Light Messages Brings Home Silver and Gold from IBPA's 2020 Benjamin Franklin Awards

Two Benjamin Franklin Medal Winners That Belong on Your Bookshelf

Light Messages is excited to announce that two titles received medals during the 2020 Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Benjamin Franklin Awards. 

During this week's "The Shelter-in-Place" IBPA B20200413 200803 23034enjamin Franklin Awards ceremony, Light Messages brought home one gold and one silver medal among approximately 1,800 nominees in nearly 50 categories.

USA TODAY bestselling author Amalie Jahn won gold for her contemporary YA novel, The Next to Last Mistake. Shannon Hitchcock, author of The Ballad of Jessie Pearl, Ruby Lee & Me, and One True Way, praised this book for its "heartwarming story about the power of female friendships." Ann Rose, author of Road to Eugenica and Breakout, says, “Amalie Jahn will break your heart and heal it again with her book, The Next to Last Mistake.” Amalie previously was awarded the Literary Classics Seal of Approval and the Readers' Favorite Gold Medal for her debut novel, The Clay Lion.

Our silver award-winning book this year, Lethal Savage, belongs to USA TODAY bestselling author Dave Edlund's Peter Savage Novels. The Peter Savage series has been praised by industry-leading authors, including James Rollins, Jon Land, and K.J. Howe. New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Steve Berry lauded the Peter Savage series as "required reading for any thriller aficionado," and USA TODAY bestselling author of the Caitlin Strong series, Jon Land, said, "Edlund is right at home with his bestselling brethren, Brad Thor and Brad Taylor."

We invite you to take a closer look at these titles.

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Spring Novel Recognized by Publications, Authors, and Activists for Roots in Spirituality and Love for Nature

9781611532425Durham, NC—Of Green Stuff Woven, published by Bishop Cathleen Bascom in March, receives recognition for roots in spirituality and nature.

"Of Green Stuff Woven is a remarkable love story. Not a romance, but a narrative that roots itself within Cathleen Bascom’s spirituality and love of the prairie as well as her love of the Episcopal Church." – The Living Church

Cathleen, recently ordained as the first female bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas, recently published her debut novel with Light Messages Publishing. Now that the novel is on the shelves, Of Green Stuff Woven has been endorsed by The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry—presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, The Living ChurchForeword Reviews, and several Christian authors and environmental activists.

"This new novel by ‘writing bishop’ Cathleen Bascom is a book you won’t want to put down! ... And for the sake of us all, it’s a book with a message that we can’t put down." –The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church

Told by Brigid Brenchley—kind and quirky cathedral dean—Of Green Stuff Woven depicts a group of native gardeners who are restoring tallgrass prairie on land connected to their historic Episcopal cathedral in Des Moines, Iowa. They are approached by hotel developers and are caught between their passion for the prairie and their need for money to repair their crumbling cathedral. 

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Standing for the Truth

"Standing Room Only" for Liar Liar Book Launch

LiarLiar Cover01

All seats were filled during last Saturday’s Liar Liar book launch party—leaving many readers and fans to stand during international bestselling author Nancy Boyarsky's event.

Nancy celebrated her newest Nicole Graves release at Book Soup in West Hollywood, where she had the opportunity to connect Liar Liar to national #MeToo movement headlines. In Liar Liar, Nicole finds herself babysitting a witness in a high-profile rape trial. But Mary Ellen Barnes's lies and mysterious comings and goings lead Nicole to suspect that she’s not the good girl she appears to be.

No one wants to own up to the truth in Liar Liar, not even Nicole. But when the witness goes missing during the trial, Nicole is caught up in a tangle of lies that turns deadly. After the investigator assigned to the case fails to do his job, Nicole is determined to find the killer on her own, no matter the risks.

Since her reading during the book launch, Nancy's Liar Liar has become the #1 paperback fiction novel sold at Book Soup.

Readers, don't miss these next opportunities to hear Nancy speak and get a signed copy of Liar Liar. Nancy will be at Books Inc. in Palo Alto at October 10th (7 p.m.) and Vroman’s in Pasadena on October 25th (7 p.m.).

Liar Liar is now available with your favorite retailers. Get your copy now.

Stephen Martino, author of the Alex Pella Novels wins Gold Medal

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Author of the Alex Pella Novels wins FAPA Gold Medal

FinalRealityCover FrontLake Buena Vista, FL (8/6/2018) – The Annual 2018 Florida Authors and Publishers Association President’s Book Awards honored The Final Reality by Stephen Martino, in the category of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, as a Gold medal winner.

Hosted by the Florida Authors and Publishers Association, this prestigious national award is open to books published between 2017 and 2018. The judges for this national competition are librarians, educators, and publishing professionals.

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We Want to Meet You in New Orleans at ALA

We love librarians. You love books. Let's meet up.

Light Messages Publishing, founded in 1998, is a family-run, general trade publisher located in Durham, North Carolina. We pride ourselves in bringing to light meaningful books by emerging and award-winning authors.

Stop by Booth 3549 to meet our USA Today Bestselling and award-winning authors. We're bringing 6 of our best authors to share their books with you.

Authors will have a limited quantity of books to sign and give away during each signing.

Visit us at booth 3549 for a chance to win a "Librarian's Survival Kit" valued at over $100.


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Anniversary of the Durham City Schools Desegregation

August 7th, 1970, Durham City Schools sent out letters to every student in its school system, both black and white. All printed letters read, “Your child, ________, has been assigned for the 1970-71 school year to _______ School. Yours very truly, Lew W. Hannen, Superintendent, Durham City Schools.” The blanks were filled in the with hand-written notes assigning each student to one of the officially desegregated schools.

Today, August 7th, marks the forty-seventh anniversary of the Durham City Schools' desegregation.

After the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) sued Durham City School System in 1968, the courts ruled that the Durham County School Board must initiate a plan to desegregate the schools. The approved plan marked 1969 as the year for the initiative to begin, but a judge offered an extra year for elementary students.

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Amalie Jahn joins the Light Messages family!


Please help us in welcoming our newest author to the Light Messages family. Amalie Jahn is the bestselling author of The Clay Lion.

Amalie's Light Messages book, The Next to Last Mistake, is a story of a precious friendship that overcomes disparities in race, creed, and socioeconomic status. When blond-haired blue-eyed Tess Goodwin moves with her family from Iowa to a military base in Fayetteville, NC, she’s paired with a black student mentor, Leonetta Jackson. Tess discovers a series of connective threads between them – their love of reading, hatred of bullies, and need for companionship – sparking a tentative friendship.

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Don't Miss These 5 Fall Releases

Enjoy Releases from September & October

As fall arrives, shorter days mean longer evenings for reading. And we have 5 new releases from Light Messages to fill your shelves: Say to These Mountains: A biography of faith and ministry in rural HaitiFaith and Air: The miracle listGoing to School in Black and White: a dual memoir of desegregationThe Sheep Walker's Daughter, and The Final Reality.

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Miracles on the Air

The Miracles in Faith and Air have Reached the Broadcast Air

Faith and AirDurham, NC—Regional Emmy-winning broadcast journalist Scott Mason shares a collection of miracle stories with the world in his newest book, Faith and Air: The Miracle List.

A longtime journalist grounded in facts confronts stories that ask for faith. As he pursues the leads throughout this book, Scott shares a compelling narrative of fact and faith and his personal struggle to balance them both.

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A Theory of Expanded Love Takes Bronze at INDIEFAB

Caitlin Hicks' Debut Novel Named Foreword Reviews' 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards Bronze Winner

cover theory indiefabwebWe are ecstatic to announce A Theory of Expanded Love by Caitlin Hicks has been recognized as a Bronze winner in the 18th annual Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards! 

A Theory of Expanded Love is Ms. Hicks' debut novel. Caitlin Hicks and Annie Shea, the novel's heroine, have taken the literary world by storm, receiving many awards, reviews and accolades since it was published in June 2015. Winning Bronze at the INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards is one of the most prestigious recognitions for independently published books. 

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NC Small Press Celebrates INDIEFAB Finalists

INDIEFAB Finalists 2015NC Small Press Celebrates INDIEFAB Finalists

Three titles from Light Messages Publishing have been named Foreword Reviews' 18th annual INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards Finalists: The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley by Susan Örnbratt, Relentless Savage by Dave Edlund, and A Theory of Expanded Love by Caitlin Hicks. To see the complete list, click here.

Each year, Foreword Reviews shines a light on a select group of indie publishers, university presses, and self-published authors whose work stands out from the crowd. Over the next three months, a panel of more than 100 volunteer librarians and booksellers will determine the winners in 63 categories based on their experience with readers and patrons.

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Top 50 Must Read Books of 2015

A big congratulations to two of our authors, Caitlin Hicks and Susan Örnbratt. The two authors have been named to Judith D. Collins' Top 50 Must Read Books of 2015! 

Caitlin Hicks is the author of A Theory of Expanded Love. With a debut novel that is at once hilarious and moving, celebrated playwright Caitlin Hicks takes readers inside the malleable mind of a quirky adolescent in 1963 as Annie Shea tests her family’s strict boundaries and her own Theory of Expanded Love. Ms. Hicks' novel has been an iBooks Best New Fiction pick. Kirkus Reviews praised the book saying, "Annie's disarming voice evokes nostalgia for a bygone era and hope for humanity in a weary, modern world."

Susan Örnbratt is the author of The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley. Ms. Örnbratt's debut novel takes readers from the shores of The Great Lakes to the slums of Bombay and a tiny island in between. This love story brings the reader on an intimate journey to unravel a family secret that’s lain hidden for generations. The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley has been praised by many readers and reviwers. The Historical Novel Society calls Ms. Örnbratt's novel "exuberantly readable... with a delicious twist at the endrecommended."

Both books are available at your favorite bookstore, or online at, iBooks, and Barnes & Noble. 



Light Messages Senior Editor Elected to IBPA Board of Directors

EJT-AuthorPhoto-WebLight Messages is excited and proud to announce that our very own Elizabeth Turnbull has been elected to serve on the board of directors of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), beginning in July of this year.

The IBPA is a not-for-profit membership organization serving and leading the indie publishing community through advocacy, education, and tools for success. With nearly 3,000 members, the IBPA is the largest publishing trade association in the United States.

The board members regularly meet to discuss and plan the association’s business while reflecting the IBPA’s core values and goals. The board members may serve two- to four-year terms where they will serve on committees representing the interests of the independent publishing association’s members.

“I’m beyond thrilled at the opportunity to serve, to influence our book culture, and, most of all, to learn from the best and brightest minds in the industry,” Elizabeth said upon hearing the news of her election to the board.

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Silverwood by Betsy Streeter makes a Splash in Sci Fi, Fantasy

Cover-Web-SilverwoodBetsy Streeter, a Bay Area author, is celebrating the release of her riveting science fiction, young adult novel Silverwood. The eBook edition was released March 15, as an iBooks “Best New Fantasy” pick, and the paperback edition will be available everywhere books are sold April 1.

The Silverwoods are a clan with a messy history and an uncertain future, and are responsible for protecting humanity from the shape-shifting Tromindox. Silverwood follows the life of fourteen-year-old Helen Silverwood and her mother and brother as they live life on the run. Helen knows that she will never have a normal life, from her mother’s unusual work habits, her father’s absence, her brother’s strange abilities with a pencil and paper, and her own recurring dreams and hacker tendencies.

Silverwood has gold-star amazing characters...and the Tromindox are one of the most original species that I have read in a while,” raves the Scarlet Nerded book blog.

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Light Messages Publishing Celebrates Two Titles named Foreword Reviews’ 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards Finalists

INDIEFAB-finalistsLight Messages Publishing is pleased to announce Anung’s Journey by Carl Nordgren and Crossing Savage by Dave Edlund have been recognized as finalists in the 17th annual Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards.

Carl Nordgren is a Durham-based author and professor at Duke University. Anung’s Journey was previously named one of the Top 10 Middle Grade Novels of 2014 by Foreword Reviews and is now a finalist for the INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award in both Multicultural Fiction and Juvenile Fiction.

Dave Edlund is an author from Eugene, Oregon, and a leading expert in hydrogen energy. His novel Crossing Savage is an international political thriller that asks the question: What would happen if energy independence really were within our reach? Edlund's second novel, Relentless Savage, will be released April 2015.

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Foreword Reviews Names Anung’s Journey by Carl Nordgren Among Best Middle Grade Books of 2014

CarlNordgren-webDURHAM, NC – Foreword Reviews, the celebrated indie press trade review journal, has named Anung’s Journey by Durham author Carl Nordgren amongs its Top 10 Indie Middle Grade Books of 2014:

“In clear, unadorned language, Carl Nordgren tells the story of Anung, an orphaned Ojibway boy who traverses the land to share with the greatest chief of the nations how all the men and women of his tribe cared for him when his parents died. This story gently proffers a message of cooperation and harmony with nature, community members, and all the world’s people. The surprising ending ties together Eastern and Western legends to reveal the unity of all people, despite cultural, physical, or geographical differences.”

The complete post, “From Goddesses to Zombies, 10 Best Indie Middle Grade Novels of 2014,” can be viewed on the Foreword Reviews blog.

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Duke Professor Celebrates Release of Native American Holiday Legend

Anung's Journey by Duke Professor Carl Nordgren Celebrates Ancient Ojibway Holiday Legend

AnungCover-webLight Messages Publishing is proud to announce the release of Anung's Journey, an ancient Ojibway legend retold by author Carl Nordgren and illustrated by paper cut artist Brita Wolf. The book is distributed by Ingram and is available anywhere books are sold. The release is timed to coincide with Native American Heritage Month, which begins November 1.

