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Amazon and Penguin Group (USA) Reveal Top Three Finalists for Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Customers Can Now Vote for the Winner at

SEATTLE & NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May. 15, 2009-- Three finalists have been selected from among several thousand qualified writers in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest, the international competition in search of the next popular novel, sponsored by, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Penguin Group (USA) (NYSE:PSO). From now through May 21, Amazon customers can go to and vote for their favorite work after reading excerpts from the finalists’ respective novels. The Grand Prize winner of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, who will receive a publishing contract from Penguin Group (USA) which includes a $25,000 advance, will be revealed at a ceremony in New York City on Wednesday, May 27, 2009.

A panel of noted publishing professionals—bestselling authors Sue Grafton and Sue Monk Kidd, literary agent Barney Karpfinger and Penguin Press Editor-in-Chief Eamon Dolan—have read the top three finalists’ novels and written critiques of each, posted at

The top three finalists, listed in alphabetical order by author’s last name, are:

Ian Gibson, Victoria, British Columbia, for Stuff of Legends

The author, who works at a theater in British Columbia, developed the characters in this novel from a comic strip he created in 2003. Stuff of Legends is a comic fantasy about heroism and celebrity, where a 15-year-old boy’s fondest wish is granted and he is teamed with his idol, warrior hero Jordan the Red, to defeat villains, monsters and demonic armies.

James King, Wilton, Conn., for Bill Warrington’s Last Chance

A corporate communications specialist for the past 20 years, the author earned his master's degree in creative writing in 2008 as a way to achieve his lifelong goal of writing fiction. In the novel, Bill Warrington tries to reestablish ties with his estranged children after he is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. After several attempts at a reunion fail, he decides to kidnap his 15-year-old granddaughter, April, so that his children will be forced to talk to each other – and to him – as they attempt to “rescue” April.

Brandi Lynn Ryder, Napa, Calif., for In Malice, Quite Close

A Napa resident who grew up in the gold-mining town of Sonora, the author draws inspiration for her novel from her passions for Impressionist art and French culture. The novel opens in 1979 San Francisco, where an unlikely relationship forms between 15-year-old Karen, who longs to escape her abusive father, and wealthy art collector Tristan Mourault. Tristan gains Karen’s trust and she soon adopts a new identity as his daughter, sending the two on an extraordinary odyssey that spans 15 years and two coasts.

Tim McCall, vice president, director of online sales and marketing, Penguin Group (USA), commented: “I'm delighted with this year's finalists. They emerged from a field of very high-quality manuscripts that challenged our editorial teams to pick the best of the best. Each of our top three finalists can be very proud of their achievement. Now, it's up to the voters.”

“The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award is a way of introducing talented writers to readers with an enthusiasm for fresh new literary voices,” said Jeff Belle, vice president, U.S. Books, Amazon. “Customers now have a unique and important role in the contest by choosing the next breakthrough novel from three great finalists on”

The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award is co-sponsored by Amazon, Penguin Group (USA) and CreateSpace. For complete terms and conditions on the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, finalists’ excerpts and to vote for the winning novel, please visit

About Penguin Group (USA)

Penguin Group (USA) Inc. is the U.S. member of the internationally renowned Penguin Group. Penguin Group (USA) is one of the leading U.S. adult and children's trade book publishers, owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks, including Viking, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, The Penguin Press, Riverhead Books, Dutton, Penguin Books, Berkley Books, Gotham Books, Portfolio, New American Library, Plume, Tarcher, Philomel, Grosset & Dunlap, Puffin, and Frederick Warne, among others. The Penguin Group ( is part of Pearson plc, the international media company.

About, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection., Inc. seeks to be Earth's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as books, movies, music & games, digital downloads, electronics & computers, home & garden, toys, kids & baby, grocery, apparel, shoes & jewelry, health & beauty, sports & outdoors, and tools, auto & industrial.

Amazon Web Services provides Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon's own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. Examples of the services offered by Amazon Web Services are Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon SimpleDB, Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS), Amazon Flexible Payments Service (Amazon FPS), Amazon Mechanical Turk and Amazon CloudFront.

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Forward-Looking Statements

This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management's expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect's financial results is included in's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings.

About CreateSpace

CreateSpace is a business of On-Demand Publishing LLC, a subsidiary of, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN). A leader in manufacture on demand services for independent creative content owners, CreateSpace was originally founded as CustomFlix Labs, Inc. in 2002 and acquired by, Inc. in 2005. The company's mission is to connect its members to a worldwide audience through multiple channels, including CreateSpace provides inventory-free, physical distribution of Books, CDs and DVDs on Demand, video downloads via Amazon Video On Demand and music downloads via Amazon MP3.

Source:, Inc.

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