Wednesday, March 25, 2009

2009 RITA Nominees

Romance Writer's Of America announced the RITA nominees this morning, and yes - I'm doing a blog post about it. Some things to remember before we get started: 1) Only 2008 books were eligible 2) Authors had to submit their books for consideration. So no bitching about why SoAndSo wasn't nominated because they might not have entered the contest. Although if you know they entered? Feel free to bitch. I wish RWA would publish a list of all the titles that were entered for consideration. It would make these blog posts a lot more lively me thinks. Anyway....

(Title links will take you to Amazon)

Best First Book
Her One Desire by Kimberly Killion
No Good Girls by Jean Marie Pierson
Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs
Passionate by Anthea Lawson
Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas
Strangers in the Night by Kerry Connor (Harlequin Intrigue)
The Secret Soldier by Jennifer Morey (Silhouette Romantic Suspense)
Your Roots Are Showing by Elise Chidley

Wendy's Commentary: This category is always a hodge-podge, this year being no exception. We have everything from category romance to women's fiction to historical romance. I've only read Private Arrangements, which was wonderfully, amazingly written, even though I spent 98% of the novel wanting to bitch-slap the hero and heroine.

Contemporary Series Romance
A Mother’s Wish by Karen Templeton (Silhouette Special Edition)
Adopted: Outback Baby by Barbara Hannay (Harlequin Romance)
Antonides’ Forbidden Wife by Anne McAllister (Harlequin Presents)
Falling for the Lone Wolf by Crystal Green (Silhouette Special Edition)
Last-Minute Proposal by Jessica Hart (Harlequin Romance)
Texas Heir by Linda Warren (Harlequin American)
The Children’s Doctor and the Single Mum by Lilian Darcy (Harlequin Medical)
The Cowboy’s Christmas Miracle by RaeAnne Thayne (Silhouette Special Edition)
The Right Mr. Wrong by Cindi Myers (Harlequin American)

Wendy's Commentary: Happy, happy, joy, joy for Karen Templeton getting nominated! I really enjoyed this book, although the epilogue was totally unnecessary and hit on one of my pet peeves. Emotional, wonderful book though. Just skip the epilogue. Also happy to see Crystal Green get nominated. She's going to be at my library's literary event wearing her Chris Marie Green paranormal/urban fantasy hat and this is something cool I can add during my introduction.

Contemporary Series Romance: Suspense/Adventure
A Sexy Time of It by Cara Summers (Harlequin Blaze)
Cold Case Connection by Kathleen Long (Harlequin Intrigue)
Danger Signals by Kathleen Creighton (Silhouette Romantic Suspense)
Lethal Attraction by Diana Duncan (Silhouette Romantic Suspense)
Strangers in the Night by Kerry Connor (Harlequin Intrigue)
Tall, Dark and Lethal by Dana Marton (Harlequin Intrigue)
The Man Behind the Cop by Janice Kay Johnson (Harlequin SuperRomance)
The Secret Soldier by Jennifer Morey (Silhouette Romantic Suspense)
Twin Targets by Jessica Anderson (Harlequin Intrigue)

Wendy's Commentary: OK, the Janice Kay Johnson book rocks the house - although it's kinda light in the suspense department. Oh sure, it's there, but it's more of a secondary plot thread. Still, it's an awesome book. I gave it an A-.

Contemporary Single Title Romance
No Good Girls by Jean Marie Pierson
Not Another Bad Date by Rachel Gibson
Out of Time by Samantha Graves
Snowfall at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs
Sweet Talk by Susan Mallery
Tall Tales and Wedding Veils by Jane Graves
Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber
Your Roots Are Showing by Elise Chidley

Wendy's Commentary: The Jane Graves is in the TBR. Wasn't Sweet Talk the book in the Mallery trilogy that a lot of people really, really disliked? I think I have that one in the TBR too. Oh and neither here nor there, Out of Time not only sounds suspense-y, it has paranormal elements. Just sayin'.

Historical Romance
Duchess by Night by Eloisa James
In Bed with the Devil by Lorraine Heath
Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas
Seduce Me at Sunrise by Lisa Kleypas
The Edge of Impropriety by Pam Rosenthal
The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne
To Seduce a Sinner by Elizabeth Hoyt
Where the Heart Leads by Stephanie Laurens

Wendy's Commentary: OK RWA, I was totally on board when you gave Regency Historicals their own category. I foolishly thought it would open up the Historical Romance category to books that weren't set in England. Yeah, Epic Fail! Congrats to Sherry Thomas again though - whose Private Arrangements is a Victorian. And yeah for Joanna Bourne who I kept running into at RWA San Francisco last year and is really a top-notch fabulous chick. Still, All England All The Time Makes Historical Romance A Dull Girl.

Inspirational Romance
Deep in the Heart of Trouble by Deeanne Gist
Faking Grace by Tamara Leigh
Finding Stefanie by Susan May Warren
Love Starts with Elle by Rachel Hauck
Mulberry Park by Judy Duarte
The Convenient Groom by Denise Hunter
The Perfect Life by Robin Lee Hatcher
Where Love Abides by Irene Hannon

Wendy's Commentary: OK, so I don't really read inspirational. But I'm pleasantly surprised by how many of these I've already bought for work. Go Team Wendy!

Novel with Strong Romantic Elements
Last Dance at Jitterbug Lounge by Pamela Morsi
The House on Tradd Street by Karen White
The Paper Marriage by Susan Kay Law
The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner
The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
Tribute by Nora Roberts
Where Serpents Sleep by C.S. Harris

Wendy's Commentary: The Morsi and Roberts are in the TBR. Has the Kearsley been released in the U.S.? Anyone know? I've got a couple of her older titles in my TBR, thanks to recommendations from a reader and HH author Nicola Cornick.

Paranormal Romance
Dragon Wytch by Yasmine Galenorn
Mine to Possess by Nalini Singh
Moonstruck by Susan Grant
Seducing Mr. Darcy by Gwen Cready
The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter
The Healer by Sharon Sala
The Undead Next Door by Kerrelyn Sparks
Thunder Moon by Lori Handeland

Wendy's Commentary: Um yeah. Paranormal burn out. Major burn out. I need to pick up the Grant book though. I buy all her books, brand new - and this one slipped through the cracks.

Regency Historical Romance
Duke Most Wanted by Celeste Bradley
Mr. Cavendish, I Presume by Julia Quinn
My Lord and Spymaster by Joanna Bourne
The Dangerous Duke by Christine Wells
The Edge of Desire by Stephanie Laurens
Three Nights of Sin by Anne Mallory

Wendy's Commentary: I've got the Bourne in the TBR. Kinda surprised to see the Quinn here, since I know several readers who weren't wild about it. Still, it is Julia Quinn.

Romance Novella
“All He Wants for Christmas” by Jill Shalvis in Heating Up the Holidays (Harlequin Blaze)
“Blame It on the Mistletoe” by Terri Brisbin in One Candlelit Christmas (Harlequin Historical)
“Only You” by Jacquie D’Alessandro in It Happened One Night
“Our Day” by Jean Brashear in The Valentine Gift (Harlequin SuperRomance)
“Penance” by Sharon Sala in Aftershock (Silhouette Nocturne)
"Snowy Night with a Highlander” by Julia London in Snowy Night with a Stranger
“The Fall of Rogue Gerard” by Stephanie Laurens in It Happened One Night
“Thicker Than Blood” by Meljean Brook in First Blood

Wendy's Commentary: One Candlelit Christmas, It Happened One Night and Snowy Night With a Stranger are all in the TBR. Kinda surprised I don't have The Valentine Gift. I mean, it is a HSR.

Romantic Suspense
Killing Fear by Allison Brennan
Night Secrets by Cherry Adair
Now You Die by Roxanne St. Claire
Scream for Me by Karen Rose
Stop Me by Brenda Novak
Take No Prisoners by Cindy Gerard
The Angel by Carla Neggers
Triple Exposure by Colleen Thompson

Wendy's Commentary: I'm reading the Cherry Adair right now, and hello? It has paranormal elements. Although yes, technically it's also romantic suspense. So far? I'm not hating it, but I'm also not loving it. Very much meh. The Karen Rose, Allison Brennan and Carla Neggers are all in the TBR.

