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10 January 2014

Clash of the Titles's First Novel Feature and Giveaway of 2014!

It's a new year, full of new books! But you can make Christmas last a little longer by enjoying Carlene Havel's latest novel, "A Sharecropper's Christmas." 

Also, help COTT ring in the New Year by entering our giveaway for a chance at three novels! Entry instructions can be found at the conclusion of Carlene's guest article. Enjoy!


Guest post by Carlene Havel

Someone asked me why I wanted to write about the 1930s. 

As a child, I loved to nestle in someone’s lap after dinner at my grandparents’ ranch while one story teller after another spun yarns from the Great Depression. “I tell you now, Boats, back in 1933, times was hard,” signaled the recounting of an adventure softened by subsequent years of prosperity. Great-uncle Boats got his nickname from the impressive size and shape of his shoes.  In addition to those extraordinarily long, thin feet, I inherited my family’s love for telling stories.

I was in high school before I realized my experiences were atypical.  For example, I saw my grandmother kill a rattlesnake when I was about four years old.  We were drawing water from the well in the back yard when the snake poked his head from beneath a pile of rocks. After arming herself with an iron crowbar, Alice calmly climbed onto the rocks--wearing her tall cowboy boots, of course.  The rattlesnake’s next peek was his last.

She didn’t normally use tobacco, but I remember Grandma Alice chewing a plug to apply to my bee sting. Long after others modernized, she prepared meals on a coal oil stove and churned her own butter. She could cook and sew and was pretty handy with a hammer and saw, too.  She let me feed the chickens and pet the horses, while Grandpa showed me the proper technique for milking a cow.

I never saw my grandmother measure an ingredient, but her cornbread, biscuits, and cobblers were legendary.  Her recipes include instructions to add liquid until the mixture looks right, and stir until the consistency feels good.  If she ever had a cooking failure, it must have been before I was born.

“A Sharecropper Christmas” is a novella loosely based on family stories and my own memories.  It is my tribute not only to my grandparents, but to a tough generation who endured enormous hardships.  My goal was to portray the determined perseverance of ordinary folks in the face of desperate poverty.

Description of “A Sharecropper Christmas”:  The Great Depression left the Shoemaker family hungry and homeless. Their desperate prayers are finally answered when Herbert Shoemaker finds work as a sharecropper. Alice makes the best of the hard times without complaint, though she dreams of giving her little family a special Christmas.


Carlene Havel writes Christian-themed romances and historical novels set in Biblical times. She's lived in Turkey, Republic of the Philippines, and all over the United States. Carlene worked for a banana importer, a software development company, and everything in between. She attended several colleges and universities, including one that--to her mother's surprise--granted her a diploma. Carlene and her husband live in South Texas, surrounded by their extended family.


Twitter  -  https://twitter.com/carlenehavel

Facebook  -  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarleneHavel

Amazon:  http://goo.gl/ugcII


Winner announced at www.clashofthetitles.com
Monday, January 20, 2014

By entering the contest, you understand that:
*The books may arrive in Kindle, Nook, or paperback format, according to each author's preference.
*Each author will send his/her book directly to the winner.
*COTT cannot be held responsible for prizes not received.
*Entry in this contest does NOT subscribe you to any feeds, newsletters, or other publications or networks
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Item Reviewed: Clash of the Titles's First Novel Feature and Giveaway of 2014! Rating: 5 Reviewed By: April Gardner