Happy Monday (yet again), my friends! From today through Wednesday I’ll be spotlighting The Christy Award 2019 finalist books in each category – let’s continue on with general fiction! Some of the authors were gracious enough to answer a couple of questions for me so I’ve included their answers below as well.
The Christy Award® Gala 2019 is coming up on November 6th at Lipscomb University in Nashville, following The Art of Writing Conference. The Christy Award Dinner Gala will celebrate the art of Christian fiction, announce the 2019 winners of The Christy Award, and feature bestselling authors Patti Callahan, James Rubart and Becky Wade. In addition, they’ll honor the legacy of bestselling author and pioneer of inspirational fiction, Janette Oke, in the 40th anniversary year of Love Comes Softly. (You can still register to attend both events until the day of the conference/gala!)
If you can’t attend this year, watch the live stream HERE
And the finalists for General Fiction are….
NO ONE EVER ASKED
GENRE: General/Contemporary Fiction
RELEASE DATE: April 3, 2018
Challenging perceptions of discrimination and prejudice, this emotionally resonant drama for readers of Lisa Wingate and Jodi Picoult explores three different women navigating challenges in a changing school district—and in their lives.
When an impoverished school district loses its accreditation and the affluent community of Crystal Ridge has no choice but to open their school doors, the lives of three very different women converge: Camille Gray–the wife of an executive, mother of three, long-standing PTA chairwoman and champion fundraiser–faced with a shocking discovery that threatens to tear her picture-perfect world apart at the seams. Jen Covington, the career nurse whose long, painful journey to motherhood finally resulted in adoption but she is struggling with a happily-ever-after so much harder than she anticipated. Twenty-two-year-old Anaya Jones–the first woman in her family to graduate college and a brand new teacher at Crystal Ridge’s top elementary school, unprepared for the powder-keg situation she’s stepped into. Tensions rise within and without, culminating in an unforeseen event that impacts them all. This story explores the implicit biases impacting American society, and asks the ultimate question: What does it mean to be human? Why are we so quick to put labels on each other and categorize people as “this” or “that”, when such complexity exists in each person?
Award-winning author, Katie Ganshert, graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a degree in education, and worked as a fifth grade teacher for several years before staying home to write full-time. She was born and raised in the Midwest, where she lives with her family. When she’s not penning novels or spending time with her people, she does volunteer work for a non-profit that serves vulnerable women and children in her daughter’s birth country. You can learn more about Katie and her books by visiting her website or author Facebook page. You can learn more about her heart for vulnerable women and children by visiting Reeds of Hope, The Lokumu Project.
why do you write Christian Fiction?
CBA fiction is the genre I started reading voraciously in college when I first became a Christian. I was obsessed with Karen Kingsbury and Francine Rivers. My faith is such an integral part of who I am. So when I opened up a Word document one day to write a novel of my own, faith naturally wove itself throughout the story.
how have christy by catherine marshall & love comes softly by janette oke impacted you and/or your writing?
I’ve never read either book. But both novels and both authors have paved the way for this genre that I love, so even though I’m not familiar with the storylines, I can absolutely say they’ve impacted me greatly!
SEND DOWN THE RAIN
GENRE: General/Contemporary Fiction
PUBLISHER: Thomas Nelson
RELEASE DATE: May 8, 2018
Allie is still recovering from the loss of her family’s beloved waterfront restaurant on Florida’s Gulf Coast when she loses her second husband to a terrifying highway accident. Devastated and losing hope, she shudders to contemplate the future—until a cherished person from her past returns.
Joseph has been adrift for many years, wounded in both body and spirit and unable to come to terms with the trauma of his Vietnam War experiences. Just as he resolves to abandon his search for peace and live alone at a remote cabin in the Carolina mountains, he discovers a mother and her two small children lost in the forest. A man of character and strength, he instinctively steps in to help them get back to their home in Florida. There he will return to his own hometown—and witness the accident that launches a bittersweet reunion with his childhood sweetheart, Allie.
When Joseph offers to help Allie rebuild her restaurant, it seems the flame may reignite—until a forty-five-year-old secret begins to emerge, threatening to destroy all hope for their second chance at love.
In Send Down the Rain, Charles Martin proves himself to be a storyteller of great wisdom and compassion who bears witness to the dreams we cherish, the struggles we face, and the strengths we must summon when life seems to threaten what we hold most dear.
Charles Martin is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirteen novels. He and his wife, Christy, live in Jacksonville, Florida. Visit him at his website.
WE HOPE FOR BETTER THINGS
GENRE: General Fiction
RELEASE DATE: January 1, 2019
When Detroit Free Press reporter Elizabeth Balsam meets James Rich, his strange request–that she look up a relative she didn’t know she had in order to deliver an old camera and a box of photos–seems like it isn’t worth her time. But when she loses her job after a botched investigation, she suddenly finds herself with nothing but time.
At her great-aunt’s 150-year-old farmhouse, Elizabeth uncovers a series of mysterious items, locked doors, and hidden graves. As she searches for answers to the riddles around her, the remarkable stories of two women who lived in this very house emerge as testaments to love, resilience, and courage in the face of war, racism, and misunderstanding. And as Elizabeth soon discovers, the past is never as past as we might like to think.
Debut novelist Erin Bartels takes readers on an emotional journey through time–from the volatile streets of 1960s Detroit to the Underground Railroad during the Civil War–to uncover the past, confront the seeds of hatred, and discover where love goes to hide.
Erin Bartels is the author of We Hope for Better Things and The Words between Us, which was a finalist for the 2015 Rising Star Award from the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Her short story “This Elegant Ruin” was a finalist in The Saturday Evening Post 2014 Great American Fiction Contest. Her poems have been published by The Lyric and The East Lansing Poetry Attack. A member of the Capital City Writers Association and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, she is former features editor of WFWA’s Write On! magazine and current director of the annual WFWA Writers Retreat in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She lives with her husband and son in Lansing, nestled somewhere between angry protesters on the Capitol lawn and couch-burning frat boys at Michigan State University. And yet, she claims it is really quite peaceful.Visit her at her website.
why do you write Christian Fiction?
I did not set out to write Christian Fiction. Rather, I write fiction as a Christian. I feel called by God to use my gifts and talents to tell impactful stories informed by a Christian worldview, but readers often find my books are not the typical Christian Fiction they are used to. Hopefully my stories cause a wide range of readers from different backgrounds, belief systems, and experiences to think hard about what matters in life, ask themselves the difficult questions, and seek out more light while it can be found.
The Christy Award/ECPA is offering one of my readers ALL the finalist books in one category of your choice. (US only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? Which of these The Christy Award general fiction finalists are on your TBR list? Which have you already read?