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Brekke Felt, Felt Photography
Finalists for the 2016 Whitney Awards at the gala on May 13, 2017.

Amy Harmon’s “From Sand and Ash” received the 2016 Whitney Award for Best Novel of the Year and Ally Condie’s “Summerlost” won Best Youth Novel of the Year during the gala on May 13, according to whitneyawards.com.

Forty-five books by 36 authors were named finalists across nine categories for the awards that recognize novels by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published during 2016.

“From Sand and Ash,” published by Amazon’s Lake Union Press imprint, follows Eva Rosselli, who is Italian and of Jewish descent, and her best friend Angelo Bianco, who is American, raised in Italy and became a priest, and their efforts to help Jews through the German occupation during World War II era. It was also named Best Historical Novel.

In “Summerlost,” 12-year-old Cedar Lee and her family move to her mother’s hometown of Iron City the summer after her father and one of her younger brothers died in a car accident and she makes friends with a boy who works at the local Shakespeare festival who is working to solve a mystery. It also won in the middle-grade category.

In the youth categories, “The Passion of Dolssa” by Julie Berry won in the Young Adult General category and “Calamity” by Brandon Sanderson won in the Youth Speculative Fiction category.

In the adult categories, “Orphan Keeper” by Camron Wright won in the general category, Sanderson’s “Bands of Mourning” won in the speculative category and “Pimpernel” by Sheralyn Pratt won in the mystery/suspense category. In the contemporary romance category, “Love at First Note” by Jenny Proctor won and “My Fair Gentleman” by Nancy Campbell Allen won in the historical romance category.

“The Serpent King” by Jeff Zentner was named Best Debut Novel.

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Liz Adair and Marilyn Brown received the Outstanding Achievement Awards. Adair, the author of more than a dozen novels is active in is American Night Writers Association, LDStorymakers and Red Rock Writers, according to her website at sezlizadair.blogspot.com.

Brown is the author of novels, short stories, poems and stage musicals and she and her husband established the Villa Playhouse Theatre in Springville, according to her website at marilynbrownauthor.com.

The Whitney Awards were founded by author Robison Wells in 2007 and named after early LDS apostle Orson F. Whitney.

The deadline to nominate a novel by a Mormon author published in 2017 for a 2017 Whitney Award is Dec. 31. Nominations can be made online at whitneyawards.com.