Grace Awards

Expanding the Tent Pegs of Christian Fiction

And…the Grace Awards 2016 Finalists are…

Grace Awards

The Grace Awards 2016 is now into its seventh year. This year, the number of reader nominations kept pouring in and we were eager to count them. We had a record number of novels nominated. Works from major publishers, small publisher, and independent author were nominated.

Grace Awards is a reader driven literary awards. We are “the little engine that could” of Christian fiction awards.

According to the rules, every novel had to have been accompanied by at least a 40+ word statement telling why the story was nominated…a sort of mini-review or critique. This year the reasons given were astute and outstanding. There is no doubt that today’s Christian reader is both intelligent and perceptive.

And now…the finalists in six categories are…

WOMEN’S FICTION/GENERAL FICTION: (serious women’s/men’s, societal issues, can have humor and suspense elements)

LAND OF SILENCE by Tessa Afshar (Tyndale House Publishers) ~ Elianna is a young girl crushed by guilt. After her only brother is killed while in her care, Elianna tries to earn forgiveness by working for her father’s textile trade and caring for her family. When another tragedy places Elianna in sole charge of the business, her talent for design brings enormous success, but never the absolution she longs for. As her world unravels, she breaks off her betrothal to the only man she will ever love. Then illness strikes, isolating Elianna from everyone, stripping everything she has left.

INCONCEIVED by Sharyn Kopf (LoJo Publishing) ~ Realizing you’re a spinster is one thing; understanding what that means and how to handle it is another. And it would seem Jolene, Uli and Catie still have a ways to go before they truly comprehend what God is trying to show them not only in their desire to marry but in their longing to have children of their own.

YOU’RE THE CREAM IN MY COFFEE by Jennifer Lamont Leo (Smitten Historical Romance) ~In 1928, Chicago rocks to the rhythm of the Jazz Age, and Prohibition is in full swing. Small-town girl Marjorie Corrigan, visiting the city for the first time, has sworn that coffee’s the strongest drink that will pass her lips. But her quiet, orderly life turns topsy-turvy when she spots her high school sweetheart–presumed killed in the Great War–alive and well in a train station. Suddenly everything is up for grabs.

ROMANCE/HISTORICAL ROMANCE: (primary element is love/courtship/marriage, be it set now or then)

A RELUCTANT MELODY by Sandra Ardoin (Heritage Beacon Fiction) ~ Kit Barnes’ drinking ruined more lives than his own. Now sober, he wants to make amends by opening a mission for drunkards. The most suitable location belongs to Joanna Cranston Stewart, a love from his sordid past and the one person he hurt the most. A pariah among her peers, Joanna is all too eager to sell her property and flee the rumors that she sent her late husband to an early grave. But she will let the gossips talk and the walls of her rundown property crumble around her before she’ll allow Kit back into her life.

THE PROMISE OF RAYNE by Nicole Deese (Waterfall Press) ~  Rayne Shelby has spent her entire life trying to earn the approval of her high-powered family, with the hope of one day managing her late grandfather’s prestigious Idaho lodge. But when she makes a mistake that puts her future in jeopardy, she faces an impossible choice: defy her family or deny her dream. The only way to fix the mess she’s created is to enlist the help of her neighbor, Levi, the apprentice of her family’s greatest enemy. And if Rayne gets caught crossing the divided property lines, the consequences will be irreparable.

CLOSE TO YOU by Kara Isaac (Howard Books) ~ Allison Shire is a disgraced academic who is done with love. Her belief in “happy eveer after” ended the day she discovered her husband was still married to a wife she knew nothing about. She finally finds a use for her English degree as a tour guide at a theme park featuring scenes in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. Jackson Gregory was on the cusp of making it big. Then suddenly his girlfriend left him and took his most guarded commercial secrets with her. Now he’ll do whatever it takes to convince his wealthy great-uncle to invest in his next scheme, which means accompanying him to the bottom of the world to spend three weeks pretending to be a die-hard Lord of the Rings fan.

MYSTERY/ROMANTIC SUSPENSE/THRILLER/HISTORIC SUSPENSE: (crime fiction, probably a body)

MUCH ADO ABOUT MURDER by Barbara Ellen Brink (Lapdog Publishing) ~ Blake and Shelby Gunner’s plans to renovate the old boathouse go awry when murder comes calling…Autumn in Port Scuttlebutt usually means a stormy Lake Superior, crisp temperatures, vibrant fall colors, and an invasion of deer hunters. This year, there’s also a shallow grave. Someone killed Pete Dugan’s ex-wife and planted her under his woodpile. The police consider him the obvious suspect, but the Gunner’s have other ideas. What does the death of a pet squirrel, the sighting of a mysterious car, a break-in at the bed & breakfast, and the reappearance of three ex-cons into the community have to do with the murder of a middle-aged legal assistant?

A LESSON IN LOVE AND MURDER by Rachel McMillian (Harvest House Publishers) ~ The city of Toronto has been thrown into upheaval by the arrival of radical anarchist Emma Goldman. Amid this political chaos, Benny Citrone of the Royal North-West Mounted Police arrives at Merinda and Jem’s flat, requesting assistance in locating his runaway cousin—a man with a deadly talent. While Merinda eagerly accepts the case, she finds herself constantly butting heads—and hearts—with Benny. Meanwhile, Jem has her hands full with a husband who is determined to keep her out of harm’s way.

MISCONCEPTIONS by Colleen Scott (Castle Gate Press) ~ It’s the near future. Dominique, an investigative TV news reporter, is sent to solve a mystery: why the birthrate in the United States has dropped precipitously … everywhere except a few small pockets. Undercover at an Ohio hospital, she sidesteps oddly incompetent police and finds herself in a stew of kidnappings and murder threats. Her investigation takes a radical turn when she meets Dr. Joseph Armstrong. His attention makes her heart flutter, but his theory about the birthrate decline makes her heart stutter. It’s too strange to even consider.

SPECULATIVE FICTION: (science fiction, fantasy, horror, etc.)

ASCENT OF THE NEBULA by DJ Edwardson ( Girrafix Media)  ~ With the Developers’ plans to reengineer the human race in disarray, this may be the one chance Adan and the Sentient renegades have of saving the their world. Using the chronotrace, a device capable of looking back into time, Adan discovers their next point of attack. But a window to the past can’t prepare him for what the future has in store.

ACOLYTE by Kevin Newsome (Splashdown Darkwater) ~ The FBI have never been this close to trapping Xaphan and they need Winter’s help to set their dangerous plan in motion. But Xaphan is weaving a trap of his own. The Acolyte is unleashed…a demon, slaughtering its way to Sandy and haunting Winter with memories she would rather forget.  As her past threatens to tear apart the present, driving those she loves to turn against her, she must now face a far worse enemy alone…Herself.

THE ALLIANCE by Jolina Petersheim ( Tyndale House Publishers) ~ When Leora Ebersole sees the small plane crash in her Old Order Mennonite community, she has no idea it’s a foreshadowing of things to come. Soon after the young pilot, Moses Hughes, regains consciousness, they realize his instruments were destroyed by the same power outage that killed the electricity at the community store, where Englischers are stranded with dead cell phones and cars that won’t start. Moses offers a sobering theory, but no one can know how drastically life is about to change. With the only self-sustaining food supply in the region, the Pacifist community is forced to forge an alliance with the handful of stranded Englischers in an effort to protect not only the food but their very lives.

ACTION-ADVENTURE/WESTERN/EPIC FICTION: (exploits, quest, daring, expansive)

THE BATTLE OF SEATTLE by Doughlas Bond (P&R Publishing) ~ It’s 1855 in the Pacific Northwest, and hostility between white settlers and native tribes is rising quickly, leading to deaths on both sides. As tensions mount, young William Tidd joins Charles Eaton’s Rangers on a mission to hunt down Chief Leschi of the Nisqually. If they can stop him, they may be able to end the bloodshed before it gets worse . . . but not everyone wants peace with the enemy. Is all-out war inevitable? Through skirmishes, raids, close calls, and betrayal—William’s assumptions, beliefs, courage, and friendships will all be challenged in a few breakneck weeks.

COUNTER POINT by Marj Laine (Write Integrity Press) ~ Someone is determined to finish a murdered hit man’s final assignment. Her former boyfriend, Ray Alexander, returns as a hero from his foreign mission, bringing back souvenirs in the form of death-threats. When several attempts are made on Cat’s life, she must find a way to trust Ray, the man who broke her heart. Keeping Cat safe from a fallen cartel leader might prove impossible for Ray, but after seeing his mission destroyed and several godly people killed, he knows better than to ignore the man’s threats.

