Golden Quill Winners

The Phoenix Desert Rose Chapter of RWA® is proud to recognize excellence in romance fiction. Congratulations to all Golden Quill winners and finalists.


(Note: All Finalists are listed in alphabetical order by author’s last name.)

2017 Golden Quill Winners

Best First Book

Winner: Tara Wyatt (Necessary Risk)

Finalists: Patrice Locke (Exist Signs)
Abby Vegas (Clean Break)

Best Category Series Romance

Winner: Claire McEwen (Home Free)

Finalists: Claire McEwen (Return to Marker Ranch)
Linda Warren (Texas Rebels: Phoenix)

Best Contemporary Romance

Winner: Nancy Herkness (The All-Star Antes Up)

Finalists: Patience Griffin (The Trouble With Scotland)
Melynda Price (Beneath the Surface)

Best Erotic Romance

Winner: Lucy Lakestone (Bohemia Blues)

Finalist: Jean Joachim (Trunk Mahoney, Defensive Line)

Best Fantasy Romance

Winner: Nicole Elizabeth Kelleher (Wild Lavender)

Finalists: Donna Frelick (Trouble in Mind)
Joy Nash (The Night Everything Fell Apart)

Best Historical Romance

Winner: Pamela Sherwood (Devices & Desires)

Finalists: Kristy McCaffrey (The Bluebird)
Teresa Sweeney (The Reluctant Viscount)

Best Inspirational Romance

Winner: Molly Jebber (Grace's Forgiveness)

Finalists: Laura Scott (Shielding His Christmas Witness)
Merrillee Whren (A Love to Call Mine)

Best Paranormal Romance

Winner: Zoe Forward (Playing the Witch's Game)

Finalists: Margaret Locke (A Scandalous Matter)
Rosalie Redd (Untamable Lover)

Best Romantic Novella

Winner: Nancy Herkness (The Irishman's Christmas Gamble)

Finalists: Christa McHugh (Let Your Heart Be Light)
Aubrey Wynne (Paper Love)

Best Romantic Suspense

Winner: Sandra Owens (Only Her)

Finalists: Cate Beauman (Finding Lyla)
Tiffany Snow (Follow Me)

Best Sweet Traditional Romance

Winner: Jennifer Shirk (Wrong Brother, Right Match)

Finalist: Kate James (When I Found You)

Best Young Adult Romance

Winner: Melanie Dickerson (The Silent Songbird)

Finalists: J. Leigh Bailey (Guyliner)
Lisa Potocar (Train to Glory)

2016 Golden Quill Winners

Best First Book
Winner: Hover by Anne A. Wilson
Finalists: The Accidental Wife by CJ Fosdick
Letting Go by Jessica Ruddick

Category Series
Winner: Chance of Lifetime by Marissa Clarke
Finalists: Leverage by Janie Crouch
Convincing the Rancher by Claire McEwen

Winner: Once Touched by Laura Moore
Finalists: Love Somebody Like You by Susan Fox
This Heart of Mine by Brenda Novak

Winner: Hard Ride by Opal Carew
Finalists: Dragon’s Melody by Ophelia Bell
Bohemia Beach by Lucy Lakestone

Winner: Tiffany Girl by Deanne Gist
Finalists: The Daughter of an Earl by Victoria Morgan
Josette by Kathleen Bittner Roth

Winner: Dance of Grace by Stacy Monson
Finalists: Anna’s Courage by Kristin Noel Fischer
A Hope Remembered by Stacy Henrie

Winner: Dante’s Gift by Aubrey Wynne
Finalists: The Prince and I by Miranda King
The Christmas Knot by Barbara Monajem

Winner: Blood, Pain and Pleasure by Nadine Mutas
Finalists: Soul Tie Seduction by KD Friedrich
The Three Fates of Ryan Love by Erin Quinn

Romantic Suspense
Winner: Untraceable by Janie Crouch
Finalists: Locked, Loaded and Lying by Sarah Andre
The Blind by Shelley Coriell

Sweet Traditional
Winner: When the Right One Comes Along by Kate James
Finalists: Texas Rebels: Quincy by Linda Warren

Young Adult
Winner: The Queen B* Strikes Back by Crista McHugh
Finalists: Confessions of a Queen B* by Crista McHugh

2015 Golden Quill Contest Winners and Finalists

Golden Quill – 2015 Winners

Best First Book
WINNER: To Scotland with Love by Patience Griffin
Runner Up: Wolfe Island by Giulia Torre
A Kiss of Cabernet by Pamela Gibson
Once Upon a Masquerade by Tamara Hughes
Time and Forever by Susan James

Category Series
WINNER: Saving the CEO by Jenny Holiday
Runner Up: Accidentally Married On Purpose by Rachel Harris
A Perfect Trade by Anna Sugden
Primal Instinct by Janie Crouch

WINNER: The Best Medicine by Tracy Brogan
Runner Up: The Heart's Game by Crista McHugh
The Place I Belong by Nancy Herkness
Unleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson

WINNER: Funny Girl by Kate Baum
Runner Up: Hers to Own by Anne Lange
On My Knees by Meredith Wild
Metamorphosis by Stephie Walls

Fantasy/Sci Fi/Futuristic
WINNER: This Crumbling Pageant by Patricia Burroughs
Runner Up: Into Darkness by J.T. Geissinger
A Hero for the Empire by Christina Westcott

WINNER: Moon Over Montana by Caroline Fyffe
Runner Up: Mistress of Melody by Anthea Lawson
Wicked Designs by Lauren Smith
Meet the Earl at Midnight by Gina Conkle

WINNER: Firewall by DiAnn Mills
Runner Up: Unexpected Wedding by Carla Rossi
A Most Inconvenient Marriage by Regina Jennings
Hope At Dawn by Stacy Henri

WINNER: Dearest Darling by Andrea Downing
Runner Up: The Gift by Margaret Mallory
Queen of Hearts by Kristen Painter
An Unforeseen Match by Regina Jennings

Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
WINNER: Into Darkness by J. T. Geissinger
Runner Up: True to the Highlander by Barbara Longley
The Highlander's Bargain by Barbara Longley
Darkness Bound by J.T. Geissinger

Romantic Suspense
WINNER: The Broken by Shelley Coriell
Runner Up: The Nurse's Bodyguard by Melanie Mitchell
Justice For Abby by Cate Beauman
Forced Disappearance by Dana Marton

Sweet Traditional
WINNER: No Christmas Like the Present by Sierra Donovan
Runner Up: Promise of Rain by Rula Sinara
A Child's Christmas by Kate James
Christmas In Cupid Falls by Holly Jacobs

Young Adult
WINNER: Scintillate by Tracy Clark
Runner Up: Royal by Anthea Sharp
Innocent by Callie James

2014 Golden Quill Contest Winners and Finalists

(Note: All Finalists are listed in alphabetical order by author’s last name.)

Best First Book
Temptation by Kathryn Barrett
The Typewriter Girl by Alison Atlee
Wish Me Tomorrow by Karen Rock

The Letter by Sandra Owens
It Happened at the Fair by Deeanne Gist
Laird of Ballanclaire by Jackie Ivie
The Hunter by Monica McCarty
The Training of a Marquess by Sandra Owens
Sweet Madness by Heather Snow

It Happened at the Fair by Deeanne Gist
Shenandoah Crossings by Lisa Belcastro
Shenandoah Nights by Lisa Belcastro
Marriage By Arrangement by Anne Greene
Mending the Doctor’s Heart by Tina Radcliffe
Undercover Cowboy by Laura Scott

Category Series:
Home to the Cowboy by Amanda Renee
The Rebound Guy by Fiona Harper
Wish Me Tomorrow by Karen Rock
The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jennifer Snow
Bending the Rules by Margaret Watson

Country Roads by Nancy Herkness
Star Crossed by Jennifer Echols
Just for the Summer by Jenna Rutland

Soul Thief by Anne Hope
Eight Tiny Flames by Crista McHugh

Fantasy/Sci Fi:
A Soul for Vengeance by Crista McHugh
The Dark Huntsman: A Fantasy Romance of the Black Court by Jessica Aspen

Paranormal/Urban Fantasy:
Soul Deep by Anne Hope
Rapture’s Edge by J.T. Geissinger
Midnight’s Captive by Donna Grant
Soul Chase by Anne Hope
Dancer of the Nile by Veronica Scott

Romantic Suspense:
Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye
A Kiss to Die For by Gail Barrett
Seduced by His Target by Gail Barrett
Waiting for Wren by Cate Beauman
Home by Dark by Marta Perry

His to Command by Opal Carew

Sweet Traditional:
Wish Me Tomorrow by Karen Rock
The Cattleman’s Ready-Made Family by Michelle Douglas
The Redemption of Rico D’Angelo by Michelle Douglas
Mail-Order Brides of the West: Evie by Caroline Fyffe

Young Adult:
Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols
Diary of a Teenage Fairy Godmother by Kathleen Baldwin & Andrea Sisco

2013 Golden Quill Finalists

(Note: All Finalists are listed in alphabetical order by author’s last name.)

Best First Book:
The Unfinished Garden by Barbara Claypole White
Compulsively Mr. Darcy by Nina Benneton
Out of the Ashes by Lori Dillon
Sweet Enemy by Heather Snow

Hidden Paradise by Janet Mullany
The Theory of Attraction by Delphine Dryden
Blood Fire by Sharon Page
No Risk Refused by Cara Summers

Highland Surrender by Tracy Brogan
Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed by Anna Campbell
A Lady’s Revenge by Tracey Devlyn
The Warrior (The Return of the Highlanders) by Margaret Mallory
The Recruit by Monica McCarty

To Whisper Her Name: A Belle Meade Plantation Novel by Tamera Alexander
A Promise for Miriam by Vannetta Chapman
The Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson
The Irish Healer by Nancy Herriman
The Homesteader’s Sweetheart by Lacy Williams

Inspirational Romantic Suspense:
Material Witness by Vannetta Chapman
A Perfect Square by Vannetta Chapman
Standing Guard by Valerie Hansen
The Chase by DiAnn Mills
Submerged by Dani Pettrey

Long Contemporary:
The Woman He Knows by Margaret Watson
A Soldier’s Secret by Linda Style
A Safe Place by Margaret Watson

Mainstream/Single Title:
Crazy Little Thing by Tracy Brogan
Christmas on Mimosa Lane by Anna DeStefano
Take Me Home by Nancy Herkness
Rules of the Game by Sandy James
When Snow Falls by Brenda Novak

Christmas at Oakhurst Manor by Joanna Fulford
Little Red Riding Wolf by Jessica Aspen
Lady’s Lesson in Seduction by Barbara Monejam
To Rescue or Ravish by Barbara Monejam
The Unrepentant Rake by Barbara Monejam

Paranormal/Fantasy/Sci Fi/Futuristic:
The Lord of Illusion by Kathryne Kennedy
Pack of Lies by Kimila Bowling
Soul Bound by Anne Hope
Warrior Reborn by Melissa Mayhue
Noah’s Ark: Chronicles of Kassouk Prequel by Vijaya Schartz

Regency Historical:
Sweet Enemy by Heather Snow
Ridiculous by D.L. Carter
Unbuttoning Miss Hardwick by Deb Marlowe

Romantic Suspense:
For Better or Hearse by Ann Yost
Stowaway by Becky Barker
Never Coming Home by Evonne Wareham

Short Contemporary:
What Happens in Vegas by Kimberly Lang
On the Verge of I Do by Heidi Betts
Rancher’s Son by Leigh Duncan
Once a Good Girl by Wendy S. Marcus
Tomas: Cowboy Homecoming by Linda Warren

Winner: Sunny Days for Sam by Jennifer Shirk
The Man Who Saw Her Beauty by Michelle Douglas
Single Dad’s Holiday Wedding by Patricia Thayer

2012 Golden Quill Finalists

Best First Book
Beautiful Disaster by Laura Spinella
Dangerous Race by Dee J. Adams
Murdering Eve by Kelly L Lee

His Seductive Spy by Lara Santiago
Unbridled and Unbroken by Elle Saint James
Male Android Companion by Mackenzie McKade
Tailspin by Cara Summers
Circle of Desire by Carla Swafford

Midnight's Wild Passion by Anna Campbell
The Viking's Touch by Joanna Fulford
Flawless by Carrie Lofty
The Guardian (The Return of the Highlanders) by Margaret Mallory
Heartbreak Creek by Kaki Warner

The Doctor's Lady by Jody Hedlund
A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander
Wanted: A Family by Janet Dean
Rescuing the Heiress by Valerie Hansen
Belonging by Robin Lee Hatcher

Inspirational - Romantic Suspense
Attracted to Fire by DiAnn Mills
Falling to Pieces by Vannetta Chapman
The Captain's Mission by Debby Giusti
Vanish in Plain Sight by Marta Perry
Duty to Protect by Roxanne Rustand
Proof of Life by Laura Scott

Long Contemporary
Flashback by Gayle Wilson
Winning Over the Rancher by Mary Brady
Roadside Assistance by Amy Clipston
The Cost of Silence by Kathleen O'Brien
The Texan's Bride by Linda Warren

"Small Town Christmas" (Christmas Gifts) by Gail Gaymer Martin
"A Mother for Mule Hollow" (Small-Town Moms) by Debra Clopton
"Christmas Showdown" by Mackenzie McKade
"Blue Moon" by Mackenzie McKade
"The Wanton Governess" by Barbara Monajem
"The Guardian" (Highland Hunger) by Michele Sinclair

The Lady of the Storm by Kathryne Kennedy
The Vampire Next Door by Ashlyn Chase
A Touch of Crimson by Sylvia Day
The Alchemy of Desire by Crista McHugh
The Hunter by Theresa Meyers

A Gentleman Never Tells by Amelia Grey
The Gamekeeper's Lady by Ann Lethbridge
Captured for the Captain's Pleasure by Ann Lethbridge
How to Marry a Rake by Deb Marlowe
Sea Change by Darlene Marshall

Romantic Suspense
Inside by Brenda Novak
Deadly Sins by Kylie Brant
Deadly Dreams by Kylie Brant
Forget Me Not by Terri Molina
Cold Touch by Leslie Parrish

Short Contemporary
Her Innocence, His Conquest by Jules Bennett
A Broken Christmas by Claire Ashgrove
Cowboy Under Siege by Gail Barrett
A Rancher's Pride by Barbara White Daille
The Daddy Catch by Leigh Duncan

Single Title
Believe in Me by Laura Moore
Silver Sparks by Starr Ambrose
Don't Mess With Texas by Christie Craig
Dear Killer by Linda Lovely
Blood Rights by Kristen Painter

Love on the Line by Deeanne Gist
A Little Bit of Passion by Beate Boeker
Millionaire's Baby Bombshell by Fiona Harper
Swept Off Her Stilettos by Fiona Harper
The Wedding Party by Elizabeth Rose

2011 Golden Quill Winners

Best First Book: Stone Kissed - Keri Stevens
Erotic: Bliss - Opal Carew
Fantasy, Science Fiction, Futuristic: The Fire Lord’s Lover - Kathryne Kennedy
Historical: The Hawk - Monica McCarty
Hot, Sexy, Sensuous: Under Wraps - Joanne Rock
Inspirational: Within My Heart- Tamera Alexander
Inspirational Romantic Suspense: Beguiled - Deeanne Gist
Long Contemporary: A One-Of-A-Kind Family - Holly Jacobs
Novella: “Saving Brie” Twice the Temptation- Cara Summers
Paranormal/Time Travel: Dangerous Highlander- Donna Grant
Regency: The Guise of a Gentleman- Donna Hatch
Romantic Suspense: Deadly Intent - Kylie Brant
Short Contemporary: About A Baby- Ann Yost
Single Title/Mainstream: The First Love Cookie Club - Lori Wilde
Traditional: Instant Family - Elisabeth Rose

2010 Golden Quill Winners

Best First Book: Colorado Christmas - C. C. Coburn
Erotic: Take Me Again - Mackenzie McKade
Fantasy, Science Fiction, Futuristic:Enchanting The Beast - Kathryne Kennedy
Historical: Captive of Sin - Anna Campbell
Hot, Sexy, Sensuous: Christmas Male - Cara Summers
Inspirational: A Bride in the Bargain - Deeanne Gist
Long Contemporary: Unexpected Gifts - Holly Jacobs
Novella: Kiss Me on Christmas/Blackout at Christmas - Jennifer Morey
Paranormal/Time Travel: Ravenous: The Dark Forgotten - Sharon Ashwood
Regency: Tempt the Devil - Anna Campbell
Romantic Suspense: Waking the Dead - Kylie Brant
Short Contemporary: Once A Hero - Lisa Childs
Single Title/Mainstream: Under Her Skin - Susan Mallery
Traditional: Blind Date Baby - Fiona Harper