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Faithful Reader

July 2014

This Month on FaithfulReader.com July 2014

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Beat the Heat with Some Inspirational Reads

Now that we are well into July, it’s time to focus on beating the heat with some good times and great reads. Whether you are traveling or treating yourself to a delightful “staycation,” we hope you’re making the most of your summer and keeping cool. No matter what the weather, we’re sure this month’s newsletter is full of terrific suggestions for your summer reading.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN by Don Piper and Cecil Murphey, we are giving away 10 copies of the 10th anniversary edition of the book in our latest monthly contest. After a semi-truck collided with Don Piper's car, he was pronounced dead at the scene. An hour and a half later, he was alive and awake with 90 minutes of memories of the glories of heaven. Since its publication in 2004, this memoir has sold more than six million copies and changed the lives of people worldwide --- not to mention those of Don and his family. This updated edition includes a personal update from Don on the impact the book has had on his life, as well as stories from readers and some of Don’s favorite scriptures and quotes. Enter here by Wednesday, August 13th at noon ET for your chance to be one of 10 lucky readers.

If you're in a book group, may we suggest you enter our contest on ReadingGroupGuides.com? We're giving three groups the opportunity to win 15 copies of 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN. To enter, please fill out this form by Wednesday, August 6th at noon ET. While you're there, be sure to take a look at the study guide for the book.

Our special features this month lead off with WHEN I FALL IN LOVE by Susan May Warren. This new installment in the Christiansen Family series catches up with safe, predictable Grace as she is surprised by her family with a trip to a cooking retreat in Hawaii. There she meets Max Sharpe, a professional hockey player who spends three weeks of every year on a culinary vacation in the balmy paradise. When the two are paired together for a cooking competition, Max is drawn to Grace’s passion and confidence, but draws away when Grace begins to dream of a future. Wrestling with his personal demons, Max must open himself to the potential for love, while Grace must decide between her safe life at home and the path her heart truly desires. Click here to see our special feature.

Next up is FIREWALL, DiAnn Mills’s latest thriller with a plot ripped right from the headlines. Taryn Young is a brilliant young software developer preparing to board a plane to a dream honeymoon with her new husband after a short but impassioned romance. But when the terminal is decimated by a bomb, Taryn wakes up to find that her husband is missing and the FBI has labeled the two of them as prime suspects in the attack. Agent Grayson Hall, tasked with finding the attacker, can’t ignore the fact that all evidence points to the newlyweds, but his instinct tells him that Taryn’s cries of innocence are genuine. Desperate for answers, the two have no choice but to trust one another as they investigate --- with their lives and reputations at stake. Click here to see our special feature.

Take a trip to the Roaring Twenties with Allison Pittman’s ALL FOR A SISTER. This novel tells the story of Celeste DuFrane, a young woman working as an actress with the help of her father’s work with color movie film. It would seem that Celeste has it all --- until her mother dies and she learns that half of the estate has been left to the woman accused of murdering Celeste’s baby sister. When Dana Lundgren arrives at the DuFrane mansion, both she and Celeste must determine why Marguerite DuFrane would leave the woman she once accused of murder such a sizeable inheritance. As the two learn about one another, they uncover Marguerite’s last written confession --- and the treachery and deceit that changed their lives forever. Click here to see our special feature.

Last, but certainly not least, is ANNIE’S STORIES: An Ellis Island Novel by Cindy Thomson. The year is 1901, and Irish immigrant Annie Gallagher’s goal is to use her housekeeping job at Hawkin’s House to fund a memorial library in honor of her storyteller father. But when a boarder’s misconduct brings in authorities who threaten to shut down the boardinghouse, Annie fears she will never realize her dream. Meanwhile, Stephen, the friendly postman, shows a little too much interest in Annie’s father’s stories, suspecting that they hold a grand secret. Though he seems trustworthy, Annie is determined to prove herself and share her father’s stories on her own terms. Click here to see our special feature.

In addition to these features, we have eight new reviews to share with you. Among them are WE MAKE THE ROAD BY WALKING: A Year-Long Quest for Spiritual Formation, Reorientation, and Activation by Brian D. McLaren, an insightful reintroduction to Christian faith; A DEADLY BUSINESS, the latest Mia Quinn mystery by Lis Wiehl and April Henry; and THE ADVOCATE by Randy Singer, a dramatic retelling of the Roman Empire’s legal system through the eyes of Theophilus, a brilliant young assessore.

Finally, we have the complete list of 2014 Christy Award winners, which you can see here. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees; some of our favorite books and authors made the cut, and we couldn’t be prouder!

We hope you have found some great summer reading suggestions in this latest FaithfulReader.com update and will take some time to “book” a trip with one or more of our selections!

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

FaithfulReader.com's Latest Monthly Contest: Win a Copy of the 10th Anniversary Edition of 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN by Don Piper with Cecil Murphey
In FaithfulReader.com's latest monthly contest, 10 readers will win a copy of the 10th anniversary edition of 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN, the incredible true story of Don Piper's experience with death and life. To enter, please fill out this form by Wednesday, August 13th at noon ET.

90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN: A True Story of Death and Life, 10th Anniversary Edition by Don Piper with Cecil Murphey (Memoir)
In the 10 years since 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN was first published, millions of people worldwide have read the incredible true story of Don Piper's experience with death and life --- and in reading have found their own lives changed. Now you can experience the continuing story of 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN with this special anniversary edition. Along with the story of his accident, death, return to life and painful recovery, Don offers personal reflections on the impact the book has had on him, his family, and the millions who have heard his story.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the study guide.
-Read bios of Don Piper and Cecil Murphey.
-Visit the official websites of Don Piper and Cecil Murphey.
-Connect with Cecil Murphey on Facebook and Twitter.
 
Click here to enter the contest.
Special Feature: WHEN I FALL IN LOVE by Susan May Warren
WHEN I FALL IN LOVE: A Christiansen Family Novel by Susan May Warren (Romance)
Hawaii was the last place Grace Christiansen ever imagined she’d vacation, much less fall in love. Max Sharpe may make his living on the ice as a pro hockey player, but he feels most at home in the kitchen. Which is why he lives for the three-week culinary vacation he takes each year in Hawaii. Upon being paired with Grace for a cooking competition, Max finds himself drawn to her passion, confidence and perseverance. If love means sacrificing her ideal happily ever after, Grace’s faith will face its toughest test yet.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Susan May Warren’s bio.
-Click here to visit Susan May Warren’s official website.
-Connect with Susan May Warren on Facebook and Twitter.
 
Click here for our special feature.
Special Feature: FIREWALL by DiAnn Mills
FIREWALL by DiAnn Mills (Romantic Suspense)
After a whirlwind romance, Taryn Young is preparing to board a plane at Houston International Airport, bound for a dream honeymoon, when a bomb decimates the terminal. Injured but still alive, she awakens to discover her husband is missing. Further, the FBI is convinced her husband isn’t who he appears to be. Agent Grayson Hall’s number-one priority is to catch those responsible for the day’s act of terror. All evidence is pointing to Taryn and her new husband.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read DiAnn Mills’s bio.
-Click here to visit DiAnn Mills’s official website.
-Connect with DiAnn Mills on Facebook and Twitter.
 
Click here for our special feature.
Special Feature: ALL FOR A SISTER by Allison Pittman
ALL FOR A SISTER by Allison Pittman (Historical Romance)
In Hollywood during the Roaring Twenties, Celeste DuFrane has it all. Her father’s work with color movie film opens doors that lead to the stardom she’s always aspired to. But after losing her mother, she discovers that half the estate has been left to a woman accused of killing Celeste’s baby sister before Celeste was even born. Then a surprising discovery begins to fill in the missing pieces: Marguerite DuFrane’s written confession, penned shortly before her death.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Allison Pittman’s bio.
-Click here to visit Allison Pittman’s official website.
-Connect with Allison Pittman on Facebook and Twitter.
 
Click here for our special feature.
Special Feature: ANNIE'S STORIES by Cindy Thomson
ANNIE’S STORIES: An Ellis Island Novel by Cindy Thomson (Historical Fiction)
To Annie Gallagher, stories are more than entertainment --- they’re a reminder of her storyteller father. After his death, Annie left Ireland, finding work at Hawkins House. But when authorities threaten to shut down the boardinghouse, Annie fears she may lose her means of funding her dream: a memorial library to honor her father. Furthermore, the postman shows a little too much interest in Annie and in her father’s stories.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Cindy Thomson’s bio.
-Click here to visit Cindy Thomson’s official website.
-Connect with Cindy Thomson on Facebook and Twitter.
 
Click here for our special feature.
The 2014 Christy Award Winners
The 2014 Christy Awards were presented at the 15th annual Christy Awards dinner held on June 23rd at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, Georgia. Celebrated author Davis Bunn emceed the event and was himself inducted into the Christy Hall of Fame in honor of his having won four Christy Awards.

For the second time in as many years, the Christy for Book of the Year --- which debuted in 2013 and showcases the novel that had the greatest impact when placed against a set of criteria that includes literary quality, sales and life impact --- was awarded to a first-time author. The 2014 Christy Book of the Year is BURNING SKY by Lori Benton, who also received the Christy in the First Novel and Historical categories.
 
