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    Romance Writers of America® Announces 2014 Contest Finalists

    Romance Writers of America (RWA), the trade association for aspiring and published romance fiction authors, announces the finalists for the 2014 RITA® and Golden Heart® Awards. The RITA — the highest award of distinction in romance fiction — recognizes excellence in published romance novels and novellas. The Golden Heart recognizes excellence in unpublished romance manuscripts.

    All entries with a minimum total score of at least 90 percent of the total possible score advance to the final round. Have a question about how finalists are calculated? Visit the contest FAQ page for answers.

    The 2014 winners will be announced at a black-tie awards ceremony on July 26 at the 2014 RWA Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

    Congratulations to the 2014 finalists!

     

    RITA  Finalists: Golden Heart  Finalists:

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    2014 RITA Finalists

    Best First Book Finalists

    Five Days in Skye Carla Laureano Five Days in Skye by Carla Laureano
    David C. Cook
    John Blase and Tonya Osterhouse, editors
    Fix You Beck Anderson Fix You by Beck Anderson
    Omnific Publishing
    Jessica Royer Ocken and Cindy Robinson Campbell, editors
    Private Practice Samanthe Beck Private Practice by Samanthe Beck
    Entangled Publishing, Brazen
    Heather Howland, editor

     


    Promise to Return Elizabeth Byler Younts Promise to Return by Elizabeth Byler Younts
    Simon & Schuster, Howard Books
    Beth Adams and Amanda Demastus, editors
    The Sweet Spot Laura Drake The Sweet Spot by Laura Drake
    Grand Central Publishing, Forever
    Latoya Smith, editor
     

    Contemporary Romance Finalists

    Along Came Trouble Ruthie Knox Along Came Trouble by Ruthie Knox
    Random House Group, Loveswept
    Sue Grimshaw, editor

     

    Beach House No. 9 Christie Ridgway Beach House No. 9 by Christie Ridgway
    Harlequin, HQN
    Margo Lipschultz, editor

     

    Country Roads Nancy Herkness Country Roads by Nancy Herkness
    Amazon Publishing, Montlake
    Kelli Martin and JoVon Sotak, editors
    Crazy Thing Called Love Molly O'Keefe Crazy Thing Called Love by Molly O'Keefe
    Random House Group, Ballantine Bantam Dell
    Shauna Summers, editor
    Fix You Beck Anderson Fix You by Beck Anderson
    Omnific Publishing
    Jessica Royer Ocken and Cindy Robinson Campbell, editors

     

    Half Moon Hill Toni Blake Half Moon Hill by Toni Blake
    HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Books
    May Chen, editor

     

    Home to Whiskey Creek Brenda Novak Home to Whiskey Creek by Brenda Novak
    Harlequin, MIRA
    Paula Eykelhof, editor
    Homecoming Ranch Julia London Homecoming Ranch by Julia London
    Amazon Publishing, Montlake
    Maria Gomez, editor
    It Had to Be You Jill Shalvis It Had to Be You by Jill Shalvis
    Grand Central Publishing
    Alex Logan, editor
    Letters to Nowhere Julie Cross Letters to Nowhere by Julie Cross
    Self-published
    Martha Trachtenberg, copy editor
    Rescued by a Stranger Lizbeth Selvig Rescued by a Stranger by Lizbeth Selvig
    HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Impulse
    Tessa Woodward, editor
    Rumor Has It Jill Shalvis Rumor Has It by Jill Shalvis
    Berkley Publishing Group
    Kate Seaver, editor
    The Second Chance Cafe Alison Kent The Second Chance Café by Alison Kent
    Amazon Publishing, Montlake
    Lindsay Guzzardo, editor
     Sleigh Bells in the Snow  Sarah Morgan Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan
    Harlequin, HQN
    Flo Nicoll, editor
    The Sweet Spot Laura Drake The Sweet Spot by Laura Drake
    Grand Central Publishing, Forever
    Latoya Smith, editor
    Talk of the Town Beth Andrews Talk of the Town by Beth Andrews
    Harlequin, Superromance
    Wanda Ottewell, editor
    The Way You Look Tonight Bella Andre The Way You Look Tonight by Bella Andre
    Self-published
    Shelley Bates, copy editor
    Whiskey Beach Nora Roberts Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts
    Penguin Group USA, G. P. Putnam's Sons
    Leslie Gelbman, editor
     

    Erotic Romance Finalists

    Claim Me J Kenner Claim Me by J. Kenner
    Random House Group, Bantam
    Shauna Summers, editor
    Private Practice Samanthe Beck Private Practice by Samanthe Beck
    Entangled Publishing, Brazen
    Heather Howland, editor

     

    When I'm Bad I'm Better Stephanie Draven When I’m Bad I’m Better in It Stings So Sweet by Stephanie Draven
    Berkley Publishing Group, Berkley Sensation
    Cindy Hwang, editor
     

    Historical Romance Finalists

    Any Duchess Will Do Tessa Dare Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare
    HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Books
    Tessa Woodward, editor
    The Autumn Bride Anne Gracie The Autumn Bride by Anne Gracie
    Penguin Group USA, Berkley Sensation
    Wendy McCurdy, editor

     

    The Chieftan's Curse Frances Housden The Chieftan's Curse by Frances Housden
    Harlequin, MIRA
    Kate Cuthbert, editor
    The Countess Conspiracy Courtney Milan The Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan
    Self-published
    Robin Harders and Keira Soleore, editors
    Darius Grace Burrowes Darius by Grace Burrowes
    Sourcebooks, Casablanca
    Deb Werksman, editor
    Dark Angel TJ Bennett Dark Angel: A Gothic Fairy Tale by T J Bennett
    Entangled Publishing, Edge
    Liz Pelletier and Robin Haseltine, editors
    Duke of Midnight Elizabeth Hoyt Duke of Midnight by Elizabeth Hoyt
    Grand Central Publishing
    Amy Pierpont, editor
    The Lady and the Laird Nicola Cornick The Lady and the Laird by Nicola Cornick
    Harlequin, HQN
    Ann Leslie Tuttle, editor

     


    Love and Other Scandals Caroline Linden Love and Other Scandals by Caroline Linden
    HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Books
    Lyssa Keusch, editor
    The Luckiest Lady in London Sherry Thomas The Luckiest Lady in London by Sherry Thomas
    Berkley Publishing Group
    Wendy McCurdy, editor
    Never Desire a Duke Lily Dalton Never Desire a Duke by Lily Dalton
    Grand Central Publishing, Forever
    Michele Bidelspach, editor
    No Good Duke Goes Unpunished Sarah MacLean No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean
    HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Books
    Carrie Feron, editor
    Plaid Tidings Mia Marlowe Plaid Tidings by Mia Marlowe
    Kensington Publishing Corp., Zebra
    Alicia Condon, editor
     A Rake's Midnight Kiss  Anna Campbell A Rake's Midnight Kiss by Anna Campbell
    Grand Central Publishing, Forever
    Amy Pierpont, editor
     The Rogue's Proposal  Jennifer Haymore The Rogue's Proposal by Jennifer Haymore
    Grand Central Publishing, Forever
    Selina McLemore, editor
    Sins of a Ruthless Rogue Anna Randol Sins of a Ruthless Rogue by Anna Randol
    HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Books
    Tessa Woodward, editor 
    Sonata for a Scoundrel Anthea Lawson Sonata for a Scoundrel by Anthea Lawson
    Self-published
     

    Inspirational Romance Finalists

    Five Days in Skye Carla Laureano Five Days in Skye by Carla Laureano
    David C. Cook
    John Blase and Tonya Osterhouse, editors
    Promise to Return Elizabeth Byler Younts Promise to Return by Elizabeth Byler Younts
    Simon & Schuster, Howard Books
    Beth Adams and Amanda Demastus, editors
     

    Paranormal Romance Finalists

    The Burning Sky Sherry Thomas The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
    HarperCollins Publishers, Balzer & Bray
    Donna Bray, editor
    Caged Warrior Lindsey Piper Caged Warrior by Lindsey Piper
    Pocket Books
    Lauren McKenna, editor
    Demon Hunting in a Dive Bar Lexi George Demon Hunting in a Dive Bar by Lexi George
    Kensington Publishing Corp., Brava
    Alicia Condon, editor
    The Devil's Heart Cathy Maxwell The Devil's Heart by Cathy Maxwell
    HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Books
    Lucia Macro, editor
    Diamond Dust Vivian Arend Diamond Dust by Vivian Arend
    Samhain Publishing
    Anne Scott, editor
    The Firebird Susanna Kearsley The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley
    Sourcebooks, Landmark
    Deb Werksman, editor
    Heart of Obsidian Nalini Singh Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh
    Berkley Publishing Group, Berkley Sensation
    Cindy Hwang, editor
    His Clockwork Canary Beth Ciotta His Clockwork Canary by Beth Ciotta
    Signet
    Jhanteigh Kupihea, editor
    Immortally Ever After Angie Fox Immortally Ever After by Angie Fox
    St. Martin's Press
    Monique Patterson, editor
     Shadowdance  Kristen Callihan Shadowdance by Kristen Callihan
    Grand Central Publishing, Forever
    Alex Logan, editor
     Skies of Gold  Zoe Archer Skies of Gold: The Ether Chronicles by Zoë Archer
    HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Impulse
    Amanda Bergeron, editor
    Teardrop  Lauren Kate Teardrop by Lauren Kate
    Random House Group, Delacorte
    Wendy Loggia, editor
    Witch Bound Eleri Stone Witch Bound by Eleri Stone
    Carina Press
    Gina Bernal, editor
     

    Romance Novella Finalists

    The Bridesmaid Julia London The Bridesmaid by Julia London
    Sourcebooks, Casablanca
    Deb Werksman, editor
    Defending Truth Shannon McNear "Defending Truth" by Shannon McNear
    in A Pioneer Christmas
    Barbour Publishing
    Becky Germany, editor
    How to Marry a Highlander Katharine Ashe How to Marry a Highlander by Katharine Ashe
    HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Impulse
    Lucia Macro, editor
    How to Misbehave Ruthie Knox How to Misbehave by Ruthie Knox
    Random House Group, Loveswept
    Sue Grimshaw, editor
    Imagine Me and You Maisey Yates “Imagine Me and You” by Maisey Yates
    in Animal Attraction
    Harlequin, HQN
    Margo Lipschultz, editor
    Mine Under the Mistletoe Kat Latham Mine Under the Mistletoe by Kat Latham
    Carina Press
    Angela James, editor
    Take Me, Cowboy Jane Porter Take Me, Cowboy by Jane Porter
    Tule Publishing, Montana Born Books
    Tessa Shapcott, editor
    Take What You Want Jeanette Grey Take What You Want by Jeanette Grey
    Samhain Publishing
    Jennifer Miller, editor
    Too Fast to Fall Victoria Dahl "Too Fast to Fall" by Victoria Dahl
    in Be Mine
    Harlequin, HQN
    Tara Parsons, editor
     

    Romantic Suspense Finalists

    Justice for Sara Erica Spindler Justice for Sara by Erica Spindler
    St. Martin’s Press
    Jennifer Weiss, editor
    Killing Game Toni Anderson The Killing Game by Toni Anderson
    Self-published

    Off the Edge Carolyn Crane Off the Edge by Carolyn Crane
    Self-published

    Thrill Ride Julie Ann Walker Thrill Ride by Julie Ann Walker
    Sourcebooks, Casablanca
    Leah Hultenschmidt, editor
     

