"To help select the winner, go to www.amazon.com/abna to download, read, rate and review free excerpts of the finalist's novels from now until March 31st. If you like an entry, be sure to tell your friends and colleagues to get online to support your favorite author as well."
Here's the list of finalists:
Bad Things Happen - by Harry Dolan (Ypsilanti, Michigan)
Casting Off - by Nicole R. Dickson (Greensboro, North Carolina)
Fresh Kills - by Bill Loehfelm (New Orleans, Lousiana)
Motherless Children - by Randall Luce (Montgomery Village, Maryland)
Ring of Lies - by Karen Laugel (Woodbridge, Connecticut)
The Butterflies of Grand Canyon - by Margaret Erhart (Flagstaff, Arizona)
The Hellraiser of the Hollywood Hills - by Jennifer Colt (Santa Monica, California)
The Prospect of My Arrival - by Dwight Okita (Chicago, Illinois)
The Wet Nurse's Tale - by Erica Eisdorfer (Carrboro, North Carolina)
Wrecking Civilization Before Lunch - by John Ring (Shawnee, Kansas)
I find it interesting that three finalists are from the South (North Carolina and Louisiana; it would be four if you count Maryland), three are from the Midwest (Michigan, Illinois, and Kansas) but only two are at all West Coast (one California and one Arizona—not quite coastal but western). But maybe these days regionalism is just an illusion. People move around a lot more.
It's also interesting to me that at this point, Amazon gives no indication of genre. The message concludes only with a link to vote in the "publishing decision making process."
It's American Idol with books!