IS GOOD: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil by Randy Alcorn (Christian Living)
Why would an all-good and all-powerful God create a world full of evil and suffering? How can there be a God if suffering and evil exist? Atheists and former believers answer the questions simply: The existence of suffering and evil proves there is no God. In this captivating new book, Randy Alcorn challenges the logic of disbelief, and brings a fresh, realistic and thoroughly biblical insight to the issues these important questions raise. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

A MILLION MILES IN A THOUSAND YEARS: What I Learned While Editing My Life by Donald Miller (Christian Living)
Two movie producers approach Donald Miller about making a movie based on his memoir. When they start fictionalizing Don's life for film --- changing a meandering memoir into a structured narrative --- the real-life Don starts a journey to edit his actual life into a better story. A MILLION MILES IN A THOUSAND YEARS details that journey and challenges readers to reconsider what they strive for in life. Reviewed by Margaret Oines.

TREASURED: Knowing God by the Things He Keeps by Leigh McLeroy (Christian Living/Inspirational)
Cigar boxes. Refrigerator doors. Scrapbooks. Sock drawers. Top shelves. These are the places we store our keepsakes. God is a collector, too, whose treasures are tucked into the pages of the Bible: a golden bell here, an olive leaf there, a scarlet thread, a blood-stained cloth, a few grains of barley. Each of these saved artifacts reveals a facet of God’s heart and reveals His love. Reviewed by Evelyn Bence.

OUT OF MY BONE: The Letters of Joy Davidman edited by Don W. King (Christian Living)
Best known as the wife of C. S. Lewis, Joy Davidman was an accomplished writer in her own right. OUT OF MY BONE tells Davidman’s life story in her own words through her numerous letters --- most never published before --- that reveal the personality and perseverance of a spirited and spiritual woman. Reviewed by Evelyn Bence.

Click here to read our Christian Living reviews.

Marriage and Family Life Review
THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE & RESPECT: Cracking the Communication Code with Your Mate by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs (Love and Marriage)
Finally we have an answer for the number one problem in marriages --- communication! This analysis of the vital principles of cross-gender communication helps couples recognize they speak two different languages. Dr. Emerson Eggerichs's bestselling book, LOVE & RESPECT, launched a revolution in how couples relate to each other. In THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE & RESPECT, he shares how that message can be applied. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

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 GREAT CHRISTMAS BOWL by Susan May Warren. 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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