2009 Finalists

Fifteenth Annual San Diego Book & Writing Awards Finalists

Finalists in each category are listed in alphabetical order by the author’s last name. Winners will be selected from among the finalists and announced at the awards ceremony on May 16, 2009. All entries were reviewed by at least three judges. The judging chairs reserved the right to combine subcategories depending on the number of entries received.

Unpublished Works

Unpublished Short Story

Laurie Alloway, “Jasmine’s Moonstone Beach”
Diana Wallis Taylor, “Phipps and the Jay”
Larry Zeiger, “Music Makes the Man”

Unpublished Poetry Chapbook

Claire Hsu Accomando, Evaporation
Robert T. Lundy, Ten Holidays that Shook the World
Elizabeth Yahn Williams, Seasonal Reflections

Unpublished Memoir

Sue Diaz, Minefields of the Heart
Virg Erwin, Cat Lo
Michaela Renee Jacques, Teetering on Disaster

Unpublished Young Adult Novel

Gigi Orlowski, Luck Garden Cake 
Gary Winters, The Deer Dancer
Cathy Worthington, Moskovsky Station

Unpublished Novel

Cathy Lubenski, Trashy Chic
Caroline L. McCullagh, Twenty-Six Eskimo Words for Love
Reina Lisa Menasche, The Legacy of Tomato Hill
Frank Primiano, Life of a Salesman

Published Books

Picture Book

Sherri Chessen, Gorp’s Secret
Steven Gregory, Chieko and the Pine, A Japanese Folk Tale
Yale Strom, The Wedding that Saved a Town

General Fiction

Susan Meissner, The Shape of Mercy
Patricia Santana, Ghosts of El Grullo
Bobbe Tatreau, Unexpected Gifts

Historical Fiction

Laurel Corona, The Four Seasons: A Novel of Vivaldi’s Venice
Ken Kuhlken, Vagabond Virgins
Elle Newmark, The Book of Unholy Mischief


Ralph L. Cates, Black October
Chet Cunningham, The Mystery of Hamlin Springs
Ona Russell, The Natural Selection


Neda Miranda Blazevic-Krietzman, Diocletian’s Palace
Nancy Cary, Hunger and Thirst, Food Literature
Richard Denner and Gabriela Anaya Valdepeña, Roses of Crimson Fire


Liz Palika and Jennifer Fearing, Dogs at Work
Andrew Chapman and Lee Silber, Rock to Riches
Robert H. Thompson, The Offsite: A Leadership Challenge Fable
E.S. Wibbeke, Global Business Leadership

General Nonfiction

Paul L. Diamond, Fishing’s Greatest Misadventures
Liz Palika, The Ultimate Pet Food Guide
Deborah M. Schneider and Deborah Szekely, Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerto


Karen Ronney, Proud Parents’ Guide to Raising Athletic, Balanced Kids
Chantal Sicile-Kira, Autism Life Skills

History & Biography

Michael Bart and Laurel Corona, Until Our Last Breath
Marlene Wagman-Geller, Once Again to Zelda

Local Interest, General

Richard Carrico, Strangers in a Stolen Land
Richard Halsey, Fire, Chaparral, and Survival in Southern California
David Lewis, Last Known Address

Local Interest, Photographic

David M. Caterino and Seth Mallios, Cemeteries of San Diego County
Ernie Cowan, Anza-Borrego: A Photographic Journey
Susan Lankford Madden, Maggots in My Sweet Potatoes: Women Doing Time

Memoir—General Interest

Robert Frimtzis, From Tajikistan to the Moon
Bob Hamer, The Last Undercover
Peter Kaye, Contrarian

Memoir—Local Interest

Graham Mackintosh, Marooned with Very Little Beer
Chi Varnado, A Canyon Trilogy: Life Before, During and After the Cedar Fire
Victor Villaseñor, Crazy Loco Love

Self-Help & Inspirational

Jill Badonsky, The Awe-Manac: A Daily Dose of Wonder
Terry Lamb, Astrology’s Magical Blends
Gabriel S. Weiss, M.D., The Healing Power of Meditation