Featured Finalist: The Stolen Kingdom

Category: Young Adult Fiction

Description: How can she protect her kingdom, if she can’t protect herself? Princess Arie never expected to manifest a Jinni’s Gift. When she begins to hear the thoughts of those around her, she hides it to the best of her ability. But to her dismay, the forbidden Gift is growing out of control. When a neighboring king tries to force her hand in marriage and steal her kingdom, discovery becomes imminent. Just one slip could cost her throne. And her life. A lamp, a heist, and a Jinni hunter’s crew of thieves are her only hope for removing this Gift–and she must remove it before she’s exposed. Or die trying. The Stolen Kingdom is a loose “Aladdin” retelling. Set in a world that humans share with Mermaids, Dragons, and the elusive Jinni, this isn’t the fairytale you remember…

Author: Bethany Atazadeh is a Minnesota-based author of YA sci-fi and fantasy novels, a children’s book, and non-fiction. She graduated college in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a Writing Emphasis. But after graduation, she pursued songwriting, recording, and performing with her band, and writing went on the back-burner. In 2016, her entire department at work was laid off, and she was inspired by the NaNoWriMo challenge to return to writing. The challenge was to draft a novel in 30 days, and since then she hasn’t stopped. Bethany’s other passion is to help other writers, especially those who wish to self-publish. She has a business as a writing coach over on Patreon, dedicated to helping other authors write and publish their novels, as well as a YouTube channel with free writing and publishing advice. Outside of writing, Bethany is obsessed with her corgi puppy, Penny, a wife, a musician, an amateur painter, and a follower of Jesus.

Bethany’s Local Library: Hennepin County Library

Winners will be announced at the 2020 Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference.

Finalist Feature: 50 Shades of Worf

Category: Adult Fiction

Description: A back-alley brawl between the furries and the bronies. Deadpool cosplayer keeps stealing all the erotic pegasus artwork. Someone’s necronomicon opened a tentacle portal in the men’s room. Two cops go undercover at a comic-book convention to stop Wil Wheaton’s murder. You’ll love this buddy cop comicomedy, unless you’re my mom. If you are my mom, please bring me a hot-pocket. I’m in the basement. If you love Discworld, Hitchhikers Guide, or Bimbos From the Death Sun, then this book is for you! Get it now! (Also, hot-pockets are on sale, Mom.)

Author: Christopher D. Schmitz is author of both Sci-Fi/Fantasy Fiction and Nonfiction books and has been published in both traditional and independent outlets. If you’ve looked into indie writers of the upper midwest you may have heard his name whispered in dark alleys with an equal mix of respect and disdain. He has been featured on television broadcasts, podcasts, and runs a blog for indie authors… but you’ve still probably never heard of him.

​As an avid consumer of comic books, movies, cartoons, and books (especially sci- fi and fantasy) this child of the 80s basically lived out Stranger Things, but shadowy government agencies won’t let him say more than that. He lives in rural Minnesota with his family where he drinks unsafe amounts of coffee; the caffeine shakes keeps the cold from killing them. In his off-time he plays haunted bagpipes in places of low repute, but that’s a story for another time.

Christopher’s Local Library: Marshall-Lyon County Library- Marshall

Winners will be announced at the 2020 Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference.

Finalist Feature: The Wolf’s Trail

Category: Adult Fiction

Description: The Wolf’s Trail tells of Zhi-shay’, an elder wolf, and a litter of young wolves living somewhere on the side of a hill overlooking the river that flows through Nagahchiwanong in northern Minnesota. Zhi-shay’, who knows the whole story of the parallel relationship between wolves and the Ojibwe going all the way back to the Beginning, sharing it with his nieces and nephews, and us. Replete with universal lessons, The Wolf’s Trail is the story of the Ojibwe, told by wolves, of what they were and have become, and the promise of their becoming.

Author: Thomas D. Peacock has authored or co-authored The Forever Story, Collected Wisdom, Ojibwe Waasa Inaabidaa: We Look in All Directions, The Good Path, The Seventh Generation, The Four Hills of Life, To Be Free, The Tao of Nookomis, Beginnings: The Homeward Journey of Donovan Manypenny, The Forever Sky, and The Dancers. Ojibwe and The Good Path were Minnesota Book Award winners. The Seventh Generation was multicultural children’s book of the year (American Association of Multicultural Education). He is a member of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Anishinaabe Ojibwe and lives with his wife Betsy in Little Sand Bay, Red Cliff, Wisconsin and Duluth, Minnesota. For more information about wolves, the Ojibwe, and the relationship of wolves and the Ojibwe, please visit www.thewolfstrail.com

Thomas’ Local Library: Duluth Public Library

Winners will be announced at the 2020 Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference.