2011 Judges

The 2011 INSPYS Advisory Board is pleased to announce the judging panel for the category of General Fiction:

Amy Sondova is a writer specializing in media writing, including interviews and reviews, as well as blogging. Having interviewed over 30 of the top musicians, writers, and speakers in the Christian media, Amy has also written countless columns, reviews, and articles on various topics including mental illness, self-injury, working with teenagers, and Christianity. As well as holding a B.A. in communications, Amy holds a M.A. in biblical counseling, and has worked as a professional therapist. You can visit Amy’s online playground at BackseatWriter.com which offers a combination interviews, reviews, personal columns, and photography.


I’m a full-time mom who loves reading a variety of fiction from Steven James’ complex suspense to Laura Frantz’s lyrical historical romance. The review site, Spire Reviews, was born out of a desire to uplift quality Christian fiction and to show that the Christian fiction category is far more diverse than many believe. Spire Reviews began as a monthly book review in our church newsletter and morphed into an online site not limited to reviews.

When I’m not reading, I’m probably writing. So far I’ve completed five novels and am diligently working toward publication. I’m also blessed to be a contributor to InkspirationalMessages.com, a blog that offers perspectives on life and writing. I’m a member of ACFW, ACFW MN-NICE, and the Minnesota Christian Writers Guild.

Brenda Anderson blogs at Spire Reviews.


Sandra Stiles is a national board Certified middle School teacher and a new author of the book Steps to Courage.  Her passion is to inspire a love of reading in her students.  She and her husband share their home in Florida with her mother.

Sandra blogs at The Musings of a Book Addict.


Beckie Burnham started her blog, By The Book, as an outreach of her church library 2 years ago.  An avid reader of all genres, Beckie loves encouraging (nagging) others to read Christian fiction.  A member of 2 book discussion groups, Beckie also is a wife, mother of 3 college aged children (all attending different schools!) and proud owner of Maxie, a
Boston Terrier and 2 cats, Jezebel and Buz.  She also works part time for her husband of 26 years, Brian, who is a veterinarian.


Jennifer Mlezynski blogs at Crazy for Books
The 2011 INSPYS Advisory Board is pleased to announce the judging panel for the category of Speculative Fiction:

My name is Lydia and I am a book addict.  I squeal every day I get a book-shaped package in the mail and struggle with book-depression on days that the mailman doesn’t bring me love.  My purse always has my Kindle along with a physical book (or two.. or three).  Not only do I love to read, but I love to read just about everything.  I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve been able to chat and share my love with books on my blog, The Lost Entwife, and I strive to provide quality, interesting information there.


I have been a book lover from a very young age, mostly thanks to my mother who never refused to buy me a book or books.  I continued my love of reading through college where I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in biology and chemistry.  After spending many years in environmental chemistry and the medical industry, I have found my true joy in Christian publishing and book reviewing.  I review books on my blog, Carlybird’s Home.

I am married to a wonderful man, who also led me to Christ while we were dating.  After spending the first few years of our marriage in Atlanta, we have now settled down in Burlington, NC where we enjoy a quiet life.  I review books full-time while helping my husband with his insurance business.  I am also a dog lover, nature lover, health nut and a major nerd.

Carly Kendall blogs at Carlybird’s Home


Tim George has spent the last few years highlighting the best of faith-based suspense, mystery, and Sci-Fi at his blog, Unveiled. Along with book reviews, and interviews, Unveiled has also sponsored joint contests with authors such as Mike Dellosso and Athol Dickson. He is also a featured reviewer at FictionAddict.com where he has done a number of audio interviews with well known CBA authors. Tim is a full-time freelance writer and now represented by Les Stobbe for his own fiction.


Michelle R. Wood has been an avid reader from a very tender age, since her mother first began reading aloud to her. Eventually earning a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts and English, Michelle has worked as an editorial intern, staff writer, blogger, and print/web designer. Her personal musings and book reviews can be found at her blog, Distractions of Grandeur. She is honored and excited to serve as a judge in the speculative fiction category.


Jonathan Anderson has always been an avid reader.  At 26, he lives in Kansas City Missouri with his wife Sarah, and fills his bookshelves with science and speculative fiction, and fantasy.  He feels that speculative and science fiction give authors a chance to write about what it means to be human, juxtaposed with what we consider alien or other.

Jonathan blogs at Behind the Eyes, Oversimplified.


The 2011 INSPYS Advisory Board is pleased to announce the judging panel for the category of Mystery/Thriller:

My name is Sheila DeChantal. I live in Brainerd Minnesota with my husband, we have two AWESOME boys – one in college and one in the Navy. I am a Family Life Administrator and Special Events Coordinator for our church, and a spare time adventure junky. I love riding bike, rollerblading, cabin weekends, event planning, hanging out with friends, and finding unique and interesting things to do like Blueberry festivals, cave exploring, and Polar Bear Plunges.

I have been to Honduras on mission trips 9 times, my tenth time will be in November 2011.

My down time is usually associated with books and you would be hard pressed to find me without a book close at hand… (in my car, purse, all areas of my house…)

Sheila blogs at Book Journey.


When I am not reading, I am a mom to two wonderful tween girls and a wife to an amazing guy. I also do graphic and web design work out of my home and blog about books and other parts of my life. I love sewing, crocheting, walking, blogging, playing with our puppy, and, of course, reading. I love Jesus most of all.

Tami Hunter blogs at Tree Swing Reading


The quintessential Southern belle with a book forever in hand, is Mystery/Thriller judge, Stacy Millican. She lives in the North Georgia Mountains in the quaintest small town you could ever hope to find where a festival is held every month for everything from Wildflowers to Literary to the Gold Rush of 1833! Stacy has three “mostly” grown children – two girls in college and one son a sophomore in high school. One of her dreams for growing up was to be an FBI or CIA agent, solving crimes left and right, with her baby brother as her right-hand man! Reading about mysteries and thrillers and solving the case before the last chapter has been a good substitute!

Stacy blogs at A Novel Source


Katie is 19 and third eldest in a family of 10 children. She self-published her first historical fiction, Journey of Faith, and has since then been working on perfecting her writing abilities. Currently she is writing a medieval suspense with the working title of The Princess’ Assassin and is co-authoring a biblical fiction entitled Scattered Tears. Along with a passion for writing, she is an avid reader. Whenever she’s not on the computer writing, she’s sure to be reading. Besides that, Katie loves volleyball, hanging out with her siblings, and blogging.

Katie blogs at Legacy of a Writer


Dee Stewart is contributing writer to Hope for Women Magazine, The Master’s Artist Blog, and staff columnist for Christian Fiction Online Magazine. She is the owner of Christian Fiction Blog and Dee Gospel PR, an entertainment PR boutique.She was also an inspirational book reviewer for RT Book Reviews Magazine for five years until she became a published author in 2010.

She is also Miranda Parker, Kensingston Books author of A Good Excuse to Be Bad,book 1 in the Angel Crawford Bounty Hunter Series. She has been featured in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, RT Book Reviews Magazine and Publishers Weekly.  She has also made featured author appearances for the 2011 (NBCC) National Book Club Convention, Black Pearl Magazine’s Chocolate Social, The Decatur Book Festival, and the Atlanta Press Club. She is also the Social Media/Marketing Head for the [ITW]International Thriller Writers, Inc. Debut Authors Program and a contributing editor to The Big Thrill.

Visit her at www.mirandaparker.com ,www.deestewart,com or at ChristianFiction Blog


The 2011 INSPYS Advisory Board is pleased to announce the judging panel for the category of Romance:

Joy Tamsin David is a wife, a mother of three, and an inner city school teacher who spends her seven and a half minutes of free time each day reading and blogging about Christian fiction at Edgy Inspirational Romance.


Patricia Woodside is an avid reader across many genres, but her favorite is inspirational romance.  She reviews books for FreshFiction.com and SORMAG.com along with posting her literary opinions on her own blog, Readin’ N Writin’ with Patricia.  Patricia is a freelance writer\editor\blogger and is published short story author.  She is working on her first novel.


Rachel McMillan has been blogging in some way, shape or form since 2004—mostly about coffee, tall ships and Sherlock Holmes. Currently, she blogs at A Fair Substitute for Heaven. Rachel lives in Toronto where she works for Canada’s Leading Educational Publisher. Rachel has read hundreds upon hundreds of Christian fiction novels —beginning at a young age. Bodie Thoene’s Vienna Prelude, the first Christian novel she ever read, inspired her life-long dream trip to Austria. If you give her the chance, she will talk your ear off about her favourite Christian women writers: including Dorothy L. Sayers, Catherine Marshall and Lynn Austin. She is very excited to be judging the INSPYs again as helping select the Historical winner last year was a fun, engaging experience —and a chance to connect with other voracious readers!


Christy is an insurance agent by day and a Christian fiction addict by night. Her favorite genre leans toward the historical, but actually, any form of Christian fiction will do. There are currently 1,500+ books in her house, with more arriving daily (much to her husband’s chagrin). When she’s not reading, she’s either working on crafts, watching sports, or singing in her family’s Southern Gospel group.

Christy blogs at Southern Sassy Things.


Amber Stokes is a college student at Corban University. She is an English major who loves to write poetry, short stories, novels, and, of course, blog posts! It is her desire to follow God’s will for her life, wherever He leads her.  From being valedictorian of her graduating class (McKinleyville High School, class of 2009) and graduating with an International Baccalaureate Diploma, to earning her black belt in Jujitsu, Amber has worked hard to excel in life. She has participated in choir, her high school’s Key Club, and Corban’s production of State Fair (Fall 2009). Her favorite activities include reading Christian fiction (especially romance!), writing, and spending time with family and close friends.

You can connect with Amber at her personal blog Seasons of Humility.  She also posts weekly (Mondays) on The Borrowed Book blog, a blog run by authors Elizabeth Ludwig, Sandra Robbins, and S. Dionne Moore.


The 2011 INSPYS Advisory Board is pleased to announce the judging panel for the category of Literature for Young People:

Sherry Early is a former librarian, homeschooling mom of eight wonderful children and young adults, and inveterate reader. She lives in Houston, Texas with her Engineer Husband, four of the eight aforementioned children, and a cat that crept in when mom was having a momentary lapse in judgment. And they all read together in a little crooked house.   Sherry blogs at Semicolon.


Tina Bennett is the blogger behind Tinasbookreviews, created in 2009 to share insight on all genres of literature including Inspirational and a majority of YA fiction. When she’s not busy reading and blogging she’s working on completing her degree in social work. Currently Tina resides in Northern Michigan with her husband and three daughters.


My name is Heather and I’ve been blogging about books at Book Addiction for almost four years now. I read a wide variety of books – fiction and nonfiction, Christian books and general market books too. I am 27 years old and live in Central Florida with my husband, our three cats, and our newly adopted puppy. I have a day job as a bank manager but my real passion is reading and sharing my love for great books with others.


Gail Yates lives in Central MA and is a Documentation and Validation Specialist for a medical device company by day and by night is an avid reader, blogger, crafter and all around couch potato. She’s been blogging since June of 2007 and will read most anything put in front of her. Gail blogs at Ticket to Anywhere.


Danielle Smith is the mother of two wonderful children and wife to a wonderful newly practicing attorney. Her book reviews and articles can be found at There’s A Book and Chick Lit Reviews. She’s an author, literacy advocate, professional flutist and movie lover. In addition to judging for the INSPYs this year she has also been a judge for the Cybils Awards both in 2010 as well as 2011.
The 2011 INSPYS Advisory Board is pleased to announce the judging panel for the category of Creative Nonfiction:

I’m Cori! I’m an editor and I love my job. I live in (generally) sunny California. In addition to reading, I love: God’s creation, blogging, being a ninja, road cycling, tweeting, thinking, walking, admiring Craftsman architecture, playing Boggle, being artsy, loving everything British except for Marmite, making art using typography, hiking, training for the Tough Mudder, being sarcastic, playing tennis, kayaking, wondering about Big Questions, collecting ampersands, sitting in the sun, traveling, wishing I was in Scotland, organizing my books, eating my vegetables, watching Arrested Development, and making lists!

Cori Ashley blogs at Let’s Eat Grandpa!


Amanda Patchin finished her MA in literature in 2011 with a thesis on Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. She now teaches part – time and works on various bookish projects while keeping up with her two preschool sons.  Lover of such writers as St. Augustine, R.L. Stevenson, and Gene Wolfe she can be found with a P.G. Wodehouse novel in her hands most weeks. She blogs at 200books.com.


Deanna Germany blogs at Deanna’s Corner (http://ldgermany.blogspot.com) and enjoys the fact that blogging has been an avenue to feed her true passion – reading.    She developed this passion during the summers as a little girl when she would walk to the bookmobile to check out as many books as she could possibly carry.     Deanna also is a freelance writer for her local newspaper, The Madison Herald.

Deanna makes her home in Mississippi with her husband of twenty-one years.    She has two sons whom she homeschools.     Not surprisingly, the entire family loves to read.  Deanna says her boys have always had more books than boys.  On Friday nights, Deanna’s family hosts huge game nights where anyone is invited and they are fueled by the southern staples:  sweet tea and snacks.   Two of her favorite books include “The Hiding Place” by Corrie Ten Boom and The Bible.


There is not a lot to say about myself other then I am a bum who needs God’s love and forgiveness. I am also a long suffering Cubs fan who just hope that he will see his favorite baseball team in the World Series before God call him home.

Thomas Bingaman blogs at My Random Thoughts



Kate Scott blogs at The Parchment Girl where she reviews books in a variety of genres, interviews authors, gives away free books, and writes about book blogging and the reading life. A born and bred New Englander, she splits her time between Richmond, VA and Boston, MA.