WOW! I’m excited to have three manuscripts in the finals this year, and even more excited because one of the manuscripts was co-written with Susan Scott Shelley. 

The DAPHNE DU MAUIER AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN MYSTERY/SUSPENSE –Unpublished Division Finalists for 2014 are:


Veronica Forand and Susan Scott Shelley for Dangerous Play

Jeannie Hall for Violation of Innocence

Annette Keuning for Trust No One

Kairee Krause w/a Kairee Taylor for Secrets Wait

Jo-Ann Terpstra w/a Jo-Ann Carson for Covert Danger


Marlene Dunsheath for Game of Chance

Jane Fox for Broken Treaties

Cheryl Honigford for The Darkness Knows

Alison Jill McMahan for The Saffron Crocus

Rosemarie Simonelli w/a Kate Colbert for The Pickpocket


Jackie Layton for Kentucky Deadly

Carolyn Miller for Unscarring Hearts


Margaret A. Golla for Air Beneath a Dragon’s Wings

Janet Halpin for A Moment After Dark

Janet Halpin for Beryl Blue, Time Cop

Sarah Kuest w/a Sarah Brady and Shannen Kuest w/a Shannen Brady for Healer

Roshani Chokshi for The Glass Garden


Susye Bowles for Out of Control

Veronica Forand for Untrue Beliefs

Veronica Forand for Untrue Colors

Vicki Tharp for In Her Defense

William C. Walker for The Homecoming


Roxanne Dunn for Murder Unrehearsed

Barbara Gerry for Reel Power, An Annie McCabe Mystery

Barbara Nickless for White Line Fever

Christa Selnick for The Kill List

Tami Wirth for The Messenger

Winners will be announced during KOD’s annual Death by Chocolate Party at the RWA® National Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

Thank you so much to everyone who entered the contest and to all our wonderful judges as well as our very hard-working coordinators.

For any questions, please feel free to contact me at:

Congratulations Finalists!

Brooke Wills

2014 Daphne Contest Overall Coordinator

A Writer’s Life. April 2014

As I rush around trying to complete a first draft for an upcoming novel, I’ve decided to give you a photo tour of my past month. It’s been crazy, but crazy good.

April started with the Washington Romance Writers Retreat. What a fantastic time. Highlights included Liliana Hart’s keynote address, Cathy Maxwell’s encouraging speech, and Romance Jeopardy with a Steampunk theme.


My critique partner and writing partner Susan Scott Shelley (The woman above in the large blue hat!) spent the month working on edits for our novella, “Tackled By The Girl Next Door.” We have so much fun writing together. I hope our laughter and smiles show up on the page! It’s scheduled to be published by the Wild Rose Press in the end of October.

On April 30th, I spent a fun morning hanging out with authors at Lady Jane’s Salon with Susan Scott ShelleyKate ForestPenni McGee DePaul, and many others. A local news station interviewed the authors about our upcoming releases. Thank you Susan for giving the interviewer our blurb for “Tackled By The Girl Next Door.” I was too tongue tied.


Romance News


And to start off the month of May with a bang, I attended a workshop with Margie Lawson sponsored by the Valley Forge Romance Writers. I immediately went home and rewrote pages and pages of text to make the words more creative, interesting, and compelling. Thanks Margie, your lectures always push me to improve my craft.