Click here to see the winners.
Now in Stores: WE MAKE THE ROAD BY WALKING by Brian D. McLaren
WE MAKE THE ROAD BY WALKING: A Year-Long Quest for Spiritual Formation, Reorientation, and Activation by Brian D. McLaren (Christian Rituals & Practice/Worship & Liturgy)
Brian McLaren's latest book offers everything you need to explore what a difference an honest, living, growing faith can make in our world today. It also puts tools in your hands to create a life-changing learning community in any home, restaurant, or other welcoming space. The 52 (plus a few) weekly readings each can be read aloud in 10-12 minutes, and offer a simple curriculum of insightful reflections and transformative practices. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

-Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: A DEADLY BUSINESS by Lis Wiehl with April Henry
A DEADLY BUSINESS: A Mia Quinn Mystery by Lis Wiehl with April Henry (Mystery)
Detective Charlie Carlson believes that Mia Quinn's husband's deadly car accident was no accident at all. When Mia and Charlie encounter resistance to reopening the case, they take the investigation into their own hands. And they find much more than they bargained for. Was Mia's husband more than an accountant...and less than an honest man? As the truth becomes more shocking and the case grows more complex, her husband's killers take note of Mia...and her children. Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab.

-Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE ADVOCATE by Randy Singer
THE ADVOCATE by Randy Singer (Historical Fiction)
At the trial of Christ, Theophilus, brilliant young assessore raised in the Roman aristocracy, stands behind Pontius Pilate and whispers, “Offer to release Barabbas.” The strategy backfires, and Theophilus never forgets the sight of an innocent man unjustly suffering the worst of all possible deaths --- Roman crucifixion. Three decades later, he's defending the man Paul in Nero’s deranged court. Can Theophilus mount a defense that will keep another innocent man from execution? Reviewed by Michele Howe.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE WAY BACK FROM LOSS by Wayne Hastings

THE WAY BACK FROM LOSS: Reassembling the Pieces of a Broken Life by Wayne Hastings (Devotional)
Whether it is the loss of a job, a relationship or a loved one, the pain associated with loss takes time to overcome. No matter where you are in the grieving process, THE WAY BACK FROM LOSS provides you with the comfort and encouragement you need to move on with your life. This 60-day devotional is divided into five sections that show you how to trust in God’s constant presence, let go of blame and regret, and discover that disappointments sometimes lead to the greatest opportunities. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: ARMS WIDE OPEN by Sherri Gragg
ARMS WIDE OPEN: A Call to Linger in the Savior's Presence by Sherri Gragg (Devotional)
Christians so often view Christ as someone who’s far away and can’t be approached until they have their lives in order. In ARMS OPEN WIDE, author Sherri Gragg proves that Christ is a kinder, more tender, more loving Savior than many understand Him to be. Sherri writes in fictional narrative form while mixing biblical history with scripture, creating a setting that transforms readers back in time and places them right in Jesus’ presence. Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab.

-Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: HOPE RUNS by Claire Diaz-Ortiz and Samuel Ikua Gachagua
HOPE RUNS: An American Tourist, a Kenyan Boy, a Journey of Redemption by Claire Diaz-Ortiz and Samuel Ikua Gachagua (Memoir)
Claire Díaz-Ortiz went to Kenya to climb a mountain. But God had other plans. HOPE RUNS is the emotional story of an American tourist, a Kenyan orphan, and how one day became one year that would change the course of both of their lives forever. It's about opening your heart to outrageous possibilities. It's about what it means to hope for the things you cannot see. It's about how God can change your life in the blink of an eye. Reviewed by Evelyn Bence.

-Click here to read more about the book.

 
Click here to read a review.

 
Now in Stores: SOMEBODY LIKE YOU by Beth K. Vogt
SOMEBODY LIKE YOU by Beth K. Vogt (Romance)
Haley’s three-year marriage to Sam, an army medic, ends tragically when he’s killed in Afghanistan. Her attempts to create a new life for herself are ambushed when she arrives home one evening --- and finds her husband's estranged twin brother, Stephen, waiting for her. Stephen discovers Sam never told Haley about him. As Haley and Stephen navigate their fragile relation¬ship, they are drawn to each other. How can they honor the memory of a man whose death brought them together --- and whose ghost could drive them apart? Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab.

-Click here to read more about the book.

 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: A BEAUTIFUL DEFEAT by Kevin Malarkey with Matthew L. Jacobson
A BEAUTIFUL DEFEAT: Find True Freedom and Purpose in Total Surrender to God by Kevin Malarkey with Matthew L. Jacobson (Christian Life/Spiritual Growth)
There is a gnawing feeling inside all of us that says we could be better. If we would just be more organized or work a little harder, we’d finally have the rich and fulfilling life we want. But the message of the cross is different. The message is not one of God saying, “I died for your sins to work as a consultant to help you achieve the life you’re determined to have.” Jesus died to reconcile us to God so that we can die and give our lives to him and to others --- a total surrender that is truly a beautiful defeat! Reviewed by Michele Howe.

-Click here to read more about the book.

 
Click here to read a review.

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

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