Meet Your 2012 IRDA Winners and Read Their Books!

Today at Book Expo America (BEA), a trade show taking place in New York City, Darcie Chan, New York Times bestselling indie author of “The Mill River Recluse” and Amy Edelman, founder of IndieReader, announced the winners of the first annual “IndieReader Discovery Awards”.

The judges on the IRDA panel included top people in all areas of the publishing industry, in concert with IndieReader’s trusty reviewers. Judging was based on the quality of writing and the originality of the story. There was a first, second and third place winner in each of the fiction and non-fiction categories, in addition to winners in various sub-categories, indicating that each book has received at least a 4-5 star review (out of 5 stars).

Without further ado, IndieReaders, meet this year’s winners!

First Place
Whole Latte Life
by Joanne DeMaio

Popular Fiction
A satisfying exploration of mid-life crisis, female friendship, grief, possibility and renewal. Demaio has penned a heartfelt portrait of two friends at the crossroads of their lives.
Second Place
One Blood
by Qwantu Amaru

Resurrecting an ancient curse that trails back to his ancestor, Luc Lafitte, Governor Randy Lafitte is responsible for the death of his father, which is just the beginning of his murderous tendencies. This is one horror tale that is the result of meticulous drafting and editing, as well as an awesome debut novel from a master of the craft.

Third Place
The Golden Ball
by Katelyn Sinclair

A delightful retelling of a well-known fairy tale that relays a moral point without being dramatically preachy for children who are still young enough to want a fairy tale picture book—one with charming illustrations such as this—but are just on the brink of being ready to tackle a chapter book.
First Place
The Intentional Networker
by Patti DeNucci

This handbook contains step-by-step exercises and activities suitable for those new to networking practices, or for experienced networkers who need a refresher course. Perfect for assessing goals and chock-full of strategies and tips for self-improvement.
Second Place
Comfortably Unaware
by Dr. Richard A Oppenlander

Comfortably Unaware maintains that our food choices are depleting our planet’s resources because “the major cause of biodiversity loss on our planet is from the livestock we raise for food and from overfishing of our oceans,” and calls for the consumer to be aware of the brainwashing by the media and become more educated on how to make choices that will save our planet.
Third Place/Tie
Grieving a Soulmate
by Robert Orfali

Candid and often heart-wrenching, part diary and part self-help book, designed to inform, guide and prepare the reader through the dying process, death of and grieving of a loved one, based on author Robert Orfali’s own experience of losing his soulmate Jeri after a ten-year battle with cancer.
Third Place/Tie
Death with Dignity
by Robert Orfali

Aging, Death & Dying
Robert Orfali’s passionate and persuasive argument for legalized physician-assisted dying, based on personal opinion and experience and extensive research into the debates and issues revolving around this controversial issue.
Blow Me
by Lennie Ross Sales
FantasyDarkmageby M.L. Spencer
Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans Fiction
Father Tierney Stumbles
by John Shekleton
Historical Fiction

The Woman at the Well
by Ann Chamberlin

The Archer Prism, reflecting Sir John Harington

by Will Coe

The Girl Who Fished with a Worm
by Harry Groome

Red, Right, Return by June Sherwin
Fun in the Yellow Pages by Bobbi Groover
Literary Fiction/Tie

In Leah’s Wake
by Terri Giuliano Long



The Angry Woman Suite

by Lee Fullbright

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller – Tie


Sleeper’s Run
by Henry Mosquera

The Scorpion’s Nest
by Nate Granzow

View from the Edge

by Michael Kasenow


The Seventh Soul
by MariLou Harveland
Popular Fiction

The Tourist Trail
by John Yunker
Jennifer’s Garden
by Dianne Venetta
Science Fiction

by Aaron Safronoff
Short Stories

Sometimes the Sun Does Shine There
by Herb Schultz
Young Adult/Tie

Pandora’s Key
by Nancy Fischer
Young Adult/Tie

by S. R. Johannes
American Studies

Oh, Beautiful
by John Paul Godges

Life in a Jar
by Jack Mayer

They Cooked the Books
by Patrick Edwards
Maria’s Duck Tales
by Maria Daddino

Successfully Surviving a Brain Injury
by Garry Prowe

by Pete Hetherington

EcoChi: Designing the Human Experience
by Debra Duneier

Mirror Talk
by Barbara Alfaro
Psychology/Mental Health

The Digitally Divided Self
by Ivo Quartiroli

The Way Things Work in Life
by Basimah Khulusi
Fast Times in Palestine
by Pamela Olson
Travel/Honorable Mention
Pines Picks: A Kid’s Guide to the Best Things to Eat and Drink in New York City
by David D. Pines

38 replies
  1. avatar
    gerard A. neda says:

    Hello IR !
    I attended the Indie Reader awards ceremony at BEA this morning Sunday 6/3/12 at the Javitz
    After all the categories were enumerated I was sad to note that Indie Reader
    does not list poetry as a category in their awards considerations.
    This glaring omission appears to discredit IR as a serious venue for
    literary appraisal.

    Hope you correct this and gain the respectability which is currently lacking.

    • avatar
      Amy Edelman says:

      Hi Gerard,

      If you checked the IRDA info on the site you’ll see that we do include a poetry category, however we did not receive a book that was entered that was good enough to merit an award.


