Grace Awards

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Grace Awards Summer Book Bash 2017 ~ day one

GA Book Bash, Beach

Wow! Summer reading has never been this exciting. What fabulous novels and super talented authors.

 

The Poison We Drink_THE POISON WE DRINK by Carol McClain (Desert Breeze Publishing) ~ Summer is too short to labor over ponderous tomes.  This novel will sweep you up in its drama and keep those pages zipping. You’ll not want to leave the beach until the last page has been read.How do you forgive the unforgivable? Torie Sullivan wrecks her car in a drunken fury and is rescued by a man she used to bully in middle school. Their worlds collide when Adam Benedict, now a paramedic, discovers Torie is homeless. He provides living accommodations for Torie with his girlfriend, Maya Vitale. The three unlikely friends must conquer their pasts to have a future. But some wrongs are too hard to overcome. This novel sweep you up in its tale of love, hatred and redemption. Readers say it is a 10/10–a must read.  Author Blog  Purchase on Amazon

GA Book Bash HIHARMFUL INTENT by Nike N. Chillemi (Crime Fictionista Press) ~ Kick off your summer reading by diving into this fast paced detective story, the first of the Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes trilogy. Betrayal runs in private investigator Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels’ family. So, why is she surprised when her husband of one year cheats on her? The real shock is his murder, with the local lawman pegging her as the prime suspect. Deputy Sergeant Dawson Hughes, a former Army Ranger, is a man folks want on their side. Only he’s not so sure at first, he’s on the meddling New York PI’s side. As the evidence points away from her, he realizes the more she butts in, the more danger she attracts to herself. Author Blog  Purchase on Amazon

6 Dates to Disaster

6 DATES TO DISASTER by Cynthia T. Toney (Write Integrity Press) ~ A summer read for teen girls ages 13 to 15! This story addresses honesty in school and with parents as well as drinking and driving. It shows how decisions can damage relationships and risk a teen’s reputation and future. How will Wendy start her summer? When her family encounters financial hardship, Wendy must find a way on her own to reach her goal of flying to Alaska to see Mrs. V and Sam again—but will she lose everything she counted on for the future, including boyfriend David? Author Website  Purchase on Amazon

 

Imperfect BondsIMPERFECT BONDS, Book 3 of The Imperfect Series (Write Integrity Press) by Elizabeth Noyes is the ideal summer escape for book lovers. Whether lounging on the beach or relaxing at home on a staycation, this edgy, sometimes funny/sometimes sad romantic suspense will whisk you away on a page-turning journey. A 2016 Grace Awards Winner, Imperfect Bonds offers jam-packed action and adventure. The story revolves around a young woman at a crossroads in her life, and a former Navy SEAL turned small town deputy who’s targeted her as his next conquest. One problem: each wants more than the other is willing to give. Their attraction reaches combustible levels until an unexpected encounter plunges both into the dark and dangerous world of human trafficking. Suffice it to say that men go a little crazy when danger threatens someone they love!   Author Website  Purchase on Amazon

Revenge

REVENGE by Paula Rose (Anaiah Press) ~ Are you looking for a summer escape where danger lurks below the surface? Treat yourself to a suspense-filled vacation, staycation, or beach read where career, a missing person, and romance combine inside a mystery that is this exciting novel. Inside her position of a job coach, it is Olivia Foster’s duty to ensure her clients work in a safe environment, understand their positions, and serve the employer’s mission. The death of her brother drives her career choice, and her job remains her only focus until one of her autistic clients goes missing. Olivia’s employer ends her position by adding her to the suspect list, but she makes a different plan. Olivia is going to bring this missing young man home. Meanwhile, Detective Lt. Phillip Landon is deep into second-guessing his career choice, but his well-honed instincts see major flaws inside this missing person’s case. Surprising contacts, mysterious happenings, and threats can turn deadly. Can he keep Olivia safe, protect his heart, remove the job coach from someone’s target list, and adopt a faith he never knew all while adjusting to the new lives of his old family? Enjoy the shivers of romantic suspense coming from inside REVENGE while the sun heats the summer sky!  Author Website  Purchase on Amazon 

Stronger Than Mountais

STRONGER THAN MOUNTAINS by Lynn Dean (Wordsworth Publishing) ~Summer is a great time to travel. Reading can take you on a journey without ever leaving your favorite hammock or recliner. You can even travel through time! This novel (sequel to MORE PRECIOUS THAN GOLD in the Sangre de Cristo series) will whisk you away to the Wild West during the days of bustles and bad guys. When Millie married her cowboy, Zeke, she was sure that their “ever after” would be happy. How could it be anything else? Zeke was a strong, handsome young rancher with a promising stretch of land nestled into the Moreno River Valley in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains. She was beautiful and starry-eyed. Both were full of dreams. Fifteen years later, they’ve encountered more than their share of hardships, challenges, and disappointments. Now their obstacles threaten to divide them. Instead of fighting through their problems together, the once-happy couple finds themselves duking things out alone. They may share a cabin and a passel of kids, but their situation is getting desperate, and nobody’s very happy. Modern vacationers flock to this same setting to enjoy hiking, fishing, and horseback riding near the beautiful Angel Fire and Red River ski resorts. STRONGER THAN MOUNTAINS can take you there without the long car trip! You’ll want to pick up this inspirational story with richly spun characters to see if they can pull things together, save their ranch, and forge a family that is stronger than mountains.  Facebook Author Page  Purchase on Amazon

 

 

Grace Awards 2016 Winners ~ in Faith Based Fiction

Grace Awards Badge 2016The Grace Awards, a reader driven awards and the most democratic awards in Christian fiction, now in its seventh year, is very proud to announce its 2016 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 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 element

You Are The Cream In My Coffee

YOU ARE THE CREAM IN MY COFFEE by Jennifer Lamont Leo (Smitten Historical Romance) ~ The author has a lively writing voice and captivated the judges’ attention from the start. Set in the roaring twenties era, YOU’RE THE CREAM IN MY COFFEE was fresh and fun as small town girl, Marjorie Corrigan, is swept into the frenzied world of 1928 Chicago. The story has the usual cast of characters, stepmother, the hometown love and the exciting new man. We found ourselves rooting for Marjorie to follow her dreams yet fearful that she would succumb to the vices of the day. For a young woman who had sworn that coffee was the strongest drink that would pass her lips, the temptations were real. The author adroitly illustrated how easily we can let our guard down on the little things until we end up on the roof of a speakeasy being raided by the authorities. Jennifer Leo didn’t force the action but allowed it to evolve with interesting twists and she totally sold the story.

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

A Reluctant Melody

A RELUCTANT MELODY  by Sandra Ardoin (Heritage Beacon Fiction) ~ This beautiful story appeals to the heart. Though it started out slowly, we were never bored, but intrigued by the unfolding narrative, the promise of secrets to be revealed. We were soon gripped by the suspense, action, and strong undercurrent of romance, and drawn into the lives of the central characters. Though the subject matter is definitely mature, dealing with alcoholism, premarital sex, and spousal abuse, the writer keeps it clean. The interwoven spirituality inspires and encourages. We were very pleased with the ending—it’s not tied up in a pretty little bow—almost like real life.

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

Much Ado About Murder

MUCH ADO ABOUT MURDER by Barbara Ellen Brink (Lapdog Publishing) ~ is a well-written, entertaining cozy mystery. The characters are believable and feel like people you might know in your own town. Blake and Shelby are charming main characters, just the right mix of strengths and weaknesses to keep the pace moving and the plot plausible. Alice and Tucker provide a light, romantic thread while Jack and Oliver add a touch of humor. The setting is presented well and the mystery progresses at a steady pace that keeps the pages turning.

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

The Alliance

THE ALLIANCE by Jolina Petersheim (Tyndale House Publishers) ~ This was a very enjoyable book. The use of literary techniques, together with strong, well-developed characters and an engaging premise, made for an interesting read. Unlikely partners were forced to form an “alliance’ of necessity, forcing readers to ask the question, “Would I be able to preserve my core values when faced with horror on every side?” This story expertly demonstrates the struggles that Christians face between religious traditional practice and selfless, Christ-like spirituality. While dystopian in presentation, the author’s focus was on the budding relationship between the two mismatched main characters. The book exemplifies the difficulty in maintaining human dignity despite destruction and possible death. A sequel is anticipated.

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

Imperfect Bonds

IMPERFECT BONDS by Elizabeth Noyes (Write Integrity Press) ~ This novel  struck us as having well-formed, even complicated characters. They could be moody, funny, full of snap and wit, and sometimes just confused, like most people. The set up was immediate, and the sense of danger quickly drew us into the story. There were plenty of twists that kept us entertained and easily turning the pages. Likewise, good rising and falling action kept the plot moving forward, and the romance was smoldering without actually going anywhere beyond a kiss. The book was written from a clean and Christian world view without becoming preachy, and we liked that the main characters were on both spiritual and personal journeys. The theme of fighting human trafficking and the hunt for the bad guys made for an engaging, modern day western read.

Young Adult: includes YA, NA, and middle grade

No Safe Haven

NO SAFE HAVEN by Angela Moody (Amazon Digital Services) is a well-researched, well thought out, based on true events, historical novel for young people. A truly enjoyable book, especially to Civil War buffs. The history and spirituality of Tillie was naturally woven into the story. The war was made very real to the reader: people started out excited, but that excitement dwindled as loved ones were lost and battles were fought at home. Many young people are unaware of what our country has gone through in the past and just how gruesome and heartbreaking it was for the families who lived in the war zones and had sons and husbands off fighting often without communication for months at a time.  It was enjoyable watching Tillie grow and mature as a young woman, facing whatever came her way, even things that were out of her control. She stood up to do what was right and grew spiritually because of that.

 

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Grace Filled Christmas Book Celebration

Courtesy of FreeImages by orangeNess

Courtesy of FreeImages by orangeNess

 

The Grace Awards Christmas Book Celebration is a time to think of the blessing the gift of a book can be at that magical time on Christmas morning, or any time during the holidays, and into the New Year. Many of the Christian authors who have been involved in Grace Awards activities over the years have gathered together to suggest a few books you might consider for holiday giving.

KATIE METTNER

December KissDECEMBER KISS is a sweet coming of age love story any woman would love for holiday reading. When Jay Alexander finds himself stuck in town square in his broken down wheelchair, he’s desperate for an early Christmas present. When December Kiss loads him into her four horse Cherokee Jay hopes he’ll be the one kissing her under the mistletoe Christmas Eve. Set in beautiful snowy southern Minnesota, Jay is determined to give December one thing for Christmas, her brother.  Reviewers call December Kiss “a must read” and a “heart touching story leaving you no choice but to fall in love with the characters.”

In SUGAR’S DANCE, When the gales of November blow early Sugar DuBois finds herself being hunted by a madman. Putting her trust in a man she’s never met makes her wonder if she will live to see Christmas. The first book of a four part series, readers will dance with Sugar and Van as he struggles to keep her safe AND heal her heart.  Sugar is dancing in a high stakes promenade with a psychopath and must summon her strength to find a way to save her brother. As winter descends upon Lake Superior, Sugar not only makes it to Christmas Eve, but along the way she finds faith, hope and the greatest of these…love.

NAOMI MUSCH

TrevelynIf you enjoy epic retellings of classic tales — think Once Upon a Time or Maleficent — then you’ll love TREVELYAN ~ A Tale of Beauty & The Beast. You might believe you know the tale, but you’ve probably not heard about the downfall of the kingdom, the warring faeries, the elves who fled the land, or the pair of swashbucklers and Belle’s three brothers who’ve set out on a quest to rescue her from the Monster Lord who has her bound. You’ve probably not heard about the hideous creatures and madness waiting to prey upon the careless in a land where faerie magic has taken an evil turn. Belle isn’t looking for love, nor does she intend to become a heroine of the land or to bring about the downfall of a wicked faerie queen. Yet, torn ruthlessly from her family’s side and brought to a place where magic is real, heroes and heroines rise in unlikely places… and a girl like Belle — and true love — can conquer all.

