Monday, November 17, 2014

COTT: Ane Mulligan's Fresh Taste of Small Town Life

Bestselling author Ane Mulligan is here tell us about her debut novel about best friends in small-town life. Heartwarming and humorous, Chapel Springs Revival will drop you into the midst of a

Let's chat with main character Claire.

I’ve heard you are the one who spearheaded the reviving of Chapel Springs. Is that true?
Are you from the mayor’s office? If you are, it wasn’t my fault. Whatever it was. Felix Riley takes credit for everything that works and blames me if anything goes wrong.

Really? Did anything go wrong?
Of course not—unless you count the incident at Georgia Tech with the monkey.

Moving right along, I’ve heard of your Great Aunt Lola’s theatrical career. What was it like growing up with her?
I adored her. Patsy and I both did. The old gal would give us her cast-off gowns to play dress-up. But she retired from the screen when she was seventy-five, I think. She wanted to leave her fans wanting more. She was quite the flamboyant character. She tried to teach Patsy and me to flirt, but it didn’t take when we were eight years old. She died a couple of years later.

She had a bit of a racy past didn’t she?
You bet your booty patooty. Aunt Lola never took second place to anyone or anything. She lived the high life, all right. Presidents and princes wined and dined her, while all I got was a TV tray in front of a ball game. I miss her and her stories, not to mention her advice.

Great Aunt Lola knew men, that’s for sure. What with having seven husbands, she might have been able to tell me how to get my Joel to pay me more attention. Right. Like that would happen. I’d have to turn into a high definition television set or a fishing reel to get some attention paid to me.

I’ve heard that you…well aren’t the best cook in Chapel Springs. Any truth to that rumor?
Okay, I admit I failed home economics—twice. My culinary expertise maxed out at Jell-O jigglers. And coffee. I make a mean pot of coffee. Unfortunately, that lack got me into trouble with my firstborn’s future mother-in-law. But the woman coerced me.

How so? You’re no shy violet from what I’ve heard?
Who’ve you been talking to?

Let’s see, first there was Faye, oh and Gloria, then Bev and—

Uh-uh, that dog won’t hunt. They gossip. Besides, if you’d heard my son’s future mother-in-law talk, why she’s wound tighter than an eight-day clock. The woman never takes a breath. She could talk the hind legs off a donkey. It wasn’t until after she’d hung up that I heard the end of that particular conversation.

So, what did you do?
Oh, no you don’t. You’ll have to read the book like everyone else to find out.


Chapel Springs Revival
With a friend like Claire, you need a gurney, a mop, and a guardian angel.

Everybody in the small town of Chapel Springs, Georgia, knows best friends Claire and Patsy. It's impossible not to, what with Claire's zany antics and Patsy's self-appointed mission to keep her friend out of trouble. And trouble abounds. Chapel Springs has grown dilapidated and the tourist trade has slackened. With their livelihoods threatened, they join forces to revitalize the town. No one could have guessed the real issue needing restoration is their marriages.

With their personal lives in as much disarray as the town, Claire and Patsy embark on a mission of mishaps and miscommunication, determined to restore warmth to Chapel Springs —and their lives. That is if they can convince their husbands and the town council, led by two curmudgeons who would prefer to see Chapel Springs left in the fifties and closed to traffic.



About Ane: 
While a large, floppy straw hat is her favorite, bestselling novelist Ane Mulligan has worn many: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that's a fancy name for a lobbyist), drama director, playwright, humor columnist, and novelist. Her lifetime experience provides a plethora of fodder for her Southern-fried fiction. She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. President of the award-winning literary site, Novel Rocket, Ane resides in Suwanee, GA, with her artist husband, her chef son, and two dogs of Biblical proportion. You can find Ane on her Southern-fried Fiction website, Google+, Facebook, Goodreads,Twitter, and Pinterest.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Gratitude Blog Hop Giveaway



gratitude 2013

5th Annual Gratitude Giveaways Hop

Chance to win a
$25 Amazon Gift Certificate
One entry per person
November 15th to 30th

Thanks to all my readers for a wonderful year. Now, here's you chance to win a $25.00 Amazon Gift Certificate. There's nothing to do, but click the entry button below. One entry per person.

Of course, you may want to follow this blog to watch for future giveaways.

And, guess what? There are many other bloggers doing the same. All have prizes valued at $10 or more and all are simple to enter. So, as soon as you enter here, scroll down and pick another thankful blogger.


LL
This is a Blog Hop!

Monday, November 10, 2014

COTT's September Clash Champion


And we have a champion! 

Congratulations to clash winner Sharyn Kopf and her book Spinstered: The Novel. A touching debut, Spinstered began as a nonfiction book idea and, through God's design, became a novel that will speak to many women. For those in the Cleveland area, Sharyn will be selling and signing her novel at the Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy Craft Fair in Cuyahoga Falls on Saturday, November 15, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and she'd love to meet you there!

Early reviewer Anne Lemon says this about Spinstered:"Spinstered is a poignant and realistic portrait of extended singleness. It offers comfort and hope to readers who have never married and are brokenhearted about it. It's also just a plain good read that single women will see themselves in, laugh, and maybe cry, too. ... In Kopf's novel, just like in real life, the gut-punches of our alone-ness don't always get resolved in a marital happy ending. But she offers the promise that we all can have the prize that Catie ultimately finds. For this message of hope, single readers will be grateful."


Spinstered, The Novel: 

Three friends. Three stories. Three women trying to figure out how they ended up over 40 and still single.

Committed to her job and pushing fifty, Catie Delaney has almost given up on her dream of love and marriage. Maybe, she tells herself, she’d be happier just embracing her singleness. Maybe that's been God’s will all along.

Catie's friends, Jolene and Uli, have their own struggles with men, careers, and family.

Then into this mix of feminine angst walks Brian Kemper—the latest GWP (Guy With Potential) to join their church’s singles group. But just as something seems about to happen between him and Catie, her world falls apart.

With their hearts on the line, these three friends search for hope ... and find it in unexpected places.

Purchase Spinstered, The Novel:





Pull up a chair now and join us for a look inside the creation of this book, and a glimpse of its author's heart.
Let’s start at the beginning—how long have you wanted to be a writer and what did you envision for your writing life?

I knew I wanted to be a writer when I wrote my first poem at the age of 5. And, for the longest time, that dream meant being a romance novelist. In my 20s, I saw myself becoming the clean, Christian version of Kathleen Turner’s character in Romancing the Stone—enjoying a life of adventure and romance and lots of bestsellers.

So, what happened?
Well, things didn’t turn out the way I imagined. (Do they ever?) On October 15, I turned 51 and, though I suppose I’ve had a few mild adventures, I still dream of true love and being such a popular novelist that even people in the jungles of Columbia have heard of me.

Then, in my 40s, I realized I needed to write about my single heart and broken dreams. When I started working on Spinstered, it was a nonfiction book about grieving singleness. I took the seven stages of grief—denial, disbelief, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression and hope—and applied them to what I was dealing with as a 40-something single woman.

A few years later, while at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, a friend encouraged me to focus on my fiction writing. As a result, Spinstered the Novel was born.

What are some of your strengths as a writer?
Years ago, I had the privilege to work for the in-house radio marketing department at Focus on the Family. I learned I not only love writing scripts and dialog but I’m pretty good at it. I even won a few awards while I was there.

I’m also passionately committed to making my manuscript as good as I can. Though that can also be a detriment because I’m a bit OCD about it, which means I have a hard time letting something I wrote go until it’s perfect. And it’s never perfect.

Continuing that thought, what are your weaknesses as a writer?
Well, to be honest, I don’t write as much as I should. I think it’s a mixture of fear and laziness. Fear that what I write won’t be any good. And the laziness that comes from letting other things distract me from what I know needs to be done. Like spending too much time on Facebook.

