History of Hot Prospects Winners

Valley of the Sun as always thanks the editors and agents who donate their time to help better the craft of those who enter our Hot Prospects contest!

We also applaud authors who step forward and allow strangers to judge their art.  It is a hard thing to do, and we congratulate you!

2016

Grand Prize Winner: In Blood(*)(**)
(*)In Blood – Michelle Grajkowski of Three Seas has requested to see first 100 pages of this manuscript.
(**)In Blood – Annie Berger of Source Books has requested to see the full manuscript.

CONTEMPORARY
1st Place:  My Favorite Sin
2nd Place: Running from a Rock Star
3rd Place:  Through the Lens

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
1st Place:  Trial Run
2nd Place: Confessions of an American Bond Girl: Moonfaker
3rd Place: The Earl Claims His Comfort

HISTORICAL
1st Place:  The Rescue of Lord Grange
Tied for 2nd Place: A Kiss Before Spying
Tied for 2nd Place: Dangerous

FANTASY / FUTURISTIC / PARANORMAL
Tied for 1st Place: Twilight Angel
Tied for 1st Place: Crash and Turn
2nd Place: Passing Ages

INSPIRATIONAL
1st Place:  Grasping Hope
2nd Place:  Finders Keepers
3rd Place:  Healing Hannah’s Heart

YOUNG / NEW ADULT
1st Place:  In Blood(*)
2nd Place: Covenant Park
3rd Place:  The Geek’s Best Kept Secret
(*)Grand Prize Winner

EROTICA
1st Place: Waiting for the Sun(*)(**)
2nd Place:  Fire In Ice: Tale of the Dragon Rider
3rd Place:  Wet
(*)Kate Brauning of Entangled Publishing has requested to see the full manuscript.
(**)Brenda Chin has requested to see a “different” partial from this author (loved author’s voice but can’t use the story).

 

2015

CONTEMPORARY
Judges: Leanne Morgena, Senior Editor, Sweetheart Rose
Editor, Champagne Rose
Cat Clyne, Associate Editor, Sourcebooks, Inc.
Susan JP Owens, Wrong Side of Love
Jessie Gussman, When Silence Speaks
Tanya Agler, Shell of a Chance

 ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Judges: Angela James, Editorial Director, Carina Press, Harlequin Ltd
Amy Stapp, Tor/Forge
Ann Stewart writing as Reagan Phillips,
Salvation BayLori Mathews, Life Hack
Sally McDonough writing as Sally Brandle,
A Mule, A Mob Hit, and A Mountain of Trouble
Susan Dunn, Betrayed

HISTORICAL
Judges: Kristine Swartz, Assistant Editor, The Berkley Publishing Group
Jess Verdi, Senior Editor, Crimson Romance
Elizabeth St. Michel writing as Elizabeth Bysiek,
Surrender the Wind
Donna Dalton, The Talented Miss Talbot
Linda Locke, The Grand Duke

FANTASY/ FUTURISTIC /PARANORMAL
Judges: Dana Hopkins, Assistant Editor/Editorial Assistant, Blaze and American Romance | Harlequin
Eileen Rothschild, Associate Editor, St. Martin’s Press
Diana Beebe, Hunter’s Mark
Lisa Shiel writing as Anna Durand, The Mortal FallCarolyn Wren,
Tails of Winthrop Hall

2014

Grand Prize Winner: Rule Breakers, Soul Takers by Jacqueline Himmel

SINGLE TITLE
Judges: Editor, Sue Grimshaw, Random House
Editor –Cat Clyne, Sourcebooks, Inc.
1st Place: Culpable by Mia Catherine (*)
2nd Place: The First Word by Joanne Southwell (*)
3rd Place: Other Side of Midnight by Felicia Browell
(*) Request for more manuscript made by final judge

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Judges: Editor -Tera Cuskaden , Samhain
Editorial Assistant- Lauren Plude, Grand Central Publishing
1st Place: Body and Soul by Terri Molina
2nd Place: Reel Power by Barbara Gerry
3rd Place: Grace in the Shadows by Karon Ruiz

HISTORICAL
Judges: Senior Editor – Esi Sogah, Kensington
Editorial Director – Angela James, Carina Press, Harlequin
1st Place: Stalking Horse by Alleyne Dickens
2nd Place: A Nordic Knight of the Golden Fleece by Kris Tualla
3rd Place: Captive of the Steppes by Erin Moore

FANTASY/ FUTURISTIC /PARANORMAL
Judges: Assistant Editor –Kristine Swartz, The Berkley Publishing Group Editor – Amy Stapp, Tor/Forge
1st Place: Rule Breakers, Soul Takers by Jacqueline Himmel
2nd Place: Hell to Pay by Jillian David
3rd Place: Dante’s Inferno by Jillian David

2013

Grand Prize Winner: Oracle (The Kingmaker #1) by Ainsley Winter (*)
(*) Request for more manuscript made by final judge

FANTASY, FUTURISTIC, PARANORMAL
Assistant Editor – Kelly Quinn, Tor
Editor
–Kristine Swartz, Assistant Editor, The Berkley Publishing Group
1st Place: Oracle (The Kingmaker #1) by Ainsley Winter(*)
2nd Place: Blood, Pain and Pleasure by Nadine Mutas
3rd Place: On the Squeeze by Vivien Jackson(*)
(*) Request for more manuscript made by final judge

HISTORICAL
Senior Editor – Esi Sogah, Kensington
1st Place: The Price of a Gentleman by Louisa Cornell
2nd Place: The Tin Man’s Heart by Laura Trentham
3rd Place: The Caged Heart by Carla Swafford
3rd Place: Holly Ingraham, St. Martins

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Judges: Editorial Assistant- Lauren Plude, Grand Central Publishing
Editor -Tera Kleinfelter , Samhain
1st Place: The Gilded Cuff by Lauren Smith (*)
2nd Place: Southwest of Love by Brenda Whiteside
3rd Place: Because of You by Tameria Etherton
(*) Request for more manuscript made by final judge

CONTEMPORARY SINGLE TITLE
Judges: Editor –Deborah Werksman, Sourcebooks, Inc
Editor, Sue Grimshaw, Random House
1st Place: The Man Upstairs by C Barry Denham(*)
2nd Place: Unforgettable by Carrie N Christie
3rd Place: Surprised by You by Ani Gonzalez
(*) Request for more manuscript made by final judge

CONTEMPORARY SERIES
Associate Editor – Johanna Raisanen, Harlequin Senior
Editor Sweetheart Rose
– Leanne Morgena, The Wild Rose Press
1st Place: Gold Fever by Tina Swayzee McCright
2nd Place: Finding Home by Bonnie Forsythe(*)
3rd Place: Rules for Burning by Chloe Carson
(*) Request for more manuscript made by final judge

2012

Grand Prize Winner: The Treasure of a Dragon’s Heart by Jami Gold

HISTORICAL
Judges: Editor – Lauren Plude Editorial Assistant Grand Central Publishing Agent –Michelle Grajkowski, 3 Seas Literary Agency
1st Place: A Treasure Worth Keeping by Marie Patrick(*)
2nd Place: Into the Grey by Bobbi Groover
3rd Place: Rules for Not Marrying an Earl by Robin Delany(*)

FANTASY, FUTURISTIC, PARANORMAL
Judges: Editor – Holly Blanck, St. Martins
Agent –Suzie Townsend New Leaf Literary and Media
1st Place: The Treasure of a Dragon’s Heart by Jami Gold
2nd Place: Must Love Breeches by Angela Quarles(*)
3rd Place: Dark Heart of the Sun by Susan K. Maier
4th Place: Eternal Seduction by Sasha Cain

