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  • ACFW Carol Award Finalists

    If you’re familiar with the American Christian Fiction Writers Association, then you’ve maybe even heard that their Book of the Year Award has recently been renamed the Carol Award. And this weekend, they announced the finalists (5 and sometimes more) in categories across the board.

    I thought I’d share and give a shout out to some really excellent authors, especially those from Steeple Hill!

    And yes … that’s my name in the debut author category. I’d like to thank the members of the academy and … wait! That’s not right. 🙂 But in all seriousness, I’m really humbled and honored to be recognized among these really amazing authors. Thanks, ACFW judges.

    Carol Award Finalists

    Debut Author

    Bonnie Grove – Talking to the Dead (David C. Cook Publishing)      

    Liz Jonson – The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn (Steeple Hill)

    Kirk Outerbridge – Eternity Falls (Marcher Lord Press)

    Jill Eileen Smith – Michal (Revell)

    Dan Walsh – The Unfinished Gift (Revell)


    Contemporary Novella

    6 Finalists due to a tie

    Barbara Cameron – One Child (Thomas Nelson)

    Barbara Cameron – When Winter Comes (Thomas Nelson)

    Debra Clopton – A Mule Hollow Match (Steeple Hill)

    Susan May Warren – The Great Christmas Bowl (Tyndale House)

    Beth Wiseman – A Change of Heart (Thomas Nelson)

    Beth Wiseman – A Choice to Forgive (Thomas Nelson)


    Historical Novella

    Victoria Bylin – Home Again (Steeple Hill)

    Vickie McDonough – A Breed Apart (Barbour Publishing)

    Vickie McDonough – Beloved Enemy (Barbour Publishing)

    Janet Tronstad – Christmas Bells for Dry Creek (Steeple Hill)

    Carrie Turansky – A Shelter in the Storm (Barbour Publishing)         


    Long Contemporary

    6 Finalists due to a tie

    Christina Berry – The Familiar Stranger (Moody Publishers)  

    Mary Ellis – A Widow’s Hope (Harvest House Publishers)

    Joyce Magnin – The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow (Abingdon Press)    

    Susan Meissner – White Picket Fences (Waterbrook Press)   

    Marlo Schalesky- If Tomorrow Never Comes (Multnomah)    

    Susan May Warren – Nothing But Trouble (Tyndale House)  

    Long Contemporary Romance

    Candace Calvert – Critical Care (Tyndale House)        

    Denise Hunter – Seaside Letters (Thomas Nelson)      

    Jenny B. Jones – Just Between You and Me (Thomas Nelson)

    Beth Wiseman – Plain Promise (Thomas Nelson)        

    Cindy Woodmsall – The Hope of Refuge (Waterbrook Press) 


    A.K. Arenz – The Case of the Mystified M.D. (Sheaf House)   

    Mindy Starns Clark – Under the Cajun Moon (Harvest House Publishers)   

    Darlene Franklin – A String of Murders (Heartsong Mysteries)

    S. Dionne Moore – Polly Dent Loses Grip (Heartsong Mysteries)      

    Janice Thompson writing as Janice Hanna – Pushing up Daisies (Heartsong Mysteries)


    Long Historical

    Deeanne Gist – A Bride in the Bargain (Bethany House)

    Robin Lee Hatcher – Fit To Be Tied (Zondervan)         

    Maureen Lang – Look to the East (Tyndale House)

    Siri Mitchell – Love’s Pursuit (Bethany House)  

    Allison Pittman – Stealing Home (Multnomah)  


    Long Historical Romance

    8 Finalists due to a tie

    Amanda Cabot – Paper Roses (Revell)   

    Mary Connealy – Cowboy Christmas (Barbour Publishing)    

    Mary Connealy – Montana Rose (Barbour Publishing)

    Laura Frantz – The Frontiersman’s Daughter (Revell)  

    Ann Gabhart – The Believer (Revell)       

    Julie Lessman – A Passion Denied (Revell)      

    Janice Thompson writing as Janice Hanna – Love Finds You in Poetry, Texas (Summerside Press)

    Kathleen Y’Barbo – The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper (Waterbrook Press)


    Short Contemporary

    Debra Clopton – His Cowgirl Bride (Steeple Hill)

    Myra Johnson – Autumn Rains (Heartsong Presents) 

    Vickie McDonough – A Wagonload of Trouble (Heartsong Presents)

    Mae Nunn – A Texas Ranger’s Family (Steeple Hill)   

    Glynna Sirpless writing as Glynna Kaye – Dreaming of Home (Steeple Hill)


    Short Contemporary Suspense

    6 Finalists due to a tie

    Jill Elizabeth Nelson – Evidence of Murder (Steeple Hill)

    Sandra Robbins – Final Warning (Steeple Hill) 

    Virginia Smith – Murder at Eagle Summit (Steeple Hill)           

    Virginia Smith – Scent of Murder (Steeple Hill)  

    Jenness Walker – Double Take (Steeple Hill)    

    Lenora Worth – Code of Honor (Steeple Hill)


    Short Historical

    Lyn Cote – Her Patchwork Family (Steeple Hill)

    Laurie Alice Eakes – The Glassblower (Heartsong Presents) 

    Laurie Kingery – The Outlaw’s Lady (Steeple Hill)

    Lynette Sowell – All That Glitters (Heartsong Presents)

    Dan Walsh – The Unfinished Gift (Revell)          


    Speculative (includes Science Fiction, Fantasy, Allegory)

    6 Finalists due to a tie

    Kirk Outerbridge – Eternity Falls (Marcher Lord Press)

    Donita K. Paul – The Vanishing Sculptor (Waterbrook Press)

    Steve Rzasa – The Word Reclaimed (Marcher Lord Press)     

    Stuart Vaughn Stockton – Starfire (Marcher Lord Press)        

    Fred Warren – The Muse (Splashdown Books)

    Jill Williamson – By Darkness Hid (Marcher Lord Press)         



    Terri Blackstock – Intervention (Zondervan)

    Colleen Coble – Lonestar Secrets (Thomas Nelson)

    Brandilyn Collins – Exposure (Zondervan)       

    Harry Kraus – Salty Like Blood (Howard/Simon & Schuster)

    DiAnn Mills – Breach of Trust (Tyndale House)


    Women’s Fiction

    7 Finalists due to a tie

    Julie Carobini – Sweet Waters (B&H Publishing)

    Kathryn Cushman – Leaving Yesterday (Bethany House)     

    Sara Evans & Rachel Hauck – Sweet By and By (Thomas Nelson)  

    Rene Gutteridge & Cheryl McKay – Never the Bride (Waterbrook Press)

    Deborah Raney – Yesterday’s Embers (Howard/Simon & Schuster)

    Deborah Raney – Above All Things (Steeple Hill)

    Lisa Wingate – The Summer Kitchen (New American Library/Penguin)


    Young Adult

    Shelley Adina – Who Made You a Princess? (Hachette FaithWords)           

    Brandilyn & Amberly Collins – Always Watching (Zondervan)

    Jenny B. Jones – I’m So Sure (Thomas Nelson)           

    Jenny B. Jones – So Not Happening (Thomas Nelson)

    Booker T. Mattison – Unsigned Hype (Revell)    

    The Carol Awards will be presented at ACFW’s Conference in Indianapolis, September 17-20.  There’s still time to register at www.acfw.com/conference.

    2 thoughts on “ACFW Carol Award Finalists

    1. Congratulations Liz. I know you’re as excited as I am to be in this list. Only get one chance to be in the debut author category in your entire career. Wish you the best!

    2. SO cool! Good luck!


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