Christy Award Finalists


ReadingThe Christy Award finalists were announced today. I know that awards like this can easily leave out some of the best books—they might be independently published or the publisher chose not to invest in submitting a particular novel. All kinds of reasons.

Still, there’s no doubt these books deserve to go on a list of novels readers should consider buying. I mean, first an agent chose to represent the author, then an acquisitions editor took the manuscript to the publishing board, they decided to publish it, a substantive and a copy editor each worked with the author on it, then Christy judges chose it to be included with the other finalists. That’s a lot of people in the writing profession who believed in these books.

So why not consider adding them to your to be read list? I mean, this is the end of April, which means May is just around the corner. And we all know what follows May: SUMMER!!

You need good books during the summer to take with you on that vacation or to read when all your friends are away on vacation.

With all that in mind, here is the list of finalists:

CONTEMPORARY

Farewell, Four Waters by Kate McCord (RiverNorth, an imprint of Moody Publishing)
Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good by Jan Karon (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate (Tyndale House Publishers)

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert (WaterBrook Multnomah)
Firewall by DiAnn Mills (Tyndale House Publishers)
Undetected by Dee Henderson (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

CONTEMPORARY SERIES

The Amish Blacksmith by Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner (Harvest House Publishers)
Home to Chicory Lane by Deborah Raney (Abingdon Press)
When I Fall in Love by Susan May Warren (Tyndale House Publishers)

FIRST NOVEL

Feast for Thieves by Marcus Brotherton (RiverNorth, an imprint of Moody Publishing)
For Such a Time by Kate Breslin (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)
House of Living Stones by Kate Schuermann (Concordia Publishing House)

HISTORICAL

The Advocate by Randy Singer (Tyndale House Publishers)
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (Viking)
The Sentinels of Andersonville by Tracy Groot (Tyndale House Publishers)

HISTORICAL ROMANCE

A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)
Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer (WaterBook Multnomah)
With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

SUSPENSE

The Color of Justice by Ace Collins (Abingdon Press)
A Cry from the Dust by Carrie Stuart Parks (Thomas Nelson, a division of Harper Collins Christian Publishing)
Sky Zone by Creston Mapes (David C Cook)

VISIONARY [Also known as speculative fiction: fantasy, science fiction, fairy tale, futuristic, etc.]

Once Beyond a Time by Ann Tatlock (Heritage Beacon Fiction)
Shadow Hand by Anne Elisabeth Stengl (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)
A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes (Enclave Publishing)

YOUNG ADULT

Failstate: Nemesis by John W. Otte (Enclave Publishing)
This Quiet Sky by Joanne Bischof (Independently Published)
Storm Siren by Mary Weber (Thomas Nelson, a division of Harper Collins Christian Publishing)

Published in: on April 21, 2015 at 6:14 pm  Comments (2)  
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2014 Christy Awards


ChristyAwardLogo[1]

Congratulations to the winners of the 2014 Christy Awards, announced yesterday at the awards dinner held at the International Christian Retail Show.

* Book of the Year: Burning Sky by Lori Benton (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)

* Contemporary: Stones for Bread by Christa Parrish (Thomas Nelson, a division of Harper Collins Christian
Publishing)

* Contemporary Romance/Suspense: Dangerous Passage by Lisa Harris (Revell, a division of Baker Publishing
Group)

* Contemporary Series: Take a Chance on Me by Susan May Warren (Tyndale House Publishers)

* First Novel: Burning Sky by Lori Benton (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)

* Historical: Burning Sky by Lori Benton (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)

* Historical Romance: Harvest of Gold by Tessa Afshar (River North, an imprint of Moody Publishing)

* Suspense: Outlaw by Ted Dekker (FaithWords, a division of Hachette Book Group)

* Visionary: Dragonwitch by Anne Elisabeth Stengl (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing
Group)

* Christy Award Hall of Fame Inductee: Davis Bunn (4 Christys)

My Thoughts
Before I heard about Lori Benton’s struggle with cancer, I thought her novel Burning Sky had to be strong to win the first novel award, the historical award, and book of the year. What an amazing trifecta. Add in the poignant element of her personal struggle, and I so want to read this book!

The finalists in the visionary category received some awesome comments from the judges.

Numb by John Otte:

    “Otte seriously launched himself onto my list of favorite authors. His stories are deep, thought provoking, fast paced and fun.”

A Cast of Stones by Patrick Carr:

    “With complex, authentic characters, a fascinating plot, a moving redemption story, Cast of Stones was the standout of the year.”

Dragonwitch by Anne Elisabeth Stengl, this year’s winner:

    “Very few books compel me to stop midway through and track down and buy the author’s backlist. Dragonwitch did.”

I found it ironic that the keynote speaker, Marcia Nelson associate religion editor at Publishers Weekly, said, as part of her alphabetical rundown of the industry, “C…..children…YA fiction is VERY hot.” Why ironic? Because there was no YA category at the Christys this year.

When will the Christian publishing industry go all in and really try to sell children’s books? Or at least YA?

And here’s another thought: is it good policy for ACFW to announce their finalists on the day that the Christys announce their winners? It seems like one or the other will get watered down.

Finally, I really get a kick out of “attending” the awards dinner via live blog. It’s done very professionally, complete with pictures. Highly recommend!

Published in: on June 24, 2014 at 6:50 pm  Comments (1)  
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Christy Award Nominees Announced


ChristyAwardLogo[1]It’s award season for novels. The Christy’s, the Carols, Inspy, and of course the Clive Staples Award for Christian Speculative Fiction. I’m sure there are others, but the one that has been the most coveted prize has been the Christys. There are nine categories, and judges have whittled the entries down to three nominees in each (four in one category in which there was a tie). A different set of judges will then pick the winners and those will be announced at the International Christian Retailers Show this summer.

Needless to say, to be included on this list is a terrific honor.

Here are the nominees announced today:

Contemporary Romance/

The Breath of Dawn
by Kristen Heitzmann (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Lethal Legacy
by Irene Hannon (Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Wildflowers from Winter
by Katie Ganshert (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)

Contemporary Series, Sequels, and Novellas/

Two Destinies
by Elizabeth Musser (David C Cook)

You Don’t Know Me
by Susan May Warren (Tyndale House Publishers)

Waiting for Sunrise
by Eva Marie Everson (Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Contemporary Standalone/

The Air We Breathe
by Christa Parrish (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Borders of the Heart
by Chris Fabry (Tyndale House Publishers)

Not in the Heart
by Chris Fabry (Tyndale House Publishers)

First Novel/

Into the Free
by Julie Cantrell (David C Cook)

Tangled Ashes
by Michèle Phoenix (Tyndale House Publishers)

Wedded to War
by Jocelyn Green (River North, an imprint of Moody Press)

Historical/

Flame of Resistance
by Tracy Groot (Tyndale House Publishers)

Wedded to War
by Jocelyn Green (River North, an imprint of Moody Press)

A Wreath of Snow
by Liz Curtis Higgs (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)

Historical Romance/

Against the Tide
by Elizabeth Camden (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Be Still My Soul
by Joanne Bischof (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)

Love’s Reckoning
by Laura Frantz (Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Suspense/

Downfall
by Terri Blackstock (Zondervan, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

The Last Plea Bargain
by Randy Singer (Tyndale House Publishers)

Rare Earth
by Davis Bunn (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Submerged
by Dani Pettrey (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)
*This category includes four nominees due to a tie in scoring.

Visionary/

Daughter of Light
by Morgan L. Busse (Marcher Lord Press)

Soul’s Gate
by James L. Rubart (Thomas Nelson, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Starflower
by Anne Elisabeth Stengl (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Young Adult/

Child of the Mountains
by Marilyn Sue Shank (Delacorte Press, a division of Random House)

Failstate
by John W. Otte (Marcher Lord Press)

Interrupted: A Life Beyond Words
by Rachel Coker (Zondervan, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Congratulations to each of these authors. What a great accomplishment!

Published in: on April 19, 2013 at 5:05 pm  Comments (2)  
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The 2012 Christy Award Winners


One way to decide what fiction to read is to pick up award winners. The top award for Christian fiction is the Christy Award, given in nine categories.

Here are this year’s winners–all books published in 2011 by a royalty-paying publisher:

      CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
      Wolfsbane
      by Ronie Kendig
      Barbour Publishing

      CONTEMPORARY SERIES
      The Amish Midwife
      by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould
      Harvest House Publishers

      CONTEMPORARY STANDALONE
      Promises to Keep
      by Ann Tatlock
      Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

      FIRST NOVEL
      Words
      by Ginny Yttrup
      B&H Publishing Group

      HISTORICAL
      Wonderland Creek
      by Lynn Austin
      Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

      HISTORICAL ROMANCE
      The Maid of Fairbourne Hall
      by Julie Klassenby
      Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

      SUSPENSE
      The Queen
      by Steven James
      Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing

      VISIONARY
      Veiled Rose
      by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
      Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

      YOUNG ADULT
      Waterfall
      by Lisa T. Bergren
      David C Cook

You can find out more about the books and authors from the official Christy Award press release. To find the list of other nominations and the replay of the ceremony’s live blog, visit the official Christy Awards site.

Congratulations to each of these fine authors.

