There’s A New Blog In Town: The Clash of the Titles

It’s great to be interviewing Jennifer Slattery. Jennifer is in charge of marketing for a new and exciting blog that is about to launch: Clash of the Titles.

Nike: Jennifer, can you tell us what Clash of the Titles is all about?

Jennifer: Clash of the Titles is a literary website where authors compete and reader’s judge. Our goal is to partner with God in His expansion of Christian fiction into all genres and we are excited at the prospect of seeing new readers drawn to quality, engaging Christian fiction.

Nike: When does it launch?

Jennifer: We are taking submissions from authors now, but our site officially launches on October 18th.

Nike: Who are some of the other staff members involved with Clash of the Titles and what do they do?

Jennifer: There are six of us in all. April Gardner, author of Wounded Spirits, is our Senior Editor. This site was her baby. She wants to unite authors with new readers while challenging readers to venture outside of their usual genre. Amanda Flower, murder mystery writer and author of Five Star’s recently released, Maid of Murder is in charge of scheduling. Lisa Lickel, edgy Christian fiction writer of Meandar Scar and numerous other titles handles advertising. Michelle Massaro, an aspiring author of contemporary fiction handles public relations. I’m in charge of marketing and Catherine Terry handles media relations. We’re all writers and avid readers that love seeing the rapid expansion of Christian fiction!

Nike: As you probably know, my passion in fiction is crime fiction, detective stories, thrillers, suspense, and murder mysteries. Do you have plans to showcase this type of perhaps more hard hitting Christian fiction in the new blog?

Jennifer: We aren’t about to limit God. He is doing amazing things in the Christian fiction industry and we want to ride on His shirt tails. His message–reaching out to the lost and broken–won’t change, but His method never stops changing. Which is why there needs to be a large variety of Christian fiction. Thrillers, suspense novels, and murder mysteries can reach an audience that romance novels cannot–an audience that may not listen to a sermon or visit a daily devotion.

Nike: In the past we’ve spoken about what a great work God is doing in Christian fiction. How He’s expanding Christian fiction. How new genres seem to be cropping up. As a catch all, this is often referred to as edgy Christian fiction. My main interest in edgy Christian fiction is the more gritty and realistic crime fiction some Christian suspense writers are penning now. Do you see The Clash of the Titles show casing any of the edgier titles coming out now in Christian fiction?

Jennifer: You are right, Nike, Christian fiction is expanding and breaking out of traditional molds. Some people worry about this. I am excited to see the lengths God goes to to reach each one of us. And again, we are not going to stand in the way of what God is already doing, nor try to make Him conform to our preconceived ideas on what Christian fiction “should be”. We will guard the message–the message of God’s love, grace, and His free offer of redemption–without hindering the method. That being said, there are certain boundaries we will adhere to–those that have been generally accepted by the Christian market. Entertain us, grip us, challenge us, inspire us. Show us a bit of the worst of the worst so we can see the true depths of grace. Just don’t drag us into the bedroom or blister our ears. lol

Nike: I want to thank Jennifer for taking the time to participate in this interview. To view Clash of the Titles go to this link:

I’m On A Thriller Panel~Wahoo~Pretty Impressive

I’m on the Inspy Award’s Thriller Panel. Hey even I’m impressed. We’re talkin the Inspy’s.

I’m not impressed with me, but with the awards. These are the bloggers’ awards for excellence in faith-driven literatiure.

This is where all those fanatical bloggers who sit up to all hours of the night reading novels that move, inspire, and elevate them and then spend their waking hours blogging about those books — these bloggers get to nominate said books for thes awards.

I’m on the Thriller/Mystery/Suspense judging panel and I’m more than honored, I’m delighted, ecstatic, over the moon. I’m also humbled to be in such great company with the other judges on the panel.

For a link to the Thriller JudgesPanel:

Am I "Sexting" Now???

Not really, but I am spending a whole lotta time online talkin a whole lotta trash to a whole lotta kids who spend a whole lotta time talkin trash. Many of them college bound kids.

First off…I’m posing as my runaway daughter. So, they don’t know I’m a mom. Or so I thought. One girl caught on right away and stopped replying to me. Why? I quickly figured it out. I typed in upper and lower case. A dead give away. But I learn quickly and switched to lower case exclusively.

Here’s a mom writing: Hi, BFF, what’s going on? How’s school? Oh, yeah, and I have a really important question, are you seeing much of Anthony?

Here’s a better way for a mom to disguise her writing so they don’t know it’s a mom: hey bestie, whaz w/u? how’s school? O yeah, I gotta really primo question. u c much of anthony?

Unfortunately I’m always a day or two behind my daughter, so whatever info I give the missing persons detective is old, but some of it’s info he doesn’t have. It all goes into a report which will be filed along with all the other NYPD reports.

Tiring, but I thank God for the two detectives who’ve devoted time to this case.

Meanwhile, back at the farm, quite a few people have have opened up to me privately…told me stories. One woman told me of a young man in law school who works part-time at her job. The kid’s parents are divorced and not on speaking terms. He lives with his attorney dad and they pass like ships in the night. The dad has high hopes for this son to follow him into law, as he followed the grandfather into law. However, this young man is selling pot and ecstays in the clubs on weekends. Dad doesn’t have a clue. The woman cautioned this fellow if he gets busted not only will he have an arrest record and possible prison time, but he can kiss his law career goodbye…not to mention rock his dad’s world. While the dad isn’t rolling in the dough anymore with alimony and what not, the boy really doesn’t want for much. The college kid’s response was it’s exciting to sell drugs in the clubs…not to mention the availability of chicks–his word.

And so it goes…

Do You Know Where Your Kidz Are???

My adopted daughter chose to return to the life she had befor the adoption..the life of the streets. She ran away seven days ago.. She’s only 14.

I’ve been searching Facebook to find her. I’ve found a kidz culture that’ll knock the sox off most parrents.

Some kid (he is probably over 18 and selling drugs) had a party last night that he publicized on Facebook. My run-away daughter was at that party…so were a lot of kids…their parents had no idea.

These kids don’t think they can be found out…but they haven’t met me yet. I’m an anomoly! My kid’s mom writes crime fiction. The underbelly is not unknown to me. I know the streets better than most parents. I did what my heroine (a private detective) woulda done.

Lest you think these kida are wash-outs…many of them area college bound, some of them high achievers. How did they get to this party??? They lied to their parents.

Updates to come….

Heroes For A Day

My huband Joseph and I adopted three half-sisters from foster care 7 years ago. They had been horribly abused. Abject pedophiles had access to them…two men, from what we can tell. One, due to our efforts was sentenced to ten years in prison.

The two oldest girls were the sexually abused ones. The little one was physically abused and went hungry a lot, but was not sexually abused. And she’s the one of the three who’s making it.

The oldest is in Manhattan somewhere. She phones now and then. She’s selling her body in the sex trade and pedling drugs on the side.

The middle one just took off with some guy she met on Facebook. She’s left a few phone messages. We don’t have a clue where she is. She’s been gone five days, going into the sixth day.

Funny thing is, I wrote a manuscript four years ago about a girl who is found murdered not far from where we live by a man she met online. I’d been getting it ready for submission when my daughter ran off. Life can mirror fiction, just as fiction can mirror life.

I’ve been very affected by the 9/11 anniversary this year. I’ve played a number of the songs from the Concert For New York City — in 2001 just after the terrorist attack.

I find myself playing David Bowie’s Heroes, from that concert. It resonates with me in my own personal hell. I want to swim like the dolphins swim. I want to be free like the dolphins, and yet I am chained to the computer combing Facebook, looking for anyone who might know where my daughter is.

My husband and I were heroes for a day, adopting them, having dreams for them…and then the evil of the world consumed them again…swallowed them.

I write of this evil in my Christian crime fiction novels…for which I’m seeking a publisher. I tell stories of  the evil consuming children, devouring them while so many of us are playing at church. We’re so pioulsy polite, and the enemy, the destroyer is glad we are…as we’re largely ineffectual against him.

We’re afraid to touch the girl in the sex trade and if we won’t touch her, how can we give her a hand up and out? We don’t understand when she rejects us and the wonderful Christian life we offer…and runs back to hell. And it’s hell on earth. It’s all too easy for us to heap judgement upon her.

The old addage, hate the sin/love the sinner, is all too true. We must hate the life she’s run back to, and yet somehow try to communicate to her how worthwhile she is.

To see the David Bowie music video…

Just Who Is Colton Parker Anyway???

This has been an edgy Christian fiction summer for me and I’ve loved every minute of it. Via my Kindle (kissing it now), I read one of Michelle Sutton’s spicy novels and two of Brandt Dodson’s noir novels while on vacation in sunny Florida. The reading experience was incredible!!!

I always prefer to begin a crime fiction series from book one. So, of course, the first book in Brand Dodson’s series is Original Sin and I gobbled it up.

I got introduced to the droll main character, former FBI agent, now an Indianapolis private investigator (trying to make ends meet) Coltin Parker.

I like to get to know the protag in a work of crime fiction from the get go. Here I find Coltin, figuratively speaking, nearly on life support. He’s been fired from the FBI for beating the tar out of a kidnapper, which resulted in the rescue of the little girl victim. So, right from the beginning I knew if circumstances warrant it, Colton can become violent. In addition Colton’s wife Anna recently died in a car accident leaving him unprepared to be both father and mother to a thirteen year old daughter who because he’s been such a workaholic he hardly knows. In addition his daughter Callie blames him for her mother’s death.

This guys is so adrift after the death of his wife, if it wasn’t for his love for Callie he might take his own life, or find some low-life criminal to take it for him. As the book progresses, I discover violence isn’t so foreign to Colton, in fact he often has to reign himself in, sometimes with great difficulty. Now this is a hero on the edge. I don’t know what he’s gonna do and that makes the read exciting.

The return of Colton Parker in Dodson’s second gritty novel, Seventy Times Seven, deals as one might suspect with forgiveness. Colton’s looking for a nerdy rich business owner’s wife who it seems has run away. Then her car turns up with blood in the trunk and thing are not what they seems.

In the midst of this Colton begins to discover he must seek the forgiveness of his daughter for what she perceives to be his misdeeds and his involvement in the accident that killed his wife, her mother. To complicate matters more, although intellectually Colton believes he’s not responsible for his wife’s death, emotionally he feels he may be.

As the story progresses and plot elements intertwine, we discover Colton has someone he must forgive.

Brandt Dodson