IMPERFECT BONDS by Elizabeth Noyes (Write Integrity Press) ~ Cassidy Cameron’s life is in a tailspin. She’s lost her driver’s license and any hope of a new job. Worse, the arrogant town deputy who stole her heart wants more than she’s willing to give … or is she the one who wants more from him? And now she’s being threatened by a pair of unsavory ruffians. Deputy Derek Naughton is stumped and aggravated by a series of malicious pranks around the county. He pulls out his guns instead when Cassie stumbles into a maelstrom of illegal arms deals, illicit drugs, and human trafficking.

YOUNG ADULT: (including Middle Grade and New Adult)

THE REVOLT by Douglas Bond ( P&R Publishing) ~ In his short career as a battle secretary, Hugh West’all has come close to death many times. But when he leaves the war behind to enter the hallowed halls of Oxford, he meets John of Wycliffe and soon embarks on a mission even more exciting—and perhaps just as dangerous. Using his scribe’s quill to translate the Bible into English, the language of the common people, Hugh begins to understand the beauty of the gospel as never before. But he and his friends are up against the corrupt monolith of the medieval church, and it will stop at nothing to crush Wycliffe’s work.

NO SAFE HAVEN by Angela Moody (Amazon Digital Services) ~ Tillie Pierce is a thoughtful, fifteen-year-old young woman, living with her family in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It’s 1863, and the Civil War is touching every town and home with tragedy. Tillie’s is no exception. She has two brothers fighting in the war, but she receives news that it’s her sister’s sweetheart who has died defending his country against Confederate forces. This shatters Tillie’s faith—she finds it impossible to believe that God, in all of his sovereignty, would allow such horrors to take place.

6 DATES TO DISASTER by Cynthia T. Toney (Write Integrity Press) ~ For her mom’s birthday, Wendy finds an old jewelry box at a flea market–the perfect gift for someone who loves salvaged junk. Inside the box is a cryptic note that appears to have been written recently. Wendy’s curiosity leads her on a search for who wrote it with boyfriend David at her side, eager to help. But Wendy needs more personal and urgent help–the financial kind. Wendy’s stepfather has lost his job, and the family’s plan to visit Alaska is now off. How will Wendy ever see Mrs. V or Sam again? An opportunity arrives in the form of tutoring Melissa, one of the Sticks, and Wendy’s money problems appear to be solved. Until the arrangement takes a turn that gets Wendy into trouble like never before.

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Reader Nominations Begin!!! ~ Grace Awards 2016

Grace Awards

The seventh annual Grace Awards is thrilled to announce that reader voting for Finalists commenced on December 31, 2016 and will end at midnight and ends February 28, 2017.

Wow! Get in on it!!!

The Grace Awards is reader driven. That means in the first round readers vote for their favorite novels and chose “Finalists” in five literary categories.

WHO CAN VOTE FOR NOVELS:

Individuals (not organizations). Readers who maintain a networking page (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, Linkedin, Ning sites, a blog, etc.) created before November 1, 2016. We check each link to verify there’s a real person there.

Books, Reading

Readers can only vote in all six (6) categories, but only for ONE novel in each category.

Authors are also readers and can vote, but not for their own novel(s). Please, please DON’T vote against yourself, simply vote in the OTHER genre categories for novels you deem worthy.

Editors, publishers, agents, cover artists can vote, but not for a book they authored or co-authored, entered into a verbal or written agreement for, or received compensation for. 

Board members and judges can vote, but not for their own novel(s).

TYPES OF NOVELS READERS MAY CONSIDER: Traditional Christian, Inspirational, realistic and/or gritty Christian and edgy Christian, stories from a Christian worldview, redemptive themed, biblical, Messianic, catholic, faith-based, Christian and/or Messianic mystical themes, values imbued, grace and forgiveness oriented, inspirational marriage and family friendly, depicting Christian lifestyle (can be struggling with it), spiritually and emotionally healing fiction…of 55 thousand words or more. At this time we do not have a category for anthologies.

Books, a stack

CRITERIA FOR NOVELS:

Original novels presenting a Christian worldview written in English, published in hard cover, trade paperback, or in Ebook format.

Traditional publishers, Small press, Indie publishers, self-published works. To us, Pbooks and Ebooks all compete on the same level playing field.

The novel must have been released between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016.

Most of all, the novel must reach the highest of literary standards and add something of value to Christian, inspirational, faith and values based fiction, and to the world at large.

BOOK CATEGORIES:

Women’s Fiction/General Fiction  –  women’s issues and/or men’s issues, can have humor and suspense elements

Contemporary Romance/Historic Romance — the primary element is love/marriage, then or now

Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller/Historic Suspense — crime fiction, there’s probably a body

Speculative — sci-fi, fantasy, horror, etc

Action/Adventure/Western/Epic Fiction — exploits, quest, daring, expansive

Young Adult (YA) — includes middle grade, young adult, and new adult (NA)

**Note: submit Urban Fiction into the category where it best fits (ie, Women’s Fiction, Young Adult, etc.)

Books, Reading 5

READER VOTING SUGGESTIONS:

1. Was the novel well written? Did the author use language correctly? Did it make sense?

2. Was the plotline logical? Did any plot turns surprise you? In a good way, as in what a surprise but this really works — or in a bad way, as in “Yikes” this doesn’t work at all?

3. Did the characters feel like living people? Could you identify with the characters and their situations in the novel? Were the scenes plausible?

4. How about pacing? Did you ever get bored?

5. Was the novel true to its setting: time, place?

6. Was the novel entertaining? Did it uplift, send you on an emotional roller coaster, have you on the edge of your seat, tickle your funny bone (depending on the category)?

7. Did the novel engage your Christian walk in a meaningful way? Did it depict Christian life in a plausible manner (in some genres, this would be symbolic)?  Do you think the work adds something of literary value?

HOW TO NOMINATE FINALIST(S):

  • Give title and author, category, and tell us 40+ words why you like the book so much.
  • Nominate in one category or all, only one novel per category, only one nomination per novel.
  • Give a link to your social networking site, web site, or blog. Must have been created before November 1, 2016.
  • Email to:  graceawards@yahoo.com

USE A FORMAT SOMETHING LIKE THIS…(y0u can copy what is in blue and email it with entry or entries.

Women’s Fiction/General Fiction: Name of novel and author. In 40+ words, why did you like the book.

Contemporary Romance/Historical Romance: Name of novel and author. In 40+ words, why you like the book.

Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller/Historical Suspense: Name of novel and author. In 40+ words, why you like the book.

Speculative Fiction — sci-fi, fantasy, horror, etc: Name of the novel and author. In 40+words, why you like the book.

Action-Adventure/Western/Historic Epic Fiction: Name of the novel and author. In 40+ words, why you like the book.

Young Audlt (YA): Name of the novel. In 40+ words, why you like the book.

 

After you chose in which category/ies you want to nominate a novel, copy and answer the simple questions and email to graceawards@yahoo.com

HAPPY NEW YEAR WITH LOTS OF GREAT READING!!!

New Year

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Grace Filled Christmas Book Bash 2016 ~ Day 3

GA Xmas Book Bash 2

 

 

Authors who have won or finaled in the Grace Awards, who have been judges, who are active members of the Grace Awards Face Book Group, or who have in other ways supported the Grace Awards are happy to show their Christmas spirit with this showcase of their novels at this joyous time of year.

 

neighbors NEIGHBORS by Tracy Krauss

NEIGHBOURS is back! This collection contains all nine volumes of the first series with a fresh new look for this holiday season. Likened to popular TV show ‘Friends’, it’s contemporary Christian romance ‘cowboy’ style. Lester Tibbett, a former rodeo rider from Southern Alberta, moves to the city for work – and to look out for his wilful teenage sister. In the process, he meets a cast of quirky characters, most living right in his own apartment building. With romance, intrigue, humour and a touch of the unexpected, the twists and turns just keep coming as the first ‘season’ of NEIGHBOURS unfolds, culminating in a Christmas party that brings the entire cast together for the first time. PLUS… there are bonus recipes in the back! It’s a Christmas ‘package deal’ from award winning author Tracy Krauss – fiction on the edge without crossing the line –

NEIGHBORS on Amazon

Tracy Krauss’ Website

shes-mine SHE’S MINE by Tammy Doherty

Perfect for the Romantic Suspense lover on your shopping list. Or perhaps you! Gift shopping, holiday decorating and baking, traffic, more traffic – it’s all so stressful. Sit back and relax. You can give SHE’S MINE to those on your gift list. Better yet, grab a warm cup of your favorite beverage, curl up on the sofa (by the fireplace if you can!) and read a novel that author B.J. Robinson describes as “A wonderful Christian romance with mystery and suspense to make it more interesting.” Author Dora Heirs calls it “A Palm Slicker!” Caitlin Harrington dreams of a quiet life teaching math at her hometown middle school. Except someone is leaving ominous notes on her door.  It could be her ex-boyfriend or someone else who doesn’t want her back in town. Sean Taggart thinks Caitlin is beautiful…and possibly crazy. When he finds out the truth, Sean wants to help. Can he save Caitlin before the stalker turns to murder? 5★ Amazon Review: “ Wow. Talk about a twist! I was thoroughly enthralled by the story and never saw the twist coming! This is a romance/mystery that will have you biting your nails! Wonderful writing, fully-developed character and plot!

