Eric Hoffer Book Category Finalists

(Author of Nothing Bad Between Us) Marlena Fiol was named a finalist in the 2021 Eric Hoffer Awards.

After our rigorous first round of judging, less than 10% of the nominees become category finalists. We consider this a distinction of its own merit and, in 2008, began officially announcing these titles. Finalists are selected by category scoring and considered for category honors. There are typically 1-6 books per category selected as a finalist. Below are the current and previous category finalists in alphabetical order by book. (Please click here to view the Montaigne Medal Finalistsda Vinci Eye FinalistsFirst Horizon Award Finalists, or Medal Provocateur Finalists.)


3-D Disneyland, David A. Bossert, The Old Mill Press
8:15 – A True Story of Survival and Forgiveness from Hiroshima, Dr. Mikamo, Westwood Books Publishing, LLC
A Dinosaur Made Me Sneeze, Carla Mae Jansen, Turtle Trails Publishing
A Gay Man’s Guide to Life, Britt East, Houndstooth Press
A Noble Calling, Rhona Weaver, Two Oaks Press
A Pyrrhic Victory, Vol II, Ian Crouch, Stratetic Book Publishing
Above and Beyond Cancer, Richard L. Deming, MD, Drake Community Press
After the Body, Cleopatra Mathis, Sarabande Books
Again, Jennifer Perrine, Airlie Press
Alfred: The Quiet History of a World War II Infantryman, Louise Endres Moore, HenshelHAUS
All Flowers Bloom, Kawika Guillermo, Westphalia Press
American Dreamer, Tim Tran with Tom Fields-Meyer, Pacific University Press
An Improbale Spy, David Paul Collins, iUniverse
An Oddity of Some Consequence, Gary Dickson, Pairings
Another Troy, Joan Wehlen Morrison, Susan Signe Morrison (editor), Finishing Line Press
API’s Berlin Diaries, Gabrielle Robinson, She Writes Press
Baby Bumbu, John Koski, Outskirts Press
Becoming Our Future, Julie Nagam, Carly Lane & Megan Tamati-Quennell, ARP Books
Betrayed, Beverley Chalmers, DSc(Med): Phd, Grosvenor House Publishing
Beyond Repair, Sebastian Matthews, Red Hen Press
Billion Dollar Bracket, Drew Bridges, BQB Publishing
Boop and Eve’s Road Trip, Mary Helen Sheriff, She Writes Press
Breath from Salt, Bijal P. Trivedi, BenBella Books
Butter Side Up, Jane Enright, FriesenPress
Canada in Chaos, Walter Benstead, LitPrime Solutions
Celebrating Naked, Lindsey Issow Averill, KDP
Churchill & Roosevelt, James Mikel Wilson, Gatekeeper Press
Cobalt Chronicles, Kathryn Den Houter, Mission Point Press
Coming Home to Greenleigh, Maya Rushing Walker, Apollo Grannus Books
Crimson Letters, Tessie Castillo, Black Rose Writing
Criss Cross, Mukta Arya, PartridgeSingapore
Cruising Interrupted, Paul C. Thornton, BookBaby
Cry from an Unkown Grave, Joseph LeValley, Bookpress Publishing
Czech Techno, Mark Jarman, Anvil Press
Dead Shark on the N Train, Susana H. Case, Broadstone Books
D’eux & Other Sorrows, Laurie Byro, Cowboy Buddha Publishing
Earth As It Is, Jan Maher, Indiana University Press
EarthbodyBoat, Ahjo K. Sipowicz, Growling River Books
East-West Sword and Word, Anwar A. Abdullah, Urlink Print & Media
Echoes of the San Andreas, Jane Culp, Fresco Books
Elephant Speak, Melissa Crandall, Ooligan Press
Empire’s Daughter, Marian L. Thorpe, Arboretum Press
End Your Relationsh*t with Compassion, Self-Respect, and Logic, D.L. Dempsey, Writers Republic LLC
Estelle: A Novel, Linda Stewart Henley, She Writes Press
Family Redefined, Kimberly Ewertz, Little Creek Press
Fierce Aria, Maxima Kahn, Finishing Line Press
Finding the Song, Amy R. Saltz, KDP
First Among Nations, Ira Mosen, Olive Blossom Press
Flight 3108, Sharon Mikeworth, River Nation Publishing
Flipping Teams, Vernon Mason III, XlibrisUS
