Today's featured novel,
A PLACE IN HIS HEART
 is a historical romance authored by Rebecca DeMarino. 
It's her debut novel and book one of 
The Southold Chronicles.

"I hope my readers find pure entertainment! I hope they enjoy the love story, with all of the ups and downs of Mary and Barnabas. I hope they get lost in a time period that was so far different than ours, and yet so filled with the same emotions – heartache and joy, a sense of belonging and adventure. The takeaway I had in writing this story is that God is with us – He will hold our hand – in all of our journeys, if we ask Him!"
 --Author Rebecca DeMarino


About the book:
Anglican Mary Langton longs to marry for love. Left at the altar and disgraced in her small hamlet, she is being pressured to marry the eligible son of the London milliner. Puritan Barnabas Horton, the town baker, still grieves the loss of his beloved wife, but he knows his two young sons need a mother.

With tender hearts, Mary and Barnabas take a leap of faith and wed. But when Barnabas’s secret plans to move his family to the New World to escape persecution come to light, Mary’s world is upended. How could she possibly leave her Papa and her dear sister? And will she ever reach the secret places of her husband’s broken heart?

About the author:
Rebecca DeMarino lives in the Pacific Northwest, and inherited her love of baking and gardening from her mother, a love of horses, reading and writing from her dad, and a wanderlust gene from both parents. No one knows where she got her passion for jogging and hiking! A Place in His Heart, is a historical romance inspired by her ninth great-grandparents, Barnabas and Mary Horton, and is book one of The Southold Chronicles.
How the book came about:
"I grew up listening to my mom’s stories about Barnabas Horton, my ninth great-grandfather and how he
came across the pond from England on a ship called The Swallow, in the 1600’s. When my brother became interested in genealogy, we discovered there was a lighthouse named after Barnabas, located on Long Island. I asked my mom if she’d like to go there, and off we went.

"There was a lot of interesting information about Barnabas. He was a baker and a very recent widower with two young sons when he met my ninth great-grandmother, Mary, in Mowsley, England. But I could find very little about her, and I began to wonder about what dreams and motivations she had, and the courage she must have possessed, when she married and then left her family behind for the wilds of Long Island. 

"A few years later, I began writing my first novel in hope that I could give her and the other courageous women who followed their men across the pond a voice." --Rebecca DeMarino

Find more great new inspirational novels at Clash of the Titles.com!
 
 

Thank you, voters and encouragers, for a great Clash of the Titles, June 2014 Release Battle.

We'll begin our champion announcement with the kindness of the voters....

Comments of Encouragement for this Month’s CLASH Authors:

They are all stunning... I love though how Tamara writes in the medieval time... Hard to find clean fiction in that time period :)

Heather Day Gilbert's previous novel convinced me to put any other fiction she writes in the top level of my "to read" list, so this month's choice was easy--even though there are some other books here that are also on my list.

Anytime a book weaves a tale that crosses generations is always a draw for me.  Miranda Warning by Heather Day Gilbert offers that and a peak into WV life with a great mystery.  Love it!

Oh my goodness -- too many wanna-reads in this list, not the least of which are Blind Trust, A Place in His Heart, and Lady of Eve. No fair we only get to vote for one!! ;)

A Place in His Heart is a beautiful story! So amazing that it's based on the author's ancestry.

Jolina Petersheim, I read "The Outcast" and I'm looking forward to reading your new book "The Midwife." I enjoy Amish fiction. Keep up the great work!

Best of luck Heather Gray Jackal is one of my all time favourite books!!

Rebecca DeMarino is off to a good start in her first of "The Southold Chronicles." I am looking forward to the second novel.



And Now, on to our Champion, with a sweet kudos to another clasher:

Sandra, Blind Trust looks intriguing, so I ordered a copy. I've already read Moon over Maalaea Bay at least 30 times. :)

Love Sandra's romantic suspense!

Sandra Orchard, I am looking forward to reading all the book in this series. Love the characters!  Blind Trust looks great!

Sandra Orchard is the best.  I enjoy her books and can't wait till the next one.  Blind Trust is a great book.

Sandra Orchard -- Your cover is fabulous -- I can't wait to read the story.   


And the winner is – Sandra Orchard, and Blind Trust!

Congratulations!

About the book:



Blind Trust
June 2014
Revell, paperback, 325 pp.
$14.99
9780800722234
Revell, e-book, $14.99
9781441245069 
Buy on Amazon 

Caught passing counterfeit bills, Kate Adams races to expose the true counterfeiter before unwitting suspects pay with their lives, but the truth could endanger her most of all.

Book 2 in the Port Aster Secrets series
Kate Adams had no idea she was carrying counterfeit money, and she can’t believe that it came from her sweet neighbor. Or that it lands her in the middle of another one of Detective Tom Parker’s investigations. Determined to prove her neighbor’s innocence, Kate stumbles into a pit of intrigue that is far deeper than a two-bit counterfeit operation–and strikes too close to home for comfort. As family secrets come to light, her world–and her budding romance with Tom–begin to crumble. To Kate, it’s clear that she won’t be safe until she uncovers all of Port Aster’s secrets. But is it too late for her and Tom?


N.B. Each book in this series is a stand-alone mystery featuring Kate Adams, a herbal medicine researcher turned amateur sleuth, and Tom Parker, Port Aster’s newest detective. Together the three-book series reads as a romantic suspense, with Kate and Tom’s romance and an underlying suspense plot arcing the series. For that reason, and because book two is a spoiler for book one, we recommend the series be read in order.

A review from Booklist:

The second of Christian romantic-suspense author Orchard’s Port Aster Secrets novels, Blind Trust finds Kate Adams still reeling from her friend’s murder as she attempts to get her life back in order. However, what begins as a seemingly small-time counterfeit operation soon spirals into something much bigger, with Kate at the center. Detective Tom Parker has his eye on Kate, and not because she’s a suspect. His feelings for her continue to grow, as does his desire to protect her, but Kate’s determination to get to the truth on her own means that Tom is often getting her out of trouble, rather than keeping her from it. When the action shifts from mere counterfeiting to poisoning, theft, and decades-old secrets, Kate insists on researching her way to the facts. Orchard infuses romance with suspense and keeps the excitement coming page after page. Readers will love the ever-deepening mystery as Kate extends her investigation and finds herself and her long-dead father tangled up in an international corporate conspiracy. Will Kate be able to clear her father’s name, and stay safe?    â€” Carolyn Richard

About the Author:

Sandra Orchard is an award-winning author of inspirational romantic suspense/mysteries with Love Inspired Suspense and Revell Publishing. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America and The Word Guild (Canada). A mother of three grown children, she lives in Niagara, Canada with her real-life-hero husband and writes full time…when not doting on her young grandchildren.  You can learn more about Sandra’s books and bonus features at www.SandraOrchard.com or connect at www.Facebook.com/SandraOrchard

 
 



It's a NEW CLASH!
The best of summer reading - all in one list for you here. Find a New Author to love...I have.

I'll apologize in advance...I could not cut anyone from the list, so we have MEGA LIST this month.
You'll see what I mean: everything from spies, cloak and dagger to medieval to early Americana. Whew!


The QUESTION ALWAYS IS:

Based on the covers and short descriptions below, WHICH BOOK would be next on your To Be Read Pile? Use the voting poll below to enter your choice.

Happy VOTING... You have through MONDAY JULY 28, MIDNIGHT CST, and be sure to leave a word of encouragement for these authors.

I'll be back on the 29th for REVEAL DAY



The Midwife
Jolina Petersheim


Past and present collide when a young woman named Amelia arrives in the sweeping countryside bearing secrets of her own. As Amelia's due date draws near, Rhoda must face her regrets and those she left behind in order for the healing power of love and forgiveness to set them all free.


Miranda Warning
Heather Day Gilbert

Child of the Appalachian mountains, Tess Spencer has experienced more than her share of heartache--the Glock-wielding, knife-carrying housewife knows how to survive whatever life throws at her. But when an anonymous warning note shows up in best friend Miranda's mailbox--a note written in a dead woman's handwriting--Tess quickly discovers that ghosts are alive and well in Buckneck, West Virginia; Tess must scramble to find a decades-old killer, before she is the next victim.


Blind Trust
Sandra Orchard

Kate Adams had no idea she was carrying counterfeit money, and she can’t believe that it came from her sweet neighbor or that it lands her in the middle of another one of Detective Tom Parker’s investigations. As family secrets come to light, her world–and her budding romance with Tom–begin to crumble—and it’s clear that she won’t be safe until she uncovers all of Port Aster’s secrets. 


Jackal
Heather Gray

Rupert is a man used to hiding in the shadows of life in order to stay alive. Then Juliana and her sisters crash into his world with secrets of their own, and he realizes it's time to step out of the darkness.



Moon Over Maalaea Bay
HL Wegley

In an instant the Maui honeymoon of Lee's dreams morphs into a nightmare when Jennifer disappears on their wedding night, and now everyone seems to want this young NSA research scientist. The US government wants her because she's a huge security problem, the trafficking syndicate she destroyed for revenge, a Middle-Easter prince for what she looks like, foreign agents for what she knows, and Lee just wants his bride back.


A Place in His Heart
Rebecca DeMarino

Anglican Mary Langton longs for true love, but Puritan Barnabas Horton still grieves the loss of his beloved Ann when the maiden marries the baker with two young boys. She could cross and ocean, but could she reach the secret places of her husband's heart?


Lady of Eve
Tamara Leigh

The last thing Lady Graeye Charwyck wants is to live out her life in a convent. When an opportunity presents that will allow her to avoid professing herself a nun, she impulsively gives herself to the sin--only to answer to her family's greatest enemy, Baron Gilbert Balmaine.

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Author Ann Gaylia O'Barr visits today!
She brings with her, in the form of her latest novel, all her experience as a Foreign Service officer in the turbulent Middle East. Tender Shadows is one of seven such novels and will appeal to lovers of foreign lands, culture, adventure, and romance.


PURCHASE

About Tender Shadows:

When Beth Wilhite’s U.S. State Department job assigns her to an uncaring Washington, D.C. following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, her intense loneliness leads her to make decisions that clash with her values. Then she receives a new assignment to the Middle Eastern kingdom of Al Hajar and a chance to serve with an old friend, Joe Harlan, widowed a few years before. Can she overcome the grip of past choices? Not yield to them again? Can Joe accept what she’s done…and move beyond, perhaps even to loving her?

Joe’s daughter, Annie, working under Beth at the U.S. embassy, deals with her own secret choice. And the young diplomat, Palestinian-American David Antony, struggles with traumatic stress because of a choice he made earlier in Iraq. Yet Annie and David are inexplicably drawn toward each other.

Together, might this thrown-together community find courage to live out his or her individual calling…for such a time as this? And find a forever love?


Meet Ann Gaylia O'Barr:

Ann has at one time or another been a full-time wife and mother, computer programmer, historic preservation planner, Foreign Service officer with the U.S. State Department, and, since 2004, full-time writer (more or less).  OakTara has published six of her novels. The latest is Tender Shadows, which came out this spring. Her last article was “The Diversity of God’s Call to Writers” in the winter 2012 issue of ACFW Journal.
Ann, many of the major characters in your novels are American Christians who serve their country at United States embassies overseas, as you did. What kinds of tasks did you and your colleagues perform overseas?

The work is tremendously varied. The web site www.state.gov gives some idea of what Foreign Service officers do. My job as a consular officer included aiding American citizens overseas. Some tasks were routine: renewing U.S. passports and performing notary services. Others were anything but routine, such as notifying families in the United States that a loved one had died overseas or visiting Americans who were jailed in the foreign country and reporting on their conditions--to the families and to the State Department.

How did your experiences influence your writing?

Observing the United States from other cultures, I developed an interest in why and how this country and its culture became what they are in the twenty-first century. The changes in our country from 1990, when I came into the Foreign Service, until 2004, when I left, have been tremendous. I was assigned to Saudi Arabia during both Gulf Wars (1991 and 2003) as well as the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. As we all know, the changes haven’t stopped since then.

Two observations stand out: 1) How decadent some foreigners judged our culture, based on the sometimes hedonistic lifestyles illustrated in the media. 2) For America to be the world power that it is, many Americans, including American Christians, often appeared not interested in what goes on in the world outside our borders.

A lot of my stories concern Christians working to explain the country they represent to foreigners. Beset with the same temptations and challenges that Americans experience domestically, they attempt to live out their Christian commitment in their foreign settings. The settings may reflect these temptations and challenges through a different lens.

Is this especially true for Tender Shadows?

I think so. A couple of the characters have strayed further from their commitments than in any of my other novels and struggle to find their way back. The small embassy community they inhabit means they work out their problems in closer quarters than in most domestic settings. Plus, foreign demonstrations at the embassy, along with concern over hostility toward Americans, heighten the tension and outline the challenges in a deeper hue.

Learn more about Ann's writing at these locations: 





 
 

Clash of the Titles is excited to introduce readers to C.E. Laureano's new release, Oath of the Brotherhood. We have heard nothing but good things about this book, which we recently featured on our site. Oath... is a stunning Christian Fantasy set against a Celtic backdrop. It's the first in the new Song of Seare series and will take readers through battles both physical and spiritual. Magic, prophecies, warriors, and romance...what's not to love? Take a look--


Q: What inspired the story behind Oath of the Brotherhood?
A: I’ve always loved both epic fantasy/adventure and Celtic fantasy, but I really hadn’t seen a lot of books that combined both, especially not for the Christian market. The dark ages period of Ireland’s history is so fascinating: high kings and clan conflict, traveling bards, and mercenary knights, not to mention the gradual Christianization of the country. I had fun incorporating all those details into my story world in a new way.

Q: What can you tell us about the main character?A: Conor Mac Nir is a king’s son who has been raised in fosterage (as was common with Celtic clans) by one of his father’s lords. But instead of being raised as a warrior as the king expected, he was educated as a scholar and a musician. When he’s clearly found to be unsuitable as a successor to the throne, he gets sent to a neighboring kingdom as a hostage to secure a peace treaty. Only then does he learn that his upbringing was no accident, and there are multiple parties pulling his strings behind the scenes.

Q: What was your favorite part of the story to write?
A: I really liked the fight scenes and the “training chapters” when Conor finds he really does need to learn how to handle a sword. The isle of Seare isn’t quite as disconnected from the rest of the world as the real Ireland, so I got to mash up some traditional western swordplay with Greco-Roman wrestling and eastern martial arts training methods.


I’ll admit that I also enjoyed incorporating the love story between Conor and the young healer/seer, Aine. Their relationship is deep and has a sense of destiny to it, even considering that they’re in their late teens, but I also think it’s healthy and grounded. They have a great deal of respect for each other’s callings and abilities.

FROM THE BACK COVER

An island at the edge of the world. An ancient prophecy. A reclusive warrior brotherhood. When evil encroaches, who will find the faith to fight it?
Author C. E. Laureano
To his clan, Conor Mac Nir is a disappointment—gifted with a harp, but hopeless with a sword. To the beautiful young healer Aine, he’s one whose gift calls out to her own . . . and captures her heart. To the reclusive warrior brotherhood called the Fíréin, he may be the answer to an ancient prophecy . . . if he can be trained to fight. Can Conor and Aine find their true path as an ancient evil engulfs the isle of Seare? Must Conor sacrifice everything he loves, even Aine, to follow the path God lays out before him?

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

“Laureano pulls readers into this story and does not let them go. From the first page to the last, readers are gripped by the multifaceted story of Conor Mac Nir and Aine, who are trying to save the country from physical war and spiritual evil. 4 ½ stars.” â€“ RT Book Reviews (June 2014 Top Pick)

“Rich with Celtic lore, battle, and competing magics, Oath of the Brotherhood is a heroic coming-of-age fantasy experience and an inspired series opener.” –Serena Chase, contributor, USA Today’s Happily Ever After blog

“Song of Seare is a promising new fantasy series with a vast storyworld that hints at more wonders to come. I loved this book!” –Jill Williamson, Christy Award-winning author of By Darkness Hid and Captives


Connect with C.E. Laureano: Web | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest
Buy Oath of the Brotherhood: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | CBD
 
 

Hey there, readers. Michelle Massaro here, hoping you're suited up for literary battle. But first, we have some awards to hand out in the form of free books!

The winner of our June three-book giveaway is


Joan Bradley

Joan, you will receive the following novels:
Worth the Wait by Laura Jackson
Londonderry Dreaming by Christine Lindsey
Rebekah's Treasure by Sylvia Bombola

Congratulations! 
Be on the lookout for correspondence 
from the above COTT authors.

Now on to our Clash...

This month, the sands of our arena welcome 5 New Releases from a variety of genres. Which one will be the victor, receiving a free entry into next year's Laurel competition and a tour through our Blog Alliance? Check out each book then cast your vote below.


 
A young musician and scholar is forced to join a warrior-brotherhood to save his people. But is he willing to give up everything--even the woman he loves--to follow the path God has lain before him?

Oath of the Brotherhood by C.E. Laureano






Sunday's Child on life seas is tossed, awaiting the Lifeboat that rescues the lost

Sunday's Child by Clare Revell





Bobby Kent's name is synonymous with modern Country Music and he is no stranger to running from overzealous fans and paparazzo. But now he must protect his daughter and Carol, the mother of his only child, from a vicious and ruthless serial killer bent on their destruction.

A Carol for Kent by Hallee Bridgeman




Laila Pennedy awaits death by hanging. And she deserves to die.

Of The Persecuted by Angie Brashear

Ten years after he'd dumped her, Jessa is determined to not allow him to hurt her again. Lance was there to renovate her home, but could he change her heart?

Love Makes a House a Home by Kimberly Rae Jordan





Vote Below! Poll will be open through Tuesday night. Results will post next Thursday.


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**end html**
 
 
GIVEAWAY!
Winner announced at
Clash of the Titles
Wednesday, June 25, 2014


By entering the contest, you understand that:
The books may arrive in Kindle, Nook, or paperback format, according to each author's preference. 
Each author will send his/her book directly to the winner.
COTT cannot be held responsible for prizes not received.
Entry in this contest does NOT subscribe you to any feeds, newsletters, or other publications or networks


 
 
Clash of the Titles is excited to announce that we're adding a brand new staff member to our leadership board. :-)

Everybody…we’d like to introduce you to Joanna Davidson Politano!

Welcome, Joanna!

Bio:
With a journalism degree from Trinity International University, Joanna served as a medical writer in the pharmaceutical industry before branching into freelance work. She then accepted a writing and editing position with a Christian publishing company in Chicago, and currently serves as the editor for their Junior High Sunday school publication. She lives with her daughter and husband in Indiana, where she writes novels based on true stories.

Joanna is a current Double Genesis Semi-Finalist in the Historical category! Asked about her writing journey, this is what Joanna had to say:

"I’ve been writing since I could read, but I can pinpoint the exact moment I began novel writing. It was when my grandma shocked me with the story of our family’s past. How could this have happened in our traditional, predictable, church-going family? At the time, I worked for a pharmaceutical company writing package insert material, but this family story drew me to my computer every night for a year, rattling around in my head until I’d written out the whole novel. I simply couldn’t stop thinking about it. I eventually moved to a job at a Christian nonfiction publisher, but I still spent hours absorbing the stories of the shut-in elderly, or nursing home residents who had lived through eras in our history I could only read about in books.

