The Christy Awards 2015

The Christy Awards 2015

christy award medallionThe winners of the 2015 Christy Awards were announced this week.

Winners were presented with their awards at the 16th annual Christy Awards dinner held on Monday, June 29, 2015, at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Florida.

The 2015 Christy Awards featured a keynote address from author, pastor, spiritual director, and retreat leader, Sharon Garlough Brown (M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary). Terry Glaspey, author of more than a dozen books, emceed the event. Glaspey has worked the last 20 years with Harvest House Publishers, where he is director of acquisitions and development.

Read on to discover the winners and other finalists for this year’s awards.

PLUS! ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

ONE WINNER will receive a copy of each of the winning titles – open to residents of USA only.

Contest ends July 14, 2015


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)

And the Winner is…

The Story Keeper
The Story Keeper

The Story Keeper 
by Lisa Wingate 
(Tyndale House Publishers)

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Successful New York editor, Jen Gibbs, is at the top of her game with her new position at Vida House Publishing — until a mysterious manuscript from an old slush pile appears on her desk. Turning the pages, Jen finds herself drawn into the life of Sarra, a mixed-race Melungeon girl trapped by dangerous men in the turn of the century Appalachia.
A risky hunch may lead to The Story Keeper‘s hidden origins and its unknown author, but when the trail turns toward the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a place Jen thought she’d left behind forever, the price of a blockbuster next book deal may be higher than she’s willing to pay.
 

 

Other Finalists…

mccord-farewell-four-watersFarewell, Four Waters 
by Kate McCord  
(RiverNorth, an imprint of Moody Publishing)

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Day 14: It should have been the beginning . . .

All she needed were stamps and signatures. Marie and her translator stood in the government offices in Kabul, Afghanistan to complete the paperwork for her new literacy project. The women in her home town, the northern village of Shehktan, would learn to read.

But a spattering of gun shots exploded and an aid worker crumpled. Executed. On the streets of Kabul. Just blocks from the guesthouse. Sending shockwaves through the community.

The foreign personnel assessed their options and some, including Marie's closest friend, Carolyn, chose to leave the country. Marie and others faced the cost and elected to press forward. But the execution of the lone aid worker was just the beginning.

When she returned home to her Afghan friends in Shehktan to begin classes, she felt eyes watching her, piercing through her scarf as she walked the streets lined in mud brick walls.

And in the end . . .

It took only 14 days for her project, her Afghan home, her community-all of it-to evaporate in an eruption of dust, grief, and loss. Betrayed by someone she trusted. Caught in a feud she knew nothing about, and having loved people on both sides, Marie struggled for the answer: How could God be present here, working here, in the soul of Afghanistan?

Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good

Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good 
by Jan Karon  
(G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

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After five hectic years of retirement from Lord’s Chapel, Father Tim Kavanagh returns with his wife, Cynthia, from a so-called pleasure trip to the land of his Irish ancestors. While glad to be at home in Mitford, something is definitely missing: a pulpit. But when he’s offered one, he decides he doesn’t want it. Maybe he’s lost his passion. 

His adopted son, Dooley, wrestles with his own passion—for the beautiful and gifted Lace Turner, and his vision to become a successful country vet. Dooley’s brother, Sammy, still enraged by his mother’s abandonment, destroys one of Father Tim’s prized possessions. And Hope Murphy, owner of Happy Endings bookstore, struggles with the potential loss of her unborn child and her hard-won business. All this as Wanda’s Feel Good Café opens, a romance catches fire through an Internet word game, their former mayor hatches a reelection campaign to throw the bums out, and the weekly Muse poses a probing inquiry: Does Mitford still take care of its own?
            
Millions of fans will applaud the chance to spend time, once more, in the often comic and utterly human presence of Jan Karon’s characters. Indeed, they have never been more sympathetic, bighearted, and engaging.


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)

And the Winner is…

A Broken Kind of Beautiful
A Broken Kind of Beautiful

A Broken Kind of Beautiful 
by Katie Ganshert  
(WaterBrook Multnomah)

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Sometimes everything you ever learned about yourself is wrong
 
Fashion is a fickle industry, a frightening fact for twenty-four year old model Ivy Clark. Ten years in and she’s learned a sacred truth—appearance is everything. Nobody cares about her broken past as long as she looks beautiful for the camera. This is the only life Ivy knows—so when it starts to unravel, she’ll do anything to hold on. Even if that means moving to the quaint island town of Greenbrier, South Carolina, to be the new face of her stepmother’s bridal wear line—an irony too rich for words, since Ivy is far from the pure bride in white.

If only her tenuous future didn’t rest in the hands of Davis Knight, her mysterious new photographer. Not only did he walk away from the kind of success Ivy longs for to work maintenance at a local church, he treats her differently than any man ever has. Somehow, Davis sees through the façade she works so hard to maintain. He, along with a cast of other characters, challenges everything Ivy has come to believe about beauty and worth. Is it possible that God sees her—a woman stained and broken by the world—yet wants her still?

Other Finalists…

Firewall

Firewall 
by DiAnn Mills  
(Tyndale House Publishers)

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After a whirlwind romance, Taryn Young is preparing to board a plane at Houston International Airport, bound for a dream honeymoon, when a bomb decimates the terminal. Injured but still alive, she awakens to discover her husband is missing and they’re both considered prime suspects in the attack. Further, the FBI is convinced her husband isn’t who he appears to be.

Agent Grayson Hall’s number-one priority is to catch those responsible for the day’s act of terror. All evidence is pointing to Taryn and her new husband. But his instinct tells him her pleas of innocence are genuine. Is her naiveté just for show, or could she truly be another victim of a master scheme, possibly linked to the software she recently developed for her company?

With both their lives and reputations on the line, and the media outcry for justice increasing with each passing minute, Taryn and Grayson have no choice but to trust one another . . . and pray they can uncover the truth before they become two more casualties.

henderson-undetectedUndetected 
by Dee Henderson  
(Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

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When asked what he does for a living, Commander Mark Bishop is deliberately low-key: "I'm in the Navy." But commanding the ballistic missile submarine USS Nevada, keeping her crew trained and alert during ninety-day submerged patrols, and being prepared to launch weapons on valid presidential orders, carries a burden of command like few other jobs in the military. Mark Bishop is a man who accepts that responsibility, and handles it well. And at a time when tensions are escalating around the Pacific Rim, the Navy is glad to have him.

Mark wants someone to come home to after sea patrols. The woman he has in mind is young, with a lovely smile, and very smart. She's a civilian, yet she understands the U.S. Navy culture. And he has a strong sense that life with her would never be boring. But she may be too deep in her work to see the potential in a relationship with him.

Gina Gray would love to be married. She has always envisioned her life that way. A breakup she didn't see coming, though, has her focusing all her attention on what she does best--ocean science research. She's on the cusp of a major breakthrough, and she needs Mark Bishop's perspective and help. Because what she told the Navy she's figured out is only the beginning. If she's right, submarine warfare is about to enter a new and dangerous chapter.


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)

And the winner is…

The Amish Blacksmith
The Amish Blacksmith

The Amish Blacksmith 
by Mindy Starns Clark & Susan Meissner  
(Harvest House Publishers)

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New from bestselling authors Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner, The Amish Blacksmith (Book 2 in The Men of Lancaster County series) explores the men of an Amish community in Lancaster County, how their Amish beliefs play out in their unique roles, and the women who change their lives.

Apprenticed blacksmith Jake Miller is skeptical of Priscilla Kinsinger’s innate ability to soothe troubled horses, especially when he has own ideas on how to calm them. Six years earlier, Priscilla’s mother died in an awful accident at home, and Priscilla’s grief over losing her mother was so intense that she was sent to live with relatives in Indiana. She has just returned to Lancaster County.

Not that her homecoming matters to Jake, who is interested in courting lighthearted Amanda Shetler. But Jake’s boss is Priscilla’s uncle, and when the man asks Jake to help his niece reconnect with community life, he has no choice but to do just that. Surprisingly, he finds himself slowly drawn to the beautiful but emotionally wounded Priscilla.

Jake then determines to prove to her that it’s not her fault her mother died, but what he discovers will challenge everything they both believe about the depth of love and the breadth of forgiveness.

