The Grace Awards 2012 is now into its third year. What a ride it’s been. Thrills, chills, joy, and many blessings. Two new board members. Wonderful judges who can’t wait to read the novels readers have nominated.
This year we had and avalanche of reader nominations to determine our finalists. The number of reader votes has grown over the years.
All nominations for any novel must be accompanied by at least a 35 word statement telling why the novel was nominated…a sort of mini-review or ”notice”. This year the reasons given were astute and outstanding. There is no doubt that the Christian reader is both intelligent and perceptive.
And now…the finalists in five categories are…
Harvest of Rubies by Tessa Afsar (River North) ~~ Sarah, the talented scribe and cousin to Nehemiah, is catapulted into the center of the Persian court, working too many hours, rubbing elbows with royalty, and solving intrigues for the Queen. Ironically, it isn’t failure but success that causes Sarah to lose her only source of external validation.
Hidden In The Heart by Catherine West (Oak Tara) ~~ After losing her mother to cancer and suffering a miscarriage soon after, Claire Ferguson numbs the pain with alcohol and pills. She must find a way to deal with the guilt she harbors. With her marriage in trouble and her father refusing to answer any questions about her adoption, Claire begins the search for her birth mother. But what if the woman who gave her life doesn’t want to be found.
The Unraveling of Reverend G by RJ Thesman (Cross River Media Group) ~~ When Reverend G hears the devastating diagnosis — dementia with the possibility of early-onset Alzheimer’s, she struggles with the pain of forgetting those she loves and the fear of losing her connection with God. She discovers that while the question she wants to ask is, ‘Why,’ the answer really is, ‘Who.’
Be Still My Soul by Joanne Bischof (Multnomah Books) ~~ Lonnie Sawyer is used to fading into the background. Though her family is poor and her father abusive, she clings to a quiet faith. But when handsome bluegrass musician Gideon O’Riley steals a kiss her father forces her into a hasty marriage. Equally frustrated and confused, Gideon yearns for a fresh start, forcing Lonnie on an arduous journey away from her home in Rocky Knob.
The Lightkeeper’s Daughter by Jean Thompson Kinsey (Desert Breeze Publishing) ~~ A broken heart and trouble with the law washes away Belle’s dreams of a beautiful life with wealthy Lawrence Rinehart. She seeks refuge holed up in a secluded lighthouse to avoid jail. Fred Logan, a determined ship captain penetrates her bitter wall of defense and persuades Belle to come out of isolation.
Veil of Pearls by Mary Lou Tyndall (Barbour Books) ~~ Charleston of 1811. , Adalia is a runaway slave so light-skinned that no one guesses her past. She settles into a quiet life making herbal remedies for a local doctor. But when Morgan, the handsome son of a prominent family, sweeps her into his glamorous world—a world in which the truth about Adalia’s heritage would ruin them both.
A Heartbeat Away by Harry Kraus (David C. Cook) ~~ When a brilliant surgeon undergoes a heart transplant, her life transforms as she begins experiencing memories of a murder she never witnessed….and soon she’s involved in an investigation. Where there once was a heart of stone, there is a heart of flesh. And there is no going back.
The Map Quilt by Lisa J. Lickel (Five Loaves and Two Small Fish) ~~ Hart and Judy Wingate are happily married and expecting their first child when Hart’s confrontational supervisor is found dead in the burned wreckage of a barn…but what has a 200-year-old quilt got to do with it?
Wind Over Marshdale by Tracy Krauss (Astraea Press) ~~ The story of the struggles within a small prairie town when hidden evil and ancient medicine resurface. New teacher Rachel Bosworth finds herself in love with two men at once. There is Thomas Lone Wolf, a Cree man whose blood lines run back to the days of ancient medicine but who has chosen to live as a Christian. Then there is Con McKinley, local farmer who has to face some demons of his own.
Daughter of Light by Morgan L. Busse (Marcher Lord Press) ~~ What if with one touch you could see inside the soul? Rowen Mar finds a strange mark on her hand, and she is banished from her village as a witch.
Daystar by Kathy Tyers (Marcher Lord Press) ~~ Persecution sent the telepathic, genetically altered Sentinels fleeing to a sanctuary world, but a shipboard disaster brings medical student Meris Cariole as an unwelcome outsider to their sanctuary. On another world, wrongfully imprisoned Sentinel Jorah Caldwell receives a supernatural visitor.
Descended by Dana Pratola (Dana Pratola) ~~ When a reclusive businessman with unusual talents takes an interest in Haven’s artwork, she knows it’s an answer to prayer. But Jett Cestone is an enigma. He’s by far the most unusual man she’s ever met. Haven is the most interesting woman to ever cross Jett’s path. But she’s too naïve and pure to learn what goes on in his home.
The Legacy of Deer Run by Elaine Marie Cooper (Sword of the Spirit Publishing) ~~ The year was 1800. A young man makes weapons for the defense of America. He also protects his heart from the allure of a young woman so far above his station in life he cannot win her. Despite her finery and airs, she is drawn to the young armory worker, who is distant yet disarming.
Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund (Bethany House) ~~ In 1883 Michigan, Lily Young is on a mission to save her lost sister, or die trying. Heedless of the danger, her searches of logging camps lead her into the sights of Connell McCormick, a man doing his best to add to the hard-earned fortunes of his lumber baron father, but she can’t understand how he ignores the rampant crime in the town.
Walks Alone by Sandi Rog (Whitefire Publishing) ~~ A Cheyenne warrior bent on vengeance. A pioneer woman bent on fulfilling a dream. Until their paths collide. After fleeing her abusive uncle, Anna is determined to reach the city of her dreams. But White Eagle and his fierce warriors take her prisoner.
Chosen, The Amish Bloodsucker Trilogy Volume 1 by Barbara Ellen Brink (Create Space) ~~ With tongue firmly in cheek and genuine Amish-made stakes at hand, The Amish Bloodsucker Trilogy sets off like a bat in the belfry. Jael the vampire slayer is ready to kick some serious bloodsucker butt. Seriously. Move over Buffy.
Crossing The Deep by Kelly Martin (Astraea Press) ~~ Sixteen year old Rachel Harker expects the church sponsored hiking trip in the Smoky Mountains to be short and painless. Four days later, injured and scared, Rachel prays to just make it home alive.
Seventh Dimension – The Door by Lorilyn Roberts (Create Space) ~~ Meet Shale Snyder. She is an emotionally and psychologically injured girl – after many years of torment at school and abandonment at home, she is left empty and hollow inside. She feels misunderstood. She has an internal longing, but for what she doesn’t know! One day, she is transported to a happy, peaceful garden…or is it?