Few things are more satisfying than being named a finalist for a national, highly-coveted award—except winning the award, of course. Unfortunately, the amount of time between finding out these wonderful authors became finalists and finding out who won is too long. I’m excited. I want to share this now! I had the privilege of working on each of these books as a contracted editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (now known as LPC, an imprint of Iron Stream Media), and I have to tell you, I’m plum tickled for these ladies.
Something I Am Not, by Cher Gatto
Finalist for the ACFW Carol Award, YA Fiction
This remarkable story is Cher’s debut novel and should be a finalist in the debut category too, but I’m excited about it finaling in its genre category. The story isn’t your typical YA. It’s a painfully realistic exploration of the life of a young man who was sold as a boy to be trained as a paramour. In other words, human trafficking, sex slavery, etc. People who believe that Christian fiction is all sweet and fanciful should be aware of novels like this one. Christians tackle the tough subjects, and Cher tackled one of the toughest.
Love You Truly, by Susan L. Tuttle
Finalist for the ACFW Carol Award, Romance
This was the first time I had the pleasure of working with Susan, but I’m so delighted wasn’t the last.
Susan’s characters are beautifully rounded and witty. I love the banter between the hero and heroine. The plot is compelling and the characters’ stakes are high—and the settings! Oh, my goodness! Susan knows how to masterfully lose you in the story setting as her characters cruise and jet all over the world. Beyond swoon-worthy, this one is a true winner! (PS: Her next one, Then Again, Maybe is going to be a block-buster too! Comes out later this year, I think. Watch for it!)
Sand Creek Serenade, by Jennifer Uhlarik
Finalist for the Will Rogers Medallion Award and for the Selah Award
I’m not remotely surprised that Jennifer’s exceptional novel is a finalist in two prestigious contests. For this cross-cultural romance between a white woman doctor and a young Indian native, Jennifer did some intense research. The setting is real; the events surrounding the romance actually happened—and Jennifer brings it all to life in a compelling page-turner.
I am so honored to have played a small role in each of these books’ publication. To see them listed as finalists in their various categories and with their various competitions makes my heart swell up bigger’n my chest can hold. I’m rooting for all of them to win their awards; but if not, they’re still winners to me.