Flower Storms in the Riverbank, Preeti Kulkarni, SDP Publishing
FoodWISE, Gigi Berardi, North Atlantic Books
Forever Dogs, Tricia Spencer, Lilac Bloom Press
Fractures, Carlos Andrés Gómez, University of Wisconsin Press
From Adam to Omega, A. R. Roberts, iUniverse
From Miniskirt to Hijab, Jacqueline Saper, Potomac Books of the University of Nebraska Pres
Galileo! Galileo!, Holly Trechter and Jane Donovan, Sky Candle Press
Gender Fraud: a fiction, Peg Tittle, Magenta
Half the Terrible Things, Paul Legler, North Dakota State University Press
Heirloom, Nancy Wakeley, Torchflame Books
Henry and Anthony, H. Lynn Beck, iUniverse
Homicide In Bronze, Joan Andrew, Westwood Books Publishing, LLC
Honoring the Enemy, Robert N. Macomber, U.S. Naval Institute Press
How Much Big Is the Sky, Sherry Chapman, Pedigree Publishing
How to be a Buddhist Millionaire, Matt Jardine, Short Books
I Have the Answer, Kelly Fordon, Wayne State University Press
If You Could Ask Dog One Question, Kim Messina, My Human “N” Me
Imagine That, George Yuhasz, Outskirts Press
Indelible, Laurie Buchanan, Spark Press
It Wasn’t Enough, Peg Tittle, Magenta
Journey to the Ancetral Self, Tamarack Song, Snow Wolf Publishing
Kenturah Davis, SCAD Museum of Art, SCAD University Press
Leadership, Craig B. Whelden, New Insights Press
Leading in Chaos, I.J. Neal, Christian Faith Publishing
Liberty in Peril, Randall G. Holcombe, Independent Institute
Life After 60, Paul M. Valliant, Tellwell
Dylan’s Birthday Present, Victor D.O. Santos, Linguacious
Live or Die Stroke of Good Luck, Richard L. Burns, Author Reputation Press
Love Poems from New England, Jon Meyer, Brilliant Light Publishing
Love’s Labour’s Won, William Gray
Low Centre of Gravity, Michael Dennis, Anvil Press
Lucitan, Emir Phillips
Maker Messiah, Ed Miracle, Russian Hill Press
Manipulating the Masses, John Maxwell Hamilton, LSU Press
Mei Ling in China City, Icy Smith, East West Discovery Press
Mind in the Clouds, Bruce M. Perrin, Mind Sleuth Publications
Missing, Tim Parker, Stratton Press
Modernism Foretold, Asen Kirin and Katherine Marsengill, Georgia Museum of Art, Univ. of GA
Mom’s Gone Missing, Susan A. Marshall, HenschelHaus Publishing
Mosquitoes and Men, Mark Alan Polo, Devil’s Party Press
Nothing Bad Between Us, Marlena Fiol, Mango Media
One Family: Indivisible, Steven Greenebaum, MSI Press
One of US, Scott Nadelson, BkMk Press
One Summer in the Old Town, Randy Cribbs, OCRS
Open Burning, Christopher McCurry, Accents Publishing
Out of Slavery, Carol A. Trembath, Lakeside Publishing
Peripheral Visions and Other Stories, Nancy Christie, Unsolicited Press
Pilgrimage Through Loss, Linda Lawrence Hunt, Westminster John Know Press
Pole Dancing in the Night Club of God, Walter Bargen, Red Mountain Press
Puanani and the Volcano, Jo Ann Jeffries, Bluewater Publications
Reinventing Masculinity, Dr. Edward M. Adams and Ed Frauenheim, Berret Koehler Publishers
Rise Wildly, Tina Kelley, CavanKerry Press
River Creed, Kelly Coleman, XlibrisUS
Santa Fe Tom, Rachel bate, Mascot Books
Saving Free Speech… from itself, Thane Rosenbaum, Fig Tree Books
Searching for Family and Tradition at the French Table, Book Two, Carole Bumpus, She Writes Press
Secretocracy, Tom Glenn, Adelarde Books
Seize, Brian Komei Dempster, Four Way Books
Shadows of Leonardo, Will Ottinger, Black Rose Writing
Side Effects, S. Montana Katz, Guernica World Editions
Sojourn with Heidi, Heidi Fearon, AuthorHouse
Sorry You Missed It…, Fred Hosley, Backwater Bayou Books
Stillwater, Mary Jo Hazard, Mascot Books
Surfing the Waves of Alzheimer’s, Renee Brown Harmon, MD, Many Hats Publishing
