and it’s strictly for unpublished writers!
not industry professionals.
*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
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.
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.
Sometimes Clash of the Titles highlights great talent. Other times we get to “discover it.” This is exactly what happened with our speculative fiction unpub’bed clash.
Join me in welcoming Chawna Schroeder to the COTT family!
There’s nothing like discovering great talent before it goes to print! And I have a feeling we’re going to see our latest COTT champion’s books on bookshelves very soon. When we do, we can all say, “We saw her on COTT first!” And this clash–a battle for best speculative fiction unpub’bed–was even more exciting because the winner has been invited to submit a full proposal to Asraea Press for immediate review!
Her winning excerpt was pulled from the pages of Metamorphosis, a gripping tale of a Beast and her master:
Once upon a time there lived a Beast…
Not in a shining castle, but among a pack of dogs.
For as long as Beast can remember she has lived among her master’s dogs. With them she sleeps. With them she eats. With them she fights and struggles to survive. But through hunger and cold, she dreams of one day becoming Master’s favorite, earning bones with meat and a place beside the fire.
Then strangers attack. Her pack scatters. Fire eats the village. And Beast knows: Master is no more.
Alone and unprotected, Beast tries to defend herself against slavers scavenging for any leftovers. But she is only one, and they are strong.
Tracked by men, sold as a monster, is Beast only prey to be hunted…
…or something more?
A few comments from readers:
“I enjoyed both excerpts! I am curious about the world created in A, but B really got me in the gut.”
“Great job! Keep writing!”
“God has given you a gift. Your TRUE fans will always be there for you!! Never give up and follow your dreams!!! I am sending up a prayer for you and your family!!!”
Join us March 19-23 for a fun Flash Clash!
The Almost Kiss clash has been a whirlwind of romance, breathless moments, and possibilities! Your responses to the excerpts were amazing.Both books were great examples of riveting Christian Fiction available out there, but there can be only one winner and I am happy to announce that book is…
Pamela’s winning Almost Kiss excerpt was full of sparks and surprises. Here’s a small snippet of the great scene:
If you missed it, drop by Clash of the Titles to take a peek at One Breathless Moment…We received positive reader response for this spunky romance.“Great tension! I was riveted to every word!”“Love the anticipation and butterflies in the almost kiss scene…”“The setting was marvelous, the tension leaped off the pages.”A Thyme for Love is a wonderful example of the awesome Christian fiction available. This week, an exciting new Unpublished Novel Clash begins. It’s hosted by our very own April Gardner! Make sure you come by for another chance to vote and WIN a free book!
*guest post by Delia Latham
It’s been an edge-of-the-seat, flashing-swords kind of Clash between Vannetta Chapman and Beth Wiseman. These gals elicited some genuine response! It is beyond clear that both authors are well loved, and that their writing touches hearts.This was an Amish clash, and if you missed it, you’ll definitely want to check out the excerpts, as both were excellent examples of GOOD Amish fiction.Beth Wiseman’s The Wonder of Your Love elicits a whole tangle of emotions, with a dreaded meeting between an Amish woman and her deceased husband’s Englitscher mistress.
If you missed our interview with Beth, be sure to stop by and check it out.Vannetta Chapman’s Falling to Pieces, on the other hand, paints a poignant picture of loss and confusion after the death of a loved one, all wrapped up in a stack of gorgeous Amish quilts.
And here’sour interview with Vannetta.I’d love to post every reader response, because I didn’t see a single negative one in the overwhelming number we received…but in the interest of space, I had to choose just a few:
Please don’t stop writing…because your gift transports me to another place, away from all the stresses of life and encourages me!
I love Amish Fiction. Both of these excerpts make me want to dive into these ladies’ lives.
Hearing an Amish story takes me back to my childhood in the mountains of Kentucky. We read by lamp, the Bible mostly. Everything we ate we grew in the garden and canned on a wood stove for winter. The outhouse was about fifty yards from the backdoor. Thanks to both of you for taking me back. God Bless.
I love the Amish Clash as I love to read Amish stories. Having been in the homes of Amish people and corresponding so many years, my home has a room with all Amish figurines and dolls. Keep writing Amish fiction.
Keep writing! We all need encouragement to live more simply like the Amish!
I was drawn into the stories immediately, and now those characters are going to be following me around all day!
We are so grateful for this feedback from our readers! It’s your involvement that gives Clash of the Titles its purpose.So, which sword-wielding author came out on top?As much as I’d love to name both of them (since they’re so obviously both WINNERS!), we can only have one victor per clash. That victor, this time around, was: