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Okay–now things are starting to get exciting!

As part of all my promotional activities, I’ve been entering Separation of Faith in a lot of contests. Last week I posted that the novel made the first cut in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award competition.

And now I have learned that Separation of Faith placed as runner-up to the grand prize winner in the 2010 DIY Book Festival!

For any of you who are stopping by this blog for the first time, if you check out the blog launch posting on November 4, 2009 (https://cherilaser.wordpress.com/2009/11/04/hello-world/), you’ll see how far we’ve come! And this truly is turning out to be “A Journey from Publishing Obscurity to Somewhere Else”!

Holy cow is all I can say at the moment! What a feeling!

–Cheri

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Yay! Hurray! And oh what a feeling!

There’s certainly a very long way to go in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award before the winners are announced. HOWEVER … Separation of Faith has made the first cut! Only 1000 of the 5000 entries in General Fiction will be moving on to the next round … and my novel is one of those 1000! As I said before … Yay!

This first round was judged primarily on the book’s pitch, and here’s the one I entered:

In the summer of 1945, as World War II is ending, nineteen-year-old Abby Ryan is studying to become a nun. On the serene grounds of the convent in Kettle Falls, Washington, she is assaulted by two male trespassers and rescued by Sinclair Mellington, a handsome army captain attending a retreat at the institution. 
 
More than sixty years later, in 2008, Isaiah Mellington, an unemployed attorney in his fifties, receives a posthumous communication from his late father Sinclair containing instructions that send Isaiah to Kettle Falls to wrap up loose ends in the wake of Sister Abby’s death. There he discovers that the “loose ends” in question are connected to a life Abby lived outside the convent. And eight days after his arrival, Isaiah is still in Kettle Falls, with four women. One is an aging former nun who’s been the keeper of Abby’s secrets. Another becomes a romantic interest for him. And two are women whose lives have been abruptly hijacked by Sister Abby’s past. 
 
Separation of Faith is a story of intrigue, suspense, sorrow, and redemption, reminding us that knowing who we are is prelude to uncovering our destiny. As betrayal encroaches upon Isaiah as well, the twisted fabric of secrets and lies—amalgamating through a generation while short-circuiting destiny—begins to unravel. In the end, no one touched by Abby Ryan’s story is spared the scourge of heartbreak. And by the time Isaiah Mellington returns to Seattle from Kettle Falls, nothing about the life he’d taken for granted when he left two weeks earlier will ever be the same again.

Judging for Round Two will now start focusing on the book’s submitted “excerpt”–the first 3000-5000 words, which in my case equals the first chapter of Separation of Faith. Authors making this next cut will be announced on March 22.

As I said in the beginning, there’s still a long way to go in this contest, and the competition is tough. But this is certainly a welcome start and validation!

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The 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award opened for submissions at 12:01 a.m. this morning. There are only two categories: General Fiction and YA, with a maximum of 5000 entries allowed in each. The deadline is February 6 or whenever 5000 entries are received.

Last week before I left for the Writer’s Digest Conference, iUniverse sent me the Word file representing the printed version of Separation of Faith in order to enter this contest. So I spent about nine hours reformatting things, working on the 300-word pitch (which was a little easier on the heels of the conference), and trying to get a photo down to the tiny pixel size they want.

Now the novel is officially entered. Writers will have until February 6 to go in and edit things, so I’ll review each section a time or two before “letting the entry go.” Fortunately, the “excerpt” portion is supposed to be the first 3000 (min)-5000 (max) words of the book (not counting things like the dedication, acknowledgements, etc.), and the first chapter of Separation of Faith is 4936. So, that worked out well. 🙂

Some of my blogging buddies are entering as well, especially Jacqui at worddreams, who did a great post on the contest (http://worddreams.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/abnas-back/#respond). If anyone else is entering, let me know.

Later …

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