Wednesday, March 28, 2012

CFBA: The Hope of Shridula by Kay Strom

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Hope of Shridula
Abingdon Press (March 2012)
Kay Strom


A word from Kay:

Kay Marshall Strom… who am I? Well, I’m a traveler… a railer against social injustice… a passionate citizen of the world. I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. I’m a 21st century abolitionist who speaks out against slavery of all kinds. I am a beach walker and a gardener and the off-key singer of songs. I’m a wife… a mother… a sister… a daughter… a friend.

Most people, though, know me as a writer and a speaker. So here is a bit more about that part of my life:

Of my 39 published books, seven have been book club selections, twelve have been translated into foreign languages, and one has been optioned for a movie. My writing credits include numerous magazine articles, books for children, short stories, television scripts and two prize-winning screenplays. Along with my husband Dan, I also have produced a series of booklets for writers. My writing has appeared in a number of volumes including three versions of the NIV Devotional Bible and the devotional book My Heart—Christ’s Home, Through the Year.

I love to write, and I love to share about topics close to my heart. I speak at seminars, retreats, writer’s conferences, and special events throughout the country. And because I do enjoy travel, I even speak on cruise ships!


The Blessing in India series is a saga set in India’s heartbreaking history and breathtaking present that points toward a future of hope.  Along the way, name-only Christianity collides with Hinduism, and then is confronted by an entirely new understanding of the call to follow Christ.

India: 1946. For forty-eight years, Ashish and his family toiled as slaves in the fields of the high-caste Lal family, and all because of one small debt. At fifty-four, Ashish was old and worn out. Every day was a struggle to survive for his family including his only daughter.  

His wife had named the girl Shridula—Blessings. “Perhaps the name will bring you more fortune than it brought me,” Ashish told his daughter. His words proved to be prophetic in ways he could never have imagined. And when the flames of revolt brought independence to India, they seared change into the family of Ashish.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Hope of Shridula, go HERE.

Monday, March 26, 2012

COTT's Fiction Flash Clash

*guest post by Michelle Massaro and April Gardner
Last week, COTT posted a "Flash Clash" in which readers had just 2 days to cast their votes between two 100-word excerpts. It was a fast one! But not so fast that voters didn't have time for their say.

To add to the tension, the winner took the clash by a margin of one vote. That’s right. ONE vote difference. Both excerpts were so good, readers were split almost exactly down the middle. I love clashes that are this close!

The winner of our Flash Clash First Hundred is…

Rebecca Carey Lyle’s Winds of Wyoming.

Winds of Wyoming clashed against Tom Blubaugh’s Night of the Cossack. It was a pleasure getting to know both authors during this fun, super-speedy clash. We wish many blessings on their writing paths!

Here's what readers had to say about both books:

*Great excerpts...both caught my interest immediately!
*Wow - two really great flashes that sound like amazing stories! Love it!
*Keep writing and don't give up!
*Both excerpts were great, especially given the short time to convey what was happening in the story. Keep up the good work!

COTT is taking a spring break starting immediately. We will begin clashing again on April 2, 2012 when hostess Gail Pallotta brings us a brand new clash--Comparable Covers!

In the meantime, check out these other Splashdown Books…

CFBA: The Chase by DiAnn Mills

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Chase
Zondervan (March 27, 2012)
DiAnn Mills


DiAnn Mills believes her readers should “Expect an Adventure.” She is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed novels. Her books have won many awards through American Christian Fiction Writers, and she is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader’s Choice award for 2005, 2007, and 2010. She was a Christy Award finalist in 2008 and a Christy winner in 2010.

DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and is the Craftsman Mentor for the Christian Writer’s Guild. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops.

DiAnn and her husband live in Houston, Texas. Visit her website or find her on Facebook at


To the FBI it's a cold case. To Kariss Walker it's a hot idea that could either reshape or ruin her writing career. And it's a burning mission to revisit an event she can never forget. Five years ago, an unidentified little girl was found starved to death in the woods behind a Houston apartment complex. A TV news anchor at the time, Kariss reported on the terrifying case. Today, as a New York Times bestselling author, Kariss intends to turn the unsolved mystery into a suspense novel. Enlisting the help of FBI Special Agent Tigo Harris, Kariss succeeds in getting the case reopened. But the search for the dead girl's missing mother yields a discovery that plunges the partners into a witch's brew of danger. The old crime lives on in more ways than either of them could ever imagine. Will Kariss's pursuit of her dream as a writer carry a deadly price tag? Drawing from a real-life cold case, bestselling novelist DiAnn Mills presents a taut collage of suspense, faith, and romance in The Chase.

