Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

DABWAHA Results and Request for Input

Iron KissedA whisper thin margin of 12 votes separated the winner, Iron Kissed, from the runner up, The Spymaster’s Lady. An equally tiny margin separated the first place winner, CarolynJean, from Jennifer Y’s entry. Jennifer Y had maintained the top spot for nearly the entire tournament only to lose out at the very end. (She had picked The Spymaster’s Lady as champion and Carolyn Jean, Iron Kissed).

We are excited to announce that both CarolyJean and Jennifer Y will receive a Sony Reader. Jennifer Y had racked up a number of prizes during the tournament and we offered her a Sony Reader in lieu of the various prizes.

  CarolynJean will receive the title of Chief Bracketologist, a Sony Reader (red, natch), and $100 Gift Certificate from Fictionwise.   JenniferY will have to console herself with just a SonyReader.   Angela James was the first round winner of a $15 GC to Barnes and Noble.

jiffybug  won the prize for having the absolute worst bracket. She only picked 13 matches correctly  Author Maya Banks offered up a great prize to the last place bracketeer: $50 GC to online bookstore, Godiva chocolate basket, and ARCS of Sweet Persuasion (June 09) and Sweet Seduction (Oct 09).  

sidebarlogoWe opened a second chance tournament at the Sweet Sixteen and the winner of the 2nd Chance Tourney and an iTouch is Christine.   Congratulations!

The Spymaster’s Lady was picked most times by entrants to win the Championship with Iron Kissed the 5th most popular book picked to prevail in the end.

We are excited to announce that Big Ups, an awesome Feather Pen, a door hanger indicating that you are a writer and should not be bothered, and a Sony Reader will be sent to Patricia Briggs.   We asked if she had anything to say regarding her epic win:

Wow!   In the words of Jim Carey in The Mask — “You  Really  love me!”     How cool is that.   I’m not sure the best book won . . . I really loved    The Spymaster’s Lady  — but I’m thrilled to pieces.    
Thank you :)

Woot! We had 731 entrants in total which was a 100% increase over last years’ number. Janine did the best of the Dear Author crew finishing 35th. Jia was 135. Robin was 249. Sarah F was 351. Jayne was 600 and myself? I was 340. I beat out Jayne and Dr. Sarah. SB Sarah beat me at 326. All the standings can be seen here. We had some great sponsors:

Despite our mishaps – entries that didn’t get inputted, the polls not opening on time or closing too early, it was great fun. We’ve learned alot this year and we are already planning on making the DABWAHA tourney better next year. We asked Patricia Briggs and Joanna Bourne how to make the contest better and we would like to hear from you as well. While the contest is fresh in your minds, please give us your thoughts and recommendations. Thank you all for participating.   It would be no fun if it weren’t for the entrants, voters, and everyone who supported DABWAHA.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Lbea
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 08:09:22


    Also WORD TO CHRISTINE! Mwah mwah. We need to celebrate on the Island, ladies

    Thanks DA and SB. A great time was had by all.


  2. azteclady
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 08:28:44

    Huge congrats to all the winners–that was a great, close race indeed!

    Thank you, DAs (you need a name) and Smart Bitches

  3. Jia
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 08:42:06

    Don’t forget Joonigirl who was at 143!

  4. carolyn jean
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 08:53:29

    Thanks you guys! I didn’t realize I got a GC, too! Wow!!!

    This was really fun, and I’m still sort of in shock, and so grateful. I know you worked really hard on this contest – it was a technological wonder how well it came off! Anyway, just know I feel so grateful.

    Also, I’m so glad JenniferY, My new BWAHAfrenefoe, wins a reader, too!

  5. Keishon
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 09:02:47

    This was great fun. Congrats to the winners. If I had to recommened a change for next year, I would want to know the nominations a bit early, maybe a month early in antcipation of the tourney? Just an idea. The tourney highlighted books I wouldn’t have known about otherwise and I did purchase I think 2 or 3 books because of the tourney. You all did a great job and look forward to next year.

    I plan to FINALLY read Joanna Bourne’s book and am glad that Patricia Briggs won but both authors seem to be well respected and well liked in the reader community so congrats to both authors who made it to the finals.

  6. Jorrie Spencer
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 09:04:54

    Congrats on the winners! I had great fun and have some books to read too, namely Blue-Eyed Devil. Thanks for running this!

  7. Lori
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 09:20:35

    Good job winners! It was fun tio watch the trash talking and vote getting hijinks.

  8. Darlynne
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 09:29:59

    Congratulations all around. A great tournament and, thanks to sponsors, very cool prizes. Enjoy, enjoy.

  9. Maili
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 09:46:01

    Congratulations, CarolynJean, JenniferY, Angela and jiffybug!

    It’s a great job done, Sarah and Jane. Couldn’t make heads and tails of it most time, but enjoyed it all the way. Ended up just below Joonigirl. How kinky.

  10. JenniferY
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 09:56:18

    Thanks so much! And congrats to CarolynJean, Angela, and jiffybug!

    This was a great tourney and so much fun. My only recommendation for next year is posting the voting schedule ahead of time.

  11. Danielle
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 09:58:07

    Congratulations to the winners!!!!

  12. Robin
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 10:04:30

    Hey, I was 28 in the Second Chance Tourney, and was like 9 places higher than that until Iron Kissed beat out Spymaster’s Lady!

    My choice for winner was definitely SML, but I am thrilled that two great books were in the final. I feel a bit ashamed that I was more excited about that last face-off than I am about the RITAs.

  13. Jennifer Estep
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 10:55:25

    I just want to say thanks to DA, SB, and everyone else for hosting and working on and contributing prizes to the tournament. I know it must be an incredible amount of work, but it really was a lot of fun to play along at home. Even if my brackets did suck out loud in the end. ;-)

  14. rebyj
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 11:11:09

    Congrats Carolyn Jean ,JenniferY, Patricia Briggs and all the other winners!

    Thanks Sarah and Jane for hosting the tournament. Since it entertained me for a few weeks it was totally worth all the work you put into it! lol

    I think all the twitter trash talking made it all the more fun this year.

  15. theo
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 11:39:03

    Congrats to the winners! :)

    I said this on SBTB. but I’ll say it here too. This was my first bracket ever and my first weeks on twitter and between the trashtweets and trying to learn how the bracket worked, I had a ball!

    My suggestion? Same as Keishon. An early release of the ‘competitors’ would be great!

    Thanks for the fun, and for putting it all together, and thanks to the sponsors. They, like you both, are full of awesome!

  16. rebyj
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 11:59:45

    The only thing I’d change next year is well…. ME WINNING!!! bahahaha

  17. Hilcia
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 12:02:05

    Congratulations to the winner(s)… Carolyn Jean, JenniferY (what a race!) — Patricia Briggs and Joanna Bourne, WOW! Thanks to DA and SB — this was such fun!
    We’ll have to try and save the Contemporaries again next year, lol!

  18. Christine
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 12:05:25

    Congrats to all the winners … including Patricia Briggs and Joanna Bourne, two amazing authors of two fantastic novels. Wow! What an amazing finale.

    Thanks to Jane and Sarah for hosting the tournament! It was great fun!

  19. Sayuri
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 12:26:00

    Ohh Congrats to all the winners! CJ you lucky dawg!

    I just wanted to thank everyone at DA & SB for all their hard work. And all the twittertrashtalk was so much fun. I made some new buds this year.

    One thing I would say is I think that it would be better if the matchups were within category to start with and then the final eight are the best of that category. So the inital match-ups would be historical vs hisotical, contemp vs contemp, series vs series. Until we had the best of each category. I thought it was a real shame to put up the series next to the historicals. They didn’t stand a chance. LOL.

    And yeah, I would have liked a chance to read some of the titles beforehand. Then I perhaps wouldn’t have crashed and burned so bad. *sigh*

  20. Lucinda Betts
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 12:33:46

    A printable booklist of the 64 entries might be nice, even if it were after the fact. I’d like something easy to print to take to the bookstore.

  21. Janine
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 12:35:44

    Congratulations to everyone!

    Janine did the best of the Dear Author crew finishing 35th.

    I am still amazed. Last year my standings were so dismal that I’ve wiped them from memory. This year I was in the top 5% (just barely). How can that be?

  22. joanne
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 13:32:17

    Congratulations to all the winners!

    A HUGE thank you to DA & SB for all the hard work that goes into making this tournament so much fun.

    Can I just say one more time that Maya Banks is a WINNER for offering up the last place prizes which are excellent?!

  23. Ann
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 13:39:19

    Big grats to all the winners. Woohoo, CJ!