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Judges: Editor –Deborah Werksman, Sourcebooks, Inc.
Agent –Elaine English PLLC Literary
1st Place: The Duel by Catherine Lawrence(*)
2nd Place: Luck is a Lady by Mari Manning(*)
3rd Place: Guard My Life by Rebecca Giallongo
4th Place: Jae’s Assignment by Bernice Layton

CONTEMPORARY
Judges: Editor –Katherine N. Pelz, The Berkley Publishing Group,
Agent –Paige Wheeler, Folio Literary Management,
Editor – Leanne Morgena, Senior Editor, Sweetheart Rose, The Wild Rose Press
1st Place: God Whisperer by Kimberley Troutte
2nd Place: Synchrony’s Call by Susan J. Bickford*
3rd Place: Love Waltz’s In by Alana Albertson
4th Place: Hawaiian Heat: The Marriage Trap by Diane Garner(*)

2011

Grand Prize Winner: Legally Mastered by Sarah Castille

FANTASY, FUTURISTIC, PARANORMAL
1st Place: Last Time by Sharon Forret(*)
Tie for 2nd Place: Return to Celio by Polly Cain
Tie for 2nd Place:  Edge Walkers by Shannon Dee
(*) Request for more manuscript made by final judge

HISTORICAL
1st Place: Tempting Bella by Dora Mekouar (w/a Diana Quincy) (*)
2nd Place: Paths of Desire by Shannon Donnelly
3rd Place: The Caged Heart by Carla Swafford
(*) Request for more manuscript made by final judge

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
1st Place: Forever by Alicia Lienhart
2nd Place: Redemption by Diane Garner(*)
Tied for 3rd Place: Night Hush by Leslie Jones
Tied for 3rd Place: The Cell by Diane Garner
(*) Request for more manuscript made by final judge

CONTEMPORARY SINGLE TITLE
1st Place: Legally Mastered by Sarah Castille(*)
2nd Place: How to Say No and Mean It by Abby Gaines(*)
3rd Place: Perfect Summer by Katie Graykowski
4th Place: Man Overboard by Carrie C Spencer
(*) Request for more manuscript made by final judge

CONTEMPORARY SERIES
1st Place: His Forgotten Wife by Susanna Rogers(*)
2nd Place: Snow Job Kelly by Fitzpatrick
3rd Place: Hitting the High Note by Karen Rock
(*) Request for more manuscript made by final judge

2010

Grand Prize Winner: Indian Princess by Sarah M. Anderson

FANTASY, FUTURISTIC, PARANORMAL
1st Place: Tangled Web by Crista McHugh
2nd Place: Wolfen Time by Donna Ann Tunney writing as Roxy Boroughs
3rd Place: Scythe Does Matter by Gina Grant

HISTORICAL
1st Place: The Missing Baron by Stephanie Buchanan
2nd Place: Proposals and Pretenses by Barbara Reed
3rd Place: A Word In Private by Clare Van Dyke

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
1st Place: Naked Choke by Susanna Rogers
2nd Place: The Lies that Bind by Susanna Rogers
3rd Place: Burn on the Western Slope by Angela Smith
4th Place: Cat’s Eyes by Candace Irvin

CONTEMPORARY SINGLE TITLE
1st Place: Steel Hearts by Nancy Evertz
2nd Place: Another Day in Paradise by Kelly Fitzpatrick 3
rd Place: Who Needs a Hero by Jennifer L Hart

CONTEMPORARY SERIES
1st Place: Indian Princess by Sarah M. Anderson
2nd Place: To Catch a Thief by Kayla Kacer
3rd Place: The Wannabe Cowboy by Sarah M. Anderson

2009

Grand Prize Winner: Indian Princess by Sarah M. Anderson (*)
(*) Became a 2011 release by Harlequin Desire retitled as A Man of His Word

FANTASY, FUTURISTIC, PARANORMAL
1st Place: Moon Dark by Patricia Barletta
2nd Place: Sea Panther by Dawn Marie Hamilton
3rd Place: Jinn & Tonic by Kay Hudson

HISTORICAL
1st Place: A Most Unusual Lady by Kathleen Bittner Roth (*)
2nd Pace: A Countess of Convenience by Sarah Winn (*)
3rd Place: A Rake by Any Other Name by Sally Orr (*)
4th Place: Guns and Gardenias by Bernadette Hearne (*)
(*) Request for more material by final judge

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
1st Place: Alive at 5 by Linda Hurtado writing as Linda Bond
2nd Place: The Gavel’s Echo by Anne-Marie Carroll
3rd Place: Sniper Shots by Kathy Lane

CONTEMPORARY SINGLE TITLE
1st Place -A Different Beat by Susan Breeden
2nd Place -Cinderolda by Janet Periat
3rd Place – Do Not Disturb by Lisa B Minnick

CONTEMPORARY SERIES
1st Place – The Reluctant Nude by Meghan Murphy (*)
2nd Place – Getting It Right This Time by Rachel Brimble(*)
3rd Place – Head Games by Denise Cychosz
(*) Request for more material by final judge

EROTICA
1st Place – Bittersweet Obsessions by Carol Burnside
2nd Place – Oliver Klozehoff by Iris Astres
3rd Place – Whispers in the Heart by Judi Phillips

2008

Grand Prize Winner: Running Home by Lisa Tapp

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Final judge: Patience Smith of Harlequin/Silhouette
1st Place: Running Home by Lisa Tapp
2nd Place: Fever by Pamela Strout
3rd Place: Paying The Piper by Rachel Brimble

FANTASY, FUTURISTIC, PARANORMAL
Final judge: Leah Hultenschmidt of Dorchester Publishing
1st Place: Lover Enslaved by Jodi Redford
2nd Place: The Demon of Angel Beach by Mary Ann Chulick
3rd Place: Unleashing Your Inner Sex Demon by Cynthia Ann Arends

HISTORICAL
Final judge: Michelle Grajkowski of Three Seas Literary Agency
1st Place: A Code Of Love by Jacqueline Delecki
2nd Place: Eulalie by Varina Martindale
3rd Place: A Most Unlikely Match by Cynthia Ann Arends

OPEN ENTRY
Final Judge: Paige Wheeler of Folio Literary Management
1st Place: Destruction Of The Great Wall by R. Ann Siracusa
2nd Place: The Letter Thief by Clarissa Ellison & Deborah Durham-Vichr
3rd Place: Interfluit by Suzanne Lazear

2007

Grand Prize Winner: Lilith’s Child by Lee Roland
Grand Prize: Written critique by Scott Eagan, Greyhaus Agency

HISTORICAL
Final judge: Vivian Beck, Vivian Beck Agency
1st Place: Blood Marriage by Regina Richards
2nd Place: Lord Andrew’s Match by Cynthia Falcon
3rd Place: Hearts In Winter by Debra K. Maher

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Final judge: Paige Wheeler, Folio Literary Management
1st Place: Wilderness Mafia by Kristal Hinds Singletary
2nd Place: Pleasant Lake by Kelly Fitzpatrick
3rd Place: Rescue Me by Linda Hurtado Figueredo

FANTASY, FUTURISTIC, PARANORMAL
Final judge: Leah Hultenschmidt, Dorchester Publishing
1st Place: Lilith’s Child by Lee Roland
2nd Place: Hedda’s Sword by DeAnne R. Wildes-Mickelson
3rd Place: Casual Curses and Meticulous Magic by Lee Roland

INSPIRATIONAL
Final judge: Denise Silvestro, Penguin Praise
1st Place: Jumping Fences by Kit Wilkinson
2nd Place: Playing on Heartstrings by Keli Kristine Gwyn
3rd Place: Trouble by Kit Wilkinson

