I’m thrilled and gratified that the judges connected with Willa’s story so deeply. Connecting with readers has been a joy these past months since Burning Sky’s release.
Here's what the judges had to say of the book (thank you, Nike, Kenneth & Cathy!):
BURNING SKY by Lori Benton is a captivating
historical epic novel. The characters, even the secondary and minor ones, feel believable and authentic to the post-Revolutionary War period. Many of whom bear deep and painful scars due to the brutal battles on the frontier, with both the British and Americans having committed atrocities. Ms. Benton moves the characters from one element of the story to the next with great skill. The author did a superb job when Burning Sky, who had been captured by northern New York State tribes, returns home to her family’s cabin and transitions back to thinking and speaking more and more in English as she tries to resume her former identity as Willa Obenchein. Neil MacGregor and Joseph Tames His Horse, two very different men, with dissimilar strengths, both devout Christians, vie for the love of Willa/Burning Sky. The author does a marvelous job keeping the reader guessing how this love-triangle will turn out. The villains are not stereotypes, but rather are well fleshed out. One of them skillfully and horrifically manipulates events. While his younger brother, who has developmental challenges, is a touching character crafted with depth. ~~ Judges: Nike Chillemi (Team Leader), Kenneth G. Winters, Catherine West
Congratulations to the full list of winners.
Women's Fiction/General Fiction: THE BELOVED DAUGHTER by Alana Terry
Romance/Historical Romance: FINDING BETH by Linnette R. Mullin
Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller: THE RISING by Lynne Chandler Willis
Speculative Fiction: MERLIN’S BLADE by Robert Treskillard
Young Adult: THE REVISED LIFE OF ELLIE SWEET by Stephanie Morrill
Details on each book can be found here.
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** The Grace Awards are reader driven awards for excellence in faith-based literature.