Breach of Trust by DiAnn Mills • Tyndale House Publishers
How Sweet It Is by Alice J. Wisler • Bethany House Publishers: a Division of Baker Publishing Group
Stand-In Groom by Kaye Dacus • Barbour Publishing
CONTEMPORARY SERIES, SEQUELS, AND NOVELLAS
Who Do I Talk To? by Neta Jackson • Thomas Nelson
The Hope of Refuge by Cindy Woodsmall • WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group
Daisy Chain by Mary DeMuth • Zondervan
June Bug by Chris Fabry • Tyndale House Publishers
The Passion of Mary-Margaret by Lisa Samson • Thomas Nelson
Veiled Freedom by Jeanette Windle • Tyndale House Publishers
The Familiar Stranger by Christina Berry • Moody Publishers
Fireflies in December by Jennifer Erin Valent • Tyndale House Publishers
Scared by Tom Davis • David C. Cook
A Flickering Light by Jane Kirkpatrick • WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group
Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin • Bethany House Publishers: a Division of Baker Publishing Group
The Swiss Courier by Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey • Revell Books: a Division of Baker Publishing Group
Beyond This Moment by Tamera Alexander • Bethany House Publishers: a Division of Baker Publishing Group
A Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist • Bethany House Publishers: a Division of Baker Publishing Group
The Inheritance by Tamera Alexander • Thomas Nelson
The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen • Bethany House Publishers: a Division of Baker Publishing Group
Intervention by Terri Blackstock • Zondervan
Lost Mission by Athol Dickson • Howard Books: a Division of Simon & Schuster
The Night Watchman by Mark Mynheir • WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group
By Darkness Hid by Jill Williamson • Marcher Lord Press
The Enclave by Karen Hancock • Bethany House Publishers: a Division of Baker Publishing Group
Valley of the Shadow by Tom Pawlik • Tyndale House Publishers
Beautiful by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma • Thomas Nelson
The Blue Umbrella by Mike Mason • David C. Cook
North! or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson • WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group
Now that you’ve seen them, how many have you read? I’ve read seven (7) of these novels. Since I can throw out these categories: Young Adult, Visionary, Historical, and Historical Romance, I didn’t do too badly this year.
My comments on this award are meaningless, but I’m going to make them anyway. While I think it’s a potentially meaningful award and has become somewhat prestigious in Christian literature, it’s widely speculated that this award doesn’t necessarily compute to sales.
Someone correct me if I’m wrong here but I think the publisher has to submit the novel for competition. I don’t know the criteria or the standards for judging the novels, but the list of nominees has often left me . . . wondering.
For the life of me, I cannot figure out how Athol Dickson’s novel Lost Mission made it into the “Suspense” category, much like in the past when he won the award for River Rising but competed against Robert Liparulo’s genuine thriller Comes A Horseman. I mean, come on. There is no way those two novels should’ve been in the same category. And to put this novel in with the true suspense stories of Terri Blackstock’s Intervention and Mark Mynheir’s The Night Watchman? Well, makes zero sense to me. Lost Mission belongs in Contemporary Standalone.
So, I also find it particularly noteworthy that I, writer of contemporary romance novels, have read none, as in NONE, of the Contemporary Romance category novels but have read all of the Suspense category nominees. In the Contemporary Series, Sequels, and Novellas category I’ve read Mary DeMuth’s Daisy Chain in her Defiance, Texas, Trilogy, waiting on her final novel in the series. In the Contemporary Standalone category I’ve read June Bug by Chris Fabry and The Passion of Mary-Margaret by Lisa Samson, and Veiled Freedom by Jeanette Windle is on my TBR pile. In the First Novel category I’ve read Familiar Stranger by Christina Berry.
I have to say one of the finest novels I’ve ever read is Lisa Samson’s The Passion of Mary-Margaret. When I attach the word “profound” to a novel, I mean it. There are few that earn this distinction from me, but the handful that do deserve it in every sense of the word. And I think Chris Fabry is one of the best writers in Christian fiction today. June Bug is a touching, meaningful piece of literature written by a wordsmith.
Both Intervention by Terri Blackstock and Mark Mynheir’s The Night Watchman were excellent suspense stories and deserve their nominations. I’m of the opinion that the committee needs to add a category for Thrillers, but who am I?
Father, thank you for the honors given to your writers. Bless their continued efforts to fulfill their callings in your kingdom. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.