 

Other Finalists…

raney-home-to-chicory-laneHome to Chicory Lane 
by Deborah Raney  
(Abingdon Press)

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Audrey Whitman's dreams are coming true. Now that their five kids are grown, she and her husband Grant are turning their beloved family home into a cozy bed and breakfast, just a mile outside of Langhorne, Missouri. Opening weekend makes Audrey anxious, with family and friends coming from all over to help celebrate the occasion. But when Audrey's daughter, Landyn, arrives, the U-Haul she's pulling makes it clear she's not just here for a few days. Audrey immediately has questions. What happened in New York that sent Landyn running home? Where was Landyn's husband, Chase? And what else was her daughter not telling her? One thing was for sure, the Chicory Inn was off to a rocky start. Can Audrey still realize her dream and at the same time provide the comfort of home her daughter so desperately needs?

warren-when-i-fall-in-loveWhen I Fall in Love 
by Susan May Warren  
(Tyndale House Publishers)

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Hawaii was the last place Grace Christiansen ever imagined she’d vacation, much less fall in love. But when her family surprises her with a cooking retreat in paradise, she is pulled―or maybe yanked―away from her predictable, safe life and thrown headfirst into the adventure of a lifetime.

Max Sharpe may make his living on the ice as a pro hockey player, but he feels most at home in the kitchen. Which is why he lives for the three-week culinary vacation he takes each year in Hawaii. Upon being paired with Grace for a cooking competition, Max finds himself drawn to her passion, confidence, and perseverance. But just when Grace dares to dream of a future beyond her hometown, Max pulls away.

Wrestling with personal demons, Max fights against opening his heart to a love he knows he should never hope for. And as his secrets unfold, Grace is torn between the safe path in front of her and what her heart truly desires. If love means sacrificing her ideal happily ever after, Grace’s faith will face its toughest test yet.

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)

And the winner is…

Feast for Thieves
Feast for Thieves

Feast for Thieves 
by Marcus Brotherton  
(RiverNorth, an imprint of Moody Publishing)

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Sergeant Rowdy Slater is the most skilled-and most incorrigible-soldier in Dog Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne, an elite group of paratroopers fighting for the world’s freedom in World War II.

Through a bizarre set of circumstances, Rowdy returns to the States after the war, turns his life around, and falls into the only job he can find-preacher at the sparsely populated community church in Cut Eye, Texas, a dusty highway town situated at the midpoint of nowhere and emptiness.

The town’s lawman, suspicious that Rowdy has changed his ways only as a cover up, gives an ultimatum: Rowdy must survive one complete year as Cut Eye’s new minister or end up in jail.

At first Rowdy thinks the job will be easy, particularly because he’s taking over for a young female missionary who’s held the church together while the men were at war. But when a dark-hearted acquaintance from Rowdy’s past shows up with a plan to make some quick cash, Rowdy becomes ensnared due to an irrevocable favor, and life turns decidedly difficult.

Rowdy’s a man used to solving problems one of two ways: with his rifle or with his fists. Will he be able to thwart his old friend’s evil schemes while remaining true to his new higher calling?

This is a wild ride of a book bursting with a bank robbery, kidnapping, desperate prayers, and barroom brawls. Before the smoke clears, all sides just might end up getting exactly what they want.

 

Other Finalists…

breslin-for-such-a-timeFor Such a Time 
by Kate Breslin  
(Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Purchase:
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Powerful Retelling of the Story of Esther

In 1944, blonde and blue-eyed Jewess Hadassah Benjamin feels abandoned by God when she is saved from a firing squad only to be handed over to a new enemy. Pressed into service by SS-Kommandant Colonel Aric von Schmidt at the transit camp of Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia, she is able to hide behind the false identity of Stella Muller. However, in order to survive and maintain her cover as Aric's secretary, she is forced to stand by as her own people are sent to Auschwitz.

Suspecting her employer is a man of hidden depths and sympathies, Stella cautiously appeals to him on behalf of those in the camp. Aric's compassion gives her hope, and she finds herself battling a growing attraction for this man she knows she should despise as an enemy.

Stella pours herself into her efforts to keep even some of the camp's prisoners safe, but she risks the revelation of her true identity with every attempt. When her bravery brings her to the point of the ultimate sacrifice, she has only her faith to lean upon. Perhaps God has placed her there for such a time as this, but how can she save her people when she is unable to save herself?

schuermann-house-of-living-stonesHouse of Living Stones 
by Katie Schuermann  
(Concordia Publishing House)

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In the small Illinois town of Bradbury, change doesn't come often, and it certainly doesn't come easily. So when Pastor Fletcher hires Emily Duke as the new choir director at Zion Lutheran Church, he unknowingly sets in motion a chain of events that turns the life of his congregation upside down. The crusty church secretary, Mrs. Scheinberg, must learn to adjust her curmudgeonly ways. Zion's talented but pompous organist, Evan Ebner, must recognize his shortcomings. Emily must come to terms with her past. Even Pastor Fletcher must face reality when his world is shaken by the baggage Emily brings and by the handsome Zachary Brandt who pursues her. With its host of lovable and relatable characters, House of Living Stones will find a special place on your bookshelf and in your heart.


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)

And the winner is…

The Sentinels of Andersonville
The Sentinels of Andersonville

The Sentinels of Andersonville 
by Tracy Groot  
(Tyndale House Publishers)

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Near the end of the Civil War, inhumane conditions at Andersonville Prison caused the deaths of 13,000 Union soldiers in only one year. In this gripping and affecting novel, three young Confederates and an entire town come face-to-face with the prison’s atrocities and will learn the cost of compassion, when withheld and when given.

Sentry Dance Pickett has watched, helpless, for months as conditions in the camp worsen by the day. He knows any mercy will be seen as treason. Southern belle Violet Stiles cannot believe the good folk of Americus would knowingly condone such barbarism, despite the losses they’ve suffered. When her goodwill campaign stirs up accusations of Union sympathies and endangers her family, however, she realizes she must tread carefully. Confederate corporal Emery Jones didn’t expect to find camaraderie with the Union prisoner he escorted to Andersonville. But the soldier’s wit and integrity strike a chord in Emery. How could this man be an enemy? Emery vows that their unlikely friendship will survive the war―little knowing what that promise will cost him.

As these three young Rebels cross paths, Emery leads Dance and Violet to a daring act that could hang them for treason. Wrestling with God’s harsh truth, they must decide, once and for all, Who is my neighbor?

 

Other Finalists…

singer-advocateThe Advocate 
by Randy Singer  
(Tyndale House Publishers)

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At the trial of Christ, Theophilus, brilliant young assessore raised in the Roman aristocracy, stands behind Pontius Pilate and whispers, “Offer to release Barabbas.” The strategy backfires, and Theophilus never forgets the sight of an innocent man unjustly suffering the worst of all possible deaths―Roman crucifixion.

Three decades later, Theophilus has proven himself in the legal ranks of the Roman Empire. He has survived the insane rule of Caligula and has weathered the cruel tyrant’s quest to control the woman he loves. He has endured the mindless violence of the gladiator games and the backstabbing intrigue of the treason trials.

Now he must face another evil Caesar, defending the man Paul in Nero’s deranged court. Can Theophilus mount a defense that will keep another innocent man from execution?

The advocate’s first trial altered the course of history. His last will change the fate of an empire.

kidd-invention-of-wingsThe Invention of Wings 
by Sue Monk Kidd  
(Viking)

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From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a #1 New York Times bestselling novel about two unforgettable American women. Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world.

Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love.

As the stories build to a riveting climax, Handful will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister, Angelina, as one of the early pioneers in the abolition and women’s rights movements.

Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke, Kidd goes beyond the record to flesh out the rich interior lives of all of her characters, both real and invented, including Handful’s cunning mother, Charlotte, who courts danger in her search for something better.

This exquisitely written novel is a triumph of storytelling that looks with unswerving eyes at a devastating wound in American history, through women whose struggles for liberation, empowerment, and expression will leave no reader unmoved.


Historical Romance


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

And the winner is…

Thief of Glory
Thief of Glory

Thief of Glory 
by Sigmund Brouwer  
(WaterBrook Multnomah)

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A boy coming of age in a time of war…
the love that inspires him to survive.

For ten year-old Jeremiah Prins, the life of privilege as the son of a school headmaster in the Dutch East Indies comes crashing to a halt in 1942 after the Japanese Imperialist invasion of the Southeast Pacific. Jeremiah takes on the responsibility of caring for his younger siblings when his father and older stepbrothers are separated from the rest of the family, and he is surprised by what life in the camp reveals about a woman he barely knows—his frail, troubled mother.

Amidst starvation, brutality, sacrifice and generosity, Jeremiah draws on all of his courage and cunning to fill in the gap for his mother. Life in the camps is made more tolerable as Jeremiah’s boyhood infatuation with his close friend Laura deepens into a friendship from which they both draw strength.

When the darkest sides of humanity threaten to overwhelm Jeremiah and Laura, they reach for God’s light and grace, shining through his people. Time and war will test their fortitude and the only thing that will bring them safely to the other side is the most enduring bond of all.

 

Other Finalists…

alexander-beauty-so-rareA Beauty So Rare 
by Tamera Alexander  
(Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

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Pink is not what Eleanor Braddock ordered, but maybe it would soften the tempered steel of a woman who came through a war--and still had one to fight.
 
Eleanor Braddock--plain, practical, no stunning Southern beauty--knows she will never marry. But with a dying soldier's last whisper, she believes her life can still have meaning and determines to find his widow. Impoverished and struggling to care for her ailing father, Eleanor arrives at Belmont Mansion, home of her aunt, Adelicia Acklen, the richest woman in America--and possibly the most demanding, as well. Adelicia insists on finding her niece a husband, but a simple act of kindness leads Eleanor down a far different path--building a home for destitute widows and fatherless children from the Civil War. While Eleanor knows her own heart, she also knows her aunt will never approve of this endeavor.
 
Archduke Marcus Gottfried has come to Nashville from Austria in search of a life he determines, instead of one determined for him. Hiding his royal heritage, Marcus longs to combine his passion for nature with his expertise in architecture, but his plans to incorporate natural beauty into the design of the widows' and children's home run contrary to Eleanor's wishes. As work on the home draws them closer together, Marcus and Eleanor find common ground--and a love neither of them expects. 
 
But Marcus is not the man Adelicia has chosen for Eleanor, and even if he were, someone who knows his secrets is about to reveal them all.
 
From the USA Today bestselling author Tamera Alexander comes a moving historical novel about a bold young woman drawn to a group of people forgotten by Nashville society--and to the one man with whom she has no business falling in love.

 


camden-with-every-breathWith Every Breath 
by Elizabeth Camden  
(Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Purchase:
[Amazon | Kindle | The Book Depository]

 

In the shadow of the nation's capital, Kate Livingston's respectable life as a government worker is disrupted by an encounter with the insufferable Trevor McDonough, the one man she'd hoped never to see again. A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, and business is the only reason he has sought her out now.

Despite her misgivings, Kate agrees to Trevor's risky proposal to join him in his work to find a cure for tuberculosis. As Kate begins to unlock the mysteries of Trevor's past, his hidden depths fascinate her. However, a shadowy enemy lies in wait and Trevor's closely guarded secrets are darker than she ever suspected.

As revelations from the past threaten to destroy their careers, their dreams, and even their lives, Trevor and Kate find themselves in a painfully impossible situation. With everything to lose, they must find the strength to trust that hope and love can prevail over all.


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)

And the winner is…

The Color of Justice
The Color of Justice

The Color of Justice 
by Ace Collins  
(Abingdon Press)

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1964

Justice, Mississippi, is a town divided. White and black. Rich and poor. Rule makers and rule breakers. Right or wrong, everyone assumes their place behind a fragile façade that is about to crumble.  When attorney Coop Lindsay agrees to defend a black man accused of murdering a white teenager, the bribes and death threats don’t intimidate him. As he prepares for the case of a lifetime, the young lawyer knows it’s the verdict that poses the real threat—innocent or guilty, because of his stand Coop is no longer welcome in Justice. As he follows his conscience, he wonders just how far some people will go to make sure he doesn’t finish his job?

2014

To some, the result of the trial still feels like a fresh wound even fifty years later, when Coop’s grandson arrives in Justice seeking answers to the questions unresolved by the trial that changed his family’s legacy. When a new case is presented, again pitting white against black, this third generation Lindsay may have the opportunity he needs to right the wrongs of the past.

But hate destroys everything it touches, and the Lindsay family will not escape unscathed.

 

Other Finalists…

parks-cry-from-the-dustA Cry from the Dust 
by Carrie Stuart Parks  
(Thomas Nelson, a division of Harper Collins Christian Publishing)

Purchase:
[Amazon | Kindle | The Book Depository]

 

In the shadow of the Mormon church, a 19th-century conspiracy is about to be shattered by a 21st-century forensic artist.

In 1857, a wagon train in Utah was assaulted by a group of militant Mormons calling themselves the Avenging Angels. One hundred and forty people were murdered, including unarmed men, women, and children. The Mountain Meadows Massacre remains controversial to this day—but the truth may be written on the skulls of the victims.

When renowned forensic artist Gwen Marcey is recruited to reconstruct the faces of recently unearthed victims at Mountain Meadows, she isn’t expecting more than an interesting gig . . . and a break from her own hectic life.

But when Gwen stumbles on the ritualized murder of a young college student, her work on the massacre takes on a terrifying new aspect, and research quickly becomes a race against modern-day fundamentalist terror.

As evidence of a cover-up mounts—a cover-up spanning the entire history of the Mormon church—Gwen finds herself in the crosshairs of a secret society bent on fulfilling prophecy and revenging old wrongs.

Can a forensic artist reconstruct two centuries of suppressed history . . . before it repeats itself?

In A Cry from the Dust, Carrie Stuart Parks utilizes her own background as a celebrated, FBI-trained forensic artist to blend fact and fiction into a stunning mystery.

mapes-sky-zoneSky Zone 
by Creston Mapes  
(David C Cook)

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A rally for a controversial presidential candidate.
A terrorist threat.
A nightmare of cataclysmic proportions.

Jack and Pamela Crittendon have hit the breaking point. After months out of work as a reporter, Jack is playing Mr. Mom and working part-time at Festival Arena with his survivalist friend Brian Shakespeare. Meanwhile, Pamela has gone back to work full-time while eight months pregnant. Having her recently widowed mother on hand isn't making matters any easier.
With financial pressures boiling, Jack reports for duty at a rally for controversial presidential candidate Martin Sterling where he expects a mindless night on the job. But when Homeland Security picks up intel about a potential terrorist threat, Jack and Shakespeare are thrust into a life-or-death battle to save their own lives--and the lives of thousands of innocent people.

This third book in The Crittendon Files reminds us of the power of family, friendships and faith--and why we are never in as much control as we think.


Visionary


  • 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)

And the winner is…

Once Beyond a Time
Once Beyond a Time

Once Beyond a Time 
by Ann Tatlock  
(Heritage Beacon Fiction)

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[Amazon | Kindle | The Book Depository]

It’s 1968, and Sheldon and Meg Crane have just moved their family from Pennsylvania to the small town of Black Mountain, NC. Sheldon, recently ousted from the ministry due to an illicit affair, takes a job as a used car salesman at his brother-in-law s auto dealership. Burdened by his wife’s unforgiveness and his daughter’s resentment over the move to “Barney Fife country”, Sheldon finds a measure of solace in his eight-year-old son’s ability to cope. After settling into an old house high on the side of a mountain, the family discovers their new home is no ordinary place. Family members occasionally see and speak with the home’s previous residents — and the ones who will live there in the future. While attempting to come to terms with this portal in the past and future, their son, Digger, suddenly disappears. Was he kidnapped or did Digger wander off into the mountains and become lost? The answer lies in a place once beyond a time — in a realm where the mysterious power of forgiveness removes sorrow and heals even the most egregious sins.

 

Other Finalists…

stengl-shadow-handShadow Hand 
by Anne Elisabeth Stengl  
(Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Purchase:
[Amazon | Kindle | The Book Depository]

 

This is a story about blood.
And love.
And the many things that lie between.

By her father's wish, Lady Daylily is betrothed to the Prince of Southlands. Not the prince she loves, handsome and dispossessed Lionheart, but his cousin, the awkward and foolish Prince Foxbrush. As her wedding day dawns, Daylily flees into the dangerous Wilderlands, her only desire to vanish from living memory.

But Foxbrush, determined to rescue his betrothed, pursues Daylily into a new world of magic and peril, a world where vicious Faerie beasts hold sway, a world invaded by a lethal parasite.

A world that is hauntingly familiar.

brandes-time-to-dieA Time to Die 
by Nadine Brandes  
(Enclave Publishing)

Purchase:
[Amazon | Kindle | The Book Depository]

 

How would you live if you knew the day you'd die? 

Parvin Blackwater believes she has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside. In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the government's crooked justice system. 

But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall -- her people's death sentence. What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her clock is running out.


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)

And the winner is…

Storm Siren
Storm Siren

Storm Siren 
by Mary Weber  
(Thomas Nelson, a division of Harper Collins Christian Publishing)

Purchase:
[Amazon | Kindle | The Book Depository]

“I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth—meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for? Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.

 

Other Finalists…

otte-failstate-nemesisFailstate: Nemesis 
by John W. Otte  
(Enclave Publishing)

Purchase:
[Amazon | Kindle | The Book Depository]

 

Abaddon will destroy you all! 

Robin Laughlin (a.k.a. the superhero Failstate) has finally achieved his dream. Not only is he a licensed vigilante, but he’s respected by his fellow heroes, feared by criminals, and he’s finally achieved peace in his family, especially with his brother, Ben (a.k.a. the superhero Gauntlet). That, plus the love of his girlfriend, Charlene, has made life good. 

But then Failstate learns a secret about his father. Rather than the loving family man he remembers, Failstate’s father was a criminal who got himself killed when he crossed the wrong people. Before he can process this new information, he receives a warning that a villain named Abaddon is coming to New Chayton. The message is all the more disturbing since it’s delivered by Lux. She died in Failstate’s arms a year earlier. How can she possibly be alive? 

Those mysteries will have to wait, though, as Abaddon storms New Chayton, strewing death and destruction in his wake. But he’s not the only newcomer. Unusual heroes are appearing throughout the city. Can Failstate get to the bottom of the reappearance of Lux, the influx of new heroes, and the truth behind his father's past––all while keeping Abaddon at bay? Abaddon may prove to be Failstate’s greatest nemesis. But what will Failstate have to sacrifice along the way?

bischof-this-quiet-skyThis Quiet Sky 
by Joanne Bischof  
(Independently Published)

Purchase:
[Amazon | Kindle | The Book Depository]

 

There is nothing extraordinary about Tucker O’Shay’s dreams. Go to college. Become president. Fall in love. And pretend like he has enough time to get it all done. Sixteen-year-old Sarah Miller doesn’t expect anything out of the ordinary when she begins her first day at the one-room-school house in her new hometown of Rocky Knob. But when she meets seventeen-year-old Tucker O’Shay—the boy with the fatal illness who volunteers to tutor her in algebra—she finds herself swept up in a friendship that changes the way she sees the world and a love that changes her life.


Book of the Year


Thief of Glory
Thief of Glory

Thief of Glory 
by Sigmund Brouwer  
(WaterBrook Multnomah)

Purchase:
[Amazon | Kindle | The Book Depository]

A boy coming of age in a time of war…
the love that inspires him to survive.

For ten year-old Jeremiah Prins, the life of privilege as the son of a school headmaster in the Dutch East Indies comes crashing to a halt in 1942 after the Japanese Imperialist invasion of the Southeast Pacific. Jeremiah takes on the responsibility of caring for his younger siblings when his father and older stepbrothers are separated from the rest of the family, and he is surprised by what life in the camp reveals about a woman he barely knows—his frail, troubled mother.

Amidst starvation, brutality, sacrifice and generosity, Jeremiah draws on all of his courage and cunning to fill in the gap for his mother. Life in the camps is made more tolerable as Jeremiah’s boyhood infatuation with his close friend Laura deepens into a friendship from which they both draw strength.

When the darkest sides of humanity threaten to overwhelm Jeremiah and Laura, they reach for God’s light and grace, shining through his people. Time and war will test their fortitude and the only thing that will bring them safely to the other side is the most enduring bond of all.

 

b_w_scrolldiv

The Christy Awards 2015

 

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YOUR THOUGHTS
& A GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment about this year’s finalists and winners and be in to win a copy of each of the winning books!

  • Which of these have you read, and would you recommend them?
  • Which of these are on your TBR pile or wishlist?

To comment, log in at the top right of the blog (or below the comments)
Scroll to the bottom to leave your comment

ONE WINNER will receive a copy of each of the winning titles – open to residents of USA only.

Contest ends July 14, 2015

Many thanks to Wynn-Wynn Media and the following publishers for sponsoring the giveaway: Tyndale House Publishers, WaterBrook Multnomah, Harvest House Publishers, RiverNorth, Abingdon Press, Heritage Beacon Fiction, and Thomas Nelson Publishers. 

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