Contact: Katie Dodillet,, 630.784.5275

CAROL STREAM, Ill.—Tyndale House Publishers announces author Jan Watson’s recent designation as Best Kentucky Author in 2012. This honor was bestowed on Watson by the more than 1.2 million readers of Kentucky Living magazine who voted for their favorites in Kentucky Living’s annual “Best in Kentucky” issue. In response to this honor, Jan Watson said, “Everyone knows a true Kentuckian is also a storyteller. One of the things I hoped to do in writing my books was to honor my Kentucky heritage. How thrilled I was to be honored right back when voted by the readers of Kentucky Living magazine as 2012’s Best Kentucky Author.”


The issue features 25 first-place winners in 23 categories and provides “three good reasons” for their high rank. The goal of this issue is to “recognize Kentucky-based people and places . . . the people, places and events that make Kentucky special.” In addition to Best Kentucky Author are categories recognizing the best golf course, weekend getaway, farmers’ market, annual festival, and many more.


The “three good reasons” cited by Kentucky Living for Jan Watson’s title as Best Kentucky Author in 2012 are:

(1) Jan’s books contain Kentucky history, particularly that of eastern Kentucky; (2) Jan’s books are inspiring and faith-based; and (3) her sixth book, Skip Rock Shallows, will be releasing in June.


Set in a Kentucky coal-mining town in 1908, Skip Rock Shallows is a stand-alone novel about one woman’s struggle to make her way as a female doctor. The main character, Lilly Gray Corbett, is at a crossroads when her past and present situations collide. She must choose between the future she had imagined and the new path that sits unexpectedly before her.


As the novel opens, Lilly has just graduated from medical school and decided to accept an internship in the coal camp of Skip Rock, Kentucky. Her beau, Paul, is doing his residency in Boston and can’t understand why Lilly would choose to work in a backwater town. But having grown up in the mountains, Lilly is drawn to the stubborn, superstitious people she encounters in Skip Rock—a town where people live hard and die harder and where women know their place. Lilly soon learns she has a lot to overcome, but after saving the life of a young miner, she begins to earn the residents’ trust. 


Torn between joining Paul in Boston and her love for the people of Skip Rock, Lilly crosses paths with a handsome miner—one who seems oddly familiar. Her attraction for him grows, even as she wrestles with her feelings and wonders what he’s hiding.


On being voted the Best Kentucky Author, Jan Watson offered her mutual appreciation in saying, “From the smallest county with the biggest heart, Robertson Co., to the majestic mountains of Appalachia, the good folks of Kentucky have blessed and encouraged me every step of the way.” Watson, a Kentuckian through and through, added, “They say, ‘Home is where your story begins,’ and mine begins in Kentucky.”


About the Author

A former registered nurse, Jan Watson lives in Lexington, Kentucky, near her three sons and daughter-in-law. Jan’s first novel, Troublesome Creek, was the winner of the 2004 Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest. Her other awards include a nomination for the Kentucky Literary Award in 2006 and second place in the 2006 Inspirational Readers Choice Contest sponsored by the Faith, Hope, and Love Chapter of the Romance Writers of America. Skip Rock Shallows is Jan’s sixth novel. Besides writing historical fiction, Jan keeps busy entertaining her Jack Russell terrier, Maggie. Visit Jan online at, or contact her through e-mail at