Monday, April 29, 2019


Today is my birthday.

If ever there was a great day for a nerdy book blog post, today would be it.

I present to you my second nerdy Christian fiction awards post, all about the Carol Awards. The Carol Awards are handed out by the ACFW, American Christian Fiction Writers.  Self-published books that meet a certain criteria are eligible for Carol Awards so I’ve decided to someday win one. ;]

There were several Carol Winners which were also Christy winners so I went ahead and omitted the ones that were already shared in that post. The following Carol Winners have earned a place on my thirteen-mile-long to-read list:

Anything but Normal by Melody Carlson… I wish I would have known about this teen pregnancy book from a Christian perspective when I was a teen and utterly fascinated with the idea of writing a book on the subject!

Beaded Hope by Cathy Liggett… A South African trip that uncovers a group of women who smile and feel hope and joy in the face of the AIDS they are all ravaged by… this one could be really beautiful and inspiring or really hard to take! I think it sounds like the former though and I’m excited to give it a try.

Chateau of Secrets by Melanie Dobson… Another European WWII book… if you’ve been reading here for any great length of time, you might recall that I spent some time writing a WWII novel I didn’t ever plan to publish. Well what you don’t know is the full plot, a young woman taking a friend’s Jewish baby to raise as her own, tarnishing her reputation to save a life. I had fun writing this very emotional piece (as much fun as one can have while researching the horrors of the holocaust, anyway), and was shocked to see this book with a very similar plot! I can’t wait to read it and see how Melanie Dobson worked the same general idea into something completely separate from what I created!

Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes… When Jenny discovers she’s dying, she returns to the hometown she swore she’d never return to. There she will confront her grandmother, her father, and the man who doesn’t know he fathered her five-year-old daughter. Here she’ll come to terms with the ghosts that have haunted her for so long.

A Cry from the Dustby Carrie Stuart Parks… This is book one of the four-book Gwen Marcey series about a forensic artist. Book three also received a Carol Award. I’m definitely interested in the forensic artist angle! This one is about an 1857 Wagon Train murder she’s investigating and I’m very curious!

Evidence of Murder by Jill Elizabeth Nelson… A young woman finds photographs in her new store that could shed some light on an old murder investigation. She works with a surviving member of the family to find the killer before it’s too late…

Fallen Angel by Major Jeff Struecker… This is not at all my favorite kind of book… a space station falls into Syberia and a military operation is deployed to find it. But I do think there is a glaring lack of Christian fiction available to males and I am hopeful that this one will be good to offer to my teenage son someday!

The Feathered Bone by Julie Cantrell… This book was actually offered to me as a free review book not too long ago but I was on a non-fiction-only kick so I turned it down. Why, self, why?! Amanda is chaperoning her daughter’s sixth-grade field trip when another student goes missing. Amanda works to search for the girl in their rural Louisiana area, seeking hope and purpose in the wake of tragedy and loss. The Library Journal also says this was inspired by the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart.

Intervention by Terri Blackstock… Barbara stages an intervention for her drug-addicted daughter… but then her daughter disappears on her way to the rehab clinic and the interventionist is found dead at the airport. Barbara must find her daughter before it’s too late…

Like Moonlight at Low Tide by Nicole Quigley… This young adult novel was a recommended teen read by USA today and follows Melissa, a girl who has been bullied. Readers should beware it does deal with another teen’s suicide and the grief that results.

Secrets she Kept by Cathy Gohlke… This book just sounds so goooood! It’s a World War II timeslip novel about Hannah, who is diving into the past of her mother by visiting her grandfather in Germany. This one won a Christy Award too but I could swear I didn’t read this synopsis when I made my Christy list!

The Silent Order by Melanie Dobson… A detective goes into hiding after his partner is murdered and takes cover in a rural Amish community. He gets to know one young woman and is shocked to discover her secret, a secret which has haunted him for eight years. Just from the description I feel like, “What is it? What’s the secret?! I must know.”

A Simple Song by Melody Carlson… This is a young adult novel I’ll check out for my girls’ sakes… about a young Amish teen who secretly tries out for an American Idol-esque competition in hopes of winning and using the money to pay for a surgery her father desperately needs.

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