LONG CONTEMPORARY
Final judge: Patience Smith, Harlequin / Silhouette
1st Place: The Cost of Love by Vannetta Chapman
2nd Place: Only with The Heart by Linda Steinberg
3rd Place: Lipstick and Camouflage by Marian Stevens

SHORT CONTEMPORARY
Final judge: Michelle Grajkowski, 3 Seas Literary Agency
1st Place: The Nature Of Love by JoAnn Weatherly
2nd Place: The Cleopatra Secret by Greta MacEachern
3rd Place: The Wrong Mr. Right by Ami Weaver

CHICKLIT / WOMEN’S FICTION
Final judge: Sara Megibow, Nelson Literary Agency
1st Place: Flaherty’s Crossing by Kristina Y. McMorris and Linda Yoshida
2nd Place: Luck Of The Draw by Teryl Oswald
3rd Place: Desperate Homeowners by Tina LaVon Conine

EROTICA
Final judge: Raelene Gorlinsky, Ellora’s Cave
1st Place: Wings of Desire by Cynthia Arends w/a Hyacinth Hawke
2nd Place: Oral Exam by Tamra Westberry
3rd Place: Missionary Style by Tamra Westberry

YOUNG ADULT
Final judge: Kate Seaver, Berkley
1st Place: Billie Frankenstein by Cathy McDavid
2nd Place: Eternally Emma by Jeanne Rutgers
3rd Place: Forbidden Children by Gail Francis

2006

Grand Prize Winner: Queen In Exile by Donna Hatch
Grand Prize: A critique by Elaine English, Elaine English Literary Agency

CHICKLIT/WOMEN’S FICTION
Final judge: Kathryn Lye, Harlequin
1st Place: The Camp Followers by Shannon O’Keeffe-Dame
2nd Place: The Marilyn Club by Kayce Lassiter
3rd Place: Bad Hair Day In The City by Marian Stevens

EROTICA
Final judge: Kristi Studts, Triskelion
1st Place: Feeding Our Desire by Mary Ann G. Chulick(*)
2nd Place: Corporate Fantasies by Marie Tuhart
3rd Place: The Perfect Package by Jan Walkosz
(*) Full requested

FANTASY, FUTURISTIC, & PARANORMAL
Final judge: Kate Seaver, Berkley
1st Place: Queen in Exile by Donna Hatch(*)
2nd Place: Overlord by Anitra Lynn McLeod (*)
3rd Place: Elusive Grace by Anitra Lynn McLeod (*)
(*) full requested

HISTORICAL
Final judge: Chris Keeslar, Dorchester
1st Place: Touch the Flame by Donna Warner
2nd Place: Counterfeit Companion by Doreen Rebh
3rd Place: Fire At Midnight by Lisa Marie Wilkinson
(*) full requested

LONG CONTEMPORARY
Final Judge: Paige Wheeler, Folio Literary Agency
1st Place: Fairy Godmother, Inc. by Libby H. Banks (*)
2nd Place: Lip Service 101 by Robyn Grady
3rd Place: Beyond Pleasure by Dianne Venetta (*)
(*) partial requested

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Final Judge: Jennifer Jackson, Donald Maass Literary Agency
1st Place: Legacy of Lies by Doris M. Lemcke
2nd Place: Every Rose Has Its Thorn by J. L. Wilson
3rd Place: Montana Millionaire by Vannetta Chapman

SHORT CONTEMPORARY
Final Judge: Brenda Chin, Harlequin
1st Place: Hunk Brothers, Inc. by Sally Stotter
2nd Place: Romancing the Storm by Lee Rhuday
3rd Place: The Long Road Home by Carol Webb

YOUNG ADULT
Final Judge: Michelle Grajkowski, 3 Seas Literary Agency
1st Place: Brother Trouble by Catherine Chant
2nd Place: The Summer Secret by Laurie Saloman
3rd Place: My Life In The Void by Betsy Norman

2005

Grand Prize Winner: Return to Me by Sonje Goedde

SHORT CONTEMPORARY
Final judge: Kimberly Young, Harlequin
1st Place: Evangeline’s Legacy by Anne Funderburg
2nd Place: Feliz Navidad, Darling by Ines marques-Chisholm
3rd Place: Loons of a Feather by Lori Combs-Graves

LONG CONTEMPORARY
Final judge: Brenda Chin, Harlequin
1st Place: Hot Shot by Mary Fechter
2nd Place: Katie’s Rock by Lorie Combs-Graves
3rd Place: Die Again by Anne Oortman

CHICKLIT / WOMEN’S FICTION
Final judge: Kathryn Lye, Harlequin
1st Place: Manspotting by Sally Stotter
2nd Place: Tee Time by Jennifer Talty
3rd Place: By Jove! by Marissa Doyle

HISTORICAL
Final Judge: Gina Bernal, Berkley
1st Place: Pirates by Michelle Beattie
2nd Place: Moment of Passion by Kelly Gotusso-Mortimer
3rd Place: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by Regan Loyd

FANTASY, FUTURISTIC, PARANORMAL
Final judge: Jessica Wade, Berkley 1st Place: Return to Me by Sonja Goedde Second Place: Sword of Hope by Wendy Drew 3rd Place: Newt and Day by Mary Ann G. Chulik

EROTICA
Final judge: Raelene Gorlinsky, Ellora’s Cave
1st Place: Seduction of the Klatch by Tina Gerow
2nd Place: Hunter by Dorothy Fontana
3rd Place: Regina’s Surrender by Nancy Schumacher

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Final judge: Patience Smith, Silhouette
1st Place: Flights of Angels by Sharon Wray
2nd Place: Affair at Midnight by Sharon Wray
3rd Place: Long Texas Shadow by Vanetta Chapman

YOUNG ADULT
Final judge: Kate Seaver, Berkley
1st Place: Wishing You Were Here by Catherine Chant
2nd Place: Frankie the Freak by Terri Clark
3rd Place: All A Girl Wants by Laura Cumbie

2004

FUTURISTIC, FANTASY, PARANORMAL
Final judge, Christopher Keeslar, Dorchester Publishing editor
1st Place: Game Time by Mary Ann G. Chulick(*)
2nd Place: He Walks in Dreams by Darcy Carson
3rd Place: Moran’s Love by Tricia Lynn
(*) full manuscript request

HISTORICAL
Final judge, Gina Bernal, Berkley/Jove editor
1st Place: Runes of Fire by Terri Garey
2nd Place: The Fox by Carla Hughes
3rd Place: Decurion by Linda Raper

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Final judges, Cheryl Weisman and Patience Smith, Silhouette editor
1st Place: Bitemarks by Connie Smith
2nd Place: Gambit by Rose Fisk
3rd Place: The Violet Society: Death and the Neighborhood by Mary Elizabeth O’Connor

YOUNG ADULT:
Final judge, Kate Seavor, Dorchester Publishing editor
Tied for 1st Place: Wishes, Kisses and Near Misses by Lee McKenzie McAnally
Tied for 1st Place: Chasing Puberty by Kimberly Duffy
2nd Place: How to Ruin a Summer Vacation in Three Short Months by Simone Elkeles

SHORT CONTEMPORARY
Final judge, Tanya Starratt, Harlequin editor
1st Place: Here Comes the Bribe by Sherry A. Davis(*)
2nd Place: Unmasked Fantasy by Kelley Zeringue
3rd Place: Blue Print for Love by Kerry Brooks Swift
(*) full manuscript request

LONG CONTEMPORARY
Final judge Louisa Edwards, Berkley Publishing Group 1
st Place: WIDE OPEN SPACES by Terry McLaughlin
2nd Place: THROW YOUR HEART OVER by Linda Ingmanson
3rd Place: Playing Cupid by Kimberly Duffy

INSPIRATION(*)
(*)Not used due to lack of entries.

2003

HISTORICAL
Final judge: Louisa Edwards at Berkley
1st Place: Master of the Heart by Jesica Trapp
2nd Place: An Angel’s Kiss by Stacey Lynn Riemer
3rd Place: The Cavalry Wife by Donna Dalton

LONG CONTEMPORARY
Final judge: Jennifer Enderlin of St. Martin’s Press
1st Place: Gray’s Anatomy by Crystal Bright-Hollomon
2nd Place: A Man Like Jimmy Stewart by Robin Lanier
3rd Place: Great Lights by Lisa Baron Roti

FANTASY, FUTURISTIC, PARANORMAL
Final judge: Anna Genoese, Editor, Tor/Forge
1st Place: Flight of the Falcon by Elizabeth Hoffman
2nd Place: Leda’s Swain by Laura Clayton Furst
3rd Place: Kissed by the Moon by Colleen Reilly

MYSTERY
Final judges: Cheryl Weisman, Editorial Assistant at Silhouette Patience Smith, Associate Senior Editor of Continuities
1st Place: Guarding Julia by Babette de Jongh
2nd Place: Disappeared by Karen Brown
3rd Place: On Shaky Ground by Pamela S. Beason

SHORT CONTEMPORARY
Final judge: Brenda Chin, Associate Senior Editor, Harlequin Temptation 1st place: Sweet Indulgence by Tawny Weber
2nd place: For One Weekend Only  by Jennifer Stark
3rd place: Privileges Granted by Janice Lynn

YOUNG ADULT
Final judge: Kate Seavor, Editor at Dorchester Publishing (*)
(*) Due to insufficient entries, there was no judging in this category.

INSPIRATIONAL
Final Judge: Diane Dietz, Assistant Editor at Steeple Hill (*)
(*) Due to insufficient entries, there was no judging in this category.

2002

LONG CONTEMPORARY / SINGLE TITLE
Final judge, Cindy Hwang, Berkley
1st Place: Death by Sex by Gail Freeman and Nancy Quatrano
2nd Place: Hooking Mr. Right by Lois Winston
3rd Place: Yellowstone Spring by Rose Fisk

SHORT CONTEMPORARY
Final judge, Brenda Chin, Harlequin Books
1st Place: City Girl by Nancy Holland
2nd Place: A Nanny for Hire by Renee Roy
3rd Place: Temporary Job by Judith Johns

HISTORICAL
Final judge, Tracy Farrell, Harlequin Historicals
1st Place: The Duke’s Decision by Lisa Manuel (*)
2nd Place: The Earl That I Marry by Ann Yost
3rd Place: Roman Runes by Terri Garey
(*) This title was sold to Kensington in 2002, and author signed a contract for more books!

MYSTERY/SUSPENSE
Final judge, Lucienne Diver, Spectrum Literary Agency
1st Place: Yesterday’s Child by Theresa Monsey
2nd Place: It Had to be You by Mary Jo Scheibl
3rd Place: Something Very Wicked by Mary Zelinsky

INSPIRATIONAL
Final judge, Jessica Regante, Steeple Hill
1st Place: Michael’s Surrender by Missy Tippens
2nd Place: Indentured for Eternity by Diana Rahe Taylor
3rd Place: Blue Ridge Gifts by Joan B. Clark and Frances-Lee Millgroom

FANTASY, FUTURISTIC, PARANORMAL
Final judge, Anna Genoese, Tor/Forge
1st Place: Bargain by Esri Allbritten
2nd Place: The Rebel and the Raven by Joanna King
3rd Place: Susannah and Her Sisters by Jody Wallace

2001

HISTORICAL
1st Place: A Suitable Bride (*)
(*)Sold to Kingston in 2004 and was released in 2005 as The Lady is Mine