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Follow my journey toward publication. Laugh, cry, point and stare-- it's all good. I'll leave a trail so that you, my fellow author, may have a straighter path to finding your own elusive publishing contract. Adventure awaits. Let's travel together...



Saturday, July 5, 2014

Winner of the May Release Clash


And the winner is.....
























OF THE PERSECUTED by Angie Brashear

Congratulations, Angie!


This month's clash was a record-breaker from day one. As a hostess, one of the greatest things is seeing the voting numbers climb higher and higher. And I was thrilled to see so many turn out to vote during my clash. I love it! So thank you to everyone who voted and to our competitors-- C.E. Laureano, Clare Revell, Hallee Bridgeman, and Kimberly Rae Jordan.

Here's what some of our voters had to say:

  • Angie is the best writer ever! Can't wait to get all of her books!
  • Nice job,was nicely written, I could understand enormously, and was amazed how much I loved this book. Waiting on another book by this lovely lady.
  • This book captures you from the very beginning. It is extremely well written. Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down.
  • As usual, they didn't make it easy for us this month. Well done, everyone.
  • Angie's hook is powerful, and I want to know more about her character just from that one sentence. My second choice would have been A Carol for Kent by Hallee Bridgeman. I love a good suspense too.
  • they ALL look good, but had NOT heard of Angie Brashear's book.....WOW, that one is DEFINITELY going on my to be read list pronto!! my vote is for both books: Oath of the Brotherhood and Of the Persecuted.....soooo cool :)
  • I am always so blessed by Christian novels! Thank you so much for using your God-given talent to bring honor to the Lord!

Back Cover Blurb:

Laila Pennedy awaits death by hanging. For the Rendow Clan rules the Woodlands Region, aiming to slaughter the Faithful. And she deserves to die. But Lars Landre, the man destined to lead the Faithful out of persecution, has other plans hidden behind his rare and mysterious blue eyes. Rescue.

Following the daring escape, Laila seeks the path of a warrior and vows revenge against the Rendow Clan. She embarks on a dangerous journey with Lars, one in which they endeavor to reach the promised safety of a magical village, to train for battle, and to ultimately assure freedom for those with faith in the Maker.

Clashes of weapons and souls. Brutal loss of lives. Unrequited love. How in all the Woodlands will Laila survive?



Author Bio:
When Angie Brashear isn’t working or taking care of her family, she writes. Usually at night after her kids fall asleep. She’s a fan of speculative fiction and an avid runner, both of which perplex her nonfiction-reading, football-loving husband. Saved in her early twenties, Angie is grateful for the Lord’s presence in all aspects of her life. She is originally from Rockland, Maine and currently resides in Cameron, Texas with her husband and three children. Follow her at http://angiebrashear.com
and
https://twitter.com/AngieBrashear. The majority of her interaction with readers occurs on Facebook.

Links to Of the Persecuted:

Reviews:
>What a breath of fresh air! This is not my typical genre, but I am so glad that I branched out and gave it a try. This story will draw you in from the very beginning, and by the time you finish you won't want it to end. The characters are believable and endearing. The plot takes unexpected turns, and leads the characters down paths that you had not imagined. You will finish this book renewed in faith and reflecting on your own spirituality. I highly recommend Of The Persecuted for adolescents and adults, but be prepared to miss out on some sleep. You won't want to put it down! K.P.

>I read this book in one day front to back without putting it down! I am an 8th grade student and I loved everything about this book from the Christianity, to the adventure. It was an exciting and thrilling book to read and I would recommend it to anyone! G.D.

>This is a gripping fantastic story of faith, sacrifice, and adventure. The author pulls you in from the very first line of the book. I was truly captivated with this story and read it all the way through in one sitting. It is an amazing and suspenseful book that compares the things the characters went through to the Bible in a fantasy sort of way. I just absolutely loved this book and I can’t wait to read more by this author.

>This book gets 5***** from me and I am highly recommending it to anyone and everyone. It is a must read story of faith, determination, adventure and suspense. You will not be disappointed. S.W.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

May Releases are in the COTT Arena!


Hey there, readers. Michelle Massaro here, hoping you're suited up for literary battle. But first, we have some awards to hand out in the form of free books!

The winner of our June three-book giveaway is


Joan Bradley

Joan, you will receive the following novels:
Worth the Wait by Laura Jackson
Londonderry Dreaming by Christine Lindsey
Rebekah's Treasure by Sylvia Bombola

Congratulations! 
Be on the lookout for correspondence 
from the above COTT authors.

Now on to our Clash...

This month, the sands of our arena welcome 5 New Releases from a variety of genres. Which one will be the victor, receiving a free entry into next year's Laurel competition and a tour through our Blog Alliance? Check out each book then cast your vote below.


 
A young musician and scholar is forced to join a warrior-brotherhood to save his people. But is he willing to give up everything--even the woman he loves--to follow the path God has lain before him?

Oath of the Brotherhood by C.E. Laureano






Sunday's Child on life seas is tossed, awaiting the Lifeboat that rescues the lost

Sunday's Child by Clare Revell





Bobby Kent's name is synonymous with modern Country Music and he is no stranger to running from overzealous fans and paparazzo. But now he must protect his daughter and Carol, the mother of his only child, from a vicious and ruthless serial killer bent on their destruction.

A Carol for Kent by Hallee Bridgeman




Laila Pennedy awaits death by hanging. And she deserves to die.

Of The Persecuted by Angie Brashear

Ten years after he'd dumped her, Jessa is determined to not allow him to hurt her again. Lance was there to renovate her home, but could he change her heart?

Love Makes a House a Home by Kimberly Rae Jordan





Vote Below! Poll will be open through Tuesday night. Results will post next Thursday.


Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Monday, June 16, 2014

New Blood at COTT!

Clash of the Titles is excited to announce that we're adding a brand new staff member to our leadership board. :-)

Everybody…we’d like to introduce you to Joanna Davidson Politano!

Welcome, Joanna!

Bio:
With a journalism degree from Trinity International University, Joanna served as a medical writer in the pharmaceutical industry before branching into freelance work. She then accepted a writing and editing position with a Christian publishing company in Chicago, and currently serves as the editor for their Junior High Sunday school publication. She lives with her daughter and husband in Indiana, where she writes novels based on true stories.

Joanna is a current Double Genesis Semi-Finalist in the Historical category! Asked about her writing journey, this is what Joanna had to say:

"I’ve been writing since I could read, but I can pinpoint the exact moment I began novel writing. It was when my grandma shocked me with the story of our family’s past. How could this have happened in our traditional, predictable, church-going family? At the time, I worked for a pharmaceutical company writing package insert material, but this family story drew me to my computer every night for a year, rattling around in my head until I’d written out the whole novel. I simply couldn’t stop thinking about it. I eventually moved to a job at a Christian nonfiction publisher, but I still spent hours absorbing the stories of the shut-in elderly, or nursing home residents who had lived through eras in our history I could only read about in books.

Fascinated by World War II love stories, family secrets, and amazing stories of God’s sovereignty, I kept returning for more. But I was not just interested in finding book ideas. Honestly, what drove me to write these novels was more than a simple love for story—it was a tenderness I felt for people overlooked by everyone else. These fascinating stories came from nursing home residents who had no visitors, or people confined to their home by age or illness. They’d been brushed aside by everyone—even the families they’d raised.

After introductions and polite small talk, I delved into the question that transformed these visits into unforgettable experiences—“what’s your story?” Their faces lit as they told me stories so rich in detail and real-life experiences it beat out any movie or book.

So yes, I write novels. But really, I hear people’s stories and then write them down to be remembered long after the story teller is gone. When God called me into this life of novel writing, He didn’t promise publication or to impact thousands with the words I wrote. He simply wanted me to see the forgotten people He loved, and to appreciate their lives."

Doesn’t that make you want to know their stories too? Joanna also talked to us about her sweet family and what’s going on in her writing life currently:

"My husband has been my biggest supporter in the whole process. Mainly because he’s blunt enough to tell me exactly what’s great and what’s not, and because he pushes me to finish what I start. We currently live in our house in the woods with our new baby daughter Elena and will be celebrating our two-year anniversary next month. I have no doubt he’s a blessing from God.

I’m currently working on a novel about a finishing school teacher who teaches her students about men rather than elocution. When she realizes her students are headed for the controlling, male-dominated marriages that characterized the times, Orla sets out to teach these girls the truth about how to understand men and how they think. Armed with knowledge, they have a chance at choosing the right man—although not always the wealthiest, as the school boasts—and surviving marriage happily as part of an equal team. But this local expert on men is hiding her own complicated, broken love life to keep her job.

I can’t wait to dive into COTT. With all the contests out there, I love the uniqueness of having readers judge the work. After all, they’re our real audience! I hope to help further the mission statement of glorifying God and to make COTT even more helpful to those who love Christian fiction—both the readers and the writers."

We are so blessed and excited to have you on board, Joanna!

You can leave a message welcoming Joanna in the comments below. And feel free to check out her website at 
 Joannadavidson.com 

Saturday, May 31, 2014

COTT's May Clash Results


The results of the Clash are IN. Drum roll please....



And the winner is....

A Bridge Unbroken
a Miller's Creek Novel
by Cathy Bryant

Congratulations, Cathy!

