For what else but enchantment is present when a previously designated "runner-up" becomes the winner? This is what has happened for A Genie in the House of Saud: Zubis Rises.
Mystical (note the name; could some unseen force be at work ... or is that because the editor's door is closed?) Publishing, the independent publisher of Genie, was notified last month that the novel was selected as a finalist in both the Religious Fiction and E-Book Fiction categories. Today, word arrives that, "Wait, you're a winner!" Seems the original choice for best religious fiction, like the unfortunate beauty pageant queen whose true status is revealed, has been dismissed. The crown has passed. Turns out the first choice was actually a work of "non-fiction." And reaching even further back into the mystical realm and the fluid nature of favor, Genie's publisher almost didn't enter the novel in the Religious Fiction category.
There remains supercilious sneering in the ether about the credibility and legitimacy of accolades accorded by a little-known patron like the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. And the response: SO WHAT? Books were entered; judging occurred; titles were culled; and choices were made. As with any contest, the intrinsic value lies with the entrant and the audience (in this case, the reader) who may, just may, be swayed by a multi-point, gold star on the cover of a new paperback; read the book; and find that, yes, it is a winner.
Meanwhile, my apologies to Salman Rushdie for the headline. I just loaded The Enchantress of Florence into my Kindle last night and am, well, enchanted.
Causes Kellyann Zuzulo Supports
PLAN International Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation