Amazon Best-selling Historical Romance

Amazon Best-selling Historical Romance
Escape to a romantic period where love endured, grew, and flourished despite a Civil War.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Novel Last Resort Releases March 1, 2012

I just signed a contract with Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc. and Last Resort, my inspirational romantic suspense novel will release March 1, 2012, and be available on all ereaders. I'll read my own novel on my Nook, a Christmas present from hubby this year.

Those of you who've kept up with my writing know that I've worked long and hard on this novel, three years in fact. Praise God it's going to see the light of day. You'll be able to purchase it through Desert Breeze by clicking on the link above, or through, Barnes &,, and many other online vendors. The great news is it will sell for $5.99, and it's a 79,000 word novel. You'll get your money's worth.

Please sign to follow my blog if you haven't, so you can keep abreast of my other writing and publishing and news about Last Resort. A blurb and a sample chapter will be available nearer to the release date, maybe even a glimpse of the book cover.

"Honoring God's Calling," a story wrote during my first Christian Writers Guild Apprentice class has been published in Together, Fall 2010, and I received a $40 check. This is a church bulletin for a church outreach program in Harrisonburg, VA. I wish to thank my CWG writing mentor, Eva Marie Everson, for encouraging me not to give up on this story. I'd revised it and titled it "The Mechanic," but the revised editions were not selected for publication. Go figure. One of my early drafts made it.

My nonfiction story "Flat Tires: Where's God When You Need Him?" was accepted for publication by Hurray God! It will be publihsed in Hurray God! Hope, Dream, Pray, Believe near the end of 2011. President of Hurray God, Jeanette Sharp bought the story for the anthology, and I signed the contract. These stories were submitted years ago when I took my first Apprentice course with the Christian Writers Guild, so don't give up; keep penning. With this one, the revised edition made it.

I have an author devotional, "Why Write When You Keep Getting Rejections?" in the beautiful book Words to Write By compiled by Robin Bayne. This book is pure inspiration for writers, and I hope my journey shows other writers why they should keep writing. Publishing wheels slowly turn.

Thanks to all of my FB friends and family and my blog guests and followers for taking this journey with me.

Monday, January 17, 2011

In Plain Sight by Michelle Sutton

In Plain Sight by Michelle Sutton is a Christian inspirational suspense novel published by Desert Breeze Publishing. Twenty chapters lure you into a well-developed plot where the main character Jovana struggles to overcome her past. Abused and abandoned by a former boyfriend, who left her on the street to die, she loses her unborn child.

Jovana relocates to Arizona where she works in a diner and meets two handsome men. Roadblocks of learning the English language and being confused with idioms are minor setbacks compared to inner struggles with her faith as a new, "baby" Christian and learning to accept the love of a good man.

Will she choose Kurt, a flirting customer, or Randy, the diner's manager? She feels more comfortable with Kurt, because she doesn't feel she's worthy of Randy, her boss. When Laney and Bojan, her brother, (from previous novel Danger at the Door) go to Paris for their wedding, Jovana and Randy are thrown together. Bojan asks Randy to stay with Jovana while they're out of the country. Kurt keeps phoning her and has his own plans for Jovana. Will she ever see through him, or will she rebel against her brother's protection as she did as a teen?

This novel's characters come alive for the reader. Both outer and inner conflicts provide a light suspense, and the short book packs a powerful punch when Jovana's ultimate decision and choice of men determine her future on earth and in heaven. The author spins a tale that has the potential to be life-changing. It's powerful story unlocks keys as to why people act certain ways and can be an instrument to aid understanding that will enable others to reach out and lend that helping hand that is so desperately needed, or at least be able to understand.

With In Plain Sight, the author weaves a tale of romance and redemption. I loved Danger at the Door, the first book, but this novel was even better. I highly recommend both being read one after the other for the most impact. You get to know and love the characters from the first book and continue to read about them in the second for a powerful experience.

Both books are available on Kindle at or Nook at Barnes and, where I purchased mine for only $4 something each, and they're well worth it. They may also be purchased through the publisher Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc. These novels are fast-paced, hook you within the first chapter, and make you want to finish the story. I found it hard to put them down once I started reading and wanted to continue straight through. Discover another world, another culture, and live other characters' lives through the pages of these excellent five-star novels.
Visit Michelle Sutton on Facebook or at She's an avid reader and writer and has a "Healing Hearts" book review blog at Let her powerful books heal your heart!

Danger at the Door by Michelle Sutton

Danger at the Door by Michelle Sutton is a Christian inspirational suspense novel published by Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc. and released August 1, 2009. Laney Cooper captures your heart from the beginning. She's lost everyone she's ever loved in car accidents and fear has caused her to become a recluse. She's afraid of riding in a vehicle, driving one, and of loving and losing again.

Thirty-two chapters keep you turning the pages as you experience the healing of Laney's heart as she discovers a new interest in the least likely of places and jobs--Bojan, a pizza delivery man who turns out to be much more. Danger at Laney's door appears in more than one way. There's the danger of falling in love again as well as true physical danger when it comes knocking on her door multiple times.

Hooked early, I nearly read the novel straight through and didn't want to put it down. It's the first one I've read on my new Christmas present, a Nook, and I didn't want to put it or the Nook down until finished. I enjoyed the author's writing style and laughed out loud as well as shed a few tears. This book touched me emotionally, and I enjoyed reading about a different culture than my own. Laney and her new interest have a difficult time communicating, since he's learning the English language and idioms cause misunderstandings between them and afford the reader great laughs.

Bojan is an unusual hero--he's strong through Christ and says he could not love a woman who was not a Christian. Yet, he's compassionate and even sheds a few tears. He turns to prayers to seek God's help in times of need. The author weaves scripture, prayer, and romantic suspense to spin a tale that has the potential to be life-changing. I eagerly devoured the novel, because I truly loved it. This novel shares more than one Christian message, and I'd classify it as a Christian novel. It's a quick, easy, fast-paced read. A special touch is the use of Chihuahuas who add to the story in their own unique way.

The ISBN number is 978-1-936000-32-6, and you may purchase this riveting novel at Amazon or Barnes and, where I bought my copy, or through Desert Breeze. It's available on Kindle or Nook, and an inexpensive read. I've also purchased a sequel, In Plain Sight, so look for the review of it soon. Danger at the Door stands alone, but the next book picks up on another character's story. I rate this novel as a five-star review!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Clash of the Titles: What Do You Think?

This week's post was written by Lisa Lickel, COTT Advertising Executive and author of Meander Scar. When you're considering new books, I highly recommend Lisa's, as well as the two that competed in COTT.

Clash of the Titles
by Lisa Lickel

Clash of the Titles recent participants Eleanor Gustafson and Gail Palotta ( share about their experiences.

Ellie Gustafson
Ellie: Some blog hosts have really good ideas, and Clash of the Titles is one of them. The approach is fresh and intriguing for the participants, as well as for the site visitors. Some of my friends who participated really enjoyed the process.

Gail: I was thrilled to have my excerpt chosen for Clash of the Titles. It offered exposure for Love Turns the Tide in such a unique way. Even though putting one’s work up for voting is difficult, I liked the idea of letting the readers decide.

How did you both learn about Clash of the Titles?

Gail: I saw an announcement about it on the ACFW loop.

Ellie: I learned about COTT through the ACFW Loop—a fountain of information and opportunity!

Gail Palotta
What motivated you to participate in their literary challenge?

Ellie: As I am always willing to take advantage of such things, I was quick to respond.

Gail: Exposure for Love Turns the Tide and letting the readers decide.

What did you find most enjoyable, or perhaps surprising, during your week?

Gail: Winning.

Ellie: I was surprised—mostly by the tie vote, but also by the comments—to which I am paying attention! Some found my weather selection good but challenging to read. I could blame it on the necessity of disguising character names, but the David story is complex. It deals with ugliness but also glows with grace. AND The Stones makes the Bible version of David’s life come alive for most readers. Try it, and let me know—thumbs up or down. Check the Amazon comments—all of them five star.

What do you think are the three top essentials to a great story?

Ellie: In defense of a challenging read, I would say that the top essentials to a great story would be:

The story must have substance and be worth telling. Les Miserable is heavy going but a powerful read.
Characters must be authentic and complex, supported by dialogue that drives the plot.
Assuming we’re talking about Christian fiction, the “message” must grow out of the plot and not be simply pasted on. My fear of sounding hokey drives me to dig deep through both good and evil to the spiritual bedrock of our redemptive God. I doubt that anyone ever accused Victor Hugo of being hokey in Les Miserable!
Gail: Interesting characters with problems to solve, a plot with twists and turns and a setting that allows readers to escape to an intriguing place.

Tell us about your books.

Gail: In Love Turns the Tide Cammie O’Shea suffers through a broken engagement and relocates to Destin, Florida to take a new job. Struggling to get over her heartache and loneliness, she tries to renew her faith in the midst of petty crimes committed at her condo. When Vic Deleona comes to her rescue, she grows fond of him. But she gets an offer to return home. Amid fear and confusion she must make difficult decisions.

Ellie: The Stones: A Novel of the Life of King David is hot-blooded drama —a biblical novel that takes in the sweep of King David’s life from his encounter with Goliath to the devastating consequences of counting his fighting men. He is a man of titanic proportions, at once commanding, poetic, earthy, in touch with God. In the story, stones themselves serve as a metaphor that fits well with the contours of David’s life: stones of learning, of victory, of stumbling, of humbling, of hardship, of grief, of sacrifice.

The authors share a fun fact:

Gail: Since publishing Love Turns the Tide, I’ve been amazed at how a person’s personality can come across over the internet. Visiting sites, such as Clash of the Titles, and finding friends is a great experience.

Ellie: And for fun, here’s how NOT to start a novel. I came across an old computer file labeled, “Worst Novels.” I don’t think I wrote the excerpts myself; I probably found them and felt they were worth keeping. Here’s one.
Where to start in the telling of a hypochondriac's awesome battle with the L-germ over 32,940.25 long days [that, dear reader, translates to 89 and 364/365 years], on nineteen continents and thirty-five dorkshires?
The other is even funnier, so email me if you’d like to laugh over that one, too.

Jennifer Slattery

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Word to Write By: Author Devotionals Compiled by Robin Bayne

I have a writing devotional in the book Words to Write By: Author Devotionals, complied by Robin Bayne. The book is full of devotionals for writers, and I've found it very inspiring. It motivates me to continue my writing journey for the Lord.

Five chapters and 168 pages of inspiration encourage writers and include Encouragement and Motivation, Persistence and Rejections, Publishing and Networking, Success and Sustenance, and Write for Him. I read this nonfiction book while I waited for my husband at the hospital on October 22, 2008. He had to have tests, and I read and prayed. God answered my prayers, and He was fine.

The book includes a variety of well-known authors, and they share favorite scriptures and quotations they find inspiring for writing. My devotional is titled "Why Write When You Keep Getting Rejections?"It describes my experience of receiving the best rejection letter ever. Despite the fact that my writing and characters were praised, the novel was still rejected. It didn't fit in with their line.

I'm still writing for Him, and in His perfect timing, His will, not mine, my work will find a home and an audience. I am the daughter of the King. My Prince has come, and He is not fiction.

Clash of the Titles: Readers, You Be the Judge!!!!

Clash of the Titles, Where Authors Compete and Readers Judge

The literary website, Clash of the Titles, launched with a bang, and has increased in momentum ever since. They’ve had phenomenal authors, from historical romance writer, Lena Nelson Dooley to fantasy writer extraordinaire, Janalyn Voigt. Today Jennifer Slattery, Marketing Representative for Clash of the Titles, will highlight six COTT participants.

Shannon Taylor Vannatter was one of our first competitors and all of us at COTT applaud her support and courage. Her novel, White Doves, competed in the Best Opening Hook category on October 18th-22nd.

“I enjoyed being on COTT because I think it’s a unique way of introducing readers to new authors,” Shannon said. “And I love unique, focused blogs. I loved getting reader feedback and the experience made me pay even more attention to the opening of my books.”

Her opening was unique. “I had fun writing the opening of White Doves,” she said, “because it was a role reversal of the heroine checking out the hero for a change.”

Readers loved Shannon, and her competing novel, White Doves, as well! “I already want to see if anything develops between Laken and Hayden,” said one intrigued reader.

As did we! Laken Kroft, the heroine of White Doves, left home eight years ago and never looked back. Who knew when she applied for the promotion to postmaster that she’d end up in Romance, Arkansas, and move closer to her parents and the local gossip maven? But then she meets the dashing Hayden Winters who has his hands full raising his paraplegic nephew, Brady, and wrestling guilt over having caused the child’s injury. When the boy’s father, Laken’s brother, turns up, and starts talking custody, Laken’s influence is Hayden’s only hope. But who’s side is she really on? Will there mutual bond with the seven year old boy be enough to draw them closer or rip them apart?

I’m not telling! You’re going to have to read the book for yourself! Find out more about White Doves, Shannon, and read a few real life romance stories at

Lena Nelson Dooley, author of Love Finds You in Golden New Mexico competed in our Best Opening Hook Historical.

“I took part in the COTT because I felt it gave the author and readers another way to connect,” Lena said. “And it got our words in front of readers. I was pleased with the outcome and pray for its continued success. I was glad to have Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, featured. This Heroine-in-Peril, Mail-Order-Bride-gone-awry story was a good fit. Readers have fallen in love with the secondary characters as well as the main characters in this historical.”

