2015 Judges

Following a flurry of boxes being delivered containing over 150 books nominated in the 2015 INSPY Awards, many hours spent reading and much discussion the advisory board is pleased to introduce you to our 2015 panels of judges. We now hand the job of choosing the winner novel over to them. The INSPY Advisory Board thanks each and every applicant for their enthusiasm and is thrilled to announce the judges for 2015. The shortlists will be announced on April 30 and once these judges receive their respective books, they then have the task of narrowing the list from five novels to the one worthy of the 2015 INSPY in each category. We welcome these judges and thank them for their service.

Contemporary Romance / Romantic Suspense Judges

2014-10-03 17.22.33Becky Ritta is a thirty-something single girl from small town Nebraska. She’s been a voracious reader ever since the moment she realized c-a-t spelled “cat.” By day, she teaches journalism and manages the website and social media accounts for a Christian high school. By night, she reads, blogs, experiments with gluten free baking, and binge watches ’90s TV shows.

Becky began blogging on MySpace back in 2006; in 2008 she moved over to Christian Chick’s Thoughts  and posted her first book review. She loves interacting with authors and other book lovers, and her favorite part of reviewing is discovering great new (or new-to-her) authors.

Brooke_iblog4books2Brooke M began reading when she was four years old and has rarely been seen without a book since. When she isn’t reading, she can be found drinking Dr. Pepper, listening to an eclectic mix of tunes (and often singing along—loudly), pretending to be crafty, cheering on the Auburn Tigers, or spending time with her husband. You can find her online at i blog 4 books where she has been blogging since 2010.

image1Kara is an avid reader whose love of books is well known among her circle of friends. She blogs at Flowers of Quiet Happiness, where she writes about her eclectic reading and anything else that catches her fancy. Things that make her smile are: books, hot tea, period dramas (particularly North and South, also any Jane Austen adaptation), writing, friendships, and Jesus. Persuasion remains one of her most favorite stories ever!

 


Historical Romance Judges

Rosie-BiopicRosie Wilson is a college senior about to graduate with a Bachelor’s of Arts in English with a passion for the written word. She blogs at Writings of Rosie (www.writingsofrosie.blogspot.com), reads when she has a chance, works as a freelance editor, writes sometime in between, and is very soon to be a wife to the most handsome man on the planet. In the last few years, she has strived to glorify God in both word and deed, endeavoring to share the Gospel and her love for Christ in all she does. It is her pleasure to endorse Godly fiction as it comes her way, but her greatest desire is to help others lift up Christ in their stories. Whenever she isn’t busy she likes to curl up on the couch and drink warm tea.

courtney-clarkCourtney Clark is a small-town girl from Arkansas who loves Jesus, reading, photography, period dramas, baking, crocheting, and hot tea (in any combination). She especially loves reading great books and sharing about them on her blog. When she’s not doing any of those things, she’s working at her family’s restaurant or teaching at the local community college. Catch up with Courtney at her blog, The Green Mockingbird, or follow her on twitter @CameraCourt.

11072929_855775971135473_3544893896183617040_nBeckie Burnham is very happily married (30 years in June) and the mother of three grown children. She has always loved to read, but alas, the years she chased after children curtailed her reading time. As the kids became more independent and able to take care of themselves, Beckie restarted her love affair with the written word. Nine years ago she began to share her thoughts online with her blog, By The Book. Still energized by nagging, er, encouraging others to read good books, Beckie also leads three book clubs, including an informal group at the local women’s transitional center. When not reading or blogging, she enjoys time with family (still chasing after kids across the country), leading a Bible study and volunteering.


General Fiction Judges

KarenCollierKaren Collier writes and reviews Christian fiction, enjoys a good book discussion, and likes to keep an audiobook and an ebook handy at all times. She’s a librarian by training, but currently spends her days mothering two adorable kids and squeezing in writing and reading time whenever she can. Karen and her husband Dave make their home on a stretch of farmland on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Her full bio, social links, and bookish blog posts can be found at karencollier.com, where she loves to connect with fellow readers, writers, and followers of Jesus.

35568_137295162954529_621761_nRebekah Johnson – I am an avid reader. I love ebooks and paper books too. I started my blog Caffeinated Christian Raves – N – Reviews two years ago to take my love for reading and books to share with others. I have just recently branched out in my reading adventures to include Historical Fiction (Civil War, World War II and The Renaissance Eras) and am finding a whole new adventure in reading. I am have also just started discovering “new” and “new to me” authors too. I am loving my new adventures in reading.

 

Iola Goulton HeadshotIola Goulton (@iolagoulton, pronounced yo-la, not eye-ola) has always been a bookworm. She owns hundreds of Christian novels in paperback, and hundreds more as ebooks. She reviews around 150 books each year on her blog, Iola’s Christian Reads, and contributes reviews to Australasian Christian Writers, The Christian Manifesto, and Suspense Sisters Reviews. Iola lives with her husband and two children in New Zealand, in a seaside city near Hobbiton.


Literature for Young People Judges

alyssa-zechAlyssa is a wife and SAHM to Baby Girl (2 1/2). She has been reading since before she can remember and devours all kinds of books. Her blog Sunrise Avenue is her home for blogging about all things book related. When she isn’t wrestling her new puppy, Alyssa can be found reading, blogging, drinking coffee, watching Doctor Who, or hanging with family. Find her also on Twitter or Goodreads.

shannon griffin bioShannon Griffin is a stay at home mom, school library volunteer and stray animal rescuer. My never ending book pile is the reason I started blogging over at Gidget Girls Reading. When my nose isn’t stuck in a book you can find me baking, taking pictures, hiking, bible journaling, and spending time with family and friends. The book that made me fall in love with reading and I have not slowed down since was Charlotte’s Web. I read mostly YA, Christian fiction and middle grade/ YA cross overs. I’m not a tv watcher but you can catch me watching Gilmore Girls, I love seeing what books Rory is going to be “reading” in each episode. I’m slowly working through the Rory Gilmore reading challenge. It might take me a lifetime but as a big Gilmore Girls fan and reader I just had to do this challenge.

alyssa-washburnAlyssa-Faith Washburn a twenty-one years young, homeschool grad, raven haired, Jesus loving girl. She began with Tolkien and Lewis at an early age, and never turned back. Alyssa has always loved to write since she can remember, but didn’t begin to take it seriously until she was seventeen. She writes whenever she can get a chance.  When she isn’t reading or writing you can find her listening to her favorite music artists, fangirling over her favourite fandoms (ala Tolkien, C.S. Lewis & OUAT.), and volunteering at her church. She has a passion for the Pro-Life Movement. An advocate against Human Sex Trafficking. Alyssa makes her home in Northern California where she reads every book she can get her hands on {preferably Fantasy, Dystopian, or Historical}, writing Non-Fiction & poetry, researching her family history, and trying to wrangle her German Short-Hair puppy. Full bio can be found at http://theeamericananglophile.blogspot.com/.

Mystery / Thriller Judges

DebDeb Haggerty is a published author, editor, speaker, management consultant, breast cancer survivor of 15+years ( www.PositiveHope.com), and wife. She left AT&T after 13 years to start her own company, Positive Connections® in 1985, to specialize in employee relations and communication(www.PositiveConnect.com).

For almost 30 years, Deb’s been writing stories about her experiences. She is published in over 20 books with more than 50 articles to her credit. She has spoken widely and has been on staff for several writers’ conferences including Glorieta Christian Writers’ Conference, CLASSeminars, and the Florida Christian Writers’ Conference. She has an MBA in Personnel and Human Resources Management and a BA in English. Presently Deb reviews Christian books and interviews authors on her blog ( www.PositiveGrace.com ) and is a professional freelance editor as well as a fiction editor for Firefly Southern Fiction, Bling!, and Elk Lake Publishing.

She and her husband, Roy, have been married for 31 years and live in Plymouth, MA, along with Coki, the Dog.

Elizabeth Olmedo loves all things books. Whether reading or writing, she spends most of her waking (and sometimes sleeping) hours lost deep in the world of fiction, especially if they?????????????????????? belong to the mystery, suspense, and/or romance genres. To feed her addiction, Elizabeth reviews books for Life is Story and Radiant Lit, as well as on her personal blog.

Elizabeth lives in Spain with her dog, Ari, and works as a freelance writer, editor, and social media specialist. When she isn’t reading, Elizabeth also enjoys watching movies, cooking, and learning Hebrew.

You can connect with Elizabeth on Twitter or find her on Eli’s Novel Reviews.

Kayleigh Lawson (INSPYs)Kayleigh Lawson has been a voracious reader for most of her life and, as an aspiring author, tells herself that reading is “research.”

She has loved the mystery genre since reading her first Nancy Drew mystery and fell in love with the Christian fiction genre when her great-grandmother gave her a copy of Janet Oke’s “The Tender Years” for her 14th birthday.

Kayleigh was homeschooled and studied creative writing. She now works at a newspaper as its online editor, and talks about and reviews books on her blog, Bibliophile.

She is a movie buff of almost all genres, loves music and writing, and enjoys spending time with her family.

Kayleigh and her husband, Andrew, were married in May 2013.


 Speculative Fiction Judges

19_Ian Acheson_22.05.12_by rasha photographyIan Acheson is a blogger and speculative fiction author. He reads a lot, and a lot, and a lot more. He reads widely in fiction, non-fiction, magazines, web and newspapers. He’s been telling and writing stories for most of his life since early childhood.

When Ian’s not writing he’s a professional strategy consultant having been in the Corporate world for the past 25 years. He brings some of this experience into his stories. He’s lived in Sydney, Australia, all of his life but is currently in process of moving to Melbourne with his wife, Fiona and two adored kelpies. 

You can connect with Ian on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads

Bio_pic

Paige McQueen is a student by day and book blogger by night. She fell in love with the world of books at a young age, and decided being normal was overrated. Paige has a special place in her heart for Tolkien, world globes, and a brown poodle named Pippa. Currently she’s packing up her extensive library to move to Tulsa, OK and begin a new adventure. You can find her drinking voracious amounts coffee and talking about her favorite novels at Page by Paige.

Meagan

Meagan Myhren-Bennett developed an early love of reading growing up in a family where books were the gift of choice.  This love was the perfect excuse to become a reviewer and a librarian.

When not working, she can be found at home, which is in rural Northwest Central Wisconsin, spending time with her family or reading with dachshunds (piled 4 or 5 deep) on her lap.  Though she calls Wisconsin home, she’s lived on both US coasts – a California native re-rooted by her dad’s job transfers to Florida, Illinios, and Wisconsin. With all these moves she attended both public and private schools and enjoyed being homeschooled for the last 3 years of high school.

Meagan’s reviews can be found at Blooming with Books (http://BloomingwithBooks.blogspot.com) where her eclectic reading tastes can be fully appreciated.  And she’s more than willing to help library patrons discover her favorite authors.