  24. orannia
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 14:03:37

    Congrats to all the winners and a huge thank you to DA & SB and all the sponsors!

    I came 456th…and I now have a whole year to work out a cunning selection strategy for next year’s contest :)

  25. Has
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 14:09:19

    Congrats to the winners!!!!

    And thanks for hosting a great competition!

  26. Sunita
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 15:30:53

    Congratulations to the winners, but also many props to all the authors, there were a lot of really good books in the bracket. I didn’t enter, mostly because whenever I enter NCAA brackets I become impossible to live with and last years DABWAHA was no different. This way I just enjoy the show. And many thanks to all the entrants for letting us draft off your fun.

    I would also like to see within-category competition until there is only one left standing. There doesn’t have to be the same number of books from each category, because some categories are just way deeper than others (just like the NCAA conferences). But it would be easier if they played each other until there’s only one. Then it becomes like the Westminster Dog Show, where you rate the contestants on how good an example of their species they are. JMHO.

    I *loved* all the close races. Finally, a true chance to be the pivotal voter. My political science heart is all warm and fuzzy.

  27. Pam P
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 15:40:27

    Congratulations everyone! Was fun watching such a close race.

  28. Lou
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 15:49:00

    Congratulations to all the winners!

    Major kudos and thanks to DA & SB for their hard work. :)

  29. Miki
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 16:28:55

    I’ve been trying to think if my input is worthwhile here – I didn’t play this year or last year – and I never enter the contests over at AAR either.


    From your list of books, I’ve read three of them. I might have a dozen of the rest on my TBR pile, maybe two dozen. I read 188 books or novellas last year, 269 the year before. But when these contests come out, I’m always amazed at how few of them I recognize, let alone have read.

    If I’d been participating, my choices would have to be made with a flip of a coin or a cover-eyes-and-point method.

    Sounded like fun, though. Maybe next year I’ll pull out my lucky penny…

  30. Gennita Low
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 17:39:21

    I’m #6!!!! That made my day even though I didn’t win anything ;). I feel good to be in the top 10!

  31. Jayne
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 18:05:59

    Congrats to the winnahs and thank you to everyone who participated. At this point, I don’t even care that I am in sole possession of 600th place because my Tarheels won the NCAA last night! Whooo-hooo! Go Heels!

  32. Jill D.
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 18:44:46

    I agree with the above suggestions: announce the nominated books a month in advance and list the voting schedule. There were times when I hadn’t a clue when to vote. I don’t follow basketball and didn’t know the schedule.

    Mad props to you ladies, this tournament was a blast! I had a ton of fun and I look forward to next year. *rubbing hands*

  33. library addict
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 20:09:17

    Thanks to Jane, Sarah and everyone who made the tournament so much fun.

    Congrats to the winners: CarolynJean, JenniferY, Patricia Briggs, Christine, Angela James, and jiffybug.

    I didn't do too badly (263rd in the main tournament/tied for 24th in the 2nd chance tournament)

    Good suggestions have already been made, but I would second or third the idea to post the voting schedule in advance. I actually like the round-the-clock voting in the first round as it gives everyone the chance to vote regardless of where they are in the world or what their schedule is like.

    Also, the DABWAHA website was great, but maybe have more interconnected links (I know the Home page link was on every page, but a link to the Tournament main page on every page would be appreciated. I know I'm probably not explaining that very well).

    Just out of curiousity, is there any rhyme or reason to how the seedings are assigned? Maybe next year if the books are announced early enough you could have a pre-contest vote where 9 or 10 books are nominated for each category (YA, Contemporary., etc), people vote for the 8 books in each category they feel should make the tournament, and the books have their seed #s are assigned based on that vote (#1 seed = book with the most votes in category, etc). You would still be able to have the books in the same categories go up against each other so that every category is represented in the elite 8 by assigning all the books from one category the seed numbers for the top of the bracket (1, 4, 5, 8, 9, 12, 13 and 16) and the books in the other category for that region the bottom of the bracket (2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 14, and 15).

    I know that would be even more for you all, but hopefully the software will be more automated for next year's tournament so Jane doesn't have to manually download, update the database and then upload everyone's picks.

  34. Patti
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 20:32:10

    Contracts to the winners and everyone who participated this year! It was fun and exciting.

  35. Wandering Chopsticks
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 21:09:29

    A clickable list of the books to a blurb or Amazon or the specific page would have been useful. At first I tried looking up each book but then got a headache. So I just made my selections blindly based upon title. Like if there was an alphabetical list so in the early rounds, I can just click on a each pairing to decide on my selections.

    This was fun! I didn’t participate at all last year because I couldn’t figure out what was going on.

  36. LindaR (likari)
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 22:17:36

    This was a blast. I played so badly, ha. I think I missed as many votes as I voted.

    My wish is that you don’t perfect it to boredom. The little glitches and goofs are part of DABWAHA’s charm.

    Seems to me, this is truly a tournament where it’s an honor to be nominated, a kick to win, and no dishonor to fail miserably — could anyone design a better tourney on purpose????

  37. LindaR (likari)
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 22:23:11

    @ Wandering Chopsticks

    There was a great link to the list of books with clicks to the Amazon bookstore, but I never could find it again. I’ll bet it was right in front of me the whole time — but I just didn’t see it.

    That would be my one suggestion — make that link easy to find.

  38. LaurieF
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 22:46:46

    Congrats to the winners!

    This was so much fun. We’d follow it at work during voting.
    Iron Kissed was my pick to win (one of my favorite authors and books) but my heart is still with SML. One of the best Historical Romances EVER!

    Like the idea of posting books at least a month in advance. I’d read a bunch before picking my bracket. Also the list makes a great TBR pile. I found Ilona Andrew’s books with this contest and that makes me a winner too.

  39. Bridget Locke
    Apr 08, 2009 @ 00:16:34

    Congrats to the winners! I don’t think I’ve had so much fun…ever! And considering the fact that this was my first time DABWAHAing, I think 55th place is pretty stellar.

    I agree with the above. And maybe changing the voting times. I’m on the West Coast and there were days I wasn’t even able to cast a vote because of the three hour time difference. Maybe there’s a way to work around that next year.

    And I agree…knowing ahead of time, having the books in each genre compete amongst themselves & THEN go head-to-head w/ the other genres would probably work much better. As would the linky to amazon w/ who is who. I hadn’t even heard of 75% of the books. I guessed! :)

  40. Selene
    Apr 08, 2009 @ 00:29:37

    Thanks for hosting this, it was great fun!

    I already mentioned it in some other thread, but I’d like to see longer voting times, like 24 hours. If that is too long, maybe with more matches at the same time? Since I live across the pond there were many matches I couldn’t vote in for one reason or another (particularly the ones that started around midnight over here).

    I noticed that the number of votes tended to go down on matches that were during certain times, so I think I wasn’t the only one with this problem.

    Oh and one thing I could never figure out: the “Configurable standings” link. I thought that might be where you could see how the standings would be if matches went in certain ways, but if so I could never manage to make it work…?


  41. kim h
    Apr 08, 2009 @ 01:03:51

    wtg winners
    my first time doing that
    the baskeball toutment was eaiser lol

  42. BlueRose
    Apr 08, 2009 @ 04:36:26

    I didnt enter for two reasons:

    1: had hardly heard of any of the books

    2: had *absolutely NO IDEA* how a basketball tourney worked and therefore at a loss to how DABWAHA was sposed to work – there were rules, but they only apply when you know how to play the game (I dont live in the US if that helps)

    But I have read Bone Crossed, and thoroughly enjoy the Mercy series, so very pleased to hear Ms Briggs won :)

  43. Jane
    Apr 08, 2009 @ 10:45:26

    For all those that wanted links to the books, did you find the scrollbox helpful at all?

  44. library addict
    Apr 08, 2009 @ 14:30:44

    The scrollbox was great, Jane. I liked how it took us to the authors’ website for more info on the particular books.

  45. Karin
    Apr 09, 2009 @ 12:19:07

    I really enjoyed the tournament, even though I didn’t do really well. Thank you for putting it on.

    I really like a lot of the suggestions that have already been mentioned. I would like to get behind the following:
    1. Posting the list of nominees in advance.
    2. Posting the voting schedule in advance.
    3. Extending voting times, especially given how much trouble I had trying to vote in certain races where it was saying I had already voted when I hadn’t. Maybe an extended voting time would’ve allowed for that problem to be fixed so I could vote.
    4. Running books in the same sub-genre against each other instead of against another sub-genre in the first round.

    Yeah, so nothing really new, but those are the suggestions I really liked.

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