Monday, November 24, 2014

My Friend RUTH REID ia a 2014 Laurel Winner!

On October 22, 2014, A Miracle of Hope won Clash of the Titles' Laurel Award. During a six-week period, the novel's first 3,500 words were read and judged by avid readers of Christian fiction who determined it to be the worthiest to receive the 2014 Laurel Award.

Clash of the Titles extends a heartfelt congratulations to author Ruth Reid for her commendable work. We wish God's abundant blessings on her future projects.

“A Miracle of Hope quickens a reader’s heart in hope that one child’s faith will be miracle enough.” –Alan Daugherty, News-Banner columnist

About A Miracle of Hope
Lindie Wyse thinks an arranged marriage is the only way to preserve a future for herself and her unborn child. Josiah Plank is certain he’ll never love again, but he needs someone to care for his deaf eight-year-old daughter, Hannah. The two take on their arrangement tentatively at first but soon realize they are each in for more than they imagined. After a short time, Lindie experiences a breakthrough with Hannah when she recognizes the child’s special gifts, but a risky pregnancy and serious health issues threaten to demolish the foundation Josiah and Lindie are building—and the love that is growing between them.

Will their marriage survive their struggles, or will their hearts become as cold as the northern winter?

“A beautifully written love story, A Miracle of Hope is both heartwarming and heartbreaking and features believable, charming characters who are willing to do whatever it takes for love.” 4 stars, RT Book Reviews  

Listen to Cynthia L. Simmon'sHeart of the Matter" radio interview of Laurel Award Winner, Ruth Reid!
About Ruth:
Ruth is a CBA and ECPA best-selling author of the Heaven on Earth and Amish Wonders series. When attending Ferris State University School of Pharmacy in Big Rapids, Michigan, she lived on the outskirts of an Amish community and had several occasions to visit the Amish farms. Her interest grew into love as she saw the beauty in living a simple life. Ruth resides in Florida with her husband and three children. 
She can be reached HERE.

“…Ruth’s descriptions of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula during the winter are vivid and almost hauntingly beautiful—yet the hardship and “cabin fever” element are very real. But it’s character depth that is this story’s strength…” –Carole Jarvis, Amazon Review
Ruth's Upcoming Projects:
Her Christmas Pen Pal, a novella in An Amish Second Christmas collection released October 2014.
A Woodland Miracle will be released in January 2015
She is currently working on book three of the Amish Wonders Series (untitled at this time; release is planned for 2016). 



Authors, take note! 

Clash of the Titles has opened its doors for submissions to the 2015 Olympia.

The Olympia is COTT's yearly contest for unpublished writers. The submissions are judged by their audience—readers well versed in Christian fiction yet not associated with the CBA industry.
Authors write for readers, so why not have readers be the judges?
Finalists in the contest will also have their work read and judged by three industry professionals!

With a submission fee of only $15, easy electronic submission, a bevy of prizes, and judges devoted to Christian fiction and author encouragement, the Olympia is a contest like no other.

But once our doors are open, you'll need to act quick! Slots are limited. To avoid overburdening our volunteer judges, we are limited in the number of submissions we can accept.

Oct. 31, 2014-Dec 12, 2014 

For more details, please visit our site.

Stay tuned for updates by 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Clash Of The Titles Champ SHARYN KOPF

I'm excited to say that I have joined this blogger's alliance and look forward to sharing more wonderful Chrisitian authors with you! COTT stands for "Clash of the Titles! There's a clash every month; see more!

And we have a champion! 

Congratulations to clash winner Sharyn Kopf and her book Spinstered: The Novel. A touching debut, Spinstered began as a nonfiction book idea and, through God's design, became a novel that will speak to many women. For those in the Cleveland area, Sharyn will be selling and signing her novel at the Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy Craft Fair in Cuyahoga Falls on Saturday, November 15, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and she'd love to meet you there!

Early reviewer Anne Lemon says this about Spinstered:"Spinstered is a poignant and realistic portrait of extended singleness. It offers comfort and hope to readers who have never married and are brokenhearted about it. It's also just a plain good read that single women will see themselves in, laugh, and maybe cry, too. ... In Kopf's novel, just like in real life, the gut-punches of our alone-ness don't always get resolved in a marital happy ending. But she offers the promise that we all can have the prize that Catie ultimately finds. For this message of hope, single readers will be grateful."

Spinstered, The Novel: 

Three friends. Three stories. Three women trying to figure out how they ended up over 40 and still single.

Committed to her job and pushing fifty, Catie Delaney has almost given up on her dream of love and marriage. Maybe, she tells herself, she’d be happier just embracing her singleness. Maybe that's been God’s will all along.

Catie's friends, Jolene and Uli, have their own struggles with men, careers, and family.

Then into this mix of feminine angst walks Brian Kemper—the latest GWP (Guy With Potential) to join their church’s singles group. But just as something seems about to happen between him and Catie, her world falls apart.

With their hearts on the line, these three friends search for hope ... and find it in unexpected places.

Purchase Spinstered, The Novel:

Pull up a chair now and join us for a look inside the creation of this book, and a glimpse of its author's heart.
Let’s start at the beginning—how long have you wanted to be a writer and what did you envision for your writing life?

I knew I wanted to be a writer when I wrote my first poem at the age of 5. And, for the longest time, that dream meant being a romance novelist. In my 20s, I saw myself becoming the clean, Christian version of Kathleen Turner’s character in Romancing the Stone—enjoying a life of adventure and romance and lots of bestsellers.

So, what happened?
Well, things didn’t turn out the way I imagined. (Do they ever?) On October 15, I turned 51 and, though I suppose I’ve had a few mild adventures, I still dream of true love and being such a popular novelist that even people in the jungles of Columbia have heard of me.

Then, in my 40s, I realized I needed to write about my single heart and broken dreams. When I started working on Spinstered, it was a nonfiction book about grieving singleness. I took the seven stages of grief—denial, disbelief, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression and hope—and applied them to what I was dealing with as a 40-something single woman.

A few years later, while at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, a friend encouraged me to focus on my fiction writing. As a result, Spinstered the Novel was born.

What are some of your strengths as a writer?
Years ago, I had the privilege to work for the in-house radio marketing department at Focus on the Family. I learned I not only love writing scripts and dialog but I’m pretty good at it. I even won a few awards while I was there.

I’m also passionately committed to making my manuscript as good as I can. Though that can also be a detriment because I’m a bit OCD about it, which means I have a hard time letting something I wrote go until it’s perfect. And it’s never perfect.

Continuing that thought, what are your weaknesses as a writer?
Well, to be honest, I don’t write as much as I should. I think it’s a mixture of fear and laziness. Fear that what I write won’t be any good. And the laziness that comes from letting other things distract me from what I know needs to be done. Like spending too much time on Facebook.

Why did you decide to self-publish Spinstered?
That’s a long, sad story but suffice it to say I went through a disappointing contract experience that did not end with a published book. In the meantime, numerous interactions with singles fed the urgency I felt to get this book to the audience I know is out there.

My choice was to start over with submitting to agents or editors—a process that can take years—or self-publish. Since the novel had already gone through several rounds of edits, I knew I could have it ready within a week or two. In fact, I was able to make my goal of taking copies to the Labor Day Singles Retreat at Ridgecrest Conference Center near Asheville, NC. I sold several copies there and made some great connections. It also led to my first 5-star review!

What’s next?
First, I plan to finish and self-publish the nonfiction version—Spinstered: Surviving Singleness After 40—in the next few months. In addition, I wrote an unrelated novella titled Cold Read that I hope to have available soon. Finally, I have two sequels to Spinstered the Novel in the works. Book two will be titled Inconceived and I’ll probably name book 3 Altared. Of course, all of that could change. I’m open to whatever God wants to do!

About Sharyn:
Spinstered is Sharyn Kopf’s first novel. Over the years, her work has included co-authoring a book about traumatic brain injury, penning scripts for stage, and writing for newspaper as well as Focus on the Family radio.

Every Friday, Sharyn ponders the over-40 single life at, the blog she shares with two other authors. For her day job(s), she works as a literary publicist for Route 1 Manuscripts and teaches high school English at a small Christian school.

