Book Love, Christian non-fiction

Announcing the 2021 Selah Award nonfiction winners

For those of you who enjoy reading Christian nonfiction, books honored with Selah Awards are definitely worth a look. They’re announced as part of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, which is one of the best Christian writers conferences in the industry.

Last week I shared the 2021 Selah Award winners for Christian fiction. As promised, here’s the list of 2021 Selah Award nonfiction winners.


  • Third Place: Finding Hope in Crisis by Grace Fox
  • Second Place: Grief: The Unwanted Journey by Janet K. Johnson
  • First Place: Sunshine for the Soul by Linda Kozar (also named the 2021 Book of the Year for Nonfiction)

Inspiration and Gift

Christian Life

  • Third Place: Overcoming the Narcissist, Sociopath, Psychopath, and Other Domestic Abusers by Charlene D. Quint, J.D.
  • Second Place: Faith Wins: Overcoming a Crisis of Belief by Adam Groza
  • First Place: Extraordinary Hospitality for Ordinary Christians by Victoria Duerstock

General Nonfiction/Bible Studies

  • Third Place: Jewels of Hebrews by Stephanie Pavlantos
  • Second Place: Christianity in Plain Language by A. J. Speaks (Jim Precourt)
  • First Place: A Stand for Truth by John R. Michael and Harriet E. Michael


  • Third Place: Cross Addicted: Breaking Free from Family Trauma and Addiction by Paula Jauch
  • Second Place: Unleash Your God-given Healing by Ginny Dent Brant
  • First Place: Unwanted No More: From Exploited to Embraced by God by B.J. Garrett

Children’s Picture Books

2021 Directors’ Choice Award for Children’s Books

2021 Directors’ Choice Award for General Nonfiction

2021 Directors’ Choice Award for Devotionals

  • 365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments into Lasting Memories by Julie Lavender

I’ll admit that when I sit down to read, I’m usually looking for a fun escape with fiction rather than a nonfiction title (other than what I read during my devotional time). I need to do better with that and challenge myself to learn some new things. Do you tend to lean toward one more than the other?

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Book Love, Christian fiction

Find a new Christian author through the 2021 Selah Award fiction winners

One of the biggest and most respected conferences for Christian writers was last week: the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in North Carolina. They celebrate on the last night of the conference with the Selah Awards, which cover multiple categories of Christian fiction and nonfiction works that were published in the past year.

Books that win the Selah Award are definitely worth checking out, so I wanted to share them in case any look interesting to you.

This week I’m sharing the winners from the fiction categories, complete with links if you’d like to learn more. Next week I’ll share the nonfiction Selah Award winners. Happy browsing!

First Novel


Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Historical / Biblical Fiction

Historical Romance Fiction

Contemporary Romance Fiction

Romantic Suspense Fiction

Mystery/Suspense Fiction

Western Fiction

Speculative Fiction

General Fiction

YA Fiction

Middle Grade Fiction

What’s your favorite genre to read? I’ve added several of these titles to my own to-read list; would love to know if any look interesting to you.

If you’d like an even easier way to find new authors in the genres you enjoy, you can also sign up for my e-newsletter and get a free download of “75 Clean Fiction Authors Worth Reading.” It’s a great way to find a new favorite author this summer!

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Writing life

Contests, Conferences, & Catch-ups

It’s been way too long since I blogged, but it’s not because I haven’t had anything going on to write about. It’s because I’ve had so much going on that I haven’t had time to stop and write about it! Here’s the quick rundown, and I’ll aim to get back on track wtih regular posts.

Contests: I entered my work-in-progress in three contests this spring —  which was a big step up from only entering one, like I’ve done the past few years. The two new ones were sponsored by RWA chapters, which means they had some different criteria and were more focused on the romance beginning right up front. You meet my hero and heroine in the first chapter, but they don’t meet each other until a bit later on. That cost me some points, so is a good thing to remember the next time I’m looking at romance contests. I did get some great feedback and some of the judges were especially complimentary, so I can’t complain.

Conferences: I went to the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in May and had a fabulous time. Took great classes, made new writer friends, and enjoyed the beautiful Smokey Mountains. What more could I ask? The classes I took were all good, but my favorite had to be a 4-part continuing class with Angela Hunt called “The Sophisticated Novelist.” Not sure how sophisticated I am, but I sure learned a lot!

Catch-ups: When I went to Blue Ridge, my manuscript was just over 31,000 words. The exercises we did through various classes helped me rethink some things and have some new ideas for where things could go for different characters. I really want to keep moving with the story and watch that word count grow, but I decided to start from the beginning and rehash some things instead. Changing bits and pieces affects everything else! And it can be hard to whack some of those words I worked so hard to string together, but I think the story will be much better for it.

Stay tuned …

Writing life

Confession & Celebration

They (whoever ‘they’ might be) say confession is good for the soul, so here’s my stab at it for the moment.

I keep whacking the snooze button or — even worse — turning off the alarm altogether instead of getting up super early to work on my novel. Not every morning at least, but more than I should be and more than I want. So what’s a non-morning girl to do? Get up and do it anyway! I have a tendency to want to write the story straight through so if I get a bit hung up with a scene it can throw me off for a couple of days until I know the direction to go. Not good, considering I’d like to be MUCH further along with my draft when I go to the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference in May. I’m going to work on it a bit more tonight and force myself to get in some writing time before the rest of the family rolls out of bed in the morning.

Hmmm … that sounds like I’m forcing myself to write, which I’m not. I’m forcing myself to get up and do it so early. But I love starting the day with prayer and writing time, so need to remember that when the alarm squawks at 3:45. And yes, that’s AM, not PM. 🙂

OK, I feel better now, so on to the celebration. The same novel I’m having trouble working on so early in the morning actually has almost 24,000 words down! Woo hoo! That’s huge for me, especially considering that the most I’ve ever written on a story before is maybe 10 or 11k, tops. The scary part is I started out thinking I was shooting for about 75k. Considering where I am in the story and how much more I want to include, I can already see that I’ll pass right by 75k (someday!). Who would’ve thought?! I need to change the little word count bar in the margin even though my ‘percent complete’ is about to bottom out. Oh well, it’s gotta happen sometime so it might as well be now.

Maybe if I pat myself on the back hard enough it’ll knock me out of bed in the morning and get me going. Ya think?