Monday, March 23, 2015

COTT: Featuring Julie Cosgrove's Christian Suspense Series



From the first clap of thunder to the conclusion of the book,
Julie B. Cosgrove holds the reader in the palm of her hand.
                                               --Author Victoria Pitt Caine


About Hush in the Storm:

Jen, a young widow floundering in the storm of mourning, whose only lifeline is her humdrum job, is tossed into a maze of deceit and intrigue by a coworker named Tom...at the request of her late husband, or so Tom says. He kidnaps her and fakes her death to keep her safe from the cartel who he thinks caused her husband's "accident." Together, they are thrust into a tempest of danger and deceit where no one is whom they claim to be. The list of people Jen can believe in keeps diminishing. Who can she trust while dodging the Feds, human traffickers and the press who've discovered she's alive? How will Jen rescue the two held-captive girls she befriends without drowning them, Tom, and herself in the waves of betrayal, especially when she's begun to suspect her husband may not be as dead as everyone thinks...

PURCHASE

~~~~

About Legitimate Lies:

Jen assumes she can escape her past after she testifies against Robert, her human trafficking mogul husband, and enters into witness protection under a new identity. That is until a baby shows up on the stoop of the library where she works, and another man from her past, Tom, appears in her living room. Now she must relocate again under yet another name and memorize a new set of legitimate lies to explain who she is.

When Robert discovers her latest identity, he has other plans for her, such as enslaving her in a Tudor manor in Southern England. The scandalous family secrets she discovers may hold the key to her and the daughter of the manor’s freedom. But first she must tunnel through a myriad of lies, including the dark sin which has held her own heart captive. If the truth is revealed, will it hinder her one chance for happiness?

PURCHASE

What COTT Voters Had to Say:
--I have loved all of Julie Cosgroves books . Always waiting for the next one!!!
--I was eager to read Legitimate Lies and found it to be that most rare of all books. ..a sequel that is even better than the first in the Series! Author Julie Cosgrove tells a tight, well paced story which sweeps the readers along in a swirl of suspense. A protagonist in Witness Protection needs to learn to rely on the Lord s she seeks to discern whom she can trust and what is true, when her life seems to depend on a fragile web of legitimate -and not -so -legitimate -- lies. Her personal and spiritual growth made this a powerful and enjoyable book to read. I loved it and recommend it whole heartedly!
--Julie, this is one of the best books I've read. Can't wait for the sequel.
--Julie Cosgrove writes non-stop action and deeper meaning into her plot. Legitimate Lies is a good read.
--Great job, Julie! Keep up the good work. Proud of you :-)
--Julie Cosgrove is an excellent writer.
--Every book looks inviting, but Legitimate Lies captures my curiosity. Good job, Julie!
--Really enjoying Julie's latest!

About Julie:
Freelance writer, author and professional speaker Julie B Cosgrove leads retreats, workshops, and
Bible studies. She writes regularly for several Christian websites and publications and has been published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul, Faith Filled Family Magazine, Upper Room's Devozine and Alive Now, The Secret Place, Light from the Word, The Journey and Good News Daily.
Julie has published three Bible studies, an inspirational, a devotional and several novels - Focused (2012), Hush in the Storm (2014) and Legitimate Lies (2015). She is contracted for two more novels: Freed to Forgive (2015) and Navy Blues (2016), with two more in process.

Julie has one grown son and lives in Fort Worth, TX with two cats.

Visit her website at www.juliebcosgrove.com or her blog: WhereDidYouFindGodToday.com.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop



Here is a special treat for our readers for St. Patrick's Day.


From March 17 through March 29, more than a hundred bloggers have joined together to give YOU many opportunities to win some wonderful gifts.

Every blog shown at the end of this message is giving away a prize worth at least $10. Here at the Christian Bookmobile, for example, you could win either a $15 Amazon gift card or a copy of Where Love Once Lived by Sidney W. Frost. This full-length, clean adult novel will be sent to you free of charge. Paperback or Kindle edition sent directly by Amazon. Prizes will be sent internationally.

It's easy to enter.

See the Rafflecopter below to enter. One entry is sufficient to get your name in for the drawing. However, you may increase your odds by selecting other entries. For more of a chance to win, come back each day and tweet about the giveaway.

Enter here and then, with a simple click, increase your odds of winning even more by going on to each participating blog on the list below.

Good luck.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

COTT: Featured Novel -- Baxter Road Miracle by Carlene Havel


I read Baxter Road Miracle in one day, simply because I really didn't want to stop until I got to the end. Bet you will as well. Kudos to Carlene Havel for sharing this story with the world. 
--Amazon Reviewer


Baxter Road Miracle
by Carlene Havel



About the book: 

Can faith move mountains? The Youngbloods are about to find out.
Henry Youngblood is determined to plant a new church in Buffalo Creek, despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Meanwhile, his pregnant wife worries about paying the bills. One daughter dreams of a college education she cannot afford, and the other wants nothing more than popularity. It will take a miracle for the Youngblood family’s dreams to come true.

PURCHASE
What COTT voters had to say:

--I love covers with churches on them.

--Thank you for well written words that speak truth.

--Keep writing those good books!

--I'm reading it now and can't put it down!

--Excellent book.. wonderful author!

--You are an awesome woman of God. You are an inspiration and a great author.



Q&A with Carlene:

Q: The book is categorized as ‘historical.’ When does it take place?

A: The setting is during the early 1960s, when good girls didn’t kiss on the first date. When smoking a cigarette in the high school bathroom was a huge scandal. When parents disapproved of bleached hair, eye shadow, and short skirts. When an idealistic preacher decided to take on the world to fulfill his calling.

Q: Do you have another book on the horizon?

A: Of course – how nice of you to ask! Joan Alley at Prism Book Group came up with the idea of a series based on the characteristics of love. Each author selected a phrase from the First Corinthians description of love as the theme for a short novel. Mine is entitled “Evidence Not Seen,” based on love keeping no record of wrongs. It’s the story of an attorney whose father is returning home after completing a long prison sentence. If the relationships among the father, mother, and son are to survive, each one must let go of old hurts.


About Carlene:

Carlene Havel is an award-winning writer of Christian-themed fiction. She has lived in Turkey, Republic of the Philippines, and numerous US States. After a career in human resources and software development, she began writing in 2005. The Havels live in Texas, surrounded by their extended family.


Find more great new releases all year at Clash of the Titles!

Monday, March 9, 2015

COTT: The Salt Covenants -- A Novel on the Spanish Inquisition


Clash of the Titles is excited to announce this year’s Olympia Finalists!! 
Please congratulate:

*Kelly Goshorn
*Madelyn Herbert
*Mary Vaitkevicius-Vee



All three authors’ entries will go to our Round 3 judges:
Karen BallBecky Philpott, and Becky Wade.

The winner will be announced on April 8th!

And now, for our featured novel!

~~~~~~~

“In her historical novel, The Salt Covenants, Sylvia Bambola paints a masterpiece with words.” Micki Sorbello, artist and free lance writer



The Salt Covenants 
by Sylvia Bambola

About the book:

“But these plans they have laid out for me like an embroidered rug, showing me where my feet must travel, is to me an awful penance for sins I did not commit.” --Isabel

Spain 1493: Millions of Jews are forced to convert to Christianity or flee their homeland or die. Caught in this web is young Isabel, who has broken her mother’s heart by her sincere conversion to Christ. But her conversion is not enough to shield her from the eyes of the Inquisition, and in order to save herself, she is forced to marry a man she does not love and flee to a faraway land with Christopher Columbus on his second voyage. Here she struggles to make a life in this wild new land, struggles to adjust to her new faith, and struggles to find love. But how is she to survive? With all the risks and hardships? And can she find love with the sophisticated Antonio Villarreal who unexpectedly enters her world? And what of the dangerous Enrique Vivar? Will his hidden agenda cost her her life?

Purchase Book



What others are saying:

“Bambola (Rebekah’s Treasure) elevates a simple historical tale into something transcendent, in this beautifully written novel about a young Jewish noblewoman, Isabel, who flees the Inquisition on Christopher Columbus’s second voyage to the New World.” Publishers Weekly starred review

“This is not a quick read, but Bambola (Rebekah's Treasure) adeptly depicts a time and place not often explored in Christian historical fiction. Her theme of loss of ethnic culture suffered by the Jews and Native Americans should resonate with readers. Isabel is a well-developed character living in a cruel world, who never succumbs to becoming cruel herself. There may be some crossover appeal to readers of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir.” Library Journal 1/1/15

“Bambola’s gift for storytelling in this work of historical fiction is noting short of remarkable.” Sallie Yusko, pastor, founder of Women of Worth and Destiny, conference speaker and writer

“In her historical novel, The Salt Covenants, Sylvia Bambola paints a masterpiece with words.” Micki Sorbello, artist and free lance writer

What COTT voters had to say:
--It's been a long time since I've read anything set during the Spanish Inquisition. I would LOVE to get my hands on this book. :)
--Sylvia this looks very interesting!
--I really love the cover of "The Salt Covenants"! I have a thing for beaches and the model really makes an eye-catching cover. Plus the book description sounds really unique.
--I love books that touch the heart. By Chapter 3, I cried about the injustice of the Inquisition period. Sylvia must have spent hours researching the data given. Excellent and spell-binding !
--Sylvia is a very talented author. Her books are ones you don't want to put down.
--Sylvia this sounds fascinating.
--I totally enjoyed this book. I hated to put it down and was sorry when I reached the end. Great Job Sylvia!
--This is a fantastic book. Very impressed with this author! Well written as she takes you along the journey of the Inquisition and travels to the new world. Highly recommended!
--Sylvia your next book looks wonderful!!!
--Historical fiction is a challenge for an author to fit the characters to the time in a believable manner.. Sylvia Bambola does it!
--I'm sure God has given each of you such talent that you are pleased to share with us. However, I based my vote on the novel historicity displayed in The Salt Covenants. Rosie
--Your novels are always well researched and address interesting issues. This one is of particular interest to me because of the time period...amaangela
--Creative, ingenious, captivating...your books always take me With them! Looking forward to going on the Salt Covenant journey.

A moment with Sylvia:

What is the one take-way you’d like to leave your readers?

Answer: Well, there’s actually two. The first is that forgiveness is paramount. Both getting it and giving it. Without it we will never heal those deeply buried wounds. The other thing is that as Christians we must not allow history to repeat itself. The ill-treatment of Jews by the Church and the rabid anti-Semitism during the Spanish Inquisition was troubling. But now that anti-Semitism is once again rearing its ugly head, we, Christians, must take a stand against it, as well as to stand with God’s chosen people.

What do you find most challenging about being a writer:

Answer: For me, the most challenging thing is the marketing. I’m not a fan. But I do it. I suspect that’s a problem with most writers. Still, I’d like to be like Jessica Fletcher in Murder She Wrote, whose only responsibility (regarding writing) seemed to be to write novels while someone in the background handled all the p.r. and marketing for her. I guess one can dream.


About Sylvia:

Born in Romania, Sylvia Bambola lived her early years in Germany. At seven she relocated with her adopted family and saw the Statue of Liberty and America for the first time. But the memory of those years in post World War Germany inspired her to write Refiner’s Fire, which won a Silver Angel Award, and was a Christy Finalist. Her frequent moves as an “army brat” gave her an opportunity to see America and fall in love with her new country. Bambola has authored seven novels, has two grown children, teaches women’s Bible studies, and is learning the guitar.


Monday, March 2, 2015

COTT: The Winner of the February 2015 Clash of the Titles


A big thank you to all four authors for sharing news of their wonderful new releases!
 One voter sums it up

"All of these books sound so good. I would really like to take a vacation where I could just read, read, eat, read, eat, and did I mention read some more? Well, all of your books sound amazing like you! May God bless each of you as you endeavor to do His will. May you shine for His glory."


Congratulations go to Marissa Shrock for her young adult novel!





Voters had lots to say about The First Principle, many comments from Marissa’s students.

It is a wonderful book! I loved it!

To God Be the Glory...

Really interesting, great book

Very good. My favorite book.

It was amazin’

This is the best book I have ever read.

This book looks so interesting! I look forward to reading it!

While all sound like good reads, I love the concept of a young, pregnant girl fighting against mandatory abortion.

