2010 Finalists Announced

The Grace Awards 2010 first round of readers choice voting for excellence in faith-based fiction has come to an end. Reader votes have been counted and we have our finalists. Readers who voted were required to give a reason why they voted for a particular novel. We’ve chosen from what readers had to say and you will see a sampling below.

Some of our judges are finalists. However no author, including judges, was allowed to cast a vote for his/her own novel. The Grace Awards made every effort to generate reader voting by reaching out to readers on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Votes were counted by a board member who didn’t have a book out in 2010.

Women’s Fiction: (serious women’s issues, can have humor and suspense elements)

Never Without Hope ~ Michelle Sutton, Sword of the Spirit

A vote from a Facebook member ~ This is a story about adultry, that shows the pitfalls leading to the situation, the pain it causes, and the redemption through God’s Grace. This book can help a lot of people.

Rachel’s Contrition ~ Michelle Buckman, Sophia Institute Press

A vote from a blogger ~ Here’s a book with suspense, struggle, and spectacle. There’s no namby-pamby dance-around-the-issues in this book. In Rachel Winters’s struggle with her daughter’s death, which includes some severe mental issues and the loss of everything important to her, including her marriage and her son, we find a story that could be far-fetched but is, instead, close to home. Enter the teen daughter of her landlord and friend and an improbable pull to a dead nun. In the midst of accusations and the haunting forgetfulness that Winters can’t seem to shake, there’s an undercurrent of something else. I was unable to put this book down.

Sensible Shoes ~ Sharon Garlough Brown, Westbow

A vote from a Facebook member ~ This book chronicles the “spiritual journey” of 4 very different women as they get to better know themselves through deepening their relationships with God. I recognized many of the flaws and struggles of these women within myself, and was consequently pushed to re-evaluate my own journey. God Bless!!

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

Meander Scar ~ Lisa J. Lickel, Black Lyon Publishers

A vote from a blogger ~ Ann’s husband disappeared 7 years ago. She has no idea whether or not she’s a widow. But what surprises her more is to find that her grown son’s best friend has secretly loved her and has been waiting for Ann to be legally declared a widow before he makes his move. Can she love a man so much younger than herself? Is that allowed? Her family will object and what of her husband? What if he reappears…? Couldn’t put this book down. Its unique plot intrigued me, the 3D characters sustained me, and the high quality of writing held me to the last page.

No Other ~ Shawna K. Williams, Desert Breeze Publishing

A vote from a Facebook member ~ Shawna’s mastery of characterization infused the story with such believability, and I fell in love with Jakob and Meri. No sappy scenes, no corny lines — this book is about story. Yes, it’s a love story, but it is so much more.

Road to Deer Run ~ Elaine Marie Cooper, iUniverse

A vote from a Facebook member ~ I am voting for Deer Run because I couldn’t put the book down. I love the purity of the romance between Mary and Daniel. It captured the struggle of the time period, while showing the hope, grace, faith, and forgiveness found in Jesus Chirst.

Suspense/Thriller/Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Detective Novel: (crime fiction, there’s probably a body)

Back On Murder ~ J. Mark Bertrand, Bethany House

A vote from a Facebook member ~ .My friend sent me this detective novel as a house warming giftt. I was reading another book and leafed through the first pages of Back On Murder. I started reading and couldn’t put it down. Roland March is a stellar hero/detective. He’s honorable on many levels, and just cranky enough to come off as real.

In Plain Sight ~ Michelle Sutton, Desert Breeze Publishing

A vote from a blogger ~ This book tells Jovana’s story. She’s a new Christian, struggling to let go of the life of abuse she’d been used to. This is a wonderful story that speaks to the battered women.

K-I-L-L FM 100 ~ Teric Darken, Westbow

A vote from a Goodreads member ~ The spiritual elements of the book touched me to the core. Rarely have I seen such excellent writing and rock-steady theology presented in a suspense thriller. In K- I- L- L FM 100: Music to Die For, there’s a distinct and welcome absence of tired religiosity and pious “churchianity.” Darken has melded the elements seamlessly into a terrific story that covers the deepest parts of man’s (and woman’s) heart. Author Teric Darken weaves a thriller with heart and soul, mixed with the music I grew up with. Every minute in this tightly woven tale was entertaining and I know I’ll read it again and again

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

Future Savior Book One: Conception ~ Jennifer Hartz, Desert Breeze Publishing

A vote from a Facebook member ~ I would like to vote for Jennifer Hartz’s, Future Savior Book One: Conception, a speculative novel. Jennifer’s writing is fresh, her imagery brought the world she created to life in vivid color and depth. I read this story when it was first released and I actually dreamt of pastel horses. I found myself smiling throughout the book, then I shed tears, then I experienced shock and edge of my seat tension. A wonderful combination of emotions for any reader.

Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider ~ Ellen C. Maze, Treasureline Publishing

A vote from a Facebook member ~ The story of reformed vampires rescuing their loved ones from old clan mates and trying to keep them from coming back into power. Maze puts a new spin on the whole idea of vampire novels as well as using her own Christian faith to add unique aspects to the story. There’s love stories mixed with horror, drama, and thriller. Very well done. One of the best independent releases I’ve read, period.

Seasons in the Mist ~ Deborah Kinnard, Sheaf House Publishers

A vote from a ShoutLife member ~ Kinnard’s stunning portrayal of life, lust, love and faith, duty and honor in the 13th  century Cornwall made this historian sit up and cheer at the depth of her research and awe-inspiring characteristics in the throes of life-changing decisions.

Action Adventure/Western/Historical Epic Fiction: (exploits/quest, a fee of wide open spaces, expansive)

Alpha Redemption ~ P.A. Baines, Splashdown Books

A vote from a Facebook member ~ It is beautifully written, deep, and engaging. The book has voice and style that really makes it stand out. I love the unique way in which the story is presented.

In The Manor of the Ghost ~ Tina Pinson, Desert Breeze Publishing

A vote from a Goodreads member ~ In The Manor of the Ghost is a suspense filled story that kept me guessing until the end. Superstition, prejudice, hidden family secrets, all play into its intrigue, with plot twists throughout.

Wounded Spirits ~ April Gardner, Vinspire Publishing

A vote from a ShoutLife memer ~ Gardner’s tale of the American frontier during the Red Stick uprising and the fate of one woman, her unborn child, a Creek warrior, and a grief-stricken settler is a beautifully-written debut novel.

Young Adult Fiction: (appeals to ages 14 – 21ish)

Kestrel’s Midnight Song ~ J. R. Parker, Flaming Pen Press

A vote from a Facebook member ~ J.R. Parker has serious talent for such a young author. Great characterization and descriptive skills, and a unique world with original creatures.

Knight of Glory ~ Nicole Zoltack, Desert Breeze Publishing

A vote from a blogger ~ I loved this book! It’s very Lord of the Rings’ish’ without being copycat, AT ALL. Nicole took great care to create characters, plot and settings that are as unique as they are captivating.

Secrets Under the Midnight Sun ~ Elisa Maria Crites, Westbow

A vote from a Facebook member ~ Freddie taking on the giants in her life and there are many to be found. A story that will touch your emotions and leave you wanting to know more about what happens next in Freddie’s life.