Last Saturday, April 24th, the third annual Whitney Awards Gala for 2009 was held at the Marriot Hotel in Provo, Utah, with some of the top LDS writers in attendance both as finalists and as presenters.
The Whitneys are an award program set up to encourage excellence in LDS writers. The organization was named after Elder Orson F. Whitney, an early apostle in the LDS church who prophesied “We will yet have Miltons and Shakespeares of our own.”
Readers are invited to submit their favorite novels published during the current year for consideration as possible Whitney Award Finalists. Five finalists are chosen in each of the following five categories: General Fiction, Romance, Suspense/Mystery, Speculative Fiction, Youth Fiction, Historical, Best Novel of the Year, and Best Novel by a New Author.
This year’s winner for Youth Fiction is The Chosen One by Carol Lynn Williams. It tells the story of a 13-year-old girl growing up in a polygamous community where the prophet has decreed that she must marry her 60 year old uncle. This novel is the kind of book that you can’t set down, yet makes you angry. Williams pulls you into her world and keeps you prisoner there until the very last page.
This year’s winner for Speculative Fiction Servant of a Dark God by John Brown. Servant of a Dark God is the first book in a gripping fantasy series. Full of dark magic, strange creatures and monsters, this book tells the story of a land where the days of a person’s life can be harvested, bought and stolen. An epic tale of good versus evil, this book is a must read for any true fantasy fanatic.
The winner for Romance this year is a wonderful book that we ran a few weeks back by >Liz Adair called Counting the Cost. A romance set in the ranch country of New Mexico, Adair manages to keep a gritty air of realism to her story while at the same time weaving in the tender strands of romance. This book is well written and engaging from page one.
The best Suspense/Mystery award for 2009 went to Stephanie Black for her thriller
Method’s of Madness. Incidentally Black also won the 2008 Suspense/Mystery category for her first novel
Fool Me Twice. Black has skill for weaving a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat, with more twists and turns than a mountain road. Its fine writers like Black that keep the bar high for LDS mystery writers. If you’re looking for an exciting and intense suspense novel with a touch of romance, then this is the book for you.
More next week