Sometimes a woman thinks about running away from home. In PAINT ME ALTHENA a 2014 Grace Award Finalist, Ava Day did. She and Ethan married young and had two little girls, but somewhere along the way, she lost herself. So Ava ran away and became Althena — an artist hoping to rediscover the girl she used to be. Three years later, she’s buried love and convinced herself her family has been better off without her. She’s started painting fantasy art again and lives with Dan, a lover whose idea of artistic expression is the ink on his arms and a purring street bike dressed in chrome Ethan’s been raising his daughters alone since Ava’s disappearance. Well…almost alone. He’s found refuge in faith, and understanding in Jackie, the lovely widow he met at church. But, when Ava’s bohemian lifestyle sours and danger follows, Ethan also discovers a clue to her whereabouts that lands her in the haven of his home again. Old feelings resurge, but their children no longer know her, and forgiveness is painful. Though Ava’s heart aches to recapture the past, neither Jackie nor Dan want to let go. Now conflict between her search for identity and Ethan’s new faith might break the safety net he offers.

TRACY KRAUSS

Lone WolfWhat happened to Thomas Lone Wolf? This is the question that seems to be on the minds of readers after reading my book WIND OVER MARSHDALE. Well, here is the answer! LONE WOLF is a novella length story that picks up where the other books left off – and just in time for Christmas. Thomas Lone Wolf has recovered from a brush with death – and from a broken heart. His work of opening a First Nations cultural center at an archaeological site near the town of Marshdale is almost complete. Once his son graduates from high school, he and his daughter will have to move on to the next project. Just when he has resigned himself to being a single dad for the rest of his life, he meets a woman who seems perfect. But can his wounded heart take a chance on love again?

Also new this year – NEIGHBORS! This fun filled romantic comedy series follows the lives of Lester Tibbett, former rodeo cowboy, and his sister as they move into an apartment in the city. Full of quirky characters, comical mix-ups, a bit of intrigue, and of course – just enough romance to spice things up! NEIGHBORS is available in nine separate stories, each one from a different character’s point of view. Or you can get the complete series as a paperback. Just in time for Christmas giving!

CAROL MCCLAIN

DWFReaders who love to laugh and can find the humor in life’s difficult circumstances will love DWF: Divorced White Female by Carol McClain. If they think they’ve experienced a mid-life crisis, Cheryl Chandler will prove them wrong with humor (and perhaps a lack of grace). Crisis comes when she’s ditched by a philandering husband, and left rearing three weird teens, and a toddler—her failed attempt to save her marriage. She knows only one thing will redeem her life: a man—any man so long as he’s hot. But how does a forty-something divorcé do that? The kids have the answer. Go online. And therein lays the rub. Kids. If she meets anyone, he would have to meet them. They wouldn’t let their mother hide them, no matter how much she begged. In DWF: Divorced White Female, inspiration woman’s fiction, readers have laughed and loved with the characters, and come away transformed and transported by Cheryl’s antics. This great gift is available on Amazon in print format. The e-book is available wherever ebooks are sold. An ideally suited gift for that loveable lady who slaves so hard for her family every Christmas, DWF is more than fluff. It’s fun with message.

BARBARA ELLEN BRINK

Split SenseSPLIT SENSE won the Grace Award for speculative Christian fiction. If you like suspense that takes you to the edge of your seat, mystery that keeps you guessing to the end, and characters who draw you in and make you care for them like family, then you’ll want a copy of this intriguing and highly entertaining thriller for yourself or to give as a gift this Christmas. Set in the city of Minneapolis, the story follows the lives of twins, separated at birth and reunited at the age of sixteen through one family’s grief and another’s need for power. One has the gift of telepathy. The other can heal through music. To the powerful men conspiring to possess them, their worth is immeasurable. Great read for teens-adults!

RUNNING HOME is an action-packed, inspirational, suspense novel with sweet romance. When Ivy’s husband disappears and criminal charges are brought against him, she packs up her children and runs home to Nebraska to escape the fallout. Danger soon follows and she’s in over her head. But where can you run when you don’t know who to trust? FBI Agent Sinclair is assigned to protect her and she has no doubt he’d do so with his life, but can she trust him with her heart? The first book in the The Second Chances series, Running Home is an exciting page-turner that makes an uplifting holiday read or a terrific Christmas gift for lovers of suspense! Great read for teens-adults!

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