Finalists Announced for the 2012 Book of the Year Awards

Reality Bites, Tales of a Half-Vampire is included among the list of titles selected as finalists in the 2012 Book of the Year Awards given by ForeWord Reviews
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LOGAN, Utah - March 16, 2013 - PRLog -- ForeWord Reviews is pleased to announce the list of finalists for the 2012 Book of the Year Awards. Representing more than 700 publishers, the finalists were selected from 1300 entries in 62 categories. These books are examples of independent publishing at its finest. Essemkay Company Productions couldn’t be happier to see one of its titles, Reality Bites, Tales of a Half-Vampire by Shaunda Kennedy Wenger, selected along with works by other authors such as Brandon Mull (Candy Shop Wars) and Barbara Hay (The Bulldoggers Club). For a complete list of finalists in the Juvenile Fiction category (, click here.  

In Reality Bites, half-vampire Mackenzie Bonaparte finds herself battling for her destiny when her mother’s plans for a family reunion conflict with her own for attending the school’s Halloween ball. In trying to show her vampire-mother everything she does not want to be (i.e., another vampire), Mackenzie steps closer to uncovering the magic behind what (and who) she ultimately will become. Reviews of Reality Bites on the Goodreads and Amazon web sites praise it for being “a fun read,” “amusing and endearing,” and “a vibrant story.”

Reality Bites is the third young adult/middle grade book published by Wenger and Essemkay Company Productions, and her second independently published book to garner awards. Little Red Riding Hood, Into the Forest Again won the 2011 KART Kids Book List Award and the 2012 Purple Dragonfly Award Honorable Mention. Wenger, who started Essemkay Company Productions in 2010 with her first young adult title, The Ghost in Me, has worked with both small and large publishing houses throughout her career. Her first publisher was Ballantine Books at Random House, which published her co-authored title, The Book Lover’s Cookbook, Recipes from Celebrated Works of Literature and the Passages That Feature Them. This cookbook was featured as a NPR Holiday Gift Pick in 2003, and was followed by five children’s books written by Wenger that were published for the educational market by small presses (Richard C. Owens Publishers and Benchmark Education). Wenger's plans for 2013 include the release of another illustrated children’s chapter book and a women’s fiction novel. Her most recent publication is a railroad cookbook titled, From Rivets and Rails, Recipes of a Railroad Boarding House Cookbook (Essemkay Company), which is based on the cookery journal of her great-grandmother. The latest information about Wenger and her books can be found at her blog:

ForeWord’s Book of the Year Awards program was created to highlight the year’s most distinguished books from independent publishers. Award winners are chosen by librarians and booksellers who are on the front lines, working everyday with patrons and customers.

ForeWord Reviews, a quarterly print journal established in 1998, is dedicated to exclusively reviewing independently published books to provide booksellers, librarians, agents, and publishing professionals with reviews of the best titles from small, alternative, and academic presses. ForeWord also provides a myriad of services to publishers, including international trade representation, Book of the Year Awards, Clarion fee-for-review service, and an interactive website for the reading community at: (
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