Monday, July 28, 2014

COTT: NEW JUNE RELEASES for this month's CLASH of the TITLES




It's a NEW CLASH!
The best of summer reading - all in one list for you here. Find a New Author to love...I have.

I'll apologize in advance...I could not cut anyone from the list, so we have MEGA LIST this month.
You'll see what I mean: everything from spies, cloak and dagger to medieval to early Americana. Whew!


The QUESTION ALWAYS IS:

Based on the covers and short descriptions below, WHICH BOOK would be next on your To Be Read Pile? Use the voting poll below to enter your choice.

Happy VOTING... You have through MONDAY JULY 28, MIDNIGHT CST, and be sure to leave a word of encouragement for these authors.

I'll be back on the 29th for REVEAL DAY



The Midwife
Jolina Petersheim


Past and present collide when a young woman named Amelia arrives in the sweeping countryside bearing secrets of her own. As Amelia's due date draws near, Rhoda must face her regrets and those she left behind in order for the healing power of love and forgiveness to set them all free.


Miranda Warning
Heather Day Gilbert

Child of the Appalachian mountains, Tess Spencer has experienced more than her share of heartache--the Glock-wielding, knife-carrying housewife knows how to survive whatever life throws at her. But when an anonymous warning note shows up in best friend Miranda's mailbox--a note written in a dead woman's handwriting--Tess quickly discovers that ghosts are alive and well in Buckneck, West Virginia; Tess must scramble to find a decades-old killer, before she is the next victim.


Blind Trust
Sandra Orchard

Kate Adams had no idea she was carrying counterfeit money, and she can’t believe that it came from her sweet neighbor or that it lands her in the middle of another one of Detective Tom Parker’s investigations. As family secrets come to light, her world–and her budding romance with Tom–begin to crumble—and it’s clear that she won’t be safe until she uncovers all of Port Aster’s secrets. 


Jackal
Heather Gray

Rupert is a man used to hiding in the shadows of life in order to stay alive. Then Juliana and her sisters crash into his world with secrets of their own, and he realizes it's time to step out of the darkness.



Moon Over Maalaea Bay
HL Wegley

In an instant the Maui honeymoon of Lee's dreams morphs into a nightmare when Jennifer disappears on their wedding night, and now everyone seems to want this young NSA research scientist. The US government wants her because she's a huge security problem, the trafficking syndicate she destroyed for revenge, a Middle-Easter prince for what she looks like, foreign agents for what she knows, and Lee just wants his bride back.


A Place in His Heart
Rebecca DeMarino

Anglican Mary Langton longs for true love, but Puritan Barnabas Horton still grieves the loss of his beloved Ann when the maiden marries the baker with two young boys. She could cross and ocean, but could she reach the secret places of her husband's heart?


Lady of Eve
Tamara Leigh

The last thing Lady Graeye Charwyck wants is to live out her life in a convent. When an opportunity presents that will allow her to avoid professing herself a nun, she impulsively gives herself to the sin--only to answer to her family's greatest enemy, Baron Gilbert Balmaine.

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

COTT: O'Barr's Latest: Tender Shadows


Author Ann Gaylia O'Barr visits today!
She brings with her, in the form of her latest novel, all her experience as a Foreign Service officer in the turbulent Middle East. Tender Shadows is one of seven such novels and will appeal to lovers of foreign lands, culture, adventure, and romance.


PURCHASE

About Tender Shadows:

When Beth Wilhite’s U.S. State Department job assigns her to an uncaring Washington, D.C. following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, her intense loneliness leads her to make decisions that clash with her values. Then she receives a new assignment to the Middle Eastern kingdom of Al Hajar and a chance to serve with an old friend, Joe Harlan, widowed a few years before. Can she overcome the grip of past choices? Not yield to them again? Can Joe accept what she’s done…and move beyond, perhaps even to loving her?

Joe’s daughter, Annie, working under Beth at the U.S. embassy, deals with her own secret choice. And the young diplomat, Palestinian-American David Antony, struggles with traumatic stress because of a choice he made earlier in Iraq. Yet Annie and David are inexplicably drawn toward each other.

Together, might this thrown-together community find courage to live out his or her individual calling…for such a time as this? And find a forever love?


