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Word of Mouth

Faithful Fifteen


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This Month on FaithfulReader.com

July 2010


Quick Links to Features on FaithfulReader.com


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

Downtime on the Way!

Once again, July has been a huge business travel month for me! I love when summer conferences are held in places like Washington, DC and Orlando, where one gets to truly experience heat and humidity (not that New York has been much better this summer). Thankfully, some much-needed downtime is just around the corner, and I'll be able to enjoy the "Dog Days" with plenty of good books and cold iced tea.

Although the travel and long days take their toll as I also juggle working with the office in New York, it is also a special time to catch up with lots of friends and colleagues from all over the country. For many of us, these trade shows may be one of the only times we get to see each other all in the same place the entire year. So after the stress of travel subsides, I'm always happy to be among people who all are excited about books. Talking about books gives people such a wonderful common bond; it's one of the reasons I like writing to you in this newsletter. It's fun to share the books we have found that we think you will enjoy.

Whether you're traveling or relaxing at home during these final weeks of summer, we have some great books to share, three of which you can win copies of. Our first contest is for THE WAY TO A MAN'S HEART by Mary Ellis, the third and final book in her popular Miller Family Series set in Holmes County, Ohio. Five readers will have the chance to win a copy of the book. All you have to do is enter here by Tuesday, August 24th at noon ET.

Our second contest is for WALKER'S WEDDING by Lori Copeland, the third book in her Western Skies series about a heartbroken rancher and an heiress desperate to make her own way in the world. We have five copies to give away, so enter here by Tuesday, August 24th at noon ET for your chance to win.

Finally, we're giving five readers the opportunity to win a copy of RANSOMED DREAMS by Sally John, the first installment in her Side Roads series about a diplomat's wife who returns from abroad and is forced to confront her troubled past in her hometown of Chicago. Click here to enter by Tuesday, August 24th at noon ET.

Along with RANSOMED DREAMS, we have added study guides for THE SEEKER by Ann H. Gabhart and COURTING MORROW LITTLE by Laura Frantz. Other current spotlighted titles include THE LAST OPERATIVE by Jerry B. Jenkins (which you can win a copy of in our Word of Mouth contest, in addition to THE WITNESS by Josh McDowell), DOCTOR IN PETTICOATS: Sophie's Daughters, Book 1 by Mary Connealy, GUNSMITH'S GALLANTRY: Ladies' Shooting Club, Book 2 by Susan Page Davis, SIMPLE SECRETS: The Harmony Series, Book 1 by Nancy Mehl and NIGHTSHADE: Discarded Heroes, Book 1 by Ronie Kendig.

We also have eight reviews for you in our Faithful Fiction, Christian Living, and Marriage and Family Life sections, including AN ABSENCE SO GREAT: Portraits of the Heart, Book 2 by Jane Kirkpatrick, A MAZE OF GRACE: A Memoir of Second Chances by Trish Ryan and OUT OF THE SPIN CYCLE: Devotions to Lighten Your Mother Load by Jen Hatmaker.

We look forward to seeing you next month. In the meantime, hope you are beating the heat wherever you are!

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)



Special Contest and Feature: THE WAY TO A MAN'S HEART by Mary Ellis
We are celebrating the release of THE WAY TO A MAN’S HEART --- the much-anticipated conclusion to Mary Ellis’s saga of a family’s life and faith in Holmes County, Ohio --- with a special contest. Five readers will have the opportunity to each win a copy of this third and final installment in The Miller Family series. The deadline for entries is Tuesday, August 24th at noon ET.

THE WAY TO A MAN’S HEART: The Miller Family Series, Book 3 by Mary Ellis (Romance) Mary Ellis (A WIDOW’S HOPE and NEVER FAR FROM HOME) concludes her bestselling The Miller Family series with another engaging story set in Holmes County, Ohio. Leah Miller is living her dream come true as she invests in a newly restored diner that caters to locals rather than tourists. Leah’s sister, Emma, is trying to adapt to married life as New Order Amish along with her husband, James, who gave up his “Englischer” ways to make Emma his bride. Ellis offers readers another captivating novel filled with strong characters and a loving look at how faith in God and connection with family can fill to overflowing an open, waiting heart.

-Click here to read more about THE WAY TO A MAN’S HEART.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE WAY TO A MAN’S HEART.
-Click here to read Mary Ellis’s bio.

Click here to read all the contest details.


Special Contest and Feature: WALKER'S WEDDING by Lori Copeland

We are celebrating the release of WALKER’S WEDDING by Lori Copeland --- a Western romance between a heartbroken rancher and a desperate heiress --- with a special contest. Five readers will have the opportunity to each win a copy of this third installment in The Western Sky series. The deadline for entries is Tuesday, August 24th at noon ET.

WALKER’S WEDDING: The Western Sky Series, Book 3 by Lori Copeland (Historical Romance)
Bestselling author Lori Copeland (OUTLAW’S BRIDE and A KISS FOR CADE) weaves together elements of another classic Western romance with themes of redemption, forgiveness and second chances. Abandoned by his fiancée hours before their wedding, Walker McKay is determined to never let a woman near his heart again, but he needs an heir to inherit his ranch after he is gone. Wealthy heiress Sara Livingston wants to be married, but her suitors are deemed unsuitable by her unreasonable father. When the opportunity to fill the bill for a mail-order bride comes her way, she grabs onto it with both hands. Will Sara’s deception and Walker’s wounded heart keep them from finding what they are looking for? Or are they truly meant for one another?

-Click here to read more about WALKER’S WEDDING.
-Click here to read an excerpt from WALKER’S WEDDING.
-Click here to read Lori Copeland’s bio.

Click here to read all the contest details.


Special Contest and Feature: RANSOMED DREAMS by Sally John
We are celebrating the release of RANSOMED DREAMS by Sally John --- the story of a diplomat’s wife returning from abroad to confront her tangled past --- with a special contest. Five readers will have the opportunity to each win a copy of this first installment in the Side Roads series. The deadline for entries is Tuesday, August 24th at noon ET.

RANSOMED DREAMS: Side Roads Series, Book 1 by Sally John (Romantic Suspense)
Sheridan Montgomery leads a charmed life as the wife of Eliot, U.S. ambassador to Venezuela. But an attack on their lives cripples Eliot, and they retreat to a remote Mexican village. As Sheridan quietly cares for her husband, she sees her dreams slipping away. Luke Traynor shatters their reverie when he arrives to tell Sheridan of her father’s heart attack and the evidence implicating him in a conspiracy. Sheridan returns to Chicago to untangle the web of her father’s past and is forced to confront her feelings for Luke, a trail of deceit, and the truth about her marriage.

-Click here to read the study guide for RANSOMED DREAMS.
-Click here to read more about RANSOMED DREAMS.
-Click here to read an excerpt from RANSOMED DREAMS.
-Click here to read Sally John’s bio.

Click here to read all the contest details.


Study Guide Now Available: THE SEEKER by Ann H. Gabhart
THE SEEKER by Ann H. Gabhart (Historical Romance)
Charlotte Vance is a young woman who knows what she wants. But when the man she planned to marry joins the Shakers --- a religious group that does not marry --- she is left dumbfounded. With the country --- and her own household --- on the brink of civil war, this pampered gentlewoman hatches a plan to avoid her family and win back her man by joining the Shaker community at Harmony Hill. Little does she know that this decision will lead her down a road toward unforeseen peace --- and a very unexpected love.


-Click here to read more about THE SEEKER.
-Click here to read Ann H. Gabhart’s bio.

Click here to read the study guide for THE SEEKER.


Study Guide Now Available: COURTING MORROW LITTLE by Laura Frantz

COURTING MORROW LITTLE by Laura Frantz (Historical Romance)
Morrow Little is haunted by the memory of the day her family was torn apart by raiding Shawnee warriors. Now that she is nearly a grown woman and her father is ailing, she must make difficult choices about her future. Can she betray the memory of her lost loved ones by pursuing a new life? Or should she seal her own misery by marrying a man she doesn't love?