    Short Contemporary Romance Finalists

    A Conflict of Interest Barbara Dunlop A Conflict of Interest by Barbara Dunlop
    Harlequin, Desire
    Charles Griemsman, editor
    Free Fall Karen Foley Free Fall by Karen Foley
    Harlequin, Blaze
    Brenda Chin, editor
    Her Accidental Boyfriend Robin Bielman Her Accidental Boyfriend by Robin Bielman
    Entangled Publishing, Bliss
    Stacy Abrams and Wendy Chen, editors
    Her Secret, His Baby Tanya Michaels Her Secret, His Baby by Tanya Michaels
    Harlequin, American Romance
    Johanna Raisanen, editor
    A Royal without Rules Caitlin Crews A Royal without Rules by Caitlin Crews
    Harlequin, Presents
    Megan Haslam, editor
    Why Resist a Rebel Leah Ashton Why Resist a Rebel? by Leah Ashton 
    Harlequin, KISS
    Meg Lewis, editor
     

     

     

    2014 Golden Heart Finalists

    Contemporary Romance Finalists

    Shelly C Alexander “Love in Living Color” by Shelly C. Alexander
    Suzanne K Kalb “Too Good to Be True” by Suzanne Kaufman Kalb
     

    Historical Romance Finalists

    Lenora Bell “Charlene and the Duchess Factory” by Lenora Bell
    Charis Calhoon “The Earl Next Door” by Charis Calhoon
    Julie Mulhern “A Haunting Desire” by Julie Mulhern
    Jillian Lark “Much Ado about Scandal” by Jillian Lark
    Gwynlyn MacKenzie "The Seer" by Gwynlyn MacKenzie
    Ellen Lindseth "A Soldier's Serenade" by Ellen Lindseth
    Sheri Humphreys "The Unseducible Earl" by Sheri Humphreys
    Laura Trentham "Wicked Things" by Laura Trentham
    Laura Trentham "A Wild and Wicked Wind" by Laura Trentham
     

    Inspirational Romance Finalists

    Carrie Padgett "Against the Peace" by Carrie Padgett
    Sara Tompkins "Better Than a Movie" by Sara Tompkins
    Kristi Ann Hunter "My Lord Valet" by Kristi Ann Hunter
    Piper Huguley "A Virtuous Ruby" by Piper Huguley
     

    Paranormal Romance Finalists

    Marni Folsom "Beyond the Fire" by Marni Folsom
    Pintip Dunn "Fit To Die" by Pintip Dunn
    Shelly Chalmers "Hidden Magic" by Shelly Chalmers
    Asa Maria Bradley "Valhalla’s King" by Asa Maria Bradley
     

    Romantic Suspense Finalists

    Denny S Bryce "Chasing Damn" by Denny S. Bryce
    Abbie Roads "Dangerous Dreams" by Abbie Roads
    Connie Taxdal "Fatal Fragrances" by Connie Taxdal
    Deborah Wilding "In a Sea of Change" by Deborah Wilding
    Sarah Andre “Secrets That Kill” by Sarah Andre
    Sharon Wray "See Her No More" by Sharon Wray
     

    Short Contemporary Romance Finalists

    Lee Kilraine "Bringing Delaney Home" by Lee Kilraine
    Nan Dixon "Poetic Justice" by Nan Dixon
    Sarah Cannon "Yesterday's Promise" by Sarah Cannon

    Young Adult Romance Finalists

    Marnee Bailey "Altered" by Marnee Bailey
    Pintip Dunn "Carlie in Crisis" by Pintip Dunn
    Stephanie Winkelhake "Carma Always" by Stephanie Winkelhake
    Kimberly MacCarron "Chasing Fireworks" by Kimberly MacCarron
    Kimberly MacCarron "To Feel or Not To Feel" by Kimberly MacCarron
    Amy DeLuca "Four Bullets" by Amy DeLuca
    Jessica Ruddick "Letting Go" by Jessica Ruddick
    Barbara Gerry "Macha and the River Blue" by Barbara Gerry
    McCall Hoyle "The Thing with Feathers" by McCall Hoyle
    Vanessa Barneveld "This Is Your Afterlife" by Vanessa Barneveld