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Word of Mouth

Faithful Fifteen


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This Month on

Early December 2010

Quick Links to Features on

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

'Tis the Season!

Once again we're down to the final weeks of the year, and I'm left wondering where it all went! Things seem so hectic in the moment, and before you know it, it's Thanksgiving, then Christmas, and finally New Year's. As always, we're incredibly thankful for all our readers and your continued support of

With the Christmas countdown underway, we have our annual Christmas Roundup of books for you to consider. Here you'll find quite a variety of titles, from
mysteries and romances to daily devotionals for Advent preparation and guides to holiday hymns. Don't forget our annual What to Give, What to Get feature on, a great gift idea resource. Included is a category for Inspirational titles, which are best enjoyed with good company and a warm fire.

Our most recent reviews include Donna VanLiere's THE CHRISTMAS JOURNEY, a retelling of Joseph and Mary's journey, and Melody Carlson's CHRISTMAS AT HARRINGTON'S, about a woman trying to reinvent herself when she unexpectedly becomes Mrs. Santa at a department store. Both are excellent stories about the meaning and magic of the season. We also have a study guide for CHRISTMAS AT HARRINGTON'S available here.

Also in our spotlight is GOD'S GUEST LIST: Welcoming Those Who Influence Our Lives, by Debbie Macomber, who reveals insights into her own life, the people who have influenced her, the characteristics she admires, and those who have helped her grow in faith and grace. Macomber's new fiction release is CALL ME MRS. MIRACLE, about a store clerk who finds herself playing the role of miracle worker and matchmaker for a struggling shopkeeper and an aunt seeking the perfect toy for her nephew. The movie adaptation aired last Saturday on Hallmark Channel, but if you missed it, it'll be re-aired multiple times this month, including this Friday the 3rd at 8pm ET. Click here for more details.

We're also featuring THE BLACKSMITH'S BRAVERY, the third book in Susan Page Davis's Ladies' Shooting Club series. The author returns to the Idaho frontier for another action-packed installment with the ladies facing off against a ruthless group of train robbers.

As always, we have new reviews in our Faithful Fiction, Christian Living and Marriage and Family Life sections. And one lucky reader can win a copy of THE MAYAN APOCALYPSE by Mark Hitchcock and Alton Gansky. Click here to enter.

Happy reading! We look forward to seeing you one more time this year right before Christmas.

Carol Fitzgerald ('s 2010 Christmas Roundup

In anticipation of Christmas, we at have assembled a number of inspirational titles that are sure to remind you of “the reason for the season.” In this roundup, you’ll find heartwarming and original tales of both fiction and nonfiction. There are snow-day revelations, Yuletide mysteries and romances, daily devotionals for Advent preparation, and guides to holiday hymns. Whether you share these books with your loved ones or use them for your own spiritual nourishment, we hope they will warm your heart and renew your spirit as you get ready to celebrate the birth of our Savior.

Click here to read our 2010 Christmas roundup.

What to Give, What to Get: "Reader Perfect" Suggestions for Holiday Giving and Getting

On you'll find our What to Give, What to Get feature, a great resource for holiday gift giving and getting. Included is a category for Inspirational fiction and nonfiction titles perfect for the faithful reader in your life.

Our featured titles in this category are:

BLIND HOPE: An Unwanted Dog and the Woman She Rescued by Kim Meeder and Laurie Sacher
THE CHARLATAN'S BOY by Jonathan Rogers
DIVINE APPOINTMENTS by Charlene Ann Baumbich
HERE BURNS MY CANDLE by Liz Curtis Higgs
LADY IN WAITING by Susan Meissner
MERE CHURCHIANITY: Finding Your Way Back to Jesus-Shaped Spirituality by Michael Spencer
THE PIRATE QUEEN by Patricia Hickman
SISTERS OF THE QUILT: The Complete Trilogy by Cindy Woodsmall

Click here to see our Inspirational "What to Give, What to Get" category.

Study Guide Now Available: CHRISTMAS AT HARRINGTON'S by Melody Carlson

CHRISTMAS AT HARRINGTON’S by Melody Carlson (Fiction)
Christmas is approaching, and Lena Markham finds herself penniless, friendless and nearly hopeless. She is trying to restart her life, but job opportunities are practically nonexistent. When a secondhand red coat unexpectedly lands her a job as Mrs. Santa at a department store, Lena finally thinks her luck is changing. But can she keep her past a secret? Reading CHRISTMAS AT HARRINGTON’S, a story full of redemption and true holiday spirit, will be your newest Christmas tradition.

-Click here to read more about CHRISTMAS AT HARRINGTON’S.
-Click here to read a review of CHRISTMAS AT HARRINGTON’S.
-Click here to read Melody Carlson’s bio.

Click here to read the study guide for CHRISTMAS AT HARRINGTON'S.

Now in Stores: THE CHRISTMAS JOURNEY by Donna VanLiere

THE CHRISTMAS JOURNEY by Donna VanLiere (Fiction)
The 80-mile journey of a common carpenter and a peasant girl is one of the most powerful stories in history. As books go out of print and stories fade from memory, Mary’s delivery inside a barn continues to bless people and inspire hope around the world. Accompanied by moving and beautifully rendered illustrations throughout, Donna VanLiere’s retelling of the Nativity shows that it is still alive today. Reviewed by Susan Miura.

Click here to read a review of THE CHRISTMAS JOURNEY.

Now in Stores: GOD'S GUEST LIST by Debbie Macomber

GOD'S GUEST LIST: Welcoming Those Who Influence Our Lives by Debbie Macomber (Religion & Spirituality)
Through touching true stories and inspiring insight, Debbie Macomber --- best known for her fiction writing --- takes readers on a journey to discover the shaping influence others have on us and the power we have to shape and influence those whose paths cross ours. Reviewed by Evelyn Bence.

Click here to read a review of GOD'S GUEST LIST.

Now in Stores: THE BLACKSMITH'S BRAVERY by Susan Page Davis

THE BLACKSMITH’S BRAVERY: Ladies’ Shooting Club, Book 3 by Susan Page Davis (Historical Romance)
Ride shotgun alongside Vashti Edwards, saloon girl turned stagecoach driver, as she tries to redefine her life into a brave Christian citizen. Watch as Griffin Bane, local blacksmith and stagecoach manager, wrestles with his attraction to her. When a gang of outlaws target the stagecoach line, will The Ladies' Shooting Club come to their friends’ aid again, saving Vashti and Griffin to build a future together?

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE BLACKSMITH’S BRAVERY.
-Click here to read Susan Page Davis’s bio.

Click here to read more about THE BLACKSMITH'S BRAVERY.

Faithful Fiction Reviews

Traditional shops on an unnoticeable street attract a unique brand of visitors: these are young, single folks who are exceptionally devoted to Christ. The mysterious owners of these quaint, varied shops collaborate to sponsor an annual Christmas ball --- a festive event that will join a cute couple for the holidays. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

FATAL CONVICTIONS by Randy Singer (Legal Thriller)
Alexander Madison is part lawyer, part pastor, and part con artist. When a Muslim imam is accused of instigating honor killings, Alex must decide whether to take the case that every other lawyer in town is running away from. He doesn’t realize until it’s too late that defending the imam may cost him the one thing in life he cares about most. Reviewed by Maggie Harding.

WALKING ON BROKEN GLASS by Christa Allan (Fiction)
Admitting herself into rehab for her alcoholism is the easiest step Leah Thornton will take on her road to recovery. However, taking an honest look at her life through sober eyes and identifying the motivations behind her addiction will require more courage and strength than Leah knew she had. Reviewed by Lynda Schab.

Click here to read our Faithful Fiction reviews.

Christian Living Reviews

WHAT GOOD IS GOD?: In Search of a Faith That Matters by Philip Yancey (Christian Living)
Spiritual seeker Philip Yancey has always struggled with questions of Christian faith --- including the practical value of belief in God. His search for answers took him to some of the world’s most haunting places, and everywhere he went, he found that faith still works. This is the story of his journey: a testimony of grace that will convince everyone in need of assurance that their faith really matters. Reviewed by Margaret Oines.

HEAVEN IS FOR REAL: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo, with Lynn Vincent (Memoir)
HEAVEN IS FOR REAL is the true story of the four-year old son of a small-town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didn't know what to believe, but soon the evidence was clear. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JESUS: A Faith that Restores All Things by Chris Seay (Christian Life/Spiritual Growth)
According to surveys, 84% of Christians misunderstand the meaning of the
word righteousness. Referring to God’s restoration of our sinfulness instead of personal piety, pastor Chris Seay reminds us that Jesus breathed life and light into the depths of darkness. Whether it's building a park bench at a bus stop or bringing groceries to the sick, Christ’s gospel is the true Christianity --- and it restores the heart, mind and body. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

Click here to read our Christian Living reviews.

Marriage and Family Life Review

LOVE AND RESPECT FOR A LIFETIME: Women Absolutely Need Love. Men Absolutely Need Respect. It’s as Simple and as Complicated as That... by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs (Love & Marriage)
Women need love. Men need respect. Sounds straightforward enough, right? Yes and no. According to Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, this age-old biblical concept is both simple and complicated. This illustrated gift book offers excerpts and highlights from Dr. Eggerichs’s bestselling marriage book, LOVE AND RESPECT. Reviewed by Lynda Schab.

Click here to read our Marriage and Family Life review.'s Monthly Contest: THE MAYAN APOCALYPSE by Mark Hitchcock and Alton Gansky

In our latest monthly contest, one reader will receive a copy of THE MAYAN APOCALYPSE by Mark Hitchcock and Alton Gansky, a suspenseful novel about the supposed expiration date of planet earth --- December 21, 2012. The deadline for entries is Monday, December 20th at noon ET.

THE MAYAN APOCALYPSE by Mark Hitchcock and Alton Gansky (Suspense)
Andrew Morgan is a wealthy oil executive in search of the meaning of life. In his quest for answers, he encounters the ancient Mayan predictions that the world will end in 2012. That the claims seem supported by math and astronomy drives him to check on them. Then he meets Lisa Campbell, an attractive Christian journalist also researching the Mayan calendar. When he learns that she is a Christian, he quickly dismisses what she has to say.

As the time draws closer to December 21, 2012, a meteorite impact in Arizona, a volcanic eruption, and the threat of an asteroid on a collision course with earth escalate fears. Are these indicators of a global apocalypse? Will anyone survive? Does Lisa’s Christian faith have the answers after all? Or has fate destined everyone to a holocaust from which there is no escape?

Click here to enter our monthly contest.

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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--- Carol Fitzgerald (

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