Jan 29

Gabriel’s Return entered into Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel contest

I’m coming up on my one-year anniversary of publishing Gabriel’s Redemption (February 2nd), and I was struck with a memory the other day. Last year on a whim, just before publishing, I submitted it to Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award Contest (ABNA), and a few weeks later was astounded to find it qualified for the second round. Seeing my name, and the book title in ‘official print’, in that master list of 1,000 qualifiers was damned exciting, I must say.

In the year since, a lot has happened, including publishing two more Gabriel novels, completing the trilogy (a trilogy I didn’t even know was going to happen last year at this time – I thought it was a one-and-done novel). Gabriel’s Redemption has over 50 reviews with a 4.6 star average on Amazon, and the follow up novels have done just as well (better actually, according to average rating, though the sample size is admittedly smaller).

When the subject of 2012′s ABNA came up a few weeks ago, I didn’t even consider it at first, but then it hit me. The second in the trilogy, Gabriel’s Return, I feel is an even better story than the first (if I do say so myself), and I don’t see anywhere it’s written that a second in a trilogy wouldn’t qualify, so what the hell.

It’s in as of last night, with a pitch based on the book description, and the first two chapters as the excerpt. And away we go…

Anyone else in??


P.S. In a Twitter chat last night with @Harper_Jayne, I had a thought…winning the whole contest, and telling Penguin thanks but no thanks for their publishing contract. Yeah…that’s a nice goal.

About the author

Steve Umstead

Steve Umstead has been the owner of a Caribbean & Mexico travel company for the past ten+ years, but never forgot his lifelong dream of becoming an author. After a successful stab at National Novel Writing Month, he decided to pursue his dream more vigorously…but hasn’t given up the traveling.
Steve lives in scenic (tongue-in-cheek) New Jersey with his wife, two kids, and several bookshelves full of other authors’ science fiction novels. Gabriel’s Redemption was his debut novel, published in February of 2011.


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  1. shayfabbro

    WOOHOO! I entered the second of the Portals of Destiny :) I’ll be crossing fingers for us!!!!

  2. woelf

    Good luck with your goal. I am busy with Gabriel’s Redemption and loving it. All the best mate.

  3. B.C. Young

    I’m in Steve. I put Fram Gage and The Infinite Ability in the contest last week. I remember when you put Gabriel’s Redemption in last year. At the time, I wished I had a novel to submit. I’m glad I had one to put in this year!

  4. Robert "Sharky" Pruneda

    Best of luck to you Steve!

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