Brekke Felt
The 2017 Whitney Awards winners are, back row from left: Dan Wells, author of "Ones and Zeroes" in the young adult speculative fiction category; Heather B. Moore, author of "Condemn Me Not" in the historical category; Emily R. King, author of “The Hundreth Queen” for youth novel of the year and best novel by a debut author; Traci Hunter Abramson, author of “Safe House”for best novel of the year from the adult fiction categories; and Tyson Abaroa, author of "The Fattest Mormon" in the general fiction category. Front row, from left: Rosalyn Eves, author of "Blood Rose Rebellion," winner in the young adult fantasy category; Elaine Vickers, author of "Paper Chains" in the middle grade fiction category; Julie Wright, author of "Lies Jane Austen Told to Me" in the romance category; and Sarah M. Eden, author of "Love Remains" in the historical romance category. Not pictured are Charlie Holmberg, author of "The Fifth Doll" in the speculative fiction category; and Kasie West, author of "By Your Side" in the young adult general fiction category.

Forty-five novels, the work of some 40 authors, are finalists across nine genre categories for the 2018 Whitney Awards. The awards are for novels by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during 2018.

The award for best novel is from the five adult categories and the one for best youth novel is chosen from the four youth categories. This year, the general fiction and historical fiction categories were combined, according to information from the Whitney Committe.

In the general fiction category, the finalists are “As Wide as the Sky” by Jessica Pack (Josi Kilpack's pen name), “The Other Side of the Bridge” by Camron Wright, “The Unlikely Master Genius” by Carla Kelly, “One Candle” by Gale Sears and “Anna the Prophetess” by H.B. Moore.

For best contemporary romance, the finalists are “Perfect Set” by Melanie Jacobson, “Love at Lakewood Med” by TJ Amberson, “Silver Star” by Lisa Swinton, “Match Me if You Can” by Lindzee Armstrong and Moore’s “Until We Kissed.”

The finalists in the historical romance category are Kilpack’s “Promises and Primroses,” “My Sister's Intended” by Rachael Anderson, “Seeing Miss Heartstone” by Nichole Van, “The Truth about Miss Ashbourne” by Joanna Barker and “Flame and Ember” by M.A. Nichols.

In the mystery/suspense category, the finalists are “The Darkling Bride” by Laura Andersen, “Second Look” by Julie Coulter Bellon, “A Familiar Fear” by Kathi Oram Peterson, “Tripwire” by Traci Hunter Abramson and “Conviction” by Robbin J. Peterson.

The finalists in the speculative fiction category are “Veins of Gold” by Charlie N. Holmberg, “The Arawn Prophecy” by C. David Belt, “Witchy Winter” by D.J. Butler, “Aether Spark: Book One of the Clockwork Calamity” by Nicholas Petrarch and “Chaos Queen — Blood Requiem” by Christopher Husberg.

In the young adult general fiction category, the finalists are “Shoot the Moon” by Kate Watson, “Once I Was a Beehive” by Carol Lynch Williams, “The Awful Wonderful Story of Us” by Jolene Perry, “Girl at the Grave” by Teri Bailey Black and “Good Girls Stay Quiet” by Jo Cassidy.

The finalists in the young adult fantasy category are “Iron Garland” by Jeff Wheeler, “Stolen Enchantress” by Amber Argyle, Holmberg’s "The Plastic Magician,” “The Traitor's Game” by Jennifer A. Nielsen and “Frozen Reign” by Kathryn Purdie.

In the young adult speculative fiction category, the finalists are “Blood Creek Witch” by Jay Barnson, “First Kisses Suck (Minnie-Kim: Vampire Girl)” by Ali Cross, “In Her Dreams” by Joanna Reeder, “Shatter the Suns” by Caitlin Sangster and Cassidy’s “Willow Marsh.”

For the best middle grade novel, the finalists are “Grump: The (Fairly) True Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” by Liesl Shurtliff, Nielsen’s “Resistance,” “Squint” by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown, “Passage to Avalon” by Mike Thayer and “The Three Rules of Everyday Magic” by Amanda Rawson Hill.

Barker, Black, Barnson, Hill, Thayer, Reeder and Petrarch are eligible for best novel by a new author.

The winners will be presented at the 2018 Whitney Awards Gala on Friday, May 10, at the Provo Marriott.

Last year, Hunter’s “Safe House” was the 2017 Whitney Award winner for novel of the year and Emily R. King’s “The Hundreth Queen” was the youth novel of the year.

Nominations for the Whitney Awards are open for any reader. Panels of judges select five finalists in each category, according to a news release. Winners are then selected by an academy of industry professionals, including authors, publishers, bookstore owners, distributors, critics and others.

The Whitney Awards were founded in 2007 by author Robison Wells, and they are named after early apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and writer Orson F. Whitney, according to a news release.

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“What began as a way to encourage quality in a relatively small community of writers,” Wells stated in a news release, “now includes New York Times best-selling authors, as well as self-published and first-time novelists. It’s exciting to see the awards grow and expand the way they have.”

Wells received the Outstanding Achievement Award last year.

For more information on the Whitney Awards, to nominate a book, or for information on tickets to the Whitney Awards Gala, visit www.WhitneyAwards.com.