Wednesday, January 23, 2013

And the 2012 Books of Hope Winners Are ...

This week, we've tested the patience of many writers - not on purpose, but out of necessity - as we've tallied the scores from the 2012 Books of Hope finalists.

The 2012 Books of Hope Nonfiction category had few entries, so we named only two finalists back in the fall. One of those entries was disqualified when we learned the submitted book had previously been published. So we declared the other nonfiction finalist a winner by default - but it is indeed well-deserved! The winner receives a cash prize of $500 and a contract for publication of her winning series. We're keeping her busy - she's contracted to write several series for us, so keep an eye out for all her latest releases!

Congratulations to:

2012 Books of Hope Nonfiction Winner
Dianne E. Butts
Days of Hope Series

First Peter 3:15 instructs us to, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” Who was Peter talking to? What hope was he referring to that they have?

Paul told the Sanhedrin, “I stand on trial because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead.” Why would he be on trial for hope?

In Romans 5:2 Paul said, “We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” What did he mean by that? What did he mean when he said “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:4)?

Paul claimed “hope does not disappoint us” (Romans 5:5). Today many people feel disappointed and hopeless. They need hope. But what kind of hope is the Bible talking about? Where do we find it? How do we get it?

The Days of Hope series will explore what the Bible has to say about “hope.”

Book 1: 50 Days of Hope from the New Testament

In challenging times, where can we find hope that lasts? Does it exist? If it does, how can we get it?
Explore 50 occurrences of the word “hope” in the New Testament and discover what followers of Jesus Christ have to say about hope. Why was Paul on trial because of his “hope in the resurrection of the dead”? Why did Peter instruct us to “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have”? 
Discover what they learned about hope, and let hope fill your days. 

About Dianne:

Dianne E. Butts is a freelance writer, author, and screenwriter. Her book, Deliver Me, for those in an unplanned pregnancy or with one in their past, is a Christian Small Publishers Association “Book of the Year” award winner and inspired her first short film: 

In 2012, she co-authored Grandparenting Through Obstacles: Overcoming Family Challenges to Reach Your Grandchildren for Christ with Renee Gray-Wilburn. That book was recently named the 2012 Book of the Year by The Book Club Network. Also in 2012, Pix-N-Pens published the first in her Prophecies Fulfilled Series - Prophecies Fulfilled in the Birth of Jesus released in November. The second book, Prophecies Fulfilled in the Death and Resurrection of Jesus will release early this spring, and her first novel will be released later this year. 

Dianne learned just last week that her latest screenplay is a finalist for the Kairos Prize for Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays. We're so excited for her!

Find Dianne on the Web:

Twitter: @DianneEButts

Now we're thrilled to announce one winner and two runners-up in the Books of Hope Fiction contest.

The Winner receives a cash prize of $500 and a contract for publication of her three-book series. The two runners-up each receive a contract for publication of their respective series. We're so excited about these books and can't wait to share them with all of you!

Congratulations to:

2012 Books of Hope Fiction Winner
Marie Coutu
The Mended Vessels Series

Stories of Finding Significance after Brokenness

The three novels in this series, loosely based on Biblical women, reveal how God takes broken lives and restores them to usefulness. The stories of Queen Esther, the Samaritan woman at the well, and Bathsheba—re-imagined in contemporary terms—demonstrate how the principles of God’s love still apply today. Each is a stand-alone story but the three books are connected by their themes of restoration, forgiveness, and hope through stories of women who find significance in spite of their pasts.

We'll share more about Marie's books very soon - the first in the series will release in June!

About Marie:

Marie Wells Coutu, a debut novelist, has written for business, government, and nonprofit organizations, including the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for the past fourteen years. The author or editor of five published nonfiction books and hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, she has edited devotionals and other books published by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. She manages an inspirational website,, where she and others blog, review books, and offer inspiration and encouragement.

She has been a finalist in the 2009 ACFW Genesis Contest, 2010 Women of Faith Writing Contest, and placed as a Bronze Medalist in the 2011 and 2012 Frasier Awards sponsored by My Book Therapy.

A graduate of the 2005 and 2008 She Speaks conferences sponsored by Proverbs 31 Ministries, she has spoken to church, ministry, and non-religious groups ranging in size from twenty to three hundred. She presents dramatic readings to church groups, and has been interviewed for newspapers, radio, and television.

She holds BA and MA degrees in journalism from Murray State University (Kentucky), and taught journalism and mass communications at St. Cloud State University (Minnesota). She and her husband live in South Carolina and have two children and three grandchildren.

Marie is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and served as president of the local chapter, Carolina Christian Writers. She has held various leadership roles for government communicators’ associations and the local historical commission.

You can find Marie on the Web:

Twitter:  @MWCoutu

2012 Books of Hope Fiction Runner-Up
Mary Annslee Urban
Faithful Counsel Chronicles

Faithful Counsel Chronicles is an inspirational romance series. The trilogy consists of  In Love’s Defense, Crimson Ties and Ivy’s Touch. The stories take place in Chicago and revolve around a team of attorneys and the Harrison women they love.

Book One: In Love’s Defense, law student Matti Harrison doesn’t have a say in her law clerk position. She plans to devote her career to help underprivileged women and children, so a high-profile law firm who specializes in litigation doesn’t interest her in the least.

Brought up in a grass-roots middle class family, Matti is intimidated by the social elite. She knows better than to fall into a lifestyle of what her father calls cloned arrogance. So she approaches the clerkship position with one objection―get through the sixteen weeks so she can graduate. The last thing she expects is to fall for her mentor, attorney, Brock Pennington.

Brock, the rising star of the firm nurses a grudge with God because of the death of his mother. Not only was his mother’s death untimely, Brock believes that his Bible-toting step-father’s abuse pushed his mother into a severe depression that eventually led to her overdose. Now Brock has no tolerance for Christians. That is until Matti Harrison steps into his life.

Watch for more information about the upcoming release of In Love's Defense.

About Mary:

Mary Annslee Urban grew up watching old-time romance movies, which she attributes to her passion for sweet romance, true love and happy endings. A daydreamer at heart, Mary began her writing journey when the youngest of her five children started school. For several years she worked as a freelance writer for newspapers in her community and has written for magazines and online publications.

Raised in the foothills of Arizona, she survived temperature shock when she moved to Western Pennsylvania, before setting in North Carolina with her husband and children. Aside from writing, Mary works part-time as a Registered Nurse in the Behavioral Health field. She is a member of ACFW, and currently serves as vice-president of Carolina Christian Writers. Her two published novels are, Tapestry of Trust, released June 2012, and She Came to See the Snow~A Colorado Christmas Romance, November 2012.

When she isn’t writing, Mary enjoys cooking, traveling to faraway places, playing with grandbabies and all things chocolate.

Find Mary on the Web:

Amazon Author Central

2012 Books of Hope Fiction Runner-Up
Jerusha Agen
Sisters Redeemed Series

When they were kids, life for sisters NYE and ORIANA SANDERS seemed full of promise. Their parents gave them a happy Christian home in Harper, Pennsylvania, and encouraged them to pursue their dreams with confidence, unafraid of the future. But not long into adulthood, Nye is the first to discover that life isn’t the bed of roses they expected.


When tango dancer Nye Sanders lost what she loved most, she thought she would never survive the agony. Two years later, Nye has learned to live with the pain. She has a new career and life that have nothing to do with the world and faith she left behind. Not about to repeat mistakes of the past, Nye thinks she can dictate a painless future by staying within the walls of her emotional defenses. She doesn’t plan to meet a handsome lawyer or an elderly landowner—two men who will make her face love and the God she can’t forgive.

About Jerusha:

As a writer for more than a decade, Jerusha Agen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and works as a freelance editor. A long-time member of American Christian Fiction Writers, her fiction has appeared in Graphos, a literary journal, and she has had nonfiction articles published in various magazines and newsletters. In addition, she is a screenwriter, and several of her original scripts have been produced as films. Jerusha is also a film critic, with reviews featured at the website, 

You can find Jerusha on the Web:

Congratulations to all of the winners - and to all of the finalists. You made the selection process very difficult, because the quality of manuscripts we received was excellent!

Winners of the 2012 One Hope contest will be announced next month.

Don't forget - we've announced contests for this year, too! The theme for 2013 is JOY. In the Books of Joy contest, we're seeking series of three or more books; in the One Joy contest, we're seeking standalones; in the Christmas Joy contest, we're looking for Christmas themed books. Books can be fiction or nonfiction. Details are in this post.

(And there's still time to participate in our short story Valentine contest - but the deadline is next week, so you must hurry!)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Writing Opportunity for Valentine's Day!

Happy New Year!!

This week promises to be one of our busiest yet - I'll have announcements all week long. For those of you waiting on the Books of Hope winner announcement - I'm hoping we'll be able to do that by the end of next week!

Today's announcement is a fast one.

We want to publish an ebook of romantic short stories for Valentine's Day! Yes, it's fast, but I seem to like projects like that, don't I?

Heart Bouquets will be published February 14, 2013.

Here's what we're looking for:

* Clean, sweet, wholesome romances. No steamy love scenes, no erotica. We want clean, sweet, beautiful stories.

* If it has a natural Christian element to the story, that's great, but it is not a requirement.

* Word count should be in the 2000-5000 range, submitted in a Word document attached to the e-mail. Times New Roman font, size 12. Double spaced.

* Each story will stand on its own, but will be compiled with other stories into a single digital book.

* Deadline January 31, 2013. Earlier is preferred, as they will be read and scored as they arrive.

* Submit your story by the deadline to: editor [at] writeintegrity [dot] com, with a subject line of: Heart Bouquets Entry.

* Please include your 100-200 word bio with your entry, and links to your website(s). If you have published books, you may include one book cover image and link to that book.

* The story must be unpublished and original.

* The author can be published or not-yet published.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

More Exciting News to Start the Year!

Each month, The Book Club Network hosts a "Reader's Choice" award for Book of the Month. In the fall, A Familiar Shore won Book of the Month.

That win gave her an opportunity to compete for Book of the Year, and late last night, Book Fun Magazine announced the 2012 winners.

Congratulations to Jennifer Fromke - A Familiar Shore won 2nd place in Book of the Year!

Other books competing in the fiction category were:

Submerged by Dani Pettrey
Wildflowers from Winter by Katie Ganshert
Unexpected Christmas Hero by Kathi Macias

A HUGE thank you to everyone who voted - we so appreciate your time, your support, your encouragement.

To God be the Glory!!

P.S. The fun news continues over at the Pix-N-Pens blog! Come on over and celebrate with us about the nonfiction category, too!