Previous Winners

FRW congratulates the Golden Palm Winners and Finalists!

 2015 Golden Palm Book Contest

Contemporary Romance

Final Judges: Karen Reid, Harlequin; Allison Carroll, Harlequin; Victoria Curran, Harlequin; Rebecca Lucash, Avon Impulse

First Place: Trial Run by Masha Levinson (Requested)

Second Place: The Misadventures of Catie Bloom by Chirone Brooke

Third Place: Saving Grace by Barbara Gerry

Historical Romance

Final Judges: Marla Daniels, Pocket Books; Nicole Fischer, Avon Impulse; Chelsey Emmelhainz, Avon Impulse; Elle Keck, Avon Impulse

First Place: The Secret Affairs of a Duke’s Daughter by Janna MacGregor

Second Place: Price of Redemption by Kimberly Gonzalez

Third Place: Wanted by Caren Gallimore

Paranormal/ Sci-fi/ Fantasy Romance

Final Judges: Tricia Skinner, Fuse Literary Agency; Nalini Akolekar, Spencerhill Associates; Laura Zats, Red Sofa Literary

First Place: Rain Goddess by Amanda Byrd (Requested)

Second Place: See No Evil by Maureen L. Bonatch

Third Place: Uncommon by SJ Maitland

Young Adult/ New Adult Romance

Final Judges: Piya Campana, Harlequin; Deirdre McCluskey, Harlequin; Elana Cohen, Pocket Books; Amanda Leuck, Spencerhill Associates

First Place: Thalia’s Charms by Kathy Lane

Second Place: The Rule of Thirds by Victoria De La O

Third Place: No Strings Attached by Marie Long

 2014 Golden Palm Book Contest


Final Judges were Editor:  Deb Werksman, Sourcebooks, Agent: Jordy Albert, The Booker Albert Literary Agency, and Agent: Dawn Dowdle, The Blue Ridge Literary Agency

First Place The Impetuous Miss Milton by Renee Miller (Requested)

Second Place Lessons in a Scandal by Crystal Eliot (Requested)

Third Place Captive of the Steppes by Erin Moore

Contemporary Romance

Final Judges were Editor: Leah Hultenschmidt, Grand Central Publishing, Editor: Cat Clyne, Sourcebooks and Agent: Beth Campbell, Bookends

First Place My New Favorite Color by Shelly Alexander (Requested)

Second Place Off Guard by Tara Wyatt (Requested)

Third Place Past Perfect by Suzanne Danks

Fourth Place Higher Education by Seana Kelly

Young Adult Romance

Final Judges were Editor: Lauren Smulski, Harlequin Teen, Agent: Mandy Hubbard, D4EO Literary Agency, and Agent: Laura Zats, Red Sofa Literary

First Place The Other Cheek by McCall Hoyle (Requested)

Second Place Winging It by RoseAnn DeFranco (Requested)

Third Place Windborne by Christy Finn (Requested)

Fourth Place Mary, Mary by Elizabeth Rose Krejcik

Paranormal Romance

Final Judges were  Editor:  Peter Senftleben, Kensington Publishing, Editor: Mary Altman, Sourcebooks, Editor: Angela James, Carina Press and Agent: Nalini Akolekar, Spencerhill Associates

First Place Onyx by C.T. Green (Requested)

Second Place Hell to Pay by Jillian David

Third Place Snow the Vampire Slayer by Rebekah Ganiere


 2013 Golden Palm Book Contest


Final Judge: Deb Werksman, Editorial Manager, Sourcebooks

First Place – Decadent Desire by Wendy Brame (Requested full)

Second Place – Beauford’s Run by Pat Eckhoff (Requested full)

Third Place – Memento Mori by C. A. Main (Requested full)

New Adult

Final Judge:  Laurie McLean, Foreward Literary

First Place – The Need by S.L. Hannah

Second Place – Sight Lines by Elizabeth Grace

Third Place – Letting Go by Jessica Ruddick


Final Judge: Ann-Leslie Tuttle, Senior Editor Harlequin

First Place– C. Walking Through Fire by J.  Bahr (Requested full)

Second Place – Soul Tie Seduction by K.D. Friedrich (Requested full)

Third Place – Xibalba’s Gate by Sheley Wimmer

Single Title

Final Judge: Patience Bloom, Senior Editor Harlequin

First Place – Jungle Blooms by Evie Morris

Second Place – Carmelita’s Gold by Brenda Pierce

Third Place – Roping the Cowboy by Bree Roberts

Fourth Place – Welcome Home Katie Gallagher by Seana Kelly

Young Adult

Final Judge: Pam van Hylckama Vlieg, Foreward Literary

First Place – The Abolitionist’s Daughter by Gigi Orlowski

Second Place – The Witch of the Hills by Joe Fraser

Third Place – Dragon’s Gate by Elizabeth Wat Gibson

2012 Golden Palm Winners




 Final Judge: Elaine Spencer, Agent with Knight Agency

   1st Place – Miss Chesley’s Secret Night – Barbara Bettis 

 2nd Place – For Love of Gracey – Eileen K. Barnes 

 3rd place – His Private Devotion – May Davenant

  *Honorable Mention* The Viscountess of Vice – Jenny Hall



 Paranormal/Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Time Travel


 Final Judge: Leslie Wainger, Editor at Large, Large Harlequin 


1st Place – Probie – Regan Loyd (Full Request) 

2nd Place – Elemental: Fire – Kari Cole 

3rd Place – Dark Heart of the Sun – Susan K. Maier 

 4th Place – Captive Dreams – Melanie McCarthy



Single Title


Final Judge: Micki Nuding, Sr.Editor, Pocket Books


  1st Place – The Gilded Cuff – Lauren Smith (Partial Request)

 2nd Place – Bye, Bye Bertie – Michele Summers (Partial Request) 

3rd Place – Windy City Heat – Remi Hunter



Contemporary Romance


 Final Judge: Angela James, Executive Editor Carina Press 


1st Place – A Matter of Honor – Nicole S. Patrick (Full Request)

2nd Place – Undercover Nanny – Karen Muir (Full Request)

3rd Place – My Beloved Romeo – Marie Johnson




2011 Golden Palm Winners



Final Judge: Elizabeth Bistrow, New American Library



1st Place – The Courtesan Duchess – Joanna Shupe (Full Request)

2nd Place – The Winds of Fate- Elizabeth Bysiek (Full Request)

3rd Place – Heart of the Phoenix – Barbara Huddleston




Mainstream with Romantic Elements


Final Judge: Elaine Spencer, The Knight Agency



1st Place – WALKING BACKWARD OFF A CLIFF – Linda Avellar

2nd Place – FOREVER – Alicia Leinhart

3rd Place – SEPARATED, ACTING BADLY – Barbara Flores





Paranormal/Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Time Travel


Final Judge:  Deb Werksman, Sourcebooks



1st Place – Dream of My Soul – Debra Rodensky

2nd Place – Dancing with the Devil – Jean B. Newlin

3rd Place – Medusa, a Love Story – Sasha Summers





Short/Long Contemporary


Final Judge: Megan Long, Harlequin Superromance



1st Place – UNDERCOVER FATHER – June Love (Partial Request)

2nd Place – A NIGHT AT THE ROSMONT – Mary Oldham

3rd Place – HOME AT LAST – Janet Jones Bann





Single Title


Final Judge: Whitney Ross, TOR Books



1st Place – Missing You – Tracy Brogan (Full Request)

2nd Place – Bid on Me – Michele Summers (Full Request)

3rd Place – Small Town Storm – Elise K Ackers


2010 Golden Palm Winners






Final Judge:  Erika Tsang, Editor, Avon



1st Place – The Proper Miss’s Guide – Anne Barton

2nd Place – Lessons from a Scoundrel – Crista McHugh

3rd Place – A most Improper Gentleman – Elisa Beatty





Mainstream with Romantic Elements


Final Judge:  Lucy Childs, Agent, The Aaron Priest Agency



1st Place – Naked Choke – Susanna Rogers

2nd Place – Savage Cinderella – Paula Sharon

3rd Place – Black Ops Chronicles: Dead Run – Pepper O’Neal





Paranormal/Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Time Travel


Final Judge:  Eric Raab, Editor, TOR



1st Place – Dreamer – Michelle Sharp

2nd Place – The Shoppe of Spells – Jerry Hampton

3rd Place – For Kindred of the Fallen – Isis Rushdan

4th Place – The Magic of the Dance – Robin Haseltine

5th Place – The Isis – Clarissa Southwick





Short/Long Contemporary


Final Judge:  Wanda Ottewell, Editor, Harlequin



1st Place – Texas Two Step – Cynthia D’Alba

2nd Place – A Christmas Reunion – Jennifer Stroka

3rd Place – Finding His Way Home – Libby Banks





Single Title


Final Judge:  Adam Wilson, Editor, Mira



1st Place – Passion – Jeanell Bolton

2nd Place – Out of the Shadows – Carla Swafford

3rd Place – The Redneck Ex – Clair Croxton

4th Place – Steel Hearts – Nan Dixon





2008-2009 Contest was not held




2007 Golden Palm Winners




Final Judge: Helen Rosburg, Medallion



1st Place – UNBRIDLED – Barbara Fraire (Full Request)

2nd Place – DAUGHTER OF THE WIND – Beth Trissel

3rd Place – WARY IS THE HEART – Beth Trissel







Final Judge: Rose Hilliard



1st Place – HER SISTER’S HUSBAND – Suzan Dickinson

2nd Place – SINS OF THE FATHER – Cathy Perkins

3rd Place – A MULTITUDE OF VENGEANCE – Amanda L Mole

4th Place – ALTERNATE ENDING – Julie Whitby







Final Judge: Miriam Kriss, Agent, Irene Goodman Literary Agency



1st Place – THROUGH MY EYES – Susan Peek

2nd Place – THE TROUBLE WITH GHOSTS – Jodi Redford

3rd Place –  BURDEN OF PROMISE – Joy Smith







Final Judge: Pattie Steele-Perkins, Agent, Steele-Perkins Literary Agency



1st Place – DESPERATE FAVORS – Yvonne Kennedy

2nd Place – SEASON OF JUSTICE – Joya Fields

3rd Place – THE WHIMS OF FATE – Jaclyn DiBonna

4th Place- HEARTBREAKER – Amy Talley





Single Title


Final Judge: Leslie Wainger, Harlequin



1st Place – BREAKING DAYLIGHT – Mary Fechter

2nd Place – CONSPIRACY – Anna Perrin

3rd Place – THE REBEL – Marian Stevens





2006 Golden Palm Winners




Final Judge: Helen Rosburg, Medallion



1st Place – FIRE AT MIDNIGHT – Lisa Marie Wilkinson (Full Request)

2nd Place – KISS OF A TRAITOR – Gail Foreman (Full Request)

3rd Place – FATAL FORTUNE – Joanne Barnaba







Final Judge: Kim Whalen, Agent, Trident Media Group



1st Place – LETTERS FROM HOME – Kristina McMorris (Partial Request)

2nd Place – A LIFE WORTH LIVING – Lorrie Kruse

3rd Place – LEARNING TO SAY – Gabrielle Luthy

4th Place – ISLAND HEALING – Virginia McCullough







Final Judge: Miriam Kriss, Agent, Irene Goodman Literary Agency



1st Place – THE MAGIC KNOT – Helen Scott-Taylor

 2nd Place – PASSION  BEYOND REASON – Helen  Scott-Taylor (Partial Request)

3rd Place – TO KILL A VAMPIRE – Sharron Houdek





Category Romance


Final Judge: Pattie Steele-Perkins, Agent, Steele-Perkins Literary Agency



1st Place – MONTANA MILLIONAIRE – Vannetta Chapman (Partial Request)

2nd Place – DEAD RECKONING – Kim Finnegan

3rd Place – A STRANGER TO LOVE – Heidi Rice






Single Title


Final Judge: Leslie Wainger,  Harlequin



1st Place – DON’T LOOK BACK – Vicky Tharp

2nd Place – STOLEN TREASURES – Laurie Temple

3rd Place – THE HIDDEN SON – Dianna T. Benson