Novels 2009

 Nominated Novels 2009

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The Shack

The Shack

By William P. Young

Nominated by Margaret Godefroy

Mackenzie Allen Philips’ youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his “Great Sadness,” Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack’s world forever. In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant “The Shack” wrestles with the timeless question, “Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?” The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You’ll want everyone you know to read this book! (Powell’s Books)

Christianus Sum

Christianus Sum

By Shawn J. Pollett

The year is AD 249 and the Roman Empire stands on the brink of destruction. Barbarian hordes swarm the frontiers, desperate to feed on the vast wealth of an empire paralyzed by rampant corruption, immorality, and a string of incompetent emperors. Out of this chaos emerges a new emperor, The “Divine Decius” who plans to save the empire by annihilating the people he believes are responsible for angering the gods — the Christians.

Now the fate of the empire rests on the slim shoulders of a simple slave girl. Damarra Valensia, the obsession of two of the empire’s most powerful men: Valerianus Decius’ depraved lieutenant and the architect of the Decian persecution of the Christians, whose lust for Damarra will not be denied: and Julius Valens, the handsome and respected senator, who wants only to win the beautiful Damarra’s heart.

As the battle between the two men escalates, Damarra becomes the pawn in a game that threatens to tear her life apart and bring the once mighty Roman Empire to its knees. Will she deny the Christ and live out her life with the man she loves? Or will she stand with her fellow believers and proudly proclaim the very words that demand a death sentence in her world: Christianus sum… I am a Christian”? (Back Cover)

Hot Apple Cider

Hot Apple Cider

Edited by N. J. Lindquist and Wendy Elaine Nelles

A middleaged woman wakes up in the middle of the Australian outback and discovers her husband lying comatose beside her. A young doctor questions Gods will after losing his devout grandmother to breast cancer. A lonely waitress stuck in a small town wonders how God could possibly use her. A missionary in Africa, dedicated to serving God, has a horrific car accident that leaves him braindamaged. A shy twelveyearold girl struggles with the idea that God wants her to write a letter to the editor of the local newspaper telling people God loves them. In every instance these ordinary people discovered that God was waiting to dry their tears and help them see His plan for their lives, a plan where good eventually emerged from the hurt and confusion. Hot Apple Cider is an inspirational anthology by 30 Canadian authors who are Christian, including Carolyn Arends, Mark Buchanan, Keith Clemons, Grace Fox, Sheila Wray Gregoire and Denyse OLeary. They’ve learned that dependence on God creates the character and insights that produce a deep, rich faith. The thoughtprovoking and honest accounts in this book will stir your heart and warm your soul. So unwind with a copy of Hot Apple Cider and let the stories surprise you, make you laugh and inspire you to have a deeper relationship with God. (

Broken Angel

Broken Angel

By Sigmund Brower

Her birth was shrouded in mystery and tragedy.
Her destiny is beyond comprehension.
Her pursuers long to see her broken.
She fights to soar.

In the rough, shadowy hills of Appalachia, a nation carved from the United States following years of government infighting, Caitlyn and her companions are the prey in a terrifying hunt. They must outwit the relentless bounty hunters, skirt an oppressive, ever-watchful society, and find passage over the walls of Appalachia to reveal the dark secrets behind Caitlyn’s existence–and understand her father’s betrayal.

In this engrossing, lightning-paced story with a post-apocalyptic edge, best-selling author Sigmund Brouwer weaves a heroic, harrowing journey through the path of a treacherous culture only one or two steps removed from our own. (Back Cover)

Love Comes Softly

Love Comes Softly

By Janette Oke

Love Comes Softly introduced the characters of Marty and Clark Davis, whose tragic circumstances brought them to a “marriage of convenience” on the frontier prairies during the mid 1800s. The story of how Clark’s patient, caring love mirrored that of the heavenly Father, drawing Marty to faith and to love, has captured the hearts and imaginations of over one million readers on Book One alone! (

One Smooth Stone

One Smooth Stone

By Marcia Lee Laycock

Nominated by Beverly Donaldson

The novel tells the story of Alex Donnelly who is running and trying to hide from nearly everyone. He has picked a good place to do it – the Yukon – but is pursued by friends, enemies, and most effectively, by God. Burning with the need to know about his parents, Alex returns to his birth-city, Seattle, where he discovers that his mother tried to abort him. The trauma sends him on the run again only to find out God has orchestrated a divine appointment for him back in the Yukon. The story is filled with miraculous healing, struggles with rage, and an obsession with revenge for a childhood abuser. It shows that God never gives up on those whom He has chosen. His mercy and grace extend to those who consider themselves unworthy, and even more so, to those who are considered unworthy in the eyes of the world. Laycock says, “The book tries to illustrate that no matter how far you run, God will find you. No matter how bad you’ve been, God will forgive you.” (



By Susan Young de Biagi

Nominated by Beverly Donaldson

Sensitive and enlightening, Cibou is set in 17th-century Mi’kma’ki, territory of the Mi’kmaq of Maritime Canada. The story is that of a young Mi’kmaw woman and her relationship with Jesuit missionary Anthony Daniel – a historical figure who was stationed in Cape Breton – and his brother, Captain Charles Daniel who had established a French fishing and trading post there. (The priest Daniel was later posted to Huronia where he later met a violent end and martyrdom as Saint Anthony Daniel.) (Cape Breton University Press)

Shaded LightShaded Light

By N.J. Lindquist

Nominated by Beverly Donaldson

With matchmaking on her mind, Ellen Brodie looks forward to a quiet weekend with her husband, her son, and her favorite cousin’s attractive daughter, Lorry Preston, who is visiting from Alberta. But the weekend is doomed when Ellen’s husband invites his two legal partners and their quarreling wives; one of the legal partners includes his wife’s wallflower sister; Ellen’s son brings his devastatingly handsome best friend; a black sheep nephew shows up; and a new neighbor descends on them because of renovations. If that wasn’t enough, Lorry discovers a body in the Japanese garden. The law arrives in the persons of series characters Detective-Inspector Paul Manziuk and Detective Constable Jacqueline Ryan. (Bluecollarwriter)

Mohamed's Moon
Mohamed’s Moon

By Keith Clemmons

 Nominated by Denise Rumble

Two brothers separated at birth grow up worlds apart. Outwardly, they’re exactly alike, but inwardly, nothing’s the same–one is a devotee of fundamentalist Islam; the other, a Christian. In this modern-day Cain and Abel story, the lines are drawn not just over whose God is right, but also over the fact that they’re both in love with the same girl. It’s a conflict with grave repercussions, little hope of resolution–and time is running out. In the background, a plan has been set in motion that will bring the United States government to its knees. Will an unexpected visitation reconcile the brothers in time to save the woman they love–and ultimately, themselves–from the coming devastation?

In his award-winning style, author Keith Clemons delivers a profound comparison between Christianity and Islam, a dichotomy of life versus death, love versus hate, and grace versus legalism. Mohamed’s Moon will plunge you into a world where hatred and heinous acts are justified. But if hatred is potent, it pales in comparison to the power of God’s love. (


By Donna Dawson

Reviewers have remarked that Donna’s contemporary suspense writing can be compared to that of Frank Peretti and Robert Ludlum. Will FBI agent James Benedict solve this tale of death and investigation on the high seas?

Book of Negroes
Books of Negroes
By Lawrence Hill
Nominated by Brenda Kelly and Kay Houghton
Abducted as an 11-year-old child from her village in West Africa and forced to walk for months to the sea in a coffle – a string of slaves – Aminata Diallo is sent to live as a slave in South Carolina. But years later, she forges her way to freedom, serving the British in the Revolutionary War and registering her name in the historic “Book of Negroes”. This book, an actual document, provides a short but immensely revealing record of freed Loyalist slaves who requested permission to leave the US for resettlement in Nova Scotia, only to find that the haven they sought was steeped in an oppression all of its own. Aminata’s eventual return to Sierra Leone – passing ships carrying thousands of slaves bound for America – is an engrossing account of an obscure but important chapter in history that saw 1,200 former slaves embark on a harrowing back-to-Africa odyssey. (
The Cellist of Sarajevo

The Cellist of Sarajevo
By Steven Galloway
Nominated by Karla Buckborough
This story was an interesting, but disturbing, look at a country deteriorating into chaos and ruin. In an incredibly bleak landscape, there are faint glimmers of christianity, faith and hopefulness. This is evident when neighbours help neighbours; when people who are previously unknown to each other are thrown together in the common plight of war and hunger and the fight to survive.


  1. My vote goes to “The Shack” by William P. Young. It is still current, c2007, and I found it compelling to read. A very popular book in my church library.

  2. My vote goes for The Book of Negroes
    Kay Houghton

  3. My vote goes to “One Smooth Stone” by Marcia Laycock.

  4. I’m delighted that my book has been nominated along with so many excellent titles. Thanks to Beverly for the nomination!
    :)Marcia Laycock, author of One Smooth Stone

  5. “One Smooth Stone” is a hope-filled story, well-written by a great story teller. Everyone needs to hear the message in this book!

  6. I nominated “The Shack” just because it apparently had such a huge response. But I hadn’t read the book until now. Wow! I think you would need a referree at any discussion of that book and maybe even the author with his lawyer! But all joking aside, it was a great read.

  7. I nominated The Book of Negroes because I think it is an important part of our history- even if it is told in the form of a novel, so my vote goes to it.

    As well, though, The Shack is an amazing story, full of contrasts- joy and heartbreak, cruelty and kindness. I will be very interested in the response to it from our members. It has been popular in my congregation.

  8. Hi everyone!

    I’m thrilled that Christianus Sum was nominated for this event. One Book/One Conference–what a great idea! Thank you so much for supporting Canadian Christian fiction.

    In His Grip,


  9. I’ve read — and enjoyed — The Shack, Hot Apple Cider, Love Comes Softly, One Smooth Stone, Cibou, Shaded Light, and Vengeance. Mohammed’s Moon is in my to-read pile now.

    From what I hear, each nomination is a fine book. I’m glad I don’t have to vote.

    Some of these books are reviewed on my blog (

  10. LIke Joanna, I’ve read — and enjoyed — many of these nominated books: The Shack, Hot Apple Cider, One Smooth Stone, Shaded Light, Vengeance and Mohammed’s Moon.

    I’ll have to add the others to my “must read” book list!

    Some of these books have been recommended by readers at the blog Books for Book Lovers at

  11. Just wanted to thank you for nominating not one but two of my books! Yes, I do feel special. 🙂
    Okay, Shaded Light is a little more “mine” than Hot Apple Cider is, but I feel they’re both somewhat my children. 🙂

    And I too have read and enjoyed many of the other books: but I need to add a couple to my to be read pile (which unfortunately is at about 50 books right now. Ouch!)

    See you on the 3rd! I’ll be there for the author panel and to help at The Word Guild’s table.

  12. […] I posted a little while ago that Shaded Light and another book of mine, Hot Apple Cider, were both nominated to be the "one book" for the Church Library’s of Ontario "One Book / One Conference" October 3rd along with a number of other great books, including The Shack and The Book of Negroes. (See complete list.) […]

  13. […] Nominated books were: […]

  14. I enjoy reading books in Braille and talking books.
    both at our CNIB library and through the Christian library. but unfortunitly most of these authors are not in CNIB library and as I love to keep up on my Braille reading, it would be fantastic if I only could get my fingers on some of these great Titles. we do how ever have a great colection in Cnib, but we have a large need of good and wholesome Christian novels!!

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