SHE’S MINE on Amazon

Tammy Doherty’s Blog

much-ado-about-murder MUCH ADO ABOUT MURDER by Barbara E. Brink

Leaves and snow are falling in Port Scuttlebutt and Blake and Shelby Gunner are close to opening the doors of Double Barrel Investigations. But before construction is complete on their new offices, a local woman’s body is discovered buried on her ex-husband’s property, and the Gunners are pulled into yet another murder mystery. MUCH ADO ABOUT MURDER is the perfect book to enjoy on a crisp, winter night, tucked up into your easy chair with a cup of hot cocoa. Or get into the Christmas spirit and share the joy by gifting a copy to a friend or family member who also loves to read. What more could anyone ask for over the holidays than murder, romance, and small town drama entwined in a tale of suspense that will keep you guessing till the end? You might want to keep a nightlight on and your sense of humor close at hand.

MUCH ADO ABOUT MURDER on Amazon

Barbara E. Brink’s Website

 

Product DetailsCOME EAT AT MY TABLE by Ruth O’Neil

COME EAT AT MY TABLE begins and ends with Christmas. One year. 365 days. In that length of time a life can change. And Karin’s life, and the lives of her family members, change more than any of them ever thought possible. Twenty years have passed since Karin ran away from home. In that time she met and married Rob and had two beautiful daughters. She can either keep the demons of her past suppressed or she can face them and forgive. But forgiving is hard. Everyone will see a little bit of themselves while reading COME EAT AT MY TABLE. the true-to-life story makes it a great gift for all the readers on your list this Christmas.

COME EAT AT MY TABLE on Amazon

Ruth O’Neil’s Website

 

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Grace Filled Christmas Book Bash 2016 ~ Day Two

GA Xmas Book Bash 3

Authors who have won or finaled in the Grace Awards, who have been judges, who are active members of the Grace Awards Face Book Group, or who have in other ways supported the Grace Awards are happy to show their Christmas spirit with this showcase of their novels at this joyous time of year.

 

my-sisters-keeper MY SISTER’S KEEPER by Dalyn Woods

Christmas will never be the same when an evening at the ballet ends in a kidnapping. In order to rescue her sister, Megan must work with her nemesis, Nate, as they search from Northeast Florida to Key West in a race against time. My Sister’s Keeper is the debut novel of author Dalyn Woods. It is Christian Romantic Suspense written in the style of Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line.

MY SISTER’S KEEPER on Amazon

Dalyn Wood’s Facebook Page a/k/a Lyn Wood Rix  http://bit.ly/2gZAb0y

miranda-warning MIRANDA WARNING by Heather Day Gilbert

Share an Appalachian Christmas with amateur sleuth Tess Spencer and her beloved in-laws who live next door. When Tess stumbles onto a decades-old unsolved murder, will she be able to stop the killer before the New Year rings in a new death? Fans of Terri Blackstock and Dani Pettrey will enjoy this bestselling first-in-series mystery.

MIRANDA WARNING on Amazon

Heather Day Glibert’s Website

always ALWAYS WITH YOU by Elaine Stock

Imagine once looking forward to the Christmas holiday season with your new husband. You dream of future years filled with tree decorating, cookie baking, gift giving, and carol singing. Your heart flutters with joy when you think about the smiles on your children’s faces! You meet your Prince Charming who rescues you from danger, fall in love, and marry. And you’re blessed with a baby on the way. You get exactly what you wished for. Now, the truth comes out about your husband and the community you live with. You’re faced with two choices: Staying could endanger your child. Leaving could cost your life. ALWAYS WITH YOU, a novel of finding faith in a God who loves you for always … a Father who wants you and your children to celebrate an eternity of Christmases. A Kindle best-seller.

ALWAYS WITH YOU on Amazon

Elaine Stock’s Website

baptized BAPTIZED  by Suzanne D. Williams

Curl up beneath the Christmas lights in your favorite chair and lose yourself for a while in a beautiful story. One reader said, “The love of God for each and every one shone through,” and another, “Unique and unforgettable.” Penn Saunders, ex-drug addict and pastor’s son, meets Morgan Gant, a girl troubled by her recent past, in the most normal way, as neighbors. Penn, after a nameless girl he’d partied with died in his bed, got clean and embraced God again. He feels the call of the ministry on his life, but has to take the first step in living on his own. Morgan Gant thought she left her old life behind by moving hundreds of miles away. She’s starting over, building a successful online cosmetics business, and renting her own apartment. No one here will know what she did for a living, or what happened to her. Yet, when their feelings for each other grow, what they haven’t said, who he is as a Christian, clashes with the secret of what she’s survived, and their new relationship threatens to fall apart. Until God’s ever-present grace touches her heart. In this time of reflection, this story of redemption will tug at your heartstrings and remind you of the purpose of the holiday.

BAPTIZED on Amazon

Suzanne D. Williams’ Website

trevelyancoverart72dpi TREYVELYN by Naomi Musch

“It’s my new favorite book!” That’s what one reader says about Trevelyan – A Tale of Beauty and The Beast, a fantasy vacation for the fairytale lover on your Christmas list. In a war long ago, the once great kingdom of Trevelyan was left in death and ruins by a monster lord and his faerie wife. Stories of that time have grown, mysteries hidden beyond the borders of an endless winter. Only the fairies of Evensong know the truth of those times. Until hope comes. Now it’s up to Belle, her swashbuckling brothers, two fearless suitors, and a pair of Elvin princes to discover the real malevolence still determined to destroy them all. Can a true king rule in Trevelyan again?

Product DetailsWATERS OF SEPARATION by Carol McClain

Christmas. It’s the time for gifts–and gifts with chocolate abound. But do you know where your chocolate comes from? December is cacao planting season in the Côte d’Ivoire. It’s also the time that Christ’s redemption of mankind was set into motion. Why not gift the woman in your life with the book that marries these two concepts–Waters of Separation. She will love you for it. Africa’s secrets resurrect the despair physician assistant Anna Haas buried in America. Her pregnancy and the discovery of boys bound by slavery in the cacao sector of the Côte d’Ivoire revive her childhood guilt. Her mother’s suicide claimed the lives of the two small sisters Anna had vowed to protect. Her failure to save them was unforgiveable. It will not happen with these boys. Her interference prompts a corrupt government to threaten the thriving mission and the lives of Anna and her friends. Her action also threaten her marriage. However, doing nothing will destroy her. The story weaves from past to present and across two continents as Anna fights for love, faith and redemption.

WATERS OF SEPARATION on Amazon  http://ow.ly/Qe2d305VAQ9

Carol McClain’s Website  http://carol-mmclain.blogspot.com

Grace Filled Christmas Book Bash 2016 ~ Day One

GA Book Bash 6

Authors who have won or finaled in the Grace Awards, who have been judges, who are active members of the Grace Awards Face Book Group, or who have in other ways supported the Grace Awards are happy to show their Christmas spirit with this showcase of their novels at this joyous time of year.

 
more-than-a-tiara MORE THAN A TIARA by  Valerie Comer
 
Welcome to Helena, Montana, and fall in love on Christmas Eve at the Miss Snowflake Pageant! Marisa Hiller’s interest in competing is at zip zero zilch when she discovers the official photographer is the man who ruined her modeling career. She’s made a new life on her family farm, but balks at representing the CSA program in the pageant. Jase Mackie’s regret runs deep for the hot accusations he’d flung at Marisa over two years before. God has forgiven him but hasn’t answered his prayer to bring her back into his life… until now. Can Jase make amends for past mistakes and offer Marisa more than a tiara? Enjoy the rich heritage and innate charm of Montana’s capitol city in this heartwarming Christmas romance offering a second chance at love amid swirls of snow, cups of cocoa, food for the hungry, and the glitz of pageantry.
 
