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January 2013

This Month on FaithfulReader.com January 2013

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Celebrating a Decade of FaithfulReader.com in 2013

Happy New Year, everyone! We hope that 2013 is off to a wonderful start for you after a relaxing and reflective holiday season. While we always look forward to the new year ahead, we’re especially excited about the start of this one, as 2013 will mark FaithfulReader.com’s 10th full year! (We officially launched the site in December 2003.) We’ve loved sharing news with you over the years about Christian and faith-based books and authors, and we’ll continue to do this as best we can through reviews, interviews, study guides, special features, contests and more.

And in that spirit, we have LOTS to tell you about for our first update of the year.

First up is an interview with Julie Klassen, whose latest stand-alone novel, THE TUTOR’S DAUGHTER, is now in stores. Emma Smallwood and her father have come to the Cornish coast to tutor the youngest sons of a baronet --- but all is not as it seems. When mysterious things begin to happen and danger mounts, can Emma figure out which brother to blame…and which to trust with her heart? In the interview, Julie talks about the inspiration for her new novel and the renewed interest in the Regency genre that her books undoubtedly have sparked among inspirational readers.

This month, we’re featuring FOUR new study guides of books that are sure to generate much discussion among readers, regardless of whether or not you belong to a book club.

Irene Hannon kicks off her new Private Justice series with VANISHED, which opens with a shadowy figure caught in the beam of reporter Moira Harrison’s headlights. When Moira regains consciousness after losing control and crashing into a tree, the victim is nowhere to be found. The police claim the disappearance never happened, but Moira knows better. Her only hope of discovering the truth is a former police detective turned private eye --- and her own investigate skills. Click here for the guide.

Amanda Cabot’s Westward Winds series got off to a great start with SUMMER OF PROMISE, so fans will be happy to know that the follow-up, WAITNG FOR SPRING, is now available. After the loss of her husband and the birth of her baby, Charlotte flees to Cheyenne to put the pieces of her life back together. There, she meets wealthy cattle baron and political hopeful Barrett Landry, who believes that Charlotte holds the key to his heart and his future. Will Charlotte and Barrett be able to overcome their fears and look love in the face? Click here for the guide.

CHOICES OF THE HEART is the third book in Laurie Alice Eakes’s The Midwives series, following LADY IN THE MIST and HEART’S SAFE PASSAGE. Esther Cherrett comes from a proud line of midwives and was trained by her mother to take over the family calling. But a terrible scandal forces Esther to flee and take a position as a teacher in the mountains of Virginia. Unfortunately, Esther does not find the refuge she was seeking. Instead, she finds herself in the middle of a deadly family feud while being courted by two men on opposite sides of the conflict. Click here for the guide.

Our final study guide of the month is for THE DILEMMA OF CHARLOTTE FARROW, book two in Olivia Newport’s Avenue of Dreams series, which began with THE PURSUIT OF LUCY BANNING. While the rest of Chicago focuses on the enormous spectacle of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, Charlotte Farrow’s attentions are entirely on her son, whom she has kept a secret from her wealthy employers for nearly a year. When the woman who has been caring for the boy abruptly returns him to the Banning home, Charlotte must decide whether to reveal the truth and face dismissal or keep her secret while the Bannings decide the child’s fate. Click here for the guide.

The latest book in our Monthly Contest is BEYOND ORDINARY: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough. According to Justin Davis and Trisha Davis, the biggest threat to any marriage isn’t infidelity or miscommunication; the greatest enemy is ordinary. And this couple knows just how dangerous ordinary can be. Here, Justin and Trisha take us inside the slow fade that occurred in their own marriage. They reveal the mistakes they made, the work they avoided, the thoughts and feelings that led to an affair and near divorce, and finally, the heart-change that had to occur in both of them before they could experience the hope, healing and restoration of a truly extraordinary marriage. We’re giving 10 readers the chance to win a copy of the book. To enter, please fill out this form by Tuesday, February 12th at noon ET.

Finally, we have nine new reviews for you this month. In addition to the previously mentioned VANISHED, we’re taking a closer look at DAILY READINGS FROM EVERY DAY A FRIDAY: 90 Devotions to Be Happier 7 Days a Week, a devotional based on Joel Osteen’s bestseller EVERY DAY A FRIDAY; SPIRITUAL SIMPLICITY: Doing Less, Loving More, in which Chip Ingram explains how to change our love from a noun to a verb and choose to concentrate on what really matters: the people we love the most; and Ken Mansfield’s STUMBLING ON OPEN GROUND: Love, God, Cancer, and Rock 'n' Roll, a private dialogue between a charismatic man, his loving wife, and the extraordinary God who transformed them both in the middle of a heartbreaking disease.

Before signing off, I wanted to bring to your attention an article that ran in USA Today this week about the growing popularity of books that tell stories of near-death experiences and heavenly journeys. Three bestsellers are spotlighted here --- HEAVEN IS FOR REAL: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo; PROOF OF HEAVEN: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander; and TO HEAVEN AND BACK: A Doctor's Extraordinary Account of Her Death, Heaven, Angels, and Life Again by Mary Neal. Click here to read the article, which also includes my own thoughts on the possible reasons behind this trend.

Here’s hoping you’re ringing in the new year with some fabulous books. As we’ve done the past nine years, we’ll continue working hard in year 10 to add titles to your ever-growing reading lists and spotlight authors whose works you won’t want to miss. See you next month!

Carol Fitzgerald (
Carol@bookreporter.com)

An Interview with Julie Klassen, Author of THE TUTOR’S DAUGHTER
With her successful historical novels, Julie Klassen has helped to open up the Regency era to readers of inspirational fiction. In her latest effort, THE TUTOR'S DAUGHTER, Emma Smallwood and her father have come to the Cornish coast to tutor the youngest sons of a baronet --- but all is not as it seems. In this interview, Klassen talks about the influence of Jane Austen on her work, why readers respond so readily to her books, and the strange presence of palm trees in England.

THE TUTOR'S DAUGHTER by Julie Klassen (Historical Romance)
Determined to help her father when his boarding school fails, Emma Smallwood accompanies him to the cliff-top manor of a baronet and his four sons. But soon after they arrive, mysterious things begin to happen. The baronet's older sons both remember Miss Smallwood from their days at her father's academy, but now one of them becomes unexpectedly drawn to her. When suspicious acts escalate, can Emma figure out which brother to blame and which to trust with her heart?

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to watch the book trailer.
-Click here to read Julie Klassen’s bio.
-Click here to visit Julie Klassen’s official website.
-Click here to connect with Julie Klassen on Facebook.


Click here to read the interview.
Study Guide Now Available: VANISHED by Irene Hannon
VANISHED: A Private Justice Novel by Irene Hannon (Romantic Suspense)
VANISHED opens with a shadowy figure caught in the beam of reporter Moira Harrison’s headlights --- followed by a solid thump before she loses control and crashes into a tree. But when Moira regains consciousness, the victim is nowhere to be seen. The police say the disappearance never happened, but Moira can’t forget the look of sheer terror she saw on the person’s face in the instant it was caught in the glare of her headlights. Now her only hope of discovering the truth is a former police detective turned private eye --- and her own investigate skills.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to read Irene Hannon’s bio.
-Click here to visit Irene Hannon’s official website.

Click here for the study guide.
Study Guide Now Available: WAITING FOR SPRING by Amanda Cabot
WAITING FOR SPRING: Westward Winds, Book 2 by Amanda Cabot (Historical Romance)
After the loss of her husband and the birth of her baby, Charlotte flees to Cheyenne to put the pieces of her life back together. Wealthy cattle baron and political hopeful Barrett Landry must make a sensible match if he is to be elected senator of the soon-to-be state of Wyoming. Yet he can’t shake the feeling that Charlotte holds the key to his heart and his future. Will Charlotte and Barrett find the courage to look love in the face? Or will their fears blot out any chance for happiness?

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to read Amanda Cabot’s bio.
-Click here to visit Amanda Cabot’s official website.

Click here for the study guide.
Study Guide Now Available: CHOICES OF THE HEART by Laurie Alice Eakes
CHOICES OF THE HEART: The Midwives, Book 3 by Laurie Alice Eakes (Historical Romance)
Esther Cherrett comes from a proud line of midwives and was trained by her mother to take over the family calling. When a terrible scandal threatens all she holds dear, Esther flees, taking a position as a teacher in the wild western mountains of Virginia. But instead of the refuge she was seeking, Esther finds herself in the midst of a deadly family feud --- and courted by two men on opposite sides of the conflict.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to read Laurie Alice Eakes’s bio.
-Click here to visit Laurie Alice Eakes’s official website.

Click here for the study guide.
Study Guide Now Available: THE DILEMMA OF CHARLOTTE FARROW by Olivia Newport
THE DILEMMA OF CHARLOTTE FARROW: Avenue of Dreams, Book 2 by Olivia Newport (Historical Romance)
While the rest of Chicago focuses on the enormous spectacle of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, Charlotte Farrow’s attentions are entirely on one small boy --- her boy --- whom she has kept a secret from her wealthy employers for nearly a year. When the woman who has been caring for her son abruptly returns him to the opulent Banning home, Charlotte must decide whether to come clean and face dismissal or keep her secret while the Bannings decide the child’s fate.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to read Olivia Newport’s bio.
-Click here to visit Olivia Newport’s official website.

Click here for the study guide.
FaithfulReader.com's Monthly Contest: Enter to Win a Copy of BEYOND ORDINARY by Justin and Trisha Davis
In FaithfulReader.com's latest monthly contest, 10 readers will receive a copy of BEYOND ORDINARY: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough, in which Justin Davis and Trisha Davis reveal how they turned their ordinary marriage into a truly extraordinary none. To enter, please fill out this form by Tuesday, February 12th at noon ET.

