2009 Winners and Finalists


The Space CoasT Authors of Romance (Florida STAR) is proud to announce the winners and placements in the 2009 Launching A Star Contest. Of special note, this year?s finalists received twenty-eight (28) requests for full manuscripts and an additional four (4) requests for partials from some of the top editors(*) and agents (+) in romantic fiction.

The overall winning entry

Lake Effect, a Single Title entry by Gabrielle Luthy of St. Kilda, Australia.

In addition to receiving a star-shaped paperweight for her first place win in the Single Title category, Gabrielle will have a star named after her through the International Registry of Stars. Congratulations, Gabrielle!

General Paranormal

Final Judges: Meredith Giordan, Berkley Publishing, Laurie McLean, Larsen-Pomada Agency, with additional thanks to Heather Osborne, of TOR Publishing
First Place: Where Demons Fear to Tread*, Stephanie Chong of British Columbia
Second Place: The Gambit*, Cheryl Draycott of Sunnyvale, CA
Third Place: Life?ll Kill You*, Lori Sjoberg of Winter Park, FL
Finalist: Requiem for the Undead*, Sharon Houdek of Land O Lakes, FL
Finalist: The Fallen*, Nicole Tedesco of Naples, FL
Finalist: Guardian*, Lynn Rush of Peoria, AZ


Final Judges: Talia Platz, NAL, and Elizabeth Pomada, Larsen-Pomada Agency
First Place: The Deceit of Desire* by Louisa Cornell of Wetumpka, AL
Second Place: Love and the Murdering Marquis by Patricia A. Patton of Hagerstown, MD
Third Place: Sweet Enemy by Heather Snow of Overland Park, KS
Finalist: Dangerous Desires by Sharon Calvin of Merritt Island, FL
Finalist: Diana by Ellen Wehle of Elmhurst, IL

Single Title

Final Judges: Selina McLenmore, Grand Central, and Becca Stumpf, Prospect Agency

First Place: The Lake Effect*+ by Gabrielle Luthy of St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia
Second Place: Learning How to Stay* by Gabrielle Luthy of St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia
Third Place: Peaches and Schemes+ by Betty Cordell of Marietta, GA
Finalist: And He Cooks Too by Barbara Kroon of Celebration, FL
Finalist: Tropical Turquoise by Cathy Swormstedt of Williamsburg, VA

Series Contemporary

Final Judges: Susan Litman, Harlequin, and Michelle Grajkowski, 3 Seas Literary Agency

First Place: Texas Two Step*+ by Cynthia D?Alba of Hot Springs, AR
Second Place: Falling for the Farmer*+ by Jennifer Bates of Nebraska City, NE
Third Place: Flipping Grapes* by Jeanne M. Dickson of Carlsbad, CA
Finalist: His Dark Past by Rebecca Sampson of Nth Plympton, SA, Australia
Finalist: Visions+ by Marge Knudsen of Omaha, NE

Young Adult

Final Judges: Kristen Daly, HarperCollins Children?s Books, and Elaine Spencer, The Knight Agency

First Place: Personal Demons* by Lisa Desrochers of Modesto, CA
Second Place: The Seer* by Heather Burch of Venice, FL
Third Place: Life?s Too Short* by Ally Cowee of Chico, CA
Finalist: Forces of Nature* by Denise Cychosz of Waukesha, WI
Finalist: Innocent Darkness:A Steampunk Fairytale* by Suzanne Lazear of Honolulu, HI

Romantic Suspense

Final Judges: Sara Goodman, St. Martin?s Press, and Kimberly Whalen, Trident Media
First Place: Under Currents by Elaine Meece of Bartlett, TN
Second Place: The Gavel?s Echo by Anne-Marie Carroll of Tampa, FL
Third Place: Trust No One by Diane Layne of Corsicana, TX
Finalist: Buried Deep by Jean Mason of Tampa, FL
Finalist: Verdict by Jean Mason of Tampa, FL


Final Judges: Meredith Giordan, Berkley Publishing, and Deidre Knight, The Knight Agency

First Place: Oversea* by Beatriz Chantrill Williams of Greenwich, CT
Second Place: Rampant Perfection* by Laurie Cooper of Melbourne, FL
Third Place: I, Lucifer * by Linda Nightingale of Houston, TX
Finalist: Just In Time by Nancy Litzau of Chesterfield, MO
Finalist: Kismet?s Kiss by Cate Rowan of Las Vegas, NV


Final Judges: Lindsey Faber, Samhain, and Roberta Brown, Brown Literary Agency

First Place: Worth The Risk* by Robin Bielman of Westlake Village, CA
Second Place: Jona Briggs?s Space Odyssey by Annabelle Corrick Beach of Alexandria, VA
Third Place: Kestrel by Meredith Simmons of Wilson, NC


Final Judges: Natalie Hanemann, Thomas Nelson, and Rachel Gardner, WordServe Literary

First Place: Violets & Violins*+ by Keli Gwyn of Placerville, CA
Second Place: Mighty Man of Valor*+ by Kathleen L. Maher of Breesport, NY
Third Place: Mail Order Annie*+ by Cathy Richmond of Omaha, NE
Finalist: Angel with Steel Wings by Anne Greene of McKinney, TX
Finalist: Dysfunction Junction by April. A. Erwin of Independence, MO

Major congratulations to all the participants, finalists and winners, and special thanks to our wonderful panel of final round judges who requested 28 full manuscripts and 4 partial manuscripts from among the finalist entries in the 2009 Launching A Star contest.

Leigh Duncan
2009 Launching A Star
Contest Coordinator