 
 
onenightintehran-1 ONE NIGHT IN TEHRAN  by Luana Ehrlich
 

The message of Christmas suddenly became real for CIA intelligence officer, Titus Ray, one night in Tehran when he found shelter with a group of Iranian Christians. Compelled by their unwavering faith, the battle-hardened agent becomes a believer shortly before they smuggle him out of Iran to freedom in Turkey. Returning to the States, he discovers his Iranian mission failed because of political infighting within the Agency. After delivering a scathing indictment against the Deputy Director of Operations, he’s forced to take a year’s medical leave in Oklahoma. Before leaving Langley, however, he discovers a Hezbollah hit man has targeted him for assassination. Now, while trying to figure out what it means to be a follower of Christ, he must decide if the Iranian couple he meets in Oklahoma has ties to the man who’s trying to kill him, and if Nikki Saxon, a beautiful local detective, can be trusted with his secrets.

One Night In Tehran on Amazon

Luana Ehrlich’s Website

 

 
Christmas is a time for celebrating with family, but nineteen-year-old Bitty Brown lives alone, without family or friends, on the streets of Ireland. Sick and in need of warmth and care, she stumbles upon a beggar and his dog. This chance meeting will change Bitty’s life forever and provide her with the love she needs to be healthy and whole again. Bitty Brown gives readers a heart-warming story of hope and rebirth, of gifts beyond measure. A story of love, faith, and hope, it is the perfect gift for any reader.
 
 
 

blood-speaks-sharon-lavy-2 BLOOD SPEAKS by Nike N. Chillemi

Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels, Brooklyn gal PI, waited a long time for the solitaire on her finger. When her sometimes boss, a shadowy figure and director of a secret government organization, offers a one-week bridal shopping vacay in Maryland right before Christmas. Ronnie jumps at it. Joined by bridesmaids, Sandra Daube and Bertha Dagney, she sets off for the village of Heritage Cove on Arrowhead Lake, Maryland. Their joyous stay at the rustic yet luxury Heritage Cove Inn is shattered by a murder with tendrils and a clandestine motive stretching back to the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. It doesn’t take long for Ronnie and her gal-pals to become targets of the killer. It goes without saying, Taylor County Deputy Sheriff, Lieutenant Dawson Hughes leaves Texas to protect his bride-to-be. He’s joined by Sandra’s employer, conservative political activist Ben Cohen. Neither hell-nor-high-water can keep Gabby Hayes look-alike Hoot Dagney from the side of Bertha, his new bride. This novel is proof positive that romance, Christmas, and murder do mix.

BLOOD SPEAKS on Amazon

Nike N. Chillemi’s Blog

war-of-the-heart-1 WAR OF THE HEART  by Jenna Victoria

When a vintage Christmas snow globe sends Boston dress designer Louise Martin & British B&B owner George Walker back in time to London, December 1940, they race against the clock to reconcile a feud between their families and solve a 75-year-old mystery. As Louise relies on God; and on George for guidance, friendship then love, will the future George envisions strangle her own dreams? Will their love survive generations of mistrust, the Blitz and being stranded in wartime 1940, possibly never to return to their former lives?

WAR OF THE HEART on Amazon

Jenna Victoria’s Website

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Grace Awards 2015 Winners ~ in Faith Based Fiction

GraceAwards Badge 2015px

The Grace Awards, a reader driven awards and the most democratic awards in Christian fiction, now in its sixth year, is very proud to announce its 2015 WINNERS. This year we had an array of widely diverse judges (multi-published authors, traditionally published ones, indie authors, and avid readers). Our judges commented on how pleased they were with the high quality of the finalists chosen by readers this year. Several judging teams ‘complained’ they had trouble picking a winner because all three stories nominated were so good. This only serves to justify the faith we have in our Christian readers who nominate the finalists. That’s what the Grace Awards is all about.

We’ve tried to use, if you will, a separation of powers in choosing our winners. Readers nominated (via email) the finalists in six categories. After the nominations were counted, finaling titles were given to our judging teams. From that point on there was no contact between the judging teams and the Chair of the Board, except for administrative issues. The teams independently picked winners. Each step in the process was removed and separated from the next step, to insure impartiality.

We are thrilled that our winners showcase self-published works as well as titles from  publishing houses, ebooks as well as paperbacks. Our aim is to be an egalitarian award, and we believe we’ve accomplished this.

The winners are…

Women’s Fiction/General Fiction: serious women’s or men’s issues, can have humor and suspense elements

Annabelle's Ruth

ANNABELLE’S RUTH by Betty Thomason Owens (Amazon Digital Services)

In ANNABELLE’S RUTH the author triumphs over the challenge of making a well-loved bible story fresh, and relevant to the era of 1950s Tennessee.  Expect to be transported to the small, rural town where Annabelle and her daughter-in-law, Ruth, must find a way to begin again after their husbands’ tragic deaths. Readers familiar with the book of Ruth will be left with a deeper appreciation of God’s provenance.

 

Romance/Historical Romance: primary element is love/courtship/marriage, be it set now or then

Bridge of Faith

BRIDGE OF FAITH by Catherine West (Amazon Digital Services)

BRIDGE OF FAITH gives an inside look at American family life. It’s not perfect. And all the frayed ends don’t really get tied up in the end. These people are still flawed, but they love each other and aren’t about to quit believing. I wondered, more than once, Julia Connelly would ever wake up and realize what a gift she’d been given—a second chance at love. The reality is, we’re often filled with doubt and anxiety. We’re afraid to try again, because we know the pain of making a mistake. The judges thoroughly enjoyed the characters in this book. The author did a nice job of bringing them to life and giving them real and believable emotions. Their struggles were so real at times, we almost wanted to stop and pray for them. Yes, the judges supposed the idea of a rich, hunky lead returning to save our heroine from a lonely forever is a tad clichéd, but who cares? It was great fun. The only negative we found in Bridge of Faith, was our inability to put it down. 

 

Trial By Twelve

Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller/Historical Suspense: crime fiction, there’s probably a body

TRIAL BY TWELVE by Heather Day Gilbert (WoodHaven Press)

This novel grabs the reader’s attention from the start. The writing is crisp with a fresh and unique author voice. The pacing moves along fast enough to keep the reader hooked but not so quickly as to create confusion. In addition to the mystery/suspense plot, the reader gets a delightful look into the lives of Tess, her family, and friends. Written in first person, the point of view stays steadfast throughout the story except for the letters sprinkled throughout the book which give insight into the killer’s psyche. They do not, however, give away too much and spoil the whodunit reveal. Ms. Gilbert makes good use of red herrings, both with characters and even setting. Though it is obvious that this novel is a sequel, the reader is able to follow character relationships easily. TRIAL BY TWELVE  is a novel all three Grace Awards judges can recommend.

 

Storming

Speculative Fiction: science fiction, horror, fantasy, etc.

STORMING by K.M. Weiland (PenForASword Publishing)

STORMING was a pleasure to read. It started with a bang and kept on delivering. It is a highly inventive story with just the right balance of unpredictability and universal appeal. The characters are especially well rounded, their humanity believable as each one’s troubled past was gradually revealed. The 1920s setting seemed well researched; the dialogue and colloquialisms were in keeping with the era, yet a natural feel was maintained throughout. ‘Steampunk’ elements added another dynamic to an already superbly built world, while masterful descriptions never weighed the story down. This book has it all: complex relationships, excellent pacing, wonderfully timed resolutions, and some surprising twists. It was not overtly Christian, but there were definitely elements of faith and forgiveness. It is highly recommended for anyone – readers looking for something different AND readers looking for something relatable. It truly has universal appeal.

 

Saving Eric

Action Adventure/Western/Historic Epic Fiction: exploits, quest, expansive

SAVING ERIC by Joan Deneve (Amazon Digital Services)

Joan Deneve weaves a beautiful story of redemption and forgiveness in this Grace Awards winner. SAVING ERIC  combines intrigue and espionage into a story of learning to forgive and accept mercy. The characters, even the secondary, are believable, engaging, and compelling. Eric, who believes failure is not an option in his life, finds himself on the wrong side of a traitor in the midst of a failed mission. Critically injured, he’s flown to a remote hospital by his friend and helicopter pilot, Toby. Despite a strained relationship between Eric and his father, the scenes between them provide insight into Eric’s character. The growth of their relationship is realistic and touching. The spiritual aspect of Saving Eric felt credible. It portrays the power of redemption and God’s love.

