Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Scotland, Food, Romance, God--Four Greats, One Novel. Five Days in Skye.


Didn't manage that Scotland get-away this summer? No worries. You can travel there now, through the pages of Laureano's latest novel, Five Days in Skye.
A recent COTT clash participant, this "delicious" romance is a whirlwind trip you won't want to miss!

Five Days in Skye 
by Carla Laureano

 

About Five Days in Skye

Hospitality consultant Andrea Sullivan has one last chance to snag a high-profile client or she'll have to kiss her dreams of promotion good-bye. When she's sent to meet Scottish celebrity chef James MacDonald on the Isle of Skye, she just wants to finish her work as efficiently as possible. Yet her client is not the opportunistic womanizer he portrays himself to be, and her attraction to him soon dredges up memories she'd rather leave buried.
For James, renovating the family hotel is a fulfillment of his late father's dreams. When his hired consultant turns out to be beautiful, intelligent, and completely unimpressed by his public persona, he makes it his mission to win her over. He just never expects to fall under her spell.
Soon, both Andrea and James must face the reality that God may have a far different purpose for their lives—and that five days in Skye will forever change their outlook on life and love.

About the Author

Carla Laureano has held many job titles--professional marketer, small business consultant, and martial arts instructor--but writer is by far her favorite. She currently lives in Denver with her patient husband and two rambunctious sons, who know only that Mom's work involves lots of coffee and talking to imaginary people.
Carla spends her free time hanging out on her blog and social media. Connect with her here:

What People Are Saying

“Five Days in Skye is at turns sweet and scathing, lush and intimate... This story has guts and heart as well as the depth and heat necessary to satisfy any romance reader's palate.” – Serena Chase, USA Today

 “What a delicious discovery! Carla Laureano’s Five Days in Skye swept me away to the Scottish Isles and into the wounded hearts of the impeccably cool Andrea Sullivan and the charismatic charmer Jamie MacDonald. This is a romance to savour from beginning to end. The funny and feisty first interaction between this pair sucks you in and as the story and characters develop you will have no desire to leave as they wrestle with doubts, prejudice, preconceptions, and sparkling attraction. What I loved most was the substance to this story – this is no marshmallow romance – but a love story that is intriguing and real… In a world replete with romantic clich├ęs, Carla’s writing is so very refreshing!” – Rel Mollet, Relz Reviewz
“The storytelling, characters, and setting all served to drag me so deeply into the world of Skye that for days after finishing the book I felt a huge, gaping hole… If you love exotic places, larger-than-life leading men, and romances that warm you to your very core, Five Days in Skye is the perfect getaway for a hot summer afternoon. Prepare yourself to read late into the evening and night as putting down the novel will be next to impossible.” – Elizabeth Olmedo, Radiant Lit
“From the sceneries, to the refined cuisine, every detail of the land is sketched with precision and care, embarking readers on an unforgettable journey that will leave them breathless for more. Laureano not only seems to have a knack for breathing life into a place few of us truly know, but also for breathing life into characters that will take you by the hand and run away with you.”—Amazon reader review
“The setting was inviting and gorgeous. The characters, especially the hero, felt real and had fully-rounded back stories. Of course, there was a lot of chemistry and fun, but I was drawn in by the deeper themes of making peace with the past and trusting God with the future as well.” –Amazon reader review

“While I was reveling in luscious details and having a grand time, Laureano managed to remind me that life is about more than working hard to earn good things. Taking a moment to breathe, to lift your head and appreciate creation, to let go of mistakes you've made and allow people to love you--all these gems are embedded in the pages of Five Days in Skye. You'll come away from this novel refreshed and craving good food, good times and the company of loved ones.” –Amazon reader review

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Grace's Pictures by Cindy Thomson


Welcome! Today we are taking a look at recent Clash Contender, Grace's Pictures by Cindy Thomson. First, take a look at that gorgeous cover! Love it! Now "turn the book over" to read the back cover blurb:

About the book

Grace's Pictures
Grace McCaffery hopes that the bustling streets of New York hold all the promise that the lush hills of Ireland did not. As her efforts to earn enough money to bring her mother to America fail, she wonders if her new Brownie camera could be the answer. But a casual stroll through a beautiful New York City park turns into a hostile run-in with local gangsters, who are convinced her camera holds the first and only photos of their elusive leader. A policeman with a personal commitment to help those less fortunate finds Grace attractive and longs to help her, but Grace believes such men cannot be trusted. Spread thin between her quest to rescue her mother, do well in a new nanny job, and avoid the gang intent on intimidating her. Grace must put her faith in unlikely sources to learn the true meaning of courage and forgiveness.

***


A review from the Library Journal 

Irish immigrant Grace McCaffery came to New York City for a better life. She takes a job as a nanny to make enough money to bring her mother over from Ireland. When her employers are slow to pay her, she decides to take her new Brownie camera and earn some extra income by selling her photos. A trip to the park puts Grace in danger when she photographs some local gangsters, raising the attention of policeman Owen McNulty. But Grace, who was taken by police to the workhouse when she was a child, has a distrust of men in uniform. Still, she never expects to find one so kind—or attractive. VERDICT Thomson (Brigid of Ireland) has penned a delightful story of overcoming obstacles. Lynn N. Austin fans will savor this historical series debut.

Gotta see more? You can purchase Grace's Pictures on Amazon and read a preview right now!

***

About the author

Cindy Thomson is a writer and an avid genealogy enthusiast. Her love of history and her Scots-Irish heritage have inspired much of her writing, including her Ellis Island series with Tyndale House. Cindy is also the author of Brigid of Irelandand Celtic Wisdom: Treasures from Ireland. She combined her love of history and baseball to co-author the biographyThree Finger: The Mordecai Brown Story, which was a finalist for the Society for American Baseball Research’s Larry Ritter Book Award. In addition to books, Cindy has written on a regular basis for numerous online and print publications and is a mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. She is also a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the Historical Novel Society. Cindy and her husband have three grown sons and live in central Ohio. Get to know Cindy at her blog, on Facebook, on Twitter, or on Pinterest.

Click here for a great interview with Cindy on Tyndale's website

Be sure to visit COTT for next month's clash!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Winner of the June New Releases Clash is...

The winner of our latest Clash is:

A Melody For James
by
Hallee Bridgeman

Congratulations, Hallee!

Special thanks to her competitors for their participation:

Carla Laureano
Michelle Griep
Cindy Thomson
Miralee Ferrell


About A Melody For James: 

Solitary strangers meet during a stormy stopover. Hours later, their hearts hum a harmonious duet.

Melody Mason has the hottest female voice in the country music scene. But the cheers of throngs of adoring fans mean little in the absence of the handsome stranger who rescued her years before. Widower James Montgomery has never forgotten her. He prays God can bring her back.

Incredible events finally bring them face to face again. Together at last, they realize the bond between them has miraculously risen to a crescendo, melodiously marrying them like strong symphonic chords. Uncannily, they learn they share more in common than they could have ever imagined. They know God reunited them for a purpose.

Sinister forces threaten to destroy their new found happiness. The couple must work in close concert, placing all their faith in God as they solve the deadly mystery that ties their lives inexplicably together.

Fire, loss, and bloodshed cannot shake their faith in God to see them through as they face a percussive climax that leaves hearts and lives forever changed.


PURCHASE:


About the author:


Hallee Bridgeman lives with her husband and their three children in small town Kentucky. When she's not writing Christian romance novels, she blogs about all things cooking and homemaking at Hallee the Homemaker (http://www.halleethehomemaker.com).

Hallee started writing when her oldest child and only daughter was a baby, but a busy professional career and being the wife of a deployed soldier had her shelve her books for another time. Two more children, a cross country move, and God's perfect timing brought the books off of the shelf to be dusted off and presented to you now.

Join Hallee's Street Team -- Hallee's Allies -- find all of the information here: http://www.bridgemanfamily.com/hallee/i-want-you-to-join-hallees-allies/

Hallee loves coffee, campy action movies, and regular date nights with her husband. Above all else, she loves God with all of her heart, soul, mind, and strength; has been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ; and relies on the presence of the Holy Spirit. She prays her books are a blessing to you and would love to hear back from you. You can reach Hallee at hallee@bridgemanfamily.com

What people are saying:
~~~~
This book has affected me on so many levels. I am so moved by it that I don't know where to begin this review. Me, who is usually never stuck for words! To say I'm stunned is an understatement. Friends, brothers and sisters, I never say I'm stunned by a book. Never. But I'm saying it now.

This is as taut a thriller as ever I've read. It's hard hitting and doesn't flinch from the bad stuff. Like any contemporary thriller, it's full of surprises. Explosions, bombs, bullets, missed connections, it's all there. What's not there is explicit sexual description and what is definitely not there is profanity. What a refreshing change! Hallee Bridgeman has gone and proved that you don't have to write dirty to get people's attention. That a book can thrum with sexual tension without a bed in sight. That actual evil and hatred can manifest itself on the printed page without a single swear word. And I truly believe, as a person who believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that God raised him from the dead, that this can only be accomplished by the power and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Hallelluia!

I praise and thank God for the gift of Hallee Bridgeman to readers, for her awesome talent and generosity of spirit in sharing this wonderful story. The Spirit of God is definitely present here and the Word of God and it's vibrant power is continuously present.

The plot, James and Melody's story, how they meet at a juncture of their lives and fall in love, to be reunited again several years later, is compulsive and will please readers of romance. The intrigue regarding the enemies who surround them will please the readers of thrillers. How this couple walk in the Valley of the Shadow of Death, fearing no evil will please spirit filled Christian believers. It is so true - if you live in the Word of God and the Word in you, no weapon formed against you shall prosper and ever tongue which rises against you shall be condemned.

Heavenly Father, I pray this wonderful novel will be read far and wide and help increase the faith of believers everywhere and bring faith to people who don't know the Lord. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

~From Contemporary Romance Reviews (http://rbh-contemporary.blogspot.com/2013/06/a-melody-for-james-by-hallee-bridgeman.html)

 Click here to see the author discuss the book herself!! http://youtu.be/np3EQK3VFh4

Thank you all so much. This has been a tremendous clash! Join us again for our July New Releases, coming soon! :)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

COTT's 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

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."



ABOUT THE BOOK:
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?

PURCHASE 
"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.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

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 Amazon.com 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?

PURCHASE AT:

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, www.toscalee.com
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.
http://www.AngelaBreidenbach.com
Twitter/Pinterest: @AngBreidenbach
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/AngelaBreidenbachInspirationalSpeakerAuthor


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

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
speaker.

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

Visit her web site at http://www.rachelhauck.com