Tuesday, April 29, 2008

2008 Christy Award Nominees Announced!

History of the Awards:

In the spring of 1999, nearly a dozen Christian publishers confirmed the need for establishing a Christian fiction award to recognize novelists and novels of excellence in several genres of Christian fiction. By late summer, ideas and planning had come together to launch The Christy Award, named in honor of Catherine Marshall’s novel and of her contribution to growth of the fiction Christians love to read.

The Christy Award is designed to:

* Nurture and encourage creativity and quality in the writing and publishing of fiction written from a Christian worldview.
* Bring a new awareness of the breadth and depth of fiction choices available, helping to broaden the readership.
* Provide opportunity to recognize novelists whose work may not have reached bestseller status.

How the Awards Work:

Every year publishers are invited to submit novels written from a Christian worldview and copyrighted in the year preceding the awards. Each novel is entered in one of several genre categories and/or the first novel category. Each category of novels is then read and evaluated against a ten-point criteria by a panel of seven judges composed of librarians, reviewers, academicians, literary critics, and other qualified readers, none of whom have a direct affiliation with a publishing company.

Catherine Marshall:

Catherine Marshall, writer of more than two dozen books and the subject of at least one biography, is one of America's most notable and bestselling Christian writers. Her readers around the world know Catherine as "America's most inspirational author," as described in The New York Times. More than 25 million copies of her books are in print. Nine years in the making and perhaps Catherines's best-known work, the novel Christy has more than 10 million copies in print and is estimated to have been read by more than 30 million people.

The Christy Awards is proud to honor both the novelist and her novel through this annual award recognizing Christian novels of excellence.

Visit the official website here.


Chasing Fireflies by Charles Martin (Thomas Nelson)

Read our review of the novel here.

In High Places by Tom Morrisey (Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Read our review of the novel here.

Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson (Thomas Nelson)

Read our review of the novel here.

CONTEMPORARY (Series, Sequels and Novellas)

Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon (Viking Penguin)

A Time to Mend by Sally John and Gary Smalley (Thomas Nelson)

What Lies Within by Karen Ball (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)


Lady of Milkweed Manor by Julie Klassen (Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

A Proper Pursuit by Lynn Austin (Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Read our review of the novel here.

A Tendering in the Storm by Jane Kirkpatrick (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)

Read our review of the novel here.

LITS (tie)

Doesn't She Look Natural by Angela Hunt (Tyndale House Publishers)

Read our review of the novel here.

Hallie's Heart by Shelly Beach (Kregel Publications)

Read our review of the novel here.

Let Them Eat Cake by Sandra Byrd (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)

Read our review of the novel here.

Trophy Wives Club by Kristin Billerbeck (Avon Inspire, a division of HarperCollins Publishers)

Read our review of the novel here.


Lightning and Lace by DiAnn Mills (Barbour Publishing)

Read our review of the novel here.

Remember to Forget by Deborah Raney (Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster)

Read our review of the novel here.

Remembered by Tamera Alexander (Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group)


The Cure by Athol Dickson (Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Read our review of the novel here.

My Hands Came Away Red by Lisa McKay (Moody Publishers)

Read our review of the novel here.

The Pawn by Steven James (Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Read our review of the novel here.


Auralia's Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)
Read our review of the novel here.

The Restorer by Sharon Hinck (NavPress Publishing Group)

Read our review of the novel here.

Scarlet by Stephen R. Lawhead (Thomas Nelson)

Read our review of the novel here.


Auralia's Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)

Read our review of the novel here.

Demon: A Memoir by Tosca Lee (NavPress Publishing Group)

Read our review of the novel here.

The Stones Cry Out by Sibella Giorello (Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Read our review of the novel here.


Hollywood Nobody by Lisa Samson (NavPress Publishing Group)

Read our review of the novel here.

In Between by Jenny B. Jones (NavPress Publishing Group)

Read our review of the novel here.

Maggie Come Lately by Michelle Buckman (NavPress Publishing Group)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Waiting for Daybreak by Kathryn Cushman

Coming in October from Bethany House is Kathryn Cushman's follow-up to her successful A Promise to Remember.


Paige Woodward is a woman without choices. Her destitute mother's only hope for a cure isn't covered by insurance. When a dream opportunity arises at a brand-new pharmacy, Paige is willing to keep quiet about her past to make sure she lands the job.

For Clarissa Richardson, the dream of running her own pharmacy comes to a screeching halt when her grandfather hires a too-perfect new girl who seems to be hiding something. How far will they go to protect their dreams for tomorrow?
What will happen when one woman's last hope means ruining another woman's greatest dream?

Read our interview with Kathryn and our review of A Promise to Remember.

The Rook by Steven James book trailer

Read our review of The Pawn by Steven James and Book #1 in the Patrick Bowers series.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Change in Thomas Nelson's trade show strategy

Thomas Nelson announced that it will not be participating in Book Expo America (BEA) 2008 and the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) 2008. “We have been discussing this move for some time,” said President & CEO, Michael S. Hyatt. “But the current economic downturn is forcing us to re-evaluate the expenditure of every marketing dollar. We are committed to doing our best to support our products and distributors with marketing expenditures that result in greater sales. And we have determined that, for Thomas Nelson, these trade shows provide very little return on a very significant investment.”

Last weekend, Thomas Nelson hosted its inaugural “Open House” at the Music City Sheraton in Nashville, Tennessee. The publisher’s top 100 Christian retail accounts attended the two-day, two-night conference designed to arm participants with a better understanding of industry trends and merchandising strategies, while inspiring their relationships with God. The event also allowed for renewing friendships with other retailers and the Thomas Nelson family.

