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51 novels announced as Whitney Award finalists

Fifty-one novels, the works of some 50 authors, are finalists across 10 genre categories for the 2018 Whitney Awards. The awards are for novels written by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during 2017.

The award for best novel is from the six adult categories, and one for best novel in the youth fiction is chosen from the four youth categories. This year, the young adult speculative fiction category has been split into the young adult speculative fiction and young adult fantasy categories.

In the general fiction category, the finalists are “Carve Me a Melody” by Rachelle Christensen, “Flight of the Wounded Falcon” by Trish Mercer, “Gilda Trillim: Shepherdess of Rats” by Steven Peck, “The Book of Laman” by Mette Harrison and “The Fattest Mormon” by Tyson Abaroa.

The finalists in the historical fiction category are “Condemn Me Not” by Heather B. Moore, “Courting Carrie in Wonderland” by Carla Kelly, “Defiance” by A.L. Sowards, “The Proud Shall Stumble” by Gerald Lund and “Waiting for the Light” by Carol Pratt Bradley.

In the mystery/suspense category, the finalists are “Clear Expectations” by Terri Reid, “Deadly Inheritance” by Clair Poulson, “Safe House” by Traci Hunter Abramson, “The Capture” by Julie Coulter Bellon and “The Killing Curse” by H.B. Moore.

For best contemporary romance novel, the finalists are “Brush with Love” by Lisa McKendrick, “Lies Jane Austen Told Me” by Julie Wright, “Mormon Girl Incognito” by Kari Iroz, “Outshine” by Nichole Van and “Wrong for You” by Jenny Proctor.

In the historical romance category, the finalists are “Havencross” by Julie Daines, “Love Remains” by Sarah M. Eden; “Petticoat Spy” by Carol Warburton, “Ruth” by H.B. Moore and “The Secret of the India Orchid” by Nancy Campbell Allen.

The finalists in the speculative fiction category are Melissa McShane’s “Abounding Might” and “Pretender to the Crown,” “Fallen Stone” by Jana S. Brown, “The Fifth Doll” by Charlie Holmberg and “The Queen and the Cure” by Amy Harmon.

In the young adult general fiction category, there are six finalists. They are Kasie West’s “By Your Side” and “Love, Life and the List,” “All the Forever Things” by Jolene Perry, “Goodbye Days” by Jeff Zentner, “Remember Me Always” by Renee Collins and “The Duke of Bannerman Prep” by Katie Nelson.

The finalists in the young adult speculative fiction category are “Beyond” by Catina Haverlock and Angela Larkin, “Last Star Burning” by Caitlin Sangster, “Ones and Zeroes” by Dan Wells, “The Hundredth Queen” by Emily King and “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World” by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale.

In the young adult fantasy category, the finalists include “Blood Rose Rebellion” by Rosalyn Eves, “Crystal Blade” by Kathryn Purdie, “Dark Breaks the Dawn” by Sara B. Larson, “Daughter of the Pirate King” by Tricia Levenseller and “Poison’s Kiss” by Breeana Shields.

The finalists for middle grade fiction are “Mustaches for Maddie” by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown, “Mysteries of Cove: Embers of Destruction” by J. Scott Savage, “Paper Chains” by Elaine Vickers, “The Emperor’s Ostrich” by Julie Berry and “Wrath of the Storm” by Jennifer Nielsen.

Nelson, Eves, Shields, Sangster, Haverlock and Larkin, Abaroa, Levenseller and King 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 at the 10th Whitney Awards Gala on May 5 in Provo. Tickets to the gala are available at

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, 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, according to Zentner’s “The Serpent King” was named Best Debut Novel.

Liz Adair and Marilyn Brown received the Outstanding Achievement Awards.

Any reader can nominate novels for the Whitney Awards and panels of judges select five finalists in each category, according to a news release.

For information, see