Why did you decide to self-publish Spinstered?
That’s a long, sad story but suffice it to say I went through a disappointing contract experience that did not end with a published book. In the meantime, numerous interactions with singles fed the urgency I felt to get this book to the audience I know is out there.

My choice was to start over with submitting to agents or editors—a process that can take years—or self-publish. Since the novel had already gone through several rounds of edits, I knew I could have it ready within a week or two. In fact, I was able to make my goal of taking copies to the Labor Day Singles Retreat at Ridgecrest Conference Center near Asheville, NC. I sold several copies there and made some great connections. It also led to my first 5-star review!

What’s next?
First, I plan to finish and self-publish the nonfiction version—Spinstered: Surviving Singleness After 40—in the next few months. In addition, I wrote an unrelated novella titled Cold Read that I hope to have available soon. Finally, I have two sequels to Spinstered the Novel in the works. Book two will be titled Inconceived and I’ll probably name book 3 Altared. Of course, all of that could change. I’m open to whatever God wants to do!


About Sharyn:
Spinstered is Sharyn Kopf’s first novel. Over the years, her work has included co-authoring a book about traumatic brain injury, penning scripts for stage, and writing for newspaper as well as Focus on the Family radio.

Every Friday, Sharyn ponders the over-40 single life at www.girlsnightin40.com, the blog she shares with two other authors. For her day job(s), she works as a literary publicist for Route 1 Manuscripts and teaches high school English at a small Christian school.

She lives in Bellefontaine, Ohio, just five minutes from her favorite people in the world—her family. You can connect with Sharyn through her blog or on Facebook.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Books I'm Grateful I Read Giveaway Hop



Another special blog posting for all who 
climb aboard the Christian Bookmobile.

It's a GIVEAWAY!

Not only do we have some special prizes, 
we have a link to many more!

PRIZES

$10 Amazon Gift Card
Plus Kindle editions 
of my books to the 
next four winners.

Ra Rafflecopter giveaway R
L L

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: The Collins Case (Heartfelt Cases Book 1) by Julie Gilbert



A Christian Story for Everyone


Product DetailsRachel Collins felt her life was perfect. She had a job she loved, a wonderful husband, and two great children. Then everything changed. Her world turned upside down when she and the kids were kidnapped and their lives jeopardized because of her husband's past.

For a rather short book, I was surprised at how much was included. In addition to Rachel's story, Julie Ann Davidson, the FBI agent, searching for Rache
l is a major character in the book. Davidson is featured in the sequel as well.

This book is so full of suspense and surprises it is difficult to say much more. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend to adults and young adults. It is clean and has a spiritual message.

Monday, October 20, 2014

COTT presents Veiled at Midnight by Christine Lindsay




EXPLOSIVE, PASSIONATE—JUST LIKE REAL LIFE—by Christine Lindsay

Seeing the second generation of one’s literary family in the explosive and passionate completion of my series is almost as much fun as watching my real life adult children grow up.

There were hard decisions though. Just like in real life. My setting is one that some readers don’t think they will be interested in. That is until they actually start reading the books. When my sales numbers weren’t as high as some of my peers I wondered if I should chuck the whole idea of finishing this series and start over in a more marketable setting.

But I believe in longevity, the long, slow cook…like raising a family. I stuck with my artistic integrity and finished this series that I believed in. I’m glad I did. The first two books have garnered critical acclaim.

I've watched with pride as the three main characters of Veiled at Midnight, Captain Cam Fraser, his sister Miriam, and the beautiful Indian Dassah whom Cam loves, grow up in the first two books.

In Shadowed in Silk, the reader first meets Cam as a three-year-old boy who doesn't understand why his natural father is unkind to him and his mother Abby when they first arrive in India.


It’s also in the first book that Dassah is mentioned. Here’s that snippet.

“This morning,” the elderly Miriam said, “a poor woman came from one of the villages. Her labor advanced quickly and well. Her husband told her if the baby was a girl to be letting it die.”

Abby held back a cry. “Was it a girl?”

The elder Miriam smiled. “I convinced the mother to leave the infant with us. I am calling her Hadassah, an old Bible name.”

From the moment I first wrote this scene I knew I wanted this baby girl to be the heroine of the final book.

In Book 2 Captured by Moonlight we are introduced to Miriam, Cam’s little sister.

The pram jiggled, setting the toys and trinkets attached to the hood to jingle and clatter. In response, a soft coo issued from within, along with two woolen, booty-covered feet kicking and setting the toys to tinkle again. The little rascal was awake. Abby leaned in and picked up Cam’s nine-month-old sister, Miriam. After kissing the corn-silk hair, she passed the baby to Laine.

You will notice that Cam’s little sister is named after the elderly Miriam in Book 1. This namesake will be just as heroic in the final book.

I had such fun planting the seeds of a passionate romance in book 2 that would burst into full bloom in the final book.

Here’s the first snippet of Cam and Dassah’s romance from Captured by Moonlight.

At five, Cam already showed the tall frame he’d inherited from his natural father, but Cam emulated the character of Geoff. How that boy adored his step-father. As soon as the boy noticed Laine, he ran in her direction and wrapped his arms around her waist.

“Laine, you came.”

“You don’t think for a minute I’d let you sail to the Orient without my goodbye kiss.” Laine kissed him twice on the cheek, and he fidgeted to be free. “And here’s one from your little friend, Hadassah. I saw her tonight at the mission, and she was rather put out that you weren’t there to play with her.”

“Dassah is just a baby.” Cam squirmed out of her arms, a sharp furrow between his brows. “Enough kissing, Laine. You’re much more fun on the cricket pitch than acting like a girl.”

“Oh but I am a girl, and I admit that I like kissing very, very much. You won’t appreciate that fact about girls for a few years, but my dear young man, the day will come....”

In Book 3 Veiled at Midnight these three characters, Cam, his sister Miriam, and Dassah are adults and are heroes and heroines in their own right. One of the fun things about tying up a series is you get to draw on old family sins and emotional pain to rise up again in the next generation. Just like real life. Here they are, all grown up.

.


Book Blurb:

VEILED AT MIDNIGHT—Book 3 of the series Twilight of the British Raj

As the British Empire comes to an end, millions flee to the roads. Caught up in the turbulent wake is Captain Cam Fraser, his sister Miriam, and the beautiful Indian Dassah.

Cam has never been able to put Dassah from his mind, ever since the days when he played with the orphans at the mission as a boy. But a British officer and the aide to the last viceroy cannot marry a poor Indian woman, can he?

As this becomes clear to Dassah, she has no option but to run. Cam may hold her heart—but she cannot let him break it again.
 
Miriam rails against the separation of the land of her birth, but is Lieutenant Colonel Jack Sunderland her soulmate or a distraction from what God has called her to do?

The 1947 Partition has separated the country these three love…but can they find their true homes before it separates them forever?

ABOUT CHRISTINE LINDSAY:

Christine Lindsay was born in Ireland, and is proud of the fact that she was once patted on the head by Prince Philip when she was a baby. Her great grandfather, and her grandfather—yes father and son—were both riveters on the building of the Titanic. Tongue in cheek, Christine states that as a family they accept no responsibility for the sinking of that infamous ship.

Stories of Christine’s ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India inspired her multi-award-winning, historical series Twilight of the British Raj, Book 1 Shadowed in Silk, Book 2 Captured by Moonlight. The last book in that series Veiled at Midnight is releasing this Oct. 15, 2014.

Londonderry Dreaming is Christine’s first contemporary romance set in N. Ireland.
Christine makes her home on the west coast of Canada with her husband and their grown up family. Her cat Scottie is chief editor on all Christine’s books.

