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Grace Awards 2017 Winners ~ in Faith Based Fiction

GA Winner Badge 2017

The Grace Awards, a reader driven awards and the most democratic awards in Christian fiction, now in its eighth year, is very proud to announce its 2017 WINNERS. This year we had an array of widely diverse judges. They are multi-published authors, traditionally published ones, indie authors, and avid readers. Our judges commented on how exciting it was to select a winner from finalists selected by readers who are fans. Several judging teams ‘complained’ they had trouble picking a winner because all three stories nominated were so good. 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 element

The Austin Escape

THE AUSTEN ESCAPE by Katherine Reay (Thomas Nelson) ~ The title is apt. This novel is just that: an escape. Ms. Reay masterfully takes the reader into two different eras—no this is not a time travel novel—while at the same time treating you to tidbits about Jane Austen’s classics. Once you fall into the many layers of the life of Mary, you will not want to leave her world—or is it worlds—behind. Ms. Reay is clearly a scholar of Austen works, and Ms. Reay’s story merges the Austen style with this author’s magnificent talent for writing contemporary fiction.

 

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

Magnolia Storms

MAGNOLIA STORMS by Janet Ferguson (Southern Sun Press) ~ This novel  drew us in to the deep south with its rich sense of place, culture, and family. We liked how the author wove elements of an approaching storm into the story. In the beginning, we were introduced to a blended family, held together by love and respect, rather than intermarriage. The characters are well written and interesting, the romance elements strong. Relationships are mostly well explored. Past and present combine and intermingle as a monster storm takes aim at the Mississippi coastal regions, stirring unwanted memories of Katrina. The well-told story combines elements of single-parenting, and families working together for a common goal. The spiritual content is organic and woven throughout, it never seemed contrived. The drama of the approaching storm, endangering lives and livelihoods, and the promise of a rekindled love kept us turning pages until the end.

 

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

The House on Foster Hill

THE HOUSE ON FOSTER HILL by Jaime Jo Wright is a story told in two timelines, with parallels between the protagonists of each time. In the present, Kaine Prescott refuses to accept that her husband’s death is anything less than murder. Since his death, someone has been playing tricks on her, tricks the police dismiss as the distraught mind of a grieving widow. In desperation, Kaine buys a “fixer-upper” sight unseen, half a country away. When she arrives, the house is more than a fixer-upper – it needs loads of work. To make matters worse, it seems her tormentor has followed her. Kaine has two new friends to help her, both with the house and the mystery of who is tormenting her. A century earlier, Ivy  Thorpe has her own mystery to unravel involving a murdered unknown woman and her vanished baby. Both Kaine and Ivy discover that the house on Foster Hill plays an important part in the mysteries. This novel captivated the judges from the beginning. The parallel stories of Kaine and Ivy are well-paced in presentation, keeping the tension just taut enough to ensure the reader must keep turning the pages. The secondary characters are great support for each timeline. As the end draws closer so too the main characters seem to draw closer. The conclusion of each timeline’s mystery is handled perfectly. This novel delivered in spades!

 

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

The Revisionary

THE REVISIONARY by Kristen Hogrefe (Write Integrity Press) ~ This dystopian novel was engaging and well-paced, reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984, with a more modern vibe similar to The Hunger Games. The author uses deep point of view in a first person present style, in keeping with current tastes in fiction. The story never stagnates but keeps moving and surprising all the way through. The plot follows young Portia Abernathy who has clung to the belief that if she excels enough to get drafted into an upper-level educational system, she can change the laws that keep her brother in prison. Her meager existence with her father in a world without electricity or most basic creature comforts is a struggle, but she has learned how to survive and hopes to beat the system at its own game. Portia is shocked when she learns the system is not only stacked against her, but that there are those targeting her for failure. In the midst of the chaos, she finds surprising friends and allies. This volume is the first in a post-apocalyptic series called The Rogues and deservedly takes first place.

 

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

These Healing Hills

THESE HEALING HILLS by Ann H. Gabhart (Revell) ~ When settling into the post WWII story of Francine Howard’s journey to the Appalachian Mountains to learn midwifery and help “catch babies.” One is almost immediately reminded of the classic tale of Christy. The settings, period authenticity, and characterization are very similar. The heroine’s focused, kind, and professional care for all the mountain residents despite differences and sometimes superstitious notions, and her growing love for the mountain makes for a wonderful story. All the judges felt they learned something more about an aspect of history: the Frontier Nursing Service. Most of the characters were vivid and lovable. The male protagonist was multi-dimensional and easy to become charmed by. Ms. Gabhart captures the “mountain speak” of the period without being over the top with her characters, and she has some beautiful dialogue as well as lines of description that sang off the page. We liked that the sense of mountain community is revealed little by little in an engaging way that allows the reader to grow attached to the people, just as the protagonist Francine did. The spiritual aspect in the story of learning to trust God in all circumstances is a common Christian fiction theme, which Ms. Gabhart weaves nicely into the tale so that it isn’t awkward, while the romance aspect of the story was gradual and gentle, and did not overwhelm the other aspects of the story. We would also like to give our compliments on the seamless editing of the book.

 

Young Adult: includes YA, NA, and middle grade

A Trail of Crumbs

A TRAIL OF CRUMBS by Susie Finkbeiner (Kregel Publications) ~This is a well written, original novel. There are so many positives about this book! The story was realistic and touching. There was some sadness and some very serious moments, but those were balanced out with humorous moments that made the reader smile and sometimes laugh out loud. Pearl dreaming about Momma leaving her baby was a very powerful scene. The message of God and His love was expertly woven throughout the story and was a real part of Pearl’s life. It was not preachy and yet the label Christian wasn’t just tacked on. 

 

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Announcing Grace Awards 2017 Judges

Grace Awards

 

The Grace Awards is now going into its eighth year, having been extremely well received during the last seven 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

Fay Lamb

Fay Lamb [Grace Awards Board Member, Lead Judge] is an author, an acquisition editor, and a freelance editor. She also loves to teach workshops for fiction writers. The last novel, FROZEN NOTES, in her Amazing Grace romantic suspense series released in September. The series also includes STALKING WILLOW, BETTER THAN REVENGE, and EVERYBODY’S BROKEN. Fay’s popular The Ties that Bind romantic series includes CHARISE, LIBBY, and HOPE. Readers are anxiously awaiting the fourth novel in the series, DELILAH, which will be released in mid-2018. Her adventurous spirit has also taken her into the realm of non-fiction with THE ART OF CHARACTERIZATION: HOW TO USE THE ELEMENTS SOF STORYTELLING TO CONNECT READERS TO AN UNFORGETTABLE CAST. Fay’s third series contracted with Write Integrity Press is entitled Serenity Key, and the first novel, STORMS IN SERENITY, released in March, 2018. Fay loves to meet readers, especially on her blogs: On the Ledge, Inner Source, and the Tactical Editor  Amazon Author Page 

Debra E Marvin
Debra E. Marvin tries not to run too far from real life but the imagination born out of being an only child has a powerful draw. Besides, the voices in her head tend to agree with all the sensible things she says. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Sisters in Crime, and serves on the board of Bridges Ministry in Seneca Falls, NY. She is published with WhiteFire Publishing, Forget Me Not Romances, Journey Fiction, and Barbour Publishing…and a judge for the Grace Awards for many years. Debra works as a program assistant at Cornell University, and enjoys her family and grandchildren, obsessively buying fabric, watching British programming and traveling with her childhood friends. Website  Amazon Author Page

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
 Betty Thomason Owens

Betty Thomason Owens [Grace Awards Board Member, Lead Judge] has been writing for thirty years. She’s a multi-published, award-winning author of historical fiction, and fantasy-adventure. An active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), she leads a critique group, and serves as vice-president/secretary of the Louisville area group. She’s a mentor, assisting other writers, and co-founder of the Inspired Prompt blog. She also serves on the planning committee of the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference. Website: Love Is The Legacy  Amazon Author Page

cuffe sisters

Sadie & Sophie Cuffe began writing together back in the 90s, but have over 120 years of together life experiences, from raising Sophie’s two kids, to farming with goat kids, chickens, dogs and cats, to building barns and houses, snowshoeing, skiing, hiking, camping… you name it. They have several novels and novellas under their belts and are currently working on book 2 in the Candle Island Mystery series. 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. You can find them at the A Woman Like Me Bookclub on their Facebook author page where all their books are listed under the author app. They’re so modern! They love hearing from the sisterhood (and brotherhood, too, because they’re not snobs). Facebook author page  Amazon author page
 ada brownell
Ada Brownell is the sixth redhead in a family of achievers, Ada Nicholson Brownell writes with stick-to-your-soul encouragement from her Missouri home where she lives with her handsome husband. They have five children—not one of them with red hair or freckles. One is in heaven. Ada gained experience before becoming a writer and newspaper reporter. The youngest of her parent’s eight children, she was the family tattle tale! Her professional career started when she was age 15, when as a youth leader she wrote ideas for a leadership magazine. She expanded to articles for youth and then to full-length stories in Christian magazines and Sunday school papers. Her first news job was as a correspondent for the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel—from Thompson, Utah, population 98. The author of eight books, she loves inspirational historical suspense. She’s in the middle of her latest plot against her leading characters in the third book in her PEACHES AND DREAMS series, LOVE’S DELICATE BLOSSOM. Plot is all about putting challenges and disaster into the lives of fictional characters, and it sometimes hurts her as well. She retired from her “real job” at The Pueblo Chieftain, but still writes occasional op-ed pieces for newspapers as well as devotions for a teen magazine, articles for Live, blogs and does other freelance writing.  Blog: Ink From An Earthen Vessel  Amazon Author Page

 

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

Tammy Doherty

Tammy Doherty [Grace Awards Board Member, Lead Judge] is the author of several Christian/Inspy novels. Her first two are historical romances with a Western flair, the third is also historical/Western romance with a strong suspense plot. She now writes contemporary romantic suspense. The first of the Mystique of Naultag series, SHE’S MINE, was a 2014 Grace Awards finalist. In addition to being a founding member and lead judge for Grace Awards, Tammy is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Ms. Doherty lives on a small farm in central New England with her husband and two children. When not writing, she enjoys reading and horseback riding.  Tammy Doherty Website  Amazon Author Page

Peggy Phifer

Author Peggy Blann Phifer, a retired executive assistant after twenty-one years in the Electrical Wholesale Industry, lives in the ‘boonies’ of NW Wisconsin. A late bloomer, Peg didn’t start taking writing seriously until age fifty.Her debut novel, TO SEE THE SUN, a contemporary romantic suspense, released in January 2012. A second novel, SOMEHOW, CHRISTMAS WILL COME, contemporary women’s fiction with a touch of romance, released in November 2014, revised and re-released in late 2015. Her work has also appeared in numerous anthologies, and she is currently working on an historical romantic suspense set during the years of Prohibition with a working title of WHISPERING HOPE. Peg is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When she’s not writing, Peg enjoys reading, blogging, and sharing her home with her daughter, son-in-law, and a Border Collie mix dog named Rocky. Website: Whispers in Purple  Amazon Author Page

Luana Ehrlich

Luana Ehrlich picked up her first adult spy novel when she was eleven years old. Today, as an award-winning author, minister’s wife, and former missionary, she continues to have a passion for spy thrillers and mystery novels. Luana and her husband have been residents of Norman, Oklahoma for the past twenty-five years, after having lived in the Midwestern part of the U.S. for many years. Along with her husband, she previously served as a missionary in Costa Rica and Venezuela. Luana began writing the Titus Ray Thriller Series when her husband retired from the senior pastor position of a large congregation. Now, she claims she writes from an undisclosed location, trying to avoid the torture of mundane housework, grocery shopping, and a retiree’s golf stories.  However, she occasionally comes out of hiding to visit with her two grandsons or to enjoy a Starbucks caramel macchiato. Occasionally, Luana reports on the experiences of newly converted Christians for Baptist Press, a national news service for Baptists. As a weekly columnist for The Indiana Baptist several years ago, she told the stories of ordinary people who became followers of Christ. Luana is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers.  Luana Ehrlich Website  Amazon Author Page

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

Tracy Kraus

Tracy Krauss [Grace Awards Board Member, Lead Judge] is a multi-published novelist, playwright, and artist with several award winning and best selling novels, stage plays, devotionals and children’s books in print. Her work strikes a chord with those looking for thought provoking faith based fiction laced with romance, suspense and humor – no sugar added. She holds a B.Ed from the U of S and has lived in many remote and interesting places in Canada’s far north. She and her husband currently reside in beautiful BC where she continues to pursue all of her creative interests. TRACY KRAUSS, Fiction on the edge – without crossing the line Amazon Author Page

Steve Mathisen

Steve Mathisen, his wife, Carol, and their cat Norman, live in Aberdeen, WA, just a short drive from the beautiful Pacific Ocean. He is a writer, copyeditor, and proofreader. He has a degree in geography from the University of Washingechnical documentation. He has served as a judge for several other contests and enjoys reading new works by talented authors. Odd Sock Proofreading and Copyediting

Carole Brown

Carole Brown is a member and active participant of many writing groups, and she also enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?  Sunnybank Secrets Blog ~ Carol Brown  Amazon Author Page

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

Naomi Musch

Naomi is an award-winning author who crafts her stories from the pristine north woods of Wisconsin, where she and her husband Jeff live as epically as God allows near the families of their five adult children. She enjoys roaming around on the farm, snacking out of the garden, relaxing in her vintage camper, and loving on her passel of grandchildren. Naomi is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Wisconsin Writers’ Association, and the Lake Superior Writers. Though she has written in a variety of venues, her great love is fiction. THE DEEPEST SIGH is her eighth novel, while its sequel THE SOFTEST BREATH releases in May 2018. Her tenth novel MIST O’ER THE VOYAGEUR will release in October 2018. Naomi loves engaging with others and always discovering kernels of a new story.  Naomi Musch Website  Amazon Author Page

Marcy Dyer

Marcy G. Dyer is a retired Registered Nurse and Amazon best-selling 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. The first book in the Dark Days Series: Contagion is available. The second book in the series, Inquisition will release March 3. Marcy is an alumnus of the Christian Writer’s Guild and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She hosts a small critique group for ACFW and is involved in other critique groups. She is active in the nonprofit group, Doxa Kids which provides an outreach for children in Kherson, Ukraine, and Nakuru, Kenya. She’s had the pleasure of visiting Ukraine twice and interacting with street children there. God burdened her heart for these forgotten children when she climbed into the sewer tunnels to see where the street children live during the winter.Marcy also hosts a blog, Gimpy Gal, that discusses autoimmune diseases. While many autoimmune diseases aren’t visible, they still cause chronic pain and disability. Marcy G. Dyer ~ Roller Coaster Suspense  Amazon Author Page

Barbara E BrinkBarbara Ellen Brink is an award-winning author who writes action-packed mysteries brimming with suspense and interwoven with a thread of romance. She grew up on a small fruit farm in Washington State, but now lives in the mean “burbs” of Minnesota. In her spare time, she likes to take her motorcycle for a spin, hang out with friends, or go hiking with her husband and their spoiled dog. She is currently working on the 3rd book in her Christian romantic suspense series, SECOND CHANCES, and the 4th book in her DOUBLE BARREL MYSTERIES series.  Barbara Ellen Brink Website   Amazon Author Page

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

Moi Ponte Vedre Library

Nike Chillemi [Chair and Founder of Grace Awards, Lead Judge], likes her bad guys really bad and her good guys smarter and better. Nike is the founding board member of the Grace Awards and its Chair, a reader’s choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She has been a judge in the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 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.   Nike N. Chillemi~Mystery & a Merry Heart    Amazon Author Page

Ruth O'Neil

Ruth O’Neil has been a freelance writer for more than 20 years, publishing hundreds of articles in dozens of publications as well as a few books. When she’s not writing or homeschooling, she spends her spare time quilting, reading, scrapbooking, camping, and hiking with the family. Her newest series is devotionals based on classic literature. You can visit her at Real Life is Better Than Fiction blog or at Ruth O’Neil Website  Amazon Author Page

Elaine Cooper

Elaine Marie Cooper is the award-winning author of FIELDS OF THE FATHERLESS (YA Fiction) and BETHANY’S CALENDAR (Non-fiction memoir). Her latest release (SARATOGA LETTERS) was finalist in Historical Romance in both the Selah Awards and Next Generation Indie Book Awards. She penned the three-book DEER RUN SAGA and has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies. She freely admits to being a history geek. She has recently signed a four-book contract with Burnett Young Books. The series is set in Connecticut during the American Revolution.  Elaine Marie Cooper Website  Amazon Author Page 

And The Grace Awards 2017 Finalists are…

Grace Awards

The Grace Awards 2017 is now into its eight 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 45+ 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)

GRACE IN STRANGE DISGUISE by Christine Dillon (Amazon Digital Services) ~ Physiotherapist Esther Macdonald is living the Australian dream, and it doesn’t surprise her. But at twenty-eight, her world shatters. Everyone assures her God will come through for her, but what happens when he doesn’t? Has she offended God? Is her faith too small?

WHERE THE SKY MEETS THE SAND by Chris Loehmer Kincaid (Ambassador International) ~ The story of Jenny Neumeyer and Ole, a homeless boy she befriends while she and her husband are on vacation in Kenya. As she comes to terms with a secret in her past, two missionaries to Africa discover discover Ole and are determined to lead him home. Along the way, they realize that the boy is not the only one who is lost.

THE AUSTEN ESCAPE by Katherine Reay (Thomas Nelson) ~ Mary Davies finds safety in her ordered and productive life.  When Mary’s estranged childhood friend, Isabel Dwyer offers her a two-week stay in a gorgeous manor house in England, she reluctantly agrees. Then Isabel loses her memory and fully believes she lives in Jane Austen’s Bath.

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

MAGNOLIA STORMS by Janet Ferguson (Southern Sun Press) ~ Maggie Marovich couldn’t save her father or her home from Hurricane Katrina, but she’s dedicated her life to meteorology so she can warn others when the monster storms approach. Except…she works three hours inland and rarely risks returning to her childhood hometown of Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Both her single-parent sister and the ship pilot Maggie once loved refused to leave the Coast, despite Maggie’s requests. Now a hurricane’s headed toward Mississippi, and Maggie’s sister is seriously injured, leaving Maggie little choice but to head south—into the storm.

HOLD THE LIGHT by April McGowan (WhiteFire Publishing) ~ Amber spent her life adapting—first to being abandoned by her birth mother as a toddler, and then to the death of her adoptive father in her teen years. Now she’s moved past all that, loving life as an independent woman: she has a job as an art instructor and the perfect apartment. But when a routine eye appointment reveals she’s losing her sight, life comes to a halt. Even after her blindness counselor, Ethan, befriends her and opens her eyes to new opportunities and the possibility of a deeper relationship.

FINDING JOY by Melanie D. Snitker (Dallionz Media) ~ A horrific accident changed everything for Parker Wilson. The beautiful new employee his mom hires is the last thing he needs and he’ll do whatever it takes to make the girl quit and regain the peace and quiet he prefers. Nothing short of desperation would force Chelsea Blake to work on a local cattle ranch. She may not be cut out for ranch life, but her determination to succeed is stronger than her handsome employer’s efforts at forcing her to leave. Unprepared to discover all they have in common, if they set aside their initial dislike, they might find joy beyond measure.

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

MIDSUMMER MADNESS by Barbara E. Brink (Barbara Ellen Brink) ~ When Blake and Shelby Gunner are hired to find a stolen fishing boat, they never expect it will turn into a murder investigation. But after Jack’s dog, Arthur, discovers a stranger’s body in the water not far from the bed & breakfast, the Gunners are pulled in to solve the case. Discovering the man’s identity and why he was in town leads to a murky past with connections to a number of upstanding Port Scuttlebutt citizens. Can Blake and Shelby stop a killer before someone else is pulled beneath the waves of madness?

ANDER’S REDEMPTION by Mary Vee (CreateSpace) ~ A young man with a brain injury but who can do amazing things with dessert is offered a job as a pastry chef in a prestigious restaurant in a village and it comes with an apartment.The longer he stays the more Brice begins to think something is going on. Can Brice figure out the village’s secret before Christmas?

THE HOUSE ON FOSTER HILL by Jaime Jo Wright (Bethany House Publishers) ~ Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious death fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather’s Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house’s dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide. 

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

WINTER QUEEN by Erica Marie Hogan (Elk Lake Publishing) ~ She will bring a storm like none they’ve ever seen … and change the world forever. Five years ago, Roderick Kael murdered King Vihaan Sundragon, claiming the throne of Sunkai and all of Nfaros for himself. Five years ago, the Princesses Adlae, Mirae, and Brae were forced to give up everything they’ve ever known. Five years since the Creator of All allowed winter’s snow to fall. But now the wind stirs with a familiar chill. Winter is coming down from the Ice Mountains, brought by the only one who can wield the storm. The Winter Queen herself.

THE REVISIONARY by Kristen Hogrefe (Write Integrity Press) ~ Nineteen-year-old Portia Abernathy plans to earn a Dome seat and rewrite the Codex rules to rescue her exiled brother. Her journey demands answers from the past civilization, but uncovering the truth means breaking the rules she set out to rewrite. This dystopian story opens in Cube 1519, a ghetto where the only use for obsolete cell phones is to throw them like rocks at mongrels. Portia and her father survive like many other citizens, with no electricity or technology and no expectation for a better life.

WHITE WOLF AND THE ASH PRINCESS by Tammy Lash (Amazon Digital Services)  ~ Memory loss prohibits Izzy from remembering her life before age seven when she was injured in a fire. Jonathan Gudwyne rescued her and took Izzy in, but who did she belong to before? Crippling panic keeps Izzy from wandering beyond the stables but Tubs, the young stable boy, encourages Izzy to go beyond the property’s rock wall to a world that promises possible answers, but also great danger. A scorched castle in the woods and a mysterious cellar filled with secrets sets Izzy on a path to the New World, where she will not only have to face her own terror but face the people responsible for her scars.

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

THE HEALING HILLS by Ann H. Gabhart (Revell) ~ Francine Howard has her life all mapped out until the WWII soldier she planned to marry tells her he’s in love with a woman in England. Devastated, Francine seeks a fresh start in the Appalachian Mountains, training to be a nurse midwife for the Frontier Nursing Service. Deeply affected by the horrors he witnessed at war, Ben Locke has never thought further ahead than making it home to Kentucky. His future shrouded in as much mist as his beloved mountains, he’s at a loss when it comes to envisioning what’s next for his life.

THE RELIANT by Dr. Patrick Johnston (Ambassador International) ~ When the dollar collapses, widespread rioting and looting threaten the peace of a family in Zanesville, Ohio. Eight children tragically lose their parents in the chaos. The oldest, 19-year-old lovesick Sophie, is forced to care for her defenseless and hungry siblings in a stretch of woods surrounded by lawless anarchy. Their father has been killed, and their mother and Adam, Sophie’s fiancé, have gone missing. Running out of food and facing threats from encroaching marauders, they are tempted to doubt God’s love. 

AGAINST THE ODDS by V.B. Tenery and David Arp (CBC Publishing) ~ It was the mother of all bad days.The date, September 11,  2012. The place, Benghazi, Libya. While a brave band of warrior’s fight for their lives in the consulate and CIA annex, outside, a Mossad Agent, a missionary, and a Mississippi giant fight a different battle. Caught between terrorist and an enraged Russian arms dealer, they must complete the mission and manage to stay alive until they can escape or tAhe cavalry arrives. Never assume things can’t get worse.

YOUNG ADULT: (including Middle Grade and New Adult)

KNEE-HIGH LIES by Dawn Ford (Splickety Publishing Group) ~ What happens when the lies you tell grow so high you can’t see the truth? To the outside world Avery Denton’s life looks happy, normal even. But it isn’t. Not even close. She believes nothing can make it worse. When her mother skips town with their banker, the small-town gossips focus on her. Jaxson Stewart, Avery’s neighbor and friend, has had a crush on her for years. She makes his heart race, which is dangerous for a boy with a heart condition. Unlike their community, he refuses to hold her mother’s actions against her.

A TRAIL OF CRUMBS by Susie Finkbeiner (Kregel Publications) ~ Spence has been through more in her young life than most folks could handle. Then a devastating tragedy throws the whole family into a tailspin–and signals the beginning of the end of her secure life. Now the Spences are fleeing their Oklahoma wasteland for an unknown life in Depression-era Michigan. Pearl isn’t sure she’ll ever see home or happiness again. Will any trail of crumbs be powerful enough to guide her back to the dependable life she once knew?

MISSION OF A LIFETIME by Priscilla J. Krahn (Ambassador International) ~ A missing airplane . . . Hostile tribes . . . Mysterious kidnappings . . .Responsibility falls upon twenty-one-year-old William Rodriguez when his missionary parents disappear in the hostile jungles of Columbia. Willie knows that he has to go find them, but what will it cost him? When Willie finds himself in the midst of a drug smuggling ring, difficult decisions are thrust upon him. Can he escape his captors before his family is killed? Can he find forgiveness in his heart for the very people who ruined his life or will it only bring back more painful memories? Will he be able to survive the mission of a lifetime?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reader Nominations Begin!!! ~ Grace Awards 2017

Grace AwardsThe eighth annual Grace Awards is thrilled to announce that reader voting for Finalists commences on December 31, 2017 ends at midnight March 17, 2018.

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.

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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, gritty Christian and edgy Christian that does not cross the line, stories from a Christian/Messianic worldview, redemptive themed, biblical, 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.

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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, 2017 and December 31, 2017.

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 — 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.)

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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 45+ 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, 2017.
  • Email to:  graceawards@yahoo.com

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

Women’s Fiction/General Fiction: Name of novel and author. In 45+ words, why did you like the book.

Contemporary Romance/Historical Romance: Name of novel and author. In 45+ words, why you like the book.

Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller/Historical Suspense: Name of novel and author. In 45+ words, why you like the book.

Speculative Fiction — sci-fi, fantasy, horror, etc: Name of the novel and author. In 45+words, why you like the book.

Action-Adventure/Western/Historic Epic Fiction: Name of the novel and author. In 45+ words, why you like the book.

Young Audlt (YA): Name of the novel. In 45+ 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

All nominations go to graceawards@yahoo.com

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR WITH LOTS OF GREAT READING!!!

2017-2018

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