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Word of Mouth

Faithful Fifteen


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FaithfulReader.com Newsletter!

This Month on FaithfulReader.com September 2011

Quick Links to Features on FaithfulReader.com


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

Back to School, Back to the Books...and Back to Reality!
September is always a time when we return to our regular routines after what has hopefully been a fun and relaxing summer. My house is no different as both sons were back to school earlier this month, signaling the end of summer. My oldest son starts his senior year of college (how did that happen?), while his brother begins his junior year of high school, which means driving and college visits ahead.

We ended our summer as we usually do with a family trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Unfortunately, our plans were altered as Hurricane Irene tore through both where we live in New Jersey as well as the Outer Banks. The house at home was without power for six days, which led to a huge refrigerator cleanout (we sure had a lot of condiments and salad dressings!). Our vacation was abbreviated, but we considered ourselves very lucky when we saw the destruction that had been left in the storm’s wake. I had plenty of books to keep me busy, and I realized that reading by the light of my iPad was definitely a very good way to keep reading when the lights were out! The hurricane did lots of damage to the Outer Banks communities, especially on the southern end, but it was truly wonderful watching people banding together to clean things up! I know I am very grateful to my friend Cathy, who stored all our freezer items.

Many of you will be thrilled to know that HER DAUGHTER'S DREAM by Francine Rivers is now available in paperback. This is the second book in her bestselling Marta's Legacy series, following HER MOTHER'S HOPE. The books tell such a beautiful story of one family's mother/daughter relationships over several generations. You can win a copy of the paperback in our latest Monthly Contest. All you have to do is enter here by Friday, October 14th at noon ET.

We have two great author interviews this month. Loree Lough discusses FROM ASHES TO HONOR, book one in her First Responders series, which deals with two strangers finding common ground after the 9/11 tragedy. And Shelley Shepard Gray talks about A TEXAN'S PROMISE, the first installment in her Heart of a Hero series. It's about a romance that blossoms on the Texas frontier when a ranch foreman is charged with protecting an heir.

We are also adding guides for two of Shelley's books this month: THE PROTECTOR and THE SURVIVOR, volumes two and three of her popular Families of Honor series. It's been a busy year for Shelley, and we're happy to share her prolific writing with you!

Other titles we're featuring this month include THE BETRAYAL, a continuation of Jerry B. Jenkins's Precinct 11 series. He knows how to keep the thrills coming as a Chicago detective must protect a key witness at all costs as a trial of the city's biggest crime heads gets underway. DRY AS RAIN is the latest from Gina Holmes, who had a hit with last year's CROSSING OCEANS. DRY AS RAIN starts with the unraveling of a marriage until a tragedy forces husband and wife to see past each other's faults. You'll also want to check out THE TOUCH by Randall Wallace, about a surgeon trying to recover from a failed procedure.

Our newest reviews include COURAGEOUS by Randy Alcorn, a novelization of the upcoming movie of the same name releasing on September 30th; JESUS, MY FATHER, THE CIA, AND ME, a “memoir…of sorts” from Ian Morgan Cron; and THE POWER OF A PRAYING WIFE DEVOTIONAL by Stormie Omartian.

Lots of great books to jumpstart your fall. Enjoy!

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)


Now Available in Paperback: HER DAUGHTER'S DREAM by Francine Rivers

HER DAUGHTER’S DREAM: Marta’s Legacy, Book 2 by Francine Rivers (Historical Fiction)
Growing up isn’t easy for little Carolyn Arundel. With her mother, Hildemara, quarantined to her room with tuberculosis, Carolyn forms a special bond with her momma, Marta, who moves in to care for the household. But as tensions between Hildie and Marta escalate, Carolyn believes she is to blame. When Hildie returns to work and Marta leaves, Carolyn and her brother grow up as latchkey kids in a world gripped by the fear of the Cold War.

-Click here to read more about HER DAUGHTER’S DREAM.
-Click here to read a review of HER DAUGHTER’S DREAM.
-Click here to read an excerpt from HER DAUGHTER’S DREAM.
-Click here to read an interview with Francine Rivers.
-Click here to read Francine Rivers’s bio.

Click here to read the study guide for HER DAUGHTER'S DREAM.


An Interview with Shelley Gray, Author of A TEXAN'S PROMISE
Widely known for her inspirational Amish fiction, such as the Families of Honor novels, Shelley Gray has branched out with A TEXAN’S PROMISE, a Western set in the late 1800s that marks the start of The Heart of a Hero series. In this interview, Gray, a native Texan, discusses this shift in genres, muses about her main characters, defines what a true “hero” is to her, and explains how writing books has enabled her to further explore her faith.

A TEXAN’S PROMISE: The Heart of a Hero Series, Book 1 by Shelley Gray (Historical Romance)
When Clayton Proffitt, foreman of the Circle Z Ranch in Texas, discovers Vanessa Grant is the victim of her stepfather’s advances, Clayton knows he must protect her honor and move her far away from the ranch --- and from the man she fears.

-Click here to read the study guide for A TEXAN’S PROMISE.
-Click here to read more about A TEXAN’S PROMISE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from A TEXAN’S PROMISE.
-Click here to read Shelley Gray’s bio.

Click here to read an interview with Shelley Gray.


An Interview with Loree Lough, Author of FROM ASHES TO HONOR
Inspirational author Loree Lough has had, at last count, 82 award-winning books, 67 short stories and 2,500+ articles in print. Her latest novel, FROM ASHES TO HONOR, is the first in a series called First Responders, about 9/11 and its emotional impacts. With the recent 10th anniversary of the tragedy, there’s no more relevant time to pick up this book. In this interview, Lough discusses the feedback she received from real first responders, as well as her hopes for what readers will come to learn and understand. She also reveals how she herself was affected by that fateful day of 10 years ago.

FROM ASHES TO HONOR: First Responders Series, Book 1 by Loree Lough (Romance)
Minutes before two jumbo jets changed U.S. history, New York police officer Austin Finley ignored the call from his brother, who’d been bugging him for days. Trying to live with his one regret causes hatred and bitterness to consume Austin, and when counselor Mercy Samara recommends desk duty, Austin resigns. Haunted by her own memories of 9/11, Mercy takes a job as a school counselor in Baltimore. When Austin, now an EMT, responds to an emergency at Mercy’s school, both are stunned and wary.

-Click here to read more about FROM ASHES TO HONOR.
-Click here to read an excerpt from FROM ASHES TO HONOR.
-Click here to read Loree Lough’s bio.

Click here to read an interview with Loree Lough.


Study Guide Now Available: THE BETRAYAL by Jerry B. Jenkins
THE BETRAYAL: Precinct 11, Book 2 by Jerry B. Jenkins (Thriller)
Detective Boone Drake has just masterminded the most massive sting in Chicago history, bringing down the heads of not only the biggest street gangs in the city but also the old crime syndicate. The story is the biggest in decades, and the Chicago Police Department must protect the key witness at all costs. Despite top-secret plans to transfer the witness ahead of his testimony before the grand jury, an attempt is made on his life. And the person suspected of leaking this information may be one of the CPD’s own.

-Click here to read more about THE BETRAYAL.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE BETRAYAL.
-Click here to read Jerry B. Jenkins’s bio.

Click here to read the study guide for THE BETRAYAL.


Study Guide Now Available: THE PROTECTOR by Shelley Shepard Gray
THE PROTECTOR: Families of Honor, Book Two by Shelley Shepard Gray (Romance)
When her mother passes away, Ella is forced to auction off her family's farm. Her father died years ago, and she could never manage the 50 acres on her own. But after she moves to town, she can't deny the pain she feels watching the new owner, Loyal Weaver, repairing her family's old farmhouse---everything Ella had once dreamed of doing. What Ella doesn't know is that Loyal secretly hopes she will occupy this house again…as his wife. He begins inviting her over, to ask her opinion on changes he wants to make. As their friendship blooms, Ella starts to wonder about Loyal's intentions, especially when her best friend, Dorothy, hints that Loyal is not who he seems.

-Click here to read more about THE PROTECTOR.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE PROTECTOR.
-Click here to read Shelley Shepard Gray’s bio.

Click here to read the study guide for THE PROTECTOR.


Study Guide Now Available: THE SURVIVOR by Shelley Shepard Gray

THE SURVIVOR: Families of Honor, Book Three by Shelley Shepard Gray (Romance)
Mattie has faced more in her 23 years than she ever imagined possible. Having successfully battled cancer, she’s ready to reenter the world with hopes for her future. But while she was in and out of hospitals, other Amish girls her age were courting and finding the men they would marry. The only man who’s ever made her heart beat faster is Graham Weaver, her best friend, who has always been there to comfort her, in good times and bad. Is it finally time for their friendship to become something more?

-Click here to read more about THE SURVIVOR.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE SURVIVOR.
-Click here to read Shelley Shepard Gray’s bio.

Click here to read the study guide for THE SURVIVOR.


Now in Stores: COURAGEOUS by Randy Alcorn
COURAGEOUS by Randy Alcorn (Fiction)
Police officers Adam Mitchell and Nathan Hayes realize that risking their lives every day on the streets of Albany, New York doesn’t hold a candle to their most challenging job of all: fatherhood. Based on the screenplay of the same name, this novelization challenges men to step up and become the courageous fathers God called them to be. Reviewed by Lynda Schab.

Click here to read a review of COURAGEOUS.


Now in Stores: GROWING UP AMISH by Ira Wagler

GROWING UP AMISH: A Memoir by Ira Wagler (Memoir)
In this heartwarming memoir, Ira Wagler paints a vivid portrait of Amish life --- from his childhood days on the family farm, his Rumspringa rite of passage at age 16, to his ultimate decision to leave the Amish Church for good at age 26. Reviewed by Evelyn Bence.

Click here to read a review of GROWING UP AMISH.


Now in Stores: THE TOUCH by Randall Wallace
THE TOUCH by Randall Wallace (Fiction)
Andrew Jones was once one of the few surgeons in the world to have that rare, God-given ability called The Touch. But after failing to save his young fiancée, Faith, at the scene of a car accident, Jones abandons his gift and shuns the operating room. Lara Blair owns a Chicago-based biomedical engineering company developing a surgical tool that will duplicate precisely the movement of a surgeon’s hands, reducing or eliminating failed surgical procedures. Lara has pursued the best surgeons in the world to test this surgical tool, and all of them have failed. Her last shot is Andrew.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE TOUCH.
-Click here to read Randall Wallace’s bio.

Click here to read more about THE TOUCH.


Now in Stores: DRY AS RAIN by Gina Holmes

DRY AS RAIN by Gina Holmes (Romance)
Like many marriages, Eric and Kyra Yoshida’s has fallen apart slowly, one lost dream and misunderstanding at a time, until the ultimate betrayal finally pushes them beyond reconciliation. Just when it looks like forgive and forget is no longer an option, a car accident gives Eric the second chance of a lifetime. A concussion causes his wife to forget details of her life, including the chasm between them. No one knows when --- or if --- Kyra’s memory will return, but Eric seizes the opportunity to win back the woman he’s never stopped loving.

-Click here to read an excerpt from DRY AS RAIN.
-Click here to read Gina Holmes’s bio.

Click here to read more about DRY AS RAIN.


Faithful Fiction Reviews
BARCELONA CALLING by Jane Kirkpatrick (Fiction)
In the tradition of Neta Jackson'sYada Yada Prayer Groupseries, award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick invites readers into the lives of five female friends who promise to help each other achieve their life goals. Reviewed by Susan Miura.

RESTLESS IN CAROLINA by Tamara Leigh (Fiction)
Two of Bridget Pickwick-Buchanan’s goals: Find a buyer for her family’s estate, and shed her “widow’s weeds” and move past the grief she still feels over her husband’s death four years ago. One man comes along who might be able to help Bridget accomplish both of her goals. But will she let him? Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab.

Click here to read our Faithful Fiction reviews.


Christian Living Reviews
JESUS, MY FATHER, THE CIA, AND ME: A Memoir...of Sorts by Ian Morgan Cron (Memoir)
In this surprisingly funny and forgiving memoir, Ian Morgan Cron reminds us that no matter how different the pieces may be, in the end we are all cut from the same cloth, stitched by faith into an exquisite quilt of grace. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.

HONESTLY: Really Living What We Say We Believe by Johnnie Moore (Christian Life)
In his uniquely confessional tone, Johnnie Moore takes readers on a journey of belief from the hilltop home of the Dalai Lama to a mass grave of more than 250,000 people in Rwanda. He dares to address the doubts and challenges that have turned many well-intentioned Christians into hypocrites. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.

SURPRISED BY OXFORD: A Memoir by Carolyn Weber (Memoir)
When Carolyn Weber arrived at Oxford to study Romantic literature, she felt no need for God. She had no idea she was about to embark on a love story of her own --- one much deeper, more colorful, and surprisingly God-shaped than any she’d read before. Reviewed by Evelyn Bence.

BECOMING A MAN OF UNWAVERING FAITH by John Osteen (Christian Living)
Is your faith floundering? Simply need a boost of encouragement to reactivate your faith? The late John Osteen teaches not only how to increase your confidence in God’s Word, but why faith is so important to God. This is an inspiring read that will light a fire under your faith. Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab.

Click here to read our Christian Living reviews.


Marriage and Family Life Review
THE POWER OF A PRAYING WIFE DEVOTIONAL: New Ways to Pray for Yourself, Your Husband, and Your Marriage by Stormie Omartian (Devotional)
Based on the bestselling book THE POWER OF A PRAYING WIFE, author Stormie Omartian brings us this devotional by the same name to repair, renew, or revitalize your marriage. It provides 100 ways to pray for your husband, yourself, and your marriage. A fulfilling marriage is only a prayer away. Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab.

Click here to read our Marriage and Family Life review.


FaithfulReader.com's Monthly Contest: HER DAUGHTER'S DREAM by Francine Rivers
In our latest monthly contest, one reader will receive a copy of HER DAUGHTER'S DREAM by Francine Rivers, the conclusion to her two-volume Marta's Legacy series, which is now available in paperback. The deadline for entries is Friday, October 14th at noon ET.

HER DAUGHTER’S DREAM: Marta’s Legacy, Book Two by Francine Rivers (Historical Fiction)
Growing up isn’t easy for little Carolyn Arundel. With her mother, Hildemara, quarantined to her room with tuberculosis, Carolyn forms a special bond with her momma, Marta, who moves in to care for the household. But as tensions between Hildie and Marta escalate, Carolyn believes she is to blame. When Hildie returns to work and Marta leaves, Carolyn and her brother grow up as latchkey kids in a world gripped by the fear of the Cold War.
Click here to enter FaithfulReader.com's monthly contest.



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--- Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

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