Great book. Looking forward to the sequel.

Great concept!

Great book with lots of non-stop action and wonderful character development. It belongs on your must read list.

It is inspirational even to a grandma like me to read stories such as this.

Bless your efforts!


The latest comment from a teen reader:

 I absolutely loved The First Principle, a dystopian story with a Christian twist....Tear-jerking, heart-racing, and beautifully written. -- Tessa, 16
About The First Principle

In the not-too-distant future, the United Regions of North America has formed. Governors hold territories instead of states, and while Washington, DC, is gone, the government has more control than ever before. For sixteen-year-old Vivica Wilkins, the daughter of a governor, this is life as usual. High school seems pretty much the same–until one day, that controlling power steps right through the door during study hall.

When Vivica speaks out to defend her pregnant friend against the harsh treatment of Population Management Officer Martina Ward, she has no idea she’s sowing the seeds of a revolution in her own life. But it isn’t long before she discovers her own illegal pregnancy. Now she has to decide whether to get the mandatory termination–or follow her heart, try to keep the baby, and possibly ruin her mother’s chances at becoming president.

A rebel group called the Emancipation Warriors, who are fighting to restore freedoms once held unalienable, offer her asylum. Can Vivica trust these rebels to help her or will they bring everything crashing down around her? Accepting their help may come with consequences she isn’t ready to face.

Buy Links

Amazon paperback

Amazon kindle

 Marissa Shrock is a writer and language arts teacher who enjoys working with her seventh grade students. She is a graduate of Taylor University and has completed the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild Apprentice, Journeyman, and Craftsman courses. She is a member of ACFW.

Marissa has written articles for teens and adults in Evangel and Encounter. The First Principle is her debut novel.

In her spare time Marissa loves spending time with family and friends, shopping for cute clothes, traveling, baking, playing golf, and reading. Her favorite genres are young adult, suspense, and science fiction.

Visit Marissa’s web site http://www.marissashrock.com/web site

Monday, February 23, 2015

COTT: January New Releases Clash


Hostess: Gail Pallotta January 2015, brought us many great fiction books. Contemporary, historical, young adult futuristic and a suspense novel round out this month’s Clash. Which of these will you put at the top of your to-be-read list?
***
During the 1960s, Henry Youngblood feels the call to plant a new church. Meanwhile, his wife
wonders how to pay the bills for the new baby, keep their teen-aged daughters under control, and temper the family’s dreams with reality.  
***
Spain 1493: In order to flee the Inquisition, Isabel, accompanied by the husband she was forced to marry, must sail with Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the Indies. There, amid the hardships of the New World, her character is forged and her destiny reshaped as she comes to terms with who she is.  
***
When Jen unravels the family scandal within the walls of an English country manor, will she reveal the truth she’s hidden for so long as well? Or will she choose to live the lie in order to keep the man she loves?  
***
Sixteen-year-old Vivica Wilkins never questions her country’s pregnancy termination law for underage girls until she becomes pregnant. Now she must comply or fight to save her unborn child, but fighting means Vivica must abandon her mother, a powerful governor, and side with a rebel organization that’s determined to start a revolution.

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Monday, February 16, 2015

COTT: Featured Novel: "This Redeemer"--Not All Prisons Have Bars




“An exhilarating ride full of suspense and hope...” 
“…hits the ground running and never lets up…” 
“A riveting story with great characters…”





About This Redeemer:

Not all prisons have bars.
Charlotte Davis should know—she’s lived in one for years. She can handle getting slapped around by her boyfriend, Tommy, and even being forced to do things she would never choose, but when Tommy turns on her 10-year-old daughter, Charlotte must try to escape. With nowhere else to turn, Charlotte runs to the stranger her dying mother believed would help her.
Looking only for shelter or cash, Charlotte finds a family she longs to call her own and a gentle man she could learn to love. But if Tommy catches up with Charlotte, these strangers could discover the truth about her. Will they send her back to Tommy? Or can a Father’s love set her free?
PURCHASE
"Jerusha keep up the good work I cant wait to read the next book!"
"I just finished reading This Redeemer by Jerusha Agen, and it was excellent -- the best of the series!"
"Love Jerusha's writing style!"
"I am excited for you! Jerusha Agen this is just the beginning of more great things to come!"
"I loved This Redeemer and think it's Jerusha's best book yet. Great characters!"
"Jerusha Agen, your writing is amazing! Thank you very much for sharing your incredible talent!"
"Jerusha! Keep up the excellent work!"

About Jerusha:
Jerusha Agen is a lifelong lover of story--a passion that has led her to a B.A. in English and a highly varied career. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Jerusha is the author of the Sisters Redeemed Series, which includes the titles This Dance, This Shadow, and This Redeemer. Jerusha co-authored the e-books A Ruby Christmas, A Dozen Apologies, and The Love Boat Bachelor from Write Integrity Press. Jerusha relishes snowy Midwest winters spent with her three large, furry dogs and two small, furry cats.
Visit Jerusha’s website at www.SDGwords.com
Follow Jerusha on Twitter @SDGwords and Facebook (Jerusha Agen – SDG Words).


Q&A Interview with Jerusha Agen, author of This Redeemer, Book Three in the Sisters Redeemed Series:

What message do you hope your readers will take away after reading your novel?

I hope and pray that women who are in abusive relationships, poverty, depression, or any other type of seemingly hopeless situation will see in this story that there is hope even in the most desperate of situations, and that His name is Jesus. For readers who have no experience with such desperation, I hope that they will be convicted of the need to selflessly love the “unlovable” in the world and to humbly forgive the “unforgivable.” For all of us, there is hope! 


Do you have any practical advice for writers on how to keep their sanity in our run, run, run world?

Staying sane in our hectic culture is my daily struggle! Some things that help me most are setting writing goals for each day and actually quitting for the day when I reach the goal. I’ve found that I have to limit when I’ll allow myself to check email or go online, so that I don’t end up letting my sleep or work time disappear into the Internet vacuum.

As a writer, it’s also too easy to work whenever I’m home, even on Sundays, which translates into no day off from work and eventual burnout. I believe that rest, especially on our day set aside to worship, is crucial to staying in the rat race for the long haul, so I’ve now made every Sunday a no-writing, no-Internet day. I end up with a free, restful day away from social and work pressures that allows me to recharge for the work week ahead. The other essential for sanity is sleep!

Monday, February 9, 2015

COTT: Plundered Christmas--Pirates, Storms, Murder!




Pirate legends, unexpected storms, murder.
Will Jeanine discover the truth before someone else winds up dead?



About Plundered Christmas:
Compelled to spend Christmas on a private island with her father’s future bride and family, Jeanine learns that Margo Banet is descended from a pirate queen.
Relatives and friends all have their reasons for attending the festivities—including the legendary treasure. But when Margo’s nephew winds up dead and a violent storm cuts them off mainland, Jeanine has to wonder if they will solve the mystery before someone else dies trying.



About the author:
Susan A. J. Lyttek, author of kids’ comedy, "Guzzy Goofball" and the "Homeschool Play from Outer Space" and the cozy mystery trilogy by Harbourlight Books which includes the recent Plundered Christmas, is a wife and homeschool mother who writes early mornings in the shadow of our nation’s capital. She also enjoys training up the next generation of writers online through Write At Home, and by teaching middle and high school co-op classes. Learn more about her and her projects at sajlyttek.com.




What COTT Voters Had to Say:
--Susan Lyttek, you are an amazing and talented writer.
--Susan, I can't wait to read your new book!
--Looking forward to reading Plundered Christmas!
--Love Plundered Christmas.
--Susan, your work continues to thrive, all for the Glory of God! I'm proud to know you, and can't  wait to read this one! A. Montgomery.
--Susan Lyttek, enjoy reading your books.
--I really enjoyed Plundered Christmas--between the character dynamics and the plot twist I never saw coming--well done!
--Great series by Susan Lyttek!

Chat with Susan:

Why do you write the kind of books you do? I homeschooled and am homeschooling. These are the people I’ve been around for the last seventeen years. That’s also why I weave history in. Every homeschool resource I know targets multiple subjects and levels of learning.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life? My goal is for today, whatever day that is, to be the happiest. It doesn’t always work, especially when I get a piece of bad news or insufficient sleep, but it’s my goal. I want to live contentedly in what my Lord hands me each day.

