January Book of Year Awards Announcement – For Immediate Release


January 2023

Maryland Author Kathryn Brown Ramsperger Receives Book of the Year Award

Novelist Kathryn Brown Ramsperger queried publishers for 35 years. Her debut walked away with more than five awards.

And they’re still coming.

Kathryn Brown Ramsperger, an award-winning novelist and journalist, was recognized this month for her debut novel The Shores of Our Souls at The International Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys’ annual book conference, held in Amelia Island, Florida, where tiaras rock and reading good books is the only rule. 

Long before the launch of Jenna’s Book Club and Reese’s Book Club, there was the Pulpwood Queens Book Club. Led by publishing insider Kathy L. Murphy, their 800 chapters keep sharing great stories like Ramsperger’s.

“For over 23 years I have been promoting my authors, their books, literacy, reading and yes, all the arts, too–for readers who have become my best friends in the whole wide world.  This is not a job for me, it’s a pleasure, my life’s mission.  Our authors are changing the world one author, one book, and all our readers at a time.”

Ramsperger received 2022’s Bonus Book of the Year. Previous bonus books of the year have included Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love and John Berendt’s Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil

“I look for good stories, period,” Murphy says. “A good story is a new take on something we’ve never heard before that will enlighten, educate, and lift our spirits. I try to pick books that take readers on a great adventure. I’ve learned through reading 4 or 5 books a week which stories connect people, and I choose those, then our book club members vote for Books of the Year.”  

Ramsperger says she’s elated she’s found her book’s home and was happily surprised to have won annual reader recognition. “Kathy Murphy’s is a tough list to get on,” she says. “My book started out a sleeper, but it’s wide awake now.

“I wrote my first (unpublished) novel at 21 and kept writing them. But I wasn’t going to let this one go unpublished. It’s a book about a man and a woman in love, whose love wasn’t (and often still isn’t) approved of. I’d known so many people who had been there, including me. As a journalist, I’d also witnessed countless people separated by war, family honor, fear of shame, of societal judgment. Much of this novel reflects my life, my loves, or stories shared with me as I traveled.

Ramsperger wanted her novel to start a conversation about race, country, and culture. “I wanted it to heal some misunderstandings, and I’m pleased it has already. Writing a book about love during wartime was my best way to express the truth about unconditional love. I believe that love is what conquers all, not war,” explains Ramsperger, who wrote and published for the International Red Cross for over two decades. 

Other 2022 Book of the Year Award Recipients are:

Robert Gwaltney whose novel, THE CICADA TREE, was voted Book of the Year.

Suzanne Kamata whose novel, THE BASEBALL WIDOW, was voted International Book of the Year.

David Valdes whose novel, SPIN ME RIGHT ROUND, was voted Young Adult Book of the Year.

Adriana Trigiani whose novel, THE HOUSE OF LOVE, was voted Best Children’s Book of the Year.

For a full list of 2022 books of the month, click here. For a full list of 2023 books of the month (Ramsperger’s sequel is the October featured book), click here. 

The International Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guy Book Club began more than 20 years ago and has grown to 800 chapters in 20 countries. Kathy Murphy and her book club have been featured on Oprah’s Oxygen Network, Good Morning America, Time, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal and many others. Its sole mission is to promote the arts, their authors, their books, literacy, and reading.

Media Contact:  Blue Cottage Agency
Krista Soukup
(218) 828-4717

To contact the author:

To contact The Pulpwood Queen, Kathy L. Murphy:
The International Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys