Animal & Pet

Incredibull Stella by Marika Meeks & Elizabeth Ridley

While recovering from a serious illness, Marika Meeks adopted an abandoned pit bull puppy and named her Stella. Together, they healed each other . 

Publisher: Kensington Publishing

ISBN: 978-0806539461

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: GOLD                             

Man of the House: Life with the Lady at the End of My Leash by Mary Kiser

With a Marmaduke meets Carrie Bradshaw feel, Mary and Mac write about their loves, fears, and fear of love.

Publisher: Mac House Press

ISBN: 978-1733142915

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: SILVER

The Year of the Dogs by Vincent J. Musi

From a labrador that likes opera to a tooting bulldog, Vincent Musi chronicled the character and personality of everyday dogs and compiled them into one gorgeous and captivating book.

Publisher: Chronicle Books

ISBN: 978-1452181929

Purchase Link:   Amazon

Award Level:Honorable Mention

Autobiography & Memoir

I AM...a character by PJ Colando

I call my short story fiction genre “loose with the truth” because there is always, always, always a kernel of truth in the fiction I flash.

Publisher: Pattis Press

ISBN: 978-1795525480

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: GOLD                      

Tracing the Desire Line by Melissa Matthewson

Tracing the Desire Line follows a writer’s journey of opening her marriage with her husband. The story—told through short memoirs, essays, lists, letters, and hybrid prose poems—is an intimate inquiry into one woman’s search for autonomy with detours into meditations on music, motherhood, religion, love, and wildness
Publisher: Split Lip Press

ISBN: 978-1076136138

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: Silver

Swell: A Sailing Surfer's Voyage of Awakening by Liz Clark

Captain Liz Clark spent her youth dreaming of traveling the world by sailboat and surfing remote waves. When she was 22, she met a mentor who helped turn her desire into reality. Embarking on an adventure that most only fantasize about, she set sail from Santa Barbara, California, as captain of her 40-foot sailboat, Swell, headed south in search of surf, self, and the wonder and learning that lies beyond the unbroken horizon. 

Publisher: Patagonia

ISBN: 978-1-938340-54-3

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: Honorable Mention

Mind, Body & Spirit

STOKED: A Spiritual Journey from Employee to Lifestyle Entrepreneur by Greg Rex

In STOKED, entrepreneur Greg Rex uses his incredible “Mastery through Mentorship” formula to demonstrate how anyone can build a sustainable and profitable “for-benefit” business – one with the primary mission of having a positive impact on society.

Publisher: Merack Publishing

ISBN: 978-1949635225

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: GOLD                       

The BUILD Framework® : A Heart-Based System for Personal and Professional Growth by John Peitzman

Do you feel a bit overwhelmed or unmotivated? Is passion or purpose missing from your daily routine? Do you want to reignite the drive to achieve personal and professional success. In The BUILD Framework®, Certified High Performance Coach™ John Peitzman (JP) offers you a blueprint to build a better future.
Publisher: Build Heart Publishing

ISBN: 978-0648345312

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: Silver

Wedding Bells After Fifty: We Got Married and So Can You! by Autumn Marie

Captain Liz Clark spent her youth dreaming of traveling the world by sailboat and surfing remote waves. When she was 22, she met a mentor who helped turn her desire into reality. Embarking on an adventure that most only fantasize about, she set sail from Santa Barbara, California, as captain of her 40-foot sailboat, Swell, headed south in search of surf, self, and the wonder and learning that lies beyond the unbroken horizon. 

Publisher: AMS Books

ISBN: 978-1948792080

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: Honorable Mention

Business & Career

WE CAN: The Executive Woman's Guide to Career Advancement by Robin Toft

Through her own inspiring journey from employee to powerful female executive, Robin Toft couples the wisdom she gleaned at the boardroom table as an executive with over a decade of experience in executive search as Founder and CEO of the award-winning Toft Group.

Publisher: Merack Publishing

ISBN: 978-1949635034

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: GOLD                          

Tiger by the Tail: 99 Secrets to Tame and Master Your Business by Marty Park

Tiger by the Tail is for every entrepreneur that got past the startup phase only to find the challenges got worse. In this book, Marty shares the ideas, secrets, and tools to be a tiger tamer and master entrepreneur.

Publisher: Merack Publishing

ISBN: 978-1544505299

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: SILVER                            

YOU GOT THIS: Everything You Need to Master Authentic Public Speaking by Lisa Kleiman

Lisa Kleiman is a speaking consultant with a passion for communication. She has coached hundreds of individuals and facilitated classes, workshops, and seminars across the globe. In You Got This, she shares her secrets about stepping out in front of any group and successfully delivering your message with clarity, confidence, and authenticity.

Publisher: River Grove Books

ISBN: 978-1632992321

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: Honorable Mention          

Education

My Two Cents: Taking the Care Out of Health Care by Antonio Paulo Pinto

The book includes over a dozen ideas on fixing and improving Obamacare! Ideas to lower premiums, lower deductibles, and even to address Prescription drug pricing and availability, and the hospital system closure crisis! The book is an insider’s view that describes the powerful potential and broken promises of Obamacare, offering a realistic, actionable, and solution-oriented plan to address the affordability of health insurance plans and affordable access to the health care system.

Publisher: Gatekeeper Press

ISBN: 978-1642378948

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: GOLD                        

Eventology: The Science Behind Nonprofit Fundraising by Darren Diess & Michelle Gilmore

In Eventology, Darren Diess and Michelle Gilmore skillfully combine the art, science, and math of event fundraising to create a comprehensive resource guide to help you flawlessly execute a successful fundraising event and build long-term donor relationships that equate to sustainability for your cause. Publisher: Merack Publishing ISBN: 978-1949635188 Purchase Link: Amazon Award Level: SILVER

Top Students, Top Parents:  A Manual for Parents Who Want to Help Their Children Become All They Can Be by Kathleen Burns

Millions of parents are frustrated because they know their children can do better, yet they don’t know how to help them. All children have the potential to be Top Students! Parents just need to know how to prepare their preschool child for formal learning, then give them the help and support they need to succeed while in school.

Publisher: Gatekeeper Press

ISBN: 978-1642372601

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: SILVER 

Popular Fiction

Redesigning Happiness by Nita Brooks

Witty, sharply-observed, and warmly wise, Nita Brooks’ debut novel tells the heartfelt story of a suddenly successful single mother who finds her perfectly-designed, fame-bound life upended by a surprise from the past . . .

Publisher: Kensington Publishing

ISBN: 978-1496721921

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: GOLD                           

Outlaws by Allen Cody

Outlaws is a collection of mythic tales transporting the reader from the depths of the sea to the stark western deserts, introducing pirates and warrior chiefs and modern-day fugitives.

Publisher: SeaStory/Kdp

ISBN: 978-1936818518

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: SILVER                             

Float Plan by Rob Hiaasen

Will Larkin teaches algebra and has been married 2.92 years (he never rounds off). He has no children, two friends and one dog. His life is perfectly routine until he loses his wife, job, dog, boat and even his freedom all in one spectacularly hard year.

Publisher: Apprentice House Press

ISBN: 978-1-62720-200-8

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: Honorable Mention                       

Fiction: Action/Thriller

Hawke's Target by Reavis Z. Wortham

Judge. Jury. Executioner. One man is taking the law into his own hands. His targets are criminals who slipped through the justice system. From California to Texas, this relentless avenger hunts down the unpunished and sentences them to death.

Publisher: Kensington Publishing

ISBN: 978-0786041800

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: GOLD                           

Total Mayhem by John Gilstrap

In bestselling author John Gilstrap’s ticking time bomb of a thriller, freelance operative Jonathan Grave penetrates a terrorist cell to stop the detonation of total mayhem on home ground . . .

Publisher: Kensington Publishing

ISBN: 978-0786039821

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: SILVER                    

Guarding Savage: A Peter Savage Novel by Dave Edlund

Following the brutal abduction of a friend, Peter is drawn into a sinister scheme, fueled by century-old animosity, which threatens peace in the Pacific.

Publisher: Light Messages Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-61153-243-2

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level:  Honorable Mention                       

Fiction: Historical

Babylon Laid Waste: A Journey in the Twilight of the Idols by Brigitte Goldstein

Alerted by a letter from Berlin that her grandmother may be alive in a Jewish hospice there, Misia Safran, a former refugee living in New York, is determined to follow the lead and return to her native Germany.

Publisher: BookLocker

ISBN: 978-1644387696

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: GOLD                          

The Viking Priest: A Saga of Fate, Faith, Adventure, and Love by Linda Kay Dahlen

By AD 1000, feared and fierce Norse explorers had sailed as far as present-day Canada, bringing with them an exchange of goods and customs, technology and theology. At a time when Christianity was rapidly replacing ancient Norse religion and culture, one young convert, Brand, affects history in more ways than he could have ever expected.

