Contest Winners

* TRW member

*** Full requested
** Partial requested

Categories with more than three finalists are due to ties.

 

Congratulations!

2017

The first place finalists will now advance to the Gold Ticket Round, judged by Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency.

Contemporary
Finalist Round Judges:
Deb Werksman, Sourcebooks & Elizabeth Winick Rubinstein, McIntosh & Otis
First Place: THAT’S AMORE – Kimberly Buckner
Second Place: PRINCESS CHARMING – Beth Seeber
Third Place: MIRROR IMAGE – Betty L. Unkel

Contemporary Short
Finalist Round Judges:
Piya Campana, Harlequin & Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
First Place: WHAT HE WANTS – Jessie Gussman
Second Place: TAMING AMANDA – Nadia Smith* (Piya Campana***)
Third Place: BROKEN DOWN IN STARLIGHT FALLS – Danielle Webster

Historical
Finalist Round Judges:  
Jennie Conway, St. Martin’s Press & Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency
First Place: THE ART OF THE DEAL – Suzanne Turner (Laura Bradford***)
Second Place: LOVE’S REDEMPTION – Jeanine Englert (Laura Bradford***)
Third Place: A KISS BEFORE SPYING – Zara Flynn 

Mainstream with Strong Romantic Elements
Finalist Round Judges:
Allison Carroll, HQN & Janna Bonikowski, The Knight Agency
First Place: BELLA CIGNA – Wendi Dass (Tied for 1st place)
THE ROAD GOES TO COROLLA – S. W. KIERS (Tied for 1st place)
Second Place: SCRATCH LINE – Deb Merino

Romantic Suspense
Finalist Round Judges: 
Elizabeth May, Kensington & Stacey Donaghy, Donaghy Literary Group
First Place: MALICE FOR MERCY – Jacqueline Jayne (Stacey Donaghy**)
Second Place: FATAL ASSIGNMENT – Loretta Eidson
Third Place: A SISTER’S DEADLY DISCIPLE – TJ Logan (Elizabeth May***)

Paranormal, Fantasy, Futuristic
Finalist Round Judges:  
Angela James, Carina Press & Jim McCarthy, Dystel, Goderich & Bourett
First Place: MIDNIGHT’S PAWN – Heather Greye (Angela James*** and Jim McCarthy**)
Second Place: DEMON’S CURSE, Raewyn Bright
Third Place: RUN AWAY FROM THE BIG, BAD WOLF – Tiana Hartwood*

Young Adult
Finalist Round Judges:  
Annie Berger, Sourcebooks & Vanessa Robins, The Corvisiero Agency
First Place: FROM THERE TO HERE – Laura Cumbie (Vanessa Robins***)
Second Place: THE SUMMER OF NOW AND THEN – Danielle Webster (Vanessa Robins***)
Third Place: THE SEVENTH SUN, Lani Forbes

 

2016

GOLDEN TICKET ROUND – Final Judge: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency

WINNER:
LORD JAMES’ CHALLENGE – Evelyn Alexie **

First Runner-Up:
FACE THE MUSIC – Susan Haire * **

Contemporary Single Title – Final Round Judge: Esi Sogah, Kensington
First Place: UNDERCOVER DISTRACTION – Jody Holford
Second Place: THE WOMAN WITH THE AMBER EYES – Gabbi Grey
Third Place: FINDING HAVEN – Fallon DeMornay *

Contemporary Series – Final Round Judge: Piya Campana, Harlequin
First Place: RESTORING THE WIDOWER’S HEART – Tanya Agler
Second Place: JAMESTOWN HOMECOMING – Becke Turner **
Third Place: HIDDEN CONSEQUENCE – Bailey Edwards*  **
Fourth Place: GRETCHEN’S SONG – Sue Barr *  **

Historical – Final Round Judge: Katherine Pelz, Berkley
First Place: LORD JAMES’ CHALLENGE – Evelyn Alexie **
Second Place: THE GOVERNESS’S GLANCE – Jenny Henderson
Third Place: THE WIDOW OF MOUNT HOLLY – Andrea Catalano

Romantic Elements – Final Round Judge: Kerri Buckley, Carina Press
First Place: POSTCARDS FROM VAN GOGH – Faye North
Second Place: A WOMAN’S PLACE – Sherry Isaac * (Tied for 2nd Place)
REINVENTION HUSTLE – Hyacinthe M. Miller * (Tied for 2nd Place)

Paranormal, Fantasy, Futuristic – Final Round Judge: Brenda Chin, Belle Books
First Place: FACE THE MUSIC – Susan Haire *  ***
Second Place: STAR CROSSED – Alana Delacroix *
Third Place: HOMECOMING – Sherry Isaac *

Young Adult – Final Round Judge: Annie Berger, Sourcebooks
First Place: COVENANT PARK – Christine Gunderson **
Second Place: THE DONOR – Jennifer Dyer
Third Place: MERLIN’S CHILDREN – Becky Rawnsley

2015

GOLDEN TICKET ROUND – Final Judge: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency

Winner:
TWO FOR THE ROAD – Catherine Rull***

The Gold Ticket competition was judged by Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency. The Gold Ticket winner will receive a three-chapter critique by NYT bestselling author Kelley Armstrong.

Runner-Up:
SUNSET SUMMER – Stephanie Scott
Contemporary Single Title – Final Round Judge: Esi Sogah, Kensington
First Place: TWO FOR THE ROAD – Catherine Rull ***
Second Place: NOTHING TO HIDE – Mia Hopkins
Third Place: MURPHY’S SECRET – Becke Turner

Historical – Final Round Judge: Katherine Pelz, Berkley
First Place: WHITE WATER PASSION – Dawn Luedecke ***
Second Place: THE SECRET AFFAIRS OF THE DUKE’S DAUGHTER – Janna MacGregor
Third Place: SURRENDER TO THE WIND – Elizabeth St. Michel

Romantic Suspense – Final Round Judge: Dana Hamilton, Grand Central Publishing
First Place: FAMILY REVELATIONS – Bess George ***
Second Place: MURDER, CURLERS, AND CREAM – Arlene McFarlane *
Third Place: THE MISSING TIME – Sandra J. Clarke *

Paranormal, Fantasy, Futuristic – Final Round Judge: Brenda Chin, Belle Books
First Place: CONSTANT CRAVING – Kari W. Cole ***
Second Place: IRON HEART – Alana Delacroix *
Third Place: QUEEN OF HEARTS – Harris Fischer

Young Adult – Final Round Judge: Annie Berger, Harper Collins Children’s Books
First Place: SUNSET SUMMER – Stephanie Scott **
Second Place: BLUE SERENITY – Jennifer Dyer **
Third Place: DIARY OF A PAGEANT QUEEN – Casey Layne

 

2014

GOLDEN TICKET ROUND – Final Judge: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency

THE FROST KING, by Elly Blake*

Contemporary Series – Final Round Judge: Megan Long, Harlequin
Winner: WHEN IN ROME, by Angela Bissell
Second Place: SUMMER OF FORTUNE, by Judy Hudson ***
Third Place: CABIN FEVER, by Judy Hudson **

Contemporary Single Title – Final Round Judge: Esi Sogah, Kensington
Winner: THE FIRST WORD, by Isley Robson
Second Place: SHE’S GOT GAME, by A.G. Starling
Third Place: CATCHING KATIE, by Eva Siedler

Historical – Final Round Judge: Katherine Pelz, Berkley
Winner: A WICKED WAY TO WIN AN EARL, by Katherine Jackson **
Second Place: LESSONS IN SCANDAL, by Crystal Eliot
Third Place: KITTY’S WAR, by Barbara Whitaker

Paranormal, Fantasy, Futuristic – Final Round Judge: Brenda Chin, Belle Books
Winner: HELL TO PAY, by Jillian David ***
Second Place: SPARK RISING, by Kate Corcino ***
Third Place: WATCHTOWER, by Jennifer K. Hover
Fourth Place: SAVING JEWEL, by Babette de Jongh

Strong Romantic Elements – Final Round Judge: Kerri Buckley, Carina Press
Winner: WHERE THE PAST BELONGS, by Elizabeth Cockle & James Colling w/a E.J. Colling *
Second Place: LUCK RIDERS, by Lynne M. MacLean
Third Place: FIRST BLUSH, by Jennifer Sanchez

Romantic Suspense – Final Round Judge: Leah Hultenschmidt, Grand Central Publishing
Winner: TRUST NO ONE, by Annette Keuning
Second Place: GUARDING JULIA, by Babette de Jongh
Third Place: FOR LOVE AND MONEY, by Madelle Morgan

Young Adult – Final Round Judge: Karen Chaplin, HarperCollins Children’s Books
Winner: THE FROST KING, by Elly Blake*
Second Place: VIRTUE, VICE, SACRIFICE, by Shannon Schuren
Third Place: THE OTHER CHEEK, by McCall Hoyle

New Adult – Final Round Judge: Megha Parekh, Grand Central Publishing
Winner: CAN’T HELP BUT SEE, by Morgan Walsh ***
Second Place: SEDUCING DEATH, by Elle McKay ***
Third Place: PASSING THE BAR, by Lauren Riddick
Fourth Place: ALL THAT SHIMMERS, by Kady Winter

2013

GOLDEN TICKET ROUND – Final Judge: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency

Winner: The Sins of Madeline Montgomery by Tara Kingston ***
1st Runner Up: The Last Kingdom by Nicki Pau Preto *   ***

The Gold Ticket competition was judged by Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency. The Gold Ticket winner will receive a three-chapter critique by NYT bestselling author Kelley Armstrong.

Contemporary Series – Final Round Judge: Wanda Ottewell, Harlequin
First Place: Ghost of a Chance by Kelly Moran ***
Second Place: How She Stole The Sheriff’s Heart by Kathleen Gregory
Third Place: Her Maine Attraction by Elisabeth Grace *

Contemporary Single Title – Final Round Judge: Leonore Waldrip, HQN
First Place: Hit Me With Your Best Shot by P.J. Ryley ***
Second Place: Worth The Risk by Michelle Somers
Third Place: Her Guardian, His Angel by Kimberley Troutte

Historical – Final Round Judge: Katherine Pelz, Berkley
First Place: The Lost Chord by Suzanne Turner **
Second Place: Not Your Average Beauty by Michelle Helliwell
Third Place: On Ravyn’s Wing by Marilyn Lamb *

Paranormal, Fantasy, Futuristic – Final Round Judge: Esi Sogah, Kensington
First Place: The Sins of Madeline Montgomery by Tara Kingston
Second Place: Treasured Claim by Jami Gold
Third Place: Blood, Pain and Pleasure by Nadine Mutas
Fourth Place: Sidekick by Auralee Wallace

Strong Romantic Elements – Final Round Judge: Leah Hultenschmidt, Grand Central Publishing
First Place: The Art of Persuasion by Sara Richardson ***
Second Place: Word Painting by Kelly Hartog
Third Place: The Fat Chicks’ Club by Catherine Rull

Romantic Suspense – Final Round Judge: Leis Pederson, Berkley
First Place: Shielded Hearts by Susan Spaulding ***
Second Place: Untrue Colors by Veronica Forand
Third Place: Blind Faith by Nancy Brophy
Fourth Place: Chasing Symmetry by Lauren Blake

Young Adult – Final Round Judge: Karen Chaplin, HarperCollins Children’s Books
First Place: The Last Kingdom by Nicki Pau Preto * **
Second Place: Four Bullets by Amy DeLuca
Third Place: Late Night Reflections on the Zombie Apocalypse by K.D. Aitkins

 

2012

GOLDEN TICKET ROUND – Final Judge: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency

WINNER: Murder, Curlers, & Canes by Arlene McFarlane

Contemporary Series
Winner: Crashing Into Tess by Christine M. Griffin**
Second place: Scarlet Distraction by Elly Takaki* **
Third place: Testing The CEO’s Theory by Sara Darnell*

Contemporary Single Title
Winner: First Aid for a Broken Heart by Kat Latham***
Second place: Octagon Girl by Michele Mannon***
Third place: Hawaiian Heat: The Marriage Trap by Diane Garner
Fourth place: Precious Jewels by Mary Behre
Fifth place: Royally Screwed by Kelle Z. Riley

Historical
Winner: The League of Rogues by Lauren Diana Smith***
Second place: An Unloved Earl by Eileen Emerson***
Third place: The Winds of Fate by Elizabeth Bysiek**

Paranormal, Fantasy
Winner: Fairy Tales by Liz Roadifer
Second place: Mated by Magick by Kat Bastion
Third place: Seal of Destiny by Traci Douglass

Strong Romantic Elements
Winner: Murder, Curlers, & Canes by Arlene McFarlane
Second place: Wrestling with Alligators by Lateia Elam Sandifer
Third place: Murder, Curlers, & Cruises by Arlene McFarlane

Romantic Suspense
Winner:  Her Unreasonable Doubt by Anne-Marie Carroll
Second place: Death by Design–A Crime of Fashion by Meline Nadeau*
Third place: The Cell by Diane Garner

Young Adult
Winner: Sway by Nicki Pau Preto* **
Second place: Disposables by Elly Takaki*
Third place: Dolphins, Dorks, and Danger by Robin Weaver
Fourth place: Atlantis Riptide by Allie Burton

2011

GOLDEN TICKET ROUND – Final Judge: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency

WINNER: THE TURNCOAT by Donna Thorland***

First Runner Up: A FUTURE FOR ABBY by Rebecca Sampson

Second Runner Up: NOT FADE AWAY (formerly WITCH BOY) by Yvonne Yirka

Contemporary Series Romance – Final Judge Wanda Ottewell, Harlequin

Winner: A FUTURE FOR ABBY by Rebecca Sampson**
Second Place (tie): 16 MARSDEN PLACE by Rachel Brimble
Second Place (tie): MONTANA MAN by Leeann Morgan

Contemporary Single Title Romance – Final Judge Margo Lipschultz, HQN

Winner: THE ANGEL MADE ME DO IT by Shauna Allen
Second Place: NO FRAGILE HEART by Kat Latham
Third Place: RECONSTRUCTING EVE by Lisa Hilleren

Historical Romance – Final Judge Katherine Pelz, Berkley

Winner: THE TURNCOAT by Donna Thorland
Second Place: THE GARDENER’S COUNTESS by Susan Omine
Third Place: MERELY PLAYERS by Margaret Clift McNulty

Paranormal, Fantasy, Futuristic – Final Judge Esi Sogah, Avon

Winner: A PACK OF TWO by Wendy Anderson***
Second Place: A RIP IN TIME by Helen H. Pilz
Third Place: IN THE LAND OF THE VULTURES by Paula Chaffee Scardamalia
Fourth Place: THE DEVIL OF WHITECHAPEL by Bec Skrabl

Romantic Suspense – Final Judge Leis Pederson, Berkley

Winner: THE DREAMER by Michelle Sharp***
Second Place: THE SHADOW HOUR by Jacqui Nelson**
Third Place: THE LAST EXECUTION by Jerrie Alexander
Fourth Place: TANGLED DECEPTIONS by Irene Jordane*

Strong Romantic Elements – Final Judge Kathleen Gilligan, St. Martin’s

Winner: BECALMED by Normandie Ward Fischer
Second Place: SO ABOUT THE MONEY by Cathy Perkins
Third Place: EASY IN THEORY by D. B. Shuster
Fourth Place: BREACH OF CONTRACT by D. B. Shuster

Young Adult – Final Judge Karen Chaplin, HarperCollins Children’s Books

Winner: NOT FADE AWAY (formerly WITCH BOY) by Yvonne Yirka**
Second Place: GETTING A LIFE, EVEN IF YOU’RE DEAD by Beth Watson
Third Place: CHEERLEADERS FROM OUTERSPACE by Vanessa Barneveld

* denotes TRW member
** partial requested by editor
*** full requested by editor

 

2010 Contest Winners

 

Overall Gold Ticket Winner – Judge: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency
Winner: THE FALL*** by Kristina Coi*
First Runner Up: DIE RUN HIDE by Patrice Kavanaugh
Second Runner Up: PAPER HEARTS by Kay HudsonThe category finalist placements are:
Contemporary Series – Final Round Judge: Wanda Ottewell, Harlequin

Winner: FIGHTING FOR HER LOVE** by Vicki Essex (a.k.a. Vicki So)*,**
Second Place: LOOKING FOR NORMAL** by Robin Covington
Third Place: WHISPERS IN THE NIGHT by Carol Post
Fourth Place: FALLING FOR THE FARMER by Jennifer Lynn Bates

Contemporary Single Title – Final Round Judge: Margo Lipschultz, HQN

Winner: FOUR WEDDINGS AND A BREAK UP by Elyssa Papa
Second Place: HAUNTED HEARTS by Marian Cosic*
Third Place: ALL THINGS EASY by Katrina Crew

Historical – Final Round Judge: Leis Pederson, Berkley

Winner: PAPER HEARTS by Kay Hudson
Second Place: DEVIL’S HEARTACHE by Wendy La Capra
Third Place: A RIP IN TIME by Helen Pilz

Romantic Suspense – Final Round Judge: Celia Johnson, Grand Central

Winner (tie): THE GREEN EYED DOLL by Jerrie Alexander
Winner (tie): NOW YOU SEE IT by Cait Donnelly
Second Place (tie): NOTHING TO FEAR by Rosalind Villers
Second Place (tie): THE VOICE OF REASON by Mary Oldham
Third Place: FINDING DARKNESS by Tina Everitt*

Strong Romantic Elements – Final Round Judge: Kathleen Gilligan, St. Martin’s

Winner: DIE RUN HIDE by Patrice Kavanaugh
Second Place: BLACK OPS CHRONICLES: DEAD RUN by L. Pepper Norris
Third Place: FORTUNE’S FOOL by Jane Sevier
Fourth Place: SCYTHE DOES MATTER by Gina Grant*

Paranormal, Fantasy, Futuristic – Final Round Judge: Esi Sogah, Avon

Winner: THE FALL by Kristina Coi*
Second Place: THE OUTER PLANETS by Laurie Green
Third Place: KINDRED OF THE FALLEN by Isis Rushdan

Young Adult – Final Round Judge: Karen Chaplin, Puffin Books

Winner: LEGACY** by Robin Bielman
Second Place: Second Place: FIFTEEN FOREVER** by Tes Hilaire
Third Place: BREATHING FIRE by Christine Canada

* denotes TRW member
** partial requested by editor
*** full requested by editor

 

2009 Contest Winners

OVERALL GOLD TICKET WINNER
1. WATCH THEM DIE, Susanne Frost**
2. IN DEEP, Meredith Clark
2.  SHADOW OF THE INCUBUS, Alison Pang

CONTEMPORARY SERIES
1. WITH OR WITHOUT YOU, Meline Nadeau*,**
2. SHOT IN THE DARK, Jennifer Conner**
3. HER CINDERELLA SECRET, Vicki So*

CONTEMPORARY SINGLE TITLE
1. IN DEEP, Meredith Clark
2. DEPTHS OF LOVE, Pamela Hearon
3. HOW TO MARRY A KAJILLIONAIRE, Jenny Bernard

HISTORICAL
1. WARRIOR’S REVENGE, Coreene Smith***
2. INVITATION TO SCANDAL, Kelly Boyce
3. A MAN FOR MAGGIE, Tatia Talbot

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
1. WATCH THEM DIE, Susanne Frost**
2. EXPIRATION DATE, Nancy Naigle
3. TRUE DECEIT, Nika Dixon*

STRONG ROMANTIC ELEMENTS
1. PLEASANT LAKE P.D., Kelly Fitzpatrick
2. SOLSTICE OF DEATH, Robin Weaver & Robert Drdak
3. ILLUSIONS, Cathy Perkins
4. HEART’S DESIRE, Kathleen Dore
5. PRIOR SINS, Deborah Gross

PARANORMAL
1. SHADOW OF THE INCUBUS, Allison Pang***
2. KISS OF DARKNESSS, Zoe Forward
3. SUBENA’S SACRIFICE, Robin Weaver
4. JUMP ZONE, Paula Watkinson*

YOUNG ADULT
1. MEGAN DELANEY: MYSTIC MISFIT Bonnie Staring*
2. SUGAR HIGH Bethany Cunningham Gabbert
3. ADVENTURES OF A TEENAGE TRUTHSEER, Cat Schield

* denotes TRW member
** partial requested by editor
*** full requested by editor

 

2008 Contest Winners

OVERALL GOLD TICKET WINNERS
Winner: FINNEGAN BEGIN AGAIN, Nikki Figueiredo ***
Runner up: LUCKY LILLY AND THE MOUNTIE-MAN, Elizabeth Copeman *

CONTEMPORARY SERIES
1. THE DEAL BROKER, Melissa Smith
2. SUMMER OF LOVE, Victoria LeBlanc
3. THE MATADOR, Kimberley Howe *

ROMANTIC ELEMENTS
1. FINNEGAN BEGIN AGAIN, Nikki Figueiredo
2. CALL SIGN SCARLETT, Julie Whitby
3. HASTA LA VISTA, BABY, Donna Wierzbowski
4. DARK SECRETS, Sherri Buerkle

CONTEMPORARY SINGLE TITLE
1. WHATEVER IT TAKES, Louise Knott Ahern
2. COLOR MY HORSE, Bev Pettersen
3. DESIGNS ON YOU, Robin Bielman

YOUNG ADULT
1. LOSING IT, Tracy Belsher **
2. BIG PANTIES AND OTHER PARACHUTES, Sarah Tregay
3. WISHFUL THINKING, Elizabeth C. Langston

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
1. LUCKY LILLY AND THE MOUNTIE-MAN, Elizabeth Copeman *
2. BODY LANGUAGE, Robin S. Sorrentino
3. A STRANGER’S TOUCH, Donna Ann Tunney
4. PORTRAIT OF A NIGHTINGALE, Amanda Collins

HISTORICAL
1. THE GAUNTLET, Beverley Kendall ***
2. FROM THE ASHES, Lecia Cotton Cornwall ***
3. SANDPIPER DREAM, Marilyn Lamb
4. FATAL FORTUNE, Joanne Barnaba

PARANORMAL
1. WARD AGAINST DEATH, Melanie Card ***
2. TANGLED HEARTS, Janis McCurry
3. LORD OF ABYDOS, Michalea Moore

* denotes TRW member
** partial requested by editor
*** full requested by editor

 

2007 Contest Winners

SINGLE TITLE

1. Chocolate and Stilettos: A Girl’s Guide to Looking Fabulous, Karen E M Johnston
2. Here Comes the Wedding Planner, Kristin Wallace
3. Betting on Serene, Janine Took

SHORT/LONG CONTEMPORARY

1. Sex in the Stacks, Meline Nadeau
2. Coming Home, Diane Ramsay
3. Creme, Carolyn Ray Strandinger

PARANORMAL

1. Risking Heaven, Jude Annesley
2. Talorento’s Message, Melanie Card
3. Angels at Almack’s, Cathy Leming

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

1. The Goddess Bracelet, Kate Dandel
2. One Perfect Night, Sharon B Wray
3. Run Silent, Kimberley Howe
4. Burn Bright, Burn Hot, Angelique Newman

HISTORICAL

1. Desire & Brimstone, Kelly Boyce
2. The Earl’s Christmas Gift, Donna Rosenbloom
3. From this Irish Soil, Jeanne M Dickson

 

 

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