Monday, March 31, 2014

COTT: Worth the Wait, A Win Worth Waiting for

All the best things in life are worth striving for,
such as Christmas, babies,
 and winning at Clash of the Titles
Our latest winner is a YA novel that, according to one of our voters, is the "perfect high school drama." 
The readers have spoken!
Hats off to you, Laura, for your smashing win!

To celebrate Worth the Wait's win, the e-book will be on sale for $1.99 now through April 1st!

Worth the Wait
by Laura Jackson
--March's Clash Champ!--

About the Book:
Ellie Lansing has a picture-perfect life with a close-knit family and the perfect boyfriend. But her world is suddenly knocked off center when her drool-worthy boyfriend cheats, and her always-has-it-together mother is diagnosed with cancer. Ellie doesn't get it. She always does the right thing - doesn't God owe her a happy life? Through her heartache, Ellie learns that sometimes what seems like the end is really just the beginning and that what God has for us is always worth the wait.


We interrupt this article to make a special announcement! COTT has the pleasure of introducing our 2014 Olympia finalists! To learn more, follow this link.

What COTT Voters Had to Say:

* Loved Worth the Wait!! It was such an inspiring story....looking forward to your next novel!
* Laura Jackson Perfect high school drama and I can't wait to see what God has in store for Ellie and all her other friends.
* Keep up the great work, Laura. Loved your book, Worth the Wait.
* All of the books sound great. The one I've been most excited about though was Worth the Wait by Laura Jackson.
* Follow your dream, Laura Jackson! It's worth the wait.
A Note from the Author:
I love books. Back in third grade, my cousins teased me because I was reading a very thick book about the Battle of New Orleans. I don't remember anything about that battle now, but I remember wondering why they didn't want to read it.

After graduating with a BA in English and history (where I didn't learn anything about that Battle of New Orleans), I taught 7th grade language arts for eight years. That's where I fell in love with YA books.

Wanting to share my passion for books with more kids, I earned a Master of Library Science degree and switched to an elementary school. I loved sharing great books with kids, but I missed writing with my students.

So, I started writing on my own. My first book was a flop, and I didn't even finish it. Then, Ellie kept popping up in my head, and I had to write her story.

Now, I have the best of both worlds--reading all day with kids and writing YA at night.

A Glowing Review:
"I would buy a hundred books like this! As someone who has worked with a lot of young people navigating the extremely tough world of high school and young adult culture I was so impressed by how accurate the culture was and how open and honest the main character (Ellie) was about her internal struggle. This is definitely a book I would recommend to any of the girls in my classes or youth group because it tackles tough questions head on but doesn't linger on graphic or questionable material.... This book has it all--raw truth, messy struggles, family issues, peer pressure, huge life issues,true love, finding an authentic relationship with God and an unshakable element of hope that will inspire you to see God in a new way. I can't wait to read whatever else this author puts on a page!" --jmoliver Read the rest of the review here.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

COTT: Spring Has Sprung at Clash of the Titles!

Spring Has Sprung! 

And so have these brand new must-read Christian novels.
Clash of the Titles brings you five novels of every variety. There's something for everyone! Enjoy these blurbs, then scroll to vote and help send your favorite novel to COTT's annual Laurel Award. 

But first, a shout-out to Diana Montgomery who is the WINNER of our March Book-bundle Giveaway. Woot! Diana, the authors of the following three novels will be contacting you shortly:

Heaven's Prey by Janet Sketchley
God's Daughter by Heather Day Gilbert
Ryan's Father by June Foster

When Annie Whitaker and her merchant father set out for Cañon City and the Pikes-Peak-or-Bust gold rush, Annie finds much greater wealth in the heart of a runaway preacher. Will her love change that preacher's view of women—and God—and help him on his way back to faith and love?

Acclaimed New York artist, Naomi Boyd, and music therapist, Keith Wilson, used to be in love until a root of bitterness between their Irish grandparents separated them. Then a letter from Keith’s grandmother, Ruth, draws Naomi to Londonderry, only to find she’s too late—Ruth has passed on, leaving a mysterious painting in the attic that stirs up questions about the entwined past of Naomi's and Keith's grandparents and their own broken romance.

Plus-sized woman seeks validation in small-minded man. After betraying a friendship when seeking this validation, Ava spirals into a depression and continued self-destruction until she turns to God for help.

Nissa, a sharp-tongued Jewish girl with a deadly secret, and Longinus, a Roman centurion, are unexpectedly caught up in the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus. As danger closes in on them from every side, they must decide if the mercy Jesus offers is real or just another false promise.

Ellie's perfect life is suddenly knocked off center when her drool-worthy boyfriend cheats and her always-has-it-together mother is diagnosed with cancer. Through her heartache, Ellie learns that sometimes what seems like the end is really just the beginning and that what God has for her is always worth the wait.

Enjoy the blurbs? 
Click on the images to purchase on Amazon!
{Some of our readers are experiencing difficulty voting. If you are unable to cast your vote in the survey box, please visit this link to vote: . We apologize for the inconvenience.}
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Monday, March 17, 2014

COTT: Clash of the Titles's March Book Bundle Giveaway!

Is your to-be-read pile getting low? Do you love FREE things? Then toss your name into the hat for a chance to win these three new releases! 

Winner announced at Clash of the Titles
Wednesday, March 19, 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

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Six Unforgettable Love Stories

For a limited time only - Six unforgettable love stories 

99 cents! 

Buy now at Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Kobo - iBooks - Google Play

A brand new anthology from six of your favorite inspirational romance authors - no reprints here!

About the novellas:

From New York Times bestselling author Linda Goodnight, historical romance The Rambler's Bride: The kissing cowboy Jericho is bent on revenge, but discovers the truth and falls in love with widow Esther.

From USA Today bestselling author Janet Tronstad, retro romance Lovebirds at the Heartbreak Cafe: Truck driver Buddy wasn't looking for love, but waitress Penny and her quirky family take over the cafe and his heart.

From bestselling author Debra Clopton, contemporary cowboy romance Her Mule Hollow Cowboy: Independent cowgirl Maddie swears she doesn't need help from bull rider Cliff. But the Mule Hollow Matchmakers seem to have other plans...

From bestselling author Margaret Daley, romantic suspense Deadly Hunt: Bodyguard Tess rescues wounded businessman Shane from dying in the wilderness, but can she protect her heart when Shane gets too close?

From fan favorite Camy Tang, romantic suspense Necessary Proof: Reformed ex-con Alex is on the run from those who have set him up to take the blame for a cop-killing. Will tech-expert Jane be able to prove him innocent?

From fan favorite Lacy Williams, contemporary cowboy romance Kissed by a Cowboy: Maddox has given up all his big dreams to care for his niece. When Haley returns to her hometown, will Maddox find a new dream with her?

Special promo - March 17-19 - #SENDAKISS

If you purchase First Kisses during our promo dates and send a special tweet, we'll gift a copy to a friend, absolutely free! Find out more at .

What readers are saying:

 Six amazing books from six different authors. They are all Christian fiction set from the 1800’s to present time. Each is a stand alone book with great settings, story lines and characters. All the books had family and faith. Some of the authors were known to me and some I was unfamiliar with. I really enjoyed each book. I can not wait to check out books from these new authors. - Amazon reader

 I didn't know what to expect - I am not a fan of anthologies. Usually I find that the stories are too brief and the plots move too fast and don't go into any detail and don't make a lot of sense. Well, let me tell you that this anthology is not like this, not at all. It is wonderful! I enjoyed each of the novellas immensely. Each one has well developed, thought out characters and detailed plots that move at exactly the right pace. You have suspense, romance - everything in each of the novels. I enjoyed reading each of the novellas and couldn't put the book down. Even though I have about 15 other books waiting to be read - I plan on reading this book all over again in the next week or so - it is just that good. - Amazon reader

A visual look at the collection:

Interact with the authors:

Buy now at Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Kobo - iBooks - Google Play

Monday, March 10, 2014

COTT: The Fall of Jerusalem--History Come to Life in "Rebekah's Treasure"

A cross between Francine River’s A Voice in the Wind and Joel Rosenberg’s The Copper Scroll, Rebekah’s Treasure, with its combination of history and suspense, will capture readers right from the start.

About Rebekah’s Treasure:
Set in 70 A.D. Jerusalem, Rebekah’s Treasure takes readers to war-torn Israel, mixing history with a tale of love and suspense. In order to flee the advancing Roman army, Rebekah, along with her daughter, Esther, must leave Jerusalem as well as her husband and sons. Escaping to Pella, she joins other followers of The Way who have fled the coming danger that was foretold by an oracle years before.

But Rebekah didn’t leave empty-handed. She brought with her the cup of the Last Supper. In no time her treasure garners attention as miracles begin occurring and believers credit the cup. It also causes outrage among the devotees of Isis who fear this “magical” cup will draw away their followers. In response they hatch a plot to steal it.

Things become more complicated when Rebekah’s daughter, Esther, runs away and Rebekah’s husband, Ethan, embarks on a quest to retrieve the hidden Temple treasure outlined in a copper scroll, and then take it to the Jewish stronghold of Masada in order to “continue the fight.”

When reading Rebekah’s Treasure readers will see history unfold as Titus’ legions lay siege to Jerusalem and the Temple. Yet amid the chaos of war there is love and faith and hope as Rebekah and her family struggle to survive as well as to discover where their true treasure lies.


What Readers Have to Say:
*“Rebekah’s Treasure by Sylvia Bambola is a tale that will capture your attention and heart. Set in war-torn Israel when zealots fought for the honor of the Temple and Jerusalem, when the majesty and might of Rome became a terror and a scourge, one Jewish family’s story twists and turns with passion, action, and love. This novel will not only entertain, but satisfy the most avid reader.”
*“Sylvia Bambola, in her historical novel, Rebekah’s Treasure, surrounds actual events with an intriguing fictional story and skillfully draws in the reader. Normally not a reader of fiction, myself, I found I was unable to put down this fascinating book until it was finished!”
*“To read Rebekah’s Treasure, by Sylvia Bambola, is to become engulfed in an intricate work of art. Rich in detail, reading this book is nearly like watching a movie. Bambola has done a remarkable job of deliberately weaving each carefully chosen thread into a story that will alter the way you view the past and the future . . . forever.”
*“Rebekah’s Treasure, a love story that unfolds in the midst of impossible circumstances, captivates the reader from the first page to the last. Drama, suspense, passion, faith—all the elements of a riveting read are found in this novel which follows a family torn apart by Jerusalem’s struggle for survival in 70 A.D.  The author’s exquisite gift for storytelling combined with historically-accurate backdrops, make this book a treasure. I couldn’t put it down!”

About the Author:
Sylvia Bambola was born in Romania but lived her early years in Germany, a Germany still reeling from the devastation of World War II. At age seven she relocated with her adopted military family and saw the Statue of Liberty and America for the first time. But the memory of those years in Germany lingered and was the inspiration behind her novel, Refiner’s Fire, which won a Silver Angel Award, and was a Christy Finalist.

Life as an “army brat” gave her the opportunity to live in several states, including Hawaii. Then came nursing school in New York after which she married and began a family. Raising two children and being the wife of a business executive made for a busy life. So did working in marketing for a telecommunications company, then a medical software company.

Her first novel, A Vessel of Honor, written under the pen name of Margaret Miller, garnered a Small Press Editor’s Choice Award and was seriously considered for production as a television movie.

Bambola is the author of six published novels, lives in sunny Florida and has two grown children. She’s been a guest speaker at Women’s Aglow and various church functions, is a Bible study teacher at her church, and is learning to play the guitar.

Connect with Sylvia:
Twitter: @sylviabambola

Friday, March 7, 2014

Kindle Countdown Deal Works for Reader and Writer

St.-Petersburg: Copyright: evasilieva

I just completed offering my books on Kindle's Countdown deal for the first time and was pleased with the results. Unlike giving away books on the Kindle Free Days, the books are sold at reduced prices that gradually increase until the price is back to the original. My books are only $2.99 to start with so I don't have many price increments. What I like about this deal is that the reader isn't just grabbing a book because it's free. He or she is making a decision to purchase and read the book.

I also like the Countdown Deal because it adds a sense of urgency to the buyer's decision-making process. The price is going to go up. That is made clear to the buyer who is trying to decide what to purchase. Another consideration is that the countdown deal can only be used once in each marketplace during a 90-day period. Currently, the only two marketplaces are and The buyer may not know this, so authors should stress this in promotional information.

Amazon helps readers find books offering countdown deals. See: On the day I looked, there were nearly 1,500 books listed. It would take time to search such a large list. However, Amazon offers ways to reduce the size of the list by allowing you to drill down to the types of books you like.

First, you can select a specific category. Look at the menu on the left of the page and click on Kindle e-books under the heading Kindle Countdown Deals. This will open a long list of categories from Arts & Photography to Travel. If you are interested in Christian fiction, for example, click on Literature & Fiction, and then select Religious & Inspirational Fiction. At the time I did this, there were only 25 books in this category. From here there are more ways to zoom into what you are interested in, but with only 25 books, you could check on each one.

You may want to view the list of books on special after sorting it in various ways. On the right side of the page, look for a pull-down list called Sort by. You have the following options: New and Popular, Price: Low to High, Price: High to Low, Avg. Customer Review, and Publication Date. And, of course, you can use these sort criteria at any point while you are viewing the list of books.

Sometimes I feel like I'm going around circles while watching for the next best way to reach readers. The Kindle Countdown Deal is a winner for both reader and writer.

Check my specials here:

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Bookmobile Gang Returns with a Vengeance

The fourth Christian Bookmobile novel by prize-winning author, Sidney W. Frost, is now available in paperback and Kindle

"Frost writes convincingly of London and the British countryside. His characters, both British and American, jump off the pages as real people." Longtime Scribbler.

"The main characters and the bookmobile which are present in all Mr. Frost's books are now welcome old friends." Jim Chapman.

"The unexpected twists and rapid pace of the plot make this book a real page turner." Rollo Newsom.

"You are drawn into the images he creates, and it makes me want to visit the locations in Great Britain." Malia.

"I found myself disliking Virgil as much as they did and really rooting for the romance between Chris and Angela." Joelle. 

"Bad guys, Money thief, People after them, Falling in love, A double decker bus Book Mobile, Beautiful scenes in Jolly England." Christina.

318 pages
Paperback: $12.95
ISBN: 978-0983070887
Click Here to Purchase

Kindle Edition: $2.99
Click Here to Purchase

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

English English vs. American English

I read A Song in the Night by Julie Maria Peace not too long ago. It was published in the UK and, being an American and Texan to boot, I had a bit of trouble with some of the words and phrases. At my age and because of the number of books I've read over the years, I thought I knew English fairly well. Turns out, not so much.

I could figure out some of the words by the way they were used. Others, I found in dictionaries. Still, there were a few I haven't yet found. I should mention that part of the book took place during World War I, and I believe the author used terms from that time period to be more authentic. However, most of the ones I stumbled on were from the contemporary time.