Surviving the Job Search, Jane Snipes
* Take Me with You, Wherever You’re Going, Jessica Jacobs, Four Way Books
Temple of Eternity, R. Scott Boyer, Main Street Publishing
The Arizona Water Bar, Drew Aquilina, Green Pieces Press
The Art of Wisdom, Tammy Lea Fabian, Time in the Desert
The Book of True Believer, M. Funk, Wild Abandon Books
The Burning Where Breath Used to Be, Jen Karetnick, David Robert Books
The Chainmakers, Laura Smith, LitPrime Solutions
The Christmas Spirit, Alexandrea Weis, Rosewind Books
The Commemoration, JJ Winston, Wins Consulting Press
The Crucial 12, Steve Wolgemuth, Bookpress Publishing
The Dandelion Insurrection, Rivera Sun, Rising Sun Press
The Door, M.D. Allen, Pixerati
The Earthling’s Brothers, Earik Beann, Profoundly One Publishing
The Edge of Elsewhere, Sam Stea
The Education of a Teacher, Noel Nation, XlibrisUS
The Exit Strategy, Lainey Cameron, The Wild Rose Press
The Expendable, John Lewis Floyd, MD, Trou de Lapin
The Forest Service and the Greatest Good, James G. Lewis, Forest G. Lewis
The Happy Clam, Rosemary A. Schmidt, Gainline Press
The Journalist, Jerry A. Rose and Lucy Rose Fischer, Spark Press
The Last Dance of Dynamite, Ayman Baroudi, Xlibris
The Museum of Small Bones, Miho Nonaka, Ashland Poetry Press
The National Parks, Karla K. Morton and Alan Birkelbach, TCU Press
The Ottoman Excursion, Tim Pelkey, SDP Publishing
The Stumble Fields, Malaika King Albrecht, Main Street Rag Publishing
The Theft of the Ayn Noor, Charles L.M. Lartigue, Girl Friday Productions
The Twelve Murders of Christmas, Jane Bennett Munro, iUniverse
The Venturi Effect, Sage Webb, Stoneman House Press
The Veteran, Clarke W. Owens, Adelaide Books
The Vines, Shelley Nolden
The Ways We Get By, Joe Dornich, Black Lawrence Press
The Woman in the Basement, Tina Williams
Thicker Than Water, Geoffrey Carter, HenschelHaus Publishing
Thrown in the Throat, Benjamin Garcia, Milkweed Editions
Tip of the Arrow, Charles A. Bonner, Page Publishing
To Bury the Cloud, Leah Margolis, Mindstir Media
Toro, Andrew Avner, Black Rose Writing
Training Wires of the Soul, David Solomon & Delynn Solomon, DS Media Pub
Trauma, Elizabeth Jaikaran, Shanti Arts Publishing
Truth Has a Different Shape, Kari L. O’Driscoll, CavanKerry Press
Understanding Startup, Dan Slagen, Vicara Books
Unforgettable Tribute To Healthcare Professionals, Dealing with Grief, and Global Pandemic!, Simeon Johnson, PageTurner Press and Media
Unseen City, Amy Shearn, Red Hen Press
Vestal Virgin, Katherine Spada Basto, Painted Turtle Press
Victoria’s War, Catherine Hamilton, Plain View Press
Village of Knives, Helli Fang, Driftwood Press
Whispers of the Sidhe, CL Roberts-Huth, Evolved Publishing
Who Killed the Lisping Barista of the Epiphany Café?, Keith R Wilson, Kindle Direct Publishing
Willie Wombat’s Walk, Sandra Swain, XlibrisUS
Winds of Change, Rivera Sun, Rising Sun Press
You Look Something, Jessica Mehta, Wyatt MacKenzie Publishing
You’ve Got Something Coming, Jonathan Starke, Black Heron Press

Nothing Bad Between Us

A Mennonite Missionary’s Daughter Finds Healing in Her Brokenness

This story differs from similar accounts of childhood domination or abuse because it tells the story of the author’s seemingly paradoxical responses to the powerful forces in my life, but doesn’t leave it at that. It sheds light on the social and religious dynamics underlying these responses, giving readers insights into and understanding of her otherwise incomprehensible choices, as she found my way back into loving relationships with her parents and the Mennonite community.

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