Publisher: Beaver’s Pond Press

ISBN: 978-1-59298-775-7

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: SILVER

In the Company of Like-Minded Women by Elaine Russell

In the Company of Like-Minded Women explores the complexities of bonds between sisters and family at the start of the 20th century when women struggled to determine their future and the “New Woman” demanded an equal voice. Three sisters are reunited in 1901 Denver following a family rift many years before. Each sister faces critical decisions regarding love, work, and the strength of her convictions. The success of Colorado women in gaining the right to vote in 1893–twenty-seven years before the passage of national suffrage–and their continued fight for women’s rights, provides the background as the story unfolds.

Publisher: Belle Histories

ISBN: 978-1-73249-940-9

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: Honorable Mention

Fiction: Mystery & Suspense

Someone Knows by Lisa Scottoline

Allie Garvey is heading home to the funeral of a childhood friend. Allie is not only grief-stricken, she’s full of dread. Because going home means seeing the other two people with whom she shares an unbearable secret.

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons

ISBN: 978-0525539667

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: GOLD                      

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The Gallows Green Killer by Frances Lloyd

Rosemary and Dick Brown move into a beautiful, secluded house on Gallows Green in the idyllic Somerset village of Lullington Barrow. It seems like a dream come true. But is it too good to be true?

Publisher: Joffe Books

ISBN: 978-1789312317

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: SILVER

Antiques Ravin' by Barbara Allen

When a series of creepy crimes plagues an ill-fated Edgar Allan Poe festival, newly elected county sheriff Vivian Borne, along with her reluctant deputy daughter Brandy and spunky shih tzu Sushi, springs into action.

Publisher: Kensington Publishing

ISBN: 978-1496711410

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: Honorable Mention          

Fiction: Science Fiction & Fantasy

Outlaws by Allen Cody

Outlaws is a collection of mythic tales transporting the reader from the depths of the sea to the stark western deserts, introducing pirates and warrior chiefs and modern-day fugitives.

Publisher: SeaStory/Kdp

ISBN: 978-1936818518

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: GOLD                           

Carnival Panic by Catori Sarmiento

Candy makes the PonPon Bunnies sweet. Be careful if they’re angry. And watch out for traps! These are the dangers of competing in the Carnival Panic game show, a ruthless competition that tests the chosen competitors with mental and physical struggles. In order to claim the substantial monetary prize, the winner must solve a series of room puzzles and succeed in entertaining the fickle masses.

Publisher: Corvus Quill Press

ISBN: 978-1513649740

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: SILVER                 

Tales from Mushroom Manor by Joplin James Patras

Our friends from Mushroom Manor are back! The evil, sorceress elf, Leona, has finally risen into power! After nearly destroying Firefly Forest, she now has her sights set on conquering the rest of the Lands of Morada! Our enchanted pals separate into two different groups, hoping to find a way to stop her before their time runs out! .

Publisher: The Search for Ferante

ISBN: 978-1986031752

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: Honorable Mention         

Health & Fitness

The Healing Powers of Superfoods: A Complete Guide to Nature' Favorite Functional Foods by Cal Orey

Infused with heartwarming stories and inspiring legends, The Healing Powers of Superfoods will take you to a world of wellness that starts at home with our favorite foods from Mother Nature—enjoyed in a new way with an exciting twist!

Publisher: Kensington Publishing

ISBN: 978-0806538983

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: GOLD                          

Diabetes Head to Toe: Everything You Need to Know about Diagnosis, Treatment, and Living with Diabetes by Rita R. Kalyani, MD, MHS; Mark D. Corriere, MD; Thomas W. Donner, MD; Michael W. Quartuccio, MD

Diabetes Head to Toe is an invaluable resource for anyone living with diabetes. It includes everything you should know about the disease―straight from the experts. The authors, all doctors who specialize in diabetes care, offer simple explanations and essential advice on all things diabetes.

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press

ISBN: 978-1-4214-2648-8

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: SILVER                        

The Plant Paradox Quick and Easy: The 30-Day Plan to Lose Weight, Feel Great, and Live Lectin-Free by Dr. Steven R Gundry MD 

Readers learned the surprising truth about foods that have long been regarded as healthy. Lectins—a type of protein found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, dairy, and grains—wreak havoc on the gut, creating systemic inflammation and laying the groundwork for disease and weight gain. Avoiding lectins offers incredible health benefits but requires a significant lifestyle change—one that, for many people, can feel overwhelming.

Publisher: Harper Wave

ISBN: 978-0062911995

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: Honorable Mention                     

Humor

I AM...a character by PJ Colando

I call my short story fiction genre “loose with the truth” because there is always, always, always a kernel of truth in the fiction I flash.

Publisher: Pattis Press

ISBN: 978-1795525480

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: GOLD    

The Reluctant RV Wife by Gerri Almand

Follow a reluctant wife and her excited husband through two humorously-conflicted years of RV travel. He wanted to go; she wanted to stay. They both learn, grow, and change as a new level of freedom evolves.

Publisher: Sunbury Press

ISBN: 978-1620061473

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: SILVER                        

Strange Crime: Oddball Crimes, Capers, Plots, Laws, and More by Editors of Portable Press

Loaded with dozens of entertaining and amusing articles about actual crimes, this latest book from Portable Press will definitely leave you scratching your head. Dumb crooks, celebrities gone bad, unsolved mysteries, odd laws, and more—Strange Crime has plenty of stories that will make you ask yourself, “What could they possibly have been thinking?” This easily portable paperback book is ideal for readers on the go. Take it to school, to work, to jury duty!

Publisher: Portable Press

ISBN: 978-1-68412-277-6

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: Honorable Mention                     

Travel

Love in the Eye of the Storm: Hurricane Irma, Saint Martin & Togetherness by Billy Nahn

A timeless and gripping true story about a couple celebrating being free of breast cancer as well as a belated honeymoon on a Caribbean Island only to be periled by one of the largest hurricanes in modern history. Love, friendship, survival and gracious luck all come into play during this harrowing ordeal.

Publisher: William J Nahn

ISBN: 978-0578533377

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: GOLD                   

Columbus Uncovered: Fascinating, Real-Life Stories About Unusual People, Places & Things in Ohio's Capital City by John Clark

A long-lost, world-class amusement park … huge replicas of the world’s biggest wonders … a 1903 stage play with eight galloping horses. Columbus has had its share of odd attractions over the years. And scandals, too – the fake drug that led to the formation of the Food and Drug Administration … the 19th century pharmacist who loved to sunbathe nude atop his castle … the early visit of an airship that led to a riot. And many curiosities are still with us today – a neighborhood with 50 Frank Lloyd Wright-style homes … a blind, high school marching band … a company that makes burglar-proof burial vaults. Columbus Uncovered reveals dozens of the most-unusual chapters in our city’s history. You’ll find them all fascinating.

Publisher: Gatekeeper Press

ISBN: 978-1619845664

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: SILVER                        

Excess Baggage: One Family's Around-the-World Search for Balance by Tracey Carisch

Tracey Carisch thought she had it all. As a wife, mother, and successful executive, she seemed to be living the modern American dream. But one night, a panic attack sent her tumbling into an existential crisis and questioning everything about her life. That’s when she and her husband made a decision that shocked their family and friends: they sold everything they owned, pulled their three young daughters out of school, and became a family of wandering globetrotters.

Publisher: She Writes Press

ISBN: 978-1-63152-411-0

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: Honorable Mention

Legacy Award: Fiction

Peace of Evon by Dorothy Tinker

When deities take mortal form, Chaos abounds!

Ferez Katani, young king of war-torn Evon, never expected to learn that the dangerous criminal known as the Ghost is actually James Caffers, a boy younger than himself. But when given the chance to travel anonymously with the strange youth in the hopes of finding peace for his country, Ferez accepts wholeheartedly. After all, it’s only for a season.

Publisher: Balance of Seven

ISBN: 978-0991083985

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: GOLD                          

The Dust Will Answer by Richard Risemberg

1978: The wave of gentrification has yet to break over downtown Los Angeles, and vast swathes of the warehouse district lie nearly abandoned next to the city’s concrete-clad river. Lenny Strasser, a straight-arrow with a taste for shady places, plunges into that world to discover that sometimes the only distance between two points is a very crooked line.

Publisher: LuLu

ISBN: 978-1312984677

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: SILVER                     

The Lost Tide: Playing with Fire by David Tenenbaum

The wave-chasing saga continues as the Maryland scientists come face to face with an extinction level event.

Publisher: KDP

ISBN: 978-1699044735

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: Honorable Mention           

Legacy Award: Non-Fiction

Kem Weber: Mid-Century Furniture Designs for The Disney Studios by David A. Bossert

David A. Bossert celebrates and details the form and function of this unique mid-century furniture and the impact it had on the Disney animation process over the decades.

Publisher: The Old Mill Press

ISBN: 978-1732602007

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: GOLD                           

Stories from the Middle Seat: The Four-Million-Mile Journey to Building a Billion Dollar International Business by R.F. Hemphill

Sharing letters he sent to his father during his years of traveling the world building—and then saving—a multi-billion dollar company, Bob Hemphill’s Stories from the Middle Seat recounts the funny, unique, and sometimes out­landish parts of international business.

Publisher: Strelitzia Ventures

ISBN: 978-0991298518

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: SILVER                        

Lawyers Decoded: Essential Knowledge for Saving Money and Reducing Legal Hassles by Melody A. Kramer, Esq.

In this groundbreaking work, Melody Kramer uses her 20+ years as a trial lawyer to untangle the mysterious world of lawyers, giving you the inside scoop on why lawyers are the way they are, why they think and act the way they do, and how to use that information to empower your working relationships with them. This easy-to-read book is filled with real-life stories and helpful “hacks”—practical tips you can use right away to save money, save time, and reduce stress.

Publisher: Legal Greenhouse Publishing

ISBN: 978-1732201200

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: Honorable Mention         

Legacy Award: Children’s/Middle Grade/Young Adult

Hookity-Tookity-Tah by Antonio Mugica and Hermann Mejia

Written in verse, Hookity-Tookity-Tah is a wizard baker boy who uses his cooking magic to rid his town of a bullying dragon.

Publisher: Multiple Personality Entertainment

ISBN: 978-9962552413

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: GOLD                           

Phoenix Award—Best New Voice: Fiction

Muderabilia by Carl Vonderau

Three decades ago, a madman committed thirteen unspeakable killings. Now they’ve started again, and his son is the sole suspect…

Publisher: Midnight Ink

ISBN: 978-0738761305

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: gold                             

Seidon's Tale by Bill VanPatten

Following the lead of authors like Madeline Miller and Rick Riordan, who pen modern mythology-based fiction so well, Seidon’s Tale depicts Poseidon as a complex but kind-hearted god who loves his brothers and sisters almost to a fault.

Publisher: Input and More

ISBN: 978-1795053617

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: SILVER                            

Tales from Mushroom Manor: Book One: The Sorceress Returns by Joplin James Patras

Join Suzy Shortbread, Penelope Pringles, Francois Frog and the other friends from Mushroom Manor as they find themselves on an adventure of a lifetime! An epic battle between Dark and White magic is about to begin! Who will end up controlling all the Lands of Morada?

Publisher: KDP

ISBN: 978-1983899911

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: Honorable Mention       

A Former Life: An overview of two centuries 60 years in the making by Bill Cushing

A collection of poems by Bill Cushing, often referred to as the “blue collar” poet based on his previous years working at shipyards and various other blue collar jobs.

Publisher: Finishing Line Press

ISBN: 978-1635349382

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: Honorable Mention        

Phoenix Award—Best New Voice: Non-fiction

6 Healing Questions: A Gentle Path to Healing Childhood Loss of a Parent by Madonna Treadway

Written for adults who have lost a parent or parents at an early age, Madonna shares her own story of loss, asks gentle questions, provides tangible tools, and easy-to-understand research.

Publisher: MCM

ISBN: 978-0988888227

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: GOLD                           

Six Healing Questions

Almost Like a Professional: My life and career as a West Texas musician by Cary C Banks

Cary Banks traces his long journey down the lost highway of the music business with stories that are often funny but many times poignant.

Publisher: Bankonit Music LLC

ISBN: 978-0578561813

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: SILVER                         

Memories in Dragonflies: Simple Lessons for Mindful Dying by Lannette Cornell Bloom

A touching and soulful memoir that gracefully uncovers the beauty that is often lost within the dying process, Memories in Dragonflies is a beautiful portrait of what it means to be human and a gentle reminder to enjoy every moment, because even the simplest ones bring lasting joy.

Publisher: She Writes Press

ISBN: 978-1631524691

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: Honorable Mention        

Phoenix Award—Best New Voice: Children’s/Middle Grade/Young Adult

Merged by Jim & Stephanie Kroepfl

Seven of our country’s most gifted teens will become Nobels, hosts for the implantation of brilliant Mentor minds, in an effort to accelerate human progress. But as the line between what’s possible and what’s right, draws ever blurrier, the teens discover everything has a cost.

Publisher: Month9Books

ISBN: 978-1948671347

Purchase Link: Amazon

Award Level: GOLD                          

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