From Stephenie Meyer’s “The Chemist” and three books each by Dan Wells and H.B. Moore to a pair of books from Brandon Sanderson and Julie Berry’s “The Passion of Dolssa," which is a Printz Honor Book, 45 books by 36 authors have been named as finalists across nine categories for the 2016 Whitney Awards. The awards are for novels written by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during 2016.
The award for best novel is from the six adult categories, and one for best novel in youth fiction is chosen from the three youth categories.
This year, the romance category was split into contemporary romance and historical romance.
In the general fiction category, the finalists are “The Orphan Keeper” by Camron Wright, “When I’m Gone” by Emily Bleeker, “The Dragons of Alsace Farm” by Laurie Lewis, “The (Re)Model Marriage” by Maria Hoagland and “The Soldier’s Bride” by Rachelle J. Christensen.
The finalists in the historical fiction category are “From Sand and Ash” by Amy Harmon, “A Place for Miss Snow” by Jennifer Moore, “Exodus” and “Deliverance” by H.B. Moore and “Born to Treason” by E.B. Wheeler.
In the mystery/suspense category, the finalists are “Revenge in a Cold River” by Anne Perry, Meyer's “The Chemist,” “Slave Queen” by H.B. Moore and “Walk of Infamy” and “Pimpernel” by Sheralyn Pratt.
For the best contemporary romance novel, the finalists are “Southern Charmed” by Melanie Jacobson, “Love at First Note” by Jenny Proctor, “How I Met Your Brother” by Janette Rallison, “A Date with Danger” by Kari Iroz and “Love’s Shadow” by Nichole Van.
In the historical romance category, the finalists are “My Fair Gentleman” by Nancy Campbell Allen, “The Sheriffs of Savage Wells” by Sarah M. Eden, “Lady Helen Finds Her Song” by Jennifer Moore, “The Fall of Lord Drayson” by Rachael Anderson and “Willowkeep” by Julie Daines.
Finalists in the speculative fiction category are “Over Your Dead Body” and “Extreme Makeover” by Wells, “The Bands of Mourning” by Sanderson, “The Bird and the Sword” by Harmon and “The Longest Con” by Michaelbrent Collings.
For the best middle grade book, the finalists are “Summerlost” by Ally Condie, Rallison’s “The Wrong Side of Magic,” “Mysteries of Cove: Gears of Revolution” by J. Scott Savage, “Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood” by Liesl Shurtliff and “Ghostsitter” by Shelly Brown.
In the general young adult fiction category, the finalists are “The Serpent King” by Jeff Zentner, “P.S. I Like You” by Kasie West, “Blackhearts” by Nicole Castroman, “The Truth About Fragile Things” by Regina Sirois and Berry's “The Passion of Dolssa.”
In the speculative young adult fiction category, the finalists are Wells’ “Bluescreen,” Rallison’s “The Girl Who Heard Demons,” “Death Thieves” by Julie Wright, Sanderson's “Calamity” and “Beyond the Rising Tide” by Sarah Beard.
Castroman, Brown and Zentner are also eligible for the best novel by a new author award.
Members of the Whitney Awards academy and others in the industry will read the finalists and cast their ballots. Winners will be announced May 13 at the Whitney Awards gala at the Utah Valley Convention Center following the annual LDStorymakers writers conference. Whitney Awards gala tickets are available at whitneyawards.com.
The Whitney Awards were founded in 2007 by author Robison Wells, and they are named after early LDS apostle and writer Orson F. Whitney, according to a news release.
Outstanding Achievement and Lifetime Achievement Award winners will be announced soon and the recipients honored at the gala.
Last year, Josi S. Kilpack received the 2015 Whitney Award for best novel of the year for “Lord Fenton’s Folly.” The best youth novel of the year went Jennifer Nielsen for “A Night Divided” and Valynne E. Maetani took home the award for best novel by a new author for "Ink and Ashes."
Tracy and Laura Hickman received the Outstanding Achievement Award and Marsha Ward received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
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