RWA Announces 2018 Contest Finalists

RITA statuetteRWA announced the finalists for the 2018 RITA and Golden Heart awards on March 21.

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 The Golden Heart recognizes excellence in unpublished romance manuscripts.

Award winners will be announced on July 19 at the 2018 RWA Conference in Denver, Colorado.

Congratulations to the finalists!

 

2018 RITA Finalists


Best First Book

Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel
Entangled Publishing, Entangled Teen
Liz Pelletier, editor

His Perfect Partner by Priscilla Oliveras
Kensington Publishing Corp., Zebra Shout
Martin Biro, editor

Take the Lead by Alexis Daria
St. Martin’s Press, Swerve
Holly Ingraham, editor

The Thing with Feathers by McCall Hoyle
HarperCollins, Blink
Jillian Manning, editor

Waltzing with the Earl by Catherine Tinley
Harlequin Mills & Boon, Historical
Julia Williams, editor

 


 

Contemporary Romance: Long

The Dating Game by Avril Tremayne
HarperCollins, HQ Digital
Victoria Oundjian, editor

Falling Hard by Lexi Ryan
Self-Published
Rhonda Merwarth, editor

Famous by Jenny Holiday
Self-Published
Tracy Montoya, editor

No One but You by Brenda Novak
Harlequin, Mira
Emily Ohanjanians, editor

Take the Lead by Alexis Daria
St. Martin’s Press, Swerve
Holly Ingraham, editor

Tougher in Texas by Kari Lynn Dell
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
Mary Altman, editor

The Whys Have It by Amy Matayo
Self-Published
Kristin Avila, editor

The Wingman by Natasha Anders
Amazon, Montlake Publishing
Melody Guy, editor

 


Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length

The F-Word by Sandra Marton
Self-Published
Gretchen Stull, editor

His Perfect Partner by Priscilla Oliveras
Kensington Publishing Corp., Zebra Shout
Martin Biro, editor

Lucky Charmed by Sharla Lovelace
Kensington Publishing Corp., Lyrical Shine
Wendy McCurdy, editor

New Leash on Life by Roxanne St. Claire
Self-Published
Kristi Yanta, editor

Redemption by Kelly Moran
Self-Published
A. J. Nuest, editor

Royally Wed by Teri Wilson
Pocket Books, Pocket Star
Marla Daniels, editor

Summer Stock by Vanessa North
Riptide Publishing
Carole-Ann Galloway, editor

Tell Me by Abigail Strom
Amazon, Montlake Publishing
Maria Gomez and Charlotte Herscher, editors

This Can’t Be Love by Maria Geraci
Self-Published
Rhoda McDuffey, editor

You Do Something to Me (The Sullivans) by Bella Andre
Oak Press, LLC
Bella Andre, editor

 


 

Contemporary Romance: Short

The Billionaire’s Christmas Baby by Marion Lennox
Harlequin, Romance
Sheila Hodgson, editor

Christmas at the Graff by Kaylie Newell
Tule Publishing, Montana Born
Sinclair Sawhney, editor

A Christmas Miracle by Amy Andrews
Harlequin Mills & Boon, Medical
Megan Haslam, editor

The Cowboy Upstairs by Tanya Michaels
Harlequin, Western Romance
Johanna Raisanen, editor

The Doctor and the Princess by Scarlet Wilson
Harlequin Mills & Boon, Medical Romance
Nicola Caws, editor

Miracle on Chance Avenue by Jane Porter
Tule Publishing, Montana Born

The Princess Problem by Teri Wilson
Harlequin, Special Edition
Gail Chasan, editor

Second Chance Summer by Kait Nolan
Self-Published
Susan Bischoff, editor

The Sheikh’s Convenient Princess by Liz Fielding
Harlequin, Romance
Bryony Green, editor

Troy (American Extreme Bullrider Tour #5) by Amy Andrews
Tule Publishing
Sinclair Sawheny, editor

 


 

Erotic Romance

Constant Craving by Tamara Lush
Self-Published
Jami Nord, editor

Deposition and a Dare by Evelyn Adams
Self-Published
The Atwater Group, editor

The Rivalry by Nikki Sloane
Self-Published
Karen Dale Harris, editor

Stud by Jamie Schmidt
Penguin Random House, Loveswept
Sue Grimshaw, editor

Wicked Dirty by J. Kenner
Martini & Olive Books
Martini & Olive, editor

 

 


Historical Romance: Long

Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly Bowen
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Alex Logan, editor

The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean
HarperCollins, Avon Books
Carrie Feron, editor

Mad for the Marquess by Jess Russell
The Wild Rose Press, Tea Rose
Nicole D’Arienzio, editor

The Scandalous Flirt by Olivia Drake
St. Martin’s Press
Jennifer Enderlin, editor

The Scoundrel’s Honor by Christi Caldwell
Amazon, Montlake Publishing
Alison Dasho, editor

 

 


Historical Romance: Short

Blame It on the Duke by Lenora Bell
HarperCollins, Avon Books
Carrie Feron, editor

The Demon Duke by Margaret Locke
Self-Published
Tessa Shapcott, editor

The Rogue’s Conquest by Lily Maxton
Entangled Publishing, Scandalous
Alycia Tornetta, editor

The Scandal of It All by Sophie Jordan
HarperCollins, Avon Books
May Chen, editor

A Scottish Lord for Christmas by Lauren Smith
Grand Central Publishing, Forever Yours
Madeleine Colavita, editor

Waltzing with the Earl by Catherine Tinley
Harlequin Mills & Boon, Historical
Julia Williams, editor

Within a Captain’s Soul by Lisa Olech
Kensington Publishing Corp., Lyrical Press
Amanda Siemen, editor

 

 


Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance

The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz
Harlequin, Mira
Susan Swinwood, editor

Now that You Mention It by Kristan Higgins
Harlequin, HQN
Susan Swinwood, editor

Shelter the Sea by Heidi Cullinan
Self-Published
Sasha Knight, editor

Unloved, a Love Story by Katy Regnery
Self-Published
Chris Belden and Melissa DeMeo, editors

 


 

Paranormal Romance

Bishop by Marie Johnston
Self-Published
Razor Sharp Editing, editor

The Druid Next Door by E. J. Russell
Riptide Publishing
Rachel Haimowitz, editor

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight by Darynda Jones
St. Martin’s Press
Jennifer Enderlin, editor

Hunt the Darkness by Stephanie Rowe
Self-Published

Song of the Nightpiper by Hannah Meredith
Self-Published
Anna D. Allen, editor

Spectred Isle by K. J. Charles
Self-Published

To Enthrall the Demon Lord by Nadine Mutas
Self-Published
Faith Freewoman, editor

Wanted and Wired by Vivien Jackson
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
Cat Clyne, editor

 

 


Romance Novella

“Dancing with the Duke’s Heir” by Bronwyn Scott
in Scandal at the Christmas Ball
Harlequin Mills & Boon, Historical
Nicola Caws, editor

Forbidden River by Brynn Kelly
Harlequin, HQN
Allison Carroll, editor

Her Duke at Daybreak by Wendy LaCapra
Self-Published
The Killion Group, editor

“In His Arms” by Jules Dixon
in Falling: Small Town Love Anthology
Self-Published
Michelle Josett, editor

“The Pursuit Of…” by Courtney Milan
in Hamilton’s Battalion: A Trio of Romances
Self-Published
Lindsey Faber, editor

The Secret of My Seduction by Caroline Linden
Self-Published
Martha Trachtenberg, editor

“Sweet Home Highlands” by May McGoldrick
in Christmas in Kilts: A Highland Holiday Box Set
St. Martin’s Press, Swerve
Christa Soule Desir and Eileen Rothschild, editors

Until the Sun Sets by Tara Wyatt
St. Martin’s Press, Swerve
Holly Ingraham, editor

 


Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements

Grounded Hearts by Jeanne M. Dickson
Amazon, Waterfall Press
Sheryl Zajechowski, editor

A New Shade of Summer by Nicole Deese
Amazon, Waterfall Press
Sheryl Zajechowski, editor

A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander
Bethany House Publishers
Karen Schurrer, editor

One Simple Wish by Katy Lee
Annie’s Fiction
Janice Tate, editor

Then There Was You by Kara Isaac
Self-Published
Iola Goulton and Halee Matthews, editors

 


Romantic Suspense

Critical Instinct by Janie Crouch
Amazon
Stephanie Scott, editor

The Fixer by HelenKay Dimon
HarperCollins, Avon Books
May Chen, editor

Guarding Mr. Fine by HelenKay Dimon
Penguin Random House, Loveswept
Shauna Summers, editor

Montana Heat: Escape to You by Jennifer Ryan
HarperCollins, Avon Books
Lucia Macro, editor

Say You’re Sorry by Melinda Leigh
Amazon, Montlake Publishing
Charlotte Herscher and Anh Schluep, editors

Too Wilde to Tame by Tonya Burrows
Entangled Publishing, Ignite
Heather Howland, editor

Touch of Red by Laura Griffin
Pocket Books
Abby Zidle, editor

The Transporter by Liz Maverick
Amazon, Montlake Publishing
Alison Dasho, editor

Under Fire by Scarlett Cole
St. Martin’s Press
Lizzie Poteet, editor

 

 


 

Young Adult Romance

Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel
Entangled Publishing, Entangled Teen
Liz Pelletier, editor

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
Bloomsbury Publishing, Bloomsbury Childrens USA
Mary Kate Castellani, editor

Seize Today by Pintip Dunn
Entangled Publishing, Entangled Teen
Liz Pelletier, editor

The Thing with Feathers by McCall Hoyle
HarperCollins, Blink
Jillian Manning, editor

 

 


 

 

2018 Golden Heart Finalists


Contemporary Romance

Beauty and the Blackmail by Jessa Gwinn

Caught on Film by Arianna James

Duet by Gwynne Jackson

Fighter by Sarah Morgenthaler 

A Hope to Build On by Josee Telfer

How to Reset a Broken Heart by Amy Kathryn Jones

The Instant Family Algorithm by Cheryl Ford

North Star by Katherine Olson

Played by Melanie Edmonds

Thrown by Arianna James

Well-Played by Alexandria Bellefleur

 


 

Contemporary Romance: Short

The Billionaire’s Stand-In Wife by Meredith Clark

Cole for Christmas by Janet Raye Stevens

Falling for the Best Man by Jamie Dallas

Out of the Shadows by D. Murphy Ryan

Somebody Like You by Marty Mayberry

Space Junk: Houston, We Have a Hottie by Sara L. Hudson

Watching by Barbra Campbell 

 


 

Historical Romance

The Art of the Scandal by Suzanne Turner

The Duke’s Seduction by Masha Levinson

The Duke of Charlotte Street by Scarlett Peckham

The Earl I Ruined by Scarlett Peckham

A Featured Affair by Kate Belli

The Rakess by Scarlett Peckham

Remember Texas by Laura Conner Kestner

An Unloved Earl by Eileen Emerson 

 


 

Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance

Birds of a Feather by Anna Murray

The Brass Queen by Elizabeth Chatsworth 

Circle in Time by Susan Bickford

Jane Darling’s Rules of Inheritance by Megan McGee

Keeping the Piece by Brenda Lowder

Midnight on Topanga Canyon Boulevard by Gabrielle Luthy

Veiled Intent by Janet Jimenez

Wild Women and the Blues by Denny S. Bryce

 


 

Paranormal Romance

Awakening the Blades by Alexia Chantel

The Demon’s in the Details by Jeanne Oates Estridge

Freeing Eden by Ginger Kenney

House of Ash and Brimstone by Megan Starks

Inherent Lies by Alicia Anthony

Jinn on the Rocks by Kay Hudson

Leap of Fate by Kimberly MacCarron 

 


 

Romantic Suspense

Deadly Aim by Tracy Brody

Extreme Fear by Pamela Varnado

Fair Haven by Laura Conner Kestner

Fearless by Marty Mayberry

Goode Over Evil by Leslie Marshman

Lovely Digits by Jeanine Englert 

 


 

Young Adult Romance

All Our Broken Pieces by TL Sumner

Engineering Kit Sinclair by Lana Pattinson

Loving Outside the Lines by Kimberly MacCarron

Mouthful by C. R. Grissom

Our Red String by Kimberly MacCarron 

 

 

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