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Word of Mouth

Faithful Fifteen


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This Month on June 2011

Quick Links to Features on

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

Spring, We Hardly Knew You!

A tough winter calls for a nice summer, but I don't think any of us expected it this soon! It's as though we leapfrogged right into summer and some sweltering heat. Thankfully my family was able to get our pool ready just in time. Although it's been hot and humid here in the Northeast, I'm preparing to head into even hotter weather when I travel to New Orleans in about a week to attend the American Library Association's annual conference. Wish me luck!

Although we have lots of new titles in our latest update, I hope you'll pay special attention to our Father's Day roundup. It's always a lot of fun to put these roundups together, and I hope your family has special plans to celebrate on June 19th. Click here to enjoy our tribute to Dads everywhere, and our thanks to them for their support, encouragement, inspiration, wisdom and love.

This month we're hosting a special contest where 10 readers can win a copy of THE INCONVENIENT MARRIAGE OF CHARLOTTE BECK by Kathleen Y'Barbo. It's about a free-spirited young woman whose marriage is partially arranged by her father --- until real feelings and emotions begin to surface. Enter here by Wednesday, July 13th at noon ET for your chance to win.

We're adding two new study guides this month. MEGAN'S HERO by Sharon Gillenwater is the third book in her popular Callahans of Texas series. This time, Will Callahan rescues a stranded young woman only to find destiny may have put them both on that deserted road. MARTHA by Diana Wallis Taylor is a historical novel about the life of Martha of Bethany, sister of Mary and Lazarus.

You'll also want to read an interview with Elizabeth Camden, author of THE LADY OF BOLTON HILL. The story follows a young woman who courts controversy with her articles about workers' rights and the labor movement in the 1870s. Elizabeth talks about the inspiration for the story and how she herself relates to Clara Endicott, the main character of THE LADY OF BOLTON HILL. Click here for the Q&A.

Three other titles we're featuring this month are FREEDOM'S STAND by Jeanette Windle, THE ART OF ROMANCE: The Matchmakers, Book 2 by Kaye Dacus, and DESERT GIFT by Sally John, which one lucky reader can win by entering our monthly contest.

And of course, don't forget our Faithful Fiction, Christian Living and Marriage and Family Life reviews. We've added eight new titles, including THE AMBITION, Lee Strobel's debut work of fiction; the much-talked-about ONE THOUSAND GIFTS: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp; and DADDY DATES: Four Daughters, One Clueless Dad, and His Quest to Win Their Hearts by Greg Wright, which is among the titles included in our Father's Day roundup.

Finally, the 2011 Christy Award nominees were announced recently. The winners will be honored at a ceremony to be held on July 11th in Atlanta, GA. Check out the nominees here. Good luck to all!

Carol Fitzgerald ('s 2011 Father's Day Roundup
Photographer Anne Geddes has said, "Any man can be a Father but it takes someone special to be a dad." It's true, as nearly every man on this planet has the potential for fatherhood, but being there for your child requires a certain bravery. First-time fathers must willingly dive into uncharted seas while still holding their head above water. They have to put aside what they expect from their child and love, unconditionally, the son or daughter God has given them. They must promise to always be their child's protector, supporter, teacher and confidant. A number of titles in this year's Father's Day roundup act as guides for fathers --- as well as stepfathers --- who seek to do just this, while additional books show how other men have triumphed over adversity, fear, or any other obstacles, by putting their fate in God's hands. Our selections will steer you through fatherhood, family and faith, all while putting a smile on your face.

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

Special Contest and Feature: THE INCONVENIENT MARRIAGE OF CHARLOTTE BECK by Kathleen Y'Barbo

We are celebrating the June 21st release of THE INCONVENIENT MARRIAGE OF CHARLOTTE BECK --- a charming romance about an unlikely marriage between two free spirits --- with a special contest. Ten readers will have the opportunity to each win a copy of Kathleen Y’Barbo’s latest novel. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, July 13th at noon ET.

Charlotte Beck may be entering adulthood, but she can’t seem to keep to her stubborn, independent spirit from bucking social protocol. Fed up with her behavior, Charlotte’s father Daniel pressures her to settle into a nice marriage despite knowing she is set on going to college. Then Daniel sees Charlotte with the handsome but annoying English astronomer Alex Hambly, and everything changes. Though Alex and Charlotte can barely stand one another, Daniel offers them a deal they can’t refuse: if they agree to marry, he will save Alex’s family from financial ruin and grant Charlotte the freedom to go to college. Reluctantly the couple agrees, but in private they plot to annul the marriage as soon as possible. But when Alex’s feelings change and he refuses to dissolve their contract, will Charlotte find a way out of her vows? Or will she discover that maybe this marriage isn’t so inconvenient after all?

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE INCONVENIENT MARRIAGE OF CHARLOTTE BECK.
-Click here to read Kathleen Y’Barbo’s bio.

Click here to read all the contest details.

An Interview with Elizabeth Camden, Author of THE LADY OF BOLTON HILL

Elizabeth Camden’s debut novel, THE LADY OF BOLTON HILL, boasts a brisk pace, plenty of intrigue, romance, and fiercely intelligent characters who live in worlds of high drama and splendid, emotional challenges. In this interview, Camden shares her writing goals, style and struggles. She discusses the distinction between justice and vengeance --- which serves as the biggest theme of her book --- as well as her efforts to celebrate the sheer joy of life through her literature.

THE LADY OF BOLTON HILL by Elizabeth Camden (Historical Romance)
Female journalists are rare in 1879, but American-born Clara Endicott has finally made a name for herself with her provocative articles championing London's poor. When the backlash from her work forces a return home to Baltimore, Clara finds herself face-to-face with a childhood sweetheart who is no longer the impoverished factory worker she once knew. In her absence, Daniel Tremain has become a powerful industry giant and Clara finds him as enigmatic as ever. However, Daniel's success is fueled by resentment from past wounds and Clara's deeply-held beliefs about God's grace force Daniel to confront his own motives. When Clara's very life is endangered by one of Daniel's adversaries, they must face a reckoning neither of them ever could have foreseen.

-Click here to read more about THE LADY OF BOLTON HILL.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE LADY OF BOLTON HILL.

Click here to read an interview with Elizabeth Camden.

Study Guide Now Available: MEGAN'S HERO by Sharon Gillenwater

MEGAN’S HERO: The Callahans of Texas, Book Three by Sharon Gillenwater (Romance)
Six months pregnant, unmarried, broke and alone, Megan Smith doesn't think things can get much worse --- and then they do. Stuck on the road without shelter when a tornado appears, Megan barely escapes with her life. And when Will Callahan comes upon her in the road, her life will never be the same. While staying at the Callahan family ranch, she finds herself daring to love again, even while she suspects that Will's affection for her can't be anything but pity. But when she realizes that the townspeople think she's just a gold digger, she can't bear to stay. Can Will convince her that her past doesn't mean a thing when it comes to love?

-Click here to read more about MEGAN’S HERO.
-Click here to read Sharon Gillenwater’s bio.

Click here to read the study guide for MEGAN'S HERO.

Study Guide Now Available: MARTHA by Diana Wallis Taylor

MARTHA by Diana Wallis Taylor (Historical Romance)
Martha's entire life is marked by her responsibilities to her family. In the absence of her mother, she runs the household, makes the meals, cares for her father, and attempts to keep her absentminded younger sister on task. In the midst of her duties, will she ever find time to live her own life --- or find her own love? This touching, well-researched portrayal of Martha of Bethany, sister of Mary and Lazarus, unveils the woman within the Bible character. Through Diana Wallis Taylor's lush descriptions and inspired fusion of imagined and recorded dialogue, Martha's world --- her trials, triumphs and loves --- vibrantly comes to life.

-Click here to read more about MARTHA

-Click here to read Diana Wallis Taylor’s bio.

Click here to read the study guide for MARTHA.

Now in Stores: THE AMBITION by Lee Strobel

THE AMBITION by Lee Strobel (Legal Thriller)
A corrupt judge in a mob murder case. A disillusioned pastor, hungry for power. A cynical reporter, sniffing for a scandal. A gambling addict whose secret tape threatens the lives of everyone who hears it. New York Times bestselling author Lee Strobel weaves these edgy characters into an intricate thriller set in a suburban megachurch, a big-city newspaper struggling for survival, and the corridors of political intrigue. Reviewed by Susan Miura.

Click here to read a review of THE AMBITION.

Now in Stores: FREEDOM'S STAND by Jeanette Windle

FREEDOM’S STAND by Jeanette Windle (Fiction)
Jamil renounced a life of jihad when he encountered the life-changing message of Jesus Christ, but villagers and authorities in the hills of Afghanistan respond with skepticism…and even violence. Relief worker Amy Mallory is shocked by the changes in her organization --- changes with dire implications for the women and children under her care. And concern for her former assistant, Jamil, weighs heavily on her heart.

-Click here to read an excerpt from FREEDOM’S STAND.
-Click here to read Jeanette Windle’s bio.

Click here to read more about FREEDOM'S STAND.

Now in Stores: THE ART OF ROMANCE by Kaye Dacus

THE ART OF ROMANCE: Matchmakers, Book 2 by Kaye Dacus (Romance)
Author Kaye Dacus will ignite your love of romance with Book 2 of her Matchmakers series. Dylan Bradley, who once illustrated steamy romances under the name Patrick Callaghan, has moved into his grandparent’s guest house in Nashville. Caylor Evans, having once written titillating novels under the penname Melanie Mason, lives with her grandmother. When their lives collide, due to the machinations of meddling matriarchs, the pasts of Dylan and Caylor threaten to derail their futures. Will they accept each other for who they now are --- and once were? Or will they never discover the true art of romance?

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE ART OF ROMANCE.

-Click here to read Kaye Dacus’s bio.

Click here to read more about THE ART OF ROMANCE.

The 2011 Christy Award Nominees
On May 6th, the Christy Advisory Board announced the nominees for this year’s Christy Awards, which have been honoring excellence in Christian Fiction for 12 years. The winners will be honored at a ceremony to be held on July 11th in Atlanta, GA. The keynoter for the ceremony will be celebrated screenwriter, director and New York Times bestselling author Randall Wallace, and New York Times bestselling author Liz Curtis Higgs will emcee.

Click here to see the nominees for this year's Christy Awards.'s Bunch o' Books Giveaway -- Here's Your Chance to Win Four Books!

In our first-ever Bunch o' Books Giveaway, is giving 20 lucky readers the chance to each win four books that we think they'll enjoy!

Each winner will receive:

- IN FRONT OF GOD AND EVERYBODY: The Confessions of April Grace by K.D. McCrite
- IZZY'S POPSTAR PLAN by Alex Marestaing
- NO PLACE LIKE HOLMES by Jason Lethcoe
- THE SECRETS BENEATH by Kathleen Fuller

The deadline for entries is Wednesday, June 15th at noon ET.

-Click here to read more about the prize books.

Click here to read all the contest details.

Faithful Fiction Reviews
THE MOUNTAINS BOW DOWN: A Raleigh Harmon Novel by Sibella Giorello (Mystery)
FBI agent Raleigh Harmon’s nice vacation on an Alaskan cruise proves to be anything but relaxing when the wife of a movie star is found hanging from the top rail of the ship. Initially ruled a suicide, Raleigh believes it’s murder. Now all she has to do is prove it. Reviewed by Lynda Schab.

A KILLER AMONG US: Women of Justice, Book Three by Lynette Eason (Romantic Suspense)
Someone who considers himself “The Judge” is murdering and mutilating college law students, leaving a miniature gavel at each scene. Hostage negotiator Kit Kenyon and detective Noah Lambert head up the investigation, which becomes personal when the elusive killer comes after them. Reviewed by Lynda Schab.

THE CORRUPTIBLE: A Ray Quinn Mystery by Mark Mynheir (Mystery)
Retired police officer Ray Quinn now owns the Night Watchman Detective Agency. Hired by a wealthy businessman to find a dirty ex-cop who has some stolen confidential information, things get complicated when the ex-cop ends up dead. Ray and his sidekick, Crevis, set out to find a killer in this witty and fast-paced crime novel. Reviewed by Lynda Schab.

Click here to read our Faithful Fiction reviews.

Christian Living Reviews
ONE THOUSAND GIFTS: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp (Christian Living/Spiritual Growth)
Just like you, Ann Voskamp hungers to live her one life well. “How,” Ann wondered, “do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama, and daily duties?” In ONE THOUSAND GIFTS, Ann invites you to embrace everyday blessings and embark on the transformative spiritual discipline of chronicling God's gifts. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

WE SHALL SEE GOD: Charles Spurgeon’s Classic Devotional Thoughts on Heaven by Randy Alcorn (Devotional)
Nearly 120 years after Charles Spurgeon’s death, countless people continue to have a passion for this London preacher. Some of his most powerful sermons were those on the topic of Heaven. Up until now, however, very few of these have been accessible to a mass audience. Bestselling author Randy Alcorn has compiled Spurgeon’s most profound spiritual insights on the topic of eternity. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

A WILLING HEART: How to Serve When You Think You Can’t by Marci Alborghetti (Christian Living)
Combining anecdote, historical reflection and encouragement, Marci Alborghetti shows how to incorporate service that is both rewarding and manageable into one’s chaotic and busy life. Her own vision for Christian service was renewed amidst the trauma of a home robbery. Reviewed by Evelyn Bence.

Click here to read our Christian Living reviews.

Marriage and Family Life Review
DADDY DATES: Four Daughters, One Clueless Dad, and His Quest to Win Their Hearts by Greg Wright (Parenting)
When faced with the reality of raising four teen daughters, Greg Wright went on a soul quest. He came back with a mission: Don't Screw Up. This funny, insightful and relatable book poses the concept that in order to raise a confident woman-to-be, you must show your daughter what it feels like to be treated with love, respect and true interest by a man who loves her. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

Click here to read our Marriage and Family Life review.'s Monthly Contest: DESERT GIFT by Sally John
In our latest monthly contest, one reader will receive a copy of DESERT GIFT by Sally John, an insightful and inspiring story about the unexpected detours our lives can take, the lies we sometimes tell ourselves, and the hope that God is always at work, even in the desert. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, July 13th at noon ET.

DESERT GIFT by Sally John (Fiction)
When you’re at the top, you’ve got a long way to fall. A nationally known marriage expert, Jillian Galloway is at the pinnacle of success. Her syndicated talk radio show is a hit and her first book is about to release. But just as she’s leaving for her West Coast publicity tour, Jill’s faithful husband of 24 years drops a bombshell: he wants a divorce.

As her world crashes down around her, Jill flees to her parents’ home in the California desert, wondering if everything she’s built her career on --- and everything she’s built her life around --- is a sham. She thought she’d done everything right. So how did her marriage slowly slip away? And will she ever get it back?

Click here to enter's monthly contest.

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