2015 ACFW Carol Award Finalists


Carol_Award_Gold_Here are the finalists for the 2015 Carol Awards (more books to put on your to be read pile). The winners will be announced September 19 during the awards dinner in Dallas at ACFW’s annual conference.

Contemporary:
Last Family Standing by Jennifer AlLee, Abingdon Press, editor Ramona Richards
Lizzy & Jane by Katherine Reay, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editors Becky Monds, L.B. Norton
The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate, Tyndale House, editors Sarah Mason, Jan Stob

Historical:
Chateau of Secrets by Melanie Dobson, Howard (Simon & Schuster), editor Beth Adams
Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke, Tyndale House, editors Sarah Mason, Stephanie Broene
What Follows After by Dan Walsh, Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group, editor Andrea Doering

Historical Romance:
For Such a Time by Kate Breslin, Bethany House (Baker) Publishing, editors Raela Schoenherr, Luke Hinrichs
With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden, Bethany House (Baker) Publishing, editor Raela Schoenherr
While Love Stirs by Lorna Seilstad, Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group, editors Andrea Doering, Jessica English

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller:
Poison Town by Creston Mapes, David C. Cook, editor L.B. Norton
A Way of Escape by Serena B. Miller, independently published, editor Connie Troyer
A Cry from the Dust by Carrie Stuart Parks, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editors Amanda Bostic, Natalie Hanemann

Novella:
An October Bride by Katie Ganshert, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editor Becky Philpott
I’ll be Home for Christmas from Where Treetops Glisten by Sarah Sundin, Waterbrook/Multnomah (Random House), editor Shannon Marchese
A Cowboy Unmatched by Karen Witemeyer, Bethany House (Baker) Publishing, editor Karen Schurrer

Romance:
The Wishing Season by Denise Hunter, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editors Ami McConnell, L.B. Norton
Love Redeemed by Kelly Irvin, Harvest House Publishers, editor Kathleen Kerr
Somebody Like You by Beth K. Vogt, Howard (Simon & Schuster), editor Jessica Wong

Romantic Suspense:
Under a Turquoise Sky by Lisa Carter, Abingdon Press, editor Ramona Richards
No One to Trust by Lynette Eason, Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group, editor Andrea Doering
Deceived by Irene Hannon, Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group, editor Jennifer Leep

Short Novel:
Second Chance Summer by Irene Hannon, Love Inspired (Harlequin), editor Melissa Endlich
Rescuing the Texan’s Heart by Mindy Obenhaus, Love Inspired (Harlequin), editor Melissa Endlich
The Wyoming Heir by Naomi Rawlings, Love Inspired (Harlequin), editor Elizabeth Mazer

Speculative:
Orphan’s Song by Gillian Bronte Adams, Enclave Publishing, editor Steve Laube
A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes, Enclave Publishing, editors Jeff Gerke, Karen Ball
Jupiter Winds by C.J. Darlington, independently published, editor Carol Kurtz Darlington

Young Adult:
This Quiet Sky by Joanne Bischof, independently published, editors Amanda Dykes, Denise Harmer
Samantha Sanderson at the Movies by Robin Caroll, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editors Kim Childress, Mary Hassinger
Storm Siren by Mary Weber, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editor Becky Monds

Debut Novel:
Playing Saint by Zachary Bartels, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editor Amanda Bostic
For Such a Time by Kate Breslin, Bethany House (Baker) Publishing, editors Raela Schoenherr, Luke Hinrichs
The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall, Whitaker House, editor Courtney Hartzel

Published in: on June 29, 2015 at 12:04 pm  Comments Off on 2015 ACFW Carol Award Finalists  
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Writers Getting Together


I have to admit, I hear a number of writers heading off to Denver for the annual American Christian Fiction Writers Conference (ACFW), and I wish I were going too.

Nothing better than a group of writers and other professionals getting together and learning, laughing, celebrating, encouraging, talking shop.

My conference of choice is the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference in Northern California (isn’t that our 51 state? 😆 ), but I have ties in Colorado and would love to have gone to ACFW for that reason alone.

Get this, though. My friend Sally Apokedak will be attending one of the Highlights Foundation (of Highlights for Children fame) Founders Workshops. This is actually a practicum for 6 participants, led by an editor. In Chautauqua, New York. On the west shore of Chautauqua Lake.

And then there is the upcoming Fall Festival of Authors here in Southern California, with, among others, Athol Dickson.

Honestly, I’m feeling a little starved because it’s been over a year now that I’ve been to any kind of conference.

I realize I interact with writers regularly via email and through social networking, but it isn’t the same. People in other professions have face-to-face encouragement regularly. I know from my teaching days, the interaction with colleagues spurred me on and gave me ideas and helped me find solutions to problems.

Writers need this too. But since I’m not able to go to ACFW in Denver, I’ll be eagerly watching the blogs to get a second hand look at that conference. The Inkwell looks especially promising.

Meanwhile, I’m on to work as usual, but I’m starting to save pennies in hopes of making the 2010 Mount Hermon Conference. 😉

CSFF Blog Tour – Marcher Lord Press


First, I want to announce the winners of the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Genesis contest in the speculative division:

In the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Allegory category, the finalists are:
1st: Chawna Schroeder, Metamorphosis
2nd: Lynda K. Arndt, The Song of Blood and Stone
3rd: Valerie Comer, The Girl Who Cried Squid

Congratulations to these writers. Some of you may realize that Chawna and Valerie are both CSFF Blog Tour members, so it’s especially gratifying to see that they’ve received recognition for their own writing.

This month CSFF is NOT featuring a book. Instead we are highlighting a new publishing venture. Some of you may remember that a little over a year and a half ago, Jeff Gerke announced his plans to begin a new kind of publishing company, Marcher Lord Press. My initial reaction wasn’t particularly favorable because MLP is a print-on-demand publisher.

In part because of the discussion about POD that came about among CSFF members, I’ve changed my views. Another factor in my new position is a result of my awareness of the realities of the writing business. From agent Rachelle Gardner’s blog post last Thursday:

I think there are way, way more people writing books than the market can ever support. At least this is true within traditional royalty-paying publishing.

I began to understand this as I joined groups like The Lost Genre Guild and ChristSF. Lots and lots of writers. Very few spots for speculative titles released by traditional publishers serving the Christian market.

Another reality, quite frankly, is that the entire publishing industry is undergoing fundamental changes because of technology. With the development of Amazon’s Kindle and other such readers, I suspect books will, in a generation or sooner, be sold primarily via cyberspace.

Which brings us back to Marcher Lord Press. Here is a new, cutting edge, publisher devoted exclusively to speculative fiction written from a Christian worldview. As Jeff states in the introduction to MLP, “If it’s speculative and it comes from the Christian worldview, Marcher Lord Press is your publisher.”

Without a doubt, I see this new venture as filling a need, and I’m happy CSFF has the opportunity of letting others know about it.

Read what other bloggers on the tour are saying about MLP.

Brandon Barr
Justin Boyer
Keanan Brand
Kathy Brasby
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
Courtney
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Janey DeMeo
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Kameron M. Franklin
Andrea Graham
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
Timothy Hicks
Joleen Howell
Jason Joyner
Kait
Tina Kulesa
Mike Lynch
Terri Main
Margaret
Rachel Marks (not on the original list)
Shannon McNear
Nissa
John W. Otte
Steve Rice
Ashley Rutherford
Hanna Sandvig
Mirtika or Mir’s Here
Greg Slade
James Somers
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Jason Waguespac
Laura Williams
Timothy Wise

“√” indicates I know a blog post is up.

Fantasy Here, Fantasy There, Fantasy Everywhere


My head is full of fantasy. Just last Monday Sharon Hinck had a live chat with members of the ACFW Book Club discussing the April feature, Restorer’s Son, the second book in Sharon’s Sword of Lyric series. Great stuff. I was heartened to see so many readers, not normally fantasy lovers, who raved about the book. And I do mean raved.

On top of this, as you know, we’ve been collecting nominations for the Clive Staples Award. It’s been lots of fun to see what books readers are putting forward as worthy of recognition.

Yesterday I visited the web site of the Mythopoeic Society, a fantasy organization tilting toward the literary and scholarly, inspired by C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Inklings. I discovered this organization also gives out awards—has for almost forty years.

Well, on Monday I also posted over at Spec Faith, and in the midst of writing the article got the idea for a “Commenters’ Choice” award for the best Christian speculative web or blog site. I’m still not sure if we should lump the two together and have one award or separate and have two separate awards. Still, the idea was exciting.

Then we’re nearly ready to put out the next issue of Latest In Spec, so the news authors are listing is always interesting to me.

Let’s see. One example, Bryan Davis‘s next series, the one published by Zondervan, has launched this week with the first book, Beyond the Reflection’s Edge. This sounds like an intriguing series.

Besides the contests and news, there’s this little movie coming out very soon, launching here in the L.A. area, I think, May 18. I’m referring to Prince Caspian. You can read an interesting blog post regarding the movie over at Fiction Mirrors Truth (love the name of that blog).

So there you have it. That should get your brain thinking about fantasy, too. One more recommendation: pick up a good fantasy to read when you want to relax. You just might find yourself transported to another world where you’ll stay until the last word on the last page. Ah, that’s the fantasy experience! 😀

Fantasy Tidbits


First, ACFW announced the finalists of their Genesis contest. This competition is unique because it is for novelists. The opening fifteen pages, entered in specific categories, are judged by three writers familiar with the genre. Here are the 2008 finalists in the speculative fiction category:

    Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Allegory: (there are six finalists because there was a tie for the 5th finalist spot)
    Lynda K. Arndt
    Valerie Comer
    John W. Otte
    Jim Rubart
    Chawna Schroeder
    Stuart Stockton

Note, these are alphabetically listed, not in order of finish. Congratulations to all six! The winners will be announced at the ACFW conference in September.

Secondly, I mentioned yesterday that I had extended a grassroots challenge over at Spec Faith for fans of Christian science fiction and fantasy to tell ten friends about three titles of books they enjoyed or even have on their to be read piles. One commenter asked for titles, as a refresher. I just so happened to have a partial list, taken from my own Fantasy Challenge II:

  • By Sharon Hinck
    The Restorer
    The Restorer’s Son
    *The Restorer’s Journey
  • By Wayne Thomas Batson
    The Door Within
    The Rise of the Wyrm Lord
    The Final Storm
    *Isle of Swords
  • By Kathryn Mackel
    Outriders
    Trackers
    *Vanished
  • By George Bryan Polivka
    Legend of the Firefish
    The Hand That Bears the Sword
    *The Battle for Vast Dominion
  • By Donita Paul
    DragonSpell
    DragonQuest
    DragonKnight
    *DragonFire
  • By Karen Handcock
    Light of Eidon
    Shadow Within
    Shadow of Kiriath
    *Return of the Guardian-King
  • By R. K. Mortenson
    Landon Snow and the Auctor’s Riddle
    Landon Snow and the Shadows of Malus Quidam
    Landon Snow and the Island of Arcanum
    Landon Snow and the Volcer Dragon
    *Landon Snow and the Auctor’s Kingdom
  • By Bryan Davis
    Dragons in Our Midst
    The Candlestone
    Circles of Seven
    Tears of a Dragon
  • By Jeffrey Overstreet
    *Auralia’s Colors
  • By Gregory Spenser
    *Guardian of the Veil
  • By Christopher Hooper
    Rise of the Dibor: The White Lion Chronicles
    *The Lion Vrie: Book II of The White Lion Chronicles
  • By Stephen Lawhead
    The Paradise War: Book One in The Song of Albion
    The Silver Hand: Book Two in The Song of Albion Trilogy
    Hood (The King Raven Trilogy, Book 1)
    *Scarlet (The King Raven Trilogy, Book 2)
  • By Jonathan Rogers
    Bark of the Bog Owl
    The Secret of the Swamp King
    *The Way of the Wilderking
  • By Robin Parrish
    Relentless
    *Fearless
  • *Latest release