What is your favorite season of the year? Christmas. Hands down. What’s special about it for you?? I love my heritage and the special traditions that we have. Every Christmas creates new memories that adds to the woven tapestry of what it is. I also love celebrating the arrival of the son of God in human form!

What is something that very few people know about you? I like to read my Bible in French. C’est vraiment la belle langue!

What three things about you would surprise readers? I have a second degree black belt in tae kwon do. I like LOUD music. (I’m a quiet person, so the music thing surprises most people.) I earned a marksman ribbon with the M-16 when I was in the Air Force.

What can you tell us about your current project? I assume you mean Plundered Christmas. In this mystery, we need to figure out why the Banet family has hidden their heritage all these years, in addition to learning who killed Margo’s nephew. Secrets can poison a family and damage relationships. As the Talbotts uncover the truth about Anne Bonny/Banet, it leads to healing for those who accept it.


Find more great reads at Clash of the Titles!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Murder at Mirror Lake by Nancy Jill Thames



This was my first Jillian Bradley Mystery and I loved it. Murder at Mirror Lake is number 9 in a series. In this one, Jillian Bradley makes a trip to a resort at Lake Placid, New York, with her friends Ann Fieldman and Nicole King to watch the leaves turn colors. Of course, Teddy, Jillian's Yorkie, accompanies the women. Having the dog along on the trip means Jillian can't stay at the inn with her friends, but this only adds to the mystery.

Lake Placid may sound familiar to you, and it should. It is the site of the winter Olympics in 1932 and 1980. The author uses this angle to make the story even more interesting.

As usual, I suspect, the women get involved in a murder. But, or course, I can't tell you about that. I wouldn't want to ruin the fun you'll have reading this book.

Now I get to go back and read the other eight Jillian Bradley Mysteries.

Thanks to Google, I spent the day in London—without leaving my office.

That's me having coffee atop St. Paul's Cathedral in London
In The Vengeance Squad Goes to England the gang is looking for the man who stole Liz's bookmobile fund. Chris goes over to England to visit Angela, but he's joined soon by the rest of the group.

The first day in London, I wanted Angela to show Chris around some and keep him awake so he could adjust his inner clock to London time. I decided on a bus ride from her flat near Victoria Station to St. Paul's Cathedral because I had done that once or twice myself, for the same reason.

To make the trip more interesting, I wanted to point out the sights along the way. That's where Google comes in. I plotted a trip from Angela's flat to the church using Google Maps. Then, as I viewed the route, I switched to the photo view and looked for interesting landmarks along the way. Big Ben, London Eye, etc. But, I also saw other bits of information that I felt might be interesting to readers. I saw lots of black cabs, for example. Cars and busses driving down the wrong side of the road. Red double-decker buses everywhere. This gave me scenery, but also an idea for Liz to buy a double-decker bus that had been converted into a bookmobile.

Google Maps Takes the Fun Out of Research

In The Vengeance Squad, the protagonists travel a lot. To make it easier for me, I only let him go to places I've been. That way I can create better descriptions of the locations. As I was writing,however, I wished I was in Albuquerque again to get a bit a detail I needed for a scene. I wanted there to be a house close to the Petroglyph National Monument, but I didn't know if there was or not. In the old days, such research might require a tax-deductible trip to look around first hand. But, no longer.

I opened Google Maps in my browser and typed in Petroglyph National Monument. Then I clicked on the little orange Google man and moved him to the streets around the park. I found just what I needed. There was a whole neighborhood near the park's parking lot. Close enough to serve my needs.

From Albuquerque, my characters went to Rowe, a small town in Massachusetts I know quite well, but had not been there in the winter. Also, I had not been to a private airport in nearby North Adams that I wanted to use in my story. With Google Maps I was able to start at the airport and follow the road to Rowe. I learned there are many turns along the way. I looked for photos as I made my virtual trip in hopes of finding a winter scene but there were none. Luckily, a friend there sent me some photos taken while there was snow on the ground.

So, no longer must we go to a villa in France or spend time on a barge in the Netherlands to absorb details enough for a realistic description. All we have to do is turn on the computer.