Watch the book video!

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Chase, go HERE.

Friday, March 23, 2012

CFBA: Missing by Shelley Shepard Gray

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Avon Inspire; Original edition (March 20, 2012)
Shelley Shepard Gray


Since 2000, Shelley Sabga has sold over thirty novels to numerous publishers, including HarperCollins, Harlequin, Abingdon Press, and Avon Inspire. She has been interviewed by NPR, and her books have been highlighted in numerous publications, including USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.

Under the name Shelley Shepard Gray, Shelley writes Amish romances for HarperCollins’ inspirational line, Avon Inspire. Her recent novel, The Protector, the final book in her “Families of Honor” series, hit the New York Times List, and her previous novel in the same series, The Survivor, appeared on the USA Today bestseller list. Shelley has won the prestigious Holt Medallion for her books, Forgiven and Grace, and her novels have been chosen as Alternate Selections for the Doubleday/Literary Guild Book Club. Her first novel with Avon Inspire, Hidden, was an Inspirational Reader’s Choice finalist.

Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. She now lives in southern Ohio and writes full time. Shelley is married, the mother of two children in college, and is an active member of her church. She serves on committees, volunteers in the church office, and currently leads a Bible study group, and she looks forward to the opportunity to continue to write novels that showcase her Christian ideals.

When she’s not writing, Shelley often attends conferences and reader retreats in order to give workshops and publicize her work. She’s attended RWA’s national conference six times, the ACFW conference and Romantic Times Magazine’s annual conference as well as traveled to New Jersey, Birmingham, and Tennessee to attend local conferences.

Check out Shelley's Facebook Fan page


In the first book in her new Secrets of Crittenden County series, Shelley Shepard Gray delivers another page-turning romance set in Amish country

Perry Borntrager had been missing from the quiet Amish community of Crittenden, Kentucky, for months when his body was discovered at the bottom of an abandoned well. Everyone had assumed Perry left Crittenden on his own, seduced by the wider world he discovered during his rumspringa, but now the truth has thrown this once-peaceful town into chaos. The first death from mysterious circumstances in Crittenden in more than two decades has invited the scrutiny of the outside world: a police detective arrives to help their local sheriff with the investigation. His questioning begins with Lydia Plank, Perry’s former girlfriend, and Perry’s best friend, the Englisher Walker Anderson.

Lydia and Walker know they didn’t have anything to do with Perry’s death, but they both hold secrets about his final days. Do they dare to open up about the kind of man Perry had become? In the oppressive shadow of these dark times, they discover strength in a most unlikely companionship that offers solace, understanding, and the promise of something more.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Missing, go HERE.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

CFBA: Stuart Brannon's Final Shot by Stephen Bly

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Stuart Brannon's Final Shot
Center Point Pub; Lrg edition (March 2012)
Stephen Bly


Stephen Bly (August 17, 1944 – June 9, 2011) authored 106 books and hundreds of articles and short stories. His book, The Long Trail Home (Broadman & Holman), won the prestigious 2002 Christy Award for excellence in Christian fiction in the category western novel. Three other books, Picture Rock (Crossway Books), The Outlaw’s Twin Sister (Crossway Books), and Last of the Texas Camp (Broadman & Holman), were Christy Award finalists. He spoke at colleges, churches, camps and conferences across the U.S. and Canada. He was the pastor of Winchester Community Church, and served as mayor of Winchester, Idaho (2000-2007). He spoke on numerous television and radio programs, including Dr. James Dobson’s Focus on the Family. He was an Active Member of the Western Writers of America. Steve graduated summa cum laude in Philosophy from Fresno State University and received a M.Div from Fuller Theological Seminary. The Blys have three sons: Russell (married to Lois) and father of Zachary and Miranda (married to Chris Ross) and mother of Alayah; Michael (married to Michelle); and Aaron (married to Rina Joye) and father of Keaton and Deckard. A third generation westerner, Steve spent his early years working on California farms owned by his father and an uncle.

Janet Chester Bly received a B.S. degree in Literature & Languages and Fine & Performing Arts from Lewis-Clark State College, Lewiston, Idaho. She speaks at women’s luncheons and retreats and does writers’ workshops. She is a member of Winchester Community Church where she serves as music director. She has authored eleven nonfiction and fiction books and co-authored twenty others, as well as contributed to five books. Janet’s hobbies include decorating her home in “country clutter,” reading almost all genres of fiction and mall walking. She lives in Winchester, Idaho–elevation 4,000 feet, population 300– situated on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation.


In 1905, at 58 years old, legendary lawman Stuart Brannon - now a rancher and widower - had no intention of leaving his beloved Arizona Territory to attend the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition in Portland, Oregon, nor to participate in the celebrity golf tournament for the Willamette Orphan Farm. Even an emotional appeal for his longtime friend didn’t persuade him. His life no longer consisted of bloodthirsty men to track down . . . people trying to kill him . . . lawless gangs preying on the innocent.

Then the telegram came: Stuart, I need you in Portland. Tim Wiseman is missing. I think there’s a cover-up going on. Tell folks you’re going to the Exposition. Nose around. Find out how a U.S. Marshal can disappear and no one knows why. I’ll contact you there. T.R.

How could he refuse a request from the President of the United States?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Stuart Brannon's Final Shot, go HERE.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

CFBA: The Dog That Talked To God by Jim Kraus

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Dog That Talked To God
Abingdon Press (March 2012)
Jim Kraus


Jim Kraus grew up in Western Pennsylvania and is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. He attended the Paris-American Academy in 1971 and has spent the last twenty years as a vice-president of a major Christian publishing house. He has written more than 20 books and novels (many with his wife, Terri). His book, The Silence, was named as one of the top five releases in 2004 by the Christian Book Review website. He is also an award-winning photographer. He and his wife and 14-year-old son live outside of Chicago with a sweet miniature schnauzer and an ill-tempered Siberian cat.


A wonderfully quirky, heart-breaking, heart-warming and thought-provoking story of a woman's dog who not only talks to her, he talks to God. 

Recently widowed Mary Fassler buys a miniature schnauzer, Rufus, and her world is turned sideways in the midst of her grief. It seems that Rufus speaks. And not just to her. He also talks to God.

Mary has no choice except to believe Rufus, the miniature schnauzer, who claims to speak to the Divine.

The question is: Will Mary follow the dog's advice, and leave everything she knows and loves? Is this at the urging of God? Or is it something else?

Will Mary risk it all or ignore the urgings of her own heart?

If you would like to read a chapter excerpt from The Dog That Talked To God, go HERE.

Monday, March 19, 2012

COTT: Guest Blogger, Jennifer Slattery

Guest blogger: Jennifer Slattery

Sometimes Clash of the Titles highlights great talent. Other times we get to "discover it." This is exactly what happened with our speculative fiction unpub'bed clash.

Join me in welcoming Chawna Schroeder to the COTT family!

There's nothing like discovering great talent before it goes to print! And I have a feeling we're going to see our latest COTT champion's books on bookshelves very soon. When we do, we can all say, "We saw her on COTT first!" And this clash--a battle for best speculative fiction unpub'bed--was even more exciting because the winner has been invited to submit a full proposal to Asraea Press for immediate review!

Her winning excerpt was pulled from the pages of Metamorphosis, a gripping tale of a Beast and her master:

Once upon a time there lived a Beast…
Not in a shining castle, but among a pack of dogs.

For as long as Beast can remember she has lived among her master’s dogs. With them she sleeps. With them she eats. With them she fights and struggles to survive. But through hunger and cold, she dreams of one day becoming Master’s favorite, earning bones with meat and a place beside the fire.

Then strangers attack. Her pack scatters. Fire eats the village. And Beast knows: Master is no more.

Alone and unprotected, Beast tries to defend herself against slavers scavenging for any leftovers. But she is only one, and they are strong.

Tracked by men, sold as a monster, is Beast only prey to be hunted…
…or something more?

A few comments from readers:

"I enjoyed both excerpts! I am curious about the world created in A, but B really got me in the gut."

"Great job! Keep writing!"

"God has given you a gift. Your TRUE fans will always be there for you!! Never give up and follow your dreams!!! I am sending up a prayer for you and your family!!!"
Join us March 19-23 for a fun Flash Clash!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

CFBA: Before the Scarlet Dawn by Rita Gerlach

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Before The Scarlet Dawn
Abingdon Press (February 2012)
Rita Gerlach


Rita Gerlach lives with her husband and two sons in a historical town nestled along the Catoctin Mountains, amid Civil War battlefields and Revolutionary War outposts in central Maryland.

"Romantic historical fiction that has an inspirational bent, is one way people can escape the cares of life and be transported back to a time of raw courage and ideal love," she says. "The goal of my writing is to give readers a respite, and inspire them to live fully and gratefully."

In many of her stories, she writes about the struggles endured by early colonists, with a sprinkling of both American and English history. Currently she is writing a new historical series for Abingdon Press entitled 'Daughters of the Potomac'. See her 'Novels In Progress' page on her website to learn more.

There are other novels on her list to be published, and a proposal for another book series.

She was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in a large family in the Maryland suburbs. Her family claims that storytelling is their blood, handed down from centuries of Irish storytellers. Rita believes there just may be something to that theory.


In 1775, Hayward Morgan, a young gentleman destined to inherit his father’s estate in Derbyshire, England, captures the heart of the local vicar’s daughter,

Eliza Bloome. Her dark beauty and spirited ways are not enough to win him, due to her station in life.  

Circumstances throw Eliza in Hayward’s path, and they flee to America to escape the family conflicts. But as war looms, it's a temporary reprieve. Hayward

joins the revolutionary forces and what follows is a struggle for survival, a test of faith, and the quest to find lasting love in an unforgiving wilderness.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Before The Scarlet Dawn, go HERE.

Watch the book video:

Monday, March 12, 2012

CFBA: Prize of My Heart by Lisa Norato

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Prize of My Heart
Bethany House Publishers (March 1, 2012)
Lisa Norato


A life-long New Englander, Lisa Norato lives in a historic village with homes and churches dating as far back as the eighteenth century. She was born into a close-knit Italian family that hungered as much for the things of God as they did for lasagna. After church, the family spent Sunday afternoons gathered in fellowship around a never-ending feast that featured her grandmother's homemade spaghetti and pizza.

From the time she learned to read, her mother impressed her with the joy of getting lost in a good book. She passed novels along to her as early as age thirteen, but it wasn't until many years later that Lisa felt compelled to write one herself.

She first discovered a love of writing when assigned to write and illustrate a children's book at the art college she attended. She balances writing with a career as a legal assistant specializing in corporate law. When not creating stories, she enjoys domestic pursuits like precious time with her dog and family, cooking, baking and eating vegan, reading, her Bible, her favorite television shows and crocheting.

Lisa is a member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA), American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Rhode Island Romance Writers (RIRW) and American Colonial Christian Writers.


An unsolved mystery separates ex-privateersman Captain Brogan Talvis from his lost son--his only living relation, his only family. Shortly before her tragic demise, his wife abandoned their infant to strangers, refusing to reveal the child's whereabouts. Now, three years later, Brogan has discovered the boy at the home of a shipbuilder's daughter, Lorena Huntley.

Lorena guards a dark secret about her young charge. She finds herself falling for the heroic captain who has come to claim his newly built ship, unaware his motive for wooing her is to befriend the boy he plans on reclaiming as his own--until the day anothers evil deceit leaves her helplessly shipbound, heading toward England.

As the perfect opportunity to reclaim his son unfolds, Brogan is haunted by thoughts of Lorena in her dire circumstance, and he is forced to make a heartrending choice between his child and the woman who has begun to capture his heart. But only his unselfish sacrifice can win him the greatest prize of all--love.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Prize of My Heart, go HERE.

Friday, March 9, 2012

COTT Spotlight on Gail Pallotta

*guest post by COTT Sr. Editor, April W Gardner

This week, it was my privilege to spend a few extra minutes with author Gail. Gail is one of the blog alliance correspondents at Clash of the Titles.

Her husband, Rick, says she’s the only person he knows who can go in the grocery for a loaf of bread and come out with someone’s life story. That’s probably because she inherited her mother’s love of people and enjoys talking to them. Working as an editor and freelance writer, Gail published a couple hundred articles. While some of them are in anthologies, two ended up in museums. In 2004, the American Christian Writers Association named Gail a regional writer of the year. She recently published her first romance, Love Turns the Tide. When she isn’t writing she likes reading, swimming, and getting together with friends and family. Gail wants to write books of faith that show God’s love. She and Rick live in Georgia. Just a couple hours north of me, actually! We’re practically neighbors. :-)

Every COTT staff member is a professed child of God. Gail, can you tell us about your relationship with Christ?
I can’t remember when I didn’t love Jesus. My father’s father was a minister, so I grew up listening to Bible verses and references to Jesus. But my mother played a huge part in helping me establish a relationship with Christ. At bedtime she said prayers with me and told me stories from the Bible. First, she taught me “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep,” but even then I had a copy of “The Lord’s Prayer” hanging on the wall above the headboard of my bed. She taught it to me a few lines at a time. We soon started saying it instead of “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.” She also told me about the Crucifixion in her own words, explaining how much Jesus had to love me to die for me. She taught me to talk to Jesus, to say the things I was thankful for, to praise Him, and ask for things I needed. I did the same with my daughter. I’m so grateful for the many blessings Jesus has given me and that He’s always there for me. I don’t always get the answers I want to my prayers, but I get the answers I need to fulfill God’s plan for my life. Whenever I’ve needed a miracle, Jesus has supplied one. There are several hymns that touch on how I feel about my relationship with Christ. “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” and “He Leadeth Me” are two. My daughter recently gave me a CD, Elvis, An Evening Prayer. The first song on it, “His Hand in Mine,” conveys how I feel about my relationship with Christ. It’s an old gospel song written by Mossie Lister. It’s on YouTube. The URL is

Beautiful testimony! A mother’s faith is essential in a child’s life, and you’re proof of that!
None of us are perfect though, so what’s the craziest thing you did as a teenager? 
Gail Pallotta
I grew up at the foothills of the mountains. At a reunion a few years ago, many of us told our beloved biology teacher how much she meant to us. She replied, “Well, I had to teach biology. There was no one else in town that could.” Teachers were scarce. We had a very old algebra teacher. He couldn’t stay awake during class. Nope. He took the roll and told us to turn to the next chapter and work the problems. Then he pushed back his seat and propped his feet on the trash can. We’d give him about ten minutes, and he was out like a light. His classroom was in the basement with a window level to the ground. In the spring as soon as he started snoring, we went out the window, got in my friend’s convertible (she had the only car) and went to the lake.

No way! That’s so funny!! How long were you gone? What is something else people would be surprised to know about you? 
At age twenty-two when I graduated from college, I packed my clothes in a medium-sized suitcase and moved to a large city with eighty dollars in my pocket. Had no car, no job, and nowhere to live. 
Wow! You can’t leave us hanging, lol! How did that work out for you?

On a slightly more serious note, what is the nearest book to where you’re sitting? 
I love to read anything, non-fiction, fiction, any genre, Christian and many secular. But the book closest to me, probably because I also write as well as read, is Essentials of English.

I’d imagine that covers grammar? Forms of writing? Sounds like a must-have for every writer! What are three things you can’t live without?   
Faith, family, fun

Three very important f’s! Makes me wonder though, when I say the word “fun,” what’s the first thing to pop into your mind?

What is the message you most want to convey to readers with your writing? God loves you. Accept His love and let the greatness of it overcome the imperfections of this world. 

That brings to mind. John 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." NAS (©1995)
Anything else you’d like to add? 
I was honored when asked to be part of the Clash of the Titles Staff. I love helping to promote Christian books and writers.
And we love having you!!
Get to know Gail better by visiting her website or her blog.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

CFBA: The Messenger by Siri Mitchell

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Messenger
Bethany House Publishers (March 1, 2012)
Siri Mitchell


Siri Mitchell graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she has lived all over the world, including Paris and Tokyo. Siri enjoys observing and learning from different cultures. She is fluent in French and loves sushi.

But she is also a member of a strange breed of people called novelists. When they’re listening to a speaker and taking notes, chances are, they’ve just had a great idea for a plot or a dialogue. If they nod in response to a really profound statement, they’re probably thinking, “Yes. Right. That’s exactly what my character needs to hear.” When they edit their manuscripts, they laugh at the funny parts. And cry at the sad parts. Sometimes they even talk to their characters.

Siri wrote 4 books and accumulated 153 rejections before signing with a publisher. In the process, she saw the bottoms of more pints of Ben & Jerry’s than she cares to admit. At various times she has vowed never to write another word again. Ever. She has gone on writing strikes and even stooped to threatening her manuscripts with the shredder.


Hannah Sunderland felt content in her embrace of the Quaker faith

...until her twin brother ran off and joined the army and ended up captured and in jail. Suddenly Hannah's world turns on end. She longs to bring her brother some measure of comfort in the squalid, frigid prison where he remains. But the Quakers believe they are not to take sides, not to take up arms. Can she sit by and do nothing while he suffers?

Jeremiah Jones has an enormous task before him. Responsibility for a spy ring is now his, and he desperately needs access to the men in prison, whom they are seeking to free. A possible solution is to garner a pass for Hannah. But while she is fine to the eye, she holds only disdain for him--and agreeing would mean disobeying those she loves and abandoning a bedrock of her faith.

With skill and sensitivity, Mitchell tells a story of two unlikely heroes seeking God's voice, finding the courage to act, and discovering the powerful embrace of love.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Messenger, go HERE.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

CFBA: Chasing the Sun by Tracie Peterson

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Chasing The Sun
Bethany House Publishers (March 1, 2012)
Tracie Peterson


Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 85 novels.

She received her first book contract in November, 1992 and saw A Place To Belong published in February 1993 with Barbour Publishings' Heartsong Presents. She wrote exclusively with Heartsong for the next two years, receiving their readership's vote for Favorite Author of the Year for three years in a row.

In December, 1995 she signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers to co-write a series with author Judith Pella. Tracie now writes exclusively for Bethany House Publishers.

She teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research.

Tracie was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for 2007 Inspirational Fiction and her books have won numerous awards for favorite books in a variety of contests.

Making her home in Montana, this Kansas native enjoys spending time with family--especially her three grandchildren--Rainy, Fox and Max. She's active in her church as the Director of Women's Ministries, coordinates a yearly writer's retreat for published authors, and travels, as time permits, to research her books.


When her father disappears in war-torn Mississippi, Hannah Dandridge finds herself responsible not only for her younger siblings but for the ranch her father recently acquired on the Texas plains. Though a marriage of convenience could ease her predicament, she determines to trust God for direction.

Wounded soldier William Barnett returns to his home only to discover that his family's ranch has been seized. Though angry and bitter at this turn of events, he's surprised to discover that it is a beautiful young woman with amazing fortitude who is struggling to keep the place running.

Hannah, desperate for help, and William, desperate to regain his family's land, form an uneasy truce. But nearby Comanche tribes, the arrival of Confederate soldiers, and a persistent suitor all threaten the growing attraction that builds between them. Will they be able to set aside their own dreams and embrace the promise of a future together?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Chasing The Sun, go HERE.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

COTT: Winner's Article

I'm so sorry that these posts have been missing lately. I think (hope) the issue has been resolved and that I'll be back with more frequent COTT posts! 

*Guest post by--COTT Sr. Editor, April W Gardner
*This clash sponsored by WhiteFire Publishing

The first five hundred words of any story are usually enough to clue us is as to the author's style, the tone the book will take, and whether or not the story will hold our interest. It's those five hundred from two different unpublished novels that Clash of the Titles presented to you last week. 

Will Ramirez's Soul Yearning
Nancy Kimball's Chasing the Lion


We asked our readers which they would be most likely to continue reading and this is how they voted:

by Nancy Kimball

In addition to a hearty welcome to the COTT family, as announced yesterday, Nancy was invited by Astraea Press to submit a complete proposal for immediate review.

Maybe one day very soon, we'll see Chasing the Lion come back to Clash of the Titles to compete as a published novel!

This is what our readers had to say about Chasing the Lion:

*The first excerpt really grabbed my attention- especially since it stirred my emotions... and my love of mystery. 
*What was the answer his mother gave that caused this strong boy to run away? Very well done!
* Who's the dad?!?! I'm hanging off a cliff wondering!

About the novel

Author Nancy Kimball

From the blood-soaked sand of the Roman arena, a divine destiny will rise.
For as long as Jonathan Tarquinius can remember, everyone has wanted something from him. His brothers want him dead. His master’s wife wants his innocence. The gladiator dealers want him to fight, and die, for their greed. The humble slave girl who tends the wounds on his body and the hidden ones on his soul yearns for him to return to his faith in God.
God wants something from Jonathan, too. Something more than anyone could ever imagine.
What Jonathan wants is simple—freedom.
The young warrior’s journey will push him to the very limits of human endurance and teach him the only true freedom is found in Christ. The greatest battle Jonathan ever fights will not come in the arena, but deep within himself, when he is forced to choose between vengeance and forgiveness, knowing the fate of all he holds dear hangs in the balance.


Monday, March 5, COTT will see the start of yet another unpublished clash. This one however, carries the theme of speculative fiction, a newer genre that's taken the market by storm. Come on by for another opportunity to vote and win a copy of previous COTT Champ Diane M Graham's new novel, I Am Ocilla!