Grateful for the things I miss

Does that sound strange to you? But it’s true.

WTJimI miss my husband, Jim, my best friend and soul-mate, a west Texas cowboy from El Paso. But I’m grateful for the almost twenty-six years we had together.

I miss being married. Miss having a loving, warm body to snuggle up with. But I’m grateful he was there to hold me and comfort me when I needed it.newpaint-front

I miss the house we shared together in Las Vegas, but I’m grateful for the warm home he created for us.

I miss Las Vegas, too. But I’m grateful for the thirty-three years I lived there, with its warm—no, make that hot—dry climate. And I’m grateful for the great job the Lord provided for me, a newbie to town, which is where I met Jim.

I miss my two cats, Bubba and Puffers,  my fluffy, purring pillow companions after Jim passed away three years ago this coming October.Bubba-Puffers

I was broken-hearted when I lost these two special buddies last fall within six weeks of each other. But I am ever so grateful for the twelve years of kitty love they gave me.

I miss my birth family: Mom, Dad, sister Marty and brother Bob, all of whom have gone on before me. But I am eternally grateful that God placed me into a Christian home in which to grow up, and I know we’ll be together again soon.

Yes, I miss so much of my past, but I have wonderful memories to cherish now. The love, fun, laughter, adventures, misadventures, tears, some regrets, and, yes, even the losses.

But I am so very grateful for having had them.

Now, back in Wisconsin, near my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, I am making new memories. Maybe not so much for me, but for these precious ones who surround me.

I’ll be counting my many blessings, past and present, from here to Heaven.

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Help me name a character

Why I’m having so much trouble with this I have no idea. The name I need isn’t even for a major character. Nor a secondary one. She’ll most likely be mentioned a time or two throughout the whole story. But her being there IS important for one of my main characters.

cheerleader-2Does this little cartoon give you an idea the kind of person I’m looking for?

She is:

  1. * A seventeen-eighteen yr. old high school senior
  2. * She’s a cheerleader
  3. * She thinks she’s better than anyone else
  4. * her ‘friends’ don’t really like her, but they want to be in her clique
  5. * She used to date the current boyfriend of one of my main characters
  6. * she does not like my character
  7. * She and this guy were crowned Homecoming King & Queen during their junior year . . . he’s the hunky star quarterback
  8. * she thinks she can get him back, and . . .
  9. * as the cartoon says, she wants to break them up

I’m quite positive you had at least one girl like that in your own school years, or maybe you have daughters dealing with Miss Ima Snob right now..

For me, those days have been long, long years in the past, and I haven’t a clue about current snooty girls’ names du jour these days

That’s where you come in.

I tried to create a poll with some possible names I’m playing around with but couldn’t get it to work. Even if this person is minor, I cannot use names beginning with, R, V, S, M (already have two, don’t want another) or J.

Here are the names I’m contemplating, in no particular order:

    • Chantel
    • Amelia
    • Francine
    • Natalie
    • Desiree

I have to admit I’m leaning heavily toward one of those names and I’d love to see how many—if any—agree with me. Or, convince me otherwise!

I’ll be making my decision one week from today, Monday, April 27. For all who enter with your vote of choice in the comment section below—provided I get 5 or more entries—I’ll toss your name into a drawing to win all three volumes of my e-book (Kindle) short stories in the Sweetland Series: All Things Work Together; Silver Bells and Candlelight; and Perfect for the Job.

Please leave contact information in your comment.

PLEASE vote for ONE of the names above.  If you think you can come up with an even more delicious name, feel free to suggest it in ADDITION to one of those in the list in your comment.

Thanks for the help!

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COTT brings you “Entrusted” by Julie Arduini, plus Olympia Winner!

Before we bring you our featured novel, Clash of the Titles wishes to congratulate Kelly Goshorn manuscript “A Love Restored” for taking home the crown during our Olympia Awards.
Congrats, Kelly!
The Olympia is COTT’s annual contest for pre-published authors.
To learn more about the Olympia and Kelly Goshorn, please visit us at

If you enjoy a sweet romance in a quaint village, you’ll love Julie Arduini’s debut novel. She fills the town with delightful and insightful characters. The story has a good balance of humor, wisdom and love. Buy this book, wrap up in a warm blanket with a cup of team, and snuggle in for a great read.   –Amazon customer

About the book:
Jenna Anderson, sassy city-girl from Youngstown, Ohio, plows–literally–into Adirondack village, Speculator Falls, with a busted GPS. She gets a warning from the sheriff but has ideas for the senior center to prove she belongs in town as their director. Town councilman Ben Regan is as broken as the flower box Jenna demolished. He’s grieving and wants to shut down the center before there’s too much change and heartbreak. They work on community projects and build a slow relationship, but the council needs to vote on the senior center’s future. Can Jenna show Ben both her and the center are worth trusting?

Special offer from the author, Julie Arduini!
Subscribe for free to the Julie Arduini newsletter and receive her novella, Match Made in Heaven plus monthly installments to the sequel, Crumbs and Embers. To subscribe, visit the left sidebar of to complete the form and watch for activation.

What COTT voters had to say:

–Julie Arduini I love this book & am beyond thrilled to hold your passion in my hands. I am happy to be able to vote for you, but as you know, you’ve already won!!
–Julie Arduii can’t wait to read this book.
–Julie Arduini so excited to see what God does with your book!!
–Love the cover and the novel Entrusted by Julie Arduini.
–Congratulations on your novel Julie Arduini!!!
–Julie Arduini, the setting of your book and the language brings me back home.
–May God keep blessing your writing ministry for Him, Julie Arduini
–Julie Arduini, this sounds like my kind of story. I like the term, “the fir flies.”
–Entrusted had it all. I thoroughly enjoyed it and encourage others to check it out. Good job Julie A.
–Julie Arduini has a heart of passion and the gift of penmanship!!! What a Blessing!!
–Love the cover Julie Arduini!!
–Julie Arduini is one of my favorite people– including one of my favorite authors. Love her book “Entrusted”!
–Just so exciting to watch God work in your life Julie Arduini . Surrendering your writing to Him and Wow look what he does …and he’s not done ! ??
–Julie, I loved the book. Thank you!! Blessings, Jenn
–Can’t wait to read more from Julie Arduini! I’m hooked on her Adirondack series, the characters, the setting, and Julie’s good writing!

The author shares how Entrusted came about:

My writing includes surrender issues and in Entrusted, Ben and Jenna both struggle. Jenna wants to

belong and Ben’s afraid of loss. They have to surrender those things to their Heavenly Father and trust that He’s taking care of them. Book 2 and 3 also give a clue to the surrender journey with Entangled and Engaged.

The book came about after my first visit to the real village of Speculator in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate NY. As I walked the street and drank in the mountain air, the characters came alive. I’m excited to return to Speculator June 12 as I share my writing experience at the Lake Pleasant library. Then, starting June 25th I’m participating in an Entrusted book club in Youngstown where I plan to share exclusive footage of me visiting the places I used in Entrusted.

Enjoy this trailer for The Love Boat Bachelor by Jerusha Agen and Theresa Anderson!

Find more great new releases all year at Clash of the Titles!
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Thought For the Day


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And the Winner is:

In the drawing for Deanna Klingel’s  free book The Mysterious Life of Jim Linber from My Cozy Den blog post HERE 



Thanks for entering, Gail. I’ll be sending your email address to Deanna so she can make arrangements for you to get this interesting book.

Blessings in Him…

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COTT Announces Winner of 2015 Olympia Award

by Michelle Massaro

Good morning, lovers of the written word! We have some big news to share today: The Olympia has a winner!

Please give a virtual hand to Kelly Goshorn!!



Kelly Goshorn is an aspiring novelist currently masquerading as a virtual assistant and a Target cashier who believes everybody needs a little more love and romance in their life. Ever since Laura Ingalls peered into Almanzo Wilder’s eyes and called him “Manly,” she has been a pushover for historical romances. Kelly weaves her affinity for history and her passion for God into uplifting stories of love, faith and family set in nineteenth century America.  She is a member of Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers.  Kelly earned her B.A. in Social Studies Education from Messiah College and her M.Ed. in History Education from The Pennsylvania State University. She has been enjoying her own happily-ever- after with her husband and best friend, Mike, for nearly 25 years. When she is not writing, Kelly enjoys spending time with her young adult children, scrapbooking with friends, board gaming with her husband, and spoiling her Welsh corgi, Levi. Kelly writes from her home near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Purcellville, Virginia.


Kelly’s entry, A Love Restored, was chosen as winner based on the scoring by a panel of non-industry readers and then our panel of industry professionals*. Here’s a bit about her story:


A Love Restored

She was nothing like the woman he’d envisioned for his bride, but he was everything she’d ever dreamed of—until a promise from his past threatened their future.

Twenty-year old Ruth Ann Sutton doesn’t measure up to society’s vision of a perfect lady. She would rather read Jules Verne or teach Negro children to read and write than join the Women’s Benevolent Aid Society or practice her voice lessons. Her pert opinions and less than perfect figure kept many suitors away, and when Ruth Ann accepts a position teaching at the new Freedman’s School, it threatens the only marriage offer she is likely to receive. Should she risk life as a lonely spinster or reinvent herself to accept a proposal from a man who doesn’t love her?

Determined to rise above his meager beginnings, Benjamin Saunders reputation as a fast learner and hard worker earn him the opportunity to apprentice with a surveyor—a position that will garner the respect of other men. All he needs now is a woman to share his promising future. When Benjamin has a chance encounter with Ruth Ann Sutton, he is smitten with her pretty face, quick wit, and feisty personality, but can he overcome a promise from his past to marry a woman other men would envy?


Sorry, readers, this book is not yet published! So we’ll all have to wait and see where Kelly’s publishing journey takes her and this manuscript. We at COTT hope to see this book in print one day soon.

Congratulations, Kelly!

In addition to a tour through COTT’s Blog Alliance, Kelly will be receiving a beautiful plaque to commemorate her win and an internet radio interview with Cynthia Simmons!

A HUGE Thank-you to our reader panel and especially to
our *Final Round judges:

Karen Ball–Agent, Steve Laube Literary Agency

Becky Philpott— Acquisitions Editor, Harper Collins

Becky Wade— Award-winning Author

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Sneak Peek!

Yesterday, my publisher released an excerpt of my upcoming new release, Sweetwater River, Volume One: Ripples on their blog. I’d love it if you’d drop in and take a peek at the opening scene.

It would mean so much to me. There’s even a place at the bottom to leave a comment. I know the publisher would appreciate it, too.

But I need to mention…this excerpt is unedited, and already I’ve made some changes, so this won’t be exactly what you’ll read the the first volume of Sweetwater River is. released.

Click on the book cover to read these opening words.

Thanks, and God Bless.

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