ECPA's Rush To Press

Janette Oke Named ACFW Lifetime Achievement
Recipient Carol Award Finalists Announced

CINCINATTI, OH:  At a press conference at CBA’s UNITE International Christian Retail Show in Cincinnati, OH, American Christian Fiction Writers announced the 2016 ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient—Janette Oke. “Janette Oke’s Love Comes Softlyseries opened untold opportunities for faith-based novels,” said ACFW CEO Colleen Coble, “Would any of us who write for that market be writing today if not for the impact of her novels?”

Though her initial novel launched in 1979, Oke’s books continue to delight readers in every generation since. Hallmark turned her novel When Calls the Heart into a best-selling series about to begin its fourth season.  “American Christian Fiction Writers is thrilled to award Janette Oke with our Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Coble.

At the press conference, ACFW also announced the finalists for the 2016 Carol Awards—named for editor Carol Johnson, Janette Oke’s first editor—in eleven categories of Christian fiction published in the previous calendar year.

The 2016 Carol Award finalists, listed by author in alphabetical order by category:


Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman, Bethany House (Baker) Publishing, editors David Long, Charlene Patterson

The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert, Waterbrook/Multnomah (Random House), editors Shannon Marchese, Lissa Halls-Johnson

As Waters Gone By by Cynthia Ruchti, Abingdon Press, editors Ramona Richards, Jamie Chavez


Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor by Melanie Dobson, Howard (Simon & Schuster), editors Beth Adams, Jenny Baumgartner

Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke, Tyndale House, editors Stephanie Broene, Sarah Riche

Luther and Katharina by Jody Hedlund, Waterbrook/Multnomah (Random House), editor Shannon Marchese

Historical Romance:

Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden, Bethany House (Baker) Publishing, editor Raela Schoenherr

Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin, Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group, editor Vicki Crumpton

A Worthy Pursuit by Karen Witemeyer, Bethany House (Baker) Publishing, editors Dave Long, Charlene Patterson


The Aleppo Code by Terry Brennan, Kregel Publications, editors Dawn Anderson, Jannelle Tromp

Blessings in Disguise by Nancy Mehl, Guideposts Publications, editors Susan Downs, JoAnne Simmons

Finding Amanda by Robin Patchen, ACFW QIP (Independently Published), editor Holly Lorincz


A Bride for Bear from The Convenient Bride Collection by Erica Vetsch, Barbour Publishing, editor Rebecca Germany

A Palace on the Plains from The Most Eligible Bachelor Romance Collection by Erica Vetsch, Barbour Publishing, editor Rebecca Germany

The Archaeologist’s Find from The Homestead Brides Collection by Erica Vetsch, Barbour Publishing, editor Rebecca Germany


The Beekeeper’s Son by Kelly Irvin, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editor Becky Monds

Until the Harvest by Sarah Loudin Thomas, Bethany House (Baker) Publishing, editor David Long

Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Beth K. Vogt, Howard (Simon & Schuster), editors Jessica Wong, Beth Adams

Romantic Suspense:

No Place to Hide by Lynette Eason, Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group, editor Andrea Doering

Submerged by Elizabeth Goddard, Love Inspired (Harlequin), editor Elizabeth Mazer

Miracle Drug by Richard L. Mabry, M.D., Abingdon Press, editor Ramona Richards

Short Novel:

Covert Justice by Lynn Huggins Blackburn, Love Inspired (Harlequin), editor Elizabeth Mazer

The Christmas Family by Linda Goodnight, Love Inspired (Harlequin), editor Allison Lyons

The Doctor’s Second Chance by Missy Tippens, Love Inspired (Harlequin), editor Emily Rodmell


Vinnie’s Diner by Jennifer AlLee, Abingdon Press, editors Ramona Richards, Katherine Johnson

Heir of Hope by Morgan L. Busse, Enclave Publishing, editor Karen Ball

The Five Times I Met Myself by James L. Rubart, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editors Amanda Bostic, Erin Healy

Young Adult:

Angelhood by A.J. Cattapan, Vinspire Publishing, editor Jessica Damien

The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editor Becky Monds

Dauntless by Dina L. Sleiman, Bethany House (Baker) Publishing, editor Karen Schurrer


The Thornbearer by Pepper Basham, Vinspire Publishing, editor Jessica Damien

The Calling of Ella McFarland by Linda Brooks Davis, Mountainview Books LLC, editor Carol Kurtz Darlington

The First Principle by Marissa Shrock, Kregel Publications, editor Dawn Anderson

ACFW’s 2016 Editor of the Year Nominees, listed in alphabetical order:

Stephanie Broene – Tyndale

Jamie Chavez – Freelance

Raela Schoenherr – Bethany House

ACFW’s 2016 Agent of the Year Nominees, listed in alphabetical order:

Jim Hart – Hartline Literary Agency

Greg Johnson – WordServe Literary

Jessica Kirkland – Blythe Daniel Agency

The Carol Award winners, Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, Editor and Agent of the Year, Genesis Contest winners for unpublished manuscripts, and other honors will be awarded at the Gala at the ACFW conference in Nashville, TN, on August 27, 2016 (

Find this release in its entirety at

ACFW is a professional organization devoted to the craft of Christian Fiction. ACFW’s mission is to empower Christian novelists by inspiring them to join with God in the creative process, training them in the craft, and educating them in the publishing industry. For more information about ACFW, contact or