American Christian Fiction Writers
Angie Breidenbach

Angela Breidenbach is Mrs. Montana International 2009 working with the American Heart Association, the Jadyn Fred Foundation and drawing awareness to Fair Trade practices. She also serves as the American Christian Fiction Writer's Publicity Officer and is a multi-award winning inspirational author, speaker, and business owner. Angela is a Stephen Minister certified in mentor/peer counseling and Assisting Minister at her church. Angela supports the study of schizophrenia through awareness of brain donation. Not only did she walk the hard line of deciding to donate her mom's brain, but she is also on the brain donation list at the Brain Bank-Harvard McLean Hospital. She is married, has a combined family of six grown children, one grandson and lives in the Montana mountains. You can interact or learn more about Angela at these sites: (coming soon.)

September Is Special

The winners of the Genesis and Book of the Year contests will be announced at the American Christian Fiction Writers conference Saturday night award ceremony this month! All the talented finalists represent excellence in Christian fiction whether they win the top-of-the-mountain award or not.

The Genesis contest is for pre-published authors and the Book of the Year is for authors who are already published. Judges are volunteers from among their peers as well as agents and editors looking for new talent.

Hundreds of authors and publishing professionals come together every September at the annual conference to increase their knowledge of the craft, meet other professionals, and further their careers.

What’s it like to be an American Christian Fiction Writers member? Janice Thompson says, “I joined in 2002, I believe, and my publishing career took off, in part, because of the information I gleaned from fellow ACFW authors. They literally poured into my life, teaching me so very much. Talk about patient and caring! We are all dear friends to this day and have even authored a novella collection together. Through ACFW, I’ve had the opportunity to give back, at least as I’m able. I love, love, love helping ‘young’ authors.

“The thing I love the most, however, is the level playing field. It doesn’t matter if you’ve published forty books or you’re trying to get that first one published. ACFW gives everyone a chance to feel special, loved, and valuable. And here’s the truth... you are special, loved and valuable! Whether you ever publish a book or not. And it truly IS a level playing field when you’re standing shoulder to shoulder with fellow ACFW members.”

Are you an avid reader? Maybe you have been trying to discover where you fit in as an author. Or maybe, just maybe, you are looking for an excellent writer to learn from on your own path to publishing. Regardless, you will find them on these lists.

Print this article and take it to the nearest bookstore. As you read through these books, you’ll be uplifted, entertained, and inspired. Want to know who the winners are? Visit to find out after the conference. We’ll be releasing the results and you can compare them to your picks!

2009 American Christian Fiction Writers
Book of the Year Contest Finalists

Debut Author
A Passion Most Pure (Julie Lessman)
Courting Miss Adelaide (Janet Dean)
Every Good and Perfect Gift (Sharon K. Souza)
Hero, Second Class (Mitchell Bonds)
In the Shadow of the Sun King (Golden Keyes Parsons)

Faking Grace (Tamara Leigh)
Picket Fence Promises (Kathryn Springer)
Single Sashimi (Camy Tang)
Sweet Caroline (Rachel Hauck)
Truffles by the Sea (Julie Carobini)

Long Contemporary
Lookin’ Back, Texas (Leanna Ellis)
One Holy Night (J.M. Hochstetler)
Stuck in the Middle (Virginia Smith)
Summer of Joy (Ann H. Gabhart)
Symphony of Secrets (Sharon Hinck)

Long Contemporary Romance
Along Came a Cowboy (Christine Lynxwiler)
Controlling Interest (Elizabeth White)
The Convenient Groom (Denise Hunter)
Finding Stefanie (Susan May Warren)
Zora and Nicky: A Novel in Black and White (Claudia Mair Burney)

Long Historical (Because of a tie, we have six finalists.)
The Apothecary’s Daughter (Julie Klassen)
Calico Canyon (Mary Connealy)
Deep in the Heart of Trouble (Deeanne Gist)
From a Distance (Tamera Alexander)
I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires (Cathy Gohlke)
My Heart Remembers (Kim Vogel Sawyer)

The Case of the Bouncing Grandma (A.K. Arenz)
Death on a Deadline (Christine Lynxwiler, Sandy Gaskin, and Jan Reynolds)
Drop Dead Diva (Christine Lynxwiler, Sandy Gaskin, and Jan Reynolds)
For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls (Nancy Mehl)
Of Mice . . . and Murder (Mary Connealy)

The Cookie Jar (Janet Lee Barton in A Connecticut Christmas anthology)
Dressed in Scarlet (Darlene Franklin in Snowbound Colorado Christmas anthology)
Santa’s Prayer (Diane Ashley in A Connecticut Christmas anthology)
Snowbound for Christmas (Gail Sattler in A Connecticut Christmas anthology)
Stuck on You (Rhonda Gibson in A Connecticut Christmas anthology)

Short Contemporary
Buffalo Gal (Mary Connealy)
Clueless Cowboy (Mary Connealy)
Family Treasures (Kathryn Springer)
Her Unlikely Family (Missy Tippens)
White as Snow (Janice Thompson)

Short Contemporary Suspense
Bayou Paradox (Robin Caroll)
Broken Lullaby (Pamela Tracy)
Countdown to Death (Debby Giusti)
Forsaken Canyon (Margaret Daley)
Killer Cargo (Dana Mentink)

Short Historical
Family of the Heart (Dorothy Clark)
Masked by Moonlight (Allie Pleiter)
Reckless Rogue (Mary Davis)
Return to Love (Susan Page Davis)
Sandhill Dreams (Cara Putman)

The Book of Names (D. Barkley Briggs)
DragonLight (Donita K. Paul)
The Restorer’s Journey (Sharon Hinck)
Shade (John B. Olson)
Summa Elvetica: A Casuistry of the Elvish Controversy (Theodore Beale)

Anathema (Colleen Coble)
The Black Cloister (Melanie Dobson)
Fossil Hunter (John B. Olson)
Lonestar Sanctuary (Colleen Coble)
Perfect (Harry Kraus)

Women’s Fiction (Because of a tie, we have seven finalists.)
A Month of Summer (Lisa Wingate)
Every Good and Perfect Gift (Sharon K. Souza)
My Sister Dilly (Maureen Lang)
The Perfect Life (Robin Lee Hatcher)
The Shape of Mercy (Susan Meissner)
Stepping into Sunlight (Sharon Hinck)
Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon (Debbie Fuller Thomas)

Young Adult
The Big Picture (Jenny B. Jones)
The Fruit of My Lipstick (Shelley Adina)
It’s all About Us (Shelley Adina)
The Owling (Robert Elmer)
Trion Rising (Robert Elmer)

2009 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Contest Finalists
(We will release the entrants’ manuscript titles after the scores have been received back from the final round judges.)

Contemporary Fiction
Sharon Ball
David W. Fry
Jennifer Griffith
Ane Mulligan
Patty Slack

Contemporary Romance
Cathy Bryant
Kathleen Haynes
Lisa Jordan
Christy LaShea Smith
Eileen Astels Watson

Historical Fiction
Nancy Herriman
D’Ann Mateer
Christina Miller
Sandi Rog
Christine Schmidtke

Historical Romance (Because of a tie—one is a double tie—we have six finalist entries.)
Jody Hedlund (double finalist with two entries)
Lisa Richardson
Connie Stevens
Gina Welborn
Lacy Williams

David Fry
Anne Greene
Dineen Miller
Lynda Schab
Alan Schleimer

Romantic Suspense
Mary F. Allen
Wenda Dottridge
Danica Favorite-McDonald
Kelly Ann Riley
Janet Warren

Science Fiction/Fantasy/Speculative Fiction
Valerie Comer
Megan Ebba
David Fry
Suzanne Krein
Lisa Tuttle

Women’s Fiction
Cathleen Armstrong
Marie Wells Coutu
Candee Fick
Julie Garmon
Ashely Weis

Young Adult
Kasey L. Heinly
Gretchen Hoffma
Susan Miura
Diana Sharples (double finalist with two entries)