2013 Selah Award in Young Adult Fiction Goes to Eddie Jones for Dead Man’s Hand

dead man's hand

Thanks to everyone at #BRMCWC for your support at the Selah Awards Wednesday night. Dead Man’s Hand took first place in the Young Adult Fiction category. Dead Man’s Hand is the first in the Caden Chronicles, a new supernatural series from Zonderkidz that explores paranormal issues from a biblical perspective.As many of you know, I have a heart for young male readers. In the Caden Chronicles I try to give boys a short, action-packed mystery they can read quickly. That’s why I kept the word count around thirty-five thousand words.

The gritty, suspenseful tale begins in Deadwood Canyon, a Hollywood-like reenactment Ghost Town located in the “badlands” of the Old West. But Nick’s vacation with his family takes a deadly turn toward trouble when the fourteen-year-old finds himself trapped in a livery stable with the infamous outlaw Jesse James. The shooter whirls, aims, and … vanishes. Great theatrics, Nick thinks, except now he’s alone in the hayloft with the bullet-riddled body of “Billy the Kid,” one of the town’s “actors” playing the role of the notorious outlaw.

Soon Nick is caught in a deadly chase that leads him into an abandoned gold mine, through forbidden buffalo hunting grounds, and across Rattlesnake Gulch. Around every turn he finds another suspect. Will Nick solve the murder before the killer guns-down another outlaw? Or will the town’s infatuation with Hollywood theatrics conceal the real truth about souls, spirits, and the destiny that awaits those who die.

The Caden Chronicles series is perfect for fans of mysteries, crime TV, and reluctant readers.

The 2013 Selah Awards are open to authors of Christian works published within the 2012 calendar year. The Hebrew word, Selah, found in the Book of Psalms, means: “stop and listen; pause, and think on that.” The award honors those who: “Pause from the busyness of life. Pause, even, from their writing … and reflect upon the giver of their gift, the One who led them to this calling and moves others with their words.”

My goal is to cause middle-school-age readers to ponder the deep questions of life and death and what lies beyond the grave, but do so in a humorous, fun way. To win a second Selah Award in the Young Adult Fiction category is truly humbling. (My YA, middle-reader, The Curse of Captain LaFoote,won in 2011.)

Dead Man’s Hand is available in bookstores, B&N and Amazon.com