BEYOND ORDINARY: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough by Justin and Trisha Davis (Memoir/Love & Marriage)
How safe is your marriage? The answer may surprise you. The biggest threat to any marriage isn’t infidelity or miscommunication. The greatest enemy is ordinary. Ordinary marriages lose hope. Ordinary marriages lack vision. Ordinary marriages give in to compromise. Ordinary is the belief that this is as good as it will ever get. And when we begin to settle for ordinary, it’s easy to move from “I do” to “I’m done.”


Justin and Trisha Davis know just how dangerous ordinary can be. In this beautifully written book, Justin and Trisha take us inside the slow fade that occurred in their own marriage --- each telling the story from their own perspective. Together, they reveal the mistakes they made, the work they avoided, the thoughts and feelings that led to an affair and near divorce, and finally, the heart-change that had to occur in both of them before they could experience the hope, healing and restoration of a truly extraordinary marriage.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Read bios of Justin Davis and Trisha Davis.

Click here to enter the contest.
Now in Stores: DAILY READINGS FROM EVERY DAY A FRIDAY by Joel Osteen
DAILY READINGS FROM EVERY DAY A FRIDAY: 90 Devotions to Be Happier 7 Days a Week by Joel Osteen (Devotional)
This 90-day devotional incorporates excerpts from EVERY DAY A FRIDAY, emphasizing faith-building messages day to day, along with additional supportive and encouraging material in the form of key Bible verses, daily prayers and daily thoughts. Divided into seven key sections, each building on the next, the format helps readers to put events and circumstances in perspective, and to give them a mental, emotional and spiritual lift each and every day. Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab.

-Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: SPIRITUAL SIMPLICITY by Chip Ingram with Chris Tiegreen
SPIRITUAL SIMPLICITY: Doing Less, Loving More by Chip Ingram with Chris Tiegreen (Christian Life/Spiritual Growth)
In our frantically driven, complex lifestyle, we suffer from fatigue, little margin, shallow relationships, and fractured families. As a result of this driven lifestyle, our souls are diseased --- they have a lack of ease. This highly practical, comforting book maintains that it is possible to run the race at a different, more meaningful speed. Not only is it possible; it’s absolutely necessary. The key to simplifying life, Chip Ingram says, is to make sure love is your #1 priority. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: GODWINK STORIES by SQuire Rushnell and Louise DuArt
GODWINK STORIES: A Devotional by SQuire Rushnell and Louise DuArt (Devotional)
The stories in this book reaffirm that godwinks happen to everyone. We just need to learn how to see them, allow them to unfold, and accept them as direct, person-to-person communications from God to each of us. Whether you’re looking for encouragement in a time of need or a story that speaks of joy, there’s a godwink story just for you. Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: WONDERSTRUCK by Margaret Feinberg
WONDERSTRUCK: Awaken to the Nearness of God by Margaret Feinberg (Christian Living)
In WONDERSTRUCK, Margaret Feinberg invites you to toss back the covers, climb out of bed, and drink in the fullness of life. Learn to unearth the extraordinary moments in everyday life, recognize the presence of God in the midst of your routine, and discover peace in knowing you're wildly loved. You'll find it is possible to regain the missing spark of mystery in the day-to-day. Reviewed by Evelyn Bence.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? by Mark Driscoll
WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?: Finding Your True Identity in Christ by Mark Driscoll (Christian Life/Spiritual Growth)
Pastor and bestselling author Mark Driscoll believes false identity is at the heart of many struggles --- and that you can overcome them by having your true identity in Christ. In WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?, Driscoll explores the question, “What does it mean to be ‘in Christ’?” In the process he dissects the false-identity epidemic and, more important, provides the only solution --- Jesus. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: STUMBLING ON OPEN GROUND by Ken Mansfield
STUMBLING ON OPEN GROUND: Love, God, Cancer, and Rock 'n' Roll by Ken Mansfield (Memoir)
STUMBLING ON OPEN GROUND is a story of private trial and faith like those found in the books of Esther and Job. Punctuated with stories from Ken Mansfield’s years in the music business --- working with George Harrison and Waylon Jennings, among others --- the book is a private dialogue between a charismatic man, his loving wife, and the extraordinary God who transformed them both in the middle of a heartbreaking disease. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

-Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: SOUL’S GATE by James L. Rubart
SOUL’S GATE: A Well Spring Novel by James L. Rubart (Fantasy/Suspense)
What if you could travel inside another person’s soul? To battle for them. To be part of Jesus healing their deepest wounds. To help set them free to step boldly into their divinely designed future. Thirty years ago that’s exactly what Reece Roth did. Until tragedy shattered his life and ripped away his future. Now God has drawn Reece out of the shadows to fulfill a prophecy spoken over him three decades ago. Reviewed by Susan Miura.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: SUBMERGED by Dani Pettrey
SUBMERGED: Alaskan Courage, Book One by Dani Pettrey (Romantic Suspense)
Bailey Craig has reluctantly returned to her small Alaska hometown only to bury a loved one. But when dark evidence emerges surrounding the death, can she and a former flame move beyond the hurts of the past to find the murderer --- before Bailey becomes the next victim? Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab.

-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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