Monday, May 26, 2014

COTT: April Releases!

Summer's on the way. We have five great books to add to your beach bags. To take readers back in time, there's a historical novel set in ancient Rome. Or relax with a southern romance with mystery and suspense. Then check out a medical suspense, a contemporary novel and contemporary romance--all fantastic stories. Let us know by voting below which  of these you'll put on the top of your list.

Thanks to all of our contributors!

Betrayal made him a slave, and love made him a gladiator. Faith would give him the courage to rescue an empire.

A frightened runaway with a checkered past co-inherits her grandfather's farm with the man responsible for the scars on her heart. Can Chance and Dakota lay aside old hurts and grudges to build...A BRIDGE UNBROKEN?

A celebratory dinner party becomes a nightmare for The nightmare begins for Dr. Shannon Frasier when a man is shot dead on her lawn, reviving emotions from a similar incident a decade ago. The rough voice on the phone asks, "What did he say before he died?" and won't give up until Shannon tells him--even if she doesn't know.

Pam's divorce broke her heart, the cruelty of her ex husband broke her spirit, a bottle of skeeping pills almost took her life. Now, with Alan's return to Garfiekd, OK, Pam must learn that buied secrets and carfully cultivated indifference do not equal forgiveness.

Nobody cares about Ivy Clark's broken past as long as she looks beautiful for the camera. This is the only life Ivy knows—so when it starts to unravel, she’ll do anything to hold on, even move to Greenbriar, South Carolina to model wedding dresses for her stepmother. Here Davis Knight, her mysterious new photographer, sees through the facade and challenges everything Ivy has come to believe about beauty and worth.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

COTT: Laurel Award, Coming Soon!


Hear ye, hear ye! 

Clash of the Titles's 2014 Laurel Award 
will soon be open for submissions.

Novels participating in the Laurel are judged by their audience—readers who are well-versed in Christian fiction
yet not a part of the CBA industry. This contest judges the first two chapters (or 3,500 words) of published novels.

Are you a fan of Christian fiction, yet not associated with the publishing industry? Then we want you! If you enjoy reading and giving your opinion, Clash of the Titles invites you to join our reader-judge team. Each judge reads 5 to 7 two-chapter excerpts of recently published Christian novels, then completes a simple point system score sheet. If you're interested, please contact us at

Eligibility for the Laurel: Christian novels (30,000+ words) of any genre published between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013.

Self-published novels accepted.

Submissions Open: June 02, 2014
 Submissions Close: July 18, 2014, 
or when submission max is reached.

2013 Laurel Winner
Veil of Pearls
by MaryLu Tyndall
Limited Submissions: In order to not overburden our volunteer judges, we are limited in the number of submissions we can accept for the Laurel. Act soon!

One entry per author. Co-authored entries accepted.

Fee: $10 payable via Paypal

Prizes: One first-place winner will be chosen. He/she will receive a special feature on Clash of the Titles' blog. A tour through COTT’s Blog Alliance. A dedicated page on COTT’s site for a full year. An on-line radio interview with author and CAG board member, Cynthia L. Simmons. A digital winner’s badge. A beautiful plaque.

Stay tuned for updates by 

Monday, May 12, 2014


We've all been waiting. It's been six months since submissions opened for the Olympia. A panel of readers narrowed down the top three entries and then a distinguished *industry professionals assessed and scored those excerpts to bring us to this moment.

The time has come and I am so very excited to announce to you that the winner of the 2014 Olympia is...


For her story titled Reclaimed

About Reclaimed

Suzanna Wilton has had a hefty share of heartache in her twenty-seven years. Left heartbroken by a marriage cut short, she leaves city life to take up residency in a tiny Nebraska town. Her introduction to her neighbor Paul Rustin is a disaster. Assuming he’s as undermining as the other local cowboys she’s already met, Suzanna greets him with a heavy dose of hostility.

Though Paul is offended by Suzanna’s unfriendliness, she often invades his thoughts. Intrigued by the woman who lives down the road, and propelled by a sense that she carries a painful burden, he frequently drops by to offer help as she adjusts to rural living.

Just as Paul’s kindness begins to melt Suzanna’s frozen heart, a conflict regarding her land escalates in town. Even in the warmth of Paul’s love, resentment continues to strangle her fragile soul. Will Suzanna ever find peace?

Author Bio:

Jennifer Rodewald is passionate about the Word of God and the powerful vehicle of story. Four kids and her own personal superman make her home in southwestern Nebraska delightfully chaotic.

Aiming to live with boundless enthusiasm, her creed is vision, pursuit and excellence. Blessed with a robust curiosity, she loves to research. Whether she’s investigating the history of a given area, the biography of a Christian icon, or how nature declares the glory of God, her daily goal is to learn something new.

Jen lives in a lovely speck of a town where she watches with amazement while her children grow up way too fast, gardens, plays with her horses, and marvels at God’s mighty hand in everyday life.You can find her at 

Congratulations, Jennifer! We are honored to be a part of your journey and look forward to watching what God has in store for your writing career.

In addition to a tour through COTT's Blog Alliance, Jennifer will be receiving a beautiful plaque to commemorate her win and an internet radio interview with Cynthia Simmons!

*Final round judges:
AMANDA LUEDEKE--Agent, Macgregor Literary Agency
MARCY DYER--Editor, Prism Book Group
ROSSLYN ELLIOTT--Author and 2011 COTT Laurel Award Winner

Saturday, May 10, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman

GirlchildGirlchild by Tupelo Hassman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of those books I bought only because my neighborhood book club voted to discuss it. Boy, am I glad I did. It turned out to be so different from most books I've read, and so interesting I couldn't put it down. One way it is different is that it is told in short episodes rather than scenes and chapters. There are enough descriptions for the reader to visualize the people and the places, but that's not the important part. As a father, my concern was for Rory Dawn Hendrix, the little child called girlchild by her mother when she tucked her in at night. I wanted to know if Rory would survive the life dealt her. Would she live, and would she grow up unharmed emotionally?

In addition to Rory, the main characters are Rory's mother, Johanna Ruth Hendrix, and her grandmother, Shirley Rose. "Mothering is not this family's strong suit," Rory observes. Still, Rory's mother tries hard to protect her daughter. She knows the evils young girls face growing up in a trailer park with few friends and family, while being left alone. Rory is smart, smart enough to lose the spelling bee on purpose to make life easier for herself and her mother.

Another way the book is different is the way a real person is inserted into the story. A playmate of Rory's, Vivian Buck, was the daughter of Carrie Buck who was sterilized for being feebleminded in the 1920's. We don't know if this playmate was a ghost or what, but, in real life, Vivian died before the time of Rory's story. I didn't find this confusing, though. It made the book more interesting to me.

This book will make you think and feel, and after you've read it, you'll feel satisfied while wanting to know more.

View all my Goodreads reviews

Monday, May 5, 2014

COTT: Going for Gold with "Red Gold"

Red Gold
winner of Clash of the Titles's April Clash!

What COTT voters had to say about this month's winner:
"Reading Red Gold by Sandy Nadeau gave me a much needed 'vacation'! The faith story was heart-filling...and the adventure carried me to the mountains. 
Thanks, Sandy, for sharing your talent with the rest of us!"
"Not only does Sandy Nadeau and Red Gold have a great cover, the story is realistic, inspiring and a fun thrill ride in Colorado."
Red Gold
by Sandy Nadeau
~COTT's April Champ~

"Sandy Nadeau's work was a very fun read with good moral value!"
"A shout-out to Sandy Nadeau, author of Red Gold! I have an autographed copy, 
and couldn't be more delighted for your success!!"
"Red Gold sounds like a book that will keep readers turning the pages!"
"Keep writing, Sandy Nedeau! I'm in the middle of Red Gold now and love it! Blessings!"

About Red Gold:
Mandy Phillips loves life with her husband running an adventure ranch in the Colorado mountains, but when Mr. Shonee, their crotchety old neighbor, tries to stop them from building a kid-size old west town their dreams of expansion are crushed. Is Shonee just being a difficult neighbor, or is something more sinister going on? A discovery on the property of Colorado's state mineral leads to more mysteries for the ranch, and then a teenage guest finds herself thrust head first into danger. Mandy will have to rescue her, but who will rescue Mandy? Her faith in God is her only source to keep the guests safe, solve the mysteries surrounding her ranch, save her neighbor from himself, and discover the secrets of the Red Gold.


About Sandy:
Sandy Nadeau loves to go on adventures, photograph them and equally loves to write about them. She and her husband do a lot of four-wheeling in the back country of Colorado and share those experiences with others by taking them up in the mountains. With a background in writing a column about her community for a
local newspaper, she also has had several magazine articles published. She loves to write novels about adventure, mystery, romance, but most importantly sharing God’s love. She is currently a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and Vice President of the ACFW South Denver Chapter. Married for 37 years, she and her husband are loving life as grandparents to their nine month old grandson. Travel is their favorite thing to do and they don’t get to do it as often as they’d like. Adventure awaits around every corner, over every hill and mountain.

How Red Gold came about:
"This story developed out of a dream my husband and I shared of wanting to run a guest ranch as depicted in the book. We love the mountains of Colorado so much and have spent many days exploring the deep reaches of the state. We get a lot of out-of-town guests so we take them out on adventures with us. Our favorite thing to do is four-wheeling into the back country. We have ended up in a few places we never should have gone, at least not with the vehicle we drove. I wanted to share some of the adventures we have had through my book, the beauty, and the excitement of Colorado. My hubby actually came up with the title. It was so perfect for it."  ~Sandy Nadeau 

Connect with Sandy:

Friday, May 2, 2014

Using Pinterest to Sell More Books

Here is an easy way to use Pinterest to build interest in your books.

Pinterest lets you easily create groups of photos to share with others. I think everyone enjoys viewing pictures. Sometimes I look through randomly selected groups of photos just for the beauty I might find. The nice thing about Pinterest is that the photos can come from the Internet. You don't need permission since the photo will link to the site where you found the photo. There are some places that don't allow sharing of their photos, but Pinterest knows which ones they are and you won't be able to pin those photos to your board.

How can Pinterest help author?

If your book is not yet published, create a board for you future readers. If you're writing a cozy mystery, for example, create a board called "My Favorite Cozy Mysteries." Your photos could be book cover images and you could add a short note about each book and why you selected it. After your book is published, one of the prominent pins on this board would be your book.

While writing The Vengeance Squad Goes to England I created a board with photos of locations and items used in the book. As I wrote the book, I added additional photos for each new scene. This served two purposes. First, the images helped me describe the scenes more realistically. Secondly, once the book was published, I included a link to the board so the reader could see photos of the places described in the book. See to check it out for yourself.

Another Pinterest board I made was one called Bookmobiles. The reason for this board is that bookmobiles are featured in each of my books. You may think of a similar use of Pinterest for your books. See for the bookmobile board. While you're there check out the rest of my boards for other ideas.