Announcing the 2018 Novel of the Year!

See full issue for 2018 03-26

As always, choosing the Novel of the Year - Editor's Choice winner was an extremely tough endeavor. Out of over 300 book submissions and more than 52 reviews, eight books were ranked Top Picks. From there, 10 judges read at least 3 books each, ranking them against each other for the final award.

Judges included Amy Biddle, Brian Braden, Jack Burks and Amy Simoneau, Katie French, Sandra Rutton, Melody Delgado, Candi Sary, Chantelle Atkins, and Amanda McSweeny.

Meanwhile, our Reader's Choice award was opened to Pitch Perfect Picks - books that stood out based on the premise, first page and overall presentation, and the winner was selected by our social media followers - thus highlighting a notable book that was overlooked by our reviewers.


THE LAST DETECTIVE stood out as a novel that broke the chains of its genre. While detective novels and sci-fi novels have been done, THE LAST DETECTIVE tread the line between the two niches and also managed to hit home on a philisophical note. Complete with a surprise ending and a new take on a futuristic alien invasion, this is a book for lovers of detective novels, adventure novels, sci-fi novels and, well, just pick it up, will you? You won't regret it.


THE VATICAN CAMEOS was selected as a Pitch Perfect Pick and voted by our social media followers for the Reader's Choice award. It is "A Sherlock Holmes adventure that finds the great detective trying to solve a mystery created by Michelangelo, 400 years earlier." Author Richard T. Ryan is a graduate of medieval studies and a Sherlock Holmes aficionado; the perfect man to resurrect one of literature's favorite sleuths.

Novel of The Year Judging Panel

Sandra Ruttan

2018 Novel of the Year Judge, Reviewer since 2017

Sandra Ruttan was traumatized at a young age when her mother threw her stuffed rabbit in the trash at the dump. Things went from bad to worse. She was hit by a car, had her foot partially severed and almost blew up with the Semana Santa parade in Seville, Spain. On the plus side her latest book, The Spying Moon, will be out September 2018. After the end of her ezine, Spinetingler Mag, she started a new ezine called Toe Six Press. Learn more about her at her website:

Visit Sandra Ruttan‘s website.

Preferred genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Horror, Speculative Fiction, mystery

Katie French

2018 NOY judge, Co-Founder

Katie French is an Amazon best-selling author in Young Adult dystopian romance. She works as a high school English teacher, a job that she loves even when it exhausts her. In her free time she writes manically, reads great books, and takes care of her two beautiful and crazy children. She aspires to spend as much time in yoga pants as possible. You can join her mailing list at and receive two free full-length novels. Contact her at

Visit Katie French‘s website.

Melody Delgado

2018 NOY Judge, Reviewer since 2017

Melody has been a published writer since 2000. Her work has appeared in national magazines and CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL. Her picture book, TEN ROARING DINOSAURS, was published by Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt. DO YOU KNOW HOW I GOT MY NAME? is a picture book published by Little Debbie/Mckee Foods. Her inspirational, historical YA romance, ROYALLY ENTITLED, was published by Clean Reads in May, 2017, which is part of her Brides of Brevalia series. OOPS-A-DAISY, a humorous, inspirational novel for young readers was also published in 2017, along with a YA novella, WHEN YOU WISH UPON A FAIRY.

Visit Melody Delgado‘s website.
Reading Preference:

Middle-grade, YA, Sweet Romance, Historical. Like Richard Peck, John Green, K.L. Going, Melanie Dickerson.

Preferred genres: Historical, Middle Grade, Romance, YA

Candi Sary

Judge for upcoming 2019 NOY award, Reviewer 2013 - 2017

Candi Sary is the author of Black Crow White Lie, a shortlist finalist in the William Faulkner William Wisdom Writing Competition and semifinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Sary lives in coastal Southern California with her husband and three dogs now that her kids are grown. She can often be found surfing and paddle boarding in the waters of Newport Beach.

Visit Candi Sary‘s website.

Chantelle Atkins

Reviewer since 2016, Judge for upcoming 2019 NOY awards

Chantelle Atkins is a mother of four from Dorset, England. She is addicted to both music and books and is currently on a mission to become as self-sufficient as possible. She has self-published four novels and has just released her first short story collection. She writes for both the YA and adult genres. When she’s not writing books, she’s busy running her writing business Chasing Driftwood, which delivers creative writing clubs and workshops to local children and adults. She also writes regular articles about writing for Author’s Publish magazine, as well as short pieces for a local parenting magazine.


Visit Chantelle Atkins‘s website.

Amanda McSweeney

Reviewer since 2017, Judge for upcoming 2019 NOY

Amanda McSweeney is an inactive librarian and freelance writer living in the Greater Boston area.

Visit Amanda McSweeney‘s website.

Preferred genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Young Adult

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