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COTT: Grace in the Flames by Michelle Massaro

Posted by Julie on March 14, 2016 in COTT, encouragement, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |


Debut Release by Michelle Massaro:

Grace in the Flames


“I couldn’t put it down, consider yourself warned.”

~ Amazon reviewer


About the book:


Grace in the Flames is a debut novel from Michelle Massaro

Three people. One God of grace.


John Douglas thought he knew the future God had for him–raise a family and grow old with his bride, Hannah. But then a deadly house fire incinerates his faith, destroying the man he’d been.

Worship leader Jenni Dupont conquered her demons years ago and has the scars to prove it. But temptation strikes when her world is shattered, and this time she’s not sure if God can carry her through.

Bar waitress April Johanson lives with the secret trauma of an abusive past. Desperate to stay off the streets of Vegas, she’ll do whatever is necessary to pay the rent.

When their lives intersect, God will ask them to do the impossible. To love Him even if…



>>Buy on Amazon<<






What readers are saying:

  • “intense”
  • “I was hooked from the first chapter”
  • “outstanding debut novel”
  • “couldn’t put it down”



Tweet or otherwise post online about the book with the Amazon link ( < %3b%3c/span%3eand> ) and be entered to receive a free digital copy of the book. (suggested tweetables provided at end of this post.) Then, share a link to your post in the comments section of this blog, and tell me what your favorite Easter tradition or song is. Mine: The End of the Beginning (David Phelps)… chills every time!



Michelle, what made you write this story?

The story premise came to me as I was just pondering my faith, asking myself how deep does it go, would it survive if truly challenged? The characters wrestle with some of life’s toughest questions—How could God let this happen to me? Where is God when my heart is breaking? I believe in God, but my hurt is so big I’m not sure He’s enough. These are all thoughts that I’ve encountered in my life as well.

But even when life is unbearably hard, God is right there placing our tears in a bottle and inviting us into His arms to carry us through. I hope readers come away with a better sense of that truth when they read Grace in the Flames.



What’s next?

I’m about to release my second novel, a fun dual-genre story I co-wrote with the amazing April W Gardner called Better than Fiction. It’s a Women’s fiction wrapped around a historical romance set in 1916 Corona during the height of its auto racing glory. The short description is:

While creating a fictional romance between her 1916 heroine and a reckless racecar driver, a novelist falls prey to an emotional affair with the man who inspires her handsome hero.

Corona, California is my hometown and it’s been a blast to dig into our rich history. The release will coincide with the town’s 100th anniversary of the final race, and we are so excited! We have a Facebook page set up for the book: < %3band> and will be offering a free digital copy to subscribers, so check that out, too!


About the Author:

MICHELLE MASSARO writes contemporary fiction soaked in grace. She makes her home in Southern California with her husband of over two decades and their four children. She’s dabbled in homeschooling, teaching Creation Science, and leading worship. When she isn’t tinkering with words, Michelle enjoys old Rogers and Hammerstein movies, making kefir, and Sudoku. A new lipstick and a good French roast always make her happy.

Sign up for bonuses and insider info:

Connect with her online:




“I was hooked from the first chapter” Check out Grace in the Flames! #NewRelease #ChristianFiction <>


“intense” Grace in the Flames is now in the #Kindle store! <>


“couldn’t put it down” ~ check out new #Christian #novel Grace in the Flames! <>

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COTT: Vote for Your Favorite New Release

Posted by Julie on July 1, 2014 in COTT, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Writing |

Hey there, readers. Michelle Massaro here, hoping you’re suited up for literary battle. But first, we have some awards to hand out in the form of free books!

The winner of our June three-book giveaway is

Joan Bradley

Joan, you will receive the following novels:

Worth the Wait by Laura Jackson

Londonderry Dreaming by Christine Lindsey

Rebekah’s Treasure by Sylvia Bombola


Be on the lookout for correspondence 

from the above COTT authors.

Now on to our Clash…

This month, the sands of our arena welcome 5 New Releases from a variety of genres. Which one will be the victor, receiving a free entry into next year’s Laurel competition and a tour through our Blog Alliance? Check out each book then cast your vote below.


A young musician and scholar is forced to join a warrior-brotherhood to save his people. But is he willing to give up everything–even the woman he loves–to follow the path God has lain before him?

Oath of the Brotherhood by C.E. Laureano


Sunday’s Child on life seas is tossed, awaiting the Lifeboat that rescues the lost

Sunday’s Child by Clare Revell

Bobby Kent’s name is synonymous with modern Country Music and he is no stranger to running from overzealous fans and paparazzo. But now he must protect his daughter and Carol, the mother of his only child, from a vicious and ruthless serial killer bent on their destruction.

A Carol for Kent by Hallee Bridgeman

Laila Pennedy awaits death by hanging. And she deserves to die.

Of The Persecuted by Angie Brashear

Ten years after he’d dumped her, Jessa is determined to not allow him to hurt her again. Lance was there to renovate her home, but could he change her heart?

Love Makes a House a Home by Kimberly Rae Jordan


Vote Below! Poll will be open through Tuesday night. Results will post next Thursday.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

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COTT: Sensational Releases

Posted by Julie on October 29, 2012 in COTT, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Writing |

**Guest post by Michelle Massaro

For most of us around the country, Fall is in the air. In Southern California we’re still seeing temps in the 90s, but hey–I say Autumn is a state of mind. And I’m ready for comfy sofas, hot cider, and a great new book to curl up with. Oh, and chocolate! Maybe a cat purring nearby. George Winston playing in the background. But the main thing I need is the book.

So, I’ve been searching through the titles released last month, including a long list that YOU guys recommended to me through our survey (thank you very much), and I’ve come up with a list of FIVE. Now I want to hear from you. Which of these most appeals to you? Which will be highest on your to-be-read pile this month? Take a look at the cover and the summary, then cast your vote. Polls will remain through Wednesday, closing on Halloween night (oooeeeooo) at midnight PST. (Yep, when I’m the hostess you get a few extra hours to vote because, well, once in a while it only seems fair to go by West Coast time. Right?)

All of the books below captured my attention for one reason or another. I’m sure they’ll capture you as well. After voting, I invite you to click over to Amazon and purchase one or more of these puppies!


The Road to Mercy by Kathy Harris
Bethany and Josh Harrison are faced with a decision that could cost her life–and the life of their unborn child; Dr. Ben Abrams is lost without a heritage of faith. Can Bethany’s choice save them both?


The Shadow on the Quilt (The Quilt Chronicles) by Stephanie Grace Whitson

Juliana Sutton’s life looks perfect-from the outside. Until her husband’s untimely death reveals a devastating truth. Will the shadow of her dead husband’s name stand between Juliana and Cass, or will Juliana choose a love she never thought possible?


Deadly Additive by Donn Taylor 

Soldier-of-fortune Jeb Sledge’s rescue of kidnapped journalist Kristin Halvorsen from Colombian guerrillas reveals a hidden threat to the global balance of power. Jeb and Kristin must also learn that virtuous lives without a spiritual dimension remain incomplete.


Restored Heart by Jennifer A. Davids

Anne Kirby and Peter McCord are both determined to hide their pasts. But they soon discover that love – and God – has a way of revealing everything.


Hidden in the Heart by Catherine West

“You existed before you were adopted.”

… Everything Claire wants seems to be beyond her reach …

So there you have it! Please make your selection in the Survey Monkey below. And send your friends to cast their votes as well! (good practice for November, right? lol)

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Olympia Button

p.s. Are you an aspiring author of Christian Fiction? This is the last week to enter Clash of the Titles’ annual contest for unpublished authors, the Olympia. Hurry! Submissions close Friday, November 2nd. 

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COTT: Astraea Press Having Huge Summer Reading Sale

Posted by Julie on July 24, 2012 in Book Review, COTT, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Writing |
Clash of the Titles has a BIG week coming up!
marks the beginning of our June Releases Clash, hosted by the lovely
Gail Pallotta. She’ll introduce you to five amazing new books, so get
your voting finger ready.
we’ll announce the three finalists in the 2012 Laurel Awards. Our
judges have been raving about the books, saying they wished they had
more than just the first two chapters. Remember, this year’s judges are
readers like you, who have no connection with the writing or publishing
world. You could be one of them! If you’re interested in being a judge
for the upcoming Olympia Award, please email us at
Our current judges are still sending in their score sheets, but by Saturday, we’ll have the final tally!


In the meantime, we’d like to pass along that Astraea Press is having a HUGE Summer Sale. Almost all of their stock is
available for $.99 on Kindle and Nook. To whet your appetite, here are
five titles from their Inspirational line. The sale lasts until the end
of July, but get your e-books today, before you forget!



Contemporary Romance

Taylor’s recent relocation to St. Louis leads her to a life different
from what she’s experienced in the past. Through her work with a small
charity, she meets and attracts the attention of professional baseball
player, Sebastian Quinn. Flattered, Pax tempers her desire for the
handsome playboy with her need to serve her God—a God Seb doesn’t
believe exists. Through unspeakable tragedy, they grow closer and with
disappointment, drift apart. How can two people from opposite ends of
the faith spectrum reconnect when they need each other most?

$.99 on KINDLE

$.99 on NOOK


2012 Selah Award winner in youth fiction
Middle grade historical/adventure

Browning loves nothing more than her tiny, island-home of Guernsey, but
when German troops invade, she knows it will never be the same again.
For Lizzie, younger brother Andre, and Cousin James, the time to escape
is now, and they know just how to do it. With the right tools and a
little help from a boat named, Trina, they’ll be off the island in no
time. When things start going wrong, Lizzie wonders about God’s plan.
From the looks of it, He might expect them to live under Nazi

$.99 on KINDLE

$.99 on NOOK

THEN SENTENCE by Elaine Cantrell

Contemporary Romance

could he do it! How could her father bring into their home the guy who
burned the church? Yeah, it was an accident and her dad’s a minister,
but if he wanted to save this man’s soul, why didn’t he go to the prison
to do it?  And no matter how cute the criminal is, no matter
what anyone says, she doesn’t watch him all the time.
Nice girls don’t fall for guys like Clint.  Do they?

$.99 on Kindle

$.99 on NOOK


THE MULLIGAN MAN by Monique O’Connor James

Short Story

When six kids are at a party, partaking in a little
too much fun, one of them is killed. The Mulligan Man, a character
straight out of folklore appears offering them the chance to fix all the
wrongs. In order to complete the deal, the teenagers must find out the
truth of what happened, perform a random act of kindness, and become

If they meet these stipulations, he will allow them to
bring their friend back from the dead. In the process they learn not to
judge, to stay away from drugs and alcohol, and that love can bridge
even the boundary of death.

$.99 on Kindle

$.99 on NOOK


by Christina Graham Parker


Sent back four
hundred years to reclaim her birthright as Princess of Dresdonia, Lexy
Newberry discovers the only thing harder than living without electricity
is guarding her heart from the perplexing Lord Lukas Reynard.

$.99 on Kindle

$.99 on NOOK


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COTT: Getting to Know Dineen Miller

Posted by Julie on July 16, 2012 in COTT, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Writing |

*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.



Facebook pages:

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

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COTT: Lynnette Bonner’s High Desert Haven Wins Latest Clash

Posted by Julie on May 14, 2012 in COTT, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Writing |


**Guest post by Michelle Massaro

In the recent Leading Ladies Clash, Life on the Edge by Jennifer Comeaux and High Desert Haven by Lynnette Bonner  went into the ring on Clash of the Titles.

After the public vote, the winning title was….


 HIGH DESERT HAVEN by Lynnette Bonner!!  
 We’re happy to announce that High Desert Haven has been added to the list of COTT Champ titles! And we also want to extend our congratulations to the author. I’m sure we’re all eager to add this book to our summer to-be-read pile! 


 In response to her win, author Lynnette Bonner said:
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.
Some of the comments left by readers were:
  • 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
  • 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

Curious to read the winning excerpt? You can both contenders’ entries here.

An interview with the winning author can be found here.  

Want to congratulate the author? Leave a message in the comments. Have a question about future Clashes on COTT? Email them at

Thank you! 

**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.

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