At the Thursday evening “3:16 Celebration” at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Max Lucado and friends, Sandi Patty, Jaci Velasquez, Travis Cottrell, and Heather Headley presented the timeless truth of John 3:16 through beautiful worship music and inspiring messages of God’s grace.

During Friday’s “ReThinking” sessions, world-class speakers John Maxwell, Tony Jeary, Michele Miller and the Disney Institute’s Tom Madden, equipped retailers with practical advice on how to increase their effectiveness as leaders and marketers.

On Saturday morning Hyatt encouraged the attendees by sharing a message entitled, “Ten Reasons I Am Still Excited about Christian Retail.” Andy Andrews concluded the event with an inspirational and honest session on “ReThinking Possibilities.”

Based on feedback from the attendees, the event was a tremendous success. Of the attendees surveyed, every one said that they intended to participate in future Open House events. Ninety-five percent said their businesses would be strengthened by the event.

“Thomas Nelson’s Open House was one of the best Christian retail events I have attended in my 25 years in the industry,” said Tim Way, Divisional Merchant Manager for Family Christian Stores. “The sessions gave me highly practical information I can use right now. Additionally, I came away spiritually uplifted and encouraged.’

“The program was absolutely top notch and the fellowship was great. Most of all, the commitment demonstrated by Thomas Nelson to the Christian retail channel was clear and very encouraging,” echoed Steve Potratz, owner and founder of the Parable Group.

“Historically, trade shows have played an important role in publishing and bookselling,” Hyatt said. “I have attended scores of them and have very fond memories of connecting with customers, authors, and the media. But the market has changed. Dramatically. We simply can no longer justify the enormous costs associated with these trade shows. Having inaugurated our own event, it’s time for us to leave the past behind and step into the future.”

Thomas Nelson intends to make Open House an annual event for its key Christian retail accounts. “The top 100 Christian retail accounts generate more than 80% of our revenue in this channel,” noted Hyatt. “Therefore, we must be intentional and strategic in how we connect with Christian retail accounts. Open House provides us with a better way to invest in our future and theirs.”

Also, Thomas Nelson is considering additional channel management strategies to support its general market accounts. “Our goal is to create relevant plans for each sales channel that will reinforce their business and their relationship with Thomas Nelson,” concluded Hyatt.

Read an interesting blog post by Mr. Hyatt here discussing this subject.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Face by Angela Hunt

Coming in November from Steeple Hill is another speculative book from Angela Hunt that looks terrific!


Born to parents who died shortly after her birth, twenty-year-old genius Sarah Sims has been hidden in a secure CIA facility where she works to help her handlers achieve their goals. Yet her days of anonymity are limited because her aunt has discovered her existence and is determined to lead Sarah out of exile. But before she can leave the only world she’s ever known, Sarah needs what most people take for granted . . . a functioning face and the skills to use it. Will she remain in her secluded fortress or summon the courage to follow her heart?

Read our interview with Angela here.

Loving Cee Cee Johnson by Linda Leigh Hargrove

Coming in September from Moody is Linda Leigh Hargrove's sequel to The Making of Isaac Hunt. It's called Loving Cee Cee Johnson and looks like another great book.


Carla Celine "Cee Cee" Johnson is a TV reporter. She's at the top of her game in a mostly-white profession---thanks to hard work and one big lie. When her life spirals out of control during an assignment in her hometown, Pettigrew, she begins to ask herself some tough questions about the relationship with her once-abusive father.

Cee Cee is forced to examine her heart and look at the essence of forgiveness. Healing comes from the most unlikely places. And love takes her by surprise.

Read our review of The Making of Isaac Hunt here.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Dark Pursuit by Brandilyn Collins cover unveiled

Cover unveiled for Brandilyn Collins' next novel, Dark Pursuit! (Click on cover to enlarge.)


Novelist Darell Brooke lived for his title as King of Suspense—until an auto accident left him unable to concentrate. Two years later, recluse and bitter, he wants one thing: to plot a new novel and regain his reputation.

Kaitlan Sering, his twenty-two-year-old granddaughter, once lived for drugs. After she stole from Darell, he cut her off. Now she is rebuilding her life.

In Kaitlan’s town two women have been murdered. She is about to discover the third. The only possible culprit? Her boyfriend, Craig, son of the town’s police chief.

Desperate, Kaitlan flees to her estranged grandfather. For over forty years, Darell Brooke has lived suspense. Surely he’ll devise a plan to trap the cunning Craig.

But can Darell’s muddled mind do it? And—if he tries—with what motivation? For Kaitlan’s plight may be the stunning answer to the illusive plot he seeks …

Read our review of Amber Morn here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Adam by Ted Dekker promotional short on YouTube

A interesting promotion for Ted Dekker's new novel; Adam. Created by three Biola film students. The budget was only 100 dollars. Directed by JT Dekker.

Isle of Fire by Wayne Thomas Batson

Coming in September from Thomas Nelson:


The spell-binding adventure continues as Captain Ross and his crew become pirate hunters for the British Government and Cat captains his own ship.

This intriguing, action-packed adventure will keep intermediate readers eagerly turning pages to find out if . . .

  • There is a way to overcome the Vikings' powerful weapon on the Rain of Fire
  • England's greedy king will betray the pirate-hunters and keep the monks' treasure for himself
  • The ruthless pirate Bartholomew Thorn is still alive
  • A evil Merchant finds a person continue his malevolent ways
  • Cat regains his memory and will profess his faith or join the Merchant's crusade
  • Anne escapes the Merchant's Lair
Read our interview with Wayne here.