I was reading the book because the author had asked me to review it. I am glad she did because I loved it. You can read my review here:, an interview of the author here:, and sample chapters here:  As I read and noticed the many differences in our English languages, it hit me that a book I was just finishing up may not make sense to English readers in the same way I was struggling with Julie's book. One thing led to another until at some point she agreed to read The Vengeance Squad Goes to England and look for words and phrases the English characters wouldn't say. We let the Americans visiting England use their version of English, except for the main character, Chris. He is slightly OCD and has an eidetic memory, so he picks up on the differences in English and began to speak the way his girlfriend Angela does. Julie did a marvelous job, and I know the changes made because of her greatly improved the book.

Now, back to my concern for the words and phrases in A Song in the Night I don't understand. I put my guess in parentheses in the list below. Would you look over the list and either tell me if I was right, or let me know what some of these mean? Use the comment section below so everyone can see what still needs to be done. Oh, by the way, I didn't think about it at first, but at page 55 I started adding the page numbers.

Thank you.

The place was a tip (mess?)
Cuppa (cup of?)
Fortnight (two weeks?)
Iced finger (some kind of cookie?)
Bleeping (phone ring?)
Mobile (cell phone?)
Bit (as in phase)
Clapped eyes on
Caravan (RV?)
Mind (mind you?)
Plucker up the courage
Gone ten (after 10:00?)
Ribbons (blasted to bits or smithereens?)
Bullet has your number on it (name on it?)
Violin taster (55)
Broody (55)
Nappies (diapers?)
Stick (57)
Blanking (58)
Sussed (61-suspected?)
Lernt (69-learned?)
Sharpish (69-soon?)
Kitch (69-70 may be a reference to character Ciaran)
Barium meal
It was just gone nine (78-a little after nine?)
She came off the phone (79-hung up?)
Arrived bang on three o'clock (79-exactly at three?)
Cheered off (79)
Knickers (84)
Dab hand (84)
Flicked though the mail (84)
Smalls (84-undies?)
You lot (86-male or female?)
Clued up (96-in the know?)
Mucking in together (89)
While February (95)
Fancy (95-meaning to like)
Horlick (97-malted milk?)
Ciggie (97)
Kith and kin (98)
Respirators (101-gas masks?)
Had a bad do at him (119)
While ever (120)
Dowdy (122)
Spot of bother (127)
Wheeze (127)
Bairns (129)
Fingers on the clock (134)
Filled up (134-tears?)
Funk wallahs (141)
Rota (145-schedule?)
Stroppy teenagers (148)
Mooched (149)
Feeding me up (151)
Gooseberry (152)
Natterer (161)
Twigged (183)
Cropper (204)
Coming to meet (205-going to meet?)
Good job you're ill (207-good thing you're ill?)
Chuffed (212, 391)
Snigger (243-snicker?)
Coming back to mine (275-coming back to my place)
Gutted (437-pained?)

Twigging (490)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Reaching Readers and Enticing Buyers on the Cheap

Photo by mcfields Copyright:
My favorite real estate agent told me the smell of freshly baked cookies would help sell my house. And, to prove it, she set up an open house and baked cookies. The house sold that day for the full asking price.

I wish there was a magic way to sell books.

One of the most difficult parts of indie publishing is selling books. As authors, we'd all like to be writing, not marketing. But, if we don't do it, who will?

What I've learned the hard way about publishing is that the profit margin is so slim you have to pick marketing methods that are not costly. I've placed ads in magazines and newspapers, but I don't recommend that approach. Too expensive. One way to get into the newspaper is to write an article instead of an ad. In the writers group I belong to one of the members writes for the local newspapers and he is doing a continuing series on local authors. Free advertising at its best.

I look for services with high circulation where I can get my books listed for free or for a reasonable fee. The Fussy Librarian ( is a favorite of mine. This service is easy to use for authors and readers both. Readers choose from 40 genres and select content preferences such as amount of sex and violence, and The FussyLibrarian emails them daily e-book deals.

Authors send in book information, cover image, and links to where the book is available. Jeffrey Bruner, the Fussy Librarian, is flexible about posting your book at a time that corresponds with specials such as Kindle's Count Down deal. Allowing readers to limit their daily email list to books they prefer is good for authors, too. It means your book is not competing with every book in the country. Just the ones your target group likes.

There is a charge for this service, but it is quite reasonable. Bruner earns revenues through the affiliate programs and doesn't have to rely solely on author fees.

Look for other book listing services, especially those that are limited in some way to match your target audience. For my Christian novels, for example, I use a website called Christian Book Finds ( that advertises Christian books daily and has a large distribution. The charge is not much, but could add up if you're not careful. There is a reduction in cost if you include a badge for the website on your blog.

Monday, March 3, 2014

COTT: A Hot Button Novel Hot off the Presses

Ryan's Father is this month's champion at Clash of the Titles. Author June Foster is known for tackling complicated issues, and according to her fans, Ryan's Father fits the bill.
Enjoy this minipreview of a novel that tackles one of today's hottest issues.

About the Book:
The rippling influence of Ryan Reid’s immoral mother and absent father makes a mark on his soul leaving him to battle same sex attraction. When the young school teacher asks Jesus into his life, he thinks he’ll be free though no amount of prayer changes him. Ryan wants to turn away from the lifestyle, yet in his heart he knows he’s committed the sin.
Nurse Sandy Arrington still resides at home held captive by her secret fears. Her dream to be a wife and mother looks bleak.
When Sandy falls in love with Ryan, he’s powerless to return her love. Can Ryan dig his way out to find the freedom to love Sandy? Can Sandy find release from her fears?

June's motivation for writing Ryan's Father:
When my daughter was in high school, one of her friends told me privately he was attracted to another boy in our church. I was saddened to see this precious young man believe he had no control over the feelings and desires that brought him so much misery. I wrote Ryan's Father to offer hope to anyone in the lifestyle who wants to walk away. My prayer is that God will touch hurting hearts with the message of this book.

About the Author:
June Foster is a retired teacher with a BA in Education and a MA in counseling. June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. The Bellewood Series, Give Us This Day – February 1, 2012, As We Forgive – September 1, 2012, and Deliver Us – April 1, 2013, and Hometown Fourth of July – July 1, 2012. June's book, Ryan's Father, is available from WhiteFire Publishing January 2014. Red and the Wolf will be available April 2014. For All Eternity and Misty Hollow, God willing, will be published in the near future. June loves to write stories about characters who overcome the issues in their lives by the power of God and His Word. June uses her training in counseling and her Christian beliefs in creating characters who find freedom to live godly lives.

Here's a taste of the comments received for this month's clashers:
-This was one of the hardest choices in quite some time. They all sound wonderful and fit in with my reading tastes. Good work, June, Darlene, Lillian and Sylvia.

-Rebekah is my daughter's name and I love that spelling. But it makes it more meaningful know since we
know that was the way it was then. I love knowing the inside story of what went on in that Jesus time of history.

-Darlene, Looking forward to reading Homefront Dreams.

-I have enjoyed every book written by Lillian Duncan. They all have a great storyline!

-I love all of your books, June Foster, keep following God's direction in choosing your subjects and be blessed.

-Love the books from June Foster. They draw you in and make you think of some of your situations and makes me want to make changes in my life for the good. Great Job June keep up the great work.

-I love the "risk" that Ryan's Father is taking in Christian publishing. It's greatly needed!

-Sylvia Bambola...your book sounds Captivating! I am looking forward to reading this...sounds like this is about the holy Grail BEFORE the Middle Ages and knights were sent to find it. Love the historical backdrop your tale is told to.

-Darlene's writing is emotional and beautiful. I highly recommend her books!

-All interesting titles. Best of luck to Lillian Duncan. Your book sounds intriguing!

Stay tuned to Clash of the Titles for the latest in Christian fiction!