Nordgren will be on a tour of bookstores and cultural centers throughout the winter. In August, he was a featured author at History Week for the Museum of Ojibwa Culture in Michigan where attendees had the exclusive option to purchase the book early.

This detailed retelling of a winter holiday legend follows the young Anung on a journey to find the greatest chief who ever lived. On his quest, Anung travels through the 13 tribes of the First Nations, across forests, plains, water, and desert. Along the way, he is accompanied by Turtle, the interpreter of all languages. He finds friends in the most unlikely of places—a squirrel's nest, a mother bear's den, and a city filled with people from every tribe. What Anung discovers at the end of his journey will both surprise and thrill readers of all ages. This legend, told in the beautifully poetic style of Nordgren and accompanied by 10 paper cut illustrations by Wolf, begs to be read aloud and savored.

Though the novella for young readers and families isn't officially released for sale until October 27, Nordgren is already receiving praise for his retelling of the legend. "[Nordgren's] storytelling is compelling and rich in images. A fascinating look at the melding of North American cultures," Kirkus Reviews wrote.

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Doctor's Futuristic Medical Thriller Based on Ebola-Like Virus Tops Charts

NewRealityCover-webNEW JERSEY – When Dr. Stephen Martino set out to write his futuristic medical thriller The New Reality, he based it on every doctor's biggest fear. What if a global pandemic of hemorrhagic fever broke out while the world's best medical facilities were facing a systemic collapse? The answer to that provides the plot for his debut novel The New Reality, which recently ranked as the #1 Thriller at Amazon, the world's largest book retailer.

Martino takes readers to the year 2080 when a deadly retrovirus is inadvertently released upon the planet. Facing financial ruin and catastrophic loss of life, the world's nations turn to acclaimed neuroscientist Alex Pella and NIH expert Marissa Ambrosia. Assembling a team of experts, the scientists begin an international search for the cure while fighting off a foreign elite military unit sent to stop them at all costs. Guided by a code concealed within the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, the scientists must traverse ancient lands and solve a biblical riddle in their quest to save humanity from its eminent destruction.

Drawing from both our nation's politically charged environment and the worldwide economic crisis, The New Reality follows Alex Pella on a journey that projects a frightening path for human existence in the twenty-first century––a path that seems uncomfortably close to reality with the latest outbreak of Ebola.

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Acclaimed Playwright Caitlin Hicks Signs with Light Messages Publishing for Debut Novel

Acclaimed Playwright Caitlin Hicks Signs with Light Messages Publishing for Debut Novel

CaitlinHicksLight Messages Publishing is thrilled to announce that Caitlin Hicks, an acclaimed playwright from Vancouver, Canada, will be publishing her debut novel with the press in May 2015.

Ms. Hicks’ novel A Theory of Expanded Love is a coming-of-age story featuring a feisty yet gullible adolescent, trapped in her enormous, devout Catholic family in 1963. Surrounded by twelve brothers and sisters, and desperate for attention, Annie creates a hilarious campaign of lies when the pope dies and their family friend, Cardinal Stefanucci, is unexpectedly on the short list to be elected the first American pope. Driven to elevate her family to the holiest of holy rollers in the parish, Annie is tortured by her own dishonesty. But when one of her brothers gets left behind at Disneyland and ‘The Hands’ visit her in her bed, when her sister becomes pregnant “out of wedlock,” Annie discovers her parents will do almost anything to uphold their Catholic reputation. Questioning all she has believed, and torn between her own gut instinct and years of Catholic guilt, Annie takes courageous risks to wrest salvation from the tragic sequence of events set in motion by her parents’ betrayal.

While A Theory of Expanded Love is Ms. Hicks’ first novel, she has published several short stories, including That Rescue Feeling, which was shortlisted for the John Spencer Hill Fiction Award. Monologues from several of her plays were featured in Smith & Kraus’ series ‘Best Women’s Stage Monologues’ (New York).  She also wrote the play, later adapted for the screen, Singing the Bones, which debuted at the Montreal World Film Festival to stellar reviews and screened around the world. 

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A Sinner in Paradise wins 2 National Awards

Durham, NC—Light Messages Publishing is proud to announce author Deborah Hining as an IndieFab Book of the Year Bronze Medal winner in Romance from Foreword Reviews for her charismatic novel A Sinner in Paradise.

Foreword's IndieFab Book of the Year Awards program was created to discover distinctive books from the indie publishing community across a number of genres. What sets the awards apart is that real judges— composed of a panel of over 100 working librarians and booksellers—determine the winners, based on their experience with patron and customers, make final selections.

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