Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Delicious December New Releases


Over the following week, Clash of the Titles is featuring five, brand spanking new inspirational novels. Each of the below novels has been on book store shelves for about a month; each is a slightly different genre. Which one calls you? Take a moment to browse, then, using the voting box below, let us know which you're most likely to read first. Happy browsing! VOTE from Now until next Wednesday - tell your friends - then come back and see which book is this month's champion!

The Song of the Tree by Lotis Key



Despite promises of eternal joy given by the Tree of Life, a privileged young woman loses everything in a brutal war. Her husband disappears; her family is murdered; her home is burned to the ground.


Mind of Her Own by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer



 Who knew making dinner could change your life? Louisa Copeland certainly didn’t.



Counterfeit Cowboy  by Lacy Williams



From the moment Jesse Baker collides with Erin O'Grady on a Boston train platform, he faces a dilemma. For once, Jesse doesn't want to lie about who and what he is.



A Promise to Protect  by Liz Johnson






When his best friend's sister is attacked, Navy SEAL Matt Waterston promises no harm will come to Ashley Sawyer—not on his watch. Threats are a regular part of Ashley's life as the director of a battered women's shelter, but when she and Matt uncover a crime ring more sinister than anyone imagined, trusting Matt could be the only way to survive.



The Knitting Fairy by Jaime Marsman


Librarian Molly Stevenson rather expected her new job at Crabapple Yarns to be deadly boring… but somehow she just didn’t expect the “deadly” part to be quite so literal. After all, what could possibly be more sweet and innocent than a yarn store and a bunch of ladies knitting?

FOLLOW THE LINK TO TAKE OUR SURVEY: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/33PR9NT

Friday, January 25, 2013

Neglected Garden




The house was silent and dusty, the uncirculated air stale from months of unoccupied neglect. Karla moved from room to room, parting curtains, raising blinds, and throwing windows open to the fresh air of fall. They’d moved Mitch’s ninety-four-year old mother, Ida, into a nursing home six months ago, leaving the house empty for the first time in more than fifty years. The vacant rooms seemed to whisper distressed questions to her as she passed through.  Where’s our laughter? Where’s our purpose? Will we ever be a home again?
Karla paused in the doorway to the kitchen, the focal point of any home. Here the air held an undercurrent of family meals prepared with love and attention. She rubbed her hand against the sleek wood of the door facing and answered the whispered questions. “Soon.”
She continued out the back door, into memories of the lush garden that had been Ida’s pride and joy. The lawn service Mitch had hired kept the grass mowed, but the flower gardens and the plot for the vegetable garden were overgrown and neglected. Karla’s lips ticked up in a smile. She saw herself as the young mother she used to be, standing in the same place she stood now, while Ida rocked in her porch swing.
“Have you seen Nicolas?”
Ida put a finger to her lips and continued to rock. “Nicolas Andrew Black, are you in my strawberry patch?”
A muffled voice came from the direction of said strawberries. “No, Grandma.”
Ida tilted her head towards the garden with a smile. “You better not be.”
Karla shook herself free of the memory. The garden had been a special place for grandma and grandson. An opportunity to get grubby, no questions asked. She wondered if Nicolas still enjoyed playing in the dirt. It saddened her that she didn’t have an answer to that question. But then, he probably couldn’t provide an answer either. For twenty-five years, he’d traveled wherever the Air Force sent him. Years with few assignments close to home. Single, dedicated, a new base every three or four years. Finding it convenient to either rent or live in base housing. Never having a place to call his own. But that was about to change. USAF Col. Nicolas Black, retired, was returning to Garfield. This cottage would become his home. Karla looked over the gardens once more and for a brief moment saw them as they should be. She couldn’t wait to help Nicolas dig in.


***While you're here, Please take a few minutes to visit the tabs at the top of the page. Terri has an interview with Michael J Webb. Michael is here to talk about his new book, The Oldest Enemy. Be sure to leave a comment when you visit. Michael will be giving away an autographed copy of his book at the end of the week. Karla welcomes Kathleen Y'Barbo and Lena Nelson Dooley to her page for a sneak peak at their upcoming releases. Callie has a special devotion prepared for us by Carole Lehr Johnson . Pam just posted a yummy (and gluten free) recipe for Fried Chicken Rollups.***

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Olympia Finalists Announced





Today brings Clash of the Titles to the end of Round Two of our first annual Olympia Award.

The Olympia is a literary contest dedicated to Christian fiction and offered only to unpublished writers. In Round Two, the first 3,000 words of entrants’ manuscripts were read and scored by non-industry readers. 

A hearty THANK YOU to each of these women who set aside a portion of their time for this contest. Without them, the Olympia would not be.

Of all our submissions, only the top three scores move on to Round Three. 

Those scores go to manuscripts belonging to:

Bethany Kaczmarek
Laura McClellan
Elaine Manders

Our warmest congratulations to these three authors!

During Round Three, their manuscript excerpts will be read and scored by the following generous individuals:

DEBORAH RANEY--award-winning author
AMANDA LUEDEKE--literary Agent of Macgregor Literary
STEVE HUTSON--literary Agent of WordWise Media

The winner will be announced 
Friday, March 01, 2013.

Best wishes to our finalists!

The remainder of the contest's entrants can expect to receive their scores by Friday, January 25.


In the meantime, stop by COTT and vote for your favorite book this week: www.clashofthetitles.com

Friday, January 18, 2013

Yesterday's Star Trek fan



I have a confession to make. I am an unapologetic Trekkie.



This is me being an unapologetic Trekkie.



I don’t wear the uniform much these days, except for the occasional Halloween function, and it’s been years since I attended a convention, but I have current proof that Spock is still alive and well in my Trekkie soul.

How? One morning last week, while doing my hair for work at 6AM, I was struck, out of the blue, by a Star Trek moment.

Before I share this moment with you, I must share a memory with you.
During the mid 80s, my sister and I attended the funeral of our first Sunday school teacher. I wish I had a picture of Mrs. Drumwright to add to this post, but the only picture I have is a collage buried in my memory. Pictures of a small Sunday school classroom, in a small wood frame church. My sister and me, on our knees in front of child sized chairs, saying prayers, and later in the same pose using the chairs as a desk while we colored our lesson papers. I especially remember Mrs. Drumwright’s homemade sugar cookies, enjoyed at the end of that class.

She was 99 years old when she died, her birthday in the late 1800s. I remember driving to that funeral with my sister, marveling at such a long life and thinking about the progress she saw in her lifetime. TV, movies, microwaves, electricity, cars, air travel, spaceflight… Things common in her latter days that surely seemed like science fiction when she was a teenager.

Now back to my Star Trek Moment. I think the thing that appealed most to me most about the show, aside from Spock, was the technology. They had computers, not just computers, but COMPUTERS! Computers that listened when you spoke and hurried to do your bidding. Computers able to answer a question on any topic you chose. 

We are SO there. 

They had video screens that allowed you to talk, face-to-face, with someone clear across the galaxy. Can you say SKIPE? Pure science fiction in my childhood, commonplace today.

They didn't read print books much. They had little disks that you slipped into the computer.  We jumped right over the computer option and straight to whole electronic librarys small enough to fit in your purse.

The technological marvel that caused my moment? My iPhone. Capt Kirk and crew had two things they never left the ship without. A communicator and a Tricorder.

The function of the communicator is pretty self explanatory, but just in case you never saw the show…A Tricorder was a little gadget about the size of a cereal box that told the away team about their surroundings, provided weather conditions, analyzed information, and gave you directions from point A to point B.  It gave them info on the landscape and natives. If you had a Tricorder, you couldn’t get too lost. 
They had these:


We have this:

We have surpassed the Star Trek of my youth. Bring on the food replicators and the transporters!!

What "futuristic" gadget would you like to see become a reality.





***Don't you just love the new look of the blog? I think you'll find that it's a lot less cluttered and easier to navigate. So while you're here, Please take a few minutes to visit the tabs at the top of the page. Terri has an interview with Elizabeth Baker. Elizabeth is here to talk about her new book, JaKobe's Assignment. Be sure to read the whole article. Elizabeth has some amazing freebies for you. Karla welcomes Jeanette Windle and Anne Greene to her page for a sneak peak at their upcoming releases. Callie has a special devotion prepared for us by Cheri Swalwell. Pam just posted a yummy (and gluten free) recipe for Fried Chicken Rollups.***

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Clash of the Titles, Margaret Daley, Shattered Silence,

Today, we bring you Shattered Silence by Margaret Daley. Replete with murder and racial tension, at its core this is a story exploring something everybody can relate with--bullying. And Margaret is here to tell us in her own words exactly why she wrote this.


 Shattered Silence by Margaret Daley:
A serial killer is targeting illegal aliens in southern Texas. Texas Ranger Cody Jackson is paired with a local police officer, Liliana Rodriguez, to investigate the murders. 




While the case brings Cody and Liliana ever closer, the tension between Americans and Mexican Americans heightens. As Cody and Liliana race to discover who is behind the murders and bring peace to the area, what they uncover isn’t what they expected. Will Cody and Liliana’s faith and love be strong enough to survive the storm of violence?
***
Why I Wrote Shattered Silence
By Margaret Daley


I taught middle and high school for twenty-seven years, and I consoled many kids over those years that were being bullied. It broke my heart. The students I taught were children with special needs. Other kids sometimes made fun of them or had them do things then laugh at them. I do not tolerate bullying then and now. That's why I wrote Shattered Silence.


As an aside, I started a peer-tutoring program at the high school where I taught. Over the years I had a lot of popular kids take the class (top academic teens, cheerleaders, football players) and help out students who needed a peer tutor. One of those students went on to play pro football and another one became Miss Oklahoma. What was a wonderful benefit for my students with special needs was they developed friendships with their peer tutors. Those same peer tutors were the ones who stepped in and stopped other kids from making fun of my students.


I wanted to show different situations where a person was bullied (abused) by another. One storyline is centered around a high school student. The two other subplots concern the workplace and an abusive marriage. When someone is bullied, it leaves a lasting mark on that person. I've talked with many adults who can distinctively remember the circumstances around a bullying incident they were in the middle of.


It isn't always the outcasts or overweight kid or geek that are bullied. I have a friend whose daughter is beautiful and smart and was a cheerleader for her high school. Her last semester of high school was done at home through online courses because there were girls at the school that bullied her and made her life miserable. She became physically ill.


For her and the thousands of people who are bullied all over the world I wrote Shattered Silence. I didn't just present the situation of being bullied but offered a few suggestions for improving the situation.


Spread the word: Stop bullies. There are three groups involved in a bullying situation: the bully (or bullies), the person bullied and the spectators. The spectators are the ones in the triangle that can step in and change the situation. Speak up.
***


                     


Margaret Daley, an award-winning author of eighty-three books, has been married for over forty years and is a firm believer in romance and love. When she isn’t traveling, she’s writing love stories, often with a suspense thread and corralling her three cats that think they rule her household. To find out more about Margaret visit her website at http://www.margaretdaley.com.


Buy the book!
Amazon
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Christianbooks.com


*guest post by Michelle Massaro



***Don't you just love the new look of the blog? I think you'll find that it's a lot less cluttered and easier to navigate. So while you're here, Please take a few minutes to visit the tabs at the top of the page. Terri has an interview with Elizabeth Maddrey. Elizabeth is here to talk about her new book, Wisdom to know.  Leave a comment anywhere on the blog to be registered to win a copy of your very own.. Karla welcomes Mary Manners and Harry Wegley to her page for a sneak peak at their upcoming releases. Callie has a special devotion prepared for us by Londa Hayden. Pam just posted a terrific recipe for a quick chocolate dessert.***

Friday, January 11, 2013

Words of Wisdom From the Women of Valley View

The women and I have a few words of wisdom for you this week:

   Nobody does art quite like God!

Pam
When I'm feeling lost and whiny, this is right where I want to be.

Terri



Never take a Christian spouse for granted. Not everyone is so blessed!










Callie




What you see on the surface of a situation is often outweighed by what you don’t see.









Karla
Find a blessing in something that might otherwise annoy you.

These last words of wisdom are all mine. I sit in an office every day surrounded by men who act like this, pretty much all day long. I'm working on Samantha's story with 3 Point of View characters that are male. Today, I started taking notes. This is good stuff and all the research I need!--Sharon

I'd love it if you shared a word of Wisdom with us in the comments section.


***Don't you just love the new look of the blog? I think you'll find that it's a lot less cluttered and easier to navigate. So while you're here, Please take a few minutes to visit the tabs at the top of the page. Terri has an interview with Elizabeth Maddrey. Elizabeth is here to talk about her new book, Wisdom to know.  Leave a comment anywhere on the blog to be registered to win a copy of your very own.. Karla welcomes Mary Manners and Harry Wegley to her page for a sneak peak at their upcoming releases. Callie has a special devotion prepared for us by Londa Hayden. Pam just posted a terrific recipe for a quick chocolate dessert.***

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Women's year in review



Sharon here this week, wrestling control of the blog away from the women for a new year update.


This time last year, Jan. 4th 2012, my nails were nubs as I waited for word on my first publishing contract. Would they like it? Would they take it? Would I finally realize my dreams? God gave me a resounding yes on that very evening when I received a note of congratulations from the editor who’d just finished reading Callie and Terri’s stories.


Enter the marketing and promotion mountain. At the time I got that contract, I barely had a blog, didn’t have a facebook page, and twitter and goodreads…NOT. Now you can find me at all of those places:

Connect with me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SharonSrock#!/SharonSrock
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/SharonSrock
Find me on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6448789.Sharon_Srock



Callie became a reality on October 26th 2012. At this point in time I have no idea how sales are going, but I know that she has been well received by those who’ve read the story. Nothing, so far, but 4 and 5 star reviews.  I have been overwhelmed by God’s goodness.

In the weeks surrounding Callie’s release, she traveled to over 50 different blogs, she went on the radio, and we did eight book signing events where 200+ copies were sold, and we released a free PDF download to introduce Callie and her friends to the world. You can get that here:

 http://bitly.com/SmQmUs

The latest Callie news is that I’ve entered her in ACFW’s annual Carol Awards. I covet your prayers. The competition will be stiff.



Terri is set to release on 12 April 2013. She is currently in the hands of influencers and reviewers. You’ll see those reviews, here, as I receive them.






And here we are in 2013. Someone once said that everything old is new again. Even Solomon said that there was nothing new under the sun.


Wow, how true. 


Jan. 4th 2013. My nails are nubs as I await word on Pam’s story, the 3rd book in the series. Will they like it? Will they take it? Will my dream continue? Only God knows. 

I wrestled a bit earlier this week on where to go from here. Should I start on the 4th book before I heard word on the 3rd? Should I start something entirely new?


God sent an answer from His word. (Don’t you love it when that happens?) 

Genesis 15:6

“And Abram believed in the LORD; and the lord counted him as righteous because of his faith.” Now, God didn’t promise that contract, I’m not even going there. But, I did hear a very clear whisper in my heart to believe in what’s been promised and to stay faithful to the path he put me on.


There you have it. The women and I are expecting great things for 2013!


***Don’t read and run. Please take a few minutes to visit the page tabs to your right. Terri has an interview with Pamela S. Meyers. Pam is here to talk about Thyme for Love and Love Will Find A Way.  Leave a comment anywhere on the blog to be registered to win a copy of both of these books. Karla welcomes Clare Revell and Mary Ellis to her page for a sneak peak at their upcoming releases. Callie has a special devotion prepared for us by Penny McGinnis. Pam just posted a terrific recipe for a quick chocolate dessert.***