Monday, September 29, 2014

COTT: August New Releases

Clash of the Titles presents four brand new inspirational novels. One’s set in a Bible camp for tweens or the tweens in your lives. Hopes and dreams are threatened in another. In the third, a town’s in need of a miracle. Two people work to cure a deadly disease in the fourth. Which one will you read first? Browse the books, then, using the voting box below, let us know the title you’ll put at the top of your to-be-read list.

SPEAK NO EVIL by Mary Hamilton
Having his younger sister at summer camp will be a pain, but Taylor Dixon, 15, never expects the pain to go so deep. When she falls for his snobbish cabin mate, a war of words and pranks escalates, threatening to land him in jail and destroying his dreams for the future—until a lesson learned from an old engine sets him free from the prison he built himself.

With the rare ability to play the piano by ear, Amaryllis Brigham wants nothing more than to someday found a music school. However, someone keeps undermining her hopes and dreams, and
she's sure it's Bram Everstone--the father of the one man she's ever come close to falling for.

MIRACLE IN A DRY SEASON by Sarah Loudin Thomas
Perla Long wants a quiet, safe place for her and her daughter where her past can stay hidden, but she ends up in a town in desperate need of a miracle. Bachelor Casewell Phillips sees everything he wants in a woman in her, but can’t get past the sense she’s hiding something.

WITH EVERY BREATH by Elizabeth Camden
In the shadow of the nation's capital, Kate Livingston's respectable life as a statistician is disrupted by an encounter with the insufferable Trevor McDonough, the one man she'd hoped never to see again. A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, and the only reason he seeks her out now is because of the one thing they share in common: the competitive drive to cure the world’s deadliest disease.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

COTT: Clash of the Titles Turns Four and Celebrates with Amazing Giveaways!

Happy Birthday, Clash of the Titles!

Can you believe Clash of the Titles is FOUR years old? It hardly seems possible.

Four years ago this month, COTT's arena opened for its first Clash, and it's been going strong ever since! Hundreds of Christian authors have competed, and 58 have left victorious. Each author has earned a special place in our hearts, and we at COTT findit an immense privilege to promote Christ through their work.

Join us this week as both COTT champs and COTT staff celebrate these four, amazing years together!

Over the next four days, our generous champions will be giving away 61 of their books.


We've divided those books into four giveaways--one for each year God has blessed us! (See below for today's list.)

Each participant has myriad opportunities to enter the four drawings, but there will only be FOUR WINNERS.
Will you be one of them??

Find out at Clash of the Titles on Tuesday, September 23rd!

Drawings will be open until Monday night,
September 22 (midnight PST).

Until then, it's free rein on entries. Don't miss out on the fun!

Below, you'll find the four links, one for each giveaway. 

See the Rafflecopter at the end of each article for your entry options.


Best wishes!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Jennifer Slattery: Could You Land Yourself in a Story?

A very warm welcome to my friend Jennifer Slattery, who's celebrating the release of her debut novel, Beyond I Do.
Jennifer Slattery
Being friends with a writer can be scary. Getting on their bad side… You may have heard the following:
“Don’t make a writer mad. They might put you in their book then slowly kill you.”
Friends, don’t think you’re safe just because I don’t write suspense. (wink) Know you’re safe because I’m a believer in Christ who’d rather love and unite than plot revenge.
But that doesn’t mean I won’t place you in a story, at least, a part of you. Similarly, just because you can deeply relate to a character doesn’t mean I wrote about you.
Unless you’re Mrs. Eldridge, Ainsley Meadows’ mentor (from my debut novel) and my former third grade teacher. Then yes, I created this character in honor of you and the impact you had on my life.
It’s funny, it’s been three decades since I’ve seen this woman, and honestly, I don’t remember a word she said. I don’t remember the lessons she taught or the homework assigned. But I do remember her gentle smiles and the love she showed me, day in and day out. She left a lasting impression, enough of an impression that her influence extended well beyond my life and into Ainsley’s.
I thought of Mrs. Eldridge this morning, as I read Genesis 15. After a long and frightening journey (Gen. 12-14), Abram arrived in Canaan and pitched his tent. Now that Abram’s there in the land God promised, God reassures him of His protection and blessing.
How does Abram respond?
“But Abram replied, ‘O Sovereign Lord, what good are all Your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since You’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherent all my wealth.’” (Genesis 15:2 NLT).
Leaving a legacy, passing on your belongings to one who would continue your family line and carry on your name, was very important in biblical times. Because somehow, the patriarchs understood how temporal material things truly are. They worked too hard to see their earnings fritter away once they died.
They wanted to make a lasting impact, one that would continue for generations.
Isn’t that what we all long for? But how do we do that? How do we become part of something bigger than ourselves? How do we make a positive, lasting impact, like the one Mrs. Eldridge had on me. And Ainsley?
Through love, my friend. Engaged, involved, consistent, intentional, and focused love.
Engaged. May we truly listen when others speak.
Involved. May we carve time from our busy schedules to form and build relationships.
Consistent. May we persevere, even when things get hard or progress isn’t seen.
Intentional. May we prayerful ask for God’s guidance.
Focused. Reaching out to the masses is great, but I believe real change occurs through close and ever-growing relationships.

Let’s talk about this! What can you do today to create a legacy of love, to leave a lasting impact? Join the conversation!

About Beyond I Do:
(Released Sept. 2014)

Will seeing beyond the present unite them or tear them apart?

Marriage . . . it’s more than a happily ever after. Eternally more.

Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignite a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancĂ©. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.

About the author:

Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. Her debut novel, Beyond I Do, is currently available in print and e-book format for under $10! 
Jennifer loves helping aspiring authors grow in their craft, and has editing slots open beginning in November. Find out more.
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

COTT: Annie's Stories, an Ellis Island novel

Clash of the Titles is having a 

During the week of
September 15-23
COTT will be conducting FOUR giveaways,
one for each year 
we've been promoting
Christian fiction.

During these giveaways,
TWENTY of our former champions
will be donating 
62 copies
of their books!

You read right--62 novels!
(Distributed among four different winners.)

Mark your calendars to return to COTT on September 15.
You don't want miss this amazing event!

And now, our featured novel....


Clash of the Titles' next featured author comes in with a storm of high-five comments from some very dedicated fans! Cindy's novel, Annie's Stories, was the runner-up in our August Clash, and for good reason. Doesn't that cover just make you want to drop everything and float away on a good book? 

Why not grab this book...?

About the book:
The year is 1901, the literary sensation The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is taking New York City by storm, and everyone wonders where the next great book will come from. But to Annie Gallagher, stories are more than entertainment—they’re a sweet reminder of her storyteller father. After his death, Annie fled Ireland for the land of dreams, finding work at Hawkins House.

But when a fellow boarder with something to hide is accused of misconduct and authorities threaten to shut down the boardinghouse, Annie fears she may lose her new friends, her housekeeping job . . . and her means of funding her dream: a memorial library to honor her father. Furthermore, the friendly postman shows a little too much interest in Annie—and in her father’s unpublished stories. In fact, he suspects these tales may hold a grand secret.

Though the postman’s intentions seem pure, Annie wants to share her father’s stories on her own terms. Determined to prove herself, Annie must forge her own path to aid her friend and create the future she’s always envisioned . . . where dreams really do come true.


What our voters had to say!
--Annie's Stories was a sweet novel. Cindy Thomson was a new author to me. I will definitely be reading more of her books!
--Love your stories, Cindy Thomson!
--Sounds wonderful Cindy Thomson. Reminds me of be read to by my lovely parents.
--Looking forward to reading Annie's Stories, Cindy Thomson!
--Cindy Thomson is such a talent!
--I loved this novel by author Cindy Thomson.
--Vote for Annie's Stories!
--Cindy Thomson I am really looking forward to reading Annie's Stories! I know I can carve out some quality reading time really soon! -Ronda R
--Go Cindy Thomson! Her books are great! You won't regret picking up her book!
--I just love the way Cindy weaves a story :-)
What Cindy's readers have to say:
"Now and again there comes along a book that holds a personal message for me. I believe these messages come from God. In that alone I’m so very glad I read this book. The influence a book can have on a reader is a special message gleaned from this book. Annie looks to the characters in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz while dealing with her life challenges. Any reader can relate to having been influenced by a book."  ~Christian Manifesto, 2014 Lime Award Nominee

