*guest post by Michelle Massaro
At Clash of the Titles, we’re interested in the Christian Fiction that’s making a splash, flying onto the scene in a burst of attention-grabbing technicolor and gripping our imaginations. Every month we’re seeing batches of new stories hit the shelves and here’s one that has also hit our hearts.
Dineen Miller’s The Soul Saver recently competed on our website and garnered a lot of attention there. We just had to know more about this book and its author. Here’s what we discovered…
About Dineen Miller:
Dineen Miller readily admits that one of the greatest lessons she’s learning about life is that there’s purpose in our trials. It’s all about trusting God and putting our hope in Him. Her favorite stories are of the miracles God has wrought in the lives of her family.
Through this lens she also believes her years as a youth counselor, a Stephen Minister, a women’s ministry leader, and a small group leader fuel her desire to ignite the souls of others through words of truth.
In addition to writing for Spiritually Unequal Marriage, Dineen has won several prestigious awards for her fiction, and her devotional writing has been featured in Our Journey and Christian Women Online Magazine. She’s also a C.L.A.S.S. Communicator and has been featured on the Moody Radio Network, Family Life and Focus on the Family Radio.
Married for 24 years to a guy who keeps her young, she lives in the Bay Area with her husband and two adult daughters, who surprise her daily with their own creativity.
She is the co-author of Winning Him Without Words: 10 Keys to Thriving in Your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and the author of The Soul Saver.
GoodReads author page:
The Soul Saver Booktrailer:
Q & A with the Author
1. What inspired the story for The Soul Saver?
My own life. I wanted to write a fictionalized account of how God can work in amazing ways in our lives when we trust Him. The Soul Saver is that story—of how Lexie Baltimore desires to love her unbelieving husband in the way God is calling her to and the battles she faces with the enemy because she’s on the front lines praying for the salvation of her
husband. I wrote this book for all the Lexies out there, to encourage and remind them that we’re not alone. God is there working in ways we can’t even imagine!
2. A suspense novel in the Christian industry can often be difficult to write. What helped you overcome those obstacles?
Staying true to the message I felt God calling me to write. I attended the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conference in 2008 and by the end of the week, I left with a clear understanding that God wanted me to write this book. I stayed faithful to that calling and trusted God to find a place for it. Some in the industry either had reservations with the issue of being spiritually mismatched or with Tobias, a demon, who is simply a tool I used to show the spiritual warfare that is common in spiritually mismatched marriages. At one point I wondered if I would have to take him out, but my amazing agent, Rachelle Gardner, encouraged me to hold true to my story and she was right. The right timing and publisher did come along. I will be forever grateful to Barbour Books for giving The Soul Saver a chance.
3. What made you want to write in this specific genre?
I love intricate stories and characters. Suspense wrapped with the supernatural is something I’ve always loved to read. The amazing thing is, we live in a world full of suspense and the supernatural every day. My favorite stories have and always will be of the miraculous, of how God has provided, made His presence known, saved a lost soul because that is what’s really happening around us if we just take the time to notice it. God loves to wow us. I hope I can do a little of that to my readers too. They deserve it.
4. Do you have any future projects going on?
I have a novella coming out in August, A Love Meant to Be, that’s part of a collection titled Rendezvous in Central Park. I have the distinct privilege and honor of writing with Ronie Kendig, MaryLu Tyndall, and Kim Vogel Sawyer, three seasoned and very talented authors. I love this story because it’s a tribute to my father, a Vietnam vet who passed away in 2010. These stories span from the Civil War to WWII to Vietnam to present day conflict in Afghanistan.
About The Soul Saver:
When Trusting God Is the Only Way Out
On an average day, God started her missions in her sculpting studio, revealing the face of the person she would meet at the grocery store, bank, or playground. The goal was always the same. Reach the lost, bring someone back to God, restore hope. But then came the tough missions—the ones that sent Lexie Baltimore into real battle. And she had a few battle scars to show for it.
Tormented that she can’t reach the one person she loves the most—staunch atheist and husband Hugh—Lexie finds her own hope waning when the battle comes to her doorstep in the shape of a pastor who represents everything she wants and everything her husband is not—a godly man.
Then false accusations and rumors spin her husband and family into a precarious position, and the only way out is to trust God. But how can she convince her husband when she’s struggling to trust God herself?
This time Lexie is the mission.
What others are saying:
“Deep, compelling, a beautifully written story of faith, hope, and the saving power of love. Dineen Miller hits home with this debut novel. The Soul Saver will stay with you for days after reading the last page.”
— Tosca Lee, NY Times bestselling author of Havah: The Story of Eve
“When you combine stellar writing, intriguing characters, and a fascinating plot the result is a story like The Soul Saver. It’s the kind of novel I wish I had written.”
— James L. Rubart, bestselling author of ROOMS, Book of Days, and The Chair
Links to purchase The Soul Saver:
The Soul Saver Booktrailer:
*Michelle Massaro is a 2012 Genesis Finalist and Assistant Editor with COTT. She loves to connect, so stop and see her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MichelleMassaroBooks
This clash’s host: Jennifer Slattery
My summer reading list is quickly growing. When you read the following two-sentence hooks, I’m sure you’ll agree, these five May releases are must-reads indeed! Which one is drawing you the most? Please vote below, and check out www.clashofthetitles.com on July 5th to see who won. Happy Independence Day!
she sees no hope for her future until she gains the courage to make her escape
one cold winter night. When she arrives exhausted, hungry, and ill in
Portersfield, Texas, Sheriff Cory Muldoon finds her in an alley and takes her
to a doctor.
A young architect at a prestigious Chicagofirm, Bethany Quinn has built a life far removed from her trailer park teen years. Until an interruption from her estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa.
Eighteen months after the tragic Grove Street Fire took the life of her husband and four other heroic firefighters, Susan Marlowe thinks she’s finally beginning to heal. But then she discovers that David carried a secret to his grave—a secret that changes everything she thought about their marriage.
On an average day, God started her missions in her sculpting studio, revealing the face of the person she would meet at the grocery store, bank, or playground. The goal was always the same. Reach the lost, bring someone back to God, restore hope.
have received a makeover!
Our focus is now on novels new to bookstore shelves. COTT’s readers will always have the most up-to-date information on the best and newest Christian literature.
Thanks to you, our faithful readers, Clash of the Titles’ new unpublished authors literary contest has been christened—
|Ancient Olympia, Greece *Attribution|
In classical times ancient Olympia was the site of the original Olympic Games. It sat at the foot of Mount Olympus, the tallest, most formidable mountain in Greece. The first Olympic Games were held in honor of Zeus, but at Clash of the Titles, we give all honor to the Most High God and wish every contestant His greatest blessing!
Authors, submissions for The Olympia pen October 29, 2012. For preliminary details, please visit The Olympia page.
$10 Entry fee.
ABOUT The Restorer’s Son-Expanded Edition:
Book two in the groundbreaking Sword of Lyric series, The Restorer’s Son won a Carol Award for speculative fiction.
Plunged again into the gray world of Lyric and Hazor, Susan and Mark search frantically for their teenage son, Jake. All signs hint that a trusted ally has betrayed them and threatens their son. A target of assassins and more political intrigue, false leads and near misses beset their path, which leads them into the dark prisons of Hazor before the One’s purpose is revealed.
Cast out by those he trusts, the new reluctant Restorer prefers to cross swords with the One rather than submit to His will. Pursued by his calling, he journeys to Sidian, where he finds a boy without a home, a king with burning questions, and a nation torn by darkness. As he embraces the tasks the One has set before him, this new Restorer learns that the One requires his all—perhaps even his life.
WHAT VOTERS HAD TO SAY ABOUT “The Restorer’s Son.”
*Have read the other books & the original editions & Sharon is a master story-teller…humorous, poignant, deep & lyrical! A must-read!
*I love and am impressed and inspired by everything you write, Sharon. God’s blessings daily.
* I LOVED The Restorer! One of my all-time favorite books because it made me love Jesus more.
*I love, love, love The Restorer’s Son. If you haven’t read it, you should. (Make sure to look for the Expanded Edition to get extras.)
*Sharon is a wonderful wordsmith whose creative writing is experience validated. Can’t wait to dig into this one.
*To be read? Maybe to be re-read… for the sixth time. I’m in love with The Sword of Lyric trilogy, and the extended releases are the perfect excuse to tell everyone I know about these books. The Restorer’s Son is one of the most powerful fiction titles I’ve ever read, and it will be on my to-(re)read list for many years to come.
ABOUT the author, Sharon Hinck:
Sharon writes “stories for the hero in all of
us,” about ordinary people experiencing God’s grace in unexpected ways. Known
for their authenticity, emotional range, and spiritual depth, her novels
include contemporary fiction such as The
Secret Life of Becky Miller or Stepping into Sunlight and the
groundbreaking Sword of Lyric
fantasy series which includes The
Restorer’s Son–Expanded Edition. She’s been a Christy
finalist and won three Carol awards.
Sharon’s undergrad degree is in education,
and she earned an M.A. in Communication. When she isn’t wrestling with words,
Sharon enjoys speaking to conferences, retreats, and church groups. She loves
interacting with visitors at her website and blog: sharonhinck.com.
Q and A with SHARON:
Q. Besides an entertaining read, what do you hope people experience in The Restorer’s Son-Expanded Edition?
A. My hope is that readers will catch glimpses of the way the One speaks to each of us in the language we understand, and that we can go to Him with our difficult questions. For those who are walking very painful roads, I hope the story will help them feel acknowledged. The journey is hard, heroic, and sometimes frightening. But we are never alone.
Q.What was it like developing new material for this new
different ways, and among the novels I’ve written, I try not to have favorites.
However, I confess that The Restorer’s
Son has an extra special place in my heart. Because of that, it was fun to
revisit the characters and world of this story. Kieran’s attitudes were loosely
inspired by a verse in Judges where Gideon is told God will use him to save his
people. Gideon’s response is basically, “If God is for us, why have all these
bad things happened to us?” It’s a question many can relate to, and part of the
reason that Kieran is such a beloved character.
deeper into the Biblical inspirations that helped inform the book, as well as
find personal application. About forty pages of new content, including bonus
scenes and a new song composed for the book, make this edition a new
Q. Where can we buy the book?
To order The Restorer’s Son-Expanded Edition:
After the public vote, the winning title was….
It was an honor just to have been chosen as a clasher, in the first place, and then to have won… wow, I’m totally blessed by that. I’m still fairly new at this, and putting my stories out to the public is, to say the least, a daunting experience. So every little bit of encouragement and affirmation gets tucked away for days ahead when I will need to draw strength from them. I so appreciate COTT for giving me this opportunity to interact and connect with their readers.
- Great job!!
- Both excerpts make me want to read the rest of the story. It was hard to choose!
- I think they both did a good job of presenting their books.
- Both leading ladies were believable and presented with skill.
- Looks like a whole lotta fun!
- I found it very hard to select only ONE excerpt. They were both great! Keep up the great work!
- Both excerpts have great leads! Would like to read both books!
Want to congratulate the author? Leave a message in the comments. Have a question about future Clashes on COTT? Email them at contactCOTT@gmail.com
**Michelle Massaro is the Assistant Editor for Clash of the Titles, a mother of four, and a wife of nearly 17 years. She bakes, crochets, cross-stitches, sings, writes, and cries during movies. She champions for Biblical authority, leads a Jr. High girls’ Bible study, and plays a mean game of backgammon. She spends way too much time on the computer, but makes it up to her family (she hopes) with prayer coverings and chocolate chip cookies. The best place to connect with her is on Facebook, naturally.
Clash of the Titles has a great selection of books in our give away this week. Shelley Adina will donate a copy of Lady of Devices, Keven Newsome offers a choice between a signed print copy of Winter OR two e-books, one of Winter and one of Aquasynthesis. James Rubart gives away a copy of The Chair.
Wow! Vote in order to enter. You’ll find the voting box below. You can also leave a comment on any COTT post or on our Facebook page. Multiple entries encouraged!
Many times we hear a word or phrase and another comes to mind. The two go together so well we can’t think of one without recalling the other. Some easily recognized pairs come from life experiences, others from songs, books or movies.
Here are a few to complete just for fun.
A song: “Love and Marriage.”
“Love and marriage, love and marriage go together like a _____ and _____.” According to Wikipedia, this tune was introduced by Frank Sinatra in the 1955 television rendition of “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder. It aired on Producers Showcase.
Something we eat.Hot apple pie and ____ _____. No one eats apple pie without it, do they?
Movie stars often cast together: Doris Day and _____ ______.
Three of their 1962 movies, “Pillow Talk,” “ Lover Come Back” and “Send Me No Flowers,” are available today in a romance collection.
From Books and Television:
The Hardy Boys / _____ ______. This series was based on two series published by Edward Stratemeyer.
A heroine in a book. Her name is in the title. ______ of Green Gables. This book was published in 1908 by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery. Originally written for all ages, recently it’s been considered a children’s book. Since publication it’s sold 50 million copies, and is taught to students worldwide. It’s been adapted to film, television and stage.
The prey in a tale of the sea. Captain Ahab and the great white_____. Published in 1851 by Herman Melville, this is one of the great American novels. It tells the story of Ishmael, a sailor on a ship named Pequod.
A character in a novel. Miss Scarlett in _____ _____ ___ _____. Margaret Mitchell won a Pulitzer prize for the novel in 1936. The movie, considered a classic epic film today, premiered in 1939.
Answers: 1. Horse, carriage 2. Ice cream 3. Rock Hudson 4. Nancy Drew 5. Anne 6. Whale 7. Gone with the Wind
That was fun. Now vote for your pick in the cover and book blurb Clash.
When we read the blurbs, do the images on the front of the books come to mind and vice versa? If so, which of these go together best? Later when you think of what the book blurb has to say, will you see the cover in your mind’s eye?
Please vote for one.
Christians to whom God sends visions.
Students at her university are being attacked, and Winter knows there’s more than flesh and blood at work. Her gift means she’s the only one who can stop it – but at what price?
London, 1889. Victoria is Queen. Charles Darwin’s son is Prime Minister. And steam is the power that runs the world.
At 17, Claire Trevelyan, daughter of Viscount St. Ives, was expected to do nothing more than pour an elegant cup of tea, sew a fine seam, and catch a rich husband. Unfortunately, Claire’s talents lie not in the ballroom, but in the chemistry lab, where things have a regrettable habit of blowing up. When her father gambles the estate on the combustion engine and loses, Claire finds herself down and out on the mean streets of London. But being a young woman of resources and intellect, she turns fortune on its head.
It’s not long before a new leader rises in the underworld, known only as the Lady of Devices . . .
When she meets Andrew Malvern, a member of the Royal Society of Engineers, she realizes her talents may encompass more than the invention of explosive devices. They may help her realize her dreams and his . . . if they can both stay alive long enough to see that sometimes the closest friendships can trigger the greatest betrayals . . .
When an elderly lady shows up in Corin Roscoe’s antiques store and gives him a chair she claims was crafted by Jesus, he scoffs. But when a young boy is miraculously healed two days after sitting in the chair, he stops laughing and starts wondering . . . could this chair heal the person whose life Corin destroyed twelve years ago?
As word spreads of the boy’s healing, a mega-church pastor is determined to manipulate Corin into turning over the chair. And that mysterious woman who gave him the piece flits in and out of his life like a shadow, insinuating it’s Corin’s destiny to guard the chair above everything else. But why?
Desperate, he turns to the one person he can trust, a college history professor who knows more about the legend of the chair than he’ll reveal. Corin’s life shatters as he searches for the truth about the artifact and the unexplained phenomena surrounding it. What’s more, he’s not the only one willing do almost anything to possess the power seemingly connected to the chair.
Please vote below, and don’t forget to enter to win one of these great books.