CONNECT WITH CHRISTINE:
Please drop by Christine’s website http://www.christinelindsay.com/ or follow her on Twitter and be her friend on Pinterest , and  Goodreads

Q & A

Are you open to new settings providing you knew the story was good?

How do you feel about stories set during true historical events such as wars?

Do you like a good love story (set in a historical novel), which is somewhat different from a straight romance novel?


***

Do you like hearing about new Christian Fiction titles? Enjoy friendly sparring matches between your favorite authors? Be sure to "like" Clash of the Titles on Facebook to keep yourself "in the know" -- and have some fun, too!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Lauraine Snelling's SEASONS OF GRACE Sweepstakes

http://www.laurainesnelling.com/html/giveaways.html

In bestselling author Lauraine Snelling's new novel, To Everything A Season, the tight-knit town of Blessing, North Dakota faces change and challenge at every turn.

In the middle of the maelstrom is young Trygve Knutson. He's devoted to his family and his community, but he sometimes dreams of other horizons--especially since meeting Miriam Hastings.
Miriam is in Blessing with one goal: to complete her training as a nurse, and get back to Chicago to support her siblings and her ailing mother.  But the town of Blessing has a way of drawing in the most reluctant visitor, and soon Miriam's attachment to Trygve and his family has her questioning her entire future.

To celebrate the release of this heart-warming novel, Bethany House and author Lauraine Snelling are pleased to present the SEASONS OF GRACE Sweepstakes. This sweepstakes features three special prizes, each closely connected to the book:  One prize to sweep you back into history, one prize to enable you to give to someone else, and one prize to help you celebrate a little of the story's romance, in your own home.

Winners will be selected Tuesday November 4, 2014, and announced at laurainesnelling.com.

GRAND PRIZE:
SEASONS OF GRACE Grand Prize

RED RIVER RAILWAY ADVENTURE

In To Everything A Season, new visitors, old friends, and important supplies are transported to town on these rails, and the arrival platform is a place of warm greetings and new beginnings.

Our Grand Prize winner will have the chance to experience some of the same warmth and excitement with an authentic taste of the golden age of railroad travel:

A $200 value Scenic Steam Train Ride for Two (Location and dates available nationwide and will be specific to the winner's state).

SECOND PRIZE:

SEASONS OF GRACE Second Prize
DINNER DELIVERY FROM INGEBORG

In the story, the inventive Ingeborg Bjorklund is well-known for her cooking, bread baking, and cheese making, and now she's pondering another new idea to help her hometown: a delivery service!

Like the hard-working people in Blessing, many of our friends and family members carry heavy workloads and health burdens, and could use a helping hand and a comforting meal.

While we may not be able to deliver Ingeborg's cooking, our Second Prize winner will win the next best thing, to be used for themselves, or as a gift to brighten the day of a friend facing chemo, a military spouse, a lonely senior citizen, or other worthy recipient:

$175 meal delivery gift card for MagicKitchen.com - Provide a full Thanksgiving meal for 6, or an extended selection of meals for 1 or 2. Gluten free, low sodium, and dialysis-friendly meals available.

THIRD PRIZE:

SEASONS OF GRACE Third Prize
STEAL AWAY DATE NIGHT PACK

The peaceful farming community of Blessing faces an unexpected threat when robbers target banks and businesses in towns nearby. As the town comes together to find a solution to the thieving problem, Ingeborg notices another kind of stealing going on: the new nurse in town, Miriam Hastings, has completely stolen the heart of her nephew, Trygve.

Soon Trygve and the dark-haired nurse with the sad eyes are regulars at the Blessing Soda Shop, sharing thoughts and dreams over Rebecca Valders' famous fizzy concoctions.

Our Third Prize winner can share their own thoughts and dreams, and enjoy a taste of Blessing's Soda Shop at home, with the Steal Away Date Night Pack.

