The GH nominees voted for a group name, which is not as easy as you might think. Previous finalist groups have chosen terrific ones like the Lucky 13s (2013), Firebirds (2012), Starcatchers (2011), Unsinkables (2010), Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood (2009), Pixie Chicks (2008), 007s (007), and Romance Bandits (2006). What fabulous group name did the 2014 Golden Heart finalists choose? The Dream Weavers or Dreamweavers depending on which one fits better on the group pin. I hope to share the pin design with you in June. Right now it’s time to introduce another group of GH finalists.
2014 Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Golden Heart Titles
Word cloud created by GH finalist Nan Dixon
It’s my first time as a Golden Heart finalist, and I’m thrilled and honored. I’m also amazed over the support and encouragement my fellow nominees offers. Since I’m originally from Sweden, and a non-native English speaker, the nomination is a huge validation. I am more confident in my writing and walk much taller these days. I must have gained at least an inch or two in height.
VALHALLA’S KING (Book 1 in the Valhalla’s Warriors series)
Hiding from black ops agents, cyber-security expert Naya works on the shady side of the law to finance a cure for her dying brother. When she inadvertently saves the life of immortal Viking king Leif and triggers an ancient Norse handfasting bond, she enters a world of primeval forces locked in battle for an eternity. To save her brother, she must risk her heart and trust the king in order to defeat their common enemy and prevent the end of the worlds—for both gods and humans.
Jillian’s Note: Asa recently sold her 3 Valhalla books to Sourcebooks via Sarah E. Younger at Nancy Yost Literary Agency.
BEYOND THE FIRE
Kendra Harrison excels at running—from her past, from close relationships, from the man who killed her family—but she’s stopped in her tracks by a prophecy that she will save the world from ancient evil.
She laughs at the fairytale notion; if anyone knows the difference between fable and stark reality, it’s the sole survivor of a devastating arson attack. Then she meets a Demigod with anger management issues, watches a dead man drive a semi truck into her car, and dons a ring that transports her to a different place and time. If this is reality, it sucks…and if magic lives within her, why couldn’t she save her family from the fire all those years ago?
Ben Flannigan is a magical warrior, born to prevent the rise of a Pre-Celtic Demigod gone bad. He teams up with Kendra to fight fire with fire, and they produce a heat all their own. But Kendra doesn’t know how to keep her past from destroying her future. The weight of her life’s horrors has left her feeling tainted and unlovable. When the Gods who granted her power declared that the magnitude of her abilities required a personal sacrifice, Kendra cavalierly offered to sacrifice true love.
Now, rescuing the world requires giving up the one man who means the world to her.
~BEYOND THE FIRE is my second Golden Heart final. I feel more grounded in my writing career goals this time around, so my GH ride is all about the joy! Part of my elation is discovering the talent among our finalist group; I’m so impressed, and super excited to support fellow finalists on their own publishing journeys.
This is my second year finaling in the Golden Heart, and it is perhaps even more meaningful than the first time because I know exactly what being a finalist entails. For me, the biggest reward is undoubtedly the friendships formed with my Golden Heart sisters. Two years later, I’m still blown away by the generosity and support of the Firebirds, and already, I feel such a strong bond with the 2014 finalists.
FIT TO DIE (Science Fiction Romance)
In a world where society is split between Eaters and Non-Eaters, and nutrition can be transferred via a pill, Eater Princess Viola Keystone has a problem. Her father, the King, is dying, and she has been tasked with selecting the boy fit to die for the King. However, when the boy she’s loved all her life, Carr Silver, emerges as the best candidate, Viola must re-evaluate her own integrity and learn what it truly means to be a ruler.
HIDDEN MAGIC (Regency era)
It’s Regency London, 1817, and Logan McLellan has a crime scene with a dead demon, a symbiotic wolf who won’t shut up, and he’s just discovered his assistant is actually a female half-fairy masquerading as a man. And his killer’s just getting started. The only thing Logan can do is focus on catching the killer and maintaining the barrier between humans and the magical world – but magic is insidious. Like the wolf. If the wolf gains control of Logan’s body, there’ll be another killer on London’s streets. The last thing he needs is a half-fairy tagging along, to remind him of the woman he thought she was and the life he believed he could recapture.
Georgiana (George) Jeoffrey is prophesized to be Fey’s next High Queen and save her people. The prophecy comes with a drunken fairy fiancé, a Fey where she’s despised for her human blood, and a lifetime of loneliness. And sure, she has a plan – and a disguise – for all eventualities. Except when it comes to Logan. He sees right through her magic to the lonely woman inside. But he’s in trouble, hiding his wolf, and potentially losing his mind. Can she save both her people and Logan? Or is magical war inevitable?
~This is the first time I’ve been a Golden Heart finalist and, after trying for a number of years, I still have a hard time believing it’s true. I want to make the most of this opportunity, and it’s been such a thrill so far.
ROMANTIC SUSPENSE CATEGORY
This is also my first time being a Golden Heart Finalist. Being amongst this group of talented women is the highest honor I’ve ever attained and a huge validation for all the blood, sweat, and tears I put into DANGEROUS DREAMS. I’m just so so so grateful to be here. For me, the competition is over. I’m so happy to have made it this far.
Born with the unique ability to smell people’s memories, Lathan Montgomery uses his nose to solve cold cases. When he links a group of murders—by scent alone—and discovers and active serial killer, the mind-hunters at the FBI refuse to open an investigation. Lathan is determined to find the killer himself, but his search gets stalled when he rescues a woman from an attacker. She’s the only person—the only freaking person—he’s ever met who doesn’t have a cloud of memories around her. The more he gets to know her, the more devotion, tenderness, and passion overwhelm him in a way he’s never experienced. But the killer is on the offensive and takes Lathan’s only love. And he never keeps his victims alive for long…
When the CFO of a candle manufacturer discovers canisters of cocaine hidden within the wax, he’s determined to avenge the life his sister lost to drugs—even if his boss is the source. He hires a female PI to help him investigate, but as their passion for one another builds, so do the dangers. Can they expose the drug traffickers before their journey together turns fatal?
~This is my first time to final in the Golden Heart, and I’ve only been writing three years! Being a Golden Heart finalist solidifies my belief in myself. I’ve become more confident in my writing. I’ve formed a camaraderie with the other 2014 finalist. But most importantly, the experience gives me a chance to encourage members of our TARA chapter’s Push-to-Pro Program. If I can final in such a prestigious contest…they can too.
IN A SEA OF CHANGE
This story is set in 1941, against the backdrop of Honolulu’s glittering high society, an unsolved theft of Hawaiian crown jewels, and the attack that changed the course of history.
When Merrylei Wentworth inherits an abandoned mansion–all that’s left of her family’s fortune–she confronts two big problems. Mysterious intruders keep vandalizing the house she is determined to turn into a guesthouse. The other problem is enigmatic Japanese-American architect Jamison Sumida who’s eager to purchase a painting by Merrylei’s late mother. Conscious of social pressures to marry within his culture, Jamison has no interest in the spirited independent Merrylei. She’s suspicious of his motives. But Merrylei is haunted by a sense of déjà vu and unexplainable coincidences when they’re together that is compelling and seductive. As they get drawn deeper into the mystery of the painting, “The King’s Crown,” they begin to share family secrets to uncover the truth. All the while their attraction to each other deepens as anti-Japanese sentiments simmer in the community.
~ This is my first Golden Heart final. I’m so honored to be counted among such a talented group of writers. I’ve had two non-fiction books published, but this is my first attempt at romance. I’m really thrilled to become a member of the GH community.
I am thrilled to be a 2014 GOLDEN HEART® Finalist in Romantic Suspense for my novel CHASING DAMN. It is my first GH final and ‘ the call’ consisted mostly of showcasing my inability to come up with complete sentences (which is rare, seriously:). I repeated OMG – over and over and over again.
Emotionally scarred after a car crash kills her ex-lover, FBI Special Agent Nikki Chase, a brilliant ethical hacker, returns to Chicago to find her baby sister. She ends up partnering with a one-night stand, a private security consultant hired by her uncle to search for a cyber thief. But when she discovers her uncle’s connection to the sex-trafficking cyber gang and its leader, a revenge-seeking psychopath, she must make a choice between family and a new love, knowing the wrong choice could get her killed.
SECRETS THAT KILL
The disinherited son of a Chicago billionaire returns home for a mysterious announcement only to encounter betrayal, discover the horrific truth behind a family secret and get arrested for murder. Unfortunately, the only person who can help him is his long, lost love, whose neighborhood is targeted for demolition by his development company.
~I was also a 2011 GH finalist for LOCKED, LOADED AND LYING. A romance writer’s ultimate validation is obviously a publishing contract, but this honor is a close and coveted runner-up! I enjoy the camaraderie of the 2014 group and the six 2011 RS finalists who started the Kiss and Thrill blog. We’re the best of friends now.
SEE HER NO MORE
When Juliet Capel, a woman determined to protect the life she’s built for herself, becomes the target of an arms dealer who believes she holds the key to a 12th Century secret, her only chance to stay alive rests within the arms of Rafe Montfort, her ex-Green Beret husband who abandoned her eight years earlier.
SEE HER NO MORE is my sixth Golden Heart final. I’ve never taken a Golden Heart Final for granted. I am grateful for each and every shiny gold pin and I wear them proudly. After years of writing and many, many manuscripts, each Golden Heart final has given me opportunities I would not have had otherwise. The GH has opened doors that led to my amazing agent, offered friendships with other authors that I treasure, and reminds me that even though I’m not published yet, I will be one day. One of the best things about being in the GH sisterhood is the constant affirmation that with persistence and perseverance we all will succeed in achieving our dreams.
If you missed the post about the 2014 Golden Heart Historical Romance finalists, click here. For the Contemporary, Short Contemporary, and Inspirational nominees, click here. Please follow this blog or return on June 9th to view my post about the Young Adult finalists.