 

To Get To You

Young Adult: includes YA, NA, and middle grade

TO GET TO YOU by Joanne Bischoff (Mason Jar Books)

JoAnne Bischof has brought a new dynamic to young adult fiction. Long after reading the last page of her novel TO GET TO YOU, the judges found ourselves thinking about her unique characters. This story of one young man’s quest to do well and to climb out of a lifestyle of hopelessness, to reacquaint himself with his father, and to help his girlfriend’s family will capture the attention of young adults—and others. So, I encourage you to take a road trip with Riley Kane. You’ll be glad you went along for the ride

 

Grace Awards

 

 

 

Announcing Grace Awards 2015 Judges

Website

Grace Awards

The Grace Awards is now going into its sixth year, having been extremely well received during the last five years. This year we have a line up of stellar judges for our six fiction categories.

WOMEN’S FICTION/GENERAL FICTION: serious women’s and men’s issues, can have humor and suspense elements

Cr2012

Naomi Musch [Grace Awards Board Member, Lead Judge] loves a great story, whether historical or contemporary. She writes from the pristine north woods of Wisconsin, where lives with her husband and family as epically as God allows. She has worked as an editor, as a staff writer for an EPA award-winning Christian newspaper, and has published dozens of magazine and internet articles for the encouragement of homeschooling families and young writers. Naomi currently serves on the board of directors of the Wisconsin Writers’ Association. She loves engaging with others and always discovering kernels of a new story. She is available for speaking and book groups. Her eighth novel, The Love Coward released from Desert Breeze Publishing in 2015. Website,  FB: Naomi Musch – Author Twitter: NMusch

debra-e-marvin

Debra E. Marvin is a member of ACFW, Sisters in Crime, and serves on the board of Bridges Ministry in Seneca Falls, NY. She’s one of the founders of Inkwell Inspirations Blog. In 2015, she released her first two novellas, “Alarmingly Charming” in Austen in Austen Vol 1 from WhiteFire Publishing, and “Desert Duet” from Forget Me Not Romances. Her unpublished successes included contest finals in The Fab Five, The Maggie Awards, the TARA, Great Expectations, Heart of the Rockies, twice in the Daphne DuMaurier, and the overall winner of the Phoenix Rattler. Debra works as a program assistant at Cornell University in upstate NY, and enjoys time with family and grandchildren, obsessively buying fabric, watching British programming and traveling with her childhood friends. Twitter, Facebook, Website, Pinterest, blogging at Inkwell Inspirations

Onisha Ellis

Onisha Ellis fell in love with reading in the second grade. Her favorite books were biographies written about the childhood of famous leaders and explorers. She believes that is why she prefers to read character driven novels and is especially excited to be judging women’s fiction/general fiction. When she is not reading she is a blogger for Old Things R New.

ROMANCE/HISTORICAL ROMANCE: primary element is love/courtship/marriage, be it set now or then

Deborah KinnardDeborah Kinnard [Grace Awards Board Member, Lead Judge] started writing at age ten, hacked off because “Bonanza” lacked a ten year old girl with her own pony. From adventures on the Ponderosa, she moved to teenage angsty love stories and dreadful poetry. After a career that embraced feeding basketball players breakfast, coping with el-ed majors and various ERs different from the ones on TV, she married the man of her dreams and raised two active girls amongst the books. She sold her first novel, POWERLINE, in 2002 and fifteen others since. Her most recent published series is with Desert Breeze Publishing, called “Seasons of Destiny.” It includes SEASONS IN THE MIST (now available), and the upcoming SEASONS OF RECKONING and SEASONS OF HOPE. Indie-published titles include the “City Lights” series, which tell tales of pop music stars and the people they love. Deb enjoys beadwork, travel, and music. She sings with a medieval/renaissance singing group, Court and Country. While traveling, she loves to people-watch. So if you meet a short-round woman with an acquisitive light in her eye…

Betty Thomason Owens

Betty Thomason Owens writes romantic comedy, historical fiction, and fantasy-adventure. She has contributed hundreds of articles and interviews to various blogs around the Internet and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), where she leads a critique group. She’s a mentor, assisting other writers, and a co-founder of a blog dedicated to inspiring writers.Her writing credits include Annabelle’s Ruth, Book 1, Kinsman Redeemer Series (2015), a 20’s era romance, Amelia’s Legacy, Book 1, Legacy Series (2014), both through Write Integrity Press. Carlotta’s Legacy, Book 2 of the Legacy Series is due in the Spring of 2016. She writes contemporary stories as a co-author of A Dozen Apologies and its sequels, The Love Boat Bachelor and Unlikely Merger, (2015). She has two fantasy-adventure novels, The Lady of the Haven and A Gathering of Eagles, in a second edition published by Sign of the Whale BooksTM, an imprint of Olivia Kimbrell PressTM. Webstie. Amazon Author Page.

Joy-DeKokJoy DeKok started to dream about being a writer when she was four years old. When her mom read to her at night, she fell asleep excited for the day she’d put her own words on the pages. She is an avid reader and finds that immersing herself in books, she becomes a better writer. When asked which is more important to her, she is quick to declare, “Both. In my life, the two are essential and intertwined.” When Joy came to faith in Christ when she was fifteen, the first thing she did was to write about her experience in poetry. Books by her include Under His Wings (devotional), 2 novels; Rain Dance (contemporary Christian fiction) and Between the Lies (Suspense), and three kids books: It Is Good, Room For Bandit, and Raccoon Tales. Joy and her husband live on thirty-five acres of wildflower fields and woods. Besides reading and writing, Joy enjoys taking her dogs, Sophie and Tucker, for long John Deere Gator rides. She an amateur photographer and loves the way God whispers His love for her in His creation. Website.

MYSTERY/ROMANTIC SUSPENSE/THRILLER/HISTORIC SUSPENSE: crime fiction, probably a body

Tammy Doherty

Tammy Doherty [Grace Awards Board Member and Lead Judge] is the author of several Christian/Inspy novels, two of which have been on Amazon’s best-selling list. Her first three novels are historical romance with a touch of suspense; the fourth book, SHE’S MINE, is a contemporary romantic suspense set in a small town in central Massachusetts. In addition to being a founding member and lead judge for Grace Awards, she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers. Ms. Doherty lives on a small farm in central MA with her husband and two children, where they grow and sell perennial plants.

Peggy Phifer

Peggy Blann Phifer retired from an executive assistant position after twenty-one years in the Electrical Wholesale industry in Las Vegas, Nevada. She came to writing later in life when a prayer she wrote appeared in 2000, in a two-volume Guideposts Book compilation, ‘Prayers for Every Need.’ Her indie-published debut novel, ‘To See the Sun,’ released in January 2012. Since then, her writing has appeared in a number of anthology series’ in 2013-15, and she is now writing a series of her own called ‘Sweetwater River.’ Peg’s second novel, ‘Somehow, Christmas Will Come,’ originally released in November 2014, has been redesigned and was re-released in December 2015.Widowed in October 2012, Peg now makes her home in NW Wisconsin near her three children, six grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), loves writing, reading, crochet, needlepoint, and coloring in an adult coloring book of Mandala patterns. Follow her blog “Whispers in Purple,” and on Facebook, Twitter @pegphifer, and Pinterest.

Carol McClain

Diverse. If one word can describe Carol McClain, it’s diverse and had been long before diversity became such a ‘PC’ buzz word. She’s a novelist, essayist, and erstwhile poet (Be glad it’s erstwhile and no longer current). She hales from northern New York—so far north, she’s almost Canadian. Eh? She plays the bassoon, creates stained glass, cross-country skis, and is a former marathoner and high ropes instructor. For more than thirty years, she taught English, and she now teaches Bible studies, and edits for fun. In addition to this, she has served on the North Country Habitat for Humanity board for over ten years. In that capacity, she’s held every position except those having to do with money. She may be able to tell you the definitions sesquipedalian, but simple addition baffles her. She is course coordinator for ACFW. And of course, she writes. She’s completed four novels, with DWF: Divorced White Female being her debut.

SPECULATIVE FICTION: science fiction, fantasy, horror, etc.

Tracy Krauss

Tracy Krauss [Grace Awards Board Member and Lead Judge] is a multi-published novelist, playwright, and artist with several award winning and Amazon best selling novels, novellas, stage plays, and devotionals in print as well as one illustrated children’s book. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the U of Sask. and teaches secondary school Art, English and Drama. She and her husband, an ordained pastor, have four grown children, one granddaughter, and have lived in many remote and interesting places in Canada’s far north. They currently reside in Tumbler Ridge, B.C. where Tracy continues to teach, direct, write and pursue all of her creative interests. Author Website.

cuffe sisters

Sadie & SophieCuffe have written six novels and three novellas, and have a new cozy mystery coming out from Five Star Publishing in January 2017. In addition to freelance writing, the Cuffe sisters run a small farm in downeast Maine’s Unorganized Territory. They bring Jane-of-all-trades life experiences to their work, and believe God gave them this background to write squarely to the heart of real women who don’t always wear a size two, and who prefer boots and flannel to high heels and the little black dress. They believe with God anything is possible; and that some of the best stories aren’t hatched in creative writing class, they’re composed on the seat of a tractor. Facebook author page. Their blog/books.

Karin Kaufman

Karin Kaufman writes mysteries, thrillers, and children’s books. Although her mysteries and thrillers are written from a Christian perspective, they don’t downplay the evil we confront in this world—or the isolation Christians sometimes feel in what is a largely secular culture. But she rejects the notion that “edgy” books should be dark or oppressive. Because there is also goodness in this world—love, friendship, laughter, faithful dogs, piping hot cups of coffee—and it’s every bit as real as the evil. The Witch Tree, the first in her Anna Denning mystery series, was a finalist for a 2011 Grace Award. Karin lives near the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains with Dakota Grace, her crazy but lovable rez rescue dog. You can find Karin on her Facebook author page, at http://www.facebook.com/authorkarinkaufman, or her website.

ACTION-ADVENTURE/WESTERN/ EPIC FICTION: exploits, quest, daring, expansive

Moi 3

Like so many writers, Nike Chillemi [Chair and Founder of Grace Awards, Lead Judge] started at a very young age. Her first major work was a Crayola, fully illustrated book she penned as a little girl (colored might be more accurate) about her then off-the-chart love of horses. Today, you might call her a crime fictionista. Her passion is crime fiction. She likes her bad guys really bad and her good guys smarter and better. Nike is the founding board member of the Grace Awards and is its Chair, a reader’s choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She has been a judge in the 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories; and an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category. Her four novel Sanctuary Point series (out of print), set in the mid-1940s has finaled, won an award, and garnered critical acclaim. The first novel in her Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes trilogy, HARMFUL INTENT, won in the Grace Awards 2014 Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller/Historical Suspense category. She has written book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and John 3:16 Marketing Network. BlogFB profile.Get her novels at her Amazon author page.

Barbara E Brink

Barbara Ellen Brink is a multi-published author of mystery, suspense, and young adult novels. Apart from writing, she is a wife, mother, and dog walker. She grew up on a small farm in Washington State, but now lives in the mean “burbs” of Minnesota with her husband and their dog, Willow. In her spare time – when she’s not reading – she likes to ride motorcycles, visit local wineries, and catch up on the latest movies. She is the author of the women’s fiction mystery series, The Fredrickson Winery Novels; a humorous young adult series, The Amish Bloodsuckers Trilogy; and Inspirational suspense novels, Running Home and Alias Raven Black. Her speculative/thriller, Split Sense, won the 2011 Grace Award. She is currently working on the second book in her newest series, Double Barrel Mysteries. Author Website/Blog.

Marcy Dyer 2

Marcy G. Dyer is a Registered Nurse and suspense author. Like so many other writers, she began writing at a very young age, but never took herself seriously as a “real” writer until about ten years ago when she began taking courses and learning the craft of writing.She currently has four novels from the Desert Winds Series available: Down & Out, Out for Blood, Blood & Lies. Lies & Alibis and is working on Marcy Dyer two new series: The Horde and The Lucky Series.Marcy has served as a judge for the Grace Awards, ACFW Genesis Contest, ACFW First Impressions Contest, ACFW Carol Awards, and the Olympia Contest.

YOUNG ADULT (YA): includes Middle Grade and New Adult (NA)

Fay Lamb

Fay Lamb [Lead Judge] is an editor, writing coach, and author, whose emotionally charged stories remind the reader that God is always in the details. Fay has contracted two series. Stalking Willow and Better than Revenge, Books 1 and 2 in the Amazing Grace romantic suspense series are currently available for purchase. Charisse and Libby the first two novels in her The Ties That Bind contemporary romance series have been released. Fay has also collaborated on two Christmas novella projects: The Christmas Three Treasure Hunt, and A Ruby Christmas, and the Write Integrity Press romance novella series, which includes A Dozen Apologies, The Love Boat Bachelor, and Unlikely Merger. Her adventurous spirit has taken her into the realm of non-fiction with The Art of Characterization: How to Use the Elements of Storytelling to Connect Readers to an Unforgettable Cast. Future releases from Fay are: Everybody’s Broken and Frozen Notes, Books 3 and 4 of Amazing Grace and Hope and Delilah, Books 3 and 4 from The Ties that Bind.Fay loves to meet readers, and you can find her on her personal Facebook page, her Facebook Author page, and at The Tactical Editor on Facebook. She’s also active on Twitter. Then there are her blogs: On the Ledge, Inner Source, and the Tactical Editor. And, yes, there’s one more: Goodreads. Anyone interested in learning more about Fay’s freelance editing and her coaching should contact her at fay@faylamb.com.

Ruth O'Neil 1

Ruth O’Neil was born and raised in upstate New York and attended Houghton College. She has been a freelance writer/editor for more than twenty years. She has published hundreds of articles in dozens of publications as well as publishing a few books. She has spent the last few years working in publishing, working closely with writers editing their books and preparing them for print. Teaching Writer’s Forums to help want-to-be authors break into print with either freelancing or book publishing has been one of her passions. A couple of years ago she began teaching writing classes at a local homeschool co-op. Here she now teaches younger writers to develop their own freelancing career, write their own novel, or create their own picture book. Teaching the next generation of writers is probably the most fun she’s ever had! You can visit her on her blog, or on her website.

Rebekah LynRebekah Lyn writes character-driven novels, which she hopes will engulf the reader in a great story and leave them stronger in their faith. She currently has six novels published and is working on number seven. Her novel, Jessie, won the Grace Award for YA Fiction in 2015 as well as the Patrick D Smith Literary Award, and was listed as one of Shelf Unbound’s Notable Books of 2014. An early love of history, research and journaling led naturally to a passion for writing. Even at an early age, she immersed herself into her favorite hobbies of reading, writing and dreaming. A God-given talent of insight and skill, and a big dose of His courage, led her into a desire to live her dream.

THE GRACE AWARDS BOARD WILL ANNOUNCE WINNERS IN ALL SIX CATEGORIES ON MAY, 31st.

And…the Grace Awards 2015 Finalists are…

Grace Awards

The Grace Awards 2015 is now into its sixth year. The number of novel readers nominated in each category were up significantly from last year.

According to the rules, every novel had to have been accompanied by at least a 40+ word statement telling why the story was nominated…a sort of mini-review or “notice”. This year the reasons given were astute and outstanding. There is no doubt that today’s Christian reader is both intelligent and perceptive.

And now…the finalists in six categories are…

WOMEN’S FICTION/GENERAL FICTION: (serious women’s/men’s issues, can have humor and suspense elements)

FREED TO FORGIVE by Julie B. Cosgrove (Prism Book Group) ~ Shackled by her past, can she be freed to forgive? Abused in her Mexican village, Marisol’s anger is her ticket to freedom in America or so she thinks. But her temper lands her in worse and worse situations. Trafficked and pregnant, she gives up her baby so it can have a better life. Now, ten years later her past returns to haunt her, just when she has caught the eye of Jesse, the one man who wants to know her…and not just her body. Marisol has struggled hard to disguise her past, but will the unforgiving spirit she harbors prevent her from embracing her future?

WATERS OF SEPARATION by Carol McClain (Desert Breeze Publishing) ~ Africa’s secrets resurrect the despair physician assistant Anna Haas buried in America. Her pregnancy and the discovery of boys bound by slavery in the cacao sector of the Côte d’Ivoire revive her childhood guilt. Her mother’s suicide claimed the lives of the two small sisters Anna had vowed to protect. Her failure to save them was unforgivable. It will not happen with these boys. Her interference prompts a corrupt government to threaten the thriving mission and the lives of Anna and her friends. Her action also threaten her marriage. However, doing nothing will destroy her.

ANNABELLE’S RUTH by Betty Thomason Owens ~ After their husbands perish in a fishing boat accident, Connie Cross determines to follow her mother-in-law, Annabelle, from Southern California to Tennessee. Her misgivings begin as they cross the bridge over the muddy Mississippi River. In their new town, where living conditions are far below their previous expectations, they must set up a household and hunt for work to survive. Thanks to the kindness of Annabelle’s handsome, young cousin, life begins to settle down. But Connie has a secret that could uproot them once again. Inspired by the Book of Ruth, Annabelle’s Ruth is a 1950’s era “Ruth” story, set in western Tennessee.