Fascinated by World War II love stories, family secrets, and amazing stories of God’s sovereignty, I kept returning for more. But I was not just interested in finding book ideas. Honestly, what drove me to write these novels was more than a simple love for story—it was a tenderness I felt for people overlooked by everyone else. These fascinating stories came from nursing home residents who had no visitors, or people confined to their home by age or illness. They’d been brushed aside by everyone—even the families they’d raised.

After introductions and polite small talk, I delved into the question that transformed these visits into unforgettable experiences—“what’s your story?” Their faces lit as they told me stories so rich in detail and real-life experiences it beat out any movie or book.

So yes, I write novels. But really, I hear people’s stories and then write them down to be remembered long after the story teller is gone. When God called me into this life of novel writing, He didn’t promise publication or to impact thousands with the words I wrote. He simply wanted me to see the forgotten people He loved, and to appreciate their lives."

Doesn’t that make you want to know their stories too? Joanna also talked to us about her sweet family and what’s going on in her writing life currently:

"My husband has been my biggest supporter in the whole process. Mainly because he’s blunt enough to tell me exactly what’s great and what’s not, and because he pushes me to finish what I start. We currently live in our house in the woods with our new baby daughter Elena and will be celebrating our two-year anniversary next month. I have no doubt he’s a blessing from God.

I’m currently working on a novel about a finishing school teacher who teaches her students about men rather than elocution. When she realizes her students are headed for the controlling, male-dominated marriages that characterized the times, Orla sets out to teach these girls the truth about how to understand men and how they think. Armed with knowledge, they have a chance at choosing the right man—although not always the wealthiest, as the school boasts—and surviving marriage happily as part of an equal team. But this local expert on men is hiding her own complicated, broken love life to keep her job.

I can’t wait to dive into COTT. With all the contests out there, I love the uniqueness of having readers judge the work. After all, they’re our real audience! I hope to help further the mission statement of glorifying God and to make COTT even more helpful to those who love Christian fiction—both the readers and the writers."

We are so blessed and excited to have you on board, Joanna!

You can leave a message welcoming Joanna in the comments below. And feel free to check out her website at 
 Joannadavidson.com 
 
 

The results of the Clash are IN. Drum roll please....



And the winner is....

A Bridge Unbroken
a Miller's Creek Novel
by Cathy Bryant

Congratulations, Cathy!

And a big congrats also to our other participants. Thank you for playing!
Nancy Kimball with Chasing the Lion, Richard Mabry with Critical Condition, Sharon Srock with Pam, and Katie Ganshert with A Broken Kind of Beautiful

Read what COTT voters had to say about Cathy Bryant's newest book!
  • Each one just gets better, Cathy Bryant!!
  • Cathy Bryant is a wonderful author. Her books have great characters and are filled with suspense and great spiritual depth. I just read A Bridge Unbroken and it didn't disappoint.
  • Cathy Bryant is fast becoming my very favorite author! Her books are so well written and keep me so engrossed in the story line, it is hard to put down. Definitely a winner!!
About the book:

Letting go to build a bridge...

Dakota Kelly wants her painful past to disappear. Her plan to start afresh is derailed when she co-inherits her late grandfather’s farm with Chance Johnson, the man responsible for the scars on her heart. But Chance isn’t the only ghost from the past. Someone else is out to get her and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Will Chance and Dakota lay aside their grudges to restore the old farmhouse and bridge, or will evil forces sabotage their attempts at forgiveness?



* * *

THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY OF "A BRIDGE UNBROKEN"
by Cathy Bryant
  
The question I get asked most often as an author is: "What's the story behind this particular story?" For A Bridge Unbroken, a Christian romantic suspense and the latest Miller's Creek novel, the inspiration came from three very specific areas.

1. Home Renovation

My hubby and I seem to have a penchant for buying fixer-uppers. Usually I enjoy the process, but this time? Not so much.

We moved to the Santa Fe, New Mexico area in the spring of 2013 for my husband's work as a pastor of praise and worship. Since I'm a country girl at heart and like to have my critters--in this case, chickens, rabbits, and a 75-pound German Shepherd who thinks she's a Chihuahua--we found a cabin in the lovely
Sangre de Cristo mountains. To keep it short, let me just say that this house has been the fixer-upper of all fixer-uppers. While we've accomplished the most difficult tasks, like kitchen and bathroom fixes, we still have a long way to go. (You can see pics HERE.)

So when I took time off from the renovation to write A Bridge Unbroken, I knew a house renovation would be part of the storyline. In the story the heroine, a frightened runaway on the run from an abusive boyfriend, co-inherits her late-grandfather's farm and dilapidated farmhouse with a man responsible for scars on her heart. Unusual conditions are attached to the inheritance, and the two must work together to renovate the farmhouse. (You can watch the book trailer HERE and read a sample chapter HERE.)

2. Writing

I love to write--to plot out scenes, develop characters, and wrangle with words until I find just the right one. I also love interacting with reader friends. My career as a writer had hit an all-time high and my book sales followed suit...

...until we moved to our remote mountain location where it took us months to get internet service.

I made weekly trips to McDonald's to try to stay on top of things, but it wasn't enough. I watched in dismay as my book sales plummeted. To make matters worse, I had no time for writing because of the home renovation.

It was a natural leap to make Dakota (the heroine of A Bridge Unbroken) a writer. I could literally feel her angst at needing to keep her writing career afloat while renovating a broken-down heap of a farmhouse. Yeah, that was easy to write.

3. Forgiveness

When I began praying about the spiritual theme of the story, the answer that came immediately was forgiveness. Quite frankly, I wasn't elated. I often struggle with forgiving others. I've always been very sensitive, the kind who wears my heart on my sleeve. And anytime you leave your heart on your sleeve for any length of time, someone will come along who thinks it's their job to rip into it.

Then something interesting happened. Everywhere I looked I found messages of forgiveness--a devotional magazine, my scripture reading for the day, a social media post--they were everywhere! I delved into scripture, quickly reminded of things I'd known since childhood, but had chosen to overlook. Things like: forgiveness isn't an option or a suggestion, forgiveness is an act of the will, forgiveness is an act of obedience, and more.

I realized during this process that much of the world's teaching on forgiveness had crept into my belief system. And I wasn't alone! Friends had many of the same ideas, none of which were anywhere in God's Word. Worldly messages like: forgiveness is something you do for yourself, forgive and forget, and forgive if...

I'm always amazed at how much the Lord teaches me through my writing. Between penning A Bridge Unbroken and its companion Bible study, The Fragrance of Crushed Violets, God managed to get me back on track in the matter of forgiveness.

So to answer the question of the story behind this story, it all boils down to three things: home renovation, writing, and most importantly, forgiveness.
  
* * *

Cathy Bryant is the author of the popular Miller’s Creek Novels, set in the fictional back-roads country town of Miller’s Creek, Texas…where folks are friendly, the iced tea is sweet, and Mama Beth’s front porch beckons. Her passion is to tell heart-stirring stories about God’s life-changing grace. A native Texan, Cathy currently resides in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico with her minister husband of over thirty years. When she’s not spinning tales about the fine folks of Miller’s Creek, you can find her rummaging through thrift stores, hiking through the wilderness, or up to her elbows in yet another home improvement project in the mountain cabin she calls home. You can find more about Cathy and her books at CatBryant.com. Cathy also likes to interact with reader friends in the following places:



Visit www.clashofthetitles.com for more Clashes, Contests, and Author News!
 
 
THE 2014 LAUREL

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.


READERS
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 contactcott@gmail.com.

AUTHORS
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 
 
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    DISCLAIMER: Book Reviews

    In accordance with FTC Guidelines for blogging & endorsements, I want to post this disclaimer. From time to time, I do purchase and review some novels. However, most of the novels I review are given to me as a complimentary review copy by the author or publisher. I do not receive  monetary compensation for the reviews I complete.

    It only takes a mustard seed to make a dream grow