Well, it’s been a load of work to get to this point, so you might be asking yourself; why bother? What’s the point of The Grunter Awards?When I started the awards last year, it was a bit of a “tongue in cheek” dig at the plethora of Awards being handed out and the incessant “humble” fawning of the recipients, but I’m pleased to say that cynical view didn’t last too long.What I quickly realised was that these Awards aren’t actually about selecting the best book in a category, or indeed the best book of the year. The whole idea that you can compare and evaluate different books across genres and somehow come up with a winner is to my mind NONSENSICAL!NO! The Grunter Awards are not about feteing individual authors and their works. What they are actually about is a CELEBRATION OF THE DIVERSITY AND IMMENSE TALENT THAT ARE INDIE AUTHORS. That’s why I did them again this year and that’s why I’ll keep doing them in the future. I am passionate about the depth of talent that resides in the Indie Author Community and I want the rest of the world to see, understand and believe that Indie authors are the equal and in many cases the better of anything in the legacy published world.For almost as long as the written word has been around, what we, as readers, were permitted to read has been dictated to us by a bunch of people who believe they know what is best for us – PUBLISHERS! What the digital revolution and the rise of self-publishing has achieved, is for us, the consumers, to finally be able to say – NO MORE! Now, we have an amazing choice of what we can choose to read. We are no longer constrained by publishers more interested in the “hot genre of the moment”, than in delivering us, the consumer, variety.Having read legacy published authors almost all my life, the past two years of reading exclusively Indie has taught me one thing – The variety, the freshness, the unique voice that Indie Authors bring to their creations is what makes their works so exciting and so different from the traditionally published material.What these awards are meant to do is to celebrate ALL indie authors. I would much rather read a Petken, a Fry, a Midwood, or a Fischer, than a Ludlum, a Clancy, a Cussler, or even a Follett. You never know what to expect in an Indie Book and that’s what makes them so damn exciting. If they want to break the “rules”, they break the rules. If they want to flout tradition and poke the borax, they do it.LONG LIVE INDIE AUTHORS! WE RULE!Right, well that’s my little rant and rave for today out the way. Now, didn’t we have a Supreme Grunter to hand out? Let’s review the contenders first, from each category:1/ Anthologies/Collections: Oddscapes and Quirkitudes by May J Panayi2/ Children’s Books: Princess Matilda’s Miracle by Suzie Jay3/ Dystopian/Science Fiction: Cosega Search by Brandt Legg4/ Erotica: Big Flipping Deal by Ian Saul Whitcomb5/ Fantasy: The Serpent of the Shangrove by C. N. Lesley6/ Historical Fiction – The Seven Year Dress by Paulette Mahurin7/ Humour: John Sharpe No. 1,348 by Riley J Froude8/ Mystery/Mayhem: The Brodsky Affair by Ken Fry9/ NonFiction/Memoirs: Squirting Milk at Chameleons by Simon Fenton10/ Romance/Adventure: The Seasons of Our Love by Angela Gascoigne11/ Young Adult: Rhuna: Keeper of Wisdom by Barbara Underwood As I stated at the outset, it is absolutely impossible (for me anyway) to objectively choose a “best” book of 2016, so really, please don’t put too much store in my choice. It is my opinion only.I was totally torn between three very different books that I absolutely adored this year and, to be honest, I couldn’t decide. The three books were; Cosega Search, The Seven Year Dress and The Brodsky Affair.I ummed and aaahed and changed my mind numerous times, but in the end, I had to ask myself which book made the biggest emotional impact on me personally.