Monday, July 29, 2013

COTT: Hot New Releases from June!

SUMMER, SUMMER, SUMMER! What a fabulous season for taking a break and enjoying some good books! Is your TBR (To Be Read) pile getting low? Is it towering high but you are ALWAYS excited for a new book to add?

The novels below all released in the last month! Which one is most likely to make your summer reading pile? Cast your vote now. And don't forget to send some love and encouragement to our authors via the comments section. =)

Happy Voting!

Five Days in Skye

An American businesswoman falls for her celebrity chef client while on a business trip to Scotland. Will she find the courage to take another chance on love?

A Heart Deceived

Miri Brayden must keep her brother's descent into lunacy a secret, or he’ll be committed to an asylum—and she’ll be sent to the poor house. When Ethan Goodwin, an opium addict on the run, shows up on her doorstep, her balancing act falls to pieces.

Grace's Pictures

Grace McCaffery must trust a handsome policeman for help when her new Brownie camera gets her in trouble with a gang who thinks it containsthe first and only photos of their elusive leader. But her experience with the police back in Ireland makes that difficult, and she must decide if God has sent her help in an unlikely disguise.

A Melody for James

Melody Mason and James Montgomery lead separate lives of discord until an unexpected meeting brings them to a sinister realization: unbeknownst to them, dark forces have directed their lives from the shadows, orchestrating movements, keeping them singing solo. Fire, loss, and bloodshed can't shake their faith in God to see them through as they face a percussive climax that leaves hearts forever changed.

Blowing On Dandelions

In Miralee Ferrell’s captivating historical romance Blowing on Dandelions, Katherine Galloway struggles to overcome family dysfunction when her controlling mother moves in. Will Frances threaten Katherine’s budding relationship with Micah Jacobs, the new blacksmith, or is there hope that love can still break through?

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013



Here is a special treat for our readers. From July 25 through 30, a number of independent publishers have joined together to let you know what is available and to entice you with the chance to win some wonderful free gifts.

Every one of the blogs shown at the end of this message is giving away a significant prize. Here at the Christian Bookmobile, for example, you could win either a $25 Amazon gift card or a $25 PayPal payment. But, as they say on TV, that's not all. You also have the chance to win one of my four books. Paperback or Kindle, your choice.

It's easy to enter.

See the Rafflecopter below to enter. Everyone gets one free entry just for being here. That means you don't have to do anything to be included in the drawings. However, you can increase your odds of winning by following and tweeting, etc.

Enter here and then go on to another participating blog in the list below.

Good luck.

Monday, July 22, 2013

COTT: Previous Laurel Champ, Karen Witemeyer, Releases Another Bestseller

Clash of the Titles' Laurel Award is in full swing with submissions just having closed and judges itching to get started. It'll be another three mail-biting months before the winner of the 2013 Laurel is announced. In the meantime, COTT continues to shine the light on its past winners, including Karen Witemeyer whose novel, "A Tailor-made Bride" won the 2011 Laurel. Today, COTT brings you her latest, "Stealing the Preacher."

On his way to interview for a position at a church in the Piney Woods of Texas, Crockett Archer can scarcely believe it when he's forced off the train by a retired outlaw and presented to the man's daughter as the minister she requested for her birthday. Worried this unfortunate detour will ruin his chances of finally serving a congregation of his own, Crockett is determined to escape. But when he finally gets away, he's haunted by the memory of the young woman he left behind--a woman whose dreams now hinge on him.

For months, Joanna Robbins prayed for a preacher. A man to breathe life back into the abandoned church at the heart of her community. A man to assist her in fulfilling a promise to her dying mother. A man to help her discover answers to the questions that have been on her heart for so long. But just when it seems God has answered her prayers, it turns out the parson is there against his will and has dreams of his own calling him elsewhere. Is there any way she can convince Crockett to stay in her little backwoods community? And does the attraction between them have any chance of blossoming when Joanna's outlaw father is dead set against his daughter courting a preacher?

"Stealing the Preacher":

The author shares why she wrote the book:
"After the amazing response to the Archer brothers depicted in Short-Straw Bride, I couldn't wait to craft a stand-alone story for Crockett, the charmer of the Archer clan. First, I had a gang of over-the-hill outlaws steal him from a train then tangled him up with the gang leader's daughter, a heroine with enough sense to look beneath his charm and sufficient spirit to fight for what she wants. Finally, since Crockett is no ordinary preacher, but a gun-toting rancher with a gift for doctoring . . . well, that meant a plot full of scrapes, trouble, and untold shenanigans. But amid the adventure and romance lies a heartrending tale of God's pursuit of a single lost soul." --Karen Witemeyer

About Karen:
After growing up in California, Karen moved to Texas to attend Abilene Christian University where she
earned bachelor and master's degrees in Psychology. It was also there that she met and married her own Texas hero. He roped her in good, for she has lived in Texas ever since. In fact, she fell so in love with this rugged land of sweeping sunsets and enduring pioneer spirit, that she incorporates it into the pages of her novels, setting her stories in the small towns of a state that burgeoned into greatness in the mid- to late1800s.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Self-Publishing With CreateSpace

Editing Services

Basic Copyediting: $160 up to 10,000 words. $0.016/word for 10,000+
Eg. 80,000 word book would cost $1,280 ($160 + 70,000 x 0.016).
Where Love Once Lived: $1,453 (CreateSpace editor – freelance magazine editor)
The Vengeance Squad: $1,162 (CreateSpace – same editor)
Love Lives On: $550 (I used a Christian writer friend who did more than copyedit.)

CreateSpace provides other editing services such as comprehensive editing, editorial evaluation, and multi-round editing. Read about all editing services here:

Cover Design Services

CreateSpace provides a variety of services for cover design. For Where Love Once Lived, I chose the most expensive they had to offer, the Illustrated Cover, drawn specifically for my book. Cost: $1,199.

For my next book, The Vengeance Squad, I paid a friend $60 to do the layout and paid $25 for the photos. For Love Lives On and Job Seekers' Attitude Adjustment Guide, I did the layout myself and paid $10 for photos. Paid Bowker for ISBNs and UPCs.

You'll find links to all cover design services here:

Interior Options

CreateSpace charges for assistance in getting your text ready to print. For my first book I paid $379 for this and another $100 when I wanted to change it. For the following books I did this all myself using the Microsoft Word templates CreateSpace provides free. See:

Marketing/Publicity Services

CreateSpace provides marketing and publicity services such as book trailers, posters, press releases, reviews, business cards, bookmarks, etc., all priced higher than you can get elsewhere. I did of this for first book only.


Royalties are based on costs and selling price. There is a formula for computing the cost. This should be done before deciding on a selling price. See: and click oh Royalties tab. Input includes trim size (mine are 5 ¼ x 8 inches) and number of pages. You enter a selling price and the calculator will show the royalty for books sold on Amazon, eStore, and through expanded distribution for U.S. dollars, UK pounds, and euros. Expanded distribution is an option for bookstores, libraries, etc. If you want to set the price of your book as low as possible, pick a price where the expanded distribution royalty is just slightly above zero.

You can buy books and have them mailed to you for book signings and such. The unit price remains the same regardless of how many books you buy. The only variable is shipping cost. I find it is best to order 36 books at a time. Love Lives On costs me $5.40 each including sales tax and shipping. The list price is $12.95 for Amazon, but I can sell for $10.00 and make about the same profit.


You can set a different price for Kindle editions. There is no cost. CreateSpace pays a 70% royalty for books priced between $2.99 and $9.99. The royalty is 35% otherwise. CreateSpace will assist you with your ebook for a fee, but you can do it yourself here:
You'll probably want to also set up on Barnes and Noble, iTunes, etc.


Bookstores can order books from Amazon as long as you've paid the $25 fee for expanded distribution. They won't order unless they've made a sale first since there is a no return policy.

Other Services

CreateSpace also provides some package plans with discounts for buying more. Costly $5,000+.

Pros and Cons

CreateSpace is an excellent way to get published quickly with as little or as much help as you need. I don't recommend it until you have exhausted possible traditional publishers.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales by Randy Singer

Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales by Randy Singer

The popularity of John Grisham has shown there is a huge audience for legal fiction. If you're in that group, you won't be disappointed reading this book.

However, in my mind, Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales is much more than a story with a courtroom angle. It's about marriage, friendship, teamwork, trust, learning from mistakes, vengeance, and finding God.

Landon Reed, a former quarterback who goes to prison for two years for point-shaving, goes to law school after serving his time even though he knows it will be hard to get his license and a job because of his past. His wife, Kerri, who waited for him while he was in prison, is an excellent helpmate, but she has a career of her own. After Landon lands a job, their marriage is strained when they are pulled in different directions because of their careers. Landon works long hours and weekends to prove his worth to Harry McNaughten, the man who took a chance hiring him. Kerri travels to D.C. to interview Sean Phoenix, a former CIA agent who now heads a private company with branches throughout the world. It doesn't help that Landon and Kerri have a young daughter and a small dog.

Harry is killed before Landon has gained much experience. However, Landon uses his quarterback experience and intelligence to make good decisions.

There are many twists and turns and you won't easily figure it out. But, you will certainly enjoy the journey.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: When Jesus Wept by Bodie and Brock Thoene

When Jesus Wept
Book 1 of the Jerusalem Chronicles
A quote from Publishers Weekly on the back of the book describes When Jesus Wept as a reimagination of the evolving friendship between Jesus and Lazarus. Since I had not read other books by the authors I didn't know what to expect. I wondered if only Bible scholars would appreciate this fictionalized story based on the Bible. But, the more I read, the more I got into the story.
I admit I did go to the Bible on occasion to satisfy my curiosity about sections of the book. The authors made this easy for me by including notes with Bible references throughout. I also used the search capabilities of my digital Bible to find specific words and phrases.

By the time I finished the book, I determined that it was enjoyable in and of itself without knowing the Bible or looking up referenced verses. I felt comforted by what I read even though I knew it was fictionalized.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Monday, July 15, 2013

COTT: A Healing Heart, the Latest in Abingdon's Quilts of Love Series

Clash of the Titles brings you the latest in Christian fiction.

If you enjoy fiction, romance, or quilts, you'll want to check out today's featured new release. If you love all three, you'll want to run (not walk!) to your nearest bookstore--or for shoppers, click the cover image below.

A Healing Heart
by Angela Breidenbach

About A Healing Heart:
Will Joel help Mara or take everything she has left? Mara Keegan is an uber-successful mother and a widow of three years. She's been chasing success and all the "good things in life" for her family to make up for the cruel whim God played on them by taking her husband. In an effort to be the perfect mom, she decides to make a photo memory quilt, a graduation present for her daughter, Cadence.

She's not yet finished when she experiences a heart attack. How can Mara trust the one man who nearly destroyed her life and business? While Mara recuperates, she's forced to face her physically and spiritually broken heart. The memory quilt must be finished in time for Cadence's big day, but Mara struggles with her burgeoning feelings for the man who must keep Mara's business going during her recovery, Joel Ryan. Can Joel find his way into Mara's heart and onto Cadence's quilt? Or will he betray a vulnerable woman and her children?


Praise for A Healing Heart:
“A heart-warming and romantic story of new beginnings and hope through the fog. A story of real life filled with true emotion and characters you can't help but love.”
—NY Times bestselling author, Tosca Lee,
Tosca’s latest book: Iscariot

“A Healing Heart is an emotional story of learning to let go of the past and embracing the future. Angie Breidenbach deftly creates lifelike teenagers, a frazzled mother, and a caring hero you will love. This charming book tugs at your heart and encourages you to reevaluate what’s important in your life.”
—Vickie McDonough, author of 25 books and novellas, including End of the Trail

About the author:
 Angela Breidenbach is a captivating speaker, coach, and author of A Healing Heart, April 2013 from Abingdon Press in the Quilts of Love series. Her family tradition is to create the life story on a photo memory quilt for each graduating senior. She is certified in mentor/peer counseling as a CTA life coach, as a Stephen Minister, and a weight loss/nutrition coach. Follow humorous #Muse (the cat) posts as he prowls around facebook and twitter.
Twitter/Pinterest: @AngBreidenbach
Facebook Page:

Monday, July 8, 2013

COTT: May New Release Clash Winner

We had some amazing stories come out this past month. Each one poised to captivate your imagination, from overcoming great odds together, to chance meetings with a dashing earl, switchboard encounters of the handsome kind, a mysterious vanishing, and a prince's choice.

Thank you to Joselyn Vaughn author of Climbing Heartbreak Hill, Vanessa Riley author of Madeline's Protector, Lorna Seilstad author of When Love Calls, and Deborah Raney author of The Face of the Earth for participating in our clash.

And Now, Clash of the Titles presents the May New Release Winner...
Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck!

Once Upon a Prince, the first novel in the Royal Wedding series by bestselling author Rachel Hauck, treats you to a modern-day fairy tale.

Susanna Truitt never dreamed of a great romance or being treated like a princess---just to marry the man she has loved for twelve years. But life isn’t going according to plan. When her high-school-sweetheart-turned-Marine-officer breaks up instead of proposing, Susanna scrambles to rebuild her life.

The last thing Prince Nathaniel expects to find on his American holiday to St. Simon’s Island is the queen of his heart. A prince has duties, and his family’s tense political situation has chosen his bride for him. When Prince Nathaniel comes to Susanna’s aid under the fabled Lover’s Oak, he is blindsided by love.

Their lives are worlds apart. He’s a royal prince. She’s a ordinary girl. But everything changes when Susanna receives an invitation to Nathaniel’s coronation.

From the Clash of the Titles Commenters
Once Upon a Prince has all the ingredients needed to make for a wonderful summer read!

Loved loved loved Once Upon A Prince! gave it 5 stars on Goodreads!

Rachel, I couldn't stop reading this one! Wonderful love story! Love the cover!

What Reviewers Are Saying
Hauck spins a surprisingly believable royal-meets-commoner love story. This is modern and engaging tale with well-developed secondary characters that are entertaining and add a quirky touch. Hauck fans will find a gem of a tale.  – Starred Review Publisher’s Weekly

Readers Love It
Recently finished "Once Upon a Prince." Absolutely LOVED it! A perfect summer (or fall or winter or spring, for that matter) read. It was the best book I have read in a l-o-n-g time! You have set the bar high, Rachel!

Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as RITA nominated The Wedding Dress and RITA nominated Love Starts with Elle, part of the Lowcountry series. She penned the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Their novel Softly and Tenderly, was one of Booklists 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals.

A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, she worked in the corporate software world before planting her backside in uncomfortable chair to write full time in 2004.

Rachel serves on the Executive Board of American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship at their annual conference. She is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference

Here next book, Princess Ever After, releases in February 2014.

Visit her web site at

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Love Lives On is FREE Giveaway

July 5, 2013 – July 9, 2013

Get your free copy of the Kindle edition of LOVE LIVES ON and tell your friends about it – all while entering the drawing for a chance to win your choice of a $25 gift card, a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card, or $25 sent to you by PayPal.
Use the Rafflecopter below to enter. If you already have a copy of Love Lives On, answer the question. If not, get your free copy and then answer the question. Use the tweet button to let your friends know about this offer and you will be given extra entries for the drawing, thereby improving your odds of winning.

When you order the book, be sure the Kindle price still says it is free.
Note: this is the first and last time the Kindle edition of Love Lives On will be free.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 1, 2013

COTT: Love Unexpected -- May New Releases

Summer is here, and we've got some great new releases to fill up those camping trips, car rides, and lazy days on the beach.  Our May suggestions are intriguing and ready to pull you into stories of faith, love, and adventure.

It will be hard to choose between these five wonderful romances.These books are sure to captivate your imagination, from overcoming great odds together, to chance meetings with a dashing earl, switchboard encounters of the handsome kind, a mysterious vanishing, and a prince's choice.

Vote for the one most likely to make your summer To Be Read pile by voting below. Don't forget to send some love and encouragement to our authors via the comments section.

Happy Voting!

Their lives are worlds apart; he's a royal prince and she's an ordinary girl, but everything changes when Susanna receives an invitation to Nathaniel's coronation. It's the ultimate choice: His kingdom or her heart…God's will or their own?

When Mitchell's wife, Jill, kisses him goodbye, he has no idea that he may never see her again. When the police can't find her, Mitch asks his neighbor, Shelley, for help, but as weeks turn into months and Mitch and Shelley grow ever closer, he wonders how he can honor his vows to a woman who seems to have vanished off the face of the earth.

Switchboard operators, otherwise known as "hello girls," must conduct themselves according to strict--and often bewildering--rules, which include absolutely no consorting with gentlemen while in training. Hannah Gregory has never been good at following rules, but she doubts it will be difficult to keep that particular rule--until a handsome young lawyer starts getting under her skin.

A chance meeting and a bullet wound change everything, and Madeline St. James must trust that the Good Shepherd has led her to the altar to marry a dashing stranger, Lord Devonshire. Madeline's unwavering faith intrigues and exasperates the stubborn earl, but can the compromised couple forge a true bond before the next disaster strikes?

After their professional athletic careers are sidelined, Tara and Ryan must find purpose and fulfillment in their new lives. With the help of the Junkyard King and a mechanical bull, can Tara and Ryan find the courage to climb Heartbreak Hill together?

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