And a big congrats also to our other participants. Thank you for playing!
Nancy Kimball with Chasing the Lion, Richard Mabry with Critical Condition, Sharon Srock with Pam, and Katie Ganshert with A Broken Kind of Beautiful

Read what COTT voters had to say about Cathy Bryant's newest book!
  • Each one just gets better, Cathy Bryant!!
  • Cathy Bryant is a wonderful author. Her books have great characters and are filled with suspense and great spiritual depth. I just read A Bridge Unbroken and it didn't disappoint.
  • Cathy Bryant is fast becoming my very favorite author! Her books are so well written and keep me so engrossed in the story line, it is hard to put down. Definitely a winner!!
About the book:


Letting go to build a bridge...

Dakota Kelly wants her painful past to disappear. Her plan to start afresh is derailed when she co-inherits her late grandfather’s farm with Chance Johnson, the man responsible for the scars on her heart. But Chance isn’t the only ghost from the past. Someone else is out to get her and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Will Chance and Dakota lay aside their grudges to restore the old farmhouse and bridge, or will evil forces sabotage their attempts at forgiveness?





* * *

THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY OF "A BRIDGE UNBROKEN"
by Cathy Bryant

The question I get asked most often as an author is: "What's the story behind this particular story?" For A Bridge Unbroken, a Christian romantic suspense and the latest Miller's Creek novel, the inspiration came from three very specific areas.

1. Home Renovation

My hubby and I seem to have a penchant for buying fixer-uppers. Usually I enjoy the process, but this time? Not so much.

We moved to the Santa Fe, New Mexico area in the spring of 2013 for my husband's work as a pastor of praise and worship. Since I'm a country girl at heart and like to have my critters--in this case, chickens, rabbits, and a 75-pound German Shepherd who thinks she's a Chihuahua--we found a cabin in the lovely

Sangre de Cristo mountains. To keep it short, let me just say that this house has been the fixer-upper of all fixer-uppers. While we've accomplished the most difficult tasks, like kitchen and bathroom fixes, we still have a long way to go. (You can see pics HERE.)

So when I took time off from the renovation to write A Bridge Unbroken, I knew a house renovation would be part of the storyline. In the story the heroine, a frightened runaway on the run from an abusive boyfriend, co-inherits her late-grandfather's farm and dilapidated farmhouse with a man responsible for scars on her heart. Unusual conditions are attached to the inheritance, and the two must work together to renovate the farmhouse. (You can watch the book trailer HERE and read a sample chapter HERE.)

2. Writing

I love to write--to plot out scenes, develop characters, and wrangle with words until I find just the right one. I also love interacting with reader friends. My career as a writer had hit an all-time high and my book sales followed suit...

...until we moved to our remote mountain location where it took us months to get internet service.
I made weekly trips to McDonald's to try to stay on top of things, but it wasn't enough. I watched in dismay as my book sales plummeted. To make matters worse, I had no time for writing because of the home renovation.

It was a natural leap to make Dakota (the heroine of A Bridge Unbroken) a writer. I could literally feel her angst at needing to keep her writing career afloat while renovating a broken-down heap of a farmhouse. Yeah, that was easy to write.

3. Forgiveness
When I began praying about the spiritual theme of the story, the answer that came immediately was forgiveness. Quite frankly, I wasn't elated. I often struggle with forgiving others. I've always been very sensitive, the kind who wears my heart on my sleeve. And anytime you leave your heart on your sleeve for any length of time, someone will come along who thinks it's their job to rip into it.

Then something interesting happened. Everywhere I looked I found messages of forgiveness--a devotional magazine, my scripture reading for the day, a social media post--they were everywhere! I delved into scripture, quickly reminded of things I'd known since childhood, but had chosen to overlook. Things like: forgiveness isn't an option or a suggestion, forgiveness is an act of the will, forgiveness is an act of obedience, and more.

I realized during this process that much of the world's teaching on forgiveness had crept into my belief system. And I wasn't alone! Friends had many of the same ideas, none of which were anywhere in God's Word. Worldly messages like: forgiveness is something you do for yourself, forgive and forget, and forgive if...
I'm always amazed at how much the Lord teaches me through my writing. Between penning A Bridge Unbroken and its companion Bible study, The Fragrance of Crushed Violets, God managed to get me back on track in the matter of forgiveness.

So to answer the question of the story behind this story, it all boils down to three things: home renovation, writing, and most importantly, forgiveness.
  

* * *

Cathy Bryant is the author of the popular Miller’s Creek Novels, set in the fictional back-roads country town of Miller’s Creek, Texas…where folks are friendly, the iced tea is sweet, and Mama Beth’s front porch beckons. Her passion is to tell heart-stirring stories about God’s life-changing grace. A native Texan, Cathy currently resides in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico with her minister husband of over thirty years. When she’s not spinning tales about the fine folks of Miller’s Creek, you can find her rummaging through thrift stores, hiking through the wilderness, or up to her elbows in yet another home improvement project in the mountain cabin she calls home. You can find more about Cathy and her books at CatBryant.com. Cathy also likes to interact with reader friends in the following places:



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