  2. avatar
    Maria Daddino says:

    Thank you Amy for creating an exciting awards contest, as well as a thrilling awards ceremony, replete with pictures and an interview! But I am most appreciative of your giving your all to Indie Authors!!! I was honored that Maria’s Duck Tales was named the winner in Environment and am still walking on Cloud #9!!! Congratulations to all of the winners and finalists, and especially to wonderful new friends made at the ceremony ~ Ann Chamberlin, “The Woman in the Well” and June Sherwin, “Red, Right, Return” …

  3. avatar
    Mary says:

    So happy for Whole Latte Life, a powerful and eloquent story. Well-deserved! And much kudos to all the other winners, too. Sounds like an exciting day at BEA.

  4. avatar
    Richard I Levine says:

    Congrats to all the winners of the 1st IRDAs. I’m ecstatic just to have had my 1st novel get a 4/5 star review along with a “Top Picks to Date” in this year’s competition. The talented authors of this year’s winning selections must be on cloud 9. BRAVO!!

  5. avatar
    Brian Hawkins says:

    I have read both of Robert Orfali’s excellent books and was therefore delighted, though not surprised, he was amongst the top winners. Hoping to see a film made of “Grieving a Soulmate” – the true love story at the heart of this book makes excellent material. Well done to Robert Orfali.

  6. avatar
    Guy Magar says:

    A big CONGRATS to Terri Giuliano Long for her terrific “In Leah’s Wake” winning Literary Fiction. Kudos and bright klieg lights from Hollywood for this wonderful, passionate author winning this IRDA award. This book should be on everyone’s next great read list. Bravo!

    • avatar
      Terri Giuliano Long says:

      So kind of you, Guy! Thank you so very much! Many congrats to you for making the finals list with Kiss Me Quick Before I Shoot! Love your book and wasn’t remotely surprised to see it on the list!!

  7. avatar
    Iolanthe Woulff says:

    As stated on the original contest announcement page: “Everyone entering the IRDA’s will get a guaranteed book review from one of IR’s professional reviewers (right now the only way an author can get a review is for IR to select their book from among the many they receive every week).”

    Is this still the case? If so, when will it happen, and where will the review appear?

    Also, will a list of the category finalists be posted?


    • avatar
      Amy Edelman says:

      Hi, yes we’ve begun posting reviews today and will send you a link when we post yours. As far as the finalists go, lists were posted on the site the last two weeks. If you did not receive notification you were not a finalist. Sorry!


  8. avatar
    Pamela Olson says:

    Thanks so much for helping independent authors find their place in this world. It’s an honor for Fast Times in Palestine to be recognized in the Travel category. Just wish I had been at the ceremony to meet the other authors!

  9. avatar
    Julia Frey says:

    My congratulations to Barbara Alfaro. I’ve just downloaded your book onto my Kindle and, as a ‘finalist’, I look forward to reading the best book in the Memoir category.

    Julia Frey

  10. avatar
    merle holman says:

    I have had the pleasure of reading many of the Indie books this year and look forward to catching up with some of the winners this summer….Congrats to all and especially Amy for creating this site for all SP authors.

  11. avatar
    Carter Taylor Seaton says:

    I was thrilled to find my second novel, “amo, amas, amat…an unconventional love story” listed as a finalist in the IndieReader Discovery Awards. Although I didn’t win in the end, just having it included as a “Top Pick to Date” was a rush. Thanks for proving that there are good Indie books out there waiting to be read.

  12. avatar
    Melanie Walsh says:

    Congratulations to all winners and finalists – we wish you ongoing success with your writing career.

    And congratulations also to IndieReader on yet another excellent awards program – we’re pleased to have you as one of our Honoring Excellence award recipients – it’s well deserved!

  13. avatar
    Will Coe says:

    I can’t say I was surprised to win the historical fiction category of the IndieReader Discovery Awards (IRDA), 2012. Complete shock covers it better. I’d forgotten I’d entered. I’m now back with the literary optimists after having played for the other side for the last few months. Thanks, Amy.

  14. avatar
    John Paul Godges says:

    This whole IRDA awards program has been so well run, from beginning to end. It’s an honor to be a part of it. Many thanks to Amy and all the judges who managed everything with such great competence and thoughtfulness!

    • avatar
      Amy Edelman says:

      Thank you so much, John, for the kind words. It’s really been a honor to work with such great and talented authors!

  15. avatar
    Terri Giuliano Long says:

    It’s an enormous honor to be listed among this tremendously talented group of authors. Thank you so much, Amy, for giving us this wonderful opportunity to showcase indie books. I second John’s sentiments – this was an extremely well run program. I’m grateful to you and to the judges for giving valuable time to read and review our books.

    Congratulations to all finalists and winners! You make me proud to be indie!

    Warmest wishes,


  16. avatar
    terry tracy says:

    Would you be able to post a list of the 2012 finalists? Some of us have interviews with different websites and when they inquire about whether the book has been recognized or received any awards I would like to be able to say that I was an Indiereader Discovery Award finalist. While I have your e-mail telling me so, I wish it could be in one small list on the website so that they could verify it. Would you start printing that list of finalists?




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