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Four Whitaker House books are among the Retailers Best Awards finalists
Four Whitaker House titles – both fiction and nonfiction – are among the finalists in the 2013 Retailers Best Awards sponsored byChristian Retailing magazine. 
Guillermo Maldonado’s 2012 release The Glory of God is vying for best Charismatic book with the Spanish version, La Gloria De Dios, a finalist in the Spanish category. Dr. Maldonado, Whitaker House’s top selling author in 2011 and 2012, is releasing a new book, The Kingdom of Power in May 2013.

Whitaker House’s bestselling fiction author Sharlene MacLaren returns to the Retailers Best Awards finals with Ellie's Haven, second book in her River of Hope series set in 1920s-era Wabash, Indiana. MacLaren’s contemporary romance, Tender Vow, was 2012 finalist.

Laura V. Hilton, whose unique brand of Amish romance is rapidly endearing her to fans of the genre, is a finalist in the Amish fiction category with Healing Love, Book One in the Amish of Webster County series. Hilton is a newcomer to this competition, but no stranger to awards. Her Amish romance A Harvest of Hearts became a contender for the 2012 Laurel Award after winning the Amish category, then went on to win the top honor.

Winners of Christian Retailing's Best awards will be announced at the International Christian Retail Show in St. Louis in June. For more info:

Diamond in the Rough Comp.jpgDiamond in the Rough earns 4 stars from Romantic Times
Early reviews for Diamond in the Rough -- a first collaborative effort by veteran Christian fiction authors Jennifer AlLee and Lisa Karon Richardson – have been overwhelmingly positive. In the May issue of Romantic Times, reviewer Patsy Glans gives the historical romance four stars, commenting, “AlLee and Richardson each bring their unique writing style to a storyline that works quite well together. Book One in the Charm & Deceit Series has romance, misunderstandings, lovable characters, and a ton of laughter.”
Joe Allison, writing for the blog, A Christian Writer's Journal called Diamond in the Rough “a story that’ll make you turn off that latest police procedural on TV for a much more enjoyable (and wholesome) yarn of the Old West.”
Diamond in the Rough by Jennifer AlLee and Lisa Karon Richardson releases May 1 from Whitaker House.

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Compelling interview with Laura Hilton on Surrendered Love
Julie Arduini’s compelling interview with Laura V. Hilton should put to rest any notion that Christian fiction authors live idyllic storybook lives. Laura shares several extremely challenging, faith-testing circumstances she’s faced in recent years – breast cancer and her mother’s sudden stroke – through which God sustained and comforted her:

“When I had breast cancer and had to go through treatments, I had a three year old. I was homeschooling. I told the doctor I didn’t have time for cancer. I did a lot of praying,” she said. “At the end, the doctor told me I was on the harshest treatment out there and in his entire career he’d never seen anyone sail through it the way I did. I told him it was all God.”

As far as the challenges her Surrendered Love characters face, Hilton thinks it varies from reader to reader.  “The message I walked away with made me cry: I’m accepted in the beloved.”