Congratulations to all The LYRA Independent Fiction Award Winners!
First Place Prize is $1000usd. Second Place is $300usd and 3rd Place is $150usd.
All LYRA Winners have received an Authors Marketing Platform on Bookstore Without Borders to further market their e-books.
Thank you to all Participants and Judges. You truly made the 2016 LYRA Awards a success!
2016 LYRA AWARD Grand Prize Winner!
Patti Hill published her first novel, Like a Watered Garden, in 2005, which Publishers Weekly declared “intriguing” and “fresh.” She has been an ALA finalist for Book of the Year in the religious category and her novel, The Queen of Sleepy Eye, was featured in the in-flight magazine of American Airlines, American Way. The San Clemente Bait Shop and Telephony is her first story set outside of Colorado. It is a 2017 finalist for the Colorado Book Award. Her stories lift readers out of the ordinary to discover what is wondrous. Patti lives in Colorado with her husband and wonder dog, Tillie. Her two grown sons live too far away with their lovely brides. She is waiting not-so-very patiently to be a grandmother. She believes in miracles.
The San Clemente Bait Shop and Telephony: Something wondrous happens in the sun-drenched seaside village of San Clemente. Each day in the telephony where Jenna Archer is the de facto curator, regular visitors receive calls from their pasts with hopes of regaining their futures. Despite these brushes with the mystical, Jenna's life is shrinking. Her brother Brian went missing seventeen years ago, and her mother's vigil is more prison than sanctuary. A telephone rings for Jenna. She speaks to the last person to see her brother. She must find the man in the present to discover what he knows about Brian's disappearance or risk being shackled to her past forever. Not your typical inspirational fiction. Hill wields magical realism to deepen the story and create a sense of wonder. Flawed and real, Jenna teeters on the cusp of faith.
"Patti Hill is a master at writing the deeply flawed, vulnerable, and shockingly real characters that work their way into the heart of the reader. Jenna Archer of The San Clemente Bait Shop and Telephony is no exception. Hers is a story of loss, rejection, dysfunction, and ultimately hope in the midst of so much muck and mire of life. Walking around in Jenna's flip-flops wasn't always comfortable, but it did change me in no small way. And, for that, I am once again grateful to have read Patti Hill's work." - Susie Finkbeiner, A Cup of Dust
"Patti Hill finds the most amazing things to write about, and the San Clemente Bait Shop and Telephony is no exception. In this Magical Realism story, a ringing telephone is no ordinary occurrence, and if you dare to answer, there’s no telling where the call will take you. An excellent story told by an excellent storyteller." - Sharon K. Souza, The Color of Sorrow Isn’t Blue
2016 LYRA AWARD Second Place Winner!
Domenic Stansberry is an Edgar Award winning novelist known for his dark, innovative crime novels. His North Beach Mystery Series has won wide praise for its rich portrayal of the ethnic and political subcultures of San Francisco. Books from that series include The Ancient Rain, named several years after its original publication as one of the best crime of novels of the decade by Booklist. An earlier novel, The Confession, received the Edgar Allan Poe Award for its controversial portrait of a Marin county psychologist accused of murdering his mistress. Stansberry is the author of ten novels and a collection of stories.
The White Devil: Edgar Award winner Domenic Stansberry returns with this sultry, decadent murder mystery. The White Devil tells the story of an aspiring American actress, who—together with her too charming brother —is implicated in a series of crimes dating back to their childhood days in Texas. The novel begins in Rome, among the American ex-patriot community, and from there follows the siblings’ latest obsessions: an aging Italian actress and her charismatic husband. Stansberry’s protagonist, Vicki Wilson, narrates the story in a voice alternately intimate and distant, a cipher of unwholesome impulse and erotic intrigue. The result is an elegant tour de force, a psychological noir exploring the murky depths where the differences between familial and erotic love, between criminal and victim, merge in deadly, unexpected ways.
“Guardians of the literary canon, rejoice. Stansberry, borrowing freely from John Webster's eponymous 1612 tragedy, proves that there's plenty of life and death and nastiness in the classics . . . Perhaps the most surprising feature of this tour de force is its pervasive links to both Jacobean tragedy and contemporary Mediterranean noir. Who knew?” - Kirkus Review
“(Readers) will relish The White Devil's ability to draw in both thriller and mystery audiences, anything but staid or predictable . . . more than a murder mystery: a story of Italy, obsessions, candid cultural observations, and a sense of place and confused purpose that keep readers guessing, entertained, and thoroughly immersed." - Midwest Book Review, Diane Donovan
