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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

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Three Books...One Winner!

GIVEAWAY!
Winner announced at
Clash of the Titles
Wednesday, June 25, 2014


By entering the contest, you understand that:
The books may arrive in Kindle, Nook, or paperback format, according to each author's preference. 
Each author will send his/her book directly to the winner.
COTT cannot be held responsible for prizes not received.
Entry in this contest does NOT subscribe you to any feeds, newsletters, or other publications or networks


Monday, June 9, 2014

My Writing Process


When wearing my writing hat, the question I'm asked most often is: 'How do you do it?' 

When my good friend and gifted colleague MaryAnn Diorio invited me to join the 'My Writing Process' blog tour, I knew it would be a fun opportunity to provide a response. Thank you, MaryAnn, for including me, and before I dive into my writing world, I want to let you know a little about her!

Dr. MaryAnn Diorio writes compelling fiction that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart. She is Online Adjunct Professor of Fiction Writing at Regent University and the author of A CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING. She is married, the mom of two wonderful daughters, and grandmother to precious 17-month-old granddaughter Annamarie Joy. You can connect with her at: http://www.maryanndiorio.com

Now, it's my turn at the keyboard. I can’t wait to share a bit about my writing process!

What are you working on?

I have two projects in the ‘writing’ stages right now, six projects in the editing/release stages and a proposal in the works for a three-book series.

My writing projects are Forgiveness, coming soon from Harbourlight Books and Nobody’s Baby But Mine coming soon from White Rose Publishing (both imprints of Pelican Book Group). The ones that are in the works are also coming soon from Pelican: my four-book Sisters in Spirit series as well as Date Night and Then and Now.

Tentatively I refer to my future project as The Fishermen Series because their last name is Fisher, and it involves three brothers born and bred in rural Indiana. The series arc reveals the ways God uses them for His mission field in ways that are nothing short of miraculous. I’m excited about diving into the mind-set of these men since I just finished my ‘Sisters’ series!

How does your work differ from others in its genre?

I think my writing differs from others in my genre because I’m determined to tell stories from a Christian world-view and perspective, while all the while challenging myself to keep it real. The conflicts, the messes life (and our choices) can bring to light might appear hopeless at first, and overwhelming, but nothing is beyond God’s power, His love and redemption.

Also, I’m a firm believer in sharing the exhilaration and joy of falling in love—the tummy tickles, the sparkles, the rush of attraction. I’m a bit more sensual (though always appropriate, no worries!) when it comes to my hero and heroine discovering their connection.

Why do you write what you do?

I began my professional career with four secular releases. Three were published by Kensington and one by The Wild Rose Press. All four were contemporary romances because exploring the theme of love resounds with me. It celebrates what’s best about who we are. All the while, though, I felt a pull toward something more, something that delivers the truth of a love that goes much deeper and truer than anything we’ll ever find here on earth, and that’s the love of God through the birth, life, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus.

How does your writing process go?

I have to begin by saying I’m married to a prince. OK, well, actually he’s a king. Seriously. He’s the former king of the Allen County 4-H Fair, and he more than lives up to the title. Every night during the work week I spend an hour or two at my computer, writing, while he cooks dinner. What a blessing and gift to have his unwavering support! I write on my lunch hours as well, but more often than not I use my lunch time to eat, and power walk to keep myself fit.

Beyond that, my weekends are ‘go’ time. I try to treat my writing weekends like a job all their own. I put in eight hours (sometimes more if I’m on a roll). Sometimes I write at home, sometimes I change things up by writing at coffee shops around town. Spring and summer are awesome because I can sit outside and enjoy writing alfresco.

And now, I'd like to introduce next week’s participant in the blog tour. Say hello to Tanya Hanson! Check out her writing process revelations on June 16th!



After a career as a high school English teacher, Tanya Hanson now writes both inspirational and secular Western romances. A native Californian, she thanks God daily for the blessings of good health, a happy home, and exciting travels.Connect with her at: www.tanyahanson.com

Until next time, friends, be blessed!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Olympia Winner Revealed!




We've all been waiting. It's been six months since submissions opened for the Olympia. A panel of readers narrowed down the top three entries and then a distinguished *industry professionals assessed and scored those excerpts to bring us to this moment.

The time has come and I am so very excited to announce to you that the winner of the 2014 Olympia is...


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JENNIFER RODEWALD
For her story titled Reclaimed

About Reclaimed

Suzanna Wilton has had a hefty share of heartache in her twenty-seven years. Left heartbroken by a marriage cut short, she leaves city life to take up residency in a tiny Nebraska town. Her introduction to her neighbor Paul Rustin is a disaster. Assuming he’s as undermining as the other local cowboys she’s already met, Suzanna greets him with a heavy dose of hostility.

Though Paul is offended by Suzanna’s unfriendliness, she often invades his thoughts. Intrigued by the woman who lives down the road, and propelled by a sense that she carries a painful burden, he frequently drops by to offer help as she adjusts to rural living.


Just as Paul’s kindness begins to melt Suzanna’s frozen heart, a conflict regarding her land escalates in town. Even in the warmth of Paul’s love, resentment continues to strangle her fragile soul. Will Suzanna ever find peace?

Author Bio:

Jennifer Rodewald is passionate about the Word of God and the powerful vehicle of story. Four kids and her own personal superman make her home in southwestern Nebraska delightfully chaotic.

Aiming to live with boundless enthusiasm, her creed is vision, pursuit and excellence. Blessed with a robust curiosity, she loves to research. Whether she’s investigating the history of a given area, the biography of a Christian icon, or how nature declares the glory of God, her daily goal is to learn something new.

Jen lives in a lovely speck of a town where she watches with amazement while her children grow up way too fast, gardens, plays with her horses, and marvels at God’s mighty hand in everyday life.You can find her at thefreeslavesdevotion.com 


Congratulations, Jennifer! We are honored to be a part of your journey and look forward to watching what God has in store for your writing career.

In addition to a tour through COTT's Blog Alliance, Jennifer will be receiving a beautiful plaque to commemorate her win and an internet radio interview with Cynthia Simmons!

*Final round judges:
AMANDA LUEDEKE--Agent, Macgregor Literary Agency
MARCY DYER--Editor, Prism Book Group
ROSSLYN ELLIOTT--Author and 2011 COTT Laurel Award Winner

Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Warm Welcome to Sunday's Child & Clare Revell!


Having written a few 'books-in-a-series,' I can completely relate to something my good friend Clare Revell said the other day. She expressed joy at being able to share the concluding book in her fabulous Days of the Week series coupled with an equal sadness that, upon the release of Sunday's Child, the series had come to a close.

Yep. Been there, done that. As writers, we move into new stories, into new characters, but those we've created never truly leave our hearts.

So, with pleasure, I offer this spotlight and my review of Sunday's Child. Clare, I look forward to what's next!!!


BLURB:

Sunday’s Child on life seas is tossed, awaiting the lifeboat that rescues the lost…

Hattie Steele feels like the world is passing her by. Her entire life revolves around the guest house she runs in Headley Cross with her overbearing twin brother. He even attempts to undermine her friendship with a handsome guest. Not that famous ex-footballer, Callum Trant would ever give her a second glance. Hoping to regain control of her life, Hattie takes a well-earned holiday with her aunt on Penry Island. 

After retiring from football, Callum Trant divides his time between the family business and volunteering as helm officer on a lifeboat. Danger is nothing new for him. But when he’s called out on a shout and finds the beautiful innkeeper from Headley Cross on a sinking vessel, Callum realizes his heart is in danger. 

But could Hattie ever forget his womanizing past and feel the same way? Or will a dangerous rescue end the relationship before its had time to grow?

EXCERPT:

Cal turned the boat and headed into the heart of the storm, keeping the bow of the boat into the breaking waves. Visibility was down to five feet.

“There’s another flare,” Sam yelled. “But doesn’t look the same direction.”

“Radar’s got something.” Cal squinted at the screen.

“There. Two o’clock, there’s a light.” 

Cal aimed the boat at the faint light he could see between the towering waves. As he grew closer he could see the hull of the boat with a figure clinging to it. “Phil, toss the rope to him. If he catches it, bring him in that way. If not rope up and go get him.” He touched the mic button.

“Penry base this is Ray of Hope. Found the Petunia Bay. We will need assistance to tow the capsized boat out of shipping lane. One in the water.”

“Roger that, Cal. Will send out the RHIB.”

Cal brought the boat around, bringing it in closer to the wrecked cruiser. He watched the figure on the boat catch the rope. Then he brought the lifeboat right alongside the upturned hull. Phil and Sam grabbed the man and pulled him into the safety of the lifeboat.

“Is there anyone else with you?” Sam asked.

“Harriet. Where is she? Did you pick her up, too?”

Hattie’s out here? A stab of fear filling him, Cal turned in his seat, hoping he was wrong. The soaked figure was as unmistakable as his clipped posh accent. He wanted to berate the man for being stupid, but now wasn’t the time. “Where did you last see her, Markus?”

“Didn’t you find her yet?”

“We barely found you. Where did you last see her?” Oh, God, keep her safe out here.

“Before we capsized. The boat flipped over so fast. When I came up she was gone.”

Trevor turned the searchlight on the water around them.

“Sam, check Markus over.” Cal yelled, fear twisting his gut. 

“I’m fine. Harriet was hurt before she went into the water. She hit her arm on something, and couldn’t use it.”

“You’re being checked over regardless. Trevor, rope up in case you need to go in. If she’s hurt she won’t be able to hold onto the rope.”

“Aye, aye.”

Did he imagine a faint call for help carried on the wind? “Aim that light over to the right.” The search light caught sight of something yellow floating on the waves in the distance. Cal turned the boat around on a dime. Please let it be her. 

“There!” Sam yelled.

Cal nodded and accelerated the boat towards the small yellow shape the light picked out. He came in close to the figure and Trevor dived over the side into the maelstrom. Waves crashed over and around them, spray threatening the stability of the boat.

PELICAN BOOK GROUP PURCHASE LINK   ~   AMAZON PURCHASE LINK

MARIANNE'S REVIEW:

Clare Revell never fails to deliver a romantic thrill ride. Her latest series, covering the seven days of the week, comes to a pitch-perfect close in the pages of Sunday’s Child. Retired football player (Soccer, mind you) Callum Trant now serves as a volunteer lifeboat helmsman with the RNLI running rescue operations at sea (talk about high drama!). Hattie Steele, meanwhile, is a ‘nester’ – a cook and hospitality specialist helping her brother run a vacation lodge. Hattie and Cal come together amidst the literal, and figurative, storms of life and have to fight a sinister element of Hattie’s family past in order to find a way to calmer seas…and the love of a lifetime.

Enjoy, friends, and thanks for stopping by!