ROMANCE/HISTORICAL ROMANCE: (primary element is love/courtship/marriage, be it set now or then)

THE THORNBEARER by Pepper Basham (Vinspire Publishing) ~ When her fiancé leaves her eight months before their wedding, the unexpected blow ignites a battalion of insecurities stemming from her father’s intimate betrayal. Her worst fears are confirmed – who could ever love a soiled woman? Sam Miller is always making up for his best friend’s mistakes. Determined to help Ashleigh, he offers his compassion and protection as she ventures across a perilous sea. With the faint hope of renewing his lost love for Ashleigh’s sister, Sam never expects to find the woman of his dreams in his best friend’s former fiancé and his own childhood companion.

PLUM UPSIDE DOWN by Valerie Comer (GreenWords Media) ~ Green Acres newcomer Chelsea Riehl is annoyed she’s assigned to farm work alongside the only other single, a faith-filled hippie with a missionary vision.  She’d hoped to organize events and keep her heart safe, not pit plums with annoying Keanan Welsh. Discouraged by Chelsea’s lack of spiritual depth, Keanan is confused when she offers to arrange meals for the church Alpha program he is co-hosting. Maybe he misjudged her, after all.  When fake it ’til you make it gives way to stepping out in faith, both Chelsea and Keanan have some soul-searching to do. And while getting on the same page spiritually is a good start, other barriers may keep their budding romance from flipping right-side up.

BRIDGE OF FAITH by Catherine West (Amazon Digital Services) ~ Julia Connelly is finally free from twelve long years in an abusive relationship. Now able to live the life she’s longed for, Julia takes her two children back home to Vermont, hoping for peace and healing. The last person she expects to see is the man she eloped with at eighteen—who then abandoned her two months into their marriage, with little explanation. When an assignment in the Middle East ends in tragedy, popular news correspondent, Reid Wallace, returns to his hometown seeking answers and peace of mind. Confronting his past was not in the plan. Now he’s asking different questions. Like why the only woman he’s ever really loved still mesmerizes him. Why the haunted expression she wears reaches right into his soul. And why her twelve year-old son looks just like him. They say you can’t go home again. Sometimes you don’t have a choice.

MYSTERY/ROMANTIC SUSPENSE/THRILLER/HISTORIC SUSPENSE: (crime fiction, probably a body)

NO PLACE TO HIDE by Lynette Eason (Amazon Digital Services) ~ It’s not every day you see your childhood friend and onetime crush on national news. Jackie Sellers just wishes it were under different circumstances. She can’t believe that Ian Lockwood is wanted in connection with a terrorist plot, and she’s determined to find him and help him clear his name. Unfortunately, she’s not the only one looking for him. The FBI wants him captured. The bad guys want him dead. Ian just wants to stay alive long enough to prove his innocence and prevent a catastrophe.

TRIAL BY TWELVE by Heather Day Gilbert (WoodHaven Press) ~ Tess Spencer loves her low-key job at the Crystal Mountain Spa, which allows her plenty of down-time with her one-year old daughter and lawyer husband, Thomas. But when a pool installation turns up eight skeletons in the spa’s back yard, Tess becomes entangled in a sleuthing job destined to go awry. As the investigation gets underway, someone dumps a fresh body near the excavated burial site, confirming unspeakable fears. A serial killer has returned to Buckneck, West Virginia…a skilled hunter with a unique taste in prey. When Tess agrees to help the cunning Detective Tucker gather clues from the inside, she discovers the posh spa hides more than dead bodies. Even as she sifts through layers of deceit, Tess realizes too late that the killer’s sights have zeroed in on her. As the investigation gets underway, someone dumps a fresh body near the excavated burial site, confirming unspeakable fears. A serial killer has returned to Buckneck, West Virginia…a skilled hunter with a unique taste in prey.

SABOTAGED by Dani Pettrey (Bethany House) ~ Growing up, goody-two-shoes Kirra Jacobs and troublemaker Reef McKenna were always at odds. Now, working together as search-and-rescue for Alaska’s arduous Iditarod race, a growing attraction seems to be forcing aside old arguments. Then Reef catches Kirra sneaking from camp in the middle of the night. Kirra’s uncle, a musher in the race, has disappeared. Kirra and Reef quickly track the man, but what they discover is harrowing: Frank’s daughter has been kidnapped. Kirra and Reef, along with the entire McKenna family, are thrown into a race to stop a shadowy villain who is not only threatening a girl’s life–but appears willing to unleash one of the largest disasters Alaska has ever seen.

SPECULATIVE FICTION: (science fiction, fantasy, horror, etc.)

STORMING by K. M. Weiland (PenForASword Publishing) ~ In the high-flying, heady world of 1920s aviation, brash pilot Robert “Hitch” Hitchcock’s life does a barrel roll when a young woman in an old-fashioned ball gown falls from the clouds smack in front of his biplane. As fearless as she is peculiar, Jael immediately proves she’s game for just about anything, including wing-walking in his struggling airshow. In return for her help, she demands a ride back home . . . to the sky. Hitch thinks she’s nuts—until he steers his plane into the midst of a bizarre storm and nearly crashes into a strange airship like none he’s ever run afoul of, an airship with the power to control the weather. Caught between a corrupt sheriff and dangerous new enemies from above, Hitch must take his last chance to gain forgiveness from his estranged family, deliver Jael safely home before she flies off with his freewheeling heart, and save his Nebraska hometown from storm-wielding sky pirates.

ANGELHOOD by A.J. Cattapan (Vinspire Publishing) ~ Seventeen-year-old theater geek Nanette believes her life is headed toward stardom on Broadway. But when her dream theater college rejects her and her best friend dies in a terrible accident, Nanette decides the world would be better off without her. Unfortunately, the afterlife offers something less than a heavenly situation. Trapped between alternating periods of utter darkness and light, Nanette is stuck following a high school freshman around. Soon, she learns she’s a guardian angel, and the only way she can earn her wings is to keep her young charge, Vera, from committing the same sin she did—taking her own life. Unfortunately, Nanette is missing more than just her wings. She has no tangible body or voice, either. Frustrated by her inability to reach out to Vera and haunted by memories of her old life, Nanette wants to give up, but then she sees what happens when another Guardian at the high school turns his back on his charge. The shock is enough to supercharge Nanette’s determination. She’s going to find peace in the afterlife…as soon as she can convince Vera that living is what life is all about.

A NEW THREAT by Aaron DeMott (AltWit Press) ~ When an alien ship lands unexpectedly in the middle of her clan’s territory, Bast is sent to investigate as part of her scout trial. After an accident, she meets these new visitors. She and her senior scout Rrrark are invited to return with the aliens to their home planet to open diplomatic relations. What started out as a simple diplomatic mission becomes complicated when they discover a pirate scheme that might be more than it seems. Only Bast, Rrrark, and two of the aliens called Pysgens are capable of stopping the pirates.

ACTION-ADVENTURE/WESTERN/EPIC FICTION: (exploits, quest, daring, expansive)

SAVING ERIC by Joan Deneve (Write Integrity Press) ~  Templetons don’t break down. Even when their worlds are falling apart. Eric Templeton’s well-ordered life as a top CIA agent is shattered when a traitor within the agency plots to have him eliminated. Sent on a bogus mission to Africa, Eric is ambushed and critically wounded. A helicopter pilot flies him to a remote mission hospital where Dr. Brock Whitfield and his daughter, Ellie, work to save his life. If Eric survives, his life may never be the same, and he still has to deal with the traitor who wants him dead. Eric wants justice, but Brock and Ellie know that Eric’s survival is the least of his worries. What he needs most is mercy and truth.

TWO DAYS IN CARACAS by Luana Ehrlich (Potter’s Word Press) ~ Titus Ray faces a threat he never imagined. Can he overcome the obstacles and capture Ahmed Al-Amin before it’s too late? In this pulse-racing Christian thriller, CIA intelligence officer, Titus Ray, travels from Costa Rica to Venezuela in an effort to stop Ahmed Al-Amin, a Hezbollah assassin, from murdering a high-profile government official. Along the way, a family crisis jeopardizes his mission, and an Agency division head threatens to destroy his career. As the danger mounts, he’s forced to partner with an untested operative to complete the mission and bring Ahmed to justice. Will he make it in time?

A LADY FOR THE LAWMAN by Jewell Tweedt (Prism Book Group) ~ On special assignment from the White House to the Nebraska prairie… Crack undercover Pinkerton agent Jason Reynolds gets the toughest assignment of his career. Sent by President U.S. Grant to Omaha to capture a loco ex-soldier accused of stealing Jefferson Davis’ treasury gold, Jason falls for feisty shopkeeper Arianna Quincy. Trouble is, she’s not interested. When the lunatic grabs Arianna, Jason’s skills are put to the test. Can Jason get his man and his woman?

