And the Winner Is…

For those of you who don’t know, the Christy Awards are like the Oscars of Christian fiction. Last night the winners were announced in nine categories. Congratulations!

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Breach of Trust by DiAnn Mills • Tyndale House Publishers
Paige Rogers survived every CIA operative’s worst nightmare—a covert mission gone terribly wrong…a betrayal by the one man she thought she could trust. Forced to disappear to protect the lives of her loved ones, Paige has spent years building a quiet life as a small-town librarian. But the day a stranger comes to town and starts asking questions, Paige knows her careful existence has been shattered. He is coming after her again, and this time, he intends to silence her for good.

Award-winning author DiAnn Mills launched her career in 1998 with the publication of her first book. Since then, she has written more than fifteen novels and many novellas, and more than one and a half million copies of her books are in print. DiAnn lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband.

CONTEMPORARY SERIES

Who Do I Talk To? by Neta Jackson • Thomas Nelson
Gabrielle Fairbanks knew her husband was upset with her, but she never expected him to change the locks on their Chicago penthouse, cancel her credit cards, and disappear with their two boys. Now she’s literally on the streets with her elderly mother, her mom’s dog…and $220 to her name. As her fragile plans fall apart, Gabby hits on a possibility so wild and wonderful it has to be one of those “God things,” something she’s only seen happen to other Christians until now.

Neta Jackson’s award-winning YADA YADA books have sold over 400,000 copies and are spawning prayer groups across the country. She and her husband, Dave, are also an award-winning writing team, best known for the TRAILBLAZER BOOKS—a 40-volume series of historical fiction with 1.5 million in sales—and HERO TALES: A FAMILY TREASURY OF TRUE STORIES FROM THE LIVES OF CHRISTIAN HEROES (vols. 1-4). The Jacksons live in the Chicago metropolitan area, where the YADA YADA stories are set.

CONTEMPORARY STANDALONE

The Passion of Mary-Margaret by Lisa Samson • Thomas Nelson
When Mary-Margaret Fischer met Jude Keller, the lightkeeper’s son, she was studying at convent school on a small island off Chesapeake Bay. Destined for a life as a religious sister, she nevertheless felt a pull toward Jude—rough and tumble, promiscuous Jude. As Mary-Margaret returns to the island to prepare for her final vows, Jude, too, returns to the island, dissolute and hardened. Mary-Margaret receives a divine call that shakes her to the core, a call to give up her dreams for the troubled man who befriended her so long ago. For Jesus’ sake, can she forsake the only life she ever wanted for a love that could literally cost her life?

Lisa Samson is the award-winning author of twenty-six books including Quaker Summer, Christianity Today’s Novel of 2008, and Justice in the Burbs, which she co-wrote with her husband, Will. When not at home in Kentucky with her three children, one cat, and six chickens, she operates cuppa: a tea café and speaks around the country about writing and social justice, encouraging the people of God to “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.”

FIRST NOVEL

Fireflies in December by Jennifer Erin Valent • Tyndale House Publishers
Jessilyn Lassiter never knew hatred could lurk in the human heart until her best friend, Gemma, loses her parents in a tragic fire during the summer of 1932. Jessilyn’s father vows to care for Gemma as one of his own, despite the fact that she is black and prejudice is prevalent in their southern Virginia town. Violence springs up as a ragtag band of Ku Klux Klan members unite and decide to take matters into their own hands.

Jennifer Erin Valent lives in Central Virginia, where she has worked as a nanny for more than fifteen years. A lifelong resident of the South, her surroundings help to
color the scenes and characters she writes.

HISTORICAL

Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin • Bethany House Publishers: a
Division of Baker Publishing Group
When Harriet Sherwood finds herself in jail, she spends the night contemplating the series of events that resulted in her imprisonment. Coming from a long line of women active in social justice, she weighs her values against her ancestors’, searching for where she belongs in that strong and thrilling heritage.

Lynn Austin has won five Christy Awards for her historical fiction. One of those novels, Hidden Places, was made into a Hallmark Channel movie. Lynn and her husband have raised three children and make their home near Chicago, Illinois.

HISTORICAL ROMANCE

The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen • Bethany House Publishers: a
Division of Baker Publishing Group
Olivia Keene is fleeing her own secret; she never intended to overhear Lord Bradley’s! Now he has given her a job and confined her to his estate, for if his secret were to be revealed, he would lose his reputation, his inheritance, and his very home.

Julie Klassen is a fiction editor who has worked on both the editorial and marketing sides of book publishing. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her husband and two sons.

SUSPENSE

Lost Mission by Athol Dickson • Howard Books: a Division of Simon &
Schuster
Athol Dickson’s latest novel, Lost Mission, weaves a gripping story of suspense that spans centuries and cultures to explore the abiding possibility of miracles. As the ruins of a Spanish Mission are disturbed twelve generations after it collapsed atop the supernatural evidence of a shocking crime, one community’s understanding of morality, sin, and faith is challenged by that haunting secret.

Athol Dickson is an award-winning author of several novels, including the Christy Award-winning novel River Rising, which was named one of the “Top Ten Christian Novels of 2006.”

VISIONARY

By Darkness Hid by Jill Williamson • Marcher Lord Press
Young Achan Cham dreams of serving in the Kingsguard Knights, but he is a stray—
worse than a slave—and such aspirations are out of his reach. Worse, Achan is beginning to hear strange voices in his head.

Jill Williamson writes stories that combine danger, suspense, and adventure for people of all ages. She started Novel Teen Book Reviews (www.novelteen.com) to help teens find great books to read. Williamson lives in Oregon with her husband and two children. By Darkness Hid is her first novel.

YOUNG ADULT

North! Or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson • WaterBrook Multnomah
Publishing Group
In Book Two of the WINGFEATHER SAGA, escape with Janner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby as they flee north, to the Ice Prairies, where they will be safe from the cruel Fangs of Dang. But first they have to survive the dangers along the way—and the dangers within themselves. Andrew Peterson delivers more breathtaking adventure in this tale for all ages.

Andrew Peterson is the author of Christy finalist On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, Book One in the WINGFEATHER SAGA, and The Ballad of Matthew’s Begats. He’s also the critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter and recording artist of ten albums. He and his wife live with their two sons and one daughter near Nashville, Tennessee.