Meet Ann Gaylia O'Barr:

Ann has at one time or another been a full-time wife and mother, computer programmer, historic preservation planner, Foreign Service officer with the U.S. State Department, and, since 2004, full-time writer (more or less).  OakTara has published six of her novels. The latest is Tender Shadows, which came out this spring. Her last article was “The Diversity of God’s Call to Writers” in the winter 2012 issue of ACFW Journal.
Ann, many of the major characters in your novels are American Christians who serve their country at United States embassies overseas, as you did. What kinds of tasks did you and your colleagues perform overseas?

The work is tremendously varied. The web site www.state.gov gives some idea of what Foreign Service officers do. My job as a consular officer included aiding American citizens overseas. Some tasks were routine: renewing U.S. passports and performing notary services. Others were anything but routine, such as notifying families in the United States that a loved one had died overseas or visiting Americans who were jailed in the foreign country and reporting on their conditions--to the families and to the State Department.

How did your experiences influence your writing?

Observing the United States from other cultures, I developed an interest in why and how this country and its culture became what they are in the twenty-first century. The changes in our country from 1990, when I came into the Foreign Service, until 2004, when I left, have been tremendous. I was assigned to Saudi Arabia during both Gulf Wars (1991 and 2003) as well as the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. As we all know, the changes haven’t stopped since then.

Two observations stand out: 1) How decadent some foreigners judged our culture, based on the sometimes hedonistic lifestyles illustrated in the media. 2) For America to be the world power that it is, many Americans, including American Christians, often appeared not interested in what goes on in the world outside our borders.

A lot of my stories concern Christians working to explain the country they represent to foreigners. Beset with the same temptations and challenges that Americans experience domestically, they attempt to live out their Christian commitment in their foreign settings. The settings may reflect these temptations and challenges through a different lens.

Is this especially true for Tender Shadows?

I think so. A couple of the characters have strayed further from their commitments than in any of my other novels and struggle to find their way back. The small embassy community they inhabit means they work out their problems in closer quarters than in most domestic settings. Plus, foreign demonstrations at the embassy, along with concern over hostility toward Americans, heighten the tension and outline the challenges in a deeper hue.

Learn more about Ann's writing at these locations: 





Monday, July 14, 2014

COTT: Laureano Whisks Us Into Celtic Fantasy


Clash of the Titles is excited to introduce readers to C.E. Laureano's new release, Oath of the Brotherhood. We have heard nothing but good things about this book, which we recently featured on our site. Oath... is a stunning Christian Fantasy set against a Celtic backdrop. It's the first in the new Song of Seare series and will take readers through battles both physical and spiritual. Magic, prophecies, warriors, and romance...what's not to love? Take a look--


Q: What inspired the story behind Oath of the Brotherhood?
A: I’ve always loved both epic fantasy/adventure and Celtic fantasy, but I really hadn’t seen a lot of books that combined both, especially not for the Christian market. The dark ages period of Ireland’s history is so fascinating: high kings and clan conflict, traveling bards, and mercenary knights, not to mention the gradual Christianization of the country. I had fun incorporating all those details into my story world in a new way.

Q: What can you tell us about the main character?A: Conor Mac Nir is a king’s son who has been raised in fosterage (as was common with Celtic clans) by one of his father’s lords. But instead of being raised as a warrior as the king expected, he was educated as a scholar and a musician. When he’s clearly found to be unsuitable as a successor to the throne, he gets sent to a neighboring kingdom as a hostage to secure a peace treaty. Only then does he learn that his upbringing was no accident, and there are multiple parties pulling his strings behind the scenes.

Q: What was your favorite part of the story to write?
A: I really liked the fight scenes and the “training chapters” when Conor finds he really does need to learn how to handle a sword. The isle of Seare isn’t quite as disconnected from the rest of the world as the real Ireland, so I got to mash up some traditional western swordplay with Greco-Roman wrestling and eastern martial arts training methods.


I’ll admit that I also enjoyed incorporating the love story between Conor and the young healer/seer, Aine. Their relationship is deep and has a sense of destiny to it, even considering that they’re in their late teens, but I also think it’s healthy and grounded. They have a great deal of respect for each other’s callings and abilities.

