SALT LAKE CITY — Traci Hunter Abramson’s “Safe House” is the 2017 Whitney Award winner of best novel of the year from the adult fiction categories and Emily R. King’s “The Hundreth Queen” is the youth novel of the year, according to the winners list on the Whitney Awards website at whitneyawards.com. The awards were presented Saturday, May 5, at a gala in Provo.
Fifty-one novels, the works of 50 authors, were named as finalistsacross 10 categories for the awards that recognize novels by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is the 10th anniversary of the Whitney Awards.
In “Safe House,” a SEAL team and CIA operatives team up with a group of people code-named the Guardians, who work to protect agents of government organizations around the world, to find who is targeting those in the Guardians program. It also won the Whitney Award for best mystery/suspense novel.
In “The Hundreth Queen,” a young adult fantasy novel, Kalinda, an unlikely orphan, is selected to become the Rajah Tarek’s 100th and final wife. She finds she must survive a tournament the wives and courtesans are forced to compete in for rank as she discovers she has strong, though prohibited, powers. It is also the best novel by a debut author.
In the youth categories, “By Your Side” by Kasie West won the young adult general category. “Ones and Zeroes” by Dan Wells and “Blood Rose Rebellion” by Rosalyn Eves were the winners in the young adult speculative and young adult fantasy categories, respectively.
In the middle-grade category, “Paper Chains” by Elaine Vickers won the Whitney Award.
In the adult categories, “The Fifth Doll” by Charlie N. Holmberg won in the speculative fiction category. “Love Remains,” part of Sarah M. Eden’s Hope Springs series, won in the historical romance category, and “Lies Jane Austen Told Me” by Julie Wright won in the romance category.
Author Robison Wells received the Outstanding Achievement Award. He founded the Whitney Awards in 2007 and is the past president of the Whitney Wards. Wells also has several mental illnesses, which he has frequently spoken about.
The Whitney Awards were founded by Wells in 2007 and named after early LDS apostle Orson F. Whitney.
The deadline to nominate a novel by a Mormon author published in 2018 for a 2018 Whitney Award is Dec. 31. Nominations can be made online at whitneyawards.com.