This $100 value package includes: The UnGame Couples Edition, the Soda Stream Fountain Jet Home Soda Starter Kit, and the Homemade Soda Recipe Book.


To Everything A Season by Lauraine Snelling

To Everything a Season

Trygve Knutson is devoted to his family and his community. With his job on the construction crew, he is helping to build a future for the North Dakota town of Blessing. Though he loves his home, he sometimes dreams of other horizons--especially since meeting Miriam Hastings.

Miriam is in Blessing to get practical training to become an accredited nurse. She's been promised a position in the Chicago women's hospital that will enable her to support her siblings and her ailing mother. Although eager to return to her family, Miriam is surprised to find how much she enjoys the small town of Blessing. And her growing attachment to Trygve soon has her questioning a future she always considered set in stone.
When a family emergency calls Miriam home sooner than planned, will she find a way to return? If not, will it mean losing Trygve--and her chance at love--for good?

See Book Info & Read Sample Chapter: 
http://www.laurainesnelling.com/html/songofblessing.html


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Through by John DiRicco

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the story of Thomas, a young man who is caught between death and Heaven. He had been a baseball player in high school and college, but had lived with a secret from his high-school days.

When the story begins, he is not aware of where he is or even that he has died. He lives in a small apartment in a drab world, and doesn't know how long he has been there. He has food and water and a place to sleep. He wonders if he is dreaming. He meets other people, some he likes and some he fears.

One of the people he feels comfortable talking to is a man named Hall. They decide to work together to find a woman named Sophie because they've heard she knows where they are and why they are there. Thomas finds Sophie first and she tells him they are in purgatory and says he can remember what happened to him if he tries. He does. She also tells him what she has learned about how to get out of purgatory.

The title of the book, Through, is the event of moving from purgatory to Heaven. The person will know when it occurs, but will have to move quickly to get through. There are no second chances.

The rest of the story is about Thomas's struggles. One of his struggles involves Hall and their connection to each other before death. Other struggles involve evading the Unsettled, the people who don't want anyone to have a successful through. The author does an excellent job in building suspense and it gets more intense as the story progresses.

I like the way the book is organized. The author keeps Thomas's story moving along chronologically from Day 1 to Day 7 while providing background information about him and the other characters in brief sections between each day.


Although no one knows if purgatory exists or if it is a place if it does, the author did a good job developing a believable setting and a plausible story.


Through

BOOK REVIEW: Louisiana Sunset (Love Grows in Mysterious ways on the Bayou Series, Book I) by B.J. Robinson

Louisiana Sunset (Love Grows in Mysterious ways on the Bayou Series, Book I)

War, Romance, and Character



There were many parts of this story that I enjoyed, but I was glad to read a novel that included references about Desert Storm. This was one of those conflicts that hasn't had as much attention as it should have.

If you've read a B.J. Robinson book, I don't need to tell you how she paints beautiful pictures about the places she writes about. This one is no exception.

This one has a few more twists and turns than some I've read, and it made the story even better. I look forward to reading the sequel.


See all B.J. Robinson's books here: http://www.amazon.com/B.-J.-Robinson/e/B007DNJIKU/

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Orphan Train: A Novel by Christina Baker Kline

Orphan Train: A Novel

Read it and tell all your friends to read it!



As I read Orphan Train, I asked myself if it was a Pulitzer Prize winner. I didn't know much about the book and was reading it only because my neighborhood book club had selected it for discussion this month. But, it was so good I had to stop and look it up on the Internet to see if it was a famous book.

It didn't win the Pulitzer Prize, but I'm sure it will become a famous book because everyone who reads it will tell someone else how much they enjoyed it.


There are two stories, each told through the eyes of young orphan girls. One story takes place in Maine in 2011 and the other begins in New York City and travels to Minnesota between 1929 and 1943. The two stories bump heads throughout, but eventually come firmly together for a wonderful conclusion.