My friend Kris, who lives in Germany, and who organizes the annual LoveLetter convention, has started a new newsletter called Ever After Mail (Facebook link). She asked me to send her my RITA winner predictions to share with her readers, and I thought it sounded like fun. As I sat watching the RITA ceremony during the conference, I was amazed at how smart I was and, in other instances, how totally wrong I was. Here, for your enjoyment, are my predictions in hindsight.
See the full list of RITA finalists
Best First Book
Lord, who knows? This category is always a crap shoot because it literally includes everything. My best guess? Once and For All by Cheryl Etchison. It’s a marriage of convenience story with a military hero. I like its chances.
Actual Winner: Once and For All by Cheryl Etchison. I AM A GENIUS!
Contemporary Romance: Long
Seven finalists and I think five of them could easily be considered favorites. I think Alexis Hall is coming in with the momentum after last year’s win in Erotic Romance for For Real. That said, I’m thinking it’s going to be Sarah Morgan.
Actual Winner?: Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan. I AM A GENIUS!
Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length
There are some heavy hitters in this category, writers who have had long and amazing careers like Karen Templeton, Roxanne St. Clair, Virginia Kantra and Jodi Thomas. That being said, I think Fast Connection pulls off the upset.
Actual Winner?: Carolina Dreaming by Virginia Kantra. I called out Kantra as a possibility but ultimately didn't pick her. I AM NOT SO MUCH OF A GENIUS!
Contemporary Romance: Short
I love category romance, so this is a hard category for me to choose. I want to see Far From Home win, because a lesbian romance winning would be awesome! That said, I think this will likely end up going to Jennifer Probst.
Actual Winner?: Christmas on Crimson Mountain by Michelle Major. I KNOW NOTHING!
I feel like Tara Sue Me has the name recognition, but I’m going to go with Roni Loren, who won in the novella category last year. I’ve seen her name so much in the past year, I feel like she’s carrying the momentum.
Actual Winner?: Off the Clock by Roni Loren. I AM A GENIUS!
Historical Romance: Long
Loretta Chase because….Loretta Chase. That said, I love Laura Lee Guhrke’s work and would like to see her win.
Actual Winner?: No Mistress of Mine by Laura Lee Guhrke. I AM SORT OF A GENIUS!Historical Romance: Short
I feel like this is Russian Roulette between Tessa Dare, Elizabeth Hoyt and Sabrina Jeffries. I’m going to say Jeffries though, because of the longevity of her career and the fact that I know readers who LOVED that book. As in wet-sloppy kisses, is it weird if I want to marry a book, LOVED that book.
Actual Winner?: A Duke to Remember by Kelly Bowen. I KNOW NOTHING!
I think this could literally end up going to any of the finalists, but I’m picking The Moon in the Palace mostly because, as a librarian, I literally have seen that book cover everywhere. I mean, all over the place.
Actual Winner?: The Moon in the Palace by Weina Dai Randel. I AM A GENIUS!
I’d like to see Susan Grant win because I have warm squishy feelings about reviewing her debut novel WAY back in the day. Plus it’s a scifi romance and it would be awesome to see a win in that sub genre.
Actual Winner?: The Pages of the Mind by Jeffe Kennedy. I KNOW NOTHING!
Going by chatter in my reading circles, just give it to Alyssa Cole already. That said, based on library and industry chatter? Look for Joanna Shupe to pull off the upset.
Actual Winner?: Her Every Wish by Courtney Milan. I KNOW NOTHING!
Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements
I’m going with the heavy hitter in this category: Robin Lee Hatcher.
Actual Winner?: My Hope Next Door by Tammy L. Gray. I KNOW NOTHING!
There are three local authors on this list for me: Beth Yarnall, HelenKay Dimon and Nico Rosso. I’d love it if any of them won – but I’m thinking it’s going to go to J.T. Ellison.
Actual Winner?: Repressed by Elisabeth Naughton. I KNOW NOTHING!
A sub genre I don’t read a lot of, so I’m going with the heavy hitter here: Jennifer L. Armentrout.
I'm glad Kris asked me to do this and I had a lot of fun playing along while I was attending the ceremony at the conference. Maybe I'll make this an annual thing...Actual Winner?: The Problem With Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I AM A GENIUS!