“The Third Target,” first thriller about threat of the Islamic State, has been nominated for an industry book award.


This week, Lynn and I learned that The Third Target has been nominated for the 2016 Christian Book Award. It is one of 35 finalists for the honor bestowed annually by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).

The Third Target, published in January 2015, was the first in a new series of political thrillers I’ve written about a horrific terror plot by the Islamic State, whose leaders are driven by an Apocalyptic Islamic eschatology to build the Caliphate and bring about the End of Days. The novel centers on J.B. Collins, a fictional New York Times foreign correspondent. Collins is pursuing rumors that ISIS has seized chemical weapons in Syria and is preparing to launch devastating attacks against the U.S., Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians; assassinate their leaders; and overthrow Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

The novel last year hit the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today best-sellers lists, and hit #1 on the ECPA list of best-selling Christian novels.

I am deeply honored to learn the book is a finalist for the Christian Book Award and thrilled to be in the company of such excellent authors. I can still remember how exciting it was a decade ago when my political thriller, The Ezekiel Option, won first place in what was then known as ECPA’s “Gold Medallion Award” in 2006.

“Our member publishers submitted more than 250 books in seven categories in this year’s Christian Book Award® program,” said Stan Jantz, ECPA executive director, in a press release. “These outstanding finalists, selected by 72 independent judges, showcase the variety and power of the books Christian publishers are producing.”

“Winners will be announced at the Industry’s Awards Celebration in Nashville, held the evening of May 3rd during the ECPA Leadership Summit,” noted the ECPA press release. “The announcement that night will coincide with a ‘social media blitz’ through Thunderclap that announces the winners, and launches a social media campaign to #ReadGoodBooks and share #MyFavoriteGoodBook.  Last year’s campaign reached over half a million (520,909) with the news.”