Monday, April 29, 2013

COTT: New Clash! Get a Load of These Fab New Releases...

Summer's just around the corner, which means you, dear reader, need to be thinking about which books you're going to get lost in while lounging at the pool. Today, Clash of the Titles offers you a few excellent suggestions.
     Fresh from the editor's desk, these five new titles are some of our favorites this month. They're hugely diverse. Set in exotic locations such as India and Brazil, and ranging in time period from  the 1800's to present-day, at least once of them is bound to catch your fancy!
    So have a quick virtual browse, then vote on which you think will most likely make it into your beach bag.

How do you start a new life when you don’t know who you are? Lydia doesn't have a clue, but when she discovers the man who identified her in the train wreck has been lying, she must decide whether to listen to her heart, or her head.

Wings of Glass tells the story of Penny Taylor, a young wife who feels trapped in an abusive marriage until two women from two very different worlds help open her eyes to the truth of who she is, what she deserves and lend her a backbone until she can find her own.

Two women, one Indian, one English, flee to the tropical south of India only to be captured and imprisoned by their respective pasts—Eshana by her traditional Hindu uncle for her faith in Christ, the other, Lieutenant Laine Harkness by her former fiancĂ© who crushed her heart years ago. Amid cyclones and epidemics, tigers and tiger cubs, clashing faiths and consequences of war, will the love of the True Master give hope to these searching hearts?

For Ellie O'Brien, finding the perfect partner for other people is easy, but now the townsfolk of Peppin want to return the favor by matching her with Lawson Williams who Ellie deems least likely to court a tomboy with a guilty secret. Lawson doesn't see marriage with anyone in his future, but what if his childhood friend has become the woman who can chase away the clouds of his past?

After witnessing the death and destruction caused by the Civil War, Colonel Blake Wallace is eager to leave his once precious Southern homeland for the pristine shores of Brazil and the prospect of a new utopian community. Harboring a dirty secret, Widow Eliza Crawford seeks a fresh start and passage on Wallace’s ship, but will dangers from the sea and from man keep them from the peace and love they long for?

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Monday, April 22, 2013

COTT: Spotlight on Historical Romance Favorite, Lena N. Dooley


Prolific author Lena Nelson Dooley has done it again! She's released yet another stunning historical romance. The COTT Blog Alliance is honored to feature her latest work, Catherine's Pursuit. It is book three in the McKenna's Daughters series and follows Maggie's Journey and Mary's Blessing.
"A heartwarming tale filled with history, adventure, faith, and love." --Lisa Wingate, bestselling and award-winning author of Dandelion Summer and Firefly Island

Raised by her father, Catherine McKenna has never lacked for anything, surrounded by people to take
care of her every need. On her eighteenth birthday she discovers that not only did her mother die when she was born, but she has two identical sisters. Although her father vowed not to look for his daughters, Catherine made no such promise. Setting out on her own with one clue and her maid in tow, she's determined to find her sisters.

Collin Elliott has seen better days. After losing his ship to a violent and unexpected storm, he is trying to recover--physically and emotionally. When Angus McKenna sends him to find, follow, and protect his daughter, he wants nothing more than to finish his task and return home. Can he help her find her sisters?

And will the discoveries they make along the way teach them both what's most important in life?


A Blogger's Review of the Catherine's Pursuit:

What a great book! As Lisa Wingate says on the front cover, it is indeed a “heartwarming tale.” The story is fully satisfying (once you reach the end) and provides a complete conclusion for the McKenna’s Daughters series. While I still haven’t had the chance to read book 2, Mary’s Blessing, I did read and greatly enjoy book 1, Maggie’s Journey – incidentally, I think #1 had my favorite cover…but this one is a close second. They’re all so neat! Anyway, back to Catherine…this book isn’t a stand-alone, but even though I’ve missed book 2, I didn’t have trouble following (though there were a few parts that weren’t clear because I hadn’t read it yet). Moral of the story – read both of the first ones before this one if at all possible. There are some series where you would be totally lost if all you read was book 3, but that’s not quite true here. Catherine was a lovely girl and made for a gutsy heroine. I loved the historical detail that seemed to be worked into each scene throughout the book, especially the travel scenes. This is a fascinating story and one I think you’ll enjoy!
-Charity at

A bit about Lena:

Award-winning author, Lena Nelson Dooley, has more than 700,000 books in print.
Helping other authors become published really floats her boat, with over 20 signing their first book contract after her mentoring. Three of her books have been awarded the Carol Award silver pins, and she has received the ACFW Mentor of the Year award. The high point of her day is receiving feedback from her readers, especially people whose lives have been changed by her books.

Monday, April 15, 2013

COTT: A Look At BETRAYAL by Anne Patrick

Today, we're excited to highlight another book by Anne Patrick. Anne first visited Clash of the Titles back in 2011--my, how time flies!

Drew Presley's wife was murdered while he was serving his country in Iraq. Giving up a career he loved, he's returned to Dauphine Island to care for his son and try to make a new life for them. The unsolved murder of his wife continues to plague him. The islanders are very protective of their own and he fears a killer is among them. The more he searches for answers though the more dangerous it becomes. Just as troublesome is his attraction to his son's second-grade teacher.

Trudy Walsh was Nora Presley's best friend so the bond she has with Nora's motherless child is only normal. What troubles Trudy is the growing feelings she has for Reed's father. How can she be so attractive to this man when Jack Diamond is all she's ever thought about?

When Drew begins to suspect Jack of his wife's murder, sparks begin to fly. What secrets lie in Gianni's Cove, and what do they have to do with Nora's murder?

*An Amazon 'Top 100' Bestseller in Christian Suspense!
(Way to go, Anne!)

Below are a few of the reviews for Betrayal

Amazon and B&N Reviews
"Anne Patrick is a mesmerizing author. I just began reading her books last year and have already read all 14 of her books listed on Amazon Kindle. I love the portrayal of a mystery, love story, and a strong faith based main character. The books are captivating and Betrayal was as good as all of her books." ~ Sharon

"Anne Patrick is a favorite author of mine and Betrayal is a great addition to her Wounded Heroes Series! You'll take a ride on a ferry, tour a lighthouse, eat at a local pizzeria and even scuba dive! I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Dauphine Island and meeting all the locals….I especially liked trying to figure out who was behind everything but you don't really find out until the end. Speaking of the ending, don't want to miss that!" ~ Sherry

"I love Anne Patrick any way. Another fantastic addition to this series. Ties in characters from previous books, really keeps you guessing about "whodunnit?". Has some slow areas throughout the book. Overall, an excellent story written well." ~ Denise

"Well developed characters, seamless plot, a little mystery and some romance, all in a context of growing faith. Well done. Very entertaining." ~ Undivided

Author Bio:
Anne Patrick is the author of more than a dozen novels of Romance, Mayhem & Faith, including the award winning and bestselling WOUNDED HEROES SERIES, FIRE AND ASH, and TIES THAT BIND. When she isn't working on her next novel she enjoys spending time with family and friends, and traveling to foreign countries to experience new cultures and adventures. Born and raised in Oklahoma, she now makes her home in Kansas.

To learn more about Anne, please visit her website: or blog:  She loves to hear from her readers!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Taking Time to Smell the Oats

After our recent 10-day vacation in the Netherlands and Belgium on a Viking River Cruise (, I've been craving the steel-cut oatmeal they served on the ship. I enjoy the five-minute type oatmeal at least once a week at home, but it doesn't compare to the Irish style of oatmeal.

I tried to cook it once before (after a trip to Scotland) and decided it was too much trouble to cook. When I mentioned this to an Irish friend here in Georgetown, Texas last week, she said she prepares a large batch and stores the leftovers in the refrigerator. When you're ready for more, all you have to do is warm it up. That made it sound feasible, but I stayed with my five-minute style.

Then, the April 15, 2013 issue of Bottom Line/Personal (, a newsletter I read regularly talked about cooking steel-cut oatmeal in a rice cooker. In the article the author mentioned soaking the oatmeal overnight to speed up the cooking time. My desire for the oatmeal I had enjoyed every day on the ship grew.

Yesterday, while shopping for groceries, I picked up a box of McCann's Irish Oatmeal ( and checked the cooking instructions. It mentioned a short-cut method. By boiling for a minute and storing overnight in the refrigerator, the cooking time is reduced from 30 minutes to 9-12 minutes. I bought the box and tried it.

Wow! It was even better than what I had on the ship. I brought the water to a boil and added the oatmeal last night, let it simmer for two minutes (one minute seemed to pass too quickly), and then put it in the refrigerator until this morning. I took it out while having coffee and didn't start cooking it until an hour later. After bringing the oatmeal to a boil, I turned the burner down to until the oats simmered.

It seemed to stick to the bottom of the pan more than my regular oatmeal, so I ended up lowering the heat several times and stirring more frequently. By the end of the time, I was stirring constantly. When the consistency seemed right (about 12 minutes), I turned off the burner, added a little butter, covered the pot and let it set for five minutes.

On the ship they had walnuts, half and half, fruit, etc. I added only sugar.

The McCann recipe:
Boil 4 cups of water, add 1 cup of oats, stir well. When the porridge is smooth and beginning to thicken, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

This supposedly makes four servings with 150 calories each. I like a little more so I divided it into three servings at 200 calories each and stored away two of the servings for another day.

What's this got to do with writing? I've been so busy preparing the Kindle edition for my new novel, Love Lives On, I didn't have time to watch TV and get weather reports. Something happened here and the temperatures dropped from the 80s and 90s to the 40s. Perfect oatmeal weather.

Now, back to work.

Monday, April 8, 2013

COTT: Featuring COTT's Olympia Winner


Do No Harm
by author Laura McClellan


About Do No Harm:
Do No Harm is the story of a disgraced Seattle obstetrician whose efforts to fit into her new Texas home are stymied by family conflicts, cultural differences, church politics, and ghosts from her past. 

About the Olympia:
The Olympia is Clash of the Titles' opportunity to feature up-and-coming unpublished Christian fiction authors and their work.
Do No Harm was chosen by a panel of judges who narrowed the list of competing authors to three. For that round, the judges were avid readers of Christian fiction and not associated with the publishing industry. For the final round, the submissions went before three professionals in the Christian fiction world.

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

Special thanks to each of our judges 
who volunteered their time to this contest. 

Recognition also goes to the runners up,
Elaine Manders and Bethany Kaczemarek.

Click HERE to listen to an interview with Olympia winner, Laura McClellan.
More podcasts by Cynthia L. Simmons

 More about Laura McClellan:

A lawyer by day and a lover of the written word since childhood, Laura has been published both in professional publications and inspirational magazines and is a contributor to the popular Stepcase Lifehack blog. In 2012 she committed to pursuing her lifetime dream of writing a novel, and she’s currently polishing her first women’s fiction manuscript in anticipation of submitting it (by request!) to her dream agent in early 2013. Laura is member of American Christian Fiction Writers, a team member at My Book Therapy, the women’s fiction category winner in the 2012 Phoenix Rattler fiction contest, and a finalist in the 2012 Olympia fiction contest.

Monday, April 1, 2013

COTT's Five Fab Feb Releases

We have contestants in all five corners of the ring! 

Welcome to another thrilling contest brought to you by your friendly neighborhood Clash of the Titles. This showdown features books released in February 2013. Each is prepared to duke it out for the top spot in this all-out, no-holds-barred, literary sparring match. (Okay, okay, there are a FEW rules. Like no strikes below the belt, no brass knuckles, no slipping poison into the well water. But you get the idea.)

Below are each of the five contenders, listed in no particular order. Please vote for the one most likely to grace your nightstand first. Click on the images to purchase on Amazon:

Good, Clean, Murder: A Plain Jane Mystery by Traci Hilton 

Living on her own for her first time, Bible school student Jane cleans houses to make ends meet. But being independent brings big trials, like falling for a handsome professor, dealing with an obnoxious roommate, and then there's the dead bodies...


Catherine's Pursuit by Lena Nelson Dooley

In book three of the McKenna’s Daughters series, Catherine McKenna begins a journey to find her lost sisters that turns into a spiritual journey for the entire McKenna family and leads her to the love of her life.

Wounded Heroes Book Three: Betrayal by Anne Patrick

Army veteran Drew Presley will stop at nothing to find the answers behind his wife's murder.  But will those answers destroy the life he's made for him and his son?

Nothing Good is Free by Matthew Horn 

The last thing Jeff Scott wants is to end up like his vigilante predecessor, Jim, by letting a life of violence and evil get the better of him. So, in a pursuit to find the path less traveled, he seeks the truth about Jim and the life he led before the two joined forces.


Love's Journey Home by Kelly Irvin

Love’s Journey Home is the story of how the families of Bliss Creek’s Amish community learn to be still and listen for the Lord’s direction and then act on faith that His plan will lead them to a long awaited new life.

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What do you think of this month's selection? Have you already gotten your hands on one of these and have something wonderful to share about it? Leave a comment and let us (and the authors) know! We love interacting with readers. It's what we're all about. Hope you enjoy our site. Make it a great day!

Come back next week to find out who will stand victorious.