-Click here to read more about COURTING MORROW LITTLE.
-Click here to read Laura Frantz’s bio.

Click here to read the study guide for COURTING MORROW LITTLE.


Now in Stores: THE LAST OPERATIVE by Jerry B. Jenkins

THE LAST OPERATIVE by Jerry B. Jenkins (Political Thriller)
Jordan Kirkwood wants to go quietly into the sunset. His career as an NSA intelligence officer has taken a significant toll. His two adult children are little more than distant acquaintances. His wife has been patient and supportive, but he knows she has deserved better. That was part of the reason they were going to London. He wanted her to see Europe like a tourist. But that was before he was given intelligence information during the recent mission to Germany. The threat is grave --- bigger than 9/11.

-Click here to read a review of THE LAST OPERATIVE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE LAST OPERATIVE.
-Click here to read Jerry B. Jenkins’s bio.

Click here to read more about THE LAST OPERATIVE.


Now in Stores: DOCTOR IN PETTICOATS by Mary Connealy
DOCTOR IN PETTICOATS: Sophie’s Daughters, Book 1 by Mary Connealy (Historical Romance)
Doctor Alex Buchanan is a wanted man --- a deserter from the army stalked by a bounty hunter --- but he'd rather be dead than inflict any more pain on his patients. Beth McClellan is idealistic, believing the nursing training she received will be enough to help her serve as doctor to her home town in West Texas. When Alex and Beth meet in a stagecoach accident, they find that they work well together. But are his demons and her dreams too deeply rooted for either of them to pay the price required for a future together?

-Click here to read an excerpt from DOCTOR IN PETTICOATS.
-Click here to read Mary Connealy’s bio.

Click here to read more about DOCTOR IN PETTICOATS.


Now in Stores: GUNSMITH'S GALLANTRY by Susan Page Davis

GUNSMITH’S GALLANTRY: Ladies’ Shooting Club, Book 2 by Susan Page Davis (Historical Romance)
Can the shy gunsmith and the widowed storekeeper find love when everything around them is in an uproar? Hiram Dooley has problems --- women problems! His sister’s about to leave him to get married (if Sheriff Ethan Chapman ever proposes); his sister-in-law, Rose, thinks Hiram should marry her, since they’re both widowed; and the woman he truly loves, Libby Adams, is blind to his regard. The schoolmarm has a different problem --- a man claiming to be her uncle came to Fergus…and then disappeared. Did her father kill him? Can the Ladies’ Shooting Club once again ride to the rescue?

-Click here to read an excerpt from GUNSMITH’S GALLANTRY.
-Click here to read Susan Page Davis’s bio.

Click here to read more about GUNSMITH'S GALLANTRY.


Now in Stores: SIMPLE SECRETS by Nancy Mehl
SIMPLE SECRETS: The Harmony Series, Book 1 by Nancy Mehl (Mystery/Romance)
Can graphic designer Gracie Temple have it all: the big city life and a job at a successful advertising firm? Just when she feels life coming together, she receives an unknown uncle’s inheritance in a quiet Kansas Mennonite community. The house comes with a dark legacy and a cast of interesting neighbors, including farmer Sam Goodrich. Can Gracie shake off the dust of this town, or will its secret charms pull her in to stay?

-Click here to read an excerpt from SIMPLE SECRETS.
-Click here to read Nancy Mehl’s bio.

Click here to read more about SIMPLE SECRETS.


Now in Stores: NIGHTSHADE by Ronie Kendig
NIGHTSHADE: Discarded Heroes, Book 1 by Ronie Kendig (Romantic Suspense)
Soldiers all across the globe are returning home to their families after brutal tours of duty. They are discharged from the service…and on their own. Meet Max Jacobs, one of these discarded heroes, as he faces a wall of failure --- in his career, his friendships, and his marriage. Failing again --- this time to end his life --- he is offered a thread of hope. Are covert government operations the answer for him, or will they only bring more danger and dissension upon his broken family?

-Click here to read an excerpt from NIGHTSHADE.
-Click here to read Ronie Kendig’s bio.

Click here to read more about NIGHTSHADE.


Faithful Fiction Reviews
AN ABSENCE SO GREAT: Portraits of the Heart, Book 2 by Jane Kirkpatrick (Historical Romance)
While growing in confidence as a photographer, 18-year-old Jessie Ann Gaebele’s personal life is at a crossroads. Hoping she’s put an unfortunate romantic longing behind her as “water under the bridge,” she exiles herself to Milwaukee to operate photographic studios for those owners who have fallen ill with mercury poisoning. But even a job she loves can’t keep painful memories from seeping into her heart when the shadows of a forbidden love threaten to darken the portrait of her life.
Reviewed by Maggie Harding.

DRIFTWOOD LANE: A Nantucket Love Story by Denise Hunter (Romance)
When the death of Meridith's estranged father leaves her with custody of three siblings she's never met, she reluctantly goes to Nantucket to care for them --- but only until their uncle returns from his trip. Little does she know, the uncle is already there under the guise of her friendly handyman, with plans of his own. Will the love that grows between them be strong enough to overcome the secrets that brought them both to Driftwood Lane? Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

TOMORROW WE DIE by Shawn Grady (Mystery)
Paramedic Jonathan Trestle has more life and death going on than he can handle. On the life side, an alcoholic father who lives with him, a full ride to medical school, and a woman who makes his heart pound like a wild jungle beat. On the death side, childhood memories of his mother after the crash, and daily reminders as he struggles to save people at death’s door, often failing because the company for which he works is always shorthanded. TOMORROW WE DIE is the story of one man trying to make today count, no matter the consequences. Reviewed by Susan Miura.

Click here to read our Faithful Fiction reviews.


Christian Living Reviews

A MAZE OF GRACE: A Memoir of Second Chances by Trish Ryan (Memoir)
In her first book, Trish Ryan chronicled the ways in which finding faith led her to the happily-ever-after ending that had eluded her for so long. Only it wasn't an ending. It was a beginning. In A MAZE OF GRACE, Ryan picks up where she left off, sharing the early years of her marriage, and the challenges that both shaped and startled her. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

DOING LIFE DIFFERENTLY: The Art of Living with Imagination by Luci Swindoll (Christian Living)
DOING LIFE DIFFERENTLY is not a pie-in-the-sky book that sidesteps the real issues of life. Instead, the zest in its pages helps readers find the life of adventure that is within the very life they are living. A jolt of energy and a blast of fresh air, Luci Swindoll manages to reach every reader where she is and help her envision a life through the lens of possibility. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.

GREEN LIKE GOD: Unlocking the Divine Plan for Our Planet by Jonathan Merritt (Ecology)
Accompany one pilgrim on a spiritual expedition from enviro-ambivalence to standing at the forefront of the green movement in the church. Jonathan Merritt confronts tough questions dividing America and the faith community while exploring God’s plan for restoration. Reviewed by Evelyn Bence.

THE WISDOM OF STABILITY: Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove (Religion & Spirituality)
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove illuminates the biblical and monastic understanding of why staying in one place is both a virtue and good for you. When we cultivate an inner stability of heart --- by rooting ourselves in the places where we live, engaging the people we are with, and by the simple rhythms of tending to body and soul --- true growth can happen. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.

Click here to read our Christian Living reviews.


Marriage and Family Life Review
OUT OF THE SPIN CYCLE: Devotions to Lighten Your Mother Load by Jen Hatmaker (Devotional)
Motherhood sometimes feels like a list of expectations. But here's a secret: a lot of those things on your list of expectations are things Jesus never expected you to do on your own. In OUT OF THE SPIN CYCLE, author and speaker Jen Hatmaker takes the words and deeds of Jesus, adds the humor of a young mom's life, and offers messages of grace and encouragement. 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 LAST OPERATIVE by Jerry B. Jenkins and THE WITNESS by Josh McDowell. 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 (Carol@bookreporter.com)

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