MICHAL finals in 2010 ACFW Carol Awards!

In the midst of catching up on laundry and cleaning the day after our return from California, I opened my email to a surprising discovery. Michal has finaled in the ACFW Carol Awards (formerly Book of the Year for published authors.) Those of you who have followed my blog over the years or who happen to know me, may recall another ACFW contest for unpublished authors known as the Genesis Contest. In 2006, I won that award in the Romantic Suspense category. It was a huge encouragement to my thoroughly discouraged heart to win that year, though totally unexpected. (That contest also underwent a name change from Noble Theme to the Genesis.) This year, the Carol Award is named to honor editorial pioneer Carol Johnson and others like her who envisioned how Christian fiction could make a mark in the publishing world. You can read the press release about the award here.

The list of categories has grown with typically 5 finalists in each category. Some categories have ties, so there are six to eight in some. Michal is a finalist in the Debut Author Category. Here is the complete list: (Revell has 7 finalists!)

Debut Author

Bonnie Grove - Talking to the Dead (David C. Cook Publishing) Liz Johnson - The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn (Steeple Hill) Kirk Outerbridge - Eternity Falls (Marcher Lord Press) Jill Eileen Smith - Michal (Revell) Dan Walsh - The Unfinished Gift (Revell)

Contemporary Novella 6 Finalists due to a tie Barbara Cameron – One Child (Thomas Nelson) Barbara Cameron – When Winter Comes (Thomas Nelson) Debra Clopton – A Mule Hollow Match (Steeple Hill) Susan May Warren – The Great Christmas Bowl (Tyndale House) Beth Wiseman – A Change of Heart (Thomas Nelson) Beth Wiseman – A Choice to Forgive (Thomas Nelson)

Historical Novella

Victoria Bylin – Home Again (Steeple Hill) Vickie McDonough – A Breed Apart (Barbour Publishing) Vickie McDonough – Beloved Enemy (Barbour Publishing) Janet Tronstad - Christmas Bells for Dry Creek (Steeple Hill) Carrie Turansky - A Shelter in the Storm (Barbour Publishing)

Long Contemporary 6 Finalists due to a tie

Christina Berry - The Familiar Stranger (Moody Publishers) Mary Ellis - A Widow's Hope (Harvest House Publishers) Joyce Magnin - The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow (Abingdon Press) Susan Meissner - White Picket Fences (Waterbrook Press) Marlo Schalesky- If Tomorrow Never Comes (Multnomah) Susan May Warren - Nothing But Trouble (Tyndale House)

Long Contemporary Romance

Candace Calvert - Critical Care (Tyndale House) Denise Hunter - Seaside Letters (Thomas Nelson) Jenny B. Jones - Just Between You and Me (Thomas Nelson) Beth Wiseman - Plain Promise (Thomas Nelson) Cindy Woodmsall - The Hope of Refuge (Waterbrook Press)


A.K. Arenz - The Case of the Mystified M.D. (Sheaf House) Mindy Starns Clark - Under the Cajun Moon (Harvest House Publishers) Darlene Franklin - A String of Murders (Heartsong Mysteries) S. Dionne Moore - Polly Dent Loses Grip (Heartsong Mysteries) Janice Thompson writing as Janice Hanna - Pushing up Daisies (Heartsong Mysteries)

Long Historical

Deeanne Gist - A Bride in the Bargain (Bethany House) Robin Lee Hatcher - Fit To Be Tied (Zondervan) Maureen Lang - Look to the East (Tyndale House) Siri Mitchell - Love's Pursuit (Bethany House) Allison Pittman - Stealing Home (Multnomah)

Long Historical Romance 8 Finalists due to a tie

Amanda Cabot - Paper Roses (Revell) Mary Connealy - Cowboy Christmas (Barbour Publishing) Mary Connealy - Montana Rose (Barbour Publishing) Laura Frantz - The Frontiersman's Daughter (Revell) Ann Gabhart - The Believer (Revell) Julie Lessman - A Passion Denied (Revell) Janice Thompson writing as Janice Hanna - Love Finds You in Poetry, Texas (Summerside Press) Kathleen Y’Barbo - The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper (Waterbrook Press)

Short Contemporary

Debra Clopton - His Cowgirl Bride (Steeple Hill) Myra Johnson - Autumn Rains (Heartsong Presents) Vickie McDonough - A Wagonload of Trouble (Heartsong Presents) Mae Nunn - A Texas Ranger's Family (Steeple Hill) Glynna Sirpless writing as Glynna Kaye - Dreaming of Home (Steeple Hill)

Short Contemporary Suspense 6 Finalists due to a tie

Jill Elizabeth Nelson - Evidence of Murder (Steeple Hill) Sandra Robbins - Final Warning (Steeple Hill) Virginia Smith - Murder at Eagle Summit (Steeple Hill) Virginia Smith - Scent of Murder (Steeple Hill) Jenness Walker - Double Take (Steeple Hill) Lenora Worth - Code of Honor (Steeple Hill)

Short Historical

Lyn Cote - Her Patchwork Family (Steeple Hill) Laurie Alice Eakes - The Glassblower (Heartsong Presents) Laurie Kingery - The Outlaw's Lady (Steeple Hill) Lynette Sowell - All That Glitters (Heartsong Presents) Dan Walsh - The Unfinished Gift (Revell)

Speculative (includes Science Fiction, Fantasy, Allegory) 6 Finalists due to a tie

Kirk Outerbridge - Eternity Falls (Marcher Lord Press) Donita K. Paul - The Vanishing Sculptor (Waterbrook Press) Steve Rzasa - The Word Reclaimed (Marcher Lord Press) Stuart Vaughn Stockton – Starfire (Marcher Lord Press) Fred Warren - The Muse (Splashdown Books) Jill Williamson - By Darkness Hid (Marcher Lord Press)


Terri Blackstock – Intervention (Zondervan) Colleen Coble - Lonestar Secrets (Thomas Nelson) Brandilyn Collins – Exposure (Zondervan) Harry Kraus - Salty Like Blood (Howard/Simon & Schuster) DiAnn Mills - Breach of Trust (Tyndale House)

Women’s Fiction 7 Finalists due to a tie

Julie Carobini - Sweet Waters (B&H Publishing) Kathryn Cushman – Leaving Yesterday (Bethany House) Sara Evans & Rachel Hauck - Sweet By and By (Thomas Nelson) Rene Gutteridge & Cheryl McKay - Never the Bride (Waterbrook Press) Deborah Raney - Yesterday's Embers (Howard/Simon & Schuster) Deborah Raney - Above All Things (Steeple Hill) Lisa Wingate - The Summer Kitchen (New American Library/Penguin)

Young Adult

Shelley Adina - Who Made You a Princess? (Hachette FaithWords) Brandilyn & Amberly Collins - Always Watching (Zondervan) Jenny B. Jones - I'm So Sure (Thomas Nelson) Jenny B. Jones - So Not Happening (Thomas Nelson) Booker T. Mattison - Unsigned Hype (Revell)

The Carol Awards will be presented at ACFW's Conference in Indianapolis, September 17-20. There's still time to register here.

Quite a list! I've read some of these books and am so thrilled for each finalist! I would love to have Michal win, of course, but in truth, I am grateful and honored simply to final. My competition is stiff and well deserving!

If you're looking for some great summer reads - check out these books. And stay tuned. I'll be at the conference in September (I sure hope the dress I bought for the banquet still fits!) and will post the winners as soon as I can.

Congratulations to all finalists!