Presenting the 2018 Longlists

Hello fellow readers, bloggers and authors. First, we’d like to say a big thank you to every reader and author who nominated their favorite reads of 2017, and likewise to those who shared about the opportunity to nominate on social media. The Advisory Board is again so grateful for the support and interest in this program. Like the last two years, the following nomination process applied to each of our seven categories.INSPYs, INSPY Awards 2018

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.

Due to insufficient nominations or ineligibility, some categories fall short of the requisite 15 novels.

From the lists below, the Advisory Board will be narrowing these respective lists down to five books per category which will become our 2018 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

Charming the Troublemaker (Bling! Romance) by Pepper Basham

Just the Way You Are (Woven Words) by Pepper Basham

A New Shade of Summer (Waterfall Press) by Nicole Deese

Chasing Secrets (Revell) by Lynette Eason

Moving Target (Revell) by Lynette Eason

Then There Was You (Bellbird Press) by Kara Isaac

The Writing Desk (Zondervan) by Rachel Hauck

Jane of Austin (Waterbrook) by Hillary Manton Lodge

Blind Spot (Bethany House) by Dani Pettrey

All This Time (Larkspur Press) by Melissa Tagg

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck (Revell) by Bethany Turner

True to You (Bethany House) by Becky Wade

Just Look Up (Tyndale) by Courtney Walsh

Begin Again (Impact Editions) by Crystal Walton

Just Maybe (Impact Editions) by Crystal Walton

Debut Novel

A Season to Dance (Bling! Romance) by Patricia Beal

Still Waters (Firefly Southern Fiction) by Lindsey P. Brackett

Freedom’s Ring (Tyndale) by Heidi Chiavaroli

Count Me In (I21 Publishing House) by Mikal Dawn

Grace in Strange Disguise (Indie) by Christine Dillon

The Elusive Miss Ellison (Kregel) by Carolyn Miller

Waiting for Butterflies (Walrus Publishing) by Karen Sargent

Stars in the Grass (Shiloh Run Press) by Ann Marie Stewart

Lady Jayne Disappears (Revell) by Joanna Davidson Politano

General Fiction

In the Light of the Garden (Lake Union Publishing) by Heather Burch

Perennials (Thomas Nelson) by Julie Cantrell

Looking Glass Lies (Waterfall Press) by Varina Denman

Catching the Wind (Tyndale) by Melanie Dobson

A Song of Home: A Novel of the Swing Era (Kregel) by Susie Finkbeiner

A Trail of Crumbs: A Novel of the Great Depression (Kregel) by Susie Finkbeiner

Life After (Waterbrook) by Katie Ganshert

The Mark of the King (Bethany House) by Jocelyn Green

The Esther Paradigm (Radiant Publications) by Sarah Monzon

The Space Between Words (Thomas Nelson) by Michele Phoenix

The Austen Escape (Thomas Nelson) by Katherine Reay

Bringing Maggie Home (Waterbrook) by Kim Vogel Sawyer

The Memory of You (Thomas Nelson) by Catherine West

Before We Were Yours (Ballantine Books) by Lisa Wingate

Home (Shiloh Run Press) by Ginny L. Yttrup

Historical Romance

A Note Yet Unsung (Bethany House) by Tamera Alexander

To Wager Her Heart (Zondervan) by Tamera Alexander

The Road to Paradise (Waterbrook) by Karen Barnett

Many Sparrows (Waterbrook) by Lori Benton

A Lady in Disguise (Howard) by Sandra Byrd

Wings of the Wind (Bethany House) by Connilyn Cosette

Havencross (Covenant Communications) by Julie Daines

A Moonbow Night (Revell) by Laura Frantz

An Inconvenient Beauty (Bethany House) by Kristi Ann Hunter

An Uncommon Courtship (Bethany House) by Kristi Ann Hunter

The Dishonorable Miss DeLancy (Kregel) by Carolyn Miller

Lady Jayne Disappears (Revell) by Joanna Davidson Politano

Once an Heiress (Waterfall Press) by Renee Ryan

The Sound of Rain (Bethany House) by Sarah Loudin Thomas

A Name Unknown (Bethany House) by Roseanna M. White

Literature for Young Adults

The Messengers: Concealed (Concordia Publishing House) by Lisa M. Clark

– The Returning (Tyndale) by Rachelle Dekker

Unraveling (Thomas Nelson) by Sara Ella

Spark (Love2readlove2write Publishing, LLC) by J.M. Hackman

For Love and Honor (Zondervan) by Jody Hedlund

Playing by Heart (Vinspire) by Carmela A. Martino

The Lost Girl of Astor Street (Blink) by Stephanie Morrill

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow (Thomas Nelson) by Mary Weber

Mystery/Thriller

– The Enoch Effect (Waterfall Press) by Rick Acker

If I’m Found (Zondervan) by Terri Blackstock

Death at Thorburn Hall (Bethany House) by Julianna Deering

Crown of Souls (Bethany House) by Ronie Kendig

A Portrait of Vengeance (Thomas Nelson) by Carrie Stuart Parks

Imperfect Justice (Thomas Nelson) by Cara Putman

Without Warning (Tyndale) by Joel Rosenberg

Fatal Mistake (FaithWords) by Susan Sleeman

The House on Foster Hill (Bethany House) by Jaime Jo Wright

Speculative Fiction

Raging Storm (Harvest House) by Vannetta Chapman

The Beast of Talesend (Indie) by Kyle Robert Schultz

The Divide (Tyndale) by Jolina Petersheim

The Girl Who Could See (Indie) by Kara Swanson

King’s Blood (Bethany House) by Jill Williamson


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 2017.

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

  • Staci

    Yeah! Wonderful to see so many fabulous novels listed. I do see a few of my nominees. 🙂
    As always, it is a pleasure to find titles and authors I’ve never heard of among the nominees.

  • Courtney Clark

    Congratulations to all of these deserving authors and stories!!! I’m excited to see the short lists, especially in the contemporary romance category because it has some AMAZING titles!

  • Jolina

    Wow! Thank you! I’m thrilled to see The Divide on this list, as well as for my friend Jill Williamson with King’s Blood! 🙂

  • Oh my gosh! I’m thrilled to see Imperfect Justice on the list. Thank you!

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  • Loraine N

    Congrats authors!! This is going to be a tough list to narrow down I bet. 🙂

  • Valri Brown Western

    Congrats to all the authors! We readers love all the time and efforts you put in!

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