2017 MWA Book Award Entries - Read & Vote

Submissions are now closed. MWA members may vote once for each submission. Once a vote has been submitted, it cannot be changed or withdrawn. Voting closes March 1, 2017.

Log into your member account to vote on entries, or to get free or discounted review copies of entries made available to voting MWA members.


Literary / Mainstream

Title: The Trion Syndrome
Author: Tom Glenn
ISBN Number: 978-1-62720-071-4
Dave Bell, haunted by a half-remembered clandestine mission in Vietnam, loses his job, his wife divorces him, his children refuse to see him. At his lowest point, he remembers what happened in Vietnam: he killed a child. As he considers suicide, his illegitimate son, now a grown man, finds him.
Book availability: Amazon.com, Powell's Books
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Title: Start With the Backbeat
Author: Garine B. Isassi
ISBN Number: 1631520415
In 1989 New York City, Jill and her mostly middle-class coworkers at Mega Big Records must find a gritty rapper before the “Gangsta” trend passes them by. They fluctuate between alliances and rivalries, tripping over the stereotypes of race, class, and musical genre –which are sometimes ridiculously serious.
Book availability: In stock at Politics & Prose in DC and can be ordered from any locations that sells books, including Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Indiebound, Indiegogo or any independent book store. Available in paperback and as an eBook.
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Title: A Hundred Veils
Author: Rea Keech
ISBN Number: 978-0-9836990-4-0
A young American teacher at the University of Tehran falls in love with a beautiful Iranian girl and gets caught up in the social, political, and religious turmoil of the times.
Book availability: Howard County Library (3 copies). Also at Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and in ebook form through Kindle, iBooks, and Google books. Paperback ISBN 978-0-9836990-3-3. Ebook ISBN 978-0-9836990-9-5.
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Title: No Portrait in the Gilded Frame
Author: Tudor Alexander
ISBN Number: 978-1-5306-2314-3
From Romania to Israel to Southern California, No Portrait in the Gilded Frame follows Miriam Sommer, a young talented artist, as she seeks to find herself and her place in an often-turbulent world.
Book availability: The novel is available for purchase as a hard copy or on Kindle at http://www.amazon.com/author/tudoralexander
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Title: Saving Phoebe Murrow
Author: Herta Feely
ISBN Number: 978-0-9964395-6-5
Set amidst the complicated web of adolescent relationships, Saving Phoebe Murrow tells a story of the devastating impact social media can have on teen girls. Isabel, a DC lawyer, does everything she can to keep Phoebe from harm, but fails when the mysterious Shane appears on Facebook and flirts with Phoebe.
Book availability: Saving Phoebe Murrow can be purchased from your favorite book store and on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Saving-Phoebe-Murrow-Herta-Feely/dp/0996439560 
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Title: Scented: A Love Story
Author: RJ Crayton
ISBN Number: 978-1535155137
Bryan Harper has a strange and unsettling ability. He can smell death to come. When the scent hits, he knows the person will be dead in three days. Bryan hates his ability but can’t get rid of it. Then he meets Lauraline. Her scent is something totally unexpected. His life is about to change.
Book availability: The ebook is available for purchase on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Scented-love-story-RJ-Crayton-ebook/dp/B01I2TJ5E2
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Title: Cole's Creek
Author: Kenneth H. Hall
ISBN Number: ISBN 978-0-9982564-0-5
Miriam, a young wife and mother, lives in an insular community carved from Maryland plantations by freed slaves. An itinerant preacher, bringing new hopes and dreams, divides Miriam’s family and neighbors. Her choices, her fierce devotion to home and land, lead to a shocking crime and secrets long hidden.
Book availability: Cole's Creek is available from Amazon, free in KindleUnlimited or Prime. 


Mystery / Thriller

Title: True Death
Author: Dale E. Lehman
ISBN Number: 978-1-940135-57-1
A country road. An unsolved hit-and-run. Now Detective Lieutenant Rick Peller must return to the long-cold scene of his wife’s death, where he will learn that the two of them still have a long way to travel together.
Book availability: http://www.serpentcliff.com/content/true-death
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Title: The Planck Factor
Author: Debbi Mack
ISBN Number: 978-0-9906985-5-5
Grad student Jessica Evans decides on a dare to write a thriller novel. She concocts a nightmare scenario based upon actual science. However, Jessica's fictional story takes her own life in a bizarre direction. Her research into the science behind the novel stirs up concern from an extremist group who intends to use it for the wrong reasons. Before long, Jessica's running for her life.
Book availability: [Members, log in for more book availability options / discounts.]


Title: Roped In
Author: K.D. Hays
ISBN Number: 9781517380786
Her last clients fired her. Now investigator Karen Maxwell needs to prove she can be trusted to solve hard cases or she'll be out of a job. But how will she ever be taken seriously as an investigator when her only cases involve a broken jump rope and a dead parrot?
Book availability: Available on Amazon and most other online retailers. 
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Title: The Dark Side Of Blue
Author: Dick Ellwood
ISBN Number: 1530126789
A former highly decorated police officer convicted of corruption while working undercover is serving his sentence in a prison designated for corrupt cops. The prison holds fifty of the worst corrupt cops from around the country. The Dark Side Of Blue will keep you thinking ahead, especially when the murders of a federal judge, a prison guard, and a newspaper reporter, are all tied to the actions of the Justice Department.
Book availability: Amazon, CreateSpace.com, Bookstores,Libraries
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Title: Auburn Ride
Author: David Stever
ISBN Number: 9780998337111
Private eye Johnny Delarosa has seen it all. But he meets his match when the alluring, auburn-haired, Claire Dixon, drops a $20,000 retainer in his lap. She wants the hard-drinking Johnny to find $2 million that was stolen from her mobster family. But $2 million can be motivating. Mobsters come out of witness protection to claim their share, and when bodies begin to pile up, and his sexy, enigmatic client disappears, Johnny is taken on the ride of his life—an Auburn Ride.
Book availability: Amazon.com


Title: House Divided
Author: Peter G Pollak
ISBN Number: 9780985036645
Parents are torn when their daughter joins a radical student group that has terrorism links.
Book availability: Amazon or Howard County library system



Title: Take a Byte Out of Murder
Author: Millie Mack
ISBN Number: 13:978-1517223601
The New Year bells have barely finished tolling before murder strikes in the quiet beach resort of Pear Cove. Charles and Carrie Faraday discover a body only yards from their beach home. This third cozy mystery in the series features murders, blackmail, computer espionage—with lots of clues to follow.
Book availability: Amazon, Kindle. 
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Title: Roses Are Dead, My Love
Author: Penny Clover Petersen
ISBN Number: 978-1-940758-03-9
Blackmail is an ugly word, but an uglier deed. And dragging Mickey Mantle into it is just un-American. Things are going well for the Forrest sisters. Business is thriving, they have a handsome, slightly mysterious new neighbor. And they haven’t found a dead body in over six months!
Book availability: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and should be available in any bookstore.


Title: Seeing Double
Author: Nancy Alexander
ISBN Number: 978-1512160291
Elisabeth's new patient is more than meets the eye, and unraveling his secrets will throw her team into a desert storm of double agents and religious extremists. All that stands between love and war are two families, two brothers, and two conflicting versions of the truth.
Book availability: Seeing Double can be found on Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook editions. https://www.amazon.com/Seeing-Double-Elisabeth-Reinhardt-Thriller-ebook


Title: Fine Arts / A Trudie Fine Mystery
Author: Gale Deitch
ISBN Number: 978-1540372253
Business is booming for Trudie’s catering company, beginning with a posh art exhibit. But the discovery of a gruesome murder brings the high-class evening to a screeching halt. Trudie’s curiosity lands her in plenty of hot gravy. She’s seen how deadly art can be, and now she’s a sitting duck.
Book availability: Fine Arts can be purchased from Amazon.com in print or eBook format and is available as an audiobook from Audible, iTunes, or Amazon.


Science Fiction / Fantasy / Speculative Fiction

Title: Now That I'm Dead
Author: A. Lee Bruno
ISBN-13: 978-1523303410
Recently deceased characters share the experience of an afterlife as sub-atomic particles containing their consciousness--memories, personality and intellect. When they discover a powerful adversary trying to control them, the best and worse of each character is revealed with Fiona turning out to be the unlikely hero.
Book availability: Amazon.com http://amzn.to/1QafCb4


Title: Mud: Chronicles of the Third Realm War
Author: E. J. Wenstrom
ISBN Number: : B019VU4R8A
Trapped by his Maker’s command to protect a mysterious box, Adem will do anything to break free. An angel promises him freedom—but first, he must break into the Underworld and steal back a soul. Passing between the realms, Adem becomes entangled in an ages-old war on the Gods.
Book availability: [Members, log in for more book availability options  / discounts.]


Title: The Piano's Key, Book Two of the Fairy Godmother Diaries
Author: Izolda Trakhtenberg
ISBN Number: 978-0-9802298-5-1
Fairy Godmother Evie Songbottom and Joanna Brennan defeated Bane Zeke and the Ramrocks. Now, Joanna guides her own music students, and Evie leaves New York to train in the Fairy Lands. After her love, Daniel, is attacked, Evie returns and battles new foes when a terrifying danger threatens both worlds.
Book availability: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/630348 
amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Pianos-Key-Fairy-Godmother-Diaries-ebook/dp/B01EBG3W1M/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1482845204&sr=1-3
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Title: The Enchanted Dagger
Author: Vonnie Winslow Crist
ASIN Number: B01N4JA8KT
Beck of Queen's Weather keeps his promise, and journeys across a world steeped in magic discovering a family heirloom and befriending a dragon. He and his companions battle ogrehunches, goblins, mages, and Skullsouls as they become entangled in the developing confrontation between good and evil.
Book availability: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N4JA8KT/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483158108&sr=8-1&keywords=vonnie+winslow+crist
Amazon kindle: free for Kindle Unlimited, $3.99 for others.


Title: Sleep State Interrupt
Author: T. C. Weber
ISBN Number: 978-1-937276-97-3
In a near-future Baltimore, an unemployed bipolar journalist and a fugitive teenage hacker are the last hope for a world controlled by a giant media corporation on behalf of a privileged elite.
Book availability: Trade paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Sleep-State-Interrupt-Ted-Weber/dp/193727697X/ 
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Title: Provenance: A Novel
Author: Donna Drew Sawyer
ISBN Number: 978-0-916143-2-5
PROVENANCE weaves historical fact with fiction across five decades and three generations of an African-American family. In the early 20th century, the Whitaker family flees the provincial south for the freedom of Paris between the wars on a desperate quest to escape the constraints of race and gender.
Book availability: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Independent booksellers



Title: Campbell Ogilvy At The Battle Of Arbroath
Author: Robert Nock
ISBN Number: 978-1-62806-068-3
A historical novel about a battle between clans that occurred in Arbroath, Scotland in the middle of the 15th century
Book availability: Amazon
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Title: Helena's Choice
Author: Patty Apostolides
ISBN Number: B012TN9JCK
Helena Cadfield’s father dies while excavating treasures in Greece. Intent on finding the treasures, Helena leaves Allan Murphy, her suitor in England, and travels to Greece. There, she works with Aristotle Mastoras in excavating her Greek property. Should she remain in Greece, with Aristotle, or return to Allan in England?
Book availability: https://www.amazon.com/Helenas-Choice-Historical-Romance-Apostolides-ebook/dp/B012TN9JCK


Title: In Rembrandt's Shadow
Author: Eileen Haavik McIntire
ISBN Number: 978-0-9614519-5-0
Alternate stories trace the provenance through the centuries of a Rembrandt painted in gratitude for a dramatic rescue in 1616 Netherlands, and Sara and Josh’s present-day struggle to outwit the thieves, find the painting’s rightful owner and deliver the painting as they resolve their own relationship.
Book availability: Amazon.com in print and e-book editions.


Title: Up the Hill to Home
Author: Jennifer Bort Yacovissi
ISBN Number: 978-1-62720-056-1
In this story of four generations of a family in Washington, D.C. between the Civil War and the Great Depression, Lillie Voith is the sun around which her entire family revolves. When she is stricken in a fall, Lillie finds herself deep inside the memories of those most closely connected to her.
Book availability: Up the Hill to Home is available as an ebook from Amazon or BN.com, or in paperback or hardcover from there or by ordering at any bookstore. One paperback is in the Anne Arundel Public Library system.


Not enough submissions were received in the Romance category.*

Note: Submissions are now closed. MWA members may vote once for each submission. Once a vote on a book has been submitted, it cannot be changed or withdrawn.

The 2017 MWA Book Awards are open to all MWA members in good standing who have published a novel (50K words or more) in 2015 or 2016. There is no fee to enter. 

Awards will be given in the following genre divisions*: 

  • Literary/Mainstream
  • Mystery/Thriller
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy/Speculative fiction
  • Historical Fiction
  • Romance

At least 5 qualifying division entries are required to award a prize in that division. 

Co-authored books are allowed; anthologies to which the author has contributed a story are not. 


The contest is open to all MWA members in good standing. To enter, submit publication information, including a cover image, via the contest submission form. If you are not yet logged into the member area, you will be prompted to do so.

Authors are not required to submit copies of their book; however, they are encouraged to negotiate a lower ebook price with their publisher for MWA members during the contest period so that members can access their books more easily. 

Submission period is November 1, 2016 – December 31, 2016. 

Authors must score at least 4 other entries, in a genre division other than the one submitted to.  Entries whose authors do not fulfill this requirement will not be considered for prizes. 


Winners will be chosen by the MWA membership, scoring entries on a 1 to 10 scale.  Scores will be averaged to determine winners.   

MWA members in good standing may score entries, one score per entry (details to follow).

Critique sheets will not be given. 

* At least 5 qualifying entries are required to award a prize in a genre division. 

Entries receiving fewer than 5 scores will not be considered for prizes. 

Awards will be announced at the MWA conference, March 25, 2017

Scoring period is January 1, 2017 - March 1, 2017.