Published in: on July 17, 2012 at 5:00 pm  Comments Off on The 2012 Christy Award Winners  
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A Little Buzz


I have fallen down on my “pass along the news” job—the one you probably didn’t realize I’d shouldered. 😛 . It’s not an official job, of course, but I do like to keep readers here at A Christian Worldview of Fiction informed about whatever book or author buzz seems significant.

The biggest, I suppose, is that the Christy Award winners were announced at the International Christian Retail Show on Saturday. I am so happy to point out that three of these winners—yes, THREE—were books featured by the CSFF Blog Tour. Three. Even though there is only one Speculative category (called Visionary).

So here are your results, with the CSFF features in red.

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

    Breach of Trust by DiAnn Mills – Tyndale House Publishers

CONTEMPORARY SERIES

    Who Do I Talk To? by Neta Jackson – Thomas Nelson

CONTEMPORARY STANDALONE

    The Passion of Mary-Margaret by Lisa Samson – Thomas Nelson

FIRST NOVEL

    Fireflies in December by Jennifer Erin Valent – Tyndale House Publishers

HISTORICAL

    Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin – Bethany House Publishers: a Division of Baker Publishing Group

HISTORICAL ROMANCE

The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen – Bethany House Publishers: a Division of Baker Publishing Group

SUSPENSE

    Lost Mission by Athol Dickson – Howard Books: a Division of Simon & Schuster

VISIONARY

    By Darkness Hid by Jill Williamson – Marcher Lord Press

YOUNG ADULT

    North! Or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson – WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group

Congratulations to all the winners, but especially to Jill, Athol, and Andrew. In my opinion, the speculative titles are getting better and better—these winners had stiff competition. It’s exciting to see.

An interesting announcement came out of ICRS as well—this one from the American Christian Fiction Writers. They have named their Book of the Year Award after Carol Johnson former Bethany editor who signed Janette Oke back in 1979. From now on the ACFW award will be know as the Carol Award.

All this talk of awards remind me of the Clive Staples Award for Christian Speculative Fiction—a readers’ choice award. Nominations will close at the end of June, but rather than starting the voting process right away, July is designated as Read Christian Speculative Fiction month. What a great way to enjoy the summer!

Reading is especially important because only those who have read at least two of the nominations will be eligible to vote. Those who have a favorite author are of course welcome to vote—as long as they have read at least one other (hopefully more) book on the list.

By the way, anyone looking for the CSFF Top Tour Blogger Award poll to determine the June winner, check back tomorrow.

One final tidbit for today. Fellow fantasy writer, friend, and regular reader here at A Christian Worldview of Fiction, Morgan L. Busse, is now also a blogger. You can read her inaugural post (besides a short test), “In darkness there is light,” then subscribe to receive her articles via email. As I recall, her goal is to post every Friday. I’d say she’s off to a great start.

Christy Award Nominations – 2010


The Christy Awards are viewed in Christian fiction as the highest awards, so nomination among the hundreds of books eligible is quite an honor. Some years ago, friend and non-published writer J. Mark Bertrand served as one of the judges. It was interesting to hear his thoughts about the process and to learn about the standards the award committee has set out.

At any rate, the books that are eligible are ones published in 2009 by a royalty paying house. And the committee has scooped their own Web site by publishing the nominees on their Facebook page.

As you might suspect, I’m most interested in the books falling under the “Visionary” category—speculative fiction that includes fantasy, science fiction, futuristic, supernatural suspense. And the nominees are

    VISIONARY

    * 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

I want to point out that next month the CSFF Blog Tour is featuring member Jill Williamson’s By Darkness Hid. The second book in her Blood of Kings series, To Darkness Fled, released this month, but we opted to highlight the first book so that readers can come in at the beginning of the story.

Furthermore, CSFF toured Karen Hancock’s Enclave shortly after it released. We also featured Tom Pawlik’s first novel, Vanished about the time Valley of the Shadow released, for the same reasons we are featuring By Darkness Hid instead of To Darkness Fled.

There’s more good news. Listed in the Suspense category, Athol Dickson’s Lost Mission (Howard Books) has also been nominated for a Christy. I’m not sure how that category was chosen, since the publisher marketed it as magic realism, but I hope the book receives due recognition. It certainly created a stir on the CSFF tour!

One more CSFF feature made the list of nominations: North! or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group) in the Young Adult category. I’m unfamiliar with the other two nominations, so have no way of knowing how this wonderful fantasy might fare. I do know Mr. Peterson’s book is beautifully written and deserving of recognition, so I hope it does well.

Congratulations to all the nominees. Now readers have a great idea what books are the “must buys” published last year in Christian fiction. These are the ones to consider buying for that birthday present or graduation present that’s coming up. These are the ones to recommend to your church or local librarian. These are the ones to be sure you add to the books on your shelves as well.

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