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Colorado Springs, Colo. – David C Cook is proud to announce that debut author of Into the Free, Julie Cantrell, was listed at the top of the Lifeway Christian Stores blog favorite novel list for 2012.

“It’s rare for a debut novelist to land on The New York Times Best Seller list right out of the gate,” said RachelMcRae, LifeWay’s book buyer. “It’s even rarer for a writer in the Christian fiction market to do this.But that is just what Julie Cantrell did withInto the Free. A riveting coming of age story, this novel will have you glued to young Millie Reynold’s life as she deals with family secrets, abuse, first love, and an introduction to a faith that seems to be just what her restless heart is searching for.This is probably the most beautiful story I read all year.”

In Into the Free, Cantrell writes an extraordinary story of love, survival, and forgiveness. Readers will be awed by Millie Reynolds, a young girl from Mississippi who has packed a lot of life into her seventeen years. With an abusive father and a “nothing mama,” it seems that young Millie has no hope. She longs to flee Depression-era Mississippi and the madness that marks her world. Then a sweet gum tree she calls Sweetie, her beloved neighbor Sloth, and a band of gypsies that caravans through town all combine in a life-changing way. Her traveling friends lead Millie to a box filled with family secrets, and Millie wonders what its contents mean for her future. Will it give her the means to break her family’s cycle of abuse? Will she find a way to be safe and loved?

“Julie Cantrell’s Into the Freehas been described as lyrical literary prose, and it is with that style that Julie has captured an audience hungry for more,” explained Ginia Croker, Vice President of Marketing at David C Cook. “In fact, I am a huge fan myself and am one of those readers who is excited to read more of Millie’s story.” Cantrell’s follow up release, When Mountains Movewill be available September 2013.

Julie Cantrell, The New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author, was the editor-in chief of the Southern Literary Review. She has been a freelance writer for a decade and has contributed to more than a dozen books. Cantrell and her family now live in Oxford,

Mississippi where they operate Valley House Farm. A speech-pathologist and literacy advocate, Cantrell was also honored to receive the 2012 Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Fellowship and is working on a creative nonfiction book about her family’s adventures as first-generation farmers.

David C Cook is a leading nonprofit resource provider serving the global Church with life-transforming, Christ-centered materials. Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with offices in Illinois, Canada and the United Kingdom, David C Cook’s resources are published in over 150 languages and distributed in more than 160 countries. Originally founded in 1875 as a curriculum publisher, today David C Cook publishes numerous bestselling fiction and non-fiction books from a variety of award-winning authors. It is also a leading provider of worship music through its Integrity Music label, which produces overone-third of the top 100 praise and worship songs sung around the world.Additional information can be found at