Thursday, March 25, 2010

2010 RITA Nominations

The Romance Writers of America announced the finalists for the 2010 RITA awards, and yes, I'm doing a post about it. First things first, there are a whole host of "rules." The big one to remember is that the author must submit their book in order to be eligible. So if you're wondering why that book you read last year, the one you wanted to marry and have babies with, didn't get a nomination? Could be because the author didn't enter the contest. Another common complaint I hear from readers is,"I haven't heard of half of these!!!!!!!" Well, good thing you stumbled on this blog post isn't it? Because with exception of some of the YA stuff, I have. Hey, I get paid to have heard of all of these books. Here it goes:

Best First Book

One Scream Away by Kate Brady (romantic suspense)
He Calls Her Doc by Mary Brady (Harlequin SuperRomance)
The Gladiator by Carla Capshaw (Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical)
The Better Part of Darkness by Kelly Gay (urban fantasy)
Stolen Fury by Elisabeth Naughton (romance suspense)
Nothing Like You by Laura Strasnick (Young Adult)
The Last Will of Moira Leahy by Therese Walsh (novel with romantic elements)
  • The big news here, I think, is Angel Vindicated, which was published by Cerridwen Press. Let's see if that generates any online chatter, shall we? One Scream Away is in the TBR, but other than that, I got nothing. I originally skipped over He Calls Her Doc because the back cover blurb didn't move me, but then I saw a rather scathing review from a reviewer I rarely mesh with. Something to ponder. It is an HSR (one of my fave Harlequin lines), so I should probably pick it up!
Contemporary Series Romance

A Not-So-Perfect Past by Beth Andrews (HSR)
From the Outside by Helen Brenna (NASCAR)
The Snow Kissed Bride by Linda Goodnight (HR)
Single Mom Seeks... by Teresa Hill (SSE)
Revealed: A Prince and a Pregnancy by Kelly Hunter (M&B Modern Heat)
The Christmas Love-Child by Jennie Lucas (HP)
One Night Mistress...Convenient Wife by Anne McAllister (HP)
Duty, Desire and the Desert King by Jane Porter (HP)
I Still Do by Christie Ridgway (SSE)
Contemporary Series Romance: Suspense/Adventure

The Christmas Stranger by Beth Cornelison (SRS)
In Care of Sam Beaudry by Kathleen Eagle (SSE)
Cold Case Affair by Loreth Anne White (SRS)
The Christmas Present by Tracy Wolff (HSR)
  • I read The Christmas Stranger and liked it quite a bit. It didn't light my world on fire, but it's a good, solid read. The Kathleen Eagle is in my TBR, and sadly, so is the Tracy Wolff. I read her first two titles for HSR, and while I had mixed reactions to them, I think she can flat-out write. I got swamped at the end of the year (and I'm still swamped), hence me neglecting it. I also read Silent Watch and meh. It's a treasure trove of bad romantic suspense cliches (IMHO).
Contemporary Single Title

Talk Me Down by Victoria Dahl
For the Love of Pete by Julia Harper
A Little Light Magic by Joy Nash
Instant Attraction by Jill Shalvis
Fireside by Susan Wiggs
  • I got nothing here. I want to read the Ridgway, just haven't gotten to it yet (not in my TBR, but we have copies here at work). I now have plans to pick up Fireside though. Holy crap, the hero was a major league pitching prospect and he has my last name! How did I not know this?
Historical Romance

Wicked All Day by Liz Carlyle
To Beguile A Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt
Knight Of Pleasure by Margaret Mallory
Not Quite A Husband by Sherry Thomas
Taming Her Irish Warrior by Michelle Willingham
  • The Guhrke, Hoyt, Krahn, and both Thomas' are in the TBR. Seriously. I've read the Michelle Willingham, and while I generally like her books, this one was just OK for me. The good news though is that it was largely "just OK" because it featured plot devices that generally don't tickle my fancy. It's still a solid read and I can see other readers really loving it to bits.
Inspirational Romance

The Inheritance by Tamera Alexander
The Gladiator by Carla Capshaw
An Eye For An Eye by Irene Hannon
Breach of Trust by Diann Mills
The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper by Kathleen Y'Barbo
  • Haven't read any of these and none in the TBR, but I do have plans to pick up A Lady Like Sarah.
Novel With Strong Romantic Elements

