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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Clare Revell's Latest - November-Charlie

Clare Revell
I always find it a delight to spend time with Pelican Book Group author Clare Revell.

She's an aficionado of suspense, and recent efforts of channeled that gift into the Christian Young Adult genre. I admire this effort, because to my mind, there's nothing better - and more important - than capturing the interest and hearts of young readers. They're our future, and they're smart. Here's what else: they know good books when they find them.

Therefore, without further fanfare, allow me to introduce Clare's upcoming (July, 2015) release, November-Charlie!

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When Jim and Staci Kirk's parents go missing, he decides to search for them himself. Unbeknownst to him, his sister and their best friend Lou, stow away to join him. 

It seems so simple on paper, sail from England to the Philippines and find the Kirks. But a hurricane named Erika and a relentless shark conspire against them to make the voyage one of the most perilous trips the teenagers have ever lived. 

Can they endure the danger? Will they find the Kirks alive or does God have another idea in mind?


EXCERPT

Lou heard a siren and turned to look behind them. A flashing light identified the fast approaching boat as police. Four armed officers stood on deck and the loud hailer instructed them to pull over.

"Jim? What are you going to do?"

"Do what they want."

"You can’t."

"I have to." Jim began to slow the boat and moved it to rest at the side of the waterway.
The police boat shot past and one of the officers waved his thanks.

Lou released a sigh of relief. "For a moment I thought..."

"We all did," Jim said. He pulled out into the main waterway again and followed in the wake of the police boat.

"Wonder where they’re going," Staci said.

"Somewhere in a hurry. Maybe they’re late for lunch," Lou said.

"With guns?"

"Maybe they’ve had lunch, and they’re off to kill the cook," Jim said grinning.

"There it is." Staci pointed. "It’s slowing down."

Suddenly an almighty explosion fragmented the police boat into a mass of flames and smoke. Shattered timbers and twisted metal flew everywhere.

MARIANNE’S REVIEW

What an amazing adventure. These three musketeers (well, four, really because you have to count that adorable dog Deefer) set out to sea with the noble intention of finding Jim and Staci's missing parents. Dealing with numerous perils along the way--I won't spoil with specifics, trust me, you'll want to read and take the ride along with them--they stretch and grow as individuals and in their faith, which is a wonderful aspect of Christian YA fiction. Revell always delivers on the suspense, and November-Charlie is no different, but I'm particularly impressed by the way she develops her characters and paints a very real portrait of YA life with all of its joys, insecurities, fears, sadness and overriding determination. 

MEET CLARE REVELL

Clare lives in a small town in England with her husband, whom she married in 1992, and her three children. Writing from an early childhood and encouraged by her teachers, she graduated from rewriting fairy stories through fanfiction to using her own original characters and enjoys writing an eclectic mix of romance, crime fiction and children's stories. When she's not writing, reading, or sewing, she's keeping house or doing the many piles of laundry her children manage to make.

She has been a Christian for more than half her life and attends Carey Baptist where she is one of three registrars.

Connect with Clare at:


http://telscha.blogspot.co.uk/

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Meet Author Kathleen Friesen, Author of Nila's Hope!

Kathleen Friesen
Kathleen Friesen lives in the beautiful Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada. 
She enjoys reading, travelling, kayaking with her hubby (on calm waters only!), and spoiling their grandkids.

Kathleen completed her first novel, Melody's Song, a story of Redemption. It was published via WestBow Press and is available at all major online retailers or through your local bookstore.

Her second novel, Nila's Hope,is now available. The theme of this book is Release, the kind of freedom that only God can give. Harbourlight Books, an imprint of Pelican Book Group, is the publisher. 

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NILA'S HOPE



Just when her career as a carpenter and a relationship with Will Jamison are within reach, Nila Black’s abusive ex-boyfriend is released from prison. He’s out of jail, out for revenge, and making promises she knows he’ll keep. 

Nila will do anything it takes to save Will and her friends from the evil that will come their way if she doesn’t put distance between them—even if it means abandoning her new-found faith. It will take a miracle and an angelic messenger to show Nila that God is her greatest protector. He has never left her side, and He wants only the best for her and for the man she loves. 

****

MARIANNE’S REVIEW:

A female carpenter (such an interesting twist!)...a vengeful and abusive ex-boyfriend...and the love of a lifetime. Can Nila and Will find a way to forever, or will evil and past pain shatter their dreams? Can forgiveness and redemption sing their song within two hearts scarred by fear and feelings of unworthiness? With a gift for page-turning suspense, heart-wrenching personal conflict and an exquisite writing voice, Kathleen Friesen hits all the right notes with her Harbourlight release, Nila's Hope. I look forward to her next release!

****

PURCHASE LINKS:



I hope you enjoy, and happy reading, friends! God Bless! 

~ Marianne

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Meet Authors Cindy K Green & Ashley Ludwig!

MEET AUTHOR CINDY K GREEN

Cindy K. Green
Author of Andrea & the 5-Day Challenge (Book 1 in the Aubrey Christian Academy Series), Cindy K. Green has worked as a middle school history & English teacher, a frozen yogurt server and a golf magazine employee. 

Today she's a multi-published, award-winning author, a mother, a wife, and a homeschooler, too. This native Californian now resides in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and two cats named Chloe & Kassey. 

To find out more about Cindy and her work, please visit her website: www.cindykgreen.com and her blog: www.cindykgreen.blogspot.com. She's also on Facebook (Cindy K. Green) and Twitter (@cindykgreen) and you can e-mail her at: cindy@cindykgreen.com

*****

ANDREA AND THE 5-DAY CHALLENGE





Dear Lord, 
I need Your help and sooner would be better than later. Wouldn't you know it, just as soon as I decide to attempt the 5-Day Bible Study Challenge, my parents start heaping on loads of pressure to get me into Julliard. My friend Amy isn't any better, urging me to ask Luke Ryan to homecoming. As if the cute, transfer jock would actually go out with me. I mean, we're kinda friends, and I've enjoyed our Geometry study sessions, but in case Amy hasn't noticed, I'm the invisible one at Aubrey Christian Academy, and I like it that way. On top of that, I have a feeling Luke's concealing something behind those chocolate-brown eyes of his. I know I can be self-centered and a bit melodramatic, but I really do want to seek Your will for my life. Then maybe I'll even figure out which direction points up. 

Sincerely, 
Andrea Jamison 
High School Junior 
Change-o-phobic & complete neurotic

MARIANNE'S REVIEW

I think what I enjoyed most about Andrea and the 5-Day Challenge is that she reminds me of me when I was a teen—quirky but hopeful. Andrea’s life is a roller coaster,  overwhelming at times—but she paves her way through challenges and doubts  by leaning on her friends, her faith and a wonderful young man who sweeps into her life. With humor and heart, Cindy K Green puts right in the middle of Andrea’s world, which is a treat. I love finding great YA books like this one that are geared toward Christians. Really looking forward to what happens next at Aubrey Christian Academy!

PURCHASE LINKS



MEET AUTHOR ASHLEY LUDWIG

Ashley Ludwig
Ashley Ludwig is an inspirational romance writer and Arizona native who received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arizona with a degree in Anthropology, and a minor in History & Humanities.

Some of the more obscure jobs she's held include: pouring wine (for a living – and for fun!), constructing silk trees, working as a cook, server, and caterer for a small catering company. She's worked as an assistant Exhibits Preparator for the Tucson Children’s Museum, and briefly worked as a docent for the La Brea Tar Pits. She spent a summer interning for Casting Director, Mali Finn, on the Warner Brother’s Lot and worked as a PA for a Nickelodeon Kid’s show, The Secret World of Alex Mack. 
.
She's turned her passion for research and attention to historical detail to her true love: writing inspirational and historical romances. To find out more, please visit Ashley at: http://www.ashleyludwig.com

*****

MAMMOTH SECRETS



Mammoth's new pastor is starting over. Using the pseudonym, Jake Gibb, he plans on staying far from his infamous father's shadow. 

When Jake meets the misunderstood Lilah Dale--a woman in the midst of a divorce and with nothing to hide thanks to the local prayer chain--he is convicted in the choice he's made to hide his true identity. 

With mutual deceptions marring their future, Jake and Lilah must form a careful relationship, and together learn that only the truth can set you free.

MARIANNE'S REVIEW

With a deft hand at characterization and a plot line that features enough suspense to keep you turning the pages, Ashley Ludwig has crafted a wonderful, emotion packed Christian romance. Jake and Lilah's story touched my heart because they are relate-able. The scene-setting is top notch as well. I can't wait for what's next from this gifted author!

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Christian Book ~ Pelican Book Group

Happy reading, friends, and God bless!

~ Marianne

Friday, February 20, 2015

Marian Merritt, The Vigil, and a Giveaway!

Marian P Merritt
I'm thrilled to welcome author Marian Pellegrin Merritt to the blog today and tell you all about her new release, THE VIGIL! 

Marian writes stories that blend her love of the mountains with her deep Southern roots which leads to her tagline, Where the Bayous Meet the Mountains.

She is an author and freelance writer with over ten years experience. Her work has appeared in newspapers, magazines and online websites and garnered a first place award in ACFW's Genesis contest.

Marian’s published books include: Deep Freeze Christmas, A Cajun Christmas Miracle, and Southern Fried Christmas.

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy and an accounting certificate from the University of South Alabama. This Louisiana native writes from the Northwest Colorado home she shares with her husband and a very spoiled Labradoodle.

Connect with her through WebsiteBlogFacebookTwitter

If you’d like to be part of her reader’s group on Facebook where she has giveaways, shares behind-the-scenes tidbits, and recruits Beta readers, you can join at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/marianpmerritt/

I’m so glad she's paid a visit to the blog. Since I'm always curious about what inspires a story to spring to life, I had to ask Marian for a quick summation as to why The Vigil came to be:

"The nurse’s character came to me first before the story. As I interviewed the character, the story unfolded and had to be told!"

Talk about character driven.  Love it! The book sounds awesome – here’s a pair of tidbits to whet the appetite!

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Blurb

Cheryl Broussard made two vows: She'd never fall for an abusive man, and she'd never return to her Louisiana hometown. But she's learned all too well the lesson of never-say-never. Now, back in Bijou Bayou after fleeing from an abusive boyfriend, Cheryl finds work as a Hospice nurse. While reading a dying patient's Korean War love letters, family secrets shatter Cheryl's beliefs about her family and herself and shed light on the reason she fled her hometown. When the Broussard family secrets are revealed, can Cheryl deal with the truth and accept the blessing of a second chance for relationships with her family, old friends, and with the God she never really knew? 


Excerpt

The drive east from Houston to Bijou Bayou, the only place I knew I'd be safe, proved to be the longest four hours of my life. Home. At the prospect, my sweating fingers tightened around the steering wheel. But the larger revolt came when I thought about staying in Houston. I couldn't risk being in the same town, no matter how big, with Jarrod Trumont. I feared for my life. And his.

Yet, the greater question loomed ahead:  could I tolerate living in the same town as my mother?

~~~~~

But wait...there's MORE!

Marian has graciously agreed to give one lucky commentator an e-copy of The Vigil! Let us know you’re out there – I know Marian would love to meet you!!


Happy reading, friends, and happy commenting! Blessings!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The 2015 Laurel Award

On October 22, 2014, A Miracle of Hope won Clash of the Titles' Laurel Award. During a six-week period, the novel's first 3,500 words were read and judged by avid readers of Christian fiction who determined it to be the worthiest to receive the 2014 Laurel Award.

Clash of the Titles extends a heartfelt congratulations to author Ruth Reid for her commendable work. We wish God's abundant blessings on her future projects.

“A Miracle of Hope quickens a reader’s heart in hope that one child’s faith will be miracle enough.” –Alan Daugherty, News-Banner columnist

About A Miracle of Hope
Lindie Wyse thinks an arranged marriage is the only way to preserve a future for herself and her unborn child. Josiah Plank is certain he’ll never love again, but he needs someone to care for his deaf eight-year-old daughter, Hannah. The two take on their arrangement tentatively at first but soon realize they are each in for more than they imagined. After a short time, Lindie experiences a breakthrough with Hannah when she recognizes the child’s special gifts, but a risky pregnancy and serious health issues threaten to demolish the foundation Josiah and Lindie are building—and the love that is growing between them.

Will their marriage survive their struggles, or will their hearts become as cold as the northern winter?

“A beautifully written love story, A Miracle of Hope is both heartwarming and heartbreaking and features believable, charming characters who are willing to do whatever it takes for love.” 4 stars, RT Book Reviews  


Listen to Cynthia L. Simmon'sHeart of the Matter" radio interview of Laurel Award Winner, Ruth Reid!

About Ruth:
Ruth is a CBA and ECPA best-selling author of the Heaven on Earth and Amish Wonders series. When attending Ferris State University School of Pharmacy in Big Rapids, Michigan, she lived on the outskirts of an Amish community and had several occasions to visit the Amish farms. Her interest grew into love as she saw the beauty in living a simple life. Ruth resides in Florida with her husband and three children. 
She can be reached HERE.


“…Ruth’s descriptions of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula during the winter are vivid and almost hauntingly beautiful—yet the hardship and “cabin fever” element are very real. But it’s character depth that is this story’s strength…” –Carole Jarvis, Amazon Review
Ruth's Upcoming Projects:
Her Christmas Pen Pal, a novella in An Amish Second Christmas collection released October 2014.
A Woodland Miracle will be released in January 2015
She is currently working on book three of the Amish Wonders Series (untitled at this time; release is planned for 2016). 

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OLYMPIA OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS!

Authors, take note! 

Clash of the Titles has opened its doors for submissions to the 2015 Olympia.


The Olympia is COTT's yearly contest for unpublished writers. The submissions are judged by their audience—readers well versed in Christian fiction yet not associated with the CBA industry.
Authors write for readers, so why not have readers be the judges?
Finalists in the contest will also have their work read and judged by three industry professionals!

With a submission fee of only $15, easy electronic submission, a bevy of prizes, and judges devoted to Christian fiction and author encouragement, the Olympia is a contest like no other.

But once our doors are open, you'll need to act quick! Slots are limited. To avoid overburdening our volunteer judges, we are limited in the number of submissions we can accept.

Submissions:
Oct. 31, 2014-Dec 12, 2014 

For more details, please visit our site.

Stay tuned for updates by 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Journey to Publication, Pamela S. Thibodeaux

Pamela S. Thibodeaux
Like most authors, my journey to publication was a long, long path filled with potholes (mistakes) and nuggets of gold (wisdom, guidance and acceptance).

I began writing over 30 years ago in 5 subject notebooks. Although I’d been an avid reader all of my life, my thoughts of how easy writing a book would be, quickly changed to how challenging it really is!

Oh the writing part is easy and for the most part, fun. However, writing isn’t all there is to this business….there’s editing, selling (or publishing) then promoting and marketing. And, when you write outside the norm, well, all of these aspects can make you want to throw in the towel and just chuck it all more often than not.

Alas, real writers don’t quit. Yeah, we make take a break or extended sabbatical but at some point we always return to our passion: Writing.

This journey has been filled with tears beyond measure and elation beyond description and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. In thirty-some-odd years I’ve published six novels, six short stories and more than sixty articles, essays and poems. In all of my adult life writing is the one “job” I’ve stuck with the longest.

What can I say?

I am a writer.

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Not only is Pam a writer – she’s an acclaimed writer, and a real favorite of mine. Let’s take a look at Tempered Hearts, which is Book 1 of her Tempered Series!


Rancher Craig Harris and veterinarian Tamera Collins clash from the moment they meet.  Innocence is pitted against arrogance as tempers rise and passions ignite to form a love as pure as the finest gold, fresh from the crucible and as strong as steel. 

Thrown together amid tragedy and unsated passion, Tamera and Craig share a strong attraction that neither accepts as the first stages of love.  Torn between desire and dislike, they must make peace with their pasts and God in order to open up to the love blossoming between them. 

It is a love that nothing can destroy when they come to understand that only when hearts are tempered, minds are opened and wills are softened can man discern the will of God for his life.


Tamera awoke in a mild state of panic and confusion. Glancing around, she realized where she was and who was beside her. A blush warmed her cheeks as she struggled to sit up. She released the filly and fumbled with the front of her gown.

“I couldn’t sleep.” she explained, glancing into the steel gray eyes. His gaze, soft and warm like liquid metal, made her blush harder as he brushed strands of hay out of her hair with a gentleness that seemed out of character.

Craig knew he was treading on dangerous ground, that people were expecting them, but couldn’t seem to get past the moment at hand. “I guess a kiss is out of the question,” he queried, his voice tender, gaze unwavering.

Emotions, raw and unfamiliar, shivered through her. Tamera attempted to scoot away from him, emitted a shaky little laugh and tried to quench the feelings escalating to frightening proportions. “A kiss? Why would you want a kiss? I didn’t think you even liked me.”

Craig wound his hand in her thick hair, stopping her movements. “Like has nothing to do with desire,” he moaned and crushed her to him as his mouth covered hers in a thorough kiss. “Absolutely nothing,” he assured as she clung to his shirt and trembled in his arms.

Purchase Links:

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Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”

Connect with Pam at:
Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com  
Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

June's Hot New Releases Clash of the Titles Champion


Thank you, voters and encouragers, for a great Clash of the Titles, June 2014 Release Battle.

We'll begin our champion announcement with the kindness of the voters....

Comments of Encouragement for this Month’s CLASH Authors:

They are all stunning... I love though how Tamara writes in the medieval time... Hard to find clean fiction in that time period :)

Heather Day Gilbert's previous novel convinced me to put any other fiction she writes in the top level of my "to read" list, so this month's choice was easy--even though there are some other books here that are also on my list.

Anytime a book weaves a tale that crosses generations is always a draw for me.  Miranda Warning by Heather Day Gilbert offers that and a peak into WV life with a great mystery.  Love it!

Oh my goodness -- too many wanna-reads in this list, not the least of which are Blind Trust, A Place in His Heart, and Lady of Eve. No fair we only get to vote for one!! ;)

A Place in His Heart is a beautiful story! So amazing that it's based on the author's ancestry.

Jolina Petersheim, I read "The Outcast" and I'm looking forward to reading your new book "The Midwife." I enjoy Amish fiction. Keep up the great work!

Best of luck Heather Gray Jackal is one of my all time favourite books!!

Rebecca DeMarino is off to a good start in her first of "The Southold Chronicles." I am looking forward to the second novel.



And Now, on to our Champion, with sweet kudos to another clasher:

Sandra, Blind Trust looks intriguing, so I ordered a copy. I've already read Moon over Maalaea Bay at least 30 times. :)

Love Sandra's romantic suspense!

Sandra Orchard, I am looking forward to reading all the book in this series. Love the characters!  Blind Trust looks great!

Sandra Orchard is the best.  I enjoy her books and can't wait till the next one.  Blind Trust is a great book.

Sandra Orchard -- Your cover is fabulous -- I can't wait to read the story.   


And the winner is – Sandra Orchard, and Blind Trust!

Congratulations!

About the book:



Blind Trust
June 2014
Revell, paperback, 325 pp.
$14.99
9780800722234
Revell, e-book, $14.99
9781441245069 
Buy on Amazon 

Caught passing counterfeit bills, Kate Adams races to expose the true counterfeiter before unwitting suspects pay with their lives, but the truth could endanger her most of all.

Book 2 in the Port Aster Secrets series
Kate Adams had no idea she was carrying counterfeit money, and she can’t believe that it came from her sweet neighbor. Or that it lands her in the middle of another one of Detective Tom Parker’s investigations. Determined to prove her neighbor’s innocence, Kate stumbles into a pit of intrigue that is far deeper than a two-bit counterfeit operation–and strikes too close to home for comfort. As family secrets come to light, her world–and her budding romance with Tom–begin to crumble. To Kate, it’s clear that she won’t be safe until she uncovers all of Port Aster’s secrets. But is it too late for her and Tom?


N.B. Each book in this series is a stand-alone mystery featuring Kate Adams, a herbal medicine researcher turned amateur sleuth, and Tom Parker, Port Aster’s newest detective. Together the three-book series reads as a romantic suspense, with Kate and Tom’s romance and an underlying suspense plot arcing the series. For that reason, and because book two is a spoiler for book one, we recommend the series be read in order.

A review from Booklist:

The second of Christian romantic-suspense author Orchard’s Port Aster Secrets novels, Blind Trust finds Kate Adams still reeling from her friend’s murder as she attempts to get her life back in order. However, what begins as a seemingly small-time counterfeit operation soon spirals into something much bigger, with Kate at the center. Detective Tom Parker has his eye on Kate, and not because she’s a suspect. His feelings for her continue to grow, as does his desire to protect her, but Kate’s determination to get to the truth on her own means that Tom is often getting her out of trouble, rather than keeping her from it. When the action shifts from mere counterfeiting to poisoning, theft, and decades-old secrets, Kate insists on researching her way to the facts. Orchard infuses romance with suspense and keeps the excitement coming page after page. Readers will love the ever-deepening mystery as Kate extends her investigation and finds herself and her long-dead father tangled up in an international corporate conspiracy. Will Kate be able to clear her father’s name, and stay safe?    — Carolyn Richard

About the Author:

Sandra Orchard is an award-winning author of inspirational romantic suspense/mysteries with Love Inspired Suspense and Revell Publishing. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America and The Word Guild (Canada). A mother of three grown children, she lives in Niagara, Canada with her real-life-hero husband and writes full time…when not doting on her young grandchildren.  You can learn more about Sandra’s books and bonus features at www.SandraOrchard.com or connect at www.Facebook.com/SandraOrchard