2016 Booksellers’ Best Winner



I attended the Romance Writers of America Annual Conference last week in San Diego. What a great opportunity to meet with my agent, editors, and my friends. The highlight of the week was learning that my novel “Untrue Colors” won the 2016 Booksellers’ Best Award for Romantic Suspense.

I also did a book signing there with over 400 other authors including many of my favorites. If you are near the Orlando area next July, come on out. It’s such fun and all sales are donated to support literacy.



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The DAPHNE DU MAUIER AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN MYSTERY/SUSPENSE –Unpublished Division Finalists for 2014 are: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: daphnecontest@gmail.com

Congratulations Finalists!

Brooke Wills

2014 Daphne Contest Overall Coordinator

The Golden Pen Contest and A Great Critique Partner

Today, I learned my two novels, Untrue Beliefs and True Deceptions earned first and second place in the Golden Pen Contest for Romantic Suspense. Unbelievable. Written last December, Untrue Beliefs, was my first ever romantic suspense. True Deceptions made its debut in the Golden Pen this year.

I discovered that Susan Scott Shelley, my critique partner, won her category in the Golden Pen because she happened to be sitting next to me discussing our next manuscripts when the emails arrived from Lorenda Christensen. Her entry, Shielded Hearts, won the Daphne du Maurier Contest this year as well as a few other contests. It’s a great story.

Susan Scott Shelley the night she won the Daphne. July 2013

Susan Scott Shelley the night she won the Daphne. July 2013

There’s definitely something sweeter in success when you have a friend to share it with.

So I’m taking this moment to say thanks to Susan

  • for last minute reviews of 300+ page manuscripts (and yes, another is on the way in a few days- sorry for the short notice over the holidays),
  • for a willingness to rehash my latest version of a scene over and over and over again,
  • for creating beautiful language in her own WIPs and making me strive to produce something comparable (a little friendly competition brings out the best in us),
  • and for a million smiley faces in the margins to soften her critical, yet accurate comments (and for never once making me cry, but occasionally causing major bouts of laughter).

Let’s hope 2014 is just as fun and twice as successful!