The Better Part of Darkness by Kelly Gay
Red's Hot Honky Tonk Bar by Pamela Morsi
Silent on the Moor by Deanna Raybourn
The Virgin's Daughters: In the Court of Elizabeth I by Jeane Westin
Lakeshore Christmas by Susan Wiggs
  • The Pamela Morsi is in the TBR, and that's all I got. I picked up the Susan Wiggs long enough to confirm that she dedicated the book to a slew of librarians, one of them named "Wendy." Yeah, I like to think that's me. Don't shatter the illusion people!
Paranormal Romance

My Forbidden Desire by Carolyn Jewel
The Fire King by Marjorie M. Liu
Darkness Unknown by Alexis Morgan
Covet by J.R. Ward
Mortal Sins by Eileen Wilks
  • Yeah, paranormal burn out. Take it somewhere else people.
Regency Historical

Surrender of a Siren
by Tessa Dare
Scandal by Carolyn Jewel
Tempting Fate by Alissa Johnson
A View to a Kiss by Caroline Linden
Revealed by Kate Noble
What Happens In London by Julia Quinn
Lord Braybrook's Penniless Bride by Elizabeth Rolls
  • Weeeeeeeee, Tessa Dare! I'm actually reading Surrender of a Siren right now! The Carolyn Jewel and Caroline Linden are both in the TBR.
Romance Novella

"A Little Night Magic" in Hot For the Holidays by Allyson James
"The Robber Bride" in Huntress by Marjorie M. Liu
"Annalise and the Scandalous Rake" in The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor by Deb Marlowe
"Charlotte and the Wicked Lord" in The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor by Amanda McCabe
"This Wicked Gift" in The Heart of Christmas by Courtney Milan
"On a Snowy Christmas" in The Night Before Christmas by Brenda Novak
"The Christmas Eve Promise" in The Night Before Christmas by Molly O'Keefe
  • The Diamonds Of Welbourne Manor is one of the strongest anthologies I've read in recent memory, and any (or all) of the stories could have been nominated and "deserved" it (IMHO). That being said, the Deb Marlowe story was my favorite. The Courtney Milan story is in the TBR.
Romantic Suspense

One Scream Away by Kate Brady
Waking the Dead by Kylie Brant
A Dark Love by Margaret Carroll
Whisper of Warning by Laura Griffin
Stolen Fury by Elisabeth Naughton
Dark Country by Bronwyn Parry
Promises in Death by J.D. Robb
Kill For Me by Karen Rose
  • OMG - go Bronwyn Parry! Yes, yes, I know she's not published in the U.S. (Australia, folks) but her books are so deserving and frankly if this nomination gets her some added attention from U.S. publishers, I say wahooooey! Here's my review for Dark Country and my one for As Darkness Falls. You can score the UK editions of both books via Book Depository, which offers free shipping. Or you could try your library. I know I ordered As Darkness Falls for work. The Kate Brady and the Karen Rose are in the TBR.
Young Adult Romance

Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
The ABC's of Kissing Boys by Tina Ferraro
Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick
  • I read so little YA, but I can tell you that Lil' Sis could not keep Perfect Chemistry on her lending shelf in her classroom. I also picked up a copy of Going Too Far for her - not sure how that one was moving among her students.
And that's all I got. I was hoping for more category romance nominations that I had actually read. I read a bunch of category last year, and lots of good 'uns too. Sigh. Oh well. So happy to see the ones I did enjoy make the cut.


Victoria Janssen said...

I think you're the reason I have A Not-So-Perfect Past on my TBR!

jessica said...

Thanks so much for this! the links are WONDERFUL. ;)

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

So many of my favorite from last year are not in any of these categories, but again they may have not been submitted.

When Julie James told me she submitted Practice Makes Perfect and it wasn't listed in the contemporary romance category, I rolled my eyes.

Also now Deidre Knight submitted Butterfly Tattoo and shocked not to see it nominated either. But yet again RWA is not to keen along with RT in regards to GLBT romances, which is a big, big fail on their part.

But for those who are nominated, good for them.

Samanthadelayed said...

I read A Not-So-Perfect-Past because of you and I loved it! I really hope it wins. I read the Christine Ridgeway book, I Still Do! and didn't really care for it. Otherwise, I have a few of these on my TBR pile, so I will get to them sooner than later.

Keira Soleore said...

Wendy, I adored DIAMONDS OF WELBOURNE MANOR, too, and quoted your comments on my blog that commends Amanda McCabe's nom.

Lil Sis said...

Going Too Far did get a good circulation BUT Perfect Chemistry was the front runner. I mean, hello?!?! A Mexican gangsta and a blonde "white bread" cheerleader? My children could not resist. :)

Going Too Far was popular with girls - but Perfect Chemistry got quite a few boys. :)

I think you also gave me "When It Happens" awhile back - that was very popular as well...

Amy said...

So glad to see ONE SCREAM AWAY got nominated, and in two categories. Loved loved that book!

Phyl said...

As usual, an interesting list and congratulations to all who were nominated. I've only read a handful of what's there, but I'm certainly interested in seeking out more.

I am disappointed to hear from KB that Practice Makes Perfect didn't make the cut. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of Julie James' books to date.

jmc said...

Thanks for all the links!

I've read or tried to read 9 of the books on the list. None of them would have made my best of 2008/2009 list. Different strokes and all.

But I may check out the nominees for best first book though.

Rosie said...

Carolyn Jewel with 2 noms? Yay! Hmmm...guess I'll go to the awards after all.

Venus Vaughn said...

I so hate to trash books online, but having recently been forced to read He Calls Her Doc for a contest, I am going to say that I would have graded it a DNF if I wasn't required to finish it. (And still it wasn't the worst book in that category.)

I could tell you all the reasons why, but again, online lasts forever. If you wanna know though, drop me an e-mail. I'll even mail you the book and you can judge it for yourself.

There's another author on the Contemporary Single Title list who was a DNF for me last year - though it's not the one listed. So I'm hoping it was a better showing by her.

Rebecca @ DSB said...

I just finished The Better Park of Darkness by Kelly Gay, and I am baffled that it's in "Novel With Strong Romantic Elements" category. It's a decent urban fantasy, but it doesn't have a smidgen of romance. I'd like to meet the person who thinks it's romantic and have a talk with them, especially considering all the amazing UFs out there that DO have romance in them.

Thanks for the lists Wendy. I've got a couple of these in the TBR pile that I want to bump up now.

A Library Girl said...

I did a happy squeal when I saw that Eileen Wilks is in the paranormal category - totally love her stuff! I have to try those other paranormals sometime.

Wendy said...

Victoria: Ha! Probably!

Jessica: OMG - the linking just about keeeeeled me!

Katie: I read a ton of Harlequins last year, and pretty much neglected everything else. Probably why I have so many of the historicals still in my TBR!

Samantha: My two big discoveries in HSR last year were Tracy Wolff and Beth Andrews. So nice to see them both get nominations!

Keira: Wasn't that a great anthology? Just really solid, and I loved how all the stories connected.

Lil' Sis: I spend so much time on "grown up" books that I miss out on so much of the YA. Hopefully with this many nominees, that will mean lots of YA authors at the conference this year and I can score you more books!

Amy: I've heard really good things about One Scream Away. So glad I have it in my TBR!

Wendy said...

Phyl: I read lots of great Harlequins last year, and was disappointed more of them didn't make the cut - but those are always really competitive categories. I mean, look how many books HQ publishes every month?!

JMC: Best First Book is always the most interesting category (I think) because it's so eclectic. It's always hard to nail down a front runner in that category!

Rosie: I knew that would reel you in..... Just as Bronwyn Parry's nod reeled me in :-)

Venus: Crud. That's now two people. I just reread the back cover copy, and it's still not lighting my world on fire. This is going to take some more pondering on my part me thinks....

Rebecca: I was pleasantly surprised I didn't have more of these in my TBR - although within the last year I've mainly been buying just historicals and Harlequins. Not so much any of the other sub genres.

Library Girl: I read the first book in the Wilks series way back when and remember liking it quite a bit at the time. Then paranormal burn-out struck, and I lost touch with so many of those series.....

Joanne Graves said...

I've found some great books by reading through the titles on the nominees list in past years. One of my keepers Sara's Son (Tara Taylor Quinn) was discovered this way. But I'm pretty stunned Nalini Singh wasn't on the list - maybe her books weren't entered? I don't know. Still there are hundreds of books that come out a month and there must have been a lot that were a whisker away. Anyhoo, the TBR pile just got bigger. Thanks Wendy.

Kaetrin said...

I've read 5 of the 8 books nominated for contemporary single title and I'm hoping that Christie Ridgway will win. While I liked all of the 5, my favourite was Dirty Sexy Knitting. I've read it twice in fact. First when I won an ARC from DA and then again after I went out and bought books 1 and 2 from the trilogy and read and loved them too. I really like the way Ridgway sells deep and dark under a cover of light fluffy rom-con.

Thank you for all the links. I'm an Australian and I hadn't heard of Bronwyn Parry but I think I'll have to check her out now. Also I will put A Not So Perfect Past on my TBR at eHarlequin. Thx!