FROM THE BACK COVER

An island at the edge of the world. An ancient prophecy. A reclusive warrior brotherhood. When evil encroaches, who will find the faith to fight it?
Author C. E. Laureano
To his clan, Conor Mac Nir is a disappointment—gifted with a harp, but hopeless with a sword. To the beautiful young healer Aine, he’s one whose gift calls out to her own . . . and captures her heart. To the reclusive warrior brotherhood called the Fíréin, he may be the answer to an ancient prophecy . . . if he can be trained to fight. Can Conor and Aine find their true path as an ancient evil engulfs the isle of Seare? Must Conor sacrifice everything he loves, even Aine, to follow the path God lays out before him?

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

“Laureano pulls readers into this story and does not let them go. From the first page to the last, readers are gripped by the multifaceted story of Conor Mac Nir and Aine, who are trying to save the country from physical war and spiritual evil. 4 ½ stars.” – RT Book Reviews (June 2014 Top Pick)

“Rich with Celtic lore, battle, and competing magics, Oath of the Brotherhood is a heroic coming-of-age fantasy experience and an inspired series opener.” –Serena Chase, contributor, USA Today’s Happily Ever After blog

“Song of Seare is a promising new fantasy series with a vast storyworld that hints at more wonders to come. I loved this book!” –Jill Williamson, Christy Award-winning author of By Darkness Hid and Captives


Connect with C.E. Laureano: Web | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest
Buy Oath of the Brotherhood: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | CBD

Saturday, July 12, 2014

I Have a Wonderful Life

When I'm busy getting a new book ready for readers, I get so bogged down in details I forget how wonderful my life is right now. Oh, I've had my share of problems over the years, but God brought me through with only a few bruises.

I came to that realization when someone asked if I traveled much. My thought at the time, and my hesitant response, was something like I don't know. I travel. Is it a lot? Compared to other so-called retired people, I guess not. I mentioned a few places Celeste and I have been without sounding like a braggart and soon the conversation moved elsewhere.

But, I didn't forget the question. My brain tends to mull questions over for hours afterwards, even when it's too late to say anything different. I often tell myself, I should have said, "this and that." Whatever comes to me several hours later.

Here's what I could have said:

In the four years since we've been married, Celeste and I have been to China, Austria, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Belgium. We've spent a week in Colorado in each of the four years. We've stayed a week in Hilton Head each year. We went to British Virgin Islands one year and stayed two weeks in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands another year. We worked in Panama for a week for the church and we've sung with choral groups in China, Massachusetts, Austria, and California. She's made two mission trips to Panama, one to Louisiana, and one to New Mexico. We've driven across the country several times, and we spend as much time as possible at our lake house. Yes. We travel a lot.


During the same four years, I've published four novels and two non-fiction books.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

"Enter to Give" Giveaway!

Enter the GIVE:JOY Sweepstakes from author Lauraine Snelling!

About the Sweepstakes


Summary:


In bestselling author Lauraine Snelling's new novel, Heaven Sent Rain, Dinah Taylor has an orderly life, and that is just how she likes it. A balanced bank account, a perfectly furnished luxury apartment, a satisfying career as a scientist and CEO of her own company, and an uncomplicated personal life. Then her well-ordered world is thrown into chaos when she finds a seven-year-old boy and his scruffy dog sitting alone outside her office building.

To celebrate the release of this heart-warming novel, FaithWords and author Lauraine Snelling are pleased to present the GIVE:JOY Sweepstakes.  This sweepstakes features three spectacular prizes, each closely connected to the story, but each prize also comes with a twist: you “Enter to Give”, rather than “Enter to Win”!

This is your chance to do something beautiful and make a difference for a friend, family member, shelter, church, or charity.

Timeframe & Notifications:

This giveaway starts July 1, 2014 and ends July 21, 2014 @ 11:59 pm (PST). Entry is open to US residents only, age 18 and over. Winners will be selected Tuesday July 22, 2014, and announced at laurainesnelling.com.
   
GRAND PRIZE:
GIVE:JOY Grand Prize
HELP & HOPE SUPPORT GIFT
In Heaven Sent Rain, Dinah meets an extraordinary little boy named Jonah, and his dog, Mutt. Jonah faces a life of struggle, hunger, and poverty, but his courage in these challenges inspires Dinah to step outside her well-ordered world and do something wonderful for him. Through her choice, Dinah discovers joy is found not in getting more for herself, but in giving to make someone else’s life better. Our Grand Prize winner will have the same opportunity for joy, with their choice of :
• A $250 VISA gift card for a friend in need, or
• A $250 donation to the faith-based charity, church, or shelter of their choice

         
SECOND PRIZE:
GIVE:JOY Second Prize
BLESSINGS & BLOOMS SURPRISE BOUQUETS
A mysterious thing happens to Dinah several times in the story: flowers! Beautiful encouragement bouquets—with no sender's name—appear on her office desk during difficult times when she feels she can’t go on. In honor of Dinah's secret flower sender (you'll have to read the story to find out his or her identity) we're offering our Second Prize winner the chance to become a secret flower sender themselves, and brighten the day of a sick friend, a new mom, a military spouse, a weary co-worker, or some other deserving person in their life, with:
• A 3-month gift subscription to ProFlowers Bouquet of the Month Club
       
THIRD PRIZE:
GIVE:JOY Third Prize
VALIANT VET ENCOURAGEMENT GIFT
Like Jonah's dog, Mutt, the animals in our lives are priceless sources of help, comfort, and unconditional love. No one understands this better than our story's hero, veterinarian Garret Miller. Throughout the book, “Dr. G” works tirelessly to save and heal people's furry friends, including Mutt, and an injured service dog named Valiant.

And Like Dr. G, many real-life veterinarians and animal shelter workers make all the difference in the lives of our animals, often giving services beyond what's billed. Our Third Prize winner will have a chance to do something extra special for their favorite vet or animal shelter, with:
• A $100 veterinary/shelter donation to be used toward treatment of an animal whose owner cannot afford to pay for veterinary care, or
• A $100 Starbucks card sent to the veterinary/shelter staff as a special encouragement gift


           
How to Enter:
Go to http://www.laurainesnelling.com/html/giveaways.html and complete the entry box, anytime between July 1 and July 21.

Monday, July 7, 2014

COTT: 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.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Freedom to 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

First Prize: Amazon Gift Card for $20
Second Prize: A copy of Where Love Once Lived 

ThirdPrize: A copy of The Vengeance Squad
 
It's easy to participate.

Just click on the Rafflecopter below, enter, 
then click on a link to another participating blog 
and enter the contest there.
Good Luck!

[Rafflecopter]a Rafflecopter giveaway [End Rafflecopter]



Monday, June 30, 2014

COTT: May Releases Announced -- Vote Now!


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.



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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Do you sometimes wonder what God has in store for you?


Has God ever led you to a place where you didn't want to be? What did you do?

 
In Love Lives On, fifty-four-year-old Karen Williams is reunited with Brian Donelson, her college sweetheart, after thirty years apart only to learn a step-son she's never met has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against her for back child support. Brian has the assets to settle the law suit, but she won't let him. Her marriage to the young man's dying father was out of compassion and she feels she is only being sued because of Brian's money.

Her decision to fight the shadows from her past puts her marriage and life in jeopardy. While fighting the claims, she takes time away from her new life with Brian to respond to the charges. And, while doing so, she is being stalked by someone who is threatening her life.

A lifetime Christian, Karen begins to wonder why God put her in such a situation. Karen turns to George McCullough, the 79-year-old father of Brian's best friend, to talk to about her doubts. George tells Karen she has the gift of encouragement and has devoted herself to helping others. That is why she wants to fight the lawsuit. Not for herself, but to help the ones suing. You just want to jump into the fray because you believe that's what God wants of you. (Romans 12:8)

George also tells Karen, "Remember in Acts 9 where God asks Ananias to go put his hands on Saul, the man who jailed Christians? You're like Ananias. You're a good Christian, but you've been called to get into this lawsuit for some reason. The results can be devastating. Be open to what God is calling you to do. And, remember, it may not seem like it sometimes, but eventually, good overcomes evil. Ananias was asked to step outside his comfort zone. God works through others to help us. Aren't you curious about what God has for us next?"

While Brian is in California tending to his mother's medical condition, someone sabotages the bookmobile Karen drives and she ends up inside the vehicle as it rolls down a hill. Brian returns as soon as he learns about it and sits with her in the hospital, praying that she will regain consciousness.

I hope you'll read the book to find out what happens.

Friday, June 20, 2014

COTT: Three Books--One Winner!

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


By entering the contest, you understand that:
The books may arrive in Kindle, Nook, or paperback format, according to each author's preference. 
Each author will send his/her book directly to the winner.
Neither COTT nor Christian Bookmobile can be held responsible for prizes not received.
Entry in this contest does NOT subscribe you to any feeds, newsletters, or other publications or networks