Golden Hearts Winners 2014

The Romance Writers of America has announced the winners of the prestigious 2014 Golden Hearts® Awards for best unpublished novel in certain categories or romance fiction. Congratulations to the winners, to the finalists, and to all of the participants. Every year many extremely high-quality works compete for these few slots, and the quality of writing and story are always of the highest caliber, allowing readers to fall in love again, and again, and again.

2014 Golden Heart® Winners

Contemporary Romance

  • “Too Good to Be True” by Suzanne Kaufman Kalb

This is the second Golden Hearts Award for Suzanne Kaufman Kalb, whose unpublished work, “Irresistible” won the Best Young Adult Romance category in 2011.

Suzanne, who writes as Erika Kelly, is a UCLA graduate in English Lit, and has been writing for years—plays, screenplays, short stories, novellas, and was one of the contributors to the book A Cup of Comfort for Women in Love. She found her true voice, though, in writing passionate contemporary romances. Recently, she sold a contemporary series to Berkley. The first book, YOU REALLY GOT ME, comes out in January 2015. Learn more at her Website.

Historical Romance

  • “Charlene and the Duchess Factory” by Lenora Bell

“This sexy Regency romp blends The Bachelor with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and is the first in the RENEGADE DUKES series. The second two books are inspired by Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz.”

Lenora Bell writes fun, sensual Regency-set romance novels that feature strong, sexy heroes who can only be reformed by the most extraordinary heroines. Past careers include sultry lounge singer, vintage clothing stylist, and, far less romantically, salmon cannery grunt. Lenora has lived and worked on five continents and currently shares a home in Bolivia with her carpenter husband, twenty-one-year-old cat, and towering mountains of books. Learn more at her Website.

Inspirational Romance

  • “My Lord Valet” by Kristi Ann Hunter

Stories have been part of Kristi’s life for as long as she can remember. An avid reader from the moment she could open a book, the written word has always been a way for her to relax, escape, and learn about herself and others. She graduated from Georgia Tech is 2003 with a degree in Computer Science. While she enjoyed building databases and designing software, her heart still yearned for the stories. After much prayer and deliberation the decision was made to pursue that passion. Since then she has written scripts for church plays and illustration videos, newsletter articles, blogs, and, of course, stories. Kristi’s fiction writings have been included on Regency Reflections, a blog for readers of Inspirational Regencies, as well as placed in several national writing contests. When she isn’t writing, Kristi enjoys music and television (again with the stories!) as well as working with the youth at her church. She is also fascinated with the internet and social media and how it can bring people together in new and exciting ways. She currently lives in Georgia with her husband and three children. Learn more at her Website.

Paranormal Romance

  • “Beyond the Fire” by Marni Folsom

Marni Folsom writes romantic fiction laced with magic, history and suspense. An adventurer at heart, Marni loves to travel, skydive, kayak, and eat all sorts of cheese. She’s worked in various business administration, human resources, and writing roles at mega-corporations, start-ups and everything in between. She studied British Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Arizona, designed her own program in Writing & Education at Antioch University and completed the University of Washington’s Popular Fiction Writing Program. Marni lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest, where she often chases her mini-booklovers through the mossy forest beside their home. Learn more at her Website.

Romantic Suspense

  • “Chasing Damn” by Denny S. Bryce

In 2013, I was a finalist in the Linda Howard Award of Excellence and the Daphne Award of Excellence for Mystery/Suspense also for Chasing Damn. I am a member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA), Washington Romance Writers (WRW-DC), Maryland Romance Writers (MRW) and RWA Chapters Kiss of Death (KOD), Contemporary Romance Writers (CRW), and Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal (FFP).

Hot on the tracks of her first sale, she is currently polishing her novel about a deputy sheriff who stumbles onto a small town’s darkest secret and into the arms of an international playboy as they search for the truth about six missing girls, a bag of bones, and a 500 year-old book. Learn more at her Website.

Short Contemporary

  • “Yesterday’s Promise” by Sarah Cannon

Sarah Connon, writing as Lauren Canan, will have her first published novel released in 2015 from Harlequin Desire. According to Romantic Times: “Lauren Canan, a Golden Heart finalist, crafts a heartwarming story about a rancher who will do anything to save her land when a billionaire threatens to seize it.  Prepare to be enthralled.”

Lauren has won multiple awards for her literary work in both romantic fiction and poetry. “I love the written word.  It has always amazed me how certain words placed in a particular sequence can evoke an entire gambit of emotion in the reader.  Laugh, cry, or scare the hell out of you! “Words can explain the mysteries of life or help visualize the simple wonder of a child seeing their first rainbow.  Best of all they can tell the story of two people who against all odds, meet, fall in love, and live happily ever after. Which to me, is the way it should be.  I’m a sucker for a happy ending!” Her education is from the University of North Texas with continuing courses in creative writing from other area colleges.  “I never want to stop learning.  And I will never stop writing.  It’s so engrained I will no doubt leave this world with pen in hand.  Or keyboard, as it were!” She also enjoys playing guitar, dulcimer, or bass in an acoustic music group/club and has composed several tunes for the piano.  “There has to be time for music!”

“My literary journey has been challenging, often frustrating, and sometimes heartbreaking.  But I’ve also cried tears of joy, basking in the glow of successes gained along the way. I’ve made some terrific life-long friends and I wouldn’t trade one minute for anything in the world.” Learn more at her Website.

Young Adult Romance

  • “The Thing with Feathers” by McCall Hoyle

McCall is a 2014 Golden Heart Finalist, a middle school English teacher, and a runner…actually, make that a slow jogger. When not reading or writing, she can most often be found spending time with her husband, two children, and slightly neurotic Beagle. Learn more on Facebook.


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