I’ll update this to add the following:

  • By Andrew Peterson
    On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness
  • By Eric Rheinhold
    Ryann Watters and the King’s Sword

Don’t forget to drop by Spec Faith and leave a comment to let us know you’ve emailed your friends (or actually told them in person) about three of these titles, or any others you know, including science fiction novels I didn’t include. Kathy Tyers, Chris Walley, Randy Ingermanson and John Olson, Austin Boyd come to mind at once.

Then there are any number of authors who have self published or are with a small press or even have decided to go with a POD publisher. One self-published author (though, technically I suppose she would consider herself to be under a small press) who has an incredible website is Candy Abbott. Spend any time there at all, and it’s hard NOT to buy a Gavin Goodfellow.

Talk is cheap. That’s actually the good news when it comes to books, because editors continue to say that “word of mouth” is the number one promotion tool.

Do readers—Christians and non-Christians alike—really want fantasy and science fiction from Christians? We know the truth about the spiritual as well as the physical. We understand the conflict between good and evil, the internal part as well as the external. We ought to care about excellence because of Who we serve. And fantasy continues to be the hottest genre in the general market.

What are we missing if it isn’t the word-of-mouth promotion necessary to bring readers inside the covers of the books and let them fall in love with the characters they find there.

Published in: on April 8, 2008 at 12:09 pm  Comments (6)  
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Another Invitation


It’s great to have Blog Party guests dropping by. Be sure to leave a comment so you’ll be eligible for one of the A Christian Worldview of Fiction “door” prizes. Books the three winners may choose from are the following:

  • Bottom Line by Kimberly Stuart
  • Harsh Pink by Melody Carlson
  • The Wedding Caper by Janice A. Thompson
  • In Sheep’s Clothing by Susan May Warren
  • Sands of Time by Susan May Warren
  • Julia’s Hope by Leisha Kelly
  • Squat by Taylor Field
  • Violette Between by Alison Strobel Morrow
  • Seventy Times Seven by Brandt Dodson
  • Blind Dates Can Be Murder by Mindy Starns Clark
  • The Last Ten Percent by Michelle McKinney Hammond
  • Demon, A Memoir by Tosca Lee
  • And now for the invitation. If you love books, this is for YOU. 😀

    Want to read some great books? Talk over the stories with friends? Chat with the authors? I have just the place for you—the American Christian Fiction Writers’ (ACFW) Book Club. The ACFW Book Club gives fans of Christian fiction the opportunity to communicate with each other, chat with ACFW authors, and discuss books.

    Book Club participants join an e-mail group set up to facilitate announcements and host discussions about the current reading selection. Members will be eligible for monthly free book drawings. To join, send a blank e-mail to acfwbookclub-subscribe@yahoogroups.com or visit ACFW Book Club and click “join this group.” You will receive a confirmation e-mail after joining. Follow the instructions given in the e-mail to complete your subscription to this e-mail list.

    Each month, club members have an opportunity to participate in an on-line chat with an ACFW published author. Chats will be announced in advance so Club members have the opportunity to read the featured book. Book Club chats will be held on the ACFW website in the chat room at 7:00 p.m. CST on the first Monday of the month following the month the book is read.

    Currently, the club is talking about Rachel Hauck’s Lost in NashVegas. And then it’s on to Mary Connealy’s Petticoat Ranch before tackling a sci-fi/fantasy (we’re currently voting on which book to discuss). Previous authors have included: Robin Lee Hatcher, Tracey Bateman, Colleen Coble and Liz Curtis Higgs.

    So how about it? Why not join the fun?

    Published in: on March 7, 2007 at 12:29 pm  Comments (5)  
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