In Love Finds You in Golden New Mexico, Lena takes us back to an 1890, Golden New Mexico, mining town where men far outnumber women. So when an old wealthy miner named Philip Smith finds himself in need of a nursemaid, he places an ad for a mail-order bride--despite the protests of his friend Jeremiah. Hoping to escape a perilous situation back East, young Madeleine Mercer answers the ad and arrives in town under a cloud of suspicion. But just as she begins to win over Philip--and Jeremiah himself--the secrets she left behind threaten to follow her to Golden...and tarnish her reputation beyond redemption.

You’re dying to know what happens next, aren’t you? Now you have two must have’s for your winter reading list! Visit Lena’s website and blog to find out more about her and her plethora of novels!

Gail Pallotta competed in our best Weather/Nature category with her sweet e-book, Love Turns the Tide. “I was thrilled to have my excerpt chosen for Clash of the Titles,” Gail said. “It offered exposure for Love Turns the Tide in such a unique way. Even though putting one’s work up for voting is difficult, I liked the idea of letting the readers decide.”

In Love Turns the Tide Cammie O’Shea suffers through a broken engagement and relocates to Destin, Florida to take a new job. Struggling to get over her heartache and loneliness, she tries to renew her faith in the midst of petty crimes committed at her condo. When Vic Deleona comes to her rescue, she grows fond of him. But she gets an offer to return home. Amid fear and confusion she must make difficult decisions.

Does her fear paralyze her? Cloud her judgment? Guess you’ve got another book to add to that rapidly growing list, don’t you? Find out more about Gail and her novel at her personal website, and her blog,

Janalyn Voigt likely had one of the most unique entries with her fantasy novel, DawnSinger. She was excited to participate in COTT because she saw it as an excellent way to promote her upcoming release.

“With my book still awaiting its release date in Fall, 2011, participation in COTT helped me gear up for promotion,” Janalyn said. “I enjoyed having the COTT crew's help in getting the word out about Dawn Singer, my epic fantasy adventure. My website received a surge of traffic the week of my clash, and I still get visitors from Clash of the Titles.”

We, at COTT, were very pleased to learn about Janalyn’s positive experience, which led to a special friendship between her and her competitor.

“I enjoyed the friendly rivalry between JoAnn Durgin, my competitor, and myself,” Janalyn said. “We've kept in touch. I worried I'd stress about competing but participating in Clash of the Titles was fun. I appreciated that we both lived with our stories for more than a decade before writing and placing them for publication. I believe that together we modeled perseverance for the readers of COTT.”

That is a great story, and a great reminder to us all. Perseverance pays off. We enjoy celebrating the finished product with our authors, and have been very pleased with the family atmosphere our site has created.

DawnSinger is the story of Nalyn, a young maiden who answers a summons to Torindan, High Hold of her people. Her companion, Spreil, must choose whether to reign and rule in his homeland or serve in Torindan. Ancient Prophecy requires Nalyn to release the Dawn King, and salvation, into Elderland by an impossible task. But first she must overcome her own wayward heart. Will she learn in time that sometimes victory only comes through surrender?

Save your pennies, because it looks like DawnSinger is another one of those “must reads”! Find out more about Janalyn and this captivating story at, and her blog,

Eleanor Gustafson, author of The Stones: A Novel of King David, had a unique COTT experience. (lol) She said, “The whole COTT concept is dull and dreary…NOT!! This was a fresh approach, and some of my friends who participated really enjoyed the process. Hey, it looked like fun—which for me is one of the essentials of life—air, water, and fun (not necessarily in that order).”

But what surprised her most? “The tie vote! Was this an historic first—two clashers actually clashing on the number of votes?”

She goes on to say, “Some found my weather selection good but challenging to read. I could blame it on the necessity of disguising character names, but the David story is complex. It deals with ugliness but yes, glows with grace. AND The Stones makes the Bible version of David’s life come alive for most readers. Try it, and let me know—thumbs up or down. If you don’t believe me, check out the Amazon comments—all five star.”

The Stones is a retelling of King David s life from his teenaged anointing to his death as seen through the eyes of Asaph, a Levite historian. Fictional in scope, yet with amazing scriptural accuracy, The Stones provides a revealing, behind-the-scenes glimpse into biblical history with all the twists, turns, thrills, and romance of the world s great drama.

As you can see, we’ve had a great fall at Clash of the Titles and we are looking forward to an even better winter. Come join the fun at Clash of the Titles, where authors compete and readers judge!

Jennifer Slattery is a freelance writer, columnist, novelist and the marketing representative for Clash of the Titles. In 2009 she won first place in the HAWCN writing contest, book category and in 2010 she placed second in the Dixie Kane and fourth in the Golden Pen, Inspirational category for both. She has a weekly marriage column on the Reflections in Hindsight website and has been published in numerous other publications. You can find out more about her and her writing at