Contact: Jennifer Baar
Phone: (616) 698-3331

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., October 1, 2010 – Three popular Zondervan titles have been shortlisted in the inaugural INSPY Awards, the bloggers’ award for excellence in faith-driven literature. The three nominated titles include Life in Defiance by Mary Demuth (General/Literary Fiction Category), Evolving in Monkey Town by Rachel Held Evans (Creative Nonfiction Category) and Blood Ransom by Lisa Harris (Romance/Romantic Suspense Category).


On December 13th, the first annual INSPY winners will be announced. The INSPY (derived from the word “inspirational”) awards focus on books that are of an exceptional literary quality and have a faith based element. The Advisory Board, avid bloggers and book lovers, created the INSPY Awards and are responsible for narrowing down the nominations into shortlists. The Board also reviews judge applications and choose whom they feel best understands the vision of the INSPYs. To learn more, visit

About Life in Defiance by Mary DeMuth

Book three in the Defiance Texas Trilogy, Life in Defiance (May, 2010) by southern novelist Mary Demuth, reflects a choice we all face: reveal our secrets or bury them forever and live with the consequences. Taking on the painful subject of abusive marriages, DeMuth tells the story of Ouisie, a battered wife who is haunted by a horrific secret – she knows who killed Daisy Chance. DeMuth began writing the Defiance Texas Trilogy after hearing a friend’s story about living with an abusive father who held a prominent position in a church but was never suspected of the abuse because of his position.  

About Evolving in Monkey Town by Rachel Held Evans

Award-winning author Rachel Held Evans recounts her experiences growing up in Dayton, Tenn., a town that epitomized Christian fundamentalism during the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925 in Evolving in Monkey Town (June, 2010). Evans invites readers into her home and shares living through a culture obsessed with apologetics, and how her faith survived her doubts and challenges.

About Blood Ransom by Lisa Harris

Lisa Harris has lived in Africa for nine years and has a passion for the continent and its people. She combines her first hand experiences and extensive research to provide insight into the African people and their lives. Romance and adventure drive Blood Ransom (March, 2010), a powerful thriller about the modern-day slave trade and those who dare to challenge it. The first novel in the Mission Hope series, Harris shares the horrifying truth about oppression, terror and the slave trade in Africa.

Zondervan, a HarperCollins company, is a world leader in Christian communications and the leading Christian publishing brand. For more than 75 years, Zondervan has delivered transformational Christian experiences through general and academic resources by influential leaders and emerging voices, and been honored with more Christian Book Awards than any other publisher. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., with offices in San Diego and Miami, Zondervan conducts events and publishes its bestselling Bibles, books, audio, video, curriculum, software, and digital products through its Zondervan, eZondervan, Zonderkidz, Youth Specialties, Editorial Vida, and National Pastors Convention brands. Zondervan resources are sold worldwide through retail stores, online, and by Zondervan ChurchSource, and are translated into nearly 200 languages in more than 60 countries. Visit Zondervan on the Internet at (mobile site: