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April 2013

This Month on FaithfulReader.com April 2013

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The Turquoise Caught My Eye…and Then….

Recently, I was scrolling through my personal Facebook newsfeed when I saw my publishing friend Twila sporting some really pretty turquoise nail polish (which you can see above). Since turquoise catches my eye --- always --- I was intrigued.

It turns out that Twila was wearing this color for a purpose. It’s
Taylor Blue, a specially-colored polish created by OPI that was made for a foundation called TaylorsGift.org to promote organ donation awareness during National Donate Life Month. The genesis of this project came during a heartbreaking moment in March 2010 when Taylor Storch’s family was skiing in Colorado at Beaver Creek. On a run at the end of the day with her dad and brother (a run that I have skied many, many times), Taylor fell off the trail and hit her head. Though wearing a helmet, she sustained a critical head injury, was airlifted to a trauma center and declared brain dead the following afternoon. Her parents made a decision to donate her organs, but decided to take their mission one step further. When they returned home to Texas, they started a foundation to promote not only organ donation awareness, but also education about what families of organ donors go through before, during and after transplants.

Taylor’s parents, Todd and Tara, were in New York last week to promote TAYLOR’S GIFT, a book they wrote with author Jennifer Schuchmann. I invited the Storches to come by the office to talk about the book and their charity. We spent an all-too-quick hour together, and they shared both their mission and their personal story. Their slogan “outlive yourself” says it all about what you can do by being an organ donor --- and, if interested, you can sign up to be a donor here. The Storches have met four of the five people who benefitted from Taylor’s death. And their stories, along with those of the Storch family rebuilding their lives after Taylor, are part of what makes this book special. My son Greg snapped the photo of Todd, Tara (who is holding a jar of the polish) and me above, which has a whole lot of turquoise going on.

Todd and Tara were generous enough to leave a SIGNED copy of the book with me, and we decided to make it the latest prize in our monthly contest. To enter, please fill out
this form by Tuesday, May 14th at noon ET.

This week, we posted our Mother’s Day feature, a selection of fiction and nonfiction titles that we think moms
especially will be able to relate to and appreciate. Whether you are looking for a gift for your mom or a mother wanting to add to your reading list, you are sure to find some wonderful choices here.

We are celebrating the release of THE GUARDIAN
with a special contest that will give 50 readers the opportunity to win a copy of this third installment in Beverly Lewis's Home to Hickory Hollow series. A disheveled little girl is left all alone on the side of a road, clad only in her undergarments. Schoolteacher Jodi Winfield takes the preschooler home with her, intending to find out where she belongs. But she is mystified when no one seems to know of a missing child. Then an unexpected opportunity brings Jodi to Hickory Hollow --- and into the cloistered world of the Lancaster Old Order Amish. Might the answers lie there? To enter the contest, please fill out this form by Tuesday, May 14th at noon ET.

We’re featuring an interview this month with Jody Hedlund, whose new historical romance is A NOBLE GROOM. Recently widowed Annalisa Werner has the feeling her husband was murdered but can't prove it. She has six months left to finish raising the money needed to pay back the land contract her husband purchased. Nobleman Carl von Reichart, who has been convicted of a crime he didn't commit, flees to Annalisa's farm but bumbles through learning about farming and manual labor. Annalisa senses that Carl is harboring a secret about his past, yet she finds herself drawn to him anyway. Click here to read what Jody has to say about the origins of the book and its take-away message for readers.

We have a new study guide available for THE GATE by Dann A. Stouten. When an ad for a vacation cottage catches the eye of a man on the edge of burnout, he impulsively sets off to visit the property while his wife and daughters are away. When he arrives and is ushered through the gate, he realizes he may have found the back door to heaven. The proprietor and people from his past welcome him with food, rest and conversation, until what started out as a little escape from everyday life turns into an experience he will never forget. Click here for the guide.

Among our featured books this month is TAKE A CHANCE ON ME: A Christiansen Family Novel by Susan May Warren. Darek Christiansen still harbors pain and bitterness after the tragic death of his wife, Felicity. New assistant county attorney Ivy Madison, who bids on Darek at a charity auction, turned out to be instrumental in helping to release the man responsible for Felicity’s death. Caught between new love and old grudges, Darek needs to decide if he can set aside the past for a future with Ivy --- a future that is threatened by an approaching wildfire that could wipe out the Christiansen resort and Deep Haven itself. Read more about the book and an excerpt.

Janice Cantore
continues her Pacific Coast Justice series with the third installment, AVENGED. When Officer Carly Edwards finds three young gangbangers shot execution-style, she and her husband, Sergeant Nick Anderson, head of the gang unit, fear Las Playas may be on the verge of a gang war. As she prepares to testify at a major trial, Carly’s reputation is shredded by a reporter apparently trying to discredit her professionally. Facing pressure on all fronts, Carly must rely on faith and trust God in a deeper way during one of the biggest struggles of her career. Read more about the book and an excerpt.

Kim Vogel Sawyer
’s new historical romance, SWEET SANCTUARY, introduces readers to Lydia Eldredge, who longs to provide a sanctuary for her son, Nicky. But a constant threat comes from Nicky's drug-addicted father, who wants the boy and seems willing to do whatever it takes to get him. Dr. Micah Hatcher serves the immigrant population in Queens, but under cover of darkness he provides another service that must not be discovered lest his and his brother's lives be in danger. When Lydia and Micah's paths cross, they are suddenly wrapped up in each other's callings. Read more about the book and an excerpt.

Our last featured book is ALL IN GOOD TIME, the second installment in Maureen Lang’s The Gilded Legacy series. Dessa Caldwell dreams of opening Pierson House, a refuge for former prostitutes in Denver’s roughest neighborhood. Her last hope for a loan hinges on the owner of Hawkins National Bank. Henry Hawkins has a secret: though he owns the most successful bank in town, his initial capital came from three successful raids on Wells Fargo coaches. Now he’s the most eligible bachelor in Denver, but to protect his criminal past, he’s built a fortress around his heart. Not even the boldest matchmaking mother can tempt him...until the day Dessa ventures into his bank requesting a loan. Read more about the book and an excerpt.

We have 10 new reviews to share with you this month. Among them are THE DANCE, the opening volume in Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley’s The Restoration series; the much-talked-about ISCARIOT: A Novel of Judas by Tosca Lee; JONI & KEN, the untold love story of Joni Eareckson Tada and her husband of 30 years, Ken Tada; and BEYOND HEAVEN’S DOOR by Max Lucado.

In February, we ran a special contest that gave 25 readers the opportunity to win a copy of HOME RUN by Travis Thrasher, a novelization based on the major motion picture starring Vivica A. Fox and Scott Elrod. The film will be in theaters on April 19th, and you can read all about it later on in this newsletter.

The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) has announced
36 finalists in seven categories for the 2013 Christian Book Awards. Winners will be announced on Monday, April 29th during the ECPA Leadership Summit at World Outreach Church (WOC) in Nashville, Tennessee. Click here to see the full list of nominees.

As you can see, we've given you PLENTY of reading suggestions this month. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms among our readers; may it be a happy, healthy and reflective one!

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

FaithfulReader.com’s 2013 Mother's Day Roundup
In anticipation of Mother's Day, we at FaithfulReader.com have compiled a selection of titles that are perfect for the mothers in your life. Read about the power of prayer and resilience in HEAVEN HEARS, or explore what the Bible says about relationships and parenting. For a touch of romance, try THE HOUSE THAT LOVE BUILT, or develop your culinary skills with SIMPLY DELICIOUS AMISH COOKING. In this year's roundup, you will also find true stories of God’s power and guides to raising children who know His love. Whether you’re treating your loved ones or yourself, we hope you'll be pleased with these books that celebrate moms.

Click here to see our roundup of Mother's Day titles.
Special Contest: Win a Copy of THE GUARDIAN by Beverly Lewis

We are celebrating the release of THE GUARDIAN with a special contest that will give 50 readers the opportunity to win a copy of this third installment in Beverly Lewis's Home to Hickory Hollow series. To enter, please fill out this form by Tuesday, May 14th at noon ET.

THE GUARDIAN: Home to Hickory Hollow, Book 3
by Beverly Lewis
(Fiction)

When Jodi Winfield comes to Lancaster to housesit, the last thing she expects to find is a disheveled little girl alone on the side of the road. The young teacher is mystified when she learns there have been no reports of a missing child, and the girl herself is no help since she can't speak English. It's as if the child appeared out of nowhere. Then Jodi turns her attention to Hickory Hollow --- and the cloistered world of the Old Order Amish --- in search of answers.

-Click here to read more about the book.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to read Beverly Lewis’s bio.
-Click here to visit Beverly Lewis’s official website.
-Click here to connect with Beverly Lewis on Facebook.

 
Click here to enter the contest.
FaithfulReader.com’s Latest Monthly Contest: Win a Copy of TAYLOR'S GIFT by Todd and Tara Storch, with Jennifer Schuchmann

In our latest monthly contest, one reader will received a signed copy of TAYLOR'S GIFT: A Courageous Story of Giving Life and Renewing Hope. Todd and Tara Storch tragically lost their 13-year-old daughter in a skiing accident; their decision to donate Taylor's organs would help save the lives of five desperate people who were anxiously awaiting a miracle. To enter, please fill out this form by Tuesday, May 14th at noon ET.

TAYLOR’S GIFT: A Courageous Story of Giving Life and Renewing Hope
by Todd Storch and Tara Storch, with Jennifer Schuchmann
(Memoir)

In March 2010, 13-year-old Taylor Storch's life was tragically cut short by a skiing accident. With only a few minutes to consider their options, her grieving family made the life-changing decision to donate her organs. Over the course of the next two years, Tara and Todd Storch connected with four of the five people who now live because of Taylor's gift. And through these encounters, the Storches have discovered unexpected blessings that are changing countless lives.

-Click here to read more about the book.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
 
Click here to enter the contest.
An Interview with Jody Hedlund, Author of A NOBLE GROOM

In Jody Hedlund’s latest historical romance, A NOBLE GROOM, Annalisa Werner needs a husband to save her farm. Desperate, she allows her father to send for a groom from the Old Country. But then friendship --- and something more --- begins to grow between Annalisa and her temporary farmhand. In this interview, Hedlund talks about why she was drawn to write this book, the take-away message she wants readers to receive upon finishing the story, and how her childhood visits to the farm where her dad grew up served as inspiration for the novel.

A NOBLE GROOM
by Jody Hedlund
(Historical Romance)

The death of her husband has left Annalisa Werner with few options to save the family farm. She needs a plentiful harvest --- and a husband to help bring it in. So her father sends a letter to his brother in the Old Country, asking him to find Annalisa a groom. Then a man named Carl Richards appears; he's looking for work and will serve on the farm until her husband arrives. With time running out, Annalisa accepts his help, but there's more to this stranger than he's admitting.

-Click here to read more about the book.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

-Click here to read Jody Hedlund’s bio.

-Click here to visit Jody Hedlund’s official website.

-Click here to connect with Jody Hedlund on Facebook.
 
Click here to read the interview.
Study Guide Now Available: THE GATE by Dann A. Stouten

THE GATE by Dann A. Stouten (Fiction)
When an ad for a vacation cottage catches the eye of a man on the edge of burnout, he impulsively sets off to visit the property while his wife and daughters are away. When he arrives and is ushered through the gate, he realizes he may have found the back door to heaven. The proprietor and people from his past welcome him with food, rest and conversation, until what started out as a little escape from everyday life turns into an experience he will never forget.

-Click here to read more about the book.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to read Dann A. Stouten’s bio.
-Click here to visit Dann A. Stouten’s official website.
 
Click here for the study guide.
Special Feature: TAKE A CHANCE ON ME by Susan May Warren

TAKE A CHANCE ON ME: A Christiansen Family Novel by Susan May Warren (Romance)

Darek Christiansen still harbors pain and bitterness after the tragic death of his wife, Felicity. New assistant county attorney Ivy Madison, who bids on Darek at a charity auction, turned out to be instrumental in helping to release the man responsible for Felicity’s death. Caught between new love and old grudges, Darek needs to decide if he can set aside the past for a future with Ivy --- a future that is threatened by an approaching wildfire that could wipe out the Christiansen resort and Deep Haven itself.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

-Click here to read Susan May Warren’s bio.

-Visit Susan May Warren’s official website and blog.

-Connect with Susan May Warren on Facebook and Twitter.
 
Click here to read more about the book.
Special Feature: AVENGED by Janice Cantore

AVENGED: Pacific Coast Justice Series, Book 3 by Janice Cantore (Mystery/Romance)

When Officer Carly Edwards finds three young gangbangers shot execution-style, she and her husband, Sergeant Nick Anderson, head of the gang unit, fear Las Playas may be on the verge of a gang war. As she prepares to testify at a major trial, Carly’s reputation is shredded by a reporter apparently trying to discredit her professionally. Facing pressure on all fronts, Carly must rely on faith and trust God in a deeper way during one of the biggest struggles of her career.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

-Click here to read Janice Cantore’s bio.

-Click here to visit Janice Cantore’s official website.

-Click here to connect with Janice Cantore on Facebook.
 
Click here to read more about the book.
Special Feature: SWEET SANCTUARY by Kim Vogel Sawyer

SWEET SANCTUARY by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Historical Romance)

Lydia Eldredge longs to provide a sanctuary for her young son, Nicky. But a constant threat comes from Nicky's drug-addicted father, who wants the boy and seems willing to do whatever it takes to get him. Dr. Micah Hatcher serves the immigrant population of Queens, New York, but under cover of darkness, he has a secret mission that challenges everything he thought he wanted out of life. When Lydia and Micah's paths cross, they are suddenly wrapped up in each other's callings.


-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Kim Vogel Sawyer’s bio.
-Click here to visit Kim Vogel Sawyer’s official website.
-Click here to connect with Kim Vogel Sawyer on Facebook.
 
Click here to read more about the book.
Special Feature: ALL IN GOOD TIME by Maureen Lang

ALL IN GOOD TIME: A Gilded Legacy Novel by Maureen Lang (Historical Romance)

Dessa Caldwell dreams of opening Pierson House, a refuge for former prostitutes in Denver’s roughest neighborhood. Her last hope for a loan hinges on the owner of Hawkins National Bank. Henry Hawkins has a secret: though he owns the most successful bank in town, his initial capital came from three successful raids on Wells Fargo coaches. Now he’s the most eligible bachelor in Denver, but to protect his criminal past, he’s built a fortress around his heart. Not even the boldest matchmaking mother can tempt him...until the day Dessa ventures into his bank requesting a loan.


-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Maureen Lang’s bio.
-Click here to visit Maureen Lang’s official website.
-Click here to connect with Maureen Lang on Facebook.
 
Click here to read more about the book.
Coming to Theaters April 19th: Home Run
In February, we ran a special contest that gave 25 readers the opportunity to win a copy of HOME RUN by Travis Thrasher, a novelization based on the major motion picture starring Vivica A. Fox and Scott Elrod. The film will be in theaters on April 19th, and we're pleased to share with you details of the plot.

Home Run
Cast: Scott Elrod, Dorian Brown, Vivica A. Fox
Director: David Boyd
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: April 19th

Baseball all-star Cory Brand knows what it takes to win in the big leagues. But off the field, with memories of his past haunting him, his life is spiraling out of control.

Hoping to save her client's career and reputation after a DUI and a team suspension, Cory's agent sends him back to the small town where he grew up. Forced to coach the local youth baseball team and spend eight weeks in the only recovery program in town, Cory can't wait to return to his old life as quickly as possible.

As his young players help him experience the joy of the game, Cory discovers his need to find freedom from his past and hope for his future…and win back the love he left behind. With this unexpected second chance, Cory finds himself on a powerful journey of transformation and redemption.

Based on thousands of true stories, Home Run is a powerful reminder that with God, it's never too late. Freedom is possible.

-Click here to watch the movie trailer.
-Click here to read more about the novelization.


Click here to read more about the film.
The 2013 Christian Book Award Finalists
The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) has announced 36 finalists in seven categories for the 2013 Christian Book Awards. Presented annually to the finest in Christian publishing since 1978, the Christian Book Awards now honors titles in seven categories: Bibles, Bible Reference, Nonfiction, Fiction, Children, Inspiration, and New Author. A minimum of five finalists are chosen in each category. Winners will be announced on Monday, April 29th during the ECPA Leadership Summit at World Outreach Church (WOC) in Nashville, Tennessee.
 
Click here to see this year's Christian Book Award finalists.
Now in Stores: THE DANCE by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley

THE DANCE: The Restoration Series, Book 1 by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley (Fiction)

Jim Anderson is a successful businessman, and his wife, Marilyn, is the perfect wife. But after 27 years of marriage, Marilyn has had enough of feeling unloved and neglected. She wants to experience some measure of happiness before she's too old to enjoy it, even signing up for dance lessons, something Jim would never do. What will it take for Jim to finally become the man Marilyn needs him to be? Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab.

-Click here to read more about the book.

 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: ISCARIOT by Tosca Lee

ISCARIOT: A Novel of Judas by Tosca Lee (Historical Fiction)

ISCARIOT is the story of Judas, from his tumultuous childhood to his emergence as the man known to the world as the betrayer of Jesus. But even more, it is a singular and surprising view into the life of Jesus that forces us to reexamine everything we thought we knew about the most famous --- and infamous --- religious icons in history. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.

-Click here to read more about the book.

 
Click here to read a review.
This Month's Reviews

JONI & KEN: An Untold Love Story by Ken and Joni Eareckson Tada, with Larry Libby (Memoir)

The love story of Joni and her husband of 30 years, Ken Tada, shows what it truly means for a man and a woman to live in love...in sickness and in health. As their marriage years moved on, Ken became increasingly overwhelmed by the never-ceasing demands of caring for his quadriplegic wife, who begins to experience chronic, extreme, nightmarish pain. Ken sinks into depression, and the couple finds themselves living under the same roof yet drifting apart emotionally. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

BEYOND HEAVEN'S DOOR
by Max Lucado
(Christian Life)

There is much about heaven that we don't yet understand. And while thoughts on our final destiny may stir questions, they needn't stir our fears. In BEYOND HEAVEN'S DOOR, Max Lucado takes us on a journey from finding certainty in our destination to God's great promises of the hereafter. Open the door and catch a glimpse of the joy that awaits you in heaven --- and find hope for today in the process. Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab.

A MATTER OF TRUST: A Mia Quinn Mystery by Lis Wiehl, with April Henry (Mystery)
One minute Mia Quinn is in her basement, chatting on the phone with a colleague at the prosecutor’s office. The next minute there’s a gunshot over the line, and Mia listens in horror as her colleague and friend Colleen bleeds to death. Despite much reluctance, Mia teams up with detective Charlie Carlson to investigate this tragedy. But the deeper they dig, the more complications unfold --- even the unsettling possibility that someone may be coming after her. Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab.

THE COLOR OF HOPE
by Kim Cash Tate
(Romance)
Despite its small-town charm, Hope Springs is at a crossroads. After a failed reconciliation attempt by two well-meaning pastors, the town is split along racial and cultural lines, with little hope for redemption. When a terrible tragedy puts Hope Springs on the national radar, the entire town is tested, while the story's two female protagonists --- Stephanie London and Charlotte Willoughby --- feel their lives unraveling. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

THE SKY BENEATH MY FEET
by Lisa Samson
(Fiction)
Beth's husband won't be joining the family on vacation at the beach this year. Instead, Rick has holed up alone in the backyard shed, and nobody knows exactly what he's up to. While "St. Rick" waits for an epiphany, Beth will have to figure out what to do with herself and their teenage sons. What happens next is both uproarious and bittersweet: a peace march turns violent, her son is caught with drugs, and she embarks on an ambitious road trip that turns into something nearly surreal. Reviewed by Susan Miura.

FINDING MOOSEWOOD, FINDING GOD: What Happened When a TV Newsman Abandoned His Career for Life on an Island
by Jack Perkins
(Memoir)
For 25 years, millions of Americans watched Jack Perkins on NBC News as a correspondent, commentator and anchorman. Yet at the age of 52 and at the height of his career, Jack disappeared from the public eye and moved with his wife, Mary Jo, to a bare-necessities cabin on an uninhabited island off the coast of Maine. This isolated home they came to call Moosewood was the setting for Jack and Mary Jo’s spiritual awakening. Reviewed by Evelyn Bence.

WINGS OF GLASS
by Gina Holmes
(Fiction)
Eighteen-year-old Penny Carson is swept off her feet by a handsome farmhand named Trent Taylor. Before the ink even dries on their marriage certificate, he hits her for the first time --- and it won't be the last. When Trent is injured in a welding accident, he has no choice but to finally allow Penny to take a job cleaning houses. Here she meets two women from very different worlds who will teach her to live and laugh again. Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab.

BEAUTIFUL NATE: A Memoir of a Family's Love, a Life Lost, and Heaven's Promises
by Dennis Mansfield
(Memoir)

A leader in the evangelical public policy arena, Dennis Mansfield was a candidate for U.S. Congress in 2000 when he learned of his oldest son’s drug use. Though Dennis and his wife, Susan, turned their attention to helping drug addicts and their families, they were powerless to stop the death of their own son in 2009 at the age of 27. BEAUTIFUL NATE lucidly recounts these difficult years while painting a picture of what did and did not work in raising a child within the evangelical framework. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

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