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Faithful Reader

March 2014

This Month on FaithfulReader.com March 2014

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Happy Easter!

With Easter Sunday almost three weeks away, we are happy to share with you our roundup of Easter-themed titles. Here, you will find books from a wide variety of genres and authors to help you reexamine your faith and guide you through this time of reflection. You can read and appreciate these books any time of the year, but its various themes and messages take on special meaning as we prepare for the holiest day of the liturgical year and the 50 days that follow, leading up to Pentecost Sunday. Click here to see our feature.

A STILLNESS OF CHIMES by Meg Moseley is the latest prize book in our monthly contest. When teacher Laura Gantt comes home to settle her recently deceased mother’s household, she encounters a swirl of rumors about the father she lost to the lake 12 years ago --- that he reportedly has been seen around town. Life-long friend and former beau Sean Halloran wants nothing more than to protect Laura from the far-fetched stories of Elliott’s resurrection, but he has his own reasons --- troubling echoes from his childhood --- to put Elliott’s disappearance to rest. To be among the five winners who will be awarded the book, please fill out this form by Monday, April 21st at noon ET.

We’re pleased to share an interview with Judith Miller, whose latest novel, A SHINING LIGHT, is the third and final book in her Home to Amana series. Widow Andrea Wilson and her young son seek temporary refuge in the Amana Colonies. But will the peace she finds there convince her to stay? Click here to read more about the book and here for the Q&A, in which Judith discusses the conclusion of the series and what it is about the Amana Colonies that makes her stories so unique.

We also have a Q&A with Julianna Deering, whose new novel, DEATH BY THE BOOK, is the second installment in her Drew Fathering Mystery series, following RULES OF MURDER. When the family lawyer is murdered and found with an unusual clue, can Drew Farthering and Madeline Parker solve the case before the hatpin murderer strikes again? Click here to read more about the book and here for the interview, in which Julianna explains what compelled her to continue Drew and Madeline’s story, and reveals her new favorite character.

Our final featured title is LIFE SUPPORT, the third book in Candace Calvert’s Grace Medical series. Nurse Lauren Barclay put her life on hold to keep a watchful eye on her troubled sister. But that means confronting the brooding physician assistant who caused painful turmoil in her family. PA and single parent Elijah Landry is determined to protect his disabled brother and make peace with Lauren. He wants that and so much more. But as Lauren and Eli draw closer, a powerful hurricane roars toward Houston. Can hope weather the storm? Click here to read more about the book and here for an excerpt.

We have nine reviews to share with you this month. Among them are CRASH THE CHATTERBOX: Hearing God’s Voice Above All Others by Steven Furtick, AHA: The God Moment That Changes Everything by Kyle Idleman, NO ONE TO TRUST: Hidden Identity, Book 1 by Lynette Eason, and two young adult fiction titles: MY AMISH BOYFRIEND by Melody Carlson and BELOW THE SURFACE by Tim Shoemaker.

In theaters now is God’s Not Dead, which is based on the 2013 book of the same name by Rice Broocks. The film stars Kevin Sorbo, Shane Harper, David A.R. White and Dean Cain, with special appearances by Newsboys, and Willie and Korie Robertson of "Duck Dynasty" fame. In it, present-day college freshman and devout Christian Josh Wheaton finds his faith challenged on his first day of Philosophy class by the dogmatic and argumentative Professor Radisson. Radisson begins class by informing students that they will need to disavow, in writing, the existence of God on that first day, or face a failing grade. As other students in the class begin scribbling the words “God Is Dead” on pieces of paper as instructed, Josh finds himself at a crossroads, having to choose between his faith and his future. Learn much more about the movie here, and click here for more info about the book on which it is based.

Finally, the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) has announced 36 finalists in seven categories for the 2014 Christian Book Awards. Winners will be announced on Monday, April 28th during the ECPA Leadership Summit at the Focus on the Family Headquarters in Colorado Springs, CO. Click here for all the nominees.

I wish you all a very happy and healthy Easter. May you have as much time as you need to read and reflect during this holiest of seasons.

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

FaithfulReader.com’s 2014 Easter Books Roundup
Spring is a time of rejoicing and rebirth, both in nature and in faith. In this year's Easter Books roundup, we have selected titles from a wide range of genres and authors to help you reexamine your faith and guide you through this time of reflection. And, in keeping with the cyclical spirit of the holiday, you can help others do the same. May these books assist you in strengthening your relationship not only with God, but also with those closest to you. We hope that you and your family have a blessed and joyous Easter season.
 
Click here to see our roundup of Easter titles.
FaithfulReader.com’s Latest Monthly Contest: Win a Copy of A STILLNESS OF CHIMES by Meg Moseley
In FaithfulReader.com's latest monthly contest, five readers will win a copy of Meg Moseley's new novel, A STILLNESS OF CHIMES, which poses this question: What if the echoes of past heartaches uncovered an unknown sacrifice that changes everything? To enter, please fill out this form by Monday, April 21st at noon ET.

A STILLNESS OF CHIMES by Meg Moseley (Fiction)
When teacher Laura Gantt comes home to settle her recently deceased mother’s household, she encounters a swirl of rumors about the father she lost to the lake 12 years ago --- that he has reportedly been seen around town. Life-long friend and former beau Sean Halloran wants nothing more than to protect Laura from the far-fetched stories of Elliott’s resurrection, but he has his own reasons --- troubling echoes from his childhood --- to put Elliott’s disappearance to rest.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to read Meg Moseley's bio.
-Click here to visit Meg Moseley's official website.

 
Click here to enter the contest.
An Interview with Judith Miller, Author of A SHINING LIGHT
Judith Miller is an award-winning author whose avid research and love for history are reflected in her bestselling novels. In A SHINING LIGHT, the third and final book in her Home to Amana series, widow Andrea Wilson and her young son seek temporary refuge in the Amana Colonies. But will the peace she finds there convince her to stay? In this interview, Miller discusses wrapping up her Amana-set series, what about the Amana Colonies makes her stories so unique, and the evolving process of researching each book. She also shares some insight into the religion and culture of the Amana people, as well as what readers can expect from this concluding installment.

A SHINING LIGHT: Home to Amana, Book 3 by Judith Miller (Historical Romance)
After Andrea Wilson receives the devastating news that her husband has been lost at sea, she returns home to Iowa with her young son, Lukas. Sadly, when the family farm burns and her father dies, Andrea is left with nothing. She must rely on the kindness of the people from the nearby Amana village who invite her to stay with them for a time, and discovers much generosity and contentment among the Amanans. But is the simple, cloistered life in Amana what Andrea wants for Lukas's future?

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Judith Miller's bio.
-Click here to visit Judith Miller's official website.
-Click here to connect with Judith Miller on Facebook.
-Click here to read more on the publisher's website.

 
Click here to read the interview.
An Interview with Julianna Deering, Author of DEATH BY THE BOOK
British literature aficionado Julianna Deering is back with the second installment in her Drew Farthering Mystery series following RULES OF MURDER. When the family lawyer is murdered and found with an unusual clue in DEATH BY THE BOOK, can Drew Farthering and Madeline Parker solve the case before the hatpin murderer strikes again? In this interview, Deering opens up about why she felt compelled to continue Drew and Madeline’s story --- and their budding, albeit whirlwind romance --- as well as who her favorite new character is. She also talks about not judging a book by its cover (literally and metaphorically, of course), what she would be doing if she wasn't an author, and what kind of trouble we can expect Drew to get into next.

DEATH BY THE BOOK: A Drew Farthering Mystery
by Julianna Deering (Historical Mystery)

Drew Farthering wanted nothing more than to end the summer of 1932 with the announcement of his engagement. Instead, he finds himself caught up in another mysterious case when the family solicitor is found murdered. Evidence of secret meetings and a young girl's tearful confession point to the victim's double life, but what does the solicitor's murder have to do with the murder of a physician on the local golf course? And why does Drew's investigation seem to be drawing him closer and closer to home?

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Julianna Deering's bio.
-Click here to visit Julianna Deering's official website.
-Click here to connect with Julianna Deering on Facebook.
-Click here to read more on the publisher's website.
 
Click here to read the interview.
Special Feature: LIFE SUPPORT by Candace Calvert
LIFE SUPPORT: Grace Medical, Book 3 by Candace Calvert (Romance)
Nurse Lauren Barclay put her life on hold to keep a watchful eye on her troubled sister. But that means confronting the brooding physician assistant who caused painful turmoil in her family. PA and single parent Elijah Landry is determined to protect his disabled brother and make peace with Lauren. He wants that and so much more. But as Lauren and Eli draw closer, a powerful hurricane roars toward Houston. Can hope weather the storm?

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Candace Calvert's bio.
-Visit Candace Calvert official website and blog.
-Connect with Candace Calvert on Facebook and Twitter.

 
Click here for our special feature.
Now in Theaters: God’s Not Dead
Present-day college freshman and devout Christian Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper) finds his faith challenged on his first day of Philosophy class by the dogmatic and argumentative Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo). Radisson begins class by informing students that they will need to disavow, in writing, the existence of God on that first day, or face a failing grade. As other students in the class begin scribbling the words “God Is Dead” on pieces of paper as instructed, Josh find himself at a crossroads, having to choose between his faith and his future.

Josh offers a nervous refusal, provoking an irate reaction from his smug professor. Radisson assigns him a daunting task: if Josh will not admit that “God Is Dead,” he must prove God’s existence by presenting well-researched, intellectual arguments and evidence over the course of the semester, and engage Radisson in a head-to-head debate in front of the class. If Josh fails to convince his classmates of God’s existence, he will fail the course and hinder his lofty academic goals. With almost no one in his corner, Josh wonders if he can really fight for what he believes. Can he actually prove the existence of God?

God's Not Dead is based on the book GOD'S NOT DEAD: Evidence for God in an Age of Uncertainty by Rice Broocks. The goal of the book is to help readers develop “a faith that is real and credible --- and strong enough to help others find faith in God.” To that end, Broocks outlines a roadmap that guides seekers to acknowledge the most basic truths of Christianity. Persuasive arguments crafted with tools borrowed from logic, science and philosophy, as well as scripture, solidify the faith of the Christian reader and provide starting points for discussions with skeptics.

-Click here to read more about the book.

 
Click here to visit the film's official website.
Announcing the 2014 Christian Book Award Finalists
The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) has announced 36 finalists in seven categories for the 2014 Christian Book Award® program, honoring Christian publishing’s best book and Bible releases of the year. Each category announced five finalists, with six announced in Bible Reference due to a tie.

The winner in each category will be announced at the industry’s award banquet on April 28th at Focus on the Family, held opening night of the ECPA Leadership Summit. ECPA will also celebrate its 40th anniversary that evening and include a reunion reception for industry alumni.
 
Click here to see this year's Christian Book Award finalists.
Fiction Reviews on FaithfulReader.com: NO ONE TO TRUST by Lynette Eason, MY AMISH BOYFRIEND by Melody Carlson, and BELOW THE SURFACE by Tim Shoemaker
NO ONE TO TRUST: Hidden Identity, Book 1 by Lynette Eason (Mystery/Romance)
Summer Abernathy wakes up one morning to find her husband missing, three men in her home intent on finding him, and the life she's been living based on a lie. The search for her husband --- and answers --- takes Summer ever deeper into a world of organized crime where people are used one moment and discarded the next. And with her deepest relationship of trust already shattered, Summer doesn't know who to believe. Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.


MY AMISH BOYFRIEND by Melody Carlson (Young Adult Fiction)

Shannon McNamara has exciting plans for the summer and can't wait to dive in. But her ill mother has plans of her own: to relocate them both to the heart of Amish country in Ohio where she has relatives who can help her. When a hot young Amish guy named Ezra enters the picture, Shannon is ready to get an Amish makeover and even consider making it a permanent change. Can she really make the jump into a whole new way of life? Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.


BELOW THE SURFACE by Tim Shoemaker (Young Adult Mystery/Suspense)
After surviving the trauma of abduction, Cooper is plagued by a deep fear he can’t control. A vacation aboard the restored Getaway with his friends is just what he needs. But trouble follows this crew, and the idea of a carefree vacation soon disappears along with a missing woman. Cooper keeps busy and hides behind his practical jokes. But fear has a way of rising. A prank gone wrong, a dark water dive, and the four friends find more than they bargained for --- just below the surface. Reviewed by Susan Miura.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: CRASH THE CHATTERBOX by Steven Furtick

CRASH THE CHATTERBOX: Hearing God’s Voice Above All Others by Steven Furtick (Christian Life/Spiritual Growth)
Inside your head and heart is a chatterbox. Its lies are keeping you from realizing your God-given potential. But what can you do about them? In CRASH THE CHATTERBOX, Pastor Steven Furtick focuses on four key areas in which negative thoughts are most debilitating: insecurity, fear, condemnation and discouragement. Reviewed by Evelyn Bence.

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Click here to read more about the book.

 

Click here to read a review.

 
Now in Stores: AHA by Kyle Idleman

AHA: The God Moment That Changes Everything by Kyle Idleman (Christian Life/Spiritual Growth)
We've all had "aha!" moments in our lives, times when a sudden revelation surprises us with insight. According to pastor and bestselling author Kyle Idleman, we can experience this same kind of "aha!" in our spiritual lives. With everyday examples and trademark testimonies, Idleman draws on Scripture to reveal how three key elements can draw us closer to God and change our lives for good. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: ENCOUNTERS WITH JESUS by Timothy Keller
ENCOUNTERS WITH JESUS: Unexpected Answers to Life's Biggest Questions by Timothy Keller (Christian Living)
Jesus changed the life of every person He met in the Gospels through powerful experiences and words. Timothy Keller’s take on these conversations --- with a skeptical student, a religious insider, an outcast and more --- shows how the central events in Jesus’ life provide ways for us to encounter Him here and now. Reviewed by Evelyn Bence.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
 
Now in Stores: 52 THINGS SONS NEED FROM THEIR DADS by Jay Payleitner
52 THINGS SONS NEED FROM THEIR DADS: What Fathers Can Do to Build a Lasting Relationship by Jay Payleitner (Parenting)
Bestselling author Jay Payleitner, dad of four grown sons (and one amazing daughter), gives you a bucketful of man-friendly ideas on how build a father-and-son relationship. These 52 quick-to-read chapters offer great ways to relate or spend time as dad and son. And each idea provides a new building block for a father-son relationship that will help your boy along the path to becoming a man. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: EXTREME PRAYER by Greg Pruett
EXTREME PRAYER: The Impossible Prayers God Promises to Answer by Greg Pruett (Christian Life/Spiritual Growth)
What do you do when your whole spiritual life falls apart? It is in these heart-hungry moments --- when we feel overwhelmed or alone, struggle with unanswered prayers, aren’t sure what to do, or are crying out for God’s help --- that we are surprisingly poised to pray the most effective kinds of prayers possible. EXTREME PRAYER taps into that longing for connection with God when we need it most by teaching us to pray the kinds of prayers Jesus promised to answer with unlimited power. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

-Click here to read more about the book.

 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: INCOGNITO by Andrea Raynor
INCOGNITO: Lost and Found at Harvard Divinity School by Andrea Raynor (Memoir)
As a bright young girl from Ohio, Andrea Raynor always wanted to be a doctor. Instead, she landed --- almost by accident --- at Harvard Divinity School, which, she quickly discovered, was no typical seminary. From navigating relation­ships to exploring whether a pretty girl can truly wear a collar, INCOGNITO tackles our assumptions about spirituality, the church, morality and identity, and affirms that God often works in ways --- and in people --- we least expect. 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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