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message 1: by Cheryl (last edited May 01, 2018 03:02PM) (new)

Cheryl Olson (girlsmama) | 694 comments Ok everyone for those of you that like to keep their eyes on on the Christian Book awards here is our first list :) the INSPY'S- the bloggers awards for Excellence in Faith-Driven Literature. Here is the list, please share your thoughts- do you agree with their choices, did they miss any that you thought should have been on the list? Can't wait to hear you thoughts! Winners will be posted June 28th.

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE/ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

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

– Then There Was You (Bellbird Press) by Kara Isaac

– Jane of Austin (Waterbrook) by Hillary Manton Lodge

– True to You (Bethany House) by Becky Wade

– Just Look Up (Tyndale) by Courtney Walsh

DEBUT FICTION
– 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

– Lady Jayne Disappears (Revell) by Joanna Davidson Politano

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

GENERAL FICTION

– Perennials (Thomas Nelson) by Julie Cantrell

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

– Life After (Waterbrook) by Katie Ganshert

– The Space Between Words (Thomas Nelson) by Michele Phoenix

– The Austen Escape (Thomas Nelson) by Katherine Reay

HISTORICAL ROMANCE
– A Note Yet Unsung (Bethany House) 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

– A Moonbow Night (Revell) by Laura Frantz


LITERATURE FOR YOUNG ADULTS

- The Returning (Tyndale) by Rachelle Dekker

– Unraveling (Thomas Nelson) by Sara Ella

– For Love and Honor (Zondervan) by Jody Hedlund

– 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

–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

SPECULATIVE FICTION
– Raging Storm (Harvest House) by Vannetta Chapman

– The Divide (Tyndale) by Jolina Petersheim

– The Beast of Talesend (Indie) by Kyle Robert Schultz

– The Girl Who Could See (Indie) by Kara Swanson

– King’s Blood (Bethany House) by Jill Williamson

OK - so here we go? How many of these have you read? What are your thoughts :)


message 2: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (last edited May 01, 2018 06:00PM) (new)

Staci | 1925 comments Mod
Yeah! Thanks for posting this Cheryl!! Such an exciting time for CF.

I hope to finish out at least two categories and select my own winners.

Here's what I've read as well as any disappointments of what didn't make it from the long to short list.

Contemporary Romance
Then There Was You by Kara Isaac Jane of Austin A Novel of Sweet Tea and Sensibility by Hillary Manton Lodge True to You (Bradford Sisters Romance, #1) by Becky Wade Just Look Up (Harbor Point, #1) by Courtney Walsh

I'm disappointed that The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck didn't make the short list. It's a great book!
The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner

Debut
Freedom's Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli Count Me In (An Emerald City Romance #1) by Mikal Dawn Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano Stars in the Grass by Ann Marie Stewart

General Fiction
Perennials by Julie Cantrell Life After by Katie Ganshert The Space Between Words by Michèle Phoenix

I'm disappointed The Mark of the King and Before We Were Yours didn't make it to the short list.
The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Historical Romance
A Note Yet Unsung (Belmont Mansion, #3) by Tamera Alexander The Road to Paradise A Vintage National Parks Novel (Shadows of the Wilderness #1) by Karen Barnett Many Sparrows by Lori Benton A Lady in Disguise (Daughters of Hampshire, #3) by Sandra Byrd

I would have included Wings of the Wind.
Wings of the Wind (Out from Egypt #3) by Connilyn Cossette

Mystery Thriller
Portrait of Vengeance (Gwen Marcey #4) by Carrie Stuart Parks Imperfect Justice (Hidden Justice #2) by Cara C. Putman

Literature for Young Adults
The Returning (Seer, #3) by Rachelle Dekker

Speculative Fiction
The Divide (The Alliance #2) by Jolina Petersheim

Excited to hear comments of others.


message 3: by Maria Clara (new)

Maria Clara (mclara) I've read:

Contemporary Romance / Romantic Suspense
Then There Was You by Kara Isaac Just Look Up (Harbor Point, #1) by Courtney Walsh
Though I was sad that Melissa Tagg's book didn't make it, I was happy to see Becky's book on the list!

Debut Novel - I was super happy with this one
Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano Freedom's Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli

General Fiction
Life After by Katie Ganshert The Space Between Words by Michèle Phoenix The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay
I was surprised to see that The Esther Paradigm didn't make it. I was also hoping to see Looking Glass Lies and Catching the Wind.
I guess this one had too many of my favorites hehe

Historical Romance - I've read all of them and they well deserved to be on the short list, though a few of my favorites ended up being left out (Roseanna's and Kristi's for example)
A Note Yet Unsung (Belmont Mansion, #3) by Tamera Alexander Many Sparrows by Lori Benton The Road to Paradise A Vintage National Parks Novel (Shadows of the Wilderness #1) by Karen Barnett A Lady in Disguise (Daughters of Hampshire, #3) by Sandra Byrd A Moonbow Night by Laura Frantz

Literature for Young Adults
For Love and Honor (An Uncertain Choice, #3) by Jody Hedlund
I've heard so much of Stephanie's book that I was happy to see she made it

Mystery/Thriller
Imperfect Justice (Hidden Justice #2) by Cara C. Putman Crown of Souls (Tox Files #2) by Ronie Kendig
I was also rooting for Jaime's novel.


message 4: by AlegnaB † (last edited May 02, 2018 07:19AM) (new)

AlegnaB † (alegnab) | 959 comments Staci wrote: "...I'm disappointed...Before We Were Yours didn't make it to the short list...Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate..."

It’s not Christian/inspirational/faith-driven and is not classified as such at Amazon. It’s published by a secular publisher.


message 5: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new)

Staci | 1925 comments Mod
Thank you for your thoughts AlegnaB. To me if that was the reason then I would have thought it would not have qualified for the long list.


message 6: by AlegnaB † (last edited May 02, 2018 08:04AM) (new)

AlegnaB † (alegnab) | 959 comments Staci wrote: "Thank you for your thoughts AlegnaB. To me if that was the reason then I would have thought it would not have qualified for the long list."

I didn’t know it was on the long list. That somewhat surprises me. I know the author is known as a CF author, and my personal opinion is that that is probably the reason it was included. Don’t get me wrong. I thought the book was very good and gave it four stars (which is a high rating from me), so I don’t think it is undeserving of an award. I just don’t think it should be on a list that’s for Christian fiction.


message 7: by Andrea, Hospitality Coordinator (new)

Andrea Cox (andreacox) | 2798 comments Mod
I have read these:
Life After by Katie Ganshert The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay Many Sparrows by Lori Benton Imperfect Justice (Hidden Justice #2) by Cara C. Putman

My favorite:
The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay

My least favorite (though still good):
Many Sparrows by Lori Benton

Other new releases I enjoyed last year:
My Soul Sings (Sweet Sanctuary #2) by Kim Vogel Sawyer Grace and the Preacher by Kim Vogel Sawyer A Fragile Hope by Cynthia Ruchti Bringing Maggie Home by Kim Vogel Sawyer A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England, #1) by Roseanna M. White


message 8: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new)

Staci | 1925 comments Mod
The INSPYs will be announced June 28. I'll share an update on what I read as I was able to squeeze in a few.

For YA, I didn't add any to this category. I only read

The Returning (Seer, #3) by Rachelle Dekker

I do hope to read

The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill


message 9: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new)

Staci | 1925 comments Mod
For Speculative Fiction, I didn't read any additional here either. I've only read

The Divide (The Alliance #2) by Jolina Petersheim

I loved this series! The Divide was one of my top ten reads of 2017.


message 10: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new)

Staci | 1925 comments Mod
For Mystery/Thriller, I ended up reading one additional book:

The Enoch Effect by Rick Acker

This is an author I'd never heard of so super excited for the find. I enjoyed the book.

For this category, I ended up with three read:
The Enoch Effect by Rick Acker Portrait of Vengeance (Gwen Marcey #4) by Carrie Stuart Parks Imperfect Justice (Hidden Justice #2) by Cara C. Putman

I enjoyed all three of these, but my favorite was
Imperfect Justice (Hidden Justice #2) by Cara C. Putman


message 11: by Andrea, Hospitality Coordinator (new)

Andrea Cox (andreacox) | 2798 comments Mod
I recently read Freedom's Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli . It was a disappointing read for me, due to expletives and profanities and a few other things, but I still found certain aspects of it powerful and encouraging.


message 12: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new)

Staci | 1925 comments Mod
Andrea wrote: "I recently read Freedom's Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli. It was a disappointing read for me, due to expletives and profanities and a few other things, but I still found certain aspects of it powerful a..."

Andrea I liked Freedom's Ring, but LOVED The Hidden Side her more recent novel.


message 13: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new)

Staci | 1925 comments Mod
For Contemporary Romance, I had hoped to read all of them, but I knew it'd be a stretch with the Nicole Deese series since I hadn't read any of them. I read the first book in the series, but that is as far as I got.

I read the remaining four prior to the Shortlist getting announced:

True to You (A Bradford Sisters Romance, #1) by Becky Wade Then There Was You by Kara Isaac Jane of Austin A Novel of Sweet Tea and Sensibility by Hillary Manton Lodge Just Look Up (Harbor Pointe #1) by Courtney Walsh

I tried to pick a favorite and just can't figure out which one. I like them all for different reasons...

True To You - loved Nora as the main female character
Then There Was You - love the humor
Jane of Austin - loved Callum the main male character
Just Look Up - loved the character growth

Tough field in a good way!!


message 14: by Andrea, Hospitality Coordinator (new)

Andrea Cox (andreacox) | 2798 comments Mod
Staci, I'm glad you enjoyed both of Chiavaroli's books. Your list of read nominees is getting quite filled in, isn't it? Way to go!


message 15: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new)

Staci | 1925 comments Mod
Thanks Andrea! I love the INSPY and Christy seasons.


message 16: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new)

Staci | 1925 comments Mod
With little time to spare, I just finished up the Historical Romance Category. I enjoyed four of the five novels. My favorite of the group is

Many Sparrows by Lori Benton

Lori Benton's writing is so rich in historical detail. Laura's is as well, but it took me a bit to get into A Moonbow Night. I enjoyed it as well.


message 17: by Andrea, Hospitality Coordinator (new)

Andrea Cox (andreacox) | 2798 comments Mod
Great job, Staci! You're really cruising through 'em!


message 18: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new)

Staci | 1925 comments Mod
Thanks Andrea!


message 19: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new)

Staci | 1925 comments Mod
I had the opportunity to read all five debut novels. I enjoyed four of the five. My pick for this category:

Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano

I loved this novel from page one. It was on my top ten list of favorite reads in 2017.


message 20: by Caroline (new)

Caroline | 371 comments In contemporary romance, I've read:
Then There Was You by Kara Isaac Jane of Austin A Novel of Sweet Tea and Sensibility by Hillary Manton Lodge True to You (A Bradford Sisters Romance, #1) by Becky Wade Just Look Up (Harbor Pointe #1) by Courtney Walsh
My favorite is True to You (A Bradford Sisters Romance, #1) by Becky Wade

Debut Fiction:
Freedom's Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano
My favorite is Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano

General Fiction:
Life After by Katie Ganshert The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay
My favorite is Life After by Katie Ganshert

Historical Romance:
A Note Yet Unsung (Belmont Mansion, #3) by Tamera Alexander The Road to Paradise (Vintage National Parks, #1) by Karen Barnett Many Sparrows by Lori Benton A Lady in Disguise (Daughters of Hampshire, #3) by Sandra Byrd A Moonbow Night by Laura Frantz
My favorite is Many Sparrows by Lori Benton

Mystery/Thriller:
Death at Thorburn Hall (Drew Farthering Mystery #6) by Julianna Deering and currently reading Crown of Souls (Tox Files #2) by Ronie Kendig (50% done)
Difficult to pick one.

Speculative Fiction:
The Divide (The Alliance #2) by Jolina Petersheim and it is amazing!


message 21: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new)

Staci | 1925 comments Mod
Caroline, we are twinning on three categories! We have the same picks for Speculative Fiction, Historical Romance and Debut. Can't wait to see who the winners are!!


message 22: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new)

Staci | 1925 comments Mod
General Fiction was the very strongest category. I read all five and all five were 4.5 star reads. Loved them all!

Perennials by Julie Cantrell Life After by Katie Ganshert A Trail of Crumbs A Novel of the Great Depression (Pearl Spence #2) by Susie Finkbeiner The Space Between Words by Michèle Phoenix The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay

My pick among the five would be the one that landed on my top ten reads of 2017 list:

The Space Between Words by Michèle Phoenix


message 23: by Charlene (new)

Charlene | 352 comments Being fairly new to CF I haven’t read many of these books but I love reading all your feed back ladies :).


message 24: by Chris (new)

Chris | 309 comments Will you be publishing which ones are the winners?


message 25: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Olson (girlsmama) | 694 comments Yes! I'm checking it right now!! :)


message 26: by Cheryl (last edited Jun 29, 2018 09:53AM) (new)

Cheryl Olson (girlsmama) | 694 comments WINNERS-
CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE/ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

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

– Then There Was You (Bellbird Press) by Kara Isaac

– Jane of Austin (Waterbrook) by Hillary Manton Lodge

– True to You (Bethany House) by Becky Wade True to You by Becky Wade - WINNER

– Just Look Up (Tyndale) by Courtney Walsh

DEBUT FICTION
– 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

– Lady Jayne Disappears (Revell) by Joanna Davidson Politano Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano - WINNER

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

GENERAL FICTION

– Perennials (Thomas Nelson) by Julie Cantrell

– A Trail of Crumbs: A Novel of the Great Depression (Kregel) by Susie Finkbeiner- A Trail of Crumbs A Novel of the Great Depression (Pearl Spence #2) by Susie Finkbeiner -WINNER

– Life After (Waterbrook) by Katie Ganshert

– The Space Between Words (Thomas Nelson) by Michele Phoenix

– The Austen Escape (Thomas Nelson) by Katherine Reay

HISTORICAL ROMANCE
– A Note Yet Unsung (Bethany House) by Tamera Alexander

– The Road to Paradise (Waterbrook) by Karen Barnett

– Many Sparrows (Waterbrook) by Lori Benton- Many Sparrows by Lori Benton -WINNER

– A Lady in Disguise (Howard) by Sandra Byrd

– A Moonbow Night (Revell) by Laura Frantz


LITERATURE FOR YOUNG ADULTS

- The Returning (Tyndale) by Rachelle Dekker

– Unraveling (Thomas Nelson) by Sara Ella Unraveling (Unblemished #2) by Sara Ella - WINNER

– For Love and Honor (Zondervan) by Jody Hedlund

– 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

–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 Portrait of Vengeance (Gwen Marcey #4) by Carrie Stuart Parks -WINNER

– Imperfect Justice (Thomas Nelson) by Cara Putman

SPECULATIVE FICTION
– Raging Storm (Harvest House) by Vannetta Chapman

– The Divide (Tyndale) by Jolina Petersheim- The Divide A Novel by Jolina Petersheim -WINNER

– The Beast of Talesend (Indie) by Kyle Robert Schultz

– The Girl Who Could See (Indie) by Kara Swanson

– King’s Blood (Bethany House) by Jill Williamson


There are your winners- so what are your thoughts ?! I was super happy to see that Jolina Petersheim's The Divide A Novel by Jolina Petersheim won. I really, really like her as an author. She has such a great writing voice!! Has anyone read Portrait of Vengeance (Gwen Marcey #4) by Carrie Stuart Parks ? Curious about that one as I haven't read it and haven't heard anything about it. Ok, tell me your thoughts friends? :)


message 27: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new)

Staci | 1925 comments Mod
Charlene wrote: "Being fairly new to CF I haven’t read many of these books but I love reading all your feed back ladies :)."

Thanks Charlene! I have fun each year reading nominees leading up to the announcement of winners. Christy's are just around the corner!


message 28: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new)

Staci | 1925 comments Mod
I was on track with selecting three of the winners! :-)

Many Sparrows by Lori Benton The Divide (The Alliance #2) by Jolina Petersheim Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano

All three of these were among my top ten reads of 2017!

I'm with you Cheryl I love Jolina Petersheim's work and look forward to her next novel.

The only winner I haven't read is Unraveling, the YA Winner.

I read and enjoyed A Portrait of Vengeance. I have found that her writing gets a bit stronger with each novel. A Portrait of Vengeance is her fourth novel and a good one. An interesting tidbit about the author...Carrie credits Frank Peretti for assisting her. If I remember correctly, they are neighbors.

This INSPY season has been a great one! I found two new to me authors and the short list pushed me to read a couple of books on my TBR that I hadn't gotten to yet. I look forward to hearing the thoughts of others.

Next up Christy Awards in November.


message 29: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Olson (girlsmama) | 694 comments I have read Unraveling and enjoyed it- I have the third book in th series- Unbreakable by Sara Ella along with me and will hopefully get to it this vacation- I have another one ahead of itI Was Anastasia that is due back to the library before it :)

And Staci- great job on picking 3 of the winners! Well done!!

Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano is definitely one that I would like to read in the near future- heard a lot of positive buzz about that one. :)


message 30: by Caroline (new)

Caroline | 371 comments Staci wrote: "Caroline, we are twinning on three categories! We have the same picks for Speculative Fiction, Historical Romance and Debut. Can't wait to see who the winners are!!"

Yay!! Staci, our 3 same picks won.


message 31: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 3229 comments Mod
The only winner I have read is True to You (A Bradford Sisters Romance, #1) by Becky Wade , and I loved it. I have Many Sparrows to read this month, and I was not surprised that it won. Lori Benton's Native American fiction is absolutely incredible.


message 32: by Cheryl (last edited Jun 30, 2018 09:43AM) (new)

Cheryl Olson (girlsmama) | 694 comments Loraine wrote: "The only winner I have read is True to You (A Bradford Sisters Romance, #1) by Becky Wade, and I loved it. I have Many Sparrows to read this month, and I was not surprised that it won. Lori Benton's Native American fiction ..."

Loraine- I loved that one too- Becky Wade’s that is- I’m a little late to the Lori Benton party- I need to get on that! :)


message 33: by Chris (new)

Chris | 309 comments Yea!! Have read True to you and Many Sparrows - they deserved to win in their catagories!! Can't wait to read the other winners - my library system doesn't have Sara Ella so may have to skip that one!


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