SAN FRANCISCO_A tale of two women who ultimately learn from each other what’s important in life is the grand prize winner of the 2015 Beach Book Festival, which honors summer’s hottest reads.

Dawn Kohler’s novel “The Invitation: A Weekend with Emma” (Balboa Press) is the story of Kate Edwards, who recently lost her job as a reporter. She receives an invitation to spend the weekend with Emma Dines, a retired professor and former US ambassador to Germany.

Set in a beach community in Northern California, the story takes a turn when Kate discovers Emma’s hidden memoir. The judges found this unpredictable novel to be a fresh, intriguing beach read, making it an easy choice for top honors.

Kohler and other winners of the competition will be honored at a private ceremony on May 23 at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco.

Other winners in the competition:

BIOGRAPHY/AUTOBIOGRAPHY

WINNER: “Double Happiness” – Tony Brasunas

RUNNER-UP: “Love Triangle” – Darwin Porter/Danforth Prince

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • “The Peace Angel” – Nola Hennessy
  • “Torn Together” – Scott Magnuson
  • “Determined” – Avraham Perlmutter


WILD CARD

WINNER: “Sleeper’s Run” – Henry Mosquera

RUNNER-UP: “Sheppard of the Argonne” – W. William Weatherly

HONORABLE MENTION:

  • ”Courier” – Terry Irving
  • “Tesseract Twin Flame” – Vicki Ebeling


HOW-TO

WINNER: “Street Smart Selling” – Daniel Milstein

RUNNER-UP: “Natural To Knockout” – Carol Brown

BUSINESS

WINNER: “The Fracking Truth” – Chris Faulkner

GENERAL FICTION

WINNER: “The Invitation: A Weekend with Emma” – Dawn Kohler

RUNNER-UP: “A Tale of Two Maidens” – Anne Echols

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • ”Stress Test” – Kate Dockeray
  • ”Status Quo” – Henry Mosquera
  • ”Nerve” – S.R. Skelton
  • “Dead Men Do Tell Tales” – Sherban Young
  • “Visiting the Sins” – Melanie Denman
  • “Zappa Mam’s A Slapper” – John Lynch
  • “Diamond Shoals” – John Harnicar
  • “Apple of Sodom” – Mary E. Hoffman


ROMANCE

WINNER: “Pinnacle Lust” – Michelle Dim-St. Pierre

SPIRITUAL

WINNER: “Stellarella, Seashells - = Deborah W. Dykes


CHILDREN’S BOOKS

WINNER: “The Little Goat in Africa” – Deborah Smith Ford

RUNNER-UP: “Anchors Aweigh” – Mollie Wilson

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • “Fishing For Bananas” – Timothy Brower
  • “Bucket Filling from A to Z” – Carol McCloud and Caryn Butzke
  • “Baby’s Bucket Book” – Carol McCloud


GENERAL NON-FICTION

WINNER: “LE-JOG-ed” – Robin Richards


MYSTERY

WINNER: “The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova” – Lloyd Lofthouse

RUNNER-UP: “Seniors Sleuth” – Jennifer Chow

YOUNG ADULT

WINNER: “The Iron Golem” – Christian Page

RUNNER-UP: H.A.L.F. The Deep Beneath – Natalie Wright


SCIENCE FICTION

 WINNER: “Premortal” – Damien Passmore