YOUNG ADULT: (including Middle Grade and New Adult)

TO GET TO YOU by Joanne Bischof (Mason Jar Books) ~ To get to the girl he loves, Riley Kane must head off on a road trip with the father he never knew. Then pray for a miracle. Most teens would love to have a pro surfer for a dad. Just not Riley. Abandoned as a kid, he hates the sound of the ocean and the man who gave himself to it. When the eighteen-year-old learns that his best friend is stranded at a New Mexico hospital as her father fights for his life, Riley hits the highway to head east. But when his Jeep breaks down before he even leaves California, he must rely on the one man he despises to get to the girl who needs him the most. And when it comes to the surfer with the Volkswagen van and dog-eared map, a thousand miles may–or may not–be enough to heal the past.

ROPED by DiAne Gates (Prism Book Group) ~ Thirteen-year-old Crissy Crosby chases a dream to live up to her parents’ rodeo legacy. But the rodeo championship is two months away and problems beyond her ability to solve stack and teeter like a game of Tumbling-Towers. Meanwhile rival Jodie Lea and her father, Ed Fairgate, contrive to swipe the silver buckles from Crissy’s grasp any way they can. Prejudice, anger, and dark secrets simmer in a pot of family feuds destined to boil over in a tragic nightmare at the rodeo. Will Crissy develop courage and faith to overcome the consequences of her temper? Will her dreams of buckles and titles become reality? Or will the character-building adversities of her life quash her dreams forever?

STONE AND SNOW by Sibella Giorello (Running Girl Productions) ~ Raleigh Harmon, teen geologist, has a seriously dysfunctional southern family, an encyclopedic knowledge of criminal codes, and a literally odd best friend named Drew Levinson. After surviving a terrifying experience, Raleigh’s ready to relax and enjoy the Christmas season with her new boyfriend. But her smart and kind classmate Sloane Stillman is suddenly found dead—by suicide. Only Drew refuses to believe it. Drew says science can prove Sloane didn’t kill herself. And the harder Raleigh tries to show Drew the truth, the more she herself questions the facts, and the people she once trusted. Christmas swirls in like a snowstorm, and Drew spirals downward, burying Raleigh under mountains of evidence about Sloane’s suicide, threatening to destroy everything, including Raleigh’s new relationship with her boyfriend. Desperate to put the pieces back together, Raleigh digs for answers, trying to uncover what really happened on that cold, silent night when Sloane Stillman lost her life.

 

 

 

Christian Authors:Write a Novel in 2015?~ You’re eligible to be nominated for a Grace Award

Grace Awards

LET YOUR READERS KNOW!!!

If you don’t tell them, how will they know?

The Grace Awards prohibits Christian authors from “waging a campaign.” Simply telling your readers you novel is eligible is not waging a campaign. It’s providing information.

WHO CAN VOTE FOR NOVELS:

Individuals (not organizations). Readers who maintain a networking page (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, Linkedin, Ning sites, a blog, etc.) created before November 1, 2015. We check each link to verify there’s a real person there.

Books, Reading

  1. Readers can only vote for ONE novel in each category.
  2. Readers can only ONCE for a novel.
  3. If a novel is submitted in an incorrect category, Grace Awards will move it to the correct category rather than discount the nomination.

Authors are also readers and can vote, but not for their own novel(s). DON’T vote against yourself, simply vote in the other genre categories for novels you deem worthy.

Editors, publishers, agents can vote, but not for a book they authored or co-authored. 

Board members and judges can vote, but not for their own novel(s).

TYPES OF NOVELS READERS MAY CONSIDER: Traditional Christian, Inspirational, realistic and/or gritty Christian and edgy Christian, stories from a Christian worldview, redemptive themed, biblical, Messianic, catholic, faith-based, Christian and/or Messianic mystical themes, values imbued, grace and forgiveness oriented, marriage and family friendly, depicting Christian lifestyle (can be struggling with it), spiritually and emotionally healing fiction…of 55 thousand words or more. At this time we do not have a category for anthologies.

Books, a stack

CRITERIA FOR NOVELS:

Original novels presenting a Christian worldview written in English, published in hard cover, trade paperback, or in Ebook format.

Traditional publishers, Small press, Indie publishers, self-published works. To us, Pbooks and Ebooks all compete on the same level playing field.

The novel must have been released between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015.

Most of all, the novel must reach the highest of literary standards and add something of value to Christian, inspirational, faith and values based fiction, and to the world at large.

BOOK CATEGORIES:

Women’s Fiction/General Fiction  –  women’s issues and/or men’s issues, can have humor and suspense elements

Contemporary Romance/Historic Romance — the primary element is love/marriage, then or now

Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller/Historic Suspense — crime fiction, there’s probably a body

Speculative — sci-fi, fantasy, horror, etc

Action/Adventure/Western/Epic Fiction — exploits, quest, daring, expansive

Young Adult (YA) — includes Middle Grade and New Adult (NA)

**Note: submit Urban Fiction into the category where it best fits (ie, Women’s Fiction, Young Adult, etc.)

Books, Reading 5

READER VOTING SUGGESTIONS:

1. Was the novel well written? Did the author use language correctly? Did it make sense?

2. Was the plotline logical? Did any plot turns surprise you? In a good way, as in what a surprise but this really works — or in a bad way, as in “Yikes” this doesn’t work at all?

3. Did the characters feel like living people? Could you identify with the characters and their situations in the novel? Were the scenes plausible?

4. How about pacing? Did you ever get bored?

5. Was the novel true to its setting: time, place?

6. Was the novel entertaining? Did it uplift, send you on an emotional roller coaster, have you on the edge of your seat, tickle your funny bone (depending on the category)?

8. Did the novel engage your Christian walk in a meaningful way? Did it depict Christian life in a plausible manner (in some genres, this would be symbolic)?  Do you think the work adds something of literary value?

HOW TO NOMINATE FINALIST(S):

  • Give title and author, category, and tell us 40+ words why you like the book so much.
  • Nominate in one category or all, only one novel per category, only one nomination per novel.
  • Give a link to your social networking site, web site, or blog. Must have been created before November 1, 2015.
  • Email the above to:  graceawards@yahoo.com

Women’s Fiction/General Fiction: title of novel and author. In 40+ words, why did you like the book.

Contemporary Romance/Historical Romance: title of novel and author. In 40+ words, why you like the book.

Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller/Historical Suspense: title of novel and author. In 40+ words, why you like the book.

Speculative Fiction — sci-fi, fantasy, horror, etc: title of the novel and author. In 40+words, why you like the book.

Action-Adventure/Western/Historic Epic Fiction: title of the novel and author. In 40+ words, why you like the book.

Young Audlt (YA): title of the novel. In 40+ words, why you like the book.

 

After you chose in which category/ies you want to nominate a novel, copy and answer the simple questions and email to graceawards@yahoo.com

Barbara E. Brink Reminds Us to Have ‘Grace Filled Hope’ ~ January 2016 Spotlight

Split Sense

 

Barbara Elle Brink was the Grace Awards 2011 winner in the Speculative Fiction category with her supernatural thriller SPLIT SENSE. In 2102 her novel CHOSEN, The Amish Bloodsucker Trilogy Volume 1, finaled in that category. Barbara writes complex characters with plotlines offering a great many twists and turns, and she is skillful at adding a dash of humor. We’re glad to have her here for the first author spotlight of the year. I’m sure you’ll enjoy her poignant piece on grace filled hope.

 

 

Barbara Ellen Brink

 

I recently followed a fellow believer’s posts, sharing her journey as she maneuvered through the last days of her husband’s life. The path she tread was rough and rocky, one step up and two steps down. Cancer was taking the father of her children, the man she intended to spend the rest of her days on this earth with, her soul mate and best friend. But even in the midst of confusion, heart-rending disappointments, tears, anger, and sorrow so great it welled up and flooded Facebook, she let the incomprehensible joy of the Lord and trust in her Savior and God permeate every fiber of her being with HOPE.

HOPE remained steadfast in her posts even when darkness and despair seemed to push out all the light. HOPE held like an anchor in the storm, a tether that stretched and groaned but never broke. And someday that tight bud of HOPE that she continues to hold onto will unfold in glorious eternity with her heavenly father and those who have gone before.

In this bright New Year we have an opportunity to look forward with promise, to pursue dreams, hold our family and friends close, seek God with our hearts and souls, and be that light and salt that the Word of God entrusts us to be.
The Grace Awards allows Christian writers like myself a little slice of that hope. I hope to write fiction that will go out and change lives, open hearts to God’s love, and simply supply wholesome and fun entertainment to counteract popular culture trends.Chosen

Hope drives us on to persevere. In this New Year let’s be filled with HOPE.

 

 

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