My yet-to-be-published novel, The Obedient Heart, won second place in the inspirational romance genre of the Royal Palm Literary Awards contest. This was exciting news at first, but the competitive muse who sometimes takes over my thinking, reminded me that it didn't take FIRST place. After reading the synopsis of the first place winner, I'd say that author earned it. And I had to remind myself that being second place doesn't mean that only two novelists in this category entered the contest. According to Florida Writers Association Group Facilitator, Kaye Coppersmith, no one wins just for entering. If the entries don't meet the FWA standards, then there is no winner for that category. Second place is acceptable. I recall back in the days of Ted Mack's "The Amateur Hour" (the 1960s prelude to "America's Got Talent") Ann-Margaret took second place to a leaf blower. In an interview several years later, the famous actress-singer said, "I wonder where that leaf blower is now." I hope and pray the First Place winner gets a publishing contract, as I'm sure the author is much more talented than a man who made music by blowing through leaves. Ha!
The Obedient Heart takes place in south Tampa, with quick trips to Chicago, IL and Paris, France. Here's a brief synopsis:
Held captive in a tiny hut deep in the Guatemalan rain forest, Ted Bohannon and his friend, Donald Gregory, have one goal: take the four children imprisoned with them and escape.
Two years later, Ted's widowed sister Jennifer Ryaan paces in her living room. A mysterious note with a Guatemalan postmark appeared in her mailbox that afternoon. Someone knows her missing brother's fate. And her friends couldn't have picked a worse time to set her up on a blind date with airline pilot Jack McGowan.
FBI Agents, who investigated the original case, received new information about Jennifer's brother from a confidential informant. With Jennifer's permission, they set up phone taps and surveillance. A clandestine meeting in Paris brought Jack under the cross hairs of their suspicion.
Jennifer refuses to believe her new love is involved, but how can she argue with such compelling evidence as photos of Jack with two international crime bosses?
The tug-of-war between Jennifer's feelings for Jack and her determination to locate her missing brother is overshadowed by two men from Guatemala who stalk her. They offer to take her to her brother for a price-a price too high for her heart of obedience to God. From mysterious notes to Jennifer's kidnapping, this novel proves that an obedient heart can be broken, but faith in the Lord will help to mend it.
If you'd like to see this novel published, please let me know by posting your comment on this blog. Or if you think I need to "bump up" the synopsis, let me know that, too. I'm open to suggestions.