Forgiving Liam by Estelle Pettersen joins the International Firebird Book Awards Circle of Winners

OFFICIAL PRESS STATEMENT – the Firebird Book Awards

January 28 – Speak Up Talk Radio announced the recent FIREBIRD BOOK AWARDS contest winners.

One of the winning entries was from Australian author Estelle Pettersen, whose book titled Forgiving Liam won in the Romance category.

Forgiving Liam: Book 1 in the Starling Sisters series wins Firebird Book Award in Romance. The awards support women and children in shelters.

Authors and publishers worldwide submitted their work to the International Firebird Book Awards, which support women and children in long-term shelters escaping homelessness, domestic violence, and trafficking.

The judging panel includes a diverse group who represent a cross-section of ages, cultural heritage, races, religions, gender, and experience. Two judges from a select panel of 27 read each book and independently scored each entry. All judges commit to a set of standardized criteria that evaluate the quality of the writing as well as production aspects. Only entries with the highest scores are awarded the coveted Firebird.

Patricia J. Rullo, the founder of the Firebird Book Awards, says, “The Firebird Book Awards adds a charitable twist that allows the author’s entry fee to be tax-deductible. In return, we make handmade fun and colorful pillowcases and send them with children’s books to women and children who are experiencing homelessness, including the shelter Enchanted Makeovers, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. In this way, authors get notoriety for their work while helping to transform homeless shelters into bright and happy homes. While it feels good to win a book award, it feels even better to do good and serve others.”

Pat continues, “At Speak Up Talk Radio, we offer creative people a welcome place to promote themselves via book awards, podcast awards, radio interviews, audiobook production, and podcasting services.”

The Firebird Book Awards run quarterly contests so authors can receive recognition on a timely basis. Authors from all genres, mainstream, independent, and self-published, are welcome.

Explore the awards here.

Forgiving Liam follows the prequel of the Starling Sisters series, Elizabeth, which won a Judges’ Favorite award in the Independent Press Awards in 2023.

Both books are published by Dusty Saddle Publishing, in their romance category.

Elizabeth: prequel to the Starling Sisters series is a Distinguished Favorite in the Independent Press Awards 2023.


  1. Suzanne Smith

    I applaud you for your generosity as a person, and for your Firebird Book Award win. Well done Estelle! 🍾

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