Archive by Author | Joanna Shupe

2013 Golden Leaf Winners

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New Jersey Romance Writers is proud to announce the winners in our 2013 Golden Leaf contest!

* Denotes NJRW member

Novella
Bite Me by PJ Schnyder

Best First Book
For the Love of a Soldier by Victoria Morgan

Romantic Suspense
Double Danger by Dee Davis *
This is Dee’s 3rd win in this category; next year she’ll be inducted into the NJRW Hall of Fame.

Historical
Surprising Lord Jack by Sally MacKenzie

Contemporary Series
Secrets of a Shy Socialite by Wendy S. Marcus

Contemporary Single Title
Last Chance Book Club by Hope Ramsay *
This is Hope’s 2nd win in this category.

Paranormal
Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder
This is Maria’s 3rd win in this category; next year she’ll be inducted into the NJRW Hall of Fame.

Romantic Elements
The Good Daughter by Jane Porter *

Young Adult
Compliance by Maureen McGowan

Congratulations to all our winners!

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Golden Leaf Spotlight on Young Adult: Lea Nolan

The annual NJRW “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is less than a week away! To help share our excitement, we’ve been shining the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists each day until the conference.

The Golden Leaf is awarded annually for excellence in romance fiction by authors who are NJRW members or in Romance Writers of America (RWA) Region One.  Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference held October 18-19, 2013.

Spotlight on Young Adult: “Conjure,” by Lea Nolan (Entangled Publishing)

Conjure (frontcover-800x1200) 800K FINAL FINAL

His lips curl into a hopeful half-grin. “Yeah. You were at your dad’s, wearing that funky skirt of yours, and your hair was pulled up in a ponytail. I couldn’t believe how pretty you were.”

Holy. Sticklewort. Cooper Beaumont likes me.

I gulp, processing the words I’ve longed to hear for more than a year. This is way better than my fantasies. “Um, really?” My voice trembles with awe, and my hands quake. All other thoughts flee my brain. The only thing I focus on is what’s happening here, in this moment, now.

He inches closer, his lips hovering near my mouth. “Was I wrong? Did I misread you, Emmaline?”

“N-n-no,” I finally manage, then gush, “Gosh, no.” My lids shut, and my mouth parts slightly, yearning for him. A moment later, his velvety lips are on mine, soft and gentle. He’s smooth and so very kissable. Every inch of my skin sizzles.

Good luck to Lea and all our Golden Leaf finalists!

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Young Adult: Maureen McGowan

The annual NJRW “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is less than a week away! To help share our excitement, we’ve been shining the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists each day until the conference.

The Golden Leaf is awarded annually for excellence in romance fiction by authors who are NJRW members or in Romance Writers of America (RWA) Region One.  Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference held October 18-19, 2013.

Spotlight on Young Adult: “Compliance,” by Maureen McGowan (Amazon Publishing)

Compliance cover

“You want proof we’re a couple? Fine.” Cal tilts my head back and kisses me full on the mouth.

I tense, but I need Stacy to believe Cal so I relax, soften my body, my mouth.

Cal deepens his kiss and the pressure of his lips, the warmth of his hands, the tension and heat of his body reawaken something inside me and ignite what I used to feel, what I’ve felt for Cal since I was eleven and he was thirteen.

Cal is one of the best people I know—strong, generous and loyal—and at this moment I could fall back in love. Maybe I already have. Fatigue can’t fully explain my wobbly legs, the stirring inside me, the heat. Without his hands for support I feel certain I’d melt on the floor.

“Okay, okay.” Stacy’s voice cracks. “I get it. You can stop.”

Good luck to Maureen and all our Golden Leaf finalists!

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Young Adult: Marissa Doyle

The annual NJRW “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is less than a week away! To help share our excitement, we’ve been shining the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists each day until the conference.

The Golden Leaf is awarded annually for excellence in romance fiction by authors who are NJRW members or in Romance Writers of America (RWA) Region One.  Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference held October 18-19, 2013.

Spotlight on Young Adult: “Courtship and Curses,” by Marissa Doyle (Square Fish)

Courtship and Curses--Doyle

Mr. Underwood was still trying to regain his feet. “You…you bitch!” he spat, staring up at Sophie.

Sophie ignored him. “Are you all right?” she said to Parthenope, touching her arm.

“No!” Parthenope squeaked. “This was my favorite busk! It was carved ivory with my initials–” She stopped and looked at Mr. Underwood. “What did you just say?”

He’d finally managed to stand up and stood glaring at them. “You heard me!”

“Nobody speaks to my friend that way, Mr. Underwood, and I suggest you stop or I shall make you.” Parthenope put up her fists and set her feet. “I am told I have a quite punishing left jab for a female.”

“Parthenope! You can’t mean you know how to box!” Sophie wasn’t sure whether to be scandalized or amused.

“Of course I do.” Parthenope continued to watch him with narrowed eyes.

Mr. Underwood ‘s left eye was twitching oddly. “You crippled freak! Think you can outsmart me, you miserable–”

Parthenope sighed, shifted her stance slightly, and punched him.

He tottered back a pace, swearing again and feeling his nose. A shocking splatter of blood crimsoned his snowy neckcloth.

“Dear me, I’m so sorry,” Parthenope said pleasantly. “Did I say it was my left jab that was so noteworthy? I meant to say my right. Silly of me.”

Good luck to Marissa and all our Golden Leaf finalists!

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Romantic Elements: Jane Porter

The annual NJRW “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is less than a month away! To help share our excitement, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists each day until the conference.

The Golden Leaf is awarded annually for excellence in romance fiction by authors who are NJRW members or in Romance Writers of America (RWA) Region One.  Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference held October 18-19, 2013.

Spotlight on Romantic Elements: “The Good Daughter,” by Jane Porter (Berkley)

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“You took a picture of me,” he said, looking into her eyes, his voice nearly as deep as the engine’s growl.

She opened her mouth and then shut it.

“Why?” he demanded.

“I liked your bike.  Thought it’d make an interesting picture.”

His dark eyes narrowed and his head tilted, glossy black hair sliding over prominent cheekbones.  “You a cop?”

“No.”

“What do you do then?”

“I’m a teacher.”

“And what do you teach?”

“High school English.”

“Then why are you taking pictures?”

“It’s a hobby.  Gives me something to do when I’m not grading papers.”

“How do I know you’re really a teacher?”

“Why would I lie?”

“People do all the time.”

“Well, not me.  I’m a Catholic School teacher,” she said.  “I have to be moral.  It’s my job.”

“You took a vow of morality to teach English?”

“No.  But what kind of example would I set if I went through life lying, stealing and cheating?”

“I didn’t know women like you still existed.”

“The world is full of good women.”

“I haven’t met any.”

“Then you’re hanging around with the wrong crowd.”

“You don’t like me.”

“I don’t know you.”

“But you’re still forming opinions.  Making judgments.  You know you are.”

Good luck to Jane and all our Golden Leaf finalists!

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Romantic Elements: Kathleen Long

The annual NJRW “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is less than a month away! To help share our excitement, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists each day until the conference.

The Golden Leaf is awarded annually for excellence in romance fiction by authors who are NJRW members or in Romance Writers of America (RWA) Region One.  Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference held October 18-19, 2013.

Spotlight on Romantic Elements: “Changing Lanes,” by Kathleen Long (Amazon Publishing)

changing lanes final for ad copy

The moon cast a bluish glow, lighting Mick’s face and shadowing his eyes.

He turned to face me, and I spied the traces of the teenager I’d once known. Tough on the outside, scared to death on the inside.

I fought the urge to lean against him, to close the gap of space and time the years had put between us. Instead, I looked up at the sky, amazed, as always, at the sheer number of stars visible in the night sky above my hometown.

“Do you remember how many nights we sat here trying to count the stars?” I asked.

He smiled, ever so slightly. “I never tried to count them.”

“But you sat here with me while I did.”

His smile fell. “That was a long time ago, Abby.”

I looked down at my dress and smoothed an invisible wrinkle.

“Do you still count them?” he asked.

“No,” I answered, suddenly wondering when it was that I’d stopped.

Good luck to Kathleen and all our Golden Leaf finalists!

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Romantic Elements: Laurie Kellogg

The annual NJRW “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is less than a month away! To help share our excitement, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists each day until the conference.

The Golden Leaf is awarded annually for excellence in romance fiction by authors who are NJRW members or in Romance Writers of America (RWA) Region One.  Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference held October 18-19, 2013.

Spotlight on Romantic Elements: “No Exchanges, No Returns,” by Laurie Kellogg (LK Books)

No Exchanges, No Returns Digital Cover

“Oh, Lord, spare me from men’s inflated egos.”

“You’re evading the question.”

Yes, I find you attractive,” she blurted, turning her face away.

Her reluctant admission gave birth to a paradox of emotions. Half of him felt flattered and aroused, while the other part was confused and terrified by the possible ramifications. Casey wasn’t just some bimbo he could casually screw and forget. She was having his baby.

“Don’t take it personally,” she said as an afterthought. “The way my hormones have been gushing lately, I’d get turned on by a blow-up Homer Simpson doll.”

Ouch. She could deflate a guy faster than a hypodermic could puncture a surgical glove.

“You know, it’s not a good idea to tell a guy who’s been celibate as long as I have that you’re ripe for the picking. That kind of information could make a man forget you used to be family.”

Good luck to Laurie and all our Golden Leaf finalists!

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)