She lives in Bellefontaine, Ohio, just five minutes from her favorite people in the world—her family. You can connect with Sharyn through her blog or on Facebook.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Debut Novelist Hits the Ground - no - SKY Flying HIGH!

I met Carol Moncado before my first ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Conference in 2012. I'm sure you can understand why her name first caught my attention. When my married name is mispronounced, it's often mistaken for MacCado, so it sounds almost like hers! :) Welcome to one of my cyberspace corners, my friend!

Thanks, Caryl, it's good to be with you this week.

And congratulations on your new book! Please share with our readers what inspired Finding Mr. Write?

The inspiration came from a conversation I had with Casey Herringshaw in the comments on Seekerville one day in mid-2011. We were planning for our first ACFW conference and debated whether or not we should stalk Julie Lessman while there.

Oh, that's priceless, I'm going to need to know what y'all decided!

Well, it turns out we didn’t need to, but the idea had taken root. The original concept had a much more Lucy-Ethel tone to it, but I love the way it turned out.

I'm glad to hear that, and so why Mya Elizabeth Linscott? 

Mya... well, the reason is implied in the book so I won’t spoil it here. I don’t remember the inspiration for Elizabeth, but likely just looking for something with an “E” to make it MEL. Linscott comes from my favorite Mary Connealy hero, Tom Linscott in Sharpshooter in Petticoats.

And Dorrie? Where'd she come from? Oh, and you have to tell us about the skin cancer on her poor nose!

Dorrie embodies pretty much every author I know, myself included. The insecurities. The fears. The rejection. 
Hold it! I had no idea EVERYone goes through those awful emotions. Well, I would never cave to fear. I refuse it. Have for years, but I do know insecurity and rejection. Go on, please.

      Well, with all of that comes friendships that transcend writing. Camaraderie. Growth. And I do know of at least one couple who met at a conference and married later. Her journey mirrors mine in many ways [though not the contest final/win - or the random conference wedding ;)].

As for the skin cancer... as I was working on a round of edits for this book, I was diagnosed with exactly what she was. Her experience there also very much mirrors my own - from the nickel-sized crater to the second surgery and the lasering. And yes - my eyelids were numb at one point ;).

So basically, you're telling me you had a ball writing about --or should I say with--many of your favorite people! Go ahead then, tell us all the rest. I have an idea this is gong to be good! Start with Jeremiah. Think that's a good place?

My husband isn’t a writer, but he’s a lot like Jeremiah in a lot of ways. He’s incredibly supportive and I couldn’t do this writer thing without him. I don’t know where the whole “Prince Caspian” thing came from, but came it did. And I loved it!

Many of Dorrie’s writer friends were inspired by my own.

* Stephanie Jamison morphed out Casey Herringshaw. Her story, Finally Mr. Write, is the second book in this series and releases November 24, 2014.

* Anise Taylor came from my dear friend Pepper Basham [who recently signed her first book contract!!!!] - her story is slated for Grace to Forgive, which takes place in 2018 [why yes, I have some stories planned that far out ;)]. I have about 1500 words of that story written, from right smack in the middle, and every time I reread it I cry. I don’t think I’m a good enough writer to do that story justice just yet so I’m glad I’ve got a bit of time ;). However, Anise will pop in and out of stories here and there in the meantime!

* Julie Harders was initially inspired by Julie Lessman. Her son, Travis Harders, gets a story in Grace to Save [which comes right before Anise’s story]. Travis’s daughter’s last name is Connealy-Harders - names stolen from Mary Connealy and Audra Harders.

*Gavin Parmigianno is introduced at the CANDID conference. Dorrie and Jeremiah babysit for Bethany Sheer’s twin daughters. Gavin and Bethany meet in Falling for Mr. Write, book 3 in this series, slated for release in December 2014. That story was written long before I realized how well it fit in this series - with just a few tweaks ;).

* The Watchers blog group is based on the real life Seekerville - who meet every night of conference in the bar to hang out, encourage, commiserate with, love on all of the Seekervillagers.

*The NovelSistas are mentioned as a shout out my very own Jessica Keller Koschnitzky and Kristy Cambron. They’re both also part of BritCrits - which includes Jen Cvelbar (writing as Jennifer A. Davids), Joanna Davidson Politano, and Stacey Zink.

So Tell us what you've got planned. I already know you're as busy as me with six new titles scheduled in 2015. 
Yes, that's right! Six releases, except I'm planning mine between now and the end of the year.

What? Before the end of the year? Is that crazy? Oh my, my! And how are thinking to pull such a feat off?

For starters, I’m not officially doing NaNoWriMo this year - and I really am mourning that. I know it seems odd, but that’s how much I love it. Finding Mr. Write started as my 2011 project, though it’s undergone some fairly major revisions since. Good Enough for a Princess [releases 11/17/2014] was from 2012. Queen of His Heart [working title; releases Spring 2015] was the 2013 project.

     This is the beginning of my “grand opening” as an author! Six books are releasing this year, and I’m working to finish them up right now. * Finally Mr. Write: CANDID Romance book 2; November 24, 2014; * Falling for Mr. Write: CANDID Romance book 3; December 2014; *Good Enough for a Princess: The Montevaro Monarchy book 1; November 17, 2014; *Along Came a Prince: The Montevaro Monarchy book 2; December 2014; and *More Than a Princess: The Montevaro Monarchy book 3; December 2014.

Absolutely awesome, Carol. I pray the Lord blesses and sustains you! I know it isn't just getting the word out there! I cannot imagine your marketing calendar! Thanks for stopping by, though. Enjoyed your visit and I know my readers will, too! Hugs and Blessings from Texas! 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

God Saw That It Was Good

My first Biblical fiction series, 
      The Generations! Volume one,
A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS, here today, November 2nd!

This novella offers three parallel storylines: 1) Adam and Eve in Adam's Valley, 2) Cain and Sheriah traveling east of Eden to Nod, and 3) Abel in Paradise with angels, including one dear cherub named Namrel you are sure to fall in love with. And my cover characters both play important roles in the story! 

Come to the LAUNCH PARTY today at 2 p.m.!

Before the story starts, I talk about what Biblical fiction means to me which is imagination wrapped around absolute Truth--God's living Word. After all, facts are facts and who can write a better story than our Creator? Only He doesn't write fiction. Jesus called Himself The Truth. I love Him, and I love Truth! 

And I find myself singing ♪♫♪♥ He's got His*•♫♪Angels watching✫♥♪ ♪♫♪Over me *¨*•.♪♫ every step I take!✫♥¸.•* ¨*Angels•♫♪ watching •*¨*•Over me! ♫♪♫♪ *•.♪♫♪✫♥.♪♥   And I also sing: ♪♫♪♥ He's got His*•♫♪Angels watching✫♥♪ ♪♫♪Over YOU *¨*•.♪♫every step you take!✫♥¸.• *¨*Angels•♫♪ watching •*¨*•Over me! ♫♪♫♪ *•.♪♫♪✫♥.♪♥ 

One reason I chose to release this story on November 2nd is because it's my sweet husband's birthday! Totally grateful that sixty-five years ago, his mother Wanda Kathleen Lewis McAdoo gave birth to the 'man' God formed in her womb to be my husband! Six full months before I was born! My Heavenly Father loved me that much even way back then!

I hope A Little Lower Than the Angels and its entire The Generations series will bless you and cause you to open your Bible, seek out the scripture's meanings for yourself, willing to turn from the traditions of men and what you were taught as a child in order to search out the Truth. The Word tells us HIS PEOPLE perish for a lack of knowledge. Have we been led astray by the father of lies? So subtle is he, taking his time over decades and centuries and even millennium to kill, steal, and destroy.

I'm so excited to hold my thirteenth published book in my hands. That's always fun!

Leave a comment and tell me if you've read a biblical fiction before and what you thought of it :) I'll put your name in the hat for another FREE BOOK! (separate from the Launch Party's Contests) 

Blessings and Peace and Joy!
Thank you for stopping by my blog! Visit anytime! :)