2014 RITA & Golden Heart Finalists Announced

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 The Golden Heart recognizes excellence in unpublished romance manuscripts.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!

2014 RITA® Finalists

Best First Book

Five Days in Skye
by Carla Laureano
David C. Cook
John Blase and Tonya Osterhouse, editors

Fix You
by Beck Anderson
Omnific Publishing
Jessica Royer Ocken and Cindy Robinson Campbell, editors 

Private Practice
by Samanthe Beck
Entangled Publishing, Brazen
Heather Howland, editor

Promise to Return
by Elizabeth Byler Younts
Simon & Schuster, Howard Books
Beth Adams and Amanda Demastus, editors 

The Sweet Spot
by Laura Drake
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Latoya Smith, editor

 

Contemporary Romance

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

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

Country Roads
by Nancy Herkness
Amazon Publishing, Montlake
Kelli Martin and JoVon Sotak, editors

Crazy Thing Called Love
by Molly O’Keefe
Random House Group, Ballantine Bantam Dell
Shauna Summers, editor 

Fix You
by Beck Anderson
Omnific Publishing
Jessica Royer Ocken and Cindy Robinson Campbell, editors

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

Home to Whiskey Creek
by Brenda Novak
Harlequin, MIRA
Paula Eykelhof, editor

Homecoming Ranch
by Julia London
Amazon Publishing, Montlake
Maria Gomez, editor

It Had to Be You
by Jill Shalvis
Grand Central Publishing
Alex Logan, editor

Letters to Nowhere
by Julie Cross
Self-published
Martha Trachtenberg, copyeditor 

Rescued by a Stranger
by Lizbeth Selvig
HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Impulse
Tessa Woodward, editor

Rumor Has It
by Jill Shalvis
Berkley Publishing Group
Kate Seaver, editor

The Second Chance Café
by Alison Kent
Amazon Publishing, Montlake
Lindsay Guzzardo, editor

Sleigh Bells in the Snow
by Sarah Morgan
Harlequin, HQN
Flo Nicoll, editor 

The Sweet Spot
by Laura Drake
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Latoya Smith, editor

Talk of the Town
by Beth Andrews
Harlequin, Superromance
Wanda Ottewell, editor

The Way You Look Tonight
by Bella Andre
Self-published
Shelley Bates, copyeditor

Whiskey Beach
by Nora Roberts
Penguin Group USA, G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Leslie Gelbman, editor

 

Erotic Romance

Claim Me
by J. Kenner
Random House Group, Bantam
Shauna Summers, editor

Private Practice
by Samanthe Beck
Entangled Publishing, Brazen
Heather Howland, editor 

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

Any Duchess Will Do
by Tessa Dare
HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Books
Tessa Woodward

The Autumn Bride
by Anne Gracie
Berkley Publishing Group, Berkley Sensation
Wendy McCurdy, editor

The Chieftain’s Curse
by Frances Housden
Harlequin, MIRA
Kate Cuthbert, editor

The Countess Conspiracy
by Courtney Milan
Self-published
Robin Harders and Keira Soleore, editors

Darius
by Grace Burrowes
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
Deb Werksman, editor

Dark Angel: A Gothic Fairy Tale
by T J Bennett
Entangled Publishing, Edge
Liz Pelletier and Shannon Godwin, editors 

Duke of Midnight
by Elizabeth Hoyt
Grand Central Publishing
Amy Pierpont, editor

The Lady and the Laird
by Nicola Cornick
Harlequin, HQN
Ann Leslie Tuttle, editor

Love and Other Scandals
by Caroline Linden
HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Books
Lyssa Keusch, editor 

The Luckiest Lady in London
by Sherry Thomas
Berkley Publishing Group
Wendy McCurdy, editor

Never Desire a Duke
by Lily Dalton
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Michele Bidelspach, editor

No Good Duke Goes Unpunished
by Sarah MacLean
HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Books
Carrie Feron, editor 

Plaid Tidings
by Mia Marlowe
Kensington Publishing Corp., Zebra
Alicia Condon, editor 

A Rake’s Midnight Kiss
by Anna Campbell
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Amy Pierpont, editor

The Rogue’s Proposal
by Jennifer Haymore
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Selina McLemore, editor 

Sins of a Ruthless Rogue
by Anna Randol
HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Books
Tessa Woodward, editor

Sonata for a Scoundrel
by Anthea Lawson
Self-published

 

Inspirational Romance

Five Days in Skye
by Carla Laureano
David C. Cook
John Blase and Tonya Osterhouse, editors

Promise to Return
by Elizabeth Byler Younts
Simon & Schuster, Howard Books
Beth Adams and Amanda Demastus, editors

 

Paranormal Romance

The Burning Sky
by Sherry Thomas
HarperCollins Publishers, Balzer & Bray
Donna Bray, editor

Caged Warrior
by Lindsey Piper
Pocket Books
Lauren McKenna, editor

Demon Hunting in a Dive Bar
by Lexi George
Kensington Publishing Corp., Brava
Alicia Condon 

The Devil’s Heart
by Cathy Maxwell
HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Books
Lucia Macro, editor

