Author Marie Green McKeon's Crime Drama Is Named as Finalist in Book Awards

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"A Balm in Gilead," a gripping novel centered on the timely issue of campus assaults, has been named a finalist in two book award competitions.

The explosive and timely issue of campus assaults takes center stage in author Marie Green McKeon’s first-person novel, "A Balm in Gilead." The result is what Kirkus Reviews has called “a complex crime drama with an array of fascinating characters.” Now, "A Balm in Gilead" is receiving more critical acclaim, with the book named as a finalist in two separate book award competitions.

Ms. Green McKeon's book placed as an award-winning finalist in the Fiction: Mystery/ Suspense category of the 2015 International Book Awards. The International Book Awards, sponsored by USA Book News, brought in more than 1,200 entries, their biggest year since starting the program in 2009. By placing in the 2015 awards, "A Balm in Gilead" beat out 75% of fellow entrants.

The book also was named as a finalist in Foreword Reviews' IndieFab Book of the Year Awards. Each year, Foreword Reviews shines a light on a small group of indie authors and publishers whose work stands out from the crowd determined by a panel of over 100 librarians. Winners of this year's 16th annual awards will be announced in June.

In "A Balm in Gilead," college student Quinn Carlisle is returning to campus after her grandmother’s funeral when she is attacked and brutally assaulted while held captive in a dormitory room. Her assailant is eventually arrested and a jury finds him guilty, but a corrupt judge refuses to sentence him and he is set free.

Ten years pass in which Quinn struggles to pull her life together. On the surface, she lives a reasonably normal life, but underneath, she has all the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Then she hears on the local news about the gruesome murder of a young woman found with a word carved into her flesh. It’s the same word that was crudely carved into Quinn during her own attack ten years earlier. Quinn is convinced that it’s her assailant. Reluctantly, this traumatized rape victim heads down the path she most fears, hoping to find some measure of justice and, most of all, to heal herself.

“This fine novel will keep readers guessing, even about the good guys’ motives. Fans of crime fiction, mysteries and psychological thrillers will love this tightly written portrayal of PTSD and redemption.” Kirkus Reviews

“A Balm in Gilead offers an intriguing story centered on the distress rape victims endure when college authorities, law enforcement, and family members fail to believe and support them.” Foreword Clarion Reviews, 4-star review

Author: Marie Green McKeon has been a journalist, an advertising and marketing copywriter, and an editor. She is now the author of fiction. "A Balm in Gilead" is available in trade paperback or as an eBook from online sites including,, iTunes,, and

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