Chirp and Chatter Pages

Friday, April 29, 2016

Talking Love with Paula Mowery

  We’re told in Scripture that God is love. He definitely proved His kind of love is an unconditional and undeserved type through sending His Son to die for our sins.
   Some love isn’t hard to conjure. God just helps us to enhance it. For example, I am still head-over-heels in love with my husband of twenty-six years. But through God’s Word and leading, I’ve learned to love my husband more like God planned for a wife to love  her husband.
   When my little girl was born, I was in love, even though it took a lot to get her here. But God has shown me how to love my daughter through example and discipline.
   I struggled with infertility issues before finally conceiving my only daughter. My bitterness heightened each time I would hear about a young woman or girl who conceived out of wedlock and by accident. I cried out to God that this wasn’t fair. I wanted a baby and would care for that child and love that child, giving her a mother and a father.
   Some years later I was approached by the director of our church association’s Pregnancy Crisis Center to become their devotional leader. I struggled with my answer for a bit but knew God was pushing me to do this.
   As I shared about the love of God and then listened to these girls tell their stories, I had to repent of my former bitterness. God taught me to love and care for these girls and their babies. They each had a story with hopes and dreams of their own.
   Everyone deserves to know about the unconditional love God offers. This is what I hope readers see in the story, The Crux of Honor.
Since God is love, when we allow Him to teach us His kind of love, we can’t help but be richer and enrich others.

  Check out Paula’s contribution to Prism Book Group’s new Love Is series...

    The Crux of Honor
“Love does not dishonor…” 1 Corinthians: 13:4  
         Chelsea Wilson’s life is a constant reminder of what living dishonorably looks like. At every turn she continues to prove her mother’s shunning must be deserved. 
     Dr. Kevin Alley returns to the old home place to establish his medical practice. After running into Chelsea, he knows his love for her is still strong. 
     Chelsea is ousted from her small rented room when her mother bursts in, proclaiming Chelsea’s pregnancy. 
     Kevin takes Chelsea in, giving her space to live on the upper level of his house. 
     When Chelsea’s baby displays life-threatening symptoms, Chelsea must face her mother. Secrets unfold about Chelsea’s parents. Can Chelsea and Kevin uncover the secrets linked to Amish heritage in time to save the baby? Can the two find love together despite their history?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Great advice from Randy Ingermanson


The Faithwriters blog ran a post from Randy Ingermanson that all writers should read. Here's a link, so getting there's just a click away. Make it a quick click...the destination makes the trip worthwhile.

I promise.

Monday, April 18, 2016

And now...the Laurel finalists!


Clash of the Titles would like to offer a HUGE congratulations to our three Laurel contest finalists! Our contestants made it a tough competition this year with wonderful entries. Our panel of judges, made up entirely of readers, has narrowed it down to three finalists. And they are...

Paula Wiseman's Touched

Delia Latham's At First Sight

H.L. Wegley's Voice in the Wilderness

Congratulations to our three authors and their books! We at COTT are proud to honor your work, and we wish you luck in the next round.

The annual Laurel Contest is a reader-judged competition that Clash of the Titles offers to highlight published novels in Christian fiction. We love to showcase wonderful talent and to make readers aware of fabulous reads!

All three of our finalist entries will stand before our judging panel again, and a winner will be chosen from among them. We offer a sincere thanks to our reader judges and all our entrants for participating in this contest!

Be sure to check back--the winner will be announced in early May!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Self-Imposed Deadlines (Leeann Betts)

(A Writing Tips Post)

There is something intimidating about deadlines. When you first sign that contract or make that agreement to have your book in your publisher’s hands six months from now, that seems like a long time. Sure, you can take a week off and celebrate. And another week to do some research. Then one of the kids gets the mumps. And another.

And before you know it, it’s April 2nd and your book is due April 25th.
What do you do? Panic!

But what about if you’re not under an official contract? You don’t have a publisher breathing down your neck, waiting for your book. You have all the time in the world, right?

No. You don’t.

If you are a writer, then you must write. And if you’re a writer, you must be writing for someone other than yourself. At the very least, as a Christian writer, you are writing for God. And even if He is the only One who ever sees what you’re writing, He has an expectation that at some point, you’ll be ready to move on to the next project.

Failing to set a finish date sets you up to fail.

So even if you’re not under someone else’s deadline, you should be under one of your own.
How can you stick to that date?
  • Make up some business cards with the cover on it and the release date.
  • Tell other people.
  • Spread the news on social media.
  • Write it on a calendar in ink.
  • Keep a picture of the cover in front of you with the release date written on it.
  • Schedule time to accomplish the work by the date you say.
What happens when life gets in the way?

You might need to put aside something else in your life so you can meet your personal deadline. That’s right.
  • Get up 30 minutes earlier.
  • Go to bed 30 minutes later.
  • Skip your lunch hour and write.
  • Skip television one or two or three nights a week.
  • Take your laptop when you go to an appointment and work while you’re waiting.
  • Tell your family what your goal is, and ask them to help you meet that goal
Self-Imposed deadlines might not be about finishing a book. Maybe you’ve spent way too much time on research but you can’t tear yourself away. So set a deadline. Two more days and then you’re done. You might be pleasantly surprised at how much you get done in the next two days.

Maybe you’re spending too much time re-writing. Face it—ten years is too long. One year is probably too long. Repeat after me: It will never be perfect.

And that’s because you are learning as you go. You will continue to learn. You want to put out the best product possible, but not getting the book done isn’t going to help anybody. Let it go. Or pay someone else to re-write for you.

What kinds of deadlines do you give yourself?


Leeann Betts writes contemporary suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical suspense. No Accounting for Murder and There Was a Crooked Man, books 1 and 2 in her By the Numbers series, released in the fall of 2015 Book 3,Unbalanced, released in January. Book 4, Five and Twenty Blackbirds, is due in April, with more planned for later dates. If you like accountants or are an accountant, check out Counting the Days: a 31-day devotional for accountants, bookkeepers, and financial folk. Leeann and Donna have penned a book on writing,Nuggets of Writing Gold, and Donna has published a book of short stories, Second Chances and Second Cups. You can follow Leeann and Donna All books are available at in digital and print, and at in digital.

The Ending Series: Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue

Read them all. Loved them all. Wanted to cry when the series ended. That's the goal every author should have for his/her readers!

This co-authored series is dystopian at its best. From the initial outbreak of the virus that destroys the world, right through the long road to starting over, these books held me entirely captive. Beautifully written, with fully developed characters that the reader will either love or hate. In THE ENDING, BEGINNINGS (Omnibus, Novellas 1-VI), the authors highlighted several characters, giving the reader a look into their lives prior to the point at which they entered the big story line. Great little extra that I really enjoyed.

Absolutely unforgettable! Lindsey and Lindsey have a new fan.

Note to my Christian readers: This is not an inspirational series, so if you read strictly Christian books, this series won't be your cup of tea.

​Lindsey Fairleigh

Lindsey Pogue

Monday, April 11, 2016

Sneak Peek: Salsa and Speedbumps


One moment of sin leads to a path of pain . . . and unexpected love.

Welcome to Stephanie and Roberto's story! They have serious chemistry, but how many hurdles can they overcome? Both fun and deeply moving, this book will engage you from the start. Here's what readers have to say:

Fantastic read. Riveting from cover to cover. Susan has great storytelling skills that speak volumes. Although the book itself is fiction it did bring to the forefront the reality and seriousness of human trafficking.  -- Althea Zamzow (Amazon Review)

This book skillfully handles many issues in today’s society: date rape, addiction to pain killers, kidnapping, human trafficking, and the mafia. The well-written story keeps the reader on the edge of their seat and the book is hard to put down. How much more can Robbie and Stephanie take before they’re broken apart by life’s circumstances? "
-- Victoria Pitts Caine (Amazon Review)

Listen in on a conversation from the book:

“Christmas is just around the corner.”
“Really? I hadn’t noticed.”
“Come on, dad and I didn’t do too bad getting a tree up and decorated.”
“You did a fine job. Much better than I could have managed with my bulging belling getting in the way.”
“I happen to be fond of your bulging belly. Reminds me of Santa Claus.”
“Very funny.” She snuggled up to Robbie’s side. “If you had a wish for Christmas, what would it be?”
“That forty years from now I would be as in love with you as I am today.”
Stephanie smiled. “I like that.”
“Did you have Christmas wish?”
“Mine wasn’t big enough.”
“What was it?”
“Really? You will laugh at me.”
“Really, I want to know.”
“I want a puppy.”
“A puppy.”
“Yes, a puppy.”
“We may need to wait awhile for that one. Dogs are not allowed on our lease.”
“I know, but you asked. Wishes don’t have to be realistic.”
“No, they don’t. But how about I lick your face and pant in your ear. Will that do in the meantime?”
Stephanie grinned and gave her husband a kiss, “Oh, that will do.”

So where did this story come from? Susan, can you tell us what inspired you to write Salsa and Speed Bumps?

The title was suggested by a friend after I wrote the first draft of Pesto & Potholes. I hadn’t really thought of writing a second novel but figured Renata’s roommate, Stephanie, who seemed to have things all together, might need to have her world shaken up a bit. I also knew someone who had been a victim of a date rape but those were words not really used much years ago. She kept the baby, met a great guy, became a Christian and married after the child was born. He adopted the little girl. And Roberto . . . well, I had to get some salsa in there somewhere so having a Hispanic character seemed a good way to do that along with busting some stereotypes about that culture in the process. Roberto’s back issues . . . well, I’ve struggled some with that but have known people with far worse pain like what he experiences . . . so he struggles with an issue many people have but don’t talk about, intense pain while recovering from an addiction to narcotics. The story became far more intense than I ever anticipated too and the heat between Roberto and Stephanie starts to build pretty early in the story.

The bigger question other than the issues was how does a Christian woman and man stay true to their faith and have integrity when life throws curveball after curveball their way. How do they navigate a relationship in the midst of those trials as well? It was fun to explore.

About the book:

Stephanie’s life hits a speed bump in the wake of her boyfriend’s sin. Splitting up with him, she faces a future of difficult choices shaded in shame. She wants to do what is right but the new man in her life leaves her fantasizing about a future that is now beyond her grasp.

Roberto finds his heart and professional world turned upside down by the beautiful bombshell. He struggles with his own inner demons and past so he’s not about to cast stones. When he is accused of immoral behavior, and temptation haunts him from every side, can he stand true to the calling God has given him?

Joining forces to face the future though comes at a high cost for them both as their individual pasts rise up to destroy them and their relationship. Integrity comes with a high price tag. With a deep faith in God and the help of friends at Orchard Hill Church, can they find happiness and love they long for?

Find the book on Amazon

​Meet the author: 

Susan M. Baganz chases after three Hobbits and is a native of Wisconsin. She is an Acquisitions Editor with Prism Book Group specializing in bringing great romance novels and novellas to publication. Susan writes adventurous historical and contemporary romances with a biblical world-view.

Susan speaks, teaches, and encourages others to follow God in being all He has created them to be. With her seminary degree in counseling psychology, a background in the field of mental health, and years serving in church ministry, she understands the complexities and pain of life as well as its craziness. She serves behind-the-scenes in various capacities at her church as well as on the board of the local ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writer’s) chapter. Her favorite pastimes are lazy ones—snuggling with her dog while reading a good book, or sitting with a friend chatting over a cup of spiced chai latte.

You can learn more by following her blog, her twitter feed @susanbaganz or her fan page,

Monday, April 4, 2016

And the Win Goes To...

by Tanya Eavanson

PURCHASE: AmazonB&NiTunes

About Restored:

Dr. Steven Moore is known nationally for saving lives. If only he could save his own. Unable to deal with his cancer prognosis, he retreats to a happier time in his past—to the woman who once stole his heart. 

Four years after the death of her beloved husband, bookstore owner Elizabeth Roberts still struggles to sustain her faith and joy in the Lord as she raises her two sons. She strives to find a way through her family's grief, never suspecting a man from her past might offer hope for her future. 

But how can there be a future when he's only come to kiss her and says good-bye?

What COTT Voters Had to Say:
--Enjoy your books so much Tanya! Please continue writing. Such an inspiration!

--I love the way God unfolded this story for you, Tanya Eavenson. You are already a winner for sharing His message through your writing.

--What a great storyline, Tanya! Hope you win!

--"Restored" by Tanya Eavenson, is an uplifting and inspiring story that can be appreciated by everyone, especially when facing a challenge or struggle in life.

--Love you Tanya!!

--Tanya, enjoyed your first book and Looking forward to reading "Restored".

--I am enjoying your book, "Restored", very much. Tanya Eavenson is a very inspiring and creative writer. I look forward to reading more of her books.

--Wonderful story Tanya

--Tanya Eavenson. You are the bomb! Love you!

--Your book is on my must read list Tanya Eavenson!

--All of these covers were beautiful. The premise behind Tanya Eavenson's novel is intriguing!

--Can't wait to dig in to Tanya Eavenson's newest!

Q&A with Tanya:

Q. Why do you feel inspired to write inspirational Christian fiction?

A. I believe the Lord called me to write stories for Him. Several years ago I was diagnosed with cancer and it was a defining moment, not only dealing with my cancer prognosis, but asking the Lord if He truly called me to write as I thought or was I mistaken. But through the fears and searching for God’s direction, I learned He did indeed place this desire to write on my heart and no matter what I was facing in my life, that didn’t diminish His call. I’m inspired by the Lord to write inspirational Christian fiction so people may know the love of Christ. To know the depth He will go to have a relationship with us. And though we struggle, He uses us, He uses people like me, the ordinary, to do out of the ordinary things. Unexpected things—like writing.

Q. What do you hope readers will take away from your story?

A. I hope readers will take away the fact that God is our hope, our comfort, and our fortress. He is faithful--when those tough times come, and they will, He will never leave us. He is the One who gives us hope, a future, and a peace that transcends all understanding.

I dedicated RESTORED to those whose faith is shaken. To anyone who is searching. To anyone who needs to believe in the impossible. For as Luke 1:37 says, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

About Tanya:

Tanya Eavenson enjoys spending time with her husband, and their three children. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee, eating chocolate, and reading a good book. Tanya is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Word Weavers International, and writes for Christ to the World Ministries. You can find her at her website on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google, or on Amazon.