Judging Applications for the 2016 INSPY Awards are Now Open!

Computer and Desk3Dear Potential Judges!

Not only are we turning the page on a new month – happy March 1st! – the judging applications are now open. Bloggers, you can now apply to be a 2016 judge! We’re so excited you share an interest in the Inspy’s with us. Without you, this program wouldn’t work and we value your time, enthusiasm, individual perspective and dedication to these awards for the month-and-a-half you will be reading and critiquing the shortlisted novels with fellow judges. Before applying, we do ask that you carefully consider what is involved in judging and understand what you are agreeing to.

We have some upfront simple criteria that must be met:

• You must be a blogger.
• You must provide a link to a recent book review you’ve written.
• You must agree to our statement of faith. We are looking for judges who are people of the Christian faith.
• You must be willing to obtain all of the books if necessary.
• You must agree to read all five shortlisted books by June 14 and participate in an online discussion with the other judges to determine the winner.
• You agree not to blog/tweet/facebook about the shortlisted books as you are reading them or discussing them. After the winners are announced, you are welcome to blog about them.

The judging for the INSPYs takes place in two stages.

First Stage Once the period for book nominations has closed, the INSPYs Advisory Board will review the nominations and create a shortlist for each category of five books each.  This will be a collaborative process and every effort will be made to read at least a sampling of every book nominated.

Second Stage The shortlists will then be passed onto the preselected judges.  All judges must be bloggers with some book reviewing experience.  These judges will consider the books and select the winner.

For more information on who and what we will be looking for in a judge and the application form, please visit our 2016 application page to apply.

We are so excited to find a fabulous panel of judges and look forward to working with you!

We will accept applications (via the application form) through March 31, 2016. Judges will be announced April 15, 2016 (and shortlists will be announced April 30).

The INSPYs Advisory Board Announces the 2016 Longlists

book1

For the INSPY Awards, change was the word as we began 2016.

To help simplify our nomination process, we made some adjustments to our awards program. To that end, instead of publicizing our long list of nominations as they poured in, the Advisory Board kept the list private since the method of nomination involved a process of popular vote. The number of books that received the most nominations (the top 15 from each category) came out as the winners, which then determined the long lists.  

After some behind-the-scene delays, today we are thrilled to announce the results from those votes. From the lists below, the Advisory Board will be narrowing these respective lists down to five books per category which will become our 2016 short lists. From there, the same judging process and practices will follow.

Grab your favorite beverage, and enjoy browsing through the books that YOU nominated, propelling them into “phase two.”

Contemporary Romance / Romantic Suspense:

  1. Pesto and Potholes by Susan M. Baganz (Prism Book Group)
  2. Moments of Truth by Sandra D. Bricker (Bling! Romance)
  3. Together with You by Victoria Bylin (Bethany House)
  4. Anna’s Healing by Vannetta Chapman (Harvest House)
  5. Legitimate Lies by Julie B. Cosgrove (Prism Book Group)
  6. The End Begins by Sara Davison (Ashberry Lane)
  7. No Place to Hide by Lynette Eason (Revell)
  8. London Tides by Carla Laureano (David. C. Cook)
  9. To Dance with Dolphins by Bonnie Leon (Ashberry Lane)
  10. Rising Darkness by Nancy Mehl (Bethany House)
  11. The Dandelion Field by Kathryn Springer (Zondervan)
  12. Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Beth K. Vogt (Howard)
  13. A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade (Bethany House)
  14. The Wonder of You by Susan May Warren (Tyndale House)
  15. Her Brother’s Keeper by Beth Wiseman (Thomas Nelson)

Debut Fiction Longlist:

  1. A Light in Bailey’s Harbor by Bethany Baker (Mantle Rock Publishing)
  2. The Thorn Bearer by Pepper D. Basham (Vinspire Publishing)
  3. Whitewashed by Amy Blake (Mantle Rock)
  4. To Soar on Eagle’s Wings by Renee Blare (Prism Book Group)
  5. Angelhood by A.J. Cattapan (Vinspire Publishing)
  6. Jaded by Varina Denman (David C. Cook)
  7. Blood of a Stone by Jeanne Gassman (Tuscany Press)
  8. A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter (Bethany House)
  9. Love’s Rescue by Christine Johnson (Revell)
  10. Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason (Bethany House)
  11. Cavernous by Monica Mynk (Mantle Rock)
  12. Broken Dolls by Tyrolin Puxty (Curiosity Quills)
  13. The Sound of Diamonds by Rachelle Rea (Whitefire Publishing)
  14. Finding Mia by Dianne J. Wilson (Harbourlight)

General Fiction Longlist:

  1. Hidden Storms by Nancy Shew Bolton (Prism Book Group)
  2. A Sparrow in Terezin by Kristy Cambron (Thomas Nelson)
  3. A Cup of Dust by Susie Finkbeiner (Kregel)
  4. The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert (WaterBrook Press)
  5. Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke (Tyndale House Publishers)
  6. Spy of Richmond by Jocelyn Green (River North)
  7. Tea & Crumples by Summer Kinard (Light Messages Publishing)
  8. The Dog that Saved Stewart Coolidge by Jim Kraus (FaithWords)
  9. The Tomb by Stephanie Landsem (Howard Books)
  10. The Road to Terminus by Catherine Leggitt (Mountainview Books)
  11. Water From My Heart by Charles Martin (Center Street)
  12. Chapel Springs Survival by Ane Mulligan (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
  13. The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay (Thomas Nelson)
  14. The Five Times I Met Myself by James L. Rubart (Thomas Nelson)
  15. Final Grace for Reverend G by RJ Thesman (CrossRiver Media)

Historical Romance Longlist:

  1. A Light in Bailey’s Harbor by Bethany Baker (Mantle Rock)
  2. The Wood’s Edge by Lori Benton (Waterbrook Press)
  3. A Thousand Shall Fall by Andrea Boeshaar (Kregel)
  4. Not by Sight by Kate Breslin (Bethany House)
  5. The Captive Imposter by Dawn Crandall (Whitaker House)
  6. The Memoir of Johnny Devine by Camille Eide (Ashberry Lane)
  7. The Mistress of Tall Acre by Laura Frantz (Revell)
  8. Brentwood’s Ward by Michelle Griep (Shiloh Run Press)
  9. Where Two Rivers Meet by Londa Hayden (Tate Publishing)
  10. Luther and Katharina by Jody Hedlund (Waterbrook Press)
  11. A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter (Bethany House)
  12. Guardians of the Heart by Loree Lough (Whitaker House)
  13. The Sound of Silver by Rachelle Rea (Whitefire Publishers)
  14. Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin (Revell)
  15. Promise to Keep by Elizabeth Byler Younts (Howard Books)

Literature for Young Adults Longlist:

  1. Season of Fire by Lisa T. Bergren (Blink)
  2. Rise of the Fallen by Chuck Black (WaterBrook Press)
  3. A Time to Speak by Nadine Brandes (Enclave Publishing)
  4. Lightning by Bonnie S. Calhoun (Revell)
  5. Shades of Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon (Blink)
  6. The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker (Tyndale)
  7. The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson (Thomas Nelson)
  8. The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson (Thomas Nelson)
  9. See No Evil by Mary Hamilton (HopeSprings Books)
  10. The Sound of the Stones by Beth Hammond (eLectio Publishing)
  11. An Uncertain Choice by Jody Hedlund (Zondervan)
  12. Chivalrous by Dina L. Sleiman (Bethany House)
  13. Dauntless by Dina L. Sleiman (Bethany House)
  14. 10 Steps to Girlfriend Status by Cynthia Toney (Write Integrity Press)
  15. Siren’s Fury by Mary Weber (Thomas Nelson)

Mystery / Thriller Longlist:

  1. The Last Con by Zachary Bartels (Thomas Nelson)
  2. Whitewashed by Amy Blake (Mantle Rock)
  3. Gone without a Trace by Patricia Bradley (Revell)
  4. Murder Freshly Baked by Vannetta Chapman (Zondervan)
  5. Deadly Doll by Brooke Cox (Mantle Rock Publishing)
  6. A.D. 33 by Ted Dekker (Center Street)
  7. Honor at Stake by Declan Finn (Eternal Press)
  8. Vendetta by Lisa Harris (Revell)
  9. Taken by Dee Henderson (Bethany House)
  10. Falcon by Ronie Kendig (Shiloh Run Press)
  11. Where Hope Dwells by Elizabeth Ludwig (Guideposts)
  12. Desperate Measures by Sandra Orchard (Revell)
  13. The Bones will Speak by Carrie Stuart Parks (Thomas Nelson)
  14. Shattered Trust by Chris Richards (Prism Book Group)
  15. Ashes to Ashes by Mel Starr (Kregel)

Speculative Fiction Longlist:

  1. The Methuselah Project by Rick Barry (Kregel)
  2. Heir of Hope by Morgan L. Busse (Enclave Publishing)
  3. The Shock of Night by Patrick W. Carr (Bethany House)
  4. Angelhood by A.J. Cattapan (Vinspire)
  5. The Curse of Crow Hollow by Billy Coffey (Thomas Nelson)
  6. Valley of Decision by Lynne Gentry (Howard Books)
  7. The Sound of Stones by Beth Hammond (eLectio Publishing)
  8. Embers by Ronie Kendig (Enclave Publishing)
  9. The King’s Scrolls by Jaye L Knight (Living Sword Publishers)
  10. The Sword and the Song by C.E. Laureano (Nav Press)
  11. Waking Beauty by Sarah E. Morin (Enclave)
  12. Cavernous by Monica Mynk (Mantle Rock)
  13. Found and Lost by Amanda G. Stevens (David C. Cook)
  14. Take and Give by Amanda G. Stevens (David C. Cook)

…and there you have the 2016 INSPYs longlists.

We’d like to congratulate all of the nominated authors and thank all of the bloggers and readers who put forth their favorite reads of 2015.

We’re ready to get to work and find the top five in each of these categories.

Year Six! The 2016 INSPY Awards are Now Open

awhCbhLqRceCdjcPQUnn_IMG_0249Good morning, INSPY readers. The advisory board is excited to open year six of the INSPY Awards, a program for the bloggers’ “best in fiction” award is welcoming a new year and opening the nominations for 2016.

The Inspys were created to select and showcase books with the highest literary standards that grapple with the Christian faith and were designed to help readers in their search for the preeminent faith-inspired literature of today.  This program is organized and judged by book bloggers who have considerable experience and knowledge of books published for both the CBA and general markets.

This year, we’ve made a significant change to our nomination process. For you, the nominator, the rules remain the same, only difference you’ll note is the lack of a publicized long list. This is because the advisory board will be collection our long list from the top 15 nominated novels in each category. So, even if you know someone else who has nominated your favorite read of 2015 or you’re certain it’s already been nominated, go ahead and add your voice because that nomination could be the 15th vote that gets the book into the top fifteen.

Once the task of the top 15 is calculated and complete, we will publicize our long list, which will be then narrowed down to five books and from there, the same judging process will apply. For more information on the changes, please refer to our announcement post.

Please note the book eligibility and the nomination rules:

  • The dates of eligibility have returned to a 12 month timeframe and will include books published in print between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015. If a print book was released as an ebook prior to 2015, it is ineligible.

  • Self-published books have been eliminated from consideration.

  • Reissues are ineligible
  • Books can not be self-nominated by their author.

Books may be nominated in any of the following categories:

  • Debut Novel
  • General Fiction
  • Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense
  • Historical Romance
  • Speculative Fiction
  • Mystery & Thriller
  • Literature for Young Adults

For more detailed description of categories please see the Revised Nomination Categories. If you’d like to read more about the nominating process, read our blog post with some tips on nominating the right books in their best categories. Pull out those lists and let’s begin!

The deadline to nominate a book is January 16. Winners of the sixth annual INSPY awards will be announced June 28, 2016.

To stay up to date with all things INSPYs follow along on:

Twitter
Facebook

Google+
Goodreads

Or email us with any questions: inspyawards@gmail.com

We look forward to your nominations. Besides nominating the best in faith-driven literature, another way to help today is to spread the word — blog about the INSPYs, tell your friends.

inspy nominations

Announcement: Nomination Changes for the 2016 INSPY Awards

photo-1421338443272-0dde2463976aWelcome to the 2016 Inspy Awards. The Inspy Advisory Board hopes our American readers enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and wishes you a joyful Christmas season.

With today’s post, we’re readying to usher in another awards season. Do you feel the anticipation in the air? Nominations for the 2016 Inspy Awards are a matter of days away. We don’t know about you, but we cannot believe how close the end of 2015 is. With that comes the close of another year and the start of a new Inspy Awards season.

The Advisory Board has been busy with lots of chats that are leading to some reinvention of our program this year. We appreciate and love the opportunity to host these awards that are for avid readers and book bloggers alike. We also enjoy the chance to spotlight the authors whose novels make the shortlist. But with that enthusiasm and excitement comes a long list of nominations that can, at times, be overwhelming. As a result of this, our 2016 award season is undergoing changes.

The nomination process (for you) will remain the same (readers are allowed one nomination per genre), but instead of the nomination list being public, the Advisory Board will keep it private. The long list will be the top 15 nominated in each genre (comprised of the number of books nominated the most). Once this happens, we will make the long list public. From there, the same practices and polices will apply. We’ll then decide on the short lists by narrowing those top 15 books down to five.

The same timeline will apply to judges and the application process.

For your convenience, please find all of the updated page links below. We thank you for your continued support of the Inspys. So, make yourself a cup of your favorite warm drink and begin making lists – and don’t forget to check them twice, because on December 27th, we again invite you to be a part of this awards program with the nominations opening.

For more specific guides to the nominating process, please refer to our Nomination Guidelines and Book Criteria.

2015 INSPY Award Winners

After our panel of judges careful consideration, the INSPYs Advisory Board is pleased to announce the 2015 INSPY Award Winners. Below are the seven winning novels in their respective categories and a statement from our judges on the reason why they felt it was worth the award…

Book - Miracle in a Dry SeasonDebut: Miracle in a Dry Season (Bethany House) by Sarah Loudin Thomas: 
We chose Miracle in a Dry Season not only because of the talent of the author, but because it is a unique and engaging story. A refreshing tale of miracles, love, and laughter set in the 1950s, Sarah Loudin Thomas pens an intriguing take based around the miracle of Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand. Through the story, characters – led primarily by a male character, Casewell, and events we gain a deeper understanding of faith and what it means to embrace the gifts and blessings God has given us.
Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense: Meant to Be Mine (Bethany House) by Becky Wade: Book - Meant to be Mine

Meant to Be Mine by Becky Wade is the epitome of Christian romance. The chemistry between Ty and Celia is fabulous, and we could feel the sparks in every interaction between them! While the romance is spectacular, this book has so much more to offer. Beautifully written, it is an emotional experience in the best way. Wade’s descriptions of the characters brought them to life, and their relational, emotional, and spiritual journeys rang true. The other four novels in this category are wonderful, but Meant To Be Mine’s excellence is unable to be denied.

 

saving amelieGeneral Fiction: Saving Amelie (Tyndale) by Cathy Gohlke: 

What a challenge, to pick one winner from five fabulous titles including Biblical, historical and contemporary fiction. We are delighted to announce the winner of the 2015 INSPY Award for General Fiction is Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke, which impressed us all with its complex characters, fascinating historical detail, and bold yet subtle Christian message. The story is set in Germany in the early days of World War II, and plot centres on rescuing the deaf Amelie, from her father and from a regime which prized “perfection” over the sanctity of life. The characters face danger, hardship and uncertainty over the course of this thought-provoking and sometimes harrowing read. We were particularly impressed with the sensitive way Gohlke showed how God can use ordinary people in the bleakest of circumstances.

Book - Mark of DistinctionHistorical Romance: Mark of Distinction (Tyndale) by Jessica Dotta: 

We chose Mark of Distinction because it exemplifies the historical romance genre and confronts unique spiritual themes. Jessica Dotta has woven a story with a captivating setting and characters. The writing style and mystery of the plot draws the reader from the beginning into a Victorian society of restraint, secrets, and consequences. At its center is the theme of full surrender and trust in God. With complex characters and a unique voice, the story unfolds with unexpected twists and romance.

Book - Storm SirenLiterature for Young Adult: Storm Siren (Thomas Nelson) by Mary Weber:

Our panel decided to choose Storm Siren as the winner for the YA category. Nym deals with insecurities about her elemental powers and wondering why she was born with such a curse. This makes Nym relatable to young women all over the world and from every generation – we have all dealt with insecurities at some point in their lives. To see Nym have to come to terms with how she was created and to use those powers for the greater good shows tremendous character growth. Another reason we chose Storm Siren was because of the amazing and magical world that Mary Weber created. World building is one of the first things in a Fantasy novel that draws you into the story. Oh…and who doesn’t love a map inside their book!Book - A.D. 30

Mystery/Thriller: A.D. 30 (Center Street) by Ted Dekker:

A.D. 30 is a fast-paced adventure that keeps you turning the pages until the very end. Ted Dekker delivers a powerful, faith-filled story that brims with perils – each with their own kind of mystery and suspense, struggles, and most importantly hope. Dekker takes us on a journey to Jesus through the eyes of the daughter of Maviah, a gentile and an outcast, readers rediscover the message of Yeshua, experiencing it as never before. Dekker masterfully conveys the depth of God’s love for us — a knowledge we often hold in our heads, but fail to carry in our hearts. Warring kingdoms, power-thirsty adversaries, and fickle rulers are only a few of the obstacles in Maviah’s journey that keep the reader flipping pages. Whether she will succeed in her quest is a mystery. An uplifting and simple message, encased in a sweeping historical epic, is the primary reason it was selected A.D. 30 to be the winner of this year’s INSPY award.

Speculative Fiction: Spirit Bridge (Thomas Nelson) by James L.Rubart:

Book - Spirit BridgeSpirit Bridge is a brilliantly written story that was thought provoking and yet easy to follow as a standalone novel, though it is the third and final book in the Well Spring series. The story-world was populated with an excellent group of lead characters who were complex and easily relatable in their struggles in both the physical and spiritual realms. Their struggles challenge the reader to examine aspects of their own lives.  The story’s message, dying to self and keeping the enemy from gaining a foothold, was clear throughout, not getting lost in the suspense and action of the story. Spirit Bridge fully satisfies the reader’s expectations of the genre. It is a powerful spiritual thriller, with the speculative elements underpinning the novel and not requiring any further explanation to better understand it. Spirit Bridge is very worthy of the INSPY for Speculative Fiction.

 

——-

We’d like to thank our judges for their hard work and careful consideration of each title.

Congratulations to the winners and all the nominated authors! 

2015 Shortlists Announced

With a record 160+ nominated and an incredible show of support for the INSPY program – and multiple book deliveries later, the Inspy Awards Advisory Board is thrilled to announce the 2015 shortlist contenders. A daunting task was placed before us to pick just 5 books in each category from a long list of 160 nominated by readers and bloggers around the world. After careful consideration and deliberation, the INSPYs Advisory Board is pleased to announce that the following books have been shortlisted in the 5th annual INSPY Awards. 

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE/ROMANTIC SUSPENSE 

2015contempromanceBeowulf: Explosives Detection Dog by Ronie Kendig

Somebody Like You by Beth K. Vogt

A Table by the Window by Hillary Manton Lodge

Meant to Be Mine by Becky Wade

A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert

DEBUT FICTION

2015debut

The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron

Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas

How Sweet the Sound by Amy K. Sorrells

Healer of Carthage by Lynne Gentry

For Such a Time by Kate Breslin

GENERAL FICTION 

2015generalfiction

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer

All Right Here by Carre Armstrong Gardner

Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke

Lizzy & Jane by Katherine Reay

Keepers of the Covenant by Lynn Austin

HISTORICAL ROMANCE 

2015historicalromance

A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander

The Thief by Stephanie Landsem

Mark of Distinction by Jessica Dotta

Captured by Love by Jody Hedlund

With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden

MYSTERY AND THRILLER 

2015mysteries

A.D. 30 by Ted Dekker

Checkmate by Steven James

Murder at the Mikado by Julianna Deering

Raptor 6 by Ronie Kendig

Playing Saint by Zachary Bartels

LITERATURE FOR YOUNG ADULTS 

2015YA

Remnants: Season of Wonder by Lisa T. Bergren

Storm Siren by Mary Weber

Blur by Steven James

Destined for Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon

Jupiter Winds by C.J. Darlington

SPECULATIVE FICTION

2015specfiction

Spirit Bridge by James L. Rubart

Shadow Hand by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Seek and Hide by Amanda G. Stevens

Healer of Carthage by Lynne Gentry

A Draw of Kings by Patrick W. Carr

Congratulations to all of the nominated authors and shortlist contenders! We now turn the job over to our judges to select a winner in each category. Winners will be announced June 28th.

Download Press Release here.

Back for Year 5. The 2015 INSPY Nominations are Open!

It’s back! Year five for the bloggers “best in fiction” award is welcoming a new year and opening the nominations for 2015.

The Inspys were created to select and showcase books with the highest literary standards that grapple with the Christian faith and were designed to help readers in their search for the preeminent faith-inspired literature of today.  This program is organized and judged by book bloggers who have considerable experience and knowledge of books published for both the CBA and general markets.

Please note the book eligibility and the nomination rules:

  • Debut Novel and Historical Romance categories were introduced in 2014.

  • The Romance category has been broadened and renamed the Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense category

  • The dates of eligibility have returned to a 12 month timeframe and will include books published in print between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014.

  • Self-published books have been eliminated from consideration.

  • Books can not be self-nominated by their author.

Books may be nominated in any of the following categories:

  • Debut Novel
  • General Fiction
  • Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense
  • Historical Romance
  • Speculative Fiction
  • Mystery & Thriller
  • Literature for Young Adults

For more detailed description of categories please see the Revised Nomination Categories. If you’d like to read more about the nominating process, read our recent blog post with some tips on nominating the right books in their best categories. Pull out those lists and let’s begin!

The deadline to nominate a book is January 16. winners of the fifth annual INSPY awards will be announced June 28, 2015.

To stay up to date with all things INSPYs follow along on:

Twitter
Facebook

Google+
Goodreads

Or email us with any questions: inspyawards@gmail.com

We look forward to your nominations. Besides nominating the best in faith-driven literature, another way to help today is to spread the word — blog about the INSPYs, tell your friends.

inspy nominations

2014 INSPY Award Winners

The INSPYs Advisory Board is pleased to announce the 2014 INSPY Award Winners:

Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense:

Barefoot Summer Book ArtBarefoot Summer by Denise Hunter is the quintessential definition of Christian Romantic Fiction. The writing style is in a word lovely, with perfect pacing and wonderful descriptions. Barefoot Summer played like a movie in our heads. Denise created characters with flaws and very real emotions that kept us invested in their story and engaged with each new scene. Not just with the main characters, but the other plot lines as well. While the other four novels were great reads this one climbed it’s way to the top. Barefoot Summer truly is the perfect Summer read, and for many more Summers to come.

Debut: 

Katherine Reay’s contemporary epistolary, Dear Mr. Knightley is one of the most brilliant character studies to come about in literature in years. Book - Dear Mr. KnightlySometimes you are given a gift that everyone assures you will be delightful but you aren’t entirely sure the contents will be to your liking. This is a book where the hype holds up. All the references to classical literature – from Great Expectations to Austen to Narnia, could have made the novel seem detached, but Reay uses them with such talent and creativity, you understand the characters on a deeper level because of them and because Dear Mr. Knightley’s heroine was less “figment” and much more, real. Above all, those qualities are this debut’s crowning glory – it’s more than just an expert piece of fiction. Not only is Dear Mr. Knightley the perfect debut, it’s a must read for any lover of classics, particularly Jane Austen.

16033233General Fiction: 

The field of nominees for the General Fiction category had some of the best books we have read this year, making this year’s selection process difficult indeed. After a lot of in depth discussion, we are awarding the Inspy to Wings of Glass by Gina Holmes. A moving account of a woman’s struggle with self in the face of spousal abuse, this novel will touch your heart and soul. Powerfully personal, beautifully written, with highly relatable characters, Gina Holmes’ novel presents a message of love and hope that Jesus always offered to everyone He met.


Historical Romance: 

???????????????????A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund is an exceptional piece of Christian fiction based upon real events. The rich historical and cultural setting are characters in their own right, making the story come to life. The characters portray authentic growth as the story progresses, as well as an undeniable romantic tension present throughout, encouraging the reader to keep turning the pages. This beautiful story weaves in themes of trust, redemption, and the importance of having a relationship grounded in God, while emphasizing the importance of hope, forgiveness, and sacrificial love. Jody Hedlund is a skilled writer and her work displays the best of historical romance, both entertaining and speaking to the heart.

Literature for Young Adult: CaptivesSafeLands

Captives was a compelling and thought-provoking novel. Jill Williamson’s writing style, vivid imagery and intriguing plot keeps you on the edge of your seat. Captives also has insightful commentary on society. There was a large variety of characters with the light of the believers clearly contrasting the darkness and depravity of the society around them. Captives beautifully illustrates the bigger picture and how important it is to stand up for your beliefs. Thought-provoking and page-turning, Captives was not only far more than your typical YA dystopian story, but definitely one of the top YA novels of 2013.

Mystery/Thriller: The King

The King is suspense at its best and challenges readers to really think – what is our definition of a hero?  The author weaves a thread of faith throughout the novel that infused the story with hope, reminding us Who ultimately holds control and provides meaning when the journey becomes rough; captivating plots, intriguing characters, and twists at every turn immerse the reader deep into the tale. These characters: Patrick, Lien-hua, and Tessa held our heart and made us cheer for them. The writing was superb; this is definitely an author who knows how to write suspense while also endearing his readers to his characters. The story does not let you go. The King is a thought provoking read as much as it was a page turner…one to definitely be read with the light on!

anomalySpeculative Fiction:

Anomaly by Krista McGee featured fully developed characters exploring a world of both tragedy and hope. Details were revealed as they were needed, never intruding or halting the narrative but flowing alongside it. The protagonist Thalli is a heroine who learns to love without being defined it, combining creativity and logical reasoning, and able to eventually make her own choices while remaining compassionate to the needs of others. No easy answers are offered to the challenges she and the other characters face; instead, Thalli’s growing relationship with God gave her the ability to see past her fear and make choices not based on her own needs but those of others. The stark, first-person prose captured exactly what a young teen thrust in such situations might feel, neither drowning in the emotion nor ignoring it, but letting the reader truly live through another’s eyes.

Congratulations to the winners and all the nominated authors! 

2014 Shortlists Announced!

With bleary eyes, paper cut fingers and reading-in-bed hair, the Inspy Awards Advisory Board has come out of reading hibernation to announce the 2014 shortlist contenders. A daunting task was placed before us to pick just 5 books in each category from a long list of 150 nominated by readers and bloggers around the world. After careful consideration and deliberation, the INSPYs Advisory Board is pleased to announce that the following books have been shortlisted in the 4th annual INSPY Awards. 

DEBUT FICTION

2014 debut shortlist.jpg

Burning Sky by Lori Benton

Born of Persuasion by Jessica Dotta

A Bride for Keeps by Melissa Jagears

The Outcast by Jolina Petersheim

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

———

GENERAL FICTION 

general fiction 2014 shortlist.jpg

When Mountains Move by Julie Cantrell

To Know You by Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn Mackel

Widow of Gettysburg by Jocelyn Green

Wings of Glass  by Gina Holmes

Iscariot by Tosca Lee

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CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE/ROMANTIC SUSPENSE 

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Wishing On Willows by Katie Ganshert

Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter

Talon by Ronie Kendig

Shattered by Dani Pettrey

Take A Chance on Me by Susan May Warren

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HISTORICAL ROMANCE 

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Though my Heart is Torn by Joanne Bischof

Love’s Awakening by Laura Frantz

A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund

The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

Duchess by Susan May Warren

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SPECULATIVE FICTION

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Hero’s Lot by Patrick W Carr

Dark Halo by Shannon Dittemore

Anomaly  by Krista McGee

Memory’s Door by James L Rubart

The Rising by Lynn Chandler-Willis

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MYSTERY AND THRILLER 

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Dark Justice by Brandilyn Collins

Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering

The King by Steven James

Poison by Jordyn Redwood

Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales by Randy Singer

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LITERATURE FOR YOUNG ADULTS 

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Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson

Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet by Stephanie Morrill

Hurt by Travis Thrasher

Captives by Jill Williamson

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Congratulations to all of the nominated authors and shortlist contenders! We now turn the job over to our judges to select a winner in each category. Winners will be announced June 28th.

Download Press Release here.

A Few Schedule Updates

There are times when even the best laid plans simply do not come together.

The Advisory Board has had a few setbacks in obtaining the nominated books.  With the longer time frame needed to collect the titles we have had to push back all of the dates.  Our Advisory Board needs ample time to read and carefully consider each of the 147 nominated books.

As a result, the Board will be announcing the Shortlist Judges on April 15th with the actual short lists  announced on April 30th.

If you have applied to be a shortlist judge be expecting an email from a member of the Advisory Board by the 15th.  And if  you are anxiously awaiting to see which books have made the cut to the short lists then be sure to check back here on April 30th!

We are thrilled with the caliber of nominations ~ trust me, narrowing down to 5 books in each category is difficult this year!  You guys have done a fabulous job nominating quality faith-in-fiction!

Happy Reading!