Young Adult Romance
Hell Week by Rosemary Clement-Moore
How to Hook a Hottie by Tina Ferraro
Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs

Wendy's Commentary: I think it's great that RWA has a category for YA, but something has gotta give. Only three nominees? And I suspect it's because they get few entries. Maybe there needs to be more promotion about RWA within the YA writing community? Of course, I'm almost positive you have to be an RWA member to enter the RITAs, which is probably the major stumbling block here. ETA: From RWA web site: "The contest is open to members of RWA and to non-members as well. Any lapse in membership during the course of the contest shall result in the entrant being required to pay the higher non-member entry fee."

That's it. One thing I'm struck by (besides the total absence of any historical not set in England?) is how few of these I've got collecting dust in the TBR. My book buying really has slowed down. Who knew?


Barbara said...

Wendy, I love your commentary!!! Especially about the "Historical" category, lol.

I'm not disappointed there are some worthy nominees.

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

I am so disappointed with the best first book and paranomal romance. Some of these I never heard of!
No Blue Eyed Devil, no Meredith Duran, Ann Aguirre, Larissa Iona No Krelsey Cole?!?

There are so many YA books out that that they could fill the 8 slots. Maybe YA authors are not into RWA?

Anthea Lawson said...

Heads up! PASSIONATE is a Victorian-set historical that starts and ends in England but much of it takes place on a botanical expedition to TUNISIA~

It's exciting to see our book get more exposure, because it busts through the "all historicals set entirely in the UK" trope.

Hope you get a chance to pick it up. Cheers!

Wendy said...

Barbara: I need to look back at my 2008 reading records, but I know I read some really good American-set historicals last year. Of course the only one I can think of at the moment is Outlaw Bride by Jenna Kernan.

Katie: The one that really surprised me was BED - since hello, Kleypas usually enters and she has a historical nominated this year. I'd love to see more YA nominations. I'm just not sure how to go about getting it done. Sigh, I still need to read the Duran. It's in the TBR, at least.

Anthea: And I stand corrected! There is a non-English historical on the list! I love those Northern African settings. Susan Squires has done of a few of them for her historical vampire series. Will check it out - and congrats!

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

I thought Blue Eyed Devil was a shoo in, so color me surprised.
You must read Duke of Shadows as soon as you can. I think you will really enjoy it. Also I met Meredith at RWA and she is such a sweet person

Barbara said...

Oh the Duke of Shadows was a great great read!

Lori said...

I agree with you about the historical category. And between the Lost Duke of Wyndham and Mr. Cavendish, they chose Mr. Cavendish? Srsly?

Gail said...

I noticed that in this years All About Romance yearly poll they had added a catagory for best historical not set in England. Your not the only one suffering burn out.
If no one has hyped TJ Bennett's book The Legacy to you yet I would suggest that you run rather than walk to check it out. Completely fabulous meaty historical set in Germany during the Martin Luthor reformation period of the 1500's. I don't know if Bennett is an RWA member but this book is the one I see missing from best first book list.

Wendy said...

Lori: Yeah, that kinda surprised me. Especially since so many readers felt that Mr. Cavendish was a rehash of Lost Duke. But who knows? Maybe Quinn only entered Cavendish?

Gail: You know, someone blogged about that book. And dang if I can remember who now. Will have to check that out. I took a class on the Reformation in college. Fascinating stuff.

Kristie (J) said...

While there are some nominated that I'm glad to see - my disappointment almost outweighs the books that didn't receive nominations - and yeah - don't get the historical thing at all!!
And *g* I think you can guess what New Author book that didn't get nominated that I am REALLY disappointed didn't make the cut.

Kwana said...

I love you commentary here. Thanks so much!

Jennie said...

Wendy-- The Susanna Kearsley book hasn't been published in the US yet, which totally sucks because it's a great book. You can buy it through Amazon Canada or UK.

It might get picked up by a US publisher now that she's gotten a RITA nomination. I hope so. :)

Tai Shan said...

OK, so *I'm* just saying... Two fabulous and well-reviewed Historical Romances NOT set in England that are being overlooked are two books by TJ Bennett.... 2008's THE LEGACY, set in Electoral Saxony (Germany) and
her 2009 THE PROMISE (Italy). If you want to check out the reviews:

Can you tell I'm a fan :)