A Plain Disappearance

Clash of the Titles is so excited to check in with Amanda Flower, one of the founding members of the COTT Family. From the looks of things, she has some pretty exciting things going on!

USA Today recently hailed award-nominated author Amanda Flower for A Plain Death, calling it “the first Amish rom-com . . . bring on the next one!” As the enthusiastic reviews continue to mount, she’s back with her third Appleseed Creek mystery, A Plain Disappearance.

It’s Christmastime in Amish Country, and Chloe Humphrey has begun settling into her life in Appleseed Creek excited to see where her new relationship with Timothy Troyer will lead. Unfortunately it leads to murder when the couple discovers the body of Amish teenager Katie Lambright while on their first date. Near the scene there is evidence that Timothy’s friend and auto mechanic Billy Thorpe is involved with the crime. The police reveal Billy is not really who he said he was and has been living the last decade in Knox County under a stolen alias. Now, Chloe and Timothy must find Billy, bring him to justice, or prove his innocence.

Barnes and Noble


Amanda Flower started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Her debut mystery, Maid of Murder, was an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel and the first in a series featuring amateur sleuth India Hayes. Like her main character, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime. Her next mystery, Murder in a Basket, was released in January 2012 from Five Star. In July 2012, her first Amish mystery, A Plain Death, was released from B&H. For Penguin/NAL she writes under the pen name Isabella Alan. Visit her online at www.amandaflower.com.


"The third installment of the outstanding Appleseed Creek series is a mystery with twists and turns and an unexpected ending that will keep readers up until the wee hours of the morning. Readers are reunited with characters from the first two books and will meet some new ones. Flower has hit it out of the ballpark with this series and continues to amaze with her knowledge of the Amish way of life."- 4 1/2 stars Top Pick RT Book Reviews

Be sure to check back with Clash of the Titles for all the latest in Christian Fiction!


Much has happened over the last few months and I thought I'd take some blog space to bring everyone up to speed on what's happening in my world and in the world of the Garfield Dwellers.

First a plea...I'm starting a newsletter. Please see the box in the upper right hand corner. If you have not signed up, please consider doing so. The first installment will publish in January and will appear quarterly after that. I have 215 names so far and would love to add yours to that growing list. The newsletter will feature an author interview and giveaway, recipes, contests, and of course VALLEY VIEW book news. I have an AMAZING first guest author that you are not going to want to miss and you won't see the interview posted anywhere else.

Now, let's take the books in order of appearance.

Callie celebrates her first birthday this month. She continues to get great reviews and I am thrilled by God's goodness in this regard. If you are reading this, and you haven't read the book...

Best deal for purchase: Deeper Shopping has the print copies for 13.43. Here's the link: http://ow.ly/qbVLn 

Terri also continues to get FIVE STAR reviews. If you haven't got your copy yet once again, Deeper shopping has the best deal on print copies at just 10.39.
If you have friends that enjoy women's fiction, I'd appreciate it if you kept these two titles in mind for Christmas.

Pam is coming. I've talked to my publisher and, even though she didn't give me a date, she did say that everything was complete and that Pam was in que for a release date. I remain hopeful that she'll arrive right after the first of the year. Please agree with me in prayer about that. (SMILE)

Meet Samantha, book four in the WOMEN OF VALLEY VIEW series. I apologize for the picture. I pulled it out of Callie's cover, and I know it's not the best.

The news is that the story is complete!! 73,000 words and currently with my wonderful group of advance readers. They will have input back to me by the end of November. I'll make a couple of final read throughs and send it of for submission by Christmas.

No contract exists for this title yet. All prayers appreciated.

There you have it, all my news and theirs. Please make sure you check out the other page tabs while you're here.

Farm Lit, a Genre for Your Inner Country Girl

Before we dive into this week's feature novel, a hearty "hurrah!" for Clash of the Titles's 
winning novel, Veil of Pearls.

Congratulations to Author MaryLu Tyndall for a job well done!
Stay tuned for a full-length feature on this fantastic book.


Raspberries and Vinegar
by Valerie Comer

Sweet Like Raspberries ~ Tart Like Vinegar

Josephine Shaw: complex, yet singleminded. A tiny woman with big ideas and, some would say, a mouth to match. But what does she really know about sustainable living as it relates to the real world? After all, she and her two friends are new to farming.

Zachary Nemesek is back only until his dad recovers enough to work his own land again. When Zach discovers three helpless females have taken up residence at the old farm next door, he expects trouble. But a mouse invasion proves Jo has everything under control. Is there anything she can't handle? And surely there's something sweet beneath all that tart.



Q: Where did the idea for Raspberries and Vinegar come from?
A: There's a huge interest these days in food issues, and many 20-somethings dream of having a small farm and growing their own food. As a long-time farmer myself, I wondered what it would look like to have idealistic urban young people tackle a farming environment. And the whole Farm Fresh Romance series was born!

Q: They say to write what you know. What do you know about growing food?
A: My husband and I both grew up with moms who had large gardens and cooked from scratch because of financial necessity. Having the same need in our early years, we followed in their footsteps, but we soon came to understand that our food was healthier and tastier than what many families ate. Now we are beekeepers and own a small farm. We grow most of our own meat and vegetables, and source a great deal of our fruit and grain locally. This means a large garden and an intimate knowledge of processing food for winter via canning, dehydrating, and freezing.

Q: Why do you call this novel Farm Lit?
A: Farm Lit has been getting a lot of attention lately as today's answer to Chick Lit. In the current economic atmosphere, women's minds are turning from shoes and handbags to gourmet food and farm-to-table restaurants. Farm Lit http://farmlit.com is any literature that embraces the life of modern-day “new” farmers. These stories can be fiction or memoir, and most often include city-bred heroines who head for an idealized rural existence and (often) find the man of their dreams riding a tractor rather than a horse or a motorbike. As such, Raspberries and Vinegar fits the bill perfectly!


* Raspberries and Vinegar--Wonderful title and I look forward to reading it. Bless you.
* Valerie, always a great job.
* I look for feel-good reads with wholesome challenges and real, yet admirable characters. Raspberries and Vinegar seems to have it all!
* I chose Raspberries and Vinegar by Valerie Comer because it's her debut book as well as the debut book for ChooseNow Publishing. I'm very interested to see what all the hoopla is about.
* I like Valerie Comer's originality with her genre. There's a freshness about it!

Don't pick up Raspberries and Vinegar and expect the same old blah-blah love story, because you won't get that. What you will get is a well-written, enjoyable, emotional tale that will pull you into the beginning of a series I predict you'll look forward to following as much as I do. Romance, locally sourced foods and interesting, complicated characters all make this a page turner.
~B. Nault

Valerie Comer's Raspberries & Vinegar is a sweet and sassy story that made me laugh out loud, get teary-eyed, and sigh with pleasure at the ending. There's Josephine, a spunky heroine with a heart for her friends, the earth, and the handsome vet next door. And there's Zachary, a veterinarian who cares about animals, his sweet and confused grandmother, and the spunky new neighbor, Josephine.
~Stacy M.

Until I read this book, I'd never heard of "farmlit," and didn't know what to expect. Romantic, fun, with refreshing values, and small town atmosphere, readers will enjoy this romp on the farm!

Each December I pick my favorite reads of the year and right now Raspberries and Vinegar is a top contender. If you love strong characters, a great message, a clean romance and the country, this book is for you.
~J. Arduini

Valerie Comer’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local foods movement as well as their creation-care-centric church. She only hopes her characters enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.

Valerie writes Farm Lit with the voice of experience laced with humor. Raspberries and Vinegar, first in her series A Farm Fresh Romance, released August 1, 2013. Visit her at http://valeriecomer.com.

The ultimate literary challenge, where authors battle and readers judge.


Terri lowered herself and the baby into the porch swing. The aged wood and the heavy metal chains creaked under her weight and she held her breath until she was sure the shrill noise wouldn’t disturb the bundle sleeping in her arms. She put the swing into motion with a kick of her foot and lifted her face to the cool October breeze. Bird song and the smell of burning leaves from some somewhere up the street mingled in the air. A puff of wind brought a fresh shower of leaves dancing to the ground. If Steve doesn’t get the rake out soon we’ll be buried alive. She tucked the blanket a little tighter and shifted the baby to her shoulder. “I can’t believe it’s already time for Halloween.” She rubbed her cheek against the downy hair of her son.  “I can’t believe that this time next year you’ll be old enough to go trick or treating with Bobbie.”
Her bubble of solitude burst as Iris and Samantha slammed out the front door, arms loaded with an assortment of items Terry couldn’t readily identify. She frowned at them over the baby’s head.
Iris dropped her load on the porch and helped Samantha empty her arms. “Go get the pumpkin.” Sam went back into the house and Iris looked at Terry. “Sorry, did we wake him up?”
“No. What are you girls up to?”
“We’re going to decorate the porch for Halloween. I saw this cool idea on the computer. We carved a pumpkin and we’re going stand a dummy in this big planter and use the pumpkin for his head. Then on Halloween night we’re going to use Dad’s walkie talkies to make the dummy talk to the kids when they come up on the porch. We’ll scare the little goblins spitless.
Don’t worry, Mom. We’ll take it easy on the little guys, we’ll save the best moans and screams for the bigger kids.”
The baby squirmed on her shoulder and lifted his head to stare at Terry with clear blue eyes. “Well, I guess I’ve had all the peace and quiet I’m going to get.” She started to stand.
“Don’t go in. You guys can supervise. It’ll be good practice for when he’s old enough to plot with us.
Terry turned the baby around so that he could watch his sisters work. She settled back into the swing content to be surrounded by the family she’d always dreamed of having.

While you're here, please take a few seconds to sign up for my new newslettter. The first edition will debut right after the first of the year with a very surprise guest and several giveaways! Once your done with that tiny chore please visit the tabs at the top of the page. Our AUTHOR SPOT LIGHT guest for this week is Tanya Stowe. Tanya is here to talk about her new novel, HAUNTED HEARTS.  Tanya will be giving away an E-copy of her book at the end of the week. On this week's SNEAK PIQUE page we have Mary Hamilton's newest, HEAR NO EVIL.

A Novel to Dance About

If you're a fan of "Dancing with the Stars," have dreamed of being swept across a ballroom floor, or if you're any sort of lover of romance, you'll want to know more about this week's featured novel! It's volume one in the Sisters of Redemption Series and is a resource for those seeking to recover true joy in their lives.

This Dance
by Jerusha Agen


No love, no pain. No God, no games.

A tragedy three years ago destroyed Nye's rise to the top of the dancing world as an upcoming tango star, and in the process destroyed her reason for living. She survived the pain and built a new life resembling nothing like the one she left behind, determined never to hurt again.

Nye's emotional walls hold up perfectly until she meets a handsome lawyer and an elderly landowner. They seem harmless, but one awakens feelings she doesn't want and the other makes her face the God she can't forgive. Will these two men help Nye dance again?



Q. What issues do your characters face that will speak to the heart of your readers?
A. Where do I start? Nye’s story hits on a lot of pertinent issues that I think most of us have to deal with in our lives. On the basic level, there are the issues of grief and loss, as well as fear of experiencing more loss in the future. While Nye likes to think she has control over her life, she’s really being controlled by her repressed grief and fear of being hurt again.
Then there’s the issue of joy. Nye has lost whatever enjoyment she once had in life. Her fear of pain keeps her from seeking anything that might bring her joy, while her sorrow prevents her from believing there could be anything that would bring her happiness ever again.
I hope that readers who are struggling with a painful loss, who know the fear of being hurt, or who have lost the sense of joy in their lives will find hope in reading Nye’s story.

Q. What advice based upon scripture would you give a reader who is dealing with the issues that are front and center in your current release?
A. Remember that God is in control and that He’s a loving God, who will work out ALL things for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28). You can try to control your life like Nye does and try to avoid things that might cause you pain. It might seem to work for a while, but, sooner or later, you’ll realize that you can’t control anything.
That might sound scary, but it isn’t when you know the God who is in control, when you know that He’s good, that He loves you and has the wisdom to see the big picture that you can’t see (Jeremiah 29:11). As much as whatever you are going through may hurt right now, cling to the truth that God is there and that, in the very end, everything, no matter how awful it seems now, will be turned into victory (1 Corinthians 15:54).

Jerusha Agen is a lifelong lover of story--a passion that has led her to a B.A. in English and a highly varied
career. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, her fiction and nonfiction have been published in various journals, magazines, and newsletters. Jerusha is the author of the Sisters Redeemed Series. Book One, This Dance, released in August 2013. This Shadow, Book Two, will be released in February 2014.
Jerusha is also a screenwriter, and several of her original scripts have been produced as films. In addition, Jerusha is a film critic, with reviews featured at the website, www.RedeemerReviews.com.
Jerusha relishes snowy Midwest winters spent with her large, furry dogs and one little, furry cat.

Visit Jerusha at the following locations:
Follow Jerusha on Twitter @SDGwords
Facebook (Jerusha Agen – SDG Words).


“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you” (Psalm 9:10 NIV).

How many names do you have? Most people have a first, middle, and last name. Some have a maiden name or a nickname. The depth of your relationship with someone may be indicated by how many of their names you know. For example, is he simply Mr. Smith? James Smith? Jimmy Smith? Or Jimmy “Hot Rod” Smith? Often, the more names you know, the more intimate the relationship.
The same is true of our relationship with God. The more of His names we know, the easier it is to develop an intimate relationship with Him. In fact, there are at least three blessings that come from knowing God’s names.
The first blessing is the more we learn about who God is and how He works, the easier it is for us to trust Him. When we learn what God says about Himself—and then see how He relates to us is consistent with what He says—our trust is affirmed and deepened.
            The second blessing is the more we know the names and attributes of God, the more complete our picture is of God’s nature. Some people misunderstand who God is because they focus on one of His names or attributes to the exclusion of all others. For example, those who focus only on God’s characteristic of love often end up with an anything-goes god who tolerates sin. Others who focus only on God’s holiness create a fire-and-brimstone god who is unloving and unmerciful. God is love and He is holy. He is merciful and He is just. He is all these things and more. To truly know Him, we must learn all that He is—not just one or two characteristics that describe who we want Him to be.
            The third blessing is that knowing how God describes Himself changes the way we pray. Instead of praying to an impersonal force in the universe, we are praying to our very personal God. Whatever the subject of our prayer—whether worship, thanksgiving, interceding for others, or asking for ourselves—there is a name or attribute God revealed which helps us relate to Him in that area.
            How well do you know God’s names and attributes? How well do you want to know them? Get to know what God says about Himself and experience the blessings!

Ava Pennington

While you're here, please take a few minutes to sign up for my new newslettter. The first edition will debut right after the first of the year with a very surprise guest and several giveaways! Once your done with that tiny chore please visit the tabs at the top of the page. Our AUTHOR SPOT LIGHT guest for this week is Kathryn Bain. Kathryn is here to talk about her new novel, BEAUTIFUL IMPERFECTON.  Kathryn will be giving away an E-copy of her book at the end of the week. On this week's SNEAK PIQUE page we have Ava Pennington's new devotion DAILY REFLECTIONS ON THE NAME OF GOD and A RELUCTANT COURTSHIP by Laurie Alice Eakes.

September Clash Champion and Laurel Finalists, Announced!

This week, COTT announces TWO great events!
September's Clash Winner
and the 2013 Laurel Finalists.

We'll start with the Clash.
And the winner is....

The Pastor's Wife Wears Biker Boots
by Author Karla Akins

Pastor’s wife, Kirstie Donovan, lives life in a fishbowl, so when she hops on the back of a bright pink motorcycle, tongues start to wag at the conservative, century-old First Independent Christian Community Church of Eels Falls. 

Kirstie loves roaring down a road less traveled by most women over forty, but she’s not just riding her bike for the fun of it. Kirstie has a ministry. However, certain church members have secrets to hide, and when God uses Kirstie’s ministry to fill the pews with leather-clad, tattooed bikers, those secrets could be exposed…and some will stop at nothing to hide the truth. 

Join Kirstie and her motorcycle “gang”—two church matrons and a mouthy, gum-smacking non-church member—as they discover that road-toughened bikers are quite capable of ministering to others, and faith is fortified in the most unexpected ways.


Karla Akins is a pastor's wife who rides her own motorcycle. She is the mother of four boys and one step-daughter, and grandmother of five. She lives in North Manchester with her husband who is the pastor of Christian Fellowship Church, her twin teenage boys with autism, mother-in-law with Alzheimer's and three rambunctious dogs. Karla and her husband have been in ministry together for 30 years.


The entries have been read and the scores have been tabulated. Our unique panel of judges, comprised strictly of readers, has determined our three finalists. And they are…

Ruth Reid's "An Angel by Her Side"
MaryLu Tyndall's "Veil of Pearls"
Delia Latham's "Gypsy's Game"

Congratulations to all three!!

Thanks you to all our Laurel entrants for participating—the panel enjoyed reading all of your excerpts! 

The three finaling submissions will be returned to the same panel of judges for a final vote. The winner will be announced on October 18, 2013. 

While you're here, please take a few minutes to sign up for my new newslettter. The first edition will debut right after the first of the year with a very surprise guest and several giveaways! Once your done with that tiny chore please visit the tabs at the top of the page. Our AUTHOR SPOT LIGHT guest for this week is Kathryn Bain. Kathryn is here to talk about her new novel, BEAUTIFUL IMPERFECTON.  Kathryn will be giving away an E-copy of her book at the end of the week. On this week's SNEAK PIQUE page we have Ava Pennington's new devotion DAILY REFLECTIONS ON THE NAME OF GOD and A RELUCTANT COURTSHIP by Laurie Alice Eakes.