Amazon reviewer: "A good historical novel will take you back through the years and let you remember a time you never experienced. Cindy Thomson's Ellis Island series is doing just that. A great historical novel won't stop there, though, it will also give you characters to befriend while you're in its pages. Cindy Thomson's books do that as well." ~TheophilusFarrell4

About the author:
Cindy Thomson is a writer and an avid genealogy enthusiast. Her love of history and her Scots-Irish heritage have inspired much of her writing, including her new Ellis Island series. Cindy is also the
author of Brigid of Ireland and Celtic Wisdom: Treasures from Ireland. She combined her love of history and baseball to co-author the biography Three Finger: The Mordecai Brown Story, which was a finalist for the Society for American Baseball Research's Larry Ritter Book Award. In addition to books, Cindy has written on a regular basis for numerous online and print publications and is a mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. Cindy and her husband have three grown sons and live in central Ohio.

Connect with Cindy:

Find more great reads at Clash of the!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Patricia Bradley: Why Go To Conferences?

Patricia Bradley

I’ve had people to ask me that question many times, and the conversation goes something like this:


“Because why?”

“Well, first of all it’s a great place to meet people who are like yourself. You know, those people who don’t think it’s strange to walk around talking to yourself while you are in a character’s head. They understand why you would tie yourself up so you could see if you can escape. Or why you would put a blindfold on to see what it’s like for a blind person to walk around your house.”

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Conferences aren’t just for meeting people like yourself, they are also great places to take your writing to the next level and to do research. I was at the Writer’s Police Academy last weekend, and I met some really nice former cops, FBI agents and a chief-of-police with a PhD in Anthropology who talked about why good cops go bad. 

Conferences are great places to network. Often there are opportunities to meet with editors and agents, and these opportunities aren’t limited to appointment times. Editors and agents sit with aspiring writers at breakfast and lunch, and sometimes dinner.

So how do you get the most out of a conference? Get out of your room and mingle. If there’s an author you want to meet, go to the class they’re teaching. Ask questions. Make conversation. Volunteer at the conference bookstore—often editors come in to look around, and you can strike up a conversation and tell them about your manuscript. The editor/agent appointments always need timekeepers, and often you have a chance to chat with an editor or agent in between appointments.

But I’m so shy, you say. Get over yourself—those are words from a very introverted writer. Not me, but a friend of mine. Sometimes we just have to swallow that fear and step out. Oh, and don’t forget how that fear felt. You can use it with your hero when he’s facing a mountain lion and no gun.

Here’s a few conferences I’ve found to be very worthwhile:

If you’d like to share a conference you’ve found helpful, leave a comment and share it.


Links to my book:

A Promise to Protect: B&N; CBD; Amazon


In a steamy small town of danger and broken promises, can a woman prevent her secret from being revealed?

Acting Sheriff Ben Logan hasn’t heard from Leigh Somerall in a very long time, but it doesn’t mean he can get her—or their whirlwind romance of ten years ago—out of his head. When she calls out of the blue it is with a strange request to protect her brother, Tony. But when Tony dies just days later, Ben is charged with a different task—protecting Leigh and her nine-year-old son, TJ, from the killers. But how can Ben keep an eye on Leigh if she’s doing everything in her power to avoid him? And could the secret that Leigh is keeping change Ben’s life forever?


Patricia Bradley lives in North Mississippi and is a former abstinence educator and co-author of RISE To Your Dreams, an abstinence curriculum. But her heart is tuned to suspense. Patricia’s romantic suspense books include the Logan Point series—Shadows of the Past and A Promise to Protect—and Matthew’s Choice a Heartwarming romance. Her workshops on writing include an online course with American Christian Fiction Writers and workshops at the Midsouth Christian Writer’s Conference in Collierville, TN. When she’s not writing, she likes to throw mud on a wheel and see what happens.

Monday, September 8, 2014

COTT: August Winner and Upcoming GRAND Event!

A hearty thanks to all the voters who turned out for this month's clash!
The scores have been tallied and a winner chosen.
But before the grand reveal, an announcement...


Clash of the Titles is having a 
During the week of
September 15-23
COTT will be conducting FOUR giveaways, one for each year we've been promoting Christian fiction.
During these giveaways, TWENTY of our former champions will be donating 62 copies
of their books!

You read right -- 62 novels!
(Distributed among four different winners.)

Mark your calendars to return to COTT on September 15.
You don't want miss this amazing event!


And now, the winner of our August Clash...

The Rose Ring

by Lucie Ulrich

Congratulations, Lucie! 

As you'll note from the comments (below) left during the voting, Lucie's fans simply adore her.

Lucie, welcome to the family.


With a will that reads like a piece of fiction, the return of his long-lost brother, and the possibility of losing the family ranch, Micah Cooper calls on high school friend, Sky Baxter, to bail him out of a bad situation.

Though her brain tells her no, Sky’s heart says yes. She accepts Micah’s in-name-only proposal, knowing it’s unlikely anything permanent will come of it. She’s been in love with him since the ninth grade, and if he hasn’t figured it out by now, there’s little chance he ever will.

When an unexpected kiss ignites a spark, giving Micah hope for a possible future with Sky, a tragic accident threatens to take it all away. Torn between following his heart, doing the right thing, and forgiving the past, Micah is lost in a whirlwind of pain and emotions. Will he make it through the next two years, or will a long-kept family secret be the undoing of them all?

B& N 

Lucie Ulrich took her time becoming a writer. Not much of a reader as a child, writing was of no interest to
her--until she joined a church drama team. The desire to write a skit, and not simply act out someone else's was so strong, that once she started, she couldn't seem to stop. That first skit led to her becoming the drama team director, then eventually, the performing arts director at a small Christian school.
Lucie's first novel was penned under a tree in a field in Holland. Though her first, second, and third attempts never saw the light of day, parts of each of them became the foundation for "Broken Vessels," her first published work.
No longer involved with the performing arts, Lucie enjoys going on photo shoots with her husband, and taking long (or short) road trips. She hopes to find inspiration as she and her husband explore the four corners of the United States. 

What COTT voters had to say:

-Great job Lucie!
-Lucie Ulrich, wonderful story-I really enjoyed it
-Always enjoy reading books written by Lucie Ulrich...hard to put down!
-Lucie Ulrich I can't wait for your next book!
-I love, love, love Lucie Ulrich's work. Ms. Ulrich expertly weaves true-to-life stories that trap the reader in a web of heartache, absolution, forgiveness and acceptance.
-Excellent story, Ms. Ulrich! I couldn't put it down and look forward to seeing a return of these characters in future stories!
-Keep writing, Lucie!
-Loved the book Lucie Ulrich! YG
-Cindy Thompson is one of my favorite authors. She and I share the same passion--genealogy. I look forward to reading her Ellis Island series.
-Way to go Lucie Ulrich. Your books are wonderful!
-Lucie Ulrich is a wonderful author. I have read both of her books and absolutely loved them.
-Lucie Ulrich's book THE ROSE RING is a must read. I didn't want to quit reading. I love it, Lucie!!!

What Lucie's Readers Have to Say:

"The Rose Ring is a story of wounded souls who find healing as they learn to lean on God and come to trust one another. Ulrich has a knack for creating complicated, compelling characters that readers can't help but fall in love with.  What I liked best about this story was that it is woven around realistic family fractures, and that it has a real world ending."

"Lucie Ulrich doesn't just tell us a story, she brings us into the story! I felt their pain and joy, their confusion and relief....It is a story about love and loss, tragedy and forgiveness, inspiration and faith. You’ll be teary-eyed many times throughout the story, so keep a box of tissues close by. And you'll become so attached to these characters that you'll be better for it! It is emotional, inspiring and unforgettable. This will be a book I will pick up again and again and will recommend it to everyone I can."

Wednesday, September 3, 2014