2016 LYRA AWARD Third Place Winner!
Nicole Evelina is a multi-award-winning historical fiction and romantic comedy writer. Her most recent novel, Madame Presidentess, a historical novel about Victoria Woodhull, America's first female Presidential candidate, was the first place winner in the Women’s US History category of the 2015 Chaucer Awards for Historical Fiction. Her debut novel, Daughter of Destiny, the first book of an Arthurian legend trilogy that tells Guinevere’s life story from her point of view, was named Book of the Year by Chanticleer Reviews, took the Grand Prize in the 2015 Chatelaine Awards for Women’s Fiction/Romance, won a Gold Medal in the fantasy category in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and was short-listed for the Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction. Been Searching for You, her contemporary romantic comedy, won the 2015 Romance Writers of America (RWA) Great Expectations and Golden Rose contests. Nicole’s writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Independent Journal, Curve Magazine and numerous historical publications. She is one of only six authors who completed a week-long writing intensive taught by #1 New York Times bestselling author Deborah Harkness.
Been Searching for You: Searching for Mr. Right is harder than she thought…A hopeless romantic, Annabeth Coe knows that her soul mate is out there – somewhere. After all, she’s been writing him heartfelt love letters since she was teenager. Her plan is simple: write her future husband letters and gift them to him on their wedding night to prove how long she’s loved him. Now, as an adult, Annabeth worries that he may never come along. But when she meets handsome literature professor Alex Grantham, she believes her quest for true love may finally be over. Unfortunately, her timing couldn’t be worse. Frustrated with the love gods, Annabeth vows to take her fate into her own hands. But when the scars and mistrust from her past relationships threaten to destroy a budding relationship, she must face the harsh truth. With an ex-boyfriend who won’t let go and a meddlesome best friend, Annabeth just might be searching for love for the rest of her life – unless the man she’s destined for is just one love letter away.
“I could NOT put it down. Evelina’s voice is vibrant and fresh, and she delightfully interweaves humor, emotion, and that little bit of magic necessary to make a story truly shine.” – Margaret Locke, author of A Man of Character
“Great characters, plot twists, a Chicago setting–make for a fast-paced romantic adventure. Been Searching for You kept me reading all night. I loved it!” - Sharolynne Barth, The Dreamin’ Tree.
Congratulations to The Category Winners!
Inequality is a science. Giant machines maintain order. And all people are not created equal.
Daniela Machado is offered a chance to escape the deprivation of Bronx City through a coveted slot at the elite Tuck School. There, among the genetically superior highborn of Manhattan, she discovers an unimaginable world of splendour and greed. But her opportunity is part of a darker plan, and Daniela soon learns that those at society’s apex will stop at nothing to keep power for themselves. She may have a chance to change the world, if it doesn’t change her first.
Age of Order paints a unforgettable vision of a future society that echoes our own. Inspired by works as diverse at 1984, the Handmaid's Tale, Divergent and the Red Queen, fans of the sci-fi and dystopian genres will enjoy this fast-paced thriller filled with intrigue and unexpected relationships. Enter the Age of Order
Aisling Shepherd's life is permanently changed when she's thrust into a fantastical world that seems to parallel our own. One where the rules aren't quite the same and reality is what you make it. Hundreds and thousands of people live there - most of them blissfully unaware that they're already dead. And being fed on. Nevertheless, Aisling can see those dark parasites, and they can see her. She soon finds herself fleeing from a swarm of the creatures intent on draining her very existence. But will she succeed? Will her father, a man that disappeared from her life when he abandoned her years ago, save her? Can she come to terms with why he did what he felt he had to do? Blood is speaking and she now has to see if she has what it takes to live up to her name. If she accepts, it'll break her, and she'll have to sacrifice everything. But she's a Shepherd, and countless people are depending on her. All she has to do is open a door…
Historical Fiction Category Winner! The Depth of Beauty - A.B. Michaels
In 1903 San Francisco's Chinatown, slavery, polygamy, and rampant prostitution are thriving-- just blocks away from the city's elite, progressive society.
Wealthy and well-connected, Will Firestone enters the mysterious enclave with an eye toward expanding his shipping business. What he finds there will astonish him. With the help of an exotic young widow and a gifted teenage orphan, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery, where lust, love and tragedy will change his life forever.
A stand-alone novel, The Depth of Beauty is the latest addition to the dual genre series, "Sinner's Grove," which chronicles the family and friends of a world-famous artists' retreat on the northern California coast. The stories follow both historical and contemporary tracks and can be readseparately or together for greater depth. Other titles in the series include the award-winning The Art of Love, Sinner's Grove and The Lair.
Women’s Fiction Category Winner! Just Saying - Jianna Higgins
Just Saying is the third book in the Sorrento series which tracks the lives of Alice, a resident, Lily, a surly teenager sentenced to work at Sorrento, and Melanie, a member of staff. Melanie Moth has a reputation as the nasty head nurse at Sorrento Retirement Facility. Does she care? Actually, she does. She begins a journey of self discovery, but can she ever love herself enough to allow others to care for her? What demons does she have in her closet, and will she ever be free of them?
Young American Aliya Scott travels to Tanzania to help children with her condition. There, people without pigment in their skin are called “zeru-zeru,” it means “ghost,” and they are believed to possess magical powers. When Aliya goes missing, her father sets out on a mission to find her. He soon discovers that she was up to more than teaching the alphabet and handing out sunblock. With each step he learns more about his daughter and a country rooted in ancestry, rich with resources, full of mystery and conflict, and a world of witchdoctors and foreign plundering, with little transparency and less justice. From the shadow of the Mukuyu tree he follows her “ghost” to the head of the dragon in Europe. But will he reach Aliya before it is too late?
General Fiction Category Winner! Zappa's Mam's a Slapper - John Lynch
John Lynch has found his literary voice in this life story of disadvantaged soul, Billy McErlane. Having a harlot for a mother doesn’t make life easy and nor does going to jail at fourteen, but when he is reunited with his childhood sweetheart peace enters Billy's heart. Then fate deals a wrecking blow. The book shows Billy through his own eyes and words as he learns to forgive, let go of the bad things in life, accept with grace the good things and finally reach out to others. It’s a coming of age book that begins in tragedy and ends in hope. A bittersweet story of love, loss and one young man's refusal to accept what life offers.
Romance Category Winner! Whispering Vines - Amy Schisler
When death takes yet another person from Alex O’Donnell, she questions whether or not she will ever find happiness. Upon learning that she has inherited a vineyard in Italy, Alex leaves everything she knows behind to seek her future. She moves from her Baltimore apartment to a villa in Italy where she discovers a life of possibilities beyond her hopes and dreams. Arriving at the villa, Alex is taken aback by the animosity and scorn of the vineyard’s co-owner, Nicolas Giordano. Resentful of Alex’s sudden appearance, Nicolas struggles to maintain his control over his business and his feelings for his new partner. The discovery of a journal from World War II becomes the tie that binds Alex and Nicolas as they work to secure their future while putting together the pieces of a puzzle from the past. Unlock the hidden secrets among the Whispering Vines.
Beautiful Secret is set mostly in the lush French Ardennes and Southern Italy. It is the story of thirty-three year old Tate Robbins, a woman who has lost almost everything that is important to her in life. When Tate decides to travel from her hometown in the North of Pittsburgh to Europe, she expects an escape from the life that is falling apart around her. Having lost both parents, Tate jumps at the opportunity when her dying Nana urges her to journey across the sea. Nana provides Tate with the vague directive to go and visit Luisa, Nana’s sister-in-law and best friend, that Luisa has something for her. It is Nana’s dying wish, so Tate hops a plane, leaving behind a failing marriage and not much else. She finds what she never knew she needed in her long-lost European family and a forbidden love affair. Alongside Tate’s narrative, Nana Maria’s story is told from her point of view and timeframe. Maria’s story is woven in between Tate’s. The tale takes place in 1940’s Calabria, where she was born and lived for the first twenty years of her life. In her own voice, Maria spins the saga of growing up in the poor rural town of Tronca in the mountains, being seduced by her cousin’s older fiancé, Giuseppe, and becoming pregnant with his love child. Europe enraptures Tate almost immediately. Not only does the rich culture make her feel more alive than she’s felt in ages, but she finds herself completely taken with her French and Italian family. When she becomes undeniably attracted to her distant cousin by marriage, Michel, a man with a tragic past like hers, Tate’s emotions begin to unravel from the knot they’ve been tied in far too long. Torn between a magnetic pull toward the sexy Michel and a commitment to the philandering man who is technically still her husband, Tate looks forward to leaving France to travel to Italy. Before Tate leaves France, Luisa gives her an envelope and an address with directions to find the location and give the envelope to the man who lives there. Tate agrees, and she is off to experience Italy and discover her Nana’s secrets, find a new love, and a host of distant relatives she never knew about.
John Douglas thought he knew the future God had for him--raise a family and grow old with his bride, Hannah. But then a deadly house fire incinerates his faith, destroying the man he’d been.
Worship leader Jenni Dupont conquered her demons years ago and has the scars to prove it. But temptation strikes when her world is shattered, and this time she's not sure if God can carry her through.
Bar waitress April Johanson lives with the secret trauma of an abusive past. Desperate to stay off the streets of Vegas, she’ll do whatever is necessary to pay the rent.
When their lives intersect, God will ask them to do the impossible. To love Him even if…
Pastor Jacob Thompson is in need of a director for the living nativity program and veterinarian Molly Kincaid offers to take on the job. The task involves far more than Molly bargained for, nonetheless she’d do anything to help out the man she secretly loves – even sew costumes or cast eight-year-old Wesley Simpson as an angel.