Diamond Dust
by Vivian Arend
Samhain Publishing
Anne Scott, editor

The Firebird
by Susanna Kearsley
Sourcebooks, Landmark
Deb Werksman, editor 

Heart of Obsidian
by Nalini Singh
Berkley Publishing Group, Berkley Sensation
Cindy Hwang, editor 

His Clockwork Canary
by Beth Ciotta
Signet
Jhanteigh Kupihea, editor

Immortally Ever After
by Angie Fox
St. Martin’s Press
Monique Patterson, editor

Shadowdance
by Kristen Callihan
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Alex Logan, editor 

Skies of Gold: The Ether Chronicles
by Zoë Archer
HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Impulse
Amanda Bergeron, editor 

Teardrop
by Lauren Kate
Random House Group, Delacorte
Wendy Loggia, editor 

Witch Bound
by Eleri Stone
Carina Press
Gina Bernal, editor

 

Romance Novella

The Bridesmaid
by Julia London
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
Deb Werksman, editor

“Defending Truth”
by Shannon McNear
in A Pioneer Christmas
Barbour Publishing
Becky Germany, editor

How to Marry a Highlander
by Katharine Ashe
HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Impulse
Lucia Macro, editor 

How to Misbehave
by Ruthie Knox
Random House Group, Loveswept
Sue Grimshaw, editor

“Imagine Me and You”
by Maisey Yates
in Animal Attraction
Harlequin, HQN
Margo Lipschultz, editor

Mine Under the Mistletoe
by Kat Latham
Carina Press
Angela James, editor

Take Me, Cowboy
by Jane Porter
Tule Publishing, Montana Born Books
Tessa Shapcott, editor

Take What You Want
by Jeanette Grey
Samhain Publishing
Jennifer Miller, editor

“Too Fast to Fall”
by Victoria Dahl
in Be Mine
Harlequin, HQN
Tara Parsons, editor

 

Romantic Suspense

Justice for Sara
by Erica Spindler
St. Martin’s Press
Jennifer Weiss, editor

The Killing Game
by Toni Anderson
Self-published

Off the Edge
by Carolyn Crane
Self-published

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

 

Short Contemporary Romance

A Conflict of Interest
by Barbara Dunlop
Harlequin, Desire
Charles Griemsman, editor

Free Fall
by Karen Foley
Harlequin, Blaze
Brenda Chin, editor

Her Accidental Boyfriend
by Robin Bielman
Entangled Publishing, Bliss
Stacy Abrams and Wendy Chen, editors 

Her Secret, His Baby
by Tanya Michaels
Harlequin, American Romance
Johanna Raisanen, editor

A Royal without Rules
by Caitlin Crews
Harlequin, Presents
Megan Haslam, editor 

Why Resist a Rebel?
by Leah Ashton
Harlequin KISS
Meg Lewis, editor

 

 

2014 Golden Heart® Finalists

Contemporary Romance

“Love in Living Color” by Shelly C. Alexander

“Too Good to Be True” by Suzanne Kaufman Kalb

 

Historical Romance

“Charlene and the Duchess Factory” by Lenora Bell

“The Earl Next Door” by Charis Calhoon

“A Haunting Desire” by Julie Mulhern

“Much Ado about Scandal” by Jillian Lark

“The Seer” by Gwynlyn MacKenzie

“A Soldier’s Serenade” by Ellen Lindseth

“The Unseducible Earl” by Sheri Humphreys

“Wicked Things” by Laura Trentham

“A Wild and Wicked Wind” by Laura Trentham

 

Inspirational Romance

“Against the Peace” by Carrie Padgett

“Better Than a Movie” by Sara Tompkins

“My Lord Valet” by Kristi Ann Hunter 

“A Virtuous Ruby” by Piper Huguley

 

Paranormal Romance

“Beyond the Fire” by Marni Folsom

“Fit To Die” by Pintip Dunn

“Hidden Magic” by Shelly Chalmers

“Valhalla’s King” by Asa Maria Bradley

 

Romantic Suspense

“Chasing Damn” by Denny S. Bryce

“Dangerous Dreams” by Abbie Roads

“Fatal Fragrances” by Connie Taxdal

“In a Sea of Change” by Deborah Wilding

“Secrets That Kill” by Sarah Andre

“See Her No More” by Sharon Wray

 

Short Contemporary

“Bringing Delaney Home” by Lee Kilraine

“Poetic Justice” by Nan Dixon

“Yesterday’s Promise” by Sarah Cannon

 

Young Adult Romance

“Altered” by Marnee Bailey

“Carlie in Crisis” by Pintip Dunn

“Carma Always” by Stephanie Winkelhake 

“Chasing Fireworks” by Kimberly MacCarron

“To Feel or Not To Feel” by Kimberly MacCarron

“Four Bullets” by Amy DeLuca

“Letting Go” by Jessica Ruddick

“Macha and the River Blue” by Barbara Gerry

“The Thing with Feathers” by McCall Hoyle

“This Is Your Afterlife” by Vanessa Barneveld

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